In addition to covering breast augmentation, the authors also discuss breast lifts, tummy tucks, and liposuction of the stomach, hips, buttocks, thighs, and knees.
This book contains 85 color illustrations and photos of women who have had breast augmentation, breast lifts, liposuction and tummy tucks. It is a comprehensive guide to cosmetic breast surgery! A resource section, glossary, and index are also included.
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A Woman's Guide to Cosmetic Breast Surgery and Body Contouring
By Jerrold R. Zeitels, Steven M. Morris, Allan J. Parungao, Jack Kusler
Addicus Books, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Jerrold Zeitels, MD, Allan Parungao, MD, and Steven Morris, MD.
All rights reserved.
Contemplating Breast Augmentation and Body Contouring
Do you feel self-conscious about the size or shape of your breasts? Do you avoid wearing lower-cut blouses and body-hugging shirts because you think your breasts are too small? Are you frustrated with the way your breasts have changed after a pregnancy? If so, you may wish to consider a breast augmentation procedure.
Or perhaps you're frustrated with other parts of your body. Maybe you have bulges of stubborn fat or bulges in your abdomen that won't go away. Would a better-proportioned figure boost your self-confidence? Perhaps you're interested in a tummy tuck or liposuction. If so, you can count yourself among millions of women across the nation who improve their physical appearance with body contouring surgery.
Is Body Contouring Surgery for You?
From a physical standpoint, the best candidates for breast augmentation, tummy tuck, or liposuction are in good overall health, are not obese, and have anatomies that will respond favorably to the procedure. It may come as a surprise to discover that your age isn't generally considered a factor in determining whether you're a good candidate. In fact, whether you're 20, 30, 40, 50, or beyond, you can achieve improvements with body contouring surgery. In addition, any body type — tall, short, curvaceous, or thin — may benefit from one or more body contouring procedures.
Attitude and Expectations
Having a healthy attitude and realistic expectations are key if you're considering cosmetic surgery. To determine whether you've got the right attitude, a plastic surgeon will consider several factors, including your mental well-being, your motivation for seeking surgery, and your willingness to take an active role in the process.
Surgeons look for emotional stability as a sign of mental well-being. If you're happy with your life in general, you're more likely to be considered a good candidate for surgery. Surgeons also want to make sure that you're seeking surgery for your own personal reasons rather than as a way to please a mate. If you've been thinking about surgery for some time, and aren't acting on a whim, you'll also be considered a better candidate for surgery.
A surgeon will also determine whether you have realistic expectations about what body contouring surgery can achieve. Cosmetic surgery can produce improvements in your appearance, not perfection. Understanding that improvement rather than perfection is the goal makes you a better candidate for surgery. Plus, it's crucial that you understand that the physique you start with plays a large role in your final results. For example, if you have a large gap between your breasts, augmentation may not be able to alter that. Or if you have wide hip bones, liposuction can remove fat from your hips, but it won't do anything to change your bone structure.
To be considered an ideal candidate, you also need to be willing to take an active role in the entire surgery process. This means learning as much as you can about the procedures that interest you, asking questions, communicating your goals, following instructions, and showing up for follow-up visits. By making the effort to be an active part of the process, you greatly increase your chances of achieving the results you desire.
When Body Contouring Surgery Might Not Be for You
For a number of reasons, you may not be considered a good candidate for body contouring surgery. Physical ailments, unhealthy lifestyle habits, emotional instability, unrealistic expectations, or a poor attitude may prevent you from being accepted as a patient. In some instances, you may simply be advised to postpone surgery or you may need to undergo some additional medical testing to make sure you're healthy enough to have surgery. Just remember that every case is individual, and only your surgeon can ultimately determine whether you qualify as a candidate for surgery.
Certain physical conditions could indicate that body contouring surgery may not be appropriate for you. For instance, if you suffer from heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease, you may not be considered a good candidate for surgery. Other conditions that could make you a poor candidate for surgery include uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, endocrine or connective-tissue diseases, and autoimmune diseases. If you're affected by any of these health issues, it doesn't mean that there is no chance that you can undergo body contouring surgery. However, it does mean that your surgeon will have to evaluate your case closely and may insist on additional medical tests or clearance from your primary physician before accepting you as a patient.
Being obese is another physical condition that is cause for concern. If you fall into this category, you'll probably be advised to lose the extra pounds and stabilize your weight before undergoing surgery.
