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Beauty Questions

Breast augmentation surgery using implants is now the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States. According to statistics published by American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 330,000 women in the US had the procedure last year and were pleased with the results. The reason? Breast augmentation can enhance self-confidence by helping women achieve the figure they’ve always wanted.

Now a new type of implant is available that can create fuller and/or larger breasts that feel and look incredibly natural.

Decatur plastic surgeon Lisa DiFrancesco answers your questions about naturally shaped breast implants.

What makes the new teardrop-shaped breast implants different from the standard, round implants?

Shaped implants gradually slope from the upper pole (the highest part of the breast) to the lower pole (lower breast). This slight teardrop shape creates a youthful and very natural look.

Are these shaped implants FDA approved?

Yes. In fact, these silicone shaped implants have been in surgical use for about a decade in the US and were FDA approved this year.

Is the breast augmentation procedure different with these new implants?

No, it is an outpatient procedure with recovery similar to breast augmentation surgery with standard round implants. Most patients are fully recovered in four to six weeks.

In addition to the more natural look, are there any other advantages to the new, shaped breast implants?

Yes. They have lower complication rates for rupture and capsular contracture when compared to smooth round silicone implants used in breast augmentation

Interested in breast augmentation or other cosmetic procedures?

Call 404-377-3474 to schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD, to discuss your individual needs. 150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 190, Decatur.

For more information, visit http://www.drdifrancesco.com/. Follow Dr. DiFrancesco on Facebook and Twitter, too.

 


 

Would you like to start the New Year with a trimmer, more contoured body? Liposuction may be the answer.

While it’s no substitute for a healthy diet and exercise for weight loss, liposuction can slim and reshape specific areas of the body. If you have areas of stubborn fat deposits that don’t seem to budge, no matter how much you diet and workout, liposuction can help.

Dr. Lisa M. DiFrancesco answers your questions about liposuction.

What areas of the body can liposuction improve?

Liposuction can smooth contours and remove unwanted fat from many areas of the body – including the abdomen, where many people have the dreaded “muffin top.” We also use liposuction for under the chin, male chest, hips, thighs, knees, upper arms and back, where a “bra roll” of excess fat often develops.

If I gain weight does the fat return?

No, once the fat cells are removed by liposuction they are gone for good.

Does it improve the look of skin?

Yes. Although, liposuction is not an effective treatment for the dimpled skin known as cellulite, it does stimulate collagen tissue at the same time fat is removed. This helps tighten and improve loose skin.

How long does it take for liposuction and when do you see results?

Liposuction is performed under local anesthesia with light sedation or general anesthesia depending on the number, size and location of the affected areas. Many of our patients are able to resume normal activities including work, in a day or two and return to full activity in two weeks. We do recommend wearing a compression garment for about six weeks after liposuction. Most patients see results within one week after liposuction with maximum results at about six months.

Call 404-377-3474 to schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD, to see whether traditional liposuction or laser liposuction is right for you. Piedmont West Building, 1800 Howell Mill Rd. Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30318.For more information, visit http://www.drdifrancesco.com/.

Follow Dr. DiFrancesco on Facebook and Twitter.

 


 

Summer is around the corner – and many people are dreading wearing revealing warm weather clothes and bathing suits. Due to aging, childbirth, weight fluctuations and genetics, your body shape may not reflect how you feel or want to look.

Thanks to advances in cosmetic procedures, there are now effective ways to smooth, contour and improve your figure.

Dr. Lisa M. DiFrancesco answers your questions about get-ready-for-summer procedures.

What does a “tummy tuck” do?

If you’ve tried dieting and exercising but still aren’t happy with your mid-section, abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) can help. The procedure tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. If you have small areas of excess fat or loose skin, a mini-tummy tuck may be all you need.

Can liposuction reshape body contours?

Liposuction removes unwanted fat from the neck, abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper-arms, the back “bra roll,” and calves. Laser liposuction is an advancement which liquefies fat so it can be gently removed through small incisions. The result is less bruising and swelling and a faster recovery time than traditional liposuction.

