Archive for May, 2012

Breast Implants: A Brief History

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Breast-Implants-A-Brief-His

Breast implants in Los Angeles and across the nation have been popular for years, but they have undergone many transformations. The results are improvements in safety, quality and appearance that my female patients love. One particularly exciting new advancement is the “gummy bear” implant, a silicone-gel implant with a texture similar to that of gummy bear candies. It provides an even more natural look and feel than earlier silicone implants.

Here’s a brief history of just how far breast implants have advanced in terms of safety and quality:

  • In 1961, researchers created the first silicone breast implants at Dow Corning. These first-generation implants were much more likely to leak than the ones we offer today.
  • In 1968, the first saline implants were created. The drawback to these early versions was their fragile casings, which could result in deflation. Also, a “sloshing” noise could sometimes be heard.
  • Silicone implants have gradually gone through a series of improvements, with stronger cover materials and denser, more cohesive gel fillers. Complication rates decreased dramatically, while the quality and appearance of the implants soared.
  • Despite these improvements, in 1992, the FDA banned silicone implants for everyone except reconstruction and revision patients. As a result, saline implants were used for more than 90% of surgeries.
  • In 2006, the FDA gave its approval to silicone implants for women age 22 and older. Women 18 and older can have saline implants.
  • In 2012, Sientra® gummy bear breast implants are approved. Additional crosslinking between the silicone molecules allows these implants to retain their shape, especially in the vertical position.

Silicone implants have continued to advance, with the latest generation called “gummy bear” implants. The gel material is both firm and soft, just like gummy bear candy. It can be pushed, pulled and even cut without dramatically changing its shape. Initial studies show that these new implants are even more effective and safer than earlier ones.

I take pride in the fact that my partner, Dr. Michelle Spring, and I are among a small group of surgeons chosen to use these new silicone breast implants in Los Angeles as part of a clinical study. I look forward to even more innovations in our ongoing effort to provide the best for our patients.

More to Love?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
More-to-Love

Anyone who has struggled with obesity can tell you the battle is a challenging one to win. For that very reason, one of the most satisfying procedures I perform in Los Angeles is liposuction. For many men and women, liposuction is the final step in a long and dedicated weight-loss journey. It achieves the sculpted body they envisioned when they first made the decision to shed their excess pounds.

It’s important to understand that liposuction is not a way to help you lose weight. You’re a good candidate for the procedure only if you have reached your weight goal but still have small, stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet or exercise. Once you’ve reached that point, liposuction can put the icing on the cake of your weight-loss transformation.

As a result of advancements in liposuction technology, many different techniques are now available. This means liposuction can now be even more effective for body sculpting.

In the past, skin elasticity has been a key factor in determining whether liposuction is the right body contouring solution for you. Now, Smartlipo™, one of the newest liposuction options, includes the ability to tighten skin, making it a good choice for those whose skin has less elasticity.

What do you think? I invite you to share your thoughts with us as to how liposuction can complete your transformative journey.

What’s the No. 1 Procedure in America?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
whats-the-number-one-proced

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the most popular procedure in the U.S. is breast augmentation. My Los Angeles practice regularly receives inquiries from women eager to learn more about the procedure and how it might help them achieve the figures they desire.

Here’s the inside story:

  • The ASPS reports that in 2011, more than 300,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed, up 4% from the previous year.
  • For women with small breasts, going from a size 32A, for example, to a 34C can dramatically improve their appearance and self-esteem.
  • Significant weight loss, pregnancy or breastfeeding can lead to sagging breasts that have a “deflated” look. By choosing breast enhancement surgery, women with these issues can restore their breasts, giving them a more youthful appearance.
  • Where appropriate, I can combine breast augmentation with another procedure. For example, a popular combination is a breast lift with augmentation. This combined surgery can elevate the breasts while adding volume, resulting in beautifully shaped and well-positioned breasts. For women who have lost significant weight and have sagging tummy skin, a tummy tuck combined with breast augmentation can be the ideal way to achieve the smooth silhouettes they desire.
  • The Huffington Post recently published an article about gummy bear breast implants, the “new wave of silicone breast augmentations.”

Long-Lasting Breast Support

Monday, May 7th, 2012
Long-Lasting-Breast-Support

For years women have been turning to me for the most advanced breast enhancement procedures in Los Angeles. Breast reduction and breast augmentation provide great solutions for women who are concerned with the appearance of their breasts, but many patients want a way to extend the results of their surgeries.

To meet this growing need, I developed the Stevens Laser Bra. This uses laser power to tighten skin and breast tissue for a more youthful appearance. Patients often find that this creates better and longer-lasting results when combined with a breast enhancement procedure.

During surgery, the excess skin that is normally discarded in a breast lift is treated with a laser and attached to the patient’s chest wall, supporting the breast and delivering beautiful, long-lasting shape and position. This allows the surgeon to create a tighter, more youthful appearance.

One of the benefits of combining the Stevens Laser Bra with breast augmentation or breast reduction is that both procedures are performed at the same time. If you think that a Stevens Laser Bra could help you meet your cosmetic goals, I recommend speaking to a surgeon who is trained in this procedure.

CoolSculpting®: Freeze the Fat

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
CoolSculpting-Freeze-the-Fa

There’s a buzz going on about the new alternative to liposuction in Los Angeles: CoolSculpting. People with a healthy body weight are finding this innovative procedure helps get rid of fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise.

  • The Treatment: With no incisions or anesthesia needed, patients can enjoy a comfortable procedural process with no downtime. A cooling device is placed over the treatment area to freeze unwanted fat cells. Surrounding skin and tissue are not affected, and patients can return to normal activities immediately.
  • Treatment Areas: This FDA-cleared procedure is most commonly used on the abdomen. My patients have also had success when CoolSculpting is used to treat the flanks, back, arms, buttocks, thighs, hips and waist.

While CoolSculpting is a great alternative to liposuction, sometimes patients need a surgical procedure to achieve the results they desire. The best way to determine which option is best for you is by talking with a qualified medical professional who offers a range of treatments.

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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