DEPARTMENTS

Plastic Surgery

CONTACT THIS DEPARTMENT

Montana Plastic Surgery Center
1600 9th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405
(406) 727-6363


DEPARTMENT HOURS

Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

If you’re a current patient, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to fulfill your aesthetic surgery needs.  If you’re a new visitor, we look forward to meeting you and exploring the wonderful options available for enhancing your natural beauty through plastic surgery.

Our desire is to provide you with the finest personalized care, while creating beautiful, natural results that turn your dreams into reality. Please take a moment to look through the information below, we genuinely hope that you will discover more about our practice, the many cosmetic enhancement procedures and treatments available to you, and other useful information that will answer questions you might have about plastic surgery and the services we can provide. We would also like to hear from you, so please contact us via telephone or email with any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have.

The Montana Plastic Surgery Center is devoted to rejuvenating and enhancing your natural beauty using state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, natural results that make you look better and feel more confident about your appearance!

As cosmetic enhancement professionals, we understand how uneasy some patients may feel about cosmetic surgery, and how we can make a difference in providing a life changing and emotionally positive experience. Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your consultation and surgery as comfortable and pleasant as possible. A standard of excellence in personalized care enables us to provide the quality cosmetic enhancement services that our patients deserve. As a practice, we believe that excellence in performing plastic surgery procedures is derived from both education and experience. We want you to be confident knowing that we are a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians who keep current in the latest techniques and standards so we can provide our patients with the safest operations, and the most optimal results. We also know that surgery is never routine, for this reason a review of your medical history, your current health, your expectations for your surgery and your motivations for electing any cosmetic procedure are all taken into consideration before we agree to perform any procedure. We provide comprehensive treatment planning and follow strict standards that ensure your surgery will go smoothly and provide the results you desire.

About Antonio Santin, MD, FACS

Antonio SantinDr. Santin began practice in Great Falls in 1995 and opened Montana Plastic Surgery Center in 1996. After years of training, Dr. Santin offers the expertise of being Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and the American Board of Otolaryngology and then furthered his training by doing a Fellowship in Craniofacial Surgery. Dr. Santin’s experience and training allows him to offer the Montana Cleft/Craniofacial Teams the advantage of this additional training as plastic surgeon and craniofacial surgeon team member. CLICK HERE to learn more about Dr Santin

 

PROCEDURES

 

BODY PROCEDURES

A body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a procedure to raise and reshape unsightly, sagging body contours. During the aging process, skin loses some elasticity, causing the mid-section to lose its natural shape and firmness. This procedure is designed to remove loose skin and related fat deposits, thus, providing a more youthful appearance. A body lift can be performed to the lower torso and upper legs including the abdomen, waist, inner/outer thighs, buttocks, and/or hips.

Reasons for Considering a Body Lift:

  • Reshape mid-body contour.
  • Correct sagging skin and fat due to aging or excessive weight loss.
  • Remedy past weight gain and stretched skin caused by multiple pregnancies.

General Procedure:
The precise procedure varies with each patient, depending on the body type and desired surgical outcome.  Generally speaking, the body lift procedure entails making an incision that follows the upper and/or inner thigh, to the waistline.  In more extensive surgeries, the incision goes completely around the waist and lower back. Adjustments to the buttocks and thighs require an incision at the crease of the buttocks.  Excess skin is then removed, followed by the underlying fat deposits. Finally, the skin is pulled taught and sutured into the new configuration. The entire procedure can last from 3 to 7 hours.  The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually in the hospital setting.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions require plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time.  Bandages are applied right after surgery to minimize swelling and provide support. Tubes are often placed to drain excess fluids. The scars resulting from the incisions are permanent but are carefully placed so as to minimize visibility.  Patients sometimes report pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication. Recovery time varies with the extent of the procedure. This type of procedure requires a responsible adult care person in the postoperative period, often for a one week time. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions that are given before and after the surgery. Nicotine in any form is prohibited in the period two months before and two months after surgery, as it can cause poor wound healing and severe complications.

