Question of the week: what ingredients do wrinkle injections contain?

I’d like to have cosmetic injections to reduce my crows feet and the lines on my forehead but I’m worried about the toxins and chemicals in them. What are wrinkle injections made of and are they safe? - patient Dr Sharp: It’s always important to understand the ingredients that go into anything you are putting into your body. The active ingredient is a neurotoxin. The toxin is made by the bacteria clostridium botulinum which is extracted using a fermentation process. Botox also contains two inactive ingredients called human albumin and sodium chloride. Human albumin is a common protein in blood plasma which is produced by the liver. Sodium chloride is salt, and this is used in the dilution process with sterile water. It does not contain animal products, but has been tested on animals, so that’s an important consideration to make if you are vegan, or do not use products that have been developed through animal testing. In terms of safety, it is important that the active ingredient is stored and transported correctly by a reputable supplier - and then diluted accurately with saline by a qualified clinician. And that’s before its injected. When injected, this extremely small amount of toxin attaches itself to nerve endings, temporarily stopping the synapses that trigger muscle action and reducing the activity of the muscle. This causes a temporary reduction in muscle activity lasting 3 to 6 months. Wrinkle injection therapy is very safe if administered correctly. The product we use for wrinkle injections in our clinics is the longest standing product in the market, with a remarkable safety record and TGA approval and a scheduled therapeutic drug. These muscle relaxing injection are also used clinically...

Question of the week: can I increase my implant size after breast augmentation?

I had a breast augmentation 5 years ago and after putting on a bit of weight, it feels like my breasts are now too small for the rest of my body. Is it possible to increase the implant size, and how do I find out the biggest possible size, without looking ridiculous? - patient Dr Sharp: It is certainly possible to increase your breast implant size after having a breast augmentation. This procedure is called breast implant removal and replacement surgery, and involves a very similar process to your primary (first) augmentation, occasionally with the additional removal of implant capsule, or creation of an internal sling or support to provide additional structure at the base of the breast. Often, patients undergo this procedure primarily to remove ruptured implants or to address capsular contracture, and decide to increase their implant size at the same time. Other patients are dissatisfied with the appearance of their original implants and wish to increase their size.In most cases, an implant size increase is not an issue, especially when a patient wishes to have a moderate size increase; I frequently perform this surgery in my practice. To ensure the best possible outcome, there are some important considerations to make before undergoing removal and replacement surgery to increase your implants size: If you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts due to normal anatomical anomalies such as asymmetry, large areolas or chest wall deformities, increasing your implant size may make these more obvious, as they are being magnified by the additional size of the implant. Your surgeon will take steps to mitigate this, but it’s important to weigh this up against your...

Breast augmentation question of the week: the difference between an augmentation mammoplasty and augmentation mastopexy

What’s the difference between a breast augmentation mammoplasty and breast augmentation mastopexy, or are they both the same thing (BAM)? I’ve been told I might need the mastopexy version with my implants. - patient Dr Sharp: A mastopexy is another word for a breast ‘lift’. A breast augmentation mastopexy is a combined breast enlargement and lifting procedure; it involves the placement of an implant to increase breast size and fill out the skin, while excess skin is removed and the nipple is lifted to sit higher on the new breast shape. Incisions are made around the nipple, with a single vertical incision down the middle of the lower breast, and in the inframammary fold. A breast augmentation mammoplasty, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as a ‘BAM’ involves the placement of an implant, normally using a single incision in the inframammary fold of each breast. Mastopexies can be performed on their own to lift a breast, or in combination with an augmentation to lift and enlarge. There are a few reasons why your surgeon may recommend a mastopexy with your augmentation. For some women, the position of their nipple and areola complex sits lower on their chest. This can be due to weight loss, genetics, breastfeeding or the natural ageing process. If the nipple and areola sits below the inframammary fold (see right), this is classified as ‘nipple ptosis’. There are various grades of ptosis. When seeking breast augmentation, it is often the case that an implant alone will not move the nipple upward enough so that it’s centered on the implant, forming a more pleasing shape. A mastopexy may...

Breast augmentation – question of the week: internal support

I’m worried about the implant slipping or internal structures being weakened by a breast augmentation. One of my friends said her sutures came apart while she was lifting weights in the gym and now one of her implants has moved out of the pocket. Can this happen? - patient Dr Sharp: It’s great to hear you are thinking about these factors before your augmentation surgery, as they are important pre operative considerations. Sometimes due to a patient’s anatomy or previous breast surgery, the surgeon will need to apply additional inframmammary support for the implant. This can come in the form of additional sutures, or even an internal sling using a dermal matrix. It’s important to ask your surgeon should be experienced with these techniques, and will be able to advise upon examination if this was required for your augmentation. An implant will inevitably add additional weight to your internal structures, and that’s why we advocate a very thorough and careful selection process for the right implant, and pocket plane placement, for your body. Lifestyle factors - such as regular weights sessions at the gym, heavy lifting in your job or repeated movements with hefty objects at home/caring for children or elderly need to be considered as well, because yes, in some cases there can be too much pressure on the internal structures and the implant can ‘bottom out’ or migrate. While this is rare, it does happen. There are a number of decisions before your surgery that can help reduce this chance, as well as lifestyle/activity considerations to make after your augmentation that can mitigate the risks of this happening. Ask us your...

