Monthly Archives

January 2023

Early Signs of Skin Cancer: What to look out for

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It is important that you get to know your skin and what is normal for you, so that you can notice any changes. The sooner you identify and treat skin cancer, the better your chance of avoiding surgery, or in the case of a serious melanoma, or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement, or in the rare case, death.

What to look out for

The three most common types of skin cancer include melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Melanoma

Melanomas are tumours of the pigment cells (melanocytes) of our skin. Risk factors for developing a melanoma include a history of previous skin cancers, blistering sunburns as a child, a family history of melanoma and numerous dysplastic moles. If treated early, patients with a melanoma have a very high survival rate.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

These tumours variably present as pink plaques or fleshy bumps that can bleed. BCCs grow slowly but deeply and can penetrate through to bone.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

These are usually pink, round, flat or slightly raised plaques with surface scaling or ulceration. Usual symptoms include a persistent, painless, or painful pink spot. SCCs can occur anywhere on the body but have a predilection for areas of sun exposure on the arms, legs, and face. If left untreated, SCCs can invade along and through nerves, lymphatics, and bone.

How to check your skin

The ABCDE melanoma detection is a useful guide when checking your skin.

A is for Asymmetry, look for spots that lack symmetry. Meaning, if a line was drawn through the middle, the two sides would not match up.

B is for Border, which is a spot with a spreading or irregular edge.

C is for Colour, blotchy spots with a number of colours such as black, blue, red, white and/or grey.

D is for Diameter, look for spots that may be getting bigger.

E is for Evolving, look for spots that are changing and growing.

Be sure to check your entire body as skin cancers can sometimes occur on parts of your body that are not exposed to the sun, for example, the soles of your feet, between fingers and toes, and underneath your nails.

At Southern Aesthetic, our plastic surgeons have special training and techniques to ensure that cancers are completely removed and that the cosmetic result is the most subtle it can be. For many patients, skin cancer treatment can be performed under local anaesthetic in our Kogarah rooms. All of our patients are also offered the option of surgery under sedation or a general anaesthetic to complete their skin cancer treatment in one of our Sydney hospitals.

For more information regarding our skin cancer treatment Sydney services, contact us on 02 9186 8105.

What precautions do I take after Breast Augmentation surgery?

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Good breast augmentation post-op care can mean the difference between a quick return to our patient’s normal routine, or one that is delayed by unexpected complications. Even though breast augmentation surgery is typically a day procedure of low to moderate risk, it is still real surgery. Therefore, you must allow your body the time to rest, and heal.

For this reason, during the first few weeks’ post-surgery, our surgeons at Southern Aesthetic recommend that our patients follow our specific post-care instructions to improve their chances of experiences a routine recovery, avoiding preventable complications, and achieving the beautiful results they desire.

What to expect after a breast augmentation

24 hours post-surgery

After the procedure, you may experience soreness, nausea, fatigue, and tightness in your chest, as well as swelling and bruising – all of which will fade over time. You will be required to rest for a couple hours in the post-operative room until the anaesthesia fully wears off. It is vital that you have a ride home from a trusted friend or family member, who will continue to help and take care of you a few days after the operation.

One-week post-surgery

We always suggest at least one week off work post-surgery to allow time to rest and recover. During the first week after surgery, we suggest you ask someone to help look after you at home.

You should also refrain from strenuous activities such as lifting your arms above your head, which can result in irritation or bleeding. During this time, your breast implants will begin to settle into place, so it is critical that you follow our post-operative advice to ensure the best possible results.

Three-to-four weeks post-surgery

At this stage, you should feel minimal pain or discomfort. The bruising and swelling should have reduced and faded. Although, it is still normal to have some bruising depending on the type of surgery.

Your doctor may start to encourage you to engage in light exercise during this time, however, as mentioned, it is important to continue refraining from strenuous activities for six weeks post-surgery.

Four-to-six weeks post-surgery

Typically, at this point, most patients have recovered and can resume regular activity. Your breasts should now look and feel more natural.