Liposuction (or lipoplasty) is a body-sculpting procedure to remove fat that is unresponsive to dieting and exercising. This procedure can be performed to nearly any area of the body and is, at times, used on multiple areas during an operation. Liposuction results in a slimmer and better proportioned figure. Liposuction is used effectively to reduce love handles, saddlebags, a double-chin, a bulge around the waistline, or other unsightly fatty deposits in order to develop a better shape and create a more beautiful body.

Reasons for Considering a Liposuction:

Eliminate fat from any of the following areas:

  • Chin and Neckline
  • Back
  • Upper Arms
  • Stomach and Waistline
  • Hips and Buttocks
  • Thighs and Knees

Create a more proportioned figure.

Liposuction is not a replacement for proper exercise and diet. Instead, liposuction is a reduction procedure for stubborn areas where fat accumulates. Liposuction can help provide a better proportioned body appearance. Ideal surgical candidates are those already in good physical condition, at their ideal weight, but having stubborn areas that do not respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction cannot take up skin that has been stretched out due to significant weight loss due to diet or pregnancy.

General Procedure:
Liposuction is usually performed under general anesthesia with the patient asleep. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or “cannula” is inserted and used to vacuum out the fatty tissue beneath the skin. The surgeon determines the amount of fat to be removed by massaging the skin and squeezing the tissue. After eliminating the excess fat, the incisions are closed with a suture and applying a compression dressing or bandage to the area in order to prevent bleeding, reduce swelling, and support the affected area.

Liposuction can last from thirty minutes to several hours depending upon the amount of fat to be removed. Liposuction surgery is an excellent procedure that can benefit those who want to remove unattractive fatty deposits.

Recovery Process:
New techniques allow for faster recovery from liposuction procedures. The length of the recovery will depend on how extensive of an operation the patient undergoes.  Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in the immediate postoperative period in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time.

A support garment may need to be worn for several weeks after the surgery, depending upon which area(s)  have been treated with the liposuction procedure. Patients sometimes report pain associated with surgery which can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the directions given before and after surgery. As with all general surgery procedures, an adult care person is necessary for at least  the first day following surgery.

Mommy Makeovers are a specifically tailored set of procedures designed to return a woman's body to a more natural state after childbirth. Mommy Makeovers focus on two main areas that are most affected during pregnancy - specifically the breasts and the midsection. Procedures performed may include a Tummy Tuck, Body Lift, Liposuction, Breast Lift and/or Breast Augmentation. Because every woman's body is different, Dr. Santin will help you determine what is right for you. The procedures may be combined, or performed in stages to help you renew your body with a set of surgeries customized for your unique shape and goals.

Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems. In such cases, a patient may wish to consider a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty). A tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the repositioning of abdominal muscles into a tighter formation. This body enhancement procedure is designed for those who wish to have a flatter and tighter stomach with firmer skin. It is also helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdominal muscles known as diastasis, which can occur following pregnancy.

Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty:

  • Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area.
  • Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss.
  • Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdominal muscles) due to pregnancy.
  • The removal of unsightly skin and fat deposits as well as the proper alignment of the abdomen muscles to produce a more flattering look.

General Procedure:
Abdominoplasty surgery lasts anywhere from one to five hours, depending on the desired look and the patient’s unique physiology. To begin the procedure, an incision is made just above the pubic bone area. This incision goes horizontally across the lower abdomen to the hip area. The skin is then elevated away from the underlying muscle tissue. The abdominal muscle tissue is tightened to provide a firmly contoured stomach and well-defined waistline. Often the umbilicus (belly button) is placed through a new opening in this tightened abdominal skin. The incision is then closed with sutures, a dressing is applied and a compression garment is applied. Drains are often placed and will need to be cared for until removed in the postoperative period. This procedure, along with most all surgical procedures, requires the patient to not have any nicotine in the system for sixty days before and after the surgery to help alleviate severe wound healing complications that can be caused due to nicotine.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in the initial postoperative period in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. As the body recuperates, the patient can expect some swelling, pain, and discomfort. Medication can be prescribed to help relieve the pain caused by the procedure. A responsible adult care-person is necessary in the first week following abdominoplasty surgery. The patient needs to understand that this procedure is fairly restrictive and will necessitate not being able to return to work for a minimum of two weeks after surgery, and possibly even longer. The drains may be removed after minimal output is achieved, possibly by the second or third week after surgery and the sutures will be removed approximately three weeks after the surgery depending on the procedure(s) involved. Normal activities can generally be resumed within four to six weeks. It may take up to a year for the body to completely adapt to the new abdominal configuration. With proper diet and exercise the striking results of the surgery will be long lasting.

