Tag Archives: personal experience

Non-Surgical Butt Augmentations with Sculptra

5 Jul

How To Get A Bigger Butt

Over the past 10 years the number of legitimate  butt implants has increased over 140% according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  The number of fat grafting buttock lifts (Brazilian Butt Lift) is climbing at similar rate to implants.  Again, the Kardashian's influence over society.  

On the one hand, they really have opened the medical aesthetic market and probably saved it from collapse (there's an implant joke in here somewhere).  They do offer a lot of information to the public (although they manipulate the information they give so always remember–unless you are talking to an ACTUAL expert, information about plastic surgery, injectables, or skincare has no validity or reliability!)  They are however… idiots, for lack of a better word and are grossly miseducating the public on procedures. I'm not sure if I owe them royalties or not, but hopefully people who are planning on booking appointments in my office will have a better understanding of the procedures I offer.

There are 3 legal, safe, FDA-approved options to achieve that "Brazilian Butt Lift" (I mean BESIDES squats all day long).  


Butt Implants

Personally, I don't find this route to be the most aesthetically pleasing, and only know ONE person who has had a butt implant and been extremely happy and had no complications with this procedure (and this particular person does not have the most natural looking result, but they are happy with it!).  There can be extreme complications with putting a silicone implant in an area that is either in motion or bearing large amounts of weight (or both). Recovery is extreme and painful, and should there be a complication (this surgery has a very high infection rate) you're looking at up to 6 months out of work.   Even with a smooth procedure, long term complications such as the development of infection and shifting of the implant are possible.  

Surgical Butt Implants should be performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Implants can be different sizes, shapes, and put in different places to achieve the aesthetic outcome the patient is looking for.  Be sure to discuss your expectations for projection, size, and proportion to other areas of your body (like hips!).  




Fat Transfer

In order to transfer fat, you must HAVE fat to transfer.  Plan on needing to be 10-20 lbs over the appropriate weight for your body prior to transfer (your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will tell you exactly what you need to weigh for the treatment). This is a hard concept for a lot of my clients to understand. You have to actually be able to grab the fat away from the vital organs that it protects. Skin is not fat. It can be just as hard for some people to gain weight as it is for others to loose it. If you have a hard time gaining weight, a fat transfer may be a waste of money for you.  

Immediately post transfer, expect a dramatic result, but do not expect that as the final result. Remember, not all the fat will graft, and there is a signfiant amount of swelling post transfer. It is important not to overfill the buttocks when doing a transfer, even though you might think you should to get more fat to graft. The increased pressure from overfilled, stretched skin may actually cause the fat to die. Recovery time is minimal, and you should follow any post-treatment instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon.  

I do think this is a great option (I personally do not do ANY surgical procedures in my office, but have seen MANY excellent fat transfers–I especially see great results for Brazilian Butt-Lifts in Miami! If this is something that interests you, I'm happy to pass along a great board-certified MD–the experience of the Dr. matters! Do not do this procedure with a general surgeon! 

Non-Surgical Options 

This is what I have to offer to the mix. I have been injecting Sculptra for it's intended FDA-approved use for about 8 years, and over the past 2 years, I've been doing TONS of it. I've always found it to be one of the best investments anyone can make in their skin, but it the hardest treatment to explain in terms of investment value. Sculptra is not immediate, it takes multiple vials, and multiple treatments which correlate to the amount of collagen loss the patient had to start, and what their expectations are. Although it is a commitment of time and money upfront, it is much more cost effective and natural looking than fillers. My mother has had sculptra treatments, and personally I would love to be injected with sculptra (I can't inject myself). If you are a yoga person or a runner, sculptra is FOR YOU!

Anyways, back to butts…

Sculptra Aesthetic is made with biocompatible, biodegradable, synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid, which is gradually and naturally absorbed by the body and helps to rebuild lost collagen through a series of treatments. The specialist injects treatment within the deep dermis, where strands of collagen support your skin’s structure. For significant volume increase, a session of sculptra for the buttocks is 6-10vials, and 2-3 treatments 6-8weeks apart are required. The low-end cost for one treatment is about $6,000 and can be up to $12,000 PER TREATMENT.  


This procudure is certainly not affordable to the average person, BUT this product doesn't need to be done singularly. For patients who have previously had a fat transfer, and need more defined sculpting done in certain areas, this can be a great adjunct treatment.  If there is a small area of indentation, assymetry, or concavity that bothers you, sculptra might be a cost-effective option.  

Combination Therapy For Butt Augmentation 

Sculptra should be discussed with anyone who is planning on undergoing a fat transfer prior to thier surgical appointment. Just like any other aesthetic investment, managing expectations are vital, and although the expectations of the treatment are explained and discussed during Informed Consent, the patient should also have an idea of what follow up treatments they may require and their cost.  

As of publication of this post, these are the ONLY safe, FDA-approved (but still considered off-label) procedures you should even CONSIDER undergoing. Yes, all of these options are expensive, but if you cut costs and receive something other than these 3 options, there is a high chance you will have severe complications such as necrosis (tissue death), limb loss, or even ACTUAL death.  But first you'll pay up in hospital fees, because complications of elective, non-FDA approved procedures–insurance will not be covering those costs.  PLEASE do not put anything in your body that isn't safe!  

How to Get Rid of Cellulite

Guess what!  A variation of this procedure gets rid of cellulite.  Treatments for cellulite have traditionally been disappointing for the consumer, but this treatment is awesome!  Stay tuned for more blog posts on sculptra for cellulite reduction!  

with BlogPad Pro


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Video Blogging… It Starts…

4 Nov

Here’s my first video blog!

Will it hurt?

24 Nov

Pain is such an abstract and obscure concept. You can’t really define it. It has so many dimensions. In the hospital, we assess pain on a scale of either facial expression charts or numerically from 0-10. Zero being no pain, and 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life. It is an individual experience; the numerical response to a stimulus can differ drastically from person to person. So, whether or not something will hurt is relative.

    Source: http://www.pamz.com

On a Scale of 0-10…

What’s the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced? First, a broken heart. That took a really long time to recover from… and I definitely still have scars! The second most painful thing I’ve ever endured is being in a car accident, which I also still have issues from. I’ve never gone through childbirth, never been divorced, still have both my parents, and never had a kidney stone. So my list has room to change. I’d like to point out that my list does not include Botox, Fillers, or my recent surgery. But that’s what this post is about. Do aesthetic procedures hurt as much as people think they will?

Beauty is Pain

We’ve all endured painful treatments in the name of beauty. Ever tweezed your eyebrows? Waxed your lip? Burned yourself with a curling iron? Stuck an eyelash wand in your eye? Walked more than a street block in stilettos? All painful, but relatable, every day examples of things women do in the name of beauty.

If you asked 100 women the same question, you’d get a 100 different answers. This is because women never have a “yes” or “no” answer. It’s always a story. So here’s a comparison story.

Q: How painful are stilettos?

A: Well, that depends.

  • How big are the stilettos
  • How long are you wearing them for
  • How far will you need to walk in them
  • Who makes them
  • How often do you wear stilettos
  • How often do you wear those particular stilettos (i.e. are they broken in)
  • What condition are your feet in (i.e. do you have any blisters)
  • What size are the stilettos vs. what size are your feet (i.e. does the shoe fit)
  • What are the road conditions for which you will be walking in them (i.e. changes in elevation)
  • What are the weather conditions for which you will be wearing them (i.e. rain or snow, inside or out)
  • Etc, ect, ect.

So, when you ask how badly something will hurt, there are many conditions which will change the outcome. It’s hard to explain the pain factor of beauty. The “Universal Pain Assessment Scale” does not really work when it comes to women and what they’re willing to endure. So… I decided to paint my own comparative scale. Because I love “Paint” (the computer program) and I love making stuff relatable.

The “LK Aesthetic Comparative Assessment Scale”

I’m not going to lie. This took me a long time to create, and it’s pretty scientific (although has no reliability or validity, it is merely my projections). This is how it works. Each treatment is rated in 3 dimensions on a scale of 1-5. Then those 3 numbers are added.

Chemical Peels

Laser Hair Removal


Laser on the Face



Eyeliner Tattoo


Botox


Fillers


Some fillers hurt more than others. The worst is the lips. I used that for the pain scale, but other areas hurt much less.

Tear Troughs    2

Cheeks        2

Marionette Lines    3

Naso-Labial Folds    3

Plastic Surgery

In all fairness… I think surgeries could be subcategorized. I heard liposuction isn’t really that bad. I guess it depends how well you are medicated too. Pain is relative.

I Hope this gave some perspective! Remember, this scale holds no scientific basis.

XOXO. LK.

Getting Implants– Entry 1

7 Sep

**Dr. Russo will be offering 25% off his surgical fee during the month of October 2012 when you mention my blog! Call now and talk to Lauren! 617-964-1440**

I’ve been working in Plastic Surgery for a few years, and I’ve never been under the knife. I finally made the decision to book a breast augmentation. This is my experience, from a patient point of view.

August 27, 2012

I guess I would consider this day an emotional roller coaster! I had just finished a brachioplasty with Dr. Russo (as a surgical nurse) when I was called into his office. Long story short, surgery is booked for October 18.

My first reaction was obviously excitement. There may have been a point where I was jumping up and down… and clapping.

Of course, on this day, my mother was meeting my new boyfriend for the first time. Do I tell her? Do I tell my dad? Do I tell my boyfriend’s parents who have probably already read about it on facebook? Honestly, I’ve actually never questioned telling anybody anything I do (although, in hindsight I’ve questioned whether or not it was always appropriate); it was a really odd feeling! I figure, I’m a terrible liar, so I might as well just say it like it is:

“Mom, I’m getting a boob job.”

Things don’t really faze my mother at this point. There was a moment of déjà vu back to the night before my 18th birthday, when I told her I was getting a tattoo.

“How big?” she asked.

“Proportional” I answered. (I gave the wrong answer when I was 18, and I am fortunately not the owner of a GINORMOUS back tattoo, THANK GOD for my mother telling me to make it small!).

“It’s your body, whatever makes you happy.” Aw, mom!

It’s Your Body

Making the decision to undergo plastic surgery should never be anyone’s decision but your own. It should never be for a guy or under peer pressure of a friend. It is a major decision, and as with any surgery, it has risks. I’ve wanted to do this for years, but either I haven’t had the time or I haven’t had the money!

I want to be more proportional. I want my clothes to look good on (or off). And I don’t want to dread bathing suit season!

My reasons for doing this are healthy, and I am very happy with my decision. It doesn’t hurt that Dr. Russo is known for doing great boobs!

August 9,2012 – My Consultation

Choosing size, shape, and style

There are a lot of options to consider when deciding on implants! The first question many ask is: “how big?” expecting an answer in cup size, I guess. But implants don’t come in cup size. They come in cc’s (cubic centimeters). In order to determine the size, shape, and style of implants that are best suitable, there are several things to consider:

  • Symmetry of your breasts
  • The width of your breasts in proportion to the chest wall
  • The characteristics of your breast tissue – how much tissue do you have? How much stretch do you have in your breast tissue?
  • Your goals and expectations for surgery
  • The location of the incision and the implant placement

The Age Old Question: Saline vs. Silicone

Saline

Silicone

Contents

Filled with sterile salt water.

Filled with soft, elastic gel.

May be pre-filled to a predetermined size, or filled at the time of surgery to allow for minor modifications in implant size (good for asymmetrical breasts).

Pre-filled and may require a longer incision for implant placement.

Consistency

Amount of fill affects the shape, firmness, and feel.

Feels and moves like natural tissue.

Risks

scar tissue, breast pain, infection, changes in nipple sensation, implant leakage or rupture.

same as saline.

Rippling

More likely

Less likely

Cost

Less expensive

More expensive

I chose silicone, because it is more natural looking and feeling.

Under the Muscle or Over?


The implant is placed in a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue (right) or underneath the pectoral muscle which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.

I chose under the muscle.

Incisions, Incisions, Incisions?


An incision can be made either underneath the breast, just above the crease, around the lower edge of the areola or within the armpit.

One of the advantages of a saline-filled implant is that, because it is filled with saltwater after being inserted, only a small incision is needed. Often, an incision of less than one inch is made underneath the breast, just above the crease, where it is usually quite inconspicuous.

Another possible location for the incision is around the lower edge of the areola. A third alternative is to make a small incision within the armpit.

Once the incision is made, the surgeon creates a pocket into which the implant will be inserted, either under or over the muscle as previously discussed.

I let Dr. Russo decide this one! He decided to go under the breast, and said this is really the best way to insert a silicone implant.

Smooth or Textured

The surface of the implant can be smooth or contoured. The contoured implants have little bumps on them (like gripping). They are teeny tiny. It’s hard to describe and the pictured don’t really help. But anyways, this keeps the implant exactly where it is placed.


smooth, round

textured, round

I choose textured.

Round or Oval Base

The base of the implant (or the back I guess you would call it when it’s inserted) can come in round or oval.

round

oval base (see how it’s wider)

We are still deciding this one. Leaning towards oval base.

Projection

The amount the implant sticks can be determined by the base to width ratio of the implant.

High Profile Implants

Have more projection per measurement of base diameter than a moderate profile breast implant. An added benefit of the high profile breast augmentation is that in order to create the profile, the side wall of the implant has more height, which may reduce visible rippling. These high profile breast implants will provide more anterior projection (front projection).

Moderate Profile (regular / standard)

These are the standard, creating a ‘normal’ profile. With a full and rounded look, this moderate profile breast implant adds a significant amount of dimension and volume to a woman’s breast. This could create a wider chest appearance, which would benefit those with a narrow chest.

Low Profile Implants

These breast implants have less projection per measurement of base diameter than a moderate profile breast implant.


Example:

200cc High Profile Implant (top in picture) is 9.8cm wide and 9.8cm tall. The projection is 4.9cm

210cc Moderate Profile Implant (bottom in picture) is 10cm wide and 11cm tall. The projection is 3.8cm.

Drawing not to scale. Sorry!

I chose moderate profile, again, because I want the most natural look.

Round or Contoured Implant Projection

Prior to Sientra’s new implant (more on Sientra below) the contoured implant eventually became more round due to the body’s muscle pulling on the silicone gel. The new “gummy bear” implant will keep it’s shape.

round shape

contoured

We are still discussing this as well, but we are probably going with contoured.

Breast Implant Manufacturers

Currently there are 3 companies that manufacture breast implants in the U.S. As of recent, a cohesive silicone gel implant manufactured by Sientra was approved by the FDA (after 8 years of clinical trials). I had heard of this hot new option in New Beauty Magazine (best magazine ever) a year or so ago. They have been nicknamed “gummy bear implants” because, like the candy, the implant has a rubbery consistency that holds its form well over time. This product is the most natural-looking breast shape, and lasts for many years.

The Sientra Implant has the lowest leak rate of all the implants currently approved. Even if the outer shell is ruptured, the silicone gel in the implant remains cohesive and doesn’t migrate to other parts of the body. (I would have tested this theory, but I’m not allowed to cut the implants in half at the office…)

The implant is the most natural looking. Because silicone gel is more cohesive, the risk of shell collapse producing a rippling effect seems to be lower. The implant is also fit to the person’s size and body type.

Less scar tissue
forms with this implant type. Capsular contracture is the medical term for scar tissue buildup and hardening around the implants – a condition that can be painful, and in severe cases, require surgery. The rate of scar tissue buildup appears to be much less with gummy bear implants.

I’ve basically been looking at breasts and reading about breast implants since the middle of August. (Is this what it feels like to think like a man?) Here are some sites I found interesting about Sientra’s new silicone implant (the second two are video’s).

http://www.sientra.com/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/gummy-bear-breast-implants-future-breast-augmentation-surgery/story?id=16370362#.UEiTF2Hh-pg

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/gummy-bear-breast-implants_n_1413122.html

My Consultation Sizing


Before

492cc Implant

Before

492cc Implant



Image Salicylic Flash Peel followed by Glycolic/Retinol Peel

2 Sep

‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!  Yes! My skin was starting to break out from some life stress and my lackadaisical summer fun on the Cape was coming to a close (i.e. I will be out of prolonged sun exposure). My typical home-care regimen includes retinol and a skin lightener, which allows me to peel without prepping, so I was ready for my first peel of the season! I needed it too!

Pre-Peel Protocol

Prepping Your Skin for a Peel is very important.  At least 30 days prior to your peel you should not tan or burn your skin. And tanning or burning your skin should be a habit you avoid, in general. Also, it is advised that you discontinue use of any retinoids, retinols, glycolics, or AHA’s at least 48-72 hours before your chemical peel or any resurfacing treatment.

Customizing My Peel

The treatment I received was an Image Salicylic Peel followed by an Image Glycolic/Retinol Peel. The Salicylic Peel is designed for patients with acne, oily, or acne prone skin (me!). Salicylic Acid works to slow down the sebaceous gland, thus slowing oil production that clogs the pores. The Glycolic Acid gently exfoliates the dead skin cells, which in turn increases cellular turnover. In this case, we are also using the Salicylic Acid to dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of my skin to therefore also allow the Glycolic/Retinol peel to penetrate my epidermis more evenly and allow for deeper penetration of the preceding peel, and therefore softer, smoother skin.

Anyone who has mature, dry, sensitive skin can have a peel, but some modifications would need to be made.

Step 1: Cleanse

My skin was cleansed with the Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser, which contains 12% Glycolic Acid. Glycolic Acid is excellent for exfoliating the skin, leaving it fresher and brighter looking! The Ageless Total Facial Cleanser has a great tingly feeling, so you KNOW it’s working! It is excellent for keeping pores clear and occasional breakouts to a minimum.



Step 2: I-PREP Degreasing Solution (Professional Only Product…btw)

The degreasing solution is applied with gauze to remove as much of the surface oils on the skin as possible. This will allow for the product to evenly and more effectively penetrate the different layers of the epidermis (that’s a fancy word for skin)!

Step 3: Salicylic Peel is Quickly Applied and Then Removed

(this technique is referred to as a “flash” peel)

It is important for a peel to penetrate the epidermis to have visible improvement in the condition of your skin.

The white spots on my face is called frosting. Achieving frosting is the goal with chemical peels. This is a reaction of the skin’s proteins with an acid in a low pH resulting in coagulation. The lower the pH, the more coagulation will result. The peel destroys the existing tissues in order for the body to heal and make new tissue.

Image Skincare’s chemical peels have a low pH (which means they are strong acids) and are therefore able to penetrate more deeply into the epidermis, and thus make more new tissues.


Step 4: Image Skincare Glycolic/Retinol I-Peel Applied and left on up to 5 minutes.

This peel from Image is in an Aloe Vera base, so this allows the peel to be massaged into the skin. The Image peels also contain other healing properties, besides aloe vera, like Vitamin C, skin lighteners, brighteners, antioxidants and peptides. So, the peels are actually healing your skin, as they peel it, giving you a healthier result, faster, because your skin is less traumatized by the peel!


Step 5: Peel is quickly removed with cool water.


This is what my skin looked like just after the peel was removed. You will notice my skin is a bit flushed or a little red, this is called erythema and is a normal, expected side effect from a peel. One of the amazing things that chemical peels do is stimulate blood flow and increase the rate of skin turnover, bringing newer cells to the surface more rapidly. This allows skin to begin to appear smoother, more hydrated, and more plump. Also, the increased blood flow brings more nutrients to the skin, therefore creating healthier skin!



Step 6: Ormedic Balancing Gel Masque


An ultra-gentle, organic cooling gel masque developed for compromised, inflamed or irritated skin. Organic Aloe Vera, Arnica Montana and licorice quickly help reduce redness and other signs of irritation while bringing sensitive skin into healthy balance. Also may used for highly reactive, rosacea or acneic skin types

Step 7: Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque


Gently exfoliates dead skin with enzymes and adds essential anti-oxidants and minerals to improve skin health.

After

This is what I looked like immediately after removing the masques, my skin is already less red and inflamed, and the healing and rejuvenating process has begun!

24 Hours Later
(no make-up)

The first 24 hours after having this peel your skin will feel tight and shedding may occur. The skin may appear darker, due to the exfoliation of dead skin cells that has melanin present. This will gently shed off.

Post-Peel Protocol

After this peel I used an Image Post Peel Kit, which contains the Ormedic Cleanser, Max Cream, Skin Balancing Serum, Ormedic Balancing Masque, and SPF. These products are used post peel because they are gentle, contain peptides needed to heal, melanocyte suppressants, and aloe for redness/irritation. It is especially important to use SPF and stay out of the sun post peel. Products containing retinol (only time I recommend NOT using retinol), glycolic acid, or alpha hydroxyl acid’s for about 5 days.

Thank you to Alexis Robertson, from Image Skin Care (www.Imageskincare.com). I am so lucky to have you in my life!

Xoxo, LK

***Guess what!!! I’m finally going under the knife and getting breast implants! You might think I don’t need it from my picture above, but I assure you… it’s all Victoria’s Secret! Of course, I’ll be blogging about my experience! My consult with Dr. Russo is Friday, Sept 7, so expect posts to start soon!



Why I Chose To Have an Eyelid Lift

28 Aug

A Note from Me:

The following is a note from a patient about their experience with blepharoplasty, or an eyelid lift. The patient has been a client and friend of mine for years, and had started doing Botox to lift her eyelids, although ultimately, she wanted surgery. Last February, Dr. Russo offered a special for free consults, and I encouraged my client to talk to him, just to get an idea of what the surgery was like, and when would be the best time for her to undergo this procedure. The patient decided to book surgery after her consultation.

I was able to assist in the procedure at the Newton Surgical Center location. Because the patient was also a friend of mine, we had previously arranged for me to take care of her post-op as well. The surgery itself was only about 2 hours start to finish. The patient stayed home for the next few days, but had very little pain or swelling. The best advice we can give: keep frozen peas in plastic baggies in the freezer and switch them out every 20-30 minutes. Ice decreases swelling, and the peas are light weight and mold to the shape of the eye. I knew there was some use for those things (I am not a fan of peas!).

I would like to thank this client for sharing her story!

(Do you like my shirt? I thought the eyes were appropriate for this post! Wow… I officially have started matching my outfits to my blog posts… maybe I’m becoming more like my mother (the kindergarten teacher) who has a festive turtleneck for every holiday of the year. I did match my diva weave to the Fourth of July this year…)

  • LK

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)


Blepharoplasty, or “Bleph,” is a surgical modification of the eyelid. Bleph’s are performed both for functional and cosmetic reasons. Cosmetically, the heavy, drooping eyelid gives the illusion of a tired appearance. The lower eyelid bleph is almost always done for cosmetic reasons, to improve the appearance of “bags” and puffiness. (In my experience, eyes are the most concerning feature for women in regards to aging.)

In severe cases, where vision is compromised, everyday tasks (such as driving) can be hazardous. An eyelid lift gives the patient a more awake, alert and youthful appearance and increases the field of vision.

Source: Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery


Whether one is looking to treat their upper lid, lower lid, or both, this procedure is generally the same.  Blepharoplasty is usually performed under local anesthesia in an office or hospital setting.  I’ve assisted Dr. Russo in many bleph’s at his office
(Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty).

A crescent shaped incision is made either in the upper eyelid fold or next to the lash line on the lower lid.  Excess skin and fat are removed and small, inconspicuous sutures are left behind.

    


After surgery is complete the eye area can bruise and swell.  Cold compresses (or peas!) can be applied gently to minimize these effects. Antibiotic ointment also needs to be applied for the first couple of days to prevent infection.  Patients will return to for a follow up a week after surgery monitor the healing progress and most return to work soon after that.  The incision lines will fade after approximately two months, but are barely visible.

A Note from a Patient:

I can remember as far back as 6th grade having heavy eyelids. I am almost – and I say almost – 60 years old. For the past 10 years or so, I found myself constantly raising

my eyebrows in hopes that it would raise my eyelids. It became just so natural for me to do that – hence – wrinkles. Can’t win!!

Then I met Laura. Here I am – Miss Deathly Scared of Needles – and I had no qualms about getting shot up with Botox. Instantly there was an amazing difference. She was able to raise my brows so that it took an edge off of my drooping.

As a couple of years went by, I just got to the point where it just wasn’t enough for me. Hey, I am approaching 60, how long am I going to wait to become 40 again. Laura talked to me about seeing Dr. Russo to get my eyes done. He was running a special time of the year sale and who doesn’t like a sale?? But seriously, I made the appointment and met Dr. Russo. I felt so comfortable with his approach and what he had to say.

Originally, I had only wanted to get my top lids done. I had been so focused on them for so long that I didn’t even think about underneath the eyes. Dr. Russo explained the full procedure to me (both top and bottom) and recommended I do both lids. He showed me the excess skin I had, and suggested once I did the tops, I would definitely want to do the bottoms (they were pretty saggy as well!). He said it didn’t make sense to do surgery twice. I was very happy with what he told me and made the appointment.

I was more excited than I was nervous on the day of my surgery AND lucky. I had my own private nurse. Laura picked me up and brought me in for the surgery. She actually stayed and watched the surgery for more of that unstoppable knowledge that she craves. I wasn’t totally knocked out, so I have very faint bits of hearing some things. Apparently, I wanted to get up and help Dr. Russo. How thoughtful of me!! When I was done, Laura took me home and took care of me (as much as I can remember). Thank goodness for peas, the best home remedy in the world.

My recovery was so fast. I didn’t have any problems at all. It was amazing. I chose to stay in the house for almost a week just because I am so vain and it forced me to stay home and work. From being so healthy and constant peas on my eyes, my lids started healing over the stitches so Dr. Russo took them out early. Four of my friends came over to see me one day to bring lunch. I think I was in the very purple stage. No one wanted to say anything. My cousin told me later that she was scared to death looking at me. I knew how bad I looked. Now they all can’t believe how amazing my eyes look. I absolutely love them. AND the funny thing is that with all the focus on the lids, the best thing I did was underneath the eye. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

***Interested in Blepharoplasty?

Dr. Russo is offering my blog readers free consultations* during the month of September!

This is a great opportunity to learn more if it is something you have been thinking about, and I encourage you to pick up the phone and Change Your Life!

Call 617-964-1440 and tell Lauren you are a Boston Beauty Blog reader or visit www.josepharussomd.com for more information!

*Free consultations are for blepharoplasty consults only. A $100 consult fee still applies for all other surgical consultations. Offer expires October 1, 2012.


Other patient experiences:

Why I Chose to Have a Tummy Tuck.

What Goes Where?

4 Aug

Prior to 2002, there was one type of facial filler: collagen. Many products have been developed over the past ten years which have caused collagen to become obsolete. There are now multiple categories of fillers, all made of different materials. The products in these subcategories have properties which make them better in treating some signs of aging than other areas or other products. Remember, fillers are different than Botox (it’s not all just Botox!). So what goes where?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA’s)

Synthetic forms of hyaluronic acid (a sugar that your body naturally produces) include products like Juvéderm, Perlene and Restylane. HA’s increase fullness and enhance the viscosity of the naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in your body. Although it may cost a little more, Juvéderm is currently the longest lasting product (in some cases lasts twice as long, and therefore is worth the extra $100 or so per syringe). I have performed over 200 Juvéderm procedures, and have personally been injected with this product many times!

*note: My face is just a model, I haven’ had all this work done I swear! I just love “Paint.”

  • Best for superficial lines (not very deep, not folds).
  • They are used in areas where “plumpness” is desired (like your lips!)
  • They can be used in cheek augmentation, vertical lip lines, and nasolabial folds, but might not be the best product. Cheeks and Nasolabial folds typically require a lot of filler, and cost-effectiveness wise, this isn’t the product. But if you just need to fix a little sagging, it can be used in the cheeks. If you want to overpay for deep nasolabial folds, then this product also can be placed in this area.
  • Vertical Lip Lines are usually superficial, which would make Juvéderm a good product, HOWEVER, if it is not placed right, the result is a monkey face.

Tips on Hyaluronic Acid

  • When I’m filling lines in the glabella, I always administer a dose of Botox to the area 2 weeks before injecting Juvéderm. This allows me to inject directly into the line; it is easier to aim at a stationary target! How do you know if you will need Botox and Fillers? If you have a line in between your brows at rest (a “1”, “11”, or “111”) and you pull that line apart with your fingers, do you still see a crease in the skin? If yes, you need both, if no, Botox is enough.
  • I always apply numbing cream 20 minutes before injections.
  • I never inject too close to the outer rim of the eye (distal orbital rim), it usually irregularities in the contour of the face.
  • Injecting into the tear trough is a very advanced procedure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this area over filled (which looks TERRIBLE). My recommendation: it is better to under-fill and book a follow-up. This area requires a minimal amount of product, and my personal policy is to allow a client to come back at no charge if they require a small amount more (within reason).

Particulated Fillers

These products, like Radiesse and ArteFill, contain synthetic beads or particles in different liquid carriers. They last longer than HA’s, because the body doesn’t break them down as fast. They are also thicker than HA’s, which means they satisfy a larger area of volume loss. These products are injected deeper in the layers of skin (never superficially like HA’s are). Why? Because they’re made out of beads in liquid… and in superficial skin that would make bumps! This means they NEVER get injected into the tear troughs or into the lips. EVER. For very, very deep glabellar crease, Radiesse can be used (but usually an HA is a better choice).

  • These products are for moderate to severe volume loss. As you age, facial skeletal changes, general tissue volume loss, and the effects of gravity flatten out your cheeks. If you look at the contour of my face on right side of my face (your left), you will see how round my cheek is. I think you can see in this picture that the apples of my cheeks are round as well. A lot of women will look in the mirror at their nasolabial folds and want to go straight for filling only those, but that doesn’t give the youthful round shape back to the face. On some people I like to do cheek augmentation with Radiesse as well as nasolabial folds. I always do cheeks before folds, because the cheek bone is the scaffolding for the lower face skin. When you change that, the depth of the NL fold will also change. Always top to bottom, never bottom to top, when it comes to your face fillers! **When you have extra weight on your face, you keep the roundness. Skinny people have really flat cheeks when they age. HA. Take that skinny people.
  • The marionette lines, prejowel, and oral commissure are usually treated as one area that needs to be fixed. They’re kind of like vector components of each other (for all you Geometry dorks out there, *brushes shoulder off*).
  • Again, skeletal changes that occur as you age cause your chin to recess and along with volume loss, change the angles of your jaw and chin. This is another area a lot of people overlook when spending that quality time in the mirror pulling at their face in the “this is what I would look like if I had a face-lift” pose. Even if you do have a traditional facelift, you aren’t doing anything about the volume loss. This contributes to the unnatural look of a face-lift.
  • Radiesse and Juvéderm can be used in conjunction to fix contour irregularities in the nose.

I hope that cleared up the two main classes of fillers. It’s a lot of information!!! The next post will be about Sculptra, which gets grouped in with fillers… but this is already too long! Lol.

xoxo SPRAY TAN – O – REXIC LK

Things You Never Would Think To Find In A Girl’s Bathroom

6 Jul

How I’ve gone from your typical teenage girl to … an aesthetic specialist (for lack of a better term).

I remember when I moved into my first apartment in college, and I asked my mom for a make-up table, because there were 4 of us with one bathroom. I used to wear a lot of make-up. Case in point:

Summer of 2004. My candy raver phase? I guess. Over tweezed eyebrows. Check. Spots on my shoulder from too much tanning beds (which is actually caused from a fungus for all you spotted tanners out there… GROSS). Check. Face make-up too light. Check. Choice in jewelry… no comment. Oh. And I have roots. I think I might have been going to see Roger Waters with my college boyfriend. Man, college is a time for mistakes!

Hey, I also found my college bathroom circa 2004. (I am the original facebook generation… back when you needed a .edu to join).

UMASS. That should explain anything off you might see in this picture. But as you can see. Small space for four people. And a cat.

Anyways. Normal bathroom. Right? Also, I’d just like to point out that I used to eat nothing but candy. But I always brushed my teeth. As evidenced by me brushing my teeth

So I’ve gone from this:

To this:

Well… now fast forward 8 years. I wear very basic make-up that takes me literally five minutes to do, but in return I have the weirdest stuff in my bathroom repertoire! Used for purposes I’m sure very few could guess! So here’s an insiders sneak peak to my bathroom. I hope you find this as ridiculous (and funny) as I do. Welcome to the bathroom of a high maintenance princess.

Shot 1:

I took this pic a few months ago and sent this to one of my co-workers. I thought it was absolutely comical that I had this stuff on my bathroom sink counter.

I believe the tweezers were for applying fake eyelashes. I learned to stop tweezing my own eyebrows. Please refer back to the college years if you are curious as to why.

I suppose pliers wouldn’t be a strange thing to have in the bathroom. I’m not sure what you would actually use them for or how to actually spell that word… but I use them to take out my hair extensions if they’ve gotten a little loose. Not normal.

Revitalash I use to grow my eyelashes longer and stronger for lash extensions… and because sometimes I ruin my lashes with the strip adhesives. Gotta have lovely lashes.

Shot 2:

My make-up bag. Fake Eyelashes. Behind that… Fake hair aka Diva Weava.  I wouldn’t be a Barbie Doll if I didn’t have Fake hair.  And my fav hair tool: my pink GHD

That is a legitimate paintbrush in the middle there.

Shot 3.

Shot 4: Stuff that is Usually on My Bathroom Counter

  1. Baby Powder: for my roots because I only wash my hair twice a week.
  2. Dry Shampoo: because sometimes baby powder isn’t my scene.
  3. QuickTan: Because sometimes you have to go from white to orange in 20 minutes or less.

What I’ve Done.

And then I also did a quick draw a few months ago (back when I was blonde) on all the stuff on my face that was changed. It was kind of shocking to me. I wasn’t going to post it… because there are always people out there that like to tear you down. But I guess I’m somewhat amused by it. And comfortable enough to say, bring on the controversy.

            

  1. Botox in my Glabella and Forehead
  2. Lip Augmentation  Pucker-Up, Princess – Damn Sexy Lips.
  3. Sculptra to my temples
  4. Cheek Augmentation
  5. Eyeliner tattoo
  6. Eyelash extensions
    Lovely Lashes!.
  7. Hair extensions
  8. I have juvederm under my eyes as well.

No Surgery Needed!

“Plastic surgery and breast implants are fine for people who want that,

if it makes them feel better about who they are. But, it makes these people,

actors especially, fantasy figures for a fantasy world.

Acting is about being real being honest.”
Kate Winslet

Dear Kate Winslet,

I appreciate your support for people to make their own choices on

Plastic Surgery. I assure you, I feel great about myself.

More confident than Superman. Oh wait. Is he real?

Or is that part of my delusional fantasy world?

Is that sarcasm? Or real honesty?

XOXO

LK

Like my Patriotic Red Extensions from July 4th? Happy Birthday America!

Thank you for giving me the freedom to be delusional and honest.

Prepping Your Skin for a Peel

28 Jun

It’s not exactly the best time of year to be doing chemical peels (or laser treatments) because most people want to be outside enjoying the sun. But I’ve been doing a lot of training with Alexis Robertson, the Massachusetts rep for Image Skin Care, and I just finished reading a book she gave me on Chemical Peeling. So I had to post something before I gave her back her book! Stay tuned for more posts on different types of Peels or start researching with   ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!.


ßAlexis is peeling Andrea Purcell, an excellent aesthetician in North Reading at Stephanie Cogliano on Main Street. Andrea is a candidate for a peel in the summer because she has prepped her skin, and she will not be in the sun. She is a trained professional.

Why Peel?

Chemical Peels are great ways to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, clear up acne, and fade hyperpigmentation. But before you have a peel there are a few things you should be using on your skin to prep it. This will ensure you get the best results from your peel. Ideally, these products should be started two to four weeks before a peel, depending on the state of your skin to start and the type of peel that you will be receiving.

Prepping is important for several reasons.

  • It will reduce wound healing time.
  • Allow for more uniform penetration of the peeling agent.
  • Decrease the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Enforce the concept of a maintenance regimen and determine which products your skin tolerates.
  • Establish compliance and eliminate inappropriate peel candidates.

So what products should you be using to prep your skin? Here’s a little guide.

Retinoic Acid

(ex. Retin A, Trenitoin) By now you should know how much I love retinol! The use of Retinoic Acid 2 weeks before a TCA peel will speed up re-epithelization of cells (which prevents infection). Since Retinoic Acid thins the top layer of dead skin cells (stratum corneum), it allows for better penetration of the peeling agent. Retinoic Acid has also been shown to have some skin lightening effects. It is also my FAVORITE skin care product.  More on Retinoic Acid (my fav!).

 

AHA’s

(ex. Glycolic acid) AHA products also thin the stratum corneum and allow better penetration of peeling agents. They also have been shown to have some skin lightening effects.

*My Favorite Product EVER is an AHA/RETINAL Blend:


MD Reconstructive Repair Crème. Hands down best product on the market.

Bleaching Agents

(ex. Hydroquinone, kojic acid) These products are not exactly bleaching your skin. They inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the production of melanin, making hyperpigmentation reactions less likely. Personally, I love kojic acid, it smells like Mexico. No, not the dirty part… the part that smells like Piña Coladas. We will from now on refer to this product as the Cancun of skin care. Minus the hangover.

Currently, there is some controversy over the use of hydroquinone. It should not be used for long periods of time, or on pigmentation that is caused by hormones (also known as melasma). Be careful with this ingredient. It’s used in a lot of medical product lines (like Obagi… which I’m not a fan of).

Sunblock

Get used to it. SPF BABY! Remember stick to physical blocks with Zinc.  It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block).

So why is it important to establish a baseline?

By starting on products prior to peeling, a baseline can be established as to what your skin normally tolerates when it’s not inflamed or irritated. Also it establishes some good habits, like the need to wear sunscreen. If you go in for a peel, and you don’t wear sunscreen, you are going to be in some serious trouble. The same goes with using Retinol products. But, it all honesty, we sometimes ignore home care instructions because we don’t understand why we are being told we need to do something. We need a consequence before we follow a rule. Well… I forgot sunscreen one time while using retinol. I won’t do that again. Caused my own little chemical peel. Not pretty.

Noncompliance is a HUGE problem in health care. And chemical peels can be dangerous if you’re not going to listen to post care instructions. If you can’t follow a few instructions before a peel, you certainly aren’t going to follow them after. This just proves to you and your skin person that you are not an eligible candidate for a peel. But if you CAN follow instructions, it gets you into a good regiment which you will need to continue post peel. Remember, your skin cells are constantly cycling, and therefore it is extremely important to ALWAYS be taking care of them.

This is not a one and done procedure (like liposuction is… lol.).

“Youth No Longer Wasted On the Young”


Love LK.

P.S. I am sticking to being brunette. But I’m keeping my twitter name as @Boston_Barbie. I will forever be a blonde (and a child) at heart. You can follow me and Alexis at @ImageSkinCareMA.

Why I Chose to Have a Tummy Tuck

10 Jun

The following was written by a patient who had undergone abdominoplasty. She is 40 years old, and had extreme weight loss resulting in extra skin. I think it’s also an important point to mention that she is recently divorced (which is stressful for anyone), and has been thinking about dating again (which is stressful for EVERYONE!). I am very thankful for her to share her story. There are tons of women who want to know more about this procedure.

Abdominoplasty

AKA “Tummy Tuck” is a surgical procedure used to make the abdomen more firm by removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. The wall is then stitched together making the abdomen more “tight” in appearance. This procedure is great for women who have had kids (they say you never can get your body back after children—”they” clearly haven’t heard of a good surgeon!) and for individuals who have lots of sagging, excess skin after major weight loss.


This procedure is sometimes also done in conjunction with liposuction of the abdomen. But not always. J

Why I chose to have a tummy tuck

I first considered getting a tummy tuck 2 years ago when I was going through a tough time in my life, thinking it might boost my spirits.  My weight had gone up and down for about 20 years and I had maintained a pretty substantial amount of weight for the latter part of those years.  I had just started to lose some weight due to stress and had talked casually to a surgeon about having it done.  He recommended I have a consult and that was as far as I got with it at the time.   

I thought I had made up my mind when I overheard a friend tell another friend that I was planning surgery for all the wrong reasons.  Something in me snapped and I decided against surgery.  I contacted a personal trainer and started on a plan to lose weight and get in shape.  It was not easy.  I had never been one to exercise and it took me a long time to start choosing the right foods.  The same patterns continued where I would lose some weight, but then put it back on.  I was getting frustrated and knew I had no one to blame but myself.  I continued to work out and eat better but I just couldn’t seem to move forward.

A few months ago I saw the same surgeon who told me I should have the tummy tuck.  He knew I had been working out and eating better and I didn’t look much different.  I took his advice this time and had a consult.  What I learned was that I had loose skin that was never going to get smaller with diet and exercise.  On the contrary, the more weight I lost the more loose skin I had.  It got to the point where I felt like it was both mentally and physically holding me back.  I decided to do the surgery.  The hardest part of my decision was telling my personal trainer.  I was afraid he would think I was taking the easy way out and I respect his opinion.  He was great!  He didn’t realize I was dealing with excess skin and he was very supportive.  He asked me a lot of thought provoking questions to verify that I was doing it for the right reasons and he gave me his blessing.  I thanked him and told him I would see him 6 weeks after surgery.

A week before surgery I had a pre-op where they took photos and went over my health history.  Other than the excess weight I was extremely healthy and a good candidate for surgery.  I was a little nervous, but mostly about the recovery.  I wasn’t nervous about the surgery, just about how I would feel afterward.

The morning of surgery I got up early and went to the hospital.  I was greeted by the wonderful nursing staff and then by my surgeon, Dr. Russo.  Lastly, I was introduced to my anesthesiologist, and that’s where it all becomes fuzzy.  The next thing I know I was waking up and the nurse said hello to me.  My response: Am I skinny now?  She laughed and told me I was.  I was in the recovery room for a short period of time and then two nurses wheeled me to my room.  My only discomfort at this point was bladder pressure (they adjusted my catheter and all was fine) and my back was sore.  Once I was able to adjust myself on the bed I had no discomfort. 

I opted to stay overnight in the hospital and I am glad that I did.  The nursing staff made sure I got meds on a regular schedule and I felt comfortable knowing I had round the clock care.  I had a few visitors who came and made sure I ate and that I was recovering well.  When the nurse came to give me pain meds I asked for Motrin instead.  I had zero pain, which was unexpected, so I didn’t feel the need to take narcotics.  I spent exactly 24 hours in my hospital bed and barely moved a muscle.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with movement so I decided to wait until the next day to move around.

The next morning the nursing staff asked me if I wanted to get out of bed and walk around.  I had them remove my catheter but told them I wanted to wait to get out of bed.  As soon as they left I got up on my own.  I don’t know why.  I think maybe I wanted to know I could do it on my own.  I walked to the bathroom and washed my face and brushed my teeth.  I walked back to the bed for a half hour and then got back up to get dressed in anticipation of going home.  Imagine the surprise the nurses experienced when thy came to check on me and I was dressed and ready to go!  No discomfort!  My only thought was to stay hunched so I wouldn’t compromise my stitches.

My friend, coincidentally a nurse, came to pick me up around noon.  They wheeled me in a wheelchair to the car and I very carefully climbed in.  I was tired but otherwise felt good.  The ride home was uneventful.  I got home and slowly walked upstairs to my bedroom, knowing I would be staying there for a few days while I recovered.  The doctor had told me to get up and walk around a little bit, but only as needed.  I had 2 drains that would let him know if I did too much activity.  I had another nurse friend stay with me the first night home but after that I felt like I could manage on my own.

I was a pretty good patient, or so I thought.  I felt great so I ended up walking around more than I was supposed to.  I washed my hair every day and fed my cats.  When I went for my post op appointment 6 days after surgery I got bad news.  My drains were pulling in too much fluid which meant I couldn’t have them removed.  I was put on bed rest and told to come back in 2 days.  Lesson learned.  I stayed in bed for the full 2 days, only getting up to go to the bathroom.  It worked.  I had my drains removed 2 days later and went back to work 3 days after that.  The removal of the drains was a source of anxiety for me but I barely felt them being removed. 

For 6 weeks I kept my activity to a minimum and followed all my surgeon’s instructions.  I asked the surgeon why I had such a great experience and he said it was probably because I was in shape from working out so much.  My recovery was not exactly typical.  I was a bit tired from the anesthesia but otherwise I felt pretty good.  Physically, I looked a bit out of proportion as I had a lot of swelling but over time everything evened out.  I am now 3 1/2 months post surgery and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  I am back to the gym and I am now focusing on other areas of my body that need attention.  It’s been a long road but a trip worth taking.


Before and After

(*these are not from the patient who wrote the article. I stole them from Dr. Russo’s website. http://www.josepharussomd.com/index.php?page=beforeafter&family=Abdominoplasty). Also, check out how hot those panties are!


Before


After

A Note from Me

Sometimes I wonder if people understand that not all plastic surgery is done by super vain and “plastic” looking people. There are many different types of people who undergo the knife each year for reconstructive purposes and to fix something that has affected their self image. Case studies are the best! You should always talk to people who have done the procedure before (unfortunately most people who are elated with results from plastic surgery aren’t usually telling the world their secrets) so here’s some advice from Joan Rivers, Do Whatever You Want, If It Makes You Happy. But First Take This Quiz..

On a serious note, surgery IS serious and if you’re  Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?. you should have the list of questions printed from the blog entry to ask your doctor.

I would also like to remind patients NOT to get out of bed without assistance post-procedures. If you are on narcotics (which you probably still have in your system post-op) you are more likely to fall. And then the nurses have to fill out paperwork and it’s REALLY time consuming. Also, if you ever stand up and you feel dizzy, do NOT look down. Those are my words of wisdom for today.

Thanks!

-LK


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