Nipple Correction Surgery can be the Key to a Better Breast Enhancement

Breast augmentations and breast lifts are among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the nation; but many women don’t realize how much the nipple and surrounding dark area (the areola) around the nipple can affect the look of the overall breast. Thus more and more people are opting for nipple or areola correction surgery (also known as Areola mastopexy), a reconstructive surgery to correct aesthetic problems by changing the shape and size of the nipple.

Nipple correction can give your breasts a whole new look, without having to undergo extensive surgery. In fact, the procedure is an in-office procedure, only requires local anesthesia, and no downtime. Nipple correction is most often done in conjunction with other breast enhancement procedures.

Patients who seek reconstructive surgery on their nipples are often unsatisfied with an areola that is too large, of unusual shape, or one that protrudes out. For patients such as these, nipple reduction or nipple prominence reduction would be recommended. This is a procedure that involves telescoping the nipple to make it look less prominent in clothing, without affecting nipple sensation or the ability to breastfeed.

Some women wish to correct the “stretched” look of their nipples caused by a condition known as ptosis, or the stretching of breast skin, loss of breast fullness, and the subsequent downward projection of the nipple. This can often be corrected by a donut mastoplexy, which involves the removal of a donut-shaped piece of tissue around the areola, resulting in a flatter, rounder breast and nipple shape.

Others opt for a lifting surgical technique, also called a crescent mastoplexy, where the nipple is elevated on the breast to make breasts appear perkier or more lifted without undergoing a breast lift procedure. This procedure involves excising a crescent-shaped piece of excess skin from above the nipple, allowing the nipple to be lifted and repositioned.

Others come in to correct a fairly common condition called an inverted nipple or a cosmetic deformity in which the nipple is retracted into the breast tissue instead of pointing outward. There are three grades of inverted nipples, rising in severity, and the inversion can be present in one or both breasts.

Whatever aesthetic feature you wish to correct, it is important to acknowledge the variety of options available to cosmetic surgery patients. While breast lift and breast augmentation procedures are the still the most realistic options for enhancing the look of the breasts, nipple revision surgery may be a viable option for a select few.

Consult with Dr. Whiteman at Southern Plastic Surgery to discover which option will be the best for your breast enhancement needs.

Testing Performed during Breast Reduction Surgery may Help Detect Early Signs of Breast Cancer

The benefits of breast reduction surgery are obvious; in addition to giving patients a more comfortable breast size, a breast reduction can help alleviate common problems associated with large breasts such as neck and back pain, poor posture, a rash under the breast area, breathing problems, and difficulty engaging in physical activities.

But there may be another surprising benefit for those who opt to undergo this surgery. According to a new study presented at the 2009 conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in Seattle, testing the excess fat and tissue removed during breast reduction surgery can lead to better cancer detection. Of the two hundred plus cases that were reviewed, cancerous or pre-cancerous cells were found in 12.4 percent of patients – yet, none of these cancerous or potentially cancerous lesions were found in the mammograms required prior to surgery.

For women fighting breast cancer, early detection is key. With about 90,000 women opting to undergo breast reduction surgery in 2008, there is a great potential to help better identify women who are at-risk for this disease.

Visit Southern Plastic Surgery’s website to learn more about Dr. Whiteman’s breast reduction and breast reconstruction surgery.

Government Makes Controversial Recommendation for Women to Have Less Frequent Mammograms

A recent announcement by a US government task force recommending against regular mammography tests for women in their 40’s is raising some very skeptical eyebrows. For years and years, we have heard doctors preach about the importance of regular breast cancer screenings after the age of 40. But according to the Preventive Services Task Force of the Department of Health and Human Services, a government panel of scientists and doctors in the field, screenings starting in a women’s 40’s lead to unwarranted cancer scares and costly, unnecessary biopsies that have little effect on improving a woman’s odds of survival. The task force’s official recommendation is for women 50 and older (not 40 and older as previous recommended) to get a mammography test every other year (not once a year as previously recommended).

Critics of the new recommendation include the American Cancer Society, who just released a statement advocating regular breast cancer screenings, and a number of breast cancer survivors, particularly those who were diagnosed at an early age. Accusations have been made that this recommendation is a product of government “rationing” to cut costs in preparation of the proposed universal health care plan.

The sentiments of the American Cancer Society are summed up in this statement released by Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of ACS:

“The American Cancer Society continues to recommend annual screening using mammography and clinical breast examination for all women beginning at age 40. Our experts make this recommendation having reviewed virtually all the same data reviewed by the USPSTF, but also additional data that the USPSTF did not consider… like the USPSTF, the American Cancer Society panel also found that mammography has limitations…But the limitations do not change the fact that breast cancer screening using mammography starting at age 40 saves lives.”

As a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon with a special interest in breast reconstructions, I have to wholeheartedly agree with the American Cancer Society in their recommendation to continue annual breast cancer screenings after the age of 40. I have seen so many women come through my offices after successfully battling the breast cancer disease, many of them in their 40’s, and if an annual mammography contributed to saving even one of their lives, then it is worth it. As with most cancers, early detection is the key to survival. Even if mammograms at an early age lead to unnecessary biopsies, they also lead to early cancer detection – and that is the most important thing.

Dr. Whiteman is medical director and board member of The Sport of Giving, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer care and prevention for woman in local communities. Visit the Southern Plastic Surgery website to learn more about breast reconstructions, Dr. Whiteman’s breast cancer buddy system, and his involvement in the Sport of Giving.