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Choosing the Best for Your Breast Reconstruction After Cancer

One of the many considerations of breast cancer that requires a mastectomy is Breast Reconstruction surgery. This can be a time of overwhelming choices and so my goal with each Breast Reconstruction patient is to provide compassionate care and the best natural looking results possible. This is a specialty I give the utmost attention to and have developed knowledge and skills that have provided beautiful results that have been very healing and satisfying to many clients.

Why Reconstruction?

While considering being in surgery again most certainly is not appealing after going through cancer treatments, I have found that it does help empower women to regain their feelings of femininity and sense of normalcy. Most times I’m helping to rebuild a breast mound after lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery, however I can also correct previous breast surgeries and nipple replacement.

Deciding on the Surgeon

Through my many years of experience and artistry, as well as using the most sophisticated and cutting edge techniques, I can help to create natural looking breasts to enhance body shape. Breast reconstruction surgery requires a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the human anatomy, as this is not the same process as the standard Breast Augmentation. I have extensive experience and years of specialized training in Breast Reconstruction surgeries to provide my patients with the most beautiful, natural looking results possible.

Making Decisions

Working alongside your oncologist, we will patiently and thoroughly discuss your options regarding Breast Reconstruction surgery. We will cover many topics, such as the possibility of performing Breast Reconstruction at the same time as the cancer removal under the same anesthetic, or if we should wait until after other treatments.

You also have options as to what you’d like to replace the breast tissue with, including your own living tissue from an area with some extra to spare, such as your inner thigh, or implants made of silicone or saline. All of these can be used to create beautiful, natural looking breasts. The best choice differs for each individual based on many factors so we will discuss this extensively. Some of these factors are (but not limited to):

  • cancer type
  • stage of breast cancer
  • your personal preferences
  • overall health

If you’re considering Breast Reconstruction after cancer, and you’re looking for compassionate and expert care for the best results possible, please visit our website to schedule a consultation at www.davinciplastic.com.

Sincerely,

Steven Davison M.D.

Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

 

 

Caring for Your Skin, After Sun & Surgery

Taking care of your skin is crucial for effective healing after sun exposure and after surgery success. Summer months mean that skin damage from sun exposure is at its height. As summer comes to a close, it’s time to check your skin because detecting melanoma as early as possible makes it treatable. It is the deadliest cancer, but it doesn’t have to be if it it’s caught early. Regular self checking is a key part of immediate diagnosis is to do a regular self check.

AFTER SUN

What are you looking for? You’re at higher risk for melanoma if you’ve been sunburned frequently, have fair skin or a large amount of moles, live in a tropical or have a family history of melanoma. When you’re self checking, there’s a common acronym to help us remember what to look for. This is called the ABCDEs of warning signs for melanoma. This stands for:

  • Asymmetry: draw an imaginary line through the middle and it should look the same on both sides
  • Border irregularity: ragged or blurred, undefined edges
  • Color changes: a variety of colors within the same spot or mole
  • Diameter: greater than .25 inch (6 millimeters)
  • Evolving: changes over time

Where should you look? Important to look from head to toe, back and front. Using the angles from a hand mirror and a wall mirror to see the harder parts of the body from behind, literally start with the top of your scalp, especially if you haven’t worn hats to protect your head or have fine, thinning hair. Then move downward, examining the face, neck, shoulders, underarms, chest, torso, arms, hands, and nail beds. When checking the lower body, its easier to sit down, but don’t forget to check your buttocks, especially if you wear brazilian or thong bikinis. Look over your legs and feet, even the heels, soles of the feet and toenail beds.

