Capsular Contracture: Prevention and Treatment

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Although capsular contractures following breast augmentation can occur just about any time, most women start having symptoms around three months after their breast implant surgery. This is because it takes some time for a capsule to form and then to scar down (contracture).

Capsular Contracture is a condition in which the capsule surrounding the implant thickens and contracts, squeezing the implant making it overly firm or hard and often changing the shape and position of the implant. As the capsule contracts it moves the implant further up your chest wall making upper portion of your breast too large and unshapely. It is more far more common in nicotine users (e.g. smoking, vaping or nicotine gum or patches).

Treatment for capsular contracture often involves en bloc capsulectomy, complete removal of the capsule, or making the pocket larger by capsular incisions (capsulotomy) with implant replacement. Recent studies suggest that using the same implant may increase the chance of recurrence. Placement of the implant in an new pocket is also often done as well as using textured implants. In the past, closed capsulotomy, in which the breast is squeezed until the capsule breaks, was used but has been associated with implant rupture and other complications and few surgeons use this technique any more not to mention that your warranty will be void. On occasion, the use of a biological fabric like Strattice or Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) may be required to prevent continued problems. Although the published risk of capsular contracture is approximately 9–11%, in my practice it is significantly lower after the primary implant placement. Once capsular contracture occurs, the risk of problems with secondary surgery rises to between 25% and 40%. Capsular contractures are lower with non-smokers, and with use of textured silicone implants placed below the muscle. The location of the incision also plays a role. Inframammary incision also has the lowest and periareolar and axillary (arm pit) incisions have the highest capsular contracture rate. Smoking/nicotine use greatly increases your risk for capsular contracture greater than 10 times the incidence of a non nicotine user.

Non-surgical management includes prophylactic massage to prevent it and if it occurs, the use of certain anti-asthma medications: Singulair and sometimes Acculate as off-label FDA usage to treat Capsular Contracture and in some cases of recurrence of capsular contracture in a preventative fashion. In my experience this works best for early diagnosed early contractures and used as a prophylactic, perioperatively when doing a capsular contracture surgery. The price for capsular contracture surgery varies greatly by geographical location, experience of the surgeon, whether in an outpatient surgery center vs hospital (hospital more expensive), type of breast implant, whether it is ruptured or not, estimated length of operating room time, and other factors.

‘Bottoming Out’ and Lateral Displacement of Breast Implants Explained

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Cause: Large Implants due to their weight, gravity, thinning of tissues, chronically not wearing a bra, loss of elasticity and other factors may cause continued stretching so that your breast implant is no longer supported in its ideal position. This results in the progressive lowering of the inferior breast crease (inframammary fold). When the implant moves South to an undesired inferior position it results in the loss of volume and flattening of the upper pole of the breast, too much volume at the lower pole, increasing the distance from the fold to the nipple and finally the nipple position being abnormally high ( pointing up) and not centered. Similarly, the pocket can also stretch to the side (lateral) so that when lying down your implants fall towards your arm pits or sides, causing the “Side Boobs” appearance.

Bottoming out and Side Boobs Contributing Factors:

  1. Larger/Heavier Implants
  2. Implants placed above the pectoralis muscle
  3. Chronically not wearing a bra when upright
  4. Over dissection of the Implant Pocket
  5. Smooth Implants
  6. Large swings of weight including pregnancy
  7. Skin and soft tissue laxity, loss of elasticity

Repair: Surgery is the only effective remedy. Revision surgery is almost always more complex than breast augmentation. Correction techniques vary based on your plastic surgeon’s experience and skill sets. Always choose a board certified plastic surgeon with expensive revision experience as even in the best of hands recurrence is frequent especially if larger implants are used. Repair techniques include some of the following techniques and recommendations:

  1. Textured implants (“Velcro effect”)
  2. Use of Smaller Implants
  3. Maximum Submuscular Position (not just the pectoralis major but abdominis rectus below and serratus anterior on the side)
  4. Capsulorrhaphy (tightening the pocket by sewing in-folded capsular tissue together)
  5. Use of Biologic fabrics and other materials such as Acellular Dermal Matrix, “ADM” Alloderm, Strattice, “Silk” and others that can be used to reinforce the bottom of the pocket.
  6. Change of position of implant to a new pocket location “neo pectoral pocket”
  7. Internal Ryan Procedure (sutures binding the inferior mammary fold to stronger underlying tissues (e.g. fascial, periosteal)
  8. Removal of Implants and replacement of volume using your own fat (Fat Transfer).

