Plastic Surgery

 

Plastic Surgery

 
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Welcome to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Morehouse Healthcare. If you need reconstructive surgery after trauma or cancer or desire elective cosmetic surgery, our surgeons provide the full range of surgical and non-surgical (Botox, fillers, etc.) plastic surgery procedures. We believe in providing aesthetically pleasing, natural and long-lasting results while maintaining uncompromising safety. We are committed to treating the whole patient and want you to partner with us in making your healthcare decisions. Our surgeons and staff are warm, attentive and dedicated to serving you in all your cosmetic and reconstructive needs.

Cosmetic Procedures

Body Procedures

Facial Procedures
Non-Surgical Procedures

Reconstructive Procedures

Cosmetic Breast Procedures

Breast surgery including breast augmentation, breast lift and breast reduction remains one of the most popular (top 5) plastic surgery procedures for both women and men. Dr. Kpodzo offers a number of breast procedures for her patients. These procedures are focused on improving the shape, size and appearance of the breasts.

Breast Augmentation

Many women seek out enhancement of their breasts in order to achieve a more balanced and feminine figure. Breast augmentation surgery makes breasts larger by placing a saline or silicone breast implant both of which are safe and FDA approved. For women with who have loose skin over the breasts a breast lift might also be needed in addition to the breast augmentation. When you come for a consultation with Dr. Kpodzo she will discuss your unique situation and recommend the best type of implant, placement of the implant (under the muscle or under the breast tissue) and type of incision.

As a part of your initial breast augmentation you will also “try on” implants. This involves placing different sizes of implants into your bra and looking in the mirror, this will help you and Dr. Kpodzo to decide on an implant size together. We encourage you to bring a sports bra or non-padded bra along with you on your consultation as well as a fitted shirt or blouse so that you can better see your new shape.

Breast Augmentation Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting – preformed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia – General anesthetic
  • About the Surgery - surgery typically takes around 2 hours
Implant Placement
  • Above the muscle - appropriate for women with a moderate amount of breast tissue, usually makes for an easier recovery after surgery
  • Under the muscle - appropriate for women with little natural breast tissue, increased discomfort after surgery due to the muscle work
Surgical Incisions
  • Under the breast - a small incision is hidden in the crease of the breast
  • Around the nipple areola - an incision is hidden in the transition between the dark skin around the nipple and areola and the lighter surrounding skin
  • In the armpit (axilla) - an incision is made in the armpit, only used for saline implants

After Surgery
Surgery typically takes 2-3 hours, most patients take one week off from work. Light exercise is possible at 3 weeks. There will be some swelling and bruising which will temporarily affect the shape of the breast. The implants tend to “settle” over time and the final result can be seen at 3-6 months after surgery.

Breast Lift
The breasts change over time, weight loss, weight gain, breast feeding and just plain old gravity can take a toll over the years. Breast lift surgery improves the appearance of breasts by lifting up, tightening, reshaping and rejuvenating the breasts. The breast lift can also reduce the size of large or stretched out areola (dark skin around the nipple). Some women need a breast implant in addition to the breast lift in order to give them the best shape. Dr. Kpodzo tailors her surgical technique to deliver the perky youthful appearing breast that you are looking for.

Breast Lift Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - preformed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
The surgery typically takes about 2 – 4 hours. Minor breast lifts with or without breast augmentation usually involve incisions around the nipple only. When a more significant lift is needed additional incisions are added on the lower part of the breast producing a lollipop or anchor shaped scar.

After Surgery
Most patients take one week off from work. Light exercise is possible at 3 weeks. There will be some swelling and bruising which will temporarily affect the shape of the breast. The final result can be seen at 3-6 months after surgery.

Breast Reduction
Coping with large heavy breasts can be physically and psychologically challenging for women of all ages. This surgery provides both functional and cosmetic improvement; it is the surgery with the highest satisfaction rate in plastic surgery. Dr. Kpodzo removes excess breast tissue and skin in this surgery thereby improving the neck, back and shoulder pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps and rashes which women experience. It also improves limitations in clothing choices and restriction of physical activities while creating more youthful, perky, and proportional breasts.

