Whether going bigger or smaller, there’s bound to be a few shocks along the way…
I didn’t want to go under the knife, so decided to turn to injectables.
The facts on getting a perfectly plump pout.
…besides ‘What the hell were you thinking?!’.
Have you ever thought about feeding after a breast augmentation procedure? According to a recent study at the University of Sydney, one in five women who have breast implants don’t breast-feed their babies, with researchers speculating that those who don’t may be worried about compromising their implants or transmitting implant materials into their breast milk.
According to Dr Huy Tang, Cosmetic Surgeon at Australia’s largest cosmetic surgery provider, The Cosmetic Institute, despite being the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure on the planet, there are still many myths surrounding breast augmentation – particularly when it comes to pregnancy and a woman’s ability to breastfeed following the procedure.
“It’s a common misconception that once a woman has breast implants, she can’t breastfeed. But the fact is, I’ve operated on many women who have gone on to successfully breastfeed their babies, with no negative affects. That said, every woman is different and it’s important that patients are clear about the facts before they decide for or against breastfeeding their baby following a breast augmentation,” he says.
Here, Dr Huy Tang addresses a list of the most common questions concerning breastfeeding after breast augmentation:
Is breastfeeding likely to change the shape of an augmented breast?
“It is impossible to predict the change in augmented breasts after breastfeeding,” he says. “As a rule, women with smaller breasts would generally expect less change to occur when breastfeeding, compared to those with larger breasts,” he adds. According to Dr Tang, in both natural and augmented breasts, genetic factors such as skin quality and elasticity are the major factors that influence whether breast shape is likely to change.
How much time after breast augmentation should a woman wait to fall pregnant or wait to breast feed her children?
“We normally recommend six to 12 months post-op to allow the augmented breast to completely settle before falling pregnant,” says Dr Tang, who recommends visiting forums and talking to other women who have breast fed post operatively. “Recovery time can vary from patient to patient so it is important that you’re prepared to be flexible should recovery take a little longer than anticipated,” he says.
Does breast augmentation affect a mother’s milk supply?
According to Dr Tang, breast augmentation will not affect a mother’s milk supply. “As long as you are being operated on by a reputable surgeon and there has been no damage to the milk ducts or nerves during surgery, there will be no affect on your milk supply.
“Some women find it very difficult to breastfeed and a woman can have a poor milk supply regardless of whether they have implants or not, it’s rarely the implants or surgery that hinders the supply of milk,” he says.
Are there are any dangers associated with breastfeeding after breast augmentation, either for the mother or the baby?
A common fear among women is that their implants may “leak” and be toxic for a breastfeeding baby, however Dr Tang provides assurance that there are no known dangers to either the mother or baby when breastfeeding with implants.
“The implants we use at The Cosmetic Institute are the best in the world and are made of a gel substance that remains within a solid membrane and does not leak into the body, even in the rare case of a rupture,” advises Tang. “The chances of an implant leaking or rupturing are exceptionally low, however in the rare case that this did occur, there would be no harm to the mother or baby in terms of toxicity.”
Having said that, he does warn that it is crucial to find out what implants your surgeon will be using and whether the materials are safe should a rupture occur.
Will augmented breasts tend to be more sensitive/painful when breastfeeding when compared to non-augmented breasts?
When it comes to sensitivity, it is possible that an implant could cause feelings of slight discomfort in the breast. “It’s not always the case, but the added weight and volume of the implant can result in increased sensitivity,” says Tang. “Breasts generally become more sensitive during pregnancy and the added volume from implants could increase this sensitivity,” he adds.
Are augmented breasts more likely to sag or change shape after pregnancy and breastfeeding than non-augmented breasts?
The doctor stresses that while the implants remain unchanged with pregnancy and breast-feeding, the tissue surrounding them may change shape. “Regardless of whether a woman has implants, her breast shape can change during or post pregnancy based on factors including genetics, age and skin quality,” says Dr Tang.
“Since there’s no sure way to tell whether a breast will or won’t sag following pregnancy and breastfeeding, if a patient is concerned about this and considering having children in the not too distant future, I will generally advise them to delay their augmentation. Post pregnancy and breast feeding, we can ensure that all breast changes are taken into account before deciding on the size and type of implant that should be used,” he says.
Image via Mom Junction
As the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure on the planet, more than 12,000 breast augmentations take place in Australia each year. With more women choosing to go under the knife, The Cosmetic Institute has put together a check list of 10 things to consider before signing on the dotted line to have surgery.
“Breast augmentations make up more than 90 percent of the surgeries we perform,” says Dr Huy Tang, cosmetic surgeon at The Cosmetic Institute, which performs some 5,000 breast augmentation procedures each year. “While it’s a fairly straight-forward procedure, any time a patient is considering surgery, we want to make sure they’re informed, educated and armed with the right questions to ask,” he said.
Here, Dr Tang outlines the 10 most important things to consider before going under the knife.
1. Be healthy
“Prior to your procedure it is critical that you are in excellent health,” says Dr Tang. “In particular, if you’re a smoker, it’s a very good idea to kick the habit at least eight weeks prior to your surgery.” According to Dr Tang, smokers have a much higher risk of serious complications during and after surgery, including infections and impaired wound healing.