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis most often using an existing scar or making an incision beneath the breast. Recovery is similar to your original breast augmentation procedure. Use of taping after surgery and prolonged use of a support bra is often recommended. It is far more important to pick the best plastic surgeon rather than trying to pick the best procedure as they are in the best position to guide you to the right decision. See this article for help in selecting the best breast revision specialist.

Breast Augmentation (Mammoplasty)

Overview

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Many women who would like to restore or enhance the size and shape of their breasts may benefit from breast augmentation, also known as mammoplasty. It is one of the most common procedures performed annually by members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Breast augmentation is performed to enhance the breast size and shape due to lack of development, congenital abnormalities, changes or asymmetries following aging, weight loss, and/or pregnancy. In addition, there may be personal reasons for augmentation mammoplasty. For example, some women may perceive their breasts to be underdeveloped and not proportional to their body size and image they wish to project. Women may also decide on breast augmentation, though they may be happy with their breasts, just because they would like them to be fuller. A positive impression of their body image is important to most women, and breast augmentation may aid in offering a more proportional breast size and shape as well as in improving self-confidence.

Would I be a good candidate for breast implants?

A variety of factors may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation. Some of these feelings and/or conditions include:

  • You feel bothered and/or have low self-esteem that your breasts are too small.
  • After giving birth, your breasts have become smaller and have lost their firmness.
  • You notice that clothes that fit well around your hips are too big at the bust line.
  • You feel self-conscious when wearing a bathing suit or other form-fitting apparel.
  • A weight loss/fluctuation or pregnancy has changed the shape and size of your breasts.
  • There is an asymmetry where one of your breasts is noticeable smaller than the other.

How does the procedure work?

Breast implant surgery is accomplished by surgically inserting either a silicone or saline implant (prostheses) behind each breast. The breast implants are placed either in front or behind the pectoralis major muscle and breast tissue. General guidelines suggest that women with larger drooping (ptosis) breasts that do not want a breast lift should have the implant placed above the muscle to prevent contour problems (double contour deformity). Those patients with minimal breast tissue usually have the implants placed beneath the pectoralis muscle for more soft tissue padding. In any case, your plastic surgeon will determine which placement is best for you and explain why. When you come in for a consultation, the different options will be explained in further detail as well as the three choices of implements currently available: silicone, standard saline, and IDEAL® double lumen saline implants (a new double lumen saline implant made to feel like silicone).

Is the procedure safe?

For the vast majority of patients undergoing breast augmentation, the procedure is extremely safe and involves minimal side effects. In my practice using board-certified anesthesiologists and FDA approved prostheses are always employed to ensure a successful surgery. A general anesthetic is used but a local anesthetic is also placed prior to awakening for postoperative pain relief. The implants, breast prostheses, are made of safe, non-reactive silicone material which have been studied by the FDA and worldwide, and used since the 1970’s. So much so, in fact, that they are the most studied medical device in the world. There is no link to date between silicone prostheses to other diseases like auto-immune disease, arthritis, cancer, or other connective tissue diseases. These problems occur to the same extent and at the same rate in women with breast augmentation as those who have not had the procedure. For instance, cancer occurs just as frequently in women with augmented breasts as it does in those with natural breasts.

What choices do I have with my breast augmentation?

Breast implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, firmness and profiles in order to offer a custom-fit and natural-looking physique. It is also important to consider the substance and texture of an implant. The surface of round implants can be smooth or textured whereas shape implants are all textured to maintain their alignment. In particular, those implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are filled with silicone or saline. All implants at this time use cohesive silicone gel meaning that the gel maintains its shape like “gummy bear” candy or jello with more anti-leak properties unlike the gel prior to 2006 which was more like honey or molasses in consistency. These materials impact the feel and look of a breast implant, and thus are an important consideration in determining the desired appearance of your breasts.

