Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000


Month: August 2018

What is Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Our lips play a vital role in everyday life: We need them to speak properly, eat, and make recognizable facial expressions. Lips are also one of our most prominent features; after our eyes, they’re the first thing strangers notice about us.

A severe lip injury can have lasting detrimental effects on a person’s quality of life, affecting everything from confidence to self-expression. This is why a small number of skilled facial surgeons in the United States provide a specialized procedure to patients who have sustained a disfiguring lip injury: Lip reconstruction surgery.

Who Can Benefit from Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Lip reconstruction surgery is usually recommended for patients whose lips have been damaged as a result of the following situations:

Lip Cancer

Both oral cancer and skin cancer frequently develop on or near the lips. These cancers can usually be successfully treated with a combination of excision surgery and targeted cancer therapies, but this cure comes at a cost: Patients are often left with a pitted scar around the excision site.

Traumatic Injury

Deep lacerations, like those frequently sustained during motor vehicle accidents, can damage both the form and the function of the lips.

Surgical Disfigurement

Though permanent lip implants are rarely used to enhance the lips (most plastic surgeons prefer to use dermal fillers instead), some patients pursue this option. If they develop complications (e.g., post-surgical infection) or later choose to have their lip implants removed, they can experience unsightly scarring.

Finally, some patients opt to have minor lip reconstruction for purely cosmetic reasons. For instance, they may wish to have a large benign mole or cyst removed and then use reconstructive surgery to hide the scar.

What Happens During Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

The aim of lip reconstruction surgery is to restore both the appearance and the functionality of the patient’s lips so that they look and feel like they did before the patient was injured. When performing this procedure, plastic surgeons do their best to preserve sensation and limit additional scarring.

Lip reconstruction begins with alignment: Dr. Mussat will make sure the primary features that comprise your lips (the philtrum, vermilion border, and commissures) are lined up correctly. Sutures will be used to keep these critical features in place while they heal. Once she’s treated any deep tissue injuries, she’ll carefully position skin and muscle tissue over the wound. A final set of sutures will then be used to close your wounds.

Sometimes, the lips become so badly damaged that an extra step is required to complete the lip reconstruction process: Grafting. Grafting uses skin (and sometimes fat and muscle tissue) from another site on the body to cover a large area on the lips. (The “donor tissue” is taken from a part of the body that’s not usually exposed.) This technique is used when the patient’s wound is so large that pulling a flap of nearby skin over it would create a puckered, obvious scar.

When Should I Schedule Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

The best time to have lip reconstruction surgery is immediately after you’ve been injured, provided you’re in stable condition. For this reason, many plastic surgeons will coordinate with general surgeons to make sure that patients can have lip reconstruction within 24 hours of their cancer excision surgery. This option is also available for patients who are having a benign growth removed. Dr. Mussat offers cyst and lesion removal, so she can perform both procedures if needed.

If you’re planning to have lip surgery or your lips have been injured during an accident, contact Dr. Mussat to learn more about your options for lip reconstruction. The restoration of your bright, confident smile begins with a personal consultation.




Reasons Women Remove Their Breast Implants

You probably don’t still love the same hairstyle or clothing that you loved ten years ago… Why should your physical preferences be any different? As we learn and grow, our tastes change, and this can sometimes reshape our views on cosmetic enhancements. It therefore probably won’t surprise you to learn that some women eventually choose to have their breast implants removed.

Whether you’re considering breast augmentation or breast implant removal, it’s a good idea to review the reasons why women decide to undergo explant surgery. Understanding how breast implants might impact your lifestyle can help you make the right choices.

The Top 4 Reasons Why Women have Their Implants Removed

1. Changing activity levels.

Breast implants weigh about the same amount as natural breast tissue. This means that for every 1000 cc of implant fluid, you’re adding two pounds to your frame. Though you probably won’t notice this additional weight when you’re walking or sitting down, it can feel cumbersome during high-impact activities. With the increasing popularity of cardio workouts, many women are choosing to have their implants removed in favor of creating a lean, toned physique.

2. A desire to keep up with the latest trends.

Large breasts used to be all the rage, but today, their place has been usurped by full, curvaceous buttocks. In keeping with this trend, we’ve seen an increased demand for Brazilian Butt Lift surgery and a decreased desire for large breast implants. That’s not to suggest that breast augmentation isn’t still popular—it is—women are just more likely to pursue a C cup than a DD cup. Likewise, some women who had large implants placed in the past are choosing to either downsize or have their implants removed altogether.

3. Physical illness or discomfort.

Some women report that their implants begin to feel sore or hard years after their initial operation; they may also experience a broad range of health issues that resolve after their implants are removed. Scientists are not sure why breast implant illness occurs, but it’s possible that the patient’s immune system plays a role. Sometimes, when foreign objects are placed in the body, the immune system reacts to them adversely (as if they are an “invader”). This is why patients who have organ transplants and medical implants are at risk of having their bodies reject them.

In patients with breast implants, this immune response can create generalized inflammation, cognitive problems, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, infection, etc. During breast implant removal surgery, Dr. Mussat carefully removes the entire implant without rupturing it. She also removes the capsule of scar tissue around the implant. This approach ensures that no contaminants from the implant enter the patient’s body during the explant procedure.

4. The wish to return to a more natural look.

In the past, many slender women opted to have mid-sized or even large implants inserted. Because slim women don’t usually have enough natural breast tissue to cover large implants, doing this sometimes resulted in an overly round, artificial look. Today, these women frequently ask to have their large implants removed and replaced with smaller implants that better suit their frame.

Breast Implant Removal: Understanding Your Options

If your implants are causing you discomfort, Dr. Mussat can help you heal. Her approach of combining breast implant removal with breast lift surgery can address both medical and aesthetic concerns. Patients often leave her office with perkier, more even breasts (as compared to their pre-implant breasts) owing to her expertise in performing breast lifts. If you’d like to learn more about how she performs explant surgery, feel free to contact us to arrange a consultation.