2. Get educated
“It seems obvious, but make sure you’re well informed,” says Dr Tang, who recommends visiting forums, talking to people who have had the procedure and looking through the social media pages of the clinics you are interested in going with. “It is a very good idea to do this research before you meet your prospective surgeon so you can ensure all your questions can be addressed in your initial consultation,” he says.
3. Shop around
“Although it can be tempting to go with the first surgeon you find and book your procedure in straight away, don’t settle with the first clinic you visit,” says Dr Tang. “Ensure you have a consultation with at least two or three other clinics to gain some perspective on what’s out there and where you feel the most comfortable. In addition to getting to know the surgeon, you can familiarise yourself with the type of work they do by looking at before and after pictures.”
4. Get clear about costs
To avoid any surprises, make sure you are aware of the costs associated with your surgery up front. “Many clinics have hidden costs such as a facility hire fees, post op follow up fees and anaesthetist fees, so make sure all costs are laid out on the table before you decide,” Dr Tang advises.
5. Stay local
“I can’t stress strongly enough that patients need to think carefully before being lured overseas by the promise of cut-price surgery, as doing so exposes you to a number of unnecessary risks,” warns Dr Tang. In addition to being away from the comforts of home and the support of family and friends while recovering from surgery, Dr Tang points out that you’re likely to be travelling to a very hot, humid climate where the risk of infection can be increased and the standard of sanitation may not be as high. “You’ll also have no access to your surgeon once you return home, which may be crucial should complications occur weeks or even months after your surgery. We are lucky that Australia has one of the best medical systems in the world, so you couldn’t be in safer hands,” he says.
6. Ask for accreditation
“One of the very basic things you need to do is make sure both the clinic and the surgeon are accredited,” stresses Dr Tang, who warns that while the surgeon you’re talking to might be accredited, the facility may not be.
7. Ask about anaesthetic
“Enquire about who will be administering the anaesthetic and ask whether you will have a specialist anaesthetist on site dedicated to your care for the full duration of surgery,” says Dr Tang. “Make sure your surgeon discusses the type of anaesthetic that will be used and that you are well informed about the different types of anaesthetic options available.”
8. Get the low down on the implants
In terms of implant options, Dr Tang suggests you discuss everything from the type of implants your surgeon is planning to use (silicone gel or saline), to the size of implants they recommend based on your proportions, and their shape – which can be round or tear drop. “You’ll also want to ask about the texture of your implants’ surface – rough or smooth, whether your implants will be placed under or in front of the muscle, and the location of your incisions,” he says.
9. Be aware of the aftercare
“What happens after surgery is just as important as what happens during surgery,” says Dr Tang. “Following your surgery it is vital that you attend the recommended post op consultations with your surgeon and follow the aftercare directions they provide you with to the letter,” he says. He also suggests that you have a designated post op care partner to help look after you the days and even weeks following the procedure. “It is highly recommended that mothers in particular have assistance with general day to day activities as their upper body will be restricted and they won’t be able to do things like pick up their children, take a pram out of the car, or reach for anything above shoulder height.”
10. Keep your expectations in check
“Although breast augmentation is a relatively simple procedure, many people are unaware of the lifestyle adjustments that will need to be made following surgery and come in with unrealistic expectations about their recovery,” says Dr Tang. He advises that most patients will need to take a week or so off work and won’t be able to drive for a week either. “It’s also important to keep in mind that your new breasts will change dramatically in the first six to 12 weeks and will continue to settle over the 12 to 24 months following, so don’t expect immediate perfection,” he says.
In terms of scarring, Dr Tang says that patients are usually left with a thin line across the base of the breast, which fades over the following 12 months. And finally, because you’re breasts will still be healing, Dr Tang says that underwire bras are off limits for about six weeks.
With the demand for cosmetic surgery in Australia at an all-time high and growing at a rate of 30 per cent year-on-year, it is estimated that more than 12,000 breast augmentations take place nationwide each year. Yet according to The Cosmetic Institute, Australia’s largest provider of cosmetic surgery, a number of misconceptions about the procedure still exist.
“Breast implants are by far our most commonly requested procedure,” says David Segal, co-founder and Managing Director of The Cosmetic Institute and author of the book Skin – The Essential Australian Guide. ”Over the past 18 months, we have performed more than 3,000 breast augmentations and they make up more than 90 per cent of the surgeries we perform, yet we find that there is still a lot of mixed information out there,” he said.
Here, David outlines and corrects the 10 most common myths and misconceptions that exist around breast implants and breast augmentation:
While the media will often showcase celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Brynne Edelstein as examples of breast augmentation, in the “real world” many clients just want to go from an A to a B or C cup. “Most of the patients we see are women who simply want to fill out their clothing and feel more confident and feminine. Others wish to “replenish” what breast feeding has taken away or correct asymmetry, where one breast is smaller than the other,” says David. “The size of the implant is determined in consultation with the patient, taking into account their height, weight and frame, but for the most part, we don’t see women who are looking to go really big,” he said.
2. Breast implants will cause you to lose all feeling in your breasts
While the impact implants can have on sensation and sensitivity in the breast tissue will always vary from patient to patient. “The vast majority of patients experience no permanent sensory changes after undergoing a breast augmentation,” David said.
3. You can’t breastfeed after breast implants
Many people still believe that having breast augmentation can prevent a woman from breast feeding, however this is usually not the case. “Providing they are inserted correctly, there is no medical evidence to suggest that implants interfere with breastfeeding,” says David. “At The Cosmetic Institute we insert the implant under the muscle, meaning the implant does not affect the milk ducts,” David says.
