Breast Cancer, Mastectomies and Breast Reconstruction Surgery

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October may have been Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but given that one out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, “awareness” should be a factor every month. Naturally, the first line of awareness should consist of education about the disease, along with early detection efforts through self-exams and regularly scheduled mammograms. Educational awareness about the disease types and stages can help those receiving a breast cancer diagnosis determine the best treatment options. Those whose treatment includes a lumpectomy or mastectomy need to be aware of the various breast reconstruction surgery options available to them.

Education and awareness are key with regard to all mastectomy and breast reconstruction decision making. Thus, it is important for women faced with a mastectomy to thoroughly discuss all options with their breast surgeon, oncologist and qualified plastic surgeon. While some women decide not to undergo breast reconstruction surgery, the procedure does help women feel more confident about their appearance after a mastectomy. Additionally, federal law requires insurance plans to cover the costs of breast reconstruction in most circumstances.

Timing of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Among the first considerations that need to be made when faced with a mastectomy and breast reconstruction is timing. Those needing a mastectomy can opt to have breast reconstruction at the same time. However, this “immediate reconstruction” option may not be available to women with specific surgical risk factors such as smoking and being overweight, among others, or to those facing certain post-surgery follow-up procedures.

Delayed reconstruction can be conducted after the mastectomy incisions have healed and all other breast cancer therapies have been successfully concluded. Delayed reconstruction can be performed months or even years after the original mastectomy, and is often undertaken by women who have successfully mitigated risks that prevented immediate reconstruction.

Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Generally, breast reconstruction can be done with breast implants or natural tissue flaps. Breast implants are a simpler reconstruction option because the surgery is less invasive with less recovery than natural tissue flap surgery. With breast implants, patients can opt for either saline or silicone implants. While the outer shell of both implants is made of silicone, the shell is filled with either silicone or a saline solution. As silicone is more viscous than saline, it is believed to be the solution that more closely mimics the natural look and feel of breast tissue, and is preferred for breast reconstruction. A number of studies have shown silicone to be a safe implant.

Natural tissue flap surgery utilizes skin and tissue from the patient’s own body, which allows the reconstructed breast to look and feel more like a natural breast than either silicone or saline implants. However, the procedure requires additional surgery on the other parts of the body from which the tissue is being removed, leaves additional scars, and is far more intensive than implant surgery.

Nipple and Areola Reconstruction

While “nipple-sparing” mastectomies are becoming more common, they are by no means optional, and most women will still need nipple and areola reconstruction as part of their overall breast reconstruction. This is generally performed on an outpatient basis as the last stage of breast reconstruction surgery. The procedure can often be done in the office setting and is much simpler than the actual breast reconstruction.

Gardner Plastic Surgery in Naples, Florida, has long offered breast reconstruction as part of its practice. In fact, with a vast knowledge base of cosmetic breast surgery techniques, Dr. Paul Gardner is renowned for his skill at breast reconstruction following treatment for breast cancer. If you are facing a mastectomy, learn how Dr. Gardner can help you retain a positive body image with breast reconstruction surgery, by contacting Gardner Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.

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Rhinoplasty—Small Measures Equal Significant Enhancements

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Unlike most plastic surgery procedures, rhinoplasty (nose job) usually represents an operation of centimeters rather than of inches. As the focal point of your face, the nose dictates its symmetry and serves to enhance or detract from its other features. Thus, small changes to the nose can have a significant effect on the overall appearance of the face as a whole. This helps explain why rhinoplasty is the third most sought after cosmetic surgery after liposuction and breast augmentation, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The nose can be cosmetically re-contoured by a wide range of surgical alterations. Among the more common adjustments are:

  • Enlargement
  • Reduction
  • Straightening
  • Nasal bridge reshaping (bump removal)
  • Nasal tip reshaping
  • Reduction of nostril size
  • Adjustment of the angle between the nose tip and upper lip
  • Septoplasty (opening of nasal passages to improve breathing)

“Open” or “Closed” Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty procedures generally fall under one of two categories. “Open” rhinoplasty consists of making an incision across the columella—the column of skin separating the nostrils—to allow the surgeon better access to the internal nasal structure. “Closed” rhinoplasty uses incisions completely on the inside of the nose. Open rhinoplasty is typically used for more extensive re-shaping, while closed rhinoplasty is generally utilized for minor adjustments. Another common procedure, “tiplasty,” refers to reshaping the nasal tip without involving other nasal structures, and can be conducted under either the open or closed category.

Non-Surgical Options

In some cases, nose reshaping can be achieved non-surgically via dermal fillers, in which the surgeon will strategically inject filler into specific points of the nose. While dermal filler results generally only last up to a year, the process can allow patients to test out results to determine if they want to make the change more permanent with surgical rhinoplasty.

Consultation and Vectra 3D Imaging

Dr. Gardner, a skilled plastic surgeon located in Naples Florida, strives to personalize each rhinoplasty procedure to address his patient’s unique facial symmetry and meet their goals of personal cosmetic enhancement. Rhinoplasty at Gardner Plastic Surgery starts with an initial consultation to determine what the patient desires and to identify and address any concerns.

