Silicone implants reappeared in the U.S. market in 2006, and have since seen rapid growth. Yet, many women considering the perfect breast shape still struggle with the “saline verses silicone” question.
While silicone breast implants are often considered more natural looking than their saline counterparts, the potential risks associated with silicone leakage or migration deter some from going the silicone route.
This may about to change with latest breakthrough in breast enhancement technology– “gummy bear” silicone breast implants:
What exactly are “gummy bear” breast implants?
Gummy bear breast implants are composed of high-strength silicone gel, which means they are capable of holding their shape, even in the event of rupture. The risk of leakage is minimal, especially in comparison to traditional silicone implants.
Do gummy bear breast implants look and feel natural?
The appearance and texture of gummy bear breast implants also set them apart from competitors. They feel similar to gummy bear candies – soft, squishy and semi-solid. The material holds it soft natural shape, unlike liquid-filled or tradition silicone implants which can wrinkle, fold or ripple over time.
Where can I get gummy bear breast implants?
Gummy bear implants have been popular in Europe and Canada for several years, but were only approved for testing in the U.S. in 2002. Gummy bear breast implants are currently being studied for mass market use in the U.S. but are yet not FDA-approved. However, approval for these cohesive gel implants in the U.S. may be fast approaching.
Wintertime can make it difficult to maintain a radiant complexion, especially if you are already prone to dry or flaky skin year round. While there is no way to completely change your natural skin type, there are a few modifications you can implement in your daily skin care routine to diminish some of the harsh effects of winter weather.
First and foremost, avoid taking hot showers during the winter months. According to Dr. Neil Sadick, clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, hot showers can stimulate further dehydration of your skin. Winter air already contains less moisture than other seasons, so it’s important to protect your skin’s natural oils. Also, avoid body soaps that contain detergents because these can also diminish protective skin oils.
In addition to changing your daily shower routine, you may want to reassess your daily skin care regimen. Not all skin care products are necessarily made to be used year round. Cleansers and exfoliators for example, should be milder in the winter than in the summer, while moisturizer should be a richer to protect your skin during winter weather. Also, don’t forget that daily sunblock application is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer.
Hydration is important to the health of your skin year round, but don’t assume drinking liquids in excess will help your dry skin, according to Dr. Alicia Zalka, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale. If your skin is already very dry, these extra liquids may just evaporate instead of retaining moisture within the skin. It’s essential that you moisturize the outer layer of your skin so that you can retain moisture underneath the skin’s outer layer.
Finally, try your best to avoid consuming liquids that are known to dehydrate the skin. Alcoholic drinks as well as caffeinated beverages are especially damaging during dry winter months. These beverages should be consumed in moderation or eliminated altogether in order to reduce dry skin.
Plastic surgery is a decision that should never be taken lightly. The results can be life altering and it is imperative that you ask the right questions before committing to a particular procedure. There are numerous factors to be considered and it is important to know as much as possible about your prospective Houston plastic surgeon. The following is a list of the top questions you should consider before plastic surgery:
Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Find out whether or not your physician is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Certification through this board indicates that your surgeon has extensive specialized training, knowledge and experience. Not all practicing plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and if the physician you are considering is not, make sure that he or she is certified by a board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Do you have any outstanding malpractice lawsuits?
Ask about your physician’s surgical background. Make sure that he or she does not have any malpractice judgments or disciplinary measures against their practice.
How often do you perform this procedure?
Inquire as to how frequently your physician performs the procedure you are considering. Also ask for before-and-after pictures and patient references. Your surgeon should be able to provide you with an extensive list of references and pictures in order to give you more realistic expectations of your desired procedure.
What types of risks are involved in this procedure?
Ask about the potential risks and complications associated with your procedure. All surgeries carry some risk, but it’s important that you are well aware before surgery. Ask your physician for specific examples and how he or she would elect to treat a particular complication or emergency.
Are you affiliated with any local hospitals?
Even if your procedure does not typically require hospital care, it is important to ask your surgeon about his or her hospital affiliations. Hospitals often require rigorous training and specialization before they will allow a surgeon to operate in their facility.
The traditional tummy tuck procedure includes only a horizontal incision running from hip to hip beneath the underwear line. However, for some patients, an inverted “T” tummy tuck may be performed, in which a small vertical incision is made between the navel and the horizontal incision.
Also referred to as an “anchor pattern” tummy tuck, this procedure offers several benefits to the patient in exchange for the addition of a small vertical scar. Use of this technique may help provide the best overall results for many patients.
According to board-certified surgeons on the popular and trusted websiteRealSelf.com, there are several benefits to the use of this “T” incision method. One of the main benefits is the ability to draw the sides of the waist in toward the middle of the stomach, slimming and tightening the overall appearance. This provides an additional dimension of skin tightening in the horizontal direction, which can help to give a better profile. The traditional tummy tuck surgery only tightens in a vertical direction, giving only slight horizontal tightening.
