While breast augmentation is a common cosmetic procedure, there are several things to consider before pursuing breast enhancement surgery. While patients must think about factors like breast implant size, shape, texture, and type, a plastic surgeon must consider breast implant placement (above or below the pectoral muscle) and the type of incision to use. Breast implants come in all different sizes (volume), shapes (anatomic or round), consistency (smooth or textured), and are filled with saline or silicone.
Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with a viscous silicone gel, while saline breast implants are surrounded with a strong silicone elastomer shell filled with a predetermined amount of sterile saline solution. One type of breast implant is not better than the other; the decision is solely based on patient preference. Continue reading
Traditional plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast reduction surgery, and facelift surgery all require incisions to produce the results most cosmetic surgery patients seek. Unfortunately for many patients, an array of factors such as incision type, skin type, age, heredity, and even ethnicity can increase the chance of developing scars post-plastic surgery.
Dr. David Whiteman and the staff at Southern Plastic Surgery do their best to educate their Duluth and Atlanta area cosmetic surgery patients on how to avoid additional scarring. To dispel some of the myths out there about what is and is not effective in minimizing the appearance of scars, we’ve devised a list of scar therapy components:
Paper Tape: The only topical treatment advisable for new incisions, paper tape is useful in alleviating tension on the skin surrounding the incision(s). With less tension, the affected skin can heal quicker. Additionally, the pressure provided by the tape when placed directly over the incision keeps the scar tissue from becoming raised and turning into a hypertrophic scar. Continue reading
Last February, The New York Times released an article about ethnic diversity in plastic surgery in New York City. The article described the plastic surgery procedures that different ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians, were more likely to undergo to help preserve their cultural identities. With that article in mind, I’d like to offer my perspective as a plastic surgeon about the role of cultural differences in plastic surgery. In Atlanta, I see a variety of ethnicities seeking plastic surgery, and while preserving cultural identity is important, it’s also important for a plastic surgeon to understand the complications that can arise with different skin types.
Going beyond color, skin type differs from ethnicity to ethnicity. According to the Cosmetic Dermatology for Skin of Color, the stratum corneum of black skin has more cell layers and elevated lipid content compared to white skin even though the overall thickness is similar, meaning darker skin is more compact. Patients with darker complexions, especially African American patients, have more melanin in their skin than patients with lighter complexions. Because there is more melanin present with darker skin tones, there is an increased risk of pigmentation changes with any incisions or trauma to the skin, including surgery.
Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) is more complex among diverse ethnicities due to differences in cartilage texture and should be performed by plastic surgeons with ethnic plastic surgery experience. Cartilage is flexible, connective tissue found in many parts of the body such as the nose, ears, rib cage, in many joints and between bones. A black patient’s cartilage is typically softer and less prominent than that of a white patient. Continue reading