Breast Reconstruction Frequently Asked Questions

If you have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy, or you are scheduled to have one in the near future, then you should be aware that there are a number of breast reconstruction options available. These procedures can restore your breasts to the size and shape they were prior to your cancer diagnosis. Here’s what you need to know before booking a consultation:

  1. Can I have mastectomy/lumpectomy and breast reconstruction at the same time?

In many cases, yes, this is possible. This procedure is known as Immediate Breast Reconstruction, and women often prefer this option because it’s more convenient. However, some women are not good candidates for Immediate Breast Reconstruction. Your overall health, the stage of your cancer, and the amount of available tissue you have all factor into whether or not you can combine mastectomy/lumpectomy and breast reconstruction. You will need to talk to your physician to determine your options.

  1. What types of breast reconstruction surgery are available?

The two main types of breast reconstruction surgery are implant reconstruction (where a conventional breast implant filled with gel or saline is placed into the breast pocket, restoring fullness) and autologous or “flap” reconstruction. Flap reconstruction involves removing tissue from another part of the body (usually the abdomen or thighs) and transferring it to the breast. Note that these two procedures are sometimes combined when the patient has had a lot of breast tissue removed, but this is rarely necessary.

  1. Which is better, implant or flap breast reconstruction?

Both procedures have advantages and disadvantages, so the answer to this question will depend on your personal needs and preferences. Flap breast reconstruction produces the most natural looking and feeling results, but it’s a larger operation. Because it involves two areas of the body rather than just one, flap reconstruction requires a longer hospital stay and the initial recovery period is longer. You will be in the hospital for three to four days rather than the one day needed for implant reconstruction. You will then spend four weeks recovering, as compared to one to two weeks. There is also the potential for more scarring with this procedure.

Implant surgery is easier to perform than flap reconstruction, but most patients report that even gel implants don’t feel exactly like natural breast tissue (though they are a close match). Likewise, while the initial healing period is shorter after implant surgery, you may need revision surgery later in life if you choose this option. While modern gel implants are fairly robust, there is a possibility of rupture after five to ten years. Finally, many women need to have tissue expansion performed before their implant can be placed. This is a time-consuming process that takes place over multiple (outpatient) appointments: First, a surgeon will place a specialized tissue expander implant into the breast cavity (usually immediately after mastectomy or lumpectomy). Then the patient will return 3-4 weeks later and have a bit more saline added to the expander implant. This action will be repeated weekly as needed, until the breast is ready for the insertion of the final (gel or saline) implant.

  1. Is breast reconstruction medically necessary?

No, this procedure is purely elective, so if you don’t want to go through another surgery, don’t feel like you must. However, most women find that they benefit psychologically from having breast reconstruction surgery. Not only can breast reconstruction help a woman feel more confident and feminine, it erases visual reminders of her cancer experience. Women who opt for breast reconstruction may therefore be better able to put cancer in the past and move on with their lives.

  1. Can I have my nipples reconstructed, too?

Yes. You should be aware, however, that nipple reconstruction is usually done as a second procedure (if the patient’s original nipple cannot be preserved during mastectomy/lumpectomy). You will therefore have to wait between two to three months before having your nipple reconstructed. Nipple reconstruction is done using a portion of the flap tissue, with coloration added via tattooing. It’s a minor procedure that can often be done in-office.

  1. Do I need to do anything special to prepare for breast reconstruction surgery?

You will usually need to have a thorough medical checkup, including blood work and possibly an assessment of the health of your heart and lungs. You will also need to arrange for help at home. You will not be able to walk normally or drive immediately after surgery, so arranging to have someone stay with you to assist with normal everyday tasks is strongly recommended. Plan to take at least two to four weeks off work.

If you have any further questions about breast reconstruction surgery or you’re interested in booking a consultation, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help guide you on your path to total wellness.

Posted in Breast Reconstruction

Facelifts Today – Better Techniques, Better Results

In the past, facelift surgery was seen as being highly effective—but not exactly subtle. In addition to creating visible incision scars along the hairline, historic facelift surgery often produced a dramatically “lifted” look. That patient’s brow-line would appear to be swept upwards and his or her eyes would often have a telltale slant. In short, thirty years ago, you knew when someone had undergone a facelift; even if he or she looked younger as a result, he or she also looked different. Fortunately, times have changed. Just like many medical operations that were once invasive surgeries can now be performed via “keyhole” methods and other modern techniques, facelift surgery has been refined substantially over the last decade.

Introducing Today’s Facelift

Facelifts in 2017 are performed using highly advanced, specialized techniques. As a result, facelifts today produce a more subtle look that promises to be virtually invisible to anyone who did not see the patient prior to his or her surgery. In this sense, facelift surgery is now one of the best-kept anti-aging secrets. Few people realize just how effective it has become, and even fewer people suspect miraculously young-looking individuals of having a facelift.

