The Link Between Obesity and Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1 million women world-wide are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Breast cancer risk factors span from those that are not easily treated such as age and family history, to those that may be easily minimized by leading a healthy lifestyle. Though there are multiple factors that can contribute to cancer risk, body weight proves to have the strongest evidence linking it to cancer. Excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths.

breast reconstruction in atlanta georgiaRecently, studies from both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Cancer Research Fund concluded that there is substantial evidence that being obese or overweight can promote breast cancer following menopause. The study also found that women over the age of 18 who gained 60 or more pounds had double the risk of being diagnosed with post-menopausal breast cancer compared to women who lived physically active lives and had a lower body mass index.

Reaching an appropriate, healthy weight can often be challenging. However, it is important to maintain positive lifestyle habits to not only prevent your risk of life-threatening illnesses, but is also essential to maintaining plastic surgery results. While I do perform body contouring procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck, and mommy makeover surgery to help patients achieve a slimmer, thinner contour, plastic surgery should not be a “quick-fix” but rather assist you in achieving your goals. I always promise that I will do my part to meet your desired cosmetic goals, but also place the utmost importance that you do your part to preserve a successful procedure outcome.

If you’re looking to make the first steps towards healthy lifestyle changes, our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison is here to help. With the Lifestyle & Weight Management program, Jackie will help coach you through your pre and post-surgery transition by teaching you how to commit to an active lifestyle, achieve weight loss and weight management goals, provide effective eating habits, manage your time, assist with battling stress and more.

If you are interested in any of the cosmetic procedures I perform, please contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. today. Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news.

Nat’l Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 15th Marks BRA Day

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October 15th, 2014 marks BRA Day, or Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, celebrating raising awareness and education on post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery  options. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 95,589 breast reconstruction procedures were performed in 2013. With over 20 years of experience as a double-board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, I have witnessed firsthand the toll that breast cancer has on a woman.  I believe it is important to actively educate my patients about reconstruction options to help them on their journey to healing both physically and emotionally.

breast reconstruction in atlanta georgiaAfter undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy following a diagnosis, a breast cancer survivor can be overcome by a lack of self-confidence. Prior to your procedure, I will examine the skin, muscle, and residual breast tissue, and depending on the patient’s individual situation and goals, to create a personalized breast reconstruction treatment plan to provide the most natural-looking results.

If the patient doesn’t have a suitable amount of tissue, I generally insert a silicone or saline implant and tissue expanders, which are balloon-like devices inserted under the skin to progressively stretch the skin, to allow space for the breast implant. Another option is flap reconstruction which includes harvesting healthy tissue, skin, muscle, and fat from another area of the body to rebuild the breast mound. My overall goal is to exchange the patient’s breast tissue, skin, and the nipple-areolar that were removed during a mastectomy or lumpectomy and construct new breasts that look natural and fit the patient’s body accordingly. The nipple and areola can also be rebuilt with the use of cosmetic tattooing.

To further celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness, I encourage you to get involved with The Sport of Giving, a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization supporting women’s cancer care and prevention with special fundraiser events or another organization of your choice. I also recommend getting involved with Life After the Fight, to help promote breast cancer survivors’ professional ventures.

If you are interested in breast reconstruction, The Sport of Giving, or Life After the Fight, contact Dr. David Whiteman today to schedule an appointment. Be sure to connect with Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news and updates.

Breast Reconstruction FAQ’s

“I am truly blessed to have a doctor so gifted by God with a brilliant mind, skillful hands, and a passionate heart for his patients – I know you have made many sacrifices for me and have been at my side when I needed you; your devotion is greatly appreciated.” – Judy

Atlanta Breast ReconstructionI fully understand the toll that breast cancer has on a woman both physically and emotionally. After undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy following a diagnosis, a breast cancer survivor can be overcome by a lack of self-confidence. For over 20 years, I have crafted my expertise in breast reconstruction and have continued to utilize various innovative surgical techniques. With a strong emphasis on restoring the breasts in the most natural way possible, I aim to ensure the best possible care and results for all of my patients. For patients who are interested in undergoing breast reconstruction, I will share a few of the top common questions patients typically ask before/after undergoing surgery:

Q: Who is a good candidate for breast reconstruction surgery?
A: Breast reconstruction is an elective procedure because it is never medically necessary. Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately after a mastectomy or lumpectomy or delayed until all cancer treatment is completed or when the patient is ready. Some women may even choose not to have surgery after a mastectomy at all. Other women may choose to undergo breast reconstruction to maintain their body image and have a sense of closure from their experience with cancer. During a consultation, I will examine the skin, muscle, and residual breast tissue, and depending on your individual case and goals, I will create a personalized treatment plan to provide the most natural breast reconstruction outcome.

Q: How is breast reconstruction surgery performed?
A: When performing the procedure, I first examine the breast and additional areas where skin, tissue, and muscle can be repositioned to restore the breasts if a flap reconstruction method is used. If the patient doesn’t have a suitable amount of tissue, I will insert a silicone or saline implant and tissue expanders, which are balloon-like devices inserted under the skin to gradually stretch the skin, may be utilized to allow space for the breast implant. To improve symmetry and form of the breasts for patients who’ve undergone a full or partial mastectomy, a breast lift, breast augmentation, or breast reduction may also be recommended.

Q: Will my reconstructed breast look and feel the same as my original breast?
A: Usually, the breast may appear flatter or more round depending on whether it is rebuilt using harvested tissue or breast implants. When undergoing breast reconstruction, the size and shape will never be exactly the same as the original breast, but each patient can opt for a smaller or larger size. While a reconstructed breast may mirror the appearance of the original, it will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces. My overall goal is to exchange the patient’s breast tissue, skin, and the nipple-areolar that were removed during mastectomy to construct new, natural-looking breasts that fit the patient’s body accordingly.

To help raise awareness for breast cancer, I encourage you to get involved with The Sport of Giving, a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization supporting women’s cancer care and prevention with special fundraiser events and Life After the Fight, to promote breast cancer survivors’ professional ventures. To learn more about breast reconstruction at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., please contact us to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic and reconstructive news.