How Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Differ

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What do you think of when you hear the words “cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery”?

Chances are, you think that cosmetic is for those who want to get rid of wrinkles or enhance a body part, while reconstructive is more needful.

That’s not entirely incorrect. However, there are plenty of occasions where elective cosmetic surgery can be as life changing as reconstructive.

We’ll break them down here.

Cosmetic Surgery

Yes. As the name implies, the aim of cosmetic surgery is to enhance one’s appearance by reshaping different parts of the anatomy to make them more visually appealing.

Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed on all areas of the body, head, and neck. It treats areas that already function properly. Even so, there are many cosmetic surgeries that also improve function. For example, a rhinoplasty procedure (nose job) can help to improve breathing while also enhancing the appearance of the nose.

A vast array of procedures fall under the cosmetic surgery umbrella. Breast augmentation, reduction, and lift all fall into this category. So do procedures that aim to contour or rejuvenate the face, including rhinoplasty, facelift, eyelid lift, neck lift, and brow lift. A tummy tuck, liposuction, and gynecomastia repair, as well as skin rejuvenation procedures such as laser resurfacing, botox, and filler treatments are all considered cosmetic procedures.

Reconstructive Surgery

Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery differ in that the latter is considered medically necessary.

The objective of reconstructive surgery is to both improve appearance and restore function of the targeted area(s). It aims to correct deformities caused by trauma, disease, or birth defects. Two of the most common types of procedures are breast reconstruction following a lumpectomy or mastectomy, as well as reconstructive surgery after burn injuries.

Other examples include cleft lip and palate repair, extremity defect repair, lower extremity reconstruction, scar revision, and hand surgery.

Is There An Overlap?

Regardless of whether it’s cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, the underlying surgical principles are the same. And ultimately, the goal is to maximize the cosmetic result as much as possible. So there’s really quite a significant overlap between these two surgeries.

The basis of surgical training for plastic surgeons is of the reconstructive variety – though many go on to complete additional training to perform cosmetic surgery. The two are so closely interconnected that in 1999, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons changed its name to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The aim was to communicate the message that there’s virtually no difference between plastic and reconstructive surgeons.

The Board-Certified Difference

A plastic surgeon with the “board-certified” designation indicates an advanced level of training and experience.

Board-certified surgeons are required to complete one of two routes of training. They either partake in an integrated residency training that combines three years of general surgery and three years of plastic surgery or

an independent, five-year residency program in general surgery which is then followed by the three-year plastic surgery residency program.

So it’s in a patient’s best interest to insist on a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Changes Lives

Both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures have the ability to improve one’s health and well-being. So if you feel that you could benefit from either of these, contact us today.

No matter which one might be right for you, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the anticipated result with your surgeon who will ensure that appropriate expectations are met.

 

