News

Breast reconstructions involve some subtle artistry

Monday, October 10, 2011

Women who are considering having a breast reconstruction often wonder how true-to-life the outcome of such a procedure will be. While their concerns are valid, many resculpted breasts are a product of careful artistry and skill, as one can see in before-and-after photos offered by medical organizations like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

It takes an intricate sense of topology and geometrical rearrangement to create a properly shaped new breast. Such an attention to form may be one reason why a group of UK plastic surgeons recently attended an interdisciplinary sculpture workshop.

The initiative is called the Art of Reconstruction, BBC News reports. Professor and workshop leader Michael Esson said that teaching surgeons to sculpt in clay and other media can improve their sense of aesthetics.

"The workshops examine how we make judgements about beauty, symmetry and proportion," he told the news source, adding that artistic strategies have an integral place in reconstructive surgery.

Once completed, reconstructed breast tissue often needs the attention of another specialized craftsman - namely, cosmetic tattoo artists.

Author and cancer survivor Geralyn Lucas told the Washington Post that, after her reconstruction, she discovered a whole subculture of such professionals, who use pointillist techniques to create realistically shaded areolae.

Plastic surgeons given lessons by artist. BBC News. September 15, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-14932999 Accessed September 16, 2011.

Wax E. Author Geralyn Lucas puts a fresh face on cancer survival. Washington Post. September 8, 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/author-geralyn-lucas-puts-a-young-face-on-cancer-survival/2011/09/01/gIQAAjiv7J_story.html Accessed September 16, 2011.

Extract: Many resculpted breasts are a product of careful artistry and skill, as one can see in before-and-after photos offered by medical organizations like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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