This procedure may be recommended in some cases when there is a particularly large amount of excess skin below the navel, but not enough excess skin above the navel to allow for a traditional tummy tuck incision and procedure. Several doctors feel that a small vertical incision is offset by allowing the long horizontal incision to be made lower on the body, ensuring that it will be hidden underneath underwear and swimwear.
The inverted “T” tummy tuck is often performed on patients who have lost more than 100 pounds of weight. These patients may also require additional procedures, such as thigh lift, buttocks lift, arm lift, or breast lift, in order to achieve a uniform appearance. These procedures may be performed together or during separate surgical sessions.
A recent article by The San Francisco Chronicle shows that the United States is the current global leader in the tummy tuck procedure.In addition to this distinction, America is also the leading place for a number of other cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical.
As the United States is the number one consumer of cosmetic surgery procedures and non-surgical procedures, it stands to reason that they would also lead in the tummy tuck, one of the most popular procedures. The other surgical procedure that the United States favors highly is breast augmentations, with more of these surgeries performed in America than anywhere else.
United States Number One in Breast Augmentation, Tummy Tuck
In addition to these surgical procedures, the United States leads the world in four out of the top five non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including:
Much of these statistics may be attributed to the relatively stable and extensive healthcare infrastructure in the United States. The overall standard of living is also much higher than other countries with greater populations, which is a significant contributor to the popularity of cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, eye surgery and liposuction.
However, when the statistics are broken down on a per-capita basis, the US falls to sixth overall. The new leaders then become Colombia, Brazil, South Korea, Greece and Italy. China, the second largest overall consumer, falls out of the top ten.
Another interesting fact that was noted was that Brazil has about seven times as many buttocks procedures as the average, and was also noted to be one of the world’s largest consumers of procedures involving reinjected fat. South Korea and China lead the world in blepharoplasty procedures, with the “Westernization” of the eyelids noted as a common part of the procedure.
One of the popular products making the late-night TV and “As Seen on TV” sale sections is the Tummy Tuck Belt. While consumer reviews and results seem to vary, the device has been almost unanimously shunned by the medical community.
The makers of this product claim that it will decrease your waist line by 1/2 inch the first week and one inch every month after that without lifestyle change. This phrase catches the eye of eager consumers and sends up a red flag for medical professionals, who consider a healthy diet and active lifestyle to be crucial components of any weight loss or body contouring, including surgeries such as a tummy tuck or body lift.
Doctors Say Tummy Tuck Belt a Scam
To use the Tummy Tuck Belt, patients apply a special weight-loss cream to the affected area. A compression belt is applied and the patient performs two minutes of standing abdominal tightenings. The belt is then left on for eight minutes, after which time it may be removed. No word has been heard thus far as to whether the device will be released to treat other areas with similar conditions, possibly resulting in an arm lift belt or thigh lift belt.
Though the Internet is abuzz with those considering this new weight loss device, the buzz from doctors is anything but positive. According to the trusted and popular cosmetic surgery website RealSelf.com, this product is “a complete waste of money” and “classic quackery at its finest!” The surgeons who responded said that there is no easy fix for excess fat tissue and inelastic skin, recommending controlled diet, behavior change and surgery.
Another online review by Dr. Millicent Odunze calls this device a “glorified girdle,” and takes its marketing to task on several points. She notes that two studies are mentioned in the marketing, but are not identified or explained to the public. The other main issue that patients and medical providers have an issue with is the automatic registration for monthly weight-loss cream. Unsubscribing from this automatic service and getting your money back seem to be a particularly difficult prospect.
In the newest issue of The American Surgeon, a new study suggests that breast reconstruction surgery is safe for women over the age of 60 who have undergone a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast).
“The removal of a breast has implications for the psychological, social and sexual well-being of the patient, establishing the need that reconstruction should be offered,” says Marissa Howard-McNatt, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at Wake Forest Baptist. “However, little is known about rates of reconstruction in elderly women after breast cancer.”
Breast cancer rates continue to rise and 48 percent of all cases affect women over the age of 65. This population, however, is much less inclined to elect breast reconstruction after mastectomy when compared to their younger counterparts. As a result, less has been known regarding the safety of this procedure in older women.
Research lead by Howard-McNatt and colleges sought to establish the safety and tolerability of breast reconstruction in older patients. The team of researchers compiled data from 89 cases of women over the age of 60 who elected breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
The results were positive, showing that breast reconstruction in older women was a safe and well tolerated option, even if older women are less likely to elect surgery than younger age groups.
According to Howard-McNatt, breast reconstruction can significantly increase life expectancy in these patients. “Generally, breast cancer in the elderly is less aggressive than in younger patients. Life expectancy can still be substantial – 16 years for a 70-year-old and greater than six years for an otherwise healthy 80-year-old.”
