State of the Art of Breast Reconstruction Techniques

When I think back to my first plastic surgery rotation as a medical student in the early 1990’s breast reconstruction was performed much differently then. During this time period the silicone implant crisis was at its peak, women were skeptical of breast implants, and the majority of reconstruction surgeries were with TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominus) flaps requiring large skin paddles because the breast surgeons were much more invasive in the way breasts were removed. Today silicone breast implants are safe and available in many sizes and shapes, providing patients and surgeons many more options than ever before. The technique of breast removal (mastectomies) have become much more selective, even being able to spare the nipple-areolar complex in many cases; therefore the need to transport new skin into the area is less often required in primary reconstruction. The advent of soft tissue regeneration with the addition of bio-matrices such as Acellular dermal matrices and guided tissue regeneration materials such as textile silk meshes have revolutionized the outcomes in prosthetic reconstruction. Without question one of the greatest advances in breast reconstruction is the art and science of fat grafting which can augment selected areas of volume deficiencies, improve the overall shape, and restore the health of the overlying tissues which has been previously damaged by radiation therapy.

FullSizeRender (005)

Dr. Pat Maxwell coined the term “the bio-engineered breast” which utilizes acellular dermal matrix grafts and fat grafting to rejuvenate the soft tissues surrounding breast implants after mastectomies. I have been modifying these two techniques in my practice since 2004, which has vastly improved outcomes in both primary and revision breast reconstruction. Fat grafting has provided plastic surgeons the ability to selectively sculpt and shape breasts like never before. Implants can only occupy and provide shape and volume in specific locations on the chest and breast. Fat can influence any area desired to be modified similar to photo shopping in pictures. Fat already occupies the majority of a natural breast volume therefore restoring a reconstructed breast to normal form and function with less donor site morbidity is seen with harvesting large flaps from the abdomen and buttock region. This truly is an exciting time in plastic surgery to provide excellent results with less invasive techniques, especially compared to the past.

In addition to the soft tissue restoration procedures the new silicone gel implants have also contributed to better outcomes. The fifth generation silicone gel implants (Gummy Bear Implant) are a very cohesive polymer which maintains three dimensional shape. This for me has two advantages; the first is that we can offer implants which can more easily match a patient’s unique chest wall architecture such as creating an implant narrower in width and taller in height (for a tall thin lady) or shorter and wider for a small wide chested woman combined with a fuller projection in the lower half of the breast mirroring a normal breast shape that will have adequate volume but will not encroach on the arm pit region or have an over expanded upper pole appearance. The second advantage of these implants are the result of a stiffer polymer which resists forces of capsular contracture that have been demonstrated to be a major cause of revision breast implant surgery. With the use of bi-dimensional conceptual planning through meticulous measurements we can offer a more customized approach to reconstruction and we can educate patients on their options with a three dimensional imaging system (Vectra) to demonstrate the effect of different shapes and volumes on their potential outcomes.

Even women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and elected to undergo “breast conservation techniques” with a lumpectomy and radiation therapy can frequently experience distortions of the breast. The affected breast can shrink in volume and change in shape compared to its baseline and with the opposite breast as a result of surgical removal of tissue coupled with imposed radiation fibrosis changes to the tissues which are permanent and progressive. In my practice I see a number of these women and have been successful in reducing deformities and restoring shape and volume with the use of internal scar release combined with fat grafting. The amount of hard woody scarring of the overlying skin can often be suppler after treatment. Contour deformities which often occur directly in the surgical field where tissue was removed can be restored in shape and volume leaving a softer breast that is more symmetric with the opposing side.

I am very proud of my field of plastic surgery which by its very nature attracts thoughtful and innovating disciples of this surgical specialty leading to a continuous evolution of scientific insights that opens the door for continuous improvements in the care we can provide patients. Breast cancer reconstruction is just one small piece that is being tackled by our field of study.

The mommy makeover-Is it right for you?

