Q&A Topic: Cosmetic Body Surgery
Michael H. Rosenberg, MD, FACS
Q. Are there advances in cosmetic surgery for the body?
A. The big advances in body contouring (body sculpting) are techniques that make possible faster recovery and dramatically less scarring, while minimizing surgical risk. These include an improved approach to anesthesia, and the innovative practice of supplementing surgery with liposuction and lasers. Today’s surgeons are also maximizing the patient’s own contribution to safety and results—making sure people promote healing by quitting smoking before surgery, and only having a body-contouring procedure when they’re at a comfortable weight, to avoid subsequent weight gain and more loose skin.
Q. What is the newest approach to liposuction?
A. The procedure traditionally involves the suctioned removal of fat from an area, followed by healing, during which the skin tightens up to assume the new contour. A new, safer approach replaces general anesthesia with “tumescent” anesthesia, a combination of fluid and local anesthesia that is injected into the area to be treated. Now, lasers are used to tighten the skin’s undersurface during surgery so that post-op, the skin becomes taut faster, with less trauma. This means better results with less downtime for patients. While recovery takes between two and three weeks, most people return to work by the third day after surgery.
Q. What is the latest technique for removing excess skin?
A. Popular procedures are the abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), arm lift, and thigh lift. A tummy tuck eliminates a bulge by lifting tissue, pulling it into the new position, and suturing. Sometimes the abdominal muscles are also tightened. A new technique incorporates liposuction to remove fat in the area, thus minimizing the amount of skin removed. That results in less pain, smaller scars, and faster recovery. The procedure usually involves an overnight hospital stay, and you’ll be back to work in one to two weeks. The standard arm lift involves removing excess skin from the armpit area toward the elbow and tightening the skin, creating a scar down the back of the arm. Today, liposuction is used to remove fat, reducing the amount of loose skin. The skin is then pulled up to the armpit so scarring is hidden. The latest thigh lift also incorporates liposuction for greater safety, less scarring, and faster recovery. After an arm and thigh lift, you can be back to work in one week. While there is an immediate visible difference after all three procedures, you’ll enjoy the full results in about three weeks.
Q. Will body contouring change my life?
A. While it can’t solve personal problems, it can be the answer to, “I feel young and I’m active, but I don’t look the way I feel.” If you go in with that attitude, body contouring can be a fantastic boost to self-esteem.
Q. How should I choose the right surgeon and facility?
A. Choose a surgeon board-certified in this specialty with extensive experience in body-contouring procedures. At the Center for Plastic Surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital, specialized surgeons and anesthesiologists work with highly experienced nurses in a hospital setting that offers patients comfort, privacy, and pampering combined with the safety, expertise, and advanced technology of a major hospital center.
Northern Westchester Hospital
Medical Director of the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine,
Center for Plastic Surgery;
Associate Medical Director
Learn More about Dr. Rosenberg
Read more about cosmetic surgery
More from Dr. Rosenberg:Aesthetic Oncology
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