New research from the Australasian College of Dermatologists suggests that cosmeceuticals - or functional coloured cosmetics - such as foundation, eyeshadow and lipstick are the second most important anti ageing products to use after sunscreen.
ACD dermatologist Dr Phillip Artemi said some makeup products offer benefits that are more than just aesthetic – reducing the incidence of skin cancer, especially around the eye.
“We now know that it isn’t just solar radiation such as UVB and UVA that is bad for the skin,” he said at the ACD’s Annual Scientific Meeting this month.
“The sun also emits infrared radiation and visible light, which can lead to damage resulting in dull skin, wrinkles and unsightly pigmentation.
“Pollution, too, has been shown to cause wrinkles and skin ageing and, with increased urbanisation, traffic pollution is set to become a major skin toxin.”
Due to properties such as SPF ingredients, pigments and reflectors of solar radiation, functional coloured cosmetics can offer protection against the ageing - and cancer causing - impact of sun exposure. But Dr Artemi said lipgloss provided little protection, suggesting that coloured, long lasting lipsticks afforded better protection.
He said that while sunscreens go a long way to helping prevent sun damage, “we now advise that functional coloured cosmetics should be added to the long-standing advice in order to further reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing as well as protecting against the increasing danger of air pollution”.
PRAHS Cosmetic and Rejuvenation Clinics dermal clinician Deborah Seib-Daniell recommends a daily routine of cleansing, then applying an antioxidant-rich serum, moisturiser and SPF 50 sunscreen – after which functional cosmetics such as foundations, powders and contouring products can be used.
Want to know more about the right products to use for your skin type? Book a complimentary consultation by calling 3202 4744 or contact us below.
Angelina Jolie brought preventative mastectomy surgery into the public spotlight in 2013 when she underwent the procedure following genetic profile testing, which confirmed that she was carrying the BRAC-1 gene mutation. Her mother’s death due to breast cancer prompted her to have the testing - and subsequent surgery to remove her breasts in an aim to prevent the disease from forming in her body. Jolie opted to have a breast reconstruction to replace the lost breast tissue. The BRAC-1 gene mutation is linked to the development of breast cancer in women and men, and many are now choosing to have both breasts removed, in what is described as a bilateral preventative mastectomy.
This is a deeply personal decision and one that is made after testing, counselling and consideration. You may consider having a preventative mastectomy if you have a strong family history of breast cancer and/or if genetic testing suggests a strong likelihood that you may be diagnosed with breast cancer in future. Preventative mastectomy is a big decision. It involves much consideration, consultation with healthcare professionals and genetic counselling.
Preventative mastectomies remain a contentious issue amongst many medical professionals, as there is concern over health breasts – that may never develop cancer – being removed ‘just in case’, particularly at a young age. The overwhelming feedback from women who have chosen to undergo a preventative mastectomy is that what they have lost in breast form or function, they have gained through relief from the anxiety and constant fear of developing the cancer that has often robbed them of a close family member.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PREVENTATIVE MASTECTOMY SURGERY + RECONSTRUCTION
Are there different types of preventative mastectomies?
The procedure can be performed as nipple-sparing (whereby the nipple is left) or total, or ‘radical’ whereby all tissue and skin – including the nipple – are removed. In these cases, the nipple can be reconstructed using tissue from elsewhere on the body, which is expertly transplanted onto the reconstructed breast and then 3D tattooed by a medical cosmetic tattooist to resemble a nipple. After a preventative mastectomy, women cannot breastfeed as their milk ducts are removed, so this is one of the many issues women must consider when undergoing a preventative mastectomy prior to having children.
What are the first steps if I want to talk to a professional about this procedure?
Dr Sharp recommends anyone with a family history of breast cancer who is considering preventative mastectomy surgery to discuss this option with their General Practitioner, and if they are interested in investigating this further, request a referral to a genetic counsellor. If you test positive for the gene, you can be referred to a breast surgeon and reconstructive plastic surgeon to discuss your removal and reconstruction options.
What reconstructive options are available after preventative mastectomy surgery?
There are many different options available for reconstruction - and many different factors to consider - especially in the early period after confirmation that you are carrying the gene mutation. Understandably, this can be an overwhelming period, which is why it’s important to find a treating team that will take time ensure you are properly informed of your options, listen to your concerns and allow you the space and time to make your decisions. As part of this, you may ask for a referral to a plastic surgeon to discuss what is best for you and connect with other women who have had a reconstruction.
Surgical reconstruction techniques can differ between surgeons. You should never feel uncomfortable or embarrassed asking your surgeon about their training and experience with each technique, particularly the more modern, advanced microsurgical procedures now available. It’s your body, and you’ll be the one living with the outcome of their expertise, so ask your surgeon as many questions as you need – even the uncomfortable ones!
Women who decide to have a breast reconstruction after a preventative mastectomy most often choose to have their breast reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy, this is called an immediate reconstruction. However, you may not feel ready to make such a commitment at the time of your mastectomy - and some women decide that they do not want to have a breast reconstruction at all. If this is your choice, you have the option of using an external breast prosthesis. Having a breast reconstruction later on - months or years after a mastectomy - is called delayed breast reconstruction. It is always option later, if you change your mind.
If you choose to have a mastectomy without breast reconstruction, the surgeon may remove the breast skin, areola and nipple. If you decide to have a breast reconstruction later, the remaining skin may need to be stretched to accommodate a breast shape. Alternatively, skin and tissue from another part of the body can be used to replace the skin that has been removed surgically.
Will I have both or just one breast removed?
Most women who have a preventative (prophylactic) mastectomy have both breasts removed (bilateral mastectomy).
What will I look like following a preventative mastectomy?
If you are having a preventative (prophylactic) mastectomy, it is usually possible to preserve the skin over the breast, the areola and the nipple. Breast reconstruction following preventative mastectomy will usually involve replacing the underlying tissue only. This means that the reconstructed breasts are likely to look more similar to the original breasts. There will always be some differences in shape and feel, depending on the type of breast reconstruction. Having both breasts reconstructed means they are more likely to be more symmetrical.
It is important to remember that the aim of breast reconstruction surgery is to create a natural shape when you are clothed; your new breast will not look the same, or feel the same, as the breast you have had removed.
Can I access breast reconstruction publicly or privately?
Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy for breast cancer is available in the public hospital system as well as through the private health system. It is considered a medical procedure, not cosmetic surgery. If your treating team has not discussed the full spectrum of reconstructive options available, ask to be referred to a specialist plastic surgeon in your area. Dr Sharp performs breast reconstruction surgery at private hospitals in Brisbane and Ipswich.
Would you like to find out more about breast reconstruction surgery?
An actinic keratosis (AK) is also known as a ‘solar’ keratosis. It has the appearance of a crusty, scaly growth and is caused by damage to the skin from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation; something we see a lot of in Queensland!
Can it cause skin cancer?
Actinic keratosis is considered a pre cancer because if it’s left alone it may develop into a skin cancer, most often the second most common form of the disease, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
What causes solar keratosis?
Sun exposure! Queensland has the dubious title of the ‘skin cancer capital of the world’, having the highest rates of skin cancer thanks to our high year-round UV levels, outdoor lifestyle and the predominance of people with light skin colour in our population.
The most common type of precancerous skin lesion, actinic keratosis appear on skin that has been regularly exposed to the sun or artificial sources of UV light, such as tanning machines.
Where does actinic keratosis form on the body?
They most frequently appear on exposed areas such as the face and body, including the scalp, ears, shoulders, neck, arms and back of hands. They can also appear on the shin, ankles and feet.
Which skin types are more likely to develop solar keratosis?
People who have fair complexions are more prone to AKs than are people with medium or dark skin.
What does solar keratosis look like?
They are often elevated, rough in texture and resemble warts or scabs. They often become red, and can range in colour from light or dark beige, white or pink. They can also change colour.
In the beginning, these growth are usually so small, you can feel them better than you can see them. To touch, they have a sandpaper like feeling. Actinic keratoses usually develop gradually, becoming more visible as they mature. Sometimes, they seem to disappear, and then reappear later. Occasionally they look like a stubborn pimple; they can be itchy or have a pricky sensation. They can also be inflamed and surrounded by redness, sometimes even bleeding (especially when caught by a shaver).
before and after Fraxel laser for sun damage and pigmentation
What is the treatment for actinic keratosis?
Although actinic keratosis is considered a pre-cancerous condition, it is very treatable. Standard therapies include topical ointments, freezing, surgical excision and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) . Now clinics such as ours are increasingly turning to lasers, such as Fraxel technology, to effectively treat AKs - because prevention is better than surgery!
