Can You Eliminate a Cleft Chin?

Posted on June 10, 2024 by:


If you have a prominent dimple in your chin that leaves you feeling self-conscious, you may be wondering if you can get rid of it.

Known medically as a cleft chin (and colloquially as a butt or booty chin), this dimple or crease doesn’t pose any threat to your health. But you may be so troubled by its appearance that it DOES impact your confidence.

The good news is, you can eliminate a cleft chin.

What Causes a Cleft Chin?

A cleft chin is a genetic trait. It happens during fetal development when there’s an alteration in the development of the lower jaw bone and the underlying chin muscles. A cleft chin is NOT considered a defect, but rather a natural variation.

As such, some see it as a distinctive feature (think John Travolta, John Mayer, Adele – to name a few). Even so, not everybody is happy with such a ‘feature.’ Plus, not all cleft chins are created equal. Variations in soft tissue structure and facial bone can affect size of the cleft.

So it’s understandable that there will be folks with cleft chins who’d rather go without.

How Can You Eliminate a Cleft Chin?

When it comes to saying goodbye to that cleft chin, there are a few options available.

  1. Filler Injections

Filler injections are a great option for those who have a fairly deep chin cleft but don’t wish to go under the knife. Not yet, at least.

With this method, hyaluronic acid fillers are injected directly into the indentation or wide space of the chin. This creates a rounder shape and a more contoured chin.

It’s important to note, however, that fillers are a temporary solution. This can be a positive thing because you may find you actually miss that cleft chin once it’s gone. If not though, you’ll need to get fillers on a regular basis. Or you’ll need to opt for surgery.

  1. Fat Grafting

If having fillers sealed your resolve to eliminate your cleft chin, or you already know you want it gone, then you may want to opt for fat grafting.

With fat grafting, the surgeon first harvests fat from your abdomen or thighs. It’s then purified and carefully injected into your chin – effectively filling the cleft and giving your chin a smooth and round finish. This surgical procedure provides a more natural and longer-lasting solution than fillers.

  1. Cleft Chin Surgery (Genioplasty)

As we said earlier, not all cleft chins are created equal. Some involve more steps to repair than others.

Genioplasty is more a complicated surgery than fat grafting. This procedure is recommended for those who require a reshaping and adjusting of the chin bone to provide a rounder shape and reduce the cleft’s prominence.

On some occasions during genioplasty, the plastic surgeon may also use a chin implant to change the appearance of the lower jaw bone. Given the often complex nature of this procedure, the recovery time will be longer than with fat grafting.

We All Want to Feel Comfortable in Our Skin

While reading about ways to eliminate a cleft chin, did you start thinking about areas of your body you don’t find aesthetically pleasing? Is this dissatisfaction causing you stress? You have a choice!

Consider taking the next step with a plastic surgery procedure. Contact us today to set up a free consultation where you’ll speak with a board-certified surgeon who can help you achieve your desired aesthetic.

It’s time to feel more comfortable in your own skin.


5 Great Benefits of a Facelift

Posted on June 3, 2024 by:


Once upon a time, a facelift, or rhytidectomy, was a procedure only available to the elite. That is no longer the case. And given the many benefits of a facelift, they’ve become increasingly commonplace.

Plus, you needn’t be a particular age to be an ideal candidate for a facelift procedure. While the most common age range for most patients seeking a facelift is between 50 and 65, they can be performed on anyone troubled by sagging skin or unwanted wrinkles.

And while facelifts are often targeted at women, they’re effective for men as well. So if you’re considering this procedure, now is the time!

What Are the Benefits of a Facelift?

Okay, you may not be ready to jump right in just yet. That’s smart. It’s a good idea to do a little research before you have any procedure. After all, a facelift will change your appearance.

But when handled by a skilled board-certified surgeon with a proven track record, that change will be for the better. A successful facelift can do the following:

  1. Tighten Skin and Get Rid of Jowls

It is often the 50+ crowd seeking facelifts because of the reduced levels of collagen production that come from aging. They begin to notice their skin has started sagging or wrinkling. In addition, for those who weren’t terribly diligent about using SPF protection over the years, there may be sun damage.

