Cosmetic Surgery Tip #18: You can move fat from elsewhere on your body to your boobs or butt

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It’s a new process called autologous fat transfer. The purpose of fat grafting is to augment or fill in volume-deficient areas. Of course, you must have donor sites from which fat can be taken. It is important that you do not have any circulation problems, either from a medical condition or smoking. Few people are candidates for this procedure to the breasts. If you desire a modest increase in breast size, you are a good candidate for fat grafting to the breast, but your breasts should already have a nice shape and good skin tone. If you have poor skin, sagging breasts, or want a significant increase in breast size, breast augmentation with fat transfer is not for you. The problem with only using fat for breast enhancement lies in getting large volumes of fat to predictably “take.” Many people who desire a fuller, more rounded buttock will opt for a “Brazilian butt lift,” which uses fat transfer to provide a more curvaceous buttock without the use of an implant. Liposuction is commonly used to both sculpt the surrounding area and collect the autologous fat to be injected.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #3: Consult a love one

Confide in a friend or family member. Their input could be very valuable and they could raise questions that perhaps you had not considered before. Of course, a plastic surgeon must respect doctor-patient confidentiality and if you choose to undergo the procedure without consulting those around you, then this is your choice. Nonetheless, remember that this is a big decision and one which might be easier with the advice and support of a loved one.

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #36: Research the procedure

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The internet provides a plethora of information about specific cosmetic procedures so it’s easier than ever to do your research. Watch videos of procedures being carried out, read the stories of people who have already undergone the procedure and engage in conversation on reputable forums and with friends who’ve had the procedure done. All of this will help you to make an informed decision about whether this is the right procedure for you.  Remember with all that information out there, some of it may be conflicting; it is important to verify this information with your plastic surgeon.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #9: Understand the recovery process

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Being fully informed about the recovery process is vital so that you can prepare yourself in advance. Patients often neglect to think about many important post-op factors: Is it a day-surgery procedure? Will you need assistance leaving the hospital or facility? How should you travel home? Will you be in pain? Do you need to take time off work? What does the post-operative care entail?  When are the post-operative follow up visits?  There are a number of factors to take into consideration and your plastic surgeon should discuss all of these thoroughly with you in advance.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #7: Don’t strive to look like a celebrity

 

Make sure that you are doing this for the right reasons. There tends to be “trivialisation’’ of certain cosmetic procedures, particularly those that are popular amongst reality TV stars. A cosmetic procedure of any kind is something to consider carefully, and is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is also unrealistic to want to try and emulate someone else’s results. Every individual is different and all cosmetic treatments should take into account, and be sympathetic towards, the individual’s existing body shape. If someone comes in clutching an image of a celebrity then alarms bells should instantly ring for the plastic surgeon. More often than not, they will have unrealistic expectations and if that is the case the plastic surgeon will most likely advise that they don’t go ahead with treatment.

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #4: Meet them in person

 

It is crucial that you meet the plastic surgeon who will carry out your procedure before the day of your treatment. Not all practices demand that patients meet the practitioner who will deliver the procedure in advance. If you are advised that it is not possible to meet in person with the practitioner ahead of treatment, you should not progress any further and choose to go elsewhere. Any reputable plastic surgeon will demand that they meet the patient themselves beforehand. It is also important that you feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon and that you trust them.

 

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #34: Participate in relaxation techniques

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Listening to relaxation tapes or soothing music, taking a yoga or meditation class are examples of relaxation techniques that help to reduce stress.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Anti-Wrinkle Injections: The Facts

Anti-wrinkle injections are currently the most common medical cosmetic treatment.  There have been  17 million injections that have been safely administered for cosmetic purposes alone since 2002.  It is currently approved for treatment of glabella wrinkles, which are the frown lines between the eyebrows.  Any other treatments are considered “off-label” (a common and legal practice in which a drug is used for a purpose other than the officially approved one).