In Australia, Fraxel fractionated resurfacing laser is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for the treatment of solar keratosis. Our PRAHS Cosmetic and Rejuvenation Clinics in Brisbane and Ipswich were the first clinics of their kind in Queensland to offer the new generation of Fraxel technology.
Fraxel targets the area of skin that actinic keratosis forms in, providing noticeable results after one treatment - without the downtime of a CO2 laser.
As Fraxel is ‘fractionated’ it does not ablate 100% of the surface area of the epidermis (upper layer of skin); meaning that it is able to deliver reliable results with much less potential for side effects than older ablative lasers, which were not fractionated.
Fraxel provides treatment flexibility and adaptability, with the ability to vary wavelengths and intensities to tailor each treatment to meet a myriad of patient needs – even treating multiple indications for a single patient, with a single device (such as actinic keratosis as well as premature ageing or fine lines).
We are always exploring new ways we can put Fraxel to work for our patients. Currently we use it for:
- Fine lines and wrinkles, including peri-orbital wrinkles
- Acne or skin surface scarring
- Pigmentation such as melasma and age spots
- Sun damage and pre-cancerous indications (AKs)
- Reducing the appearance of old and new scars
WANT TO KNOW WHAT FRAXEL CAN DO FOR YOU?
According to a report in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a study undertaken by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has revealed widespread confusion around the titles ‘plastic surgeon’ and ‘cosmetic surgeon’.
In Australia, the Medical Board only recognises the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) as the training body for qualified surgeons. Upon completion of this training, the surgeons display the letters FRACS as their credentials, the ‘F’ standing for ‘Fellow’. However many doctors who have not undergone RACS training and examination, still openly call themselves ‘surgeons’, despite not having RACS qualifications.
Cosmetic surgery is no different to other surgery; it carries a risks of infection, complications, nerve injury and adverse anaesthetic events. And yet the study results showed significant misperceptions about the qualifications needed to perform this type of surgery:
- 87% of respondents believed that surgeons must have special credentials and training to perform cosmetic surgery, or to advertise themselves as aesthetic/cosmetic/plastic surgeons.
- More than half of respondents were unsure about the training needed to become a board certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon.
- Most respondents stated their discomfort with specialists other than plastic surgeons performing surgery to improve their appearance.
Here are some facts to help clarify the status of ‘cosmetic’ and ‘plastic’ surgeons in Australia:
- Plastic surgeons are also called ‘plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic - or aesthetic - surgeons’ because they have undergone advanced training in major public and private hospitals under a traineeship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic fields of surgical study; under the supervision and mentorship of experienced and RACS qualified surgeons.
- This training process generally takes 10 years from completion of medical school until the final obtainment of ‘fellowship’ qualifcations.
- Doctors can call themselves ‘cosmetic’ surgeons even if they don’t have the aforementioned credentials, supervision, experience or training.
- In Australia, doctors who do not have FRACS credentials cannot perform medically-required aesthetic procedures such as breast reductions, abdominoplasty, rhinoplasty or labioplasty surgery under the coverage of the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Patients cannot receive the applicable Medicare or private health fund rebates if they do not have the surgery with a RACS qualified surgeon.
- If you have a complication following your surgery, or require further revisional surgery, your RACS qualified surgeon has the expertise to perform these procedures, and you may have some of your costs covered by Medicare or your private health fund (if you are insured).
- You can find out if your surgeon is a RACS qualified surgeon by visiting their database here.
The results of this study form yet another reminder of the importance of research when choosing a surgeon. Being informed about the training, examination and ongoing professional development that your surgeon has been required to undertake before performing your procedure is an integral part of the decision process.
Men are more open to the options that aesthetic surgery and cosmetic medicine offer than ever before. And while women still comprise the majority of our patients, data from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery indicates that the number of men having cosmetic procedures increased by more than 106% between 1997 and 2012; an ongoing trend echoed by the growing number of men seeking cosmetic improvements at our clinics.
Often, male patients say they don’t like the tired, stressed or unhealthy appearance they see in the mirror - because they still feel young, strong and fit on the inside. Others are looking to freshen up their appearance before re-entering the dating scene.
And many mention a desire to stay competitive in the workplace, linking their looks to their recruitment and promotion prospects - something noted by London economics Professor Daniel Hamermesh in his study of the financial benefits of aesthetic appearance.
Here are some of the surgical and non-invasive treatments most commonly requested by men in our clinics:
Nose jobs are a powerful way to change the entire dynamic of the face. Previous surgery, nose trauma or genetics can leave men with misshaped, prominent or irregular nasal characteristics. It can also cause breathing problems and snoring. Rhinoplasty surgery reshapes bone and cartilage, changing the underlying structure of the nose and creating functional improvements - such as improved breathing - while making aesthetic adjustments that improve its appearance and proportion with the rest of the face.
The surgery requires about 7-10 days off work while bruising and swelling subsides. Dr Sharp’s patients receive a post treatment care pack that assists with accelerating the recovery process. Swelling can take 6 to 12 months to completely subside, revealing the final result - so patience is a must if you are considering this procedure!
If you are considering rhinoplasty but not sure if you want to go under the knife, talk to us about non-surgical rhinoplasty, as our dermal fillers can subtly redefine the nose. Results last up to 2 years.
An increase in the popularity of gastric sleeve and gastric banding surgery - and the massive weightloss that ensues - is leaving many men with large amounts of loose skin on their abdomen, thighs and arms. This loose skin places functional limitations on activity, clothing and exercise - alongside persistent skin irritations and embarrassing hygiene problems. Body lift surgery involves the removal of this loose skin and repair of any underlying structures that have been weakened. It can include circumferential abdominoplasty, brachioplasty (arms) and thigh lift/reduction.
Post operative infections and long term odema (swelling) are more common with body lift surgery than others, due to the amount of tissue and lymph glands (the body’s drainage system) that is removed. Dr Sharp frequently performs body lift surgery, and while the results are dramatic and offer significant improvement in the patient’s quality of life and appearance, he ensures the risks of the surgery and lengthy recovery period involved is carefully considered by his patients before undertaking this procedure.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle can often still fail to budge stubborn pockets of fat that typically accumulate for men around the abdomen and lower back, forming ‘love handles’, ‘beer belly’ and ‘spare tyres’.
For many patients, liposuction or abdominoplasty isn’t required as they don’t have lots of loose skin or large areas of fat; they simply need the hard to budge handfuls removed, so the waist of their pants fit better, or to remove the bulges that sit above their waistline.
Gentle and non invasive, SculpSure uses laser technology to selectively target fat cells, which are then eliminated from the body permanently. A 25 minute treatment results in up to 24% reduction in fat, with no downtime required - making it an effective ‘lunch time’ treatment.
Excessive eyelid skin can create a tired, cranky appearance - but most importantly, it can cause vision impairment that can affect the ability to drive or work. Men who require blepharoplasty surgery also often have deeper forehead lines (making them look more stressed or angry) because their forehead works overtime, raising their eyebrows to try and lift their eyelids so they can see! Blepharoplasty is performed as day surgery and involves a 1-2 week recovery period.
Up to 50% of men suffer from various degrees of gynaecomastia (excess breast tissue). According to data from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) male breast reduction surgery increased 13% in 2015. In the US, men comprised 40% of breast reduction patients in 2015. The procedure takes about 90 minutes and can involve a combination of liposuction and surgical incisions. The recovery period takes about 1-2 weeks, with limited activity recommended for 6 weeks after surgery.
Wrinkle injections are increasingly being use to treat excessive sweating for men and women. The injections block communication between the brain and overactive sweat glands, found in the feet, hands, armpits or forehead.
The treatment takes about 30 minutes and involves tiny injections the treatment area; most people find this very tolerable, but we also offer anaesthetic cream for who wish to be numbed up. Results last up to 6 months.
Things men should consider before undertaking aesthetic procedures…
Have realistic expectations. If you bring in a photograph of Chris Hemsworth or Brad Pitt and ask what Dr Sharp can do to make you look more like him, you will probably be encouraged to adjust your expectations - or reconsider having surgery. We are honest and transparent with our patients about the results they are likely to achieve, and the risks and complications they may encounter.