Over-the-counter and prescription creams can help for a while. But eventually, they can’t do the job in tightening and smoothing out those wrinkles. Plus, no cream on the market can get rid of the sagging skin that’s concentrated around the jawline and creates jowls. In all of these cases, a facelift removes that excess skin, tightens the neck and facial muscles, and contours the jaw and upper neck area to provide a more youthful appearance.

  1. Target Various Signs of Aging

Along with the aforementioned factors of lower collagen production and sun damage, the impact of years of stress, poor eating, and/or smoking can negatively impact your skin.

Facelifts can restore your youthful appearance by targeting various signs of aging, resulting in a tighter appearance of the face and neck. Fortunately, a facelift targets sagging skin, deep wrinkles, and creases that appear between the nose and mouth, as well as those extending from the mouth to chin. In addition, if needed, excess fat is removed – and all in one procedure.

Speaking of excess fat…

  1. Reduce or Eliminate a Double Chin

Sagging and wrinkles on the skin of the neck come with aging. But for some patients, extra skin or excess fat has formed around their neck giving the appearance of a double chin.

This excess skin on the chin renders them much older-looking than they are. It is also a source of embarrassment or even discomfort when wearing certain clothes. In this case, a neck lift may be added to a facelift to remove that excess fat and tighten the skin.

  1. Deliver Natural-Looking Results

Facelifts of the past were easy to spot. The patient often appeared to have plastic wrap stretched across their face and everyone knew they had “work” done.

Plastic surgery has come a long way since then. Today’s procedures are far more advanced. Plus, surgeons have learned new skills that allow for a more naturally reinvigorated appearance for their patients.

  1. Leave No Visible Surgical Scars

While the location and size of incisions will vary from one facelift patient to the next, they are all designed to be invisible. This doesn’t mean non-existent of course. But in most cases, incisions are made behind the ear or along the hairline so as not to be apparent.

Feeling More Confident About a Facelift?

While you can’t turn back the clock, bringing a more youthful glow back to your face is just one of the many benefits of a facelift.

So if you’re ready to smooth out those wrinkles or say goodbye to that double chin, then contact us today.

During your free consultation, you’ll learn about all of the facelift options available to you so you can move forward with confidence – and a smile.

Products to Prolong Your Plastic Surgery Results

Posted on May 28, 2024 by:


When you’ve decided to have plastic surgery, you want the results to last as long as possible.

Of course, being diligent about following your surgeon’s post-op instructions will go a long way toward that end.

But there are also a variety of excellent products from Skin Medica that will help you maintain and prolong your plastic surgery results.

Bring Shine to Your Eyes

TNS Eye Repair® from Skin Medica reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. While not ideal for oily skin, it does wonders for those with normal to dry skin.

Meanwhile, Instant Bright Eye Cream from Skin Medica is appropriate for all skin types. With key ingredients from Lytera® 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum, HA5® Rejuvenating Hydrator, plus other advanced ingredients this cream results in a thoroughly comprehensive eye treatment.

Instant Bright Eye masks add the ultimate boost, ultra-hydrate and visibly improve puffiness to enhance the results of your eye treatment. These premium gel patches are the perfect companion to Instant Bright Eye Cream eye treatment. They work in tandem to provide the ultimate treatment for youthful-looking eyes. And like the eye cream, they are appropriate for all skin types.

Plump Your Lips

The HA⁵® Smooth and Plump Lip System is another treatment that works with all skin types. It’s a two-step treatment clinically shown to plump the appearance of lips while providing the same smoothing and hydrating benefits of HA⁵® Rejuvenating Hydrator. It also enhances rosiness and visibly smooths fine lines.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Skin Medica’s Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 32 (Tinted) is a sunscreen with a touch of color, slightly tinted, lightweight formulation gives you the highest level of UVA protection available, along with UVB coverage in a mineral shield that’s gentle to your skin. Appropriate for post-procedure and sensitive skin types.

Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 35 does not have a tint, but rather it’s a sheer, lightweight, mineral sunscreen that gives you the highest level of UVA protection available, along with UVB coverage to protect you from damaging rays. Also appropriate for post-procedure and sensitive skin types.

For those with oily and combination skin, Essential Defense Everyday Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 47 is a great choice. This lightweight, sheer sunscreen guards against damaging UVA and UVB rays while offering paraben-free, hypoallergenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free protection.

Tighten and Firm up Your Skin

There are already so many factors that speed up the aging process. So we can use all the help we can get!

Firm & Tone Lotion for Body is a highly effective and dermatologist-tested treatment that improves the appearance of body skin firmness and tone, decreases the look of sagging, diminishes the look of crepey skin, and addresses uneven skin texture.

The non-irritating Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser with clinically proven ingredients gently dissolves makeup, oil, impurities, and dirt to cleanse and purify pores while supporting the skin’s barrier, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and coarse wrinkles, and enhancing skin tone and resiliency.

Prolong Your Plastic Surgery Results

When you decide to get plastic surgery, you’re investing in yourself. Thus, you want to prolong your plastic surgery results to make the most of that investment.

So contact us today to set up a free consultation with our board-certified surgeon to discuss next steps.

And in the meantime, be sure to take a look at the wide variety of Skin Medica products we offer. They’re part of the complete package.


Are There Benefits of Breast Reconstruction After Breast Cancer Surgery?

Posted on April 22, 2024 by:


If you’ve been through breast cancer surgery, you know how frightening the whole experience is – starting right from the diagnosis.

Perhaps you’ve had a lumpectomy that altered the size and shape of your breast. Or if you’ve had a single or double mastectomy, the appearance of your breasts has significantly changed.

It’s an emotional journey, to be sure. If the smoke hasn’t yet cleared, give yourself time to settle into your new reality. You may be quite comfortable with it. If not, you could always consider the benefits of breast reconstruction.

The Benefits of Breast Reconstruction

As horrifying and worrisome as the above-mentioned procedures are, they are often life-saving and most patients are grateful for them. Even so, some women feel self-conscious about how their breasts now appear. For them, breast reconstruction is a consideration.

There are several reasons these patients opt for breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy or lumpectomy.

  1. Restores Proportion and Balance to the Breasts

One of the biggest laments patients share after a lumpectomy or mastectomy is the perceived lack of symmetry and balance. They feel their appearance is off-center or ‘crooked’. This is especially true if surgery was performed on only one breast. Breast reconstruction reconciles this by restoring balance and proportion to the breasts.

  1. Eliminates the Need for a Prosthetic

Breast reconstruction isn’t the only option. The truth is, after undergoing surgery to fight breast cancer, some women are not eager to go under the knife again. For them, a prosthetic known as a breast form is a viable solution. And many of them will stay with this option.

The issue with breast forms is that they require the use of adhesives and specialized bras though. So some women begin to miss the feeling of having their breasts as a natural part of their bodies. At this point, they may choose breast reconstruction to attain that.

  1. Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence

When you get right down to it, it’s reason #3 here that patients opt for breast reconstruction. While some women are largely unaffected by their new look, confidence and self-esteem take a hit with the loss of breast tissue for others.

At the end of the day, bringing proper balance back and feeling that the breasts are a natural part of the body all lend to increased self-esteem and confidence for these patients.

Breast Reconstruction Surgery Is Not One Size Fits All

Breast reconstruction surgery is customized to meet each person’s specific situation. There are three basic methods:

  1. Breast Implant

Breast implant reconstruction is the least invasive method. It does not require harvesting tissue from another part of the body and relies, instead, on saline or silicone implants. With this method, the surgeon employs tissue expanders to gradually recreate the natural mound of the breast. Then the implants can be placed.