4. Breast augmentation is painful surgery that requires a lot of time off work
Everybody has their unique pain tolerance level and will require differing amounts of post-operative pain relief, and while the length of time it takes to recover from surgery differs from person to person, most patients are able to return to work within five to seven days following surgery, says David. “Most of our patients are pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the procedure and the time it takes to recover. The procedure itself takes just 45 minutes on average and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Patients are able to recuperate at home once discharged from recovery,” he says.
5. Heading overseas to places like Thailand for surgery is a cost-effective way to have your surgery whilst enjoying a holiday at the same time
According to David, there is a lot of romanticism surrounding cosmetic surgery holidays, when in reality, it can be near impossible to enjoy a tropical holiday while recovering from something like a breast augmentation. “In addition to not being able to swim, patients may be in pain and must keep movement to a minimum. Additionally, people are often travelling to very hot, humid climates, where the risk of infection is high, and most importantly, should something go wrong, a patient has no access to their surgeon once they have returned home,” David warns.
And, in terms of costs savings, once flights, accommodation, travel insurance and other expenses have been factored in, the costs can quickly escalate, resulting in no savings at all in the end.
6. Silicone implants are not safe
As one of the most thoroughly studied medical devices in the world, decades of research have gone into the safety and effectiveness of silicone implants. “Silicone is actually the most biocompatible material known to man and silicone-filled implants are supported by extensive pre-clinical testing, US clinical studies and European rupture prevalence data,” David says.
7. Breast implants can rupture and harm you
“These days, the chances of an implant rupturing are extremely low,” says David. “However, in the rare case that an implant did rupture, most likely due to some form of severe trauma, there would be no harm to the patient in terms of toxicity,” David said. As implants are made of a gel substance that remains within a solid membrane and does not “leak” into the body, the implant would merely be removed and replaced.
8. Breast implants make it hard to detect breast cancer
“While radiologists are well practised in administering breast screens to women with implants, it is believed that it’s actually easier to detect changes in your breasts if you have implants as they tend to push the natural breast tissue closer to the surface, making a lump easier to feel,” David says. Regardless, it’s recommended that all women (with or without implants) monitor their breasts and have a regular examination by a doctor.
9. Implants make breasts sag earlier
Gravity, weight and the breakdown of collagen and elastin tissue within the skin are all factors that affect the likelihood for breast to sag, regardless of whether the woman has an implant, says David. “Natural breasts are just as likely to sag as breasts with implants are, which is why it is important for all women to wear a good quality, supportive and well-fitted bra,” he says.
10. Breast implants need to be changed every 10 years
According to David, implants today don’t have a set lifetime. “Unless your breasts change shape or there’s impairment to the implant, then there’s no reason to replace them, regardless of how long they’ve been in your breast.”
The Cosmetic Institute operates two clinics, in Sydney’s Parramatta and Bondi Junction, and offers exceptional surgical outcomes, patient care and support at a fair price.
Have you ever been interested in breast augmentation surgery? Whether you’re thinking about going up a cup size, downgrading or even making your breasts look firm and shapely, this kind of cosmetic surgery is one of the most popular trends in Australia at the moment. Growing at a rate of 30 per cent year-after-year, it is time to debunk any myths about breast augmentation, and just face the facts if you’re interested in going under the knife.
The Cosmetic Institute is a world-class facility offering breast augmentation surgery, amongst other cosmetic procedures. With their flagship store located in Parramatta and second established just months ago in bustling Bondi Junction, they offer exceptional surgical outcomes, brilliant patient care and support at a fair price. Breast augmentation surgery at The Cosmetic Institute is available for $5,990.
Here are some common misconceptions about breast augmentation surgery, as told by David Segal, co-founder and managing director of The Cosmetic Institute, and author of the book Skin – The Essential Australian Guide.
Breast implants are only for women who want to increase their cup size
A far cry from the assets of celebrities such as Brynne Edelstein or Pamela Anderson, in reality, many clients just want to go from an A to a B or a C cup. “The size of the implant is determined in consultation with the patient, taking into account their height, weight and frame, but for the most part, we don’t see women who are looking to go really big,” says David. Implants are not a ‘one size fits all’ type of procedure. They are chosen in proportion to body-type, and how to best flatter the rest of the patient.
Implants will make you lose the sensation in your breasts
Although patients will usually have a different reaction from the procedure, in most cases this is treated as a rare concept. While everyone will react differently after the implants are inserted, the loss of sensitivity isn’t usually a permanent side effect. “The vast majority of patients experience no permanent sensory changes after undergoing a breast augmentation,” David said.
You cannot breastfeed after having implants
One of the most common misconceptions about breast augmentation surgery is definitely in regards to difficulty breastfeeding in the future. The implant is usually inserted under the muscle, since this will not interfere with any flow from the milk ducts. If you do plan to have kids or breastfeed, don’t let this common misconception deter you from the idea of breastfeeding.
Breast augmentation requires a lot of attention and time off work
While everybody is different and has a varied amount of pain tolerance, breast augmentation isn’t treated like a surgery which requires a tremendous amount of down-time. Most patients will be back and on their feet within 5-7 days after the procedure has been completed. “Most of our patients are pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the procedure and the time it takes to recover. The procedure itself takes just 45 minutes on average and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Patients are able to recuperate at home once discharged from recovery,” says David.