Being a mom is one of the most challenging, frustrating, yet rewarding experiences a woman can have. You put forth blood sweat and tears, not to mention an untold strain on your whole body during pregnancy. It really boils down to the genetics of your skin and fascia as to how well you can bounce back after the weight gain and abdominal stretching from your baby. Many women lament that despite dieting, exercising and lots and lots of willpower your body is never the same as it was prior to child bearing. Fortunately for the masses of dissatisfied women there are options in Plastic Surgery to boost your self- confidence and your body image. Here is a list of body corrections (Mommy Make-over) that can be performed in tandem or separately to improve the shape and how you feel about your physique.

mommymakeoverwebsite

Breast:
During pregnancy the glandular component of the breast must enlarge to ready for the enhanced production of milk. Additionally weight gain with fat storage all governed by the hormonal changes can increase the breast size immensely. Unfortunately fetal regulation also makes skin “stretchy” to accommodate the increased girth of the breast and abdomen. After the resumption of normal non-pregnant hormones and the lack of need for lactation the breast volume will revert back to baseline and can even reduce in overall size compared to the original baseline. Unfortunately many times the skin does not have the ability to shrink to the original size and will stay expanded resulting in a larger skin brazier with same or even less fill than before resulting in “saggy” breast shape. With increased skin length from the breast fold to the nipple it moves the breast mound lower on the chest with less upper pole fullness. I hear many women call their breasts “sad” in appearance when they come in for consultation. Ok enough depressing thoughts… what can be done? If the skin is not excessively enlarged, the nipple-areolar complex is correct and the fold to nipple distance is not greatly elongated the solution can be to place a silicone gel implant to act as a shaper and a filler of the breast envelope restoring a pleasing breast shape. If the breast has a low positioned nipple-areolar complex, with or without increase skin length from the fold to the nipple-areolar complex, then a mastopexy (breast lift) is required. Often times tissue volume might need to be enhanced to provide better shape and upper pole fullness, thus an implant or fat grafting can be incorporated at the same time. Sometimes upper pole fullness can be accomplished by transposing extra breast tissue in the lower pole and positioning it on the chest wall deep to the rest of the breast to enhance fullness.

Abdomen:
Hormones during pregnancy direct adaptive body changes that allow healthy growth of the baby but unfortunately create lasting changes to a women’s body. The abdominal skin stretches and often can result in stretch marks (tears in the dermis with intact epidermis). Excess skin rarely retracts in these cases leading to hanging skin that drapes over the pelvis. Next the abdominal wall is distorted to accommodate the growing fetus resulting in separation of the paired rectus muscles leading to increased abdominal circumference with permanent bulges in the abdominal wall both above and below the umbilicus. This unfortunately cannot be reduced with abdominal exercise because the stretched fascia between the muscles is not contractile and will not respond to muscle strengthening. Additional weight changes with aging often can be manifested with increased abdominal girth from excess fatty tissue. So what can a Mommy Make-over achieve in the abdomen?
If skin quality is excellent and the abdominal wall is only minimally distorted often liposuction with the addition of additional energy sources such as ultrasonic energy (VASER), oscillating power hand-piece (PAL), or hydraulic power can result in removal of excess fat and create skin retraction/redistribution to improve contour. However, many women will need a full abdominoplasty with correction of excess fat with liposuction, removal of excess lower abdominal skin with tissue resection, and abdominal wall restoration by returning the rectus muscles together with a permanent suturing technique. This can result in excellent contour of the abdomen but you will trade the contour for a scar. I find most people are surprised how long the scar has to be to create the contouring necessary. Once acquainted with the results, most women will gladly trade a scar for the results of a flat smooth abdomen.

Back and Flanks:
Some women can realize their goals by correcting the anterior abdomen by itself. However many women if given the opportunity would love to three dimensionally correct their torso by sculpting their midback (bra line folds) and flanks (muffin tops) at the same time as their abdomens to circumferentially adjust their shape. This can make a tremendous change on how clothing can be worn and how the individual feels about themselves. Liposuction with either PAL or VASER makes a great deal of improvement by releasing all the ligamentous attachments between the back and flanks and the superficial skin (which results in rolls on the back) and allows even removal of fat and the skin to re-drape much smoother.