For example, silicone is most popular world-wide as their feel and appearance most closely mimics the desired breast feel with less rippling. Standard saline implants have a higher rate of becoming hard (capsular contracture) and tend to exhibit more waviness or rippling if there is less breast or fat covering the implant. A newer breast FDA approved saline implant, IDEAL Implant^®^, is a double lumen “hybrid” implant that has the feel close to silicone, less risk of capsular contracture, and the peace of mind of saline; that is, if there is a leak, you can tell, just by looking in the mirror rather than requiring a MRI.

What results can I expect form breast augmentation?

According to studies, more than 90% of women are satisfied with the results of a breast augmentation. This is largely because the procedure often improves a woman’s self-esteem, not to mention quality of life. We aim to custom-tailor your breast augmentation based on your preferences for perkiness, firmness, shape, and size. Our goal is to match the appropriate implant type with the right procedure so that patients with realistic expectations are completely satisfied.

Breast augmentation will enhance the shape of your breasts as well as make them fuller. You may find yourself more comfortable wearing different types of clothing and may enjoy a boost in self-confidence, as is the case with most of my patients.

Usually, you can expect your breast augmentation surgery to have long-lasting effects, unless implant deflation requires surgical replacement with a new implant. Nonetheless, the effects of aging and gravity will eventually alter the shape and size of a woman’s breasts over time. As a result, you may later elect to undergo a breast “lifting” to restore the more youthful shape, size, and firmness. A breast lift of course can be performed at the same time as a breast augmentation or implant exchange.

Prospective patients should know that the final texture, shape, and appearance are not exactly the same as natural breasts. Many patients in fact prefer the firmness and slightly different contours than natural breasts. However, these differences may be more noticeable in some patients than others. The intended result of the procedure is to enhance the size and shape of the breasts to achieve the body image desired by the patient.

What are some considerations I should take into account when selecting a plastic surgeon?

The most popular way to improve breast size and shape is breast augmentation performed by experienced plastic surgeons. Generally speaking, seek out board-certified plastic surgeons by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with a great deal of experience and good reviews for best results. Those plastic surgeons that have specialized in breast and reconstructive surgery including breast revision surgery, such as the surgeons at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, are a great fit for your breast augmentation needs.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS

Diastasis Recti and Its Correction Explained

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Diastasis Recti simply means a separation of the paired midline abdominal muscles also called the Rectus Abdominis muscles. Although not dangerous this condition makes your tummy stick out even if you have good core strength. Paradoxically with greater separation of these muscles, when you try to tense your muscles to tighten your tummy the center part bulges between the separated muscles. Here are some simple ways to determine if you have a significant Diastasis Recti: If you have a midline muscle gap of more than a few finger breadths when you contract your muscles and if you have bulging or protrusion in your midline between your muscles, especially if made worse when you contract your muscles. In my experience the vast majority of women after pregnancy have a Diastasis Recti, the same goes for massive weight gain/loss regardless of sex.

Repair of Diastasis Recti is typically done as part of a Tummy Tuck or Mommy Makeover procedure (regardless of technique) and consists of bringing the Rectus Abdominis muscles together by suturing (sewing) the inside edges of the muscle fascia together. I have found that it makes no difference if the suture material is absorbable or permanent, and typically I perform a two layer repair to insure that the correction is secure. Single layer closures may have a higher tendency of dehiscence (separation) that would require reoperation for repair. Although Diastasis Recti Repair can be done endoscopically for minor separations, this is no longer as popular of a procedure as there is a tendency for midline redundant skin unless there is wide undermining. Recovery is similar to most plastic surgical/muscle repair procedures: no heavy lifting or vigorous exercises for 4-6 weeks depending on your plastic surgeons wishes. With core exercises as part of your daily routine following this procedure you are well on your way to develop a “six pack Abs of Steel”.

Dr. Larry Nichter featured in Time Magazine’s Article “Nip. Tuck. Or Else.”