The advanced techniques mentioned above take two main forms: The subcutaneous musculoaponeurotic system facelift (SMAS) and the deep plane facelift.

Rather than making use of lengthy incisions, the SMAS facelift relies on the careful placement of sutures in the patient’s connective tissues. These sutures tighten the connective tissues that support the muscles of the mid-face area and neck, providing a subtle but effective lift that counteracts the effects of gravity.

During a deep plane facelift, on the other hand, the surgeon will make incisions in order to reach the underside of the muscles that support the face and neck. Doing so allows the surgeon to “re-drape” the skin over the muscles, rather than simply pulling it back and stretching it. This method is extremely good at keeping the patient’s facial proportions intact while also producing a profound increase in skin tightness. Deep plane facelifts look so “natural” that patients who have them are usually thought to possess extremely good genetics—few would believe they’ve had plastic surgery. The results of this kind of facelift are also very long-lasting.

What About Nonsurgical Alternatives?

With the range of nonsurgical facelift alternatives on the market today (such as Juvederm and other fillers, and Botox), some people wonder why the facelift remains in use at all. There are a few reasons: First and foremost, nonsurgical alternatives don’t work for everyone. Because many of these treatments use the body’s natural healing response (that is, they stimulate the production of collagen and elastin), their results tend to vary from person to person. Likewise, nonsurgical treatments cannot yet produce the same very profound results that surgical procedures do. This is especially true where skin tightening is concerned. Patients over the age of 50 who have significant drooping in multiple areas of their face and neck will not benefit substantially from nonsurgical alternatives. Moreover, many older patients need specialized procedures incorporated into their facelifts, such as adding an eyelid lift to improve vision clarity.

Finally, there is the matter of longevity. Nonsurgical anti-aging treatments typically wear off within about three to six months. Patients must therefore continually budget for top-up injections, and ultimately it becomes more practical and convenient for them to simply have surgery. The results of a facelift are often apparent for an amazing ten to fifteen years after surgery.

Nonsurgical procedures can, however, enhance the anti-aging effects of facelift surgery. Using fillers to restore lost volume in the cheeks and lips, for example, can round out a facelift beautifully. Likewise, skin resurfacing treatments (like laser, and chemical peels) can remove age spots and other imperfections in the skin that are not targeted by surgery. Ultimately, attacking the signs of aging from multiple angles is usually the most thorough and pleasing strategy.

Facelifts: The Gold Standard in Anti-Aging Procedures

With all of the above information taken into account, it’s unsurprising that the facelift is experiencing something of a renaissance in the USA. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, there was a 28 percent increase in facelifts performed between 1997 and 2015. If you’re interested in combating the visible effects of aging, facelift surgery is clearly well worth considering.

Posted in Facelift, Facial

Mommy Makeover Series: Breast Implants – Breast Lift

You’re a mother, and you love being one. You wouldn’t change anything in the world about motherhood – except for one thing: your body.

You had a different body before pregnancy; you felt confident, healthy, and you even turned a head or two. You’ve sacrificed for your children, and that’s okay – but you want to feel proud of your body again. You want to look in that mirror and feel confident. You want to go into that closet and fit into your best clothes. You can get that feeling again with a mommy makeover and with one mommy makeover procedure in particular: the breast lift with implants.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Mastopexy, also known as a breast lift, elevates your breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. A breast lift reshapes the breast to a more youthful form, and it resizes overly large nipples that were stretched by sagging breasts.

Breast Implants (Mammoplasty)

While a breast lift can reshape your breasts, addressing volume loss is another issue. Many women experience volume loss once lactation and breastfeeding are over. Pregnancy has stolen both size and volume from your breasts, and they need help!

To address both issues, the breast lift can be paired with breast implants. A breast lift with implants can:

  • Restore volume loss due to breastfeeding
  • Reposition and elevate sagging breasts
  • Create a perkier shape
  • Resize overly large nipples
  • Enhance the cleavage

Choosing Breast Surgery

The decision to get breast surgery is a big one. It is a major procedure, and it’s not to be taken lightly. Being fully informed is vital to making the right choice, that’s why a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon is critical. A qualified surgeon should be able to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Don’t forget to ask your surgeon these questions about the breast lift with implants:

  • Am I a candidate for the breast lift with implants?
  • How frequently do you perform this procedure?
  • What are your qualifications for performing the breast lift with implants?

Contact us today for your free consultation to determine if breast augmentation is right for you. Call us at (540) 371-7730 or contact us online today.

