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

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Category: Breast Surgery

The Potential Benefits of a Breast Reduction

Ill-fitting blouses, bra strap imprints, and sore shoulders make having large breasts not as desirable as many would think. Women with breasts too large for their body type often vent these complaints. In many cases, breast reduction surgery may be the only option to correct a disproportionate bust line and cause these types of discomfort. If you are a healthy woman who doesn’t smoke and have large breasts causing a whole lot of discomfort; this solution may be what’s best for you!

Why Consider a Breast Reduction

Having large breasts is more than finding clothing that fits. They can prevent a woman from living an active lifestyle comfortably and having confidence in her own skin. The extra weight at her bust line can cause physical and emotional distresses, including:

  • Shoulder, back, and neck pain
  • Irritation near the bra straps and at the breast crease
  • Makes exercising uncomfortable
  • Causes headaches
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Depression

There are multiple causes for breasts to become out of proportion with the rest of a woman’s body. They include weight fluctuation, pregnancy, and growth spurts during puberty. Breast reduction offers a safe resolution to ease the physical and emotional issues resulting from breasts which are too large. 

Breast Reduction Benefits

Okay, if you’re reading this article because you are considering a breast reduction, nobody has to tell you why you’re here. The benefits are the most important topic of any surgical procedure. Breast reduction surgery has many upsides, which will improve a patient’s quality of life. They include:

Aesthetics

Just like women seek breast augmentation surgery when their breasts are too small, breast reduction has a cosmetic value to patients who have breasts too large. Creating a sleeker body outline is essential to women who are concerned with their figure. Reducing breast size can bring harmony between her breasts and the other body parts. This physical accordance will not only improve her appearance but her self-confidence as well. 

More Active Lifestyle

Women who enjoy leading an active lifestyle may find sudden movements to be difficult with large breasts. Breast reduction surgery will help the patient avoid stress injuries like “jogger’s breasts,” which forms from repetitive motion. Physical activities like jogging, tennis, or going to the gym will help a girl stay in shape and remain healthy. Once recovery from breast reduction is complete, exercise, and hobbies like golf and skiing can become more fun.  

Shopping

Because clothing off the rack will fit comfortably, shopping will become more an enjoyable outing and less a chore. When breasts are too large, finding clothing which fits comfortably can be an issue. Sizes and fashions are more in line with a streamlined figure. Slimming down the bust line to align more with the rest of your body will make those trips to the shops delightful again. You will have more of a selection and can take advantage of more deals. 

Improved Quality of Life

Women who choose breast reduction surgery are generally very pleased with their results. Not only is there a cosmetic benefit, but the elimination of discomforts like back pain and headaches are a welcome effect. Combine these benefits with wearing what you want when you want to, working out with your friends, and not relegated to specialty stores to find clothes that will fit will have a significant impact on improving your quality of life. You will be happier with yourself and the way others see you. Your confidence will rise, as will your self-esteem. To learn how you can achieve these benefits for yourself, it’s simple. Just contact us to schedule a consultation today.

The Risk of Breast Implants: Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

When making any significant choice in life, it’s important to weigh the risks and rewards of your decision and find the safest path forward. This is especially true for women considering breast augmentation: Though silicone breast implants are safe for many patients, these devices have a history of causing adverse reactions in some individuals. Now, emerging evidence suggests that one type of silicone breast implant can cause a rare form of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma known as BIA-ALCL.

What is BIA-ALCL?

BIA-ALCL is a very rare and highly treatable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. BIA-ALCL is a not a type of breast cancer; instead, it’s a cancer that develops in the cells of the immune system.

Unlike many other forms of lymphoma, BIA-ALCL is not highly invasive. It usually develops in cells surrounding the patient’s implants (inside the capsule of scar tissue that forms around each implant) and it’s slow to spread to surrounding lymph nodes. However, like all cancers, BIA-ALCL does have the potential to spread throughout the body and produce serious illness. For this reason, it’s important to educate yourself about preventing, detecting, and treating BIA-ALCL if you’re considering breast augmentation.

How Prevalent is BIA-ALCL?

The vast majority of breast augmentation patients will never develop BIA-ALCL; to date, only just over 600 cases have been identified worldwide (out of the over 10 million women who have had breast augmentation). Your risk of developing this cancer is approximately 1 in 30,000.

