With plastic surgery so mainstream the question today isn’t “did she or didn’t she?” but “what did she have done?” Botox, filler, liposuction, facelift, breast implants, are not just limited to celebrities as they once were. There isn’t a body or facial concern that can’t be addressed through some sort of procedure. With more and more plastic surgeons striving to educate people on cost, safety, recovery process, and long-term care; Dr. Stanley Poulos, San Francisco Bay area Board Certified Plastic Surgeon answers some of the most common and pressing cosmetic surgery questions today.
Q: Will liposuctioned fat return?
A: Dr. Poulos explains that, “If the patient gains a small amount of weight after their procedure, say 5 pounds, fat cells throughout the body will get a little bigger. While this slight weight gain can diminish results, the overall improved body shape provided by a liposuction procedure will still be visible as treated body areas have fewer fat cells (and thus experience a lower enlargement rate) compared to surrounding areas.”
Finally, in cases of considerable weight gain (i.e. 10% of their body weight); new fat cells can develop in all areas of the body, including treated areas. However, since new fat cell creation typically occurs in an even manner throughout the body, fat often accumulates less in treated areas compared to untreated areas. Many liposuction patients who gain considerable post-procedure weight tend to still look better than if they did not undergo liposuction.
Q. Will you lose sensation in your breasts or nipples if you get implants?
A: Dr. Poulos says that, “There’s a chance, although it’s very unusual to lose feeling in your entire breast. About 5 percent of patients experience numbness in their nipples. This may occur if their nerves are cut or stretched during surgery.”
Q: How close do I need to be to my “ideal weight” in order to have the optimal result from liposuction?
A: Dr. Poulos stresses that, “The key thing to know about liposuction is that it is not intended to be a weight loss tool or method. It is simply to address the parts of the body that are not responding to diet and exercise. That said, the industry standard for liposuction is a candidate who is within at least 30% of their ideal weight and are of average body weight. Other things to consider for an optimal result are skin elasticity and muscle tone.”
Q: How long does a Botox treatment last?
A: According to Dr. Poulos, “One treatment may last 3-4 months, but may not result in a significant improvement of the wrinkles for the long term. One or two years of consistent Botox in the same area will result in long term reversal of some wrinkles and optimize the improvements you may be looking for.”
Dr. Poulos adds, “It is recommended to repeat Botox injections every 4 months for maintenance. As you continue to use Botox, deeper wrinkles will continue to soften as dermal remodeling takes place.”
Q: If a partner squeezes your implants too hard during sex, can they burst or alter shape?
A: Dr. Poulos reassures that, “It’s impossible. He’d have to use superhuman force to rupture them. And they won’t change shape.”
Q: Are there any non-invasive procedures that can sculpt my body, so I don’t have to get liposuction?
A: Yes! The most well-known non-invasive option is Coolsculpting. With this procedure fat cells are frozen in a way that does not damage other tissues and spot areas of excess fat can be sculpted. Still ,as with lipo one must have reasonable skin elasticity to achieve good results. Another non -invasive option is the V-shape Accent Prime . This device combines radiofrequency (RF) for skin tightening and ultrasound for fat reduction in one treatment and can achieve significant improvement over time.
Q: How long do the results of a facelift last?
Dr. Poulos says that, “One thing is for certain and that is that the aging process goes on regardless of the technique. Eventually if one wishes to maintain the improvement, touch up procedures will be necessary. An average time might be 7-10 years. Those that address the deeper muscle layers do last longer, but there is more difference (in longevity) between individuals than techniques, and the same is true of time for recovery.”
Q: I lost over 50 pounds and now have excessive loose skin on my stomach, arms and inner thighs. What’s my best option and what’s involved?
A body lift is the most common option when addressing excessive skin after significant weight loss. It’s important to research this procedure and go about it in a way that makes sense given your overall health. Body lift offers a permanent result provided weight is kept the same. The thing to consider with a body lift is a high Body Mass Index and potential for abnormal scarring and fluid buildup. Be sure the surgeon shares all risks and benefits.
Q: Should I get saline or silicone breast implants?
There are two basic types of breast implants: saline and silicone gel. Dr. Poulos says that, “Most women feel that silicone implants feel more like natural breasts which is due to the viscosity of the filler material. Previous concerns about the association of auto immune disease with silicone have been largely disproven and the vast majority of plastic surgeons feel that silicone is a perfectly safe alternative.”