Whole Beauty® Institute

Artistic Vision

Dr. John Q. Cook explains the process of the consultation and preparation before breast surgery.

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Artistic Vision

Why Plastic Surgery Artistry Matters for the Chicago Area

Patients who come to the office of Chicago plastic surgeon John Q. Cook for breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), and breast reduction are well served by Dr. Cook’s extensive experience in breast reconstruction surgery. Breast reconstruction forces the plastic surgeon to ever broaden his array of techniques to meet the specific challenges of breast shape and form. “It also deepens the surgeon’s vision,” Dr. Cook says. “You become aware of the many varieties of breast shape and develop specific techniques to account for these.”

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Dr. Cook’s detailed study of this field has led to his development of several operations that address specific breast shapes and configurations. Patients interested in breast reconstruction, breast reduction, or breast enlargement or lift procedures at our Chicago centers will meet with Dr. Cook for a thorough evaluation. During this time, Dr. Cook will review potential surgical options with you to determine the best treatment plan to meet your needs.

Breast Augmentation with an Emphasis on Natural Form

Dr. Cook was selected as a clinical investigator for the national studies involving saline implants that were designed by the FDA. He also has served as the principal investigator for the studies involving saline implants and silicone gel implants for breast reconstruction at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.

The fundamental challenge in breast surgery is similar to that faced in other areas where Dr. Cook works: how to obtain as natural a result as possible. “The best surgery,” Dr. Cook says, “should not look surgical.” This is particularly true for the patient considering breast augmentation. “I often use the term breast enhancement when I describe this type of surgery,” Dr. Cook says. “Although volume may be an important consideration, the surgery is really about so much more than just making breasts larger. It is often a more complex and subtle question of shape and visual balance. The key is to avoid having the implant overwhelm the breast. If this occurs, the surgical result will disappoint the more sophisticated patient and surgeon alike.”

If you are interested in breast augmentation, our team will help you to visualize your result. We accomplish this with computer modeling, anatomical sizers, and a detailed portfolio of our own work that enables you to see the results of the surgery with different implant types and different body shapes.

Breast Reduction Offers Artistic and Physical Benefits

“It is truly gratifying to see how patients benefit from breast reduction surgery,” Dr. Cook says. Often these individuals suffer in silence. They develop habits of dress and posture to hide their breast size. They may also feel self-conscious in social situations and feel limited in the way that they can exercise. Unfortunately, ‘well-meaning’ family members and even doctors will frequently discourage patients from seeking surgical help due to a lack of understanding of the fundamental mechanics.

“When the breasts reach a certain size, a number of undesirable things will occur,” Dr. Cook says. “The patients often suffer from a band of pain arching across the back, neck, and shoulders. Some patients have told me they even have gained weight to try to hide the size of their breasts by bringing the proportions of the rest of the body up to their scale. One of the most frequent comments we hear from patients who undergo this surgery is that their only regret is that they did not carry it out years ago.

“This is an exciting time to be involved in breast reduction surgery,” Dr. Cook says. “I am much happier with the results that I can obtain with my patients now than what I obtained five or 10 years ago.”

Meet John Q. Cook, M.D.

The Whole Beauty® Institute team is directed by Dr. John Q. Cook, a recognized leader in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Every team member has extensive experience and shares Dr. Cook’s passion for natural results. We form a bond of trust with our extended patient family.
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Several years ago, Dr. Cook modified his technique so that it departed in significant ways from the most common technique of breast reduction.

“I did this because I was unsatisfied with the lack of control that the standard technique was giving me, especially in patients whose breasts were asymmetric or which had complex shapes.” Dr. Cook says.

He has also worked extensively with the newer techniques, which, in select patients, allow for shorter scars than in traditional breast reduction surgery. Examples of these techniques include vertical and periareolar breast reduction.

Advances in Structural Breast Surgery

Dr. Cook’s most significant contribution to the field of breast surgery is his development of the technique of structural breast surgery. This is an approach that he offers many patients who come to him for breast lift, breast reduction, or augmentation-mastopexy. With this technique Dr. Cook restores natural fullness to the upper portion of the breast without the use of implants. The breast is anchored in its new position at a variety of levels in order to reduce the amount of stretching out that occurs in breasts that have been lifted only at the skin level. Scars are reduced from what is found in the classical technique of breast reduction and breast lift.

