Plastic Surgery Can Boost Self-Esteem

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Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery

The term “plastic surgery” often brings to mind ongoing attempts, especially by the rich and famous, to turn back the hands of time and the effects aging has on the body, or to correct what nature never provided in the first place.

Technically, however, that thought is not quite accurate. In its broadest sense, plastic surgery refers to any medical procedure that alters or restores the form of the body. Under this wide umbrella fall many variations, including reconstructive, craniofacial, hand, and micro surgeries, as well as procedures to treat severe burns.

Cosmetic surgery, the most well-known of the plastic surgery types, is a sub-category of plastic surgery that includes a variety of elective procedures all aimed at improving a person’s appearance. But contrary to popular thought, it’s not only for the rich and famous, nor is it simply about vanity.

The physicians and staff at Twin City Plastic Surgery (TCPS) work to improve the life of each patient, regardless of the reason they’ve walked through the door for treatment. And, as one patient shares, “they make it as easy as possible,” from providing education and information regarding the specifics of the procedure to the excellent skill and medical care during the procedure itself and the support and follow up during the recovery and post-surgical healing process.

“I never thought I’d do something like this,” says one of their patients. When a mass on her neck proved to be fatty tissue rather than a tumor, she felt relieved. But because the tissue grew only on one side, she felt more and more uncomfortable about it. “It was obvious, even though I tried to hide it as much as possible with scarves,” she explains. It was bothersome, and made her very self-conscious.

She finally reached the point that she needed to either live with it or do something about it. “I decided I could do nothing or do something…and I decided to do something.”

Although she’s very happy with the results, she emphasizes that the reason for her decision to have surgery to remove the mass was not simply based on vanity. “People tell me I look younger, but that’s an unexpected benefit. I still have wrinkles and crow’s feet—but now I’m not self-conscious about the mass, so I have a better outlook and am more confident. I think confidence has a huge effect on how you look.”

Additionally, she stresses that having the surgery was not a rash decision made in a fit of frustration. She did her homework, taking several months to research procedures and surgeons. She advises anyone who is considering this type of elective surgery to do the same. “I had heard about similar facial surgeries from others, and the staff at TCPS provided names of other patients who had had similar experiences. They [previous patients] can tell you what’s really going to happen. It is, after all, surgery—it’s not going to be a piece of cake. It’s really a pretty big deal.”

Another wise decision she made was to research the doctors. “I wanted to know their background, their education and credentials—I wanted an expert in the type of surgery I was going to have,” she says, because something as important as surgery deserves to have the best person performing it.

What surprised her was that she didn’t have to leave town to find that level of excellence. “I was set on going to Chicago, but when I researched the credentials and read the patient reviews, I realized the physicians here [at TCPS] were highly qualified and got even better reviews than the doctors in Chicago.”

Elective, cosmetic surgery can certainly change how you look, but it’s important to be realistic about what surgery can and can’t do for you. Surgery is a big decision, but if you do your homework about the type of surgery you want, the surgeons, and the costs, it’s definitely something that can enhance your life.

“I didn’t want to look like a different person…I just wanted to take care of something that bothered me,” the patient explains. “And I’m glad I did.”

Hydrafacial – The Latest in Skin Care

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Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery

Whether your goal is to correct fine lines and wrinkles, improve elasticity and firmness, even out skin tone and improve vibrancy, reduce enlarged pores, improve skin texture, lighten brown spots, or treat oily or congested skin, HydraFacial MD offers a treatment for you.

Katie Bertsche, the Spa Manager for Twin City Plastic Surgery and Oasis Medical Spa, is very excited about this newest skin care treatment available since the beginning of May. “Anyone who follows beauty blogs or wants to know the latest trends in the beauty industry has heard of HydraFacial. It is one of the most talked about treatments these days because it really works!”

The HydraFacial MD therapy uses the latest developments in skin care to clean, hydrate, and protect skin. The 3-step treatment cleanses, exfoliates, and extracts to get rid of impurities and dead skin cells, and infuses the skin with vital nutrients, antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid to protect and nourish the skin from the inside out.