Having the procedure in Thailand or overseas will be cheaper and act like a mini-holiday
A large number of people choose to get their breast augmentation surgery in countries such as Thailand, Lebanon and Bali. These procedures are often advertised as cheap and are romanticised since they also look like a mini-holiday which takes over the recovery period. In reality, this is nearly impossible since patients need an adequate amount of care, rest and follow-up support which doesn’t exist in these types of scenarios. “In addition to not being able to swim, patients may be in pain and must keep movement to a minimum. Additionally, people are often travelling to very hot, humid climates, where the risk of infection is high, and most importantly, should something go wrong, a patient has no access to their surgeon once they have returned home,” David warns.
Silicone implants are not safe
Much has been said over the past few years in regards to the safety of silicone implants. Actually, these implants have gone through numerous tests and research which determine that they are extremely safe and reliable. “Silicone is actually the most biocompatible material known to man and silicone-filled implants are supported by extensive pre-clinical testing, US clinical studies and European rupture prevalence data,” David says. If you are worried about the safety of silicone implants, do your research and read-up as much as you can on the topic before deeming it unsafe.
Implants make it difficult to detect breast cancer
Actually, quite the opposite. Breast implants have often had a bad reputation in regards to blocking the detection of breast cancer. Instead, the implants push forward the breast tissue, which makes it so much easier to detect any incoming lumps or bumps which are of concern.
Image via Dr Tim Vlog
There are many oversimplified ideas and misconceptions circulating the world of cosmetic surgery. Some people believe the glamorous procedures are only for the rich and famous, whilst others think they’ll escape with absolutely no scars to show for an invasive procedure.
As cosmetic surgery becomes an even bigger part of our culture, from reality TV shows to magazine covers, the line between myth and reality starts to blur. There are so many delusions that for some people, the thought of visiting a clinic can be daunting. We bust a few common myths surrounding cosmetic surgery procedures and how to make it work for you.
1. Cosmetic procedures and plastic Surgery are the same thing – FALSE
Plastic surgery, also known as reconstructive surgery, restores the normal. It helps to reconstruct the body part and repair what has been damaged, for example people who’ve been in accidents or burns victims. Doctors that list themselves as a plastic surgeon need to be registered and operate under a strict code of ethics in accredited surgical facilities.
Cosmetic surgery on the other hand is elective and focuses on the aesthetics of beauty. Surgeons in this expertise are dedicated to the art of improving a patient’s appearance through enhancement procedures.
2. Cosmetic surgery is all about beauty and vanity – FALSE
The majority of patients that undergo cosmetic surgery feel how they look plays a considerable role in their overall health and wellbeing. But it’s not all in vain, although breast augmentations, liposuction, Botox and facelifts do get all the media. We all want to look our best, and the conflict between a person’s self-worth and desire to be beautiful can be a battle.
When a patient chooses to have surgery to enhance their appearance, it’s often to improve areas which are not amendable to diet, weight loss and nonsurgical procedures. While some are after a celebrity look alike, others desire a development to their appearance that isn’t dramatic and is less noticeable. Generally, patients who undergo cosmetic surgery aren’t looking to be better than everyone else; they are just looking to feel better about themselves.
3. Cosmetic surgery leaves you with no scars – FALSE
When the skin is cut, a scar will result and so it is to be expected with some cosmetic procedures. How visible this scar is will be determined by how the incision is closed, how it’s cared for after the procedure, where the incision is made and the surgical experience of the doctor.
Qualified cosmetic surgeons are good at making scars look better, refined and smaller. Depending on the type of procedure you’re after and how invasive it is can also help to determine the level of scaring expected. For example, breast augmentation scars can be hidden under the armpit or in the crease below the breast and facelift scars are usually hidden along the hairline or within the contours of your ears. Your cosmetic surgeon will also give recommendations, advice and treatments to ensure any scaring made is minimally noticeable.
4. Cosmetic surgery is mostly for women – FALSE
Although cosmetic surgery is more popular amongst women, studies show there has been an increase of 273% between 1997 and 2013 in the number of male patients. Just like women, men can also feel the need for more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Less invasive procedures like dermal fillers, Botox and liposuction are becoming prevalent throughout the male population with relatively low costs and downtime.
Bigger procedures like breast reduction are common for men facing the man-boob battle or implants for those who desire a firmer chest and mimic a well-built muscle. A whopping 83% of men believe that their personal appearance plays an important role in their professional success, thus cosmetic surgery procedures can provide a competitive edge and boost self-confidence.
5. Breast implants need to be changed every 10 years – FALSE
A common misconception around breast implants is that they will need to be replaced or lifted after 10 years. Breast implants, however, are designed to last longer than you think and there is no reason to have them replaced unless there is a problem. Problems that can occur which would require the implant to be removed or replaced can include a leaky or ruptured implant. When this happens, reparative surgery is not always medically urgent or necessary, but usually desired for obvious cosmetic reasons. The different between how noticeable the leak is variers between whether you choose saline or silicone implants. On average, majority of implants last without complications and come with implant warranties the manufactures put in place.
