Do Breast Implants cause breast cancer? At the risk of ruining the suspense, the answer is still no. Breast Cancer affects 1 in 8 women over their lifetime, and women with and without breast implants have the same risk. If your mother or sister have breast cancer your risk of having breast cancer is increased; however, only 20% of breast cancer patients have a family history of the disease. In other words, 80% of breast cancer is spontaneous.
The Best Cancer Defense is Finding it Early
Amy Robach preparing for her first screening mammogram at age 40.
Like most cancers, Breast Cancer is easier to treat if found early. Early detection means smaller tumors which are less likely to spread, and more likely to let you live a long life. If you find a lump in your breasts, get it checked out by your doctor. The only way to know what a breast lump is for certain is to sample it. Needle biopsies have come a long way, and diagnosis of a suspicious lump can be quick and easy in many cases.
What About the Breast Cancers We Can’t Feel?
The best screening test for breast cancer remains the Mammogram. New techniques can detect smaller tumors earlier, and reduce unnecessary biopsies. The current recommendation for healthy women without a family history of Breast Cancer is to get your first mammogram at age 40. Amy Robach (pictured above) learned the value of the screening mammogram when she received her first mammogram at age 40 as part of a story about Breast Cancer Screening. The test potentially saved her life by detecting a breast cancer before there was any evidence of the disease.
When to Get Your First Mammogram
The mammogram on left is of normal glandular breast tissue. The white circle in the mammogram on the right is breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society, The American College of Surgeons, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The American College of Radiology and The Society of Breast Imaging all recommend that routine mammograms begin at age forty for women with an average risk of breast cancer. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should have their first mammogram 10 years prior to the age that their relative was when they developed breast cancer. On the other hand, the federal government’s USPTF recommendations are to wait until age 50, no breast ultrasounds and no mammograms after age 75. Unfortunately, the USPTF’s recommendations are based on older methods of mammography, and fly in the face of the recommendations made by doctors who care for women every day. The same doctors who continue to make strides battling breast cancer.
Worldwide, there have been 71 documented cases of patients with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in women who have breast implants. This type of ALCL found around Breast Implants is completely different than the usual ALCL, in that it usually has a more benign course, and that removing the breast implants and their capsules has been curative with and without other treatments.
ALCL is normally found in the lymph nodes, as well as in skin, lung, liver and soft tissue, but not usually in the breast. This is a previously unrecognized, new subtype of ALCL. Cases in which ALCL developed in the breast region often involved patients who have had breast surgery, and arose in the scar tissue. Often, many years were required for the tumor to develop, and in the case of Breast Implants, a collection fluid around the implant, rather than a mass, leads to the diagnosis.
ALCL is not Breast Cancer
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
ALCL arises from lymphocytes (white blood cells), not breast tissue, so mammograms are not useful for diagnosis. Breast Implants are generally safe and studies have found no association between breast surgery and other forms of cancer. ALCL itself is also an extremely rare occurrence. Among three million breast implants, there are between one and six reported cases of ALCL.
What Causes ALCL of the Breast?
Determining the cause of ALCL is made difficult because it is so rare. While the tumor has been found associated with breast implants, it is unclear if Breast Implants are the cause, or if breast implants make the diagnosis apparent. Several mechanisms are under investigation including an abnormal immune response from the body. American, National and International Plastic Surgery Societies are raising awareness for this rare disease among their members, and are repeatedly soliciting their members for new or suspected cases, and compiling a database to help investigators get to the root of the problem. Breast implants, medical implants in other parts of the body and even dentures are being investigated for any link to this rare tumor.
Plastic Surgery and Breast Cancer
Fortunately, plastic surgeons get to help with the healing after the Breast Cancer is removed. As the results of Breast Reconstruction improve, the procedure becomes more popular. Some women, like Amy Robach and Angelina Jolie, are even electing to have both breasts removed and reconstructed. This is usually done when women are at higher risk for breast cancer in the other breast. Since genetic screening for breast cancer is relatively new, not enough time has passed to show any survival benefit to bilateral mastectomies. However, it does provide peace of mind for women who feel their breast is ticking time bomb.
