January 28th, 2016 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Women who have had to undergo surgery for breast cancer can experience emotional healing with breast reconstruction. Using different surgical approaches, breast reconstruction can reconstruct one or both breast masses and nipples after they have been surgically removed. Below are the two main approaches to breast reconstruction and the candidates best suited for each type.
For autologous reconstruction, the doctor will harvest tissue from either your abdomen or your back, and this tissue will be used to rebuild the breast mound. This approach includes the more commonly referred to “TRAM” flap procedure, in which abdominal skin and fat are harvested, and the “lat” flap procedure, in which the latissimus back muscle tissue is harvested. The tissue is extracted and then moved to the chest, where it is reshaped and reattached to recreate the appearance of the breast mound. This tissue provides a good substitute that can look and feel quite natural in place of the breast, and results will usually last a lifetime.
Ideal Candidates for Autologous Reconstruction
Ideal candidates for autologous breast reconstruction will be in good health after their mastectomy. Autologous reconstruction is best suited for those who have undergone a single mastectomy rather than a double mastectomy because the reconstructed breast tissue will mature like natural breast tissue. Candidates will need to have enough excess tissue to extract for this breast reconstruction approach. For women who have undergone a single mastectomy and whose remaining healthy breast is large, autologous reconstruction may not be able to harvest sufficient tissue to achieve breast symmetry. In this case, autologous reconstruction may be combined with implant reconstruction, or a breast reduction can be performed on the healthy breast to achieve symmetry.
Implant Reconstruction With Tissue Expander
The implant reconstruction with tissue expander approach is performed in two stages. In stage one, a tissue expander or temporary breast implant device is placed in the breast pocket after the mastectomy. This tissue expander helps to prepare the skin and tissues to hold a future permanent breast implant. Stage two is usually performed about four to six months after stage one and replaces the tissue expander with a permanent breast implant. With this technique, the implant or implants may need to be replaced at some point in the future. The breast implant reconstruction with tissue expander approach may also require alteration of the healthy breast in order to achieve symmetry. Recovery and length of surgery are usually shorter with this approach than with autologous reconstruction, as only the chest area is surgically altered.
Ideal Candidates for Implant Reconstruction With Tissue Expander
Ideal candidates for implant reconstruction with tissue expander will not need radiation therapy for their breast cancer treatment. This approach is best suited for patients who must undergo a double mastectomy. This procedure avoids creating incisions in other areas of the body and is appropriate for those who want or need an easier or shorter recovery experience with breast reconstruction. Dr. Oliver and Dr. Jack are both well experienced and trained in performing each of these surgical techniques for breast reconstruction. When you come in for your consultation, the doctor will go over your medical history and recommend the treatment that he feels is best for you and your needs. In many cases, breast reconstruction will be conducted in multiple stages in order to achieve the best results. With breast reconstruction, you can receive the closure and emotional healing you need after overcoming breast cancer.
To learn more about breast reconstruction after mastectomy, contact our office to schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Robert I. Oliver, Jr. or Dr. Jason M. Jack. Please call (205) 298-8660 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your appointment today.
December 28th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Having acne can be irritating and painful, and acne scars often leave a permanent reminder of the unpleasant experience. Without proper treatment and care, acne may leave permanent scars. The Eclipse MicroPen® can improve the appearance and condition of your skin by stimulating new collagen and elastin to soften and smooth acne scars.
What Causes Acne Scars?
There are many causes of acne, including hormonal imbalances, stress, diet, and poor hygiene. While not every occurrence of acne will leave scars, poor skin treatment is likely to cause scarring. Poor skin care leads to inflammation and bacteria buildup, which inhibits a healthy healing response in acne-affected skin. Low collagen levels can cause depressions or pits to form as the skin heals from acne, resulting in depressed scars.
Common Types of Acne Scars
Three common types of acne scars include rolling scar s, boxcar scars, and ice pick scars.