FACIAL PROCEDURES

Botox® is a relatively new procedure using Botulinum Toxin which was developed to treat the visual signs of aging by reducing or removing wrinkles. The procedure is considered a safe, effective way of treating aging skin. Common areas for Botox® injections include horizontal forehead furrows, vertical lines between the eyebrows and "crow's feet" around the eyes. Botox® has proven to be the best non-surgical form of facial rejuvenation and is capable of producing phenomenal improvements in your appearance.

Reasons for Considering a Botox Treatment:

  • Excessive facial wrinkles.
  • Large wrinkles or furrows in your forehead.
  • Small wrinkles or “crow’s feet” around your eyes.
  • Effectively treat scars from acne, birthmarks, moles, and tattoos.
  • A vertical “frown line” between your eyebrows.

General Procedure:
The procedure works by altering the facial muscles beneath the skin that are related to wrinkles. A cream with local anesthetic will be placed on your skin prior to treatment, and ice will be immediately applied upon completion of the Botox® treatment. Typically a small amount (1-2 cc’s) of Botox® is injected into the area of the wrinkle. Botox® works by blocking the impulses from the nerve to the facial muscles, thereby relaxing them. The result is the underlying facial muscles relax and the skin begins to smooth out. The effects of a Botox® treatment will last approximately three to six months after which the patient may choose to repeat the procedure.

Recovery Process:
Patients generally return to their normal activities immediately after the procedure, however following the post-procedure guidelines will dramatically reduce the length and intensity of the recovery period. Patients should avoid engaging in heavy physical exercise, applying cosmetics, or laying down flat for a minimum of 4 hours after the injections. It is also advisable to avoid rubbing or massaging the injected area for at least 24 hours.

A chemical peel is an aesthetic procedure performed to achieve better skin tone and to remove fine lines, especially on the face. The chemical solution removes outer layers of skin which are damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems. Removing the outer skin prompts the body to generate a new layer of skin cells which are tainted by the previous skin condition. Chemical peels may not be appropriate for darker skin complexions.

Reasons for Considering a Chemical Peel:

  • Excessive facial wrinkles and lines.
  • Improve sun-damaged skin.
  • Correct age spots and pigmentation problems.
  • Lighten scars (especially from acne).
  • Treat precancerous skin lesions.

General Procedure:
At the time of your procedure, any active skin disease, infection, or acne needs to be under control in order to maximize results. There are several different types of chemical solutions which can be used, ranging from a mild solution to a very strong one. The surgeon will select what is best for the patient based on their skin condition, color, and desired result.

During the procedure, the skin is first cleansed of oils. A solution is then carefully applied and is allowed to remain on the skin for a short time in order to remove the layers of damaged skin. At this point, the skin will turn white, a frost-like effect. The skin is then neutralized and cleansed. Finally, an ointment is applied to the skin to aid in healing.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. An ointment and dressings are applied immediately following surgery to aid in the healing process and to minimize swelling. The skin will have a pinkish color, and a thin crust may form over the area that was treated. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with the procedure, which can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given by the surgeon. Recovery time varies depending upon the extent of the chemical peel.

High cheekbones and a strong jawline have long had a history of allure. Along with the eyes, the cheekbones and jawline form the most photogenic aspects of the face. Chin and cheek implants are a great way to enhance a facial profile by improving the overall proportion and balance of the face. With chin implants (mentoplasty), the symmetry of the face can be shaped and contoured. Cheek implants (malarplasty), also known as malar (high cheek) or submalar (low cheek) augmentation, can add fullness and definition to the face. Utilizing permanent chin and cheek implants can provide a rejuvenated, youthful facial profile.

