What is a mommy makeover?
This describes a combination of procedures to address unwanted changes that occur during and after pregnancy. It typically involves a tummy tuck with or without liposuction and breast enhancement with a lift, augmentation, or reduction.
What is a Lifestyle Lift and how is it different from a traditional facelift?
Lifestyle Lift is actually a medical practice started by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in Michigan in 2001. The company now employs about 80 surgeons across the country who do the procedure either part time or full time. The procedure is a minimal flap facelift that only raises a small amount of skin and only tightens a portion of the deep tissues of the face just in front of the ear. It is done under local anesthesia and takes about an hour. While there may be some patients that are good candidates for a “minimally invasive” facelift, this procedure is not for everyone. Aside from the limited nature of the correction, the structure of the practice, in my opinion, minimizes one of the most important aspects of any surgical practice, the doctor patient relationship.
Are silicone implants really safe?
Yes. In 1992, a moratorium on silicone implants was imposed and a nationwide study of the devices was initiated. From 1992 through November 2006, nearly 300,000 women were enrolled in the study. After reviewing the data, the FDA found no correlation between silicone breast implants and any human disease, and in November 2006, they were given pre-market approval. In fact, there is no other implantable device that has as much data to support it’s safety as silicone breast implants.
Do silicone implants still leak?
While the outer silicone rubber shell of an implant can still wear out, “leak” is no longer the best word for the consequences of that. The silicone that fills the implant used to have the consistency of honey. Since 1989, implants are now filled with a cohesive gel that is more solid than liquid. These devices still have a soft, natural feel, but the material does not ooze through the tissues like their older counterparts. Highly cohesive gel implants or the so-called “gummy bear” implants are currently under investigation.
Do implants have to be replaced every 10 years?
No. Implants do not have a pre-determined shelf life. As long as the device is intact and the patient is happy with her shape and volume, the implant does not need to be exchanged.
How do fillers work and which is best for me?
This is a complex question because there are many types of soft tissue fillers that are commonly used today. They can be injected in various places to correct deep wrinkles, add volume to lips or cheeks, or even provide a “lift” to certain areas of the face. Some of the more common fillers are synthetic forms of a natural substance called hyaluronic acid. These include Resylane, Perlane and Juvederm. These are soft fillers that are commonly injected in the deep layer of skin to improve lines. They can also be injected in the lips to add fullness or correct wrinkles. Another commonly used product is Radiesse, which is a calcium based filler that can also be injected in the deep layer of the skin to improve wrinkles or can be injected deeper. Because it is a bit firmer than the hyaluronic acid products, it is not recommended for use in the lips, but it can be injected on top of bone, to augment the cheeks or chin. It can also be used to rejuvenate aging hands. All of these products also stimulate the body to produce collagen, which can improve skin tone and texture. Another strategy is to inject a product that works almost exclusively by stimulating your body to produce more collagen. Sculptra is made of poly-L lactic acid. It is different from the others in that the product itself adds little volume. It is the body’s response to the product that produces the change. This happens gradually over several weeks and can last years, rather than months. Each of these has applications in rejuvenating the face or hands and often a combination of products can give the best result.
What if I want my skin to look younger, but I’m not ready for a surgical lift?
Many men and women fall into this category. Options include fillers, as discussed above, Botox or Dysport to improve dynamic lines, or resurfacing procedures. There are three basic ways to resurface the skin: chemically (peels), mechanically (dermabrasion), or with a laser. Chemical peels include light peels with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid or malic acid. These are relatively noninvasive with little or no down time. More aggressive peels include retinoic acid and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels. The most aggressive and deepest peels are done with phenol/croton oil. These deep peels produce the most significant results, but carry the highest risk of scarring.
Laser resurfacing is another option. Once again, these range from a “lunchtime” procedure with little or no down time, to a procedure done under a general anesthetic with a 3 – 6 week recovery, depending on the depth of treatment. The ablative CO2 and erbium lasers produce the most dramatic results by damaging the top layer of skin and creating blistering. When the skin heals itself, it is smoother and tighter, much like a zamboni on an ice rink.
These procedures are very effective at improving textural and pigmentary inconsistencies in skin. They can remove fine wrinkles, age spots, and acne scarring. They also tighten the skin and can produce significant improvement around the eyes and mouth.
What are the different types of liposuction?
A number of technologies have been employed to improve the outcomes of liposuction. Most of these involve adding energy to the cannula (small tube used to remove the fat). Commonly used are power-assisted liposuction (PAL), which adds vibratory energy to the cannula; ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL, VASER), which adds ultrasonic energy to the cannula; water-assisted liposuction (WAL), which adds hydro energy to the cannula; laser-assisted liposuction (SmartLipo), which adds laser energy to the cannula. These technologies not only facilitate the removal of fat, but can improve the quality of the skin in the area.