Dr. Kao believes that the best results are achieved when the correct procedure is performed on the right patient. The Alexandra Breast Lift can be performed with or without implants and can provide beautiful results on specific patients. However, if you aren’t the right patient for this technique, Dr. Kao will evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan that works for you. Stay tuned for our next blog on breast lift candidates and the consultation process.
Doctors on RealSelf stress that post-lipo weight gain can be an issue, if you don’t keep eating a healthy diet and exercising. As Beverly Hills, California, plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken notes in a RealSelf Q&A, “By nature, surgery causes soreness, and patients are usually restricted from full workouts for a period of time after surgery. This explains the weight gains often noticed immediately afterward.” But it’s important to get back into the exercise habit as soon as you’re able. “Some patients gain a false sense of confidence after liposuction,” he says. “If anything, patients should plan on being more active and healthier about their eating habits after surgery than they were before.”
In addition, surgical scars typically heal much more cleanly than accidental trauma and often form a thin, almost imperceptible line. For many of my patients, when the scar is fully mature after one year, it is difficult to see that vertical scar, but scar healing does vary by individual. An important aspect of my surgical patient care is a comprehensive scar care regimen to help optimize your ultimate scar.
Liposuction is very effective for shaping the abdominal area in men and women. The lower abdomen in particular tends to be resistant to diet and exercise, making even the most fit and active individuals insecure about their appearance. Pregnancy and cesarean births can have a disfiguring effect on the lower abdomen, which diet and exercise cannot correct. Most abdominal fat is located directly beneath the skin and can easily be removed through liposuction procedures. However, fat that is located deep in the abdomen (between the intestines) cannot be removed with liposuction because of the increased risk of severe complications. Abdominal liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat via suction. It’s typically done with a thin tube, called a cannula, attached to a vacuum. No matter how healthy your diet or how often you work out, you can still have pockets of unwanted fat that resist your best efforts. With liposuction, an experienced surgeon can remove fat, contouring your hips, thighs, stomach, abs, waist, chin, or other areas.
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A Bra Lift with Laser (Laser Bra Lift): Some doctors will want to use a laser bra lift as an insurance policy that your breasts won’t sag. It’s actually not really an alternative to breast lift surgery as it is an extra procedure. In the laser bra surgery, the laser is used to create a bra-like effect that protects the surgical results of the breast lift. Laser energy will always stimulate the production of new collagen fibers, which give you more support of any tissues. Always look at the before and after pictures to see whether or not you think there is enough improvement.
Any licensed physician can perform liposuction, but it's usually performed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists in their offices with local anesthesia, though it may be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. No special training is required, though some doctors' professional associations recommend it. When choosing a doctor, you may want to consider whether they have had specific training for liposuction and how many they have performed.
When skin is damaged, the body repairs it by creating new collagen fibers, which gives the healing area a different look and texture: a scar. The “mended” skin will be less flexible than the skin around it, and it may have no hair follicles. The scarred skin might be a different color than surrounding skin and the color will change as healing progresses. This is completely natural.
Finally, there’s the so-called scarless lift. Women who are seeking a mild lift but are dead set against leaving scars anywhere on their breasts may opt for a technique that uses a network of dissolving surgical threads inserted through tiny incisions along the collar bone, guided under the breast tissue, and then anchored to the collar bone, to create an internal bra of sorts. Scar tissue forms around the threads, theoretically providing support to lift the nipple.
If you have been told that you require liposuction for medical reasons, you can be certain that insurance will only cover the extent of treatment needed to relieve your symptoms. In many cases, this amount of treatment is not going to result in flattering aesthetics. As such, you should consider the benefits of paying for further treatment that will help you not only achieve relief, but also an aesthetic enhancement that can help you feel confident about your appearance. Many practices, including mine, will work with patients in need of liposuction for medical reasons to determine a more comprehensive treatment plan, often at a discounted rate.
Tummy tucks: One of the most popular forms of body contouring, with a tummy tuck, a doctor can tighten the abdominal region via an incision running between the hipbones. In a full tummy tuck, he or she may also relocate the belly button up higher on the abdomen. By using liposuction to remove excess fat, the doctor can give patients a flatter, trimmer stomach.
