dr. lawton

The Tummy Tuck

woman standing with large breastsAre you thinking about giving Abdominoplasty a try? More commonly referred to as a “Tummy-tuck” procedure, Abdominoplasty is necessary when a patient’s weight fluctuates significantly, leaving behind excess skin. Your skin is very elastic, but being stretched out for extended periods due to heavy weight gain sometimes results in a surplus of loose skin that hangs from the body after the weight is lost either through physical activity and diet or surgically.

Initial recovery from Abdominoplasty can be expected to take one to four weeks during which time heavy lifting and work should be avoided. Full recovery can be expected to take between three and six months, although the scarring will take somewhere between nine months to a year to fade (dependent on many factors).

All surgical procedures have benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to do your research in order to find out if you are a good candidate for a specific procedure. Below we have listed out the pro’s and con’s of the Abdominoplasty procedure to make the decision easier for you.

Pros:

  • Restores tummy section back to a flat state
  • Contours your body to provide a more flattering silhouette
  • Results are permanent, unless the weight is gained again

Cons:

  • Leaves scarring in the bikini region
  • Only suggested for women who do not plan on getting pregnant in the future as subsequent pregnancies may affect surgical results
  • Substantial weight gain post operation can negate surgical results
  • There may be a longer recovery time than with liposuction

Oftentimes, patients may even find that both liposuction and abdominoplasty are both required to achieve their desired look. And sometimes, additional work in the thigh and buttocks is necessary to remove the excess skin. Whatever you have in mind for your body, it’s best to get a professional opinion. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation and you’ll be on your way to feeling lighter and brighter this summer!

Summer Plastic Surgery Options

When you think of summer and plastic surgery, your first thought may be of breast augmentations or tummy tucks. However, there is a wider range of cosmetic surgery procedures that are perfectly fit for the summer months!

BOTOX

BOTOX typically lasts from 3 to 4 months, which is just long enough to cover the summer months! Summer is a time for laughing and worry-free relaxation. A BOTOX treatment now will leave you wrinkle-free in time for you to fully relax and enjoy the summer.

Lip Augmentation

Grab your floppy hat and blow the camera a kiss – a lip augmentation is the perfect method for achieving your summer selfie-ready smile. Whether you’re looking for fuller lips or want a more natural look, we have you covered.

Breast Augmentation or Gynecomastia Surgery

Whether you’re a man or woman, we want you feeling comfortable with your body. Summer is a time for bikinis, trendy one-pieces and swim shorts, and showing your skin in public can be daunting. We offer breast augmentation and gynecomastia surgery to leave you feeling happy in your own skin, in any setting, and summer presents a great opportunity to rest after these significant procedures.

Tummy Tuck or Liposuction

If you’re experiencing discomfort with loose skin or excess fat after stepping into your swimsuit or trunks this summer, it may be time to consider a tummy tuck or a liposuction procedure. While full recovery time is several weeks to months for these procedures, summer is a great time to relax and recuperate.

Whether or not you decide to undergo a cosmetic procedure this summer, always remember that every body is a beach body. We are just here to give you that boost of confidence so you can feel comfortable in your skin. Call us today at San Antonio Office Phone Number 210-496-2639 for more information.

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck

woman side body, thin waistSwimsuit season is approaching fast, which means that it’s time to start thinking about tightening up your tummy and losing the extra fat you’ve been storing throughout the winter. You’ve no doubt heard the terms “liposuction” and “tummy tuck”, also known as “abdominoplasty”. Liposuction and tummy tucks often get lumped together because both involve tightening and smoothing a particularly stubborn area of the body in terms of fat loss: the abdominal area.

So what’s the difference between the procedures, and which one is right for you?

Tummy tucks are designed to remove excess skin and tighten loose abdominal muscles in the midsection. By contrast, liposuction is for the patient who does not have issues with excess skin or loose muscles, but simply want packets of fat removed in the abdomen, thighs or hips. Because his or her skin is already taut, it will conform to the new fat-free area to create a smooth, flat surface.

Liposuction is more common, and takes about 1 hour per area of fat removal, so it’s a shorter procedure than abdominoplasty. After receiving liposuction, patients can typically return to work within a week and will be able to resume most normal activities within six weeks.

Tummy tucks, because they involve an extra cut on the lower abdomen in order to remove the excess skin after fat removal, require both a longer operation (2 hours) and recovery time. Patients usually take two weeks off of work after receiving a tummy tuck and it may take up to six weeks before they can fully resume all normal activities.