Address body hang ups. Body image is a sensitive issue that affects everyone, in various degrees, as some point in their lives. Previously perceived as a female affliction, we are increasingly seeing men present with a history of hurtful teasing or bullying at school, work, in relationships or while participating in sports - and significant self image issues associated with the feedback they’ve received about their bodies. These patients often believe that their low self esteem, depression or anxiety will be addressed if they simply adjust their appearance. Interestingly, research shows that these patients are the most likely group to be dissatisfied with the results, due to their high expectations of the life-changes that will ensue. Seeking help through a counsellor or psychologist that is experienced in male body image issues is highly recommended before undertaking any surgery.
Be informed. All medical and cosmetic procedures carry risks and should only be undertaken after serious consideration. Sometimes, revision (a second procedure to adjust the results) is required, which can result in further expense and time off work. It is vital that you have at least two consultations with your surgeon before undertaking cosmetic surgery, providing plenty of time for them to explain the procedure, risks and potential complications - and answer any questions that may arise during your decision-making process. We also recommend you seek the opinion of more than one plastic surgeon, as they can differ in their approach and it is most important that you feel comfortable and confident with your choice of surgeon!
People seek out plastic surgery for myriad reasons. For some, it’s the correction of a trauma, accident or genetic deformity - for others, it’s reconstructive surgery for skin or breast cancer; replacing what previous surgery has taken away.
Others want to restore what time has take away; growing old gracefully - and retaining a ‘natural look’ while ensuring they look as good as they still feel on the inside.
The health benefits of plastic surgery often go unmentioned in the world of glossy magazines that focus purely on cosmetic improvement, looking beyond the ‘skin deep’ image to see significant functional benefits, including:
- Rhinoplasty: can improve breathing and snoring
- Blepharoplasty: can improve vision
- Breast reduction and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): can improve back and neck pain
Non surgical treatments such as cosmetic wrinkle injections can also have little-known medical benefits, such as reducing headaches and treating excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
Plastic surgery alone will not improve your confidence or self esteem; but it can be one of many decisions people make to improve their self image and align the face (or body) they see in the mirror with how they feel on the outside.
Elevated self esteem is associated with improved self confidence, which can have a powerful influence over relationships, job prospects and social networks; something noted by London economics Professor Daniel Hamermesh in his research into the link between appearance and employment.
Although plastic surgery is often thought of as nip-and-tuck procedures that are purely driven by aesthetics, it can also be a powerful tool to resolve functional problems and improve overall health and wellbeing.
It’s important to select a surgeon that is skilled in the latest advanced techniques to achieve optimal results - and trained by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), which is recognised by the Medical Board of Australia as the authority that provides the training required to achieve ‘surgeon’ status in this country. You can cross check Dr Sharp’s credentials with RACS here.
If you would like to explore how plastic surgery can create improvements for your form or function, please call us on 3202 4744.
Fraxel fractionated laser resurfacing addresses 7 key facets of facial ageing
Fraxel laser resurfacing was one of the first on the market, and over the decades has refined its technology, continuing to be a leader in the laser rejuvenation field. Modern day Fraxel is comfortable, quick and gets maximum results with minimal downtime. After the treatment, our patients begin to notice the following improvements in their skin; these changes continue in the weeks and months following their treatment, to achieve their final result:
- Reduction of precancerous sun damage (actinic keratosis) that can lead to sun cancer
- Pigmentation and sun spots are eliminated
- Fine lines and wrinkles are reduced
- Skin texture and condition is improved
- Facial, neck and chest/décolletage skin feels tighter
- Pore size is reduced
- Scars and stretch marks are improved
Treatment intensity and depth is tailored to each individual patient
One of the best aspects of Fraxel is its ‘dual’ function; which gives it the ability to be varied in intensity, allowing us to modify the therapy depending upon whether the patient’s skin is quite healthy, or requires extensive resurfacing - and how long they want their downtime to last. A low intensity treatment helps to remove superficial sun spots and pigmentation, with only a weekend of coffee-grain like shedding. While a more intensive treatment will lift extensive sun damage and address deeper lines, and will involve shedding for about 5 days. Your Fraxel treatment will begin with a thorough skin analysis with our dermal clinicians, who will assess your skin, discuss your desired result and advise of the best intensity to achieve this for you.
The treatment doesn’t require a post-treatment product list as long as your arm
Many laser, pulsed light and peel therapies necessitate a lengthy regime of costly skin care products before and after the treatment. Our Fraxel treatment does not require this. To maintain your results, your clinician may recommend a very simple ongoing skin care plan, which can include important anti ageing active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s), retinoids (vitamin A) and beta glucan - as well as an effective SPF 50 sunscreen.
Want to know more?
Each member of our team has tried Fraxel, and so we’d love to answer any questions you have about how the treatment feels, the recovery period and the results we have experienced using this leading laser technology. Call us on 3202 4744 if you have any questions!
Fraxel is suitable for all skin types and can treat a wide range of skin problems and signs of poor skin health, scarring and ageing. During your pre-treatment consultation with your clinician, your skin will be thoroughly assessed. We will also ask you what you want to achieve for your skin, so we can customise your Fraxel treatments with your ideal end result in mind. Here are some common questions we receive during these consultations:
What parts of the body does Fraxel treat?
- Abdominal and limb scars and stretch marks
Is it right for my skin colour?
Fraxel laser rejuvenation is unique in that it can treat women and men of all skin colours and ages. Unlike some other lasers which are only indicated for specific skin types, Fraxel can treat both light and dark skin safely and effectively.
What skin concerns does Fraxel treat?
- Sun damage and pre cancerous skin growths (actinic keratosis)
- Pigmentation and age spots - or ‘liver spots’
- Fine lines and wrinkles associated with environmental damage and collagen depletion
- Acne scarring
- Melasma and blotchy discolouration of the skin
- Poor skin condition or dull complexion
- Enlarged pores
- Thin, crepey skin
What results can I expect from Fraxel?
- Promotion of new collagen development
- More radiant skin
- Reduced acne scarring
- Reduced melasma and sun damage
- Overall more rejuvenated, luminous skin
What can I expect during my Fraxel consultation?
You will complete one of our Patient Information Forms, and we will ask you some questions about you medical history, previous treatments, lifestyle and skin goals. Fraxel might not be the best treatment for you, and if so, your clinician will suggest an alternative treatment to address your skin concerns, or to help achieve the results you are looking for. Sometimes, one of our other therapies or procedures are more appropriate to achieve your desired outcome. For example, if your primary concern is extensive volume loss in your upper face and associated loose skin in your lower face, while Fraxel will improve your skin condition, making it look more youthful - it will not replace lost fat pads or underlying structures in your face. So your clinician may recommend dermal fillers as an alternative option to address your key concern.
As with all treatments, it is important to have reasonable expectations of what laser therapy can achieve for you. Being realistic about the outcomes you hope to achieve, the time frames within which you expect to see your final result - and understanding the way that laser works will help prepare you for the treatment and a good outcome.
What can I expect from my Fraxel treatment?
Your clinician will apply an anaesthetic cream to your face. This will remain on for 30 minutes, while you have a tea or coffee. You may have a tingling or cool sensation on your face, which will settle into numbness. Most people who have the cream do not feel the treatment at all, or if they do, it is a slight ‘scratchy’ sensation, but not painful.
Do I need anaesthetic cream with my Fraxel treatment?
Modern Fraxel has been adapted to include technology that reduces the discomfort associated with the treatment in the past. This technology has meant Fraxel can be used very tolerably, without the application of anaesthetic gel for many people - particularly those who have had laser, pulsed light or peels before, find Fraxel surprisingly comfortable by comparison. For every part of the body other than the face, we do not use topical anaesthetic gel routinely, because patients do not feel they need it, but it is available should you require it.
How will Fraxel work on my skin?
Fraxel is a dual laser; one wavelength of the laser can target the damaged skin cells that appear as sun damage, age spots or pigmentation, while the other wavelength targets a depth of the skin that stimulates collagen production. You can have just one of these wavelengths used, or both simultaneously - that’s one of the unique benefits of Fraxel!
The microscopic laser columns penetrate to the specific dermal layer dependent upon the wavelength selected by your clinician, causing strategic and rapid healing and stimulating the body’s own natural recovery process, replacing dead old cells with fresh, healthy skin. Because it leaves the tissue around the treatment columns intact, it does not cause any unnecessary or uncontrolled burning, swelling or damage.
The photo on the right shows how the skin will look immediately after your treatment. The effects of your topical anaesthetic will keep your skin feeling comfortable. You may also have goosebumps or chills in the minutes after the treatment; this is a normal response and won’t last. As the anaesthetic cream wears off in the coming hours, you will feel slightly sunburned. If required, you can take over the counter pain relief for any discomfort, although most people find they do not even require this.
