Get Rid of Fat With Ultrasound
New Nonsurgical Procedure
Want to get rid of those problem thighs over lunch? It sounds too good to be true, but nonsurgical fat removal may be the next big thing in cosmetic procedures.
One experimental treatment, known as noninvasive body contouring, involves focused ultrasound waves that target that "impossible to diet away" fat found on the hips, thighs, and stomach. There is no incision, each session lasts about an hour, and patients can go right back to work after a treatment.
"There may be some moderate tingling, but patients don't find this to be painful," says Rod J. Rohrich, MD, former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The treatment is one of several promising new nonsurgical approaches for removing excess body fat t.
'Not Like Liposuction'
The procedure is not for people who want to get rid of a lot of excess body fat. Instead, it is for those who have isolated areas of extra fat that are not helped by diet and exercise.
"It is not like liposuction, which can remove a great deal of fat," Rohrich says. "But it is perfect for patients who have no desire for surgery, but are looking for modest reductions in these problem areas."
Most patients need three or four one-hour treatments. During each session, ultrasound probes massage the skin, causing the fat cells beneath to rupture and die. The body then simply rids itself of the dead cells.
Rohrich characterizes the results seen in clinical trials in Israel and Europe as "very promising."
Other Ways to Avoid the Knife
St. Louis plastic surgeon Leroy Young, MD, agrees that the treatment is promising. But he says several other new, nonsurgical approaches for fat removal are also on the horizon.
One of these, known as mesotherapy, is not really new at all. Instead of ultrasonic waves, mesotherapy relies on repeated injections just under the skin to kill fat cells further down.
The treatment has been used in France for decades, but clinical studies are just beginning in the U.S.
The drugs used in the injections are approved for other uses in the U.S. but have not been approved for fat removal.
Researchers are also working on a nonsurgical laser procedure specifically marketed for the removal of cellulite.
Young, who chairs the ASPS task force on emerging trends in plastic surgery, says before-and-after pictures of patients who have had the procedure show dramatic improvements.
"Nothing else has ever worked for cellulite, so we'll see," he says.
Breast Implant Safety
Over the past few years, much attention has been focused on the safety of silicone-gel-filled breast implants
. Some women who have them have complained of chronic low-grade fever, fatigue and joint pain and have attributed these discomforts to their breast implants
This raised concerns about a possible connection between silicone leaking into the body and the occurrence of connective-tissue and immune-related (autoimmune) disorders such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.
Because of these and other concerns, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Council panel met to review the issues. On April 16, 1992, the FDA concluded its investigation. Although the panel did not find silicone-gel-filled implants to pose a health risk, it concluded that implant manufacturers had not provided adequate data to confirm the absolute safety of the devices.
The panel announced that silicone-gel-filled implants would continue to be available, but only if saline-filled implants are not an option. For this reason, most plastic surgeons are using saline-filled implants almost exclusively.
When silicone-gel implants are used, it is only under a strict set of criteria. Patients who have silicone-gel-filled devices implanted must agree to participate in a study designed to monitor their health for five years or more after surgery. These and other research studies are now underway to answer questions regarding the safety and long-term effects of these devices.
Saline-filled implants are still available without restriction for breast reconstruction. However, the FDA is also expected to require manufacturers of these devices to submit safety and effectiveness information in the near future.
In 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct an independent review of all past and ongoing scientific research regarding the safety of silicone breast implants.
Following are the most prominent points of the report:
- Silicone implants do not cause major disease
- Breast implants have improved
- Radiation doesn't harm implants and vice versa
- In general, silicone is safe
- Most problems with silicone implants are local
- Breast implants do not last forever
While the topic of breast implants remains controversial, both types (saline- and silicone-filled) are still currently available. If you have questions about the safety of implants, talk to your plastic surgeon.
Caring for Sutures
So your surgery is over and you've been sent home with sutures. Be prepared to handle the site with care. These sutures will be with you for at least a few days, depending on your situation and the area of the body that's affected. It's extremely important that you follow all your surgeon's instructions on how to care for the site to ensure proper healing and minimal scarring.
Here's How To Ensure Proper Healing:
- Avoid water or other moisture the first 24 hours
- After that time has passed, you can begin washing it with soap and water (very gently), up to two times per day
- Your surgeon can prescribe an antibiotic ointment. You will want to apply this to the site after washing.
