October is known globally as the month of Breast Cancer awareness. There are still lots of questions and fear around this disease but it’s important to raise that the chances of survival from breast cancer significantly increase when it is spotted early. If the cancer is diagnosed at the early stages it hasn’t had the chance to spread too far, so treatment is likely to be more successful. This means that it’s important to get to know your body, and talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you notice something that doesn’t seem right for you.
Within the UK, there is an NHS breast screening programme for women from the ages of 50 to 71, where you will be invited to have a mammogram (scan of the breast) every three years. Although a mammogram can pick up internal changes in breast density, and other possible indicators of breast cancer, it’s important to check your breasts regularly before then and go and see a doctor if you notice anything unusual – which is where breast self-exam comes in.
At The Harley Medical Group we are committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients, and have put together a simple guide to breast self-exam to help you familiarise yourself with what is normal for you and your body.
Early diagnosis of breast cancer is important, and breast self-exam can aid this. It involves regularly examining your breasts on your own (using your eyes and hands), and in combination with other physical screening methods like a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI it can increase the odds of early breast cancer detection.
The main benefit of breast self-exam is that it is a convenient, no-cost tool. It can be used at any age and on a regular basis, meaning that there is no need for younger women to wait until they are 50 to begin checking their breasts.
Although in most cases changes to the size of your breasts are as a result of hormonal changes (which will naturally correct on their own), if your breasts start to appear uneven or if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should visit your doctor to get them checked:
For most women, the easiest way to feel their breasts is during or after a shower when their skin is wet and slippery.
A breast self-exam involves five steps:
Breast self-exam is extremely important as it not only helps you to get to know your body and what is normal for you, but it can also help to detect any changes that you should speak to your doctor about.
A good tip is to make sure you have a routine, by examining your breasts on a regular basis, you will learn more about them and it will become easier for you to tell if something has changed.
Although at The Harley Medical Group we don’t perform any breast reconstruction due to breast cancer, and our focus is only on the aesthetic procedure, for our clients we understand that caring about your body and health starts with us. Therefore, taking a few minutes to observe your breast is an amazing sign of self-respect.
For more information about breast cancer, please visit the following websites:
With the weather changing from sunshine to showers, we are already looking forward to the time we can slip into summer clothes once again.
For those wanting to shape their bodies and achieve a more slender, defined physique, the colder months can be a good time to start. A nutritious diet and increased exercise are key for getting in shape, rebuilding your self-confidence, and supporting your mental wellbeing. However, sometimes getting your dream body can be a slow process and you might find certain areas of fat are more stubborn than others.
To help shape their bodies and achieve a more slender, defined physique, many people opt for Vaser Liposuction. Dr Leonardo Fasano, Body Sculpting Specialist at The Harley Medical Group, reveals the four most popular treatment areas and how Vaser Liposuction can help.
Vaser Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to precisely target and remove areas of unwanted fat - decreasing a significant amount of fat in one treatment.
Vaser Liposuction removes fat and improves the quality of your skin and muscle definition. The procedure produces immediate results; swelling and other temporary side effects are normal and only last a few weeks. Dr Fasano always recommends taking a week off work to give time for the body to heal after treatment. Your physician will also instruct you to wear compression garments for 3-6 weeks to teach the skin to heal, decrease swelling and speed up the recovery time.
For most, the treatment is used to target areas of particularly stubborn fat to create a more defined look - the top treatment areas include the abdomen, inner thighs, arms and the flanks - often referred to as ‘love handles’.
In most cases, as always there are exceptions, patients usually start considering Vaser Liposuction of the abdomen in their mid-late twenties. After a few years of ‘adult life’ people tend to notice that regardless of healthy lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, they’re unable to shift excess fat on their abdomen.
The natural ageing process and reduced metabolism that follows mean that these stubborn pockets of fat become worse and more difficult to shift. This area is equally problematic amongst both men and women. For the abdomen, the end results will depend on how well preserved the skin quality is and can vary from a flattened stomach to an intricately sculpted and defined look.
Liposuction for love handles is also a very common treatment area for both men and women as there are very few exercises that work this area, which would enable you to burn the excess fat deposits. Hips and flanks are often treated together, and as a result, produce a more defined outline and body shape.
