Common FAQ's About Plastic Surgery Procedures

Christa Clark, MD, FACS
Article by
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Cosmetic plastic surgery can include surgical and nonsurgical procedures that reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve one’s appearance and self-esteem. Plastic surgery is a personal choice and should be done for yourself, not for someone else and not to try and fit an over sensationalized ideal image. Dr. Christa Clark is here to answer any and all of your questions to make sure you feel comfortable about the choice you are making.

These are some of the more common questions she gets asked, but if you don’t see your questions below, please feel free to submit an online request or call for a consultation with her to have your questions answered in person.

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Breast Procedures

I am just starting my research - how do I know what procedure is right for me?

There are many procedures that may be of interest to those considering changing the shape and/or appearance of their breasts. Some women may desire larger more full breasts, while others are looking to just ‘get back what they had’ before pregnancy. Whatever options you are considering, Dr. Clark recommends you ultimately have a personal consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon like herself, because you may be a candidate for a combination of procedures like a breast lift with a breast augmentation, to achieve the optimal results.

Breast Augmentation
Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast augmentation surgery involves using implants to realize your desire for fuller breasts or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy. There are many things to consider when deciding on breast augmentation surgery: what type of implant to use (saline or silicone), what size of implant to use (how many CC’s), where to make the incision to insert the implant are just a few of the many things to consider. Dr. Clark will carefully go over all of the options surrounding breast augmentation with you, to help you make the best decision and achieve your goals.

Breast Lift
Commonly referred to as a breast lift, mastopexy augmentation surgery raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. A woman's breasts often change over time as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging and weight fluctuations which cause them to lose their youthful shape and firmness.

Dr. Clark points out the important thing to remember with a breast lift is what it won’t do: it will not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and augmentation surgery together. If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and reduction surgery.

Breast Reduction
Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. Dr. Clark sees many women that experience physical pain from supporting large pendulous breasts.  She enjoys the process of helping women to lead more active lifestyles once they achieve the breast size they desire.

Breast Reconstruction
Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy and/or a lumpectomy. From her years in plastic surgery and helping past cancer survivor patients, Dr. Clark understands that for women, breast health and appearance are part of the recovery process. She also wants to point out that if only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.


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Body Contouring

What can I do get to be rid of my ‘muffin top’?

Despite good health and a reasonable level of fitness, some people may still have a body with disproportionate contours due to localized fat deposits. These areas may be hereditary or the result of a pregnancy rather than a lack of weight control or fitness. As Dr. Clark personally knows, it can be frustrating to spend hours in the gym or working out, and not see results. With advancements in cosmetic surgery, there are now surgical and non surgical options to help you be rid of these areas once and for all.

Liposuction
Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, improving your body contours and proportions.

Liposuction surgery can be used to treat stubborn fat pockets in many parts of the body including the thighs, arms, hips, waist, back, inner knee, chest, chin, and ankles. In some cases, liposuction is performed alone, in other cases it is use in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift and more.

CoolSculpting
The most recent advancement in body contouring is also the least invasive. CoolSculpting was approved by the FDA in 2010 and is now used throughout the United States as well as other countries.  This patented process targets, cools, and eliminates fat cells without damage to your skin. After one treatment, your body does the rest as the crystallized fat cells break down and are naturally eliminated.

Tummy Tuck
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer. The most common causes of an abdomen that is loose and sagging are pregnancies, significant weight loss and aging. If you are considering any of these methods to be rid of stubborn areas, contact Dr. Clark to get your personal consultation.

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Skin Rejuvenation & Resurfacing


What can I do to erase fine lines and wrinkles on my face?
There are lots of ways to help stall the aging process or reverse the damage that has already been done through surgical and nonsurgical options. Depending on how involved of a process you are ready for, you can select one of the options Dr. Clark’s  practice provides, or you can opt to combine them for the best result. The good news is that with modern technology there are many ways to be rid of fine lines and wrinkles, you just have to start with one.

By the calendar I am in my 50’s – but in my head I am still in my 30’s. What are my options to look as young as I feel?
There are definitely many options to help you look as young as you feel. Dr. Clark can outline these choices for you that follow the surgical or non surgical paths. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Clark so she can see you in person, and decide which procedures will help you achieve your goals.

Surgical

  • Laser Skin Resurfacing
  • Face Lift
  • Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
  • Neck Lift
  • Brow Lift

 

Nonsurgical

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels
  • Obagi Skin Care
  • AbobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport®)
  • OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®)
  • Dermal Fillers (Restylane® or Perlane®)
  • Thermage®

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Body Contouring After Weight Loss


I recently lost a significant amount of weight. Now I have excess skin everywhere - what types of surgeries can be of help?

Dr. Clark has worked with numerous weight loss patients in her years as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. The best course of action is to complete your weight loss and be close to your goal weight. According to Dr.Clark most often several surgeries are required to remove all the excess skin and the surgeries need to be spaced appropriately to allow for recovery time. Particularly with weight loss patients, a consultation will be most helpful in determining which procedures will be the best fit as each weight loss patient is uniquely different. 

Arm Lift
Also known as brachioplasty, an arm lift reduces excess skin and fat between the underarm and the elbow, reshapes your arm to result in smoother skin and contours, and results in a more toned and proportionate appearance.

Body Lift
A complete lower body lift treats the buttocks, abdomen, waist and hips in one procedure. A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat to reposition then tighten the skin tissue. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and surgical judgment.

Thigh Lift
A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. In some cases, a thigh lift may also be combined with liposuction to achieve optimal results.

Breast Lift
Commonly referred to as a breast lift, mastopexy augmentation surgery raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.