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About mammoplasty, Angelina Jolie and the arts in medicine

Aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery
06 Aug, 2015

The plastic surgeon of Medpark International Hospital, dr. Ercan Karacaoglu, is coming to Moldova once a month, for a couple of days. In this short time, he makes beautiful more than a dozen of people, gives more than one hundred consultations and even manages to give an interview. A few hours before his flight back home, dr. Ercan told me many interesting things about one of the most popular operations – breast augmentation surgery.

– Ercan, how many surgeries did you have today?
– Five

– How many of them were successful?
– All, for sure

– In your opinion, how can be determined the success of a surgery?
– In plastic surgery, there are some basic goals which you must achieve in order to say that your work was a total success. But there is one important feature, plastic surgery is an art. And we, the surgeons – artists, that during the operation must consider the beautiful and harmonious proportions of the body and face. To all these, we add the expectations of the patient, who always want more, even more that is possible. If we manage to find the balance between all these – the surgery was a successful one.

– Once, you said that plastic surgery is a mix of medicine and arts. Is that what you are teaching to your students?
– Absolutely! We, plastic surgeons, we are engaged in the art of medicine.

– Back to our topic – breast augmentation surgery. Is it true that now, after the surgery there are no scars?
– Almost, the size of the scar is usually about 3 cm, agree – it is very small scar. In some cases, we decide to make an incision around the nipple or in the armpit, where sutures are less visible.

– Have you ever discourage the patient from having surgery?
– Just today I had a case like that. This is a separate issue, about 10% of the patients I have to discourage from having surgery. Some people think that such a nose will be good on them, despite the fact that the modified nose can be discordant with the main proportions of the face. You should understand that we do not copy the face of a celebrity from photos! In general, patients with pictures – are dangerous patients. We create natural beauty, not artificial one because the artificial beauty is not always truly beautiful.

– There is a saying, that plastic surgery cause addiction and after one try it is impossible to stop.
– Well, yes and no. It depends on the person. For example, you cannot remodel your breasts every three months. The effect of my work lasts years, sometimes for life. It’s normal to strive to be more beautiful, perfect. Especially for women.

– Ercan, we have a saying that one of the most popular ways of breast enlargement is eating cabbage and taking some vitamins. Have you ever met even more awkward methods?

– (Smiling) When a person comes for the first time, he immediately is interested in alternative methods of breast enlargement, without recourse to mammoplasty. Of course, I explain that there are not and cannot be.

– When the patient comes to you in Medpark, what is the first thing you say to him?
– We discuss the technical details of the operation, how long the implant will be in the body, how much takes rehabilitation. We are trying, together with the patient, to find the perfect solution. Besides, we discuss the size, shape, location, how will look the decolletage after surgery.

– Are you drawing the potential result?
– Of course, this is very important. The most important question in all of this – the final size, plus we have photos of Medpark patients before and after surgery. We show them, discuss and select the appropriate option.

– Okay, please, can you show the implant itself, what it is made of?
– It is the most common question in my practice (smiling, demonstrates the implant). The implant is made from silicone, such implants are used since 1962, and 5,000,000 women use it, just think about that figure. It has no effect on the development of cancer, it is the safest material to date, it is produced in the United States, and from there it is brought to us in Medpark.

– Do you think in the future there will be a more sophisticated material?
– Of course, time does not stand still. I think one day will be possible to use stem cells in mammoplasty, from which we can grow tissue that is compatible with the breast tissue of the women and just transplant that tissue. As well, I would like hear one day about more effective measures of protection and the fight against breast cancer.

– You’ve probably heard the story of Angelina Jolie, who had a double mastectomy to protect herself from breast cancer. Maybe in Moldova, we should also introduce such a practice?
– What did Angelina deserves respect. And it is very good that she has told the world about it. With regard to this practice, I have been doing this for many years, I have my own effective technique. Just today, I talk with one of my patient, who carried a double mastectomy. When she came to me the first time, she was crying in despair. No clinic in Moldova, could not find a solution for her, only the complete removal of both breasts due to breast cancer, she was about 40 years old. But we, in Medpark returned her beautiful breasts, and now she is a happy and a very beautiful woman. But the important, she is safe and with no risk of complications.

– Is it required to perform a mammography before the breast augmentation surgery?
– Not for all. Mammography is recommended for women over 40, and if someone from relatives have suffered from breast cancer.

– When the operation you are performing in Medpark is finished, what is the reaction of the patient?
– Depends on what he asked to do before the surgery itself. If the initial size of the breast was first, and we did a third, then of course the difference is visible. But, for example, the transition from the second to the third size is less noticeable. The brightest reaction is the reaction of friends, relatives, they are always very pleased and surprised and thanking all the team from Medpark, who worked on the result. Besides, both patients and their visitors are very satisfied with the conditions of hospitalization which Medpark provides. It is very important to stay in a pleasant and caring atmosphere after the surgery.

– I agree. Ercan, on a consultation can you immediately identify if the breast is natural or not?
– In 99% of cases, yes. Sometimes, it looks natural, but something is not right. Then we have to touch it and everything becomes clear.

– Is it true that breasts are not symmetrical by nature?
– True, almost for everyone. In 25% of them the difference is big, and in 5% the difference is very big. And by the way, in Medpark we also perform breast asymmetry correction of any complexity.

– Ercan, finally I’m going to ask you three personal questions. Name three personal rules for a healthy life style?

– Do not use unnatural, especially if there is no special need. Follow the rules: work, rest, sleep, eat etc. And always try to keep your feet warm.

– What is a beautiful woman for you?
– The one with the harmonious proportions of the body and face. Same for men.

– If you had not become a surgeon, who would you like to be?
– (After a long silence) A difficult question, I will think and be sure I will send you a response.


​plastic surgeoun

(published 2013)