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Are You Ready for Your Plastic Surgery Journey?

Young and healthy woman in plastic surgeryOver the years, plastic surgery has become far more of an "accepted" thing than ever before. These procedures are no longer reserved for the select few. Now, both men and women are benefitting from cosmetic enhancements, whether it be breast augmentation, tummy tuck surgery, liposuction, facelift surgery, or a combination. While the increased accessibility of plastic surgery is a good thing, the popularity and perceived ease of it can sometimes make you forget that plastic surgery is still a significant commitment—one that requires both physical and mental preparation.

The Physical Side

Ensuring that you are physically prepared for surgery will significantly improve both your recovery and the quality of results. Any procedure you undergo will require you to be in good general health and at a stable weight. During your consultation, Dr. Austin will provide you with recommendations on how to prepare for the big day. Some of these will be requirements, such as quitting all tobacco use (since this increases the chance of complications both during surgery as well as during recovery). Other recommendations include when to stop using medication, what types of foods you should have both before and after surgery, and the importance of staying hydrated. It is vital that you listen and follow these recommendations so that you can ensure optimal results.

The Mental Side

Although this can often be overlooked, being mentally prepared for surgery is just as important as being physically prepared. It's important to understand why you desire surgery before you make the final decision. Are you making this choice for you? Or do you want to please someone else? Or do you only want to fit into what you think the "social norm" is? By asking yourself questions beforehand, you will be prepared to handle the mental side of your recovery. Even though recovery seems as though it would be limited to only the physical side, your emotional state plays a huge factor in the speed and ease of your recovery. The more optimistic you remain, the more confident you are in your decision, and this confidence will speed along the process and help with any discomfort you might have. Recovery will no doubt include at least some physical pain; however, if you remember and focus on the reasons why you have chosen to do this and the results that you are going to get out of it, then you'll make it through your recovery with flying colors.

For more information about plastic surgery or procedures offered, contact Dr. Austin today at (503) 561-7000.

 

 

When Are You Ready for Reconstruction?

"Cancer" is one of the most devastating words that any person can hear, and for women diagnosed with breast cancer, the news can have different implications. Not only is there a significant threat to a woman’s health and life, but there is a high chance that the appearance of a woman’s breasts will be drastically altered. For many women undergoing breast cancer treatment, mastectomy or lumpectomy, is the only way to ensure their health and safety, which is the number one priority. The emotional feeling of having to undergo that kind of procedure, however, is something that may never fully be remedied. Fortunately, cosmetic enhancements can help women. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy or lumpectomy may help women regain their pre-cancer look. When finding yourself in this situation, you may begin to wonder how long after the initial surgery and treatment you should wait until undergoing breast reconstruction. Although there is no definite timeline, there are some things to keep in mind.

gorgeous middle aged woman in autumn park

Are You Scheduled to Have Additional Treatments?

Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy is performed either in an immediate or delayed fashion. Immediate reconstruction means that your breast reconstruction will be performed at the same time as your mastectomy or lumpectomy. By working together, your surgical oncologist and your plastic surgeon accomplish this task during the same procedure. There are many benefits to immediate reconstruction. The first is that you are able to begin the reconstructive process during the same session as your mastectomy, and you will only have to recover from one anesthetic. The other advantage is that by the time you awaken, you have already started the reconstructive, healing phase. Unfortunately, just as there are pros to this timing, there are also cons. Immediate reconstruction is not appropriate for all patients. Patients that are still expected to have further chemotherapy or radiation treatments may not be candidates for immediate reconstruction. You will need to discuss these options with your plastic surgeon. For this reason, waiting for reconstruction may be a better option for some women.

Delayed reconstruction is the other option. Delayed reconstruction means that you have finished all of your cancer treatments before starting the reconstruction process. The delayed procedure may begin six months to one year after your mastectomy or lumpectomy, or you can choose to postpone reconstruction even longer. The benefit of delayed reconstruction is that you know for sure that your treatment will not affect your reconstructed breasts.