6. All surgeons will produce the same results – FALSE
A surgeon’s qualifications and training will contribute immeasurably to the success of any procedure but believing they all produce the same results is a terrible myth. Not all chefs cook the same way, not all doctors can do the same procedure and not all professional sportsmen play the same. Experience is vital when it comes to choosing the right cosmetic surgeon for your procedure, and finding one who has mastered a specific speciality. To ensure you get the results you’re after consider how many times the surgeon has performed the procedure you want and pay attention to the finer details in previous work they have done.
Whilst some people opt for less qualified surgeons because of the cost factor, it pays to do thorough research and find someone more qualified. Do you really just want anyone operating on your face and body? The right cosmetic surgeon will take their time to discuss your procedure, reasons behind it and realistic results to be expected.
Cosmetic getaways have been embraced by Aussies deciding to take the post-holiday glow to a new level. While the trend, also referred to as “medical tourism”, can be an attractive option for those looking for a cheaper, more discreet option in cosmetic treatments, it’s important to understand the risks involved.
As with any medical treatment, in Australia or abroad, you should consider the history and reputation of the medical facility or clinic, the cosmetic physicians involved, the products and methods used and finally, the option for follow-up care.
Just like you wouldn’t compromise quality when it comes to medical treatment for an illness, you shouldn’t have to compromise on cosmetic treatments to your face or body. However, a recent survey found some Australian women undergoing cosmetic procedures such as anti-wrinkle treatments may be taking the procedure too lightly.
According to the survey, while 86 per cent of anti-wrinkle injection users claimed they are careful about what is injected into their face, 71 per cent did not know the name or brand of their last anti-wrinkle injection treatment.
This is concerning considering anti-wrinkle injections are now officially Australia’s most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure, with approximately 33,000 injections administered each year.
Dr Joseph Ajaka, from the Cosmos Clinic in Sydney, says, “The most important thing a patient can do is come in prepared and ask the right questions before, during and after their treatment.”
“Patients who are the most satisfied with their treatment are the ones who are informed, are asking the right questions and ensuring the anti-wrinkle injection they’ve requested is indeed what they are receiving” said Dr Ajaka.
A new resource called Informed Beauty has been developed to help patients prepare for their appointments and start their consultation feeling confident. So, if you’re considering cosmetic treatments, visit the Informed Beauty website, download the Top 5 Questions Checklist, and ask your cosmetic physician about the Informed Beauty campaign.
Few celebrities have had more surgery than Kim Kardashian, but she’s not finished – the reality star has just had cosmetic surgery on her hands and breasts!
On the latest episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim, 33, complained about the appearance of her hands and wanting to remove the wrinkles, as well as a scar on her big toe and stretch marks on her breasts and décolletage.
Kim visited Beverly Hills cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Simon Ourian with her best friend Jonathan Cheban and discussed the numerous surgeries she wanted to get done.
“I’m like obsessed with my hands,” Kim tells Dr. Ourian. “I think they look really wrinkly. Is there anything to tighten them, just so they make my hands look longer?”
She’s also filmed lying in the surgeon’s bed with protective glasses on her eyes with gel over her breasts, joking “the things you do for beauty!” while having laser surgery to remove the stretch marks on her breasts.
Even Scott Disick tells her that she looked better natural without all the surgery. We agree Scott!
What do you think of Kim Kardashian’s latest plastic surgery?
Surgery was once the only option to reduce fatty trouble spots that wouldn’t budge with diet or exercise. We look at the new non-surgical solutions to permanent fat reduction.
There’s nothing more frustrating than to watch what you eat and drink and exercise regularly (even when you’d rather stick pins in your eyes) than to have fatty trouble spots that just won’t budge. The ones that might be smaller for the effort but remain relatively bigger than everywhere else!
We’re talking “love handles”, “mummy tummies”, “muffin tops”, “spare tyres”, “tuckshop lady arms”, “thunder thighs”, “chicken fillets” under your bra line … the list goes on.
Spot fat reduction isn’t possible through diet and exercise. Moreover, when you go to great lengths to get rid of your particular trouble spots, you’ll probably find that you create more trouble – eg. losing weight in areas you don’t want, such as the face (ageing) or bust (deflating) – but the niggling spots continue to niggle.
Surgical procedures such a liposuction were once the only option to resolve this dilemma. Now permanent reduction of fatty trouble spots is possible with a variety of non-surgical techniques.
Unlike body wraps and fancy schmancy machines in salons that basically stimulate drainage of excess fluid (hence a short-term result), these technologies provide significant and lasting fat reduction, enabling you to “design” your ideal body shape.
It’s important for patients to understand, though, that non-surgical body-contouring is not designed for weight reduction or as a treatment for obesity. To maintain results, you have to keep up the good work of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
If you think you can rest on your laurels and pig out because the trouble spots have finally gone, you may well discover that fat cells in other parts of your body celebrate by getting bigger – hello, new trouble spots!
The use of energy sources such as ultrasound (sound waves), radio frequency and infrared at low frequency has been proven successful in reducing unwanted local fat deposits.
There are a number systems offering this process – brand names include Liposonix, Ultrashape and TruSculpt – which is non-invasive, with only minimal or moderate discomfort in the majority of cases.
A great advantage is that there is no downtime as with surgery, but there can be some redness, bruising and swelling for several days or up to a week or more, depending on the intensity of the treatment.