Here  are  some  other  interesting  facts  you  should  be  aware  of:

  • Clostridium Botulinum (the bacteria that causes food poisoning) was first identified at the University of Gent, Belgium, in  1895.
  • Anti-wrinkle injections consist of Botulinum toxin type A, which was isolated in the purified form by Dr. Herman Sommer at the University of California in the  1920s.
  • Botulinum toxin type A stops the release of certain chemicals at the junction between a nerve and a  muscle, so the message for the muscle to  ”work” is blocked and therefore relaxes.  Its anti-wrinkle properties were discovered in the 1980s  by  Dr.  Jean  Carruthers  (an ophthalmologist) and her husband  Arthur  (a  dermatologist) when patients being treated for crossed eyes and facial spasms told their doctors that their lines and wrinkles had vanished since starting the injections.
  • Anti-wrinkle injections are approved in more than 75 countries for 20 different neurological indications and approved for cosmetic use in more than 40  countries.
  • In the  20-year history of using the drug for cosmetic treatments, there is no anecdotal evidence of any long-term problems because any muscle weakness from the injections is reversible because Botulinum toxin type A ’s action is temporary.
  • Botulinum toxin type A has been used in other conditions such as migraines, excessive sweating,  incontinence, hemorrhoids and has even been used on patients with gallstones.
  • The cosmetic formula on uses a much lower dose of the toxin than the one used to treat major muscle spasms.
  • Anti-wrinkle injections are not a panacea for every facial wrinkle.  Those caused by other mechanisms such as hereditary,  smoking, sun exposure, and the effects of gravity,  do not respond adequately.  Nor are anti-wrinkle injections particularly effective for wrinkles around the mouth.  Other treatments (such as Retin-A, chemical peels, collagen or fat injections, laser therapy, or facelifts) may help for people who wish to minimize these types of wrinkles.

A  U.S. consumer advocacy group called Public Citizen has recently asked the Food and Drug  Administration  (FDA) to reconsider the safety of anti-wrinkle treatments.  However, my main issue with them is that they have grouped together adverse events from both the medical and cosmetic uses of the drug.  They pointed to  180 cases of serious complications like pneumonia and difficulty breathing or swallowing, which included 16  deaths  (collected from  9 full years of data).  Earlier in 2005,  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed  1,437  adverse reports:  406 after medical use of the toxin  (217 of them were serious effects)  and  1,031 after cosmetic use  (36 of them serious).  The proportion of serious reports was  33-fold higher for patients treated for medical problems than for those receiving cosmetic treatments and the worst disasters have occurred when unqualified practitioners administered the drug.  The FDA has also confirmed that there has never been a reported death where a causal link to the cosmetic use of anti-wrinkle injection was established.

Don’t forget that many cancer medications are derived from substances that in other contexts would be considered dangerous.  And many other drugs that are licensed for a  particular condition are used  “off label” to treat other problems.  Remember, all drugs have unwanted side-effects, so that with more people using anti-wrinkle injections, the list of unwanted effects may be growing.

Earlier this year,  the Food and Drug  Administration  (FDA) which reviews the continuing safety of anti-wrinkle injections, notified the public about reports of their serious side-effects.  Most of these,  however, resulted from medical, not cosmetic uses of the toxin.  Medical treatments typically require much larger doses, and many of the patients have other health problems that increase their risk.  For e.g. to treat the furrows between the brows,  a typical dose consists of 20-35  i.u.’s  (intramuscular units) compared to over  200 for neuromuscular disorders.  The reactions included respiratory failure (which sometimes was fatal) in a range of doses and use, many of them “off-label” e.g. limb spasticity associated with cerebral palsy in children.

So,  my  advice  to  patients  and  clients  seeking  anti-wrinkle  injections  would  be:

  • Choose your doctor or nurse injector carefully.  They should be both experienced and competent and make you feel safe and at ease.
  • Injectables should be performed in an approved medical office or medical spa.
  • Ques on the authenticity of the injectable.  Ask to be shown the brand packaging.
  • Pay close attention to the potential complications which should be thoroughly discussed during the informed consent process.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Tim  –  Sydney  Cosmetic  Plastic  Surgeon

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

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #23: Your boobs do not need to be a minimum size for a reduction

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This is all based on personal preference. Think of boob size in terms of a scale from small to large. Based on breast size before the procedure and desired breast size afterward, there are a number of incision options for a reduction for a huge range of results. You can even choose to get a reduction and an implant to replace some of the volume that you’ve lost over time.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”

Cosmetic Surgery Tip #10: Utilise and insist on a “cooling off” period

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After you have met for a consultation with your plastic surgeon, they should insist that you go away and think carefully about your decision. Use this “cooling off” period to take your time, think through your options, do some more research and talk to your family or friends before making any decisions. If you feel like you need more information, attend a second consultation with the same practitioner or go for another consultation with a second and third practitioner. This will give you further opinions and will help you make a considered, sensible decision.

Photo Credit: Saul Steinberg “Masquerade”