The following day, you will see little grids of microscopic dots that show where the laser beams have treated your skin. These will gradually turn into darker, tiny dots that are often referred to as having a ‘coffee granule’ like appearance, and having a slightly sandpaper-like feeling when you run your hand across your face. Eventually these will lift off; it is important not to exfoliate or manually pull this skin off. You may also notice slight swelling and a ‘tight’ feeling; this will reduce by day 3.
Using your post treatment healing balm to keep the treated area moist - and using an SPF 50 sunscreen to protect your healing skin from any exposure - is an important part of the post treatment process. You will go home from your treatment with a post-care sheet with all the information you need to optimise your results; please follow these instructions closely.
How do you tell real Fraxel from the fakes?
Unfortunately, Fraxel technology has become so reputable and in-demand, many ‘fake Fraxel’ machines have appeared in the market; cheaper machines that claim to be genuine Fraxel, but do not offer the safety, technology - nor meeting the rigorous regulations and laser safety standards required to acquire and operate this powerful technology. Genuine Fraxel clinics feature this logo to indicate that they offer authentic Fraxel therapy.
Have more questions? Email us at email@example.com or call 3202 4744. Each member of our team has experienced Fraxel and will be able to tell you what it is like, first hand!
We often receive enquiries regarding weight gain or weight loss - and their impact on breast augmentation surgery. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
Do I need to lose weight before I have breast augmentation surgery?
As with all surgery, your post operative healing and chances of attaining an optimal result will be improved if you have a healthy diet and active lifestyle - and maintain a stable weight within your body shape’s ideal range. If you are a healthy weight, there is no need to drop some kg’s before your surgery - in fact, Dr Sharp recommends that you maintain a consistent weight in the months, and preferably at least a year, leading up to your procedure.
What happens if I loose weight after my breast augmentation surgery?
Minor weight loss will not impact on the appearance of your implants. However, significant weight loss may change their appearance, creating wrinkles or a ‘crepey’ appearance where underlying fat once supported the skin - and potentially sagging or changes to the position of the breasts on the chest wall.
When selecting and placing your implant initially, this is done in relation to your body shape and overall proportions, and weight fluctuations can affect how the implants look. For this reason, it is ideal to maintain a steady and sustainable weight prior, during and after surgery, to achieve the best long term outcome.
If I am underweight, do I need to gain weight in order to have a breast augmentation?
Generally, it isn’t advisable to gain weight prior to your surgery, especially if it is not sustainable for your body shape. Some people are naturally slim and may find it difficult to maintain their pre-surgery weight. If you are underweight and desire a fuller breast, Dr Sharp can create proportionate curves using a smaller implant that looks more anatomically natural. The size, type and position of implant is discussed at length with Dr Sharp during the consultation process.
Will breast augmentation cause me to gain weight?
No, breast augmentation surgery does not cause patients to have increased body fat. However, post operative swelling - which can take many months to subside for some patients - can give the appearance of weight gain in the chest and upper body, however this is fluid instead of fat and is only a temporary, albeit normal, aspect of breast surgery. Fluid retention and constipation is also normal after surgery and can be treated by adhering to your post operative instructions, which addresses these factors and appropriate treatments.
To discuss whether breast augmentation surgery is right for you, book a consultation with Dr Sharp by calling 3202 4744.
You’d have to be superhuman - or super anti-social - to completely avoid the overload of food, drinks and excess that is synonymous with the festive season. The combination of food high in sugar, salt and fat, along with the occasional sugary drink or alcoholic beverage - followed by hot lazy days - often sees the unwelcome expansion of love handles and spare tyres that looked, and felt, much smaller a few months ago.
Certain areas of the body - such as the abdomen, flanks and back, naturally lend themselves to fat accumulating. Once these pockets of fat have formed, it can be difficult to eliminate them, even with a healthy lifestyle. It’s enough to make those new years resolutions of getting fit and healthy seem like a pipe dream.
After you’ve finished adjusting your belt up a notch or diving into your comfy pants, consider some small, easy steps you can begin taking this week to get your body back to where you’d like it to be. Even the most stubborn of fat can be budged with the combination of a sensible diet, moderate physical activity and SculpSure fat removal.
By now we all know the key to a healthy diet - but it’s a matter of sticking to it! Plenty of water, fresh vegetables and fruit, moderate amounts of lean protein and low-GI grains. If you are grocery shopping on a budget, try a local farmers market for great deals on fresh fruit and vegetables to last the week. For a reminder of what you should be looking for on your plate, click here or here.
If joining a gym or having a personal trainer is cost or time prohibitive, consider one of the many team sports available for grown-ups in our region or simply start with taking the dog or kids for a brisk walk every second day, and build up from there. If you like going solo, try one of these popular workout apps and find one that works for you.
And if you are carrying more than just a few extra bulges and need some extra support, the team at the Wesley LifeShape Clinic are a great resource.
And so finally, onto SculpSure and what it can’t do for you. One of the common misnomers about non surgical fat reduction is that it is a ‘lazy’ way of losing weight. Firstly, SculpSure is not a weight loss treatment. It removes stubborn pockets of fat, but it does not cause overall weight loss - that’s something for diet and lifestyle! Also, we only treat people with a BMI of 30 or less, who have a healthy lifestyle; because most people with a BMI over 30 won’t see significant enough results from SculpSure for us to support them having the treatment without achieving some weightloss first. And finally, when people invest their hard-earned money in fat reduction treatments, they are usually backing up that investment with good lifestyle choices. We anecdotally find most patients are keen to follow through with the funds they have spent on their treatment by ensuring they support those results with a health diet and exercise - which is only a good thing.
SculpSure is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that can reduce fat cells in the treated area by up to 24%; an effective treatment option for patients who want to reduce lumps and bumps, but have struggled to achieve it with diet and exercise alone.
SculpSure targets troublesome areas of fat, achieving gradual, natural fat reduction over the course of 6-8 weeks. The treatment utilises an innovative light technology that raises the temperature of the cells, gently breaking them down and removing them through the body’s usual elimination system - leaving the treated area flatter and smoother.
The process usually takes two to three 25 minutes treatment sessions, setting SculpSure apart as one of the most effective non-invasive fat reduction treatments available.
Call us on 3202 4744 to book a complimentary SculpSure consultation.
before and after one SculpSure treatment to under buttocks/upper thighs
The team at Dr David Sharp Plastic Surgery and PRAHS Cosmetic and Rejuvenation Clinics are dedicated to helping patients achieve their body goals. Other body contouring options include liposuction, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation or lift, arm lift and thigh lift.
BIA-ALCL (breast implant associated anapaestic large cell lymphoma) is a rare type of lymphoma that develops adjacent to breast implants. It usually presents as swelling of the breast or a lump in the breast or armpit, most commonly between 3 to 14 years after the implants are placed.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has advised that of approximately 50 cases reported in Australia, most were cured by removal of the implant. Dr Sharp performs breast augmentation surgery in accredited hospital facilities and upholds the highest standards of infection control, to reduce the risk of bacterial biofilm contamination associated with the disease. He has also committed to the Macquarie University’s 14 Point Plan to reduce breast implant infection and utilises the Australian Breast Device Registry.
The following outlines up to date advice from the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons on BIA-ALCL and provides a helpful guide, through the most commonly asked questions regarding this disease.
BIA-ALCL is a very rare disease, but as always, it is important to know your breasts, monitor them and if you notice changes, promptly speak to your surgeon.
What causes BIA-ALCL?
- Australian and New Zealand Plastic Surgeons - in partnership with local and international research organisations - are at the forefront of investigating this disease and are working proactively with the government to keep them informed.
- Bacteria has been identified within the lymphoma and around implants in affected breasts; there is evidence that a long-term inflammatory response to the presence of the bacteria is one of the factors that may cause BIA-ALCL
- Genetic factors may also be involved for some women; investigations into the disease are continuing to improve clinical understanding.
What is breast implant associated - anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?
- BIA-ALCL is not the same as breast cancer; it developed in the fluid around the breast implant and is contained by the fibrous capsule around the implant.
What are the symptoms?
- The symptoms of BIA-ALCL most commonly include persistent swelling or a lump in the breast or armpit
- Symptoms most commonly develop between 3 to 14 years, with the most common occurrence around 8 years after implantation.
- The swelling is because fluid has accumulated around the implant; the lymphoma develops around the breast implant in the fluid, and is not in the breast tissue itself.
What are the risks of developing BIA-ALCL?