Breast Implants Help After Breast Cancer
The most common way to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy is with a breast implant. In the year 2000, 78,832 women underwent breast reconstruction, and in 2014 the number will be closer to 100,000. Millions of women have benefited physically and emotionally from these procedures. But with early detection, we can reduce the number of mastectomies performed, and increase the survival for breast cancer patients.
Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Reconstruction
New research confirms what plastic surgeons have known for years. Breast Augmentation does more for a woman than just enlarging her breasts.
Breast Implants are used three times more often for elective Breast Augmentation than for Breast Reconstruction. Breast Augmentation helps with the fit of clothing, provides high patient satisfaction and has been shown to provide significant improvement in quality of life for both elective breast augmentation and breast reconstruction after breast cancer. While breast implants do not cause breast cancer, there are risks and benefits that need to be discussed with a qualified Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. In most cases, the benefits will outweigh the risks, but the decision should always be individualized.
Breast Implant Consultations
If you are considering Breast Augmentation, and live in or near the San Francisco Bay Area, give us a call at (925) 943-6353. An in-person, confidential consultation is the best way to find out if Breast Augmentation is right for you.
This week’s Plastic Surgery Video comes from KRON 4’s Body Beautiful and covers a very specific area of concern seen most frequently after weight loss: the Arm Lift. Also know as Brachioplasty, the Arm Lift tightens the skin of the upper arm which can be over stretched with weight gain.
The Arm Lift Video Presentation below shows many Arm Lift Before and After Pictures. The examples are narrated to describe the specifics in each case. Arm Lifts are a common procedure after Bariatric Surgery or after any large weight loss that leave the arms loose.
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift) Video Presentation
Arm Lifts with Liposuction
When the upper arm is disproportionate due to excess fat and the skin is tight, Liposuction may be all that is needed. Liposuction removes extra fat through small incisions strategically placed in the normal contours of the body. For arm Liposuction, the scars are placed about the elbow or in the axillary regions. For Liposuction of the arms to be effective, the fat must be disproportionate and the skin must have good elasticity. When the skin is loose, removing the underlying fat will enhance the laxity and make the skin fold unpredictably. For loose skin, the Arm Lift is usually the only effective option.
Brachioplasty – Changing the Arms
After massive weight loss, like with the weight loss seen after Bariatric Surgery, much of the upper arm fat disappears. The arm skin, on the other hand, tends to stick around. The excess upper arm skin can be so excessive that the arm remains tight in a sleeve, long after the fat has gone. I have had many patients ask for help with their arm skin laxity. They want to feel comfortable; they want to fit in their clothes, and they want their arms to stop waving when their hands do. Sometimes called Bat Wings, excessive upper arm skin can be a source of frustration and embarrassment long after the weight is lost.
How is the Arm Lift Performed?
The Arm Lift or Brachioplasty is a Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedure that removes excess skin from the arm. It is performed as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgery center and takes a few hours. The skin excess is carefully marked for removal with the patient awake and upright so that just enough skin remains to comfortably cover the arm. In the operating room, the excess skin is excised, and the tightened, leaving a carefully closed incision along the underside of the arm. The arm is supported with a compression garment after surgery, and Embrace Scar Therapy is often used to support the repair, speed healing and maximally improve the appearance of the scar. Most patients are back to their normal activities in one to two weeks with few limitations.
Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery
Brachioplasty is frequently performed in conjunction with other Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery procedures. While Bariatric Surgery can cause weight and fat loss, it does not always leave the skin tight. In fact, as we gain weight the excess fat, expands the skin and which grows to cover the increased surface area. When the weight is lost, the skin will shrink, but usually not completely. It is recommended to wait one year after Bariatric Surgery to allow the skin to shrink maximally and the body to heal before having any Plastic Surgery Skin Tightening procedures.
The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons (ASBPS)
The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgery is dedicated to shaping the body after massive weight loss.
If you have lost a significant amount of weight or have completed Bariatric Surgery and are looking to remove loose skin, members of the ASBPS are America’s body contouring specialists. Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery procedures we perform include:
Schedule your Arm Lift Consultation today by calling (925) 943-6353. During your visit to our San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery office in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek, CA, we will discuss your options for treatment and what you can expect from the Brachioplasty procedure. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and an ASBPS member, I can offer a wide range of skin tightening treatments after weight loss, as well as other Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures.