Legs:
Some women naturally store adipose tissue in their lateral or medial thighs. Depending on the skin quality and the potential for the tissue to re-drape or tighten, fatty tissue can be sculpted just as on the back. Some have significant adipose tissue below the knee down to the ankle. I generally do not add the additional power source with liposuction in this area and have achieved good results.

Buttock:
Popular trends in body shape can change just like in fashion over time. The introduction of the Latin culture into the United States in conjunction with pop culture personalities have made the appearance of a full contour buttock something to aspire to. My preference for buttock augmentation is with fat grafting and not with a prosthesis. Utilizing concepts of tissue equilibration and liposculpturing we can remove unwanted fatty tissue, harvest it as a graft, and utilize the fat as a volumizer of the buttock- while improving the contour of the rest of the body. Women who have gained and lost weight may have loose sagging skin of the buttock and restoring volume can shape and lift the buttock with little or no scarring.

Women who are unhappy with their physical appearance after giving birth to one or multiple children can restore the body to a better place with a Mommy Make-over. To me this represents more than one area of the body to be rejuvenated simultaneously to make the woman feel refreshed and erase some of the “battle scars” of pregnancy so she can feel more confident in her appearance.

Save

What is a reverse abdominoplasty, and who needs it?

Reshaping the contour of the abdomen is frequently requested in my office consultations. The most common techniques are various forms of liposuction with or without an abdominoplasty. Another tool in our repertoire which can yield effective results is the “Reverse Abdominoplasty.” The classic indications for a regular abdominoplasty is a torso which has loose excess inelastic skin of the lower abdomen, abdominal wall rectus muscle separation (diastasis), and varying degrees of excess fatty tissue. The technique eliminates the excess skin and fatty tissue in the lower abdomen, reconnects the rectus muscle together to tighten the abdominal wall, and excess abdominal fatty tissue can be reshaped with liposuction to provide a pleasing shape. A Reverse Abdominoplasty is chosen for the individual who has loose excess skin in the upper abdomen, who generally does not have a full diastasis which is affecting the lower abdominal contour, and may have excess fatty tissue in the lower abdomen without skin excess. The technique is to start with incisions that follow the lower breast fold then cross the lower sternum to connect both sides of the abdomen. These scars generally hide very well even in two piece bathing suites. The full thickness skin is elevated down the abdomen preserving the vital blood supply on either side of the belly button. If upper rectus muscles need to be tightened this can proceed. Any abdominal fatty excess can also be corrected with liposuction at this time. The elevated released excess abdominal skin can be addressed in several ways depending on the needs of the patient:

1. If a women who has the upper abdominal skin excess and also desires rejuvenation of the breast the excess elevated skin of the abdomen can be utilized as a self-augmentation under the breast to provide added fullness and shape. This is often done in conjunction with a breast lift (Mastopexy) and can avoid the need and expense of an implant. I have even performed this procedure with a woman who many years ago had bilateral mastectomies for breast cancer and we reconstructed her with implants. She had experienced some weight fluctuation and was becoming very active and requested the elimination of her breast implants but still desired a smaller breast to remain. We utilized a reverse abdominoplasty skin excess, removed the outer skin, and placed it in her implant space to fill the void and added tissue volume and shape provided with fat grafting harvested from her back, thighs, and lower abdomen giving her a smaller but still reasonable breast shape.

2. The Reverse Abdominoplasty could be incorporated as part of a treatment plan to tighten the upper abdominal contour. After the incision and elevation of the abdominal excess loose skin, the surgeon can remove the undesirable portion and fixate the remaining tissue to the rib fascia of the lower breast fold to avoid the scars from migrating inferiorly thus preventing the exposure of the scars on the upper abdomen. I have used this as a primary surgical procedure for women with loose skin of the upper abdomen that would not respond favorably to liposuction alone. I have also used this as a secondary procedure on women who have previously had an abdominoplasty with good results but over time the lower abdomen has maintained its results yet the upper abdomen has become loose and has excess as a result of weight changes, sun exposure, and of course gravity. The excess skin can be removed providing a nice tight appearance to the whole abdomen.

