Posts Tagged ‘breast lift’

All About Breast Lifts

breast lift mastopexyAs women age, they often notice changes to their breasts, especially following childbirth and breastfeeding. While it’s true that changes like sagging or drooping are part of the normal aging process, the good news is that if you are unhappy with the look of your breasts, there is a relatively simple procedure called a breast lift that can help reposition, reshape and rejuvenate your breasts to restore a more youthful appearance.

What is a breast lift?

If you’re happy with the size and volume of your breasts but want a perkier look, then a basic breast lift (mastopexy) — a procedure that reshapes and lifts your breast tissue — may be just right for you.

During this procedure, your surgeon will likely remove a substantial amount of skin to help your breast go back to a more aesthetically pleasing position. If you also want to reduce the size of your nipple and its surrounding area (areola), it can be done at the same time.

If you’d like your breasts to be more lifted and larger, you can get those results with a mastopexy with a breast augmentation procedure. Your surgeon will reposition your breasts, and also use a breast implant to increase their volume.

And finally, if you’d like more lifted and smaller breasts, your best option is a mastopexy with a breast reduction. If you currently have implants you’d like to have replaced with smaller implants, we can offer several options.

Where are the incisions made?

Excess skin is removed from all over the breast. The exact location of the incisions depends on how much skin needs to be removed. However, there is always one incision around the areola and one that goes in a straight line down to the fold of the breast. Sometimes, a small incision is also needed in the fold underneath the breast. Your surgeon will discuss with you your unique needs and will be able to show you where your incisions will likely be prior to your surgery.

How long will it take me to recover?

While it may take several months to see the final results from your breast lift, your actual recovery typically happens within a few weeks. You can expect to have some bruising and swelling during that time. You’ll also have stitches and bandages covering your incisions.

Since the procedure doesn’t affect the muscles of the chest, the pain is usually minimal and easily managed. In fact, many patients are able to go off pain medication within a few days after surgery, and back to work within 10 days.

You should plan to avoid intense activities, such as upper-body workouts, for four to six weeks.

Am I a good candidate for a breast lift?

A breast lift can produce remarkable improvement in the appearance of your breasts, but there are limitations to what the surgery can accomplish. As long as you’re in good health and have realistic expectations, you’re a good candidate. Some lifestyle choices, like smoking, increase your risks and can have a negative impact on healing, so being a non-smoker is ideal.

Your surgeon will talk with you about your medical history, as well as assess your current health, before scheduling any cosmetic procedure.

Emory Aesthetic Center

At Emory Aesthetic Center, we’re committed to making your cosmetic surgery experience a positive one. Our team of highly skilled surgeons are happy to answer questions that you may have, so you fully understand what you can expect during and after your breast lift procedure.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and speak to a cosmetic surgeon about the approach that’s right for you.

About Dr. Miotto

Gabriele C. Miotto, MD, is an assistant professor of surgery in the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, and the associate program director of the Emory Aesthetic Center Fellowship Program. She is fellowship-trained in aesthetic and oculoplastic surgery and certified by the Georgia Composite Medical Board as well as the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Miotto is also certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

 

Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

Mastopexy: What to Expect from Breast Lift Surgery

The shape of the breasts can change over time. They may lose elasticity and firmness causing a sagging effect. This can be contributed to a number of factors, including weight gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, and the effects of gravity. When the breasts descend down the chest wall, we call this ptosis. A mastopexy, or breast lift, is used to raise the breast back to its original position and restore a youthful shape. Below are frequently asked questions about breast lift surgery and what to expect.

What Steps are Involved in a Mastopexy Surgery?

There are four general components to mastopexy surgery. First, we restore the breast or nipple-areolar complex to its normal position, and possibly resize it if needed. Second, if the patient requests it, there can be a volume adjustment. Breasts that are too large can be made smaller, and breasts that are small can be made larger with breast implants. Then, the overall shape of the breasts is restored. Having achieved this, there is generally some excess skin that will need to be removed as the final component of a breast lift.

How Long Does it Take to Perform a Breast Lift?

The length of the operation depends on the specifics involved in the surgery. If it is a straightforward mastopexy, it takes approximately 2 hours. If a breast reduction is performed with the breast lift, it takes approximately 3 hours. And if implants are involved, the time can fluctuate from there. Your plastic surgeon will be able to inform you of the operation length once all components of the surgery are finalized.