Rolling Acne Scars
Rolling acne scars have broad depressions with sloped or rounded edges that give the skin a rolling appearance. Most commonly caused by long-term inflammatory acne, rolling scars can become more pronounced over time due to loss of collagen and skin elasticity.
Boxcar Acne Scars
Boxcar acne scars have broad depressions with steep and defined edges. They typically cover a smaller area than rolling scars and are more difficult to smooth out due to their sharply defined edges.
Ice Pick Acne Scars
Ice pick acne scars are deep and narrow like a large, open pore. Because they are so deep, they tend to be difficult to treat.
Treatment With the Eclipse MicroPen®
Laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and other similar treatments are not always effective in treating acne scars where the scar tissue is deep, defined, or strong. For these types of acne scars, the Eclipse MicroPen® offers an effective solution for disrupting scar tissue so that the body can replace it with healthy skin tissue. After cleansing the affected area, a topical gel is applied to the skin. The Eclipse MicroPen® then glides across the skin, sending hundreds of advanced medical-grade micro-needles into the skin to create superficial micro-injuries. These micro-injuries disrupt the scar tissue, triggering new healthy collagen and elastin to form in the affected tissue. Over time, new collagen and elastin form a healthier skin structure in the affected area. After treatment with the Eclipse MicroPen®, patients will have softer and firmer skin with observable results in as few as thirty days after treatment.
To learn more about the Eclipse MicroPen® and how it can effectively treat acne scars, contact Plastic Surgery Specialists in Birmingham to schedule your consultation. Call us at (205) 298-8660 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your appointment today.
November 17th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
A body lift is one of the most rewarding body-contouring procedures for patients. Typically, those who consider this procedure have lost a significant amount of weight through either gastric bypass surgery or by their own means of weight loss. When one loses more than 100 pounds, or between 30 to 50 percent of their highest weight, excess skin on the breasts, arms, thighs, and many other places is inevitable. In some cases, excess skin results from the natural aging process or very poor skin elasticity. The body lift procedure helps to alleviate discomfort caused by excess skin and gives patients the youthful-looking body shape they likely once had.
Patients can choose among three different procedures to reduce their excess skin: lower body lift, upper body lift, and thigh lift. Patients can also combine these procedures or opt for a less extensive version of a procedure if they do not have a significant amount of skin to lose.
Lower Body Lift
The lower body lift is a common choice for post-bariatric patients. Also known as a belt lipectomy, the lower body lift addresses the abdomen, buttocks, outer thighs, and sometimes the groin.
Upper Body Lift
The upper body lift can address sagging breasts, excess skin in the upper arms, and sagging in the underarm area as well as the upper back along the bra line. A breast augmentation is combined with a breast lift to improve the shape of the breasts, and in some cases a breast reduction is needed. Incisions for a brachioplasty (arm lift) address the upper arms and can be extended to remove what many refer to as “bat wings,” or sagging skin in the underarm area.
The inner thigh lift will enhance the shape of the inner, upper thighs. A vertical thigh lift is needed when the excess skin of the inner thighs exists in the mid and lower third of the thigh. This results in an incision along the side of the inner thigh. Patients who have excess skin primarily in the upper thigh can have the incision hidden in the natural crease near the groin.
Who Can Benefit?
Any person who has a significant amount of excess skin or tissue in the arms, torso, breasts, buttocks, flanks, or inner and outer thighs can consider this procedure. Those who obtain the best results have reached their goal weight, maintained that weight steadily for several months, are finished having children, and have realistic expectations for the procedure. Body lift patients should be committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise and excellent nutrition to help speed recovery and maintain the benefits of the procedure.
Dr. Robert I. Oliver and Dr. Jason M. Jack are board-certified plastic surgeons with extensive experience performing the body lift procedure. To schedule your private consultation and to learn more about your candidacy, please fill out our online contact form or call us today at 205-298-8660.