Which Types of Implants are Associated with BIA-ALCL?

So far, only textured silicone gel implants have been associated with BIA-ALCL. Researchers believe that the textured surface of these implants may lead to bacterial overgrowth around the implant, increasing the patient’s risk of complications like BIA-ALCL.

Can BIA-ALCL be Prevented?

Right now, scientists aren’t sure how to completely prevent BIA-ALCL, but most cases can be avoided by choosing smooth silicone implants rather than textured implants. Saline implants also do not appear to be associated with any risk of this illness.

If you already have textured implants, the best way to protect yourself is to be aware of the early warning signs of BIA-ALCL. See your doctor or plastic surgeon as soon as you notice any unusual symptoms, including breast pain or skin irritation, swelling, breast asymmetry, lumps, or breast hardness.

How is BIA-ALCL Treated?

Most cases of BIA-ALCL are completely curable if caught early, but successful treatment requires a specialized form of breast implant removal surgery. To ensure that cancer cells remain contained and do not spread, surgeons must remove the patient’s implants “en bloc.” That is, they must remove the implants and the capsule of scar tissue around them at the same time, without cutting into the capsule. En bloc breast implant removal can prevent and cure BIA-ALCL for many patients, but in some cases, additional treatments may be necessary. Your doctor will let you know if you need to take any other steps to completely get rid of your illness.

                If you’ve decided that the risk of BIA-ALCL outweighs the benefits of having breast implants, Dr. Florence Mussat can help. She’s one of the only female plastic surgeons in Chicago to offer en bloc breast implant removal, and she has extensive experience treating patients with various forms of breast implant illness. To learn more about how you can safeguard your health while also maintaining your appearance, contact Dr. Mussat to arrange a consultation.

 

Understanding Breast Implant Illness

Going to the doctor with a variety of debilitating, mysterious symptoms is difficult enough; being told those symptoms have no cause can be crushing, embarrassing, and hurtful. Unfortunately, this is the experience thousands of women suffering from breast implant illness are forced to endure. At this time, breast implant illness is not recognized by the scientific community. Still, Dr. Florence Mussat has personally treated numerous women who claim their symptoms were relieved after they underwent  en bloc breast implant removal. In her view, it’s essential that medical practitioners retain an open mind and persist in trying to understand the causes of breast implant illness.

What is Breast Implant Illness?

“Breast implant illness” is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of symptoms believed to be related to silicone breast implants. Breast implant illness is different than having a ruptured implant. Ruptured silicone implants leak silicone gel into the body and usually cause the rapid onset of localized irritation (requiring immediate explant surgery). On the other hand, women with Breast implant illness complain their symptoms developed gradually after having undergone breast augmentation with implants. Patients with breast implant illness report experiencing fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain (either around the breasts or throughout the body), skin rashes, an irregular heart rate, anxiety, hair loss, and endocrine dysfunction, among other symptoms.

What Causes Breast Implant Illness?

The confusion over breast implant illness stems from the fact that silicone is thought to be a biocompatible material. Silicone is inert, meaning that it shouldn’t—in theory—react with human tissue or leach chemicals into the body. For this reason, silicone is used in a wide range of implantable medical devices, as well as being the material of choice for cosmetic implants.

This does not, of course, mean that silicone is guaranteed to be without risk. For many years, experts believed that the plastics used in baby bottles were safe; today, however, we know that the BPA they contained can cause a wide range of health problems. And silicone, while it appears to be inert, is not a completely natural substance. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not derived from sand alone; it’s actually a composite material that contains a number of synthetic additives. It’s, therefore, possible that silicone contains a compound we simply don’t yet realize can be harmful.

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different. Substances that don’t cause any adverse reaction in one individual can provoke a dramatic immune response in another; this is why allergies exist. It’s possible that some patients’ bodies identify silicone implants as “invaders,” and this sets off a cascade of troubling symptoms. Emerging evidence has already linked silicone breast implants to a slightly elevated risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a type of cancer that begins in the immune system, lending credence to the idea that silicone implants can disrupt normal immune function. According to a large-scale study of 99,993 breast augmentation patients, silicone breast implants may be linked to an increase in the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases (Sjogren syndrome, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis) and cancers (melanoma). This study, which was conducted by the Department of Plastic Surgery at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, also found that having breast implants can lead to reproductive challenges, notably stillbirth.

