Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Swimming Guidelines Following Cosmetic Surgery

Patients are eager to return to normal activity as soon as possible following cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, returning to normal activity too soon can result in an increased potential for complications.

Swimming and spending time in the Jacuzzi are both activities that could potentially have negative consequences if resumed too soon. Theoretically, once the skin edges have sealed in about 48 hours following surgery, these activities can be resumed. In reality, many patients have drains in place for three weeks or longer. Additionally, small absorbable interrupted sutures may break through the skin and become exposed. In this situation, infection could occur in a patient who is submerged in a Jacuzzi, pool, pond, or ocean. Each of these environments may have unique, and in many cases, antibiotic resistant bacteria that could lead to a significant infection.

In addition, plastic surgeons generally don’t recommend resumption of strenuous activities for at least six weeks following cosmetic surgery. Swimming can create significant strain on the core muscles of the abdomen and should therefore be avoided in the immediate post-operative period.

Finally, skin may not have normal sensation immediately after surgery. This can potentially lead to burns and scald-type injuries from a hot Jacuzzi.

It’s important to remember that every patient’s procedure and postoperative course is unique. For these reasons, make sure you consult your plastic surgeon before getting into the water.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants have the potential to look and feel natural following breast augmentation surgery. This requires adequate soft tissue coverage of the implant and the selection of an appropriately sized implant.

When adequate soft tissue coverage is present, the breast looks and feels natural. When soft tissue coverage is inadequate, the breast may not feel normal and rippling may be present.

Adequate soft tissue coverage is more likely if the patient has a moderate amount of her own breast tissue and the implants are placed underneath the muscle. Under these circumstances, the breasts are more likely to feel normal and also have less rippling. The use of large implants would have the opposite effect because the soft tissue coverage would be inadequate.

In patients who have minimal breast tissue and a thin body habitus, an artificial feel and rippling may be unavoidable. In this situation, silicone implants in a submuscular position may be necessary to obtain a natural look and feel.

A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon will help determine the appropriate style and size of breast implant. It would not be unreasonable to expect a natural feel and look with saline implants. With a reasonable starting breast volume, moderate-sized saline implants and submuscular positioning should give excellent results.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What is a Mommy Makeover Surgery?

The mommy makeover is one of the most popular operations performed by plastic surgeons. The procedure is a combination of cosmetic breast surgery, liposuction, and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). It has been designed to correct changes that occur normally with pregnancy.

During pregnancy and breast-feeding, the breasts typically increase in size. After pregnancy and breast-feeding, a variety of scenarios may occur. In some cases, the breasts may not return to their previous sizes. In this situation, a breast reduction may be necessary. In other cases, the breasts will shrink to their previous sizes, causing excess, saggy skin that may require a breast lift. Some patients will lose volume and require a breast augmentation, while others will have sag and volume loss and require a breast augmentation and breast lift. 

The abdominal wall is also affected. It becomes stretched and there is usually redundant, saggy skin, stretch marks, and weakened muscles. This will require abdominoplasty, mini abdominoplasty, or abdominal wall liposuction. Women also frequently note an increase in fat accumulation in their hips and thighs—these patients will typically require liposuction. 

There are multiple advantages in performing these procedures in combination. These include an improved overall result, lowered cost, and single recovery. Patients typically report increased self-esteem, self-image, and an overall improvement in the quality of their lives. For these reasons, the mommy makeover is one of the most popular operations that is currently performed in plastic surgery.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is There An Age Limit for Breast Augmentation?

We frequently see women in their fifties and sixties who request breast augmentation. In the vast majority of these patients, breast augmentation can be performed without any difficulty.

It’s important to realize that as we get older, changes occur in our bodies.  These changes are often related to multiple pregnancies.  In many cases, they have developed loss of breast volume and associated breast sag.  For these reasons, many of these patients will need breast lifts at the time of their breast augmentation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Surgical Drains Following Tummy Tuck Surgery

Drains are frequently used in the postoperative period in abdominoplasty patients to minimize the potential for seroma formation. Drains are usually left in place for 7 to 14 days following surgery. They are usually removed when drainage drops below 25 cc per 24 hours.

The management of surgical drainage varies from patient to patient. Each patient has a unique surgical anatomy and surgical procedures are modified for each individual patient for these reasons.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Simultaneous Mommy Makeover & Hysterectomy

Once a woman makes a decision to undergo a hysterectomy, it often represents the beginning of a new phase in her life. Many of these women hope to reverse the changes associated with pregnancy by undergoing a mommy makeover at the time of their hysterectomy. The mommy makeover often includes cosmetic breast surgery, abdominoplasty, and liposuction with a hysterectomy.

When a hysterectomy is added to a mommy makeover, it adds significantly to the operating room time. This usually results in the procedure being done on an inpatient basis, as opposed to an outpatient basis. It’s important to have good communication between the plastic surgeon and gynecologist so that the procedure is well-choreographed to minimize operating room time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Impact of Weight Gain Following Tummy Tuck

Significant weight gain can occasionally occur following tummy tuck surgery.  In the vast majority of abdominoplasty patients this is not a problem.  In abdominoplasty patients, life-style changes are often an important part of their recovery. They tend to watch their diet and exercise more frequently.

Unfortunately, when weight gain following abdominoplasty occurs, the impact upon the procedure can be significant. Many of the original problems such as loose, saggy skin, weakened muscles, and stretch marks can be recreated.