Liposuction remains one of the most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures. Unlike weight loss, liposuction allows you to choose the areas where fat is removed. It is not a method of weight loss, or even weight maintenance, but it can remove those stubborn, disproportionate pockets of fat that just won’t leave despite a good diet and exercise.
Dr. Mele Discusses Liposuction on KRON 4’s Body Beautiful
The lastest television video segment from the Bay Area’s New Station, KRON 4’s Body Beautiful is included below. Liposuction is discussed, as well as the recovery.
Liposuction Video with Before and After Pictures
Before and After Pictures of Liposuction
Before and After Pictures of Liposuction are reviewed including:
Liposuction literally means fat suction. A cannula is placed under the skin via a small incision and fat is vacuumed out. The concept is simple, and maybe that’s why everyone thinks they can do it. There are many methods, but choosing the right Plastic Surgeon will always be more important than picking the “right” method. Just like a great musician playing Classroom Instruments will always sound better than an amateur playing a Stradivarius. Besides, fat is soft, so a bigger, hotter, stronger hammer is unnecessary, and is yet to be proven better.
A sculpture is defined by what remains, not the chips of marble left on the floor. Liposculpture is Liposuction, but emphasizes the importance of what is left behind rather than what is removed. The goal with Liposculpture is to create a better shape, not to remove as much fat as possible.
Additive Sculpture – Fat Transfer
Fat Transfer is currently a hot topic. It is probably best known as the Brazilian Butt Lift. A Brazilian Butt Lift is a procedure where fat is removed from an area that is disproportionate and is used for Fat Transplant to the Buttocks. The added volume not only enlarges the buttocks, but can reshape them too. The biggest limitations for fat transfer are the amount of fat available elsewhere in the body, and the nature of the buttocks’ skin.
Fat transfer is not as predictable as sculpture because fat is not as predictable as stone. The volume of fat transferred can change. Initially 50% to 100% of the fat may take. Obviously, this is a bigger problem if 50% takes on one side and 100% on the other. After the fat grafts have healed, they continue to behave like the area they where taken from. If you gain weight, the grafts will get bigger.
Another area that Plastic Surgeons are investigating is fat grafting to the breasts. Fat grafts are not as predictable as Breast Implants, and still are not ready for primetime when it comes to Breast Augmentation. However, after breast biopsies, lumpectomies or other traumatic changes to the breasts that effect breast contour, Fat Grafting to the Breasts can provide dramatic improvement.
Liposuction Consultations in the Bay Area
If you are considering Liposuction, and would like to schedule a private consulation appointment, call (925) 943-6353 today, or use the contact form in the margin. We are located in the San Francisco East Bay Area City of Walnut Creek, just over the Oakland/Berkeley Hills on 680 between San Ramon and Concord.
No matter who you choose, be certain to research your doctor. The following links, will make it easier. Just click on what you want to do:
Breast Augmentation remains the most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. Whether restoring breast volume lost during pregnancy or weight loss, or enhancing the shape of small breasts, Breast Implants have provided a safe and effective method of Breast Enlargement for over 50 years.
Dr. Mele Discusses Breast Implants on Body Beautiful
This month, I discuss Breast Augmentation on KRON 4’sBody Beautiful. The show is broadcast live and reviews the latest plastic surgery news for the San Francisco Bay Area. In the video below, I discuss Breast Implants and Breast Augmentation. Before and After pictures of typical results are also reviewed, though edited for television, of course.
Breast Augmentation Video from this month’s Body Beautiful on KRON 4
Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions
I cover as many Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions as possible in this six minute and forty-nine second video. Some of the topics covered include:
Who is the ideal candidate for Breast Augmentation?
Can Breast Implants help with loose skin?
Do saggy breasts always require a Breast Lift?
What is the recovery period for Breast Enlargement?
Where is the scar placed for the Breast Implants?
Why are Silicone Breast Implants more often placed via the IMF incision (under the breast)?
What are the advantages of the Infra-Mammary Fold (IMF) Incision?