Correcting Plastic Surgery Procedures

The world at large is fascinated with plastic surgery and the results it renders. And given the large number of reality TV dealing with botched or excessive jobs, it would seem that it’s a major problem.
It isn’t. The vast majority of plastic surgery procedures go as planned and the patients are satisfied. However, there will always be exceptions.
There are occasions where correcting plastic surgery procedures is required. So if you’ve had a procedure and aren’t satisfied with the results, then it may be time to consider this route.
The Extra Challenge of Correcting Plastic Surgery Procedures
Remember that you won’t see stunning results right away. The healing process can take days or weeks following your procedure. Hopefully you discussed with your surgeon what to realistically expect and how long it should take.
That said, if you’re still not satisfied after you’ve healed, then you’ll need to start the process of seeking corrective surgery. And it’s important to understand the unique challenges that go with correcting plastic surgery procedures.
Because there is existing scar tissue, the degree of difficulty is greatly increased for the surgeon. There may also be a lack of material with which to work. For example, if there is no longer cartilage or other tissue in the original area, it may need to be sourced from another part of the body.
In addition, you may already be feeling emotional and even afraid to undergo another procedure. And if what you need is large in scale and detailed, you may need several procedures. When this is the case, you need to be aware that the situation could get worse before it gets better.
Should You Use the Same Surgeon?
Try not to be too quick to rule out your original surgeon out of frustration. Even the greatest and most skilled plastic surgeon can run into unforeseen complications. Unless you have a terrible relationship with your current surgeon, there are advantages to using him or her to do the corrective procedure. This is because your surgeon will have familiarity with the outcome you desired and with the specific way you heal.
If, however, you’ve lost confidence with your surgeon, discovered (too late) that he or she is a fraud, or your relationship with them has gone south, then you’ll want to consult with another who actually specializes in corrective surgery. Any surgeon you pick should be board-certified in plastic surgery and have extensive training and experience in reconstructive surgery.
And keep in mind that, in order to minimize risk, you’ll have to wait at least one year before having surgery in the same area.
Are You Curious About Plastic Surgery?
As we mentioned above, the need for correcting plastic surgery procedures is minimal.
So if you’re interested in plastic surgery for either cosmetic or reconstructive (or both!) purposes, don’t hesitate to contact us today for your free consultation.
You’ll sit down with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss all of the options available to you and what you can expect in the long-term.

Regenerative Medicine in Plastic Surgery

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If you know anything about regenerative medicine, then you may be curious about the role of regenerative medicine in plastic surgery.

Then again, maybe you’re not familiar with regenerative medicine and it sounds like some sort of idea stirred up by a science fiction author. It’s not.

In fact, regenerative medicine has been a godsend for folks who’ve lost tissue because of cancer, burns, or other trauma where reconstructive plastic surgery options are limited. This is why plastic surgeons have been instrumental in developing new therapies in regenerative medicine.

So What Is Regenerative Medicine?

The field of regenerative medicine is based on the concept that doctors can turn to the body’s own powers to heal itself rather than solely relying on drugs or invasive surgical procedures. The thought is that by replacing, engineering, and regenerating human cells, tissues, or even organs, normal form and function can once again be achieved.

This is not to say that there is no use for drugs and surgical procedures though. In fact, along with cells, tissues, and organs, regenerative medicine utilizes drugs, synthetic biomaterials, and devices.

In a nut shell, the goal of regenerative medicine is to both heal damaged tissue, and form new tissue.

Regenerative Medicine in Plastic Surgery

Patients who have suffered with the aforementioned cancer and burns are not the only ones to benefit from regenerative medicine. Researchers and plastic surgeons are currently developing regenerative medicine-based treatments for those with congenital anomalies of the face and hands (including microtia, cleft lip, and cleft palate), facial nerve injuries, limb and muscle loss, and injuries to major nerves in the arms and legs.

The following are some of the ways that plastic surgeons are incorporating regenerative medicine therapies:

Burn Care

With severe burns where the dermal (innermost) layer of skin is damaged, plastic surgeons are now able to use protein scaffolds to generate new tissue there.

Tissue Expansion to Generate New Skin

Plastic surgeons also pioneered a technique whereby they are able to implant balloon devices that are gradually expanded to generate new skin tissue to cover a deformity. This therapy has been revolutionary in breast reconstruction as well as for treating birth anomalies.

Wound Care

Reconstructive plastic surgery alone may not be enough to repair complex wounds that are difficult to heal. In these cases, there’s a need for tissue engineering – i.e. skin substitutes made from living cells grown in a lab – to aid in the healing.

Additionally, it was a plastic surgeon who was the first to bring negative pressure devices into the arena of wound care. These regenerative medical devices employ micro-mechanical forces to stimulate and further wound healing.

Treating Scars

Laser and intense pulsed light are just two of the energy-based devices from the field of regenerative medicine. And they’re increasingly gaining in popularity with plastic surgeons and their patients to improve the healing of scars.

Breast Reconstruction

Women who have survived breast cancer through a mastectomy are faced with the decision of whether they want to have breast reconstruction. Today, plastic surgeons can use decellularized tissue scaffolds to generate new tissue over breast implants to achieve a better outcome.