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Hitting newsstands today and Monday is an interesting article featuring Dr. Nichter and his patient, written by Joel Stein for Time Magazine, discussing the evolution of cosmetic surgery and it’s undeniable relevance in today’s world. The article titled “Nip. Tuck. Or Else” points out how thanks in part to social media we are now on the red carpet 24/7 posting pictures of ourselves on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, and more, so it’s imperative to look our best at all times. The social media frenzy is one reason why there has been a spike in the number of non-invasive procedures performed on the younger demographic.  It can certainly be said that no longer are cosmetic procedures just for the aging population.

Here is the full article – Nip. Tuck. Or Else.”

by Joel Stein 

Time Magazine Plastic Surgery Shoot You’re going to have to do it. And not all that long from now. Probably not a full-on, general-anesthesia bone shaving or muscle slicing.

But almost definitely some injections into your face. Very likely a session of fat melting in some areas and then possibly moving it to some other parts that could use plumping. Not because you hate yourself, fear aging or are vain. You’re going to get a cosmetic procedure for the same reason you wear makeup: because every other woman is.

No, it’s not fair that–in 2015, with a woman leading the race for the Democratic nomination for President–in addition to dieting, coloring your hair, applying makeup and working out, you now have to let some doctor push syringes in your cheeks just to look presentable. It’s not fair that you have to put your surgery on your credit card just so the other moms on the playground don’t overestimate your age. It’s not fair that you may risk your life going under general anesthesia just to keep up.

Then again, maybe it’s not fair that some women are born straight-nosed and full-breasted. That some people don’t have trouble staying thin. That workers with above-average looks will make $230,000 more over their lifetime than people who are in the aesthetic bottom seventh, as a study by University of Texas economics professor Daniel Hamermesh found. Maybe it doesn’t feel fair that a man is writing about this, even if more and more males are starting to feel the same kind of pressure that women have dealt with for decades.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to say no without being read as irrational or crazy,” says Abigail Brooks, the director of women’s studies at Providence College, who recently completed research comparing women who undergo antiaging interventions and those whom she calls “natural agers.” The former group described the latter using phrases like “let herself go” and “not taking good care of herself.” Brooks worries that that pressure is not only exhausting but also keeps women forever 21 emotionally. Continue reading “Dr. Larry Nichter featured in Time Magazine’s Article “Nip. Tuck. Or Else.””

The “Skinny” on Non Invasive Body Contouring and Fat Reduction

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Body contouring techniques can be separated into non-invasive and invasive techniques.

Liposuction, though “invasive”, still remains the gold standard in body contouring. The procedure uses small suction cannulas sometimes assisted by lasers, ultrasound, propulsive jet sprays, radiofrequency energy or vibrational movement (power-assisted liposuction) to actively remove fat by suction from localized areas of fatty accumulation. Liposuction, also called suction assisted lipectomy or “lipo”, is still by far the most successful and predictable way to quickly, safely and effectively create the contouring figure that you desire. However, compared to non-invasive techniques there is some risk, increased recovery time, and discomfort associated with liposuction. Less invasive techniques involve inserting a Radiofrequency (RF) probe (e.g. ThermiRF™ to melt fat for smaller areas without liposuction, but still has more risk than non-invasive techniques). This has led to the growth of non-surgical, non-invasive body contouring.

Non-invasive body contouring technologies use an energy delivery system to injure, destroy, “convince cells to die slowly over time” or alter the architecture of the fat cells without any incisions or placing any device under the skin, and without performing any surgery. Other techniques that are evolving include injecting a substance to reduce fat (Kythera®, FDA approved to reduce fat under the chin).

The common non-invasive energy types utilized to create non-surgical body contouring include RF, focused ultrasound, infrared, RF-coupled suction and massage, and diode laser energy. These non-invasive energy sources that reduce areas of enlarged fat concentrations such as tummy, hips, thighs, and the back — reducing fat without harming other structures like nerves and blood vessels. Some are more effective than others. For example, Zerona® claims that its cool diode laser has a generalized “whole body” slimming technology by making fat cells leaky rather than using thermal mechanisms or cavitation energy to alter or break apart the fat cell. To scientist physicians like myself, it is hard to believe that low level cool laser light waves will be able to penetrate more than a millimeter or two, much less where the majority of the fat lies. It is no wonder that at the time I write this it is ranked as only having 28% satisfaction rating on RealSelf.

On the other hand, there are many effective non-invasive fat reduction technologies available.