Is There Pain After Mastopexy Surgery?

After surgery, expect to be uncomfortable for a few days. You will likely feel pain and soreness around the incisions. For the first week, you may need pain medication. In my practice, patients have not reported very much discomfort after a mastopexy. I have had women state that it feels like they need to breast feed after the procedure. However, if breast implants are done concurrently with a breast lift, it tends to be more uncomfortable.

Will There Be Scars After Breast Lift Surgery?

The biggest drawback to mastopexy are the resulting scars. Fortunately, in most instances, the scarring gradually gets better and better during the recovery so that at the end of the healing process they become very inconspicuous. Women (and their plastic surgeons) want to minimize scars whenever possible, but the procedure that leaves the smallest scar may not always be the best choice for you. One of the keys to getting great results with a breast lift is to match the right scar pattern with your needs. It is important that when a plastic surgeon is interviewed that you see examples of incisions during the course of recovery so that you know what to expect after the operation is undertaken.

Emory Aesthetic Center

The plastic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center are experts in helping you think through all your options for mastopexy. We use the most up-to-date techniques, implants, imaging systems, and adjunct therapies (like scar therapy) to help you achieve the results that you want. We’ll take the time to thoroughly explore your goals and get a deep understanding of your desires. At the same time, we will work hard to make sure you really understand what breast lift options will give you the best results in the long run. To get started, simply schedule a complimentary consultation with one our expert plastic surgeons.

About Dr. Zubowicz

Vincent Zubowicz, MD, assistant professor of Surgery, division of Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University, is a renowned leader in the Atlanta medical community where he has practiced for over 35 years. He is triple board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Zubowicz is not only a leader in Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial Surgery, but also a leader in patient communication. He is one of the Top 50 Contributors on Real Self, the nation’s premier online communication resource for patients, where he serves on the national media committee. As an advocate for open patient communication, Dr. Zubowicz has written over 18,000 individual answers to patients seeking insights on both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Zubowicz is a prevailing voice of medical expertise for the Atlanta media, most recently appearing on CNN to discuss the selection and safety of free-standing aesthetic surgery centers.

Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

Factors to Consider Before Breast Lift Surgery

breast lift blog postPregnancy, breastfeeding, aging and weight fluctuations commonly take a toll on a woman’s breasts. If you’re noticing yours are sagging or not as full as they once were, it may be time to consider a breast lift (mastopexy). Breast lifts can produce dramatic results with a relatively short recovery.

If you’re serious about it, the first and most important thing on your to-do list should be finding a skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeon. The right surgeon will listen as you describe your desired outcome and talk through all the options. Remember your body is unique—there is no one-size-fits-all procedure. Here are two important factors to consider with your surgeon:

1. What will the scars look like?

Of course, women (and their plastic surgeons) want to minimize scars whenever possible, but the procedure that leaves the smallest scar may not be the best choice for you. One of the keys to getting great results with a breast lift is to match the right scar pattern with your needs.

Types of scar patterns

There are several surgical techniques used during breast lifts that leave different scaring patterns. Some include:

“Donut” (periareolar) lift – This procedure is effective for women who have very mild drooping or who want to reduce the size of their areolas (the pigmented area surrounding the nipple). It yields the smallest scar that runs around the perimeter of the areola.

“Lollipop” (vertical) lift – This is probably the most common breast lift procedure because it addresses moderate drooping and provides more extensive reshaping. The scaring goes around the perimeter of the areola and then straight down from the bottom of the areola to the fold underneath the breast (inframammary fold)—resulting in a lollipop-shaped scar.

“Anchor” (inverted T) lift – With this procedure, the scar goes around the areola, then from the bottom of the areola to the fold underneath the breast (the inframammary fold), and finally along the fold of the breast. The anchor technique is most effective for women with significant drooping and whose breasts have slid down on the chest wall. Most commonly, women who have had multiple pregnancies (with breast feeding), who have lost a significant amount of weight, or who are having a breast reduction require this technique. Although it yields the most scarring, scars can often be placed in areas that can be hidden by bras or bikini tops.

Be careful about pushing your plastic surgeon toward a technique based solely on scar patterns though. Some techniques may not adequately address the issues you’re having. Also, remember that surgeons will always work to place scars in the least noticeable positions possible, like under skin folds.