Dr. Gardner utilizes Vectra 3D imaging to showcase the desired outcome of the patient’s rhinoplasty procedure. Vectra 3D imaging allows the patient to visualize the potential outcome from every angle, and fine-tune the request adjustments until the simulation meets their aesthetic goals. As the simulation is based on surgical technique, the rhinoplasty outcome may not prove to be a perfect match, but should be similar. The technology has proven instrumental in improving doctor-patient communications, and thus sets the stage for a successful outcome.

Gardner Plastic Surgery in Naples, Florida, includes rhinoplasty as a specialty within its practice. As a highly regarded rhinoplasty surgeon, Dr. Paul Gardner combines his knowledge and experience of open and closed rhinoplasty procedures with the latest surgical techniques and a keen artistic eye to produce exceptional results for his patients. To learn how Dr. Gardner can help you achieve the facial symmetry you desire, contact Gardner Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.

Why Mothers May Want to Consider a “Mommy Makeover”

Gardner Plastic Surgery in Naples, Florida provide Mommy Makeovers

“There’s a reason it’s called labor,” is a phrase all mothers are familiar with, but the extent of that labor is sometimes discounted by those who have not undergone the experience. In fact, researchers at the University of Michigan have determined that childbirth can impact a woman’s body with stress fractures and muscle tears and sprains equivalent to damages sustained by hardcore athletes. And while that potential damage is limited to an extent by the duration of the actual period of labor, a woman’s body also undergoes substantial stress during both the months preceding childbirth and during those first few months after she has given birth.

Motherhood’s Toll on a Woman’s Body

Pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum factors such as breastfeeding all result in changes to a woman’s body. The pregnancy itself can encourage the body to create new reservoirs in the waist and hips in which to store fat, while the expanding womb can stretch skin and stomach muscles to a point at which many women find it impossible to regain their previously tight abs. The bulk of pregnancy and lactation can similarly impact the breasts, with the original shape, firmness and contour of some women’s breasts not likely to return, even after nursing concludes.

Impacts of Motherhood Different for All

Just as no two babies are alike, motherhood’s impacts on the body differ significantly from mother to mother. Some women do manage to emerge from the postpartum period with bodies looking hardly any different than they did before pregnancy. Of course, such women are the exception rather than the rule, and most women are likely unsatisfied with at least one aspect of their postpartum body.

Survey Shows….

In fact, BabyCenter.com surveyed 7,000 postpartum mothers to gauge their feelings about their after-pregnancy bodies, and determined that more than half of postpartum mothers tended to be disappointed with the changes and failure to return to a pre-pregnancy figure. Among the findings were:

  • 64 percent reported having a negative body image since becoming a mother
  • One to two years after childbirth, 86 percent said their bellies had not returned to normal
  • Almost 50 percent said that their breasts are “different”
  • While about 20 percent were able to return to their pre-pregnancy weights within a year, 22 percent were struggling with 10 pounds or more of their pregnancy weight (in a similar survey in 2008 the number was 38 percent)

It’s Not Just Motherhood

Impacts caused to the body by motherhood can also be caused by age. Weight gain, sagging breasts, stretch marks and lost muscle tone similar to that caused by motherhood also inevitably impact women as they age. But a Mommy Makeover, as offered by Dr. Paul Gardner of Gardner Plastic Surgery in Naples, Florida, can be tailored to help restore the natural beauty of those impacted by the labor of love known as motherhood, as well as those impacted by the natural course of aging.

Just Call for a Consultation

A Mommy Makeover is not a singular procedure, but is a series of procedures undertaken as needed to address impacts to the body caused by childbirth, motherhood and aging. Among the procedures are tummy tuck, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction, and liposuction to various parts of the body. Dr. Gardner meets with each patient to discuss their aesthetic goals to create a tailor-made plan to achieve the best results possible. Call Dr. Gardner today at 239.566.2611 for your Mommy Makeover consultation!

Vaginal Rejuvenation

Vaginal Rejuvenation and Labiaplasty

The Trending Designer Vagina Surgery

The feminine external genitalia have natural anatomical variation from one woman to the next. So then why is it that vaginal procedures are on the rise? One theory is that increased access to nudity online is creating awareness of a stereotypical ideal vagina. While controversy exists regarding the amount of young woman now scheduling vaginal surgery, it is important to understand the physical and emotional reasons why woman of all ages are choosing this elective surgery for their own wellness.

Many candidates for vaginal rejuvenation procedures are women who may be unhappy with the appearance of their labia or they may have physical discomfort due to a large or elongated labia of either the inner or outer lips. Candidates for this type of surgery desire an improved appearance and youthful function of the vaginal area.

An example of motives for vaginal procedures include:

  • Child bearing, age and trauma may have caused stretching or tearing of vaginal tissue which may at times lead to discomfort during intimate contact.
  • There has been a loss of strength in the muscles of the vaginal area causing reduced sexually satisfaction.
  • Your labia is genetically uneven and you experience discomfort or chronic rubbing or psychological discomfort.

