Liposuction vs. tummy tuck: which is right for me?

Dr. Ron Somogyi discusses your body contouring options at Toronto Plastic Surgery.

Toronto Plastic Surgery, Liposuction Toronto

If you’re considering surgery to address excess fat or sagging skin on your abdomen, you might be wondering if a tummy tuck or liposuction at Toronto Plastic Surgery is the best option for addressing your concerns.

A tummy tuck—also known as abdominoplasty—is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and to tighten the underlying abdominal muscles, whereas liposuction is a procedure that removes localized deposits of fat from specific areas of the body. Both surgeries are effective in achieving a more contoured mid-section, but the underlying issues they address are actually quite different.

Every patient is unique, and we always spend as much time as necessary to understand your goals and desires before making a recommendation. That said, here are some general guidelines that might provide some insight about which surgery is right for you.

Liposuction is right for you if …

…. you have areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise, but skin elasticity is not an issue.

Liposuction uses a vacuum-suction tube inserted under the skin to permanently remove localized deposits of fat to reveal beautiful, sleek body contours. Although there may be some tightening of the skin due to natural skin elasticity, liposuction is not a tightening procedure. For this reason, it is usually recommended for patients with good skin quality and reasonable expectations; older patients who may have less skin elasticity may not achieve the same results as younger patients with tighter skin.

Ideal candidates for liposuction are healthy women and men who are relatively close to their ideal body weight, but have stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction can also address areas of the body besides the abdomen, including hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, back, upper arms, breasts and neck.

The surgery itself is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll return home the day of your surgery, though we normally recommend taking a few days off from work to give yourself some time to rest and heal. You’ll likely experience mild to moderate pain, bruising and mild swelling immediately after surgery, so make sure you have someone to help you around the house in your first few days of recovery. After surgery, you will wear a custom-fit compression garment for 3-4 weeks to reduce swelling, optimize tissue recovery, and help retain your new shape. Most patients are back to normal daily activities within a few days and back to full exercise within 2-3 weeks. Results from liposuction are gradual. Initial swelling will hide the true extent of the improvement for the first 3-4 weeks. Over the subsequent months, you will continue to see ongoing improvement in contour as the final swelling resolves and the skin tightens. Liposuction scars are usually minimal, since the fat is suctioned away through several small incisions in hidden areas.

A tummy tuck is right for you if …

… you have excess or sagging skin in addition to excess abdominal fat.

In addition to removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen, a tummy tuck can address a protruding abdomen, abdominal muscles weakened by pregnancy, loose skin from weight loss, and a loss of definition or shape of the belly button. It also allows for the possible elimination of stretch marks, especially if they are located in the lower part of the abdomen.

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are close to their ideal body weight, but have experienced changes to their body following weight fluctuation, pregnancy, surgery, or simply as a result of the natural aging process.

A tummy tuck surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll return home the day of your surgery. Some patients choose to stay one night in our facility and return home the next morning. It’s normal to experience mild to moderate pain, bruising, and mild swelling immediately after surgery, but we will discuss pain management options with you, and explain how to care for your surgical incisions to ensure optimal recovery and comfort. We recommend taking about 2 weeks off from work to give yourself time to rest and heal. Most patients are back to normal daily activities within 2 weeks, but are asked to avoid heavy physical activity and heavy lifting for 6 weeks.

A tummy tuck does result in a larger scar than that of liposuction, though 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.

A perfect pairing.

In some cases, if you’re concerned about both excess fat and loose skin, liposuction and abdominoplasty can be performed during the same procedure for optimal results.

If you’re interested in learning more about tummy tuck or liposuction at Toronto Plastic Surgery, including which procedure is right for you, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Somogyi today.

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Dr. Brown as Visiting Professor at UCLA

Dr. Brown was a Visiting Professor at UCLA on August 7-8, 2018.

The reception was held at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre. While there, Dr. Brown gave an address to the faculty and residents on “Managing the Congenital Breast Deformity” and then spent time with the residents teaching about how to treat complications following breast surgery.

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All about gynecomastia.

How much does gynecomastia surgery cost? What can I expect? Dr. Ron Somogyi answers these common questions and more.

Toronto Plastic Surgery, Gynecomastia Surgery Cost

Men, like women, can experience an over-development of breast tissue. This condition, known as gynecomastia, is very common, and can impact those affected by it both physically and emotionally. In fact, gynecomastia often goes unaddressed in men who are too embarrassed to seek a solution.