The moon-shape (crescent) lift involves a scar hidden along the upper half of the areola border. The donut (circumareolar) lift involves a scar hidden around the entire circumference of the areola border. These scars camouflage very well where the darkly pigmented skin of the areola meets the lighter skin of the rest of the breast. These lifts work well when the nipple is only slightly downward pointing but positioned relatively well on the chest wall. One of the disadvantages of these lifts is that they can only raise the areola up to a maximum of about 2 cm. They also tend to flatten the breast shape and are not ideal when there is saggy breast tissue in the lower pole. Therefore, based on the low position of your nipple areola complex and the amount of breast tissue laxity you have, you would not be a good candidate for either of these lifts.
With this procedure, a surgeon creates an incision on or around the perimeter of the areola and later a second outer incision to remove the “donut” of skin around it. The nipple is sutured back to the breast skin, tightening it in the process. This method provides more lift than the crescent, but again only a relatively small amount of sagging can be repaired.
While the suctioned fat cells are permanently gone, after a few months overall body fat generally returns to the same level as before treatment. This is despite maintaining the previous diet and exercise regimen. While the fat returned somewhat to the treated area, most of the increased fat occurred in the abdominal area. Visceral fat - the fat surrounding the internal organs - increased, and this condition has been linked to life-shortening diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.
Some surgeons prefer to give prospective patients an itemized list of all the anticipated costs of liposuction. These separate costs might include the surgical fee (money paid to the surgeon for his services), anesthesiologist’s fee, operating room fee, pre-operative laboratory test fees, charges for post-operative elastic compression garments, and possibly prices for antibiotics and other recommended drugs. Sometimes itemized prices are used when the surgeon cannot control all of the related expenses, such as when the lipo surgery is to be done in a hospital operating room with a hospital anesthesiologist. Itemized lipo prices are also used by surgeons who are in the habit of doing multiple unrelated surgical procedures at the same time that the liposuction is done.
Tumescent Liposuction : Tumescent liposuction is similar to traditional liposuction, but experts often hail its innovative use of medication and reduced risks for complications. During tumescent liposuction, the doctor will inject a special solution (a mixture of salt solution, lidocaine, and epinephrine) into the layer of fat. The amount of fluid is usually measured at three times that of the fat being removed. The solution swells the fat cells, making them easier to isolate and remove. It also shrinks blood vessels, and because it contains local anesthesia, it can help ease discomfort without the risks associated with general anesthesia. Any minimal risks involve how much of the solution is injected, and how much lidocaine it contains.
The expected time and effort that is required to accomplish a liposuction surgery is the most important factor in determining the cost of liposuction. Factors that typically affect the surgeon’s time and effort include 1) Number of areas being treated, 2) Size of the patient, 3) Anticipated degree of difficulty. Thus, cost of liposuction of the abdomen alone is less than the cost of doing liposuction on both the abdomen as well as the inner thighs and knees. Similarly, the cost for abdominal liposuction on a patient who weighs 80 kilograms (176 pounds) might be more than the cost for liposuction of the abdomen of a patient who has never weighed more than 60 kilograms (132 pounds). Liposuction is more difficult and requires more time if the patient has previously gained and then lost a significant amount of weight. In any area previously treated with liposuction, the fat often contains scar tissue which makes liposuction in the same area more difficult.
It’s a popular method because the incision enables doctors to reshape breast tissue and insert implants either above or below the muscle, leaving only a small scar along the top of the areola. However, it also has its downsides: only a minimal amount of lift can be achieved, not all sizes and types of implants will fit, and the majority of women desire a bigger boost than this method can deliver.
Recovery time differs for each patient, but in general, you can return to work two to four days after your liposuction treatment. The exact time will depend on the area you had treated and your body's natural healing process. If you have an extremely physical job, you may need to take more time off; doctors recommend that patients wait at least three weeks after liposuction before engaging in aerobic exercise.