When can a Periareolar Incision (under the nipple/areola) be used?
What types of Breast Implants are currently available?
What is a Gummy Bear Breast Implant?
What is High-Strength, Highly Cohesive, Form-Stable silicone gel?
How to help your Plastic Surgeon pick the optimal Breast Implant Size?
Are Mommy Makeovers just for Mommies?
Multiple Breast Augmentation Before and After Pictures are discussed too.
Breast Augmentation Consultations
Type, Size and Method of Breast Augmentation are all important for a good result, but the most important variable is finding an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that you can talk to. Great Breast Enhancement is subjective, and it is as important for your Plastic Surgeon to understand your goals as it is for you to understand the benefits and risks of the procedure.
If you are considering Breast Augmentation, call (925) 943-6353 to schedule a private consultation with an experienced Breast Augmentation Specialist.
Mommy Makeovers exist because babies are hard on their mommy’s “B’s”: Breasts and Bellies. The physiological changes that are necessary for a healthy child are not always beneficial for a healthy mommy’s body.
How to Repair the Aftermath of Pregnancy
The television video segment below is from this month’s Body Beautiful. I discuss Mommy Makeovers, the alternative to living with the results of pregnancy for both the Breast and Belly, from the perspective of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has taken care of many mommies.
For the Breasts, options include: Breast Augmentation, Breast Lifts, Breast Reduction or a combination of these. Reduction of hypertrophied (overly enlarged) nipples and areolae is also possible. For Bellies: Liposuction, Mini Tummy Tucks and most commonly, Full Tummy Tucks are available. The video provides an introduction to many of the options available, including fat grafting to the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift), but cannot substitute for an in depth consultation with an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Mommy Makeover Video from this month’s Body Beautiful on KRON 4
Breast Enlargement for lactation is necessary, but when breasts shrink after breast feeding ends, the result can be empty, saggy breasts. Recent evidence points to pregnancy itself as the main culprit. Breast feeding, on the other hand, may instead offer benefits to both breast shape and baby wellness.
Why Breasts Sag With Pregnancy
Breasts are attached to the muscles behind them by long thin bands called Cooper’s Ligaments. When the breasts engorge, these ligaments elongate and cannot support the breasts as well. Immediately after breast feeding stops, the breast lose volume, which leads to further drooping. Some improvement occurs during the first six months after the cessation of lactation, so it is best to give the breasts a chance to recover, before planning your breast intervention.
There are many options for Breast Enhancement. The most common is Breast Augmentation, which restores lost volume and can help deflated breasts. When the breast enlargement that comes with pregnancy does not resolve, and the breast remain too large, Breast Reduction may provide relief from the excess weight and size of the breasts. If the size is good, but the breasts have dropped too low, a Breast Lift may be all that is needed.
What happens to the belly is a little simpler to understand. As the baby gets bigger, the belly stretches. This includes the skin and the muscle of the abdominal wall. Furthermore, the rectus muscles, which are a pair of muscles running down the middle of the belly, can separate and drift away from the midline causing abdominal weakness and diastasis.
What is Diastasis?
Diastasis is a separation of the rectus muscles. It is not a hernia and is usually not symptomatic or dangerous. A simple test for diastasis is to lay on your back, raise your shoulders off the bed/floor, and look at the center of your belly. Normally, when the shoulders rise the abdominal muscles tighten, and the abdomen flattens. With diastasis the mid-line, especially the area just above the belly button, will bulge upwards as the muscles tighten.
The bulge occurs because the muscles are no longer next to each other. As they are pulled apart with pregnancy, or weight gain, the middle of the abdominal wall is left unsupported. When the abdominal muscles tighten, the guts are squeezed and look for more room. The soft midline gives and provides additional space.
Repairing Diastasis is part of a Tummy Tuck, and one of the reasons that Abdominoplasty works better than diet and exercise for many mommies.
The most common abdominal component of the Mommy Makeover is the Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty. This provides repair of the muscle, tightening of the skin and removal of excess lower abdominal fat. If the problem is residual fat, and the skin is tight, Liposuction, alone may be all that is needed. When there is mild skin laxity isolated to the lower abdomen, a Mini Tummy Tuck could be a good compromise.
