Plastic Surgery FAQ

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but please feel free to call our office if you need additional information, 425.822.0300. We are always pleased to assist you.

What are breast implants made of, and where are they placed?

Implants are silicone rubber shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel. They are placed behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle. Placement behind the chest wall muscle offers a few advantages over placement beneath the breast tissue only. These include reduced risk of capsular contracture (post-operative tightening around the implant) and less interference with mammogram examinations. Possible disadvantages include elevated pain in the first few days following surgery changes in breast shape during upper body weight lifting.

Are silicone implants safe?

Yes, multiple medical studies in the United States and other countries have demonstrated no connection between silicone implants and various cancers or connective tissue diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Should women who are pregnant or plan to be pregnant wait before undergoing a breast lift or breast reduction?

Women planning to have children in the near future are advised to postpone surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract its effects by stretching the skin. Furthermore, any type of breast surgery may affect your ability to breast-feed.

On what areas of the body can liposuction be performed?

Liposuction sculpting can remove undesirable fat from the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks, neck and upper arms.

Are there different liposuction techniques?

There are several different methods surgeons use when performing liposuction, including the super-wet technique, ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), and laser assisted liposuction. In all types a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible. A cannula (small tube) is inserted and moved back-and-forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. Super-wet liposuction use fluid injection, which facilitates fat removal, reduces blood loss, provides anesthesia during and after surgery, and helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery. Ultrasound and lasers help liquefy fat thereby making removal easier.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?

The best candidates are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise. Older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity can be helped. Abdominoplasty can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy, although results from the procedure will diminish if they continue to bear children. For this reason, women who plan to have children again are advised to delay abdominoplasty. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.

What problems can a facelift correct?

A facelift can reduce signs of aging (wrinkles, lines, sagging skin, drooping brow) by removing, repositioning, or adding fat, tightening the underlying muscles, and redraping the skin around the neck and face. Often skin a skin resurfacing procedure such as a chemical peel or dermabrasion is performed to enhance the results. If you don’t think you’re ready for a face lift, there are many non-surgical options available to help freshen and rejuvenate your look through the use of BOTOX® and fillers such as JUVÉDERM® and PREVELLE™.

I’ve heard that the best candidates for facelifts are in their 40s and 50s. Are older patients eligible?

Most facelift patients are in their 40s-60s, but facelifts can be done successfully on people in their 70s or 80s as well.

What can rhinoplasty do for me?

Rhinoplasty can reshape, reduce or augment the nose, remove a hump, narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth, or correct injury, birth defects, or other problems that affect breathing.

What’s the difference between traditional and endoscopic browlift methods?

The main difference lies in the type of incision made. In a traditional browlift Dr. McMillan makes a coronal (headphone-shaped) incision behind the hairline, stretching between the ears and across the top of the forehead. In a minimally invasive endoscopic browlift, Dr. McMillan makes three to five short incisions (less than an inch long) behind the hairline. The endoscope — a slim instrument with a camera on the end — is placed in one incision so Dr. McMillan can see beneath the skin, while she lifts the skin and adjusts muscles through the other incisions.

What are the advantages of blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)?

By removing excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids, blepharoplasty can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes. It is typically a cosmetic procedure but can also improve vision by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient’s field of vision.

Will I have visible scars from blepharoplasty?

Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places (in the creases of the upper lids, and just below the lashes on the lower lids) to minimize scar visibility. If no skin needs to be removed during surgery, Dr. McMillan will likely perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where the incision is made inside the lower eyelid and there are no visible scars.

Can you do anything for my eyelashes?

Yes, the FDA has recently approved a product called Latisse™. It makes lashes longer and thicker. Results are often noticed after a month of regular use.

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