The inner thighs are an area of concern as they make people feel more self-conscious - this is more prominent in women.
Vaser Liposuction to the inner thigh is often not just about fat reduction and definition but also to address more functional issues. Treating the inner thighs will reduce friction and minor irritation when walking or exercising. For many, the improvement is a life changer, especially when it comes to summer, when walking and sweating can lead to significant and painful inflammation.
Arms are one of the most visible parts of the body, which is why Vaser Liposuction on the arms is particularly popular, as it helps to reduce the appearance of loose, aged skin and remove any excess fat. When treating the arms, the aim is to slim the profile to enable people to feel more confident when wearing sleeveless tops. Furthermore, the procedure is often combined with a skin tightening treatment to give an overall thinner and more youthful appearance.
Like most surgical procedures, there are several dos and don’ts to follow after Vaser Liposuction. Firstly, its recommended to avoid physical activity for 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure. It is also important to keep your body properly nourished, so it is advised not to go on a strict diet during the recovery period.
To keep your body in shape in the long term you do not need to be a gym addict, nor do you need to follow an extreme diet. However, once you are able to do more physical activity, it’s important to take care of your body. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet, the results can be long lasting.
Choosing to have a cosmetic surgery procedure is one of the biggest decisions that you’ll ever make in your life, especially if you are looking to improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Whether you are looking to have breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck or face surgery, it will take time to recover after your procedure and you are likely to be left with swelling and bruises, as well as a scar that vary depending on the procedure you are having. However, there are some steps that you can take to aid your post-surgery recovery and the healing process.
As part of our commitment to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients, at The Harley Medical Group we want to ensure you are completely informed about the recovery process following your cosmetic procedure. With that in mind, we have put together 5 general tips to improve your recovery after any cosmetic surgery which we recommend following along with your surgeon’s instructions.
It’s really important to keep well hydrated after surgery by drinking 2 – 3 litres of water per day depending on your weight, as this can help your body to heal faster. In addition, it can also help to remove waste material from your body, such as anaesthesia and pain medication which may lead to constipation, and water also helps blood to transport nutrients to the wound site.
Following cosmetic surgery it’s important to rest, relax and take it easy in order to allow your body to fully recover. This means having a gentle walk every hour or two, rather than going for a strenuous gym session that involves lots of weight lifting for at least six weeks post-surgery. Vigorous movement and exercise can result in your stitches opening, which could impact the healing process and set back your recovery, as well as increase bruising, bleeding and inflammation through elevating your blood pressure.
Once your surgery is complete, you will be advised to do as little as possible – depending on the surgery you had even things like washing your hair should be avoided initially. By keeping your body and wound site clean, this will help to prevent infection, which is one of the most important things following your cosmetic procedure. It is always preferable to have shower instead of bath and also avoid swim for at least 6 weeks after you surgery.
You should ensure that you wash your hands often, especially if you need to clean your incision or change surgical dressings. You can inspect your incision from time to time in order to check for signs of infection or allergies. For example does it look pink or red? Is there wound drainage and are the stitches or staples intact?
Although eating after having surgery is the last thing on many people’s mind, eating a healthy post-surgery diet can not only help to promote healing, but it can also help your body to fight off infection, speed up your recovery and boost your energy and strength.
It’s recommend to eat healthy fats which are high in vitamin E and can help to reduce the appearance of scars, such as nuts (particularly almonds), olive oil, avocados and oily fish. In addition, berries that are high in antioxidants are also a good choice as they rebuild collagen and help the body repair damage, so you should also eat cranberries, blueberries and blackberries where possible. Small regular portions of food may be more tolerable then less frequent large meals.
Following surgery, it’s important to keep your scars out of direct sunlight and artificial UV for around one year. This is because scar tissue is more prone to burning as it is thinner, and you may also have less sensation in the skin following surgery so you may not feel your skin burning either. In addition, you should also wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 25 or more.
It’s important to keep in mind that each body has an individual healing time and to achieve the best results and minimal scars you should give special attention on your recovery process. Be patient and give your body the time it’s needed so you can fully enjoy the results and increase your self-esteem.