The Mommy Makeover has Lots of Options
Hopefully, the video and post above gives you some guidance. While information above is accurate, it may be specific to your needs, because every body is a little different, and individual needs and results will vary.
The best way to find out what the Mommy Makeover can do for you is during an in-person appointment with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. To schedule a private consultation, call my office at (925) 943-6353, and get the details you need to decide if the Mommy Makeover is the right procedure for you.
This week, research proving long term scar improvement with Embrace scar treatment is published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Scar Therapy That Works
A few years ago, I was a primary researcher for a new device designed to improve the appearance of scars after surgery. The clinical trial, “A Study of a Novel Silicone Dressing to Minimize Scar Formation (REFINE),” was sponsored by the manufacturer Neodyne Biosciences. This month, the research is published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The results demonstrate that the Embrace device significantly reduces scarring following Abdominoplasty surgery. To the authors’ knowledge, this represents the first level I evidence for postoperative scar reduction.
How the Scar Reduction Research was Performed
Silicone Impregnated Gel Sheeting has been used for years to improve the appearance of scars. The Embrace device is novel because it also incorporates stress-shielding to protect the operative site. For the trial, patients having Tummy Tucks were prospectively randomized to have one side treated with Embrace and the other side treated in the usual manner of the plastic surgeon. All researchers were experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. All patients were treated with the Embrace patch for 5 to 13 weeks and followed for a year after Abdominoplasty. Very specific and reproducible photographs were taken at 6 and 12 months after the Tummy Tuck for comparison.
How Much Better Were the Tummy Tuck Scars?
The operative scars were rated by investigators and patients. Both found that embrace-treated scars demonstrated significant improvements in overall appearance at 12 months using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale evaluation (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001, respectively). Importantly, no serious adverse events were reported.
Investigator Scores – Plastic Surgeons consistently rated the appearance of the Embrace treated side higher throughout treatment.
Highlights of the REFINE trial data include:
Highly significant statistical difference between treated and control (p value < 0.02)
Met Primary and secondary endpoints vs. standard of care (Steri-Strips, Mederma, silicone gel, silicone sheeting)
High level of patient and physician satisfaction
High likelihood to recommend therapy by both physician and patient
Patient Scores – Patients also agreed that the appearance of the Embrace treated side was better than the untreated side.
Limits of Embrace Scar Therapy
I most commonly use Embrace Scar Therapy for Tummy Tucks and (Arm Lifts) Brachioplasty. In my practice, and in the trials, the most common reason for stopping Embrace was skin irritation. Since the device is occlusive and is pushing the skin edges together, the mild glue or traction alone can cause redness around the edges of the patch in some patients. The device will only work on straight incisions that are on a relatively flat surface. Embrace can also be used for scar revision, provided the scar is straight and on a flat surface.
Considering a Tummy Tuck or Arm Lift?
If you are considering a Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck or Arm Lift, be certain to ask about Embrace Scar Therapy for your recovery. Many patients find the dressing comfortable and reassuring, because it supports the surgical repair. Many San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgeons are offering Embrace, and we should since it was invented and proven effective by Plastic Surgeons from around the SF Bay.
More information on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is available here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, but there is no substitute for an in-person consultation. When you are ready to learn specifics about what a Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck or Arm Lift can do for you, give me a call at (925) 943-6353, or use the contact form in the margin to obtain more information.
In March, 2012, 37-year-old Karima Gordon died eight days after receiving Buttocks Injections. This week, Karima’s injector, 54-year-old Tracey Lynn Garner was sentenced to life in prison for a callous disregard for human life that causes death, i.e. depraved-heart murder. In February of this year, the woman who introduced Karima to Tracey for a $200 referral fee, 40-year-old Natasha Stewart, aka Pebbelz Da Model, was convicted of manslaughter and is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence.
Underground, Bargain Basement Butt Enhancement
Lured by the $1500 cosmetic procedure to enhance her buttocks, Karima Gordon drove from her home in Georgia to Tracy Garner’s home in Jackson, Mississippi. The $1500 price tag might sound like a good deal, but Karima had little chance of surviving. Ms. Gordon became ill within 30 minutes of the illegal procedure, performed by an interior designer. The silicone-like substance that was injected into her buttocks caused blood clots in her lungs that killed her.
