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The truth about tummy tuck scars: Dr. Ron Somogyi sets the record straight.

Toronto Plastic Surgery, tummy tuck scars  

A tummy tuck—also known as abdominoplasty—is a surgery designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and to tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. Tummy tucks are common following weight fluctuation, pregnancy, surgery, or simply to address the natural aging processes. The procedure also allows for the possible elimination of stretch marks, especially if they’re located in the lower part of the abdomen. The end result is a firmer, flatter abdominal shape.

When a patient is considering a procedure like abdominoplasty, we spend as much time as necessary to understand their goals and desires and to make sure that all questions are answered. Not surprisingly, one of the most common hesitations when considering a tummy tuck surgery is related to scars.

As with any surgery—cosmetic or otherwise—a tummy tuck will involve an incision, which inevitably heals as a visible scar. While you can rest assured that every effort is made to ensure incisions are made precisely and that scars heal as fine lines easily covered by bathing suits or undergarments, it’s impossible to avoid scars altogether. The size and appearance of the scar, however, is often dependent on the approach chosen for surgery: a standard tummy tuck, or a mini tummy tuck. This decision is made based on a number of factors, including the amount of excess skin and fat, as well as its location on the abdominal wall.

Standard tummy tuck.

A standard tummy tuck—often referred to as a full tummy tuck—is the most common abdominoplasty option. This approach is ideal for patients who have loose skin, excess fat, and muscle laxity both above and below the belly button. This procedure enables the surgeon to excise tissue in both areas, as well as tighten underlying abdominal muscles. A standard tummy tuck is performed through an incision that is placed along the bikini line, and extends horizontally towards both hips. The length of the tummy tuck scar depends on the amount of excess skin being removed. Often, a second incision is made around the navel, which allows loose skin to be pulled downward. This second scar is hidden within the belly button.

Mini tummy tuck.

The mini tummy tuck is ideal in cases where there is a relatively small amount of excess skin located below the belly button, often associated with a protruding lower abdomen. This approach does result in a shorter tummy tuck scar (similar to a cesarean section scar), and there is no secondary scar hidden within the belly button, since this procedure does not involve the navel.

Your surgeon will discuss these approaches in great detail during your consultation. Together, you will decide which option is best-suited to your condition, goals, and expectations. No matter the approach, proper care of the incisions according to our comprehensive post-operative instructions will go a long way to ensuring the scars heal and fade quickly. As experts in scar management working within a full-service plastic surgery practice, we can also offer topical and/or laser therapy to further improve tummy tuck scars when necessary.

No matter the choice you make, remember that scars fade over time, but your new found confidence will last a lifetime. If you’re interested in learning more about tummy tucks, schedule a consultation today.

Can You Really Get Rid of Cellulite with Cellfina? Dr. Brown Says Yes

A new treatment could leave you bump-free for life in just an hour

by Katherine Lalancette

I’m shuffling down the hallway of a posh plastic surgery clinic in white socks and a paper gown, clutching the back slit so I don’t inadvertently moon anyone. Stephanie, the doctor’s assistant, directs me toward a pedestal in the photography room where I turn to face the wall, relieved I don’t have to make eye contact for this next part. She proceeds to give my behind a full-on photo shoot, capturing it from every angle and dimming the lights midway to emphasize each lump and bump.

The only thing getting me through this festival of awkwardness is a glimmer of hope I’m holding onto with the same tight grip that kept my gown closed. At the end of this humbling tunnel lies the possibility that I will be cured of that most pesky of female ailments, cellulite.

Too good to be true?

Toronto Plastic Surgery is one of only four Canadian clinics offering Cellfina, a cellulite-banishing treatment launched in the U.S. about three years ago. With the help of a tiny blade, it slices the bands that pull down on skin and create the divots known as cellulite. It requires a single hour-long procedure, involves zero downtime and smoothes dimples for at least three years.

“That’s how long the FDA trials ran, but my particular feeling is it that it should be a pretty permanent result,” says Dr. Mitchell Brown, a plastic surgeon and the clinic’s co-founder.

He first heard of Cellfina a few years ago and immediately reached out to its makers to bring it up north. For years, his patients had asked if there was anything he could do to iron out the dents that made them self-conscious at the beach or sometimes peeked through their skinny jeans.

“Everything else previously didn’t work well,” he says. “This works.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for all women. Cellfina treats only a very specific kind of cellulite, namely localized dips, like those of a golf ball, rather than what is charmingly called “a generalized cottage cheese appearance.” Because of this, almost 60 per cent of patients who come in wanting the treatment get turned down.

“At the end of this humbling tunnel lies the possibility that I will be cured of that most pesky of female ailments, cellulite.”

As Stephanie shows me photos of my bum in a hot pink thong (should have thought my underwear choice through), she announces that I am unfortunately of the untreatable cottage cheese variety. My hopes are as crumpled as the skin on my thighs.

