With plastic surgery having entered the mainstream, the question today isn’t “Did they or didn’t they?” but “What did they have done?” Botox, filler, liposuction, facelift, and breast augmentation aren’t limited to celebrities anymore. While the decision to get plastic surgery or botox is a deeply personal one, the fact remains that more and more people are starting to see it as an empowering option. These days, there’s a procedure for every body part and for every facial feature. Perhaps you’re a cancer survivor in the market for breast implants following a double mastectomy? Or maybe you never felt comfortable the shape of your chin? Whatever your reasons for wanting – or not wanting – to undergo a cosmetic procedure, the choice is yours to make. It’s your body, and you can sculpt it however you want, whether that means getting regular manicures and hitting the gym, or opting for a post-breastfeeding breast lift.
If you’re considering a given procedure, please remember to educate yourself on the process beforehand. You should understand the risks, the benefits, and the typical outcomes of whatever procedure interests you. After all, knowledge is power! With that in mind, Dr. Stanley Poulos, San Francisco Bay area Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, is here to answer some of the most frequently asked plastic surgery questions.
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: There are two basic types of breast implants: saline and silicone gel. Should I get saline or silicone breast implants?
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.”
About Dr. Stanley Poulos
Dr. Poulos is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon and Co-Founder with Yngvar Hvistendahl, M.D of Plastic Surgery Specialists recognized as one of the premier aesthetic surgery clinics in Northern California.
Dr. Poulos helped pioneer the quick lift facial rejuvenation surgery in California and has extensive experience in body contour procedures. With over 30-years’ experience in aesthetic procedures, Dr. Poulos has been on the forefront of innovative procedures such as the quick-lift facial rejuvenation, mommy makeover, and vaser lipo-contouring. Dr. Poulos combines his consistent knowledge of new treatment options with his mastery of facial and body symmetry.
His recent focus has been on the gastric balloon, a groundbreaking, non-surgical, medically assisted, outpatient procedure offering weight loss to those seeking to lose between 30 and 75 pounds who may be ineligible for the more invasive gastric bypass surgery. This exciting new procedure allows patients to achieve optimal health and, when combined with exercise and proper nutrition, the results have been exceptional.
A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, Dr. Poulos completed his internship and residency at UC San Francisco. He completed surgery and plastic surgery training in San Francisco prior to entering private practice in Marin County where he co-founded PSS (www.psspecialists.com)