- Approximately 50 patients have been identified in Australia as having this disease, making it very rare. The low rates also makes it difficult to be certain about the absolute risk of developing the disease.
- The risk is believed to be around 1 in every 5000 women who have breast implants. This is a much lower risk than other cancers - such as breast cancer - which carries a 1 in 8 risk for women.
Are some women, or implants, more at risk than others?
- Based on current available data, it is uncertain as to whether texture implants of different types carry different risks; however we do know that to date, no cases of BIA-ALCL have been reported in women who had only smooth implants.
- It is not possible to predict who will develop BIA-ALCL; it has occurred in women who have breast implants for both cosmetic, and also for reconstructive, reasons - and in women who have both saline and silicone implants.
How is BIA-ALCL diagnosed?
- Ultrasound is the first diagnostic tool used; if fluid is detected, this is removed and tested for BIA-ALCL
- If BIA-ALCL is confirmed, MRI and PET/CT scans may be performed to help provide an indication of the stage of present disease.
- Mammograms are not useful in diagnosing BIA-ALCL
What is the treatment of BIA-ALCL?
- Most cases are cured with the removal of implants, along with the fibrous capsule around the implants.
- The majority of patients don’t require any further treatment.
- Less commonly, further treatment such as chemotherapy and/or radiation may be required.
Should breast implants be removed preventatively, or ‘just in case’?
- Breast implants are not lifelong devices and in general all will need to be removed or replaced at some stage.
- The most common reason for implant removal or replacement is capsular contracture, implant migration or rupture.
- Without symptoms or signs of BIA-ALCL, routine implant removal is not required unless there are other implant concerns.
Are there ways to make breast implant surgery safer?
- There is growing evidence that suggests bacteria are associated with complications of breast implant surgery as all as the risk for capsular contracture - which doesn’t lead to cancer.
- Infection control standards are extremely important in breast surgery to ensure the best outcomes, and specialist plastic surgeons are expertly trained to ensure the highest standards of patient safety and lowest risk of infection.
- A 14 point plan has been developed for surgeons to help reduce the risk of bacteria growing around the implant.
What should you do if you’re worried about BIA-ALCL?
- Contract the surgeon who performed your breast augmentation; if you can’t contact them, ask your GP for a referral to a specialist plastic surgeon.
- If you have breast swelling associated with breast implants, you may need a referral to have an ultrasound; if required, some fluid may be removed for testing. Most breast swelling that occurs after breast implants is not due to BIA-ALCL, but it should be excluded.
Can new breast implants be inserted after a BIA-ALCL diagnosis?
- Current treatment protocols indicate that the removal of both breast implants - along with the capsule around them - is required because a small number of cases have been diagnosed bilaterally (on both breasts at the same time).
- Implants are not replaced during this operation
- Smooth implants may be reinserted 12 months after the treatment of BIA-ALCL if the disease is no longer present, however the safety of this strategy is still being investigated
I’m considering breast implants but am also concerned about BIA-ALCL - what should I do?
- Discuss the risks and benefits of the surgery with your specialist plastic surgeon, including the risks of BIA-ALCL
- Discuss with your surgeon the steps that s/he takes to reduce the risk of biofilm formation
- Implant selection must take into account the risks and benefits of specific implant choices - implant selection will vary from patient to patient
- Breast implants aren’t for life; women with breast implants should always consider that they will require revision or replacement of the breast implant at some time, and as with all surgery, these future surgeries carry costs and risks.
Implant choice is a key factor that determines the final result of your breast augmentation.
How you choose to change your body today will affect how it looks - and the kinds of further surgery you may need - into the future; all things to consider from the outset when embarking on cosmetic surgery . Choose an implant that compliments your body now, and helps it maintain proportion into the future.
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting an implant that is right for you:
- What your breasts look like right now - their size, position and where their volume sits, as well as where your nipple is positioned
- The desired end result; some people want a beautifully proportioned, natural curve - while others favour a less natural look that sits higher, and is more obviously augmented.
- The plane being used during the augmentation, for example: under the muscle, above the muscle or ‘dual plane’.
- Which shape of implant (anatomical or round) is going to best achieve the desired outcome - some will achieve a natural look with less volume at the top of the breast and a gentle slope, while others provide more cleavage or the appearance of more breast tissue in the upper pole of the breast. The implant shape will be largely determined by your natural breast tissue, muscle and their placement on your chest wall before surgery.
- Previous breast surgery, issues or deformity
- Asymmetry; most women’s breasts are not even, but if there are significant differences in size or breast tissue position, different implants might be selected for each side
- The width and height of your chest and torso; breast should sit in balance with the rest of your anatomy - your surgeon will take measurements and calculate the optimal placement of implants on your chest.
Remember, you are unique! No two sets breasts are the same, either before or after surgery. Plastic and cosmetic surgery forums are littered with patients comparing the size of their implants and profiles, and while its understandable to presume that the implant size and profile will generally create the same results between similarly sized women, this should never be used as a guide for what is going to suit their individual anatomy. No two size 10 women having 320cc anatomical implants under the muscle are going to look the same after surgery - so using others’ sizes, profiles and implant types as a definitive guide for what is going to be best for you may ultimately be misguiding and lead to disappointing results.
The best way to ensure you choose the right implant for you is to:
1. Make the most of your consultations, and have more than one!
We recommend at least two consultations with your surgeon before breast augmentation surgery. In your first consult with Dr Sharp you will try on different ‘sizers’ with a bra and a t-shirt to give you an indication of what your final size may be. You will be able to take photos if you wish, to review and consider your options when you go home.
At your second consultation, you may repeat this process again to assist in making a final decision, with Dr Sharp’s assistance. If you have any doubts, book a third consult to ensure you are absolutely confident with your choice.
2. Think about how you want to look now - and also what you want to look like in 5, 10 and 20 years.
Our bodies change as we age, as gravity takes its toll and life changes - particularly pregnancy or menopause - seeing weight gain in typical areas of the body such as the waistline, breasts and thighs. Abnormally large breasts can make a woman look heavier, especially if she experiences weight gain in her upper arms or stomach. They place more weight on the shoulders and back, and can cause associated pain. They can stretch the areola around the nipple - and can also place more pressure on the skin, muscles and ligaments, eventually creating a sagging appearance that was not part of the initial desired outcome. Often, this requires more extensive surgery to counteract down the track; such as breast lift (mastopexy) surgery, with greater scars and surgical risks involved.
3. Take your time
Once a patient decides to have a breast augmentation, often they develop a great sense of excitement - and associated urgency - to have it done as soon as possible! While this is understandable, it can also lead to quick decisions that have not been fully considered or thought through. The majority of women who have breast augmentation surgery are very pleased with their choice of implant size. But there is great wisdom in ‘sleeping on it’ - preferably for weeks or months - before making a final choice in implant. It is too great a decision to be rushed through.
4. Research your implants - and why your surgeon uses them
With a wide range of implants now on the market in Australia, it is easy to be confused by what each one offers. The good news is, Australian regulations ensure that implants available locally are scrutinised to a very high standard, requiring vigilant reporting and adherence to safety benchmarks. Your surgeon should be able to explain the difference between the key brands of implants currently available. It is likely your surgeon has a specific brand of implants that she or he favours, and they should be able to explain to you in detail as to why they have chosen these. The implants Dr Sharp most frequently uses offer a wide range of implants and styles, and come with a lifetime replacement warranty for capsular contracture and rupture, providing additional peace of mind to patients as these are two of the most common breast augmentation complications that require further surgery in the future.
And finally, check with your surgeon as to whether the details of your implant will be registered with the Australian Breast Device Register which will enable you to access information about your breast implants into the future, even if your surgeon is no longer practicing.
To discuss which breast implant size and profile might best achieve your desired result, book a consultation with Dr Sharp by calling 3202 4744.
One of the most common facial surgery questions we receive is “how do I know whether I need a neck lift - or a lower facelift?”
Online forums and surgery websites provide conflicting information and terminology for these procedures; what they entail, and what they address for the ageing face - causing greater confusion. What is colloquially known as a ‘neck lift’ may not technically refer to the surgical procedure that this title traditionally entailed.
The face and neck age together and for the most part a neck lift should include elevation of the lower face. Conversely a lower facelift should includes tightening of the neck. In modern times where facelift and neck lift surgery aims to be less invasive, the operation has been discussed as one of the same. The one exception is an isolated platysmaplasty which can tighten the mid line neck without having any effect on the face. When performed on its own it is used to improve a sagging neck in a young patient who has no other signs of facial ageing.
