YOUR RECONSTRUCTION OPTIONS

Post mastectomy most women opt for breast reconstruction. There are a variety of reconstructive options but you may not be a candidate for all types. 

Remember: early detection saves lives!

Find out more about the treatments available to you at Milpark via their Breast Cancer website

When to have your breast reconstruction performed is a decision made in conjunction with the other doctors treating your breast cancer, as the need for chemotherapy or radiation will influence when reconstructive surgery can safely take place.

Breast reconstruction is either performed during the same time as a lumpectomy or mastectomy, or at a later date.

If Breast Reconstruction occurs at the same time it is referred to as immediate, and if it occurs at a later date it is referred to as delayed.

Immediate breast reconstruction offers psychological benefits by avoiding a time lapse in addressing any cosmetic change, and also minimizes the number of surgeries for the patient.

Delayed reconstruction is sometimes performed because the patient chooses to wait, or in some cases the patient was not aware at the time that reconstructive options existed.  Other patients are unhappy with the results of their reconstruction and now seek to undergo an alternative surgical method, such as replacing implants with their body’s own natural tissue.

There are a number of breast reconstruction procedures that can help rebuild the breasts. Procedures are tailored to the individual patient, and the type of procedure you have will depend on cancer considerations, your ultimate goals, and your unique body type.

But do not get overwhelmed. We will discuss this in more details during your consultation.

When it comes to breast cancer and breast reconstruction, it’s vital to be surrounded and helped by people who know exactly how to guide you and who can make the process run smoother for you.

The Breast Care unit at Milpark will be there for you every step of the way and will bring you invaluable support in every aspect.

 

Breast Reconstruction Techniques

Tissue Expansion is one of the breast reconstruction techniques that I offer.

This type of breast reconstruction involves the insertion of a silicone balloon under the skin to expand the tissue in the area. Periodic injections of saline solution cause the skin to stretch and form a pocket for a breast implant. The expander is removed after the growth process is complete and an implant is placed. The nipple and areola can be reconstructed later if the patient desires.

 

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

Some patients have enough skin in the breast area to place an implant for breast reconstruction without the need of a tissue expander. The implant can be placed under the skin and the nipple and areola reconstructed at a later date.
Did you know that women who need post mastectomy chemotherapy are still candidates for implants?

You will need to discuss all your reconstruction options with me. Your breast reconstruction approach and recovery will depend largely on:

    • Your cancer
    • The need for post-mastectomy radiation
    • Long term risk
    • Skin and tissue quality
    • Desired aesthetic result

Whether you are considering breast reconstruction with implants during or after mastectomy surgery, you will want to discuss with me whether the use of a tissue expander will be necessary.

In addition, you can discuss your options for further reconstruction including re-creation of the nipple and areola.

Have you had breast reconstruction? I would love if you blogged your story – please send us your link. It would be a great help to others.

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery is a method of breast reconstruction that takes living tissue carrying its own blood supply from a donor area of the body to the breast area.

There are a variety of techniques with flap surgery including:

  • TRAM Flap Reconstruction (skin, muscle, and fat taken from the lower abdomen and transferred to the breast area)
  • DIEP Flap Reconstruction (skin, fat, and blood vessels are removed from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast)
  • Latissimus Flap Reconstruction (skin, muscle, and fat taken from the outer back and rotated forward to form the breast mound, followed by implant placement). Nipple and areolar reconstruction can also be performed at a later time.

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter, remember that more information about  Breast Cancer and Breast Reconstruction surgery can be found by clicking on this link.  Lastly, if you would like to contact the Milpark Breast Care unit, dial+27 11 480 5779 or 0860 233 233 or send an email to breasthealth@netcare.co.za

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BREAST RECONSTRUCTION AND THE NETCARE BREAST CENTRE AT MILPARK HOSPITAL

 

This month, I will talk about Breast Reconstruction. Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating, and the possibility of needing a lumpectomy or mastectomy can be incredibly overwhelming. Fortunately however, multiple options for breast reconstruction are available to restore breasts and help you feel stronger than ever.