- You will need to have your sutures removed on the day designated by your surgeon. It's very important that you adhere to this, because leaving the sutures in longer than needed can cause unnecessary scarring.
What To Watch For:
- Redness that goes beyond the basic edge of the wound
- Fever over 100 degrees (sign of an infection)
- Any unusual coloring or discharge, including pus
- Unusual tenderness or swelling. Remember, you will experience the most tenderness in the second day, but it should subside each day thereafter. If there is any indication that this is not happening, contact your doctor.
- Stitches that come out sooner than expected. If this happens, contact your doctor immediately.
Even after you have your stitches removed, it's crucial to care for the site with an ointment or cream that your surgeon can recommend. Protect the site from any unnecessary injury for at least four weeks following stitch removal.
If you have stitches that dissolve, make sure you understand exactly when they should dissolve and how to care for the site during and after that period.
8 New Trends in Cosmetic Surgery
The wizards of beauty are working their magic, whipping up longer-lasting wrinkle fillers, fine-tuning Botox and liposuction treatments, even debuting silicone butt implants. That's right, butt implants.
"The public seems to want this," James Wells, MD, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, tells WebMD. He is on the clinical faculty of the University of California at Irvine and a private practice plastic surgeon in Long Beach.
1.Butt Implants. It's a cultural phenomenon that's moving northward. "Buttock implants are very popular in South America, where Brazilian women want to have very round, curvaceous buttocks," Wells tells WebMD. "Breasts are big here, but in Brazil, it's buttocks."
The implants have a more "solid" covering than breast implants because they must sustain weight, he says. "There's been an increasing interest from the public, so surgeons want to know more about them."
2.Breasts Deliver Drugs. Who knew? Silicone breast implants, because they are covered by permeable membranes, can be drug carriers, in fact, they can act as timed-release drug carriers. Researchers are looking to include a drug in the implant that can reduce the scar that occurs around the implanted breast.
3.Believe in Botox. Male or female, almost everyone wants a younger-looking face. "There are job retention issues," says Wells. "We see men in their 40s and 50s knowing they need to compete with others in their 20s, 30s. You and I both hear stories of people with equal talents, but the person who looks better gets the nod. Appearance is a big issue."
"Botox has probably been the greatest product in the last 20 years," says Seth A. Yellin, MD, chief of facial plastic surgery at Emory Healthcare. "It has an incredible safety profile, still in my opinion the single thing I would take on a desert island to make people look better."
First used to treat crow's feet and eyebrow creases, Botox is making inroads all over the face of America. One popular use: Injecting Botox to soften lines around the mouth -- "the ones that make you look angry, even when you're not. [But] it takes an experienced plastic surgeon to get it right," he says.
Aesthetic surgeons are perfecting their technique, sharing secrets. If not done right, there's "risk of losing oral function -- you don't want to do that," Yellin adds.
4.Better Than Collagen. A product called Restylane (or Perlane) -- very popular around the world as a filler for both wrinkles and lines -- acts much like collagen, yet is longer-lasting. However, it is not yet FDA-approved, says Wells.
"We're interested in facilitating its introduction into the American market," he tells WebMD. "It seems to be easier to use than collagen and has longer staying power. Most tissue fillers, even the person's own fat, have an uncertain lifespan. The information we have on [Restylane] looks very exciting. We can't wait to get it through the FDA and use it in this country."
Restylane is made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the skin -- one that draws water to itself and allows the skin to remain hydrated, explains Yellin. Though created in the laboratory, the injectable form is longer lasting than any other wrinkle fillers -- perhaps lasting up to one year. There also are virtually no allergic reactions to Restylane.
"The FDA should be approving it in the second quarter of next year," he tells WebMD.
5.Combo Package. Whereas Botox can smooth the wrinkled lines in your face, it often takes fillers to completely get rid of them. "If you have a well-formed crease, Botox will soften it, but it won't make the well-formed crease disappear," says Yellin. "Fillers complement Botox. Laser resurfacing can also complement Botox."
Other wrinkle fillers are in the works, he says. One company is working on a product made from human foreskin. Yellin is developing one made from the placenta, which is normally discarded after delivery.
His theory: Cells extracted from the placenta can be injected into the skin, where they might stimulate cells to grow their own collagen. Normally, human collagen -- when injected -- does not live long because it does not have a blood supply. "This will have its own blood supply, so it will live," he tells WebMD. It's only in the laboratory phase, though, so don't get too excited.