The fat cell cavitation process can be likened to a highly pitched singing voice shattering glass: the energy waves that pass through the skin shatter the wall of the fat cell. This causes its contents to leak out and kills the cell.
However, no damage is caused to the skin, blood vessels, nerves or connective tissues nearby the treatment areas.
After the breakdown (“lipolysis”) of fat cells, the waste is processed by the liver and excreted via normal body functions.
Usually these procedures require 3-4 treatments, spaced about 3-4 weeks apart, with optimum results seen three months after completing treatment.
Gold Coast cosmetic physician Dr Lindsey Hooke believes in the saying “try before you buy”, which she did with the TruSculpt ultrasonic fat-reduction technology. She and two of her team had one session each and all reported pleasing results.
“I had TruSculpt on the fatty areas of my back around the bra line. Within a month of the treatment – which I found painless – the fatty pockets are significantly reduced and my bras fit a lot better. I feel I can now wear close-fitting tops and dresses without bulges showing through.
“One of my staff had TruSculpt on her inner thighs and she’s delighted. She says she feels and looks a lot better in leggings and jeans.”
This technology literally involves freezing fat cells to death. Zeltiq CoolScupt is the result of years of research by Harvard University-associated scientists, who were intrigued by how babies given ice lollies to suck to relieve teething pain lost fat in their cheeks.
CoolSculpt can target and kill fat cells without harming surrounding tissue.
Fat cells are frozen, then crystallise and are gradually eliminated through the body’s natural processes between 6-12 weeks.
In any one session it targets a particular area such as “love handles”, “muffin tops” and stomachs. The device is positioned on the area to be treated; two “rollers” cooled to 7 degrees C for around 60 minutes. The fatty treatment areas are suctioned between them.
The technology has evolved so that larger areas of localised fat can be treated in one session than initially possible.
Again, optimum results are seen around three months after the final treatment.
A more traditional form of spot fat reduction, mesotherapy (also known as “lipodissolve”), involves a series of essentially pin-prick injections, containing substances such as enzymes, vitamins and phosphatidylcholine (a natural soy substance) into unwanted fat pockets.
These increase fat metabolism to break down fatty deposits in order to naturally absorb and remove them from the body.
Most patients will experience some degree of redness, swelling, itching/stinging, bruising or tenderness. This peaks at around 45 minutes after treatment and can take 24-48 hours to fully subside. Bruises can take a week or more to vanish.
As many as six sessions spaced around a month apart may be required and not everyone will be a “responder”. That will only be determined around 4-6 weeks after your first treatment.
Have you tried – or would you try – non-surgical fat reduction treatments?
While it may seem like the majority of women seeking cosmetic surgery on their breasts want to go bigger, there are others who go under the knife in order to reduce the size of their bustlines. Breast reduction surgery is growing in popularity, becoming the sixth most performed cosmetic surgery procedure in Australia in recent years.
What is reduction mammoplasty?
Reduction mammoplasty is the procedure for reducing the size of large breasts. The typical patient for this surgery suffers from chronic pain in her neck, back and shoulders due to the excessive weight of her breasts. Overly large breasts can cause more serious problems such as difficulty breathing and impaired circulation.
In addition to the physical problems caused by very large breasts, women may also be plagued by the difficulty of finding clothes that fit as well as unwanted stares and comments. This can lead to lowered self-esteem and poor mental health.
Breast reduction procedure
Breast reduction surgery removes excess fat, skin and glandular tissue to create a breast more in proportion to the woman’s body. This cosmetic surgery is more complicated than the procedure for breast augmentation and also leaves more obvious scars.
Reduction mammoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia and involves one of three types of incisions: a circular pattern around the areola, a keyhole-shaped pattern around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease or an inverted T-shape. After the incision is made, the nipple is repositioned and reduced in size.
Next, the underlying breast tissue is reduced, shaped and lifted to produce a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing breast. If the breasts are especially large, the nipple may need to be repositioned higher on the breast. Lastly, the incisions are closed with sutures and surgical tape.
Cost of breast reduction
The costs for breast reduction surgery can vary drastically according to the difficulty of the procedure and the doctor you choose. Surgeon’s fees tend to range between $6,000 and $8,000, plus there are the assistant surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist’s fee, cost of hospital facilities and follow-up visits. Since reduction mammoplasty is considered to be medically necessary in some cases rather than purely cosmetic, your insurance may pay for part of the costs.
Risks of breast reduction
Before considering breast reduction surgery, you should be in good health and at your optimal weight. The most common complaints following reduction mammoplasty are loss of sensation in the nipples and unattractive scarring. Some patients are unable to breast feed after having the surgery.
As with any major surgery, there are possible risks including infection, bleeding, blood clots and poor healing. There is also the chance that revisional surgery will be necessary at a later date.
Celebrities who have had a breast reduction
Despite all the possible problems, most women are happy with the results of the surgery. Most are able to live a more active, pain-free life and find shopping for clothes much easier. Celebrities who have had their bustlines reduced include Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah, Patricia Heaton and comedian Janeane Garofalo.
Have you ever considered having breast reduction surgery?
Most women start out with firm, perky breasts, but things can happen over time that cause them to droop and lose their shape, like pregnancy, breast feeding, losing or gaining weight, heredity and plain, old ageing. If you want higher, more youthful-looking, firmer breasts, you might want to consider this kind of breast surgery.
What is a breast lift?
