Breast Cancer Reconstruction: FAQ

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the office of Jim Brantner, MD would like to answer your questions about breast cancer balloons

  • Should I Have Reconstructive Surgery?
    • Mastectomy due to cancer is an intimate and painful topic, and no two patients are alike. Many women do find that reconstructive surgery helps them to feel more like themselves again. Others choose not to experience more surgeries and hospital time. Speak with your doctors, care team, and close companions, but remember that ultimately the choice lies with you.
  • What are my Options?
    • There are two options for reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy: artificial breast implants, or tissue flap reconstruction. Breast implants after a mastectomy are quite similar to a standard breast implant, in that an artificial saline or silicone implant is used. In tissue flap reconstruction, tissue from your body (usually the abdomen or back) is used in the same manner. Neither option is one-size-fits-all, and both create natural-looking results. Discuss them with your surgeon to determine which is right for you.
  • When Should I Have Surgery?
    • You have several options when it comes to the timing of your breast reconstruction. Some women choose to have removal and reconstruction at the same time, which has the advantage of significantly lessening overall recovery time. Some women choose to delay their reconstruction surgery. This is often due to further treatment needs, such as targeted radiation and chemotherapy. It’s not uncommon for doctors to recommend a waiting period of six months to a year after completing treatment. Some women also choose staged reconstruction, where part of the reconstruction is done at removal and the rest after treatment.

Again, a long discussion with your entire care team is the best way to determine which breast reconstruction option is right for you. There is no rule that patients should have reconstruction immediately–many patients wait months, years, or never choose to have the procedure at all.

When you’re ready to begin the consultation process, contact Dr. Brantner’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery office in East Tennessee for professional, informed, compassionate care.

Injectables: Fact VS Fiction

Jim Brantner, MD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Johnson City, TN has added three new injectables to the services we offer: the FDA-approved Juvederm products vobella, voluma, and vollure! To celebrate, let’s clear up some of the misconceptions about injectablessyringe

Myth: injections look fake.

There’s a common misconception that these products will make patients look like they’ve “had work done,” but here’s the truth: only bad or excessive treatments will look that way. Well-done treatments from a qualified, professional provider like Dr. Brantner will rejuvenate your appearance, not make you look like a different person.

Myth: what works for someone else will work for you.

While results typically last a specific duration, there’s no guaranteed amount of time that each injectable product will continue to be effective. Each face is different, after all! Pay attention to your treatment areas and speak with your provider to discuss the timeline of when you should consider refreshing your treatments.

Myth: cheaper is better.

Just like in everything, you get what you pay for. Do you really want to trust your appearance and health to discount providers who may not even be using the FDA-approved injectables?

And now, a fact for you: these products are safe. Each one has been approved by the FDA, which is not something you can say about the vitamins and teas you’ll find at a health food store. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation, call the offices of Jim Brantner, MD for quality, professional, Board Certified cosmetic surgery and outpatient services.

Everything You Want to Know about Tummy Tucks

senior woman doing crunchesWe want to make it easier for you to get the body of your dreams. That’s why we’re offering 15% off tummy tucks in September.

A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, repairs damaged muscles, and smooths the stomach. We’ve written before about how to tell if a tummy tuck is right for you. Now we’re answering your most common questions about the procedure.

How Is a Mini Tummy Tuck Different Than a Full Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower belly between the pubic bone and belly button. A full tummy tuck smooths and shapes the abdomen from the pubic bone to the bottom of the chest. Because a mini tummy tuck is less extensive, patients heal faster than they would after a full tummy tuck. Talk to Dr. Brantner about which type of abdominoplasty is right for you.

Will My Belly Button Change?

Your belly button may look different for awhile during the healing process, but it’s the same belly button you’ve always had. The incision for a tummy tuck will heal, leaving a natural looking stomach and belly button.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Eating?