Breast Lift Surgery Restores Shape and Position

Breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to counteract the effects of gravity or pregnancy on breast shape and volume distribution. Sometimes individuals go through cycles of weight gain and weight loss, which will also stretch out the breasts. As the skin is stretched, the breasts will settle into an abnormally low configuration. This can produce an undesirable hollowing or lack of fullness in the upper portion of the breast, where there may be very little breast tissue left.

It was the challenge of balancing the shape and contour of the reconstructed breast that led Dr. Cook to search for better techniques of breast lift surgery.

“Many patients would gladly undergo breast lift were it not for the scars that accompany the traditional operation,” Dr. Cook says.

The traditional operation places a scar around the border of the areola as well as in the fold under the breast and a vertical scar connecting the lower border of the areola. Newer techniques of short scar mastopexy and reduction are appropriate for many patients. In the periareolar variant, the scar can be confined just to the border around the areola. In another variant, there will be an extension from the lower border of the areola to the fold under the breast, but no scar running around the lower border of the breast. These newer operations, although highly beneficial, are not for all patients.

When the classical operation is the appropriate choice, you will benefit from Dr. Cook’s extensive experience and meticulous attention to detail. Experience and judgment are critical in order for the right technique to be matched with the right patient.

“I have seen a number of patients who have had surgery that perhaps resulted in more extensive scarring than necessary,” Dr. Cook says. “But even worse than this is the situation where an inexperienced surgeon tries to push the technique of short scar surgery on a person who can really not benefit from it. In that case, the result will either be inadequate correction or significant distortions of breast shape.”

Dr Cook developed the structural breast lift operation to solve three key problems of breast lift surgery: the tendency of the breasts to stretch out after the operation, the lack of pleasing volume in the upper portion of the breast, and the scar along the inner curvature of the breast. The beauty of the structural mastopexy is that Dr. Cook rearranges the breast so that your natural tissue forms a living implant to round out the upper part of the breast.

Augmentation-Mastopexy for Lift and Extra Volume

The operation known as augmentation/mastopexy can be a good choice for patients where the issue is a combination of settling of the breast and volume loss.

“I view this as restorative, or rejuvenative, surgery,” Dr. Cook says. “In this sense, the goals that I set for myself are similar to what I do with a facelift. That is to restore the beautiful contours of youth but do so in a way that minimizes artificiality.”

This surgery is designed to counterbalance certain natural forces that act upon the breasts, including pregnancy, weight fluctuation, and gravitational settling.

“I am able to offer my patients a nice variety of choices when it comes to the augmentation/mastopexy operation,” Dr. Cook says.

As part of the detailed evaluation he performs on each patient, Dr. Cook discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different types of silicone gel and saline-filled implants. Patients who undergo the augmentation/mastopexy procedure are particularly well suited to the shorter scar techniques of breast lift. This includes such variants as the periareolar mastopexy, in which the scar is confined to the border around the areola.

Dr. Cook performs breast lift, breast enlargement, breast reduction, and selected techniques of breast reconstruction on an outpatient basis. Dr. Cook offers his patients at his Chicago centers a variety of quality outpatient settings, including Rush University Medical Center and a fully accredited private surgery center near his office in the Gold Coast.

We invite you to visit specific sections of this website to obtain specific information about the procedure that interests you.

Whole Beauty Institute

If you would like to have a consultation regarding breast surgery or if you have questions for our team, please call 312-751-2112 or contact us online.

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Educational Information on Plastic Surgery

Educational Information

Learn important information about surgical and non-surgical procedures to help you make informed decisions about your desired treatment based on your goals. Topics cover facial surgery, injectables, lasers, breast surgery, body contouring, and other treatments.

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Our Office Locations

Our locations in the Gold Coast of Chicago and Winnetka in the North Shore reflect our commitment to convenient and discrete concierge-level service.

Whole Beauty® Institute |Map | 737 N.Michigan Ave

Chicago Office

737 North Michigan Ave., Suite 760 Chicago IL 60611 (312) 751-2112 Entrance at 151 E. Chicago Avenue

Whole Beauty® Institute |Map | 118 Green Bay Road

Winnetka Office

118 Green Bay Road Winnetka IL 60093  (847) 446-7562
Located directly across from Indian Hill Metra Station