6.Speedy Healers. After a face-lift, fibrin glues and tissue sealants help seal wounds quicker, control bleeding and bruising, and reduce swelling -- which hasten healing, Wells tells WebMD.
Fibrin glue is another product that mimics nature: "Your body makes a tissue glue in response to an injury," Wells explains. "When you fall down and scrape your knee, the weeping that creates the scab is fibrin glue. When you have a facelift -- or wherever we introduce injury -- the body's process is to leak this material out."
"I use fibrin glue as a routine part of facial aesthetic procedures, have been doing so for over a year," says Yellin. The product can be squirted into an area or sprayed -- like spray paint, he says. "It's supposed to seal up any little capillaries, reduce bruising. But it won't reduce significant bruises."
7.Souped-Up Liposuction. New, high-powered suction devices are especially good for the fibrous areas of the male breast, the flank, the love-handle area -- or for people who are having their second procedure. Because the device has more power, there is less bruising, says Wells. The machine also allows the surgeon to shape or contour the area more easily.
Liposuction devices that are ultrasound-guided are a bit riskier and less effective, "because they don't go around curves and bends very easily," Wells adds. "Also, heat [from the device] can cause some injury to tissue."
Three-dimensional imaging is a new technology that's enhancing all plastic surgery procedures, says Wells. "It increases the depth perception of everything we do. Anytime we can use technology to get a sense of thickness or depth, it allows us to make better judgments."
8.The Peels. These treatments for sun-damaged skin are practically old news, they're so popular. Microdermabrasion involves removing the superficial layers in a nonsurgical way to let the undamaged layers come up. These skin layers look healthier; it's the difference between a younger person and an older person -- the thickness of the skin, the turnover rate of the cells, and they're better hydrated. It's a series and process of treatments rather than one.
Chemical peels accomplish the same thing, but are a bit more "aggressive" treatment, says Wells.
Just Say No. Not that peels, fillers, and endless suctioning are always the answer, he adds.
Today's plastic surgeons are taking a more holistic approach to patient care, he tells WebMD. "We can approach a patient's problems as a surgical exercise, or take a broader perspective regarding the patient's overall health -- dietary habits, smoking, heart disease. Physicians have to think of themselves as physicians first and plastic surgeons second."
"The plastic surgeon has a responsibility to apply judgment, to tell a patient when it's not a good idea to have surgery, to suggest alternatives if their unhealthy lifestyle puts them at risk," he tells WebMD
Winter: the nip-tuck season
When should you go under the knife to guarantee looking your best in time for summer?
This time of year, thanks to forgiving winter fashion, it's easy to 'forget' about the extra pounds you gained over Christmas. But fast forward six months and jiggling thighs and love handles are less easy to disguise in a string bikini.
Whilst crash dieting and a punishing gym regime are always an option, experts agree that for those who aren't squeamish about going under the scalpel, surgery offers a quicker, more effective and longer-lasting solution to shaping up for summer.
And it seems more and more women are choosing their cosmetic surgeon over their trainer in the battle of the bikini-body bulge."The Christmas period is a very busy time for all types of surgery.' explains leading London plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover. "This is because people have more time to hide away and recover. From February consultations and surgery increase significantly as people have had time to get over the festive period and return from their holidays.
The fact that spring and summer are fast approaching is certainly a factor that could influence people's decision to have surgery particularly if they are considering a breast operation or liposuction.' "It's not unusual to see a boost in the number of aesthetic surgery bookings in early spring,' explains a spokeswoman for BAAPS. 'With people asking for the surgery in place of a more conventional present, or treating themselves as part of their New Year's Resolution - choosing the slimming success of a cosmetic procedure, rather than shelling out for yet another unused and ineffectual gym membership."
So if this year you'd rather use those winter layers to conceal the tell-tale signs of post-operative healing, rather than post-Christmas weight gain, check out the guide to the surgery season.
Detailing the latest procedures for slimming, sculpting, toning and trimming your body's black spots.
Make this cosmetic surgery calendar your indispensable guide to scheduling your surgery, guaranteeing your scars have faded and you're figure fixed and ready to flaunt in time for summer.
January:Breast Reduction or Mammoplasty
Best for: Balancing out a top-heavy body shape and especially effective at relieving recurring back pain caused by the weight of disproportionately large breasts. Also popular with women looking to reshape their cleavage as the excision of excess skin and tissue also helps to correct slack, sagging breasts, creating a more pert silhouette.