I believe that breast reconstruction hold tremendous psychological and physiological benefits and feel blessed to be able to offer advanced surgical techniques to my patients.

As a plastic surgeon, I perform lots of breast surgeries such a breast reduction, breast augmentation or breast lift at my Fourways practice.

I also perform Breast Reconstruction surgery at the Milpark hospital.

Did you know that NetCare Breast Centre at Milpark Hospital has an excellent Breast Cancer unit? Breast Care is packed full of informative resources and advice. This makes me even more proud to work in association with NetCare!

I have written many blog posts on breast cancer and breast reconstruction in the past – as raising Breast Cancer Awareness to me is important. You can view them right here 

I also post medical information pertaining to different procedure via my Facebook page.

Please remember to spread the awareness and to share this info with those around you.

DR SERRURIER MARCH NEWSLETTER: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

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This month in my newsletter, I will be talking about problems and solutions. I often see patients who are bothered by a certain aspect of their body and either do not know what to resort to or choose the wrong procedure. I am here to help you decide on the best option and make the best out of your surgery.

If there is anything else you would like to know or something in particular that you would like me to explain, phone my rooms on 011 875 1630 or simply leave a comment on my Facebook page and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Lastly, make sure to visit my website for more info on all the procedures I offer at my Fourways practice!

BREASTS PROBLEMS

Problems:

  • You have saggy breasts
  • You desire more cleavage
  • There is a significant difference between one breast and the other
  • You are self-conscious about breasts
  • You feel that larger more perky breasts would make you feel more attractive and improve your self-confidence
  • You have a hard time finding clothes that fit because of discrepancy between your breasts and your buttocks

Solution: Breast Lift!
Based on your answers to the last post, you may or may not also require a breast augmentation at the same time.

After breast lift surgery, you will notice that your breasts are firmer and higher. This will help to improve your confidence and self-esteem. Many patients are happy with the results and report that they feel younger looking and more ‘feminine’.

My Breast Lift page is full of informative resources

Why would I need to combine Breast Lift surgery with Breast augmentation?

Breast lift does not increase the size of your breasts although they may appear larger due to the fact that they are higher and firmer looking. The exception to this is if you have combined this procedure with breast augmentation surgery to enhance volume.

Problems:

  • Your breasts are causing you severe psychological distress, are affecting your physical health or your ability to do exercise.
  • You are experiencing backache, neck and shoulder ache.
  • Your clothes don’t fit properly
  • You do not like the way your breasts affect your overall appearance: large breasts can make you look unbalanced and have a big impact upon your appearance in general. Your breasts are out of proportion with the rest of your body. You feel that you are ‘top heavy’ and this can affect your self-confidence.
  • You do not like being subject to inappropriate comments or attentions from the opposite sex.

Solution: Breast Reduction!

The main benefits are smaller, lighter and firmer breasts. They will be in proportion to the rest of your body. This also means no more physical discomfort such as backache or neck ache. The areola (the brown circular area round the nipple) can also be made smaller and better proportioned as well.

For Breast Reduction at my practice, click here

Breast reduction results in one of the most dramatic changes to physical appearance.

  • Your clothes will fit better;
  • You will no longer have physical discomfort
  • Or have to endure unwanted comments about the size of your breasts. This is usually a particular issue for teenage girls.

Problems:

  • You consider your breasts to be too small and would like to increase their size.
  • You feel less than feminine as a result of having small breasts.
  • Your breasts lost firmness, shape and volume after pregnancy
  • Your one breast is smaller/bigger than the other
  • You feel bigger, firmer breasts will give you a more youthful appearance

Solution: Breast Augmentation!

This highly requested surgery will have you feeling happier with your appearance, and will improve self-confidence and well-being. Breast Augmentation is the most requested surgery in my practice and in most cases women are looking for increased size with upper pole fullness.

Visit my breast augmentation page for more info!

