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

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!

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.

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.

Choices in Breast Augmentation

If you’ve decided to make the first steps towards your breast augmentation consultation, then you’re not alone. Breast augmentation is consistently the number one plastic surgery procedure from year to year, and many women recognize that this procedure can produce confidence-boosting results. At  your consultation, there are a few things you should be ready to discuss and consider with your plastic surgeon.

What Type of Implant Do I Want?

Despite the wide selection of implants that are now on the market, the choice generally remains pretty simple— implants are generally either saline-filled or silicone-filled. These each have different pros and cons, and other questions like your placement, size, or preferred profile might sway your decision one way or another. Your plastic surgeon can help you determine this, as well as what size will get you the best balance between projection and comfort. Other factors to consider can include the shape of the implant (round or pear-shaped) and surface of the implant (smooth or textured). If it seems overwhelming, your plastic surgeon can guide you to the right type if you have a strong sense of what you want your results to look and feel like.

Where Do I Want Them?

This might seem like a strange question but implants can be placed differently within the breast area for different results. Generally, the implants can be placed on top of the pectoral muscle (but within the pocket of breast tissue) or be placed underneath the pectoral muscle. Where the implant sits on the chest wall will affect the contour and shape of the breast, and your recovery. Your plastic surgeon will make a recommendation on placement based on your implant type and personal anatomy.

How Do I Want Them Placed?

The most common incision for silicone implants is the Inframmary incision (below the breast fold). Depending on your  wishes, anatomy, size of the implant and whether  you’re undergoing an additional procedure at the same time, other incisions may be used, such as periareolar, breast lift incisions and axillary (armpit) incisions.  Your plastic surgeon can take into account all these factors when making this decision.

It can seem overwhelming when trying to navigate the wealth of information available on breast augmentation, but the best person to speak to about your questions is your plastic surgeon who can guide your decision-making process. Your consultation can take some time as you discuss these options and what they mean, but these are important decisions. Contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to begin planning your breast augmentation with Dr. Carpenter, who is a board certified plastic surgeon with many years of experience performing breast augmentations.

Your Liposuction Options

Liposuction can be a great choice for slimming down and contouring your new body, but did you know you have options? Traditional liposuction is still one of the top plastic surgery procedures being performed, but liposuction techniques have come a long way, and you might find that laser alternatives better suit your goals and expectations. Here are some more options to consider while you plan your liposuction consultation.

Traditional Liposuction

Chances are, you know someone who has undergone liposuction— or you have at least heard about it before. Liposuction is still one of the most popular Cumberland plastic surgery procedures because it’s effective and well-tested within the plastic surgery community. Although non-invasive options for fat reduction are more available in the marketplace, the results of these procedures are still far inferior to liposuction. Liposuction is also a great option for removing fat for fat transfer, and is often combined with other procedures like tummy tuck. Liposuction can produce life-changing results.

SmartLipo Triplex

Laser enhanced liposuction (Smartlipo) offers several advantages over traditional liposuction. The laser technology can help melt the fatty tissue, so it’s more easily removed, which can result in less bruising and trauma to the surrounding tissues. This can also mean less pain as you heal and comes with the benefit of skin tightening due to the heat from the laser jumpstarting your body’s collagen production. This technique can be especially effective on areas with higher fat volume, like the stomach and lower body, or where the fat is fibrous, like “love handles’’ and gynecomastia tissue in males, and upper back and buttock fat in women.

Precision Tx

As the name implies, this precise laser liposuction method is effective on areas of small fat volume, like the chin, arms, thighs, knees, and ankles. Like SmartLipo, this technique includes skin tightening, but instead directly heats the bottom layers of the skin so that healing and tightening is faster and more effective. This can be especially effective for treating areas that are prone to sagging and loosening of the skin— like upper inner arms and inner thighs, and may help avoid an excisional  procedure.

The best way to determine the best liposuction procedure for you is through a consultation with your plastic surgeon. Contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to schedule an appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Carpenter, who can discuss your liposuction treatment options and create your unique treatment plan.

4 Reasons You May Benefit from a Breast Reduction

It’s likely that you know someone who has undergone a surgical breast reduction, because it is one of the most popular breast procedures. Here are some signs and symptoms that your body may be telling you that you are a candidate for breast reduction.