Reasons for Considering Chin and Cheek Implants:

  • Extend or enlarge the chin if the chin is recessed or small.
  • Create a more defined facial profile if the jaw, chin, or cheeks lack distinction.
  • Bring the various aspects of the face into proportion.
  • Round out the cheeks if they are hollow due to heredity or aging.
  • Accent the upper cheeks making them appear higher and fuller.

General Procedure:
With chin surgery, an implant is inserted in front of the jawbone in order to augment the chin or jaw. A small incision is made inside the mouth to allow the implant to be positioned in a pocket just under the skin. An alternate location for this incision is below the chin (on the outside). Chin surgery is commonly performed along with rhinoplasty (nose surgery). With cheek augmentation, incisions are made either inside the mouth, through the lower cheek, or directly below the bottom eyelid on the high cheek. Cheek surgery is often performed in conjunction with a facelift procedure. Both chin and cheek implant procedures normally last from 30 minutes to one hour.

Recovery Process:
Immediately after surgery, the face will be fitted with bandages, taped, or otherwise secured in order to speed the recovery process and to reduce swelling. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Keeping the head elevated during the initial recovery phase is also important. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. Any pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. Patients may experience some swelling and bruising of the face which can be eased by using cold compresses. A liquid diet may be required for a few days, as chewing may be difficult. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given after surgery. The substance used for chin and cheek implants is made of durable, solid material that will last for years.

Surgery of the ear, also known as otoplasty, is a procedure that helps reduce protrusion of the ear away from the head. Most often, ear surgery is performed on children between the ages of four to fourteen. Ears that “stick out” are often the source of teasing and ridicule in young children. This teasing can have a devastating effect on the child’s psyche.

Otoplasty is not limited to children and may also be performed on older patients. Cosmetic procedures are available for those individuals with large ears and for those with congenital (birth) irregularities that detract from their appearance. Additionally, an individual’s ears may exhibit abnormal traits due to their genetic makeup or an accidental injury, such as losing an ear or part of an ear. Otoplasty is used successfully for each of these situations. Regardless of the procedure, patients have been pleased with the long-lasting improvements to their appearance offered by ear surgery.

Reasons for Considering Ear Surgery:

  • Bring proportion to the face if the ears “stick out” too much.
  • Correct folded ear tips (lop ear).
  • Reshape long or offset earlobes.
  • Enhance very small ears or other congenital defects.
  • Remedy an accidental injury, including the loss of an ear.

General Procedure:

Ear surgery is commonly performed under general anesthesia for children and local anesthesia for adults. The standard otoplasty procedure brings the ears closer to the head. Otoplasty begins with an incision hidden in the crease behind the ear. This incision allows the cartilage located behind the ears to be reshaped in order to position them closer to the head. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours, depending upon the extent of surgery.

There are various surgical techniques involved in correcting irregularities other than protruding ears. These techniques can be discussed with your physician during the initial consultation.

Recovery Process:
After the surgery is completed, large bandages will be wrapped around the head.This method secures the ear in place and assists with the healing process. The bandages are usually removed within a week and replaced with smaller dressings. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery.  Any pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions.

Eyelid surgery (known as blepharoplasty) is a corrective procedure to diminish the excess upper eyelid skin and help eliminate the tired look of the eyes. Also, the lower lids can be surgically helped to “reduce the dark circles or “bags” under the eyes, remove the excess wrinkles and provide a more youthful appearance to the eyes. One of the first things noticed about a person is their eyes. During the aging process, wrinkles, lines, and puffiness contribute to a tired or aged appearance. The blepharoplasty surgery is often performed in conjunction with brow lift and face lift surgery.

Reasons for Considering Eyelid Surgery:

  • Dark circles or bags under the eyes.
  • Excessive skin or wrinkles surrounding the eyelids.
  • A tired appearance or puffiness due to inherited factors.

General Procedure:
The surgical procedure includes tiny incisions made in the natural contours around the eyes which should leave no visible scarring. The surgeon will usually work on the upper eyelids first to remove any fatty tissue and tighten loose skin. Lower eyelids are completed next to eliminate puffiness and reduce dark circles. In some instances, laser technology may be used to smooth lower eyelid areas. Newer techniques may include Botox injections to firm fine lines and wrinkles.