Breast Reduction Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - preformed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic
  • About the Surgery - the surgery typically takes about 2 – 4 hours. Excess breast tissue and skin are removed and the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position and remaining breast tissue is reshaped.
Surgical Incisions
  • Lollipop - for a moderate reduction incisions are made around the nipple and in a vertical line down to the crease of the breast
  • Anchor - for larger reductions incisions are made around the nipple, in a vertical line down to the crease of the breast and then horizontally in the crease of the breast

After Surgery
Most patients feel well within a few days but most take at least one week off from work. Light exercise is possible at 3 weeks. There will be some swelling and bruising which will temporarily affect the shape of the breast. The final result can be seen at 3-6 months after surgery.

Body Contouring

How you see and feel about your body can play an important role in how you see yourself. It can be challenging to achieve your desired look in spite of all your hard work at the gym and maintaining a healthy diet. You are not alone, and we can help. Dr. Kpodzo offers a wide range of surgical procedures which can reshape your body to give you the smoother, more sculpted and more proportional shape which you desire.

Congratulations on your weight loss, you have already successfully completed the hardest part of the process. You have already made great strides to improving your health and body image, now body contouring can help to address the loose skin which still remains from the “old you”. When patients have undergone gastric bypass surgery or weight loss due to carefully managed diet and exercise they are usually left with large amounts of loose skin on their neck, arms, stomach, and thighs. The excess skin may cause self-consciousness and difficulty fitting in clothing. Body contouring surgery can help to address these areas; neck lift, arm lift, thigh lift, tummy tuck, and body lift surgery are some of the options which Dr. Kpodzo uses to give you the shape you desire. In many cases multiple surgeries may be needed.

Brazilian Butt Lift

Many women desire a more curvaceous and feminine shape including a more rounded and pronounced backside. A butt lift popularly known as the “Brazilian Butt Lift” uses your own fat and grafts it to your butt in in order to enlarge it. The added bonus is that unwanted fat from your stomach, back and hips is removed to provide the fat for grafting your backside. The end result is a flatter leaner appearance in the places you want and the beautifully rounded and firm derrière which you have always wanted.

Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - preformed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
The length of the surgery depends on how much fat is needed and the desired amount of enlargement of the butt. First the fat is removed from the selected areas of your body using liposuction. The fat is then processed, concentrated and injected into different areas of your buttocks in order to create a more rounded and shapely appearance.

Liposuction

Many people have specific deposits of fat which are resistant to dieting and exercise. For women this might be under the chin, above or below the bra line, waistline, hips and thighs. For men common areas are under the chin and the waistline. Liposuction is an excellent way to address these specific areas and to restore a more harmonious and proportional shape, but it is not a strategy for weight loss and is not for patients who are significantly overweight or have sagging skin.

Liposuction Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - depending on the amount of liposuction the surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day or may require one night in the hospital
  • Anesthesia - Local, intravenous sedation, or general anesthetic depending upon the location and extent of the procedure

About the Surgery
The surgical time varies depending on the amount of liposuction being done. A series of small incisions are made and a thin tube is inserted to suck out the fat in unwanted areas

After Surgery
Most patients are able to return to work after 1 week. Patients are required to wear a snug “spandex style” compression garment over the area of surgery, this helps to decrease swelling and speed up the healing process. Swelling and bruising may be present for several weeks after surgery.

Mommy Makeover

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding experiences a woman can have. The miracle of pregnancy and breastfeeding are only two of the special things you have done to give your child(ren) the absolute best in life. Although you would never change one moment of motherhood you may not be happy with the changes in your body. Many women experience deflation, sagging or enlargement of their previously perky breasts, and excess abdominal fat and skin over that previously flat abdomen. The good news is that you can have it all, all the joys of motherhood and the more sculpted shape that you had pre-pregnancy. The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures geared toward your individual needs. Depending on your unique situation Dr. Kpodzo will tailor a combination of procedures including breast lift (with or without implant), breast reduction, tummy tuck, and liposuction just for you.