Unhealthful lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive sun exposure, are also considered red flags by many cosmetic surgeons. Smoking has a negative effect on blood circulation in the skin, which hinders the healing process and puts you at greater risk for postsurgical complications. Surgeons generally insist that smokers refrain from smoking for a certain period of time before and after surgery to reduce these risks. Excessive sun exposure poses another set of problems. Spending hours in the sun can reduce the amounts of collagen and elastin in your skin, which can lead to loose skin that refuses to snap back to its original shape once its been stretched. Loose skin may compromise your ability to achieve your body contouring goals with certain procedures.
Poor Mental Health and Unrealistic Expectations
If your surgeon finds you to be emotionally unstable, he or she will likely advise that cosmetic surgery isn't right for you at the present time. For example, if you're suffering from depression, surgery might not be recommended. Or if you're in the middle of a crisis — such as a death in the family, a divorce, or a career change — you may be advised to postpone surgery until your life returns to normal and you feel strong emotionally. Take note that depression and anxiety are common medical conditions and won't necessarily rule you out as a candidate for plastic surgery. However, it's important to discuss these issues with your surgeon.
Similarly, a surgeon may choose not to perform surgery if you have unrealistic expectations about body contouring surgery. As mentioned earlier, it's important to understand that cosmetic surgery has limitations. Yes, it can improve your physique and boost your self-confidence, but it can't cure depression, help you land a promotion, or make your mate love you more.
It's important to realize that all body contouring procedures will leave scars. The incisions made in some of the procedures are very small and leave little scarring. Other incisions are lengthy and will leave noticeable, permanent scars. Surgeons make every effort to "hide" scars in skin folds, in body hair, or in areas usually covered by clothing. However, if the idea of permanent scarring is unacceptable, body contouring may not be for you.
Cosmetic surgeons may also turn you away if you aren't willing to do your part to achieve the best results. If you can't communicate your goals clearly or if you refuse to follow instructions, you may not be satisfied with your results. And your surgeon won't be satisfied unless you are.
What's the Next Step?
Ultimately, only a qualified plastic surgeon can determine whether body contouring surgery is appropriate for you, so arrange a consultation with an experienced surgeon. Plastic surgeons urge patients to become well informed, so prior to your consultation, take the time to learn as much as you can about the procedures that interest you. Armed with this information, you'll be better prepared to ask the right questions and to communicate your goals effectively.CHAPTER 2
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon
It's important to choose the right plastic surgeon for you. With the rising popularity of cosmetic surgery, there are more plastic surgeons than ever before. Just open the phone book or log on to the Internet and you can find listings for surgeons in your area. With so many surgeons to choose from, how can you make sure you find the right one for you? How do you know what to look for?
Training and experience are key, but it's also important to choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable. When you feel more at ease with a physician, you're more likely to have good communication, and good communication will help you achieve good results. Follow your instincts when choosing a plastic surgeon.
Finding a Surgeon
There are many ways to find a good plastic surgeon. One of the best ways is to ask for recommendations from someone you trust. If you're comfortable talking about it with friends, co-workers, and relatives, ask them for referrals. Other good sources for referrals are your primary care physician or your gynecologist.
Searching for surgeons online is another route. However, you need to proceed with caution when looking for a surgeon on the Internet. Some Web sites devoted to plastic surgery will list any surgeon for a fee without verifying their credentials or experience. Two reputable Web sites to visit when searching for a plastic surgeon are those of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (www.plasticsurgery.org) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (www.surgery.org). You can also use the Internet to visit the Web sites of individual surgeons who have been recommended to you.
Surgeon Qualifications: What to Look For
It's important to know what to look for when evaluating a surgeon's qualifications. As a rule, you want to be certain that the surgeon you choose has the proper education, training, and experience. Your surgeon should also be board certified.
Education and Training
Plastic surgeons are required to complete several years of formal education and hands-on training before going into practice. Education requirements include graduation from a four-year college or university, followed by graduation from a four-year accredited medical school. Accreditation means that the school meets national standards set for medical education programs.
To become a plastic surgeon, a doctor must complete five to eight years of additional hospital training, called a residency. During the first few years of the residency, doctors work closely with senior-level surgeons to learn about and participate in general surgery procedures. The focus shifts to plastic surgery during the last few years of the residency. By the time plastic surgeons go into practice, they've had years of hands-on experience.