 

AFTER SURGERY

What extra steps should I take? Whether your cosmetic procedure is invasive or non invasive, you should take some special care of your skin to promote healing and longevity of the effects of the procedure. Here are some simple tips to care for your skin after a cosmetic treatment:

  • Follow physicians directions. Each procedure has a unique protocol for optimal healing. This may include salves and the herbal supplement or cream version of Arnica Montana to reduce bruising.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is good practice in general, but will help flush the area of toxins and empower healing. Avoiding alcohol and other dehydrating beverages so you don’t work against your natural healing processes.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. The skin is more vulnerable after a procedure. UV rays darken scars and this is what you want to prevent, so stay out of the sun.
  • Leave the recovery site alone. This means no picking or poking of the area. Disturbing the area could cause infection or unwanted scarring.
  • Use gentle skin care products. Make the extra effort during this time to pamper your skin while it’s healing. Use only mild, no fragrance skincare.

Help me to help you have beautiful, youthful skin by taking these precautions. From beginning to end, I look forward to helping you in the rejuvenation process. To schedule your consultation, visit www.davinciplastic.com.

Steven Davison M.D.

Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

Scar Correction for a More Confident and Comfortable You

I have special compassion for my Scar Revision clients, as many of them are suffering with scars that remind them of an accident, burn, surgery or past acne problem. Through specialized study and development of specifically honed skills, employing both surgical and non surgical options, I help my patients get the best possible results. With every Scar Revision, I strive to make the scars less visible for a more pleasing appearance, as well as to restore function to the affected area.

Here’s an overview of the most common Scar Revisions I perform:

  1. Hypertropic scars are raised and often red tinted. They stay within the boundary of the original wound or acne zone. These are commonly the result of acne and can diminish over time.
  2. Keloid scars are slightly more raised than hypertropic scars and can be rubbery, firm and sometimes itchy. They often look inflamed and extend beyond the boundary of the original wound. Certain skin types are more prone to this type of scarring, including people with dark skin tones.
  3. Contracture scars are severe, occurring as the result of a loss of skin over a large area, such as from a burn.  This can affect muscles and tendons to restrict normal movement.

Some other scarring patterns are:

  1. Ice pick scarring is the most common type of acne scar. They are designated by narrow pitted indentations.
  2. Boxcar scars’ defined, angular edges in a box shape look very similar to indentations of chicken pox or vaccination scars. These occur most commonly on the temples or cheeks.
  3. Rolling scars create a shallow, wide indentation that looks like the rippling of waves in the skin.

METHODS FOR MAKING SCARS BETTER… While it’s important to note that scars cannot be removed completely, they can be reduced and made to look noticeably better. If they are raised or depressed, discolored or they cause contour irregularities, don’t worry, there are a variety of options to help improve the skin’s appearance and function.

Based on the type of scarring… during your consultation…we discuss the options and expected results in depth. These are some of the methods we’ve had great success with:

  1. Non Surgical
  • Dermabrasion gently removes the top layers of the skin to smooth out surface irregularities.
  • Dermal Fillers, such as Hyaluronic Acid, fill in sunken scars.
  • Silicone Gel Sheets are clear coverings that help flatten hypertropic scars over time.
  • Steroid Applications and Injections alleviate the itching or pain of keloid scarring. They are applied or injected into the scar to break down the skin’s collagen that has continued to produce even after the wound has healed.
  • Vascular Lesion Treatment addresses the discoloration of scars by shrinking the blood vessels connected to it.
  1. Surgical
  • Skin Grafts are intended for severely scarred areas. It involves taking healthy skin from another part of the body to transplant to the injured area.
  • Tissue Expansion stretches a patch of skin by inserting a saline filled balloon near a scar so that the stretched healthy skin is pulled over to cover the previously scarred area.
  • Z-Plasty and Related Tissue Rearrangement Techniques reorient scars to follow natural lines and creases of the skin. This makes them less noticeable and relieves pulling or pressure of contracture scars.

My compassionate staff and I look forward to the opportunity to help you feel better about how your skin looks and feels. Visit www.davinciplastic.com to schedule a consultation.

Steven Davison M.D.

Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Coming, Protect Your Skin

Going into summer, I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of protecting your skin. It is one of the greatest causes of aging skin and skin cancer, which is the most prevalent form of cancer in the U.S.
How does the sun age skin?
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light harms the elastin to cause sagging skin later in life. When the elastin fibers break down over time, the skin loses its ability to go back into place after stretching, and will bruise and tear more readily. Collagen is also negatively affected by UV rays to cause a hollow, dehydrated appearance due to volume loss as we age. Skin discoloration called pigmentation comes to the surface of the skin, and this uneven skin tone also contributes to an aged appearance.

What is skin cancer?
It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells that results in tumors. These are either noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Of the 3 main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are less serious types and very successfully treated when detected early. Melanoma, consisting of abnormal skin pigment cells, is the most serious form of skin cancer. Of all the deaths from cancer, 75% of them all are from melanoma.

Protect yourself against aging and skin cancer caused by the sun… As you can see, skin cancer can be serious and yet in many cases it is preventable. Even if you’ve damaged your skin from over exposure, which you can’t completely undo, there still is hope. The skin is regenerative, so to some extent ongoing sun protection can help in the healing process and prevent further damage.

Tips to help prevent skin damage from the sun:
• Wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses that have UV shield.
• Stay out of the direct sun during peak UV radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
• Protect your children, especially since the majority of sun damage happens before age 18.
• For UVB protection, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. Sunscreen with zinc oxide provides UVA protection, but should be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure. Be sure to reapply every 2 hours or more often if you are sweating or swimming.

Sunscreen Scam… A recent study done by Consumer Reports shows that many of today’s sunscreens falsely advertise levels of SPF. In some cases, certain brands had up to 70 percent less protection than advertised on the package. The test included 34 brands, 11 of which fell short of their protection claims, some of them being:

• Coppertone ClearlySheer for Beach & Pool SPF 50+ (delivered SPF 37)
• Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance SPF 50 (delivered SPF 28)
• Babyganics Mineral-Based SPF 50+ (delivered SPF 25)
• Banana Boat Sport Performance Clear UltraMist with Powerstay Technology SPF 50+ (delivered SPF 24)
• Yes To Cucumbers Natural SPF 30 (delivered SPF 14)

The brands that received good protection ratings were:
• Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 lotion
• Equate (Walmart) Ultra Protection SPF 50 lotion
• Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+
• La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 (got a perfect score of 100 in the test)

Please perform skin self-exams regularly to be familiar with existing growths so that you notice changes. Also, if you are unhappy with the effects of elastin and collagen damage already caused by the sun and aging, I offer a variety of effective surgical and non surgical options to help rejuvenate your skin. Visit www.davinciplastic.com for more details.

Enjoy your summer!

Steven Davison M.D.
Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

MAY is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month….today is Melanoma Black Monday!

Hard to believe we’re into May already!  So, I must do my annual warning against skin cancer:  May has been designated by many organizations as National Skin Cancer Awareness Month…and that involves letting you know about skin cancers and ways you

Sun protection and sun screen at the beach

Sun Protection

can avoid them.  We do this year after year because:  Melanoma and Non Melanoma  is the most common form of skin cancer in the United States.  For my faithful blog followers, please review this and pass it along to someone who needs this information.

SKIN CANCER FACTS AS THEY ARE:

1)  More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure.  2)  Every hour 1 person dies from skin cancer   3)  Skin cancer accounts for more than 50% of all cancers combined   4) Per the American Cancer Association: more than 1 million cases will be diagnosed this year   5)  Skin cancer is most deadly among African Americans, Asians and Latinos   6)  One bad burn during childhood doubles the risk factor   7)  Men are diagnosed with skin cancer more often than women.

2 CATEGORIES:   Highly curable  (basal cell and squamous cell cancers) ……Deadly  (melanomas)

AVOID TANNING BEDS…the new trend among women between 18 to 29 years of age…involves an 8 times greater risk of developing skin cancer. and increased use of tanning beds increased the risk of getting skin cancers.