Are You Emotionally Ready?

The course of your treatment can take your emotions on a rollercoaster of sorts. Being emotionally prepared for breast reconstruction is just as important as being physically prepared. Are you ready to begin this reconstructive journey? For some women, the time to do this is immediately after the initial procedure, and for others, it may be years down the line. There is no "right" time to undergo breast reconstruction, technically speaking; there is only the right time for you.

To get more information about breast reconstruction, contact Dr. Austin today at 503-561-7000.

 

 

July Special!

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Body Contouring That's Not Just for the Belly

Body correction with the help of plastic surgeryThe term "body contouring" is often only used in reference to the abdominal area; however, any person who has looked at themselves in the mirror knows that there is far more to their physique than just their stomachs. Body contouring procedures can go beyond tummy tuck surgery and liposuction in the abdomen and can be applied to any of your "trouble spots," such as the thighs, arms, hips, back, and neck.

Combining Procedures for a Full Body Transformation

While having a firm and contoured midsection is ideal, it won't mean as much if the rest of your body isn't in balance. While it is easy to assume that only addressing one or two areas of the body will completely transform your appearance, that may not happen if correcting one area puts the rest of your body out of proportion. In reality, it is the complete harmony of your features that creates a physique you will be proud to show off. Body contouring often includes a combination of procedures that aim to target all of those difficult-to-tone areas.

Thigh Lift

Many women and men know the frustration that comes with trying to tone their thighs. Unfortunately for some, even the repetition of squats, lunges, and hours on the treadmill are not enough to firm and sculpt the legs. For those who have had enough, thigh lift surgery removes excess skin and tissue and can be combined with liposuction of the thighs to create slimmer and more contoured legs.

Arm Lift

Arms are one of the toughest areas to tone as you age, and the appearance of flabby arms can be emotionally frustrating since the arms are difficult to hide, especially in the summer months. Arm lift surgery can help to reverse the appearance that age, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations have caused; this procedure can also remove the excess hanging and "flabby" skin and tissue in the arms. Arm lift surgery will allow you to wear any clothing you wish with increased confidence in the shape of your arms.

Body Lift

A body lift can be beneficial for men and women who have experienced significant weight loss. With weight loss comes the presence of excess skin that can't bounce back. This procedure removes excess skin from the torso, hips, lower back, and upper legs. Additionally, a body lift can be combined with liposuction to create a toned physique.

Neck Lift

While a small area, the neck plays a significant role in your overall presentation. Age and years in the sun create sagging skin that results in vertical banding on the neck. This excess skin can age your appearance and make you feel out of balance. A neck lift surgery removes excess skin and fat on the neck, the jowls, and under the chin to leave you looking and feeling youthful and rejuvenated.

For more information on any of these body contouring procedures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Austin today by calling 503.561.7000 or filling out our online contact form.

 

Youthful Skin Starts From Within!

bright closeup portrait picture of beautiful womanFrom creams to lasers to injectables, there is no shortage of treatments that offer results of youthful and healthy skin. However, while many of these treatments provide desirable results, many of them only offer surface-level results, which may not be what you are genuinely interested in. To truly treat the underlying causes of wrinkles and fine lines and to provide full facial rejuvenation, your treatment needs to go deeper. A large portion of your visible aging is due to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in your skin, so why not find a treatment that stimulates collagen and reverses those signs of aging? Dr. Austin and his team are proud to offer Sculptra® Aesthetic as a treatment option for facial wrinkling and facial volume loss.

What Is Sculptra® Aesthetic?

Sculptra® Aesthetic is an injectable that treats the signs of aging by working deep within the dermis to stimulate the production of collagen. Collagen is a vital fibrous protein found in our connective tissues, which provides the strength and flexibility of our skin. Unfortunately, collagen production lessens with each year that we age, and this leads to thinner and drier skin that is more prone to wrinkling.

By stimulating collagen production, even after the substance is absorbed into your body, your body's natural collagen will take over and fill the spaces that Sculptra® Aesthetic once filled. Sculptra® Aesthetic treats the skin from the inside out, leaving you looking young and feeling rejuvenated.

With no downtime, Sculptra® Aesthetic can lessen and reverse the signs of aging to the nasolabial folds (the parentheses-like wrinkles that run from the corners of the nose to the outsides of the lips), marionette lines, and chin wrinkles. Additionally, results can last up to two years. And since the goal of Sculptra® Aesthetic is to rebuild and restore collagen, results last longer than many other injectable fillers.

Why Choose Sculptra® Aesthetic?

Dr. Austin understands the importance of treating the underlying causes of facial aging, such as wrinkles and facial volume loss. While beauty may only be on the surface, the building blocks of healthy skin go much deeper, and Sculptra® Aesthetic allows you to achieve the youthful and natural-looking results you desire.

It is very important to that you choose an experienced injector. Our practice was the first in Salem, OR, to provide Sculptra® Aesthetic. Nurse Practitioner R. Jessie Edwards, RN, MN, FNP- BC, has had extensive training in Sculptra® injections by leading plastic surgeons in the industry. She has been treating patients since 2007 and performing Sculptra® injections since 2015 with impressive results. To schedule an appointment, please call 503-561-7000.

 

When BOTOX® Cosmetic and Facial Fillers Aren’t Enough

Comparison of young and oldBOTOX® Cosmetic and facial fillers seem to be the gold standard in fast and easy ways to eliminate the wrinkles and fine lines that make us look and feel older. These are the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures for a good reason: they show results. However, there may come a time when even the power of fillers isn’t enough to rid you of the effects of aging and sun damage. While BOTOX® Cosmetic and facial fillers provide wonderful touch-up results, which for some is all they require, no injection can match the results offered through surgery.

How Will I Know if I Need Surgery?

BOTOX® Cosmetic and facial fillers such as JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® are designed to target signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, and minimal volume loss. These injections can provide natural results with little to no downtime; however, they are only temporary solutions to a non-temporary problem. Unlike long-lasting surgery, fillers are only designed for minimal changes and improvements. Deep lines, sagging skin, puffy bags around the eyes, and jowls are all common signs of aging that BOTOX® Cosmetic and facial fillers cannot address the way their surgical counterparts can.

What Type of Surgery Would Be Best for Me?

Limited-Incision Facelift

The limited-incision facelift procedure surgically removes excess skin while tightening the underlying fat and muscle, leaving you with a younger, refreshed look. The limited-incision facelift targets the lower area of the face, including the jowl area. While the recovery time of a limited-incision facelift is greater than that of facial fillers, it is shorter than a more extensive traditional facelift. Patients can experience noticeable tightening, lifting, and rejuvenation of the face that will last for years.

Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty targets both the upper and lower eyelids (areas that fillers cannot address). Eyelid surgery can take years off of your appearance by removing the sagging skin and fat on the upper eyelids and the puffy bags below your eyes that may interfere with your expressions and vision. Since the skin around the eyes is among the thinnest on the body, it is the first to show the visible signs of aging. Blepharoplasty can open your eyes and reveal a youthful, rejuvenated appearance.

 

10 Things to Know About Tummy Tuck Recovery

A tummy tuck is designed to reduce unwanted sagging skin to look and feel better with the shape of your body. Tummy tuck surgery can restore the confidence of people after weight loss or pregnancy—the two most common reasons people develop excess skin. While choosing a qualified surgeon is necessary for achieving amazing results, your recovery will play an important part in creating your final results. These are 10 things you should know about your tummy tuck recovery.

1. You may not feel great because of the anesthesia…

Most patients require general anesthesia for their surgery. The side effects of anesthesia can be grogginess, nausea, lightheadedness, and dry mouth. It is normal to not feel great within the first 24 to 48 of your surgery. Not only is your body trying to heal itself, but it is also attempting to shake off the remaining anesthesia in your body.

2. It’s not easy to walk up stairs...

We recommend creating a resting area on the bottom floor of your house if your bedroom is upstairs. Most people lie on the couch or in a recliner. However, while it may be uncomfortable to walk initially, moving every couple of hours will help prevent blood clots and actually help you feel better.

3. You should wear a compression garment…

A special compression garment or abdominal binder will be recommended by your surgeon, and you should wear it throughout the entirety of your recovery. The compression garment helps minimize excess swelling and promotes tissue contraction. It aids in creating the final body shape you desire.

4. You need to properly care for your incisions…

Proper incision care is important to prevent infection and reduce the appearance of possible scarring. Your surgeon will provide detailed care instructions about when and how you should care for your incisions.

5. You will have a schedule of medications to take…

You will be prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxants, and possibly antibiotics to take following your surgery. These should be taken on a strict schedule outlined by your doctor to ensure that you take them before you feel any pain and because it prevents you from taking too much pain medication.

6. You can bathe 48 hours after your surgery...

You cannot shower right away when you get home because of your bandages and incisions. While the recommendation varies among surgeons, you should be able to bathe 48 hours after your surgery. However, you shouldn’t take a bath or swim until your incisions are fully healed, which happens at four to six weeks.

7. You’ll take time off work…

You should properly plan for tummy tuck surgery, which includes taking time off from work or school. We typically suggest taking two to three weeks off from work, depending on the level of physical activity associated with it, but talk with your surgeon about what he recommends.

8. You cannot exercise for three weeks…

While you should get up and walk around within the first several hours of your surgery, you need to avoid any strenuous movements and heavy lifting for at least three to four weeks. Your body is healing, and you don’t want to affect the integrity of your incisions. Your surgeon will recommend when you can resume your exercise routine during a follow-up visit.

9. Your follow-up appointment with your surgeon is important...

Don’t forget to go to your follow-up appointments. You will have several appointments spaced out throughout your recovery. Your follow-up care is important to answer any questions you may have and to ensure your incisions are healing properly and your results are developing the way they should.

10. Don’t judge your results until you are healed...

People are prone to judging the quality of their results while they are still healing. You will experience bruising and swelling initially, which impacts the quality of your results. It’s important that you don’t base how happy you are on what you see right away, but rather wait until all swelling has subsided, which can be several months after your surgery.

 

Breast Augmentation Recovery

Graphic Design for Breast Augmentation Recovery

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If you are considering a breast augmentation, planning ahead for your recovery can help ensure that the process goes smoothly. The first few hours of your recovery will take place in our surgical center as you wake up from the general anesthesia. Your surgeon will have already supplied you with detailed care instructions and a prescription for all of the medications (pain management and antibiotics) you will take for several days. You will need someone to drive you home and care for you during the first 24 hours of your recovery.

Once home, you should rest for two to three days. You will feel tired from the anesthesia and pain medication. It is important to stay hydrated and to supply your body with adequate nutrients so you heal properly. Clean your incisions per your surgeon’s instructions. The following is the timeline you can expect for your recovery.

*For more information on breast augmentation surgery, you can call 503.561.7000 to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Austin.

 

How Is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

Portrait Of Beautiful Sexy Woman With Closed Eyes And Black Surgical Lines On Skin.The eyes are the most telling things on your face, and as the adage goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul. However, as the skin on the eyelids is among the thinnest and most delicate on our bodies, the eyes are often the first area to be affected by the aging process. Time, heredity, lifestyle choices, and skin type all have an effect on your eyes. Damage to this skin not only makes you look older than you feel, but it can also affect your eye’s ability to accurately convey emotion since heavy eyelids often make one look fatigued and upset. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is the surgical process of removing excess skin and fat deposits around the eyes, leaving you looking refreshed and more awake.

The Procedure

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Upper eyelid surgery aims to refresh your look by removing drooping and sagging excess skin from above the eyes. Excess skin and fat deposits in this area not only contribute to showing distortions of your real emotions but can also play a part in impairing your vision. Upper blepharoplasty uses local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia may be used. An incision is made along the natural fold of your upper eyelid, and the underlying muscles and tissues are tightened. Excess fat deposits are then removed or repositioned before the incision is closed with sutures. If you have excess skin, it will be trimmed and removed before closing the incision. Because the incision is made within the natural creases of the eye, the scar will be hidden in the folds and can be covered with makeup. Scars will fade over time.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

Lower eyelid surgery is designed to remove excess skin and fat deposits that sit beneath the eye and contribute to a tired, puffy look. This technique is performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. An incision will be made along the lower lash line. Fat deposits and excess skin will be removed before the incision is closed with sutures, tissue glue, or surgical tape.

Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty

Transconjunctival blepharoplasty focuses on removing or repositioning excess fat deposits in the lower eyelids and is not for patients who have excess lower eyelid skin. Whereas traditional lower eyelid surgery (also known as transcutaneous blepharoplasty) removes both excess skin and fat deposits through an incision along the lash line, transconjunctival blepharoplasty uses an incision on the inside of the the lower eyelid to address fat deposits. Since the incision is made on the inside of the eyelid, there will be no visible scar.

Recovery

Regardless of whether you have upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, or both, you will be sore in the days following your procedure. Cold compresses and pain medication will be provided to make you comfortable. While you can return to work within a few days, it is recommended to take it very easy (no heavy lifting or exercise) and protect your eyes from bright lights for at least two weeks. While recovery is never fun, once you get through it, you will be able to enjoy your more youthful and alert eyes.

 

Having a Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss

If you have been on a weight loss journey, there’s one negative side effect that you may already be aware of—excess skin. While losing weight is about becoming healthy and transforming your lifestyle, you probably want to look amazing at the end of it. It’s no secret that many people live with excess skin following their weight loss. While you may be living a lifestyle that helps you feel great, these redundant folds of skin can keep from achieving the body contour you desire. No need to worry; tummy tuck surgery is the answer you’re looking for.

Why Did I Develop Excess Skin?

Our skin is made of elastin fibers, which are designed to stretch and still regain its shape. However, when a person is overweight, the skin stretches for too long or past a point where it can easily return to its original appearance. While genetics play a role in the amount of skin you develop, almost everyone who undergoes major weight loss will have some degree of excess skin.

Tummy Tuck Before and After by Dr. Austin

Can You Prevent Excess Skin During Weight Loss?

Some people will try to tell you that losing weight slowly and drinking water are the keys to preventing excess skin development. This may be true for people losing mild to moderate amounts of weight. The fact is, there is no way to avoid the excess skin when you lose a significant number of pounds. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed by the skin and shouldn’t think you did anything wrong. It’s simply an unfortunate byproduct of becoming healthier.

How Do I Treat Excess Skin Following My Weight Loss?

Luckily, you don’t need to live with those folds of excess skin. Unwanted abdominal tissue is the most common issue weight loss patients deal with. Tummy tuck surgery effectively removes excess skin from the abdomen. If needed, an extended variation of a tummy tuck can be performed, which treats the hips and lower back as well. With a tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon can contour your abdominal appearance, helping to enhance and refine your physique.

Additional Body Contouring

It’s common to have excess skin in areas other than the abdomen. A consultation with a plastic surgeon will help you determine which set of body contouring procedures you need to achieve the body contour you desire. Some of those procedures include:

 

Meet Dr. Austin

Originally from California, Dr. Austin practiced in Mt. Vernon, Washington before relocating to Salem, Oregon in 1996. He was educated at Stanford University and UCLA School of Medicine, and received his residency training at the University of Washington, Seattle, and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Austin’s practice encompasses a broad range of aesthetic cosmetic surgery, as well as reconstructive surgery following cancer surgery, trauma, and congenital anomalies.

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