Get answers to some of the most common plastic surgery questions we hear. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, call us for a consult with Dr. Ver Halen, an experienced, Board-certified plastic surgeon.
I want to take my silicone implants out, but I don’t want to have a breast lift after. Do you think I will need one?
If you decide to remove your implants, a breast lift is an excellent option. When we evaluate a patient for an implant removal, it is generally pretty clear if she “does” or “does not” need a breast lift. Thus, an in-person evaluation is critical to this process. For patients that lie in the “grey area” between “definitely do” and “definitely do not” need a breast lift, a good option is to have the implant removed in the office under local anesthesia. I will typically inject some local anesthesia into the previous breast augmentation incision, make a small incision, and remove the implant. No other medication is needed.
Once this is done, we can perform a number of techniques (like ZWave and Thermi®) over three to four weeks to get the breast skin to contract to its maximal potential. Once this is done, the patient and I will evaluate the results and make a decision on whether or not she would benefit from a breast lift.
Depending on your surgical goals, you may be a candidate for a no-vertical-scar breast lift. There are a number of these techniques, but my preferred method is the Bellesoma Method™. In my professional opinion, it represents a “quantum leap” in breast-lift techniques by providing an exceptional breast lift, upper pole fullness, relief from neck and back pain, and no vertical breast lift scar. It uses your OWN breast tissue to produce an internal suspension technique and breast augmentation without the need for a breast implant. It does not disturb the nipple, areola, or breast glands, so sensation and the ability to lactate is preserved. It uses 3D scanning of your breasts and body to design a procedure specifically for YOU and you alone. Finally, for patients who desire breast enlargement, the constriction of breast width can result in an increase in cup size, and it can be combined with fat grafting to increase breast size.
Your question would be best answered in a face-to-face consultation, where you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure and you can have a physical examination. Pre-operative visualization with Crisalix can simulate what your body will look like after surgery and can help you make your decision.
I have a fat pocket under my buttock that I can’t get rid of. Can this be removed with liposuction?
This fat pocket usually appears as a small curved roll on the back of the thigh, just below the buttock. It typically is present regardless of weight changes or activity levels. Unsurprisingly, it’s more a matter of genetics than weight changes. Plastic surgeons call this a “banana roll.”
There are many ways to treat it. What we do depends on what’s causing a banana roll in your specific case:
- If the area is clearly a matter of extra fat, then simple liposuction may be the best answer.
- In other instances, the roll can be the result of deep fibrous bands that are holding the skin and subcutaneous layers up. In this instance, a process called subcision can be used to release the deep fibrous bands and re-shape the buttock crease.
- Other energy-based techniques—like laser, ultrasound (for example, Vaser®), or radiofrequency techniques (like Pellevé®, Thermi®, and BodyTite)—can be used to temporarily improve the appearance of the area.
- In advanced cases, surgery can be used to perform a small buttock and thigh lift and improve the area of the thigh.
- Finally, new techniques like Emsculpt® can be used to build muscle and improve the appearance of the buttock and thigh.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best thing to do is to find a simple, easy, quick-recovery procedure. Look for something that can be performed in the office, with only local anesthesia. You want to be able to literally walk in and walk out after the procedure, not need narcotics for pain control, and return to light exercise and work one to two days after the procedure.
In my practice, we select the appropriate treatment for each patient based on their skin quality, the amount of fat they have, and their surgical goals.
When you come in for a face-to-face evaluation, we can discuss your goals and expectations, and you can have a physical examination with Crisalix, which simulates what your body will look like and can help you make your decision.
As a person in my early 20s with a BMI around 19, a lot of people say I’m “too skinny,” but I have problem areas of fat exclusively on my outer thighs. I’ve had them since puberty, and they don’t respond to exercise. They may decrease in size, but I gain the fat back eventually. They make me look disproportionate, which makes me uncomfortable. Would liposuction work for me?
In general, liposuction is best used in patients who have “stubborn” fat deposits that don’t go away, in spite of diet and exercise. Just because you’re not overweight doesn’t mean you aren’t a candidate for liposuction. In fact, the outer thighs (“saddle bags”) are one of our more frequent liposuction areas, as they have a strong genetic component and tend not to improve despite diet and exercise.
Even though liposuction is likely a good option for you, you should have a face-to-face evaluation with a Board-certified or Board-eligible plastic surgeon. You can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure and have a physical examination. Pre-operative visualization with Crisalix can simulate what your body will look like after liposuction and help you make your decision. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during your consultation with your surgeon and review before-and-after pictures of similar patients.
I have way more cellulite on my legs than on my butt. I was told by a doctor that Cellfina® would not be a good treatment for me because it would cause skin laxity, and my butt could drop. This issue is only getting worse in my 30s. I exercise a lot, and I’ve never seen improvements. What do you recommend?
Unlike many practices, we offer both invasive and non-invasive cellulite treatments, so we can give unbiased advice on this. It is true that not all patients are good candidates for Cellfina, based on the location and type of cellulite they have. Fortunately, for areas that are not appropriate for Cellfina, there are a number of other options available. Virtually every patient is a candidate for some type of treatment. Based on your description, I think that you are likely an excellent candidate for Cellfina plus ZWave, Cellulaze™, Sculptra®, or another non-invasive treatment.
We build our treatments around Cellfina because it:
- Is permanent
- Is the most effective and gives the best results of any available technology
Cellfina is the only device that has been shown to maintain results five years later with a SINGLE treatment. We use it on both the buttock and thighs with exceptional results. When we bundle it with other cellulite treatments (like ZWave and Sculptra), we find that the results are even better, with faster recovery times.
The main question you should ask is this: Do I want a treatment that is PERMANENT, or one that will only last a week or two (at most)? If you want permanent results, Cellfina is the best way to go. In addition, it has a one-year Cellfina Yearlong Assurance Guarantee (CYA). No other product on the market offers this.
Your question can be answered in even more depth during a face-to-face consultation. We can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical exam. Pre-operative visualization with Crisalix can simulate what your body will look like after surgery and can help you make your decision.
I recommend that you find a Board-certified or Board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with them, and review before-and-after pictures of similar patients who have had Cellfina or another procedure.