Cosmetic surgery is not a search for perfection, but rather a search of rediscovered normality and harmony of one’s body.
This is the other face of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, explained in simple but effective words by dottor Carlo Magliocca during his interview with Revée’s journalists.
Breast reconstruction is a leading intervention within the Italian cosmetic surgery world. One of the major experts is Dr. Magliocca, surgeon specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery and president of SICPRE (Società Italiana di Chirurgia Plastica, Riscostruttiva ed Estetica [Italian society of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery]).
Cosmetic reconstructive surgery: breast cancer
Operating for over 40 years, Dr. Magliocca currently works at the Breast Unit of the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Rome, where he and his team treat breast cancer. “As with life in general, cosmetic surgery has also made giant steps towards innovation —explains Magliocca—. Thanks to mammography screenings and a greater prevention culture, surgeries have also become less invasive: total mastectomies are increasingly rare, and patients can go back to normal more quickly.”
Frequent check-ups, as well as the growing awareness on this subject and continuous innovation are key factors in breast cancer surgeries: “The psychological aspect, in particular, has acquired the most relevance. The presence of a psychologist is now normal in Breast Units. Breast cancer strongly affects a woman’s psyche, since it affects an organ that is a symbol of her own femininity.”
In fact, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Dr. Magliocca highlighted another aspect of the disease: “Partners play a fundamental role in patients’ recovery. They often react with silence; sometimes they get more distant. Instead of being a support, they make that fragile period even worse, unconsciously being a source of very serious psychological violence.”
Cosmetic surgery and psychological well-being
Cosmetic reconstructive surgeries are not exclusively to treat breast cancer: “They are often meant to improve the breast shape —continues Magliocca—. When a woman asks us to operate on the breast cone, it means that she doesn’t like how she looks and doesn’t feel self-confident with her body.”
In that case, the surgeon, together with the patient, evaluates the most suitable technique: “There are reconstruction surgeries involving the grafting of the patient’s adipose tissue. Additionally, there is the so-called hybrid reconstruction, where the prosthesis is modeled with adipose tissue. Finally, there is a surgery that only involves a prosthesis.”
The duration of a prosthesis is about 10-15 years. After that period, it is important to check the status of the prosthesis, and a replacement surgery is also likely.
Postoperative care: a matter of support
After a breast reconstruction surgery, postoperative garments and compression bras are great allies. “The process does not end with surgery; postoperative care is key. Compression bras and bandages help to improve, stabilize and contain prostheses in order to maintain the result in the long term. Compression bras should be used for at least three months to allow the prosthesis to correctly integrate with the rest of the body.”
Revée products are among the models he would recommend: “They are outstanding, with an excellent quality-price ratio. In fact, I must admit that compared to other brands, they ensure an excellent result at more convenient prices.”
However, cosmetic reconstructive surgery does not only interest women: “Men also have a mammary gland, which can get sick over the years leading to a breast cancer, even if in a smaller percentage compared to women. A disease that can affect men is gynecomastia, that is, the hypertrophy of the male mammary gland. This disease —the surgeon explains— has developed above all since men began to take hormones to stimulate their body.”
Not all surgeries get the “green light” from the medical team.
“Personally I am against implanting a breast prosthesis in a minor, except when it comes to a malformation that creates serious psychological discomfort for the girl —clarifies Magliocca—. The most suitable age is around 20-25 years. However, if patients are planning a pregnancy, we do not recommend undergoing surgery until after breastfeeding. Pregnancy can somehow affect the aesthetic result. My concept of aesthetics is based on elegance, naturalness and proportion —continues the surgeon—, so I always try to avoid excesses. Even in the case of breast augmentation, the harmonious proportions of the body must always be maintained.”
It is therefore good to rely on qualified professionals: “Unfortunately, sometimes many general surgeons also improvise as plastic surgeons. It is necessary to inquire about the surgeon who will perform the surgery before relying on them. The first criterion to consider is the surgeons’ qualification as specialists in plastic, regenerative, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery; patients should check their CV and see whether they belong to accredited bodies.”
Bra: yes or no?
To conclude Magliocca, when asked “Bra yes or no?” suggests: «Always bra. Even for pregnant women, I recommend using a support bra. At least up to the third month of gestation, to contain the shape and size of the breast as much as possible. Dr. Magliocca concludes: “I also always suggest elastic stockings and liposuction sheaths, to limit the effects of peripheral venous stasis of the lower limbs.”