  1. Fat Transfer

Fat transfer reconstruction is going to be a better option for patients who’ve had a lumpectomy or partial breast trauma than for those who’ve had a full mastectomy. In this procedure, rather than using implants, fat tissue is harvested from elsewhere on the body (typically hips, thighs, abdomen, or back). It is then purified and transferred to the breast area to restore its/their natural shape.

  1. Autologous

Autologous breast reconstruction, also known as perforator flap reconstruction, is the most complex of the three methods. Requiring the skills of an experienced plastic surgeon, it also involves harvesting tissue from somewhere else on the body to manipulate a new breast that looks and feels like a natural one. The results are long-lasting.

Still Not Sure?

If you’re not entirely confident about breast reconstruction surgery, there’s no rush. You want to feel ready and right about your decision. No rule says you have to do it. Many women do not.

In the meantime, if you’re curious about all of the many other ways plastic surgery can serve you, keep checking back with our blog. It’s chock full of descriptive, informative, and even fun articles.

And if you come across a procedure that sounds even more beneficial for you, don’t hesitate to contact us!


Getting Defined Arms Through Plastic Surgery

Posted on April 8, 2024 by:


With summer quickly approaching, you may be trying everything in your power to get toned arms. And if you’re not having much luck with your efforts, you’re probably feeling frustrated.

You don’t need to throw in the towel on having great arms this summer just yet though.

It is possible to get more defined arms through plastic surgery.

How To Achieve Defined Arms Through Plastic Surgery

The cool thing about plastic surgery is that no matter which area of the body you’re targeting, there are usually multiple choices in how to approach it.

But that’s also the challenging part because it can leave patients confused about what to do. Fortunately, when you enlist a highly professional and board-certified plastic surgeon, he or she will advise you on the best route for you.

There are three main options when it comes to tightening arms.

  1. Liposuction

If the skin of your arms is still taut and bounces back easily, your surgeon will likely recommend liposuction. He or she will make two small incisions, one above the elbow and another near the upper armpit, then utilize a cannula to draw out the fat and de-bulk the arm.

You’ll want to schedule this procedure soon though because you may need to wear a compression garment for up to a month to minimize fluid buildup and enable the skin to re-drape.

  1. Emsculpt

Many who seek out Emsculpt procedures focus on improving their abs. And it’s extremely effective for this area. Plus, toning the abdominal muscles will have the natural outcome of increasing core strength and stability.

Yet there are even smaller paddles utilized to target the biceps and triceps. For instance, golfers and tennis players use Emsculpt to improve the strength of their swings and explosive maneuvers.

Emsculpt is a better option for those with minimal excess fat and good elasticity. You relax back onto a table while a small device is strapped over the area of your arms you’re targeting. Facilitators give you tips on ways to breathe and relax through the session.

Power from the device slowly increases and your muscles begin to contract, creating an intense vibration that may feel strange at first. After a few contractions, the machine switches to a tapping action to break down the lactic acid your muscles produce during the contractions. At the end of 30 minutes, you’re done. It’s a great option for those who qualify and are looking for a quick procedure with no downtime.

  1. Brachioplasty

Brachioplasty or arm lift surgery is the best option for patients with excess loose skin and moderate to severe skin laxity. It’s effective for reducing sagging skin and localized fat that hangs off the upper arm. At the same time, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and smoothed.

Performed under general anesthesia, there are two types of brachioplasty. With a full brachioplasty, more skin and fat are removed. A modified brachioplasty does not require as much removal. Therefore, it is the one that will involve a shorter recovery time.

Your plastic surgeon will do everything in his or her power to limit the incisions and scarring as much as possible. However, in cases where there is a lot of excess skin and fat, a longer incision may be required. And while this will leave a scar, it will fade significantly over time.

Regardless of the incision, excess fat is either directly excised or removed through liposuction. From there, underlying tissue is tightened and then reshaped using internal sutures. Then the skin is smoothed over the resulting toned contour.