Posted in Breast Augmentation, Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift, Breast Lift, Breast Surgery, Mommy Makeover

Mommy Makeover Series: Preparing for Your Consultation

If you’re a mommy, then you know all too well how pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can take a toll on your body. Sure, you wouldn’t trade your little bundle of joy for anything in this world – even Kate Hudson’s abs. However, the wonderful thing about living today, is that you have options. That’s right: You can have the baby, the bod, and even that second piece of cake, if you’re so inclined.

If diet and exercise aren’t eliminating those last few pockets of fat, you’re curious about a breast augmentation, or your self-confidence could really get a boost from a professional facelift, you’ve come to the right place! Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg offers something for everyone – no matter your age, needs, or gender. Here, you’ll experience only the utmost satisfaction.

To better prepare you for your plastic surgery consultation, we’ve put together this resourceful guide.

First, it’s important to research your chosen procedure ahead of time. Of course, you don’t have to be completely versed on the matter (that’s the doctor’s job); however, having basic knowledge of the surgery will help you understand your options better, as well as make that initial meeting go much smoother. (View our plastic surgery videos here: https://www.plasticsurgeryservices.com/patient-resources/videos)

Come to the consultation with any questions or concerns that may be weighing on your mind. Again, doing some research on the surgery prior to this meeting could be beneficial, as you will most likely come across information that is new or unfamiliar to you. Now is the time to get answers.

The doctor may ask you questions regarding your medical history, or the medical history of your family. Make sure to answers these questions as truthfully as possible. If you don’t know the answer, be honest. This is an important part of the process, as it will help to ensure a successful surgery without complications. Also, fill out all paperwork correctly, and to the best of your knowledge. The more the doctor understands your history, the less amount of risks that will be involved in the procedure and recovery period.

This consultation is the best time to discuss benefits, potential risks, and payment plans or methods with the doctor. Remember, this process is to inform you, but to also ensure you feel safe, comfortable, and completely prepared for surgery.

Lastly, it’s necessary to have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery can be beneficial for a magnitude of reasons, but it should not be pursued for a “quick fix.”

Are you ready for your “mommy makeover?” Schedule a consultation at Plastic Surgery Services for Fredericksburg today by calling (540) 371-7730.

Posted in Mommy Make Over, Mommy Makeover

What You Need to Know About Breast Augmentation in Your 60s+

As a whole, people are living longer now than they ever have before in the past. As such, if you’re a woman over 60, you’re probably looking forward to a bright, healthy future, and you want a body to match your aspirations! Many women over 60 are turning to cosmetic surgery to reshape and revitalize their bodies, with tummy tucks, breast lifts, and breast implants being among the most popular procedures. If you’re one of the many “baby boomers” who are interested in breast augmentation, here’s what you’ll need to know beforehand:

  1. You can combine breast augmentation and breast lift surgery.

Combining these two complementary procedures is recommended for a number of reasons: One, women tend to lose volume on the upper part of their breasts as they get older, leading to both a reduction in breast size and a “flat” look. Having both a lift and augmentation performed will correct this issue completely by adding volume and repositioning the nipples so that they sit higher up on the chest. Combining surgeries makes sense from a practical point of view as well: It minimizes the patient’s recovery time and keeps costs reasonable.

  1. You’ll need to be in good overall health.

Even if you feel healthy and lead an active lifestyle, you’ll need to have a comprehensive medical exam before surgery.  Ideally you have had a recent or have been receiving regular mammograms, or you may need to have one performed prior to surgery.

  1. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop before surgery.

Older women don’t heal as quickly as younger women, so it’s of paramount importance that you do everything in your power to prime your body for recovery. In addition to getting medical clearance prior to surgery and eating healthily, you’ll need to stop smoking for at least three weeks leading up to your surgery. This is because smoking decreases the amount of oxygen available in the blood and therefore impedes the body’s natural healing processes.

If you have further questions or concerns about having breast augmentation surgery, feel free to get in touch with us. Our caring, knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help you plan for a successful, satisfying augmentation procedure. Contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg today to schedule your consultation.

Posted in Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift

What You Need to Know About Breast Augmentation in Your 50s

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help adult women of all ages enhance breast volume and shape. While different women will have different reasons for undergoing a breast augmentation, one reason tends to be the most common: a substantial boost of self-confidence. However, women tend to have unique experiences undergoing breast enhancement that depend on their age. If you’re in your 50s and considering breast augmentation, here’s what you need to know.

What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a surgical approach for enhancing the size and shape of the breasts. There are hundreds of different types of implants a woman can choose from, and the patient and surgeon will choose the type of implant depending on the patient’s aesthetic goals and preferences.

A woman in her 50s is at the optimal time to undergo breast augmentation because women are usually done having children at this point. At that time in their lives, most women have taken care of their families and have decided to take care of their own needs.

What Breast Augmentation Can Do for You

Women in their 50s have most likely already noticed signs of aging on their breasts. Breast augmentation will not only enhance the volume of the breasts, it can also address signs of aging like deflation and a decrease in fullness.