Why now: As it's not unusual for between one and three kilograms of breast tissue to be removed during the procedure, it's unsurprising that patients can expect up to six weeks of downtime before they can return to full, normal activity.
The process involves repositioning the breast nipple so that it sits higher, removing the unwanted tissue, reshaping the remaining flesh and then removing any superfluous skin. Traditional techniques leave an anchor shaped scar that runs from the nipple, down the breast and under it, but new minimally invasive methods are gaining popularity.
In the initial weeks following the operation expect to wear a surgical bra over gauze dressings, and for the first few days your breasts will be wrapped in an elastic bandage and may be fitted with a small suction drain to draw off blood and fluids.
The scarring can take several months to fade and while bruising and swelling will disappear after three or four weeks, it can up to six months for your breasts to settle into their new shape, meaning it's best to act now if you're hoping to bare all in low-cut tops this summer.
February: Breast Augmentation
Best for: Anyone looking to create a fuller, firmer,more-lifted-looking cleavage.
Why now: Whether you opt for a traditional breast augmentation using implants to introduce or replace lost volume, or the latest technique of thread-lifting breasts to correct sagging, drooping boobs, expect a long wait before you can bare your breasts in a bikini.
While implants are placed under the breast tissue or beneath the chest (pectoral) muscle, thread lifting works by threading barbed suture threads through the breast. The suture has alternate reverse direction barbs which change direction in the middle - this makes a pivotal point to hold the breast tissue taut.
One end is inserted and hooks inside the left side of the breast under the nipple, and the other end is then inserted and hooks inside the right side of the breast and again, hooks in a U shape under the nipple, where the two ends meet. The threads are deep enough to be invisible and cannot be felt.
While gauze dressings can be removed after several days and stitches tend to be removed after a week to ten days, the resulting swelling can take up to five weeks to subside. Scarring will remain firm and pink for at least six weeks, finally beginning to fade after four or five months, but never completely disappearing. As with breast reductions, plan your surgery as soon as possible to leave enough time to heal in time for the summer months.
February: Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty
Best for: Anyone looking to achieve that flat as a pancake midriff.Tummy tucks are successful for a range of patients including mums looking to lose their baby belly and slimmers who have shifted thepounds but are left with rolls of loose skin.
Why now: Often combined with a spot of liposuction for reducing the pot-belly effect, tummy tucks involve major plastic surgery and need plenty of recovery time as it helps to tighten slack abdominal muscles as well as removing unwanted fat and fleshy tissue. The initial post-operative recovery period takes around three weeks, but the scar tissue will get worse before they get better, with most patients waiting six to nine months before they see the final result.
Schedule all travel plans for late summer, early autumn as you'll need to keep your navel under wraps and allow yourself a long recuperation period.
March: Body Lift
Best for: Anyone who has lost an incredible amount of weight. This is not about shifting the odd pound, rather it's for men and women who have been obese and through diet have slimmed down but still have great swathes of sagging skin on their arms, hips, chest, stomach and buttocks. Sharon Osbourne is the procedure's pin-up girl.
Why now: Until recently body parts were tackled individually to restore firmness and tone, but an American surgeon, Dr Hurwitz has developed the Total Body Lift. A one-stop surgery that safely and effectively reshapes the body from top to toe.
His unifying approach involves seven to nine hours of surgery, and massive blood transfusions. While most scars can be hidden under bikini lines, this surgery does involve long, horizontal incisions. Usually one is made along the waistline and another just below the breast line, at which point the entire skin flap is lifted.
Post-procedure, you will need to take a month off work and wear a compression garment for around six weeks to help speed your recovery which should be complete after six to eight weeks.
March :Upper Arm Lift or Brachioplasty
Best for:Tackling jiggling flesh on the underside and back of your upper arm - the surgical solution for blitzing bingo wings.
Why now: Traditionally brachioplasty has reduced the amount of spare skin and fat in this difficult-to-tone area, but the resulting zig-zag scar has meant patients are still reticent to reveal their upper arms. New more minimally invasive techniques are being developed though, whereby surgeons make a small asymmetric elliptical incision in the patient's armpit area.
Through this small incision excess fat can be liposuctioned out and any excess skin excised. The results mean a 15% to 20% reduction in patients' arm circumference and the scars are smooth and inconspicuous, hidden in their under arm.Expect to wait three months before the swelling and numbness subsides, for the scar to fade down and before it's possible to take any form of strenuous lifting or exercise such as swimming.