Bone Regeneration

At one time, patients suffering extensive trauma that involved the loss of large bone segments had to cut their losses. But now, through regenerative medical therapies, plastic surgeons can take advantage of calcium-based scaffolds and biomaterials derived from bone to form new bone tissue for these patients.

Regeneration of Nerves

When is comes to regenerating nerves, this is where the field of regenerative medicine feels decidedly like something out of science fiction. But plastic surgeons are finding new ways every day to restore optimal function to patients who have experienced nerve injury.

Therapies in this area include using specialized growth factors to accelerate nerve healing, and specific biomaterials that actually guide and direct the growth of new nerve fibers.

It’s really quite amazing.

Could Plastic Surgery Help You?

Plastic surgery is no longer about just improving a nose that’s too big or breasts that are too small. Although these are completely valid surgeries, it’s clear that there’s a need for regenerative medicine in plastic surgery too.

So if you’re struggling with an aesthetic or functional flaw that you feel could be repaired though plastic surgery, contact us today. During your free consultation, your plastic surgeon will clearly lay out your options so you know exactly what to expect.

Understand Your Plastic Surgery Procedure

If you’re considering surgery to correct or contour some part of your body, you may be feeling some apprehension. And that makes sense.

Whether for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes, plastic surgery does present the possibility of complications. Just like any other surgery. Even if it’s elective.

So to ensure you’re going in with as much peace of mind as possible, it’s important you understand your plastic surgery procedure. And the best way to do this is to go directly to the source: your plastic surgeon.

How to Better Understand Your Plastic Surgery Procedure

First things first – when vetting the ideal surgeon, you’ll want to ensure that yours is board certified in plastic surgery. Insist on this.

Such certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) demonstrates that your surgeon is of the highest caliber. It means he or she made the effort to attain in-depth training that goes above and beyond what’s simply required. A board-certified plastic surgeon has comprehensive knowledge of the field and is committed to excellence.

Once you’ve established this basic but crucial requirement, then it’s time to start investigating.

It’s Okay to Ask Questions

You may feel like you’re offending a potential surgeon by asking all about their experience, training, and credentials. But any surgeon who is turned off by this is putting up a red flag. Your surgeon should want you to feel confident about your procedure and be willing to answer all questions relating to it.

For example:

How Familiar Are You With the Procedure?

Though you may be nervous posing it, this is a 100% reasonable question. You don’t want to go into your procedure with a surgeon who’s relatively (or brand) new to it. The fact is, surgeons who have performed a higher volume of specific procedures have lower complication rates and shorter hospital stays for their patients. So don’t be afraid to ask this question.

Then follow it up with:

Do You Have Pictures of Previous Clients?

If your surgeon hasn’t already shown you ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of what to expect from your procedure, then you’ll definitely want to see some of these. This will help you to not only see the surgeon’s work, but you’ll feel reassured that the procedure was safe and effective for patients before you.

What Are the Risks?

In general, plastic surgery carries a slightly lower risk than other types of surgical procedures. Still, there is always the chance of infection, reaction to anesthesia, or loss of blood. So you’ll want to be crystal clear with your surgeon on how these risks could play out for you.Again, if a surgeon does not take the question seriously, then consider looking elsewhere. Any reputable surgeon will understand your need for assurance and peace of mind and will be completely forthcoming about any post-operative complications. He or she should place your safety and health as the top priorities.

Feeling Nervous About Your Surgery?

Knowing the ways to better understand your plastic surgery procedure will help increase your confidence.

So contact us today if you’re ready to start exploring your options with one of our highly trained board-certified plastic surgeons.

And keep in mind that lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking and adopting a healthy diet) before surgery can also lower your risks and result in faster healing and less scarring. These are factors you’ll also discuss with your plastic surgeon during your free consultation.

 

Do You Need Ear Lobe Repair Surgery?