The decision to undergo breast augmentation is a highly personal one and all that matters are how you feel about the results. If the results match your expectations then it has been a success.

It can give you a younger looking appearance but it is not a ‘fountain of youth’! As with any form of cosmetic surgery you need to have realistic expectations about what it can do.

STUBBORN FAT PROBLEMS

Problems:

  • You are bothered by excess fat deposits – located anywhere on your body – that don’t respond to diet or exercise.
  • You feel your body is disproportionate (but not necessarily overweight)

Solution: Liposuction and Liposculpture!

The results after liposuction surgery are instantly noticeable. You will have a firmer and more contoured appearance, which will improve your sense of well-being. The effects of liposuction are permanent, which means if you do increase your body fat, then it will NOT return to those areas you had treated.

Liposuction in more detail? Head over to my website!

Liposuction is especially beneficial to those patients who have undergone weight loss surgery. It can remove those last remaining pockets of fat. This will dramatically improve your appearance.

Liposuction can also be combined with other procedures such as abdominoplasty.

However I need to insist on the fact that Liposuction is not a solution to the problem of obesity or weight loss in general.  Also, it is not an effective treatment for cellulite.

Problems:

  • You have recently had a baby and wish to tighten loose skin that has stretched as a result of your pregnancy.
  • You have increased amounts of skin laxity or looseness from the belly button down to the pubic region
  • You have excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and are looking to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall to flatten your abdomen

Solution: Tummy Tuck!

During this surgery, I remove excess skin and fat from the waist, which cannot be shifted by diet and exercise alone.

There are three types of abdominoplasty:

  • Complete abdominoplasty
  • Partial or ‘mini’ abdominoplasty
  • Extended abdominoplasty

But don’t worry; together we will discuss which one is best for your needs and characteristics.

Tummy tuck results are impressive: You will have a firmer, toned and flatter abdomen. If you had some lower abdominal bulge as a result of pregnancy then this will also be corrected. This also includes stretch marks! Your waist will appear slimmer and this tighter, youthful abdomen will boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Would you like to find out more about Tummy Tuck at my practice?

Problems:

  • You do not like the way their nose looks and have been troubled by one or more of its features?
  • You are concerned about the following?
  • Damage to your nose caused by an accident or injury
  • Congenital defect
  • A nose that is too small or too large
  • Excessively flared nostrils
  • An enlarged, drooping or thickened nasal tip
  • Crooked or off-centre nose

Solution: Rhinoplasty!

Rhinoplasty is performed for a variety of reasons which can include increasing or reducing the size of the nose; changing the nasal tip or the bridge, removing any unsightly humps or bumps and making the nose straighter or narrower.

The nasal tip itself can be rotated upwards or downwards, projected forwards or backwards or enlarged or decreased in size. The cartilage, bones and sometimes the soft tissues of the nose are reshaped.

After your rhinoplasty, your nose will be more natural looking and will complement your appearance. Whether larger, smaller or reshaped, you will look and feel better.

The vast majority of my patients are happy with the results of rhinoplasty.

If you would like to read more about this procedure, make sure to visit my website.

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter about various problems some of my patients encounter and the solutions I offer at my Fourways practice. Of course, I spoke about a few surgeries only so make sure to phone my rooms on 011 875 1630 if you would like to book an appointment or simply make an inquiry, we are here to help you!

You can also find me on Facebook and on Twitter.

DR SERRURIER’S OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

DR CHARLES SERRURIER OCTOBER 2013 NEWSLETTER

WELCOME!

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In my practice, breast augmentation surgery is hugely popular and I always try my best to give my patients great results and utmost satisfaction. With summer on its way, plastic surgeons do see an increase of breast surgery requests but there are many things you need to know and ask before making the final decision.

Before getting on with this month’s newsletter, I need you to know that my patient’s health and safety are my priorities and I always guaranty that silicone, and all the implants I use for all the breasts surgeries, are extremely safe and have undergone extensive research and testing.

