When Is the Right Time for a Facelift?

When Is the Right Time for a Facelift?

When you’re considering plastic surgery, it’s normal to look for easy answers. However, plastic surgery isn’t always so black and white. This can be especially so when you’re looking at your candidacy for your chosen procedure, and it might take a conversation with your plastic surgeon to determine what your options are and whether your chosen procedure will benefit you most. With a facelift procedure, each patient’s unique situation and goals are some of the most important ways to determine this, so here are some factors to consider as you plan your consultation.


It can seem tempting to look for a magic number when it comes to age and plastic surgery, but every patient ages differently, so this isn’t always the best indicator of whether you can benefit from a procedure. Most plastic surgeons would recommend against procedures on patients that are too young or too elderly, of course, but it’s more effective to objectively look at your signs of aging and assess whether they can benefit from tightening and lifting. As a general rule, a facelift can remove a decade off of your features, so you should take that into consideration when looking at your options.


This can be an important consideration for any plastic surgery procedure, but it’s always important to keep in mind. If you’re opting for surgery, you should be in a period of good health and able to recover from an invasive procedure. For this reason, it’s important to discuss any health conditions you might have with Dr. Carpenter so he can assess whether you might be putting yourself at risk. This can include whether you’ve recently undergone childbirth or nursing since some patients opt for a facelift as part of their mommy makeover procedure. If you’re immunocompromised, Dr. Carpenter might recommend you postpone your surgery.

Non-Surgical Options

Although facelift is one of the most effective facial rejuvenation options, it may not be for everyone. If you’re unable to undergo surgery or simply aren’t showing substantial signs of aging yet, you may benefit from exploring non-surgical options like fillers, neuromodulators, or skin treatments. Most patients that opt for a facelift have already undergone some non-surgical treatments before deciding that a facelift will benefit them most, so it’s worth consulting with our non-surgical experts to look at your options.

Whatever your goals for facial rejuvenation, Dr. Carpenter can professionally recommend the best treatment plan for you during a consultation at our Cumberland office. To schedule a private consultation, contact us by calling or filling out our online form.

Think You Can’t Breastfeed After Implants? Guess Again

There is a common misconception that women aren’t able to breastfeed after having breast augmentation surgery. However, this is not always the case. The ability to breastfeed after this type of procedure depends on many factors like the original state of the breasts prior to surgery and the techniques used during surgery. In most cases, women can still breastfeed after having breast augmentation surgery, but there are a few things to know.


Potential Problems of Breastfeeding After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Nipple sensitivity is one potential problem. After having your breasts enlarged, either with saline or silicone implants, you might find that your nipples are more or less sensitive than they use to be.

Exaggerated engorgement is another potential problem. After giving birth, you could experience breast engorgement, which means they are very tender and swollen. This often times results in chills, fever, and intense pain. This can obviously make you unfit to breastfeed during these complications.

The last and most common potential problem is the risk of decreased milk production. Although most mothers are still able to produce their own milk after having breast augmentation surgery, some experience a decrease in the amount that is produced. Thereby, you might not produce enough milk to adequately provide all of the nourishment your child requires naturally. You can speak with a lactation consultant and your pediatrician to discuss the best options for a feeding plan if this happens.

Is My Ability to Breastfeed Affected by the Type of Surgery?

The type of surgery can affect breastfeeding options. Generally, if your milk gland system is left intact, then your chances of breastfeeding increase. Generally, this means that your implant will be placed underneath the chest muscle and behind your milk glands. If you opt for incisions through your armpit or under the fold of your breast, you will most likely experience less difficulty in breastfeeding.

If you opt for incisions around the areolae, there is a higher risk of difficulty in breastfeeding, but this cannot be determined until after the surgery and the extent of the nerve damage is revealed. After all, nerves are what trigger the brain to release oxytocin and prolactin during breastfeeding, which are the two hormones responsible for milk production. If the nerves around the areolae are damaged or cut, you run a higher risk of having low milk production. However, this cannot be fully determined until you attempt to breastfeed.

Does silicone cause harm to the baby while breastfeeding?

Currently, there is no evidence that shows harmful side effects of silicone implants leaking into breast milk. After all, silicone is widely used in the environment, and it has even been used to help treat infants who are experiencing colic, or stomach gas. Saline-filled implants can be a better option if you want to avoid the chance or silicone ruptures.

Will the Shape or Size of My Breasts Affect Breastfeeding?

If you have insufficient glandular tissue, this can be a huge factor in milk production. It can cause a decrease in your overall milk production, meaning you might not produce enough to sustain your infant’s needs. If your breast augmentation surgery was due to having underdeveloped or hypoplastic breasts, you run the risk of producing less milk.

These types of breasts have a lack of normal fullness, seem swollen at the tip, and are very narrow. During pregnancy, these types of breasts grow very little if not at all, and they usually appear to be widely spaced before augmentation. If this is how you would have described your breasts prior to your surgery, then you have a higher risk of producing less milk. Your plastic surgeon can make sure you know what to expect during a consultation.

Schedule a Consultation

The most important step you can take in ensuring you can breastfeed successfully after your breast augmentation is speaking with your plastic surgeon about your options and hopes for nursing. To get started, contact our Allegany office by calling or filling out our online form.

The Mommy Makeover and You: What to Know

No matter where you look, it seems you’re bombarded with pictures of celebrities who look slim and trim even though they’ve given birth only a few months before. While it’s easy to be fooled by photo editing apps, many people, including A-listers, turn to plastic surgery to speed up the process. This plastic surgery procedure is known as the mommy makeover and includes a powerful combination of techniques to reshape and restore your post-baby body. Here’s what to know about it.

What is a Mommy Makeover?

Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding all contribute to the changes that happen to a woman’s body. When exercise and following a healthy diet don’t yield results, many moms consider a mommy makeover to achieve their goals. Because no two women are the same, it’s important to note that their surgeries will also differ. Below are a few of the most common procedures included as a part of a Mommy Makeover:

  • Body Contouring: Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, removes excess skin or fat to achieve a taut tummy. It can also tighten the underlying muscles that can become stretched and loose during pregnancy. Liposuction, and other minimally-invasive options can help to shape the body and eliminate stubborn fatty areas.
  • Breast Augmentation: Breast reduction and a breast lift can change the shape and size of your breasts to restore the firmness and perkiness you had prior to pregnancy. Some patients also opt for implants to restore volume.
  • Additional Procedures: Pregnancy and delivery can result in permanent changes to your skin’s tone and texture. Treatment for stretch marks or varicose veins is also common during a mommy makeover.

What to Expect

During your initial consultation, we’ll address your areas of concern, discuss your expectations, and also review your past medical history. Mommy makeovers can be performed on new moms and seasoned ones alike. Your recovery will depend on your unique mommy makeover, so Dr. Carpenter will make sure you know what to expect during your consultation.

Things to Consider

For the best long-term results, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating right and regular exercise go a long way in maximizing your results. Most importantly, patients need to have realistic expectations of what a mommy makeover can and cannot do.

You should keep in mind that you will have scars after your surgery. While these will fade over time and become less visible, it’s important to realize that you will have them. In addition, it’s recommended that you wait at least 6 to 12 months after delivery to undergo a mommy makeover so that your body can return to its normal hormonal state. If you’re planning on having more children in the future, you may want to postpone any surgeries or consider non-surgical alternatives until you have completed your family.

Choosing Your Plastic Surgeon

Since most patients choose to have multiple procedures performed at one time, it’s extremely important to choose a plastic surgeon who is skilled in mommy makeovers. Always ask to see before and after photos of previous patients who had the same surgeries you are considering. You should also verify that your surgeon is board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. Finally, choose a surgeon that regularly performs mommy makeovers or your chosen procedures.

As with any type of plastic surgery, the decision to have a mommy makeover should never be a quick one. Weighs the pros and cons of each procedure and make sure you have your mommy makeover performed by a reputable plastic surgeon who you feel comfortable with. To meet with Dr. Carpenter and begin discussing your options for a mommy makeover procedure, contact our Allegany office by calling or filling out our online form.

Preparing for Your Breast Augmentation Recovery

Although you’re probably excited about your breast augmentation procedure, there can still be a lot to prepare before your surgery date. This can seem a little overwhelming, but you can be sure that our professional staff will make sure you have everything you need. In the meantime, here are some basics to prepare yourself and make sure your recovery is smooth and effective.

Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

It can seem like there’s a never-ending list of things you might need during your recovery, but it’s a good idea to take the time to have these things nearby. During your initial recovery, you likely won’t be getting up, moving around, or certainly not making a trip to the store, so you should make yourself a list of things you think you might appreciate after your surgery. This should include filling prescriptions, prepping some reheatable meals, and collecting plenty of pillows to keep yourself elevated. If you’re nervous about your recovery, it can be helpful to gather a list of books, shows, or movies to indulge in while you rest.

Make Sure Your Home is Ready

Because your initial recovery can be difficult and uncomfortable at times, it’s important to set up a room where you can rest. This should be climate-controlled and have a large and comfy bed or couch. It should also have a place where you can keep things like water or medications nearby. If you have any specific rituals or requirements for sleeping like darkness or white noise, you should be sure to provide these beforehand so that you can get plenty of rest in the days following your surgery. It can even be helpful to spend a night or two in your recovery den before your surgery so that you can adjust.

Make Sure You Have Help

Breast augmentation can be an extensive surgery, meaning you’ll be required to be taken home by a close friend or family member. Once home, it’s important to have someone watch after you for the first few days and assist with any children, pets, or chores as needed. This is because you’ll be asked to limit any lifting or arm movement during the first few days. You should be sure to review your surgical and recovery plans with this helper so that they understand which signs of complication to watch out for and when to take any prescription medications. Our staff will provide important phone numbers during your recovery if needed, so you should make sure these are in a visible place.

It’s most important to remember the excellent results you’ll achieve with your breast augmentation, and remember that your recovery is only one step in the process. To schedule your consultation or ask any questions about your breast augmentation procedure, contact our Cumberland office by calling or filling out our online form.

Mommy Makeover: A New Baby and A New You

When you become a mother, it can be one of the greatest moments of many women’s lives. Creating a life and bringing it into the world is a celebratory event that can’t be explained. However, after you have had your kids, you might want to do something for yourself. A mommy makeover procedure serves to address all of the physical appearance issues that are present as a result of carrying and delivery the joy of your life.

Post Baby Body

The changes that our wonderful babies wrought in our bodies due to pregnancy weight gain, birthing, and breastfeeding is challenging. These changes can include:

  • laxity or sagging breasts
  • loss of muscle tone, especially in the abdominal muscles
  • stretch marks
  • stretchy or sagging abdomen skin
  • unwanted C-section scars
  • unwanted fat collections in the belly, flanks, and hips.

If a diet and regular exercise were all it took to get a woman’s body back in shape, that would be great. However, mommies sometimes need a little more help, like a customized procedure to look and feel good again. It is understood that women are not pleased with their appearance following childbirth. They can lose their confidence.

Customizing your procedure

During your consultation with Dr. Robert J. Carpenter at the Allegany Plastic Surgery Center can help you choose the right combination of treatments. He will evaluate your medical history, discuss your goals and customize the right treatment for you. Dr. Carpenter will thoroughly go through each procedure so that you know what to expect, he will also discuss costs, as well as preoperative and postoperative instructions.

You and Dr. Carpenter will work together to make sure that you are safe and healthy enough to undergo a mommy makeover. You will be introduced to surgical and non-surgical procedures that will give you the best outcome. For example, the following rejuvenation procedures are his specialty:

  • breast augmentation
  • breast lift
  • liposuction
  • tummy tuck
  • or a combination thereof

Listen To The Doctor’s Instructions

The questions that the professional staff of Allegany Plastic Surgery will require to see if your body is ready for a makeover consists of whether you plan on having more children, are you still breastfeeding, has your weight leveled out, and during your recovery, will you have help?

If you are still breastfeeding you should not consider any type of body augmentation until 3 months after you have completed breastfeeding. In weight gain, if you choose liposuction or tummy tuck it is not a panacea for weight loss. But as mommy makeover procedures they do enhance your body’s silhouette especially if you are at a specific weight goal.

Also, it is important during your recovery that you have help with the newborn and any other children you have. Why – because heavy lifting and strenuous activity is your enemy when you come home from the doctor. Dr. Carpenter gives his patients a post-op list of dos and don’ts to keep you healthy during your recovery and to enjoy an optimal outcome.

Mini, Traditional or Extended: Which Tummy Tuck is Best for Me?

You may have heard of the tummy tuck procedure, but it might surprise you to hear that there are different types of tummy tucks. Each is suited to a different goal. Dr. Carpenter can give you the best idea of what procedure would be best for you and your goals. As you schedule your consultation, you should know about your options.

Mini Tummy Tuck

This tummy tuck is the least invasive and generally produces the least dramatic results. “Mini” tummy tuck usually involves a combination of liposuction of the upper and central abdomen and a conservative removal of loose skin in the lower abdomen. It can be a great option for patients who are looking for only a minor adjustment and a little skin removed from the area below the belly button. This technique does not include  tightening the abdominal muscles. Patients return to usual activities in a few days. If you’re looking for a subtle improvement and minimal downtime, a mini tummy tuck might be your best option.

Traditional Tummy Tuck

As the name implies, this is the most common type of tummy tuck and produces a great balance of results and downtime. This tummy tuck is most beneficial in postpartum women because surgical tightening of the abdominal muscles (which become stretched out by pregnancy) is performed. Usually all the excess skin and fatty tissue below the belly button is removed, and the upper abdominal skin is flattened and tightened. Stretch marks below the belly button are removed with the skin and fat. Return to driving and normal daily activities is usually two weeks, although it may 4-6 weeks to return to vigorous exercise or heavy lifting.

Extended Tummy Tuck

This technique addresses the abdomen and flanks, or “love handle” areas if the lower abdominal roll extends around almost to the back. This is most common in massive weight loss patients. A vertical incision may be used as well as an extended horizontal incision, resulting in a comprehensive surgical solution for excess skin and fat all around the lower body and flanks. As in traditional tummy tuck, the abdominal muscles are tightened as well.  An extended tummy tuck downtime is similar to traditional tummy tuck. It can produce dramatic results if you’re looking for a complete abdominal and flank rejuvenation.

Belt lipectomy

As the name implies, Belt Lipectomy is a 360 degree removal of excess fat and skin from the lower body, basically combining a lower body lift with the extended abdominoplasty.  This improves the contour of the buttock and lateral thighs (also called a lower body lift) and the  flanks and abdomen. Patients who have experienced massive weight loss are the most common candidates. Recovery time may be slightly longer than  abdominoplasty, but the results can be dramatic!

During your consultation, Dr. Carpenter can assess your body and recommend the best procedure for you and your intended goals. To schedule your consultation, contact our office in Cumberland or fill out our form online!

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Although breast implants do not actually perish, they’re not meant to last a lifetime. The typical silicone or saline implants can last for 10 years or more before a replacement is needed. But the majority are taken out earlier because of cosmetic or complication worries. So, if you’re wondering when you may require an implant replacement, continue reading to learn more the most common causes for removal.

Breast Augmentation


Some women may develop capsular contracture, or hardened scarring around the implants. In addition, this may result in tightness, tenderness, and hardening. While the development of scar tissue is a natural response to the implant, hardening of this scarring will need to be addressed with a revision breast augmentation to remove the scar tissue and place fresh implants.

Saline rupture

Saline implants essentially act as water balloons. When a tear or rupture occurs, the saline will leave the shell, resulting in an immediately noticeable deflation. This saline is completely safe to be absorbed by the body, so there is no immediate danger if you experience a rupture. However, you’ll want to address your deflated implant as soon as possible to restore the natural appearance of your breast. It is important to note that ruptures are very rare, but the risk of one happening increases the older your implants are.

Silicone rupture

While still rare, silicone implants can also rupture. Silicone gel is quite a bit thicker compared to saline. If a silicone implant ruptures, the gel will likely stay within the scar tissue formed around the implant. However, in some cases, the silicone can leak into the body and cause harm. Because a silicone implant keeps its shape during a rupture, it is known as a silent rupture. The use of silicone implants will require regular MRIs to ensure their structure and safety. Some choose to have their implants replaced after so many years to lower their risk of rupture once again.

While silicone ruptures can go undetected, if you have any of these symptoms, contact your plastic surgeon right away:

  • Decreased breast size
  • Hard knots
  • Uneven appearance of the breasts
  • Numbing
  • Burning
  • Changes in sensation


Rippling occurs when the implants begin to weaken, showing visible lines in the implant shell that can even be seen through the breast skin. This cosmetic complication can occur in saline implants. Although rippling is not dangerous, you will want to have a revision at some point to restore the appearance of your breasts.

Preparing for a Revision Augmentation

It is important to see a board certified plastic surgeon for your breast implant removal or replacement. It is best to go to your original plastic surgeon if possible.

Based on the concerns you are experiencing, your surgeon may recommend:

  • implant removal
  • removal and breast lift
  • removal of hardened scar tissue
  • implant replacement

In Summary

Implants are not ensured to endure a lifetime. A removal or replacement procedure may be necessary if you experience complications, or if you want to reduce your risk of complications. Whatever the reason, always make sure you are prepared for the possibility of a second procedure.

Determining Whether Eyelid Surgery Is Right For You

Blepharoplasty, commonly known as eyelid surgery, is a very popular plastic surgery procedure which is specifically designed to improve and enhance the cosmetic appearance of your eyelids. It also helps to repair any functional problems of the eyelids such as puffy eyes or eyelids that are obstructing your vision. Eyelid surgery not only improves the eyes but also adds a youthful, refreshed look to your overall face.

Why Choose Blepharoplasty?

Dr. Robert J. Carpenter of Allegany Plastic Surgery in Cumberland, MD advises his patients to choose eyelid surgery for various reasons. A common goal of all these patients is their desire for cosmetic improvement. People who generally feel that they look sleepy, angry, or tired because of hooded eyelids, drooping eyebrows, wrinkles around eyes, and frown lines are good candidates for blepharoplasty because these things may not be able to be corrected with non-surgical procedures.

Upper Vs. Lower Blepharoplasty

The position of the eyebrows is very important in the appearance of the upper eyelid. When you begin to age or lose weight, your eyebrow tends to fall and create visual weight on the upper face. As a result of this, excessive fat and skin falls onto the upper lid area and thus it gives a hooded or dark appearance.  With the lower eyelid, the most important consideration is a loss of fatty tissue or loss of muscle tone, causing wrinkling, dark circles, or bulging.

What Are My Options?

There are several types of cosmetic interventions that your surgeon can recommend to you. This will depend on the appearance of your eyelids and the types of results that you are hoping to achieve from plastic surgery. Some of these procedures include:

  • Structural fat grafting: the fat tissue of the thinning eyelid is enhanced, thus improving wrinkling and dark circles
  • Brow elevation: the falling eyebrow is lifted and repositioned
  • Excision of any extra drooping skin or excessive fat pads
  • Botox or other non-surgical skin or injectable treatments

The functional impairments associated with drooping eyelids are very common. They can cause visual field obstruction, in which the vision is impaired because of drooping upper eyelids. There is another condition associated with drooping lower eyelid known as ectropion. This condition causes irritation and dryness in the eye because of increased contact of the eye with the air. If you are experiencing any of the mentioned problems, you should opt for blepharoplasty as early as possible.

To discover your options for facial rejuvenation with Dr. Carpenter, contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation. To do this call our office or fill out an online form. Be sure to check out our extensive gallery of before-and-after photos to see what Dr. Carpenter can do for you.

Can Breast Implants Lift My Breasts?

The most popular cosmetic procedure is breast augmentation. While breast augmentation is an effective and safe procedure for breast contouring, there are a lot of misconceptions about it out there. One common misconception circulating about breast augmentation is that having breast implants alone will fill out a flat breast and lift it. Dr. Robert Carpenter, who is an experienced plastic surgeon, addresses this misconception. Dr. Carpenter is a trusted doctor at Allegany Plastic Surgery, and he has been in operation since 1995, making him highly skilled.

What do breast implants accomplish?

Silicone and saline implants are developed to add volume and shape to sagging breasts. If you have flat or small, breast implants will make them appear rounder and fuller. In some cases, breasts implants can fill up small amounts of loose skin on your breast. This, however, does not apply to every breast and is not always the case.

Breast implants do not in any way reposition or lift breast skin or tissue. If you have extreme skin laxity where the breasts have sagged significantly, breast implants will not fill it out. If you have sagging skin, getting implants may accentuate the sagging. Getting implants also does not elevate the level of your nipples.

What do you need? Breast augmentation or breast lift?

It is hard for Dr. Carpenter to determine whether you need a breast lift or a breast augmentation without a consultation. You need to schedule a consultation at Allegany Plastic Surgery for a thorough examination and evaluation of your breasts. During the appointment, Dr. Carpenter will examine your breasts and take note of factors like the number of breast tissue, amount of excess skin, and the distance between the breast fold and nipple. He will then proceed to ask you a few questions to comprehend your cosmetic expectations and what you want to achieve from surgery.

This is essential because not all women have the same concern when it comes to their breasts. Some females are worried about the position of their breasts while some are more concerned about the size and shape. During the consultation, we will be able to understand your area of concern based on the information you provide. From the information you provide, Dr. Carpenter will create a surgical plan that targets your area of concerns and caters to your needs.

The plan that he creates may include breast lift techniques, breast implants, or both procedures. If you are looking for fuller, bigger breast, a combination of breast lift and breast augmentation is the best option for you. Getting both procedures also helps to reposition and elevate your nipple. Here at Allegany Plastic Surgery, we recommend getting both procedures done because it has added benefits. It not only requires a single operation but facility fees, recovery period, and round of anesthesia.

However, some women prefer having breast implants placed first, and then the breast lift performed later after the recovery period. This helps them determine whether, after breast augmentation, they require additional surgery to lift the breasts. If not, they disregard a breast lift and live happily with their breast implants.

Schedule an appointment Dr. Carpenter

Whether you are unsatisfied with your breast appearance or would like to do something to change their appearance, you can contact Dr. Robert Carpenter today. Dr. Carpenter will provide you with more information on your surgical options.

A Quick Guide to Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty: An Overview

Rhinoplasty is commonly known as nose reshaping surgery, or even a nose job. Despite its common reputation, the nose reshaping procedure has a need for excellent technical skills and surgical artistry to achieve both a balanced nasal functionality and appearance. This procedure changes the appearance and shape of the nose and also opens the airway, taking into account the relationship of the nose to the chin, eyes, upper lip, and overall facial balance. An experienced facial plastic surgeon can create a careful preoperative plan with the help of photographs, which are often morphed to see what results can be expected. Patients of Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Morgantown, MD can visit Allegany Plastic Surgery in Cumberland and consult with Dr. Robert Carpenter regarding their nose surgery.

Candidates for Rhinoplasty

Patients who are not satisfied with the appearance of their nose or have some functional breathing problems because of their nose should opt for rhinoplasty. A functional surgery may adjust the soft tissue, cartilages, and upper bones of the nose. Rhinoplasty can also cosmetically change all aspects of the nose, including the nostrils, nasal tip, nasal dorsum, nasal airway, and the junction of the nose and upper lip. Candidates for rhinoplasty should be in good health before they schedule their surgery. They should also be optimistic about the results and carry a positive outlook for postoperative recovery.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

The surgery usually takes between 1 to 3 hours under anesthesia, depending on how extensive the procedure is and what techniques are used. Incisions can be made either inside the nostrils (closed technique) or across the columella (open technique). Each technique offers benefits, and Dr. Carpenter can choose the right one for you during your consultation. Additional steps can include adjusting the nostrils or area between the nose and mouth, as well as cartilage grafting to enhance the bridge of the nose.

Rhinoplasty Recovery

Immediately following surgery, the incisions will be closed and gauzed packing or a splint will be put in place around your nose to protect it. Dr. Carpenter will then give you a set of postoperative instructions which will help you during your healing process. Many patients are able to return to light work within two weeks of surgery, but strenuous activity should still be monitored until cleared by Dr. Carpenter. You will be able to see results immediately following the procedure, but the full results may take up to a year to fully settle in.

Rhinoplasty can be one of the best ways to reshape and balance the face with subtle adjustments. It’s important to seek out a skilled facial plastic surgeon with experience in producing excellent results from rhinoplasty patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Carpenter, contact Allegany Plastic Surgery by calling or filling out our online form.

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