Raquel’s Story: Don’t Always Believe the Hype

I get to work with a lot of great patients – for some, on more than one occasion.  Being able to hear how a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure has positively impacted their lives later in life is part of the drive that keeps me motivated to help patients achieve their goals!  Today, I’d like to share with you Raquel’s story.  When Raquel first came to me nine years ago, she was interested in pursuing her first breast enhancement procedure.  “A friend of mine was also consulting for breast implants around the same time and had recommended Dr. Whiteman.  She had explained how comfortable she felt with him versus other doctors she had met with,” Raquel recently shared, “but what sold me was that Dr. Whiteman also worked with breast cancer survivors for breast reconstruction surgery.”

breast implant surgery in atlanta georgia dr david whitemanDuring Raquel’s consultation we discussed her goals and explored several different breast implant sizes and types to find the fit that worked best for her.  “I had always been flat chested, smaller than an A cup, so I had always wanted breast implants to balance me out.  Fitting into bathing suits or tops and dresses was always a problem; I never wanted anything too big, just natural,” Raquel recalled.  “Once in my 20s, I was mentally ready and went for it.”  A few years after her procedure, Raquel gave birth to her first child and experienced capsular contracture, a condition associated with breast augmentation where scar tissue forms around a breast implant causing the breasts to harden.  “I had the misfortune of having one of my breasts capsulate after my first pregnancy, which is something random that could happen for no rhyme or reason, and replacing them was the only solution.  I chose to have them replaced and both experiences with Dr. Whiteman and the hospital staff were the best.”  When we have a patient come to us with something like capsular contracture, breast revision is the procedure of choice to eliminate the scar tissue and exchange the affected breast implant.

Since her breast revision four years ago, Raquel has welcomed her second child into the family (her kids are currently 5 years old and 5 months old) and keeps busy as an active mom and wife, fitting in home projects and decorating in her spare time.  “Life after my surgery is great; my husband has no complaints!  I have been extremely happy with my breast augmentation results; they are the perfect size for my tomboyish body and it has given me a confidence boost.  I enjoy not having to worry about clothes fitting me!”

For breast augmentation patients, breastfeeding with implants is a common concern.  While it’s true that some patients may have difficulty, don’t believe the hype for discouraging breast augmentation and breastfeeding because each person is different.  When we asked Raquel how it was for her choosing breast augmentation prior to having kids and breastfeeding, she would tell you what she told us, “I had no problem breastfeeding both of my kids.  It’s been nine years since my first breast surgery and four years since replacing them and they still look as good as when I had my first surgery.”  As a double board certified plastic surgeon, it’s my job to educate my patients on maintaining their results to the best of their ability. This could mean incorporating a healthier diet and exercise plan, finding the time to have a procedure that fits into your lifestyle and discussing what’s best for you and your body long-term.  With open communication between you and your surgeon, hopefully your experience will be just as rewarding as it has been for Raquel.

I’ll be sharing more patient testimonial stories with you in the upcoming months and invite you to reach out to my office if you have any questions regarding a procedure that we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery.  Be sure to also connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, patient features, news and information.

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.

Breast Augmentation: Now’s the Time!

April is right around the corner and spring break marks the downhill momentum until we can officially welcome summer.  For many of our patients that meet with double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Whiteman, deciding to undergo a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure may not come as easily as choosing between paper and plastic at the grocery store.  As you’re thinking ahead to that vacation you’ll spend, whether on a beach, hiking a national trail or crossing off items on your bucket list, now is actually the perfect time for you to think about a cosmetic procedure such as breast augmentation.  Below we’ll break down the Five W’s that should be considered when sorting through catalogs of questions or concerns you may have when considering a breast augmentation.

southern plastic surgeryWho?  From high school/college graduation gifts to a mother of three wanting to restore her pre-baby body, breast augmentation is reserved for women of all ages.  Candidates should however be at least 18 years old and physically and emotionally mature.  Breast augmentation is ideal for anyone wishing to increase the size and volume of their breasts.

What?  To achieve the fullness of your new breasts, implants are inserted into the breast cavity.  Dr. Whiteman offers traditional saline and silicone as well as highly cohesive “gummy bear” gel implants to fit each patient’s unique build.  There isn’t a “one size fits all” method to choosing breast implants and the sizing of your implants is completely customized for you.  During consultation, cosmetic goals and desired look are taken into consideration as well as measurements of your body (height, rib cage size, weight and previous breast size for example) to help you get the most proportionate and natural-looking breasts.  That’s the overall goal, right?

Where?  Start by doing your research and doing it well; your health could depend on it.  Rather than searching the internet for a surgeon that offers the best deal, study their credentials, look at their before and after results and read previous patient reviews to get a broader impression of the surgeon and their expertise.  Consultations aren’t just the time to discuss the size of your new breasts, but the time when you should establish a relationship with your surgeon – one that makes you feel comfortable and in highly-capable hands.  At the very least, Dr. Whiteman can’t stress enough the importance of choosing a board certified plastic surgeon to reduce any associated risks of surgery.

When?  This is probably one of the most pondered questions for our breast augmentation patients.  With busy work, school and personal schedules, planning for recovery time is important to consider.  The truth is that breast augmentation downtime isn’t as consuming as you may think.  There are certain considerations to keep in mind when determining your recovery time including your type of job and incisions; however, most of our patients are able to return to work within 48 hours.  So when should you get your surgery?  Now, while you have a break before summer starts blazing!

Why?  According to the 2013 American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, 15.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed.  Out of those millions, over 290,000 were breast augmentations – securing its spot as the top procedure for the past six years.  The motivation to enhance the breasts can range from a desire to fill out clothing, changes due to pregnancy and breastfeeding or as an overall confidence booster; in the end it should just be about you.

In addition to breast augmentation, Dr. Whiteman performs a variety of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for the breasts and body.  If you have any questions about a procedure or you’re interested in taking the next steps towards cosmetic surgery, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.  You can also connect with Dr. Whiteman on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for news and updates about plastic surgery and health and wellness.