Considering a Breast Lift

Because women in their 50s usually have a different skin quality than younger patients, it’s typical that older patients undergo another procedure to address sagging skin. A breast lift combined with breast augmentation is often used to help women obtain comprehensive breast rejuvenation. A breast lift repositions the location of breasts, removes excess skin, and repositions the nipples. When combined with a breast lift, a breast augmentation can address concerns related to aging and lack of breast volume. The combination procedure can also consolidate a patient’s recovery from two different procedures.

The Role of Medical History

A patient’s health is an important factor to consider with any surgery. Patients of all ages are more likely to have a safe and comfortable procedure if they’re in relatively good health. This is why patients in their 50s must provide a comprehensive medical history to their surgeon, since older patients tend to have more medical concerns than younger patients. However, certain medical conditions don’t necessarily rule out all surgical options. Special methods can be applied for patients with different medical conditions to assure a safe and satisfying outcome.

Learn More About Breast Augmentation

The surgeons and medical staff of the Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg will be happy to walk you through the breast augmentation process. To find out more about breast augmentation, contact us now for a consultation.

Posted in Breast Augmentation

5 Things to Know about Breast Augmentation

No matter what surgery you’re considering, it is always best to be well-informed! Even though breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for women today, it can be hard to know what to research before your surgery. Whether you’re curious about the recovery period, the different sizes or types of implants, there is a lot to know! This is why we created the infographic below with the five things you need to know about breast augmentation. If you would like to know more about the breast augmentation procedure or to schedule your consultation with one of our doctors, please contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg.

5 Things to Know About Breast Augmentation infographic

Posted in Breast Augmentation

Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg Welcomes Dr. Aflaki!

The Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg is proud to introduce the newest member of our team: Dr. Aflaki! We’re excited to have such a renowned, talented surgeon as Dr. Aflaki on our team, and we’re happy to have another surgeon that exemplifies PSSF’s values of high-quality patient care, compassion, and natural results. To learn more about our incredible new surgeon, take some time to read all about Dr. Aflaki and why we’re thrilled to have him.

About Dr. Pejman Aflaki

Dr. Pejman Aflaki specializes in a wide range of fields; not only does he have extensive experience with reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face and breast, but he also has special training with breast reconstruction after breast cancer. Dr. Aflaki is particularly skilled in microsurgical techniques like the ones used in breast reconstruction. When it comes to treating cancer patients, Dr. Aflaki believes in taking a multidisciplinary approach that allows him to work closely with other physicians and healthcare professionals to find the best treatment.

As a facial plastic surgery expert, Dr. Aflaki performs his facelift, neck lift, and other facial procedure in a way that emphasizes natural, balanced results. He also specializes in cosmetic procedures that offer powerful rejuvenation for patients like the mommy makeover, the breast lift, breast augmentation, and more.

Dr. Aflaki’s Philosophy

Dr. Aflaki’s work is guided by a philosophy that emphasizes creating multidimensional planning, understanding the patients’ concerns, and personalizing each treatment for the patient. He truly cares about each and every one of his patients, and he believes in treating each patient like his family or close friend. Dr. Aflaki is known for his incredible attention to detail, and he uses that meticulous planning to make sure the patient and their concerns are heard and addressed.

Dr. Aflaki is passionate about education, and he takes the time to teach and learn about new techniques by participating in academic journal clubs and national plastic surgery conferences. On his days off, Dr. Aflaki prioritizes staying fit and is an avid marathon runner. He’s also a devoted family man, and he loves to spend his days with his wife and two children.

Dr. Aflaki believes in PSSF’s core values: compassion for patients, personalizing each treatment, procedures done with the utmost safety, and balanced, natural results. Want a chance to work with amazing surgeons like Dr. Aflaki, Dr. Bautista, or Dr. Heppe? Contact the Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg now, for a consultation.

 

Posted in General

CoolSculpting 101

CoolSculpting is the number one non-invasive body contouring treatment in the world that is FDA-approved to reduce stubborn fat bulges. Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg created this video on everything you need to know about CoolSculpting. This video contains helpful information such as how CoolSculpting works, what it can treat, along with procedure and recovery time.

For more information on CoolSculpting, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg.

Posted in CoolSculpting

Mommy Makeover Procedures

Pregnancy and motherhood can take a toll on the body, and it can be challenging to get your pre-pregnancy body back. Luckily, a mommy makeover procedure can help! This procedure can be customized to fit your personal body goals by selecting procedures fit for your body. Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg created this infographic of the different procedures you can customize your mommy makeover with, along with their RealSelf.com worth it ratings. For more information on the mommy makeover, the procedures listed below, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg.

Mommy Makeover Options

Posted in Mommy Makeover