The HydraFacial MD’s three-step system can be completed in as little as a half hour. According to the HydraFacial website (hydrafacial.com), Step 1 cleanses and peels impurities thereby uncovering a new layer of skin with gentle exfoliation and relaxing resurfacing. Excess oil and debris is extracted from pores using painless suction in Step 2, then the skin is nourished with skin solutions to address specific skin concerns. Step 3 saturates the skin’s surface with antioxidants and peptides to fuse and protect, locking in all the beneficial serums included in the process.

“The benefit of the HydraFacial MD system over treatments such as microdermabrasion is that it can be used for any skin condition. Microdermabrasion can be harsh for some skin types, and only treats limited skin issues,” Katie explains. “This is safe enough to have a treatment every week, based on the goals for your skin concerns.” Another great benefit is that there is no downtime—clients can put on makeup and resume their normal activities immediately after a session.

A typical protocol would be for someone to come in every 4-6 weeks for preventive treatment. A basic treatment takes 30-40 minutes. Clients can request to have add-ons, or “boosters,” depending on the focus of the treatment.

The boosters that can be used during a treatment include Growth Factor, which minimizes fine lines and wrinkles; Britenol, brightener for pigmentation, sun spots, and improved radiance; and Dermabuilder, which minimizes signs of aging and recharges skin with a patented combination of peptides. Clarifying treatments for acne and red and blue LED light treatments that will decrease inflammation or redness in the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria respectively are also available.

To find out more about this amazing treatment or to schedule a consultation with our Aesthetician, Alyssa, please give us a call at (309) 662-6772.

 

 

Mastectomy or Lumpectomy?

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Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery

There is nothing easy or simple about a cancer diagnosis. From the moment a patient hears the words “you have breast cancer,” she begins an exhausting schedule of medical appointments, treatments, and procedures. While much attention is given to treating the patient’s medical condition, she also needs support in thinking through her options impacting her health and appearance.

The vast majority of breast cancer diagnoses involve some type of surgical treatment with lumpectomies being more common in early-stage cancer situations. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 57 percent of women with early stage (Stage I or II) breast cancer have a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy and 36 percent have a full mastectomy, with others electing non-surgical options. Thirteen percent of women with late stage breast cancer (Stage III or IV) have a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy and 60 percent have a mastectomy.

The ACS also tells us 20 to 40 percent of women who undergo mastectomy have breast reconstruction which typically includes an implant, tissue from another part of the body, or a combination of the two.  Some types of reconstruction can begin during the mastecomy surgery itself, so having a reconstruction plan from the beginning of treatment is critical. Of course, some women are not candidates for lumpectomies due to the size or location of the tumor. But for a woman who has options, how does she make the decision to remove part or all of her breast?

Current data shows the type of surgery – lumpectomy or mastectomy – does not appear to impact a patient’s survival rate or possibility of cancer recurrence. Also, these surgical options do not impact the need and/or type of chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy a doctor recommends.

A lumpectomy always:

  • Allows the patient to preserve more of their breast, which can give the patient comfort and an obvious feeling of normalcy.
  • Involves a less extensive surgery in which the patient can go home the same day.
  • Requires radiation as part of the therapy to treat the breast cancer.
  • Does not involve placement of an implant.

Lumpectomy with radiation therapy (XRT) is becoming much more common versus a full mastectomy, and, therefore, mastectomies may be on the decline. From a breast conservation perspective and oncologic perspective, this is good. But there are some downsides to choosing lumpectomy/XRT that are rarely mentioned to the patient.

  • Lumpectomies can result in uneven breasts which may not give the patient the look they hoped for.
  • The defect may still leave a significant cosmetic concern, but any surgery to correct this may be considered cosmetic and be more difficult to get covered by insurance.
  • Radiation treatments can cause adverse cosmetic changes such as darkening of the skin at the treatment site.
  • Any surgery that is ever done on the radiated breast for the rest of that patient’s life, is at a much higher risk for complications due to the radiation, and, therefore, limits the patient’s options for reconstructive surgery in the future.

