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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.

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Worried about skin rolls around your bra line?
We got your back.

Skin

Many women are uncomfortable wearing form-fitting clothes, because the skin either above or below the bra line creates rolls detracting from the aesthetics of the female back. Unfortunately this can occur at any age. Spanx may hide the problem, but who wants to wear tight undergarments during warm weather months?

Causes: The skin of the back and shoulder must accommodate the wide range of motion of the shoulder girdle. When the arms are raised above the head, the skin in the posterior upper armpit region must stretch to avoid restricting this movement. Over time our skin begins to enlarge and increase in surface area, particularly in the posterior-axillary fold region tapering towards the tip of the shoulder blade. The skin lower in the armpit region and sides along the ribs does not require expansion, but a transitional line or fold can develop and become more pronounced with gravity causing a landslide effect of the skin above. The appearance is made worse with a restrictive band of the bra traversing this region thus forming the dreaded “bra strap fat roll.”

Anatomy varies greatly depending on skin type and quality, body mass index (BMI), and age. In some cases, skin folds are very tight without a great deal of excess fat, but the skin excess is the issue. People with greater BMI scores may have a great deal of fat deposited in this region. The other extreme is the massive weight-loss patient who has very little adiposity but has a great deal of inelastic deflated skin, which hangs over the bra. Each of these types of patients requires different treatments to achieve a pleasing result.

Treatment options: If you have slight increases in fat deposits in your back with deep tight folds, the treatment of choice is suction-assisted lipectomy with the added energy source of either VASER-assisted suction lipectomy (ultrasonic energy), power-assisted suction lipectomy (PAL), which is a mechanical rotating blade effect built into the cannula, or HydraSolve, a heat and water pulsing technique that breaks down interstitial fibers surrounding the fat. All these approaches work by breaking down the ligamentous attachments between the back and the dermis of the skin combined with the inflammatory reaction of the surgical cannulas allowing a re-draping/redistribution of skin to tighten over the back and conform to the new contour.

In my opinion, the results of these techniques are superior to liposuction alone. Non-invasive body-contouring procedures such as cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting) have no mechanism to break down the fibrous insertions to the skin from the deeper fascia, thus no elimination of the tight fold lines will occur.

If you have an elevated BMI and increased adiposity of skin folds, you will also benefit from the above-mentioned techniques of added energy sources with liposuction, but a greater degree of fat removal is necessary. Increased fat volume requires a more cell removal. However, discretion must be utilized to prevent over resection that can result in loose hanging skin on the back.

For the massive weight-loss patient or the person who has a large amount of loose-hanging skin with or without added fat volume, a skin resection technique is often incorporated with a brachioplasty to correct hanging skin of the upper arms as well. My incision choice is a vertical resection of skin along the posterior axillary line angle, which is easily concealed.

If bra line skin or fat excess is detracting from the overall aesthetics of your back, you need a board-certified plastic surgeon to thoroughly evaluate your situation to determine the right treatment option to feel more confident in your own skin. Visit thelucascenter.com or call 865.218.6210 to schedule your personal consultation with me.

Consider custom solutions for a sagging neckline

neck-blog

Consider custom solutions for a sagging neckline

Necklines for both men and women can be a focal point of self-consciousness. However, the etiology of an unattractive neckline can be diverse, so treatment options must be tailored to the underlying cause. There is no one solution for everybody. Careful three-dimensional analysis of the soft tissue and underlying bony structure of the midface, lower jaw and neck are imperative to choosing the correct modality to improve your neckline.

Some common underlying causes of poor aesthetic necklines:

Small lower jaw – If you have a deep underbite despite orthodontics and a short chin, this leads to less bone support of the soft tissues of the jawline and submental region. People with this type of lower jaw may have a very obtuse chin-neck angle leading to redundant skin. An ideal treatment for this situation is bony chin advancement (genioplasty).
If your chin is horizontally too short, then an augmentation with a chin implant is an excellent choice. I prefer the Medpore implant, which is carvable, and screw fixated and becomes an extension of the bone.

Both genioplasty and chin implants can easily incorporate the technique of liposuction as a means of sculpting the soft tissues of the neckline by removing unwanted fat. Liposuction induces collagen production and facilities skin shrinkage and redistribution yielding a pleasing result. This combination therapy can produce a wonderful outcome that makes you look more facially balanced. However, if your skin is too loose and hanging, a more formal neck lift may be preferable to liposuction.

Mid face descent of soft tissues – Aging can affect facial fat compartments leading to decreased volume, which results in the midface falling over time. This sagging increases nasolabial folds and causes lower facial soft tissue to drape over the jawline. A crisper jawline can be restored by replacing missing soft tissue volume in the fat compartments of the midface with filler agents like Voluma and Sculptra or via fat grafting. Subtle volume enhancements can create a nice effect on the jawline without looking like you’ve undergone a surgical procedure.

Gravitational changes to the soft tissue of the neck – Gravity affects all of us. The skin and muscles of the anterior neck begin to pull away over time. The appearance of the platysma muscle medial bellies becomes apparent leading to unsightly banding. In the early stages of gravity-induced changes, treatments such as chemical peels, micro-needling and radio frequency can yield improvements and delay the inevitable soft-tissue sagging.
Ultimately the best treatment option is a face/neck lift. A well performed facelift by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will yield excellent results with longevity of up to ten years depending on how well you age forward and take care of your skin, avoiding further sun damage.

Obesity: People with elevated body mass indices will accumulate increased fat throughout the body. The neck is no exception. Very mild amounts of fat excess with firm, good quality skin may realize improved contours with Kithera (an injectable product that dissolves fat in the neck). However, in my experience, few patients I evaluate are ideal candidates for this treatment. The injection results in inflammation, which can cause collagen production and skin remodeling, but most people need bigger guns to fight the battle. The price of several rounds of injections is as much as a true liposuction with less effective results.

