Lift or Enhance, Which Breast Procedure Will I Need?

As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has performed a variety of breast surgeries, Dr. David Whiteman often consults with patients who are unsure of which procedure they need. Two of the most commonly confused procedures are breast augmentation and breast lift surgery. Breast augmentation addresses the size, shape, and volume of the breasts but does not correct sagging. Breast lift surgery is specifically designed to reposition breasts to a more youthful location to eliminate drooping. Often, these procedures are combined for complete rejuvenation of the breasts.breast lift vs breast augmentation atlanta duluth ga

According to the 2012 statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation surgery has remained the most popular cosmetic procedure in the U.S. for the past five years. Breast enhancement surgery involves surgical insertion of saline or silicone breast implants. Patients can choose from a variety of breast implants since there are different types, textures, sizes, and shapes. Allergan’s highly cohesive anatomically shaped silicone gel implants, also known as “gummy bear implants,” as another option for breast augmentation patients. Breast implants are also available as an option for some breast reconstruction patients.

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, involves surgical removal of excess skin to tighten the breast area for a younger, perkier appearance. Over time, the effects of aging, gravity, weight fluctuation, and pregnancy can contribute to the loss of skin elasticity. Since breast lift addresses the area surrounding the breasts, this procedure can be performed on its own or combined with other breast procedures such as breast reduction surgery.

While breast procedures can be combined or performed individually, it is important to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your needs and goals. If you’re interested in a breast procedure or other procedures that Dr. Whiteman offers, contact us today. Be sure to connect with Southern Plastic Surgery on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery updates.

Who Can Undergo Breast Reduction Surgery?

Many men and women suffer from excessively large breasts that can cause physical issues such as skin irritation, back and neck pain, and/or poor posture. Large, heavy breasts often cause a strain on a patient’s body and limit their ability to participate in physical activities. Patients can also be emotionally affected by self image issues and difficulty finding proper-fitting clothes. Double board certified cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Whiteman often recommends breast reduction surgery to patients who suffer from overly large breasts.

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Breast reduction surgery may seem straightforward since its goal is to remove excess fat, skin, and tissue contributing to macromastia, or overly large breasts. However, there are various techniques for breast reduction surgery, depending on the patient’s needs. Not only do women undergo this procedure, but men can also suffer from a condition called gynecomastia, or large male breasts. In order to obtain a more masculine appearance, Dr. Whiteman employs a different technique in male breast reduction surgery. Patients who have also had post bariatric surgery or experienced significant weight loss may choose breast lift surgery to remove excess, drooping skin.

Female breast reduction includes a surgical incision to remove fat and tissue from the breast mound. Dr. Whiteman will also remove excess skin to provide a more proportional result. Often, female patients choose to have breast lift surgery in addition to a reduction to reposition their new, smaller breasts to a more youthful location. In male breast reduction surgery, Dr. Whiteman removes fat and tissue through both liposuction and excision. For men, the goal is to yield a smoother, flatter chest.

For post bariatric patients, excess skin is typically the main concern since massive weight loss often leaves patients with inelastic, stretched skin. Like most post bariatric procedures such as a tummy tuck or thigh lift, Dr. Whiteman uses liposuction to eliminate small areas of residual fat and then tightens the area by removing excess skin. It is especially important for the patient to maintain a healthy weight since weight change can reverse results.

For more information on breast reduction surgery, or other cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, visit our website or contact us today for a consultation. Be sure to find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery updates and news.

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+.