Uncommon Breast Issues: Poland Syndrome

With more than half a million procedures performed in the last year alone, it is safe to say that most people are familiar with the ideas of cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery.  Virtually everyone today is well aware that plastic surgery techniques can be used to increase the size or improve the appearance of the breasts.  Most even know that it can completely rebuild the breasts after a traumatic accident or a mastectomy for the treatment of breast cancer.  However, cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery can also be an effective treatment for some specific diseases and disorders as well.  One of these is a rare genetic disorder known as Poland Syndrome.

Uncommon Breast Issues Poland Syndrome

Named after British surgeon Alfred Poland, Poland Syndrome is an inherited condition characterized primarily by underdevelopment or absence of the pectoralis muscle on one side of the body.  This muscle normally attaches to the upper arm on one side and the breastbone (or sternum) on the other, and so is largely responsible for the overall shape and definition of the chest.  When the underlying muscle is missing or underdeveloped, as is the case in patients with Poland Syndrome, it can cause abnormalities in the structure of the breast of the affected side of the torso.  These can include underdevelopment of the muscles in the chest wall, rib cage abnormalities, breast and nipple abnormalities, sparse or abnormally placed underarm (axillary) hair, and even short and webbed fingers (cutaneous syndactyly) on the affected side.

In most cases, the abnormalities in the chest area do not cause health problems or significantly affect movement, and while the condition occurs more often in males than in females, it is usually more noticeable in women due to the more pronounced nature of the female breast.  Both male and female patients find that undergoing reconstructive surgery can give the chest and torso a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing appearance.  Men with the condition can usually undergo reconstruction at any time after the age of thirteen.  However, it is recommended that women wait until after their breast development is complete. Correction in women generally involves inserting a silicone breast implant, just as one would do in a standard breast augmentation procedure, in order to provide symmetry with the opposite breast.

Although cases as extreme as those arising from Poland Syndrome are rare, many woman do have some degree of asymmetry in the size and/or shape of their breasts.  If you have a noticeable difference in the size of your breasts that you believe negatively impacts your appearance, there are many cosmetic plastic surgery options, like fat transfer breast augmentation, that may be able to help.  If you are interested in reconstructive or cosmetic breast surgery, or if you would like to discuss what specific plastic surgery procedures might be best for you, please contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle and schedule an appointment for a full consultation.

What You Need to Know about Breast Reduction Surgery

For the majority of my career as a board certified plastic surgeon, I have specialized in reconstructive and cosmetic breast procedures.  When most people hear this, they think about breast augmentation, or perhaps breast reconstruction in women who have undergone a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.  However, there are a number of other plastic surgery procedures that can be performed on the breasts as well.  Among the most popular of these is breast reduction surgery.  Not only can breast reduction surgery help a woman to achieve her ideal body shape, but it can also provide relief for a number of health concerns as well.  If you are interested in undergoing breast reduction surgery, here are some important things that you need to know.

What You Need to Know about Breast Reduction Surgery

A Breast Reduction is Different from a Breast Lift

Many women experience changes in their shapes of their breasts over the course of their lives, such as those that are caused by fluctuations in weight, childbirth, or breastfeeding.  These changes can often be addressed with a breast lift (mastopexy) procedure, during which small amounts of excess skin are trimmed and supporting tissue tightened to give the breast a more lifted and youthful appearance.  While a breast reduction can often achieve similar results, it is a more extensive procedure aimed at addressing more serious medical concerns.  During a breast lift, a surgeon is careful to remove as little tissue as possible.  However, a breast reduction is specifically intended to decrease the volume and weight of the breasts with the goal of relieving complaints like chronic back and neck pain, improper posture, or irritation rashes under the breast area.

