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11-26-12 | Posted by

When it comes to cosmetic surgery, nothing ever stays the same. Procedures, techniques, devices, and preferences are ever evolving. Just think of how popular facial fillers and muscle relaxing injections have become in delaying and even replacing more costly facelifts.

When it comes to the body, options are expanding as well, particularly when dealing with cellulite, breast implants, and mommy makeovers.

For example, FDA-cleared Cellulaze by Cynosure, Inc. is billed as the first and only minimally invasive medical device that reduces cellulite with just one treatment.

According to Marina del Rey, CA, plastic surgeon Grant Stevens, MD, liposuction is the #1 plastic surgical procedure around the world, but he believes Cellulaze could challenge that rating. “Cellulaze is going to be just as revolutionary as liposuction,” he said at a recent press presentation in New York City.

Unlike topical creams that require daily use or non-invasive treatments that require weekly treatments, Cellulaze is clinically proven to deliver long-term results. New Jersey plastic surgeon Barry DiBernardo, MD, one of five clinical investigators of Cellulaze, published promising one year results. Even a three year follow up with Dr. DiBernardo’s patients showed that the Cellulaze results lasted, Dr. Grant reported. “I think it’s permanent,” he said.

Courtesy of Grant Stevens, MD

One of the key points of difference of Cellulaze is that it targets the cause of cellulite: herniated pockets of fat, stiffened septae (fibers that support the skin), and thin skin.

Local anesthesia is required for the treatment, which entails a couple of small incisions through which a tiny tube is inserted under the skin. The tube includes a tiny laser-fiber that heats the skin and disrupts or melts the fat. It also releases the septae or fibrous bands that cause dimpling when they pull down on the skin.

“You can see the skin jump up during the procedure as the septae is severed,” said Dr. Grant.

Clinical results have shown the Cellulaze also increases the thickness of skin by 25% and increases elasticity by 29% one year after treatment.

The Cellulaze treatment takes one to two hours, and causes minimal downtime—you can go to work the next day. Expect some bruising and soreness, as if you had a tough workout. Improvements aren’t immediate; it could take up to three months to see results, but remember they are long lasting. The one-time treatment costs roughly between $6,000 and $10,000, depending upon your location.

Taking Care of Mom

Another popular procedure for Dr. Grant is the mommy makeover, a combination of procedures like a tummy tuck, breast surgery, injections, body sculpting, or even a facelift.

“Mommy makeover procedures have expanded to include anything you can do to a woman to make her feel better about herself,” said Dr. Grant.

Because of time constraints, mothers tend to put off having cosmetic procedures in lieu of taking care of their offspring and family. So when it comes time to address a bulging tummy, drooping breasts, or a tired expression, it makes sense to do more than one procedure at time.

According to Dr. Grant, there really is no downside to combining procedures. In fact, he said that clinical studies have shown no difference in morbidity and mortality in combined procedures.

Mommy Makeover options include breast lift, breast reduction, tummy tuck, liposuction, injections, or even laser treatments. “I love doing mommy makeovers,” said Dr. Grant. “I do one a week; moms are the most appreciative patients.”

Getting a Lift

A mommy makeover could include breast implants, which brings us to another plastic surgery advancement—“gummy bear breast implants.” This is a term that was actually coined by Dr. Grant to refer to implants that are stable and retain their shape when cut in half, much like gummy bear candy.

Available for years in Europe, the first U.S. “gummy bear breast implant” from a company called Sientra was cleared by the FDA last March. “This is a sixth generation silicone gel implant,” said Dr. Grant. “If the cover is removed, the implant still retains it shape.”

The advantages of “gummy bears” are that they feel much more natural and may be less likely to rupture. “There is only a minimal chance of leakage,” said Dr. Grant.

While Sientra doesn’t condone the “gummy bear” term, it seems to have stuck with the public. The implants are available in various shapes—round, oval, and classic—giving you and your surgeon the tools to create the most natural look possible.

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