3. Another situation for the reverse abdominoplasty is for a women with loose upper abdominal skin combined with previous augmentation mammoplasty in which the implants have become mal-posed and have drifted inferior and lateral to the correct position. In this case the excess elevated tissue can be utilized as a autologous (meaning from your own body) soft tissue sling to help reposition and stabilize the implant similar to an Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) graft without the significant added cost of the product to provide long lasting results.

One of the aspects in my profession of plastic surgery I am most proud of is the innovative nature of the field. We take problem sets that patients present to our office and we create unique methods that achieve a sound result with the least amount of surgery and the lowest costs to ensure successful and happy patients. The Reverse abdominoplasty is an example of one of these off shoot procedures which fills a vital niche in my practice.

Jay H. Lucas, MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgery, MOC 2012
The Lucas Center, Plastic Surgery
Knoxville, Tn.
thelucascenter.com

How to be “Sun smart”

I love experiencing the sun and all the activities surrounding its presence such as boating, swimming, hiking, and cycling. My mood is immediately elevated witnessing its warm glow. Yes there are many benefits to the sun’s rays such as stimulating the production of Vitamin D which is essential in calcium and bone metabolism as well as supporting the immune system. It chases away the blues of seasonal affective disorder and is essential for life. However there is a risk benefit ratio to being exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Following is a list of downsides to sun exposure. File May 11, 2 23 07 PM

1. The ultraviolet rays of the sun damages the DNA in our skin cells which can result in malignant transformation of cells such as basal, squamous, or melanoma. The latter can be lethal. Therefore minimizing the harmful UVB rays can reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Sun screen is not a one -time application for a whole day of exposure. It needs to be repeated at least every two hours or more often depending on water or perspiration which can reduce the effectiveness of the prevention. Sun damage is additive over a life time but taking breaks from the harmful rays can allow the tissue to heal and repair some of the mild DNA damage. Therefore year- long tanning such as tanning beds should be discouraged.
2. Exposure of both UVA and UVB rays will damage the elastin fibers in the skin permanently resulting in loose less compliant skin. This will result in the skin of the face, arms, breast, abdomen, thighs, and knees to hang and appear loose. No exercise will tone the damaged skin. Therefore protect your largest organ system, the skin, by shielding the sun with appropriate hats, clothing, and sun screen.
3. Splotchy color changes to the skin. With increased sun exposure the skin will upregulate melanin production resulting in pigmentation changes that are less than attractive and are extremely difficult to reverse.
4. Thinning of the dermis which can result in the appearance of capillaries giving a red appearance around the nose and cheeks.

Everyone wants to have that sun kissed glow to the skin. I wish I had a dollar for every time a women says tan fat looks better than pale fat. Just remember the list above and understand a large sun exposure that creates a nice tan for around a week or so causes a lifetime of damage that can result in potential skin cancer and many vexing maladies of the skin giving a marked aged appearance over time.
Fortunately if you have experienced the above sun damage we can help. A combination of good home skin care with Skin Medica products, chemical peels to remove damaged skin and remove pigmentation changes, and microneedling which can result in collagen induction and improved dermal thickness and skin tone. More educational BLOGS are available on our website. www.thelucascenter.com

Why less is more: the trend toward natural looking breast enhancement

Fashion trends change, and so do accepted ideals for body appearance. The influences of Latin culture on American norms have triggered an explosion in the demand for buttock enhancement with fat grafting, which was first popularized in Brazil. Another trend patients are requesting is a more conservative and natural looking breast enhancement. A recent survey in California found that women are not looking for an oversized breast enhancement and desire a more subtle appearance. This is a healthier choice for women to choose.

shutterstock_328932494
Due to the prevalence of evidence-based medicine and FDA demand for data on silicone gel breast implants, findings indicate that revision breast surgeries after a primary augmentation mammoplasty are as high as 25 percent. The main reason for these revisions is capsular contracture, but size change is a factor. Thanks to the work of Dr. John Tebetts, Bill Adams and Dr. Dennis Hammond, the concept of calibrating the correct implant size for a given individual based on breast tissue characteristics allows for customization and has reduced revision rates for surgeons who incorporate these findings into their practices.