Finally, incisions are closed with either absorbable sutures or with stitches that will need to be removed within a week or two of the procedure.

Show Off Your Arms This Summer (and Beyond)

If you’re not getting the results you want through diet and exercise, then take advantage of everything plastic surgery has to offer.

Contact us today to find out how you can get more defined arms through plastic surgery.

And put the dumbbells away for now!

Top Questions About Laser Skin Resurfacing

Posted on April 1, 2024 by:


Are you frustrated with wrinkles, age spots, acne scars, or other blemishes? You don’t have to accept them as a fact of life.

Laser skin resurfacing is a non-surgical way to tighten skin and balance tone. Yet, simple as it sounds, there are many different options for this procedure, and that leaves patients with a lot of questions.

Speaking with a plastic surgeon or skin specialist will help clarify the exact procedure you’ll need. In the meantime, we’ll review some of the more commonly asked questions.

Do Laser Skin Resurfacing Treatments Hurt?

They may and they may not. It depends on the procedure, as well as your personal threshold for pain.

Some laser resurfacing treatments are more intense than others. Deeper ablative treatments where some outer layers of the skin are removed may require local anesthetic injections. But non-ablative treatments typically cause little to no pain. Topical numbing cream can help ward off any discomfort.

After the procedure, there may be some tenderness in the treatment area that can be treated.

Will It Work If I Have Darker Skin?

For a long time, laser resurfacing was only an effective treatment for patients with lighter skin. This is because lasers posed a high risk for cell damage in darker skin. New technology has greatly lowered this risk and certain laser treatments are more effective than others for lighter-toned African American, Asian, or Hispanic skin tones.

For patients with darker brown or black skin, however, other skin resurfacing options such as microneedling might be recommended. Your provider will advise you.

Is There a Better Time of Year to Have It?

Since laser-treated skin needs to be protected from the sun after the procedure, late autumn through winter is laser season. Unless you live in a tropical environment, the winter months are darker and colder and skin is covered. In addition, more time is spent indoors.

Even if you opt to get laser resurfacing in the fall or winter, you’ll still need to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Not only will you protect your skin against skin cancer, but it will protect the results of your procedure as well.

Can It Be Impacted by Certain Medications or Conditions?

The short answer is yes. Products like aspirin or chronic conditions like diabetes can increase the risk of bleeding after your procedure. And patients who smoke will likely experience slower healing.

In addition, laser treatment can induce acne breakouts, and people on certain acne medications may experience poor healing or scarring from a laser skin resurfacing treatment.

As such, it’s crucial that you’re absolutely honest with your provider about your medical history, as well as any medications you’re taking. This includes supplements.

How Much Downtime Is There?

Your needs may be met with a single laser treatment. In most cases though, you’ll need a series of treatments to garner the best results.

As mentioned above, non-ablative treatments are less invasive and may result in little to no downtime at all. Meanwhile, depending on the depth and the type of laser used, healing from ablative laser treatments can take two to three weeks before redness and/or scabbing clears.

You won’t be relegated to your house or anything. You may just feel uncomfortable exposing your skin in social situations during this time.

Reduce Wrinkles, Acne Scars, and Blemishes!

If your skin is looking tired and aged, it might be time to consult with a plastic surgeon or skin specialist about laser skin resurfacing.

Contact us today to find out about the many options available to you. During your free consultation, you’ll be educated about the different laser treatments so you can narrow it down to the one that will be right for you.

Then get ready for brighter and more youthful skin!

Could You Be a Candidate for a Neck Lift?

Posted on March 25, 2024 by:


It’s not surprising that the neck scarf is popular among older people for hiding crepey, drooping, or wrinkled skin. They’ll sport a scarf even in the middle of the summer.

Unlike other areas of the body, the neck doesn’t respond to diet and exercise. And there are almost no over-the-counter treatments that make any kind of difference.

Fortunately, a plastic surgeon can perform a neck lift to restore a more youthful contour and sharper jawline.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?

