What Is Breast ‘Pre-Expansion’ and Why Is It Becoming So Popular?

July 15th, 2014 by

Breast augmentation has been a popular concept for many years, and while there are a few different ways to make it happen, using the patient’s own fat cells is really growing in popularity. With this method, the surgeon transfers fat from other parts of the body into the breasts to make them bigger.

Breast Enhancement

One issue that crops up with standard fat transfer for breast augmentation is the limited amount of fat transfer that can actually take place. The ‘Pre-Expansion’ technique enables surgeons to greatly increase the volume of fat cells transferred to the breasts, for more impressive results.

Why Fat Transfer Is Popular

The concept of fat transfer in general is popular for a couple reasons. For one, with “autologous” fat transfer treatments you get to have liposuction performed on areas like the thighs or hips as part of the procedure. Also, the transfer of a substance from your own body seems more natural to many patients when compared with manmade implants.

Issues with a Conventional Approach

However, as mentioned above using a fat transfer to enlarge the breasts is limited because there is only so much space inside the breasts, so only so much fat may be used. If the surgeon tried to transfer larger volumes of fat, there would be excessive pressure within the breasts and blood flow may be restricted, which could end up killing the new cells.

The “Pre-Expansion” Concept

With the “Pre-Expansion” concept, the work begins a few weeks before the actual surgery with a special tool invented by a surgeon named Dr. Khouri. This device is known as Brava® and it resembles a bra that the patient wears in the weeks leading up to the transfer.

The Brava® provides a gentle vacuum action to the breasts, creating extra room for extra fat transfer. When this device has been used with patients for breast augmentation, the volume of fat cells the surgeons have been able to transfer has tripled in some cases.

The Patient’s Cooperation

Of course, for breast “Pre-Expansion” to work and for the highest amount of fat transfer to be possible, the patient’s cooperation is essential. The Brava® device is not painful, but it can be a little cumbersome and inconvenient, so leaving it on as long as suggested is sometimes a challenge.

But without the required pre-expansion, the surgeon won’t perform the surgery, so keeping up with the schedule is important. When the Brava® device is used properly, some women have experienced tremendous gains, even doubling their original breast size in some instances. And it is often performed as an outpatient procedure with no incision. If you’ve been contemplating breast augmentation but aren’t sure which way to go, ask about the “Pre-Expansion” technique and see what you think.

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2013 Big Bounceback Year for American Cosmetic Procedures

July 9th, 2014 by

When the big recession hit in 2008, it made sense that cosmetic surgical procedures would take a dip. People with little to no dispensable income don’t generally go out and spend money on surgeries that aren’t medically necessary.

Cosmetic Procedure

It also makes sense that it took a few years to rebound and for the people to start having financial confidence again.

The 2013 Rebound

And that rebound came about in 2013, as the highest amount of money was spent on cosmetic procedures in the US since the recession happened in 2008. In fact, the combined total of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures was a whopping $12 billion in 2013. This total accounts for 11 million different procedures, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Breaking It Down

If you want to get more detailed, $7 billion of the $12 billion was spent on surgical procedures and $5 billion went toward non-surgical procedures. Breaking it down even further, the top five surgical procedures were:

  • Liposuction
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Nose Surgery

The top five non-surgical procedures for 2013 were:

  • Botulinum Toxin (Botox)
  • Hyaluronic Acid (Fillers)
  • Hair Removal
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Photo Rejuvenation

The two highest increases over a one-year period belonged to buttock augmentation and labiaplasty surgery. Men have also been making big strides, as the number of cosmetic procedures they’ve had increased by more than 270% from 1997 to 2013. Some of the most common male procedures have been liposuction, nose surgery, eyelid surgery and male breast reduction.

More Accessible Than Ever

The fact that cosmetic surgery of all kinds is more accessible and socially acceptable than ever likely plays a role in the huge increases, too. Treatments like dermal fillers, Botox, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal and even liposuction aren’t really considered major procedures, and the downtime is usually minimal.

