Thursday, May 31, 2012

The 411 on Tummy Tucks

Are exercise and weight loss not giving you the abdomen you desire?

The tummy-tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure helps to flatten your abdomen by removing excess skin and fatty tissue.  This procedure is suitable for men and women who are in good general health. Tummy tuck should not be confused with liposuction (the cosmetic surgery used to remove fat deposits), although your surgeon may also elect to perform liposuction to improve the overall results. Good candidates for tummy-tuck are women who have muscles and skin stretched by multiple pregnancies, and persons who were obese at one point and still have excessive fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal area.

If you are a woman who is still planning to have children, you may want to wait to investigate the tummy tuck procedure until you are through bearing children. If you are planning to lose weight, you do not want to consider a tummy tuck until you have reached and are maintaining your goal weight.

How is a tummy tuck done? 
Depending on your desired result, this surgery can take from 1-2 hours.  The complexity is dependent upon the amount of excess tissue you have in the lower abdominal wall. Most patients will receive a general anesthetic. There are several options for tummy tuck.  Your surgeon will examine you and then discuss your desired results and anticipated outcome for each. 
Complete abdominoplasty.  The incision is made in the lower abdominal wall area, from hipbone to hipbone.  The excess tissues beneath the umbilicus (belly button) are subsequently removed and the scar is hidden beneath the panty line. 

Belt abdominoplasty. This procedure is for patients who have usually lost a considerable amount of weight, and the laxity of the skin and fatty tissues occurs not just on the front of the abdomen, but also around to the back.  This requires a circumferential excision of these tissues to get the overall best result. 

Partial or mini abdominoplasty. Partial or mini abdominoplasty is often performed on patients whose fat deposits are located in a very small area beneath the belly button.  This procedure can be done in the office with local IV sedation.

How to prepare for a tummy tuck
If you are a smoker, you will have to stop completely for a certain period, as determined by your doctor, because smoking can cause improper and poor wound healing. It is also important to eat a well balanced diet, as nutrition plays a key role in the healing process. Your physician will discuss with you the medications that you are currently taking and whether these can be taken during the time leading up to your surgery.   

What are the potential complications and side effects of tummy tuck surgery? 
In the approximately 1,000 procedures that I have performed, most patients rate the initial pain level at 3 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.  After surgery, all patients should expect some type of minor discomfort for at least one week; swelling may occur for 2-5 months. You may experience some numbness and bruising over the treated areas. The numbness will resolve between 2-6 months after your operation. With any surgery there are risks, the most common are infection, excessive scarring and skin loss. 

Does insurance cover this procedure? 
Insurance carriers generally do not cover elective cosmetic surgery, but your carrier may consider coverage of a certain percentage, if you have a hernia that can be corrected during this procedure. You should discuss this with your surgeon during your initial consultation.

The majority of my patients love their look after this procedure; however, you must realize that you might not feel like yourself for several weeks after this operation. Most patients can probably return to office work within two weeks and heavy lifting within 3-5 weeks. Your body has been under tremendous stress, both emotionally and physically. It is very important that you follow proper diet and exercise to maintain your new look.

For more information, please visit our website at Feel free to leave a comment and visit our Facebook page at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moles on the Mind.

    Unless you are Cindy Crawford, having a mole is probably not your trademark. Moles are not only an aesthetic distraction but can get in the way of shaving, can rub against clothing or jewelry or be a source of suspicion.
     In the majority of cases, a mole is merely a benign growth in the skin. They come in various shapes and sizes and can appear literally anywhere on the body. Some are clustered in groups and some are singular. You can be born with a mole or discover them over time. On rare occasions they may be pre-cancerous--reason enough to have them checked, if not removed completely.
     Why hesitate?  Despite the obvious cosmetic reasons most people postpone mole removal because they fear it will be painful and/or cause scarring.  For years physicians removed moles through direct excision which meant minor surgery that required anesthetic and sutures. In reality, this technique did involve a higher risk of excessive scarring.
     Freezing moles was and is another popular method, but recurrence is common and scarring can still be an unwanted byproduct.  Chemical removal is discouraged as it is almost always accompanied by noticeable scarring.    
     The good news is that mole removal, with minimal or eliminated scarring is available and is our preferred method of addressing this concern. Radio surgical mole removal involves a laser-like pencil device to remove the lesions with thermal energy. A local anesthetic is applied. There is virtually no scarring because stitches are unnecessary. The mole can easily be sent away to check for harmful cells. Most procedures take less than 15 minutes depending on the number of moles. Over the course of a few days the skin heals, leaving little trace that the lesion was ever there.  Deeper or larger moles might leave a small pink spot that will fade or become lighter over time.
     In my 25 years of experience with over 10,000 cases I have found this method to be the most quick, painless and effective technique for removing moles without significant scarring. There is no excuse to wait for smoother, clearer skin.

For more information, please visit our website at Feel free to leave a comment and visit our Facebook page at