The surgery generally takes about one to three hours and is performed in the physician’s office. If additional cosmetic procedures are being performed, the eyelid surgery could last longer.

Recovery Process:
Normally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given after the surgery. The healing process for this procedure is slightly longer than most other forms of cosmetic surgery; however, the benefits are long-lasting. Patients will have a more rested and youthful appearance.

A Facelift (Rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure designed to smooth and firm the skin, providing a fresh, youthful appearance. Throughout one’s life, the sun’s radiation, stress, gravity, and other factors cause the skin to sag and fit more loosely. Areas of the face and neck, in particular around the jawline, are especially prone to the aging process. Though these changes are gradual, wrinkles and other signs of aging can make individuals “feel older” than they really are.

Surgery for a facelift involves the contraction and realignment of facial and neck skin, and in some instances the removal of excess fat deposits. A facelift is often performed in combination with other facial cosmetic procedures and can be performed any time signs of aging begin to appear. However, patients are generally in their forties or older when they elect to undergo this procedure.

Reasons for Considering a Facelift:

  • Sagging skin, muscles, and fat in the face and neck.
  • Excess skin and fat on the neck.
  • Sagging jawline.

General Procedure:
The standard procedure for a facelift commonly involves making small incisions just inside the hairline, following the contour in front of the ear, and continuing under the earlobe to the backside of the ear and to the lower scalp. Tissue and fat deposits are separated, the skin is stretched and tightened, and any excess skin is removed. If the neck line requires attention, an additional incision is made under the chin and the same procedure is again followed. Minuscule stitches are used to close the incisions and to reduce any chance of scarring. Metal clips or staples may also be utilized at the hairline.

A face lift may take several hours or longer depending on whether other cosmetic procedures are completed at the same time. Sometimes other procedures may be performed in separate appointments. There are several different facelift techniques that can be employed. Patients can discuss with their physician which method is best for them when they come in for their consultation.

Recovery Process:
Immediately after surgery, the face is fitted with bandages in order to decrease the recovery time and to reduce swelling. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing and recovery process. The stitches, clips or staples are normally removed within a week. Patients sometimes report some minor pain associated with surgery. Any discomfort can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given after the procedure.

Nose surgery (Rhinoplasty) is a procedure to reshape the nose in order to create a more pleasing look and, in some instances, to correct severe breathing problems. With approximately 400,000 operations performed each year, rhinoplasty is considered the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States. Rhinoplasty usually involves reducing the size of the nose by removing and sculpting the nasal tissues in order to enhance the facial appearance. The results are unique to each individual, and depend upon such factors as skin condition and thickness, nasal and facial structure, genetic contributions, and age. Traditionally, a “nose job” was performed only to correct major problems. However, recent surgical innovations allow for individuals to benefit from more moderate improvements from the procedure as well. In general, having nose surgery provides the patient with a better facial balance and overall appearance.

Reasons for Considering Nose Surgery:

  • Bring a better proportion to the nose and facial features.
  • Reduce the size of the nose that is too large or too wide.
  • Correct an overly arched or “Roman” nose.
  • Re-form a crooked or elongated nose tip.
  • Restore the nose if damaged from an accident or sports injury.
  • Help with breathing problems by rebuilding the nasal passage.
  • Treat nasal deformities caused at birth.
  • Note: If rhinoplasty is being utilized to correct a breathing problem or nose deformity, the procedure may be covered under the patient’s insurance policy.

General Procedure:
The rhinoplasty procedure lasts from one to three hours. The surgeon may elect to utilize either local or general anesthesia, depending upon the complexity of the operation.