Plus, the advancement of the various technologies makes it seem like you didn’t even have a procedure in many cases. Most surgeons also offer financing and payment plans, so even if a procedure is a little costly you can pay for it over time and still have it performed when you want.

As long as the North American economy remains stable, both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures will probably see a lot of customers in the coming years. More and more people take measures to keep the inside of their bodies young and healthy, and these cosmetic procedures help them look as good as they feel.

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The Ins and Outs of Post Weight Loss Plastic Surgery

July 2nd, 2014 by

Some people may wonder why a person who has just managed to lose a substantial amount of weight would want or need plastic surgery. One of the truths about significant weight loss is that a lot of skin and tissue remains on the body even after the fat has gone. Whether the weight loss occurs through bariatric surgery or lifestyle changes, there still may be work to do before the job is complete.

Post Weight Loss Plastic Surgery

A Negative Within the Positive

If there is a negative nestled within the positive of significant weight loss it is the skin and tissue that is often left behind. Sometimes, a patient can lose more than 100 pounds and still feel self-conscious because of hanging or sagging skin. If there is a large amount of skin, it can still look like fat when it is bunched up under clothing.

That’s not to say that losing a lot of weight is a bad thing. Quite often, a patient who loses a substantial amount of weight moves themselves out of the danger zone for serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea.

But if you still don’t walk with confidence or wear the clothes you really want to wear, some of the effect is wasted. That is why body contouring cosmetic procedures are used to remove the excess skin and tissue so that the real extent of the accomplishment can be seen by everyone.

Not Right for Everyone

Post weight loss plastic surgery isn’t the solution for everyone who has lost weight. There are typically a few conditions your plastic surgery wants to see before agreeing to perform such a surgery.

You can’t have any medical problems that may result in complications from the surgery, you should have realistic expectations, follow a health lifestyle and have maintained your weight loss for at least six months. If these and other conditions set down by your surgeon are met, the procedure will move forward.

Your Consultation Is Key

Like with any plastic surgery, the consultation is the part of the process where all the details are revealed. The doctor gets to see precisely where the problem areas are and can begin constructing a plan to find a solution.

Patient safety always leads the way, but after that your plastic surgeon will determine which procedures will provide the greatest benefit and move you closer to your goals. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it may be a long journey, but you can reach your goals with the right support at every stage of the process.

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How to Know Which Body Contouring Treatment Is Right for You

June 25th, 2014 by

Body contouring is a general term used by plastic surgeons that encompasses several different surgical and non-surgical treatments designed to change a specific part of your body. Some of the common body contouring treatments offered by plastic surgeons include breast augmentation, breast lifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, thigh, arm and butt lifts and fat injections.

Right Surgery For You

One question that many patients face when thinking of having some work done is which body contouring procedure is the right one for them?

Determine Your Goals

Sometimes, the right body contouring treatment to get is plain as day and other times, not so much. If you’re in the “not so much” group, take the time to figure out your goals before you sign on for any specific procedure.

Once you know what you want to accomplish and which areas are causing you the most problems, choosing a treatment becomes that much easier.

Ask Questions

Questions are a wonderful way to help you clear any confusion you may have, and any reputable plastic surgeon will be more than happy to answer any question you have. If possible, make a list of inquiries before your initial consultation and ask any questions that aren’t answered during the examination.

Trust Your Surgeon

Throughout your decision-making process, keep in mind that your surgeon has the experience to know which procedures work best in certain situations. You may be faced with a situation where you’re leaning toward a certain surgery, but after a consultation your surgeon suggests something different.

This can be quite frustrating, but it’s important to trust what your plastic surgeon believes is right for your body. Surgeons like Dr. Sammy Sliwin of the Forest Hill Institute of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have decades of experience and have literally seen it all before. They will explain their reasoning behind the decision and show you how you’ll be better off starting off with one procedure over another.

An Important Caveat

Whatever body contouring treatment you ultimately choose will make a big difference in your appearance and your self-confidence, but keep in mind that you must help sustain the results. Tummy tucks and liposuction will certainly remove unwanted fat, but it can come back if you don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle. Basically, just because you’ve achieved a certain result with surgery doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever, if you aren’t on board. Follow all your pre and post surgery instructions closely, and the results will be everything you wanted.

