Thursday, June 25, 2009

DIEP flap breast cancer survivor returns to singing!

I am so very proud of my patient Sherilyn who is a breast cancer survivor and who had bilateral mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction over a year and a half ago.

She has returned to singing and performing at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley and to bringing joy to others!

Sharilyn shares her immense talent and passion with a regular group of followers and ballroom dancers who meet each Sunday to dance to the band's tunes.

Sherilyn, her boyfriend Bob (incredible piano player) and Dr. Horton after her performance at Jordan's Restaurant lounge at the Claremont Hotel

Sherilyn the singing diva!

Dr. Horton, Sherilyn and Nurse Mari

Sherilyn and Dr. Horton

Sherilyn belting it out!

An extravagant dessert platter graciously provided by Bob and Sherilyn for the Women's Plastic Surgery group

Sharron, Debbie, Dr. Horton, Sherilyn and Nurse Mari from Women's Plastic Surgery

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Abdominoplasty and liposuction have different goals and outcomes

Karen M. Horton, MD answers:

Lipoabdominoplasty vs regular abdominoplasty for post pregnancy body?

"Does it make a difference? I've had 3 kids and definitely need some help in my stomach area, but I'm not sure what procedure I would need to get my pre-baby figure back."

Abdominoplasty and liposuction have different goals and outcomes

If you are a mother who has completed her childbearing, congratulations both on your wonderful family you have created and to entering the next stage of motherhood!

Many women find their abdomens have permanent changes following pregnancy, including stretch marks, loss of abdominal tone, excess skin and extra fat deposits that have accumulated since having babies.

Most mothers do not have complete recovery of their bodies after children.

Moms often seek rejuvenation of their tummy areas once they have finished having kids.

A "mommy makeover" surgical procedure should only be considered at least 6 months after the birth of your last child so that your body has the chance to recover as much as possible and to enable you to achieve as much as you can on your own, with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Two main Plastic Surgery procedures apply to the post-pregnancy tummy:

Liposuction will remove excess fat in areas that are stubborn to weight loss, such as the abdomen, flanks, pubic area, and thighs. Liposuction will not address excess skin or stretch marks, and will not help to tighten abdominal tone.

An abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" addresses both the inside and the outside of the abdominal wall, in a three-dimensional manner:

Tummy tuck surgery not only removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen (including some stretch marks), it tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall through "rectus plication" which "corsets" the fascia overlying your abdominal muscles together in the midline and truly decreases the diameter of your waist from the inside!

Depending on your particular situation, either liposuction or a tummy tuck, or both, may be recommended to achieve your specific goals.

Be sure to consult with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with specific experience in these types of surgeries to learn more and to evaluate all of your options.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Teaching Plastic Surgery to Medical Students is Important!

Teaching is the art of giving back what you have learned along your journey of medicine, and offers a chance to help shape the future career of an upcoming doctor!

By teaching others, you challenge your communication skills and ensure you are absolutely up to date with your own medical knowledge. Medicine really is an endeavor of life-long learning.

This weekend I was honored to participate in the Medical School graduation ceremony of Dr. Elena Vega, a bright and driven woman who has been accepted into a surgery program in New York. She hopes to also train in Plastic Surgery in the future.

Dr. Karen Horton "guest hooding" Dr. Elena Vega at her Medical School graduation - June 7, 2009, California

This student spent two separate month-long rotations with me in my private practice and excelled in her clinical and surgical skills, learned a great deal about everything I do in my practice, and was inspired to pursue surgical training herself!

Congratulations to Dr. Elena Vega. I welcome her to the medical community as a colleague and peer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Breast Implants and Mammograms - Breast Cancer Detection is Safe!

CPMC and Sutter Health's

MyLifeStages "Ask the Expert"

Question & Answer


I'm a 40-year-old woman considering modest-sized breast implants. Will they interfere with the ability to detect breast cancer?

Karen Horton, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
California Pacific Medical Center

Breast augmentation using implants will not interfere with breast cancer detection. Implants of all shapes and sizes have a shell made from silicone, which is an inert solid and is used in many implantable devices. The fill can be either saline (sterile salt water) or silicone gel. Sizes range from 125 cc to 800 cc, and implants may be smooth-walled or textured, round or shaped.

Breast implants are placed either behind the breast tissue (subglandular position) or behind the breast tissue and the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular position). There are proponents for each technique, based on opinion and surgical training. Regardless of the placement of the implant, the fill material and the size, having breast implants does not interfere with breast self-examination, physician breast exams, mammograms, ultrasound, MRI or any other cancer detection techniques.

When having a mammogram, women should inform the mammography technician that they have breast implants in place. A “displacement” technique will be done to help push the breast tissue off the implant and to allow the X-ray beams to shoot through the breast to accurately visualize the tissue. Occasionally, additional views are taken when an implant is in place.

Mammograms are generally not recommended until age 40, as before this age breasts are quite dense and visualization is not reliable. A 40-year-old woman should have a mammogram as a baseline exam before considering any surgery of the breasts, including augmentation, reduction or a breast lift.

Two studies in the literature actually showed that women with breast implants had earlier detection of breast cancer than those without implants, perhaps because the implant served as a surface against which a lump was palpated (felt) during breast self-examination.

Having breast augmentation is a personal choice and should be researched in detail before you commit to any surgery. Make sure you consult with a Plastic Surgeon who is Board-Certified and experienced in the procedure you are seeking.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mommy Makeover Plastic Surgery

The following are slide excerpts from a recent presentation given to a Mothers' Club in Northern California: