Cosmetic Surgery Tip #16: You might lose feeling in your nipples after a breast augmentation or reduction

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Loss of sensation in the nipples can occur whenever there is surgery to the breasts. This depends on a number of factors, including breast shape and surgery type. Even if you lose sensation in your nipples, they will still respond to cold and stimulation ie. they will still be able to get hard even if you can’t feel it.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Teenage Cosmetic Surgery: Why So Much Pressure?

 

There has been a storm brewing for some me now regarding teenage cosmetic surgery.  A concoction made up of quick fixes,  a society obsessed with beauty, and the commercialisation and overexposure of cosmetic surgery. This has all lent themselves to the growth of cosmetic surgery for  Generation  X and younger.  This has been further compounded by the increasing number of medical specialists entering the cosmetic arena.

My worry is that this Generation X and their successors wanting teenage cosmetic surgery may become an abused marketplace.  It would appear that they have it a little easier, in the sense that, they have parents or relatives who have had cosmetic surgery and are approving of it, in an economy that has been both buoyant and robust for some time now.  This takes away from the fact, that teenage cosmetic surgery needs much more scrutiny because it can play on people’s insecurities and promises of an instantly better life.

Most plastic surgeons I believe are responsible individuals with a conscience who try and counsel teenagers, usually in front of their parents, of the risks, benefits, and outcomes of procedures, as well as whether they are appropriate or not. They try very hard to show that TV programs like Extreme Makeover,  Dr.  90210  and  The Swan trivialise and glamourise cosmetic surgery and that glossy magazines like Teen Vogue or Teen Cosmo display airbrushed photos of models and celebrities that are in reality unachievable.

Now teenagers who want to have cosmetic surgery usually have different motivations and goals than adults.  They too have cosmetic surgery to improve physical characteristics they feel are awkward or flawed,  that if left uncorrected, may affect them well into adulthood.  Teens tend to have cosmetic surgery to fit in with peers, to look similar.  Adults tend to have cosmetic surgery to stand out from others.  Teenagers frequently gain self-esteem and confidence when their physical problems are corrected.  In fact, successful teenage cosmetic surgery may reverse the social withdrawal that generally accompanies teenagers who feel different.  Not every teenager seeking cosmetic surgery is well suited for an operation.  Teenagers must demonstrate emotional maturity and an understanding of the limitations of cosmetic surgery.

I would caution teenagers and parents to keep in mind that cosmetic surgery is real surgery, with great benefits, but also carries some risks. Teenagers should have realistic expectations about cosmetic surgery and what it can do for them. In addition, certain milestones in growth and physical maturity must be achieved before undergoing cosmetic surgery. The most rewarding outcomes are expected when the following exist:

  1. The teenager initiates the request.
    The young person must appreciate both the benefits and limitations of cosmetic surgery, avoiding unrealistic expectations about life changes that will occur as a result of the procedure.
  2. The teenager has realistic goals.
    While parental support isn’t lessened at all, the teenager’s own desire for cosmetic surgery must be clearly expressed and repeated over a period of time.
  3.  The teenager has sufficient maturity.
    Teenagers must be able to tolerate the discomfort and temporary disfigurement of a surgical procedure.  Cosmetic surgery is not recommended for teens who are prone to mood swings or erratic behavior, who are abusing drugs and/ or alcohol, or who are being treated for clinical depression or other mental illness.

Some of the commonest teenage cosmetic surgery procedures include:

  1. Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping)

Cosmetic surgery may be performed on the nose to straighten the bridge, remove an unsightly hump, reshape the point or open breathing passages. Ordinarily, this is not performed until the nose reaches its adult size –  about age 15 or 16 in girls and a year later in boys. The procedure accounted for nearly 50 percent of all cosmetic surgical procedures performed on this age group.

2.Otoplasty (ear surgery)

Surgical correction of protruding ears, in which the ears are pinned back, may be performed any time after the age of five. Otoplasty made up 11 percent of all cosmetic surgical procedures performed on this age group.