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Why Are More Men Turning to Buttock Augmentation?

June 18th, 2014 by

There is an interesting trend developing in many plastic surgery circles, and that is an increase in male buttock augmentation. This type of procedure is typically associated with females, but more and more men are putting it on their cosmetic treatment to-do list.

Buttock Augmentation

Noticeable Increase

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that the percentage of males getting cosmetic surgery on their buttocks jumped from 2.2 percent of overall buttock procedures to 6.2 percent in a five year period. The statistics are from 1997 to 2012.

Possible Reasons

When trying to determine a reason for this trend taking shape, we should look at a few different factors. First, some men just have problems adding bulk to their buttocks through exercise and want a more balanced-looking physique. If a man works hard creating the body he wants, but can’t seem to bulk up the backside no matter how much he exercises, butt augmentation is a valid alternative.

Of course, this trend probably wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t socially acceptable for men to visit the plastic surgeon’s office. Society seems more accepting of men and cosmetic surgery than it’s ever been, so many men are taking advantage. Not too long ago, the plastic surgeon was a woman’s domain and it was frowned upon for men to try and boost their appearance surgically.

Fat or Silicone?

Advancements in plastic surgery have made it possible for fat transfers to be used for butt augmentation instead of the traditional silicone implants. Silicone makes the butt look and feel hard and muscular, but transferring the patient’s own fat is more natural and also has impressive results.

With a fat transfer, liposuction is used to remove fat from the abdomen or another part of the body and then it is injected into the buttocks. This technique requires the surgeon to use his or her skills to provide the patient with masculine-looking buttocks that are the right shape and size.

Many surgeons like to use the fat transfer now for male buttock augmentation because when fat is removed from one area and added to the backside, it provides a more dramatic overall effect. Of course, if a patient doesn’t have much fat to spare or they want more predictable results, implants may be the way to go. Like with many plastic surgeries, male buttock augmentation works best on a case-by-case basis, with the surgeon and patient working together for the best possible solution.

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Placing Your Order: What Type of Breast Implant Is Right For Your Body?

June 11th, 2014 by

Sometimes, when a woman makes the choice to have breast augmentation, they really have no idea as to how many different types of breast implants are out there, or how many factors are included in the decision. There’s a lot more to it than simply picking saline or silicone and selecting a size.

Breast Augmentation

Things to Consider

Naturally, the plastic surgeon has a lot to do with the final decision, and there are many different elements to consider when making the right choice. Experienced practitioners like Dr. Sammy Sliwin of the Forest Hill Institute of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery know that things like the diameter of the chest wall, differences in breast tissue volume and each patient’s individual aesthetic goals all play a role when determining the right type of implant.

Round Implants

As the name suggests, a round breast implant has a round shape. They are available in both smooth and textured surfaces, and while some people feel that they create more of a “fake” look, they are still the right choice in certain situations. As an example, if a patient already has a fair amount of natural breast tissue and wants to create a fuller look in her bust line, round implants may be the best choice. Round breast implants are available in several different sizes and various profiles.

Teardrop Implants

Teardrop implants, also known as anatomical implants are newer products that were initially designed for breast reconstruction. Since the intention was to create breasts that looked natural, patients began requesting them for general breast augmentation. Most of the volume in a teardrop implant is at the bottom, and since they can turn inside the pocket, they all come with a textured surface to prevent this from happening. Positioning of teardrop implants is crucial, so seeking out a surgeon with experience in this area is very important.

Smooth or Textured

Breast implants generally come with either a smooth or a textured surface. Implants with a smooth surface will move around freely in the pocket, while textured implants will remain in place. As mentioned above, the tendency for teardrop implants to turn or flip requires them to be textured. Smooth implants have thinner shells than textured, and will usually last longer with lower rupture rates.