Depending on individual reactions to anesthesia and pain medications, most patients can resume eating the day after their procedure. Start off with gentle “sick day” foods like broth and toast. Diets that are high in protein and healthy fats will help in the healing process. It’s not unusual for patients to find that they eat less after a tummy tuck than they did before the procedure.

Can I Get a Tummy Tuck If I’m Planning to Get Pregnant?

A tummy tuck addresses many issues that may arise from pregnancy, including loose or sagging skin, torn or separated abdominal muscles, and stubborn fat deposits. It’s usually best to wait until after childbearing to have an abdominoplasty. If you’ve had a tummy tuck and become pregnant, the procedure won’t affect your pregnancy, but you may want a revisional abdominoplasty after childbirth.

Do you want to learn more about abdominoplasties? Call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to schedule your consultation today.

Liposuction: Fact vs. Fiction

liposuction - measuring waistLiposuction is a popular fat reduction procedure that leaves women and men feeling more confident in their bodies. But any procedure with so much press is bound to come with a few misconceptions, and there are plenty of myths about liposuction. Can you separate fact from fiction? Dr. Brantner is here to help.

Fact: Liposuction works for a variety of areas

Liposuction is best-known for removing fat from the abdomen, but it’s also a good choice for patients who want to remove stubborn fat deposits from the hips, thighs, chest, back, and neck.

Fiction: It’s great for weight loss

Many people see liposuction as an easy, one-step weight loss program. But like any fat reduction procedure, liposuction requires a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain results. It’s best to use liposuction to remove stubborn fat areas after trying more traditional weight loss methods.

Fact: Liposuction is real surgery

Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction doesn’t remove extra skin or restore bulging abdominal muscles. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real surgery! When you get liposuction, your physician will make small incisions to remove the fat deposits. Just like other surgical procedures, liposuction requires a few days off work to recuperate and heal.

Fiction: Results are instantaneous

Liposuction removes fat from the body, but because it’s a surgical procedure, many patients experience swelling. It may take several weeks for your body to fully heal before you can see the full results. Wearing the compression garment recommended by your physician will smooth the skin, limit swelling, and help you see results faster.

When it comes to liposuction, experience matters. Dr. Brantner has decades of experience giving patients smooth, natural results. To schedule a liposuction consultation, call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery today.

Men, Women, & Wrinkles: Non-Surgical Procedures Just For You

eye wrinklesResearch has shown that women tend to have more wrinkles around the mouth than men. However, men are more prone to develop wrinkles near their eyes. Just because you are prone to wrinkles doesn’t mean you have to live with them. We provide non-surgical procedures such as Juvederm and Botox that can minimize those lines that make you feel less confident.

Wrinkles & Women

There are fewer sweat glands and blood vessels around a woman’s mouth. The lack of sweat glands and blood vessels cause facial skin to have a decreased amount of elasticity. This significantly contributes to the development of smile lines. If you aren’t too keen on wrinkles around the mouth, we have non-surgical procedures that can smooth unwanted lines and restore some of the lost elasticity to the skin.

At our office, you can opt for injectable fillers such as Juvederm or fat injections. These non-surgical procedures treat the creases and wrinkles that develop around the mouth. With a Juvederm treatment, the results typically last one year. Fat injections are usually permanent.

Wrinkles & Men

Men may not develop wrinkles around the mouth as easily as women, but they do develop wrinkles around their eyes and forehead. These wrinkles are the result of frowning, concentrating, or squinting for many years. Thankfully, we have a non-surgical procedure that can help: Botox!

Botox isn’t just for women. It’s a safe solution for the treatment of wrinkles near the eyes and forehead, and it’s growing in popularity with men who want a subtle refresh of their appearance. Botox lasts roughly four months. After several treatments, the effects of the injection become more effective and last for longer periods of time.

Do you have questions about our non-surgical procedures? Feel free to contact Dr. Brantner’s office today!