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It may come as something of surprise that earlobe repair surgery has become one of the most requested procedures. Then again, it may not. Especially if you’re someone who’s spent years of adorning those lobes with heavy jewelry.

You may well be a candidate for ear lobe repair.

Even if you’ve removed your gauges or stopped wearing heavy earrings, you’ve probably noticed the soft tissue has shrunken a bit but that there is still a significant hole. That’s when surgery comes into play.

Causes

Of course, heavy earrings and gauges causing the lobe to become stretched over time are the biggest culprits. But even regular earrings can get snagged in clothing, yanked out by a child, or pulled accidentally in some other way. This results in a torn ear lobe known as a Pac-Man deformity.

Whether the hole is over stretched or non-existent from a tear, wearing earrings can become problematic or impossible. Fortunately, ear lobe repair surgery is a reconstructive plastic surgery that was developed to restore the appearance of earlobes.

The Procedure

As plastic surgery procedures go, earlobe repair surgery is one of the simplest procedures. Depending on the number of piercings to repair and the extent of trauma to the lobe, the whole procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

First, the plastic surgeon will inject the stretched or torn earlobe with a local anesthetic to numb the area. From there, the surgeon determines which specific technique will best serve to repair and reconstruct the earlobe. This will depend on the extent and complexity of the damage.

In the majority of cases, scar tissue is removed from the split or stretched piercing so that the repaired earlobe can heal smoothly. Once that tissue is extricated, the surgeon utilizes fine stitches to close the tear or the hole.

Recovery from Ear Lobe Repair Surgery

Recovery is fairly straightforward. On the day of the procedure, the patient is sent home with a small piece of gauze to cover the affected area. After that first day, the gauze can be removed but the area must be kept clean with daily antibiotic ointment.

Sutures are removed after about a week. In that time, the surgeon will recommend not sleeping on the ears or placing any kind of pressure on the area. In addition, the ear must not be submerged in water during that time. That means no baths or swimming –  though showering is permitted 24 hours after the procedure.

Beyond that, patients can expect to otherwise get back to their regular work and exercise routines the very next day. And should the patient wish to have his or her ears re-pierced, the surgeon can do this in just 4-6 weeks after an earlobe repair procedure.

It’s a chance to start anew! (And maybe skip the gauges this time…)

Interested in Finding out More?

If you’re curious about ear lobe repair surgery and whether it might be right for you, contact us today for a free consultation.

Our surgeons will sit down with you to discuss the best next steps.

Do You Need Revision Surgery?

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Plastic surgery can be life-changing in so many positive ways. There are occasions though, rare as they may be, where the results of the surgery aren’t… ideal.

In the vast majority of plastic surgery procedures, when you do the research and choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform it, the results are exactly what you’d hoped for and anticipated.

But in unusual cases where the surgery results in unaddressed issues or more problems rather than fewer, you will need to look into revision surgery.

There Are Multiple Forms of Revision Surgery

Revision surgery is any procedure that is performed to correct negative issues that resulted from a previous surgery. And to be clear, it is not unique to plastic surgery. It’s performed across the spectrum of surgical specialities.

That’s why it’s essential to vet any surgeon that will be operating on you. Just because a plastic surgeon has a degree doesn’t mean he or she is uniquely qualified to perform the procedure you require. And if you end up with a botched up job, you could end up struggling with excessive scarring, aesthetic problems, or even functional issues.

While there are any number of revision surgeries, the following are among the most common in plastic surgery:

  1. Facial Procedures

Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, requires precision to deliver exact results. If the nostrils end up too narrow or wide or the tip of the nose is droopy after surgery, it’s impossible to hide. So this is among the most common revision procedures for plastic surgery.

In addition, rhinoplasty may be performed for functional issues such as improving breathing and reducing snoring. If the initial surgery fails to address these, a revision surgery would be a definite consideration.

It would also be suggested for patients who are dissatisfied with continued jowls or changes to appearance after a facelift; or for those who are uncomfortable with the look, feel, or size of facial implants.

