Abdominoplasty as part of a Mommy Makeover

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A Mommy Makeover may be performed in one or more stages. Age, health, needs and desires are all considered carefully when formulating a plan for each patient. Many patients choose to do more than one procedure at a time.

The abdomen tends to experience the greatest change following pregnancy with stretch marks, loose skin and lower abdominal fat being the most common complaints. The abdominal muscles may also be stretched to the point that they remain separated in the midline, accentuating the patient’s lower abdominal bulge. To treat these problems, an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can be performed where excess skin and fat is removed from the abdomen and the muscles tightened.

After having children, fat tends to redistribute to new areas on the body where it may be unwanted. This is frequently true even if women are successful at losing their baby weight. Most often, bulges of fat accumulate around the waist and on the thighs. On these areas, liposuction is frequently performed as part of a Mommy Makeover. My preferred technique is power-assisted liposuction (PAL), the safest and most effective way to remove fat from these areas.

The breasts also go through dramatic changes with pregnancy and breastfeeding. Patient concerns about their breasts vary greatly, but the most common breast procedures I perform as part of a Mommy Makeover include:

  1. Breast augmentation
  2. Breast augmentation and lift (Augmentation Mastopexy)
  3. Breast lift
  4. Breast reduction

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Body Lift: What type of techniques are there?

 

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Body lifts can be performed in two different ways, to treat either the upper or the lower body:

  • Lower body lift: The lower body lift is the most common type of body lift in my practice. It typically includes a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), thigh lift and buttocks lift performed at the same time. The incision is concealed around the waistline so that it’s not visible when wearing underwear or a bikini.
  • Upper body lift: For patients with severe skin laxity of the upper torso, an upper body lift may be the appropriate treatment. This typically includes a bra line back lift and upper abdominoplasty. The procedure is individualised for the particular patient.

To learn more about body lifts, request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Arm Lift: The Beauty of Brachioplasty

For those patients that have what is colloquially known as ‘bat wings,’ undergoing an arm lift is probably the best way to get rid of it. These so called ‘bat wings’ are nothing more than loose excess skin that jiggles back and forth when the arms move. The cause can be one of two things. The first one is age. As we get older our skin tends to lose its elasticity. Secondly, we also tend to lose some body volume. When you combine the two you get excess skin that doesn’t contract as the underlying volume of tissue disappears. As a result you get flabby loose skin that many find to be unsightly.

The cosmetic procedure known as an arm lift, officially known as a brachioplasty, removes the loose excess skin.  Liposuction (CoolSculpting can be used as well depending on the surgeon’s opinion) may also be performed in conjunction with the brachioplasty to assist in removing stubborn fat, resulting in a more refined arm contour. Once the excess hanging skin is removed, the arm is sutured tightly leaving a firm arm devoid of any flabbiness.

Types of Arm Lifts

There are a number of different procedures when it comes to arm lifts. The type of procedure performed depends on the patient themselves. This is because every person has varying degrees of skin laxity and flab in the arms which means they may not all need the same type of procedure. It also depends on what they like and the results that they are looking for.

  • Elbow to Axilla – In this procedure an incision is made from the fold of the elbow to the axilla or armpit. Liposuction is often used in conjunction with this procedure. The liposuction is used to remove stubborn deposits of fat that give the arm a better final contour. This is a widely common procedure chosen by many patients. 
  • Mini Arm Lift – This procedure is for those who have excess skin mostly in the upper portion of the arm. It is also for those who don’t want  a lot of scarring which can happen in the procedure above. Here, the incision is made under the armpit only. 
  • Arm and Axillary Lift – For those who have too much excess skin in the upper arm and armpits this procedure is for you. This procedure gets rid of the sagging skin from the upper arm and from the armpit as well. The incisions are usually done in two places – the upper arm and under the armpit onto the chest. 
  • Elbow Lifts – This procedure is just what is says: a lifting of the elbow portion of the arm. Some people will have loose and sagging skin over their elbows. This procedure is targeted just for that portion of the arm.
  • Liposuction – If you still have elastic skin then you may not need to have a lift at all. For patients like this, liposuction may just be the solution. With liposuction the incisions are not that dramatic (only 3-4mm long) which means scarring is kept to a minimum.