To begin the surgery, tiny incisions are made which allow the surgeon to access the underlying nasal structure. Once the skin is opened, the cartilage and bone are reshaped to form the basis for the new look. Two basic methods are utilized for performing nose surgery. These methods are referred to as the ‘open’ and the ‘closed’ techniques. The open technique allows for maximum visibility and control over the procedure. The incision used in the open technique is placed in-between the nostrils on the columella (the medial nostril strip). In the closed technique, the incisions are internal and heal faster; however, there is less surgical control over the outcome. The physician can discuss which technique is best when the patient arrives for the initial consultation visit.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and to reduce the recovery time. Some swelling may be noticed; however, any swelling will disappear within a few weeks. A splint, bandages, and/or gauze are applied immediately following surgery to aid in the healing process and to minimize movement of the nose. Patients must refrain from smoking for several weeks before and after the surgery. In addition, any corrective glasses that are worn must be taped up and off the nose. The nose will need to be well-protected from the sun for the first year after the procedure while the body is adjusting to the new look. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with the surgery. Pain can be effectively treated with oral medication and/or cold compresses. While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk of potential problems by carefully following the post-surgical directions given by the surgeon.

BREAST PROCEDURES

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical enhancement procedure to accentuate the size and shape of a woman's breasts. While breast augmentation will make the breasts larger, the surgery will not move the breasts closer together nor appreciably lift sagging breasts. Breast augmentation is a tremendous help to patients who desire a fuller profile, who have lost breast volume due to pregnancy or nursing, or who have undergone breast reconstruction and want to gain a more natural look again.

Reasons for Considering Breast Augmentation:

  • Enhance body shape if breasts are too small
  • Restore or increase breast volume after pregnancy and nursing
  • Equalize a difference in breast size (cup size) to gain breast symmetry
  • Reconstruct breasts following a mastectomy or injury

General Procedure:
Breast augmentation involves making a small incision to insert a breast implant into the breast area in order to enlarge the breast. The surgery is commonly performed on an outpatient basis at our state-of-the-art surgical unit while the patient is under a general anesthesia and asleep.  There are several possible locations for the small incision that will be used for inserting the breast implant, but the most frequent technique utilizes an incision made around the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple). The best technique will be decided together between the patient and the surgeon during the consultation.

During surgery, the breast tissue is raised to create an open pocket under the breast tissue or, most often, beneath the chest wall muscle. Inserting an implant behind each breast can increase a woman's breast size by one or more bra cup sizes. Implants typically contain a saline solution (similar to saltwater) although in special cases the implants can contain a silicone gel.  In some circumstances, particularly those in which there is breast asymmetry (uneven breast size), an inflatable implant may be used to allow the surgeon to adjust the level of inflation to attain breast symmetry and balance. Surgery typically lasts from 1 to 2 hours.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. A bra and an elastic bandage is applied right after surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. This type of bra may need to be worn for several weeks. Patients often report pain associated with the surgery. This pain can be treated with oral medication. It is important with breast augmentation surgery that a responsible adult care-person assist the patient for a couple of days after surgery. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given by the physician and his nurse after surgery.

A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts.  As a woman ages, skin loses some elasticity which can cause the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness. This procedure is designed to elevate the breasts and give them a more youthful appearance. A breast lift may also be completed in conjunction with breast enlargement surgery (augmentation).

Reasons for Considering a Breast Lift:

  • Elevate the breasts due to sagging caused by the effects of aging and gravity
  • Firm the breasts if they have lost substance due to pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding
  • Re-align your nipples/areolae if they point down or to the side
  • Bring back natural suppleness after weight loss

General Procedure:
The breast lift surgical procedure usually takes one and one half to three hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-like incision along the underside of the breast. The incision goes around the area where skin will be removed, thus defining how the nipple will be relocated. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast.

Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions.

If the patient is having an implant inserted along with the breast lift, the implant will be placed in a pocket directly under the muscle of the chest wall.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. A special brand bandages are applied right after surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. The patient is usually seen the day after the procedure and the surgical dressings are removed, but the patient will need to wear the specialized surgical bra for several weeks. Patients sometimes report pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication. It is important to have an adult care person assisting the patient in the first few days after this surgery. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given by the surgeon and his nurse.

Breast reduction (or reduction mammaplasty) is an enhancement procedure that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Reduction is accomplished by removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. Large breasts can cause physical pain as well as emotional and social anxiety. Women who take advantage of the breast reduction procedure find that they are able to lead a healthier, more comfortable life, in addition to enjoying a beautiful, more proportionate appearance.