Too Expensive at Half the Price
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The same year that Karima died, 20-year-old Claudia Aderotimi from London arranged online to receive injections to enlarge her buttocks at a hotel near Philadelphia International Airport. Aderotimi died shortly after her life-changing procedure, complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Just two months after Karima’s death, a 35-year-old Kasia Rivera of East Orange, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to giving a man a fatal dose of silicone during a penile enhancement procedure. 22-year-old Justin Street died the day after going to Ms. River’s apartment, when the silicone injections were delivered directly into his bloodstream causing his organs to shut down. Ms. Rivers advertised her skills on a flyer posted at local businesses. Like Karima Gordon’s killer, Kasia Rivera also had no medical license or training.
In 2011, a woman walked into Apryl Michelle Brown’s beauty salon in California and told her she could make her butt bigger with injections. The 46-year-old Brown had been teased as a child about having a “pancake butt,” and the offer was too good for her to resist. It was also too good to be true. It wasn’t long before the injection sites got hard and excruciatingly painful. Brown eventually began looking for doctors to remove the material, which she learned was an industrial silicone available at a home improvement store. After surgery in 2011, a staph infection left her near death. Both hands and feet were amputated. Compared to Karima and Claudia, Apryl was lucky, and she discusses her life after buttocks injection on her web site, including completing the Pasadena Triathlon on March 23, 2013.
So What Can You Do To Keep Safe?
Above are just a few of many tragic stories. If something sounds to good to be true, it’s more likely that it is false. Many things that we can imagine do not exist. There is no off-the-shelf, FDA approved filler available for body enhancement. Not one. So if someone is offering a “safe”, “permanent” filler to fix your “pancake butt” with a few simple injections, run away. IMHO buttock implants do not look good or work well. Even the best current treatment, fat grafting to the buttocks, only works if you have the extra fat on your body to transplant. Even then, most patients still wish they could go larger.
Avoid the Impossible
And for my male readers, there is no effective, safe and predictable way to enlarge the penis. Cutting the dorsal ligament was proposed a way to lengthen the penis. Cutting the ligament does cut the support for the penis, so you might hang a little lower, but it will not increase the size of your erection, and your erection will no longer point upwards. Injections will not work, and if you survive, your penis will likely be lumpy. This includes fat injections to the penis. The American Urological Association (AUA) and the Urology Care Foundation consider subcutaneous fat injection for increasing penile girth to be a procedure which has not been shown to be safe or efficacious – medical jargon for, “It doesn’t work!”
Seek a Qualified Medical Professional
Whenever you are seeking medical care, seek a qualified professional, preferably one Board Certified in the area of care you need. For Cosmetic Surgery or Plastic Surgery, no one is more Qualified than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has experience with enhancing the part of your body you want enhanced. Finding the “best” method on the Internet, is not as good as finding the best doctor, and letting them explain your options.
There is rarely a perfect solution for any problem, and sometimes the best choice is to do nothing, but you owe it to yourself to ask the questions and get the best information possible. On the other hand, if you are having plastic surgery in a house, an apartment or a hotel room, rather than an accredited surgery center or hospital, you can bet you have wandered far from your best option.
Dr. Mele is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
If you are considering any cosmetic procedure, take the time to find a well trained and experienced surgeon in your area who shows his dedication to his or her field by achieving Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. There is a lot of debate in Medicine right now about the worth of Renewing and Maintaining Board Certification. As it has becomes increasingly onerous, time consuming and expensive, there may be a revolt from within the medical ranks, but for now, it the simplest way for you to know if a doctor has the right training and has passed both written and oral examinations given by their peers.
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Mele is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has been in solo private practice for over seventeen years. He has published in many of the most prestigious Plastic Surgery Journals and he has and does continue his interest in furthering Plastic Surgery as a primary investigator for several of the latest plastic surgery devices, including the latest generation of Breast Implants. Dr. Mele appears regularly on KRON 4’s Body Beautiful. His next appearance is Wednesday, September 10th at 11AM, live on the Bay Area’s News Station, Channel 4.