The Right Candidate

Typically a likely arm lift candidate is one that has lost a lot of body weight. This means that they have lost a lot of body volume that resulted in the excess skin that was not able to adapt quickly to the loss of volume underneath it. It is highly recommended that you be at your target weight before the operation. If you are still in the process of losing weight you should wait until you hit that weight plateau in order to get a good final result from the arm lift. There’s a good reason for this. If you have the procedure and still lose the weight you may find that your arm will still have flabbiness in it even after the operation. That’s because since you still had weight to lose the skin is still stretched out resulting in the extra, loose skin.

It is a good idea to consult with a plastic surgeon when you want to have this cosmetic procedure done. This way the procedure can be explained to you including what you can expect, how your recovery will be and the risks that are involved. For further information call us on 13000DRTIM or email us on info@drtim.com.au.

3 Tips to Consider Before Body Lift Surgery

Body lift surgery is a complex operation that requires a lot of information to be processed and considered. There are 3 main points that people interested in this procedure should keep in mind especially that this involved both a major physical and psychological recovery period.

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1. Make Sure You Have Appropriate Motivation & Realistic Expectations

Make sure you are doing the body lift surgery for yourself and for the right reasons and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the problem area may not necessarily translate to an overall improvement in your life or home situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of body lift surgery if your motivation is not intrinsic.
 Timing of your body lift surgery is crucial. Generally, it is not a good idea to have body lift surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in your life e.g. divorce or death of a loved one. The additional stress of body lift surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if your emotional reserves are already exhausted. Take note that an improvement in your physical appearance will not necessarily translate to an improvement in your life situation.
 Lastly, keep in mind the end results as you go through the sometimes tough, emotional times after your body lift surgery.

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Following a tummy tuck, patients should take at least 3-4 weeks to recover before returning to work. Normal exercise routines may typically be resumed approximately 6 weeks following surgery.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Supplements and Cosmetic Surgery

Herbal supplements and vitamins are known to have a significant and measurable effect on promoting wound healing, reducing bruising,  enhancing immunity, and reducing oxidation caused by both surgery and anaesthetic drugs. However, these supplements are still drugs that could cause dangerous side effects during cosmetic surgery. About 50% of cosmetic surgery patients take supplements (usually more than one), but often do not tell their surgeons because they assume they are safe.  Some  of  the  most  popular  herbal  supplements  taken  are  chondroitin,  echinacea, and  glucosamine:

  • Chondroitin is often used to treat osteoarthritis.  People using chondroitin may suffer from bleeding complications during surgery, particularly when used in combination with doctor-prescribed blood-thinning medications (like warfarin).
  • Echinacea is often used for the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as chronic wounds, ulcers, and arthritis.  However, it can trigger immunosuppression, causing poor wound healing and infection.
  • Glucosamine, often offered in conjunction with chondroitin, contains chemical elements that mimic human insulin, and may artificially cause low blood sugars during surgery.

Other common supplements taken by patients that may cause thinning of the blood are the “4  Gs”  (gingko biloba, garlicginseng, and ginger), fish oils and Vitamin E.

Cosmetic surgery should be viewed with the same care and concern as heart or brain surgery. Everything we do is important for our patients, so every precaution and safety should be taken to minimise complications from surgery and anaesthesia. Remember, we need your help and cooperation at all times.  Advise us of every drug you take, prescribed and non-prescribed and cease taking any blood thinning agents 2 weeks prior to surgery unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Tim  –  Sydney  Cosmetic  Plastic  Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

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Loose skin, stretch marks and fat on the abdomen are among the most common reasons patients seek an abdominoplasty from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, patients have excess skin and fat on the abdomen from weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many are frustrated that diet and exercise don’t tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can’t see their muscles underneath their loose skin. For many of these patients, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is their best opportunity to reclaim a youthful figure.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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Candidates for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) have some or all of the following problems:

  1. Loose skin on the lower abdomen
  2. Stretch marks on the lower abdominal
  3. Abdominal muscle laxity
  4. Pubic laxity

Good abdominoplasty candidates should be healthy non-smokers. Avoiding smoking is important to decrease risks. Although it’s better for patients to be near their ideal weight, many patients who are overweight are still good candidates for the procedure.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Laser Hair Removal Mythconceptions

There is no such thing as a single “best” laser for hair removal on all patients.  The best laser for laser hair removal for each person really depends on his or her skin colour. Thus, multiple lasers exist for hair removal. Different laser types, which emit distinct wavelengths of light, are better for treating different skin types. There are a number of manufacturers that make these laser types:

  • Alexandrite lasers. These emit laser light at 755 nm. These lasers work best on lighter skin. In my opinion,  it has been the most impressive laser for hair removal for light to olive skin types.
  • Diode Lasers.  These emit light at a wavelength of 810  nm.  Lighter skin types do well with this type of laser, as do some darker skin types.
  • Nd: YAG lasers.  These emit a 1064 nm wavelength.  This laser is best for darker skin types, as the higher wavelength reaches deeper into the skin.  This helps to avoid superficial skin melanin,  which pigments our skin.
  • IPL or  Intense  Pulsed  Light. It has been used for hair removal.  Lasers emit light at one wavelength (like laser pointers in PowerPoint presentations).  IPL machines produce a range of wavelengths  (like the cone of light from a torch one sees in cartoons) and are not lasers.  So,  there  is  no  such  thing  as  an  “IPL  laser”  or  “IPL laser  hair  removal”-  it’s  a  marketing  ploy  for  businesses  that  have  IPL  machines  and  not  hair  removal  lasers (the  only  exception  to  the  rule  are  the  few  machines  out  there  that  have  both  lasers  and  IPL  machines  in them).  Several studies have shown that  IPL is not as effective as dedicated hair removal lasers, and carry a higher risk of burns, blisters, and changes in pigment.

In my experience,  the Alexandrite laser is the most effective laser for removing hair on the lighter skin, whereas the Nd: YAG is the safest and best laser for more darkly pigmented skin.  Remember,  every laser  has  a  “target.”  For hair removal lasers, the goal is to selectively target the pigment (in other words colour) which in this case is called melanin found in hair follicles.  Melanin is the reason why we have black or brown hair or shades in between.  The hair follicles are living cells which make hair below the surface of the skin.  When the melanin is selectively heated, this destroys the hair follicle cells.  The lighter the hair, the less melanin the hair follicles will have in them.  As a result, hair that is blonde, white or grey does not improve with laser hair removal.  In my practice,  I have actually seen some patients notice a decrease in lighter hairs,  but it ’s the exception and not the rule.

Melanin is also present in skin and is the cause for dark skin and suntans.  It is the same target that the hair removal laser is trying to reach in hair follicles.  Hair removal lasers may target the melanin in the skin as well as in the hair follicles which sometimes results in burns,  blisters, and change in skin pigmentation.  As a result,  lower settings and longer laser pulse times must be used for darker skin to avoid damage.  As a consequence, more overall treatment sessions will usually be necessary.

Remember, laser hair removal is a medical procedure and you should always consult with a doctor who has extensive experience in lasers and laser hair removal.  This will maximize your chances of a great result.

Thanks for reading!

Dr.  Tim  –  Sydney  Cosmetic  Plastic  Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

 

This middle aged lady underwent a Body Lift following massive weight loss of 70kg with diet and exercise alone. DrTim demonstrates the 2 phases of the operation- starting on the back by removing excess tissue and lifting the buttock region and finishing on the front by further excising tissue, performing a lateral thigh lift, tightening the separated rectii muscles and reconstructing the belly button. The B & As show a much better contoured torso with an improved waistline.

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