Skin cancer history is also linked to new skin cancers developing in other areas of the body according to a large study done by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston  (over 46,000 men and 100K+ women involved in the study) which ran from June 1984 to June 2008.  Nearly 70,000 new cases of skin cancers were diagnosed in these patients with a history of previous skin cancers with the women  being at higher risk than the men.  Bottom line is….both men and women get skin cancers…mostly from excess sun exposure and early diagnosis and treatment is critical to good outcomes.  SEE MY BLOGS FROM MAY 2012, 2011 for more info on skin cancer, risk factors, staying safe and more….

FIVE MORE SUN PROTECTIVE TIPS….  6)  Don’t use sunscreen that has “baked” in your hot car….it’s useless.   7) If you take medications or use OTC pain killers….talk with your Dr. since many of these cause “photosensitivity.”  8) UVA rays penetrate glass…so be aware when sitting by windows during the heat of summer   9)  Don’t count on makeup for protection….you must know what level of protection it offers…and if you need to also use sunscreen    10)  Beach umbrellas block sun from above…but not the glare from below or from the water….choose carefully when setting up for the day.

MOTHER’S DAY….give your Mom or Sweetheart a SPA DAY  or a GIFT COUPON for BOTOX, RADIESSE…JUVEDERM,  LIP AUGMENTATION….  or a procedure she’s been talking about!   Women love these kinds of gifts!   Give a “New Mommy” a SPA DAY….and info about Mommy Makeovers.

Have a great May!

Steven Davison M.D.

“DAVinci….where I combine the supreme elements of art and surgical science.”

PREVENTIVE BREAST CANCER SURGERY…Angelina Jolie, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Crow…

Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy is big news right now...and is a timely reminder for women around the world…about the risk of developing breast cancer when a person is BRCA1 positive and/or has a strong family history of breast/ovarian cancers. Angelina chose to have a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) for several reasons….these 3 being the highest priority:

1) Angelina’s double mastectomy (surgical removal of both breasts) greatly reduced her changes of getting breast cancer by 87%.  For people who test positive for BRCA 1…the breast removal surgery reduces the risk of ever getting cancer…significantly.

2) The mastectomy surgery reduced her risk of getting ovarian cancer by 50%.  This is the disease that killed her mother (after fighting it for 10 years) at age 56.

3) Having the double mastectomy reduced her risk of breast cancer down to less than 5%…so she could tell her children: “They don’t need to fear they lose me to breast cancer.”    Her big why was her kids.  Living a long life to be there with and for them.  I didn’t want to leave them or for them to lose me at a young age the way I lost my Mom.  Angelina, age 37, and Brad Pitt have 6 children. Three are her own natural born and three are adopted.

Angelina chose to tell us all about her double mastectomy to encourage other women to:  get gene tested and to raise awareness of the options available to those at risk.

Angelina’s surgery was done in February…but she kept it private until now.  Even her own father, Actor/Celebrity John Voight didn’t know about it until recently at a family birthday party for one of the kids…and was very surprised because she has been very active and looked (looks) perfectly normal and healthy.

Brad Pitt and their 6 children were totally involved in the entire process…and even set up a little post-op recovery area at home so they could help mommy and be part of her recovery.  Brad is thankful and relieved for the clean bill of health….and for the fact that the cloud has been removed!

About BRCA1...BRCA1 is a gene mutation that men and women can carry and pass down to children.  This mutation makes people at risk for breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers.  Genetic counseling followed by gene testing (blood tests) allow mutations to be found either BRCA1 or BRCA2…and empowers other family members to get tested also.  See: www.davinciplastic.com

Angelina said:

“This was not an easy decision….but one I’m glad I made! Now I want to encourage other women to get tested…especially those with a strong family history of cancers! ” She encourages us to seek out the information and the experts…learn about all the options…and those who can help you through this aspect of your life…make informed choices and become empowered!

Other Celebs who’ve had double mastectomies include:  Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Crow.          November, 2012….Sharon disclosed the facts about her breast removal surgery  after a genetic test revealed she was a carrier of BRCA1 genes.  She knew immediately that the odds were not in her favor….she’s had cancer before and did not want to live under that cloud again.