The decision to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy is as individual and personal as a surgery can be. Each patient should to talk with their plastic surgeon prior to making their final decision so they can be fully informed of the advantages and challenges of each option. As board-certified plastic surgeons, we have the education and experience to provide effective breast reconstruction consultations and provide our patients peace of mind during a stressful time as they reclaim their life and body from this disease.

Scar Revision….Minimizing the Reminder of a Wound or Surgery

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Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery

Scars are visible signs that remain after a wound has healed. They are unavoidable results of injury or
surgery, and their development can be unpredictable. Poor healing may contribute to scars that are
obvious, unsightly or disfiguring. Even a wound that heals well can result in a scar that affects your
appearance. Scars may be raised or recessed, different in color or texture from surrounding healthy
tissue or particularly noticeable due to their size, shape or location.

Scar revision is meant to minimize the scar so that it is more consistent with your surrounding skin tone and texture. Although scar revision can provide a more pleasing cosmetic result or improve a scar that has healed poorly, a scar cannot be completely erased.

Is it right for me?
Scar revision is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Scar revision can be performed on people of any age and is a good option for you if:

You are bothered by a scar anywhere on your body
You are physically healthy
You do not smoke
You have a positive outlook and realistic goals for your scar revision surgery
You do not have active acne or other skin diseases in the area to be treated

The success and safety of your scar revision procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and goals, medical history, and lifestyle habits.

Different types of scars include:
Discoloration, surface irregularities and other more subtle scars can be cosmetically improved by
surgery or other treatments recommended by your plastic surgeon. These types of scars do not impair
function or cause physical discomfort and include acne scars as well as scars resulting from minor injury and prior surgical incisions.

Hypertrophic scars are thick clusters of scar tissue that develop directly at a wound site. They are often
raised, red and/or uncomfortable, and they may become wider over time. They can be hyperpigmented
(darker in color) or hypopigmented (lighter in color).

Keloids are larger than hypertrophic scars. They can be painful or itchy, and may also pucker. They
extend beyond the edges of an original wound or incision. Keloids can occur anywhere on your body, but they develop more commonly where there is little underlying fatty tissue, such as on the face, neck, ears, chest or shoulders.

Contractures are scars that restrict movement due to skin and underlying tissue that pull together during healing. They can occur when there is a large amount of tissue loss, such as after a burn. Contractures also can form where a wound crosses a joint, restricting movement of the fingers, elbows, knees or neck.

The degree of improvement that can be achieved with scar revision will depend on the severity of your
scarring, and the type, size and location of the scar. In some cases, a single technique may provide
significant improvement. However, your plastic surgeon may recommend a combination of scar revision techniques to achieve the best results.

Topical treatments, such as gels, tapes or external compression can help in wound closure and healing,
or to reduce the ability of skin to produce irregular pigment. These products may be used to treat existing surface scars and discoloration, and to aid in healing of scar revision procedures.

Injectable treatments are often used to fill depressed or concave scars. Depending on the injectable
substance used and your particular scar conditions, results may last from three months to several years.
Therapy must be repeated to maintain results.

Surface treatments are most often used for cosmetic improvement of scars. These methods can soften
surface irregularities and reduce uneven pigmentation. Surface treatments are a controlled means of
either mechanically removing the top layers of skin or changing the nature of tissue. These treatment
options include:

Microneedling is a form of collagen induction created by a mechanical force delivered to the
dermis. It also is useful for improving acne pock marks and can weld stretch marks together by
creating collagen bridging.
Dermabrasion is a mechanical polishing of the skin.
Laser or light therapy causes changes to the surface of the skin that allow new, healthy skin to
form at the scar site.
Chemical peel solutions penetrate the skin’s surface to soften irregularities in texture and color.
Skin bleaching agents are medications applied topically to lighten the skin.

Surgery is sometimes necessary for the improvement of scars especially if non-surgical means are not
possible or successful. Often the scar is excised and then closed in layers adjusting the tension or
orientation of the scar. Advanced techniques with flap closure or repositioning of the scar in a natural
crease sometimes makes it less conspicuous. More advanced techniques, such as tissue substitutes/skin
grafting or tissue expansion, may be necessary if the scar is more complex.  Give Dr. Laura Randolph a call at (309) 664-6222 to discover your scar revision options today.

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