2. Do I need implants?

Determining if you need breast implants, a lift or both, is often a point of controversy and confusion—but it’s important to think it through. One easy way to narrow down your choice of procedure is to take the size test.

The size test

You need to separate the concept of size and lift, which isn’t always easy. To help, try manually lifting your breasts in front of a mirror. How you feel about the size of your breasts when they’re lifted will guide you toward which procedure is right for you.

Just a lift – If you’re happy with the size of your breasts, or if you wish they were just slightly bigger, a breast lift is probably the right choice for you. Small implants will give you very little (if any) benefit, yet you’ll still incur the cost and potential future surgeries that can come with breast augmentation. Should you decide after your lift that you still want to add volume, you can always have an augmentation down the road. But most women are satisfied with the results of a lift alone.

Just implants – If your breasts are too small or relatively deflated (need volume) but the nipples aren’t too low, breast implants might do the trick. While it’s true that implants will give a slight lift, they will not make up for more significant drooping. Sometimes, women make the mistake of getting bigger implants to avoid getting a lift. Unfortunately, this usually results in the heavy implants sagging and the woman feeling her breasts are too large for her comfort. Often in this instance, a woman will opt to remove or replace the implants and must undergo a more extensive (and complicated) breast lift than she originally needed.

Both – Combining breast implants and a breast lift can give wonderful results. Women who wear “A-” or “B-” cup bra sizes, and who have extra loose skin but not a lot of tissue to droop, do especially well with the combined procedure. Women who have larger breasts can also get implants; however, over time, fuller breasts may “fall off” of the implant, requiring additional surgery.

Emory Aesthetic Center

If you’re considering a breast lift or implants, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of the expert cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center to discuss your options.

Request an appointmentor call 404-778-6880.

Breast Implants or a Lift: Which is Right for Me?

It’s not uncommon for women to feel dissatisfied with their breasts. Whether your breasts didn’t develop as you’d hoped or you’re unhappy with changes from aging, pregnancy or weight loss, there are many options for helping you achieve a breast size and shape you can enjoy.

First, Pinpoint the Real Issue

Zeroing in on which aspect bothers you — your breast volume or position — will help you choose the best procedure(s) to get the results you want. And, it’s not always as straightforward as it sounds. For example, you can’t assume you need to add volume if your breasts don’t project like they used to, even after extreme weight loss. A breast lift could very well give you the look you want.

So how do you pinpoint the real issue? I make this simple suggestion to all my patients to help determine if they’re truly unhappy with the size of their breasts:

Lift your breasts up or wear your favorite bra in front of a mirror and ask yourself, “Do I like the size of my breasts now with this additional support?”

If so, you’ll probably be happy with the results of a breast lift. But if you feel your breasts are too small even when lifted, you’ll likely want implants.

Now, Choose the Right Procedure For You

 Determining which type of procedure will achieve the best results, implants or a lift, can be confusing. But now that you’ve narrowed the issue down to size or position, you can make a better decision about which procedure you want.

Breast implants add volume and may give a subtle lift, but not enough to combat significant drooping.

If you’re happy with your size, but want a ‘perkier’ look, a breast lift can be the answer.

A Dual Procedure

If you’re unhappy with your size and have a significant amount of drooping, you’ll likely want a dual procedure — breast implants and a breast lift at the same time — to get the shape you desire. Since two things are happening at once during this dual procedure, it does require some surgical finesse. So, it’s important to have an experienced and skilled cosmetic surgeon. In my experience, women with smaller breasts tend to have better and more predictable results from the dual implant and lift procedure than women whose breasts are larger. With larger breasts, there’s an increased possibility the lifted breast tissue may droop from the implant over time.

A Staged Approach

If you’ve chosen to get implants, but aren’t sure if you want a lift too, you might consider a staged approach. With this strategy, you get your implants first and see if you like your results. If you’re satisfied, you saved yourself from an unnecessary procedure. If you’re not satisfied, you can choose to get a breast lift later. The drawback is if you decide you need the lift after all, you’ll have to endure two surgeries and two recovery periods instead of one.