The critical message here is:  if you have a strong family history of cancer….get tested.  Let’s talk about….I’m specialized in all breast procedures including reconstruction options.

Best to you and yours.

Steven Davison M.D.

Obagi for Beautiful, Healthy Skin…Summertime and all the time!


By now you’re fully aware of all the effects the sun has on our skin.  
I’ve written a couple blogs on skin cancer and also summer sun protection. (see previous blogs)  It is possible to have healthy, beautiful skin all the time…and skin cancer can be avoided if correct protective measures are faithfully used.  That said,  today I want to update you on one of the best, healthiest skin care products in the world.

Obagi…nothing works like Obagi because nothing else is Obagi

We offer Obagi products through our med spa because put simply they work, every time, all the time and are the best I’ve found to help patients restore and rejuvenate their skin. And, patients, once using them, claim them for life.  Obagi is for all ages…all skin types and ethnicities and, it maintains beautiful healthy skin for a lifetime.

Obagi was recently voted the premier sunscreen product by SELF magazine after a group of over 2200 users responded overwhelmingly in favor of the results they got.

Full Range of Products…because no two skins are identical

Obagi is a physician directed skincare program that can be started at any age and used for life.  It works at the “cellular” level causing your skin to look and act healthier and younger. In other words, Obagi works from the “inside out” to correct and build healthy skin. Here are some of the ways it works to accomplish that:

  • Obagi restores healthy cell function to transform your skin
  • It corrects signs of aging and helps prevent future damage
  • Obagi is pharmaceutical grade, physician directed to assure safety and success
  • Obagi has proven time, and time again…that it works regardless of skin type or age
  • We “tailor” a program to suit your individual needs…because no one process works for every face
  • Obagi offers several SunScreen formulas…for even the most sensitive skin
  • Ask Nora about our Obagi line…and get started right away!

Why Obagi SunScreen Products?

Sun damage is cumulative over the years and results in uneven pigmentation, sagging skin, wrinkles or sometimes skin cancer.  Skin cancer is preventable with the proper precautions used faithfully and the right products. Doing this you can enjoy the sun without the burn.  Consider this:

  • Use broad spectrum coverage to reduce exposure to both UVA and UVB rays…Obagi has you covered here.
  • Obagi is not just another sunscreen.  It’s non greasy, penetrates quickly, goes on sheer and elegant and keeps you protected.
  • With SPF formulas ranging from 30 up to 50…Obagi’s sunscreen is safe and comfortable for the most sensitive skin, those with rosacea, those with oily skin and more.
  • The formulas go on easily, absorb beautifully and protect even during the hottest summer heat.  Nu Derm SunShield SPF 50 is like an elegant matte finish.
  • Because your skin is unique Obagi has covered all the skin types.

To learn more about this amazing product, call Nora and reserve your supply.  Read more about all Obagi products at http://davinciplastic.com

Obagi revitalizes, enhances, maintains beautiful, healthy skin for life!

Enough said about the sun…come on in and let’s design your healthy skin regimen.

Steven Davison, M.D.

At DAVinci…I combine the supreme elements of art and surgical science.

MELANOMA SKIN CANCER Information from Dr. Steven Davison

SCREENING & PROTECTION INFORMATION  from Dr. Steven Davison

Here are a few more tips on Melanoma…since May is National Skin Cancer awareness month.  See my last blog for detailed information on the three types of skin cancer and most critically… melanoma skin cancer.

SCREENING:  Melanoma can be deadly but is treatable with immediate diagnosis and early treatment.  After Melanoma spreads to the lymph nodes, the 5 year survival rate possible with treatment, drops to 62% and 15% respectively.

You can self-screen to check for skin cancers or you can see a dermatologist or sign up for a “free” cancer screening.  They are offered frequently around the country.

SELF CHECK for MELANOMA:

Use these steps:

1) STAND UP & look into the mirror & examine your head, scalp, face, neck, chest, torso, (women under the breasts), hands, nails, elbows, arms and underarms.