The number of women over the age of 65 is expected to double over the next 40 years and the rates of breast reconstruction after mastectomy is anticipated to increase as average life expectancies do.
Keloid scarring is a rare complication that may occur following any surgical procedure, such as a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty. While the scars for this procedure are often positioned so as to be unnoticed in swimwear or underwear, the formation of keloid scarring may cause pain and discomfort.
In addition to being uncomfortable, keloid scarring is often raised, red and darker than the surrounding skin. They are created as a result of excess collagen production following wound healing. For those more prone to the formation of keloids, there are certain steps that may be taken throughout the tummy tuck process to prevent this type of scarring.
Who Gets Keloid Scars and How to Avoid Them
It is impossible to tell for certain who will develop keloids and who will not. However, there are a number of factors that may predispose a patient towards this reaction. Those with darker skin and those who are 10-30 years old have a higher risk of developing keloid scarring. A family history of keloid development is also significant.
To prevent the formation of keloids for those who might be at an increased risk, your surgeon may choose to limit the size of the incision, particularly with the tummy tuck or other body contouring procedures. They may also limit the amount of external sutures or use removable stitches.
Once the procedure is complete, proper wound care may help prevent keloids from forming. This may include:
Use of compression garments
Laser scar treatments
Proper care of the wound to prevent it from opening
Should keloids form, steroid injections may be used to treat their development. In severe cases, a skin graft may be used to replace the scarred and damaged skin with healthy skin. Once keloids have formed, future procedures will be done with extreme care for preventing keloid development, as patients are more likely to develop keloids if they have had them before.
Women seeking breast reduction surgery over the age of 50 may be at a higher risk of infection when compared to younger women, according to the latest issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Breast reduction surgery also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure utilized to eliminate excess fat, tissue and skin in the breast area. It is recognized in the plastic surgery industry as one of the most commonly performed procedures in women of all ages. The most common reasons for breast reduction surgery range from cosmetic to pain management.
Often women choose to undergo breast reduction as a means of alleviating uncomfortable symptoms related to having a large chest such as shoulder, back or neck pain, poor posture and bra strap compression.
New research lead by surgeon Michele A. Shermack and colleges at the John Hopkins Medical Intuitions, Baltimore, suggests that the changes in hormone levels of women over the age of 50 may be responsible for increased surgical complications after breast reduction.
The team of researchers compiled data from 1,192 women undergoing breast reduction over the past 10 years. The patient data was then categorized into three different age groups: under 40, 40 to 50 and over 50.
According to the results, women 50 years of age and older had a higher risk of complications, especially infections, after undergoing breast reduction surgery. In comparison to women under the age of 40, the over 50 age group was 2.7 times more likely to develop an infection.
Results also suggested that the 50 and older group was most susceptible to wound healing problems, which in turn lead to higher rates of repeat surgeries in order to remove additional dead skin. While interesting, this trend was not statistically significant.
Reduced Hormone Levels May Contribute to Higher Infection Risk after Breast Reduction Surgery
Dr. Shermack and colleagues also noticed a trend towards increased infection in the 40 to 50 age group which lead them to speculate that increased rates of infection after breast reduction surgery may be the result of declining hormone levels in women over the age of 50.
In addition, women who were using hormone-replacement therapy appeared to have a decreased risk of infection, while women who previously had undergone a hysterectomy or oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries) appeared to have higher risk.
The results of this study suggest that it is important for plastic surgeons to factor in age when assessing the overall surgical risk of complication following breast reduction surgery. According to Dr. Shermack, it also suggests that “”hormone replacement therapy may be worth considering in this group of patients.”
Twenty-three percent of women in 2007 elected to have immediate or early reconstructive surgery, nearly doubling from just twelve percent in 1998. While these results suggest that more women have access to breast reconstruction surgery, data also indicates that access barriers still persist for women who are post mastectomy.
Racial, Socioeconomic and Geographic Barriers Still Persist for Breast Reconstruction Surgery Patients
While research did show that the rate of immediate or early reconstructive surgery has been growing, growth trends were not equal across all subgroups of women. According to the data, the most likely recipients of immediate or early breast reconstruction from 1998 to 2007 were:
non-African American women under the age of 50,
who either lived in a large metropolitan area,
were cared for by an academic affiliated medical institution,
or earned a higher than average household income.
The disparity measured among differing racial, socioeconomic and geographic groups was statistically significant and the gap did not appear to be narrowing over time.
Breast reconstruction surgery has become available to more women than ever before, but despite this overall increase in utilization, the fact still remains that the medical industry is not doing enough to increase awareness, education and accessibility for immediate or early breast reconstruction for women across all socioeconomic, racial and geographic groups. Continued efforts by medical professionals are essential to progress.