The idea of putting the largest possible implant into a women’s breast is fraught with potential complications including excess stretch on the tissues leading to thinning of the breast which may result in increased prominence of rippling of the implant, as well as mal-positioning of the device either laterally or inferiorly. This causes an unsightly aged appearance of the breast. The cost of revision can be high if treatment plans include the need for added soft tissue support utilizing acellular dermal matrices or a silk textile mesh to restore soft tissue support of the implants.

Today is a very exciting time in the field of augmentation mammoplasty, because we surgeons have a wide variety of shapes and sizes and silicone gel consistencies to choose from to provide customized results for our patients.

I strive to deliver a primary augmentation of the breast with a correct implant that is sustainable by the body to provide a long-lasting aesthetic result free of revision until the integrity of the implant has failed.

I think in terms of the height and width and projection of the breast independently and choose styles and shapes to match my patient’s desired outcome. I never want people to say that all my breast augmentations look the same. Just as all faces are unique and different, so are breasts. I want to make an individual’s breast look and feel as attractive as possible with long-lasting results. Proportionate breast enhancement is key to achieving these results.

Furthermore, now fat grafting can be performed simultaneously with implant placement, allowing surgeons to correct volume and shape asymmetries, as well as fill in spaces where an implant cannot be placed, such as the cleavage region and the chest wall/implant interface.

If you’re considering an augmentation mammoplasty, take a look at a three-dimensional analysis imaging of yourself. Then discuss your tissue type and pre-existing breast tissue with your surgeon, who will devise a plan to make a customized result that will look attractive and proportional with your frame. A skilled board-certified plastic surgeon will choose an appropriate implant with or without fat grafting to highlight your own unique figure with long-lasting results.

Renew, Refresh, Restore

Spring is here and what a perfect time to refresh your look for graduation, Father’s Day (yes, men do it also!), weddings, or before that fun vacation! It is time to put yourself first, which is hard for so many of us to do. We schedule our physicals and hair appointments. Why not start making appointments to take care of our skin, slow the aging process, and feel more confident? It’s never too early or too late to start. I see patients of all ages, and I will meet with you individually to ensure our goals and expectations are the same. Patients in their early 30’s might want to prevent deeper lines and wrinkles versus the more mature patient that is working to correct volume loss, soften lines, and have a more youthful appearance.

tammy

We have many options to offer depending on your specific goals. I can offer nonsurgical aesthetic treatments, starting with a thorough assessment which includes speaking with you about your concerns, a physical assessment of your face explaining changes I observe from the aging process, and completing a Vectra 3D image. The Vectra 3D imaging is a great tool to assess volume loss in the face, asymmetry and skin quality. We then use this baseline evaluation as a comparison tool during treatments. I also take traditional photos before treatments. It can be overwhelming to take in all this information, so I like to discuss options and come up with a treatment plan to best fit the patient’s desires and budget.

One of our most popular treatments is to use a neuromuscular blocking toxin such as Botox or Dysport to treat frown lines in between the eyebrow, crow’s feet that develop at the corner of the eyes, and forehead creases and wrinkles.

Dermal fillers can address volume loss in the face, reduce lines, wrinkles, and creases on aging skin, create fuller lips, and give the face a more youthful appearance.

My goal is to always keep the patient “natural” looking and make subtle changes to the face. There are multiple dermal filler options. Most are made of hyaluronic acid, which is produced by our own bodies. I select the product based on location and desired effect. Examples are Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, Lyft, and Silk. I love Sculptra which is an injectable poly-L-lactic acid.  It promotes collagen growth, which improves volume loss, creases, and softens lines. It is an excellent choice for volume loss in the temple area. The key is a good facial assessment and working with my patient to decide on the most beneficial products.

Now a word about microneedling – It is an excellent investment in addition to a neurotoxin and dermal filler to address the aging face. A treatment can be done every four to six weeks promoting collagen growth and improving skin elasticity with minimal down time. Microneedling can improve the appearance of fine lines, acne scars, surgical scars, and stretch marks.

At The Lucas Center we have a dynamic team with over 100 years of combined experience in medical and aesthetics. We are privileged to be led by Dr. Jay Lucas, a board-certified plastic surgeon, who provides medical supervision of the aesthetic team. If your needs can’t be met through aesthetic treatments and filler agents, Dr. Lucas will be glad to meet with you through an individualized consultation appointment to discuss surgical treatments.