You Have Back or Neck Pain

This is one of the most common things that breast reduction patients talk about when consulting about their procedure. Overly-large breasts can be very heavy and put stress on important areas of the spine and torso muscles. Because the body needs to correct its posture and compensate for the weight of the breasts, the spine and neck can become strained over the course of a lifetime. Although this can have many different causes, don’t rule out that it may be your large breasts causing you pain.

You Experience Rashes or Excessive Sweating

Large breasts can tend to extend far below the inframammary fold because of their size and weight, and this can cause many problems. The foremost one is that this constant skin-on-skin contact can cause sweat to build up, resulting in rash or irritation, especially when wearing certain types of bras. Bra straps can also be responsible for irritation or chafing at the shoulders, where much of the support falls.

You Struggle to Find Fitting Clothes

One easy indicator is that most clothing sizes don’t accommodate overly-large breasts, and you may struggle to find enough room for your bust when looking at shirts or dresses. Bra sizes may also be too small, leading you to look for specialty brands or stores. Unfortunately, this can become costly compared to more mainstream sizes.

You’re Physically Limited

Many women with overly-large breasts find at some point that they are unable to play certain sports or perform certain workouts because even a sports bra doesn’t prevent discomfort or pain from excessive movement. Even mundane activities can cause this, like going up the stairs or lifting. This can obviously have a negative impact on your long-term health and shouldn’t be discounted!

If you feel that you’re experiencing one or more of these factors, you should speak with a board certified plastic surgeon about how you can improve your quality of life with a breast reduction. Contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to meet with Dr. Carpenter who can discuss your options and create your unique treatment plan.

Which Is Best for Your Skin: AHAs or BHAs?

When purchasing skin care products, you may notice that some of them contain AHAs or BHAs. What exactly are these ingredients and what can they do for your skin? Well, AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids, while BHA stands for beta hydroxy acids. Both of these acids are effective exfoliants to help get rid of dead and dull skin cells. However, certain skin types may be able to benefit from different acids. Read on to learn more about which one is right for you.

If You Have Dry Skin…

You can benefit from AHAs. Some common AHAs include glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids. These acids are great for sun-damaged and dry skin because they help to exfoliate and moisturize. AHAs may cause sensitivity to the sun for some people, so it is recommended you use them at night and wear SPF during the day.

If You have Acne-Prone Skin…

You can benefit from BHAs. These acids work deep within your pores to help release the dirt and bacteria trapped inside. Those with oily and acne-prone skin can particularly benefit from this. The most common BHA used today is salicylic acid.

Both AHAs and BHAs offer many benefits for your skin. Choosing the right products for you will help to ensure maximum effectiveness of these acids. At our office, we offer ZO skin care products that contain AHAs and BHAs. We recommend the Glycogent™ Exfoliation Accelerator for dry skin, and the Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment for acne-prone skin.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about which products can best help your skin, contact our office today! We would be happy to help you find the right ZO product for you.

Is Your Smart Phone Ruining Your Skin?

Did you know that the average American spends nearly half of a day staring at a screen? The Nielsen Company audience report reveals that adults spend about 10 hours each day consuming media. And many of us use our phone to consume media, as it’s portable and always available.

There has been a lot of research done about the damaging effects of blue light, or high-energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted from our devices, and it can take a toll on our vision and sleep patterns. It may also lead to pigment changes and accelerate the development of wrinkles and lines.

Exposure to HEV light damages the skin by impairing the skin’s natural barrier function. It reaches into the deeper layers of the skin to affect our collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid stores. This light also targets pigmentation, which may lead to unwanted uneven pigmentation  or spots.

How to Protect Your Skin

Many skin care companies are now working to incorporate HEV blockers into their sunscreens so that they prevent both skin cancer and early signs of aging. ZO Skin Health is one of these companies, offering a complete line of both UV and HEV- blocking sunscreens. Some of our favorites include:

  • Oclipse-CTM Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen- This sunscreen has an SPF of 50, so you can be sure your skin is protected. It is great for sensitive skin, and protects skin from HEV, UV, and IR-A.
  • Oclipse Sun Spray- This sunscreen comes in spray form with an SPF 50. It protects the skin from HEV, UV, and IR-A and offers full coverage with an angles spray system.
  • Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer- This sunscreen protects and smoothes the skin minimizing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also offers a tint and provides a great base for makeup and an SPF of 30.

