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


Category: plastic surgery

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 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.

Top 5 Beneficial Procedures For Weight Loss

Plastic surgery should never be considered a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. This is why Dr. Florence Mussat offers medical weight loss programs to help her patients slim down in a safe, manageable way. But, what if you’ve already done the hard work of losing weight? Can plastic surgery help you contour problem areas and improve your weight loss outcomes? Yes, it can—and here’s how:

Liposuction: The Best Solution for Localized Fat Deposits

For many people, getting close to a healthy weight isn’t the hardest part of weight loss. Instead, it’s those last ten or twenty pounds that can seem all but impossible to shift. Factors beyond our control—like genetics, hormones, and natural aging—can create pockets of diet-resistant fat. Women who have had children, for example, often have stores of stubborn fat on their hips, flanks, and thighs. Likewise, most people over 40 have some degree of fat centralization. As we get older, fat leaves our extremities, settling around the midriff instead. Consequently, a person can stay the same weight for decades, but still develop diet-resistant belly fat.

Liposuction is the best way to remove stubborn, localized fat deposits, because it’s both safe and effective. Unlike extreme dieting, it won’t put patients at risk of nutritional deficiencies or energy deficits. Fat is liquefied with a special solution, then extracted through a thin tube (called a cannula). The whole procedure can be performed using just local anesthetic, and the patient usually feels better within five to seven days.

Gynecomastia Surgery: Better Body Confidence for Men

Male breast enlargement—also called gynecomastia—makes it extremely difficult for affected men to adhere to a fitness routine. Men with gynecomastia typically avoid any activity that will draw attention to the chest. Furthermore, research has shown that some men with this condition actually gain weight on purpose, thinking that a large belly will take attention away from their chest area. Fortunately, there’s a much healthier solution: Gynecomastia surgery. This procedure permanently reduces the size of enlarged breasts, giving men the freedom to exercise without embarrassment.

Body Contouring: Key to Long-Term Weight Maintenance

Formerly obese individuals who have lost a large amount of weight (either through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery) are strongly advised to consider plastic surgery. According to a study published in the October 2013 edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, formerly obese patients who don’t undergo body contouring regain at least 11% of the weight they lost. Patients who do undergo body contouring, on the other hand, regain just 4% of the weight they lost.

Body contouring can take the form of a full body lift (usually recommended for patients who have lost 100 or more pounds) or a tummy tuck.

The Mommy Makeover: Healing After Pregnancy

For new moms, the biggest barrier to exercise is usually damaged abdominal muscles. During pregnancy, the tissue that joins the lateral halves of the abdominal muscles often tears. Once this happens, the muscles no longer work together properly. As a result, they weaken, and the stomach protrudes outward—even after all of the “baby weight” is gone. During a mommy makeover, sutures are placed in the patient’s damaged abdominal tissue, allowing it to heal properly.

Plastic surgery isn’t a substitute for diet and exercise, but it can be a powerful weapon in your fight against weight gain. To learn more about these procedures, contact Dr. Mussat to schedule a personal consultation.


Your Guide to Body Contouring

“Body contouring” refers to any procedure that changes the shape of the body. Surgical body contouring can be used to add volume to specific areas, remove unwanted fat, or get rid of loose skin. Adults of all ages can benefit from body contouring, and these procedures are suitable for a variety of different body types. If you’re in good health and close to your ideal weight, you’re probably a good candidate for body contouring.

Volume-Enhancing Procedures

Volume-enhancing procedures consistently rank among America’s most popular plastic surgeries. Their ability to create the perfect hourglass figure has made them a Hollywood staple. Many famous physiques have received some help from breast augmentation surgery and, more recently, the Brazilian Butt Lift. Unlike breast augmentation, the BBL doesn’t utilize silicone implants. Instead, the patient’s own fat is removed (via liposuction), processed in a centrifuge, and injected into the buttocks. This creates a permanent increase in volume that both looks and feels completely natural.

Fat Reduction Procedures

Though it’s not possible to use cosmetic surgery for significant overall weight loss, procedures like liposuction are excellent for “spot reducing” fat. Sometimes, fatty deposits in certain areas don’t respond to diet and exercise, remaining in place even when further weight loss would be unhealthy. People over 40, for example, often retain a little bit of belly fat, no matter how much they work out. This happens because fat stores more centralized around the abdomen as we get older. Liposuction can remove about five to eight pounds of this stubborn fat in one quick, easy procedure. Modern liposuction is only minimally invasive and can usually be performed with the use of just local anesthesia.

