Archive for February, 2011

Will a Tummy Tuck Remove Stretch Marks?

Monday, February 28th, 2011
Caucasian woman's abdomen marked with lines

For many people, stretch marks are a part of life. They occur when the dermis is stretched and torn, which can occur as we grow during puberty or as we experience fluctuations in weight. Particularly after pregnancy, many women experience these stretch marks. Unfortunately, there is no proven treatment that will completely remove these marks without excision. Other stretch mark removal methods usually just help improve the appearance of scarring, and do not actually remove the scar.

For women who experience stretch marks from pregnancy, a tummy tuck in Los Angeles can remove stretch marks below the belly button my removing excess or loose skin. But stretch mark removal certainly is not the only benefit of a tummy tuck. In addition, the procedure tightens loose abdominal muscles and can be combined with liposuction to remove unwanted fat in the midsection.

I’ve seen many women who feel self-conscious about their stretch marks and are looking for a solution that actually works. For now, stretch marks on the belly can be removed successfully with a tummy tuck, and I hope that sometime soon a less-invasive approach to stretch mark removal is developed.

Breast Lift after Changing Implants

Monday, February 21st, 2011
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Now that silicone gel breast implants have been available in the United States for several years, many women with saline breast implants are opting to switch to the newer silicone gel implants for an improved feel and appearance.

Many of my patients who are considering an implant “redo” also ask me about a breast lift, particularly if they are planning to go for a smaller size with their new implants. Over time, implants, just like natural breast tissue, will cause the breasts to sit lower on the chest. Often women will want to improve both the size and shape of their implants when having a secondary breast augmentation, and I will often recommend a breast lift to correct ptosis (sagging) that has occurred since the initial procedure.

While more and more women having breast augmentation also have a lift procedure, the most common breast enhancement procedure combined with a breast lift is breast reduction in Los Angeles. It makes sense that heavier breasts also will experience greater ptosis over time, so that reducing the breast size and improve the breast position are both important goals for surgery.

If you are considering breast enhancement in your 30s, 40s or 50s, be sure to find a plastic surgeon who has experience in a range of breast procedures and can create a natural-looking result.

The Do’s and Dont’s of Recovery for Breast Augmentation

Sunday, February 13th, 2011
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Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed today. With multiple techniques for this procedure, as well as a variety of options for implant placement, size, shape, and texture, recovery can vary considerably. Discussing your recovery with your Los Angeles plastic surgeon is helpful when considering the procedure. There are, however, general rules of thumb that I tell all of my breast implant patients, including the do’s and don’ts of recovery.

Do’s:

  • Follow all of your doctor’s aftercare instructions.
  • Allow ample time for your body to recover – don’t overdo it.
  • Sleep on your back.
  • Move around. Being mobile will help reduce your chances of blood clots.

Don’ts:

  • Do not smoke before or after your surgery. Smoking will significantly increase the amount of time it will take to recover (and negatively impact your overall health).
  • Don’t resume strenuous activity until your doctor allows you to.
  • Do not lift anything above your head or do any stretches that will open or pull your sutures.
  • Don’t submerge your sutures in a bathtub until they have completely closed.

These are some general tips that I tell all of my breast augmentation patients. However, it is important to talk to your surgeon and get specific details on your post-operative instructions.

Do I Have to Give Up Smoking Before Surgery?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011
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As a Los Angeles plastic surgeon, I have come across many patients who wonder if they really need to quit smoking before having a surgical procedure. To be clear, smoking is one of the worst things you can do voluntarily to negatively impact your health. I would be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t heard of the negative effects of smoking these days. Without going through a laundry list of why smoking is bad for you, let’s look at it from a surgical perspective.

Smoking before your surgery can lead to the following problems:

  • Increased bruising
  • Respiratory problems
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Poor scarring

I understand that for many of my patients, giving up an addictive habit that is part of an everyday routine can be very difficult. But it is important that you consider the risks when you prepare for your surgical procedure. It is recommended that a patient quits smoking at least a month before their surgery, as smoking lowers the body’s ability to deliver important oxygen to all of the organs. This is very crucial during surgery as well as recovery.

So if you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, consider what smoking will do to your surgery and recovery – not to mention your overall health and happiness.

Pros and Cons of Fat Transfer

Sunday, February 6th, 2011
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Fat transfer procedures have been gaining popularity throughout the years, and have received increased attention over the past year as improved science and technology has led to improved outcomes. Fat transfer can be used to augment several different areas of the body, including the face, breasts and buttocks. But fat grafting procedures aren’t right for everyone.

Pros:

  • Typically a shorter recovery time than with implants
  • Allergy-free, since it is your own tissue
  • Can be injected almost anywhere
  • Can fill out hollow areas with long-lasting results

Cons:

  • May need multiple procedures for the desired result
  • Variable results, depending on the patient and surgeon
  • Tissue in the treated area may clump or become lumpy

In some instances, I recommend fat transfer to my Los Angeles face lift patients. Talking to your doctor will help determine if you are a candidate for a fat transfer procedure.

What are your thoughts about fat grafting? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Dr. Grant Stevens

I am a board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience researching and implementing new approaches to plastic surgery. At Plastic Surgery Insider, you get the benefit of my experience and authority when you read my perspectives on the latest news and procedures in plastic surgery.
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