Breast Reduction Can Be Performed on a Wide Variety of Patients

Breast reduction procedures are actually popular with women of all ages.  Overly large breasts can place significant strain on the back and neck muscles, and that strain does accumulate over time, making the procedure popular among middle aged women.  However, many women in their teens have also found that their involvement in sports or other physical activities is greatly hindered by breasts that are disproportionately sized, and breast reduction procedures among younger women have become more common in recent years as well.  In fact, a modified form of breast reduction surgery can even be used to give relief to men who are suffering from gynecomastia, a condition that causes an overdevelopment of one or both male breasts and affects an estimated 30 to 40% of men at some point in their lives.

Breast Reduction May Be Covered by Insurance

While it is important to note that the details of individual insurance plans vary significantly, it is possible that some plans may cover all or a portion of breast reduction costs, like they do for patients undergoing some other forms of reconstructive breast surgery.  Patients will, of course, need documentation from a qualified physician that their breast size has had a measurable adverse effect of their health and that other remedies have proven ineffective.  When considering any form of medical treatment, you should always speak with a representative from your insurance company in order to clarify the specific details of your policy and determine exactly what will, and will not, be covered.

If you would like to learn more about breast reduction, or about any of the other types of plastic surgery that Dr. Beegle performs, please feel free to contact us at our Newnan office so that you can schedule a full consultation.  There we will have the opportunity to discuss your personal aesthetic goals, look over before and after photos, and determine exactly what procedures will be of the greatest benefit to you.  Remember to stay connected by following me on Facebook, or by getting the latest news and updates in Blogging for Breast Care over the upcoming months.

Breast Reconstruction Spotlight Patient Revisited: LL

It has been three years since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and since I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and TRAM flap breast reconstruction with Dr. Philip Beegle. Things have been going great. However, in January 2017 during a routine check-up that included a Pap smear, I was found to have a rare cervical carcinoma unrelated to my prior breast cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, this type of cancer has a favorable prognosis and does not metastasize, nor does it require chemotherapy. Still, I did have a momentary feeling of panic upon hearing “cancer” again after all that I have been through! My doctor’s treatment recommendation included a complete hysterectomy and, to date, I have recovered well and remain cancer free!

spotlight-patient-llWhen people ask me how I am doing three years out from my breast reconstruction, my initial response is “I am alive and well and most importantly, the cancer is gone!” The initial shock of having cancer is over, my reconstruction is completed, and I have recovered. However, looking back there are a few things that I wish I had done differently. Even though both my surgery and my breast reconstruction post-operative recovery were actually pretty easy, with no complications or infections, there are times when I was sorry I had chosen a TRAM. Why? Right after the surgery, I was very pleased with my breasts and I loved them! Then, during the second stage of my reconstruction, I had breast implants placed to improve projection and my nipples reconstructed. After that I felt that my breast size was too big, so I chose to have the implants removed. Today, my breasts are great. They are soft and natural looking, not droopy. When I look in the mirror, I cannot see the scars at all. Although I am actually quite happy with them, I have lost some sensation and miss the breast stimulation and sexual pleasure related to my breasts. I also generally prefer to go bra-less, so in retrospect I now wish that I had not chosen to undergo nipple reconstruction.

What really bothers me, though, is the abdominal portion of the surgery. It is tight, as Dr. Beegle told me it would be, but it is also numb, pooches out a little at the top, and seems bloated after I eat. Before my surgery, I was happy with my abdomen and I didn’t feel like I “needed a tummy tuck!” The scars are healing well and the rest of the abdomen is great, but this “pooching-out” at the top really frustrates me. I am very “sensitive to how I feel” and it makes me feel “less fun.” When I mentioned this to Dr. Beegle, he said that if I lost five pounds it would most likely resolve. I am working on that now, but so far I have not seen any change.

I have several friends who have also recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and each of them chose breast implant or tissue expander breast reconstruction. None of them have had a TRAM. However, each of them has also had a variety of problems and issues with their reconstruction, so maybe issues like these are common. When you are first diagnosed, it is a total shock and a lot to process because it all happens at once! The amount of information you need to absorb and all the decisions you have to make can be overwhelming. Dr. Beegle was great, and was by my side every step of the way, but I wish that I had asked more questions. When I am asked how I am these days, I say “my life is great, I am active and happy and I don’t really think about breast cancer anymore.” That’s the best part. While I have no doubt that Dr. Beegle is the best surgeon, I am still not sure the TRAM was the “best surgery for me.”

