Breast Reconstruction Awareness: Celebrate BRA Day October 17th

Atlanta Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 2012In our last breast reconstruction blog, we discussed reconstruction options and how looking great after breast cancer shouldn’t be too much to ask. Unfortunately, many women don’t even know their options for breast reconstruction. However, on October 17th, 2012, we will celebrate National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or BRA Day, to encourage breast reconstruction education, awareness, and access.  BRA Day, launched first in Canada in 2011, is now nationally observed each year on the third Wednesday of October (also breast cancer awareness month).

According to the BRA Day website, as many as 7 out of 10 women do not know their breast reconstruction options after mastectomy, or breast cancer removal surgery. Dr. David Whiteman performs various types of breast reconstruction to restore a woman’s breast(s) dependent upon her specific circumstances and preferences. Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed at the same time as mastectomy (immediate breast reconstruction) or delayed for months or years after the cancer is removed.

If there is an adequate amount of breast tissue remaining after cancer removal, breast implants may be used to provide natural-looking volume enhancement. If there’s not enough tissue to support a breast implant, a tissue expander can be used to make room for the implant. However, Dr. Whiteman can also use techniques to create new breast(s) with the patient’s own skin, fat, and muscle.

Dr. Whiteman knows the importance breast reconstruction plays in the breast cancer healing journey, and he wants to help ensure women know their options. He also understands that connecting with other women going through breast cancer treatment and reconstruction can help. Therefore, he created a support group for his patients called the Buddy System. He also founded a business directory, called Life After the Fight, to promote breast cancer survivors’ professional ventures.

For more information about breast reconstruction and other plastic surgery procedures Dr. Whiteman performs, visit his website. Be sure to also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for BRA Day updates and other plastic surgery news.

 

Negative Effects of Obesity May Include Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Obesity PreventionHealth and wellness is an important part of my practice and my recommendation as a plastic surgeonPlastic surgery can enhance a person’s body aesthetically, but without proper diet and exercise, the surgical results can be compromised.  Obesity can negatively affect many people’s lives by worsening (and sometimes causing) health problems and diseases.  In fact, new research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (American Association for Cancer Journal) shows that obesity may even increase the risk of triple-negative breast cancer.

As a plastic surgeon who offers breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients after mastectomy, I’m all-too familiar with the disease and the toll it takes on patients.  Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for 10 to 20 percent of all breast cancers and is particularly hard to treat.  The results of the study showed that women with a higher BMI (body mass index) more frequently developed triple-negative breast cancer and estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer than those women who lived physically active lives (and had a lower BMI).

Getting down to an appropriate, healthy weight can be challenging and frustrating.  Plastic surgery is never an excuse to forego proper diet and exercise, but it can help you achieve your desired results.  Body contouring, or liposuction procedures, can help remove stubborn areas of fat that just won’t respond to diet or exercise.  Liposuction can be performed in almost any area you have concentrated, excess fat stored (i.e.- flanks, hips, abdomen, back, legs, thighs, arms, neck, buttocks).

Fat can stretch the skin, which means that after weight is lost, the skin may sag instead of bouncing back like it once did, especially in cases where a significant amount of weight is lost.  When this occurs, body lift procedures may be performed to excise the excess skin while tightening the surrounding tissues and muscles.  Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a partial body lift procedure that tightens skin and tissue in the abdominal region.  Post bariatric, or post weight loss patients may also benefit from arm lift, thigh lift, or even a complete body lift.

As previously stated, plastic surgery should never replace traditional diet and exercise routines, but can aid you in maintaining a pleasing aesthetic once you’ve done your part to live healthily.  You can find plenty of helpful information in the health and wellness section of my blog, including healthy recipes, fat fighter tips, and health focused blogs.  My goal is to educate my patients on overall wellness and its role in plastic surgery recovery and results. For more information on the plastic surgery procedures I perform, visit my website and keep reading my blog.