I hope you enjoy what follows!

About the implants…

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You will see, upon consultation for your breast augmentation surgery that breast implants vary greatly in shape and size. Silicone implants are the most popular as they feel more natural than saline implants. I am not saying that saline implants are hazardous but there have been complaints linked to deflation.

Textured vs. Smooth

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Breast implants can be textured or smooth.

Most implants used in my practice are textured because research suggests that this is what gives the best rates of long term complications. It is thought that by choosing textured implants, we lower the chance of scar tissue forming around the implant.

In the past the shell of the smooth implants has been slightly softer; you will feel it less through the skin and tissue but this is no longer the case.

Please don’t be overwhelmed, I will take the time to discuss this with you in details so that you fully understand the procedure and its outcome.

Placement and incision options

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During a breast augmentation surgery, there are 3 placement options: behind the muscle, in front of the muscle or half under the muscle and half under the bust. But because each patient is unique and wishes for different results, I will decide what’s best for you upon our one on one consultation.

During your consultation, I will advise you on the implant placement depending on your soft tissue characteristics and cosmetic desires.

With regard to the incisions (and thus, implant insertion sites), there are 3 different options:

. Under the fold of the breast (the infra mammary fold)

. Around the nipple

. Through the armpit

Each has their advantages and disadvantages: I personally prefer the infra-mammary fold or the periareolar but of course I will explain the pros and cons of each incision and answer all your questions before we make the final decision.

What is the recovery like?

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The breast augmentation recovery does vary from one patient to another, but I usually advise my patients to take one week off work in order to get a good quality break and allow the breasts to heal nicely.

Expect your breasts to be swollen and tender and to experience some discomfort for a few days after the op.

After 5 or 6 days, the mild bruising will have disappeared but the swelling may remain for 3 to 5 weeks after the surgery.

Full recovery should normally be complete 6 weeks after the breast augmentation surgery.

Light activities can be resumed 2 days after the breast augmentation surgery but you must wait one whole week before resuming regular activities. I always insist that strenuous activities have to be avoided for 4 weeks in order not to impair the healthy recovery.

When it comes to exercise after a breast augmentation, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take it easy as certain movements can damage the operation’s results if done too soon after the surgery.

Remember you can get more information by visiting my Facebook page or website www.drserrurier.co.za

Know your Breast Implants – Dr Charles Serrurier

There has been so much said about PIP breast Implants in the media, and it has caused a stir amongst doctors and patients alike. I will give my two cents worth on the whole escapade, but this quick blog is more about secondary issues that I have noticed evolving – that being patients are not aware of what implants they have inserted, or even what size they are.

To start, let me give some local information regarding PIP implants. In South Africa we have been lucky – yes, PIP implants were represented here but not many were used – yes, some were used but the problem is not as extensive as in Europe. The PIP manufacturing facility has been closed for a few years now and this matter has been dealt with within the local fraternity.

That said many patients have been phoning their doctors asking what implants they have had inserted. It is imperative to remember what implant you have had inserted and what size your implants are, there are many reasons for this:

  • You may want to increase your implant size at a later date
  • You may not visit the same surgeon should there be a complication
  • There might be a complication that requires explanation and new implants to be inserted
  • You may leave the country or your surgeon may leave the country

In all the instances above your breast implant information is important, especially as most implant manufacturers offer warranties on their products and you could get the implants replaced for free. In the event of needing to reinsert implants, knowing what size implants you currently have is critical to making the best surgical decisions.

Your plastic surgeon will always have a record of your implants, and you should always be given some form of warranty card including your implant stickers. These stickers show manufacturer, implant type, implant size and in many cases a unique bar-coded serial numbers for unique identification.

It is you responsibility to keep those stickers and records safe – you never know when you might need them?

Sometimes issues like the PIP debacle can bring some good. I hope that this issue brings more patient understanding into their implant choice and the warranties that go along with them.

I hope this helps your thinking?

Dr Charles Serrurier