October 21st, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Diet and exercise are not always effective in ridding the body of excess fat; some parts of the body continue to store fat despite your best efforts to trim down. Dr. Robert Oliver, Jr. and Dr. Jason Jack of Plastic Surgery Specialists offer liposuction as a means of eliminating stored fat from trouble areas. With completely customized treatments, you can have liposuction performed nearly anywhere on your body to improve your body shape.
Liposuction can remove fat from many areas of the body, including the:
- Upper arms
Often, liposuction is used to treat multiple areas of the body at one time so that your whole figure is better proportioned and contoured. Liposuction can eliminate a double chin, saddlebags, “spare tire” waistline, love handles, back bulge, thigh fat, and other fat deposits to shape and define the body in a more attractive way.
Combining Procedures With Liposuction
Liposuction can be performed on its own or with other procedures to maximize the potential for improvement of your figure. For example, liposuction of the thighs, hips, buttocks, or waist can be combined with a thigh lift or tummy tuck to further improve body shape. Liposuction of the chin and neck may be combined with a facelift or neck lift to enhance the appearance of the area and to restore a more youthful appearance. In similar fashion, liposuction to remove upper arm fat may be combined with an arm lift to greatly improve the tone and shape of the upper arms. It can even provide a solution for post-bariatric surgery body contouring for those who have sustained significant weight loss and suffer from sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits.
Candidates for Liposuction
Ideal candidates for liposuction will be at or near their ideal body weight, have realistic expectations, and have stubborn localized fat deposits in one of the areas described above. It is important to note that liposuction is not meant to replace a healthy diet and exercise. However, if you are like the many individuals who have been unable to reach realistic goals with these methods, liposuction can provide a successful solution to enhance your body contour.
To find out more about how liposuction could enhance your body shape, contact Plastic Surgery Specialists in Birmingham to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgery specialists. Call (205) 298-8660 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your appointment today.
September 15th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Individuals who have experienced bariatric surgery, significant weight loss, or sagging skin and excess fat due to aging may be good candidates for body contouring procedures. Plastic surgeons Dr. Robert Oliver and Dr. Jason Jack offer body contouring procedures that can make a significant, positive difference in your life. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about body contouring.
What Is a Lower Body Lift?
The lower body lift (belt lipectomy) corrects sagging skin and excess fat caused by pregnancy, excessive weight loss, or aging. During the procedure, the surgeon removes loose skin and excess fatty tissue from the abdomen, waist, buttocks, hips, and/or thighs to improve body contour and restore the body to a more youthful appearance.
Will a Lower Body Lift Eliminate All My Body Problems?
Because the lower body lift is an amalgam of procedures that remove excess skin and fat from multiple areas, it can significantly improve your body shape. To further enhance your body shape after drastic weight loss, consider an upper body lift as well.
What Procedures Might I Need After Bariatric Surgery?
While bariatric surgery can significantly improve your quality of life, post-bariatric patients often experience sagging skin and excess fat in stubborn areas. Body contouring can correct these problems and further improve your quality of life after bariatric surgery. Depending on your body, multiple stages of procedures may be recommended.
Patients may start with liposuction or abdominoplasty to improve the curvature and firmness of the stomach area. For more extensive improvements, patients undergo a lower body lift to remove excess skin and fat from the lower torso and/or upper legs.
Patients may undergo an upper body lift with a breast lift, breast augmentation or reduction, and/or upper arm surgery (brachioplasty).
If needed, patients can undergo an inner thigh lift.
To maximize recovery, we recommend waiting for a few months between stages. However, not every individual needs the same procedures, so you will want to discuss your needs with our surgeon. He will create a customized treatment plan for you.
How Long Will I Have to Wait Between Procedures?
In most cases, patients should wait two to four months between procedures.
What Is Recovery Like?
Recovery from body contouring can take one to three weeks. For the lower body lift, you will need to stay overnight before returning home, and we recommend waiting two to three weeks before returning to work. For an upper body lift or thigh lift, we recommend seven to ten days at home. During recovery, wear your compression garments as needed and follow the surgeon’s instructions for proper fluid drainage after surgery. Rest well in the first few weeks following surgery to help the healing process, and avoid exercising for at least six weeks. Ultimately, your body may require more or less time for recovery than this, so follow your doctor’s recommendations.
