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  • New Trend Alert: Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

    According to the latest American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, 15.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed last year in the United States; out of those many millions, over 286,000 were breast augmentation procedures.  The motivation behind this consistent trend can range from women wanting to fill out their clothing to addressing physical effects the breasts can experience during pregnancy and breastfeeding or simply for a confidence booster.  While many factors remain constant with most plastic surgery procedures, here’s a look into a new trend in breast augmentation techniques that has evolved into a viable option for achieving larger, fuller and natural-looking breasts.Breast Size

    The key component to breast enhancement has long involved the use of breast implants to augment the size of the breasts.  The main FDA-approved players in breast implants include:

    • Saline implants – made of a silicone outer shell filled with sterile saline solution, many patients choose saline implants because they enjoy the look and feel and prefer their shell to be filled after the implant is inserted (this allows for alternative incision options including under the armpit, around the areola, along the bottom of the breast or around the naval).
    • Silicone implants – made of the same silicone outer shell as saline breast implants except these implants are pre-filled with a predetermined amount of silicone gel.  Some patients prefer these types of implants for their more natural look and also because they are more stable in their form.
    • Gummy bear implants – comprised of a highly-cohesive silicone gel substance that improves shape retention (less rippling like silicone) and ultimately allowing a softer, more natural feel.

    Regardless of the type of implant chosen, the technique remains generally the same: an incision is made in a predetermined place on the body then the implant is inserted and either filled to the desired size or positioned above/beneath the chest muscle (all dependent on the type of implant used, your body type and ultimate goal).  Now, fat transfer offers a different approach.

    Breast augmentation with fat transfer begins by using liposuction to remove unwanted fat from one area of the body, typically the abdomen, back, buttocks, or thighs, before it is sent through a purification process.  Once purified, the removed fat is re-injected in the breasts to add volume.  The injections themselves can be administered using local anesthetic, making this a minimally-invasive procedure, and carries less risk of an infection largely in part because the materials used to augment are taken from your own body rather than using a foreign object (synthetic implants).  On top of that, many argue that the newly added tissue is more soft and free-moving in comparison to breast implants and creates a more natural look and feel.  The downsides to this type of breast augmentation procedure are that the desired results are not guaranteed.  The fat needs adequate space within the breasts to survive and there is a possibility that some of the fat will be absorbed back into the body, potentially creating breast asymmetry, a need for breast revision procedures or resulting in smaller breasts that the patient originally hoped for.

    Before you decide on a specific type of breast augmentation procedure it’s best to do your research so that you can maintain realistic expectations about the type of results you can possibly see.  If you’re interested in discussing your breast enhancement options, feel free to contact Southern Plastic Surgery to set up a consultation.  In the meantime, stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, specials and updates.

    Mommy Makeover Series: Part 1

    When it comes to my wife, I may be a bit biased but to me, she’s superwoman.  On top of work, extracurricular activities and everything in between, being a mom is a full time gig; as soon as a woman becomes a mother their focus is no longer on themselves but the wellbeing of their family.  For this reason I want to shine the spotlight back on all of you mothers out there and share a procedure that is all about you: the mommy makeover.

    Due to the physical effects pregnancy and childbirth have on a woman’s body, no amount of diet and exercise can remedy the sagging breasts from breastfeeding or the weakened abdominal muscles in the stomach.  Mommy makeover is multi-faceted because it’s a combination of cosmetic surgery procedures performed at the same time.  From perkier breasts with a breast augmentation and breast lift to a tighter waistline with a tummy tuck, mommy makeover addresses multiple concerns at once.  An added benefit is that it also reduces your amount of required downtime versus if you had each procedure done one at a time.

    In part one of my mommy makeover series I wanted to touch on some of the basics that make up a mommy makeover.  Below is a helpful guide breaking down some of main components that go into mommy makeover to help my patients regain their pre-baby body: tummy tuck, liposuction, breast reduction, breast lift and breast augmentation.

     
    One important thing I can’t stress enough is for my mommy makeover patients to wait until after they are done having children before considering a mommy makeover, body contouring or breast enhancement procedures because the effects of pregnancy can reverse your results.  Stay tuned for part two of my mommy makeover series where I will go into more detail on the benefits of the different procedures I combine.  If you’re interested in mommy makeover surgery, or any of the other cosmetic procedures I perform, please contact Southern Plastic Surgery today.  For the most up-to-date plastic surgery news and specials be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

    When Plastic Surgery Becomes a Business Model

    The other day I saw a news report that talked about a large, national facial cosmetic surgery practice that unexpectedly shut down, without any warning to patients and even their doctors.   They were most notably known for their “minimally-invasive face lift” that they touted could be done under local anesthesia, take less time and money, and would produce results that were just as good as traditional facelifts.  While it may be true to some degree that we live in a society that enjoys instant gratification, there are just some things that deserve to be done the right way, even if it means it will take a little longer or cost a bit more.

    Heavy marketing through infomercials and nationwide campaigns generated a lot of buzz about this company and the procedure they purported to perform for many patients looking for a low-cost facial rejuvenation treatment.  So how does a company that became so known go out of business so quickly?  The suggested downfall of this corporate structured practice is that there were numerous malpractice claims, dissatisfied patients and reports of safety concerns that led to several lawsuits filed against the company.  Reports from previous patients who had negative experiences described a type of structure that tried to sell a product and didn’t actually have the patient’s goals and health at the forefront of their practice.

    I find this all to be quite alarming.  As a double board certified plastic surgeon I have devoted my entire practice to my patients because their safety and ultimately satisfaction with their plastic surgery procedures is what motivates me to keep learning, implementing and perfecting techniques that will only work to benefit the patient.  It’s already emotionally taxing for patients to navigate the world of plastic surgery in general; they’ve met with numerous doctors, decided on “the one”, scheduled the procedure and mentally start prepping for the next chapter in their journey.  To hear that a company would suddenly shut down leaving past, present and future patients high and dry is disheartening to hear for everyone involved because it’s not what anyone deserves.  It’s my belief that you build a trust between patient and doctor.  As a patient you entrust your life and as a doctor we have your best interest at heart, at least which is what healthcare providers should always strive to do.  When your practice and main focus becomes more about how much revenue you’re generating, this can only benefit you and that’s not why we practice medicine.

    The best advice I can give to patients considering any plastic surgery procedure is to do your research.  Yes, online reviews can often be skewed but use your best judgement.  Reach out to actual patients, take in-depth looks at a surgeon’s plastic surgery results, meet as many doctors as you have to (meet with the same one more than once if you need that) until you feel completely comfortable and confident in your decisions.  If a gimmick seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is – so why take the risk when it comes to your health?