CoolSculpting® is effective but has some discomfort noted by many patients, and the applicator paddle sizes can only treat a few areas at a time, require several treatments (3–5), have to wait between treatments, and takes several weeks to see the full effect and occasionally fat ridges are seen above the treated areas.

UltraShape® by Syneron Candela uses focused ultrasound energy, can treat at three different levels, and the different size applicators can treat just about anywhere on the body and even do lipo-sculpting. It is painless and the results are seen quickly with treatments a few weeks apart (series of 3 is typical, more depending on desires may be recommended). It is great for localized areas.

BTL Vanquish uses RF energy to heat the fatty layer precisely, painlessly and selectively to a temperature that causes fat cells to undergo early cell death (apoptosis) by destroying the integrity of the fat cell. Like other techniques that accomplish the same effect, the body then clears the remnants by the lymphatic system.

The VelaShape III, is new technology and much more effective than its predecessors (VelaShape I and II). It is a non-invasive body shaping device used to reduce cellulite, and reduce (slim) the area around the tummy, back, hips and thighs. The machine combines four different technologies — infrared, bi-polar RF, pulsed vacuum, and massage rollers — to improve skin texture and reduce the overall volume of the treated area. It is often used alone for cellulite reduction but often used in conjunction with the other devices I mentioned to magnify their efficacy by smoothing and warming the tissues and clearing much of the edema and fat breakdown products using as an advanced lymphatic massage device. Please note RF devices cannot be used for patients with pacemakers.

For large areas of troublesome fat collections as well as specific areas of focal fat and accumulation you may be best served by the various forms of liposuction. The non-invasive focal fat contouring technologies now in the market place may not be as effective, but have reduced risk and recovery time. Deciding between these options should be done on a case-by-case basis between patient and physician.

How to Best Determine the Optimal Breast Implant Size

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing base width of your breast will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate; a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 350 cc implant to make her go from a “A” cup to a “C” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. . Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn’t work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon as I will further explain in a bit.

Saline-filled Breast Implants
Image: FDA

Additional critical decisions will also be made by your plastic surgeon such as: whether your implants will be above or below your pectoralis muscle. These choices are recommended to you based on the look you desire, the amount of sagging you may have, and other deciding factors. For more than 25 years, I have tried just about every method to best understand and achieve the patient’s optimal goal. The following is what I have found to be most accurate: To start with, I have found it most helpful for patients to bring in photos from my or other plastic surgeons’ websites to illustrate what they would like to look like. This gives me detailed standardized views and information both qualitative (shape, perkiness) and qualitative (size) and allows me to discuss with my patients how I can best achieve their objectives as well as realistic expectations. For example, though I always tell my patients that I cannot make them exactly the same as a photo because everyone has different anatomical constraints. However, these ”ideal” breast photos are brought to the operating room for reference during surgery so that I have the advantage of “seeing through my patient’s eyes” to best achieve their wishes. Even if the photo does not match their height or weight, I and most plastic surgeons are very good at translating the proportionality of the photo to your features.

I personally order more than one set of implant sizes and use sterile implant “sizers” (temporary implants) placed in the created implant pocket during surgery to know in advance exactly which implant would work best for you in both a sitting and lying down position. This also allows me the opportunity to modify the pocket to meet some of the more subtle shape features desired. This enables me to use my full artistic potential to achieve your desired goals.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS

Achieving Your Best Appearance with the Sciton Laser

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

As you age, skin cells lose their ability to make collagen and progressively die off rather than reproducing themselves (“DNA programmed cell death with age”).The Sciton Laser Platform allows multiple laser types and wavelengths to achieve both dramatic improvements of your skin but also maintaining its youthful appearance by reversing this process.

Here are some of the incredible treatment options available:

Forever Young BBL (Broad Band Light) Optimally delivers and visible light of many wavelengths to the epidermis and dermis. This increases the lifespan and ability of skin cells to produce more collagen and elasticity similar to a more youthful cell by making changes at the DNA level. A Stanford University Groundbreaking Research Study, the first of its kind , demonstrated that BBL treatments can restore gene expression pattern of aged human skin to resemble young skin. Results: Over 1,000 gene expressions became “rejuvenated” to be more like youthful skin resulting in more elasticity and more uniform collagen deposition; leading to improvements in fine wrinkles and pigmentation. – This increases the lifespan and ability of skin cells to produce more collagen and elasticity similar to a more youthful cell by making changes at the DNA level. Clinically the skin looks and feels smoother and more youthful.

