Frequently Asked Questions

Antonino Araco MD

Breast Augmentation FAQs

Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation?

One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation

Your Personal Consultation - During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast size and anything else related to the appearance of your breasts that you feel is important. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.

How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for breast augmentation surgery?

Your plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and perhaps take photographs for your medical record. He or she will consider such factors as the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin and the placement of your nipples and areolas (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipples). If your breasts are sagging, a breast lift may be recommended in conjunction with augmentation.

You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications that you currently take. You will be asked whether you have a family history of breast cancer and about results of any mammograms. It is important for you to provide complete information. There is no scientific evidence that breast augmentation increases the risk of breast cancer. The presence of breast implants, however, makes it more technically difficult to take and read mammograms. This may be a special consideration for women who perhaps are at higher risk for breast cancer because of their family history or other reasons. Placement of the implant underneath the pectoral muscle may interfere less with mammographic examination, but other factors may also need to be considered with regard to implant placement. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you. If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, be sure to tell your plastic surgeon. He or she may recommend that you stabilize your weight prior to undergoing surgery. If you think that you may want to become pregnant in the future, you should mention this to your surgeon. Pregnancy can alter breast size in an unpredictable way and could affect the long-term results of your breast augmentation.

There is no evidence that breast implants will affect pregnancy or your ability to breast-feed, but if you have questions about these matters, you should ask your plastic surgeon.

How should I prepare for breast augmentation plastic surgery?

In some instances, your plastic surgeon may recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination some months after surgery. This will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue. Following breast augmentation, you will still be able to perform breast self-examination. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions. Breast augmentation is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.

What will the day of breast implant surgery be like?

Your breast augmentation surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite. Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Frequently, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing breast augmentation, although general anesthesia may be desirable in some instances. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings or a surgical bra. You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, unless you and your plastic surgeon have determined that you will stay in the hospital or surgical facility overnight.

How will my breasts look and feel after the breast implants have been placed?

A day or two after surgery, you should be up and about. Any dressings will be removed within several days, and you may be instructed to wear a support bra. Your plastic surgeon will probably permit you to shower between three and seven days following surgery. Stitches will be removed in about a week. Some discoloration and swelling will occur initially, but this will disappear quickly. Most residual swelling will resolve within a month.

When can I resume my normal activities after my breast augmentation?

After breast augmentation surgery, it is often possible to return to work within just a few days or a week, depending on your job. Vigorous activities, especially arm movement, may be restricted for two to three weeks. Sexual activity should be avoided for at least the first week following surgery. After that, care must be taken to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.

 

Abdominoplasty FAQs

Who are the best candidates for a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women who are in good general health overall.

A tummy tuck should not be confused with a liposuction (the cosmetic surgery used to remove fat deposits), although your surgeon may elect to perform liposuction as part of a tummy tuck. Women who have muscles and skin stretched by multiple pregnancies may find the procedure useful to tighten those muscles and reduce that skin. A tummy tuck is also an alternative for men or women who were obese at one point in their lives, and still have excessive fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal area.

When you should avoid the surgery?

If you’re a woman who is still planning to have children, you may want to postpone a tummy tuck until you’re through bearing children. Here’s why: During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened. Future pregnancies can separate these muscles. Are you still planning to lose a lot of weight? Then you do not want to consider a tummy tuck. It’s important to note that a tummy tuck can cause prominent, permanent scarring. If this is something you don’t want, you may want to reconsider. Your doctor will discuss all these options with you when you go for the consultation.

How is a tummy tuck done?

Depending on your desired results, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. The complexity of your particular situation also will determine whether you have it completed as an in-patient or outpatient procedure. You will receive general anaesthesia, which will put you to sleep during the operation. It’s important to have someone with you who can drive you home. If you live alone, you also will need someone to stay with you at least the first night after the surgery, if you’re sent home that soon.

Complete abdominoplasty

Your abdomen will be cut from hipbone to hipbone in this procedure, the option for those patients who require the most correction. The incision will be made low, at about the same level as your pubic hair. Your surgeon will then manipulate and contour the skin, tissue and muscle as needed. Your belly button will have a new opening if you undergo this procedure, because it’s necessary to free your navel from surrounding tissue. Drainage tubes may be placed under your skin, and these will be removed in a few days as your surgeon sees fit.

Partial or mini abdominoplasty

You and your surgeon will discuss your desired results, and he or she will determine the appropriate procedure during your consultation. Mini-abdominoplasties are often performed on patients whose fat deposits are located below the navel and require shorter incisions. During this procedure, your belly button most likely will not be moved. Your skin will be separated between the line of incision and your belly button. This type of surgery may also be performed with an endoscope (small camera on the end of a tube). This procedure may only take up to two hours, again, depending on your own personal situation and the complexity of your needs.

Whether you’re having a partial or complete tummy tuck, your incision site will be stitched and bandaged. It’s very important that you follow all your surgeon’s instructions on how to care for the bandage in the days following surgery. This will be a firm, elastic bandage that promotes proper healing. Your surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself while sitting or lying down to help ease pain.

If you are an exceptionally physically active person, beware: You will have to severely limit strenuous exercise for at least six weeks. Your doctor will advise you on this as you go through the process. You may need to take up to one month off of work after the surgery to ensure proper recovery. Again, your doctor will help you determine this based on your personal situation.

How should I prepare for a tummy tuck?

If you smoke, you will have to stop for a certain period as determined by your doctor. It is not enough to just cut down on smoking; you must stop completely, at least for two weeks prior to surgery and for two weeks after. Smoking can increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

Make sure you eat well-balanced, complete meals and do not try to diet excessively before the surgery. Proper nutrition plays a key role in healing properly. If you take certain medications, your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking these for a certain period before and after the surgery. Your surgeon will determine this as part of your pre-operative consultation.

Your home recovery area should include:

You know yourself personally, so make sure you set up the safest, most comfortable recovery area before you undergo the surgery to meet your personal needs.

What are the complications and side effects with a tummy tuck?

As expected, you will have pain and swelling in the days following surgery. Your doctor can prescribe a painkiller if needed, and will instruct you on how to best handle the pain. Soreness may last for several weeks or months. You may also experience numbness, bruising, and overall tiredness for that same time period.

As with any surgery, there are risks. Remember, this surgery affects a very crucial part of your body. Though they’re rare, complications can include infection, bleeding under the skin flap, or blood clots. You may carry an increased risk of complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes, or heart, lung or liver disease.

You may experience insufficient healing, which can cause more significant scarring or loss of skin. If you do heal poorly, you may require a second surgery. As we mentioned before, the scars from a tummy tuck are fairly prominent, and though they may fade slightly, they will never completely disappear. Your surgeon may recommend certain creams or ointments to use after you’ve completely healed to help with the scars.

Does insurance cover a tummy tuck?

Be warned: Insurance carriers generally do not cover elective, cosmetic surgery. But, your carrier may cover a certain percentage if you have a hernia that will be corrected through the procedure, or your anterior muscles are abnormally spread. It’s extremely important that you begin communicating with your insurance company early on, and that you discuss your insurance concerns with your surgeon. In most cases, your surgeon will write a letter to your insurance carrier, making the case for medical necessity, if it applies to you. It’s also very important to realize that insurance may only cover certain portions of the surgery, so make sure you get details. With any cosmetic surgery, this may affect future insurance coverage for you and your premiums may increase.

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