When the Doctor Is Away . . .

airplane in flightWe must have been munching apples at the office, because the doctor is away until October 27th. Dr. Brantner and his family are off exploring the wonders of the European world for his youngest daughter’s senior field trip. But just because we’re not visiting the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower doesn’t mean we’re twiddling our thumbs. If you need information about a cosmetic procedure, have questions about follow-up appointments, or would like to schedule a surgical consultation, Dr. Brantner’s staff will be available.

Book a Procedure

Dr. Brantner may be away, but his fall schedule just opened up! Use the next week to plan, research, and compile questions about your cosmetic procedure. Book a non-surgical rejuvenation procedure like Botox for a subtle, youthful glow for the holidays. Have vacation time that expires in December? Ask Dr. Brantner’s staff about that facelift, breast augmentation, or tummy tuck that’s been on your Christmas list for years. Planning a vacation? Make sure you ask Dr. Brantner’s surgery coordinator how far in advance to book your surgery to make sure you’re fully recovered for your travels. The surgeon will be back in just a few days to meet with patients and answer any questions about the cost, recovery, and results of cosmetic surgery. If we know Dr. Brantner, he’ll bring along a healthy supply of souvenirs and stories from his time abroad! Look for photos from his trip on our Facebook page and call today to schedule your cosmetic surgery consultation. photo from flickr

The Importance of Regular Self-Exams

When it comes to Breast Cancer Awareness, it’s crucial to educate women about the importance of regular breast exams. Breast cancer is typically detected during yearly breast screenings or monthly self-exams. While there’s no known cure for breast cancer, early detection significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, at least 40% of breast cancer cases are detected by women performing self-examinations at home.

Clinical Exams and Mammograms

Doctors recommend that all women over the age of 40 receive yearly mammograms. Yearly mammograms allow doctors to monitor the breast tissue, keep records, and compare screenings to detect changes in breast material before a lump forms. Mammograms find both benign and malignant lumps in the breast tissue, and detect 85-90% of all breast cancers. Mammograms also increase early detection of breast cancer, which increases the survival rate to 95% over a five year span. Women between the ages of 20 and 30 do not need to have yearly mammograms, but it’s recommended that they receive clinical breast exams during their yearly physicals.

Breast Self-Exam

breast self-examAlthough mammograms are important for breast health, two-fifths of breast cancer cases are detected by women performing breast examinations. Breast self-exams are recommended for all women, regardless of age. Self-exams are easily performed in the shower, lying down, or in front of a mirror. Feel your breasts for:

  • Lumps or swelling
  • Hardness or thickness
  • Changes in the feeling or appearance of breast tissue
  • Dimpled skin

Perform your monthly exam at the same time during your menstrual cycle (typically several days after finishing your period) to avoid inconsistent breast tenderness or swelling. To learn how to perform an effective home examination, read a step by step guide on breast self-exams and general breast health.

To learn more about breast health, breast cancer treatment, and breast reconstruction, call Jim N. Brantner MD, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Johnson City, TN.

photo from FreeDigitalPhotos

Are You Wearing the Right Bra?

If you ask a woman on the street to describe the experience of bra shopping, she’ll probably give you words like “frustrating” and “time consuming.” Despite bra manufacturers glorifying bras in every style, color, and texture, most women don’t enjoy buying bras. So what’s the reason for the disconnect?

Wearing the Wrong Size Bra

measuring bust over bra

Measure the fullest part of your bust.

Studies show that roughly 65% of women wear the wrong bra size. Of those women, almost 30% know they’re wearing an incorrect bra size and continue purchasing the same size bra. Why do so many women wear the wrong size bra? There are several common reasons for buying the wrong size bra:

  1. Never getting properly fitted. Many popular lingerie stores are notorious among plastic surgeons for measuring bra sizes incorrectly.
  2. Inconsistent sizing. The lingerie industry—particularly American bra manufacturers— lacks consistent size measurements. Sales associates working at three different bra stores can take the same woman’s measurements and give her three different bra sizes.
  3. Discomfort. A recent study headed by Dr. Katie Elizabeth Weichman determined that women typically wear smaller bras after breast lift surgery. This was not the result of a decrease in breast tissue, but because post-mastopexy patients could wear their true bra sizes more comfortably that patients with sagging breasts.

Bra Sizing and Women’s Health

Wearing the wrong size bra can cause a variety of health problems. Aside from the typical discomforts of wearing the wrong size bra (straps cutting into shoulders, gaps or spillage between breast tissue and the bra cup, a shifting band, etc), poorly fitted bras can cause:

  • Back problems
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Bad posture
  • Breast pain
  • Abrasions beneath the breasts
  • Premature sagging of breasts

Whether you’re searching for new bras after a breast augmentation, returning to your natural size after a breast lift, or simply looking for a comfortable bra, correct bra sizing is an important part of women’s health. For more information about finding the right size bra, ask Dr. Brantner during your cosmetic surgery consultation.

photo from FreeDigitalPhotos

Raising Awareness about Breast Cancer

October 1st marks the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, a yearly effort to raise awareness about breast cancer, earn funds for a cure, and educate men and women about the disease. Each year over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer; more than 40,000 die from the disease annually. Roughly 1 in 8 women will suffer from breast cancer in their lifetime. Although men are less likely to develop breast cancer, around 2,000 are diagnosed each year. Raising awareness about breast cancer, early detection, and yearly mammograms can save thousands of lives every year.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Although there is no known cure to breast cancer, early detection significantly increases a patient’s chances of surviving the disease. Early symptoms may include:

  • A lump in the breast tissue or armpit
  • Irritation, redness, or dryness of the skin
  • Swelling of part of the breast
  • Pain in breast tissue or the nipples
  • Nipple discharge (pus, blood, etc)

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Raising Awareness about Breast Cancer

breast cancer awareness ribbons

Think pink.

Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer never display symptoms. Women with breast cancer often lack proper education about their options. Advocates for breast cancer awareness have dedicated themselves to providing support, education, and fundraising efforts for women suffering from breast cancer by:

  • Providing physical and emotional support for women with breast cancer
  • Raising funds that could lead to a permanent cure for breast cancer
  • Educating women about the necessity of yearly mammograms after age 50
  • Encouraging all women to perform breast self-exams once a month
  • Informing breast cancer patients about their surgical and reconstructive options

One way to raise awareness about breast cancer is to wear the pink ribbon this October. Supporters can also participate in races, fundraisers, and volunteer programs in Johnson City to help raise awareness about breast cancer. To learn more about breast cancer awareness, mastectomy surgery, and breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Brantner’s office.

photo from flickr