Question: I am interested in having liposuction to my thighs. There are so many different types of liposuction, but from everything I have researched I think I have decided on ultrasonic liposuction. I have heard that this is good for working on large areas. Is this a choice for the thighs or would another technique be better?
Answer: All techniques of liposuction are effective if performed by a board certified plastic surgeon. Ultrasonic liposuction is a technique that uses ultrasonic waves to blast the fat cells before sucking them out with the liposuction machine. The technique is very efficient and has been used for many years, however, it is associated with slightly higher rates of complications than traditional liposuction. Complications that can occur with ultrasonic are burns to the skin and also collection of fluid under the skin that are known as seromas. The same thing is true for other techniques such as laser liposuction which again in experienced hands is a very efficient technique but can be prone to increased complications if performed by inexperienced providers. Traditional liposuction using tumescent technique is a very efficient technique, it is widely used, and it is the most common plastic surgery procedure performed, right there with breast augmentation. So the question that should be asked is how experienced is your provider with the specific technique that they use and what is their success rate.
Question: Is it true that Arnica Montana is a natural way to help reduce swelling after liposuction? How should this be taken?
Answer: Arnica Montana is a well know natural product that helps reduce swelling after any type of surgery. It should be taken as an oral form starting about 24 hours before surgery and continuing for three to five days after the surgery depending on the type of procedure performed. It can also be used as a topical ointment that can be applied to an area that is swollen and also helps reduce swelling that way.
Question: My uncle had a tummy tuck and now he does not have a belly button. Does this always happen? I would like to get one but I do not know that I want to be without my belly button.
Answer: Usually tummy tuck procedure involves preservation of the belly button. Some patients who have lost massive amounts of weight get another procedure called a panniculectomy. This procedure involves removal of the excess skin and fat of the lower abdomen and the pannus and usually the belly button is sacrificed but in traditional cosmetic tummy tucks the belly button is preserved.
I am overweight by approximately 30 pounds. I would like to get a breast reduction, but do I need to lose weight first?
If your goal is to lose 25-30 pounds, it is always best to achieve the weight loss before undergoing a breast reduction procedure. There are many reasons for this. First of all, losing the weight first would increase your chances of getting the procedure authorized by your insurance company. Second, from a purely cosmetic point of view, the overall results will be better if the weight is lost first. Also, imagine if a procedure is done such as a breast reduction and the patient were to lose 30 or 40 pounds after the surgery, the results could significantly be affected.
Posted by Dr. Alain Polynice in Breast Augmentation on September 28th
Question: I have cancer in one of my breasts and I am planning a mastectomy. I have been going back and forth over whether or not to have breast reconstruction and I think I have decided now to go ahead with it. I was recently doing some research and read where most women have to go through multiple surgeries to reconstruct the breast. Why is this? Can it ever be done in just one surgery?
Answer: There are multiple techniques to reconstruct a breast. It can be done using an implant technique or using techniques that utilize the patient's own tissues. The implant procedures do involve multiple steps because first an expander needs to be placed to stretch out the skin followed by removal of the expander and placement of the permanent implant and there can be other procedures for symmetry and touchup such as liposuction, contouring or nipple reconstruction. Procedures that are done using the patient's own tissue such as the Tram flap which is a flap that uses skin and fat from the lower abdomen to create a breast can usually be done in one stage, however there are usually smaller second or third stages that again involve contouring, shaping, liposuction, touchup, or reconstruction of a nipple or an areola. A breast reconstruction is a very complex procedure and again no matter what the technique used, a patient could anticipate that there could be small touch ups or other procedures in the future.
Posted by Dr. Alain Polynice in Periareolar Mastopexy on September 27th
Question: What is a periareolar mastopexy and is it really scarless?
Answer: A periareolar mastopexy is a breast lift that is performed with an incision that goes around the areola. There is an incision and therefore there is a scar so it is not a scarless procedure. In reality, no procedures are truly scarless but since the incision is limited to around the areola, it usually blends in very nicely in that area between the areola and the skin and usually by the time it is 3-6 months, the scar can be barely noticeable.
Posted by Dr. Alain Polynice in Belt Lipectomy on September 26th
Question: Can you explain what a belt lipectomy is?
Answer: A belt lipectomy as the name implies is a type of procedure that has an incision that goes all the way around the trunk just like a belt. It involves removal of excess skin and fat along the tummy, thighs, hips and buttock area as well.
Question: I have one breast that is larger than the other. I would like an implant to increase the size of the smaller breast. How long does this surgery take? Is it done while I am under general anesthesia?
Answer: Placing one implant takes about 45 minutes to one hour. However, very often it is necessary to do some procedure on the other breast for symmetry whether it is a small implant or a lift. All of these procedures usually are done under general anesthesia but they can also be done under what is called twilight anesthesia which is a form of deep sedation where the patient does not feel anything but is breathing on her own. This type of anesthesia provides a much more comfortable recovery and decreased time overall to leave the recovery room and this is a type of anesthesia that is preferred by most patients.
Question: I have heard of something called Zerona which I think involves the use of lasers to remove fat. Can you better explain this technique and whether or not it is effective?
Answer: Zerona is an FDA approved, noninvasive body contouring procedure that has been shown to be effective at removing some unwanted fat. It is done using a low level laser therapy that affects signaling of cells and actually accelerates a naturally occurring process of cellular activity. It increases blood flow to the area treated and has been shown to decrease fat cells as well. This procedure can be a viable treatment alternative for many people who have either medical issues or do not want to consider surgical intervention, however, it is not a replacement for traditional liposuction which is the goal standard for body contouring.
Question: : I swear I have the worst breasts on this planet. I am 25 years old and I avoid intimacy and bathing suits and anything that will make me show my breasts. I would like an implant, probably saline. If I choose a certain cup size, can more saline be injected into the implant later to enlarge the cup size?
Answer: The implants you are referring to are no longer really used in breast augmentation. These adjustable saline implants have a valve that can be placed under the skin away from the implant and the size can be adjusted later on, but again they are not currently used and silicone implants are much more popular today. However, saline implants in the right patients still have a very nice result as far as shape and size and overall look. As far as choosing the size of an implant, it is always important to have a very thorough conversation with your doctor before the surgery so that we can make sure that everyone understands what the outcomes of the surgery could be. One of the things that we do here at the Practice is use the Vectra 3-D imager that allows us to take a 3-D image of your body and place different implants in and this gives you a very good example of what your body could look like after a breast augmentation procedure.
Alain Polynice, M.D. a board certified plastic surgeon, specializing in Breast & Body procedures; can turn your dream into reality. Call to schedule your consult to see your anticipated results on YOUR OWN body in 3D. (Click below to interact with images online in 3D).
This patient decided to have a facelift cosmetic surgical procedure. Hear what she had to say about her recovery and if it was worth it.