In addition to the BBL using the SkinTyte settings also Optimally delivers Infrared and visible light to the epidermis and dermis. Infrared light is used to heat the dermal collagen which responds by becomes thicker. This in turn reduces wrinkles and causes skin firming. Typically a series of treatments weeks apart give the best results and maintained with yearly treatments. The best news is that there is no down time and easily tolerated with by itself or with topical anesthetics.

Additional filters and adapters allow selection of specific frequencies of the broad band light to treat specific problem areas. For example the smaller wavelengths are great for acne, vascular and pigmented spots like broken capillaries and red spots, rosacea, sun and age spots where some of the longer wavelengths can be used for darker skin types. A built in special temperature controlled Thermoelectric cooling at the treatment area decreases discomfort greatly

Skin Tightening with Sciton® SkinTyte

SkinTyte is the newest Sciton laser technology to tighten and firm skin without downtime.

Common conditions that benefit from this therapy include:

  • Sagging skin face jowls
  • Smile lines
  • Sagging skin on the neck, arms, abdomen, legs, and knee

SkinTyte is safe for all skin types and can be performed on any area of the body.

Frequently Asked Questions About Skin Tightening Laser Treatment

The Sciton SkinTyte system tightens the skin in the following manner:

The Sciton SkinTyte system delivers infrared light deep into the dermis. The heat from the special light:

  • Causes the collagen and elastic fibers to shrink and thicken. This process stimulates the deeper tissues to remodel collagen. The remodeled collagen responds by filling in wrinkles and restoring elasticity to sagging skin.

The powerful cooling system maintains the outer surface of the skin at cool temperatures before, during, and after each pulse making the treatment comfortable and safe with no downtime. The SkinTyte technology can be applied anywhere on loose skin, from your face to your legs. The best results come in the face and neck area, especially the:

  • Cheeks
  • Jowls
  • Nasolabial folds

SkinTyte laser treatment can also help tighten and improve the appearance of loose skin on the:

  • Arms
  • Breasts
  • Abdomen
  • Knees

It has proven beneficial in post pregnancy or after significant weight loss.

The Sciton SkinTyte system technology is FDA-approved and documented to be safer and more comfortable than the bulk heating approach of other systems because it is highly selective and more advanced in targeting collagen and elastic fibers in your loose skin.

Patients experience mild redness in the treated area immediately after treatment. This will last only a short time.

SkinTyte: Since the SkinTyte procedure is noninvasive, you can resume your normal activities immediately following treatment. There will be minimal discomfort during the SkinTyte laser procedure and topical anesthetics and local cooling will minimize any discomfort. The Sciton BBL hand piece has a large cooling sapphire crystal that keeps the skin cool and protects against discomfort. In addition, a range of energy and adjustments can be made to your comfort. The more energy you can tolerate, the better the results will be. During your treatment, there will be heat applied specifically to the dermal skin layer and you may feel a slight sunburn effect. Immediately afterwards, a tight feeling may be noticeable but no significant discomfort will be felt.

The SkinTyte system is the most advanced tissue tightening device available on the market today. A tightening effect will be visible immediately and skin will continue to firm throughout the month. A series of three to five treatments at four to six week intervals will deliver the most noticeable results of smoother, tighter skin. Improvements in the skin’s elasticity will continue over the next six months.

The Sciton MicroLaserPeel focuses on removing a thin layer of damaged skin to improve texture and provide a more youthful appearance. Being a laser it provides superior results by controlling precisely the depth of the laser. The procedure is performed our office and is custom tailored to your specific skin conditions and desired outcome with minimum down time.

Here is a synopsis of the procedure: The MicroLaserPeel’s beam is scanned over a treatment area to remove a very thin layer of the problematic skin. Removing the top layer eliminates some of the damaged cells that can give skin a tired, aged look. As the skin heals, fresh cells grow and resurface the treated area. This results in a healthier appearing skin, with reduced fine wrinkles and improved texture with color evenness. From tired looking skin to vibrant is the expected outcome. Depending on the depth of treatment the recovery time is usually 3-4 days (“week end peel”).