About Dr. Philip Beegle

Dr. Philip H. Beegle, a board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, has been on the forefront of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery for over thirty years. If you are interested in learning more about your own plastic surgery options, please contact Dr. Beegle at our office to schedule a personal consultation. You can see examples of Dr. Beegle’s work in our before and after plastic surgery gallery, and check out our Blogging for Breast Care site or follow him on Twitter to get the latest breast care tips.

Happy Holidays from Dr. Philip Beegle

happy-holidaysWith the holiday season upon us and the New Year fast approaching, I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at all the things that we have accomplished this year, reflect on the future, and thank all of my patients. I have been a board certified plastic surgeon here in Atlanta for more than thirty years, and my entire team agrees that the inspiration we draw from our patients is the main reason why we get so much joy and satisfaction from what we do. So thank you, from all of us, for allowing us to be a small part of your lives.

This year has been a particularly exciting one for me. I was proud to have been named by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. as an “Atlanta Top Doctor” in the field of plastic surgery, particularly since this recognition is based on both the evaluations of experienced medical professionals and the testimonials of actual patients. For more than twenty years, Castle Connolly has conducted an annual survey of doctors in fifty-eight different specialties across the country to assess quality patient care. When their roster of doctors in the Atlanta area “to whom physicians would send their own families” was published in the July issue of Atlanta Magazine, I was honored to find my name among them. My physician assistant Maura and I have also had a great deal of success with our new “Blogging for Breast Care” website. Not only have we been able to publish a variety of articles on all aspects of breast care, but we have also had the opportunity to tell the stories of more than a dozen different breast surgery spotlight patients. We are excited that our blog has been able to provide so many patients with accurate medical information, guidance, and compassionate support.

Although I am getting older, I have no intentions of slowing down. With my upcoming move to our Newnan office in January, next year promises to be eventful and full of new opportunities. Working exclusively out of our Newnan location might make me somewhat less accessible to my Atlanta-area patients, but I still look forward to providing the best cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery and general plastic surgery care for many years to come. If you have any questions about how this move will affect you, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment to see me in our Newnan location, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle, and don’t forget that you can get answers to all of your questions about breast care at my Blogging for Breast Care website or by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. On behalf of myself and my entire medical team, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year in 2018. We look forward to seeing our old patients and meeting many more in the years to come.

Heading Out to Greener Acres!

I have been a plastic surgeon in Atlanta for more than thirty years.  When I was first starting out, back in the 1980’s, I had the rare opportunity to work with Atlanta Plastic Surgery co-founder Dr. Carl Hartrampf on the TRAM flap technique for reconstructive breast surgery, and breast reconstruction has been one of my specialties ever since.  Although I deeply enjoy performing all forms of plastic surgery, having the chance to work with so many inspiring and courageous patients has been particularly rewarding.  I feel blessed to have had the chance to do what I love for so long in such a great city.  Still, all good things must come to an end.  So it is with a somewhat heavy heart that I will be relocating my practice and start operating exclusively out of the Atlanta Plastic Surgery Newnan office beginning next year.

Dr Philip BeegleEven though I have always believed that an open line of communications is one of the things that you should look for in a cosmetic breast surgeon, many of my patients are unaware that my family and I actually live in Newnan.  There I maintain a working farm with a small herd of cattle.  Over the past several decades I have been proud to watch Atlanta grow into one of the largest and most diverse cities in the country.  However, now that my helicopter is out of commission, I have found the commute increasingly difficult.  All that time in the car, sitting in Atlanta traffic, has made me realize that I really want to spend less time on the road and more time doing the things that I love.