 

  1. Breast Procedures

When patients come in for either a breast lift, breast augmentation, or breast reduction, they are seeking breasts that are symmetrical and have a natural look and feel. This is also true for patients who have undergone reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. If a surgeon is unable to deliver these results, a revision surgery is needed.

In addition, revision surgery is required if there is capsular contracture, or the breast implant has deflated, eroded, or is simply malpositioned.

  1. Tummy Tuck

Surgical revision after a tummy tuck, a.k.a. abdominoplasty, is not as common. And in many cases, it’s not technically revision surgery if the patient’s dissatisfaction is the result of gaining or losing weight or getting pregnant after the surgery.

There are rare incidents though where a raised scar, abnormal belly button, or continued excess skin are cause for revision surgery.

No matter what the cause for potential revision surgery, it is not a decision to be made without weighing all your options.

Revision Surgery Is Not a Quick Go-To

Keep in mind that recovery from any surgery takes time. You don’t want to be too quick to assume that something terrible is happening during the healing process. You’ll need to be patient. Swelling subsides, scars fade, and the body eventually adjusts to its new situation. Depending on a wide array of factors, could take up to a year.

In addition, you’ll be faced with the additional cost of the surgery, as well as the recovery time required after the procedure. In other words, it’s not a quick solution. So unless you’re deeply dissatisfied or the surgeon has made an egregious error, it should only be considered after a great deal of thought.

Are You Dissatisfied With a Plastic Surgical Procedure?

If you’re not happy with the outcome of a plastic surgery procedure and would like to explore the option of revision surgery, contact us today for a free consultation.

You’ll be able to sit down with our doctors and discuss all of your options.

Then it’s determined that revision is right for you, you can rest easy in knowing that our board-certified plastic surgeons skilled in the revision process will give you the results you desired – and deserved – the first time around.

What Are the Latest Advances in Plastic Surgery?

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Plastic surgery, like everything else in life, is constantly evolving. Yet, there are those who avoid plastic surgery based on antiquated notions of what it is.

So if you’re interested in a procedure for yourself but are wondering about the latest advances in plastic surgery, we’ll take a look at how the face of the industry is changing. (No pun intended.)

Drainless Tummy Tuck

Once upon a time, getting a tummy tuck meant you were going to have to deal with the inconvenience of two or even three drains and their wires coming off your body post surgery. Yeah. Pretty draconian stuff.

Plus, there was always the possibility of bacteria entering through the portal entries of these drains and wires. Not anymore.

With the development of progressive tension sutures, surgeons now advance the skin flaps down toward the incision line so there’s no longer a fluid-gathering space that requires drains. Furthermore, the sutures create a much more aesthetic scar too.

Allergan

When an ophthalmologist in the 1990s discovered that treating people with a tight eyelid condition with Botox injections also smoothed wrinkles, Allergan Pharmaceuticals bought the medication and effectively entered the aesthetics game.

Over the course of the next several decades, they grew into a company that now makes treatments including “medical aesthetics”.

Today, Allergan breast implants are among the most popular for their round implants that deliver a fuller look. They also make tissue expanders to be used in reconstructive breast surgery.

Sciton Laser

In the past, resurfacing the skin involved CO2 lasers and intense heat that could cause pigmented lesions and scarring to those with pigment-elevated skin types. As such, those with darker pigmentation found it difficult to get effective treatment for conditions such as wrinkles, dyschromia, hyper-pigmentation, and pigmented lesions.

But Sciton lasers use halo technology for laser resurfacing. An ablative laser targets very small pathways in the skin while leaving the area around it untouched. Meanwhile, a non-ablative laser drills little thermal holes into the skin. Recognizing these as injuries, the skin is triggered into elastin and collagen production.

Halo not only smooths out wrinkles, but it’s key in the prevention of future wrinkles. And since it doesn’t generate the same level of heat, it is effective on darker skin types.