A Word of Caution

Some women (and the occasional cosmetic surgeon) will push for very large implants to get more of a lifting or filling effect to the breasts without having a breast lift. I’ve seen many women over the years with overly augmented breasts who still feel their breasts aren’t as perky as they’d like. These women then need both a breast lift and a downsizing or removal of their implants to get to their desired look.

Emory Aesthetic Center

Emory Aesthetic Center has years of experience helping women achieve their ideal breast size and shape. As part of Emory, we are one of Atlanta’s most trusted names in health care. If you’re considering a breast enhancement procedure, but just aren’t sure which procedure is right for you, come see us for a complimentary consultation. Make an appointment using the request an appointment button below or call 404-778-6880 to schedule your personal consultation.

Body Contouring After Extreme Weight Loss

Body contouring can remove excess skin after significant weight loss. Emory Aesthetic Center can help you look and feel your best.Whether from changes in diet and exercise or as a result of a bariatric surgery procedure, loosing a large amount of weight is an incredibly challenging and rewarding accomplishment to be celebrated. But what if you still aren’t happy with the way you look? Often, after losing a substantial amount of weight, you’re left with excess skin that hides your results and can leave you feeling self-conscious.

Some concerns we hear from men and women alike are:

  • “My stomach skin hangs down.”
  • “My arms flop around and hang. I don’t feel comfortable in a short-sleeve shirt.”
  • “My inner thighs are so loose and saggy, I don’t like to wear shorts.”
  • “What happened to my bottom? It just melted away!”

Complaints about the chest area are also common. Women can feel as if their breasts have melted away and hang low. Men can be uncomfortable if their chest hangs almost like they have breasts.

But you’ve worked too hard throughout your weight loss journey to stop now. If any of these concerns ring true for you, it’s time to talk with a plastic surgeon about body contouring .

Body contouring procedures

Since weight loss tends to follow certain patterns, there are common problem areas for sagging skin including:

Stomach

Loose skin in the front of the abdominal (stomach) area can hang down like an apron. Sometimes the looseness is only in the front of the tummy area, but it can also extend to the sides and back. In severe cases, there can also be a second roll of skin in the mid-abdomen, above the larger fold.

A tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) can tighten and smooth the abdomen by removing excess skin. It can also rejuvenate the pubic area. The scars for a tummy tuck are typically very low, where your undergarments or a bathing suit can hide them.

Arms

Loose, hanging skin, sometimes referred to by patients as “bat wings,” is another common complaint after weight loss. An arm lift (Brachioplasty) can tighten the skin between the shoulder and the elbow. And in extreme cases, it may need to extend past the elbow and into the forearm.

Breasts

Loss of volume in the breast area can lead to low-hanging tissue.

Women often think their breasts are too small after weight loss. A breast lift can restore size and shape so that breast implants  are not needed.

Men may need liposuction or a skin-removing procedure to tighten their chests.

Thighs

Outer thigh looseness can be treated along with the abdomen when a tummy tuck is extended to include lateral thigh or even buttock lifting — often referred to as a lower body lift.

The loose skin of the inner thigh is usually treated at a separate stage, and involves an incision that extends from the groin area toward the knee.

Back

An upper body lift can dramatically improve sagging in your back, including back rolls. The scar for an upper body lift extends from one side of the back to the other where a bra or bathing suit top can hide it. Or, it can run along the side of the trunk where your arms can hide it when they’re down at your sides.

Neck

A neck lift (or lower face and neck lift) can best address sagging in the neck area. Doctors can usually hide the scars around the back of your ear and under your chin.

Combining body contouring procedures

If you choose to treat several areas, a staged approach may be necessary for your safety and to get the best results. For example, you may choose to have a tummy tuck and arm lift in one stage. Then, after a few months, undergo a breast and thigh lift. An added advantage of a staged approach is that it provides the opportunity (at a later stage) to revise or “touch up” a previously treated area, if needed.

Emory Aesthetic Center

If you’ve experienced significant weight loss, the expert surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center can help you determine which procedures, or combination of procedures, can help you feel and look your best.

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Or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule your personal consultation

Augmentation, Reduction or Lift? – Your Breast Surgery Questions Answered

breast-aug-emailHave you been contemplating breast surgery? Whether you are considering breast augmentation (enhancement), breast reduction or breast lift surgery, it is important to understand the full extent of the procedure.