Call (925) 943-6353 to schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Mele.
The Tummy Tuck remains one of the most popular Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures. It reduces the belly bulge and tightens both skin and muscle. Also known as Abdominoplasty, the procedure is frequently performed as part of a Mommy Makeover and after weight loss.
Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures
No more Toddler Tummy. Pregnancy stretches the belly. A Tummy Tuck tightens it back up.
What Does a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Do?
Abdominoplasty is a layered repair of a stretched abdominal wall. An incision is placed low across the abdomen, below the belt or bikini line, to remove the excess abdominal wall skin, but there is more to a Tummy Tuck than skin removal. The foundation of the abdominal wall, the muscle layer, is also repaired. Muscle fascia (case) is tightened down the middle of the belly from top to bottom underneath the skin. There is no visible scar from this portion of the procedure, as it is performed through the skin tightening incision. This further flattens the tummy. A third layer is also fixed. Between the muscle and the skin is another tough layer, Scarpa’s Fascia. Repairing this layer provides a third layer of support and helps relieve tension on the skin, providing a better scar.
Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures
Abdominoplasty provides tighter skin and muscles after pregnancy or weight loss.
Beautiful Bellies After Babies
The Tummy Tuck Before and After Pictures above show the improvement possible with Abdominoplasty. The loose, crepey skin draping over the belly button and collecting on the lower abdomen is removed. The after picture shows smooth skin, and now the belly button is visible. Moreover, the abdominal muscles are pulled together like a corset providing a flattened abdominal wall. The outer edges of the rectus muscle are visible above as shadows. In the before picture, the shadows are along the sides of the loose skin. In the after picture, they are the cut lines running vertically on the now flat abdominal wall. Tightening of the abdominal wall muscles is even more obvious in the Abdominoplasty Before and After Pictures below.
Abdominal Tightening Before and After Photos
The Battle of the Belly Bulge has been won. The Tummy Tuck removes lower abdominal fat and skin while tightening the abdominal muscles.
The Secret to Tummy Tucks
Beware of gimmicks, brand name tummy tucks and mini procedures promising maxi results. The secret to you getting the best Tummy Tuck results possible is in the hands of your Plastic Surgeon. The skills of your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon are what make the difference between a good result and a great result. Do your homework, and find an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who you can communicate with. It is easy to check them out online:
As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with 17 years of Private Practice experience dedicated to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, I know there is no substitute for an in-person consultation with a qualified doctor.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, considering Abdominoplasty, call (925) 943-6353 today to make a personalized Tummy Tuck Consultation. While the generalized information available on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog and on the Internet can provide a generalized framework, during an in-person consultation your questions will be answered specifically to your needs.
Eyes play a central role in defining facial beauty. Unfortunately, the eyelids are one of the first facial features to show the signs of aging.
Eyelid Surgery Before and After Photos
The Eyelid Lift or Blepharoplasty removes the skin that hangs over the eyes and the bags that hang under the eyes.
What Does Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Do?
Blepharoplasty is performed to removed excess skin and bagginess from the eyelids. The Blepharoplasty Before and After Pictures above show the difference an Eyelid Lift can make. The excess skin on the upper eyelid presses on her eyelashes causing a heavy sensation, a tired look and it makes wearing eye makeup next to impossible. The lower eyelid is overstuffed and baggy. The after photo shows an alert appearance with a clean upper eyelid fold and smoothed lower eyelid bags.
Blepharoplasty Before and After Pictures
This Blepharoplasty Before and After Photo set shows how eyelid surgery can remove excess upper eyelid skin and lighten baggy lower eyelids.
Keloids and Eyelid Surgery
My patients of African descent, who are considering cosmetic surgery, usually ask about keloid formation. The techniques used in African Eyelid Surgery are essentially the same as those for Caucasian Eyelid Surgery. While keloid formation is common on the chest, shoulders and ears, the eyelids are a privileged area, and keloid formation is extremely rare. Hypertrophic (thick) scars are also very rare on the eyelids, because the eyelid skin is very thin, and usually heals very quickly. As with any surgery, close follow-up is important to assure the best possible results.