5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Bruising after Fillers

Fillers are a simple, effective solution to minimizing fine lines around the face and jaw. A “lunchtime treatment,” fillers have minimal recovery time and are an affordable option for many patients who aren’t ready to commit to surgical facial rejuvenation. One risk associated with injectable fillers is temporary bruising or swelling around the injection site. What can patients do to minimize the risk of bruising after fillers?

5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Bruising after Fillers

  1. filler injectionStop taking blood thinners. Medications and supplements that thin the blood will increase your risk of bruising. Stop taking aspirin, excedrin, ibuprofen, ginseng, St. John’s wort, omega 3 fatty acids/fish oil, vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, and other blood thinners for 1-2 weeks before treatment. If you’re taking a blood thinner for a medical reason, talk to your doctor before stopping.
  2. Avoid alcohol for 1-2 days. Drinking alcohol will increase your likelihood of bruising, so avoid happy hour for a few days before treatment.
  3. Skip the gym. Yes, you have an excuse not to workout! After injection the damaged capillaries will need to heal, which takes longer if they’re stressed due to increased heart rate. Walking is fine, but put off yoga, weights, and running until 24-48 hours after treatment to help avoid bruising.
  4. Ice the area. A cold pack will desensitize the area and reduce swelling. It will also relieve any lingering discomfort from the treatment.
  5. Choose a qualified injector. Fillers may seem like a simple procedure, but beware of the  bargain basement injectables you might find at spas, clinics, or Botox parties. Injectables are a medical procedure with associated risks, and your injector should always have the proper documentation and training, as well as performing the procedure in a safe and sterile environment.

Want more tips on how to get the most out of injectable fillers? Call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brantner.

6 Tips for Glowing Summer Skin

When summer arrives, your skin goes on display. Wardrobes shift from skin-protecting sweaters and pants to shorts, skirts, and swimsuits. But it’s important to remember that loving your skin goes beyond self-confidence. It means protecting your skin from the summer sun. Keep your skin glowing and healthy with Dr. Brantner’s summer skincare tips.

6 Summer Skincare Tips

  1. woman with beautiful skinExfoliate. When dead skin builds up, it can clog your pores, dry out your skin, and dull your overall appearance. Regular exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin, revealing the fresher, healthier skin underneath. Work exfoliation into your daily skincare routine. For a professional treatment, try microdermabrasion to rejuvenate your skin.
  2. Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the summer, especially on overcast days when the heat is less apparent. Make sure to drink plenty of water, especially when spending time outdoors. Not only is it good for your body, drinking water helps your skin stay healthy, too.
  3. Moisturize. Your skin gets thirsty, too! Moisturizing is one of the easiest ways to keep your skin fresh and slow signs of aging. Moisturize twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed.
  4. Lather up. Forgoing sunscreen can cause skin damage, premature aging, and increase your risk of developing melanoma. Skip the peeling sunburn, dry skin, wrinkles, and increased risk of skin cancer by applying sunscreen every morning and reapplying regularly.
  5. Cool the burn. If you do get sunburnt, don’t suffer in silence. Applying soothing aloe can soothe inflammation and reduce peeling, which is good news for your skin.
  6. Schedule annual checkups. Schedule a yearly appointment with your dermatologist to catch potential melanomas early. If your doctor finds a risky spot, he or she will refer you to a qualified plastic surgeon.

Does your skin need a little TLC? A nonsurgical procedure can help rejuvenate skin with mild sun damage or fine lines. Call Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to learn more about facial rejuvenation in Johnson City.

How to Overcome a Fear of Surgery

patient in doctor's officeWhen you go into surgery, you are putting your life in someone else’s hands, and that can be a scary thought. Whether you are scheduled for a routine office procedure or a major reconstructive surgery, many people experience nervousness before surgery. However, nerves can quickly turn into crippling anxiety. Don’t give up. There are ways to get a grip on your fears. Here are just a few tips for dealing with surgical anxiety before your procedure.  