Choosing between a tummy tuck and liposuction ultimately depends on your body type and the results you are seeking. We may even recommend a combination of the two in order to get the look you truly want. If you need any more information about either of these surgeries, or would like help choosing which one is right for you, give us a call today!

Before Plastic Surgery: Questions to Ask During Your Consultation

Before plastic surgery, we want you to go into your consultation well prepared so that you can get the most information available, helping you make the decision that is right for you.

Below we have compiled a list of common questions that we hear from our patients that you may want to ask as well.

Questions about anesthesia:

Important questions to ask about local and general anesthesia include asking about the type of anesthesia, where it came from, and who will be administering it. It is important to know that your anesthesia administrator is experienced in order to prevent complications. We work with a certified anesthesiologist or registered nurse anesthetist to make sure that you receive the correct type and amount of anesthesia for your body type, age and size.

What will my procedure cost in total with all fees included?

This is an important question to ask, as the procedures are not usually covered by one’s insurance as they are elective in nature. While the cost of the procedure may have been advertised at a promotional price, there are often other fees to take into account such as anesthesia, operating room expenses, and materials (such as implants).
How many procedures of this type have you performed?
We want you to feel comfortable with our skills, so we are happy to share with you our experience in your particular procedure. As a more experienced surgeon, I have the experience needed to be able to truly assess your needs and give you a more comprehensive idea about whether plastic surgery is right for you.

Am I a good candidate for this procedure?

Just because an outcome of a procedure seems appealing to you doesn’t always mean that you are good candidate for that particular procedure. We all have different body types and medical needs, and often times there are multiple options for achieving the same results. We will discuss alternative options during your consultation.

How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?

Many patients have concerns about recovery times and whether or not we will still be accessible to check in and make sure everything is still going smoothly months after their surgery. It is important to ask questions about the recovery process so that you can not only mentally prepare yourself, but also make arrangements to accommodate your recovery needs.

What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure? How are complications handled?

Some procedures can be more invasive, and therefor more risky than others. We have specific procedures in place for handling complications and asking these kinds of questions can help put your mind at ease if you are experiencing pre-op anxiety.

What results are reasonable for me to expect?

Every patient’s outcome will be unique, but you may be able to get a good idea about yours by looking at before and after photos of those who shared similar features as you before their surgery.

Asking the right questions is key to achieving the look you want, and will help take away some of the stress and doubts that you currently hold. Think you’re ready to take the next step? So do we! Call us today to set up a consultation!

When Should I Start Getting Botox?

group of younger students walkingBOTOX® can sometimes be a sensitive subject, particularly among the younger crowd. Most people associate BOTOX® with people 40 years and older, who are beginning to notice more wrinkles. But middle age is not the only time during which a person can receive BOTOX® treatment. Many doctors recommend that patients get BOTOX® at a younger age not only to remove wrinkles, but also to prevent them in the future.

There are benefits to getting BOTOX® done at any age, so what is the right age for you?

BOTOX® in your 20s: Having BOTOX® in your twenties doesn’t mean that you are full of wrinkles and facial lines already. Rather, it is done as a preventative measure. Doctors have begun recommending that people who are open to getting BOTOX® later in life should start in their mid to late 20s in order to prevent wrinkles from occurring in the future. This works by suspending movement of the muscles in the face that cause wrinkling. Consistent upkeep on your face will help lessen and decrease the likelihood of having significant wrinkles when you are older.

BOTOX® in your 30s: This decade is the time when wrinkles and facial lines can start becoming more noticeable on your face. Getting BOTOX® done on a regular basis throughout your thirties can have a significant improvement on the way your face looks and feels. It is critical to have BOTOX® done in your 30s in order to not only reduce the severity of future wrinkles, but to keep your face looking young and fresh.

BOTOX® in your 40s and on: Using BOTOX® regularly throughout your forties and beyond can definitely be beneficial to how your skin looks, but unfortunately you will not receive the same results as if you had started in your 30s. Starting BOTOX® at this stage in life can decrease the significance of your wrinkles, but it might take more facial work than just BOTOX® in order to get the results which you really want.

If you have any more questions about BOTOX® and what age is right for you to start getting treatments, feel free to contact us today!

Who doesn’t want full, sexy lips?