3. Correction of Breast Asymmetry

When one breast grows to a much larger size than the other, an operation may correct the difference by reducing the larger breast, augmenting the smaller, or both. Many teenagers who want breast augmentation tend to have one breast that is larger than the other – sometimes a full cup size or more in difference. This condition is called breast asymmetry. Using a breast implant in the smaller breast allows the patient to have breasts of the same size. Although waiting may prolong the physical awkwardness, it is advisable to delay surgery until breast growth ceases in order to achieve the best result.

4. Breast Augmentation

Breast implants can be used for breast augmentation in women 18-years or older and for breast reconstruction.

Many teenagers who want breast augmentation to have one breast that is larger than the other -sometimes a full cup size or more in difference. This condition is called breast asymmetry. Using a breast implant in the smaller breast allows the patient to have breasts of the same size. Although waiting may prolong the physical awkwardness, it is advisable to delay surgery until breast growth ceases in order to achieve the best result.

5. Breast Reduction

Surgical reduction of very large breasts can overcome both physical and psychological burdens for a teenage girl.

In fact, many teenagers suffer ongoing back pain due to overly large breasts. Although waiting may prolong the psychological awkwardness, it is advisable to delay surgery until breast growth ceases in order to achieve the best result.

6. Acne and Acne Scar Treatment

Acne eruptions may be controlled by the proper use of modern prescription drugs. In addition to supervising the use of these medications, plastic surgeons may improve acne scars by smoothing or “refinishing” the skin with a laser or with a fine sanding technique called microdermabrasion. Other treatments for acne related skin problems include laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, and chemical peels.

7. Male Breast Reduction (Gynaecomastia)

Teenage boys with large breasts, known as gynecomastia, are often eager to undergo plastic surgery. Surgical correction can be accomplished in a variety of ways including liposuction and/or surgical excision of the breast tissue.

As a plastic surgeon, I am an advocate for the right teenage cosmetic surgery, at the right time, and for the right reason. Things like correction of prominent ears, breast reduction in adolescent boys or breast reconstruction in young girls with an underdeveloped breast can truly advance the person’s quality of life. It is our responsibility as plastic surgeons to guide teenagers (and their parents) in the right direction and to educate them that cosmetic surgery is not a panacea for the everyday pressures that teenagers’ face. Cosmetic surgery can make you more attractive but not necessarily happier!

Question: What do you think is the commonest reason teenagers want cosmetic surgery? You can leave a comment below.

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During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks (also known as striae). Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That’s why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover” and as a bonus the Caesarian scar can be removed at the same time.

Although abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can achieve dramatic improvements, it’s important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #20: Any breast surgery can have a small effect on breast cancer screening in the future

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Breast health is important. Before the surgery, have a proper breast exam with your GP or gynaecologist. If you’re of age, get a mammogram. Most mammographers don’t have an issue if the implant is placed behind the muscle, but it is important to discuss this with your plastic surgeon. The x-rays used for mammographic imaging of the breasts cannot penetrate silicone or saline implants well enough to image the overlying or underlying breast tissue. Therefore, some breast tissue (approximately 25%) will not be seen on the mammogram, as it will be covered up by the implant. In order to visualise as much breast tissue as possible, women with implants undergo additional views as well as the standard images taken during diagnostic mammography. In these additional x-ray pictures, called Eklund technique or implant displacement (ID) views, the implant is pushed back against the chest wall and the breast is pulled forward over it. This allows better imaging of the forward most part of each breast. Sometimes it is more difficult to perform the Eklund technique in women who have severe scar tissue or capsular contracture and women who have very dense or fibrous breasts. Implants placed above the muscle can also make it more difficult to determine microcalcifications. Scar tissue around the capsule can be difficult to differentiate from calcification, which could be associated with cancer and thereby require an actual biopsy. The ID views are easiest to obtain in a women whose implants are placed underneath (behind) the chest muscle.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

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Loose skin, stretch marks and fat on the abdomen are among the most common reasons patients seek an abdominoplasty from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, patients have excess skin and fat on the abdomen from weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many are frustrated that diet and exercise don’t tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can’t see their muscles underneath their loose skin. For many of these patients, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is their best opportunity to reclaim a youthful figure.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au