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Articles

My Breasts, My Face, My Body
One of New York’s Top Cosmetic Surgeons Fully Informs

Anne Marie Cummings

I’ve never been one to think I would ever want or need cosmetic surgery. In fact I’ve often viewed it as something like the surreal experience depicted in the movie Brazil where a “surgeon” took a roll of plastic wrap and stretched it around and around an elderly woman’s face and head until it was perfectly molded to his liking. This of course, has nothing to do with cosmetic surgery today, or ever in the history of mankind. Yet I am sure that I am not alone in my ignorance when it comes to the subject of breast implants, liposuction, face lifts and non-surgical treatments that many men and women comfortably receive all over the world.

After speaking with Dr. Beverly Friedlander, my limited and rather childish impressions have been altered. Rated as one of New York’s top cosmetic surgeons, Dr. Friedlander has more than twenty years of experience performing a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures; she has taught me to appreciate today’s options regarding body contouring. In taking a closer look at my own skin, as I inch my way closer to forty, I can see that some day I may even consider a few non-surgical fillers here and there. And who knows what else I may do twenty years from now, since the industry is continually growing and offering easier and more attractive ways to deal with aging. No matter what I do, I can assure you, I will be contacting Dr. Beverly Friedlander. Her attention to detail during our interview gave me the trust I would demand before letting her transform any part of me.

Section One: The Breasts

What do you think makes you one of the top cosmetic surgeons in New York?

I think I’ve been ranked on the basis of skill, outcome, training, compassion, and the fact that I understand the needs of my patients (90% are women).

How do the physical and emotional changes that occur as a result of pregnancy and breast cancer affect your work?

During pregnancy, the body changes extensively and it changes out of necessity. The breasts enlarge during pregnancy to provide nourishment for the newborn child. Once nursing is discontinued, the breast tissue shrinks to some degree, leaving skin that is stretched out, and frequently droopy in appearance. A lift may be needed to tighten the skin, and an implant may be needed to restore the size and shape. As for the abdomen, the skin stretches to accommodate the growing fetus. After birth, some loose skin and loose muscle remains, so we do a procedure called a tummy tuck where excess skin is removed and the muscle is tightened. For breast cancer patients, we can create a new breast, bringing the body back to a “normal” appearance. Surgery is very rewarding, for both the surgeon and the patient, as we are restoring self-image, and, more importantly, self esteem.

The risks of breast implants are?

It’s important to know that all surgery has risks. When I meet with patients I always discuss the risks of the surgery (as it may relate to their personal history), the general risks of implants, and the differences between silicone and saline implants. I cover all the major risks. I would encourage any reader interested in plastic surgery to visit the website of The American Society of Plastic Surgery (http://www.plasticsurgery.org/) and the website of The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (http://www.surgery.org/). These sites are not commercially biased, and provide a wealth of information.


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