If you have significant fat in the submental region and reasonable skin quality, liposuction can be a great treatment option to uncover a more normal neckline without a lot of expense or downtime. However, a face/neck lift with a corset platysmaplasty is the tried and true corrective option that works very predictably.

If you’re obese and undergo bariatric surgery or make lifestyle changes to produce massive weight loss, you’ll likely develop excess deflated skin that hangs off your face and neck creating an aesthetic deformity. Modifications of standard face and neck lifts must be incorporated to achieve a pleasing result.

The takeaway is that if you’re unhappy with your jaw and neckline, you can improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence by seeking out proper consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon. During the consult, a detailed facial analysis should be performed. Treatment options can be formulated to yield the best results by addressing your unique issues as presented during the interview. No need to hide your neck behind scarves and turtlenecks any longer.

Most commonly requested plastic surgery for men in my practice

In my practice the majority of my consultations and surgeries are on women. But over the past few years I have seen an increased demand of men requesting surgeries as well. Some of this may be related to baby boomers who have taken good care of themselves and desire to look as good as they feel. Other men don’t want their wives to look better than they do after they have been undergoing facial rejuvenation procedures so they request surgery as well.

1. Blepharoplasty: Eyelid rejuvenation
Just as women often show signs of aging around the eyes so do men. The phrase “the eyes are the window to the soul” may well be a true but I would also add the statement the “eyelids are the window treatments through which you see the soul.” Loose hanging furrowed skin, lateral brows that hang over the upper eyelids, and bulging fat pads below the eyelids with accentuated tear troughs put forth the image of fatigue and loss of vitality often resulting in friends and colleges asking if you are tired and are you getting enough sleep. Fortunately surgery to restore the upper eyelids to a crisp appearance with correction of any eyelid droop can be a game changer. The lower lids can be rejuvenated by removing excess fat with reposition this tissue over the cheek to eliminate the tear trough combined with skin and muscle tightening provide a fresh and vibrant appearance. This can be an important not only in social situations but also how a person is viewed in the workplace.

2. Neck lifts
Do you look in the mirror and say to yourself I hate this turkey neck? Is buying dress shirts getting more difficult to find that are comfortable with ties? Despite not gaining weight do you look heavier in the face? If the answer to all these questions is yes a consultation for a neck lift may well be a beneficial idea that is not just for vanity. Ideally a man should have a strong jaw line and a crisp chin neck junction. Having hanging skin with or without fat excess that obscures the jaw line certainly can put forth the image of premature aging of the individual beyond his chronologic age. A neck lift can be a valuable tool to restore your appearance and convey youth and energy without changing your overall appearance or giving an odd appearance. The surgery is very predictable in the hands of a board certified plastic surgeon and is an outpatient procedure with very little pain. Most people can be comfortable in social situation in two weeks.

3. Rhinoplasty (Nose surgery to reshape the appearance)
Proportionality is everything. If you are unhappy with the shape of the nose or how it blends with the rest of the face then request a plastic surgeon to perform a facial analysis of you. If the nose seems big maybe the lower face is out of place such as a small lower jaw or chin. Often times I will perform a chin augmentation with a rhinoplasty to provide a harmonious facial appearance. Nose surgery requires finesse and a keen understanding of the anatomy of the many subunits of the nose. The key is to provide shape without feminizing the male nose. This is also a rather easy surgery to recover from and the patient can return to work within a week usually.

4. Chin augmentation with or without an implant.
As mentioned above the facial subunits should all be proportionate to each other. If the lower jaw projection is limited by lack of growth it can portray a weaker jaw with less of a masculine appearance. By using the correct judgement a plastic surgeon can provide an enhanced projection with the combination of either an implant or repositioning of the bone in combination with liposuction of the jaw line to create a sculpted jaw which projects strength.

5. Liposuction of the abdomen and flanks
If you look in the mirror and the phrase “dad bod “screams out… liposuction maybe something to entertain. An important fact to remember is liposuction with its many variations is a contouring tool not a weight loss technique. I strongly encourage anyone who is considering body contouring should first consider diet and exercise first. If after some toning in the gym and normalized weight you are still unhappy with the shape of your body then liposuction may be a reasonable adjunct to improve the appearance. The abdominal area can be shaped as well as the flanks reduced to provide a sleeker frame. It’s a safe surgery that is easily recovered from and normally patients can return to work in a day or two. Final results take between six weeks and two months to observe the full effect of the reshaping.

6. Gynecomastia repair (Man boobs correction)
If you have excess fat and skin of the breast which can also affect the size and shape of the nipple-areolar complex this can project a very feminizing effect of the male chest. In my experience I have been very happy with the results of the combination of VASER liposuction (ultrasound assisted liposuction) with direct excision of any sub-areolar glandular elements with or without areolar reduction to achieve a masculine chest. This can be a very disturbing condition for a man of any age particularly in the teenage years. We see a bimodal distribution of people seeking treatment; those of the teenage years and men in their late forties and fifties who are seeking help to restore the loss of tone of the chest area.

Plastic surgery has continued to evolve in its perception ever since its creation after World War I. Aesthetic surgery was once viewed as taboo or something to hide because it was perceived to be too self-indulgent, now has become more common place and in the minds of many its presence is look upon as main stream. I think this evolution of societie’s views is related to the strong work of The American Society of Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to ensure that board certified plastic surgeon are well trained and perform safe and predictable surgeries that patients seek and desire with excellent outcomes. Also our population is living longer with better quality of life and people are remaining active and engaged and wish to look as good as they feel and are no longer shy about requesting procedure to keep them looking their best.

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