Plastic surgery is one of those decisions you should be highly confident in before you move forward. It should not be an impulsive choice, but one based on thought, planning, and an investment in a happier future. When patients are researching their options and they find out that I offer a specialized line of procedures including the Band Aid Facelift, Band Aid Liposuction, and more, they’re excited to learn that these surgeries are performed in-office with gentle numbing, rather than with general anesthesia. Feeling fearful of being “all the way under” is very common, but few patients realize the full extent of the benefits local anesthesia can provide.
Advantages of Using Local Anesthesia
One of the most profound benefits of local anesthesia is that it is significantly easier on your body than general anesthesia, which means that many of the most serious risks surgery carries are strongly reduced. While severe complications from plastic surgery are already extremely rare (as long as the procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon), local anesthesia can reduce the risks even further for the right patients and the right procedures.
In addition to lowering surgical risks, opting for local anesthesia helps to make cosmetic surgery an easier and more pleasant experience because you’ll be able to return home the same day as your procedure, and you won’t have the grogginess and nausea that typically follow general anesthesia. But as thrilled as many patients are that their post-surgery hours will be easier, the more attractive benefit is usually the reduced recovery time. General anesthesia itself is an experience your body needs to recover from, on top of healing from the cosmetic surgery itself, because general anesthesia also requires an endotracheal tube and intravenous medication, which both add to the post-operative downtime as well. Local anesthesia, on the other hand, dramatically reduces the amount of recovery your body needs, which means you’ll be back on your feet significantly sooner—typically twice as quickly as you would after general anesthesia.
Notes to Keep in Mind
While local anesthesia can make the plastic surgery process easier and more pleasant in a number of ways, there are a few cautions to keep in mind. First, the safety and results of any surgery are dependent on the surgeon as well as the patient’s commitment to following pre- and post-surgical instructions. If you encounter a cosmetic surgeon who offers only local anesthesia and never performs surgery with general anesthesia, this should be a red flag, because a valid board-certified plastic surgeon must be well-trained in procedures using general anesthesia.
It’s also important to recognize that local anesthesia is only beneficial under the right circumstances. Your medical history and the extensiveness of the surgery you need will determine whether you are a candidate for a Band Aid Facelift (or another type of Band Aid procedure). While everyone wants their surgery to be as minimally invasive as possible, as a plastic surgeon, my goal is balancing your surgical experience with results that you will be happy with. At an in-person consultation, I will be able to make a recommendation about what type of procedure can best achieve your goals.
Plastic surgery is truly a balancing act—you’ll need to weigh your expected results, medical history, available recovery time, finances, aesthetic concerns, and more to find the ideal procedure and type of anesthesia for you. To start discussing your specific options, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more plastic surgery tips and information about the procedures you’re considering, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Facial fillers like Restylane®, Juvéderm®, and Radiesse® are among the most popular and best-known ways to diminish lines and wrinkles throughout the face. However, most patients simply know that fillers are injections that make their wrinkles smoother. Knowing more about any procedure you’re having or considering can help you better understand why certain products and techniques are ideal for your needs. Plus, many patients feel more at-ease when they know exactly what is being injected, how it’s being injected, and why. So, to help you be more informed about your facial rejuvenation choices, we’re delving a little deeper into the science behind dermal fillers and how they actually work.
Volumizers vs. Stimulators
The overall goal of fillers is to “fill in” wrinkles by plumping up the skin, and in some cases, to restore more youthful contours to your face. There are two general ways this can be done: by placing a temporary amount of volume (“volumizers”) or by causing your own body to produce more collagen—the protein that gives your skin youthful volume and firmness (“stimulators”). Volumizers produce results that are visible nearly immediately, but they generally last around 6-9 months as your body naturally breaks them down. Stimulators, on the other hand, produce much longer-lasting results, but because they rely on your body’s own processes, the results take longer to develop. Some facial fillers, however, combine both: they provide temporary volume while the body works on building collagen, so that the improved appearance continues even after the volumizer has broken down.
Types of Fillers
Within the categories of volumizers and stimulators, there are a number of different chemicals and compounds that can be used to make facial fillers. At my plastic surgery office in Atlanta, we offer the following types:
Hyaluronic Acid (Restylane®, Juvéderm®)
Hyaluronic acid (or HA) is actually a substance that occurs naturally in your body, so the manufactured HA mimics a natural chemical. HA is a volumizer, so it offers temporary volume which lasts for approximately 6-9 months, depending on the brand and your body’s natural metabolism.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse®)
This unique formula combines both volumizing and stimulating effects. The calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is suspended in a gel, and while the gel creates temporary volume, the CaHA is stimulating new collagen. As a result, the results typically last one year or more.
