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Invasive/Non-Invasive…body treatments

Invasive/Non-Invasive…body treatments

2012, UCTView PDF

Male breast reductionBreast upliftAbdominoplastyArm liftThermageFraxelEyebag mesotherapy

Rightly or wrongly most of us spend hours battling the bulge and seem to be constantly combating the stresses put on our bodies as we age. When the gym loses its appeal there are alternatives open to us - both invasive and non-invasive. We will endeavour to explore a few options that may help to keep you in shape.

Invasive

Pregnancy, weight loss and ageing can all take their toll on the body and a rising number of patients now request body lift surgery. The best result with minimal scarring is the ultimate aim of all cosmetic surgeons and this can now be achieved with modern scar management and refined surgical practice.

Body lift procedures

It can be soul destroying for those who have battled successfully to lose large amounts of body fat only to be left with extensive amounts of unsupported skin. Increasingly we see both men and women seeking out various body lift procedures but they need to warned about the potential scarring involved.

Arm lift/Brachioplasty

This is a procedure to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the upper arm. Arm tissue relaxes and droops with ageing, gravity, and weight loss. After significant weight loss most people are left with stretched and excess skin that no amount of exercise will improve. One area particularly affected is the upper arms, where women tend to store excess fat and have less supporting muscle tone. The drooping of skin is caused when the anchoring tissue system loosens and supporting fat disappears. Extra skin sagging can result in a significant "loose hammock" like deformity from the armpit to the elbow which is known as a "bat wing" deformity. This combined with poor skin elasticity does not often respond to isolated liposculpture and therefore surgery needs to be considered. Plastic surgeons are always looking for ways to leave the smallest scar possible but in the majority of cases the traditional armpit to elbow incision is indicated.

Short scar arm lift

Used in patients with reasonable skin tone and involves a small "T" incision to remove excess skin.

Traditional arm lift

The most common incision extends from the elbow to the axilla (armpit). This permits the excision to maximally address the redundant skin in the middle of the arm. Modification of the incision may be necessary to limit scar contracture in the axilla. Surgical sculpture involves not just the superficial skin, but also the deeper attachments that have loosened. The scar left becomes thin and pale over time.

Thigh lift/thighplasty

If exercise and weight control have not helped the appearance of the thighs, thighplasty may be an effective way of removing excess skin and stubborn fat pockets although scarring should be considered. During the procedure excess skin is pulled up as if it were a pair of tights and the incision is made at the top of the leg, hidden in the folds of the groin.

The short scar thigh lift

The incision for this technique is hidden in the groin and after a year or so will be very difficult to detect.

The complete thigh lift

For this lift the incision runs from the top of the inner thigh to the knee.

Abdominoplasty/tummy tuck/apronectomy

This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen or tummy. The majority of patients opting for this procedure will inevitably be women who, following the birth of their child/children, dislike the effects childbirth has had on their body shape and appearance. Mothers often dislike their stretched abdominal skin; especially if it contains the scar of a Caesarean operation, and no amount of cream or exercise will ever reduce "stretch marks". For best results, the patient should be within several pounds of their ideal weight. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to the waistline to enhance the cosmetic effect. The scar runs from hip to hip and this needs to be fully considered before agreeing to undergo surgery.

Mastopexy/breast ptosis correction/breast uplift

Following the birth of their children, many women find that their breasts have drooped and lost elasticity and volume. In a normal "average" breast, the nipple and areola are positioned at a point level with the centre of the upper arm. If the breast has been stretched by breast feeding or weight gain the nipple will be at a lower level.

In both breast augmentation and reduction, the aim is to change the size of the breast, whereas mastopexy (breast uplift) changes the shape alone. As nothing can be done to restore the breasts' former elasticity, the only solution is to remove sections of slack and redundant skin. This procedure may remove a few stretch marks, but most remain and may be less noticeable.

This operation may be considered before you have finished childbearing as, depending on the technique, it may not interfere with breast-feeding. Breast uplift will not prevent the breasts from drooping again if presented with the same circumstances that made them droop in the first place.

The most common and effective incision is the vertical scar technique which leaves a scar around the nipple and extends vertically to the underside of the breast.

Gynaecomastia correction/male breast reduction

All men have some breast tissue and, as with women, some have more breast tissue than others. In extreme cases, young adolescents can grow the equivalent of a C cup; sometimes this can be due to a hormone imbalance.

Little point is served in debating the embarrassment caused to men by this problem, many of whom confirm that they will not be seen without their shirts and who cannot go swimming or sun-bathing whilst on holiday.

Problems experienced by children at school such as ridicule and bullying can result in truancy and low self esteem. No amount of diet or exercise will assist in establishing a normal breast and the only option available is surgery.

Surgery to correct gynaecomastia can be performed on healthy, emotionally stable men of any age. The best candidates for surgery have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours. A half moon incision is made around or below the areola with resection of unwanted breast tissue whilst liposculpture helps remove excess fat It needs to be pointed out that this surgery is not for obese men and is not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle, diet and an active weight loss programme.

Non-invasive

The aim is to contour and improve the skin surface. These include increasingly holistic treatments as well as proven procedures so the following just scratch the surface...

Liposelection

Patented ultrasonic technology from Vaser™ has brought a new dimension to the process of fat removal. Ultrasound waves select (liposelection) and melt fat cells leaving blood vessels and nerves untouched so less pain, less bruising, less recovery time with instant results. Can tackle even the smallest pocket of fat and is an effective way to sculpt the calves, thighs, ankles, chin, face and male chest.

Mesotherapy

Pioneered in France and used as an adjunct to conventional surgery, Mesotherapy aims to replace the minerals, vitamins and amino acids that reduce as skin and soft tissue ages. Injection means that greater concentrations of substances reach the selected area faster than oral methods. It also aims to help to maintain firmness and texture, reducing lines and wrinkles. The results are not permanent, and many patients have injections every three months. Surface skin texture can also be improved, for example the dimpled effect caused by cellulite can be reduced after a course of around four sessions.

Radio-frequency Thermage

Radio-frequency waves (Capacitive Radio-frequency technology) are sent through the skin which heat cells under the skin surface stimulating collagen production. This can help the skin to tighten and any part of the body can be targeted – not just the face. One treatment can be sufficient, is completely safe and has no downtime.

Titan

This treatment uses infrared light technology which when passed over the skin can stimulate collagen production. Used on areas such as the underarms and the tummy it can improve skin texture and laxity. The benefits of this system are that it is injection free and knife free with no downtime.

Fraxel laser

Laser technology has been used for some time for skin rejuvenation of the face and the effects have been extremely well documented. Fraxel laser can also be used to tighten sagging skin on the body. The beauty of Fraxel is that the patented technology enables just tiny fractions of the skin to be treated without damaging the whole skin surface. This results in less downtime and discomfort.