April: Thermage skin tightening
Best for: Loose, slack skin that won't respond to exercise or topical creams and treatments. Ideal for anyone who has lost weight and now needs to firm and tone excess flesh on arms, legs and abdominals.
Why now: Unlike other laser-based treatments that rely on a minimum of four treatments to deliver results, Thermage is a single session procedure. However, experts agree it can take two months before the benefits become obvious, but with the effects lasting up to 24 months it is worth acting now to ensure your figure is firm enough to flash in the coming months.
Targeting trouble spots, Thermage passes radio frequency waves via a probe through the skin's surface and deep down into the dermis where it heats the supporting network of collagen and elastin, kick-starting it to work more effectively whilst encouraging the existing fibres to contract and tighten, resulting in visibly tauter, smoother skin.
April: Bottom Sculpting
Best for: Adding volume to flat, shapeless buttocks, or restoring and repositioning a sagging bottom.
Why now: The Brazilians know a thing or two about looking good on the beach while wearing next to nothing, so if you want to overhaul your derriere, now is the time to make a plastic surgery pilgrimage to Rio de Janeiro.
The best 'bottom lift' in town, is the 'Pitanguy lift', he applies the science of traditional face-lifting to the buttock area, using tiny, discrete incisions to remove fat, retract and rotate the gluteus muscle to make it sit higher and correct drooping, finally retracting the skin for a more youthful look.
Recovery takes from eight to ten weeks, with a little longer for the small scars to fade and become even more negligible.
May: Laser Lipolysis or Liposelection
Best for: Patients looking to 'spot-check' certain body parts such as thighs, abs and buttocks. It is aimed a subtly reshaping your body, unlike a lift or tuck which involves extensive remodelling.
Why now: Unlike traditional liposuction that literally suctions out healthy tissue and flesh along with unwanted fat cells, this new method uses a Vaser (comparable to an ultra sound machine) that heats and liquifies specific fat cells. By targeting these cells and emulsifying them prior to their extraction means the process involves less force and trauma to the body.
It also means the results are smoother and more even, and the recovery time is dramatically reduced. The procedure can remove up to five litres of fat and after just four to six weeks, the results are clearly visible and all tell-tale signs of bruising and swelling will have subsided.
Plastic Surgery & Older Americans
Experts say thousands of men and women, aged 65 and older, are getting plastic surgery, the numbers jumping from nearly 121,000 in 1997 to more than 425,000 in 2001, according to surgeons.
Gladie Sargeant had her first cosmetic surgery in 1988. An eye-lift, a face-lift, a nose job, and a chemical peel -- all at once. "I was so excited I couldn't wait to do it", says Gladie, now a resident of Los Angeles, who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. "As they were wheeling me down to the O.R. I said to myself, 'Boy this is the greatest adventure of my life.'"
The surgery was a birthday gift from her late husband. "It was a kick, really, and it's carried me right through," Sargeant says, adding that she did it to boost her low self-esteem.
Plastic surgery for the senior set -- is it the result of ageism? Activist and former National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland thinks so. "The notion that age is unattractive has such a hold on all of us that we're willing to cut up our faces, to have the risks of general anesthesia -- for somebody else's idea of what's beautiful is a little frightening," she said.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Sheldon Sevinor specializes in nipping and tucking older adults.
Statistics for the increase come from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), which also says that liposuction is the most common surgery. Face-lifts rank fifth, according to the plastic surgery group.
Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Sheldon Sevinor has been practicing for more than 25 years. He specializes in nipping and tucking those in their sixth decade and beyond. Dr. Sevinor says, "I tell my patients, you don't have to apologize to want to undergo cosmetic surgery, assuming you're healthy, if you in your 60s, 70s, even 80s today."
Dr. Sevinor says although advanced age itself is no reason to avoid having cosmetic surgery, it does pose additional concerns. One concern: skin elasticity. Older patients who undergo liposuction in the abdominal area often require a modified tummy tuck to get rid of excess skin that has lost its elasticity.
ASAPS suggests when it comes to eyelid surgery, tissue removal may need to be more conservative, since older patients have a greater tendency to develop "dry eye." For facial peels, several mild peels may sometimes be preferable to a deep chemical peel, since an older adult's skin is significantly thinner.
Sargeant's recovery took almost three weeks.