2) SIT DOWN & check your legs, feet, soles, heels & toenails.  Use a HAND MIRROR to check genitals.

3) STAND UP & use a HAND MIRROR to inspect the back of neck, shoulders, upper arms, back, buttocks & legs.

REDUCE YOUR RISK:  We cannot completely avoid sun exposure, but there are ways to reduce the risk from exposure.

COVER UP…Wear cool, clothing that covers your body.  Dark colors block more UV rays than light colors.

WEAR A HAT…Wear a wide brim hat when out in the sun. It should cover your ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.  A baseball cap is better than nothing.

SUNGLASSES… invest in good glasses that block UV rays.  They should block 99 t0 100% of UVA & UVB rays.

SUNSCREEN…LOTS OF IT!  Get it, use it liberally and apply it often…at least every 2 hours when in the sun.

***Ask Nora about our sunscreen products.

If you have any questions or concerns, call me and we’ll address them right away.

Dr. Steven Davison

At DAVinci…I combine the supreme elements of art & surgical science.

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month…Helpful Info from Dr. Steven Davison

May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection/Prevention Month…Early Detection Increases Chances for Survival

One in every five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime and every hour…one person in America dies from skin cancer.  Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and it is preventable/treatable.

May has been designated as National Skin Cancer Awareness month by several organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, Skin Cancer Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Dermatology.  I won’t belabor the facts…just want to remind you of them and offer some helpful and important tips for skin cancer prevention.

Review of Skin Cancer Facts

-During the month of May we try to raise the public awareness of the importance of prevention, early detection and immediate treatment of skin cancer.

They are:  1) basal cell, 2) squamous cell 3) melanoma.

-More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually in more than 2 million people.

-Melanoma (unlike other cancers) has a wide age distribution…it occurs in young people & seniors.

-Rates of occurrence increase with age- they are highest among 80 years olds.

-One bad burn during childhood doubles the risk for getting melanoma skin cancer later in life.

-Skin cancer is the most deadly for African Americans, Asians & Latinos.

RISK FACTORS

Everyone is at risk…but some people with certain factors are more likely than others to develop skin cancer.  The risks include:

Lighter natural color skin

Family history of skin cancer

Personal history of skin cancer

Exposure to the sun through work & play

History of sunburns early in life

Skin that burns easily freckles, reddens easily or becomes painful in the sun

Blue or Green eyes

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PROTECTION/PREVENTION

1.  AVOID the sun between 10am and 2pm…this is the when the rays are at their peak

2.  Damage occurs all day long…so be wise and use sunscreen or sunblock

3.  Take more precautions when it is hot, humid and windy as these conditions enhance harmful effects of   UV rays

4.  Cloudy days are dangerous days…we tend to be out more, longer and use less protection.  Understand that UV Rays pierce the clouds and cause serious damage (burns)

5.  TANS are NOT healthy!  No tan, whether from sun exposure or tanning beds, is healthy.  The darkened skin is merely a protective measure (performed by your skin).  It provides only minimal levels of protection and does not cancel out the need for using other sun protective methods.

6.  Short Term Symptoms of over exposure include: blistering, peeling, tanning

7.  Long Term Symptoms= increased risk for skin cancer along with dry, wrinkled skin.

Early diagnosis & immediate treatment of melanoma cancer can mean the difference between life and death.

Please read and heed this important information.

Ask us to recommend top of the line products to protect your precious skin…and allow you to enjoy your fun in the sun.

Dr. Steven Davison

At DAVinci…I combine the supreme elements of art & surgical science.

Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Davison

The initial consultation with your surgeon is critical! It should always be face to face with your surgeon during which time he/she listens closely to your concerns. Dr. Davison believes this time spent with you is critical to both you and to him. It is during the consultation that he comes to fully understand your concerns, evaluates them correctly and is then able to make the recommendations and develop the treatment plan thats right for you. Dr. Davison invests the time to sit down and talk to you face-to-face.

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3301 New Mexico Ave. Suite 236

Washington D.C.