Learn as Much as You Can

Learning about your procedure is a great way to understand what is in store and can help you reclaim some control over the situation. If you take the time to understand the medical science behind your procedure as well as the safety measures involved, you may start to feel more connected and more in control of the situation. 

Ask Questions

Your doctor and anesthesiologist have years of training. When it comes to plastic or reconstructive surgery, the professionals involved with the procedure will usually be available to discuss any fears you have going in. You may find that simply talking to your surgeon about your anxiety will help you fight your fear.

Understanding Your Recovery

Recovery after surgery can be its own unique source of anxiety. You might be afraid of the pain or discomfort you will feel. You might also be anxious about the physical changes you will see after a procedure. These fears are normal and should be addressed before your operation. Most patients will find that talking to a doctor about these fears before surgery helps calm anxiety a great deal.

Don’t let the fear of surgery stand in the way of becoming the person you want to see in the mirror. Dr. Jim Brantner is dedicated to providing excellent patient care and is a great source for anyone interested in learning more about cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in Johnson City. Contact us today to find out more.

SculpSure FAQ

Here at the offices of Jim Brantner, MD, SculpSure is one of the more exciting procedures we offer. This FDA-approved procedure is designed to quickly and effectively remove fat from the flanks and abdomen. We get a lot of questions about this procedure. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about SculpSure.

  • How Does it Work? Basically, special lasers target fat cells under the skin, damaging their structural integrity. Over a short time (up to three months, but usually much quicker), these fat cells break down and are reabsorbed and eliminated by the body. All this without surgery or damage to the skin cells.
  • Is it Invasive? No, SculpSure is non-invasive
  • How Long Does is Take? SculpSure takes just under half an hour! fat removal
  • What is the Recovery Like? SculpSure has little to no recovery time! After your procedure you can get right back to whatever you were doing, whether it’s work, lunch, or something more active.
  • What Areas Can it Help Target? SculpSure is designed to effectively handle the stubborn fat of the belly and flanks (also known as the love handles).
  • Is it Painful? No! While many patients experience tingling and/or feelings of deep warmth, you should not feel any pain or significant discomfort during your SculpSure treatment.
  • Is It FDA Approved? Yes! You can find more information about SculpSure here.

If you’re looking for a way to quickly and effectively target the “problem zones” in your abdomen, SculpSure may be the right choice for you. Contact Dr. Brantner’s office in Johnson City, TN to learn more!

5 Reasons We Love SculpSure (and You Will Too)

Have you heard about SculpSure? It’s a brand new procedure we’re offering at Dr. Brantner’s office. As the first FDA-approved, non-surgical fat reduction procedure, it’s no secret why we’re excited about SculpSure. And you should be, too!

5 Reasons to Get Excited about SculpSure

  1. woman outside - body contourIt’s FDA-approved. Whether you’ve considered body sculpting before or you’re simply curious about this new, non-surgical body sculpting solution, you can feel comfortable knowing that SculpSure is a completely safe, FDA-approved fat reduction procedure.
  2. It’s low pain. No scalpels, no sutures, and no needles required. SculpSure is a non-invasive laser technology that targets fat cells beneath the skin. By destabilizing these cells, we can trick your body into breaking down and eliminating stubborn fat cells. Some patients may feel mild discomfort, but for most people it’s pain-free.
  3. It targets multiple problem areas. SculpSure has been proven to reduce fat by up to 24% in the abdomen, love handles, inner thighs, and outer thighs. If you’d like to target more than one area, let us know during your consultation so we can schedule multiple appointments.
  4. It’s fast. A SculpSure treatment takes only 25 minutes, and there’s no downtime, so you can easily schedule a procedure on your lunch break. Over the 12 weeks following a procedure, patients see up to 24% fat reduction. Some patients may need a follow-up appointment, but for most people, it’s “one and done” fat reduction treatment.
  5. It works. Don’t believe us? Just ask our staff!

Ready to see the results for yourself? Contact us today to schedule a SculpSure consultation.