The following conditions can be treated with MicroLaserPeel:

  • Mild wrinkles
  • Scars
  • Keratosis (scaling lesions)
  • Sun damage (e.g. sun/age spots, freckles)
  • Pigment irregularities (dyschromias)

Most skin areas can be treated with the face, neck, chest and back of the hands most commonly treated. Your laser specialist will determine. under our Plastic Surgeon’s protocol, the best treatment choice and schedule for you to look your best. Both improvement and maintenance of your results will be discussed. These procedures can also be coupled with filler injections or Botox/Dysport if required or desired to complement your non-surgical rejuvenation.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS

How to get the best Neck Lift result

Best Neck Line Improvement Requires Best Neck Lift Options and Best Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Neck Lift is a general term relating to procedures that will improve your neckline. There are many possibilities so picking the best neck lift treatment(s) for optimal improvement is most important. A board certified plastic surgeon with a special interest and substantial experience in neck lift and lower face lift surgery is the place to start. The reason for a plastic surgeon is that he/she can offer all possible options and tell you specifically which ones are best for you. Click here for tips on finding the best plastic surgeon.

The best recommendations to improve your neck appearance depend on your needs, desires, and most importantly an examination to determine the best procedure for you. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate you for five main features that will determine your best options for neck line improvement:

  1. Amount of excess fat typically found beneath the chin, and in the upper neck. This requires liposuction with small cannulas or direct removal especially if the fat is beneath the platysma muscle.
  2. Presence of Significant (Platysmal) Banding – this requires bringing the muscles together in the upper/mid neck to a more youthful position and occasionally their release. This procedure is called a platysmaplasty or platysma plication. Mild banding can be treated non- surgically with Botox or Dysport but this requires injections 3-4 times a year for maintenance.
  3. Amount of excess/redundant skin (cutis laxa) and condition of your skin. In advanced stages this is called a Turkey Waddle or Gobble deformity. For example, younger age, darker skin colors and no large weight loss history most likely means there will be better elasticity and therefore better post-surgical contraction. In milder cases if not too much fat is present there will be enough skin shrinkage with just lipo alone. Mild to minimal skin tightening using non-surgical means like the Sciton Laser SkinTyte procedure, Ultherapy or Thermage could also be considered. My personal preference for non-surgical skin tightening of the neck is the Sciton Laser BBL SkinTyte® procedure as there is no down time, more comfortable procdure, is effective and is a more targeted treatment. For redundant upper and mid excess neck skin: I prefer the LiteLift® (lower facelift ) procedure or MACS for skin re-draping for mild to moderate excess skin management as there are minimal scars and the skin is lifted vertically allowing for minimal hidden scars resulting in a natural appearance “non pulled” appearance. However: for moderate to severe skin redundancy , a neck lift or traditional lower facelift (e.g.Lite Lift®, MACS and others) is needed with or without lipo for best results. For advanced Turkey Waddle correction wither a traditional facelift or posterior neck lift often with a platysmaplasty is required with more extensive scars that extend at the hairline behind your ears. The advantage of a facelift procedure rather than a posterior neck lift is that your lower jawline (e.g. jowls and marionette lines) are also improved at the same time.
  4. Chin deficiency. If you have a weak chin then you will not have adequate chin support to your neckline skin which affects your entire neck line. Sometimes especially in younger individuals this is all that is required and this can be done in the office under local anesthesia. There are a number of different sizes and shapes and your plastic surgeon will pick the optimal one for you.
  5. Presence of prominent Digastric Muscles or Submandibular gland fullness from laxity or enlargement. Although not a major concern for most patients, if present then partial resection is usually the best solution.

In summary, picking the most qualified and best plastic surgeon with the most experience in neck improvement is essential to ensuring that you will have a wonderful and lasting result. It is the plastic surgeon’s ability to evaluate both your anatomical features and aesthetic goals to guide you to one or more neck lift procedures to give you the best neck line possible.

