Building Awareness and Education for Breast Reconstruction Options

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October 16th marked BRA Day, or Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, celebrating raising awareness and education on post-mastectomy breast reconstruction options. Studies published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that less than 23 percent of women know the wide range of options available to them. As a double board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over 20 years of experience, Dr. David Whiteman understands the effects of breast cancer and actively educates his patients about reconstruction options to help them on their journey to healing.

Atlanta Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 2012Breast reconstruction can be performed immediately after a mastectomy or lumpectomy or delayed until all cancer treatment is completed or when the patient is ready. During consultation, Dr. Whiteman examines the remaining breast tissue, skin, and muscles to determine proper treatment plans to achieve natural-looking results for each patient. A breast reconstruction treatment plan is unique to the patient’s individual situation, condition, and aesthetic goals so Dr. Whiteman ensures to discuss all options and procedural steps. Cosmetic breast procedures such as breast lift or a breast augmentation if only one breast is affected can also be performed to improve symmetry.

Depending on the amount of healthy breast tissue remaining, Dr. Whiteman may use a breast implant to restore volume and shape. If there is not enough tissue to support an implant, a tissue expander can be used to make room for an 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. The nipple and areola can also be rebuilt through cosmetic tattooing.

To further celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness, Dr. Whiteman encourages 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. Dr. Whiteman has also founded Life After the Fight, a business listing to promote professional aspirations of breast cancer survivors.

To learn more about Dr. Whiteman’s breast reconstruction techniques, The Sport of Giving, Life After the Fight, or if you are interested in plastic surgery, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Be sure to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news and updates.

Introducing Sientra High-Strength Silicone Gel Breast Implants

Patients seeking breast augmentation surgery now have a new option for breast implants. Prior to March 2012, there were only two FDA approved breast implant manufacturers: Mentor and Allergan. However, Sientra, a California-based company that manufacturers all types of plastic surgery implants known internationally as Silimed, recently gained FDA approval for their breast implants. Sientra offers an innovative type of breast implants made out of high-strength cohesive silicone gel, which will be available to appropriate Southern Plastic Surgery patients.

Breast implants have been somewhat controversial since the first silicone breast implants were designed in the 1960s by plastic surgeons Drs. Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin due to safety concerns and the fact that plastic surgery was not as widely accepted back then as it is now. The fear of a silicone breast implant rupturing and leaking silicone into the body inspired the development of saline breast implants, which are made out of a silicone elastomer shell filled with sterile saline solution.

The safety debate continued, and in 1976, Congress passed an amendment to ensure the safety of medical devices by requiring FDA premarket notification. Between 1988 and 1991 the FDA battled with the breast implant classification requiring premarket approval and eventually submission of premarket approval applications. In 1992, silicone breast implants were actually taken off the market due to lack of data on their safety, but after 14 years of clinical studies, silicone breast implants were declared safe by the FDA and placed back on the market.

While Sientra’s newly designed implants are similar to other devices manufacturers have previously designed, they are the first to gain FDA approval and are currently the only cohesive gel implants available in the U.S. In fact, you may have already heard the term “gummy bear” breast implants, which originated in Europe to describe a similar type of breast implant that are slightly thicker than Sientra’s. Although Sientra does not use this description for their implants, their consistency can be compared to that of a gummy bear, and they are known for their singular shape retention and natural, soft feel.

High-strength silicone implants are also the only shaped silicone breast implants available in the U.S. Before Sientra designed these implants with a solid-like structure, shaped breast implants were only available with saline. Although some patients can achieve desired results with round breast implants, some prefer shaped breast implants for more natural results. Sientra’s breast implants are available in smooth, textured, moderate projection and high projection. The moderate and high projection implants show promise for women with very underdeveloped breast or those looking to correct breast sagging without breast lift surgery.

Plastic surgeons across the country are hoping high-strength silicone breast implants will be the solution for breast implant ruptures or leaks and more natural looking results. In wake of the recent French breast implant (PIP implants) recall, it’s important for patients to understand that the Sientra breast implants spent years in clinical trials and similar implants have been safely used for the past 30 years outside of the U.S. However, it is also essential for patients to understand all surgical procedures carry risks and breast implant complications are fairly common, but often avoidable. It’s imperative for patients to find a board certified plastic surgeon to minimize complication risk.

For more information on the various plastic surgery procedures Dr. David Whiteman performs, visit his website. Be sure to also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Did You See Dr. David Whiteman in the May 2012 Issue of Best Self Atlanta?

atlanta breast implantsDuring the month of May, take advantage of breast surgery procedures at Southern Plastic Surgery. Whether you choose a natural-looking breast lift to make your breasts perky again, or choose to increase your breast size with a breast augmentation, our featured procedures can give you that extra boost of confidence to help you feel your best.  Additionally, if you choose Natrelle® Gel breast implants and schedule your breast augmentation before June 30th, 2012, you can receive FREE Botox® or FREE Latisse® from Allergan. Schedule a consultation today if you’re interested in learning more about breast surgery. Stay posted to my blog, as well as FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more information on specials.