Plastic Surgery Q & A (2001)

Question 10/3/2001: How can I minimize the appearance of multiple scars on arms and hands?
Answer: Eliminating of existing scars is very difficult or, in most cases, impossible. Human skin heals wounds by forming scars. If the wound is very superficial, the scar may eventually be replaced by the normal structures and disappear (example: healing of superficial burns, even those with blisters or skin abrasions, i.e. "scrapes"). However, after exceeding certain thickness of injury, the result (i.e. scar) is permanent. Not all scars are the same, though. Traumatic wound that healed on its own, inadequately repaired wound or wound that became infected, but eventually healed - may look very unsightly. Appearance of many of them can be improved, sometimes dramatically. There are several techniques used to make it happen: surgical excision with meticulous re-closure with fine stitches or tissue adhesives (medical superglue"), reorienting surgically the scar (positioning a scar in different direction may make it look better then the original one), dermabrasion ("sanding down" the scar) or even chemical peel. The procedures (scar revisions) are being done by plastic surgeons.

Question 10/1/2001: Does anyone perform liposuction in this area? If so, what is the cost? Who is the doctor? Where is the location? I am a high school teacher, 44 years of age, 5'5" 150 lbs with a pregnant-looking stomach. I have never had a flat stomach and would very much like to be flat. Would any other surgery be required in addition to the liposuction? How long would I be off from work?
Answer: Liposuction is a technique designed to remove excessive at deposits or layers that are localized to limited areas. Lower abdominal "pouch" is one of the examples. It works very well to decrease prominent hips, "love handles" or chin. It can be done as a same day surgery and does not require an overnight hospital stay. The total cost of the procedure (including anesthesia, OR, surgeon's fee, labs etc.) is approx. $ 2000. Liposuction however is not a good tool to address weak underlying muscles, circumferential excess of fat or very loose skin. In these cases abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck") is more appropriate. It tightens deeper muscle layer, removes excessive loose skin, gives the waist nicer contour and makes abdomen look more flat. Abdominoplasty is frequently combined with liposuction to improve body contouring. There are several variations of abdominoplasty (full, mini, endoscopic, etc.) It costs more (approx. $ 5000), some of them require hospital stay at least overnight, expected period off work varies between 1 and 6 weeks (depending on extent of surgery and patient's occupation, but for many patients it is the best option. Both procedures can be done in Jonesboro.

Question 9/17/2001: I am slightly overweight and have a size problem with my breast. I know that a lot of women have one breast that is larger than the other but I have one that is a c-cup and one that is almost a dd-cup. I can't wear many style shirts because it is very noticeable. I am embarrassed by this, please help me what can I do?
Answer: Unequal breast size is not an uncommon problem. As a matter of fact, most women have one breast larger than the other, however the difference may not be very significant. In your case the difference is significant enough to cause problems with fitting bras, clothes etc. The only proven way to make two breasts more even in size is to undergo surgery, i.e. reduction of the larger breast. The procedure is done under general anesthesia in the hospital setting, usually with an overnight stay at the hospital. The other, less invasive option that can occasionally be used (not always, though) is liposuction of the larger breast. This can be done as an outpatient.

Question 7/28/2001: I'm trying to loose weight. Got high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Lost some weight, but my breasts are still big. People make fun of me. How do you loose weight in your chest or breasts. I do not like my chest at all. Please help me.
Answer: As you well know, the breast is composed of two kinds of tissue: glandular and fatty. Both of them undergo changes in response to hormones, diet, age, etc...Loosing weight may decrease the volume of the breast to some extent (mostly due to decrease in the fatty tissue volume), but the change may not be as noticeable as in the other areas of the body. In addition, the breast that was quite large prior to weight loss may become more ptotic ("droopy") with the weight loss. Frequently these patients require breast reduction +/- breast lift (reduction mammoplasty +/- mastopexy) to correct the situation. I hope you will find this information useful