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Plastic Surgery FAQ Provided by Dunagan, Yates, and Alison Plastic Surgery Center

Frequently Asked Questions

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Breast Augmentation

The main goal of augmentation is to improve body contour by placing implants to enhance or enlarge the breasts. Breast augmentation may also be combined with a breast lift (mastopexy) to treat breast ptosis (sagging). Ptosis may occur after having had children or with significant weight loss, or may occur naturally with time.

During the consultation process, we discuss your goals with regard to breast size and shape. Generally it is possible to recommend an implant size that will help the patient achieve the desired final cup size. We encourage you to try on implants in our office to help make the final decision about appropriate implant size. The final shape of the breast obviously depends a good deal on the beginning breast shape. We can help obtain the desired result with proper selection of the size and type of breast implant that is utilized.

The augmentation procedure is performed in our office operating suites under general anesthesia and takes one to one and half hours.

 

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Breast Lift

A mastopexy is a breast lift. Sagging breasts are often the result of weight loss, pregnancy, breast feeding, or the aging process. Women seek a breast lift at any age, but oftentimes, women who have recently completed their families are interested in a breast lift to help improve the shape and appearance of their breasts.

Mastopexy may involve lifting and reshaping of the existing breast tissue only, or may also combine placement of a breast implant. Incisions for the mastopexy procedure may be limited to around the areola margins or may also be placed underneath the areola and in the crease lines of the breasts depending on the extent of the lift needed. The stretched excess skin is removed, the breasts are re-shaped, and the nipple is re-positioned to a more youthful position. The nipple remains attached to the underlying breast tissue and thus nipple sensitivity is almost always preserved. Oftentimes the areola margins are reduced in size to fit the more appropriately shaped breast.

 

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Breast Reduction

The symptoms women with large breasts frequently experience are chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain, shoulder grooving and skin irritation, a rash in the creases beneath the breasts, and limitation of normal activities of daily living including exercise activities.

Breast reduction is generally considered to be a reconstructive plastic surgery procedure and thus many insurance companies will help cover the cost of the surgery. After a careful evaluation, we will be glad to prepare an insurance letter on your behalf for pre-approval. Most insurance companies will ask if the patient is overweight and if conservative treatments, such as diet and exercise have been tried to alleviate the problem. We recommend that patients achieve a realistic weight before considering breast reduction surgery.

In some cases, the nipples must be detached and replaced as grafts and this is called a free nipple graft. If the nipples are left attached, nipple sensitivity is usually preserved and the ability to breast feed might also be preserved. If the nipples are detached then there is always some initial numbness of the nipples and breast feeding would not be possible.

We discuss your goals with regard to final breast size. Most individuals prefer to be in the C cup range although some patients prefer to remain a bit larger or be smaller. It is not possible to exactly predict final breast size but most individuals usually end up with a breast size and shape that fits their body and at the same time note excellent relief of their medical symptoms.

 

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Breast Reconstruction

Effective reconstruction is possible for virtually any post mastectomy condition. Having breast reconstruction is a complicated decision that involves you, your family, and your health care team. Breast reconstruction can help promote a sense of wellness or wholeness after traumatic illness.

Insurance carriers are required by law to cover the costs of breast reconstruction. This not only includes the breast that is affected by cancer but also adjustment of the opposite breast to achieve symmetry. If a woman does undergo mastectomy on one side for breast cancer and has reconstruction, the remaining normal breast might benefit from breast lift or breast reduction to achieve the best possible symmetry.

Some women opt for bilateral mastectomies to help reduce the risk for possible recurrence of breast cancer. This may offer some advantages for reconstruction because in this situation the same procedure can be performed for each breast, increasing the potential for a symmetrical surgical result.

 

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Body Lift

The body lift is ideal for someone who has a significant amount of skin laxity not only of the abdominal area, but all the way around the trunk involving the hip areas, thighs, and buttock areas. This situation occurs for many people who have achieved major weight loss. However, the procedure is also appropriate for healthy weight individuals who are seeking improvement all the way around the lower body.

A body lift procedure will remove excess skin and fatty tissue all the way around the lower trunk. This typically involves aspects of an abdominoplasty but also removes additional skin and fatty tissue in the hip and upper buttock areas to help tighten the sides of the thighs and the buttocks. The abdominal muscles are tightened, and liposuction provides additional definition in contour. The body lift can make very dramatic overall improvements because it helps tighten several areas at once.

With a body lift, the abdomen, hips, lateral thighs and upper buttocks are all impacted.

 

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Mommy Makeover

A Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures that may include an abdominoplasty, breast enhancement and liposuction.

Many women have a hard time transforming their bodies back to their pre-baby figures. And for most, their goals cannot be achieved without surgical help. A mastopexy procedure will lift the breasts, sometimes with the aid of implants and an abdominoplasty can help improve the abdominal area and also, with body lift, the thigh and buttock areas. Liposuction can help remove fat in the thighs and upper back areas. All of these procedures can usually be done during one surgical visit.

