When I ask a prospective patient what she wants to get out of her breast augmentation, she may tell me she wants larger breasts or perkier breasts. It’s a modest goal because she may believe that the success of her procedure comes down to the size and shape of her implant, when in reality, there are lots of different approaches that I can use to truly customize her results.
Similarly, prospective patients often arrive in my office distraught over their abdomens (or the chronic back pain that may stem from their weakened core muscles), yet hoping for only a small improvement. Their lack of mobility and the unflattering image they see in their reflection have taken over their lives, and they just want to get back to a state that feels closer to normal for them, never considering that I could do much better than that.
As a plastic surgeon, I appreciate the body as a collection of intricate networks. In other words, where a patient may be focused on a particular area she’s deemed to be a problem, my eye takes in a broader sample. If, for example, I was to remove a bit of fat from a patient’s abdomen, as she’s asked me to do, what effect will that have on the skin around her midsection? Even a slight adjustment will have a ripple effect. So I try to think several steps ahead, always focused on the patient’s goals, but also conscious of a host of other issues they’re probably not aware of that could affect the result.
More than meets the eye
The abdomen is a prime example. My patients are usually most self-conscious about any fat they may have accumulated in the area, often as a result of a pregnancy (or pregnancies). And there is certainly no shortage of techniques or technologies to address that. But that alone is not going to produce the result she wants because the skin around her abdomen may also have weakened—stretch marks are a telltale sign—which means it’ll likely sag once the fat’s removed.
And her biggest issue may be the one she can’t see and might not even be aware of, which is the abdominal muscle separation that occurs nearly universally with pregnancy. The front of the core is left weak, as a result, and the back winds up overcompensating. By realigning those abdominal muscles and suturing them together corset-style, strength and stability return to the abdomen and pelvic region.
You shape the treatment
While each issue is interconnected, that doesn’t mean everything needs to be addressed at once. Here, I’ll defer to my patient. If she’s most concerned about removing the fat, there are a number of ways I can about that, from liposuction to a number of minimally-invasive methods, including CoolSculpting, which freezes pockets of fat, and Kybella injections, which dissolves them instantly.
There are as many options available for skin-tightening and minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, including non-invasive radiofrequency devices.
Let us make sure the treatment is tailored to your specific needs, goals, and schedule. If you’ve been busy outlining all the reasons why you can’t come in to meet with me—it’s time to put them to rest and find out what’s possible.
Contact Davis Plastic Surgery in Cherry Hill with any questions or to schedule a virtual consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.