How Expensive Is Body Contouring?
As body contouring is completely customized for the patient’s needs, it is impossible to offer a general answer regarding cost. These details can be discussed during your consultation. Bear in mind that some insurance companies may cover certain expenses. For example, your insurance may cover breast reduction, or it may cover a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) if you have excess skin that hangs over the pubic region (panniculectomy). Lifestyle Loans may be used to help pay for body contouring procedures. If you need several procedures performed, we will work with you on financing and may offer discounted fees to help make body contouring more affordable for you.
We’d be happy to answer any other questions you have about body contouring when you come in for your initial consultation. Call us at 205-298-8660 or contact us online to schedule your private consultation today.
August 28th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
In a world where smooth skin is incredibly popular, men and women alike turn to shaving, waxing, and other hair removal methods to remove unwanted facial and body hair. These days, new technological developments have led to the creation of a laser hair removal system called the ProWave Hair Removal System to do the job safely and effectively for permanent results. This new innovation by Cutera® can be used on a wide range of skin types and tones and can quickly treat large areas of skin. The next time you consider putting on your swimsuit and hitting the beach, try the ProWave hair removal system for optimal, permanent results.
How the ProWave Works
Waxing, razors, and electrolysis can be painful and frustrating, especially because they must be repeated soon afterward. But the ProWave hair removal system delivers laser light technology in pulses to the treated area, which effectively and permanently disables the hairs growing there. Because your hairs grow at different rates, it will usually take between three to six treatments to effectively disable all the hair follicles in the target area. However, unlike other hair removal methods that produce only temporary solutions, once these treatments are complete, the results are permanent!
What It’s Like to Use the ProWave
Using the ProWave hair removal system effectively removes hair from the face, legs, arms, underarms, back, chest, bikini line, and even the nipples. As the cooled handpiece is held to the target area, you may experience mild stinging or pinching. While no anesthesia is required, a topical anesthetic may be applied before treating sensitive areas. After treatment, the targeted area may be red or swollen for a few hours; any exposed areas should be covered in sunscreen before going out into the sun. Between treatment sessions, hairs may appear to grow, but this is just hair shedding due to treatment with the ProWave. You can shave these hairs between treatments, but avoid waxing or plucking.
Getting You Ready for the Beach!
With this new technology, your skin will be permanently smooth with no more unwanted hair, and there will be nothing stopping you from putting on your swimsuit and getting ready to catch the waves. Click here to read more about the ProWave hair removal system.
Dr. Oliver and Dr. Jack are board-certified plastic surgeons that offer the ProWave hair removal system and a number of other procedures and treatments to enhance your appearance. To find out more about the ProWave hair removal system as well as our other treatments that could benefit you, fill out our online contact form or call us today at 205-298-8660 to schedule a consultation.
August 11th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
The majority of people know that BOTOX® Cosmetic can be used to treat wrinkles and provide a more youthful appearance. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a neurotoxin produced by botulinum toxin A. When injected into the facial muscles, it temporarily paralyzes those wrinkle-causing muscles, allowing the skin to relax and smooth out. It takes only minutes to perform this nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure and requires no downtime, so patients can return to work and their regular activities immediately afterward.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is commonly used to improve the following signs of aging:
Horizontal lines across the forehead
Vertical furrows between the brows, known as “frown lines”
“Crow’s feet” at the corners of the eyes
A sagging brow
What many people do not know is that BOTOX® can be used for many other purposes, and research suggests that it may be effective for improving mood.
BOTOX® for Depression
Depression is characterized by a dejected mood during most of the day and a loss of interest in things once enjoyed. This mood disorder affects about 18.8 million American adults. Fortunately, a study conducted at the Hannover Medical School in Germany found that injecting botulinum toxin A into the facial muscles involved with expressing negative emotions eased the symptoms of depression. Patients in this study who received botulinum toxin A for the treatment of “frown lines” experienced positive effects on their mood.