Who does it actually work on?

Ann Spenceley*, on the other hand, was one of the lucky few to get the green light. She flipped through a Cellfina pamphlet one day while waiting to get another procedure in Brown’s office and was instantly intrigued. Following a consultation shortly after, she decided to take the $4,500 plunge toward smoothness.

“I’m 54 years old and have probably had cellulite for 40 years, just like my mom,” Spenceley says. “I work out avidly five days a week. You know when they say in Pilates ‘What area do you want to work?’ I’m always the one who says ‘glutes!’ I eat extremely well. I’ve had the same body weight most of my life, and I’ve never found anything made a difference. It was still always there and always embarrassing in a swimsuit.”

The morning after the procedure, Spenceley gingerly rolled down the compression shorts she was instructed to wear overnight and was amazed to find the dimples already seemed lifted. Her bum was bruised for about two weeks and she had some trouble driving, likening the pain to “a very bad sunburn,” but says she’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

“All those years tugging my swimsuit bottoms down to hide the cellulite…I don’t think I’ll be doing that this summer,” she says. “I wish I could have done this earlier.”

What about the rest of us?

The figures vary, but most studies estimate between 89 and 98 per cent of women will have cellulite at some point in their life, a fact attributable to the way fat attaches to our muscles, says Brown. So what can my cottage cheese sisters and I do about it?

“Other solutions that I believe as a clinician are worth the money and are likely to work? None,” declares the doctor. “It’s like asking for a solution for stretch marks. We haven’t figured that out yet.”

Perhaps sensing my despair, he offers up some reassurance. “Genetics and the way we’re made are what make us unique. We’ve figured out so far how to change certain things and not others. Five years ago, Cellfina didn’t exist, so we have to hope that five years from now, someone will come up with a good idea that will treat other types of cellulite.”

Until then, every time I feel that urge to tug on my bikini, I’ll try to remember I’m far from alone in this predicament. And since there’s nothing to be done, there really is no use obsessing about it. Here’s to enjoying the summer, dimples and all.

*Name has been changed

Original publication:

Which breast implants are best?

Dr. Ron Somogyi addresses some common questions regarding breast augmentation.

Toronto Plastic Surgery, Which breast implants are the best

There are many reasons a woman might choose to undergo breast augmentation.

Some women experience changes after pregnancy and breastfeeding, others feel their breasts are too small, uneven, misshapen or disproportionate. No matter the reason, the impact of this procedure on a woman’s self-image and confidence can be dramatic.

Breast augmentation surgery involves placing an implant behind each breast to increase its size and shape, always with the goal of creating breasts that look natural and fit with the overall proportions of a woman’s body. Choosing to undergo this procedure is a big decision, and one that comes along with many questions. One of the most common: which breast implants are the best?

Breast implant material.

When patients ask “which breast implants are best?”, they’re usually referring to breast implant material. There are two breast implant materials approved by Health Canada: silicone and saline. Ultimately, the choice you make along with your surgeon will depend on a number of factors including your cosmetic goals and body type.

Silicone breast implants are made up of a silicone elastomer shell, filled with soft, cohesive silicone gel. Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, silicone implants closely mimic the feel of a breast, and are often considered to look more natural.

Saline breast implants have the same silicone elastomer shell as silicone implants, but are filled with sterile saltwater during surgery. The size of the implant shell as well as the amount of saline that is used to fill it will ultimately determine the look and feel of your breast. Because these implants are inserted into the body while empty and filled once in place, saline implants may sometimes allow surgeons to use smaller incisions.

What size suits you best?

The size of your breast implants is another important consideration when deciding whether breast augmentation is right for you. This is a highly personal decision, and in order to ensure natural, proportionate results, your height, body type, cosmetic goals, and the amount and quality of your natural breast tissue must be considered. These measurements and this discussion will usually be the more important part of your consultation and surgical planning.

At Toronto Plastic Surgery, Vectra XT 3-Dimensional Simulation will be used during your consultation, allowing you to visualize how breast augmentation is likely to appear on your own body. This is a very exciting and useful way to talk about what you like and what you don’t like about your breasts, and to ensure that your surgeon shares your vision.

Breast implant shape.

Not only are breast implants available in a variety of sizes, they come in different shapes too. The right choice will depend on your native breast shape and your aesthetic goals.

Round implants are just that – round. They add an equal amount of volume around the entire circumference of the breast, providing a significant boost in cleavage and fullness for a youthful final result. Properly sized, round implants can provide a natural breast contour. Shaped implants—sometimes called “anatomic” or “teardrop” implants—create results that mimic the shape of natural breast tissue with more fullness in the lower portion of the breast. 

Incision location.

Another question that many of our patients ask during consultation is “will there be a scar?” With all options, incisions are very inconspicuous, and scars normally fade over time. That being said, there are a few options for incision location: periareolar (along the lower edge of the areola), inframammary (at the base of the breast, in the crease where the breast connects to the chest wall), and transaxillary (within the armpit). The location of your incision is often a personal choice, but can also be influenced by the type of implant and placement you select.