Different Profiles

The profile of breast implants is another thing to consider when looking for the right ones. They come in several different profiles, including low, moderate, moderate plus, high and extra full. A patient’s body size and shape, what they want their new breasts to look like and how their natural breasts sit play a role in which profile is best.

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How Otoplasty Benefits Patients of All Ages

June 4th, 2014 by

Otoplasty is the technical name for cosmetic ear surgery, and is a procedure that’s designed to decrease the size of prominent ears and increase balance within the facial features. Having ears that noticeably protrude may not seem like such a big deal, but patients of all ages who are affected report serious issues and take regular measure to keep them covered.

Cosmetic Ear Surgery

Discomfort Through the Ages

Feeling uncomfortable about protruding ears can follow someone from childhood all the way through to their adult years. As children, they may be taunted or teased, then wear their hair longer so they are covered as they get older. Men who would like to have a shorter haircut will keep it over their ears and women will avoid tying their hair back.

After awhile, these cover up techniques just become ingrained into your everyday routine, but that doesn’t make the situation any more tolerable. It’s easy to tell someone that they should just be happy they are healthy or “they’re only ears” but the effects of protruding ears are no less debilitating than issues with any body part.

Surge In Self-Esteem

What many plastic surgeons and patients notice after having otoplasty performed is a big boost in self-esteem. If you suffer from protruding ears and feel self-conscious, the natural looking results can help in a variety of different ways.

There will be no more teasing or bullying, no more looking at the ground or trying to cover them up all the time. Many adults feel more comfortable socially and for kids it can open up a whole new world. They may want to try sports they previously avoided, they will make new friends and they won’t be afraid to approach someone romantically when the time comes.

A Quick Overview

If you’re wondering about the basics of otoplasty surgery, here is a quick overview. The surgery is done while the patient is under general anesthesia and it can take up to two hours in total.

After incisions are made behind the ears in natural creases, folds in the cartilage are reshaped with sutures. More sutures may be needed to pull the ears in closer to the head if that is necessary for a natural look. After the surgery, a head dressing is applied and must be worn for up to 48 hours, but most patients don’t find the procedure overly painful.

Otoplasty certainly isn’t one of the more glamorous types of plastic surgery, but it can have profound effects on the lives of patients who need it, especially for children and adolescents who are looking for social acceptance and need to build self-esteem.

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How Much Plastic Surgery Advertising Is Too Much?

May 28th, 2014 by

It stands to reason that some of the procedures available in most plastic surgeons offices shouldn’t be advertised showing the corresponding body part. However, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has decided to take issue with an ad on NYC subway cars that showed two female breasts, partially covered with the tag line “Made In New York.”

Plastic Surgery Advertising

Of course, opinions on this subject will range from one extreme to the other, but how much is too much when it comes to promoting a cosmetic surgery practice? Plastic surgery is growing in popularity every year, and there is certainly competition amongst surgeons.

They deserve to advertise their services like anyone else, and it makes sense to show some aspect of the body part being marketed. But how far should they be able to go?

Family Friendly Sensibilities

Naturally, one of the issues that governor Cuomo has deals with maintaining a family feel in the subway and everywhere else in the city. However, are partially exposed breasts an affront to family sensibilities? Surely, there have been other advertisements in New York that have been more potentially offensive than this.

It’s important to keep in mind that this may be more an issue of a politician looking to thrust himself into the spotlight and needing a platform to accomplish his goal. Blatantly exposing naked body parts for shock value in order to advertise your plastic surgery practice is one thing, but where do you draw the line?

Parents Doing Their Part

No one is sure yet whether it is the breast or the concept of enhancing breasts that has riled the governor, but the image itself isn’t likely to cause any psychological damage to children or anyone else. If a child does see it and has questions, it is the parent’s role to put it all in perspective, just like with anything else.

Tasteful and Informative

After all, it’s not like anyone is trying to show images of a surgery in progress or visuals of some of the more intimate areas that are routinely augmented and modified through plastic surgery. In reality, you can see more skin walking down the street in New York or any city for that matter.

