August, 2011

Blame It On the Baby

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

It's okay.  Really.  Having a baby wreaks havoc on a body.  The hormonal changes alone are enough to make you a little crazy.  And then there's the stretching followed by the shrinking followed by the, "OMG, what happened to my breasts/abdomen/buttocks/thighs (take your pick)?!"  We have designated our office as a safe haven for mothers who have had it with the untoward physical changes wrought by pregnancy.  You want to come in and get it off your chest, literally and figuratively?  Feel free.  Wanna let it all hang out?  We won't tell anyone.  We're here to help.  We'll listen, sympathize, and provide a warm, comfortable place.  On top of that, we can show you how to get even, how to make a few changes and build a better birthday suit.  Mommy makeover?  That's so 2000.  Come in and see what's new in body contour surgery.  A visit with us can be so uplifting!

To Smush or Not To Smush...are Mammograms Necessary?

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

As we approach Breast Cancer Awareness month (October), I think it's informative to assess mammogram issues.  In 2009 a government-sponsored study was reported by the US Preventive Services Task Force.  The outcome of this report was that mammograms are overused and really almost never needed until a woman reaches age 50.  The recommendation was that women not receive mammograms until they reach age 50, then they should decide whether they want to have them or not.  At most, according to this report, women should have mammograms every two years beginning at age 50.

That report was, and is, in stark contrast to recommendations by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The American College of Radiology, and the American Cancer Society.  All of these groups recommend that women begin receiving mammograms at age 40, and that they continue having mammograms yearly after that.    For women in their 20's and 30's, clinical breast examinations should be performed every three years. (Here is an interesting link: ob-gyn-group-recommends-annual-mammograms-in-40s).

I work with a lot of breast cancer patients.  Many of them are in their 20's. I am not a statistician but rather just a practical practicing plastic surgeon.  Whether the government or a government-sponsored agency reports data, or whether a medical group reports data, there will probably be some hidden (or maybe not so hidden) bias.  To me it gets down to, who do you trust more, your government or your doctor?  Use common sense, be aware and be vigilant, and be your own strongest advocate.  Keep "abreast" of your health!

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