Reasons for Considering a Breast Reduction:

  • Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy breasts
  • Sagging breasts produced by their large size
  • Disproportionate body frame attributed to oversized breasts
  • Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts
  • Painful bra strap marks and/or rashes as a result of large breasts

General Procedure:
The breast reduction procedure is often performed in the hospital surgical setting. In smaller reductions, the procedure may be offered in the state of the art surgical center in Dr. Santin's facility. Techniques for breast reduction vary; however, the most common procedure involves an incision that circles the areola. From the areola, the incision goes down and follows the natural curve under the breast. The surgeon then removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin. Next, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher position and held in place by sutures. The best procedure can be determined during the initial consultation visit.

Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes.  Patients are pleased with the elimination of physical pain caused by large breasts as well as a better proportioned body, an enhanced appearance, and better fitting clothes.

Recovery Process:
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Bandages are applied immediately following surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks.  Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. Any pain can be treated with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the instructions given before and after surgery. Smoking, or having any nicotine in the system, is forbidden for a sixty day period prior to and after the procedure, as nicotine can cause wound healing problems.

RECONSTRUCTIVE PROCEDURES

Breast reconstruction surgery is designed to restore one or both breasts to a near normal appearance, size or symmetry after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, or to correct congenital deformities. Breast reconstruction may involves multiple procedures that are performed in stages and if only one breast is affected, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size, shape and position of both breasts.

Cancer reconstructive surgery involves procedures needed after some types of cancer surgery such as a mastectomy, head and neck cancer or skin cancer.

Cleft lip and palate reconstructive surgery includes procedures to repair a cleft, or separation of the upper lip and/or the roof of the mouth, that can occur very early in the development of an unborn child. Most clefts can be repaired utilizing specific plastic surgery techniques that will help to improve a child's ability to breathe, eat, speak and hear.

Congenital deformities are medically diagnosed conditions present at birth or caused by the birthing process. They may be caused by hereditary issues, developmental disability or disease. If left untreated, these conditions can interfere with a child's development and ability to function. Sometimes reconstructive surgery and other treatment is performed in stages over several years. Cleft lip and palate abnormalities are two congenital issues commonly treated by plastic surgeons.

Craniofacial reconstructive surgical procedures are used to correct damaged bone and tissue from head, skull, face and neck traumas and birth defects. This may also include issues involving skin, nerves, muscle, teeth, and other related anatomy. The goal of these procedures is to improve the appearance of disfigured areas of the face and head.

Lesion removal procedures are performed for both medical and cosmetic reasons to eliminate abnormal growths on the skin, called lesions. These may be lumps, sores or any areas of the skin that are not normal. Skin lesions include cancers, skin tags, moles or warts.

Trauma reconstructive surgery aims to repair issues arising from trauma to the body. Injuries may include fractured jaws and bones in the face, displaced teeth and lacerations or fractures of the skull.

Schedule Your Consultation

The first step towards a beautiful, healthy look is to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Please contact our office by phone at 406-727-6363, Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm, Friday, 8am-3:30pm.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

All surgical procedures are accompanied by a certain degree of risk, whether the procedures are for medical or cosmetic reasons.  Our expert team is dedicated to making your operation go smoothly.  We carefully review your medical history and current health condition before deciding if it is safe for you to proceed with surgery.  It is important that you fully disclose all pertinent information so that we are able to make an accurate assessment of the risks involved.  We will take every precaution necessary to reduce the possibility of any complications.

There several important factors that come into play when deciding whether plastic surgery is the right option for you.  One of the most important factors is your health.  Being in good health greatly reduces the risk of complications occurring during surgery and leads to a speedy recovery.  Next, you need to ask yourself what your motivations are.  People who have plastic surgery generally find that the surgery enhances their overall appearance and self-esteem.  Thirdly, you should have realistic expectations.  Plastic surgery is both a science and an art, neither of which are perfect.  Set reasonable goals as to the result you wish to achieve and be prepared to thoroughly discuss these goals during your initial consultation.