Dr David Sharp Plastic Surgery in Queensland Times

Dr Sharp was featured on the front page of Saturday’s Queensland Times in a special feature about the new plastic surgery procedures and services he performs in the region that spans between Brisbane and Toowoomba. In the feature Dr Sharp discussed the skin cancer surgeries he performs often due to high UV exposure levels - as well as the cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) and facelift surgery. He also explains the advanced training that plastic surgeons undergo to specialise in their field. LIFE in plastic might be fantastic for Barbie, but for Ipswich’s leading plastic surgeon, there is a much more human focus at the heart of breast augmentations and tummy tucks. Plastic surgeon Dr David Sharp has been changing the lives of Ipswich patients for two years - his work fundamental in helping cancer patients recover from treatment, those who have lost excessive weight take the final step in their health journey and trauma victims return to normality. He said plastic surgery included everything from breast enlargements and reductions, tummy tucks and face lifts to re-construction following cancer treatment and skin cancer treatment. Queensland Times Dr Sharp discusses the fact that while breast augmentation is one of his most popular procedures, there is a perception that plastic surgery is only about making breasts larger - whereas in reality, many women who suffer from the size of their breasts are actually reducing their size, in record numbers.  One in eight women in their lifetime will be affected by breast cancer, and Dr Sharp also spoke to the newspaper about the flap reconstructions that local patients once had to travel elsewhere...

What is the Golden Ratio or phi – and what does it have to do with modern beauty trends?

Despite the sensationalised celebrity headlines that dominate a lot of cosmetic surgery media coverage, the overriding goal of modern plastic surgery is to attain age-old natural beauty. Trends may come and go, but the formula of natural beauty - of at least, what the human eye is designed to calculate as such - hasn’t changed over millenia. Described as the Golden Ratio or Golden Triangle, the numerical definition of ‘perfect’ beauty dates back over 2500 years, as a ratio of 1:1.618, known as ‘phi’. The ratio refers to a ‘triangle’ of aspects for facial beauty; the width of the mouth to the width of the cheek, the width of the nose to the width of the cheek and the width of the nose to the width of the mouth. The result is a healthy, natural appearance - not over-enhanced or age-defying. It might sound like a cookie cutter version of beauty, but in application by a skilled surgeon, it tailors the objectives of the surgery around the proportions of - and distances between - each patient’s unique characteristics. It’s often joked that plastic surgeons should be into the ‘face protection’ - not the witness protection - program. And most progressive plastic surgeons don’t want their patients to look unrecognisable or significantly altered by their surgery; they just want them to look as good on the outside, as they feel on the inside. The overdone, over enhanced look of the past is a relic of the past, and timeless beauty is in. In our clinics, we aim to achieve this by adhering to several principles: We perform age appropriate plastic surgery...

The Aston Baker Cutting Edge 2017 Highlights

The Aston Baker Cutting Edge Aesthetic Surgery Symposium has been running for 37 years and brings together some of the world’s leading aesthetic plastic surgeons. This year, Dr Sharp and practice director Liz Washington joined hundreds of plastic surgeons and their clinic teams to learn more about the innovative techniques for facial and body rejuvenation. The program featured 94 instructive surgical videos, 26 presentations, 13 expert panels and 8 debates. Dr Sharp loves being abreast of the latest advancements in plastic and cosmetic surgery, and these forums provide a valuable opportunity to hear about the techniques, trials, anecdotal experiences and standards from across the world. The overall message from the symposium was: aesthetic surgery has changed, and the over-stretched, over-enhanced, over-done look is a thing of the past. Progressive surgeons are working together to develop new techniques to approach cosmetic surgery to achieve a more balanced, proportionate and natural look than ever before. We thought some of our patients may be curious to hear more about the ideas discussed, so in these videos, Liz briefly covers some of the symposium topics that often arise in our discussions with patients. Fat grafting Fat grafting has been used for reconstructive purposes for many decades, but its use for rejuvenation and enhancement is still a relatively new concept, and something that surgeons are still experimenting with to perfect and hone the right technique for different areas of the body. We saw some exciting results from the panel, and of particular interest was ‘micro’ and ‘nano’ fat grafting for facial rejuvenation, which is providing not just volume replacement, but also dermal rejuvenation. The faculty also addressed the...

Question of the week: do cosmetic injectables contain animal products?

I’d like to have wrinkle injections and dermal fillers but I am vegan and don’t want to use products that contain animal derivatives. Do these cosmetic injectables contain animal products, and if so, which ones? - patient Dr Sharp: The products we use for wrinkle injections (muscle relaxing injections) and dermal fillers do not contain animal ingredients. Some of the first fillers did have animal origins, using cow cells. But the modern dermal fillers we use don’t contain ingredients derived from animals. Cosmetic injectables are TGA regulated drugs, meaning that they are medical products that require animal testing in order to be approved as safe for human use in many countries. Therefore, the cosmetic wrinkle injections and dermal fillers we use have been tested on animals, as are most medical products. Ultimately you will need to choose whether you feel comfortable having cosmetic injections, and if the procedure is aligned with your lifestyle and ideals. Ask us your cosmetic injectables question! Name Email Address Message 2 + 4 = Submit...

