Posts Tagged ‘liposuction’

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.

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

‘Brazilian Butt Lift’: What Exactly Is It?

Learn about the different options available for buttock augmentation, such as the Brazilian butt lift, at Emory Aesthetic Center.In Brazil, the female derriere has long been appreciated and buttock cosmetic surgery is very popular. Several techniques, often referred to as a Brazilian butt lift, currently used worldwide for buttock enhancement were developed or refined by Brazilian plastic surgeons.

“Brazilian butt lift” is a popular search term on Google, but it isn’t just one procedure. It’s a common name for several different procedures that can result in a shapelier, firmer backside. More technical terms are “buttock augmentation” or even “gluteoplasty” — which both simply mean aesthetic improvement of the buttock area.

Buttock Enhancement Options

The best option for you depends on your anatomy, shape and desired results:

Liposuction with or without fat grafting

Liposuction of the back and hip area alone (sometimes called “liposculpture”), can sculpt the body in a way that enhances the buttock without surgery. Fat from liposuction can also be used as a filler to reshape the buttock in a procedure called fat grafting or fat transfer. Fat grafting or a fat transfer involves taking fatty tissue from another area of the body using liposuction, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs, and using it to add natural-looking volume to the buttocks.

Gluteal implants

If you don’t have enough fat for grafting, placement of a silicone gel implant may be an option. The procedure involves your doctor making a cut just above the buttock crease where the implant is inserted and placed under the muscle.

Lower body lift

A lower body lift involves removal of skin and fat in the upper gluteal area (just below the waist) and can be especially helpful if you have excess or stretched skin from losing a lot of weight.
The fat your doctor removes can then be used to reshape your hips.

More important than the naming of a Brazilian butt lift, as liposculpture or as gluteoplasty is to make sure that your surgeon knows how to match the right procedure to the right candidate. A good assessment of your body’s anatomy, skin quality and fat distribution is crucial to determine the right combination. The highly skilled team at Emory Aesthetic Center will carefully evaluate you and help you define the best options for your body.

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

The 5 Most Common Plastic Surgery Myths

A cosmetic surgeon debunks common plastic surgery myths heard from patients.Thanks to the internet, many patients are well educated about cosmetic surgery procedures when they schedule a consultation. But despite some good online resources, a few plastic surgery myths remain. Learn the truth from cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center.

Plastic Surgery Myth #1: Liposuction or a tummy tuck will jump-start weight loss.

You may hope that having liposuction or a tummy tuck will help you commit to losing weight for good but it is not the place to start your weight loss journey.

Both do a great job of changing your shape and may help you lose a couple of pounds, but remember, the results are insignificant compared to what you can achieve through diet and exercise.
Here are a few other truths about these procedures and weight loss:

  1. You’ll get the best possible results when you’re at a healthy weight for surgery.
  2. You’ll have less risk of complications if you’re at a healthy weight for surgery.
  3. You’ll likely be less motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes right after your surgery. You’ll be focused on healing and feeling better about how you look.
  4. You’ll be happier with the results from your body contouring surgery over time if stay at a healthy weight.

Plastic Surgery Myth #2: You must have breast implants to get a breast lift.

Many women who believe their breasts have become “droopy” can benefit from breast implants; but implants aren’t always necessary.

So how do you know which procedure is right for you? In front of a mirror, lift up your breasts or consider how they look in a bra:

  1. If you like the size overall, you may need a lift (mastopexy), but not an implant.
  2. If your breasts aren’t drooping, but you’d like to change their size or shape, you may need an implant, but not a lift.
  3. If you feel your breasts are just too small to match the rest of your body and you consider them droopy, then you may need both a lift and an implant.

Plastic Surgery Myth #3: Plastic surgery is only for women.

More men have cosmetic surgery these days. In fact, statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) show that plastic surgery procedures in men have increased by 325 percent since 1997.

Some common procedures in men are:

Plastic Surgery Myth #4: Liposuction will reduce cellulite and tighten skin.

Liposuction can provide excellent improvement in body contours, but it won’t improve significant cellulite or tighten loose skin. The best candidates for liposuction are at a healthy weight and have good skin quality.

If your skin is loose due to aging, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy, liposuction isn’t the best option for you. Procedures that both reduce fat and tighten skin include:

Plastic Surgery Myth #5: General anesthesia is too risky; local anesthesia is better.

One of the greatest accomplishments in medicine is the safety and consistency of modern anesthesia.

