Drains and why we use them in Cosmetic Surgery

Drains are used in all of the Surgical fields, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Urology and Plastic Surgery etc… The purpose of a drain is to evacuate fluid from building up in an empty space or a potential space where the surgery was performed.This helps lower the chances of post operative complications and infections.

What actually is a drain? Most are small, hallow tubes, made of silicone that we place in the empty space and then outside of the body they are attached to a small bulb that creates suction. This allows us to keep fluid from building up in the operative area.

In Cosmetic Surgery they are often used in Tummy Tucks, Face Lifts, and some Breast surgeries. Tummy tucks are probably the most common instance. In a tummy tuck the drain removes the fluid that naturally builds up between the top of the abdominal muscles and the overlying fatty tissue. Without a drain in place, the fluid would just collect and distort the appearance of the abdomen and could lead to wound healing problems. In most instances that we use drains we remove them not based on time but on how much fluid is actually draining out. When the output is low enough, the drain is removed. Usually this ranges from a day or two up to a week.

So, while not terribly popular with patients, drain are sort of a ‘necessary evil’ that helps your surgeon get the best outcome with your cosmetic procedure.

Lee Corbett, MD

Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Plastic Surgery for Weight Loss

scaleOften times when I consult with patients who are considering a tummy tuck or liposuction, they will ask “How much weight will I lose?”. Unfortunately, for most patients the answer is a pound or two, so not very much. Plastic Surgery is just not intended as a weight loss tool.

While both procedures do remove fatty tissue, and in the case of a tummy tuck, loose skin, these just don’t weigh very much. Fat as a tissue, is not very dense. It takes a lot of fat to weigh even a pound. I always weigh the amount removed when I do a tummy tuck and it almost always between 2 to 3 pounds, that’s it. This if for the patients who have a fairly generous roll between their belly button and pubic area. For the patients who really only have loose skin, usually from babies, it might not even weigh a pound.

With lipo, the same applies. I am able to suction out the fat, but fat just doesn’t weigh that much. In the ‘pound of feathers vs pound of lead’ comparison, fat is in the feather category and a tissue like muscle is in the lead category.

What these operations are really intended to do is to shape and contour your figure by trimming off inches. They tighten loose skin and remove stubborn fat pockets to balance your body and improve your shape. They also change dress sizes for a lot of patients. So many patients tell me they have to buy larger sizes to accomodate their thighs or hips or tummy only to have their jeans or pants then be too loose every where else. These are the kinds of problems Lipo and Tummy Tucks do improve.

I hope this helps to answer the weight loss question. If you have questions please contact us at (502) 721 0330 or via our Virtual Consultation page at www.CorbettCosmeticSurgery.com

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Your Weight and Cosmetic Surgery

A common question that I hear when new patients are considering a cosmetic procedure, particularly liposuction or a tummy tuck, is “Should I lose weight first?”

My answer is that you should be within about 10 to 15 pounds of your goal weight at the time of surgery. Mind you “goal weight” is not the same as ideal body weight. Ideal body weight is a weight range that you will find on Body Mass Index charts. However, for a variety of reasons ideal body weight isn’t attainable , and honestly a lot of people feel more comfortable / think they look their best at a weight that is outside of this range. I call this your “goal weight” and I want you close to that number at the time of surgery.

The reason it’s ok to proceed with 10 pounds left to go is because as you lose weight it doesn’t all come off of one body part. There is no such thing as targeted or spot weight loss. Doing crunches doesn’t melt the fat on your tummy, it makes your abs stronger. Doing lunges doesn’t make your thighs smaller, it makes them stronger. When you lose weight you lose it all over your body. So 10 pounds isn’t really going to affect the  outcome. So, if you are more than 10 -15 lbs above your goal weight, it’s best to work on that before surgery.

Every plastic surgeon will have some guidelines on your weight, there are no hard and fast rules on this. But, most of my colleagues tend to agree on the 10-15 pound zone.

I hope this helps those of you who are contemplating cosmetic surgery prepare appropriately.

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

 

What’s a Mommy Makeover?

At Corbett Cosmetic, a Mommy Makeover is one of our most requested operations. A ‘mommy makeover’ is a generic term for some combination of breast procedure and tummy procedure.

The breast portion can be a lift, a reduction, an augmentation, or a lot of times an implant and a lift are combined. This allows me to restore the fullness to the top of the breast and reposition the natural breast tissue so that is doesn’t droop below the crease that is below the breast.

For the tummy portion, we typically will do a tummy tuck with liposuction, but sometimes Liposuction alone is all that is needed. The decision is based on how much loose skin you have, how much your muscles were stretched by the pregnancies, and how much fatty tissue we are dealing with.

These decisions are pretty simple to make after your consultation. It’s really just a matter of you stating your goals and then I can match the operation best suited for your particular problem.

If you are interested just give us a call at (502) 721-0330 or by e mail at Misty@corbettcosmeticsurgery.com

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director: Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

 

Swelling and Pressure Garments

After most body contouring surgery, especially liposuction and tummy tucks, post operative soft tissue swelling is a normal, natural occurrence. Basically, the skin, fatty tissue and muscle have been “traumatized” and they swell in response. To your body, the experience of surgery is the same as if you fell or were hit or had any other kind of accident. This is just the way the body heals itself.

So, as Plastic Surgeons, we use compression to help with the swelling. Usually after a body contouring procedure we recommend the patient wear some form of compression, be it a binder or girdle, for several weeks after surgery. The compression has many benefits. First, it minimizes the swelling, especially as you become more active at home and work. This in turn minimizes your discomfort. Almost 100% of my patients will tell me after surgery that they just feel better with compression. Secondly, especially in Liposuction cases, it helps the skin tighten and re-drape after the underlying fat cells have been removed. The amount of time one needs compression varies from patient to patient. Factors we consider are your age, skin quality, skin elasticity, amount of fat removed, and the scope of the procedure. In my practice, I usually recommend compression for at least 4-6 weeks but many patients will wear some form of compression for 2-3 months.

Every surgeon has his or her own practices so check with your doctor if you have questions. In general though, I think you will find most plastic surgeons feel as though there isn’t such thing as wearing your garment “too long”.

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director, Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa

 

Smart Lipo…my experience over the past year.

Corbett Cosmetic Surgery is the only practice in the State of Kentucky offering the SmartLipo Triplex. This is a 3 laser, laser liposuction machine. This differs from traditional liposuction in that the laser melts the fat cells instead of having to break them up mechanically. The laser also generates heat which helps with skin tightening and coagulates small vessels to minimize bruising.

Our experience is that patients are experiencing a shorter, easier recovery with less pain, downtime, and days off work. Also, in difficult area such as the inner thigh and upper arm, we are seeing much better skin tightening.

If you have questions or are interested in SmartLipo call our Louisville office at 502.721.0330

Lee E Corbett, MD   Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa

www.CorbettCosmeticSurgery.com