As noted on its Web site, ASAPS indicates surgical techniques are sometimes modified for older adults. For example, when a face-lift is performed on someone with thinning hair, the incisions may be placed to better camouflage the scars. Older patients who have a face-lift may choose to have their earlobes reduced at the same time because earlobes grow and stretch with aging, and may look out of proportion after a face-lift.
People age 65 and older may have illnesses or conditions that put them at greater risk from surgery. And, they are more likely to be on medications that might interfere with an operation.
For those reasons, Dr. Sevinor says, he's more compulsive about safeguards with the 65-plus group," ...by getting medical clearance with their own personal physician, getting clearance from the anesthesia department and have it in a safe setting, that is a hospital environment."
Healing can also take longer than with younger patients.
Gladie Sargeant's recovery took almost three weeks. But she says she'd do it all again -- in a heartbeat. "I'd say to everyone -- go for it. Anyone who wants it, you go for it. It's like traveling. You do it as long as you're able."
Cosmetic Surgery Vacations
One of the latest trends in cosmetic surgery is offshore operations. But you should think seriously about a sun, sand, surf and stitches vacation, says the CDC, surgeons, plastic surgery societies and other experts.
Interest in cosmetic surgeryin the U.S. is just about over the moon.
Not only do we spend our spare time watching television reality and drama shows about facial and body rejuvenations, but millions of us pony up and present our not-so-perfect countenances to cosmetic surgeons in record numbers. We may even be in the middle of a cosmetic surgery bubble.
But vacation facelifts? Overseas cosmetic surgery has become a trend, and like every other fad, there are pros and cons. Sure, offshore procedures are cheaper, but danger and complications may lurk.
Ads for cosmetic surgery in exotic places around the globe are popping up just about everywhere. Some suggest you have your surgery in the U.S. and then recover in the dream vacation of a lifetime.
However, many other ads ask you to travel to distant locales to undergo a facial rejuvenation. For instance, Xinhua, China, is currently popular with its 100 cosmetic surgery centers while Malaysia targets breast surgery tourists. Airlines are also getting in on the trend. For instance, Valuair, Singapore’s first budget airline, is launching a series of regional tours that combine short holidays with stops for cosmetic surgery. The airline’s Meditour to Bangkok runs $2200 from California. Internet surfers are bringing up Beautiful Vacations, a website written in English, French, Dutch, German and Arabic. The site arranges cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive tours to Indonesia. Costa Rica advertises itself as “the Beverly Hills of the South” because it has so many cosmetic surgeons.
Of course, a cosmetic surgery vacation is not without risk. For instance, so many women in the Eastern U.S. have been traveling to the Dominican Republic forfat removal procedures; the process has picked up its own moniker: Lipotourism.
“Something that cheap can be very costly -- it can cost your life,” says New York City Councilman Miguel Martinez who is concerned because many New York City residents have been returning home after surgery and then complaining of boils, swelling and red splotches on their skin. Botched surgery returnees have also been reported in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.
In England, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons is seeing increasing numbers of patients seeking facelifts traveling to East Europe or Africa for low-cost surgery. One English plastic surgeon said he saw two patients who went to Eastern Europe for abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) whose wounds reopened following the surgery.
Before you sign on to a cosmetic surgery vacation, advises the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, (ASAPS) you should think about your medical condition. Do you really want to sign up for water skiing, gymnastics or the fifty foot diving platform with fresh stitches?
“Suffice it to say, you won’t be ready for horseback riding or a round of golf,” advises the ASAPS. “Most cosmetic surgeries involve restrictions on normal activities, and particularly, on exercise.”
You can pretty well forget about catching some rays, too. It’s because many types of cosmetic surgery require you to stay out of the sun until you are fully healed. Moreover, some antibiotics react badly with sunlight.
Adds one London surgeon: “It’s not a good idea to have surgery and then go on a long-haul flight. The risk of deep vein thrombosis increases with a long flight.”
Further advises the ASAPS: “There are, of course, excellent surgeons in many countries, but it’s hard to evaluate training and credentials of surgeons outside the U.S. Unfortunately, there is no single international standard for quality in medicine.”
That also means an offshore facility may not offer the same safeguards for equipment, personnel and emergency procedures.
If your procedure runs into trouble when you get back home, U.S.-based physicians may not know what to do or how they can help because they usually will not know what specific techniques were used in the first operation.