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CAN I PREVENT OR TREAT SCAR TETHERING?

“I’ve had surgery and experienced scar tethering in the past. I’d like to have more surgery, but I’m worried it will happen again. Is there a way of removing it - and how can I make sure it won’t happen again?”  - patient Dr Sharp: Scar tethering is sometimes part of your body’s scar healing, with scar tissue under the skin adhering to deeper structures. The scar healing process takes about 24 months in total, and during this period the scar progresses through a number of phases and presentations. How it looks, feels to touch - and the sensations in the area - also change during this period. During the early phases of healing, everything tightens and can feel very firm and thick. During this time we generally recommend massage as your best prevention/optimisation tool. This can be done without lubrication or with the assistance of an over-the-counter silicone gel from the pharmacy to help with the movement. If you have a surface wound, you can also use our Healing Gel. Following your post operative instructions and being patient are the best tools in the early stages of recovery, to optimise your results. Attending your post operative consultations so your surgeon can assess your scar development is also essential. Prevention can be difficult, especially if the area has been operated on before and previously experienced tethering. Sometimes the surgeon can try to release the scar using subcision, whereby they undermine the fibrous bands holding the scar down, however this is not always successful, particularly on tighter areas where the skin is stretched across the bone such as the cheek...

What is the short scar breast augmentation technique?

As breast augmentation techniques evolve, the visible signs of surgery have become less prominent. One of the techniques that Dr Sharp employs during almost every breast augmentation procedure he performs at our Brisbane and Ipswich hospitals, is the short scar augmentation. This technique provides a reduced incision length and less scaring for our patients. In order to insert the implant, an inframammary incision is made under the breast. In the past, surgeons had to dissect the implant pocket and squeeze an implant through this incision, so they had to make the cut wide enough to accommodate the implant. However, Dr Sharp is able to make a smaller incision due to his use of a special sleeve to enable narrower insertion of the implant. A tool known as the ‘Keller Funnel’ (which you can watch Dr Sharp use here), allows the smaller incision to be made; the implant is passed into the chest via the funnel and in most cases, the scars are completely concealed in the fold (see images below, taken from underneath with the patient lying down). above left: six month old breast augmentation scar   |   above right: six month old breast augmentation scar  In addition to aesthetic benefits of a shorter scar, the funnel also has safety benefits; it enables the silicone gel implant to be placed into the breast without the need for touching, and with more control by the surgeon. While Dr Sharp does everything possible to minimise every scar created by his surgery, there are certain circumstances where a short scar incision isn’t possible. This includes some removal and replacement or revision procedures. All surgery leaves scars. Sometimes...

Medicare plastic surgery changes: will they impact you?

Medicare has announced significant changes to plastic surgery item numbers on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) that will be effective from the 1st of November 2018. If you do not have item numbers listed on your informed financial consent document, this news won’t impact your costs. This will impact rebates and health fund coverage for patients with certain item numbered procedures, so if you are having plastic surgery from the 1st of November onwards, it’s important to be aware of these changes and read on. What does this mean? Some MBS item numbers are being abolished altogether, while others will have a tighter eligibility criteria. If we have issued you with a quote that lists an item number, this quote is only valid for surgery performed up until the 31st of October 2018.
 Dr Sharp’s fees are not changing, but some rebates are, and so for surgery that’s planned from the 1st of November onwards, we will need to provide you with an updated quote based on the final version of the new Medicare item numbers. Which procedures are impacted? This list covers some popular procedures involved, and is not comprehensive: otoplasty: must be performed before the age of 18 or costs will increase by approximately $2,500 blepharoplasty: an optometrist or ophthalmologist will need to confirm that your excess eyelid skin obstructs your vision - if you don’t meet the criteria, costs may increase by approximately $2,500 breast reductions and lifts (mastopexy): in you don’t satisfy the criteria, costs will increase by approximately $3,000 - $6,500 (depending on inpatient stay) removal and replacement of breast implants: if you don’t satisfy the...

What is actinic or ‘solar’ keratosis?

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...