Emsculpt

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an intense workout while relaxing? It might sound too good to be true, but one of the greatest technological advances in the field of aesthetics is Emsculpt.

You simply relax back onto a table while a small device is strapped over the area you’re targeting. Meanwhile, you’re given guidance on ways to breathe and relax through the session.

As power from the device slowly increases, your muscles begin to contract, creating an intense vibration. After a few contractions, the machine switches over to a tapping action. This helps to break down the lactic acid your muscles produced during the contractions.

At the end of 30 minutes, you’re done. You’ll probably feel it the next day in the same way you would an intense workout. Within two to six weeks after the last session, you’ll see a difference.

Exparel

We all know by now how well narcotics help patients manage pain. But they also have side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, constipation and nausea. Then there’s also the serious risk of addiction – as is evidenced by the current opioid epidemic.

Thus, responsible plastic surgeons have turned to Exparel as a long-lasting extended release anesthetic to ease the pain during early recovery.

It’s similar to getting a shot at the dentist to numb the pain. Exparel is administered at the end of the surgery before the patient is awakened. It’s either done prior to closure by the surgeon by direct injection into the nerves behind the muscle, or by the anesthesiologist by way of TAP lock after closure. It simply blocks the nerves of the area during the procedure to create numbness.

And it continues to provide pain control for up to three days. No, it doesn’t eliminate the pain during recovery, but it reduces the need for narcotics by about 2/3.

So Many Advances in Plastic Surgery

Of course, the above advances in plastic surgery are just the tip of the iceberg. Plastic surgeons continue to be educated in new procedures such as power assisted liposuction and surgical procedures that incorporate no-touch techniques.

So if you’re feeling more confident about getting a desired procedure, contact us today. There’s no commitment. You’ll just start with a free consultation to help ease you into the idea.

Then from there, the choice is yours.

 

Are There Plastic Surgery Health Benefits?

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The answer is yes. Despite the common misconception that plastic surgery is only performed for aesthetic purposes, there are definitely plastic surgery health benefits.

These perks tend, more often than not, to go unmentioned. Glossy magazines and reality television highlight the showier aspects of plastic surgery.

Yet, there are functional benefits that go far beyond cosmetic improvement.

Plastic Surgery Health Benefits You Haven’t Considered

There are countless procedures that can improve one’s health and quality of life. For example, a blepharoplasty, or eye lid surgery, not only improves one’s appearance, but can improve vision as well.

And though not surgery, cosmetic wrinkle injections can have the added benefit of treating a condition such as hyperhidrosis – or excessive sweating.

But rather than getting too deep into the weeds, we’re going to instead look at four general ways that plastic surgery can actually benefit your health:

  1. Better Mental Health

While it’s not necessarily more important to look good than to feel good, they definitely have an impact on one another. Plastic surgery that is seemingly done for purely cosmetic purposes can go along way toward boosting confidence and self-esteem.

This is especially true for patients whose negative body image plagues them enough to physically isolate themselves. Such isolation and poor self-image can lead to depression and the health risks involved with it. So in this way, the simple act of improving or eliminating a cosmetic flaw can be the ultimate act of caring for oneself.

In addition, for women (and even men) who have had a single or double mastectomy, a reconstructive surgery to create breasts can give them a boost after a particularly traumatic operation.

  1. Relieving Pain

Another benefit of plastic surgery is its ability to alleviate muscle and joint pain. Women who seek out plastic surgeons for breast reduction often do so because they suffer with back and shoulder pain from poor posture and strain.

In fact, any procedure that aims to reduce overall bodyweight will not only increase confidence, but also decrease strain on the body that can cause pain and discomfort. Even non surgical treatments can have little-known medical benefits, such as reducing headaches.

  1. Lowering Risk of Disease

At this point, it’s widely understood the importance of sleep. Not getting enough of it has shown to increase the risk for getting many different diseases, including Alzheimer’s. So along with relieving pain that can rob one of his or her sleep, a plastic surgery procedure such as a rhinoplasty (a.k.a. nose job) improves breathing and lessens snoring for a better night’s sleep.