That being said, people will always have an issue with what constitutes tasteful, so certain standards must be met. It just seems like they were met in this case, which is why the governor’s response is so puzzling to people. As the popularity of plastic surgery continues to grow, and competition increases, issues with ads are sure to continue as well.

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Are Fat Injections the Treatment of the Future?

May 21st, 2014 by

Cosmetic treatments of all kinds are growing in popularity, but one that’s been deemed the “treatment of the future” by some experts is fat injections. Basically fat injections involve taking fat from one area of a patient’s body and injecting it into another area. The procedure can help to slow some of the visible signs of aging and help you maintain a youthful look.

Fat Injections

Common Injection Sites

Fat injections are used to help add volume to certain parts of the body, fix sagging or drooping skin, fill in lines or wrinkles and generally reduce some of the effects of normal aging.

Currently, some of the most common fat injection sites are the area that surrounds the eyes, the forehead and brow area, the jaw line and neck area, earlobes, cheeks, chin, lips and buttocks.

The areas that are subject to wrinkles and fine lines or common filler and Botox sites on the face use fat injections to erase the appearance of those lines. Areas like the buttocks, chin or lips typically use fat injections to add volume and “plump up” spots that are thin or underdeveloped.

Where Is It From?

With fat injections, there is no need to look to chemicals or any foreign substance because the fat comes straight from your own body. The specific area that the fat is harvested from will depend on where there is the most accumulation and where your plastic surgeon feels is best.

Depending on these factors, you may have fat taken from your midsection, thighs, buttocks and/or hips. Keep in mind that the spot you may want to have some fat removed might not be the same one your surgeon thinks is suitable for the procedure. The focus is on the end goal, which is where the fat will be injected.

Fat Injection Benefits

The reason that fat injection are being cited as the treatment of the future is because of the inherent benefits it has shown over other procedures and treatments. To start, fat injections are natural and non-allergenic so you won’t have to worry about foreign substances going into your body.

The results look natural and they tend to last just as long or longer than other treatments. The discomfort factor is reported by most patients as being minimal and the procedure can even help restore collagen levels in the skin because of the stem cells contained in your own fat.

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Is a ‘Camera Ready’ Appearance Necessary For Everyone?

May 14th, 2014 by

Since the “selfie” has become such a big part of everyday culture, many people go to some lengths in order to look just right when they post their picture. This may include taking multiple shots or cleaning it up with tools like Photo Shop, but is surgically altering your appearance really a wise choice?

Necessity For Appearance
Naturally, having plastic surgery to knock a few years off, address a stubborn body part or boost your confidence is one thing, but going under the knife for social media is quite another.

When Looks Pay the Bills

If you’re in a profession where how you look actually determines whether you work or not then having plastic surgery done makes perfect sense. These may include models, actors, some singers and similar professions. If Botox, an eyelid lift or dermal filler can erase lines and years from the face, people in these fields can extend their careers.

Taking It Too Far?

The story mentioned in the introduction deals with a talent agent from Los Angeles who wanted to look better online, so she underwent several plastic surgeries to accomplish her goal. The original report stated that she had rhinoplasty, chin and cheek augmentation and fat grafts. It’s important to keep in mind that these are real surgeries that are subject to all the typical side effects associated with going under the knife.

In the report, the woman stated that she wasn’t satisfied with how she looked during business conversations on Skype, which is what prompted the procedures. Many plastic surgeons offer non-surgical treatments that enhance the appearance and remove lines or wrinkles, so going through these invasive surgeries certainly seems excessive.

A New Reality

Perhaps we are on venturing into a new reality where people feel as though they need to be “camera ready” all the time. Whether the above story is 100 percent accurate or not, there does seem to be more pressure to look our best, especially if we’re involved with social media.

The sad part about all this is that much of the time that pressure doesn’t come from external forces, but from within. We always seem to be harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. Plastic surgery definitely has its place, and there’s nothing wrong with using cosmetic treatments to boost your confidence. Just try to keep in mind that everyone else is aging too, so before you feel like you need to take any drastic measures with your appearance, take a few deep breaths and figure out if this is really necessary.

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