Implant placement options.

Many patients don’t realize that there is more than one option when it comes to the placement of your new implants. In fact there are two unique options: subglandular (above your chest muscle), and submuscular (below your chest muscle). With subglandular placement, the implant is positioned between the chest muscle and the existing breast tissue.  Since the muscle is left untouched, recovery time is often slightly shorter. Patients with little existing breast tissue may not be good candidates for this technique as implant visibility with an unnatural appearance can occur. With submuscular placement (often referred to as “dual plane”), the implant is positioned under the chest muscle. This technique often results in more natural-looking results, though the recovery time can be slightly longer.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing to undergo breast augmentation, but don’t be overwhelmed. During your consultation, your surgeon will walk you through your options to help you make the decision that is right for you. If you’d like to schedule a surgical consultation, contact us today.

How much does a breast augmentation cost?

Dr. Ron Somogyi discusses the factors that come into play when considering the cost of breast augmentation. 

Choosing to undergo breast augmentation—or any plastic surgery procedure, for that matter—is a big decision. This procedure will affect your life in many ways: physically, emotionally, and yes … financially. It’s no surprise that one of the most common questions we’re asked is “how much does this procedure cost?”

Let’s start with the simple answer. A breast augmentation at Toronto Plastic Surgery, though highly individualized, ranges in cost from $9,000 to $11,000.  

Now, in order to truly answer the question “how much does a breast augmentation cost?”, it’s important that we explore the many important factors that come into play when considering the cost of a procedure like this.

Medical costs.

As you’ll learn throughout the surgical process, the cost of breast augmentation includes more than just your new implants. In addition to the cost of the breast implants themselves, fees quoted from our office include all relevant surgical fees, anesthesia, surgical facility fees, nursing fees, medical garments as required, and taxes.

Preoperative and follow-up care.

Preoperative and follow-up care are essential and important parts of your surgical journey. In reality, preparing you properly for surgery and guiding you closely through your recovery and healing will be almost as important to your result as the surgery itself. Because it’s important to us that we be with you every step of the way in your recovery journey, your investment includes all preoperative and follow-up appointments. While your surgeon is always available for you, you’ll also have access to a skilled, experienced team that includes our Patient Coordinator as well as our Physician Assistant and Nurses.

During your preoperative appointments, we will provide you with a clear and concise treatment plan. In fact, because we want you to feel that your questions were thoughtfully addressed, we encourage you to return to the office for further appointments, as required, until you are completely comfortable with your decision to proceed with surgery.

Once your surgery is complete, our staff will schedule regular follow-up visits to ensure your recovery is as quick and comfortable as possible.

Experience and training.

It is true that breast augmentation is now widely available from several providers with varied amounts of experience and training. The cost of the surgery is often reflective of this experience. Finding an experienced, qualified surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make prior to your surgery.

Verify credentials and training, confirm the surgeon’s experience with the specific procedure you want to undergo, and ask to see before & after photos of previous patients.

The right practitioner.

Getting you from thinking about surgery to the result you’ve always dreamed of is ultimately the result of synergy between you and your surgeon. You need a partner in this decision. Someone that will consider who you are, what your goals are and what can be done to help you meet those goals.

Take time both during and after the consultation to think about how you connected with your surgeon. Did you feel rushed? Did they understand your goals? Do you feel confident that your vision will become your reality? Do you feel that the surgeon and their practice will look after you before, during and after the procedure, no matter the issue?

We understand that cost is always a factor. When you decide to undergo breast augmentation at Toronto Plastic Surgery, it is our hope that you make this decision because you feel comfortable with your surgeon and procedure choice, and fully supported throughout your surgical journey. To us, that is priceless.

If you’re interested in scheduling a surgical consultation, contact us today.

SkinMedica Peel-and-Reveal Event, March 6-8

Our SkinMedical Peel-and-Reveal Event is Back!

Three days only:

  • Tuesday, March 6
  • Wednesday, March 7
  • Thursday, March 8

Reserve your spot for just $150 and receive:

  • $150 credit towards your SkinMedica skin care package
  • Complimentary peel ($200 value)
  • Customized skin care regimen with special promotional pricing
  • Promotional pricing on non-surgical aesthetic treatments

Call (416) 323-6336 to book today

One treatment and one package at promotional price per patient. Not to be combined with any other offer. Prices before HST. No cash value.

Dr. Brown’s Webinar on Secondary Breast Augmentation

Toronto Plastic Surgery is pleased to announce that Dr. Mitchell Brown will be conducting a webinar for the International Confederation of Plastic Surgery Societies on Secondary Breast Augmentation.

Dr. Brown is a recognized expert on managing breast augmentation revisions and will be hosting the discussion.