During our live chat on Thursday, November 17th, hosted by Emory Aesthetic Center’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, we answered questions about the different types of breast surgery options available. Dr. Eaves discussed what to expect during surgery and the recovery process. He also gave advice on choosing the right plastic surgeon to obtain the natural looking results you desire.

The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer during the chat so we will answer them below for your reference. A full list of questions and answers can be found on our chat transcript. You can also visit emoryaesthetic.org for a full list of services and treatments offered by the Emory Aesthetic Center.

Question: Do you typically do a reduction and a lift at the same time?

Dr. Eaves: Yes, a breast reduction always includes a breast lift, but you can lift without reducing if a reduction is not needed.

Question: If I get breast implants now, will I likely need a lift down the road?

Dr. Eaves: You may or may not. Many women with breast implants never need a lift, although it might be that after a decade or two that the extra size could contribute to the breast becoming more droopy. A lot of it will be related to how much breast tissue and the elasticity of the breast skin at the time of augmentation. It is certainly something to discuss at the time of consultation.

Question: Hi Dr. Eaves, I am set for a consultation in a few weeks, but am not sure which option to have – a breast lift (BL) or breast reduction (BR). My breast size is a 34F and I am a medium body frame with small bulge on the lateral aspect of my breast. Not sure if I can live with the post scarring from the breast reduction. Do you think for the best cosmetic look I would be a good candidate for periareolar BR or would a BL be better?

Dr. Eaves: In thinking through your individual circumstance, it is important to remember that a reduction always comes with a lift – that is just part of it. If a patient needs a lift, that lift can be done alone with no change in breast size, or the breasts can be reduced (a little or a lot, depending on what is needed), or the breast can even be augmented. The one thing is that – in general – a periareolar reduction or mastopexy is often ill-advised, unless the deformity is absolutely minimal. Although it sounds great to have a smaller scar, in reality that periareolar scar often looks very abnormal if trying to do any significant lifting or reduction, so that both the scar and breast shape will be poor. Be cautious – except in very limited circumstances, a peri-areolar only approach can be problematic.

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Augmentation, Reduction or Lift – Join Our Breast Surgery Live Chat

Join us for a live chat on November 17th as we discuss different types of breast surgery options and answer questions about what to expect from surgery.Have you been contemplating breast surgery? Whether you are considering breast augmentation (enhancement), breast reduction or breast lift surgery, it is important to understand the full extent of the procedure. Join us for a live chat with Emory Aesthetic Center plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST as he discusses these different types of breast surgery options and answers all of your questions about what to expect, the surgery and recovery. He will also give you advice on choosing the right plastic surgeon to obtain the natural looking results you desire.

If you have been wondering if a breast surgery procedure is right for you, you won’t want to miss this chat.

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About Dr. Eaves

eaves-iii-felmontDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.

Mommy Makeover: When Is the Right Time?

A mommy makeover can reshape your body to help you look more like yourself again. But when is the right time to do it?The “mommy makeover” is on the rise. Women want to reclaim their bodies from the changes brought on by pregnancy and breastfeeding. But a common question is “when is the right time to do it?”

What Is a Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover is a procedure, or combination of procedures, that help reshape a woman’s form after pregnancy. Each woman’s needs and goals are unique, but mommy makeovers typically involve any combination of the following:

  • Tummy tuck
  • Liposuction of the tummy or other areas such as the back, thighs or arms
  • Breast procedure:
    • Breast augmentation with implants to add volume
    • Breast lift to address low-hanging (sagging) breasts
    • Combination of both breast lift and augmentation to lift breasts and add fullness

When Is the Time Right for a Mommy Makeover?

While you may be in a hurry to reclaim your pre-pregnancy body, there are several factors to consider before scheduling your procedure(s).

Is My Body Ready?

It’s important to give your body time to return to “normal” following pregnancy. It’s best to wait until the stretched tissue returns to its typical state and until you’ve lost your pregnancy weight. Not only is surgery safer when you’re at a good weight, but the results are also better.

What If I’m Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is a factor to consider, especially when a breast procedure is part of your plan. You shouldn’t have elective breast surgery until your baby is fully weaned and your milk has completely dried up. Most surgeons prefer to wait at least three months after you stop breastfeeding, regardless of the procedure you’re considering.

How Much Time Will I Need to Recover?

