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Plastic Surgery FAQ Provided by Dr. Dinakar Golla

Frequently Asked Questions

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Breast Augmentation

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Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation?

One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation:

  • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
  • Clothes that fit well around your hips are often too large at the bustline
  • You feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting top
  • Your breasts have become smaller and lost their firmness after having children
  • Weight loss has changed the size and shape of your breasts
  • One of your breasts is noticeably smaller than the other

How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for breast augmentation surgery?

Your plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and perhaps take photographs for your medical record. He or she will consider such factors as the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin and the placement of your nipples and areolas (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipples). If your breasts are sagging, a breast lift may be recommended in conjunction with augmentation. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications that you currently take. You will be asked whether you have a family history of breast cancer and about results of any mammograms. It is important for you to provide complete information.

How should I prepare for surgery?

In some instances, your plastic surgeon may recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination some months after surgery. This will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue. Following breast augmentation, you will still be able to perform breast self-examination. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions. Breast augmentation is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.

What will the day of surgery be like?

Your breast augmentation surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite. Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Frequently, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing breast augmentation, although general anesthesia may be desirable in some instances. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings or a surgical bra. You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, unless you and your plastic surgeon have determined that you will stay in the hospital or surgical facility overnight.

When can I resume my normal activities?

After breast augmentation surgery, it is often possible to return to work within just a few days or a week, depending on your job. Vigorous activities, especially arm movement, may be restricted for two to three weeks. Sexual activity should be avoided for at least the first week following surgery. After that, care must be taken to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.

What type of implants will be used?

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and their patients work together to decide between Saline and Silicone Gel Breast Implants. Patient age, desired incision type and other factors help inform surgeons and patients which type of implant is best in a particular situation.

The outer shell of both Silicone and saline implants are made of solid Silicone material. This same material is widely used in a variety of medical devices, and is the same in both implants.

Saline filled implants are filled with the same kind of salt water that is used in IV fluids. Saline implants can be inserted prior to inflation with the saline fluid.

Silicone Gel implants are filled with Silicone Gel, which is a semi-solid. Silicone Gel has a texture similar to that of breast tissue. Silicone implants may require a larger incision than Saline implants as Silicone implants can not be inserted in a deflated state as Saline implants can.

The availability of Silicone Gel Implants offers new options for women considering breast surgery for the first time, as well as for those who have had previous breast augmentation and are now seeking new breast implant replacement or revision.

Where are the incisions placed?

One of the advantages of a saline-filled implant is that, because it is filled with saltwater after being inserted, only a small incision is needed. Often, an incision of less than one inch is made underneath the breast, just above the crease, where it is usually quite inconspicuous.

Another possible location for the incision is around the lower edge of the areola. A third alternative is to make a small incision within the armpit. Once the incision is made, the surgeon creates a pocket into which the implant will be inserted. This pocket is made either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.

An incision can be made either underneath the breast, just above the crease, around the lower edge of the areola or within the armpit.

How long will the results last?

Except in the event of implant deflation requiring surgical replacement with a new implant, the results of your breast augmentation surgery will be long-lasting. However, gravity and the effects of aging will eventually alter the size and shape of virtually every woman's breasts. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast "lifting" to restore their more youthful contour.

Is it Necessary to Keep in Contact with my Plastic Surgeon?

You should return to your plastic surgeon's office for follow-up care at prescribed intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated. Your surgeon will encourage you to schedule routine mammographic evaluations at the frequency recommended for your age group.

Please remember that the relationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact your surgeon.


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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that dramatically reduces the appearance of a chubby abdomen. This section overviews the procedure, who would be a good candidate, the end results of the procedure, along with the disadvantages of it, such as scarring.

Tummy Tuck is a surgical procedure which will remove excess fat and skin, and tighten the muscles of your abdomen, making a more flat abdomen. This plastic surgery procedure can take anywhere from 2-5 hours. Most patients are back to work within 3-4 weeks.

Important Note: Every single patient is different, and has a different scenario. Because of that, it is very important that prior to making a decision, you contact a board certified plastic surgeon, and consult with them about your goals, desires and to see if you are a good candidate for this plastic surgery procedure.

Are you a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for Abdominoplasty are both men and women, who are not excessively over weight.

Is this you?

  • In pretty good shape, but having trouble losing a large fat build up that either diet, or exercise, or the combination of the two can not lose;
  • Have you given birth and you body is not returning back to normal? Pregnancy stretches out abdominal muscles and skin, usually beyond the point where they can return to normal.

If you:
  • Intend to lose a lot of weight in the near future, you should not have this surgery until you lose the weight;
  • If you intend to have a child, or additional children, you will want to wait because vertical muscles in the abdomen, which are tightened during this plastic surgery procedure, can separate during pregnancy;
  • Are you in good health? For any surgical procedure, it is important that your body can handle it, so you must be in good health;
  • Have you had abdomen surgery before? You will want to point this out to your plastic surgeon, as you may be cautioned in reference to unusually large scarring.

The Procedure

A full abdominoplasty will take anywhere from 2-5 hours. A partial abdominoplasty usually will take less than 2 hours.

Your plastic surgeon will make an incision from hipbone to hipbone. This is done right above the pubic area. A second incision is then made to free the navel from the surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Your plastic surgeon will then separate your skin from the abdominal wall, all the way up to your ribs. This will then reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. The muscles are then pulled close together, and then stitched into the new position. This is known as muscle tightening and will give you a firmer abdominal wall, and a narrower waistline.

The skin flap, is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. For your navel, a new hole is cut and stitched in place. The incisions will then be stitched, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain any excess fluid from the surgical area.

In a partial abdominoplasty the skin is only separated between the incision line and the navel.

After Surgery, Your Recovery

The first few days your abdomen will be swollen and you will be in some pain and discomfort. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe you with some medication for this pain. Typically, but dependant on the degree of your surgery, you will be released within a few hours.

Before you leave, you plastic surgeon will give you instructions on exactly what you can and can not do. To answer a couple of common questions, your plastic surgeon will direct you on how to change your dressings, how to shower, and how to be most comfortable. Your surface stitches will be removed within one week, and the others will come out within 3 weeks.


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Dinakar Golla, M.D. F.A.C.S.
Golla Center for Plastic Surgery
Office Address:
Fox Chapel Office
107 Gamma Drive
Suite 210
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

North Hills Office
9104 Babcock Blvd.
Suite 2120
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Mars/Cranberry Office
6998 Crider Road
Suite 110
Mars, PA 16046

Butler Office
102 Technology Drive
Suite 210
Butler, PA 16001
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