Angelina Jolie’s Prophylactic Mastectomies

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

Jolie penned in New York Times about her prophylactic double mastectomy: “My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman,” she wrote. “Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy.” Jolie has been praised in the media for having the courage to go through this procedure, and in addition being willing to share her story in order to encourage similar women with the BRCA gene to understand and manage their increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Jolie understands cancer, her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, had breast cancer and died of ovarian cancer six years ago at the age of 56. Her grandmother died of ovarian cancer at age 45 and her Aunt just passed away from ovarian cancer at age 61.

Jolie reports that the procedure involved preservation of her nipples, removal of the breast gland and reconstruction of her breasts with implants. Like Jolie, everyday women who decide to undergo prophylactic mastectomies are likely to also be concerned about how they will look once the procedure is completed. A consultation with a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction will provide information about options for reconstruction, whether the technique involves implants or the woman’s own tissue. Contemporary implants used in breast reconstruction are textured and anatomical (tear drop) shaped filled with cohesive silicone gel. By using this style of implant breast shape is optimised and longevity is maximized by the addition of Alloderm.

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz

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Scientific Proof – How Smoking Makes You Look Older

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

In a recent Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery journal article titled “Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison between Smoking & Nonsmoking Identical Twins” specific components of facial aging secondary to smoking were identified. This was performed by comparing standardized photographs of identical twins with different smoking histories. The following is a summary of the study.

During the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, from 2007 to 2010, 79 pairs of twins were identified, in which only one twin smokes or where one twin smoked at least 5 years longer than his or her counterpart. Questionnaires were obtained and standardized photographs were taken by professional photographers. A panel of three blinded judges analyzed the twins’ facial features and graded wrinkles and ranked age-related facial features.

The results showed that smoking twins compared with their nonsmoking counterparts had aged more causing upper eyelids sagging, lower lid bags, malar bags, heavy cheek folds, upper and lower lip wrinkles, and jowls. Other less significant features found in smokers included lower lid hyper-pigmentation, transverse and vertical forehead wrinkles and crows feet.

In conclusion, this study details the specifics of facial aging brought on by smoking, which primarily affects the middle and lower thirds of the face. It also demonstrated that a 5-year difference in smoking history can cause noticeable differences in facial aging between twins.

My personal philosophy is to ask smoking patients to quit 3 weeks prior to surgery, for both surgical and anaesthetic reasons. It has already been well documented that smokers have up to a 4-5 times greater complication rate after surgery in regard to wound healing, scarring, infections as well as slower recovery in regard to breathing and return to normal functioning. This study adds the bonus that if you stop smoking you will will also look younger than if you keep smoking. Now is a good time to quit!

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz

Who Can You Thank For Your Wrinkles?

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

Do you have more wrinkles than your friends? As you age are you looking more and more like your mother’s old photographs? We know that wrinkles are caused by general aging and are brought on earlier and worsened by smoking and sun exposure. But why do some people age prematurely – thanks to a study recently published in the journal Nature we now have a better understanding of the biological causes of aging.

The genetic material we inherit from our parents help to define us, such as our physical characteristics, what diseases we may suffer from and expected lifespan. We assume that we get half of our genes each from our mother and father. What is not that well known is that we get a special package of genetic material from our mothers only. This is stored within mitochondria, the cellular organs that provide energy. If the mitochondria are damaged they fail in their production of energy which results in accelerated aging. The susceptibility of mitochondria to damage relates to the genes they contain and those you inherit from your mother. This new found knowledge gives researchers hope that new anti-aging treatments can be manufactured to target mitochondria to optimise their function.

This hope is futuristic but thankfully today their is a wide range of options to treat premature aging. This range includes skin care products, resurfacing (laser, dermabrasion, vitamin A, chemical peels), fillers (hyaluronic acid, fat transfer), botox, and surgical lifts (face lift, neck lift, brow lift, blepahroplasty).

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz

Making the Most of Your Breasts

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

Allure magazine has advice for you telling you how to put your best breasts forward. From your bra style to surgical improvements, there are many ways to improve your décolletage. If your breasts are too small, then you may be considering implants. Some general advice – don’t bring your plastic surgeon a picture of the perfect breasts to copy. Rib cage size, breast width and other factors will determine your ideal breast size. Bigger implants are not always better. The best place for breast augmentation incisions, with the lowest complication rate, may be in the fold under the breast rather than around the nipple or under the armpit. Implants will not necessarily lift your breasts, sometimes a breast lift (mastopexy) is a better option. If you want natural looking implants talk to your plastic surgeon about creating the most natural look for you.

Style your breasts
Stylists suggest silicone cutlet inserts to make the top half of your breasts full, they almost never use push up bras alone. If you have very large breasts emphasize your waistline. If your breasts are small, you can reveal some cleavage and use lifting tape to keep your breasts in place.  You can also use a shimmery body lotion to emphasize cleavage.

Maintain your breasts
Sun exposure causes breast skin to droop by breaking down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Wrinkles, spots and skin laxity can be avoided if you cover up with sunscreen and are sensible with your sun exposure. Performing a breast exam monthly with regular mammography screening is important for detection of breast lumps and cancer. Purchase a professionally fitted bra for everyday wear as well as for sports, gravity and bounce are detrimental to breast shape over time.

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz

Body Contouring Now

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

New Zealanders, like Australians, Americans and other Western Society people are getting bigger. This change is not just decade by decade, but now year by year according to the statistics. There are a number of reasons for this individual and population weight gain. As numerous as the undesired weight gain are gym memberships, personal trainers, miracle diets and now weight loss (also known as bariatric) surgery. New Zealanders are catching onto weight loss surgery in ever increasing numbers; in the US in 1993 17,000 had weight loss surgery while in 2009 this increased up to 229,000. Weight loss following bariatric surgery can be extraordinary, but so can the body shape changes. Small weight loss in a youthful person may leave no undesirable features but massive weight loss may lead to unattractive body contours, often due to excess skin as sagging skin folds. Sagging skin can lead to mental anguish after all the commitment to lose the initial weight, it can also lead to physical problems such as discomfort or rashes. Getting clothes to fit once the ideal weight has been gained can be difficult due to the skin folds. These folds can be located in the arms, trunk, abdomen, legs, buttocks and breasts. There are a number of potential procedures to correct folds in different body areas. Which areas to treat are decided according to need and health, you will be guided by your Plastic Surgeon as to what is realistic and when these procedures should be performed. Often these procedures are staged over a number of months to allow recovery and fit in with the patients lifestyle, work and family. It is important that the patient has a stable weight and has the full support of the Bariatric Surgeon before committing to body contouring surgery. This process from initial weight loss surgery through to completion of the body contouring surgery is a journey, you must be comfortable with both your Bariatric and Plastic Surgeons as you will be spending a good deal of time with them.

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz

Liposuction – Facts & Myths

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure used to eliminate fat that cannot be eliminated despite exercising and a healthy diet. This cosmetic procedure can be performed through tiny incisions that leaves inconspicuous scars, highly desirable but patients often “consent” to liposuction based on unrealistic expectations and a lack of understanding about the procedure, risks and outcomes.

As a procedure, liposuction involves removing diet-resistant fat from various parts of the body, such as the abdomen, buttocks, hips, flanks, thighs, arms, neck and breasts, through a hollow metal tube inserted into a small incision. Using negative pressure fat is removed and the area treated is thinned. To allow this to happen anaesthesia is required. This can be under a full general anaesthetic or under local anaesthetic with or without sedation. Regardless of the type of anaesthesia or whether the pocedure is performed in an accredited hospital, day surgery hospital, or an office based surgical facility, liposuction needs to be viewed as surgery and not something to be seen as insignificant or risk-free. Surgery, generally speaking, is a physical procedure used to create benefit to the patient, but this benefit must be balanced against potential risk. Liposuction must be used only for specific indications. It is not a weight loss tool, a common public belief, but does remove excess fat and improve body contours. The best liposuction patients are those that have done everything through exercise and diet to optimise their weight but are still left with a pocket (or two or three!) of resistant fat. This resistant pocket can then be liposuctioned and removed to give the desired and final body contour. Cellulite is not a good indication, but sometimes by removing fat the cellulite appearance can be improved but this cannot be guaranteed. Another common belief is that if you have liposuction the change is permanent, however if a patient gains weight after liposuction then the previously treated area can again become full and undesirable.

While complications from liposuction surgery are rare, it is essential for those considering the procedure to ensure their doctor is a FRACS trained Plastic Surgeon. Those undergoing it should also discuss their recovery with their doctor to ensure a safe and favorable outcome.

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz

Breast Lift – Traditional or Short Scar for Your Mastopexy?

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) has the goal of reshaping and uplifting the drooped breast, repositioning the nipple higher on the chest and ultimately gaining a more youthful and proportionate bust. Effectively regaining the bust that a woman had prior to pregnancy, breast feeding, weight changes and general aging, and thereby returning the confidence and self esteem previously diminished by body shape change. Mastopexy is the term applied to a number of different surgical techniques that have the same goal of uplifting the breast. Mastopexy can be performed on the breast alone or combined with an implant. An implant is used if an increase in bust size is desired. If the current breast volume is desirable then a mastopexy alone is the option of choice. A mastopexy requires skin incisions to reshape the breast. Skin incisions result in scarring, in the case of mastopexy techniques there are a number of possibilities. All have a scar that encircles the areola, the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple. This scar tends to hide well at the junction of the paler breast and darker areola skin. A circular scar alone is known as the “peri-areolar technique” and is used if only a small amount of nipple uplift is required. If a more moderate amount of lift is required then a lollipop shaped scar is required, this includes a circular scar around the areola and a vertical extension heading down towards the fold under the breast. This is known as a “circum-vertical” technique. There are a number of names attached to this type of scar – Lejour, Lassus, Hall-Findlay or simply marketed as “short-scar”. For more significant degrees of mastopexy then an additional scar is required, this includes the lollipop plus a scar along the fold under the breast. This traditionally is known as a “Wise” pattern scar. This additional scar in the fold heals well and is hidden by the fold. If the Wise scar is recommended by your Plastic Surgeon then you have been assessed as having more significant droop than could be corrected by a shorter scar technique. In this situation if a shorter scar technique was used then the overall shape and uplift result could be compromised for the false gain of a shorter scar. Your Plastic Surgeon will assess your breast size and shape before recommending which technique is best for your individual characteristics and gain the best possible outcome. Overall, a mastopexy is a life changing surgery that will rejuvenate your bust and body shape, improve your appearance and most importantly lift your confidence.

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me: chris@breast-body.co.nz