As a mom, you have lots of responsibilities — caring for your family being only one of them. So you’ll want to consider when you’ll have the time and support you need before scheduling your procedure(s). Most women need a few weeks to recover.

Can I Have Another Baby After I Get a Mommy Makeover?

Results of your mommy makeover will be compromised by a pregnancy. So, you shouldn’t consider getting procedures done if you’re planning to have another child.

That being said, life is complex. Sometimes circumstances change. Typically, you can safely have another baby after you have a mommy makeover. However, you may wish to have some additional surgical procedures done following the pregnancy to address the new changes to your body.

Another thing to consider is that depending on the type of breast surgery you had, you may or may not be able to breastfeed.

Are You Ready to Consider a Mommy Makeover?

The board-certified plastic surgeonsat Emory Aesthetic Center  can help you determine the right timing and combination of procedures for your mommy makeover.

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Your Body Contouring Questions Answered: Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

swimsuit-chat-260x200-emailAs we kick-off the summer months and have officially reached bathing suit season, it is natural that many of us take a look in the mirror and think about how we might change our body. In addition to keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly, there are now more choices than ever in how we might achieve our goals. But with so many choices, both surgical and non-surgical options, choosing what body contouring procedure is best for you can be difficult.

During our live chat on Tuesday, March 22nd, hosted by Emory Aesthetic Center’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, we answered your questions around body contouring options to help shape your body for summer and tighten excess or loose skin. Dr. Eaves discussed both surgical and non-surgical procedures – including liposuction, tummy tucks, and thigh lifts.

Below are just a few highlights from the chat. A full list of questions and answers can be found on our chat transcript. You can also visit emoryaesthetic.org for a full list of services and treatments offered by the Emory Aesthetic Center.

Question: How do you get rid of a stomach belly fat?

Dr. Eaves: If diet and exercise don’t get you what you want, then there are three main ways to address belly fat, non-surgical fat reduction, liposuction, or abdominoplasty. Which one is best for a patient depends on their individual circumstances.

For instance, non-surgical treatments like Coolsculping® work best in patients with smaller amounts of fat and youthful, elastic skin. Liposuction works best in similar patients, however is more aggressive in terms of fat removal. The tummy tuck is the “king” of tummy contouring – it can tighten muscles, reduce fat, and tighten skin. Tummy tucks are more common in patients that have had pregnancies or who are a bit older and have developed some skin laxity.

Question: I have 2 weeks until I have to be in a bathing suit. What are some quick fixes that can be done with belly and thigh bulges?

Dr. Eaves: That doesn’t give much time! I’m afraid that neither surgery nor non-surgical fat removal would work and get you ready in such a short period of time.
One thought, however. We often think about concentrating on getting our bodies (or faces) ready for a big event. However to get your body where you want, it really takes a sustained, consistent approach. Crash diets and hours in the gym for short periods of time doesn’t really get you anywhere . . . a good, healthy, balanced and sustainable diet coupled with a reasonable exercise routine that you can stick with is the key. Of course surgery can help a lot, but the patient gets the very best results when they get their weight and health to a good place.

Question: Is there such a thing as a “mini” tummy tuck which does not have to go all the way across the abdomen?

Dr. Eaves: Not only is there the mini-tummy tuck, but some patients are candidates for tummy tucks with even shorter scars – the endoscopic tummy tuck. However before you get excited about these options, be aware than only a very small percentage of patients are candidates for these procedures. In order to be a candidate, you need to have good, elastic skin and relatively small amounts (or not) excess fat.

These procedures are ideally suited for patients who have experienced some spreading of the muscles of the abdomen from pregnancy, which we call a diastasis recti. If you have any significant amount of loose skin, or more significant fatty deposits, you are unlikely to get a good result with a limited scar approach. That being said, we now use techniques to help the scar appear better, such as special sutures that take the tension off of the skin. There sutures also eliminate the need to have surgical drains with a tummy tuck, which is a big plus.

Question: I need help with both my tummy and my breasts. Can I have both surgeries at the same time?

Dr. Eaves: Not only can you treat both the tummy and the breasts at the same time, but this is a very common procedure. For the tummy, most often this involves a tummy tuck due to the effects of the pregnancy. What we might do in the breasts depends on how the breasts recovered after pregnancy and maybe breast feeding. For instance, if the breast lost volume but didn’t become saggy (we call that “ptosis”), then a breast augmentation is a great option.

