Bosom Buddies
The Questions You want Answered
May, 2012 - Issue #91
Some women are so proud of theirs, they find countless ways to put them on display. Others believe that theirs are too big/too small/too low/too high/too saggy/too sloped/too pointy and spend countless hours covering them/padding them/mocking them.

Whether you're your own bosom bestie or could use a little support (Pun intended!), this feature is for you. Here we talk to experts on breastfeeding, breast surgery and breast health to ask the questions you've always wanted answered.

Take Care of your Family by Taking Care of Yourself
Breast Center Offers Special Cash Price in May

You can ensure your family is well taken care of by making your own health a priority. During the month of May, the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center is offering a special cash price of $175 for digital screening mammograms. In addition, the Center has grants and other programs available for patients who are uninsured or underinsured and need financial assistance for screenings.

The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center has its own entrance, a home-like atmosphere and friendly staff. Located on Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's campus, the Center offers the latest digital technology, highly-skilled medical and technical professionals, and input and collegial consultancy from the area's leading oncologists and other medical specialists. Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday, including lunchtimes and into the evening, as well as some weekends, by calling 253-8822. The Imaging Center is located at 23929 McBean Parkway, Suite 101, Valencia. For more information about the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging, please visit

Breast Augmentation
Answers Courtesy of Beverly Hills Physicians

Q: How common is it, really? I don't want to be the only one on the block with "new" boobs.
You certainly won't be alone! Breast augmentation, or mammaplasty, is the most common type of plastic surgery performed in America. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), nearly 296,000 breast augmentation surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2010. Women choose to have breast augmentation for a number of different reasons, including enhancing body contour, correcting a reduction in breast size after pregnancy, reconstruction after breast surgery or removal, making asymmetrical breasts equal in size, correcting congenital micromastia - a condition that results from breasts that don't develop during puberty and correcting a loss of elasticity in breast tissue that results from aging.

Q: How does it "work?" What results can I expect?
Breast augmentation is performed by placing an implant behind the breast. Incisions may be made under the breast, in the armpit, or even though the navel. The result is a fuller bust line, firmer breasts, more symmetrical breasts and an increase of one or more cup sizes. Modern breast augmentation has been tested, refined and improved for over 50 years, so it is now a very safe and commonplace procedure.

Q: I've heard a lot of debate about the pros and cons of saline versus silicone implants. What's the difference - really?
There are two types of breast implants available today: silicone (gel filled) and saline (salt water filled). One choice is not better than the other; rather, it depends on your individual situation, reason for choosing breast augmentation and personal preferences. You must be 22 years of age in order to receive a silicone implant, while saline implants are available at age 18. The consistency of silicone implants is more similar to natural breast tissue than saline implants, which are harder and firmer than natural breast tissue. Silicone implants require a larger incision in the breast during surgery, which could result in a more noticeable scar. Rippling of the implant is less likely to occur with silicone implants than with saline implants. If the implant happens to rupture, the damage is more difficult to detect in silicone implants than in saline implants. Silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants. While saline implants are less expensive, it is only the implants themselves, and not the actual surgery, that are cheaper than silicone implants, which is why the difference in price between the two surgeries overall can be quite minimal.
Beverly Hills Physicians - located in Valencia 800-788-1416

Questions About Breastfeeding You Always Wanted to Ask
Answers Courtesy of Renee Sicignano, LM, CPM

Q: Will nursing make breasts lose their fullness/shape or make them "saggy?"
No. Not necessarily. Some women are frustrated by breastfeeding because they say it makes their breasts sag and change shape, but this is likely due to other factors. Breast size is determined by how much fatty tissue we have in our breasts. Breastfeeding creates denser tissue in the breast so, after breastfeeding, the fatty tissue and connective tissue of the breasts may shift. Some women's breasts stay larger and others shrink. But sagging or staying full can be as much a result of genetics, weight gain during pregnancy and age, not just a result from breastfeeding.

Q: How long does a mommy really need to nurse to gain the benefits?
Just to be clear, there are benefits both to the child and to the mother. The benefits will never go away as long as a mother decides to breastfeed. In other words, the longer she decides to breastfeed her baby, the more benefits she'll enjoy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until at least the age of 1. But the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding at least until the age of 2. Studies show there are many benefits to the baby including decreased risk of diabetes and a higher IQ. But there are many benefits to the mother, too. According to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding for one year decreases a mother's risk of breast cancer by 4.3 percent. For each additional year she chooses to breastfeed, her risk goes down another 4 percent every year! I don't think that most moms know this. And remember, breastfeeding isn't just about nutrition. It is also a very powerful bonding experience for both the mother and the baby. This experience shouldn't be overlooked. Ultimately, only the mother and the child will know when it's time to stop. There is not one answer that works for every family.

Q: There's a belief that some moms "just can't breastfeed" especially if they have small breasts. Is this true?
No. The size of a woman's breast does not indicate capacity to contain milk. Our bodies do not need to store milk. Instead, they work a bit like a faucet. When the baby goes to the breast the faucet turns on. So women with small breasts can be just as successful at breastfeeding. It is true that a small minority of women say that they just can't breastfeed, but often this is due to a lack of support and breast stimulation. Milk production is based on supply and demand. Once a mother introduces bottles, she is interfering with the production of milk supply. However, there are ways to supplement while still stimulating the breast and minimizing the effect on milk production and nipple confusion for the baby.

Q: Can you still nurse your baby if you have breast implants?
Yes, you usually can still breastfeed. Some success could depend on how many milk ducts were affected during surgery. However, in my experience, most of the women I have treated who have had breast implants are still able to breastfeed with the right support.

Q: What should a mom do if they think they're nursing "wrong?"
Call someone immediately! The sooner she can get help the sooner the problem can be resolved. Often the problems can be addressed in just one visit. Getting help from a professional is very important. Mothers can call a local IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) like myself, their local La Leche League chapter or they can always call our office and we will make sure they get the help they need.
Renee Sicignano is a licensed midwife, certified lactation consultant and has served as the lactation consultant of the City of Los Angeles since 2001. She is the owner of the SCV Birth Center. 254-3000
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