If you have a double chin, excess fat or drooping skin on the lower face, wrinkly or crepey neck skin, or loose sagging skin that gives the appearance of a ‘turkey neck,’ you may have resigned yourself to a less-than-attractive neckline. You don’t have to though.

If you’re a nonsmoker (or willing to quit), are in generally good health, and have no medical conditions that will slow healing, a neck lift can alter your profile and jawline in such a way that you’ll look years younger.

Another key component is the ability to be realistic about the outcome. When you have a full understanding that a neck lift is not going to drastically change your appearance or stop the aging process, you will be more satisfied with the results.

What To Expect From a Neck Lift Procedure

A neck lift, or in doctorly terms a platysmaplasty, is surgery. That means you’ll be under anesthesia.

The surgeon makes an incision that typically follows the contour from the top of your ear to your lower hairline on each side. Then depending on your specific needs, the surgeon may sculpt, remove, or redistribute excess fat. Tissues may need to be repositioned and tightened and skin will be redraped and positioned over the new contours. Excess skin is trimmed away.

In the case of a double chin, there will also be liposuction to tighten the area.

Neck Lift Recovery

You will need to keep your head elevated and limit the movement of your neck to keep the stitches intact. There may or may not be a drain near the incision site to avoid fluid build-up and lessen swelling.

Any residual bruising or swelling you experience could last for several weeks. As that goes down, you’ll begin to see your new and improved contours.

Follow the specific instructions your doctor will give you to ensure you get the best possible results and quickest recovery.

Are There Non-Surgical Options?

A neck lift is surgery. There’s no way around that. And while there are non-surgical options, they will not achieve the same results.

Even so, if you’re just starting to notice changes in your neck, nonsurgical rejuvenation treatments can delay your need for surgery. Or if you’ve had a neck lift, these non-surgical treatments can complement the results.

If your issues are not advanced, nonsurgical options offer a quicker recovery time and fewer risks. Botox, for example, can reduce banding. Dermal fillers can bring more volume. Microneedling rejuvenates the skin by stimulating collagen production. And laser treatments can provide textural improvements.

You can always discuss these with your plastic surgeon.

Is a Neck Lift Right for You?

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your neck because of aging, you could be the perfect candidate for a neck lift.

You may also find that a non-surgical technique delivers what you need. Whatever the case, you don’t need to be unhappy with your neck any longer.

Contact us today to set up a free consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon. You’ll be pointed in the direction that will garner the best results for you.



What Happens to the Belly Button During A Tummy Tuck?

Posted on March 18, 2024 by:


If you’re frequently obsessing over a bulge in your belly, you may be focusing on ways to get rid of it. And if exercising and changing your diet haven’t done the trick, then you might be a good candidate for abdominoplasty.

Also known as a tummy tuck, this procedure is a great way to flatten and contour round bellies that aren’t responding to diet and exercise.

But such a surgery may leave you pondering – what happens to the belly button during a tummy tuck? Let’s explore.

What Is the Belly Button?

Sure, most of us know that the belly button is the demarcation of where the umbilical cord was cut when we were born. It’s a scar – regardless of whether it’s an innie or an outie. And its only purpose after birth is purely cosmetic. It helps to define the contour of our bellies.

But what’s happening beneath that scar? The belly button sits at the end of a ‘stalk’ that extends to the fascia where the two rectus abdominis muscles meet. (If you’re not familiar, these are the muscles you use when doing a sit-up.) So that means if you’re getting any surgical work done on your belly, that stalk is a consideration.

How Is It Addressed During Tummy Tuck?

It’s not unusual for patients to be concerned that their belly button is going to be eliminated after a tummy tuck. But have no fear. While your belly button may have a slight change in appearance or position, it’s the surrounding skin and tissues that are rearranged during the surgery.

At the beginning of the procedure, the inner border of the belly button is held up and the surgeon incises around its edges. It’s then dissected down to its base on the fascia (abdominal wall). Excess skin and fat are retracted so the belly button can be viewed within the separation of the above-mentioned rectus abdominis muscles.

The surgeon tightens the muscles and removes the excess skin and fat. These newly tightened edges of the skin are sutured together. Still attached to the abdominal wall, the belly button stalk is brought out through a new opening which is closely in line with where the hip bones protrude and the edges are neatly sutured.

Does the Belly Button Need to Be Reshaped?

As mentioned above, there will likely be a slight change in the appearance of your belly button. And if you have an outie and want an innie (or vice versa), that can also be achieved.

Whatever the case, your board-certified plastic surgeon will go the extra mile to ensure that the positioning of the belly button looks natural and doesn’t appear too round or too narrow. The scar will also be kept internal.

Is There Always an Issue with the Belly Button During a Tummy Tuck?

For patients with only a mild to moderate amount of fat or loose skin that’s localized to the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck may be a good option. This less extensive form of abdominoplasty focuses on the area below the belly button and so there is little to no change in the belly button. There is also no incision or scar around it.

Most candidates for tummy tucks won’t qualify for a mini tuck though as it won’t give them all of the benefits of a full abdominoplasty. This is, or course, something you can discuss with your surgeon as a possible option during your consultation.

Is It Time to Talk Tummy Tuck?

Hopefully, you’re feeling confident now that you won’t lose your belly button during a tummy tuck.

You might even be able to put a new spin on the one you currently have.

So if you’re ready to explore tummy tuck options, contact us today to set up your free consultation. And get ready for a flatter, more toned stomach with the belly button of your dreams.

Do You Have Bloating or Diastasis Recti?

Posted on March 11, 2024 by:


Does your belly protrude in a way that makes you appear pregnant?

There are several possibilities for this. However, the two most common conditions are the standard everyday bloating that many of us experience, or a more complicated issue known as diastasis recti.

So how do you know if your protrusion is a result of bloating or diastasis recti? Let’s take a look.

Determining Whether It’s Bloating or Diastasis Recti

Most of us have experienced bloating. It’s that too-full feeling in the belly that can make your clothes feel too tight, cause cramps, or even limit your activities. The majority of the time, bloating is temporary.

Fortunately, there are dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to minimize or even eliminate bloating.

Ways to Manage Bloating

One of the biggest culprits for bloating is eating too quickly. Doing so can lead to indigestion, as well as cause you to overeat.

What you’re eating is equally important. A fiber-rich diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, or other legumes will result in less bloating. Eating more fiber also regulates bowel movements, supports your gut microbiome, and even normalizes blood sugar levels.

Consider eating more probiotics too. These beneficial live bacteria can reduce bloating and are naturally present in many foods including unsweetened yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and kimchi. You can also use probiotic supplements.

And don’t forget to hydrate. Water breaks down food so your body can absorb it more effectively.

Meanwhile, limit (or eliminate) your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is notorious for causing bloat because it can trigger gut inflammation which causes your body to produce more gas than usual.

Finally, after eating, get your body moving to keep your digestion system moving. You can try a brisk walk or some gentle yoga poses.

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti looks like bloating but is something quite different. Caused usually by weight gain or pregnancy, it’s a condition wherein the abdominal muscles separate vertically down the middle.

When the uterus expands outward, it can cause the abdominal muscles to stretch so as to accommodate the baby. When the connective tissue is overstretched, the abdominal muscles actually separate.

While for some women the gap closes postpartum, for others, this is not the case. With diastasis recti, the belly extends because those separated abdominal muscles are unable to hold the organs in their normal position near the spine. As a result, the belly bulges.

Assessing and Treating Diastasis Recti

If you’re able to suck your belly all the way in until it’s flat from a side view, that shows how much diastasis you have. If you can’t suck it in, then there may be visceral fat or bloating with or without diastasis recti. There’s a simple self-test to determine diastasis recti.