A neck lift - or lower rhytidectomy - aims to improve the signs of ageing in the neck and lower jawline area, including:
- Loose neck skin or ‘turkey wattle’
- Excess skin in the lower face and jowls
- Excess fatty deposits under the chin
- Visible muscle bands running down the neck, which created abnormal contours
- Horizontal lines running across the neck
- Depending on your desired result, your neck lift surgery can be performed through a traditional complete neck lift incision, or a limited-incision neck lift.
- A limited-incision neck lift may involve incisions only around the ear. While the incisions are shorter and scars less visible, the results of this approach can be more limited.
If there is excess skin below the jawline, on the neck - or small deposits of fat accumulated under the chin area - a neck lift procedure may also be required. This procedure is tailored to the patient’s desired outcome. In some cases, liposuction may be used to remove excess fat, while in slim patients, only the platysma muscle is usually tightened and excess skin removed. The neck lift incision is made across the front of the neck, and the scar is often integrated into the lines of the skin to reduce its appearance.
What does a neck lift procedure involve?
A traditional neck lift incision starts in the hairline at the level of the hair in front of the ear, proceeds down and around the ear - and ends in the scalp around the back of the neck. Fat may be transferred, sculpting the jowls and neck - or dermal fillers can be used to recreate bone structure and fat that ageing has depleted.
The tissue underlying the neck skin is repositioned and if the platysma muscle is lax, it may be tightened. Skin is placed back over the uplifted contours and the excess skin is cut away. Often liposuction is also used to remove fat. A separate incision under the chin is usually necessary for liposuction and muscle repair, as mentioned above.
What won’t neck lift surgery address?
As a facial rejuvenation procedure, a neck lift will not change your overall appearance - and will not halt the ageing process. Neck lift surgery will not improve the condition of the skin on your neck or décolletage; non surgical skin treatments, including laser, micro needling and specialist skincare will address the pigmentation and deterioration of the skin health in these areas.
A neck lift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results in lifting and tightening the skin, but may help delay the time at which a neck lift becomes appropriate.
Often, people think they need a neck lift to address their jowls and sagging skin in their lower face, however the cause of their concerns actually begin with the loss (and migration) of their underlying facial support structures, such as fat - causing skin and tissue to hang around the lower face. In this case, a facelift - and subtle use of dermal fillers to replace lost bone structure and fat in the upper mid face - may address these issues, and a neck lift might not be required.
Is neck lift surgery performed on its own?
The aim of all facial cosmetic and plastic surgery should be to create as much balance and harmony as possible, while retaining a natural, healthy and realistic appearance. When the neck area doesn’t match the upper facial appearance, a neck lift may be a good solution; in some cases a neck lift may be performed on it’s own in cases where the neck has visibly aged quicker than the face. Usually, the face and neck age together, meaning a facelift and neck lift are often integrated into a single procedure, to harmonise the facial features and balance the results. A facelift might restore your facial appearance back to that of a 45 year old, but if your neck still looks like it’s 60 with protruding vertical platysmal bands and horizontal lining, the face and neck may look at odds beside each other, which is what we sometimes see in the notorious Hollywood plastic surgery tabloid media, that’s dead giveaway for facelift surgery - without consideration of the adjacent ageing neck.
When is facelift surgery performed with neck lift surgery?
Most neck lift surgery performed by Dr Sharp is coupled with a facelift that particularly focuses on the lower face, to ensure seamless aesthetic and functional results. Facelift surgery is often performed on its own in patients who are in their 40’s and 50’s, but if a patient is having their first facelift in their 60’s, Dr Sharp may recommend a neck lift as well, as this area will be demonstrating advanced signs of ageing.
By eliminating loose, sagging facial skin and repositioning underlying support structures, facelift surgery can create a ‘lifted’ effect that significantly reduces the visible signs of ageing like no other treatment or procedure can. When combined with neck lift, a facelift can compliment the reversal of visible signs of ageing on the neck as well - including sagging skin, loss of definition in the undercroft of the chin, neck wrinkles and thick bands.
What other procedures are commonly performed alongside a neck lift?
Rejuvenation procedures that are routinely performed in conjunction with a neck lift include fat transfer, liposuction, genionplasty (chin implant surgery to create chin projection where a deficit exists), lips and cheek enhancement or eyelid surgery, to rejuvenate ageing or excess skin above the eyes.
before and after facelift surgery and Fraxel treatment with Dr Sharp (at 12 weeks post surgery)
Dr Sharp’s advice for those considering any facial surgery:
Ask your surgeon to explain:
- the steps of the procedure
- what it aims to accomplish
- the location of incisions
- potential pitfalls and complications.
And ensure you don’t sign anything until you understand explicitly what you are consenting to!
If you’d like to know more about neck lift or facelift surgery, please call 3202 4744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation with Dr Sharp.
Our practice is excited to be the first plastic surgery clinic in Queensland to offer its patients access to the medical grade fractionated ‘Fraxel’ resurfacing technology.
The state of the art ‘dual’ laser strategically penetrates the skin to remove pre cancerous cells, sun damage.
It also reduces scars, softens lines and wrinkles - and stimulates collagen production.
Used in hospitals and day surgery centres, Dr David Sharp Plastic Surgery now provides unprecedented access to Fraxel, under the supervision of a qualified surgeon.
Treatments take 30 minutes and can be tailored to target any part of the face or body for sun damage, solar keratosis or scar revision, by stimulating the body’s own responses to controlled trauma. Starting from $450, it cannot currently be claimed through Medicare or private health funds.
Skin Consultant and Laser Certified technician Deborah Seib-Daniell, who has been working with lasers for over a decade, said the most satisfying aspect of delivering the treatments was the confidence-boosting results patients see.
“Often patients believe there’s was nothing that can be done to reduce the sun damage, pigmentation or scarring on their bodies,” she said.
“It prevents them from feeling confident in their own bodies. Now, we can help these patients right here in the comfort, convenience and privacy of our clinic.”
“We often see patients with scalps covered in scaly keratosis after years of sun exposure, and they wear a hat indoors because they’re too embarrassed by the condition of their skin. It’s so satisfying to have them come back after their Fraxel treatments and run their hands across their scalp and say ‘look at this, I never thought my skin would feel or look like this ever again!’
“But it isn’t only about a cosmetic result, solar keratosis can evolve into skin cancer down the track, requiring multiple costly surgeries and scarring; to help prevent that is incredibly rewarding.”
Dr Sharp said his clinic – which had to undergo rigorous certification to add the laser to its line up of non surgical laser treatments – selected the treatment not just for its ability to turn back the clock for ageing skin; he hopes one of its primary uses will be to treat the high levels of pre cancerous skin growths experienced in Queensland, and generate a greater awareness of the importance of good skin health.
“This is not a fluffy skin treatment that you can get anywhere; it is a powerful technology and is highly regulated to ensure patients get results in a safe, regulated medical environment,” Dr Sharp said.
The chance of a woman developing breast cancer up to age 85 is 1 in 8. One woman dies from breast cancer every 16 hours in Queensland.
While those figures sound depressing, when breast cancer is detected early, women have a much greater chance of being treated successfully. And for most women, the cancer will not return after treatment.
Breast cancer will affect all of us at some time in our lives; whether it be a loved one, colleague, friend – or ourselves – diagnosed with this common form of cancer. Breast cancer is often thought of as a woman’s disease, but it also occurs in male glandular chest tissues as well. Knowing the signs is key to early detection.
A defined lump is not always the first sign of breast cancer. Breast cancer symptoms can include:
- Thickening of the breast tissue
- Nipple discharge
- Redness or scaling of the nipple
- A nipple that becomes inverted (turned inwards)
- Unexplained redness, swelling, skin irritation, itchniness or rash on the breast.
Women of all ages should be familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts. If you notice any of the following changes please see your doctor immediately:
- A lump, lumpiness or thickening of the breast
- Changes in the skin of a breast, such as puckering,dimpling or a rash
- Persistent or unusual breast pain
- A change in the shape or size of a breast
- Discharge from a nipple, a nipple rash or a change in its shape
The signs of breast cancer can involve all of these – or none at all. It’s important to remember that the best defence you have is you own ‘gut instinct’.
If you feel your breasts have changed unexpectedly – or something just isn’t right – listen to your inner alarm bell. When it comes to breast cancer, it is far better to have a screening ‘just in case’ that continue with a niggling feeling something could be wrong.