Lip augmentations have recently made a huge splash in the plastic surgery world. Full lips have always been a desired look among women, but the demand for lip injections has been on the rise. One of the most common procedures is the injection of Juvaderm. Juvaderm is Hyaluronic Acid (HA) which is the building block of collagen that your body naturally produces which provides support to various parts of your body including the skin, joints, and ligaments. We use injectable HA that is derived from synthetic sources.

During the initial consultation, we will review, in great detail, what your options are. You will be asked to describe your desired look and we will help you find your best treatment option. We will go over every step of the procedure you’re interested in and will make sure you are completely informed every step of the way. Any alternative procedures will also be discussed.

woman with big lipsThe procedure takes about 30 minutes and is done right in the clinic! Many patients often get this procedure done on their lunch break, due to the very light recovery. After you receive your injections, you may return to your normal activities, including working and wearing make-up!

You may notice some discomfort, stinging, or throbbing. Swelling or bruising may occur around the treatment area and can be present for a few days up to a few weeks, depending your skin type. Results may vary depending on your physical characteristics, lifestyle, and the area treated.

If you are interested in improving your pout, give us a call at San Antonio Office Phone Number 210-496-2639 and remember to always wear sunscreen whenever you’re showing off your sexy lips!

Plastic Surgery: Your Top Five Questions

doctor holding up "ask your doctor" signCan I have a breast lift and implant done at the same time?

It is best to do these operations separate. When a lift is performed, the skin is made tight, and wounds are closed under tension. Adding an implant adds even more force, which can add to larger, more noticeable scarring. The implant size you want may not be possible, since the lift makes it more difficult to close the wound. Usually the size of the lift has to be reduced or the implant size has to be reduced. It’s better to have two surgeries than to have one that yields less than stellar results due to compromises necessary to make it possible. Fewer risks to the health of your breast come into play when one surgery is handled at once. You will be happier with your results if you wait.

How long is the expected recovery from liposuction?

Recovery is typically one week of rest before returning to work. One month later, with the office’s approval, you should be able to start simple exercise. Final results become apparent 3-6 months later.

How do you choose the correct implant size?

You do! There is a methodology for choosing a size that fits your particular dimensions, but at the end of the day, if you look at the implant chart and are not satisfied with the suggestion you are offered, then you won’t be happy having that implant on your body. We use implant charts, photos, and sizers to give you the best idea we can, but it’s up to you to make the choice. Ultimately, you will be happier that way.

How long is the expected recovery from breast implant surgery?

In the first week, it is best to take a week off from work to rest and to not wear a bra. Bra’s add extra stress and pressure that is antithetical to the healing process. At the one month mark, we meet again and remove stitches. Strenuous activity is not recommended until later, but low impact cardio is encouraged at this point. At two months an underwire bra is allowed and physical activity is increased.

Saline Implants or Silicone?

This is a choice that must be made after a fully comprehensive discussion with your doctor. Beyond aesthetic differences, rupture rate, density, safety, and cost are quite different. The feeling of either is also different, along with weight differences, approach of care and more. Let’s discuss this in our office at your next appointment.

Have any other questions? Call our office today at San Antonio Office Phone Number 210-496-2639!

Breasts on the Male Body

man shirtlessWhat Exactly Are Male Breasts?

Gynecomastia is the medical term for the enlargement of the male breast tissue. Although this condition can be psychologically or socially uncomfortable, it is fairly common among men of all ages. Luckily, the enlargement of the breast tissue is benign, and there are treatment options.

How do male breasts form?

There are a few different ways in which men can form breasts. A very common cause of gynecomastia is when there is an imbalance of the body’s natural hormones. When male estrogen levels are too high, or if testosterone levels are too low, this can cause gynecomastia.

There are also a number of medications that can cause gynecomastia. These include:

  • Anti-adrogens, which are used to treat prostate cancer, prostate enlargement and some other prostate conditions.
  • Anabolic steroids.
  • Some anti-anxiety medications.

If you are at all concerned about the side effects of a current medication you are prescribed, or a future medication prescription, ask your prescribing doctor to review the side effects with you.

How am I evaluated for Gynecomastia?

During your consult, we will obtain your medical history and will explain in-depth the procedure you are interested in. The risks and benefits on surgery will be explained to you, as well as any alternative procedures.

The examination will consist of taking measurements of your breasts, including your breast width, height, and the position of your nipples.

What treatments are available?