Do you look in the mirror and notice subtle changes on your face and frown? The aging process can sneak up on us. The Lucas Center can help you feel more confident about your skin and overall appearance. Get summer ready!

Step Ahead with The Lucas Center! Give us a call today at 865-218-6210 to schedule your free consultation with me.

Non-invasive Kybella may improve your neckline

Non-invasive aesthetic procedures have come a long way in the last ten years. The American Society of Plastic Surgery’s yearly statistics continue to demonstrate strong demand for procedures such as neuromodulators (Botox and Dysport), and hyaluronic acid filler agents (Juvederm, Voluma, Restalyn). Recently, non-invasive contouring systems that perform the techniques of cryolipolysis, such as Cool Sculpting and radiofrequency skin-tightening Ultherapy, have emerged in the marketplace. Now Allergan has added Kybella to the mix as a non-invasive injectable material to dissolve fat under the chin.

Before and After

Before and After

The key to success with these treatments is consulting a comprehensive center that offers a full array of non-invasive and surgical options, and will direct you to the ideal treatment modality for your unique circumstances. Just as with any medical and surgical procedure, there are appropriate candidates and patients with contraindications.

The most important step to avoid dissatisfaction is to be evaluated by a physician who is properly trained to perform comprehensive evaluation and care for all patients with a particular aesthetic concern.

Board-certified plastic surgeons have the most comprehensive education and background experience to correctly evaluate your anatomy and determine which treatments will yield the best outcomes. The statement “if all you have is a hammer the whole world is a nail” rings true for medical spas and dermatologist offices which only have one option, such as Cool Sculpting or Kybella. Just because a treatment option is non-invasive does not mean it is inexpensive. If you factor in the cost of multiple treatments, it may be as expensive as surgery and still fall short of expectations.

When is Kybella the right choice?

With the current status of the injectable form of deoxycholic acid (Kybella) the ideal candidate must have reasonably tight skin with only mild to moderate adipose excess in the submittal and chin neck angle. The patient should not have a significant mandibular jaw discrepancy with the midface or have a particularly steep mandibular plain angle.

When is Kybella the wrong choice?

Any patient with lax skin of the neck or a significant deflation of the neck related to weight loss with demarcated platysmal bands is not a candidate. Taking away fat in this circumstance only worsens the deformity. Any patient with a deep underbite and a small chin with a very oblique chin-neck angle should also avoid Kybella. Deoxycholic acid is mostly created to dissolve fat but does produce some inflammation with the caustic material to encourage collagen production and skin retraction. Skin excess with an oblique chin neck angle and recessed chin will not yield overwhelming positive results.

Instead of Kybella, the better option is placement of a chin implant (genioplasty) with aggressive liposuction to encourage skin retraction. A middle facial third with significant skin excess and deflation combined with loose-hanging skin with platysmal bands is best treated with a corset platysmaplasty in conjunction with a neck/face lift.

Non-invasive aesthetic procedures can be a wonderful adjunct to helping people age gracefully with limited down time. Kybella in the right situation may improve necks and make people happy with the results.

Avoid being pushed into this option without a thorough three-dimensional analysis of your face to determine if it’s right for you. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a great deal of money and not realizing your desired results. Even with surgery, some deformities may not be able to be corrected. Take advice from a board-certified plastic surgeon to maximize your goals and to feel good in your own skin.

TLC for Rosacea

Rosacea is a fairly common condition that I see in my aesthetics practice. It is a condition which causes redness and in some stages, small pustules on the face. The redness can occur when blood vessels under the skin become enlarged. Though it is a chronic condition, with no known cure, there are several ways it can be controlled with treatment. During a skin assessment I refer to the Kligman acne rosacea classification scale. The stages of rosacea can range from Stage I-Pre- Rosacea, Stage II-Mild Rosacea, Stage III-Moderate Rosacea, to Stage IV-Severe Rosacea. In office facial treatments include a combination enzyme/AHA, mild chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, preformed once a month. In addition to having regular professional skin treatments, I recommend that clients follow an at home regimen to help minimize flare ups. SkinMedica’s Sensitive Skin Cleanser is specially formulated to protect highly sensitive skin. Active ingredients include chamomile flower extract to neutralize irritants, cucumber to calm skin, and marigold which has soothing properties. Follow cleansing with Redness Relief Complex. Redness is reduced with Calmplex (4-Ethoxybenadehyde) and niacinamide to improve barrier function of the skin increasing moisture content by reducing trans epidermal water loss. Please give us a call at The Lucas Center at 865.218.6210 to set up your first facial treatment with skin assessment.