It is a relatively common practice for a plastic surgeon to perform multiple procedures during one operation.  This allows the surgeon to better “sculpt” your final appearance.  In addition, having several procedures done simultaneously saves you the expense of paying the operating room and anesthesia costs more than once.  However, having too much done at one time can lead to complications.  The decision to have multiple procedures done depends on which procedures are being done, the extent of surgery, the operating time, and your age/health.  Ultimately, the surgeon decides whether or not it is appropriate to include more than one procedure in your operation.

Due to the variety of procedures available in plastic surgery, there can be no blanket rule on age although age will be taken into consideration when planning your operation.  People of all ages have taken advantage of the image-enhancement offered by plastic surgery.  There are even procedures appropriate for young children!  It is important to realize the limitations of plastic surgery.  Plastic surgery cannot “fix” every situation or reverse the aging process.  What is a good procedure for one person may not be an appropriate procedure for another.  We are committed to making your plastic surgery experience a successful one.

During your consultation we will discuss your desired changes and expectations, review your medical history and current health, and make an assessment on whether the procedure(s) in question are right for you. This is a good time to ask specific questions about the procedure so that you are fully prepared, mentally and emotionally, for surgery. We will discuss the results that can be achieved, with the aid of photos and/or computer imaging. When a final decision is made, you will need to sign an informed consent stating that you are fully aware and understand what is entailed by your pending operation, including the potential complications and secondary effects.

Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. The length of recovery varies with each procedure and is different for each individual.  Bruises usually disappear within a few days, and most swelling is gone in a matter of weeks. If you follow our post-operative instructions carefully, you will be able to enjoy your normal activities within no time.  Your scars will fade over time but are permanent.  We take care to conceal any scars so that they are barely visible, if at all.  The image-enhancing effects of plastic surgery become more evident over time with certain procedures taking up to a year for your body to fully adjust and settle into its new look.  When you come in for your consultation we can discuss your expected recovery period and any post-operative instructions in detail.

Insurance providers generally cover costs for reconstructive surgery but not for cosmetic surgery. For example, insurance providers will often pay for breast augmentation to reconstruct a breast following a mastectomy; breast reduction to remedy back pain caused by heavy breasts; eyelid surgery to remove sagging skin that blocks vision; nose surgery to allow for a patient to breathe better; or tummy tucks to remedy the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis. Insurance providers are required by law to cover breast reconstruction surgery and any cosmetic operations necessary to create symmetry in either breast. If your surgery is covered by insurance, pre-certification is required. We will be happy to assist you with the process.

The issue of breast implant safety has been a hot topic throughout the last few decades.  As a result, more stringent standards have emerged in order to protect patients.  Current breast implant procedures primarily use silicone shell implants filled with a saline solution.  Occasionally, silicone-gel filler is used; but this is highly regulated by the FDA, and generally only acceptable in reconstructive surgery procedures.  Rarely, an implant will rupture or leak.  With saline implants, the saline is safely absorbed into the body.  The effect of silicone-gel leaking into the body is still being researched.  If rupture or leaking is detected early, the implant can be easily replaced.  Other possible complications from breast implant surgery may include blood clotting or pooling, overly sensitive breasts or loss of sensation in the breasts, and capsular contracture (a hardening of the tissues surrounding the implant).  Our expert team is dedicated to making your operation a smooth one.  We take every precaution necessary to reduce the possibility of any complications.

Montana Plastic Surgery Center 1600 9th Street South Great Falls, MT 59405

PROVIDERS

SERVICES

  • Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
  • Body Lift
  • Botox and Dermal Filler Treatments including Restylane and Juvederm
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Breast Lift
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Breast Reduction
  • Brow Lift
  • Chemical Peels
  • Chin and Cheek Implants
  • Cleft Lip and Palate Repairs
  • Craniofacial Reconstructions
  • Ear Surgery
  • Ear Tubes
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Face Lift
  • Frenotomy/Tongue-Tie Release
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing
  • Lesion Removal
  • Liposuction
  • Rhinoplasty/Nose Surgery
  • Sinus Surgery
  • Tonsillectomies/Adenoidectomy