Male Specific Cosmetic Procedures

More men are taking the opportunity to learn more about plastic surgery procedures and many of them can benefit greatly from these procedures. In 2012 almost 1 million men underwent a cosmetic surgery procedure which is a 106% increase since 1997! Men are excellent candidates for eyelid lift, browlift, nose job (rhinoplasty), chin implant, face lift, neck lift, body contouring, liposuction, tummy tuck, and non-surgical procedures such as Botox® and fillers. Dr. Kpodzo will be happy to see you in consultation to discuss how these procedures may help you to achieve a youthful, masculine, and attractive physique.

Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Repair)

An estimated 40 – 60% of men suffer from excess breast tissue at some point in their lives, so if you are experiencing this, you are not alone. The condition of gynecomastia is a condition where males suffer from abnormally enlarged breasts this occurs very commonly during adolescence, or in adulthood due to weight gain or medications. The presence of this tissue can cause self-consciousness and embarrassment for men when removing their shirt in front of others. Dr. Kpodzo uses various techniques including liposuction and direct removal of tissue and skin to reveal a flatter, firmer and more masculine physique.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
  • The surgery typically takes about 2 – 4 hours. Excess fat and breast tissue is removed, large nipples are reduced in size.
  • Liposuction - liposuction is performed using multiple small incisions to remove fatty tissue, in many cases this approach alone is sufficient
  • Surgical Excision - an incision is made around the lower part of the nipple and areola and excess breast tissue and fat are removed through this incision. A large nipple and areola can be reduced by making an incision around it and removing some of this darker colored skin

After Surgery
Most patients take a few days to one week off from work. Sports and vigorous exercise must be strictly avoided for 6 weeks. A snug “spandex style” compression vest must be worn 24 hours a day for at least one week after surgery and then for an additional 2 weeks with short breaks.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Both men and women can be affected by excess skin and fat around the mid-section. Pregnancy can take a toll on the abdomen leaving sagging skin, stretch marks and separation of the abdominal muscles which cannot be fixed in the gym. Healthy active men may also benefit from a tummy tuck to address excessive abdominal fat and skin. Dr. Kpodzo uses various surgical techniques to help you achieve the slimmer, flatter and more youthful waistline which you desire.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - can be performed on an outpatient basis in select patients meaning some patients can go home on the same day, but depending on the extensiveness of the surgery Dr. Kpodzo may recommend that you spend one night in the hospital
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
The surgery typically takes about 2 – 4 hours. Most patients need an incision from hip to hip which is made low down near the pubic region so it can be hidden by your favorite underwear or swimsuit. The excess skin and fat which hangs over the belt line is removed and the muscles are tightened. Some patients are candidates for a smaller “mini” tummy tuck, while others may need additional tissue removed vertically as well in the “fleur de lis” tummy tuck; Dr. Kpodzo individualizes the plan for each patient. We offer the option of performing the procedure without leaving drainage tubes which is much more convenient and comfortable for patients after surgery. We also offer the pain buster pump which drips numbing medication (local anesthetic) under the skin, and Exparel® which is a long lasting numbing medication to help manage post-operative pain.

After Surgery
Most patients take two weeks off from work. Light exercise is possible at 3 weeks, but patients are asked to stay away any vigorous activity or exercise for 6 weeks after surgery. There will be some swelling and bruising which will temporarily mask the final shape of the abdomen. The final shape can be seen at 3-6 months after surgery but the scar will continue to mature for up to 1 year.

Brow Lift

Heavy, sagging eyebrows and forehead wrinkles can make you look older, worried and tired. Brow lift or forehead lift surgery is can reposition the eyebrow and help to smooth out forehead wrinkles. This surgery is often done in combination with other procedures such as eyelid lift or facelift.