 

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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty removes excess skin folds and fatty tissue from the abdominal area. After pregancy, it is very difficult for most women to return to the same flatness and tone of the abdominal tissues because everything has been stretched. During abdominoplasty, we correct the sagging tissue problem.

Frequently we combine a tummy tuck procedure with liposuction. Suctioning in the abdominal area provides a nice finish by creating more muscle definition.

We commonly do two types of abdominoplasty: a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. A full tuck affects the abdominal areas both above and below the belly button, while the mini tuck affects the appearance of the abdomen below the belly button.

 

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Liposuction

Even when you are careful about your diet and exercise regularly, there are some areas that just won't improve. These areas are usually on the outer or inner thighs, waist, abdomen, buttocks or hip area. We can also use liposuction to improve arms, knees, calves, upper torso, neck and under the chin.

We were the first in North Alabama to offer Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction, a procedure that uses sound waves to liquefy fat, making it easier to remove. The technique is similar in concept to lithotripsy, the procedure that uses sound waves to break up kidney stones so they can easily leave the body through the urinary tract.

Ultrasonic liposuction uses a probe inserted through small incisions to deliver sound waves to specific areas of fat. The fat is liquefied and drained with mild suction. The process is a gentle technique which allows larger amounts of fat to be removed while the patient has minimal bruising, blood loss and swelling. We use Ultrasonic techiques when appropriate for the patient's goals, but it is not applicable for every patient.

 

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Blepharoplasty

The delicate skin around the eyes is often the first to show signs of wrinkling. Blepharoplasty is the removal of excess skin and fatty tissue from the upper and lower eyelids. It can create a more alert appearance by eliminating wrinkled folds of skin on the upper lids and bags under the eyes. Expression wrinkles such as crow's feet and smile lines will not be eliminated with blepharoplasty only, but can be addressed with the CO2 laser or Botox therapy.

Heredity and lifelong allergies often cause eyelid problems. However, most undesirable eyelid appearances are simply a result of the aging process. Because there is a natural loss of elasticity in the skin, fatty tissue pockets under the eyes start to bulge out of the eye socket creating bags under the eyes. Skin above the eyes sags which, in some people, can actually inhibit peripheral vision.

The eyes are often the place where patients start with cosmetic surgery. The blepharoplasty procedures are well tolerated and produce excellent results with the discomfort being minimal. Usually within a week or two after surgery, many patients are able to resume all normal activities. Blepharoplasty provides subtle improvement to the overall face by helping the patient look more alert, healthy, and well rested.

 

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Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic procedures we do.

Rhinoplasty is the reshaping of the nose to improve overall facial appearance. This can involve correcting humps on the bridge, rounded tips, droopy tips, narrowing a wide nose, reducing large nostrils, or straightening a crooked nose.

Very often we perform rhinoplasty on older adolescents (girls age 14 to 16; boys age 16 to 18). Conversely, 30 percent of rhinoplastys are performed on patients over 40. Our patients consistently tell us that early correction of nasal deformities can have an immediate effect on self-esteem.

 

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Facelift

While we call it a facelift a rhytidectomy doesn't actually affect your whole face. It is a procedure that will improve the lower two-thirds of your face: from your cheeks down to your chin and neck.

We often hear of facelifts taking five to 10 years off a person's appearance, but the results vary widely. A 65-year-old woman can expect to appear in her late 50s but not in her 30s. Realistically, a facelift will make a person look good for his or her age.

The earlier you have a facelift, the longer it will seem to last because correction occurs when the skin, tissue and muscle are in better (younger) condition. For instance, a woman who has a facelift in her 40s will turn back the aging clock five to 10 years making her look better in her 50s and beyond.

 

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Brow Lift

A browlift helps elevate the forehead and eyebrow areas and greatly compliments the results of upper lid blepharoplasty and face and neck lift.

Typically a browlift is performed with use of an endoscope and this has the advantage of smaller incisions with more rapid healing and decreased numbness in the scalp area. The endoscope is a lighted telescope that assists in the elevation of the tissues of the forehead.

As part of the browlift, we weaken or remove the muscles that create the frown lines between the eyebrows. This greatly helps reduce the prominence of these wrinkle lines.

 

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Total Facial Rejuvenation

If the patient is concerned about aging changes that affect the entire face, a total facial rejuvenation can be accomplished by combining:

* endoscopic assisted forehead lift
* upper lid blepharoplasty
* lower lid blepharoplasty
* cheeklift, face and necklift
* selective laser resurfacing
* and oftentimes fat injections

Individuals might even have a rhinoplasty at the same time.

The results of such a combined procedure provide a very natural harmonious, and balanced result. Most patients, think they look several years younger, and that they look like a rested, relaxed and rejuvenated version of themselves.

More patients than ever are electing to have multiple procedures done so that their whole face looks refreshed and balanced.

 

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Dunagan, Yates, and Alison Plastic Surgery Center
Office Address:
303 Williams Ave.
Suite 1421
Huntsville, AL 35801
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Dunagan, Yates, and Alison Plastic Surgery Center has 44 patients available for view in the Before and After Photo Gallery. Click here to visit.
   

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