So, as of January 1st, 2018, I will be moving my practice to the Atlanta Plastic Surgery Newnan office, located at 775 Poplar Road, Suite 260, Newnan, Georgia 30265.  I do currently have several patients who are in the process of recovering from plastic surgery and I strongly believe that diligent follow up care is extremely important.  So I will still continue seeing these post-operative patients for follow up appointments in our Atlanta office until February 1st.

I look forward to practicing plastic surgery for many years to come, and am excited that this move will allow me to keep seeing the patients that I love while incorporating some satisfying “farm living” into the equation.  However, I realize that Newnan is not necessarily convenient for everyone.  Those of you who would prefer to continue visiting our Atlanta offices to maintain your continuity of care should contact Dr. James Namnoum or Dr. Allyson Maske.  Both are board-certified plastic surgeons with Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. who have years of experience and who have consistently achieved exceptional plastic surgery results.  If you have any additional questions about how this move will affect your ongoing care, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment to see me in our Newnan location, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle.  If you have any other questions about the various issues surrounding breast care, you can get the latest breast health tips at my Blogging for Breast Care site or by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reconstruction

In the more than thirty years that I have been a board-certified plastic surgeon, I have gotten a great deal of practice performing a wide array of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.  However, the majority of my experience has centered on my specialty, cosmetic and reconstructive breast procedures.  This has given me the singular opportunity to work with many courageous women during their struggles with breast cancer, and I have usually found that providing them with the best information possible can go a long way towards alleviating some of their fears.  So, in order to help educate new patients about what breast reconstruction may be able to do for them, here are answers to some of the more common questions about Breast Reconstruction that I have been asked at my Atlanta plastic surgery practice.

Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reconstruction

Is Breast Reconstruction surgery covered by insurance?

Insurance laws are subject to change, and the specific details of individual plans can vary significantly.  However, the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) provides certain protections to patients who choose to have breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy.  In those cases where the WHCRA applies, coverage must be provided for all stages of reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy was performed, surgical reconstruction of the other breast to achieve a symmetrical appearance (if necessary), prostheses, and treatment of any physical complications that may result.  It is important that patients speak with their insurance provider to determine the exact details of their plan so they will fully understand what options are available to them.

When is the best time to undergo Breast Reconstruction surgery?

There is actually some debate in the medical community as to whether it is preferable to perform breast reconstruction surgery at the same time as the mastectomy, at some later point in time, or in stages.  In my experience, this decision can vary depending on the individual issues, needs, and preferences of the patient.  A wide variety of factors, including the patient’s general health, the stage of cancer, and the amount of available tissue, will all be factors in determining which option is preferable.  During your breast reconstruction consultation, I will speak with you in detail about your aesthetic goals and medical history so that we can determine together the treatment course that will be most beneficial for you.

How long does it typically take to recover after Breast reconstruction surgery?

It is important to remember that every patient is unique, so an exact answer to this question can often be difficult.  Because patients heal at different rates and each has their own personal health considerations, individual recovery times can vary significantly.  Moreover, breast reconstruction can be performed in several different ways, either by using silicone or saline breast implants or with natural tissue flaps, as is the case with DIEP flap and TRAM flap breast reconstruction.  The recovery times for these different procedures will also vary.  Conservatively, most patients should expect to return to their normal daily routine within two or three weeks, provided that routine does not involve strenuous exercise or heavy lifting.  It may take between six and eight weeks for a patient to make a full recovery.  After breast surgery, it is very important that you keep all post-operative follow-up appointments and follow all recommendations for post-operative care in order to avoid complications and optimize your results.

If you have any additional questions about breast reconstruction surgery, or if you would like to learn more about any of the reconstructive or cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle and schedule an appointment.  Stay connected by following me on social media or by getting the latest news and updates in Blogging for Breast Care.