Start by lying on your back and bending your knees. Place your fingers on each side of your belly button. Point them downward into your stomach and then lift your head. You’ll feel your abdominal muscles contract.

If you have diastasis recti, you will feel a gap between the two sides of the abdomen. You will, of course, want to get this verified by a medical expert. And if the gap exceeds 1.5 cm, it can only be corrected with abdominoplasty.

Also known as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty repairs abdominal muscle separation and provides you with a smoother and more contoured midsection.

What’s Causing Your Protruded Belly?

One of the simplest ways to determine whether you’re struggling with bloating or diastasis recti is to try the lifestyle changes we’ve suggested above. If they work, you’ve ruled out bloating.

On the other hand, if they don’t, you could be dealing with diastasis recti.

If that’s the case, then don’t hesitate to contact us today. During your free consultation with our board-certified surgeon, you’ll get an understanding of your specific issue so that you can get started on a journey to a flatter and more streamlined tummy.


Reasons to Avoid Silicone Fillers

Posted on March 4, 2024 by:


Once upon a time, the go-to material for dermal fillers was silicone-based. They lasted a long time and the most common areas for injection included the lips, face, buttocks, and hips.

Interestingly, the FDA never approved silicone fillers for cosmetic purposes. Yet, this didn’t stop some practitioners from continuing to offer these “permanent” fillers as an option.

When some patients began to experience chronic inflammation, lumps, skin discoloration, and/or tissue loss after the procedure, however, it served as a real wake-up call to avoid silicone fillers.

The Many Reasons to Avoid Silicone Fillers

Despite the warnings and continued lack of FDA approval, some less-than-ethical clinics continue to offer silicone fillers. If this is something you’re considering, it’s important you understand the risks involved with silicone.

  1. Risk of Infection

Silicone-based fillers can get infected. While the inflammation that results from such infections can sometimes be treated with antibiotics, in other cases the bacteria is much more difficult to address. This can lead to both short and long-term health problems.

  1. Fillers Move to Other Parts of the Body

After the procedure, some patients who’ve opted for silicone-based fillers struggle with inflammation and swelling nowhere near the injection site. This is because the silicone fillers can migrate to other areas of the body where they create problems. For patients unaware of this tendency, experiencing pain and swelling in an unrelated area can be alarming. And it’s not always easy to treat.

  1. A Hyper Immune Response

The human body’s immune system is wired to react aggressively to foreign material in the body. In the case of objects like implants, a highly negative response warrants the removal of the object. The problem with fillers though is that the silicone can not be easily removed. Materials used in contemporary fillers can be easily dissolved. Silicone-based fillers cannot and it may even require surgery to extract it.

  1. Swollen Tissues

In line with the above-mentioned immune reaction, silicone can cause inflammation and swelling as a result of allergies. It can also be the result of a lymphatic flow blockage. Massaging the swollen area may help reduce the swelling to some extent.

So Then Why Would Someone Choose Silicone Fillers?

At the top of the list of reasons to choose silicone is that they last a long time. Current fillers in the U.S. last six to 24 months. By contrast, silicone fillers can last for years or decades. Thus, they require fewer injections.

But because of the countless problems incurred, most doctors and practitioners don’t offer them. While you can still find locations who will perform the procedure illegally and by non-medical practitioners, it’s very risky.

Contemporary Fillers

Today, most fillers are made with the body’s natural compound hyaluronic acid that is found in the skin and cartilage. It typically dissolves within 12 to 16 months. Some injectables contain the mineral calcium hydroxylapatite which is a mineral that’s found in the bones. These fillers last closer to 18 months.

A biodegradable synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid is also available. These are the longest lasting at two years. Whatever the case, dermal fillers are a safe option for patients who would rather try a more temporary procedure.

Insist on Safe Fillers

If dermal fillers are in your future, the obvious solution is to avoid silicone fillers.

While today’s modern fillers may not last as long and you’ll need to get more of them, isn’t your health worth it? We think so.

So contact us today to set up a free consultation. You’ll be so glad you did.