The sole purpose of a breast lift, or mastoplexy, is to correct sagging breasts and give the bust an uplifted contour. This surgery does not significantly change the size of the breasts. If you want larger breasts, consider augmentation surgery, or to go smaller, a breast reduction.
Is breast lift surgery for you?
The ideal candidate for a breast lift is in good health but has breasts that sag and have lost their shape. The breasts may appear to be deflated and have nipples that point down. They may be pendulous, with an elongated shape.
If you have any of these problems, the look of your breasts can be improved by a breast lift. You won’t regain the bustline you had at 18, but you should see a more pleasing shape and silhouette.
What is the breast lift procedure?
There are a variety of techniques used to perform a mastoplexy, and their use depends on several factors. These include breast size and shape, degree of sagging, size and position of the areolas and elasticity of the skin. The three most common incision patterns are around the areola, around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease or around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the crease.
After the incision is made, the surgeon lifts and reshapes the underlying breast tissue to improve contour and firmness. Excess skin is removed and the areola repositioned to a more youthful placement on the breast. The remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.
Results will be visible immediately after surgery. The incisions will leave permanent scars that will fade over time. The results of a mastoplexy are long-lasting, especially if the patient maintains a healthy weight.
The cost of a breast lift
The cost of breast lift procedure will vary according to the surgeon and the facilities. The surgeon’s fee for a mastoplexy should range from $6,000 to $8,000. Add to this the fees for the assistant surgeon and anaesthetist plus the cost of facilities and follow-up visits. If you have implants done at the same time, the cost would rise to about $12,000.
As with any surgery done under general anaesthesia, there is the chance the patient will have an adverse reaction. In addition to the scarring, there can be a loss of sensation in the nipple or the breast.
Have you considered having a breast lift?
Want to look younger without having a facelift? If your main issue is wrinkles and bags around your eyes, you could be a good candidate for eyelid surgery. This cosmetic procedure, called blepharoplasty, can make you look years younger. We take a look at eyelid surgery, the cost and how long the results last.
What is blepharoplasty?
Eyelid surgery can give a fresher, rejuvenated look to the entire eye area by correcting any or all of several problems. One is excess fatty deposits that make the upper eyelids appear puffy. These can be removed, giving the eyelids a smoother, more youthful look.
This surgery can eliminate the loose, sagging skin that makes creases and folds in the upper eyelid, sometimes interfering with vision. Excess skin of the lower eyelid can be tightened, smoothing out wrinkles. Surgery on the lower eyelids can correct bags under the eyes as well as droopiness of the lids.
Who should have eyelid surgery?
The ideal candidate for eyelid surgery is an adult in good health that has realistic expectations about the results. The patient should be free of medical conditions that can interfere with healing as well as problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or circulatory disorders. Candidates for this surgery should also not suffer from serious eye conditions like glaucoma.
How is the surgery performed?
Blepharoplasty may be done under general anaesthesia or intravenous sedation. Incisions are placed so that the scars will be hidden inside the natural creases of the eyelids. Problems of the upper eyelids like droopy lids and fat deposits are corrected by repositioning the fat, then the muscles, tissue and skin are tightened.
Excess skin in the lower eyelids is removed through an incision just beneath the lower lash line. At end of the surgery, incisions are closed by sutures, skin adhesives or surgical tape. Until the surgery is fully healed, the patient must use sun protection and wear darkly tinted glasses.
How much does blepharoplasty cost?
In Australia, the cost of either and an upper lid or lower lid blepharoplasty can range from $2,500 to $4,500. The cost of having both done at once can range from $4,500 to $8,000. The price is dependent on how long the surgery takes and should include surgeon’s fees, fees for the assistant surgeon and anaesthetist, hospital costs and follow-up visits.
How long do the results of blepharoplasty last?
The results of eyelid surgery should last a lifetime, but the patient will continue to age naturally. Proper sun care can prolong the positive effects of the surgery. The ideal outcome is that your friends will say, “You look so rested”, not “Did you have something done?”
Would you ever consider eyelid surgery?
A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that smoothes out some of the signs of ageing on the face and neck, including sagging, creases, loose skin, fatty deposits and slack muscle tone. This procedure is often combined with eyelid surgery and a brow lift.
Here are five things you need to know before committing to a facelift.
A facelift is major surgery
This procedure is done under general anaesthesia and takes several hours. In a traditional facelift, an incision is made inside the hairline allowing fat to be excised from the face, neck and jowls. Muscle and deeper layers are repositioned, then the skin is re-draped and the excess cut away.
A facelift requires after care
You don’t get to run into the doctor’s office, get a facelift and go home. Following a facelift, the patient needs to spend time in an aftercare facility where they can be monitored for complications and receive pain medications. The stitches must be removed and time is needed for the patient to resume normal activities.
In Australia, the simplest procedure addresses only the layers of skin and is called endoscopic facelift. This lift ranges from $6,500 to $12,000. The standard lift, or SMAS (superficial musculo aponeurotic system ) facelift and neck lift generally costs $17,000–$25,000. The most complicated lift is the deep plane facelift, which is priced at $20,000–$30,000.
These costs include fees for the surgeon, assistant surgeon and anaesthetist, hospital costs and follow-up visits. Facelifts are usually considered to be cosmetic procedures and are not covered by insurance.