What to Look for in a Cosmetic Breast Surgeon

What to Look for in a Cosmetic Breast SurgeonPlastic surgery can accomplish a wide range of different goals, but today it is perhaps best known for breast augmentation surgery.  This is hardly surprising since, according to statistics compiled annually by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation has been the single most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the United States every year for the past decade.  Because of this widespread popularity, patients who are considering the procedure have many different surgeons that they can choose from.  Many find themselves wondering what criteria they should use to evaluate the doctor that is right for them.  Here are some of the most important factors you should consider when deciding on a plastic surgeon for a cosmetic breast procedure.

Board Certification

Perhaps the most vital question you can ask a prospective cosmetic breast surgeon is whether or not they have been board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).  Any doctor, even one in a completely unrelated specialty, can receive supplementary certification in “cosmetic surgery,” but this can be misleading.  They do not undergo the years of specialized training beyond medical school and residency or the thousands of hours of hands-on surgical experience that define a true board-certified plastic surgeon.  The American Board of Plastic Surgery helps to ensure that board-certified plastic surgeons adhere to the highest standards of patient care and safety, and that they have the necessary experience to help you achieve optimal breast augmentation results.

Hospital Privileges

Although breast augmentation is considered to be an extremely safe surgical procedure, in certain rare circumstances complications can occur.  If your surgeon has privileges to operate in a fully-accredited hospital, then you can be assured that if the need arises you will have access to all of the necessary emergency medical services and hospital facilities.  When you are recovering after breast surgery, it is important to know that any issues that might arise can be fully addressed in a timely manner and in an appropriate setting.

Documented Success Stories

One of the best ways to assess the qualifications of a plastic surgeon is by viewing their past work.  This can usually be done by looking for on-line reviews on social media platforms, testimonials (like those on my Blogging for Breast Care website), and before and after photographs.  You can also find out a great deal about a prospective surgeon by researching the various awards the doctor might have received from reputable (non-paid) organizations. This is why I publish stories from real previous patients in my ongoing spotlight patient blogs and why I was so honored to be recognized as an Atlanta “Top Doc” by Castle Connolly this past year.

Finally, there is no substitute for a genuine and comfortable personal connection.  Breast surgery is an extremely personal experience and good results require an open and frank communication between doctor and patient.  Finding a doctor who really listens to your concerns and tries to understand your goals can go a long way towards giving you the best possible results.  If you have any questions about cosmetic breast surgery, or are interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle.

Breast Concerns That Are NOT Caused by Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is undoubtedly a very serious health issue, potentially affecting as many as one out of eight women in the world.  This is just one of the many reasons why I encourage my patients to perform regular breast self-exams every month.  However, there are also cases when these breast self-exams can cause unnecessary worry.  Discovering any breast-related symptom could prompt some women to panic and assume the worst.  At these times, it is important to remember that there are many other issues that can potentially affect the breasts, the majority of which are completely unrelated to breast cancer.  Although any abnormal changes in the appearance or texture of the breasts should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional, understanding what some of the most common breast concerns are likely to mean can go a long way towards keeping those completely understandable fears in perspective.

Breast Concerns That Are NOT Caused by Breast Cancer

Breast Lump(s)

Finding a lump during a breast self-exam can potentially be a sign of breast cancer, but most lumps in women age 20 to 50 are actually completely benign.  It is far more likely that they are harmless fluid-filled cysts that only require treatment if they cause discomfort.  A full evaluation by an experienced physician and possibly a biopsy may be necessary in order to make a definitive diagnosis.

Pain or Tenderness

Pain or tenderness in the breasts is most commonly caused by the hormones that control the menstrual period.  Because it can come and go with the menstrual cycle, this is called “cyclical” breast pain, and is not usually caused by breast cancer or other serious breast problems.  Sometimes, particularly large and heavy breasts can cause back, shoulder, and neck pain.  If this is a persistent problem, it can be treated with breast reduction surgery.

Nipple Discharge

Many women experience a milky-colored discharge from both nipples, especially during the first year or two after giving birth. Nipple discharge from both breasts can also occur in women with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), or as a side effect of certain medications.  Still, any sudden or unexpected nipple discharge, particularly if it is clear or bloody, should be checked by a doctor.