After a doctor becomes a plastic surgeon, the training continues. In order to stay current with the latest advancements in plastic surgery techniques and to maintain certification, plastic surgeons are required to continue taking medical education courses as long as they remain in practice.
Board Certified: What Does It Mean?
In your search for a surgeon, you may have come across the term "board certified." You may even have heard that you should consider only plastic surgeons who are board certified. But how does a surgeon become board certified, and what does it mean?
To become board certified, a plastic surgeon must participate in an accredited plastic surgery residency. He or she must also pass challenging written and oral exams. Only when all of these benchmarks are met can a plastic surgeon be called "board certified." The governing organization that grants certification is called the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This is the only board authorized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to offer certification to plastic surgeons.
Board certification is not required for a doctor to practice plastic surgery. However, for your safety, you should consider choosing only a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. When searching for surgeons, be aware that some of them claim to be "certified" by organizations other than the ABPS. Such certifications do not have the same rigorous requirements and therefore do not carry the same weight as board certification.
In addition, some doctors may indeed be board certified, but not in plastic surgery. For example, a doctor may be board certified in dermatology or in obstetrics and gynecology, but it's in your best interest to seek out a plastic surgeon who is certified by the ABPS. You can verify that a surgeon is board certified on the ABPS Web site (www.abplsurg.org) or on the ABMS Web site (www.abms.org). Recertification by the ABPS is now required every 10 years. If a date is displayed on the surgeon's certificate, be sure that it is current.
A plastic surgeon needs to be licensed to practice medicine in the state where his or her office is located. State licenses are generally granted upon graduation from medical school after candidates have passed a comprehensive examination. State licensing is mandatory; it is not voluntary or optional. It is not unlike your having to have a valid and current driver's license in order to drive a car. If you relocate, you need to get a new driver's license, because other states may have different requirements. The same holds true for medical licenses. When you visit a plastic surgeon for a consultation, ask to see his or her state license, and be sure that it is current. You can also check with your state's medical board for license verification.
Experience of the Plastic Surgeon
In addition to choosing a surgeon with the proper education, training, and certification, you want to make sure that the surgeon you choose has adequate experience with the procedure you're considering. But how do you know how much experience is enough? In your search for a surgeon, you may hear that the key is to ask how often he or she performs the procedure that interests you. It's a good question, but what's the right answer? Is it five such procedures in a year? Or is it 50? Although there is no magic number, you should look for a surgeon who performs the procedure you're considering on a regular basis. Also, you must remember that how often a surgeon performs a certain procedure is good to know, but how well he or she performs it is even more important. Ask to see before-and-after patient photos to evaluate the plastic surgeon's work.
Once you've narrowed your search to a few surgeons, call their offices to request more information and to schedule a consultation. Your consultation will play a very important role in your search for a surgeon. It is your opportunity to meet potential surgeons face-to-face, to ask questions, and to learn about the procedures that would benefit you most. Even more important, it's your chance to determine how comfortable you feel with the surgeon and with the staff. In addition to meeting with the surgeon, you may also spend some time with a nurse or an office manager. Be advised that many surgeons charge a fee for initial consultations, although in some instances this fee may be applied toward the cost of surgery.
Your Medical History
Before you meet with the surgeon, you'll be asked to fill out a form detailing your medical history. The office may fax, mail, or e-mail the form to you so you can fill it out prior to your appointment, or you may be asked to fill it out when you arrive at the office. In general, your plastic surgeon will be looking for pertinent information that may affect your ability to have surgery, to undergo certain procedures, or to heal properly. Expect to supply information about the following:
* Past or current medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, or bleeding disorders)
* Previous surgeries, hospital stays, or emergency room visits
* Allergy and asthma conditions
Excerpted from A Woman's Guide to Cosmetic Breast Surgery and Body Contouring by Jerrold R. Zeitels, Steven M. Morris, Allan J. Parungao, Jack Kusler. Copyright © 2006 Jerrold Zeitels, MD, Allan Parungao, MD, and Steven Morris, MD.. Excerpted by permission of Addicus Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Contemplating Breast Augmentation and Body Contouring,
2 Choosing a Plastic Surgeon,
3 Cosmetic Surgery: What to Expect,
4 Breast Augmentation,
5 After Your Cosmetic Breast Surgery,
6 Tummy Tucks,
About the Authors,