Depending on the extent of your surgery, general anesthesia is sometimes the safest and most comfortable option. It allows us to use different blends of medications, such as inhaled gases and IV medicines, to keep you comfortable and your vital signs normal.

At the Emory Aesthetic Center, our team of board-certified anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists will talk with you about your options and recommend the anesthesia care that’s best for you.

Do you want to learn more?

Emory Aesthetic Center has a skilled team of board-certified cosmetic surgeons who offer extensive experience in a variety of procedures.

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

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.

cta-request-blue

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

Cosmetic Surgery by the Season: When is the Best Time?

Timing is important, even for scheduling cosmetic surgery. Find tips about the best times to have different cosmetic procedures.You’ve heard it before, “timing is everything,” and this applies to plastic surgery too. If you’re considering getting a cosmetic procedure, you probably know that you need to do your homework to find the right surgeon and to choose the best procedure to get the results you want. But have you given much thought to when you should schedule it?

When Should I Have Cosmetic Surgery?

Most people choose to have their surgery based on when it fits their schedule. For example, students and teachers are likely to have surgery over their winter break, spring break or during their summer vacation. Athletes may plan their procedures during their “off season.” Accountants tend to avoid surgery any time near April 15th.

The most important thing is to give yourself enough time for recovery. Think about important upcoming events, and make sure that you don’t cut your recovery time too short to be ready to fully enjoy them.

Tips for When to Schedule Your Procedure

While noninvasive and surgical procedures can be performed safely and effectively at any time of the year, there are certain things you should consider.

Facelift
You should allow several weeks, preferably a few months, to see the full results of a facelift. So, if you have a major event like a child’s wedding or a class reunion coming up, you’ll want to plan ahead to be “picture ready.”

Breast augmentation
Breast augmentation has a fairly quick recovery period and can be fit in more easily than more invasive procedures.

Body contouring
With some body contouring  procedures, like tummy tucks, you won’t be able to perform all of your normal physical activities for a few weeks. So if you’re training for a sports event or have a ski trip coming up, you’ll want to be sure to schedule it well before or after those events.

Another thing to consider is that compression garments, that are sometimes needed after liposuction or other body contouring procedures, can be a bit warm and uncomfortable. Some people choose to have these procedures during cooler months to avoid the added discomfort of wearing compression items in the heat.

Noninvasive/minimally invasive procedures
Noninvasive procedures (like Botox, fillers or Coolsculpting) or certain minimally invasive surgeries (like upper eyelid tuck, liposuction or breast augmentation) require very little recovery time. You don’t have to worry as much about timing with these procedures.

However, if you’re thinking about a deep chemical peel to your face, you need to avoid strong sun exposure for a while. You may want to schedule it for fall or winter.

Emory Aesthetic Center Can Help

The staff and surgeons at Emory Aesthetic Center can help you think through these and other factors to determine the best timing for your cosmetic procedure.

Schedule a consultation with one of our skilled, board-certified cosmetic surgeons.

cta-request-blue

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

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.

cta-learn-blue

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

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

Get Ready for Swimsuit Season! Join our Live Chat on Body Contouring

swimsuit-chat-260x200-emailSpring is here, therefore, swim suit season is just around the corner. To help get your body ready for the warmer weather, join Emory Aesthetic Center plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST as he discusses body contouring solutions to help improve your shape and tighten excess or loose skin. Dr. Eaves will answer all of your questions and walk you through both non-surgical and surgical body contouring options – including CoolSculpting®, liposuction and tummy tucks.

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

cta-chat-blue

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.

Bookmark and Share

Boosting Your Buttocks: What You Need To Know

bottom250x250Up until a few years ago, requests for surgery to change one’s buttocks were few and far between, and in fact, a decade or so ago it was more common to have a request to reduce the buttocks than to enlarge or lift them. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2014 (the most recent year in which statistics are currently available), buttock augmentation procedures increased by an impressive 86.1% year over year.

It is interesting to speculate on why this shift is occurring. There is no doubt that having better surgical techniques and improved results over time has played a factor. There has also been the growing influence from South and Central America where the desired aesthetic has always focused on buttock shape. And even the influence of certain celebrities has had an effect . . . think Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez.

The vast majority of patients that come into our office seeking buttock augmentation are asking about the “Brazilian Butt Lift”. This is a term that is a source of amusement to my Brazilian plastic surgeon colleagues as it is not a term they use. For us in the U.S., this term has become synonymous with buttock enhancement using one’s own fat to create a fuller, more rounded shape to the buttock, and doesn’t require synthetic implants. Unlike Brazil, in the U.S. we don’t have implants specifically available for buttock enhancement as an alternative to fat grafts, as none of the implants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This can be a source of frustration for some patients who have too little fat to provide adequate volume of grafts, as there are currently few additional options.