How It Works
Our facial muscles contract to display our emotions, and our expressions send signals back to the brain to reinforce those emotions (the facial feedback hypothesis). Since BOTOX® Cosmetic blocks nerve impulses from reaching the muscles, it may prevent people from expressing negative emotions and prevent the reinforcement of those negative emotions back to the brain. In addition to boosting a person’s confidence knowing he or she looks more youthful, this study suggests that BOTOX® Cosmetic can also make a person happier.
If you are interested in BOTOX® Cosmetic to improve signs of aging and increase your confidence, schedule your consultation with Dr. Oliver & Dr. Jack today. Contact our office by calling 205-298-8660, or fill out our online contact form for more information.
July 2nd, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Sun exposure, living a happy life, and gravity all cause a little facial wear and tear. As you age, the elastin in your facial tissues becomes weak, and your skin begins to droop. However, the weakening of the skin isn’t the only cause of an aging appearance. A larger factor in how firm and youthful your face appears is actually the underlying muscular structure. If your muscles are loose, then the skin that sits on top of it will appear that way as well. Many people carry the misconception that a facelift targets A) only the skin and B) your entire face. This is, in fact, not true.
What Is a Facelift, Really?
Facelift surgery has a bit of a deceptive name; there isn’t much lifting of your entire face. Many patients pull back the skin around the temples and cheeks, which makes the skin taunt. This is the effect they desire from their facelift, but achieving that aesthetic through surgery requires work in a very different area of the face. What seems to be a tightening of the overall face is actually tailored restructuring of the underlying musculature of the lower face.
Incisions are created along the hairline at the temples that run down toward the ears. The skin is separated from the muscles, and the cheek and jaw muscles are repositioned and stitched together so they appear and feel firm. The skin is then redraped over your new muscle contour, and unwanted excess skin is trimmed away. The remaining skin hugs your new muscle structure, which now appears firm and youthful. It is important to remember that this surgery only targets the middle and lower half of your face.
Full Facial Rejuvenation
What many patients fail to realize is that an aged appearance can also be due to sagging skin around the eyes. Heavy, drooping eyelids can cause you to appear fatigued, angry, or even sad. Eyelid surgery can be performed in conjunction with your facelift in order to achieve full facial rejuvenation. Additionally, JUVÈDERM® is an injectable filler that can be used to fill in deep, hollow circles around the eyes.
For eyelid surgery, incisions are created in the natural contours of the eyelids to minimize the appearance of scarring. Excess skin and fat are removed from the upper lid to eliminate a heavy, hooded lid. The same is done to the lower lid, which alleviates puffiness and dark undereye circles.
Combining procedures can save you money and precious recovery time. Brighter eyes and firmer skin will have you looking years younger in no time.
If you think you’d benefit from full facial rejuvenation, facelift surgery, or eyelid lift surgery, schedule your consultation with the Birmingham Specialists today. Contact our office by calling 205-298-8660 or filling out our online contact form here for more information.
May 15th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Having breasts that are small or sagging robs many women of their confidence. If you are bothered by the appearance of your breasts and feel that they could use a boost along with your confidence, surgical correction is available.
Breast enhancement surgeries can increase the size and/or improve the shape of your breasts, but it may seem like you’re sifting through murky water attempting to figure out what will work best for you. If you aren’t sure which breast enhancement procedure is going to give you the results you desire, the following information can help you decide based on the factors that apply to you.
When many women think of breast enhancement, they automatically think of breast augmentation because it is the most popular enhancement surgery. Breast augmentation surgery uses implants to increase the size, reshape, and correct asymmetry of the breasts. Implant options are saline (which provide a more rounded look and feel) or silicone (which more closely simulate natural breast tissue). The implant placement (under or over the pectoral muscle) can also affect the aesthetic appearance of the breasts.