Sagging Breasts

Perhaps the most common breast complaint that I hear in my office, sagging breasts are usually simply a natural result of the aging process or weight fluctuations and nothing to be concerned about.  Breasts that have begun to sag and droop, a condition sometimes referred to as breast ptosis, can be corrected with a mastopexy, or breast lift procedure.

Breasts may seem fairly straightforward, but they are actually much more complicated than most people realize.  If you are interested in learning more about cosmetic surgery to change the size or appearance of your breasts, or if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and would like to learn more about your reconstruction options, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle to schedule a consultation.  You can also get all the latest updates and information on breast health here in Blogging for Breast Care.

Katie’s Journal: One Patient’s Journey through Breast Cancer (Part Ten)

In the more than thirty years that I have been performing breast reconstruction surgery, I have learned that no two breast reconstruction procedures are ever exactly the same.  Some can be accomplished relatively quickly, while others may be delayed by multiple obstacles.  One particularly complex case has been Katie, one of my Breast Reconstruction Spotlight Patients. After a bilateral mastectomy for the treatment of her breast cancer, Katie opted for staged breast reconstruction, an approach that requires multiple surgical procedures to fully rebuild the breasts.  This month, we rejoin Katie after the second stage of her TRAM flap Breast Reconstruction.

Dr Philip Beegle Spotlight PatientsThe second stage of my breast reconstruction with Dr. Philip Beegle went very smoothly.  He revised my breasts slightly to achieve better symmetry, reconstructed my nipples, and filled in some of the areas that needed additional contouring with a technique called fat transfer to the breasts, which used fat harvested from my hips and abdomen with liposuction. This procedure was quicker than my first surgery, and I think I handled it well.  I was particularly impressed with the staff, and found them to be informative, supportive, and helpful. It certainly is nice to have such a caring team!

One Week Post-Op:  So far, so good.  I am relieved that it is over so that now I can focus on recovery.  I can definitely say that there is less pain than after my previous surgery, and the general discomfort I am experiencing can be alleviated with analgesics.  I have two drains, which are an inconvenience, and I am wearing a Spanx type garment which helps tremendously with the soreness in the areas where I had liposuction.  I think those areas are actually even more uncomfortable than my breasts!  I am feeling so much more positive and I know that I can handle this!

Two Weeks Post-Op:  Although I am still uncomfortable from the liposuction, I was finally able to return to work part-time.  Initially, I needed a combination of muscle relaxers and Ibuprofen, but have been able to taper off and am now just using Ibuprofen.  Through this entire process, I have intermittently experienced some associated depression which apparently is not uncommon for women going thru breast cancer and reconstruction.  Some days are better than others and it is truly “one day at a time…”

Three Weeks Post-Op:  During my scheduled follow-up appointment this week, Dr. Beegle reassured me that I was on track and healing well and cleared me to increase my physical activities.  He recommended that I return to Turning Point to begin the next phase of physical therapy.  I cannot stress enough just how valuable physical therapy, therapeutic massage, and counseling are for women undergoing breast cancer treatment and recovering from reconstruction.  They really helped get me back to my normal self.  While I am still not quite 100%, I am slowly increasing the number of hours at my part time job, which is great because it gives me something else to focus on.

Five Weeks Post-Op:  I still struggle with occasional depression, but it is less severe than before and I am encouraged because I am seeing consistent improvement!  I don’t know if every woman’s breast cancer course of treatment is similar, but my physical therapist said that many of their patients experience depression for a short time and some take medication to help them get through it.  For me, I noticed that an increase in exercise improves how I feel physically and mentally.

Six Weeks Post-Op: I am definitely seeing improvement in all areas.  This week, my physical therapist has released me from their care, as I have achieved my goals and have full range of motion!  I like my breast shape and size and the scars are healing well.  I even returned to the gym, specifically to the pool, to see if increasing my physical activity will continue to facilitate my breast reconstruction recovery.  It feels great to be back!  I am happier now that I am really seeing positive changes and I have been able to attend social events.