For this same reason, there are far too many men with unanswered questions about gynecomastia surgery—also known as male breast reduction—and the results that can be achieved. We want men everywhere to know the impact this surgery can have on their appearance, their self-confidence, and their future. Today, Dr. Ron Somogyi from Toronto Plastic Surgery is answering some common questions and concerns about this life-changing procedure.

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is an over-development of male breast tissue. Frequently, it begins during puberty but it may occur at any time during adulthood in one or both breasts. The condition isn’t medically serious, but it can cause awkwardness, and many boys and men feel self-conscious about their physical appearances as a result.

There are two types of gynecomastia: primary gynecomastia (the most common) and secondary gynecomastia. Men with primary gynecomastia usually develop excess breast tissue during puberty with no detectable underlying cause. Secondary gynecomastia develops as a result of obesity, underlying health conditions, hormone imbalance, or the use of steroids, marijuana or certain other medications.

What causes gynecomastia?

Many people mistakenly believe that gynecomastia is the result of excess fat, but in reality the problem is an excess of breast tissue, which cannot be addressed with changes in diet and exercise. The condition can, and often does, affect males at a healthy weight. Barring any detectable underlying cause, gynecomastia is usually the result of an imbalance of a male’s hormones. As testosterone levels decrease and estrogen levels increase, these imbalances can cause male breast tissue to over-develop.

In your experience, how does gynecomastia affect your male patients?

Physically, there are usually very few symptoms of gynecomastia. In some cases, patients complain of breast tenderness and discomfort, but most commonly, my male patients are affected emotionally. They often describe feeling self-conscious about their breast size and uneasy about wearing form-fitting clothes or exposing their chest in public. Many patients feel too embarrassed to participate in certain physical activities like swimming or sports because they feel awkward about being shirtless.

What are my options for correcting gynecomastia?

Unless the gynecomastia is caused by an underlying condition that can be treated, surgical male breast reduction is the only consistently effective treatment with long-lasting results.

What is involved in gynecomastia surgery?

When a patient is considering gynecomastia surgery, we begin with a consultation where goals and expectations are discussed. A complete review of medical and surgical history will identify any underlying causes and examination of the area will confirm surgical options and expected outcomes. For the patient, this is also a great opportunity to determine whether your surgeon is the right fit.

The surgery itself is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll return home the day of your surgery. Most commonly, male breast reduction is performed through a small incision near the nipple where the excess tissue is removed. Liposuction is performed around the edges of the treated area to ensure smooth and natural final result. Occasionally, liposuction alone may be sufficient to adequately treat the problem.

What’s the recovery like?

Pain, bruising, and mild swelling are normal and expected immediately following your procedure. Make sure you arrange to have someone accompany you on the day of surgery to drive you home, and someone to help you around the house in your first few days of recovery.

Patients can often return to most normal activities within a few days, though we often recommend you plan for one week off from work to provide adequate time to rest and heal during this initial period. After surgery, you will have to wear a compression garment, like a tight undershirt, for a few weeks to reduce swelling and optimize tissue recovery. Heavy physical activity is restricted for approximately one month.

Once your surgery is complete, our staff will schedule regular follow-up visits to ensure your recovery is as quick and comfortable as possible. We’ll provide you with post-operative instructions, pain management options, and instructions for caring for your incisions.

Will there be a scar?

As with any surgery, male breast reduction will involve incisions, which inevitably heal as visible scars. The incisions used in this procedure are very small and located near the nipple. You can rest assured that every effort is made to ensure incisions are made precisely and that these small scars heal as fine lines that fade over time.

Do you have before and after photos?

We do! Take a look at my before and after gallery here.

How much does gynecomastia surgery cost?

“How much does gynecomastia surgery cost?” is one the most common questions we receive. At Toronto Plastic Surgery, Gynecomastia surgery, though highly individualized, ranges in cost from $5500 to $7000.

If you have any additional questions about gynecomastia, or you’re interested in scheduling a private surgical consultation, contact us at Toronto Plastic Surgery today.

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Dr. Brown Shares Two Exciting Achievements from the Recent Academic Year

In April, Dr. Brown was notified that he received an academic promotion to the position of Full Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. This is the highest level of academic honor and acknowledges surgeons that are recognized internationally for their contributions and achievements to the field of surgery.

In May, Dr. Brown was the proud recipient of the Dr. E Bruce Tovee award.

Dr. Mitchell Brown, plastic and cosmetic surgeon, WCH and professor within the department of surgery at UofT was presented with the Tovee Award in Postgraduate Education which is given to an academic staff member that has made the greatest contribution to educational activities within the department, as exemplified by Dr. E. Bruce Tovee.

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Breast augmentation recovery: frequently asked questions.

Dr. Ron Somogyi answers some common questions about the breast augmentation recovery process.

Toronto Plastic Surgery, Breast Augmentation Recovery

Breast augmentation surgery involves placing an implant behind each breast to increase size and enhance shape, with the goal of creating breasts that look natural and fit with the overall proportions of a woman’s body. Many women choose to undergo the procedure following changes brought on by pregnancy and breastfeeding, while others want to correct breasts they feel are too small, uneven, misshapen or disproportionate. In our experience, there are very few procedures that have as positive an impact on a woman’s self-esteem.

When a patient is considering a procedure like breast augmentation, we begin by discussing goals and expectations, and we spend as much time as necessary to explain the procedure and answer questions. Some of the most common questions that we hear have to do with breast augmentation recovery. Many women are under the impression that recovering from a procedure like breast augmentation means prolonged pain, weeks of missed work, and months before they can enjoy their results. Modern breast augmentation at Toronto Plastic Surgery takes advantage of several well-established, cutting edge techniques that make recovery quicker and more comfortable than ever. We take pride in the fact that most of our patients are pleasantly surprised with the ease of their recovery.

Today, we’re setting the record straight and addressing some of the most common questions and concerns about breast augmentation recovery.

How long does breast augmentation recovery take?

Breast augmentation at Toronto Plastic Surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you return home the day of your surgery. Our use of multimodal analgesia (a combination of medications given before and after surgery) combined with our gentle and precise approach, means women can often return to most normal activities within a few days, though we often recommend you plan for one week off from work. This provides adequate time to rest and heal during this initial period.

How can I prepare for recovery?

Having the support of your family and friends throughout your recovery is so important. Make sure you arrange to have someone accompany you on the day of surgery to drive you home, and someone to help you around the house in your first few days of recovery.

What can I expect immediately following surgery?

Pain, bruising and mild swelling are normal and expected. We recommend avoiding the use of your arms and chest immediately following surgery, so wear loose-fitting clothing that does not need to be pulled over your head. We’ll also provide you with a fitted recovery bra that you will wear at all times for approximately four weeks, to reduce swelling and maintain the shape of the breasts.

Throughout your recovery, you should sleep on your back to avoid putting pressure on your breasts, and avoid getting your dressings wet until you see us for your first postoperative visit a few days after surgery.

Will I be in pain?

Patients typically experience some pain and discomfort for a few days after surgery. While you will be sore, the pain should not be enough to prevent you from going about most of your regular daily activities. We will discuss pain management options with you and explain how to care for your surgical incisions to ensure optimal recovery and comfort.

What can I do to ensure a speedy recovery?

The most important thing you can do to ensure a speedy, comfortable recovery is follow the pre- and postoperative instructions provided. Be sure to schedule and attend your regular follow-up appointments, and properly care for your incisions, as instructed. Lastly, you should take all medications and antibiotics as prescribed.

When can I go back to work?

Unless your job involves heavy lifting or vigorous physical activity, you can normally return to work a few days to one week after your surgery.

When can I start exercising again?

In the weeks following your surgery, we will gradually guide you in getting back to your favourite activities, including exercise. Most patients are able to resume low-impact physical activities after 2-3 weeks, but it is recommended that you avoid upper body exercises and vigorous physical activities such as heavy lifting, running, jogging, or swimming for 4-6 weeks after surgery.

When will I see my final results?

The swelling that is present after surgery is only temporary and should resolve within a few weeks. You should keep in mind that your implants may take several months to settle into a more natural position, at which point your final results will be visible.

If you have any additional questions about breast augmentation recovery, we invite you to schedule a surgical consultation with us at Toronto Plastic Surgery today.

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Educating the Primary Care Physician on Breast Reconstruction

Drs. Brown and Somogyi recently had their research published as the cover article for the “Canadian Family Physician” journal.

Summary of the paper: The primary care physician represents an integral part of the health care team. Many breast cancer patients will seek the advice of their family physician before undergoing breast cancer treatment. Educating these first line physicians is essential in ensuring that breast cancer patients are able to make educated, informed decisions about their treatment and reconstruction. This paper reviews modern options for reconstruction and provides a comprehensive overview of indications, potential complications, expected recovery and outcomes.

It has been chosen by several educational societies as a “must read” for primary care physicians.

If we can teach the 1st line primary care physicians about all the excellent options available to women today, we hope that more and more women will have the opportunity to have immediate breast reconstruction. This article was written for just this purpose.

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