If you like the size of the breasts but they have become too droopy, then you would likely want a mastopexy, or breast lift, but without implants. It is also quite common to do both breast augmentation with implants and a lift. If you have a consultation with a plastic surgeon, he/she can help you sort through these options and see which is best for you.

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If you have additional questions for Dr. Eaves, please feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

Defying Gravity: Surgical and Non-surgical Treatments to Prevent Aging

crunchesPatients ask me all the time…”How do I fight off the effects of gravity, and do I need surgery to do that?” The good news is that we now have more tools than ever before to defy the effects of aging. In order to get the best results, it is essential to know what each tool can do, but perhaps even more importantly, what it cannot do. By picking the right tool for each area of your body – whether surgical or non-surgical – you will have a better chance to get the result you are seeking.

As we age, the loss of elasticity of our skin results in the appearance of sagging. Brows can look low, eyelids can sag, and jowls invade once beautiful jawlines. Laxity in the neck can result in drooping that is especially noticeable when looking down or in pictures taken from the side. Sagging of the breasts, technically known as breast ptosis, may result not only from aging and the effects of gravity, but from the after-effects of pregnancy and breast feeding. Pregnancy can have a profound affect on the tummy area and can lead to loose skin as well as separation of the muscles which leads to an appearance of rounding. Weight fluctuations can also have a profound effect. If you gain and loose weight frequently, and especially if you loose a large amount of weight, the laxity and sagging will be much greater, particularly contributing to laxity in the tummy and thighs.

Non-surgical treatments have a critical role in preventing aging and the effects of gravity, but when actual sagging occurs, surgery is typically the best and often only solution to get the changes you want. Currently non-surgical treatments have little capacity to tighten loose skin, particularly in the body region. But non-surgical treatments can do a wonderful job addressing wrinkles due to muscle hyperactivity (Botox®), of softening the appearance of deeper creases in the face (dermal fillers), of reducing isolated areas of fat accumulation (CoolSculpting®), and improving the texture and appearance of the skin(skin care, lasers, chemical peels).

In the face, if you really want to tighten sagging jowls, lift a droopy brow or eyelids, or to address loose skin in the neck, surgery is definitely the way to go. A brow lift can reposition the brows and help create a more open, bright look to the eyes. An eyelid lift can smooth the skin of the upper eyelid or soften the appearance of “bags” of the lower eyelid. A facelift can improve the cheek contours and reduce jowls, creating a more youthful, smooth jaw line, and a neck lift can tighten and smooth the neck. While surgery is the dominant solution for defying gravity in the facial area, there are situations where non-invasive procedures can play a role. For example, if a patient has very early jowling and isn’t yet ready for a face lift, placing fillers along the edge of the jowl and along the jawline can camouflage the appearance, although it will not “lift” it away. If a patient has lost volume of the upper cheek area, injecting the area with fillers can replace volume and give the appearance of lifting the midface.

In the facial area it is extremely common to combine surgical and non-surgical approaches to optimize your results. For instance, while a face and neck lift will help you defy the effects of gravity, the surgery will not change the overall appearance of your skin. A skin care program can work wonders to enhance the results of your surgery by smoothing rough spots, evening the color of your skin and reducing dark spots, shrinking pore size, and creating a healthy glow to your skin.

In the breast and body areas, non-surgical approaches have little to offer in terms of actual lifting of tissues in order to defy gravity. This is because current technologies do not sufficiently tighten skin to create dramatic improvements, nor can they effectively tighten the soft tissues under the skin. If you really want to tighten sagging tissue back to its youthful position, surgery is required. In the breast, this means undergoing a breast lift (mastopexy) either with or without implants. In the tummy area, this means an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with or without liposuction. In recent years, buttock lifts and thigh lifts have become increasingly common.

While there are plenty of non-surgical technologies being marketed that tout skin tightening, they have not been proven to work. In fact, some of our patients have said they tried these treatments, especially in the body areas, and most felt that they had either no result or that the results were so minimal that it was not worth the investment.

If you are interested in counteracting the effects of gravity, come and consult with one of the board-certified physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center. We can go over options specific to your individual needs, and help you understand which surgical or non-surgical treatments are best for you.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

About Dr. Eaves

eaves-iii-felmontDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.