Having breast cancer and undergoing breast reconstruction involves so much more than just a ‘breast’! It involves the entire body, the mind, and the emotions, all wrapped up in one being.  It truly took  a “Team” effort  of doctors, nurses, PA’s, PT’s, dietitians, and counsellors to get through this and my team has truly worked to help to make me “whole” again!  Thank you Dr. Beegle!  Now I can get on with life as it is a most precious gift!

Stay tuned to get the details about Katie’s ongoing recovery in Katie’s Breast Reconstruction Journal .  If you are interested in learning more about your breast reconstruction options, or about any of the other plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle to schedule a consultation in Newnan.  You can stay connected by following me on social media and by getting all the latest news and updates in Blogging for Breast Care.

What If I’m No Longer Happy with My Breast Augmentation?

Over the past several decades, I have seen attitudes towards plastic surgery change a great deal.  Today, patients are better informed than ever before, but there are still some things that many fail to take into account, like the fact that no plastic surgery results can ever truly last forever.  This is not a failure of the specialty, but rather a result of simple human aging.  Over time, all natural tissues will gradually sag and droop as collagen production diminishes and fat deposits break down.  This means that even if a patient is extremely happy with the outcome of a breast augmentation procedure they may find that changes in their body, brought about by weight fluctuations or pregnancy, or even simple changes in lifestyle and personal taste, might make those results less desirable ten years down the line.  Fortunately, a skilled plastic surgeon can modify those results through breast revision surgery.

What If I’m No Longer Happy with My Breast Augmentation

A patient might opt for breast revision surgery for any one of several different reasons.  Breast augmentation procedures are extremely safe, and typically enjoy a patient satisfaction rate of 98% or higher, according to several long-term studies, including one published in the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Journal.  However, there is always a possibility that complications may occur.  It is possible, although extremely unlikely, that a breast implant may become damaged or even rupture.  If this occurs, the implant can be removed and replaced.  In some rare cases, scar tissue may also harden around the implants and form a kind of rigid shell, a condition known as capsular contracture.  This condition will generally worsen over time, particularly if patients fail to follow proper post-operative care, and may need to be addressed by removing the implants.  In the vast majority of cases, however, women who wish to undergo breast revision surgery do so because they have grown older and their aesthetic desires have changed.

Any type of breast surgery will leave some degree of scarring, and while these scars are usually subtle, one of the most important considerations in breast revision surgery is to keep any additional scarring to an absolute minimum.  This is why, when performing breast revision, I will generally try to make use of the same incisions that were made during the initial surgery.  Many of my patients express an interest in the latest breast implant technology, like the new, form-stable “gummy bear implants” that maintain their shape even if the outer shell is damaged.  Finally, advanced breast enhancement techniques, like fat transfer, can be used to safely and naturally refine the final appearance of the implants in order to achieve extremely natural looking results.

Breast surgery is constantly evolving and every patient has their own unique needs and characteristics, which is why I always advise patients to come in for a full examination and consultation.  There we can go over your personal goals, examine before and after photos, “try on” different sized implants, and ultimately determine the specific approach that is most appropriate for you.  If you have any questions about your breast augmentation options, or about any of the other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I can perform, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Philip Beegle and schedule an appointment.  Stay connected by following me on social media or by getting the latest news and updates in Blogging for Breast Care.

Disclaimer: All information provided within this website and blog is for patient education and should not be deemed as medical advice. Dr. Philip H. Beegle should not be held liable for the completeness or validity of this information or for any damages from its display. Individual patient results will vary, and all treatment information or medical recommendations must be made on a case-by-case basis; seek personalized care from a medical doctor for any medical questions or health issues you may have.
Some photos in this website feature models for illustrative purposes.
Photos of actual patients can be found in Dr. Beegle’s before and after photo gallery.