Dr David Sharp is committed to providing breast reconstruction education to women who have undergone partial or total mastectomy surgery in the Brisbane, Ipswich and regional areas of Queensland and Northern New South Wales. If you or someone you care about has had breast cancer surgery and would like to find out more about their options for reconstruction, please contact us on 3202 4744.
Click here to view some helpful links about breast cancer and reconstructive surgery.
Vogue Australia invited Dr Sharp to join industry experts at their inaugural Queensland cosmetic event this month.
Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann introduced the event, which saw over 200 people fill the Versace Hotel’s grand ballroom for a day of seminars and interactive workshops with the speakers.
Dr Sharp spoke about facial cosmetic surgery, discussing face lift, rhinoplasty, otoplasty, chin implant and blepharoplasty procedures, while Dr Raja Sawhney discussed breast augmentation, reduction and lift surgery. Dr Christopher Leat shared the latest advancements in cosmetic injectables and Dr Shoban Manoharan, a specialist dermatologist, talked about the incredible results laser therapy can achieve. Dr Franck Page provided an insight into the world of cosmetic dentistry and dental implants, while Grant Power from Giorgio Armani revealed the iconic brand’s latest release of transformative makeup tools. Dmitri Papas from Papas + Pace finished the day off with the magic of the perfect cut.
From plastic surgery through to aesthetic dentistry, the medical professionals all had the same message for those considering cosmetic improvements; attaining a ‘natural look’ is the gold standard we should all be aiming for!
Here’s a behind the scenes glimpse of the event.
Photo credit: Whisper & Sing
The University of Western Australia (UWA) is calling for participants to join a pilot study into breast density among young women, in the hope of understanding cancer risks later in life.
High breast density is a strong predictors of breast cancer in older women, giving them a four to six times greater likelihood of developing cancer than women with low density.
Hoping to identify factors associated with increased density in younger populations, UWA is seeking women aged between 18 and 40 to participate in the study. If you live in West Australia and are interested in participating, click here to find out more.
Participants will be measured using a Transillumination Breast Spectroscopy, or TiBS using visible and near-infrared light. Researchers hope the machine may be used for screening under-40’s in the future, to monitor change in those typically too young to have mammograms.
Breast density can be impacted by smoking, alcohol and contraceptive use, giving an insight into future prevention strategies. Dense breasts are common and despite being a risk factor for cancer, they alone are not an indication that a woman will develop the disease.
The study will be funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
breasts are classified as 'dense' when more than 50% of a breast consists of fibroglandular tissue
of women do not know if they have dense breasts
up to 40% of breast cancer goes undetected by mammography alone in women with dense breasts
Pregnancy stretches the abdominal muscles and skin, often leaving a pouch like appearance where the muscle are permanently separated, lax and weakened. This is called rectus divarication and it can lead to secondary problems such as hernias, difficulty exercising, pelvic floor problems, incontinence, skin infections, core strength deficits and back pain. A reconstructive abdominoplasty resolves this by rejoining the separated muscles, repairing hernias and removing loose skin. Far from being only a cosmetic procedure, it can have a significant impact on a woman’s core strength, continence and self esteem after having babies.
During this procedure, permanent stitches are used to pull the abdominal muscles together, restoring midsection support and creating a firmer abdomen. Sometimes the laxity of the lateral abdominal muscles (obliques) also requires permanent sutures to create an ideal shape; this is called muscle plication.
Up until 2016, the Medical Benefits Scheme included post partum abdominoplasty, offering a rebate on the procedure where it was deemed medically necessary. However, after 45 years of being allocated an item number, the procedure was removed from the scheme in December 2015, meaning the 6,000 women who require this surgery each year would have to pay around $10,000 to have it performed. As reported in The Australian, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) requested recommended against the removal, amid concerns over the life long repercussions women may experience if abdominal function is not restored.
Currently, women requiring reconstructive abdominoplasty must access this surgery through a private plastic surgeon. The cost varies depending on the surgeon, anaesthetist, hospital facility and length of inpatient stay, but generally ranges from $9,000 to $12,000.
Patients who require a post birth abdominoplasty often find that their muscle separation is not resolved through exercise, but may experience improvement in their core strength, incontinence and back pain issues with the help of a physiotherapist that specialises in postpartum therapy such as:
- Mummy and Co: www.mummyandco.com.au
- Body and Birth Physio: www.bodyandbirthphysio.com
- The Body Refinery: www.thebodyrefinery.com.au/physiotherapy/womens-health-physio/
- Yummy Mummy Physio: www.yummymummyphysio.com.au
- In Ipswich: Physioactive www.physioactive.com.au or Ipswich Physiotherapy www.ipswichphysiotherapy.com.au/marisa-strasser.php
- The Mater Hospital offer ‘back in shape’ classes to help support mums ease back into core strength exercise in the immediate period after having a baby. Click here to find out more.
In the meantime, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons continue to liaise with the government in the hope that the procedure may be returned to the Medicare Benefits Schedule in the future.
Neuroscientist Sara Lazar from Harvard Medical School has published research that flouts the commonly held belief that the human brain shrinks with age. Her research shows that when people meditate frequently, the area of the brain responsible for executive decision making and memory does not change over the decades.
The study concluded that 27 minutes of meditation each day for eight weeks can create positive, measurable changes in the brain.
The link between high stress levels and physical signs of ageing has long been accepted by science, with patients who have higher stress levels also finding it more difficult to recover from surgery, experiencing delayed healing and poorer immune defences to infection. From yoga through to tai chi and other more unstructured forms of relaxation techniques, there are numerous benefits of meditation, including better decision making, lower blood pressure and improved mental health. Best of all, it doesn’t require expensive gym memberships or equipment - and can be done literally anywhere.
And it’s never too late. Dr Lazar’s research showed that when non-meditators began mediating daily, their grey matter actually grew. That’s as good a reason as any to tap into your inner yogi.
Watch Dr Lazar’s TEDx presentation about meditation and stress here:
Dr Sharp will feature as one of Vogue Magazine Australia’s experts in plastic and cosmetic surgery this weekend at the magazine’s inaugural Beauty & Anti Ageing Event at Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast.
Speaking on the various facial cosmetic surgery procedures available to all age groups, Dr Sharp will share his insights into rhinoplasty, eyelid reduction (blepharoplasty), facelift, otoplasty (ear pinning), neck lift, genioplasty (chin augmentation) and brow lift surgery.
Update: Vogue has advised us that tickets to this year’s event have sold out, but if you have signed up for Dr Sharp’s e-news, keep an eye out for the highlights in next month’s issue, and we will let you know when the next Vogue event comes around!
Back in the 1990’s eyebrows were whisper thin arches, resembling barely a relic of what nature endowed. And for many of us, all those years of plucking resulted in a permanent brow hair deficit. So when the noughties swung around and facial aesthetic trends turned towards bushy thick brows, most of us were left feeling rather follically challenged. That’s when the popularity of cosmetic tattooing began to emerge, with women turning to ink to restore what genetics, tweezers or waxing had taken away. In recent years, the art of feather touch brow tattooing has soared, whereby a natural-looking brow is formed at the hands of an experienced tattooist by recreating the look of well-placed hairs, strand by strand.
Our skin clinician Deborah Seib-Daniell has been coiffuring brows for 15 years and said “the pendulum has thankfully now swung towards a more moderate groomed look that is both natural and defined”.
Deborah said eyebrows are one of the “hardest working” elements of facial aesthetics, framing the face and creating ratio.
“The aesthetic importance of the eyebrow cannot be understated, it’s a key defining factor in facial aesthetics and beauty.”
Deborah said over elevation of the brow creates an unnatural, surprised look, while a low-placed brow with a high lateral peak creates an angry look.
It is impossible to define an ideal eyebrow that is suitable for every face, ethnicity, age and gender. But the ideal eyebrow aesthetic typically involves the inside of the brow beginning in line with the edge of the nostril, and ending at an oblique line drawn from the outside of the nostril through the outside corner of the eye. Both ends of the brow should lie at approximately the same horizontal level. The apex, or top of the arch, lies on a vertical line directly above the outside run of the iris, which should also match the same point that is found when a line is drawn from the outside of the nostril through the pupil.
Ideally, browns should be about two shades deeper than the colour of the hair on your head. When permanent makeup tattooing is applied correctly to eyebrows, it can have an anti-ageing effect, providing a lifted and more open appearance to the eye area.
Eyebrow tattooing treatments take approximately 1 hour, with a follow up appointment 6 weeks later - and the results last about 18 months to two years. Costs begin at $499.