Can I Breastfeed After A Breast Reduction?

Research shows that when women who have had a breast reduction are compared to a group of women of similar weight who haven’t had a breast reduction, their breastfeeding rates are about the same (approximately 65%). It is important to remember that breast reduction surgery involves the nipple being moved to a new position, which can result in disruption of the nerve supply to the nipple and areola. It can also disrupt the milk glands and milk ducts. However, nerves can regrow, albeit slowly - and glandular tissue can develop during pregnancy. If you are having a breast reduction and plan on breastfeeding in the future, you should discuss this with your surgeon. % can breastfeed...

BIA-ALCL breast implant associated cancer update – August 2017

Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a very rare cancer that can be effectively treated, when detected early. Recent media reports may have caused confusion amongst women who have - or are considering getting - breast implants for augmentation or reconstruction. This post seeks to clarify what we know about BIA-ALCL. Last year 1.5 million implants were inserted worldwide. The number of people having breast implant surgery in Australia has risen by more than 1,000% since 2005, from approximately 4,000 per year - to over 40,000. More people have implants now than ever before, and so we would expect the number of people reporting complications now to be proportionally higher than what they were 5, 10 or 20 years ago. The TGA has been posting updated information about BIA-ALCL since 2011. As of August 2017, we haven’t seen one case of BIA-ALCL in our clinic, nor amongst our patients. What is BIA-ALCL? It is a cancer of lymphatic cells; a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (not breast cancer). What causes BIA-ALCL? Media focus has concentrated predominantly on implants, but there’s actually 4 unifying factors that contribute to an increased risk of BIA-ALCL: • Textured implants with a high surface area texture • Bacterial contamination at the time of surgery • Patient genetic predisposition • Time for the process to develop How long does BIA-ALCL take to develop? An average of 7-10 years after implant insertion. But women who have breast implants should regularly check their breasts for changes at any stage after breast augmentation surgery - most of all for actual breast cancer, which occurs in 1 in 8 women,...

Researchers reveal the ‘ideal’ breast

Size doesn’t matter, but shape does. Beautiful breasts come in all shapes and sizes, but there is an undeniable, natural tenancy for the human eye - and brain - to register certain proportions as more ideal than others. Scientists now claim to know exactly which breast type the human eye prefers, and apparently it is not only about size. Conducted by British researchers, the population analysis was published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, with the aim to shed light on the size and shape objectives for breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomies and breast augmentations. Researchers found a preference for shapely, perkier breasts - instead of the larger kind.  Of the 1,315 respondents asked to rank the attractiveness of images of four women with varying breast proportions, 87% of women, 90% of men and 94% of plastic surgeons scored breasts with an upper pole–to–lower pole ratio of 45:55 as the aesthetic ideal. The ‘upper’ pole of a breast sits above the areola/nipple complex - with the ‘lower’ pole sitting below. The study confirmed previous research that found the 45:55 ratio had universal appeal in defining the ideal breast. Breast shape and size can vary significantly during a woman’s lifetime as they go through puberty, gain or lose weight, have children, breastfeed, age or fight cancer. The purpose of the study was to define aesthetic ideals and goals, particularly for breast reconstruction following mastectomy surgery, as well as the (increasingly popular) breast augmentation and breast lift/reduction procedures. Modern advancements in breast surgery, including the availability of various flap and implant reconstructions, acellular dermal matrix for inframammary support, a wider range of breast implant profiles and the...

Breast implants: how young is too young for breast augmentation surgery?

Despite the fact that most breast augmentation patients are aged 30-plus, we still receive a lot of interest in this procedure from young women and sometimes teens. During 2015 in the United States, 279,143 women had a breast augmentation procedure - of these, 7,840 were girls and young women aged 13 to 19 years old, with an additional 1,797 teens receiving breast lifts. Although Australian data isn’t available, interest in breast augmentation surgery amongst adolescent females is thought to be associated with increased social media pressure and easier access to cut-price surgery, which places procedures that were once cost-prohibitive, within closer reach of younger people. When considering breast augmentation, Dr Sharp asks young women to think about the following questions: Have your breasts stopped developing? Your breast size should have remained unchanged for 12 months prior to surgery - this can happen anytime up until your early 20’s. Do you have a lack of breast development - or are they a proportionate size for your body, but you’d like them to be bigger? What factors are driving you to have the procedure; is it your own perception of your breasts - or your boyfriend seems to prefer large-breasted women, or your friends have commented about your breast size? How long ago did you start considering plastic surgery? What’s your ideal shape and breast size; what do you hope your body shape looks like in 5, 10 or 20 years? What will happen if you need revisional surgery in the near future? Who will fund this, and will you have private health insurance to cover some of your costs? What are the risks...