Throughout recovery it is also recommend wearing a soft, but supportive bra to help with swelling and pain, and to keep the implants in their carefully created pockets.

Following your post-surgical instructions and attending your post-op appointments are also essential to achieve a good outcome. For any further advice, be sure to speak to your expert plastic surgeon. At Southern Aesthetic, our friendly and experienced team are always at hand to help you, for more information about breast augmentation Sydney, call us on 02 9186 8105.

Is breast reduction covered by insurance?

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Breast reduction surgery can be a lifechanging procedure for patients. Many women with large breasts feel burdened by the extra weight, and struggle to fit into clothing that flatters their shape.

On top of these aesthetic concerns, large-breasted women often experience physical and emotional discomfort. Larger breasts may cause posture problems, skin rashes, and upper body pain – and can also limit their ability to comfortably participate in physical activities. A combination of these factors is usually what motivates a woman to consider undergoing breast reduction surgery. If you are considering this procedure, you may be wondering whether or not your insurance provider covers the surgery.

So, is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?

The simple answer to this question is yes, it is – breast reduction that is performed to help women with heavy breasts that give them shoulder and backpain is covered by insurance and Medicare. However, to receive cover for the procedure, Medicare must deem the surgery to be medically necessary. Breast reduction surgery purely for cosmetic reasons to lift or slightly reduce breast size is not covered by health insurance.

When is breast reduction covered by insurance?

Your private health insurer may cover breast reduction surgery if you receive a referral from your doctor deeming the surgery to be necessary for your health and well-being. As mentioned, having heavy breasts can cause chronic pain and health condition, which constitutes as a medical reason for breast reduction surgery.

You may also qualify if you suffer from the following symptoms due to having heavy/large breasts:

• Back pain
• Shoulder pain
• Neck pain
• Migraine headaches
• Skin irritation (such as rashes or chaffing)
• Excess perspiration around or under the breasts
• Restriction of physical activity
• Shortness of breath
• Underlying medical conditions (such as osteoarthritis)

How do I qualify for Medicare rebate?

Cover from your private health insurance will only apply if you meet the criteria for a Medicare item number. This may also require exams, documentation, and medical imaging from your doctor. Your doctor needs to verify that:

• Surgery is necessary to treat the pain
• Other non-surgical treatments have not worked for you in the past
• You are having persistent pain for a minimum of six months.

The following Medicare item codes may be applicable for breast reduction:

• 45523 — Breast reduction surgery, bilateral (both sides) under the following condition:

o For patients with macromastia who are experiencing pain in the neck or shoulder region; and

o not with insertion of any prosthesis

• 45520 — Breast reduction surgery with surgical repositioning of the nipple, unilateral (for each single side)

o In the context of breast cancer or developmental abnormality of the breast

• 45522 — Breast reduction surgery without repositioning of the nipple, unilateral (for each single side)

o In the context of breast cancer or developmental abnormality of the breast

If you are considering breast reduction surgery, a consultation with a qualified Plastic Surgeon is the best place to get more advice. Breast reduction surgery in Sydney should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. For more information, call Southern Aesthetic on 02 9186 8105.

How long does a face lift last?

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When it comes to aging, gravity always seems to win, however there is a way to help defy gravity, and it can give you long-lasting anti-aging results. The answer is a facelift. Facelifts elevate and tighten facial skin and the underlying sheet of superficial muscle to soften wrinkles, improve cheek fullness and define the jawline.

You may be wondering, how long does a facelift last?

A facelift is a procedure that offers long-lasting results; however, these results mostly depend on the patient’s skin quality and natural ageing. A patient who has good quality skin and bone structure will age slowly after their facelift surgery. Patients who have heavily sun damaged skin, thin fine skin, or are very elderly, have weaker collogen and elastin, and cannot expect their result to last for longer than five years. Therefore, the total length of your results depends on your age at the time of surgery, your health, and the way that your body naturally ages over time.

Are there any ways to extend results?