Contact Us

If you are worried about HEV light, be sure to wear HEV-blocking sunscreen every day! If you would like to learn more about ZO Skin health, contact our office today!

Offload Your Seasonal Weight with These Procedures

It’s easy to put on extra weight during the winter and holiday months! Weather and an abundance of sugary and fatty foods can add up fast, and even with healthy New Year’s resolutions, you might be finding it difficult to lose those areas of stubborn fat. Fortunately, we offer many different solutions to fat that just won’t go away to get your body ready by spring!

Laser Liposuction

You might be hesitant to undergo an invasive surgery, so laser liposuction is a great alternative. Whether it’s Smart-Lipo Triplex to melt away love-handles or back fat, or Precision TX to contour and get into those precision areas, there’s a simple weight-loss procedure for you. These treatments use laser energy to destroy fat cells that can be impossible to shrink with diet and exercise alone!

  • Cynosure Smart-Lipo Triplex works best with large areas of fat like love-handles, muffin-tops, or back fat. Different than other laser lipo treatments, Smart-Lipo Triplex has the added benefit of skin-tightening after the fat is removed, minimizing the possibility of loose skin afterwards. Get your body beach-ready in one easy, minimally-invasive procedure!
  • Cynosure Precision TX Laser Contouring can melt away even the most difficult-to-reach areas that don’t respond to exercise. Common areas include the neck, inner arms, inner thighs, and knee and ankle areas. This technique provides definition without the invasive surgical body contouring.

Surgical Procedures

If you need drastic results for your excess fat, a traditional liposuction procedure can be a long-term solution and a jumpstart for a new, healthy you. If excess skin and tissue are causing you concern, you might consider a tummy tuck, arm lift, or thigh lift as well to re-tighten the underlying muscles that might be causing unwanted sag in areas where you want a healthy, attractive contour. Recovery from a surgical procedure can take some time, so get your procedure in now to be ready by the spring and summer!

If you’re ready for a positive change in your body and would like to discuss your options with our expert staff, contact our office.

How to Get the Best Results from Your Chemical Peel

Chemical peels can be a great way to reveal a healthy, smooth, new layer of skin and can treat many skin problems in one easy procedure. A successful healing process after a chemical peel is essential, especially during the Spring and Summer seasons when you’re most prone to sun damage. Here are some tips to take care of your new skin for best results!

Sun Protection is a Must

Sun protection is important! One of the greatest causes of skin damage is the sun and UV rays. Using a sun protection cream every day will help you take care of your skin over the long term, and it can even be mixed in with your daily moisturizer. Wearing this will be extra important after your chemical peel because the outer layer of your skin will have been removed, so you’ll be extra sensitive to sunlight. Don’t skimp on sunscreen— use high-factor protection over the course of your recovery so you don’t reverse the positive results of your chemical peel. Depending on the depth of your peel, you may need to avoid sunlight altogether for a period of time.

Moisturize Religiously

After your chemical peel, your skin will feel flaky and sensitive, similar to a sunburn. Your skin will be dry during this time so you’ll need to make sure you moisturize it well. To keep your new skin healthy and soft, find an effective moisturizer and give it the proper hydration and nutrients it needs. A special retinoid cream or ointment called Tretinoin might also be prescribed to help speed the growth of skin cells. Your aesthetician can direct you to proper moisturizing instructions and products!

Keep it Clean

It might seem obvious, but a chemical peel creates something like a wound as it removes the outer skin cells. Your skin is your first defense against outside stuff getting into your immune system. With your skin in its healing process, you’ll need to be extra careful to keep outside irritants and debris away! Your skin care specialist can prescribe or recommend an effective wash to use regularly that will cleanse the skin without causing irritation.

Your healing process will depend on how deep your chemical peel is, but you should make sure you follow any instructions given to you by our staff to ensure you get the best possible results as your skin rejuvenates.

If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss a chemical peel, contact our office.

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