It is true that the internet provides us with an abundant amount of medical information to research. Prior to the internet you had to be brave enough to ask questions. Many women chose to live with these symptoms rather than asking for medical help, as they were unaware that an effective surgical procedure existed. The increase in vaginal rejuvenation procedures may in fact be related to the internet offering awareness of the options available to correct a woman’s feminine concerns and restore her sense of vitality.

What are my Vaginal Rejuvenation Options?

Vaginal rejuvenation enhances the vagina’s cosmetic appearance and can restore a woman’s self-confidence. Procedures for vaginal reconstruction might include a labiaplasty, vaginoplasty or vaginal laser therapy depending on her intimate goals.

Labiaplasty

Women with long or enlarged labia may consider a labiaplasty to remove excess labia minora tissue so that the lips are shortened or tightened. The procedure can be performed under local or deep sedation. A Labia reduction canimprove its outer appearance for a refreshed look and feel.

Vaginoplasty

A vaginoplasty refers to the surgical tightening of perineal muscles and repairing the rear vaginal wall. It is often combined with a labiaplasty. By strengthening and reducing the width of the vagina women have expressed an increased sense of vitality and an improved intimate lifestyle.

Non-Surgical Vaginal Laser Therapy

Non-surgical options for vaginal rejuvenation have improved considerably and include laser technology which address various intimate challenges. Laser vaginal therapy allows for regeneration of vaginal walls with no surgery and no downtime. The diVa Hybrid Fractional Laser offers this type of technology to enhance your vaginal health. The treatment utilizes two laser therapy techniques at the same time. The first laser resurfaces the vaginal wall, bringing new and healthy tissue, while the second gently warms the tissue to enhance the production of collagen. These two therapies work together create synergistic benefits.

Consult a Plastic Surgeon that Specializes in Vaginal Rejuvenation

Consider meeting with an experienced vaginal rejuvenation plastic surgeon who can offer you a personalized consultation.

Dr. Paul Gardner at Gardner Plastic Surgery consults with each patient to discuss their personal goals and tailor the procedure to that individual patient. Gardner Plastic surgery located in Naples, Florida. For a vaginal rejuvenation consultation call 239.566.2611 today!

Recovering from Skin Cancer Treatment

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Get Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery in Naples, FL

Each year, almost 3.3 million Americans will be treated for skin cancer, and nearly one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetimes. This makes skin cancer one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the U.S. While recognizing and removing skin cancer is important one might need to consider reconstruction options after removal. As such, including an experienced plastic surgeon on your recovery team at the beginning of treatment can minimize tissue damage, offer insight into treatment, and reconstruct the affected area.

Recognizing and Treating Skin Cancer

Regularly scheduled skin cancer screenings can properly and accurately determine if bumps, sores, discolorations or white patches on your skin are harmful to your health.  Your physician can perform a biopsy on the area in question to determine if it poses a greater health risk. If the area is deemed suspicious, the skin cancer can be removed by a plastic surgeon using minimally invasive techniques.

Cosmetic Surgery after Cancer Removal

Skin cancer removal may remove a significant amount of tissue and leave an unsightly scar. Many plastic surgeons specialize in skin cancer reconstructive surgery. Using a variety of techniques like skin graft or flaps, a cosmetic surgeon can restore a natural appearance to an affected area.

Reconstruction

While the treatments for skin cancer are designed to save lives, they can also leave the skin and tissue damaged, cosmetically unappealing, or both. Your outcome depends on the severity and location of the cancer as well as the skill of your treatment team. After removal, your skin may have scars ranging from near-invisible imperfections to significant changes to the epidermis and underlying tissue.

Your cosmetic surgeon should be an integral part of this process so that serious scarring is avoided. Plastic surgeons are able to remove the cancer in the lease invasive way and design personalized reconstructive treatments ranging from minor scar removal to total restoration.

Recurrence Prevention

You should keep up with your scheduled follow-up visits with your doctors to give yourself the best chance for preventing a recurrence of skin cancer. It is in the best interest of your health—and appearance—to minimize your risks by avoiding extended sun exposure, especially from late morning to early afternoon, wearing protective clothing when going into the sun for an extended period of time, utilizing a powerful sunscreen on any exposed skin, and checking in with your doctor or plastic surgeon regularly.

Your Reconstructive Options

If you have recently been diagnosed with a malignant skin cancer and are preparing for surgery, ask if your doctor can recommend a plastic surgeon for removal and repair.  It is usually helpful to consult with a highly experienced plastic surgeon to learn more about follow up surgeries that can reverse scarring and restore a more natural appearance to affected areas.

Skilled plastic surgeons like Dr. Paul Gardner can also provide you a valuable second opinion concerning your skin cancer diagnosis, treatment options and potential reconstructive procedures.  To learn more about skin cancer removal and reconstructive surgery in Naples, FL, please contact Gardner Plastic Surgery at 239.566.2611 or email them.