Then there’s the issue of obesity.

Obesity-related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes not only impact the quality of life, but they can be fatal. In fact, heart disease is at the top of the list for killers in America.

Plastic surgery procedures that include liposuction reduce body mass and lower fat percentages to contribute to healthier organs, including the pancreas. The removal of extra weight enables the heart to pump more effectively and reduces the risk of developing heart disease.

  1. The Drive to Live a Healthier Life

Finally, undergoing a procedure frequently gives patients the push they need to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Because they’ve invested in surgery to get this new lease on life, they are less likely to return to the old habits that brought them to the surgeon in the first place.

In situations where people feel more confident and self-assured, aren’t struggling with pain, and aren’t carrying extra weight, they’re more inspired to work out, eat well, drink plenty of water, and seek out relationships and activities that nurture them rather than tear them down.

In this regard, plastic surgery is truly empowering.

Is Your Health At Risk?

If you’re carrying a lot of extra weight or are struggling with the mental insecurities about your appearance, you may just want to throw in the towel.

Instead, consider all of the plastic surgery health benefits that could be available to you. Whatever your situation, contact us today for a free consultation to find out if plastic surgery could help.

You may be surprised by how just how close you are to better health!

The 411 on Plastic Surgery With Medical Conditions

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One of the most common questions plastic surgeons hear is, “Can I still have plastic surgery with medical conditions?”

The short answer is, “As long as your health is optimized for surgery, it is safe.”

That’s why highly professional plastic surgeons not only provide compassionate care, but they also conduct a pre-op screen to catch any major medical issues – such as a mammogram before breast surgery.

Performing Plastic Surgery With Medical Conditions

Cosmetic surgery can be performed on patients with many medical issues including asthma and diabetes. In fact, abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, can actually improve diabetes and boost overall health by lowering blood pressure.

Even so, pre-op clearance is of the utmost importance in situations where there is a pre-existing medical condition.

Labs are run that include complete blood count, electrolytes, blood sugar, kidney and liver function, and coagulation profile. And electrocardiograms (EKG)s are checked for those over 40 years of age or with pre-existing conditions warranting one, such as high blood pressure.

Board certified anesthesiologists and plastic surgeons gather all of this information to assess any risk stratification the patient may have. From there, they set up a highly specialized surgical plan to treat the patient.

During surgery all patients are fully monitored and adjustments to vital signs are made accordingly. In higher risk groups, the surgeon and anesthesiologist may recommend hospital-based surgery as a precaution and keep the patient overnight for observation.

It’s also important to note that any plastic surgery performed on those with medical conditions should involve doctors and nurses with Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification.

What If I Have a High BMI?

Surgeons treat elevated BMI patients all the time. With advancements in medical technology, some of the previous challenges that obese patients faced can now be mitigated – making BMI merely a number.

Patients who are overweight or obese are more likely to have sleep apnea – meaning they temporarily stop breathing while sleeping. Anesthesiologists take this into consideration and the condition is easily treated in the recovery room with CPAP devices.

And issues such as high blood pressure which are common in obese patients are closely monitored and controlled. The aforementioned EKG may also be administered pre-op to determine if there are other cardiac issues.

To reduce the risk of blood clots in patients with a higher BMI reading and when performing multiple procedures, subcutaneous heparin is given before the operation to effectively lower this risk.

Plastic Surgery and Cancer Care

Finally, it’s important to remember that plastic surgery is frequently done for medical reasons. For example, it plays an important role in cancer care for many patients.

Cancer treatment can damage the function or appearance of a body part or parts. Patients seek reconstructive plastic surgery to repair those changes; making it hugely beneficial to the health and wellbeing of cancer patients.

So while plastic surgery isn’t performed when a patient is actually going through treatments, it is often a godsend in the aftermath.

Do You Still Have Questions?