Although you can enjoy long-lasting results from a facelift procedure, aging can’t be stopped. However, there are ways to extend your results so that you can enjoy them a little longer, including:

Investing in quality skin care

What you put on your skin matters. After your procedure, you can prolong your results by investing in quality skin care products. Look for products that effectively cleanse, nourish, moisturise, and protect your skin, so that it maintains a youthful glow. With skincare, consistency is key. Be sure to spend time each day taking care of your skin, this can make a significant difference regarding how your skin looks, and how long your results last.

Avoid the sun

The number one cause of premature aging is a result of sun exposure. While realistically it isn’t possible to completely avoid the sun, there are some things that you can do that may help your facelift results last longer. For example, avoid excess sun exposure by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a high-quality sunscreen to protect your skin.

Avoid smoking

Did you know that smoking is one of the main contributors to premature aging? The chemicals in cigarettes can negatively affect your skin and can cause the deepening of lines and wrinkles on the face and around the mouth. When you commit to a facelift procedure, one of the ways to prepare is to stop smoking several weeks prior to your surgery and continue to refrain from smoking during your recovery period. You may want to use this time to try and break the habit entirely so you can preserve your results and maintain a healthy, and youthful glow.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Eating healthy foods full of nutrients can also help you prolong your results post-procedure. Eating a diet full of lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats can help your skin stay looking and feeling as healthy as possible. Avoiding processed foods, and foods high in sugar, can make a big difference to your skin.
A facelift may sound simple, but it is real surgery, and should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. At Southern Aesthetic, we offer both face and body contouring Sydney surgery, safely performed by our highly experienced surgeons. For more information, and to discuss if facelift surgery is the right procedure for you, call us on 02 9186 8105.

The benefits of eyelid surgery

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The thin skin of the eyelids is susceptible to showing the signs of ageing earlier than the rest of the face. Fine wrinkles at the corner and under the eyes are accompanied by shadows and puffiness of the lower eyelid. With time, the supportive structures of the eyeball weaken, causing the youthful almond shape of the eye to become rounder.

The solution in maintaining your youthful definition is eyelid surgery. Eyelid surgery, professionally known as ‘blepharoplasty’, is a procedure used to address the ageing of the eyelids, and results in both functional and aesthetic benefits, including:

Improvement of your vision

As we age, the skin of the upper lids weakens and sags like a rubber band losing elasticity. Obstruction of your visual field occurs if the skin excess falls over the lash line. Since this change is gradual, patients don’t notice this until it creeps upon them. By removing this skin excess, vision is improved.

Restores the youthful definition of your eyelids

The eyelids are the first place where ageing is noticed. This is usually due to a combination of excess skin, bulging fat, drooping brows, loss of bone volume, and increased wrinkles. The goal of eyelid surgery is to achieve a symmetrical result that makes your eyes appear brighter and more youthful. The incisions to remove drooping skin are placed at the natural upper and lower eyelid crease lines and become virtually invisible with time. In patients with heavy bags under their eyes but no excess skin, the fat in the bags can be improved through an incision madeinside the eyelid, leaving no skin scars.

Can eliminate dark circles and under eye bags

Dark circles under the eyes are due to a combination of three factors:

1. The loss of bony and soft tissue volume of the cheek under the eye.
2. An excess of eyelid fat that often bulges
3. The shrinkage of pigmented eyelid skin that results in the darkness under the eye.

Eyelid surgery can remove excess skin, sculpt fat, redistribute excess fat, and replace lost bony and soft tissue volume.

Boost in confidence

If you feel self-conscious about looking older or tired, it can weigh on you negatively. Undergoing eyelid surgery to improve your appearance can lift a weight off your shoulders, leaving you happier with your appearance.

Eyelid surgery may sound simple, but it is real surgery, and should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. If you are considering eyelid surgery, it is important to consult with a specialist plastic surgeon, such as our surgeons at Southern Aesthetic. Due to our extensive experience and education, we are the plastic surgeon the Shire local’s trust. Contact us on 02 9186 8105 for more information.