Brow Lift Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day. Patients undergoing more extensive brow lifts or combining this surgery with a face lift may have to spend one night in the hospital.
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
The location of the incision depends on the unique needs of each patient, most often the incisions can be hidden in or along the hairline

After Surgery
Most patients take 1-2 weeks off from work. Swelling and bruising can last for 1-2 weeks. Immediately after surgery patients must avoid any activity that will raise their blood pressure and the head is kept elevated to help decrease swelling. After about 2 weeks light exercise such as walking can be resumed but sports and vigorous exercise must be avoided for 4-6 weeks.

Ear Pinning (Otoplasty)

Having protruding or prominent ears may be a source of self-consciousness and embarrassment. Some people may have experienced merciless teasing during school, and there are many men and women who feel that their hairstyles are even dictated by the appearance of their ears, always wearing it long and down to cover the ears. Fortunately ear pinning (otoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure which can reduce the size of the ears and pin them back closer to the head.

Ear Pinning Surgery (Otoplasty): What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic or intravenous sedation combined with local anesthesia

About the Surgery
The incision is hidden behind the ear, through this incision the cartilage can be molded or removed to bring the ear closer to the face and to give it an improved shape

After Surgery
Most patients feel well after 1 or 2 days but take 1week off from work. The ears are wrapped in a headband or turban-like dressing for about 1 week. After about 2 weeks light exercise can be resumed but sports and vigorous exercise must be avoided for 4 weeks.

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Heavy, sagging eyelids and puffy bags under the eyes can make you appear more tired or older than you feel. The cause may be aging changes around the eye. If this sounds familiar, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may be a great option to refresh, brighten and rejuvenate your eyes and your overall appearance.

If you have undesired results from previous cosmetic or reconstructive surgery around the eye, Dr. Kpodzo can help with this as well. Abnormal shape or abnormal position of the lower eyelid (ectropion), or rounded eyes can be repaired using advanced techniques.

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty): What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia – Depending on the extent of surgery planned the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthetic
About the Surgery
  • Upper Eyelids - incisions are made within the natural crease of the eye making the scars nearly imperceptible once they heal. Through this incision excess skin can be removed, droopy eyelids (eyelid ptosis) can be repaired, and puffiness from extra fat around the eye can be addressed
  • Lower Eyelids - the incision is hidden in a position close to the eyelashes or in some cases the incision is made inside the eyelid to hide it completely. Through these incisions excess skin (eyelash incision only) and puffiness from extra fat around the eye can be removed. Lower eyelid wrinkles, droopy lower lids, and dark circles around the eyes can be improved and the cheeks can be lifted (midface lift) through the eyelash incision.
  • Eyelid Repair - various techniques are used to repair the eye. Techniques include lateral canthoplasty which anchors the eyelid or using a “spacer” made from acellular dermal matrix (the thick part of the skin from which all the cells have been removed) or ear cartilage.

After Surgery
Most patients take 1-2 weeks off from work. Immediately after surgery there will be noticeable swelling and bruising around the eye. Applying ice during the first 48 hours and keeping the head elevated is important to help decrease swelling after the operation. Eye drops and ointment are applied to the eyes after surgery; the ointment can make your vision a little blurry.

Facelift

Many men and women feel self-conscious about the changes in their facial features as they age. For some the problem is deep smile lines, hollow cheeks, or sagging skin around their jaw line (jowls) or neck. For some excess eyelid skin, wrinkles and puffiness around the eye, or drooping eyebrows may be the problem. Dr. Kpodzo can help you achieve a rejuvenated, more youthful, but natural-looking appearance. The procedure is customized to each individual patient’s unique needs. In certain cases Dr. Kpodzo may recommend combining the facelift with other procedures such as eyelid lift, brow lift, midface lift or chemical peel to complement the procedure and produce the beautiful and harmonious result which you desire.

Facelift Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - smaller facelifts can be performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day, patients undergoing more extensive facelifts and older patients usually spend one night in the hospital after the procedure.
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
The surgery typically takes about 4-6 hours depending on whether a mini-facelift, full facelift, or neck lift is done. The incisions are hidden along the hairline and in natural folds to camouflage them. For some patients a small incision will be made under the chin in order to shape and tighten the neck.