What is SculpSure™?

This noninvasive procedure uses laser energy to melt fat cells in specific areas, such as “love handles,” or the abdomen. Over about six weeks, your body naturally removes the fat. The treated area is firmer, flatter and slimmed with no pain or downtime.

What’s best – breast augmentation or breast lift?

It depends on your particular body and preference. State-of-the-art 3D imaging can help you choose your desired breast shape and size. Breast augmentation uses implants to make breasts fuller or to restore breast volume after weight reduction or pregnancy. A breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding area. Augmentation may be performed with a breast lift to improve breasts that are sagging or have lost firmness.

Can thighs be lifted?

Absolutely. Weight loss, aging, bulges of fat and lax skin can leave thighs looking lumpy and saggy. A thigh lift improves and smooths the contours of the inner and outer thighs.

How much down time is there after these procedures?

It varies with the procedure, but most people are back to normal activities in from one to six weeks.

Call 404-377-3474 to schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD, to discuss body shaping procedures. Piedmont West Building, 1800 Howell Mill Rd. Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30318.For more information, visit http://www.drdifrancesco.com/.

Follow Dr. DiFrancesco on Facebook and Twitter.

 


 

Have you ever been surprised by your tired looking eyes staring back at you in the mirror—even when you feel rested? The cause is often droopy upper eyelids which can make you appear fatigued. Sometimes lax eyelid skin can even interfere with vision. Fortunately, upper eyelid surgery, sometimes called an eye lift, can give your eyes a younger, refreshed outlook.

Decatur plastic surgeon Lisa DiFrancesco answers questions about upper eyelid surgery.

What causes droopy upper eyelids?

The medical term for the condition is eyelid ptosis, and it is most often the result of normal aging. However, it can also be caused by a congenital abnormality or due to nerve injury. Upper eyelids droop because of weakness or stretching of the muscle responsible for opening the eyelid, excess upper eyelid skin, or nerve damage to the eyelid muscles.

What are typical symptoms?

Symptoms associated with ptosis that occurs with aging are often seen in both eyes and result in drooping of the eyelid and excessive tearing. In some people, the drooping causes vision impairment by interfering with peripheral vision, especially impacting night vision.

How can droopy upper eyelids be corrected?

People with ptosis can elect to have eyelid surgery to improve their appearance and make them look younger, more rested and alert. The muscle is repaired and excess skin removed through incisions that are hidden within the natural folds of the upper eyelids.

How long does the procedure take?

It’s usually done as an outpatient and involves one to two hours of surgery. There is some swelling and bruising of the eyelids afterwards but usually only a week or so of downtime. In some cases, if the drooping eyelids have interfered with vision, the surgery may be covered by insurance.

For more information, visit www.drdifrancesco.com. To schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD., call 404.377.3474. Her office is located at 150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 190, Decatur.

 


 

Do you ever look in the mirror and notice your cheeks don’t seem as high and rounded as they did in younger years? Or do you notice a deepening line between your nose and mouth? Those are normal signs of aging. But now there’s a non-surgical way to subtly reverse these changes over several months. Sculptra Aesthetic is an injectable treatment that improves shallow to deep folds and wrinkles, creating a more youthful, lifted facial contour.

Decatur plastic surgeon Lisa DiFrancesco answers your questions about Sculptra Aesthetic.

How does Sculptra Aesthetic create younger-looking skin?

Over time, faces change due to a loss of bony structure, soft tissues sag from gravity and the skin’s collagen levels decrease. Sculptra Aesthetic contains a biocompatible material that has been safely used by physicians for decades. It gradually boosts collagen levels in the skin, filling in nasal-labial folds (between the nose and mouth) and adding volume to cheeks and other areas that have changed over time.

How many injections do you need and how long before you can expect to see results?

Three to five injections are done about six weeks apart in the office. Patients start seeing results from Sculptra Aesthetic after several weeks. The benefits can last for up to two years.

