Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Laser Skin Resurfacing can help ease the effects of sun damage, aging, and acne on facial skin

Laser skin resurfacing is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can help ease the effects of sun damage, aging, and acne on facial skin. Laser skin resurfacing works by removing the outer layers of skin where the problems are located and stimulating the production of collagen and new skin cells in the underlying layers. Laser skin resurfacing is popular because it is relatively safe and effective and is often done as an outpatient procedure. The result is usually smoother, younger, healthier looking skin.

Laser Skin Resurfacing Candidates

Laser skin resurfacing is appropriate for patients who want to diminish discoloration as well as wrinkles, sun damage, acne marks, or other types of scarring. Laser resurfacing can often effectively treat skin that is uneven in color or texture. Still, those with severe scarring may need to use additional scar revision techniques in order to achieve the best results possible. Also, if skin is loose, a facelift may be needed to fully improve its appearance. The best candidates are those who have realistic expectations and who discuss their questions and concerns with the physician beforehand. An initial consultation with the cosmetic surgeon can help to ensure optimal results are achieved.

How is Laser Skin Resurfacing Performed?

Before laser skin resurfacing is performed, the cosmetic surgeon administers a local numbing treatment, a mild sedative, or general anesthesia. The choice depends on the individual patient and his or her specific needs.

Once the necessary medication has been administered, the cosmetic surgeon uses a special laser to resurface the skin. Using a precise and controlled beam of light, the outer layers of skin are vaporized, revealing the smooth, unblemished skin beneath. While the old, damaged layers are removed, the growth of new skin cells is stimulated.

Currently, carbon dioxide and erbium lasers are the two types of lasers most commonly used for laser skin resurfacing. Both lasers allow for quick procedures. They also help to minimize the risks for the patient by limiting the amount of heat that the skin absorbs and offering the cosmetic surgeon a high level of precision.

Botox Injections – Treatments for the Reduction of Wrinkles

Botox injections utilize Botulinum Toxin Type A to treat wrinkles. Botox was originally slated to treat neurological disorders; today, it is widely and successfully used to remove facial lines, especially frown lines, "crow's feet," and forehead lines.

Who is the Best Candidate for Botox Injections?

Good candidates for Botox injections include younger people with facial wrinkles and those who cannot undergo a more extensive plastic surgery procedure such as a facelift. Certain medications may alter the potency of Botox injections, increasing the likelihood of bruising and bleeding. These include some antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and aspirin, as well as some vitamins and herbs. People with neurological disorders should avoid having Botox injections. Also, women who are pregnant or nursing should not have Botox injections, because the effects on the fetus and on breast milk are unknown.

How are Botox Injections Administered?

Botox is injected directly into the muscle surrounding the wrinkle with a very small needle. If patients experience any discomfort, it is usually minimal and only lasts a few seconds. Once injected, Botox works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, allowing it to relax. The effects of the procedure are usually noticeable within a few days. Although the results are not permanent, they usually last for a number of months. Botox injections are performed on an outpatient basis and may be repeated when the results diminish.

Botox Side Effects

Botox injections are relatively safe for most patients. The most common side effects of Botox injections are mild numbness, swelling, bruising, or tingling in the area. Most of these do not occur when the procedure is performed correctly. The patient can help prevent bruising and numbness by refraining from rubbing or touching the treated area for the first day after the procedure is done. A small number of patients report no improvement following their Botox injections. Patients should be screened for allergy to Botox before the procedure is undergone.

If you are interested in learning more about Botox injections, contact a plastic surgeon in your local area.

Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tucks

Abdominoplasty, also known as "tummy tuck" surgery, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. This surgery is helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies or significant weight loss, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where that skin will be able to naturally return to normal.

Sometimes fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel and may require a less complex procedure called a partial Abdominoplasty or "mini tuck." You may benefit more from a partial or a full Abdominoplasty, done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips for a better and more pleasant body contour.

Regular smokers should plan to quit at least 2 weeks before surgery and not resume for at least two weeks after surgery. Avoid over exposure to the sun before your surgery, especially to your abdomen. It is also important to maintain a regular eating schedule (no strict dieting) prior to the procedure. The primary incision is made along the bikini line, just above the pubic area, and a second incision may be required to free the navel from surrounding tissue.

Abdominoplasty typically takes four hours, depending on the extent of the tuck required. You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital. You may wish to arrange help for two to three days following your surgery.

After your surgery, you may have a small drain inserted to release fluid from the surgical site. This drain will be removed when drainage has slowed or stopped. For the first few days your abdomen will probably be swollen. Any pain or discomfort you have will be controlled by medication. You will usually have gauze dressing on your abdomen covered by an abdominal binder. This will remain in place until you visit your physician post operatively. Sutures are typically removed in about ten days and your abdominal dressing will be replaced by a support garment.

You may expect to go back to work within one to two weeks. During the first three to six months, your incision will be pink and raised. Expect it to take nine months before your scars flatten out and lighten in color.