There are serious risks
Post-surgery problems can include numbness, excessive bleeding and infections. Unfortunately, there are even more serious problems that can be fatal, like respiratory failure due to toxic levels of anaesthetics. Minimsze the chances of complications by choosing your plastic surgeon carefully and thoroughly investigating the risks before deciding to have a facelift.
There are less drastic solutions available
While a facelift is the best solution for major sagging, there are alternatives to a complete lift. One is a chemical peel that burns off the damaged outer layers of skin to reveal the baby-soft new skin underneath. Another is laser treatment that can remove outer layers of skin and tighten muscles.
Still another is Botox, which is popular in Hollywood for both men and women. Botox weakens or paralyses some muscles and nerves, making for fewer lines and wrinkles. Although there are non-medical sources offering Botox injections, these injections should really only be done by a doctor.
If you have small problem areas and don’t want to go for the complete facelift, there are minor surgeries available targeting certain conditions. Consider a cheek lift, upper brow lift or neck lift to refresh your appearance without resorting to a complete facelift.
What do you think of facelifts?
If your tummy isn’t as flat as you would like for it to be, you may have considered having abdominoplasty, or as it’s commonly called, a tummy tuck. While having this surgery can definitely improve the way you look in tight jeans or a swimsuit, don’t expect miracles. Here’s a realistic guide to abdominoplasty.
What a tummy tuck can do
Abdominoplasty can remove excess skin and fat as well as repairing stretched-out muscles resulting from pregnancy, ageing, weight fluctuations or heredity fat deposits. A tummy tuck can give you a smoother, flatter abdomen.
What a tummy tuck can’t do
While tummy tuck surgery can remove some stretch marks, it can’t get rid of all of them.
Abdominoplasty is not the lazy woman’s shortcut to weight loss. For the best results, the patient should already be at a healthy and stable weight before undergoing the surgery. If you’re planning to get pregnant in the future, this surgery should be postponed until afterwards.
Have realistic expectations
If you look at all those flattering photos in ads for plastic surgeons, you’d think that you could emerge from your abdominoplasty with the toned, flawless tummy of a swimsuit model. You need to have realistic expectations and your cosmetic surgeon should talk you through them.
The abdominoplasty procedure
There will be one incision made between the pubic line and the navel that will leave a scar at the bikini line. If you have a large amount of excess skin and fat, another incision will be necessary around the navel in order to reposition it higher on your abdomen. This is also likely to leave a scar.
In Australia, a tummy tuck can cost from $6,000-$10,000. None of that will be covered by insurance unless your doctor considers it medically necessary to repair a condition like an abdominal hernia.
Down time after abdominoplasty
The average down time following a tummy tuck (or before you can drive and go back to work or other moderate activity) is 10 to 14 days. Full physical activity like exercise is permitted after six weeks.
Liposuction and other surgery
In some cases, abdominal liposuction can be more successful than a tummy tuck, so speak to your cosmetic surgeon about both options and which, if any, are best for you.
If you are considering getting other cosmetic surgeries like a breast reduction, these can sometimes be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. Discuss your plan with a plastic surgeon.
Would you consider getting a tummy tuck?
Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgeries, so let’s take a look at what to expect from liposuction, including how much does liposuction cost?
Liposuction removes fat deposits from areas of the body, especially stubborn spots that do not respond to dieting or exercise. Liposuction is most frequently performed on the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, legs and waist. It can also be done on the arms, neck, back, inner knee, cheeks, chin and chest. Properly done, liposuction can give you more sculpted curves and tighter contours.
How much you’ll pay for liposuction depends on how many areas you have treated in one procedure. Typically you’ll pay $3,000-$5,000 for one area of the body, $5,000-$6,500 for two, $6,500-$8,000 for three and $9,500-$15,000 for four to six areas. Liposuction can be done alone or combined with other cosmetic procedures like a breast reduction, facelift or tummy tuck.
The total price of your procedure will include the surgeon’s fee, anaesthesia, cost of hospital or surgical facility, post-surgery garments, medical tests and prescriptions for medication. For a more exact idea of how much the procedure will cost, consult a surgeon in your area who performs liposuction. Check with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a registered plastic surgeon, and do your homework.
What happens during liposuction? First, you receive anaesthesia, then small, inconspicuous incisions are made. A thin, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted through the incisions to loosen the excess fat, then the dislodged fat is suctioned out with a surgical vacuum. The results will be visible once the swelling and bruising of the procedure subside.
Can the fat come back?
Generally, no, because the fat cells have been vacuumed out. However, liposuction should not be considered a treatment for obesity. You should be at your optimal weight before having the procedure performed.
Liposuction is not for everyone. The ideal candidate is an adult who is within 30% of optimal weight with good muscle tone and elastic skin that is in good health and has an optimistic outlook on the surgery. It also helps with healing if the patient is a non-smoker.
The list of complications that can happen is too long to list here, so thoroughly discuss this subject with your plastic surgeon. Problems can range from uneven contours or irregular pigmentation to blood clots, scarring or nerve damage. Liposuction is major surgery, it can be very painful and it should never be considered an easy way to drop a few kilos quickly.
New liposuction techniques
The latest techniques being used in liposuction are external and internal ultrasonic liposculpture. These techniques allow fat to be removed in larger volumes and more precisely with less swelling or bruising. Currently, a small number of surgeons in Australia are performing these procedures.