Cosmetic Surgery Tips

When it comes to Cosmetic Surgery, we've been there, done that, now serving 132 tips in 18 categories ranging from Botox Tips to Tummy Tuck Tips.

The fat appears to be dissolving in the cheeks of my face. It started about five months ago and has given me a very sunken appearance. Eight months ago I had a sinus lift and extensive dental work. Both the surgeon and dentist say the two are not related. Can you help?

Facial Reconstructive Surgery: Sinus Lift

The stairs. Your car. The street. A hard roll. They are all out there...waiting to chip or break or knock out one of your teeth. And when it happens, more than likely you'll want to replace that tooth with a dental implant. Modern technology has made dentures obsolete; dentists today can create implants that are custom made for your mouth, gums and jawbone. A sinus lift, sometimes called a sinus augmentation, is a procedure used by periodontists before a dental implant to increase the amount of bone in the upper molar areas. Once the bone graft in the sinus floor has solidified and matured -- a 6-9 month process -- the dental implants can be put into place. Following a sinus lift, patients often report a horrible taste in the mouth, swollen and inflamed neck glands, and a low grade fever as common side effects of the procedure. A rapid loss of weight in the face -- the buccal fat pads, as they are called -- is not typically associated with the sinus lift.

Can I have the fat taken out of my stomach area and put into my breast?

Breast Reconstruction: Using Stomach Tissue

For some women, flattening their tummies while they are augmenting their breasts would be the ideal scenario. And, indeed, stomach tissue is often used in cosmetic surgery of the breast, although most often in reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy. A TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Muscle) -- a flap of skin, fat and muscle from the lower abdomen -- is transplanted into the breast region. The recipient receives a new breast and a tummy tuck at the same time. The advantage of a TRAM procedure is that it creates a natural breast ‘mound' that will change in size according to any future weight gain or weight loss. Having both procedures at the same time may increase the patient's time in the hospital and recovery time.

Should I have surgery again to re-enlarge my breasts?

Breast Revision: One More Time

Another breast surgery? You're the type who risks going over 21 in Vegas. Now you want breast augmentation revision. It's not because your breast surgeon made a mistake. You just want bigger breasts. Some reasons for wanting breast revision surgery:

  • You've gained needed weight so that you're not as top-heavy, or your proportions are right for bigger breasts
  • You've had your last pregnancy and your breasts need a boost again
  • Breast implants haven't filled out your breasts correctly or the way you desire
  • Your height has changed (some women grow shorter as they age)
  • You just want more breast enlargement!

You've decided on the procedure. The $5,000-$7,000 question (that's the approximate fee for breast enhancement revision surgery): Should you go back to the breast surgeon who did your initial breast augmentation surgery? If you can go back to your breast surgeon, then do. She'll be aware of your needs, your body type, and your history.

If you've moved or it would be impractical to consult your original breast surgeon, make sure you keep records of your procedure to share with another breast surgeon. This is good advice no matter what doctor you choose. After all, your doctor was extremely competent, but you know what you want, and updating your look is important. However, as with gambling, you should know the risks of breast augmentation, and know when to hold 'em.

What is capsular contracture and how do I prevent it?

Teardrop or Round Shaped?

Teardrop or round-shaped? This is a matter of personal preference when you're choosing earrings. You assume that the decision is that simple when you're choosing round or teardrop breast implants. Teardrop breast implants, you've heard, are better for breast augmentation because they more closely mimic the natural shape of the breast--and you do want your breasts to look natural, just bigger. Round breast implants are traditional, but sometimes result in that "balloon" effect we've all seen. You think that teardrop breast implants will make your breast augmentation surgery or breast lift a greater success. Not necessarily.

Some surgeons believe that teardrop breast implants work best when you have enough breast tissue to place the implant over the muscle or when you are small-breasted with tight skin. In general, the looser your skin, the rounder or more "balloony" your breast will look no matter what the implant resembles when you see it in the breast surgery clinic. If your tissue is lax, you won't get that teardrop shape. You might consider getting a breast lift or mastopexy to tighten your skin and tissue. Your surgeon may or may not insert an implant as well. If you have implants after a breast lift and you can't "pinch an inch," you can consider getting teardrop breast implants.

Whatever implants you get, textured breast implants will help them fill out your breast, since they're said to grab the breast wall like Velcro. If you're thinner with smaller breasts, textured breast implants may cause a rippling (like water, not teardrops) effect if they're placed above the breast muscles--so if you're supermodel thin, textured breast implants under the breast muscles will work best for you. After all, you may or may not wear those earrings, but your breasts will be with you for the rest of your life.

Are silicone breast implants dangerous?

New Silicone Developments

Lawsuits over silicone and saline breast implants leaking. Do you choose something that your body might reject? There are natural breast implant solutions such as breast implants made of potato--"Wait until President Clinton finds out there's French fries in there," Jay Leno once joked. But are silicone-based breast implants dangerous to your breast enhancement dreams?

Advances in breast augmentation and breast surgery have made breast implants safer. Several surgeons such as Dr. David Broadway of Denver-Boulder, Colorado, have participated in breast enhancement implant trials such as the ones offered by Silimed. Silicone gel implants by Silimed don't have as many wrinkles and are lightweight. They may not be textured, which means you have a risk of capsular contraction if they're placed above the breast muscle. If they're placed below the breast muscle, you're safer. Silicone breast implants can leak and break several years after surgery. You may have to have a replacement implant, and it's difficult to remove all the silicone from breast tissues.

Try to cleanse your body of toxins with various natural cleansing methods--wheatgrass can flush out your system. Make sure your implants are manufactured well so you can avoid leaks. You've decided to go with silicone breast implants, so talk to your breast surgeon about which ones are best for you. While the FDA may be cautious about silicone breast implants, your breast surgeon can steer you to the safe ones. But if Bill Clinton offers to give you advice, don't take it.

Am I caving to male expectations if I get larger breasts?

Why Larger Breasts?

Do you want to give in to society's over-emphasis on looks and sexist attitudes towards women? These days, women choose to have breast enlargement surgery for themselves, to look more feminine and full. Most women are born with one breast larger than the other. You might feel lopsided, so you might choose to have one breast enlarged. Breast implants and contouring can enhance your shape and give you a feminine, fuller figure. Often you'll lose definition in your breast because of age, or you may not have had it to begin with.

While the image is of young, nubile women getting implants, older women choose breast augmentation as well. It's important to note that while fuller, shapelier breasts can increase your confidence, don't expect a complete life transformation. You might attract attention because of larger, firmer breasts, but if you aren't outgoing, your life won't have the miraculous turn you believe. Then, you'll really be trapped in superficial ideals, beauty myths, and so on. Be confident. Be outgoing. Wear your clothes well and get a makeup upgrade. That way, breast surgery will work well for you, a woman in control.

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Lynne Christen