Women who choose breast augmentation generally identify with one or more of the following:
Desire for an increase in breast size
Abnormally shaped breasts
Embarrassment due to breast asymmetry (one breast smaller than the other)
Many women fail to realize that their breast issues may be due to weakened breast tissue and/or stretched skin. Women often experience breast sagging as a result of aging, pregnancy, and weight loss. Severe breast sagging can prevent the breasts from appearing full and perky. Breast lift surgery removes excess tissue and sutures what remains into a flattering position and shape on the chest.
Women who choose breast lift surgery generally identify with one or more of the following:
Mild to severe breast ptosis (sagging)
Nipples and areolas that hang below the breast crease or point downward
Drooping breasts that are large or of adequate size
It is important to discuss your goals with your doctor to determine the right procedure(s) for you. Women often find that they need a smaller bra size after breast lift surgery due to the tightening of the tissues and wish they had also undergone breast augmentation. Those who wish to increase the size of their breasts while also elevating them to a higher position combine the breast augmentation and breast lift procedures into one surgery.
Sagging breast tissue may lead to complications later if a breast augmentation is performed alone when a lift is also needed. In these instances, an issue called the “double-bubble deformity” can occur, where the breast tissue that should have been lifted sags below the implant. A lift with your augmentation can help prevent tissue sagging and this problem.
If you are seeking breast enhancement surgery, schedule your consultation with Plastic Surgery Specialists of Birmingham. Dr. Oliver, Dr. Jack, and their friendly staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact our office today at 205-298-8660 or fill out our online contact form here for more information.
April 16th, 2015 Plastic Surgery Specialists
Chemical peels seem to have a bad rap as of late. It may be because people picture horrible lab accidents when they hear “chemical,” or they envision the skin being grated off at the sound of “peel.” Another possibility could be that everyone is simply enamoured with new laser technology. However, there is no need to fear chemical peels; they are not as dangerous as the name might lead you to believe. As for technology, chemical peels are also backed by solid science.
What Are Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels are designed to improve the appearance of your skin. They can treat fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, age spots, and certain types of acne. A mild, medium, or moderate (depending on the intensity of treatment needed) chemical solution is applied to the skin. The solution helps exfoliate the skin to erase imperfections and improve skin tone and texture. Common ingredients for chemical peels include:
Glycolic Acid: This is among the mildest of chemical peel ingredients. It is considered to be natural because it is derived from sugar cane. As a mild peel that works on a superficial level, it provides mild results, making multiple treatments necessary.
Trichloroacetic Acid: This is an effective middle-ground peel ingredient. It is strong enough to remove fine wrinkles, but it doesn’t provide the same lasting results as deep-working peels.
Phenol Peel: This is an incredibly strong chemical peel. It works deep within the tissue layers to achieve the most dramatic results. The recovery period takes longer (about two weeks), but many patients say their results last for years.
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
Your skin’s health and quality is only as good as the cells making up the tissue. Dead skin cells and lack of collagen can negatively affect the appearance of your skin. As you age, dead skin cells can build up, creating acne and a dull skin tone. Your natural collagen production also begins to slow down. Chemical peels work by exfoliating the top layers of skin to remove dead cells. By slightly damaging the surface of your skin, the body is stimulated to produce new collagen cells to help in the healing process. The cells that remain behind once healing is complete create tighter, smoother skin. This process is known as cell turnover.
Maintaining Chemical Peel Results
Chemical peels come in varying strengths. Therefore, your results will last varying amounts of time depending on the treatment you underwent. If you want to prolong the effects of any chemical peel, it is important to maintain healthy skin care habits.
Stay hydrated: Consume the daily recommended amount of water, and apply a moisturizing skin cream after washing.
Nutrition: A good diet full of healthy vitamins and minerals can help maintain bright, clear skin.
Apply sunscreen: Sun damage is one of the leading causes of signs of aging. Always use sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and avoid direct sunlight when possible.
If you are considering a chemical peel treatment, schedule your consultation with Dr. Oliver & Dr. Jack today. Contact our office by calling 205-298-8660 or filling out our online contact form here.