After Surgery
Most patients take at least 2 weeks off from work. Swelling and bruising can last for 1-2 weeks. Immediately after surgery patients must avoid any activity that will raise their blood pressure and the head is kept elevated to help decrease swelling. After about 2 weeks very light exercise such as walking can be resumed but sports and vigorous exercise must be strictly avoided for 4-6 weeks. You will need to wear a chin strap for 24 hours a day for at least one week after surgery. The final result cannot be appreciated until about 6 months after surgery.

Neck Lift

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your neck you are not alone. Many men and women describe developing a “turkey neck” as the skin on their neck ages, loosens, wrinkles, and sags. Some patients may be bothered by vertical bands which form between their chin and neck. Using various techniques Dr. Kpodzo can smooth out the wrinkles and tighten the muscle underneath to restore the clean angles seen in a youthful neck, chin, and jaw. This surgery can be done alone, or combined with a facelift.

Neck Lift Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - patients usually spend one night in the hospital after the procedure.
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
The surgery typically takes about 4-6 hours depending on whether a mini-facelift, full facelift, or neck lift alone is done. For some patients a small incision will be made under the chin in order to shape and tighten the neck. For additional tightening Dr. Kpodzo may add an incision which goes around the bottom part of the ear, behind the ear and into the hair (similar to a facelift type of incision). Some liposuction of the neck is often performed as part of the procedure.

After Surgery
Most patients take 1-2 weeks off from work. Swelling and bruising can last for 1-2 weeks. Immediately after surgery patients must avoid any activity that will raise their blood pressure and the head is kept elevated to help decrease swelling. After about 2 weeks very light exercise such as walking can be resumed but sports and vigorous exercise must be strictly avoided for 4-6 weeks. You will need to wear a chin strap for 24 hours a day for at least one week after surgery and then in the evenings for another 2 weeks.

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

The nose can be a dominating facial feature. If it is out of proportion it can distract attention from other attractive features. Rhinoplasty surgery can reshape various parts of the nose to make it blend better with the overall appearance of your face. In some cases breathing problems can also be improved during the procedure. During your consultation Dr. Kpodzo will listen closely to your concerns about your nose and develop a plan to alter your nose in a way that will be flattering and improve your facial symmetry. It is not about giving you someone else’s nose, but giving you a more attractive and proportional version of your nose.

Rhinoplasty Surgery (Nose Job): What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - patients performed on an outpatient basis meaning you go home on the same day
  • Anesthesia - General anesthetic

About the Surgery
In most cases patients will have a small incision across the columella (the bridge of skin between the two nostrils) as well as some incisions hidden inside the nose.

After Surgery
You will feel good after a few days but most patients take 1 week off from work. Swelling and bruising can last for up to 2 weeks. Immediately after surgery patients must avoid any activity that will raise their blood pressure and the head is kept elevated to help decrease swelling. Following the surgery a nasal splint (plastic covering) is left in place for one week to protect the new nose, in some cases you may have a splint or packing inside your nose as well. After about 2 weeks very light exercise such as walking can be resumed but sports and vigorous exercise must be strictly avoided for 4-6 weeks. The final appearance of your nose cannot be judged until 6 months after surgery.

Botox®

Botox® is the most popular cosmetic treatment requested by patients today. Dr. Kpodzo uses tiny well placed injections of Botox® to temporarily erase those “frown lines”, forehead wrinkles, “crow’s feet” and “bunny lines” which can contribute to the ageing appearance of your face. Botox® helps to relax (not paralyze) the overactive facial muscles which cause those wrinkles. The results are temporary, lasting 3-4 months on average.

Botox® can also be used for treatment of migraines and for excessive sweating under the arms or of the palms.