Asian Eyelid Surgery
Asian Eyelid Surgery has many of the same goals as caucasian eyelid lifts, but may also include defining the upper eyelid crease. The Asian eyelid has a poorly defined upper eyelid crease. This allows the upper eyelid fat pad to fall forward and hang lower in the lid. The fold itself may be absent, or may consist of multiple folds. Eyelid surgery can be used to form a single clean fold in the lid and elevate the fat within the upper eyelid restoring a more youthful appearance.
Asian Eyelid Surgery can include defining an irregular upper eyelid crease in addition to removing upper eyelid skin redundancy and lower eyelid bags.
If you are considering Eyelid Rejuvenation call (925) 943-6353 today and schedule a personalized consultation appointment. More information about Blepharoplasty is available on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog and on my main website, DrMele.com, but nothing can substitute for an in-person consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
The popularity of Botched was confirmed this week when the E! Network announced the Plastic Surgery reality show has been renewed for a second season.
Botched will be Unbotching again next year.
If you haven’t watched Botched, the show features two Plastic Surgeons on a quest to revise bad plastic surgery results with a liberal sprinkling of interesting personalities.
Life is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans
Perhaps you’ve heard the quote above. It is often attributed to John Lennon, but it seems Allen Saunders said it first. Life also happens to Plastic Surgery, sometimes literally, in the form of pregnancy. The Mommy Makeover is named after the procedures, Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck, combined to repair the breast and belly damage that pregnancy can cause.
The Mommy Makeover – When you’re unhappy with what life does to your body, there is something that can be done.
Breast Augmentation Revision After Pregnancy
Many patients who become pregnant after Breast Augmentation have no problems, especially if they were small before getting Breast Implants. For others, life happens to their beautiful results. The Breast Augmentation Revision Before and After Photos below show what can happen, and how it can be unbotched.
Breast Augmentation Revision can lift the breasts back onto their Breast Implant after postpartum sagging causes them to fall down.
The photo on the left shows the result that pregnancy can have on otherwise perfectly fine Breast Augmentation. The breast tissue, in front of the implant, responds naturally by enlarging for lactation. Once breast feeding stops, the breast tissue atrophies, leaving loose saggy skin. This would happen with or without a Breast Implant, but in this case with Breast Implants, the breasts have fallen off their implants. After a Breast Lift and Breast Implant Replacement, a much perkier result is obtained.
Capsular Contracture Can Happen Too
Most Breast Implants remain soft and mobile; however, when the pocket around the implant shrinks, the result can be a firm breast, that often rides up. The good news is the tightness can be released.
Capsular Contracture release can improve the feel and location of the Breast Implant.
The Capsular Contracture Release Before and After Pictures above show how elevated breast implant malposition can be corrected by removing or expanding the tight Breast Implant Capsule.
Sometimes Enough is Too Much
Sometimes Breast Implant Malposition is the result of too big an implant and too little support. The woman below had Breast Augmentation with a Breast Lift. Unfortunately, her Breast Implant was too heavy for her skin. The result was bottomed out breasts and an angry scar.
Heavy Breast Implants can stretch out the breasts and cause bottoming out. Downsizing and a Breast Lift with Scar Revision can often help.
In the Breast Augmentation Revision Before and After Photos above, the angry scar was revised, the breast was lifted again and a smaller Breast Implant was selected. The result is a superior shape, contour and feel. While there can be no guarantees in life, the chances of bottoming-out again are reduced by the reduced weight of the new implants.
Botched Breast Implants Can Be Unbotched
If you are unhappy with your Breast Augmentation, you don’t have to go to Beverly Hills and visit the Botched doctors for help. The San Francisco Bay Area is not only the site of the first Plastic Surgery training program west of the Mississippi, it remains home to two of the most competitive plastic surgery programs in the United States. You have many Board Certified Plastic Surgeons to choose from.
About The Author
With 20 years of experience with Breast Augmentation and Breast Augmentation Revision, Dr. Joseph Mele is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the ability to get results. If you would like to schedule a personal consultation, give his Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery office a call at (925) 943-6353.