Larry Nichter, MD, MS, FACS

The Best Skin Care is at a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist’s Office

To look your best, see a plastic surgeon.

The Surgeons at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery have combined efforts and created a medically based program for patients to look their best. Although many dermatologist are trained in ways to keep your skin looking the best it can, Plastic Surgeons have the unique ability to know the limitations of skin care and offer aesthetic surgical correction as needed to complement the improved texture, tone and color blending that skin care affords.

Medical Skin Care

At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, we have developed a medical skin care program called BioSpa. BioSpa has the highest trained and experienced plastic surgeons, nurses, and medical aestheticians. Doctors Larry S. Nichter, MD, FACS and Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS are the medical directors of this program. Strict guidelines for care using physician approved protocols are crucial to providing efficacious and safe treatment outcomes. Our goal is to provide medical grade skin care in a spa setting in a safe manner with results not obtainable by non-medical aestheticians.

We are committed to becoming the gold standard exceeding patients’ expectations whenever possible. Our care and treatments are to be contrasted with the multitude of skin care programs that are not directly supervised by a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist and cannot use the prescription-strength products, injections, or lasers that we utilize. We work in concert with these centers rather than compete with them, and often refer our clients back to them for routine maintenance care such as facials or microdermabrasion.

When should an Aesthetician refer to a Medical Aesthetician working with Plastic Surgeons and Aesthetic Nurses?

Aestheticians and Medical Aestheticians need to work hand-in-hand to develop a successful skin care program. Each offers different levels of services. Identification of those conditions requiring advanced services or medical products are key to the success of this program.

Clients with the following conditions should be referred to a medical aesthetician:

  1. Hyperpigmentation and irregular pigmentation, age spots
  2. Acne and its complications – e.g. scarring, hyperpigmentation, and large pores
  3. Rosacea
  4. Rhytides (Wrinkles) treatment
  5. Patients with medical conditions such as Diabetes, Exzema, history of cold sore, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, or steroid use
  6. Scar Management
  7. Previous chemical peel or laser treatment
  8. Severe sun damage (actinic changes of the skin)
  9. Plateau of results by conventional spa services requiring more aggressive medical based protocols
  10. Patients with a history of Skin Cancer or pre-cancers ( e.g. Actinic Keratosis, pigmented sores, or scaling lesions)

The following constitutes some of the treatment tools restricted to Medical Aestheticians:

All products consisting of skin care lotions, ointments, liquids, substances, creams, powders, preparations, tonics, antiseptics, and other skin care items and products which the manufacturers or distributors will make available only to a physician or to persons who are working under the guidance of a physician as to their proper use. For example these include all products within the Obagi and / or Biomedic lines, as well as retinoids (e.g. RetinA), antiviral agents, 4% or greater hydroquinones, TCA, etc.

Medical procedures and use of medical equipment which must take place by physician protocol and/or oversight:

  1. Depth of Treatment as solo procedure with a non medical machine based on a more thorough treatment determined by number of passes or time per area; any procedure which requires recovery time because of redness (erythema).
  2. Medical Grade Machine, e.g., limited distribution to medical professionals, options for increased power settings, or medication delivery systems.
  3. Treatment of Patients with Medical Problems Acne, Roseacea, scars, stretch marks, non-uniform pigmentation (dyschromias), history of skin cancer, herpes, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, previous laser or chemical peel prescription, etc.
  4. Non-medical grade microdermabrasion coupled with other treatments, e.g., glycolic, TCA, lactic acid or Jessner Peel, 4% hydroquinone, Oxymist, Dermaplaning, Micro Peel, Cryotherapy, etc.
  5. Chemical exfoliation (peels) within the scope of a cosmetologist’s license and affecting non-living tissue only, including Blue Peel, TCA peels and medical grade glycolic peels.
  6. Dermaplaning living tissue only per protocol.
  7. Laser treatments such Permanent Laser Hair reduction, IPL (photofacial) laser, vascular lasers (for broken capillaries or veins and red spots), color and scar improvement, and lasers for facial resurfacing.
  8. All injectibles such as Jeuvederm, Restylane, Sculptra, Radiesse, Voluma, Botox, lipoinjection (fat transfer). Surgical procedures.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS