I recently performed liposuction for Tara, 49, an active woman who wanted to rejuvenate her figure.  "Diet and exercise were not enough at this juncture in my life," Tara said. "I wanted to look - and, more importantly - feel better about my appearance both in and out of my clothes. It was definitely worth the cost. Self-confidence is always worth the cost."
Body lifts: Body lifts are more comprehensive treatments designed to target the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks at the same time. During this procedure, a doctor will create circumferential incisions, running along the groin, thighs, hips, and waist. In addition to tightening damaged muscles, he or she may use liposuction to remove fat from one or more of these regions.
Botox Breast Lift: There are more and more uses of Botox that researchers are finding as time goes on. A Botox Breast Lift is not an approved use of botox by the FDA. Here’s how it works: Botox is injected into your pectoralis muscle. This causes a relaxation of the muscles in the chest and your back muscles then begin to lift your breast. The lifting is not dramatic though and it only lasts about three to four months. The advantage, however, is that there are no scars because surgery was not done. There’s also no recovery time as there is with a breast lift surgery.
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An “Internal” Bra: This is one of the most interesting procedures, as it is a mesh type of bra that is inserted surgically to lift your breasts. The mesh bra provides a little extra structure although over time the mesh is broken down and absorbed by your own tissues. This procedure is called the Breform, and you can expect a surgery of about four hours in the hospital with a few nights in recovery before you are released. The Breform is inserted through a scar in the nipple area or in the crease under the breast.
Right now, surgeons follow guidelines that set a maximum extraction limit of 5,000 milliliters of fat (11 pounds) for all patients, regardless of variations in weight or body fat status. But the new study suggests surgeons could use a patient's body mass index (BMI) to determine how much fat extraction is safe. BMI is a rough estimate of a person's body fat based on height and weight measurements.
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.
Less common is the Vertical Scar Technique, which has less scarring than the Wise pattern, but has a vertical scar visible in the middle underside of the breast. The vertical scar has the advantage that it can give the breast a better shape and the scar does eventually fade with time.  I use this technique primarily for breast lifts and breast reductions of any size.  

Because of the large pattern of skin cutout with the Inverted T scar (Wise-pattern) the scar complication can look really bad. Here is a photo of one of these wounds using this surgical technique. Although it is not a life threatening problem, this wound complication at the incision location could certainly look very scary to the patient. In addition to scars, this procedure also tends to flatten the breast, instead of making them perky. I no longer perform this technique in my practice as I feel that the other surgical techniques are far superior.
Facial liposuction is most often performed with a micro-cannula using a tumescent technique. In some cases, liposuction of the chin, neck, and jowls, as well as other facial liposuction procedures, can have better results in these problem areas than other surgical techniques. Liposuction can also be more desirable because it minimizes scarring when compared to other type of facial enhancement. This treatment is usually performed on or below the chin and jaw line to reduce the appearance of sagging skin in the neck, a double-chin, or hanging jowls.
Following liposuction, patients often experience some soreness and tenderness in the treatment area. This can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication, and a physician may prescribe stronger medication, if needed. However, this discomfort is typically minimal, and patients can typically return to work about two days after their procedures. If they experience severe discomfort or if the soreness gets worse after several days, patients should alert their doctors.
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.
If a woman has enlarged breasts, they can cause back pain, neck pain, headaches, and poor self-esteem. Liposuction is a more effective and less invasive method of breast reduction than other forms of breast reduction surgery. Using liposuction to remove excess fat has a natural lifting effect on the breast because there is less volume weighing it down.
The “crescent lift” technique is mostly used for women who have a very small amount of sagging to correct, and involves one small incision that runs halfway around the top half of the edge of the areola.  It’s usually only done when a patient is undergoing a breast augmentation, and even then only rarely. It’s more of a preventative measure, unlike the other options, which are focused on breasts that have more advanced sagging.
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.
Liposuction may seem fairly simple, but the truth is that it can be quite tedious, and requires a high degree of precision and skill. You have everything to gain by seeking a surgeon who excels specifically in liposuction. If that surgeon happens to use advanced technology to carry out the procedure, this could also be a strong indicator that the doctor is especially passionate about liposuction and body contouring, and could be more likely to provide you with satisfying long-term results.
When you choose a friendly doctor with whom you feel at ease, you are more likely to be satisfied with the final results of your treatment. Select a doctor who is generous with her time, answers your questions, and designs a treatment plan to meet your specific needs and concerns. At the same time, however, you should never choose a doctor who pressures you to undergo more treatment than you want or who recommends removing an excessive amount of fat cells.
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.
A patient may think twice when they receive an estimate from a surgeon using advanced technology, but that individual would be well advised to reconsider the results that surgeon has provided for others. If paying more for an advanced treatment by a reputable surgeon is more likely to provide beautiful results that will not need revision surgery for undesirable contours or scarring, it could be considered a much more conservative option than paying a cut rate for a less reputable surgeon and having to undergo additional surgeries to achieve the results you really wanted in the first place. It is also important to note that a revisional body contouring surgery is usually more expensive than the original. Correcting errors made in a previous surgery requires more planning and more time to perform, which naturally incurs a greater expense.
The average cost of liposuction is about $6,000. Your cost will vary based on factors like your surgeon’s level of experience and office location, the amount of fat being removed, and if you’ve had liposuction before. “Most people price liposuction based on the number of areas being treated—and in general, the per-area cost will come down with additional areas,” says Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Mathew A. Plant, in a RealSelf Q&A. “Usually, the first area is more expensive, because this price includes the costs of the operating room, equipment, and anesthetic. Once you’re into additional areas, those costs have mostly been covered, and you’re simply adding time, which allows for a price drop.” Liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure, which means your health insurance will likely not cover it.
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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. 
For tumescent liposuction, the most common technique, your doctor will make one or more small (one-quarter inch or less) incisions in the area to be treated and inject a large quantity of a mixture of saline (salt water), local anesthesia, and epinephrine into your tissue. The fluid causes the fat to become swollen, firm, and easier to remove. (It also constricts your blood vessels, which reduces bruising, blood loss, and recovery time.) The surgeon then inserts the cannula through the same incision and passes it back and forth under the skin to break up the fat before suctioning it out. For a very small area, the procedure takes around 30 minutes, while a 360 liposuction—which includes the abdomen, flanks, back, and all around the torso—lasts three to four hours. 
According to the FDA, there are no hard numbers regarding the risk of death from liposuction. While there have been several studies, the results vary significantly. According to one study, there are 3 deaths for every 100,000 liposuction procedures. However, another study indicates that there are as many as 20 to 100 deaths for every 100,000 liposuctions.[1]
However, minimizing the appearance of scars on the breast will be of vital importance to your surgeon. The whole point of a breast lift procedure is to make the breast more attractive, and conspicuous or heavy scarring defeats that point. Most scars will typically heal and fade within two years, but will always be present. Your surgeon will consider it a part of their job to keep these scars discrete, not a bonus. They may also prescribe cortisone cream and use silicone sheeting to help reduce the appearance of scars after surgery.
Congratulations on caring enough for yourself to get the body you want. As excited as you may be by the immediate results, you want to make sure you heal your best, with embrace® Active Scar Defense. It’s the only scar treatment that’s clinically proven to help prevent the appearance of dark, raised, visible scars and is recommended by doctors and patients. Here’s what you need to know:

It is normal to have a specific set of wants and desires when considering plastic surgery. Not being able to find a surgeon to meet those goals can be frustrating. It’s your body; you want it to look perfect. Dr. Kao had one such patient named Alexandra who was fed up with surgeons telling her that it was impossible to achieve the breast lift she wanted without extensive scarring. Instead of doing a traditional anchor breast lift and approaching her breast lift from the typical angle, she pushed Dr. Kao to think outside of the box and develop a unique breast lift technique that he named after her—the Alexandra Breast Lift—(mentioned in a previous blog) to provide this patient and others like her with the beautiful breast appearance they want.

Abdominal Etching: This specialized form of liposuction is designed to enhance the abdominal muscles and give patients a desirable set of "six-pack abs." The surgeon will first outline the muscles and then the thin layer of fat that can obscure these muscles. He or she may use traditional, ultrasound, or laser assisted techniques to perform this minimal recovery treatment.
First, a circumareolar incision is made to remove a doughnut-shaped area of skin from around the areola. This also allows the nipple-areola complex to be moved up significantly (potentially as much as 8 or 9 centimeters) without causing irregularities, and it leaves almost no visible scars. The skin is then separated from the breast tissue, and the inverted-T technique is used internally to shape and mold the breast tissue. Once your perky, better-defined breast is formed, the skin is redraped. To prolong and maintain your results, a mesh is added as an internal bra beneath the skin. This provides additional support to the breast tissue.
It's not unusual to see lumpy areas after the swelling starts to go down. This should improve after a few weeks, but wearing a compression garment can help prevent lumps. Less commonly, patients can have a hematoma (a temporary pooling of blood under the skin) or seroma (a pocket of fluid under the skin that requires draining by your doctor); changes in skin color or sensation; or scarring from thermal burning, either above or below the skin (usually an issue only with laser- and ultrasound-assisted lipo, if skin ports aren’t used). If you’re concerned about anything you experience as you recover, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.
However, minimizing the appearance of scars on the breast will be of vital importance to your surgeon. The whole point of a breast lift procedure is to make the breast more attractive, and conspicuous or heavy scarring defeats that point. Most scars will typically heal and fade within two years, but will always be present. Your surgeon will consider it a part of their job to keep these scars discrete, not a bonus. They may also prescribe cortisone cream and use silicone sheeting to help reduce the appearance of scars after surgery.
How it works: The uniquely designed applicator achieves precise tension reduction on the skin, (tension being the key cause of scarring), to gently hold both sides of your closed incision together. Clear video instructions make embrace® easy to apply, and gentle to remove. Even better, embrace® is water resistant, so you can shower and exercise. And each application lasts an average of 10 days, relieving you of a daily regimen. 

Surgeons who concentrate on one specific procedure are rare. In other words, you don't find many surgeons who perform breast augmentation, but not face lift surgery or liposuction. If you want liposuction, you should choose a surgeon who devotes a lot of their time to liposuction and body contouring. If the doctor is mainly a face lift surgeon, you might wonder if they are actually capable of providing the best results. Don't be afraid to ask a prospective surgeon how often they perform liposuction, how often they perform revisions for patients whose initial surgeries were performed by other doctors, and details about the surgeon's policy concerning surgery performed to correct his or her own work.
After liposuction, most doctors will require you to wear a compression garment or bandage over the treatment area. This garment will reduce post-surgical bleeding, minimize discomfort, and speed your recovery time. During open-drainage tumescent liposuction, your surgeon will leave the incisions open. Following this type of treatment, the garment will help the anesthetic fluid to leave your body more quickly. Following closed-drainage liposuction, in which the doctor will use sutures to close the incisions, the compression garment encourages your body to absorb the fluid more quickly for faster healing.
Dr. George Marosan, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Bellevue, Washington, prefers VASER liposuction in most situations. “Fat comes out more easily with VASER—especially in men, where it’s more fibrous,” Dr. Marosan says. He also points out another great advantage of VASER lipo: While fat that’s liquified by laser lipo isn’t usable, fat broken up by VASER is still viable for transfer to the breasts, butt, or anywhere you want more fullness. “The VASER allows me to sculpt the body, revealing the underlying muscle and bony anatomy. This is an advanced technique that goes way beyond liposuction for fat removal only,” says Dr. Marosan.
Body lifts: Body lifts are more comprehensive treatments designed to target the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks at the same time. During this procedure, a doctor will create circumferential incisions, running along the groin, thighs, hips, and waist. In addition to tightening damaged muscles, he or she may use liposuction to remove fat from one or more of these regions.
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