There are two treatment options available in the case of gynecomastia. The first is excision. The glandular tissue is removed through a small incision in the lower border of the nipple.

The second option is liposuction. In this case, we may decide to take away excess fat and skin, and leave the gland tissue alone. However, if there is a possibility that the breasts will grow back over time, we may decide that removing the breast gland tissue is a better option.

What about recovery and results?

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure. You will be provided with antibiotics, pain medication, and vitamins to reduce your risk of infection, swelling, and bruising. Luckily, with male breast surgery, your incisions will be hidden so that you can be back to feeling more confident than ever!

If you have any questions about male breast surgery, we urge you to give us a call. We have handled more gynecomastia cases than you’d think! You’re not alone. Call us at San Antonio Office Phone Number 210-496-2639 to get your confidence back!

Winter BOTOX Benefits

Let’s face it: winter can be brutal for skin, and it is often your unprotected face that takes the brunt of Mother Nature’s force. Not only does your facial skin risk becoming dried out and weathered-looking during this cold, dry season, your facial muscles are very active this time of year – believe it or not, you squint just as much in winter as you do in the summer thanks to a bright, low sun. These combined conditions are often a recipe for disaster when it comes to aging and the face, but there is something you can do: BOTOX!

woman in winter attire

BOTOX is a very common procedure that we often perform on a patient’s lunch hour! It works in two ways: 1) it temporarily prevents muscles from contracting which lessens the look of wrinkles and 2) it stops the progression of wrinkles in the skin by preventing the muscle contractions that will cause further damage down the road. Basically, BOTOX works to smooth things out for a more youthful look overall.

Wrinkles are a natural part of aging. Your skin is constantly being pushed and pulled by the muscles in your face. A BOTOX treatment, which lasts from 3-4 months, gives you a younger, tighter look by stopping those muscles from contracting. So, if you time it right, your skin can remain youthful throughout the winter months.

BOTOX is the single most popular cosmetic treatment for a reason. People love the way they look after a BOTOX treatment. If you don’t, that’s okay – it’s temporary. And if you don’t want it to be temporary, we can help you come up with a schedule to keep you looking fresh and young year-round.

So before you bundle up to face the gale, come on by the office so we can come up with a plan to keep you looking bright and healthy through the winter. Give us a call today at San Antonio Office Phone Number 210-496-2639 for a BOTOX consultation!

Underarm Flab: How to Get Rid of it

The area on the underside of the upper arms is a common place to gather excess fat, especially as we age. While you may be able to lose fat in this area, often times the process leaves behind excess skin which is permanent and causes some patients to feel self conscious when wearing short sleeves and tanks.

An “arm lift”, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes the excess sagging skin and fat on the underarms. This relatively common procedure rids you of the localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region and tightens the underlying supportive tissues, thus defining the shape of the upper arm.

How does the drooping skin get there?

Fluctuations in weight, growing older, and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This drooping skin cannot be corrected through exercise or diet – it must be removed surgically.

female arm

How do I know if I am a good candidate for an arm lift?

Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat. The best candidates for arm lift surgery are in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions. A brachioplasty is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, however sometimes if the sagging arm skin becomes so severe, it can restrict motion and interfere with the use of the arm, thus requiring surgery for functional purposes.

What is the process like?

An initial consultation is needed in order for your health history to be reviewed and the procedure to be explained in great detail. We will show you before and after pictures of patients, and all of your questions will be answered. Next, an evaluation of your arm contours, excess skin, fatty deposits and muscular tone will be performed prior to scheduling your surgery.

What does the procedure entail?

In preparation for surgery, the skin will be marked to give you the optimal shape and contour. During the surgery, we will remove fat and skin to give you the shape you want. Some fat is typically left to cover and protect nerves and arteries. After the excess fat and skin are removed, the arm is sutured closed and a drain inserted (in most cases).

We encourage our patients to refrain from smoking before and after the procedure, as this can affect healing. Instructions on what to eat and drink post-surgery will be given prior to the initial treatment, so you will have plenty of time to prepare. It is highly recommended that transport is arranged prior to surgery, as well as having someone to assist in daily activities during the healing process at home.

What about the results?

The great thing about brachioplasty is that the surgical site is inconspicuous and thus visual scarring is minimal. Our patients are delighted with the results, and eager to back into their sleeveless wear again.

Call us today at 210-496-2639 to discuss arm lift surgery and other cosmetic options!