Dr. Xiaoti Xu

An implant reconstruction is a longer procedure, because sometimes it can take four to six hours and It’s a longer recovery time overall.

For an implant reconstruction a foreign body is obviously used, thus increasing the risk of having a scar, says Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon with West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

“The most important thing for all patients is whatever option they choose should be the one that fits best for them and for their life,” the surgeon affirms.
The specialist also says patients are not going to look exactly the same as they did before. “The treatment is to remove their cancer so they can survive,” he adds. There are some options when it comes to breast reconstructive surgery. Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says when a woman comes for breast reconstruction after mastectomy she has two main options: whether to use her own tissue or to use implants.

“I you choose to use your own tissue, you’re kind of limited by how your body is. The most common choice that we use is using skin and fat from your belly using transplantation, where we move the skin and fat with the blood vessels connecting to them and reconnect them to blood vessels in your chest,” he says. There are two types of breast reconstruction: autologous, meaning tissue from part of the body (back muscle, lower abdominal fat or gluteal fat), and using implants, says Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon with West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

Some women could need implants because they can’t have reconstruction because of anatomic or medical issues, the specialist describes.

The surgeon has to become a friend of the woman with the intention of guiding her to choose the best option for her, he says. Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, explains the difference between immediate and delayed breast reconstruction: “Immediate reconstruction is what happens when you have breast reconstruction during the time of mastectomy or lumpectomy; and delayed reconstruction is that when you’re getting your breast cancer surgery and it’s just the breast cancer surgeons involved and the plastic surgeon works with you and meets with you afterwards to give you different options of how do breast reconstruction”.

He also says the nice thing about immediate reconstruction is that after a mastectomy, a woman comes out and will have some form to make them feel a little bit better than having a completely flat chest with a large scar. Regarding jaw reconstructive surgery, Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says it is a lot more functional effective than breast reconstruction, for example. “If you have cancer of the jaw and someone removes a piece of your jaw, you need reconstruction. There’s no way you can just be left without a jaw or just having a hole in that area,” he points out.

He explains the most common way to reconstruct that area is using a bone from your leg and taking the blood vessels from there and reconnecting them to recreate that bone, so that way you can get the shape and the strength back. Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says breast reconstruction is about rebuilding the breast after suffering from cancer and trying to give them what they had before as possible.

He also explains a breast augmentation is purely cosmetic surgery, and it is to enhance the way you look, which is completely different because you still have your own breast tissue. Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says it is your doctor’s job to tamper the expectations. “How your results are aren’t just going to be because of the implant or the surgeon; it really has to do with your body, your shape, your size, and how you are going to change.”

He also explains the results will depend on how you are and the procedures you are going through, and you can’t match how your body is going to change to someone who’s 18 or 19 years old. The body will naturally create the milk on supply and demand. The more time the baby is breastfed, the more milk the body produces, explains Nancy Martinez, Mother Baby Clinical Educator with Homestead Hospital.

There is only 1 % of population that doesn’t make milk and in those cases the bottle is an option, says Carey Acosta, Lactation Consultant with Homestead Hospital. Emotional and psychological well-being are important for any medical treatment. Having a positive outlook affects the body’s ability to have a better recovery.

Recovery time after surgery is different for everyone and also depends on the type of surgery. The specialist explains, in the case of implants, the recovery time is one week in terms of pain and a few months to recover the movements of the upper body.

If it is tissue surgery, the doctor says the recovery time is a bit longer because there are more surgery sites Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says being mentally prepared makes you a much happier patient. “I think when the patient doesn’t know mentally what to expect, their recovery will be a lot harder.”

He explains there are lots of psychological diseases, one of them is body dysmorphia, where the patient is never satisfied and wants tons of surgeries, and that is a red flag in a patient to look for. There are some things to consider when seeing a doctor for a breast augmentation: saline vs. silicone implants, round vs. anatomical implants, breast implant sizes, location of incision, and over or under the muscle.

Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says the natural breast has a teardrop shape. “If you aren’t going for a large, augmented look, this is a nice way of just enhancing your natural breast, but if you want a big augmentation, the round implant is perfect, because it does not just increase the bottom size, but the entire breast.” People with a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes or obesity have a higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, stroke, heart attack or blood clots in the legs or lungs after a surgery.

Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says breast surgery is an elective surgery, so you want to mitigate as many of those risks as possible. “If you are a smoker, obviously you need to stop smoking. The recommendation is at least four weeks before surgery and after to make sure there are no complications.” Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says you want your surgeon to be well-trained in plastic surgery, so you have to find they have an ASPS logo from the association of plastic surgeons, and also you can search to see if someone is board-certified on the website.

“It takes quite a long time for someone to be certified in plastic surgery. I’ve done eight years of training and practice for a full year, but I’m still in the process of testing to become board-certified.” Dr. Xiaoti Xu, Plastic Surgeon, Mia Aesthetics with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says breast augmentation is for someone who has smaller breasts and wants to have them enlarged, using most of the time an implant.

He explains there are usually two ways to do an augmentation: you can use a saline implant, which is filled with water, or you can use what is called a silicone implant, which is filled with silicone. “They are similar in that both have the same shell, it is just what is inside that is different.”

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