Botox® Cosmetic: What to Expect
  • Excellent non-surgical procedure for facial rejuvenation with no down time
  • Minimal bruising sometimes occurs
  • Results typically last 3-4 months
  • Repeat treatment is need to maintain results
  • Early treatment may help to prevent deep wrinkling caused by overactive facial muscles

Fillers (Juvederm®, Restylane®, Belatero®)

With age we all lose volume in our faces resulting in wrinkles, shadows, and folds. Common areas involved are around the eyelids and lips, and between the nose and the mouth (nasolabial folds), and the mouth and the jaw (marionette lines). Fillers are used to restore volume to the skin, thereby smoothing out those wrinkles and lines making them less noticeable. After evaluating you Dr. Kpodzo will select the filler which best meets your individual needs.

Fillers: What to Expect
  • Excellent non-surgical procedure for facial rejuvenation with no down time
  • Minimal bruising sometimes occurs
  • Results typically last 6-12 months depending on the type of filler used and area it is used on
  • Repeat treatment is need to maintain results

Latisse®

Latisse® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%) is a drug which promotes the growth of longer, fuller and darker eyelashes. The drug was created when it was noted that Lumigan® an eyedrop used to treat glaucoma caused eyelash growth, Latisse® uses the same active ingredient (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Latisse for the cosmetic use of eyelash growth. In order to do this Latisse® is applied to eyelash line rather than into the eye like Lumigan®.

If you would like to hear more about Latisse and if it would be right for you, Dr. Kpodzo would be happy to see you in consultation.

Breast Reconstruction

Each year in the United States a few hundred thousand women battle and triumph over breast cancer. At Morehouse Plastic Surgery we are honored to be part of your team on your pathway to recovery. For a woman losing one or both breasts can be emotionally difficult and can affect her sense of femininity, sexuality and overall quality of life. Breast reconstruction restores the natural breast mound, nipple and areola and helps to decrease the sense of loss which can be felt after mastectomy or partial mastectomy.

Under federal law breast reconstruction must be covered by health insurance. The 1998 Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act gives all women who have undergone mastectomy the following rights:

  • Reconstruction of the breast on the side which the mastectomy was performed
  • Surgery on the other breast in order to produce a symmetrical appearance
  • External prostheses and garments used in the treatment of physical complications (including lymphedema) after mastectomy

Breast Reconstruction Options
Breast reconstruction can be done immediately, on the same day as the mastectomy or can be delayed to allow you to heal completely from your mastectomy first. Either way it is good to get your plastic surgeon involved early on so that together with you, your surgical oncologist, and your medical oncologist a plan can be orchestrated. If you have already had your mastectomy you may still be a candidate for reconstruction. There are two main categories of breast reconstruction, implant based which uses a silicone implant to create the breast mound, and tissue-based (autologous) reconstruction which uses your own skin, fat, and muscle to recreate the breast. In your consultation with Dr. Kpodzo she will take her time to review all these options with you, and together you will select the best option for you keeping in mind your body shape, and what your desires are with respect to breast size, feel, and shape as well as recovery time.


Breast Reconstruction Surgery: What to Expect
  • Surgical Setting - these are in-patient procedures which are performed in the hospital, you will need to stay in the hospital for one or more nights
  • Anesthesia - General anesthesia

About the Surgery

Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
  • Immediate Implant – after the mastectomy a silicone implant is immediately placed under the chest muscle. This is an option for patients who have enough skin to accommodate the implant, and enough tissue thickness to cover it
  • Tissue Expander to Implant – during the first stage of the surgery a tissue expander (a silicone shell which can be filled with salt water) is placed under the chest muscle. Once you have healed you will visit your surgeon regularly (usually once a week) to slowly fill the tissue expander with salt water. Once the skin has been stretched enough (usually 3-4 months after your first surgery) you will be ready for the second procedure where the tissue expander is removed and the permanent silicone implant is placed.

Tissue-Based (Autologous) Breast Reconstruction
  • Latissimus Flap - the latissimus dorsi muscle is one of your back muscles. An incision is made over the upper/ mid-back and the skin, fat, and latissimus muscle are transferred to your breast area to recreate the breast mound. Sometimes an implant is needed under the tissue to create a larger breast. There will be a scar on the back.
  • TRAM Flap – the TRAM (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous) flap uses your lower abdominal skin, fat, and ab muscle (rectus abdominus muscle) are rotated and tunneled up to recreate the breast mound. Extra abdominal tissue is removed creating a flatter stomach, and leaving a scar over the lower stomach.
  • Free TRAM Flap – the free TRAM uses the lower abdominal skin, fat, and part of the ab muscle (rectus abdominus muscle) to recreate the breast mound. The flap is transferred to the chest and the blood vessels on the flap are connected to blood vessels on the chest using microvascular surgery which is a technique which uses a specialized microscope for magnification during surgery.
  • DIEP Flap – the DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap uses the lower abdominal skin and fat but spares the ab muscle (rectus abdominus muscle), which is what makes it different from the TRAM flap. The flap is transferred to the chest and the blood vessels on the flap are connected to blood vessels on the chest using the same type of microvascular surgery technique described for the free TRAM flap.

Additional Breast Reconstruction Procedures
  • Nipple Reconstruction – the nipple is reconstructed using the skin and fat over the implant or from the flap. The process basically uses an “origami” like process to turn a two dimensional piece of tissue into a three dimensional nipple. This surgery is typically done under local anesthesia.
  • Nipple/Areola Tattooing – the normal dark color of the nipple and areola is recreated using tattooing techniques. This procedure can be done with local.
  • Fat Grafting – using liposuction the patient’s own fat is removed from a part of the body there is excess. The fat is then grafted around the reconstructed breast in order to further improve and soften the contour of the breast, diminish any implant ripples which may be present, or fill in the upper portion of the breast for more cleavage.

After Surgery
The post-op recovery depends on what kind of surgery is done. For implant-based reconstructions patients typically stay in the hospital for 1-2 days and take 2 weeks away from work; it takes about 4 weeks to get back to normal routine. If a second surgery is needed to place the final implant it is typically an outpatient procedure meaning the patient can go home on the same day. For tissue-based breast reconstruction the latissimus flap surgery typically requires 1-3 days in the hospital and about 2 weeks away from work. Patients typically feel normal and are back to their usual routine after about 4 weeks. TRAM flap and DIEP flap patients remain in the hospital for 3-5 days; patients may take between 2-4 weeks away from work and be back to a normal routine after about 6-8 weeks. The additional breast reconstruction procedures listed can all be done on an outpatient basis.

Keloids

Keloids affect many people, they are more common in certain families and in particular ethnic groups such as Asians and people of African heritage. Typically people who have darker skin tend to be more prone to getting keloids. Keloids can be difficult to treat but there are several treatment options including surgery, injections with steroids or 5-FU, skin creams, and in some cases radiation. Often times Dr. Kpodzo uses a combination of these approaches to treat a keloid. Please schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate for keloid treatment.

Scar Revision

Whether from an injury, burn, or from a previous surgery you may have scars which you are unhappy with. In some cases these scars can prevent normal function and movement in the affected area, and sometimes even prevent you from healing emotionally. While it won’t be possible to make the scar disappear completely, scar revision can help to minimize the scar or help it to blend in better with the surrounding skin. Many of these procedures can be done in the office under local anesthesia. To see if you are a good candidate for scar revision visit Dr. Kpodzo for a consultation.

Skin Cancer

If you are facing skin cancer you are not alone, over 3 million Americans are touched by skin cancer every year. For skin cancers that are large in size or in a cosmetically sensitive area such as the face you may want to consider having the cancer removed and/or closed by a plastic surgeon. Dr. Kpodzo will work closely with your primary care doctor, dermatologist/Mohs surgeon, or surgical oncologist to develop the best plan for treatment. Most often the procedure can be done in the office under local anesthesia, however more complex problems may require a surgery center or hospital.

Skin Lesions & Moles

If you are bothered by a mole or other skin lesion which you would like to have removed please schedule a consultation with us. Many of these procedures can easily be done in the office under local anesthesia with minimal recovery.

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