To be a good candidate for buttock enhancement a patient needs to be of a healthy weight, typically with a body mass index, or BMI, of 32 or less. You must have enough fat on other areas of the body to “harvest” the fat through liposuction. This provides a great benefit for buttock enhancement – not only do you get improvement in the buttocks, but other areas like the tummy, thighs, and love handles can be improved at the same time. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, so you’ll go home the same day, but you will need to have a responsible adult with you for the first 24-48 hours. Many normal activities (such as driving) are typically comfortable after 7-10 days, and most patients are able to start light exercise within 3-4 weeks, sometimes sooner. The scars are generally very small – about a quarter of an inch – for typical liposuction plus fat grafting. Not infrequently, patients may combine fat grafting to the buttocks with a tummy tuck, in which case the tummy tuck incision would obviously be longer.

While the majority of patients coming to see us are interested in boosting their buttocks, there are special circumstances when we might suggest other options. For instance, if a patient has lost a large amount of weight through lifestyle changes or bariatric surgery, then he or she might be a good candidate for a buttock lift which not only adds volume to the flattened buttocks, but which directly lifts the tissues by excising skin above the buttocks, a procedure which is often combined with a tummy tuck and thigh lift.

If you think that enhancing the buttocks might be for you, come see one of the board certified physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center for a complimentary consultation. We’ll take a close look at your medical history and the amount of tissue that is available for harvesting to see if you are a good candidate for surgery. We’ll explain the process in detail, and what you as an individual might expect to achieve with the procedure.

cta-request-blue

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

Fat Grafting 101: What You Need To Know

lovely-ladyIf you are like me, you spend hours at the gym trying to get rid of it and you diet to prevent it. You know what I am referring to…“love handles”, “saddle bags”, basically the accumulation of fat on certain areas of our bodies. But without fat, our faces would appear drawn and old, our breasts and butt would droop and our hands would look like skeletons. In other words, fat is a necessity and it has its benefits. In the right location and quantity, it is a sign of youth. I am not recommending you hang up those running shoes, but at the Emory Aesthetic Center, we can reorganize this necessary fat to improve your appearance, address early aging, and make you feel better about yourself. I am referring to a technique called autologous fat transfer or fat grafting. Let me answer some common questions to help you make an informed decision when considering undergoing this procedure.

What is autologous fat grafting and how is it done?

Some refer to it as fat transfer or fat grafting, but the concept is not new and has been reported as early as 1893. Modern fat grafting did not develop however until the 1980’s with the popularity of liposuction. Today, in a fat grafting procedure, fat is harvested from the body by liposuction. The fat is gently prepared for injection back into the body, and then grafted into an area of deficit with small needles or cannulas. The fat is carefully placed in multiple tissue planes so that it receives plenty of oxygen and nutrients so it can develop a new blood supply. The fat that survives provides the soft tissue volume to address areas of need. The fat that does not survive is absorbed.

What are the common sites of fat grafting?

The most common areas for fat transfer are the face, breast, buttocks and hands. In the face, fat transfer can be done alone or combined with chemical peels or excisional techniques such as a facelift. Fat is typically placed in the cheeks, nasolabial folds (smile lines), and even hollowed temples. Very little volume is needed to improve these deficient areas.

Fat can also be used instead of implants to augment the breast or buttocks. These procedures require larger volumes of fat grafts and in some cases, require more than one surgical stage to get the desired result. Fat grafts can also be used to correct lumpectomy deformities after breast cancer treatment and contour irregularities after liposuction. Releasing the scar in these instances and filling the deficiencies with fat grafts is a powerful improvement tool.

What is the recovery?

Recovery after fat grafting alone is generally rapid and may only be prolonged if additional procedures are performed at the same time. As an example, fat grafting to the cheeks alone may result in bruising of the cheeks and minor discomfort at the fat donor site (where the fat was taken), but requires no time away from work. If this is combined with a full facelift, then the recovery may require 2-3 weeks away from work. Recovery is also longer if a larger volume of fat is transferred. For example, a buttock lift where 600cc of grafts are placed will require 2-3 weeks of recovery compared to the fat grafting of 10cc to the cheeks where you return to work in 2-3days. After an isolated fat grafting procedure, you might notice a week or two of swelling, possibly more if the volume of grafts is high. The injected areas will likely be bruised and feel firm. The sites where the fat was taken will follow a similar recovery. The incisions are small so once swelling and bruising improve, you can be back to regular activities in a relatively short time.

