As families hit beach vacations, plan pool days, and play outside this summer, it’s important to stay educated on the dangers of sun exposure. May is Melanoma Awareness month, an annual event used to prevent skin cancer by sharing information. Whether you spend your time reading on the couch or playing in the pool, you could be at risk for melanoma.
What Is Melanoma?
Because most cases of melanoma occur in the skin, most people associate the disease with skin cancer; however, rare cases of melanoma can also develop in the eyes or mucous membranes. Melanoma is a mutation of the melanin found in the hair, eyes, and skin. It’s frequently found in moles, freckles, and skin damaged by UVA radiation. Family history, genetics, and environmental factors may increase a patient’s risk of developing melanoma. Cutaneous melanoma, the most common melanoma, is often visible on the skin, making it easy to detect before it progresses. Many melanoma cases are diagnosed by patients, not physicians, because patients are more likely to notice small changes in the moles or skin tissue they see every day. Regular visits to a dermatologist also increase the opportunity to diagnose melanoma in its earliest stages.
Symptoms of Melanoma
Check moles, freckles, and irregular spots for:
- Irregular or blurred borders
- Changing colors
- Size (have a dermatologist examine anything larger than a pencil eraser)
- Changes in size, color, shape, or sensitivity
Protect Your Skin Against Melanoma
Patients can decrease their risk of melanoma and increase the likelihood of early detection by following these steps:
- Avoid tanning, especially exposure to UV radiation in tanning beds
- Apply sunscreen every day, all year (even on overcast days)
- Wear protective clothing
- Practice healthy skin care habits
- Know that sunburns, especially in children, significantly increase the chances of developing melanoma
- Supplement Vitamin D levels through diet, not sun exposure
- Know which medications may increase sensitivity to sunlight
- Regularly check your skin for changes
Protect your kids, your spouse, and your own skin this summer. To learn more about early detection of melanoma, call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos
For decades breast augmentations have topped the charts for popular cosmetic surgery procedures. Breast augmentations are an easy way to improve self-confidence, especially in seasons when bulky sweaters don’t cover up a woman’s shape. Many women who dislike the naturally small size of their breasts know exactly what they need to boost self-image. Other patients flip through before/after pictures, surgical booklets, and blogs to determine which breast size, implant type, and scar position is right for them. If you’re considering a breast augmentation procedure this summer, here are a few things you need to know.
How to Prepare for Breast Augmentation Surgery
- Book a consultation with Dr. Brantner
- Choose the size, position (above or below the muscle), and type (silicone or saline) of your breast implants
- Determine where you want your scar
- Ask Dr. Brantner whether your medications need to be adjusted
- Stop smoking and avoid ingesting blood thinners like aspirin, Vitamin E, or supplements like fish oil
- Make an appointment at ETASC to get a blood test
Surgical Terms to Know
- Augmentation mammaplasty or breast augmentation: The medical term for the process of enlarging the breasts through the insertion of silicone or saline implants.
- Capsular contracture: A complication in a limited number of breast augmentation procedures. Scar tissue that normally forms around the implant may become firm, tightening around the implant.
- General anesthesia: Drugs used to put patients to sleep during surgery.
- Local anesthesia: Drug injected directly into the site of the incision to alleviate pain. (Dr. Brantner uses a unique application of local anesthesia that reduces pain for several days instead of only hours).
- Inframammary incision: Incision below the curve of the breast.
- Periareolar incision: Incision around the areola.
- Transaxillary incision: An incision made in the armpit.
- Saline implants: Breast implants filled with saltwater (saline implants have no complications if the implant ruptures).
- Silicone implants: Breast implants filled with plastic gel (silicone implants have a reduced risk of implant rupture, but higher chance of complications if rupture occurs).
- Submammary/subglandular placement: Breast implants placed beneath the breast tissue over the pectoral muscle.
- Submuscular/subpectoral placement: Implants placed beneath the pectoral muscle (recommended by Dr. Brantner in most cases).
To determine if you’re a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Brantner.
photo from FreeDigitalPhotos
When people consider plastic surgery, tummy tucks are one of the first procedures that come to mind. Abdominoplasties are popular procedures for new mothers, patients who have achieved substantial weight loss, and aging men and women who want to remove excess skin and fat around the abdomen, restoring a flatter, smoother stomach. Tummy tucks provide countless aesthetic and medical benefits. If you’re considering an abdominoplasty, talk to your doctor about the benefits of a tummy tuck.
3 Benefits of Tummy Tucks
- Cosmetic. The most popular benefit of an abdominoplasty is the visible smoothing of the abdomen. Abdominoplasties remove excess fat and skin, revealing a firmer, more youthful stomach. Tummy tucks are popular after major weight loss and pregnancy and, when paired with good diet and exercise, can correct hereditary sagging skin and fat buildup, too.
- Muscular. After pregnancy or major weight loss, patients often experience sagging or separation in the abdominal muscles. Weak support from the abs often causes back problems like sway back. An abdominoplasty tightens weak or damaged muscles, firming the stomach and helping to improve posture.
- Medical. Abdominoplasties have been proven to improve several medical conditions, including SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence) and ventral hernias. SUI is typically treated without surgery, but women who have undergone tummy tucks often find the procedure aids recovery. Tummy tucks also strengthen the abdominal walls, preventing the development of ventral hernias in patients predisposed to them.
To talk to a doctor about tummy tuck surgery, call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to schedule a consultation.
photo from FreeDigitalPhotos
Last week Dr. Brantner appeared on News Channel 11’s Daytime Body and Soul segment. He and Amy discussed the popularity of cosmetic surgery, A few highlights from the segment include:
- The prevalence of breast reduction procedures (a surgical procedure that reduces back pain and other medical issues caused by large breasts. Breast reductions are typically covered by insurance)
- Trauma surgery and skin cancer treatment
- Breast reconstruction after breast cancer
- The importance of trust and open communication between a patient and physician
- The transformative power of self-confidence
Watch It Now
WJHL explores plastic and reconstructive surgery.
If you’re interested in renewing your confidence with a face or body rejuvenation procedure, call Dr. Brantner’s office to book a consultation. We specialize in both major and minor cosmetic procedures, as well as reconstructive surgery.