To investigate what eyebrow tattooing can do for you, contact Deborah at email@example.com or call 3202 4744.
Reported by Anna Hartley | 6th April | Queensland Times:
SOME might be quick to assume young women would make up most cosmetic surgery candidates.
According to Ipswich plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr David Sharp, the majority of people who come to him for plastic surgery are in fact women in their 40s and 50s.
The surgeon said the most common cosmetic procedures he performed were tummy tucks, breast reduction and augmentation surgery.
“There is a large group of patients who have thought about having cosmetic surgery for years, usually females in their 40s or 50s who’ve had their children, who say, ‘I want to do something for myself now’.,” Dr Sharp said.
“After skin cancer there is a lot of cosmetic stuff coming through and of that it’s mainly abdominoplasty, breast reductions, and breast augmentation.”
Dr Sharp said his biggest concern when it came to cosmetic surgery was the trend of people choosing the “cheap” option.
“The only people who are qualified to call themselves surgeons in Australia have to have a fellowship with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons,” he said.
“My advice would be for cosmetic surgery candidates to really do their research.
“I’ve heard some horror stories. The cheapest option is not necessarily the best.”
Read the full article at The Queensland Times.
Read the full article on the Queensland Times website
To celebrate Mother’s Day and the special women in our lives, the team at Dr David Sharp Plastic Surgery shares the pearls of wisdom bestowed by their mums for good health, beauty and wellbeing…
Mum lives by some principles that I’ve tried to pass down to my own daughter, Eldene. Roald Dahl describes her ethos perfectly:
“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on their face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Mum’s advice for my sisters and I was always quite Marilyn Monroe-esque: “Get lots of sleep. On your back. On silk pillow cases spritzed with Chanel No. 5”. Even if you’re slipping into bed in a daggy fleecy onesie, it makes you feel a million dollars after a big day. Mum swore by sleeping on silk pillow cases to prevent wrinkles forming; and looking at her, you’d believe it works (and if it doesn’t, at least it’s added a bit of glamour to bedtime, which can never be a bad thing)!
Getting plenty of sleep is definitely a factor in anti aging. It fuels an energetic, positive attitude, which is then exhibited through our appearance. Mum has always embodies a beautiful example in that respect.
I was a barefooted and adventurous child, so my mother was more inclined to offer beauty advice to my sister, who was a model and far more glamourous! But sometimes motherly advice comes from unexpected sources, and one beauty tip I have never forgotten came from a stylish, ageless socialite I was looking after as an 18 year old trainee nurse in Sydney in the 70’s. Towards the end of my night shift one morning, she saw me rub at my tired eyes, and admonished me for being too rough with this delicate skin. She told me to treat the skin around my eyes gently, to avoid prematurely aging. Even now, decades later, I vividly remember her voice and her beautiful, flawless complexion every time I go to rub my eyes…and I’m a little more gentle because of it!
Decades before ‘clean eating’ became a trend, mum’s advice about good nutrition and body image was a vivid part of my childhood. There was never talk of diets, low-fat food or guilt. Mum’s an incredible gardener and cook, and almost every meal was home-grown or sourced from a nearby farm; somehow she managed to do this while working and raising a busy family. Being taught to treasure your body and put effort into nourishing it is an invaluable start to life. As a child, it evoked plenty of eye-rolling, but as an adult I realised it’s the foundation of valuing how we feel and look. Every Sunday mum still collects a basketfull of produce from her garden and spends the day slow cooking a feast for her 13 children and grandchildren.
My mum, Somlak, grew up on a river boat in Thailand; survival certainly took priority over beauty and wellness while living in poverty for the first half of her life! She became fluent in English when I was about five, and that’s when she began sharing her ‘cultural wisdom’ with me. In Thailand, her family would shave off their children’s hair to mark developmental milestones.
When I was six, mum took me back to her village, so her family could shave my head. She told me that if I ever wanted to rejuvenate or renew myself, I should do this to shrug of the ‘old’ and start afresh. It’s a simple, but beautiful, symbol of regeneration.
One of my mother’s pearls of wisdom when it came to beauty and wellbeing was the importance of hydration. As all young children do, I probably underestimated the importance of this advice during my childhood. Having studied nutrition as an adult, I can appreciate the importance of her advice. Living in Queensland it’s warm all year round it’s too easy to constantly deprive our bodies of the water they need. It is integral to good body and skin function, and therefore has a direct impact on how healthy and rejuvenated we look. My mother is no longer with us, so Mothers Day is a poignant time of reflection on her life - and about the preciousness of good health.
Numbness is a normal part of any surgical procedure, and can be expected for several weeks or months after surgery, as the nerves are traumatised by surgery and may be compressed by swelling. Sensation in the breast and nipple can increase or decrease after augmentation surgery - ranging from a total loss of feeling through to tingling or sharp twinges.
Most loss of feeling will resolve in 2 to 3 months, however some areas - such as the nipples and the area directly around the scar line - can take up to 2 years to resolve. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision, as the nerves make their way from the periphery to the scarline. In some cases, sensation may never return to 100% of what it felt like previously over the scar area.
This is slightly more likely to be the case when breast lift surgery is performed along with the augmentation.
The usual signs of the nerves regenerating is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp pains; these are normal. Sometimes women feel hesitant to touch the numb areas of their breast as they can feel strange and separate from their body, however it is important to massage and stimulate the nerves to encourage regeneration - you can combine this with your daily scar minimisation massage.
The size of the implant relative to the size of your chest diameter is the most important factor that impacts sensory changes, especially numbness; which is why it is important to select an implant size that is appropriate for your body. Breasts are a normal aspect of female pleasure and there’s no point having the breast size you always wanted, if you can no longer enjoy normal sensation.
The smaller the implant, the less dissection required relative to the base of the breast, and the lower the likelihood that nerves innervating the breast from the periphery of the breast will be disturbed.
If persistent sensory changes concern you, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon.
Dr Sharp’s practice at Tri Rhosen House in Ipswich was founded by Dr Hugh Bartholomeusz OAM, who recently retired from the region. This article is a tribute to Dr Bartholomeusz’s incredible contribution to surgery in the area; and the warmth, compassion and commitment to surgical excellence that the practice was founded upon - a tradition that Dr Sharp and his team are proud to continue….
Queensland Times | Brian Bennion | 8th February 2016
AFTER 31 years leading the way in innovative day surgery, plastic surgeon Dr Hugh Bartholomeusz has decided to hand over his practice and wind down his schedule, looking to retirement.
He was the founder of Tri Rhosen Day Hospital, the first multi disciplinary day hospital in the region, which was opened in Court St in 1996 by the then Governor General Bill Hayden.
Dr Bartholomeusz has also been a leading figure in the establishment of West Moreton Anglican College, the University of Queensland Ipswich campus and a leader for the Australian Air Force Cadets and RAAF’s Medical Branch
He has been in private plastic surgery practice in Brisbane and the West Moreton region since 1985 and is currently Head of the Plastic Surgery Unit at Greenslopes Private Hospital.
With his 63rd birthday approaching, Dr Bartholomeusz said it was a good time to retire from Ipswich and he has handed over his practice in Ipswich to Dr David Sharp. He will still practice at Greenslopes Hospital until the end of the year, but intends to fully retire and move to New Zealand with his wife Helga.
“We have discovered New Zealand. We love Queenstown, we built a house in Queenstown and we will be spending a lot of our retirement days there,” he said.
“It is early retirement, but I don’t want to be operating until I’m 75. Some people love it, but that’s just not me.”
During his time in Ipswich he has been Chairman of the Queensland Branch of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Foundation Chairman of the Council of West Moreton Anglican College, Chairman of the Medical Executive Committee of St Andrews Hospital, Ipswich and Chairman of the National Trust Restoration Committee for St Paul’s Anglican Church and holds the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.
“The Ipswich area offered me a lot of opportunities, not just professionally, but I got involved in the church, the restoration of St Paul’s,” he said.
“I was invited to join the fledgling board of the Anglican College and I suddenly found myself at the first meeting of the full board as the chairman and there I stayed for 12 years.
“That was a magnificent journey. And then I was the second chairman of the Friends of UQ Ipswich,” he added.
He was President of the Ipswich Amberley Support Group and Chair of the Friends of University of Queensland Ipswich.
At an International level, he has been World President of the International Air Cadet Exchange Association and has also been the Representative of the Australian Day Surgery Council on the International Association of Ambulatory Surgery.
At a national level, Dr Bartholomeusz has been Chairman of the Australian Day Surgery Council and he is currently President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.