The bottom line on fat grafting for buttock augmentation

The bottom line on fat grafting for buttock augmentation

 

What is judged to be attractive in women’s body contours changes just like fashion trends in clothing and makeup. The buttock area has reached new levels of interest thanks to the influx of the Latin culture from South America and pop culture’s fixation on the shapely, self-absorbed Kadarshians. Surgeons on the cutting edge of buttock enhancement choose to use fat grafting instead of buttock implants to avoid some very difficult complications.

Thanks in part to Drs. Simeon Wall and Constantino Mendieta’s contributions to the concepts of tissue equilibration and redistribution in body sculpting, fatty tissue can be removed from areas of excess and transposed to areas of deficiency. For example, we can take excess areas like the muffin top and the lateral thigh and place that fat into the under-projected gluteal areas. This creates the idealized hourglass shape of the lower back while framing the buttock from hipbone to the upper lateral thigh and provides volume enhancement to the gluteal region, which also provides a lifting effect. The results can be quite spectacular with limited downtime.

Of course you need to find a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in large volume fat grafting. Often times each cheek of the buttocks will receive as much as a liter of fat per side which is significantly more than what is put into the face, hands, or even breasts. Careful techniques of fat harvesting, fat isolation and reinjection is required to maximize the fat grafting take and the avoidance of nodules and fluid cysts. When performed correctly, the fat retention, which is placed into the buttock, should be around 70% long term. After approximately four months, any fat cell that remains should be a long survivor. Of course smoking can be a cause of less fat retention and should be avoided.

The art of fat grafting and the clinical success of fat transfer for body reshaping have outpaced the basic science of the procedure. Much basic science work needs to be done to better understand the biology of fat and wound healing as well as the actual effects of transference of peripheral stem cells as part of this procedure. However, it has been well documented that fat grafting is safe, has low complication rates in experienced hands, and is highly effective for providing volume and shape to a region of contour deficiency of any part of the body.

Plastic surgeons employ biologic tissue as our medium to create beautiful forms of living art. Fat is a wonderful way to sculpt the human body. It is truly like airbrushing imperfections in three dimensions.

Regardless of the Kardashians over-developed assets, fat grafting is worth the hype. Call 865.218.6210 today or go online to thelucascenter.com to schedule your consultation. I look forward to discussing with you the myriad of options for face, breast and buttock enhancement via fat grafting.

DERMAPLANING BLOG

By Rebecca Ludwig

Dermaplaning is a client favorite as well as a personal favorite of mine for many reasons.  I call it an instant gratification service, and recommend it before any special event.  The main intention for dermaplaning is to allow better penetration of products, masks, treatments, or peels.  For this reason I perform dermaplaning as part of a full facial treatment.  The technique of dermaplaning involves using a surgical scalpel to ablate the surface layers of dead skin cells and vellus hair. All of the accumulated dry dead flaky skin cells are removed, improving the texture of the skin.  The vellus hair is the peach fuzz that many of us experience in certain areas or all over our faces.  By removing this fuzz the skin looks dramatically brighter.  Dermaplaning is a great option for many clients who are unable to use other methods of hair removal, such as waxing or depilatory creams, due to contraindications from topical cosmeceutical products, such as tretinoin, retinoic acid, retinal, etc. Dermplaning can be performed prior to facial peeling to improve the outcome of the facial peel.  Moisturizes, antioxidants, and humectants are easily absorbed post dermaplaning, leaving the skin feeling baby soft. Treatments are typically repeated every four weeks.  Step it Up with The Lucas Center, give us a call at 865.218.6210 today.