As 2011 came to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to look back at my top 3 procedures of the year. I performed over 500 surgical procedures in 2011, making it my busiest year ever. These procedures included cosmetic procedures of the face and body, as well as reconstructive surgeries from head to toe. To come up with my “Top 3”, I looked at several factors including the number of procedures performed, media requests about these procedures, and overall demand.
A photograph recently surfaced of Rocker Steven Tyler’s chest. I am writing this blog, not to poke fun at the Aerosmith frontman’s chest, but as an opportunity to discuss a very common problem among men. Gynecomastia, or male chest enlargement, is a complaint of men of all ages. It can develop anywhere from puberty to the 80’s. It can range from only mild chest enlargement or severe chest enlargement resembling female breasts. I have seen countless patients who report that they have not taken their shirt off in public for years, because of embarrassment. Imagine being a teenage boy and being so embarrassed that you will not go to the beach or the pool, or even change in the locker room. Surgical correction is possible and is life-changing!
Many people wonder about the appropriate age for cosmetic surgery and when someone is “too young.” This has been debated in the media. There is not one simple answer to this question and it depends on the procedure we are talking about. In general, a person needs to be physically ready for the procedure and the associated anesthesia. The body part that is being operated on needs to be in the proper stage of development, which usually means that it is no longer growing. Psychologically the person needs to be old enough to understand what is being done and be able to make a decision about it. It is always best if the person is old enough to really understand the procedure and be equipped to deal with the social after-effects of the surgery. As you can imagine, these are very individualized decisions, based on the person, the parents, and the specific procedure requested.
There are three basic options for the incisions used to place breast implants – peri-areolar (around the areola), inframammary (in the breast crease), and trans-axillary (through the underarm). The incision represents how the implant is placed. Each incision has pros and cons. Below is a basic review of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
Let me know if this sounds familiar: It was Spring Break and you were with a bunch of girlfriends. You were partying a little, nothing too crazy, but the usual Spring Break stuff. A group of you decided to get your belly buttons pierced. It seemed rather innocent at the time and foolproof. If you ever change my mind later on, all I had to do was not put in a belly ring and the hole will just close up and it would be like nothing ever happened. It is not like you got a tattoo! You enjoyed your piercing for several years. Then all of a sudden, the 90’s were over and it was not so cool to have your belly button pierced, especially now that you are in your 30’s and mother to a small child. So, you stopped wearing the belly ring but the hole just didn’t seem to close. In fact, the entire belly button seemed to be stretched out. The small hole that was only on the top of your belly button now seemed to be 2 inches above it! There also is a hanging flap of skin that you swear was not there a few year earlier. Now what are you going to do? The more you look at your belly button, the more fixated you become on it. You wish there was a way to make your belly button look better but certainly there is not.
Cosmetic Surgery is designed to either change a body feature that you do not like, or to make you look younger. In today’s economic climate, cosmetic surgery is more than just a matter of vanity. It can mean economic survival for many because it may be exactly what some people need to get that job – or keep the job they already have.
Capsular Contracture is commonly referred to as “hardening of the implant”, but it this is a total misnomer. There is normally a soft capsule that forms around a breast implant, but when this capsule becomes thickened and hard, it is considered abnormal and is called Capsular Contracture or CC. CC will essentially “squeeze” the underlying breast implant. There are varying severities of CC and can range from simply slight hardening to a painful and grossly distorted breast implant. The treatment is very difficult and complex so much like anything, the key is prevention.
There are 3 different “profiles” of breast implants. “Profile” refers to the dimension of an implant, and more specifically, the width and projection (how much the implant projects forward). As the size, or volume, of an implant increases, the implant will get wider and also have more projection. The specific type of profile will determine which dimension (width or projection) increases more.
In my New York City Plastic Surgery Office, many of my patients bring someone with them to their consultation. This support person may be a spouse, a parent, a friend or a co-worker. There is good reason to bring someone with you – they will help you remember what the doctor says and will also offer comfort during what can be an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation. But does the person who accompanies you really matter? When you are coming for breast implant augmentation, it definitely does! I find that breast implant size is directly influenced by the woman’s companion.
Recently I added a 3D imaging software to my breast augmentation practice. This imaging software enable me to convert 2D images of a woman’s breast and convert it into 3D images that I can rotate in any direction. Also, I can then demonstrate in real time the “after” results with specific implants.
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