Combining Facial Fillers with Other Facial Rejuvenation Methods
Dermal fillers have a number of advantages: the appointment takes just minutes to complete, they’re minimally invasive, and they’re able to target very specific wrinkles. However, they won’t address sagging skin, age spots, or expression lines. In these cases, filler injections are very easy to combine with other facial rejuvenation treatments. For instance, a Band Aid Mini Facelift can resolve sagging jowls and lift the mid-face, while fillers can address the remaining wrinkles or volume loss, resulting in a significantly younger yet natural-looking appearance. If you also have age spots or other surface imperfections you would like to address, these can typically be treated with Band Aid Laser Skin Resurfacing as an additional way to enhance your results.
When some patients want a cosmetic change, they simply go to their plastic surgeon and ask, “What can you do about this problem?” But in the digital age, it’s becoming easier and easier for patients to learn about a variety of procedures online. While being informed can be very beneficial in allowing you to understand your needs and your options, it’s important to only get your information from trusted, accurate sources and to rely on the advice of your board-certified plastic surgeon rather than simply taking your questions to Google. To learn what types of fillers or other cosmetic treatments are ideal for your needs, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more plastic surgery information and helpful tips, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
As we look forward to spring and summer, everyone in our plastic surgery office is already dreaming about beach vacations and longer evenings. But if you’re like a large percentage of the population, your summer plans may also stir up some self-consciousness about exposing your midsection or wearing a form-fitting bathing suit. While full-body weight loss is a journey all its own, people who don’t necessarily need to shed pounds but who want a slimmer, firmer, and more youthful waistline may be able to find their perfect solution in a tummy tuck.
What many patients don’t realize about a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is that it’s actually ideal for patients whose primary cosmetic issue is either excess skin, an isolated “pooch” on the abdomen, or a combination of both—not patients who solely have excess fat to remove and whose skin is elastic enough to remain firm after the fat is removed. To learn more about this popular plastic surgery, check out the guide below.
Whether you’re considering a tummy tuck, a facelift, or any other type of plastic surgery, a successful cosmetic surgery requires planning, thought, and diligence, so gathering information like the guide above can be a perfect first step. And the next step is finding out whether a tummy tuck is the right procedure to meet your cosmetic needs by scheduling a plastic surgery consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Plus, for more plastic surgery tips, special offers, and helpful articles, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
We’ve all had a restless night or two that has left us with puffiness under our eyes. But it’s not uncommon to notice a more permanent appearance of “bags under the eyes” begin to develop, especially as the aging process wears on. It can be frustrating to hear comments like “you look so tired” because of these unwanted “pillows,” especially if you’re actually feeling energized and joyful. But what exactly causes under-eye bags to appear, and what can you do about them?
Causes of Under-Eye Bags
When under-eye baggage is long-lasting and persistent, the short answer is that it’s caused by aging, but there are a number of different ways the aging process contributes. By design, we all have fat deposits beneath our eyes for support. As we get older, the muscles and other tissue around these fat deposits weaken, and these weakened barriers allow the fat deposits to extend forward, creating a bulge beneath the skin. At the same time, the skin itself is becoming thinner and looser, and we’re losing volume from the cheeks and surrounding facial areas, all of which just makes the bulge that much more apparent. Fortunately, this combination of factors doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does tend to run in families.
While aging-related bags under the eyes are consistent from one day to the next, keep in mind that there are other factors which can make them look more prominent on a temporary basis, too. Fluid retention can make the area look puffy, so it may help to cut back on salty foods. Inflammation and allergies can also contribute to the appearance of under-eye bags, so avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible and see an allergist if necessary.
How to Fix Bags Under the Eyes
The only way to truly resolve under-eye bags is through a cosmetic surgery called blepharoplasty (also known as lower eyelid surgery). While the word “surgery” may sound daunting, here’s the good news:
Results are typically permanent, so you should only have to have the procedure once.
The procedure leaves little or no visible scarring. In some cases, the incision is made just below the lash line, so it’s easily concealed within the natural creases of the eyelid. But for patients who solely need fat deposits removed (and who don’t need to reduce sagging skin), the incision can actually be made inside the eyelid, so there is no visible scar.
The results are highly successful, predictable, and natural-looking. Patients generally say that they don’t look “plastic” or “like they’ve had work done,” they simply look like a more well-rested and pleasant version of themselves.
For some patients, the surgery can actually be done in-office using gentle numbing and local anesthesia as my Band Aid Blepharoplasty. This minimally invasive procedure uses specialized techniques to dramatically reduce the recovery time and the cost compared to a traditional eyelid surgery.
Let’s be honest: some things about aging are just not fun experiences. Between the aches and the pains, as well as the cosmetic issues, it’s enough to make anyone want to turn back the clock. But at least there are actions you can take to keep it to a minimum by both repairing some of the effects aging has already had and by slowing the progression in the future. To learn more, schedule a consultation with me, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more helpful tips and interesting plastic surgery information, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.