If you’re curious about having a plastic surgery procedure but need more assurance about the safety of plastic surgery with medical conditions, contact us today for a free consultation.

Our surgeons will take the time to answer any of your questions and address your concerns. They will tell you honestly and upfront about your specific situation, any possible risks, and how they will be addressed.

Then you can make an informed decision.

The Increasing Popularity of Plastic Surgery

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While many businesses are sadly suffering the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, plastic surgeons have seen an uptick in patients.

Some of this is a result of the Zoom boom – the surge in bookings for surgical and non-surgical treatments in an attempt to smooth out what is now known as lockdown face.

It makes sense given the fact that so many people are in Zoom meetings all day and suddenly faced with every glaring imperfection and flaw they were able to previously ignore.

There are many other reasons behind the increasing popularity of plastic surgery though.

Technological Advances

Because plastic surgery has no specific regional anatomic focus, it has always been a discipline driven by technique and technology. An increased understanding of anatomy over the past 25 years has allowed for a notable evolution in techniques.

For instance, a more comprehensive understanding of blood supply to the skin, fascia, muscle, and bone has enabled innovative and ingenious improvements of many traditional reconstructive procedures.

Implants have come a long way since the 1940s when advances in material science allowed for their development. It’s now understood that such materials need to match the biomechanical characteristics of the tissue being replaced. There continue to be impressive strides in the development of such biomaterials.

There have also been huge advances in medical computer-assisted imaging technology. These have been transformative in plastic surgery, and particularly for craniofacial surgery where surgeons fix skeletal deformities by repositioning and reassembling the numerous elements of the cranium and facial bones.

Finally, it’s now understood that wound healing is a process involving a dynamic sequence of coordinated cellular processes involving multiple growth factors. As such, therapeutic interventions in just the last 12 years have made more than a dozen growth factors available to promote such healing.

Of course, the increasing popularity goes beyond science.

Popularity of Plastic Surgery Includes Better Health

Carrying a lot of extra weight is tough on the body. Not only does the heart have to work harder and there is an increased risk of diabetes, but excess skin and fat results in weaker core, poor posture, and even back pain.

Both a tummy tuck and breast reduction can help patients strengthen the core, improve posture, and decrease back and even neck pain.

Plastic surgery can also improve vision. As we age, muscles around the eyes weaken and can cause the upper lid to droop so much it interferes with vision. Plastic surgery can remedy this.

Furthermore, many people struggle with a deviated septum. Whether it’s a genetic condition or the result of trauma to the nose, a deviated septum often results in problems with drainage, snoring, and breathing – all of which pose health risks. Plastic surgery corrects this to restore breathing and improve health.

Increased Confidence and Social Acceptance

Decades ago, there wasn’t the same understanding of plastic surgery’s health benefits. In fact, it was often considered a luxury afforded only by the rich. And even at that, people would still whisper about those who had “nose jobs” or snicker disapprovingly about women who got their “boobs done.”

Those days are long gone.

It is now a widely accepted that improving your appearance through plastic surgery can make a huge difference in your life. And it’s far from just vanity.

A research study published in Clinical Psychological Science found that people who chose to undergo plastic surgery were actually happier. When they felt better about their bodies and their appearance, they experienced increased confidence, improved self esteem, a greater sense of satisfaction, and more overall joy in life.

Most patients also adopt healthier lifestyles. Without being bogged down by excess weight, pain, or difficulty breathing, they are able to engage in physical activity. This leads to more mindful eating.

At the end of the day, it all trickles down to improved job performance, better social interactions, and an increased sense of well-being.

Find More Joy in Your Life With Plastic Surgery

Given all of the above, it’s no wonder the popularity of plastic surgery has surged. Plus, it’s more affordable than ever. Of course, the cost of the procedure is not nearly as crucial as finding a surgeon whose primary focus is your safety.

So if you’ve been living with a condition that can be remedied by plastic surgery but still have worries, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our highly qualified board-certified physicians will put your mind at ease.