Bacteria may also play a role in the development of breast implant illness. Research has shown that most cases of breast implant illness occur in patients who have had textured (rather than smooth) silicone implants inserted. It is thought that the textured surface of these implants gives bacteria a better “foothold,” allowing it to proliferate. The patient’s immune system must then constantly fight back against this low-grade infection, giving rise to ongoing flu-like symptoms.

Regardless of what causes breast implant illness, it’s obvious that this condition is a genuine phenomenon. Many women complaining of breast implant illness who have undergone explant surgery report that their symptoms resolved shortly afterward. Clearly, more research needs to be done: Only when we understand this puzzling condition can we make breast augmentation safe for everybody.

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 en bloc 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.

Everything You Need to Know About Breast Revision

Breast revision surgery is the removal and replacement of original saline or silicone implants. Patients often have this procedure performed for two reasons: to correct any complications from previous surgery or to change the size or type of implants from the first breast implant procedure. What is the ultimate goal of breast revision? To give a person the youthful appearance that they desire.

There are actually a number of reasons a person could need or benefit from a breast revision. The first is any kind of leak. The saline implants could have deflated, or your silicone implant could have a leak. The second reason involves a change in size or a different type of implant. If you are not satisfied with your implants, then this procedure can easily solve that unhappiness and hopefully send you home with something better than before. Scar tissue is also an unfortunate factor as to why breast revision might be necessary. It can tighten around the implants, constricting them tightly. It is also a possibility that your implants have shifted. Some people also opt for a revision if they have extreme weight loss or any kind of change in their skin.

Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Revision?

The ideal patient for a breast revision needs to be in good physical health. This involves a healthy diet, exercise, emotionally healthy, and staying away from harmful substances. It is extremely important that a patient have realistic expectations when it comes to their procedure.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Breast Revision?

Every person’s body will age –  you cannot stay young forever and that is just fact. This is an obvious con to any procedure including breast revision. Gravity and aging will have an effect on your body regardless of what you do to it. But in the short term after your procedure, these factors won’t even be on your radar. You will have a youthful appearance. This procedure can also fix any problems that occurred with your first breast implant surgery.

What Happens During Breast Revision Surgery?

Plastic surgery is a unique business. Meaning it is completely individual. A person’s procedure is specifically designed for their needs. This procedure is planned out from conversations with your surgeon and according to your needs and wants. In this specific procedure, there are a number of reasons as to why someone is having a breast revision done.

Sizing Change

A common reason, as mentioned above, is changing the actual implant size. This procedure will involve your surgeon using previous incision sights, so as to not cause unnecessary scarring, to remove and insert the new implants.

Implant Malfunctions

If your implants have hardened, your surgeon can remove those implants and give you new implants. Your surgeon can use the original incision sights to either remove or move the implants back into place, depending on the incision that was originally used. Another common issue with implants is malposition. This involves implants that are too close together or too far apart. The surgeon can use a tactic involving scar tissue and the original incision sights to correct the positions making the breasts look more natural.

Removal of the Implants

Breast revision is used very commonly to remove implants. There are various reasons for the removal of implants, such as changing opinions of one’s body or health reasons. Each reason is specific to the individual.

How Can I Get the Results That I Want?

The key to a successful procedure is communication with your surgeon. It is also important that you truly know what you want when it comes to your procedure. This will give your surgeon a better understanding of what exactly they need to do to give you the results that you desire. The conversations between you and your surgeon will include many different topics that include the type of implants, location, size, and what type of anesthesia is needed for your specific procedure.

How Can I Prepare for This Procedure?

During your visits and consultations with your surgeon, you will be given a list of procedures to follow in regards to preparing for the procedure itself. The list includes: avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs that increase bleeding, abstain from smoking and alcohol, hydration, post-surgery care, stocking up on healthy foods, avoiding hot showers for a couple of weeks following your procedure, and give yourself time to rest and heal after your procedure.

If you’d like to learn more about breast revision you can schedule a private consultation. During your initial meeting, Dr, Mussat will provide you with all the information you need about the procedure and answer any questions you may have.