Are there any complications?

Complications like infection can occur but are rare with isolated fat grafting. Donor site complications such as bleeding or contour irregularities are also rare. An additional complication is “loss” of the graft. This refers to fat not picking up a blood supply and being absorbed over time. Typically we wait to judge the increase in volume for 3-6months after the procedure to ensure that the fat has survived.

If you look in the mirror, and see fat that you wish were somewhere else, fat grafting may be a great procedure for you. Come meet with one of the board-certified physicians of the Emory Aesthetic Center. We can discuss your goals and see if fat grafting alone or in combination with other procedures is right for you.

appt

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

About Dr. Anderson

anderson-ericaErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.

Your Weight and Plastic Surgery: Why It Matters

exercising-2womenSometimes patients will go into a plastic surgeon’s office excited about a decision to finally move forward with breast or body contouring surgery, but then afterwards emerge having found out they are not currently a candidate because of excess body fat. This scenario is not only disappointing, but it can be an emotionally deflating and potentially embarrassing experience for patients. As plastic surgeons we sympathize over the emotional pain that such patients feel, and we want to help them realize their goals. However there are several specific reasons that your plastic surgeon might recommend weight loss prior to undergoing a procedure and our motivations are only to provide you with the safest care and the best results.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), currently 69% of the U.S. population over 20 years of age is overweight. Of this percentage, 35% is obese. So how does the CDC calculate this statistic? First, the CDC defines “normal” weight, “overweight” and “obese” using a formula that calculates Body Mass Index (BMI). This is based on your height and weight. A “normal” BMI is 20-25, “overweight” is defined as a BMI of 25-30, and a BMI over 30 is technically considered “obese”. The BMI calculation is not perfect – for instance it does not take into account muscle mass versus fat mass – yet it is a pretty good basic measurement nonetheless. And it is important to us as plastic surgeons because BMI is a good predictor of the risks of surgery and the likelihood of a good result.

Many medical studies have shown that increased BMI is a predictor of potential complications that can occur from plastic surgery. A higher BMI is associated with an increased risk for wound complications, such as dehiscense (the wound opens up), infection, or tissue necrosis (tissues do not survive due to poor blood supply). The increases are typically small for patients who are overweight – a BMI 25-30, but they start increasing quickly as the BMI enters into the obese range. In general, it is a fair statement that the higher the BMI, the higher the risks of surgery. These complications can be significant, so as plastic surgeons we consider these risks with great thought.

In addition, the results that you can get are likely to be much better if your weight is in a better range. Let’s consider a couple of examples. Say, for instance, that a patient wants breast reduction surgery, but they are very heavy. Even when the breasts become smaller and more uplifted, it is extremely difficult for us to deal with the fullness lateral to the breasts (the “bra roll”), which significantly compromises the aesthetic result. In addition, it is much harder to get a beautiful transition between the breast and the abdomen due to the excess weight. On the other hand, let’s consider the patient that is overweight and wants a tummy tuck or liposuction. In this instance, the surgeon will not be able to remove all the excess fat in these areas, as it is technically challenging and can look odd as it is out of proportion to the surrounding fatty deposits. Even a lot of liposuction cannot fully solve this problem. Body contouring surgery is great for shaping your body, but it is not a method or substitute for weight loss or weight control.

What is the “cutoff” BMI number for plastic surgery? That is a difficult question, and there are some exceptions based on individual surgical procedures, body fat distribution, muscle mass and other factors. Many plastic surgeons consider a BMI above 30 or 32 to be in the range where surgery should be delayed until weight loss is achieved. If you are interested in calculating your own BMI, there are several free online tools, including the one from the Emory Bariatric Center.

As plastic surgeons I believe that we have an ethical responsibility to guide our patients related to their weight and desire for surgery. When surgery is unfavorable due to weight, there is the opportunity to partner toward a weight loss goal. Struggling with excess weight is a problem that so many of us deal with, and it is good to know that someone is on your side and understands. We can provide some advice, but even more importantly we can help guide you toward weight loss experts that help with diet modification and even newer procedures – such as the recently approved intragastric balloon – to assist with weight loss. Let the board certified plastic surgeons of the Emory Aesthetic Center, along with the Emory Bariatric Center, help you achieve the weight and body that you want. Imagine the joy of finally getting your weight under control, and then having the surgery you want to get the most effective results.

404-778-6880
emoryaesthetic.org
Click here to schedule your personal 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.