Skin Tightening Procedures

Loose skin is a common side effect of natural aging, pregnancy, and significant weight loss. Not only is excess skin unsightly and embarrassing, it can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. Loose skin is prone to chafing, and it can become chronically irritated or infected. Patients with more than an inch or two of loose skin in any area should therefore consider surgical skin tightening.

Dr. Florence Mussat offers a number of targeted skin resection procedures, such as the arm lift, thigh lift, and tummy tuck surgery. She’s also one of a small number of plastic surgeons who have the expertise required to perform body lift surgery. This highly specialized procedure, which is usually recommended for bariatric weight loss patients, removes folds of loose skin from the whole circumference of the body. This procedure gives people who have successfully overcome obesity the freedom to exercise and wear any clothing style of their choice. Post-bariatric surgery is associated with vastly improved weight maintenance outcomes; when patients are happy with their shape, they’re much less likely to regain the weight they have lost.

Getting Started on Your Body Contouring Journey

Before you have any body contouring procedure, you’ll need to be within a healthy weight range. If you’re struggling to achieve this goal, we can help. Dr. Mussat also provides guided medical weight loss programs for her patients. These programs are designed by physicians to help patients lose weight safely—and keep it off. To learn more about medical weight loss or body contouring, contact us to schedule a consultation. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you.

What to Expect from Your Labiaplasty Recovery

Labiaplasty is often referred to as being the little operation with the big recovery time. While the operation itself is brief, usually performed under local anesthesia and takes less than two hours, certain lifestyle adjustments need to be maintained for at least six weeks afterward. If you’re planning to book a labiaplasty consultation soon, here’s what you need to know to form a recovery schedule:

5 Things Facts about Labiaplasty Recovery

1. Labiaplasty recovery is not usually very painful, but some soreness is to be expected.

Most women experience some soreness and swelling for three to five days after their operation. In rare cases, this tenderness can last for up to two weeks. To maximize comfort, you’ll be given prescription painkillers after your surgery. Remember: it’s easier to prevent pain than it is to control it once it’s flared up.  We suggest taking your first dose of medication before your anesthetic has worn off.

Adjusting your lifestyle will help, too. Try to spend the week after your surgery resting on your back in bed; only get up when necessary and avoid placing pressure on the area by sitting up directly. Instead, prop your body up on pillows if you want to read or watch TV. Note that cool compresses can be a great way to reduce pain and swelling.

2. You should plan to take at least one week off work.

Sitting, walking, and other normal activities will be painful right after you have surgery. You’ll need to take at least one full week off work to rest and recover. If you have a highly active job (one where you’re often required to bend down or lift heavy objects), you will probably need to take two weeks off, or longer. When you come in for a labiaplasty consultation, make sure to discuss the demands of your job with Dr. Mussat.

3. You’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise for at least one full month after your labiaplasty.

The tissues of the labia minora are extremely delicate. They remain prone to tearing for weeks—even after your sutures are gone. You will need to limit all forms of strenuous activity, like vigorous exercise and lifting heavy objects, for one month after having a labiaplasty. If you try exercising after this amount of time has passed and discover that it still causes you pain, you should stop immediately and wait another two weeks.

Note that some forms of exercise, such as cycling, should be avoided for at least six weeks after having this type of operation. Cycling places a great deal of pressure on the treatment area and must be approached with caution.

4. You’ll need to abstain from sex for six weeks after having a labiaplasty.

The amount of friction involved in sexual activity creates a strong risk of tearing. To ensure complete healing and reduce the risk of infection, you’ll need to avoid sex for six weeks after having a labiaplasty.

5. Mild lingering or periodic soreness for weeks or months after labiaplasty is normal.

Scar tissue takes a long time to fully mature (usually between six months to one year). In the meantime, it’s normal for this type of tissue to sometimes become slightly inflamed, causing minor soreness or irritation. If this happens to you, don’t panic; apply a cool compress to the area and rest it. If you have severe soreness, redness, and inflammation, you should see a doctor right away to rule out the possibility of infection.

As a final note, after your operation, you’ll be given special bathing instructions and a disinfecting cleanser. Make sure to use this cleanser to minimize the risk of infection, as the area is particularly prone to developing post-surgical infections.

Booking Your Labiaplasty Consultation

If you have any questions about this procedure, or you’re ready to book a consultation, contact us. Dr. Mussat is a highly experienced female plastic surgeon who has extensive knowledge about this procedure. She’ll be happy to answer your questions and put your mind at ease about having a labiaplasty. While labiaplasty recovery involves some lifestyle adjustments, the rewards of this procedure—increased comfort and confidence —are well worth it.