What are some of the side effects?

Sculptra Aesthetic is injected deep beneath the skin. The use of a numbing cream prior to treatment minimizes any discomfort. Some people experience minor bruising and swelling after the injections.

Do you offer gift certificates for Sculptra Aesthetic?

Absolutely. We have gift certificates for Sculptra and other specific procedures, or you can also purchase a gift certificate for a dollar amount.

Interested in Sculptra Aesthetic or other cosmetic procedures?

Schedule an appointment today for a consultation with Dr. DiFrancesco to discuss your individual needs.

For more information on Sculptra Esthetic, join us for a lunch-and-learn on Dec. 2. Space is limited so call 404.377.3473 to reserve your spot. For more information, visit DrDifrancesco.com.

 


 

Longer days with beautiful, sunny days and balmy temperatures are here. But before you head to the pool, work in your garden or even take a walk, don’t forget to protect your skin. Sun exposure hastens wrinkles and other signs of aging. It raises your risk of skin cancer, too. Get the facts on how to avoid the sun’s dangers and what innovative treatments can help already sun-damaged skin.

Decatur plastic surgeon Lisa DiFrancesco answers questions about protecting your skin from the sun.

What does sun exposure do to skin?

The sun emits two types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB). UVA penetrates clouds and glass and plays a major role in causing skin aging. UVB can’t go through glass but it does penetrate the skin’s outer layer of your skin, causing redness and sunburn and raising skin cancer risk, including basal cell and squamous cell cancers.

What should you look for in a sunscreen?

Effective sunscreens should protect against both UVA and UVB and have an adequate Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The SPF number indicates how long it takes UVB rays to redden the skin—not how much protection the product gives you. For example, SPF15 means it takes 15 times longer for sun exposure to redden the skin when you use that product than going without sunscreen. It’s important to reapply sunscreens every two hours, too.

New FDA rules for sunscreens take effect this year. The highest permitted SPF factor is now 50 and products with a “broad spectrum” label must demonstrate protection against both UVA and UVB. To best minimize exposure to UV radiation, use physical sunblocks which include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These products are available in my office.

What can be done to correct and protect already sun-damaged skin?

Products with antioxidants, especially vitamin C, can reduce wrinkles and lighten hyperpigmentation. Other methods for treating sun damage include microdermabrasion, chemical peels and a skin care regimen prescribed specifically for your skin. For additional or products, please call our office.

For more information, visit www.drdifrancesco.com. To schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD., call 404.377.3474. Her office is located at 150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 190, Decatur.

 


 

Breasts that seem the perfect size and shape for a woman’s body in her younger years can change over time. Breasts that were round and firm often become flatter and elongated. Although no amount of exercise or so-called firming creams can help, there is a permanent way to restore a youthful contour to sagging breasts.

Decatur plastic surgeon Lisa DiFrancesco answers questions about breast lifts.

What is a breast lift?

The medical term for this procedure is mastopexy surgery. It involves raising the nipple and areola, removing excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue for a more youthful appearance. When combined with a breast reduction, this results in a smaller but lifted breast.

What’s the difference between a breast lift and breast implants?

Breast implants increase the size of breasts and may lift the breast contour slightly but not dramatically. Implants used may be silicone or saline and are placed above or below the muscle. Breast-lift surgery alone does not significantly change the size of your breasts. However, the combination of a breast lift with implants can create larger, fuller breasts with greater cleavage.

Who can benefit from a breast lift?

Time, pregnancy, significant weight-loss and breastfeeding can all cause the breast to lose shape and firmness as well as skin elasticity. Women who experience this sagging or deflated appearance can benefit from the procedure.

How long does it take to recover from a breast lift?

breast lift is performed in the hospital, and recovery time depends on the individual. However, most women can return to work in two to three weeks. You will usually be able to return to exercise and regular activities, with your doctor’s approval, after four to six weeks.

For more information, visit www.drdifrancesco.com. Call 404.377.3474 to schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, M.D. Her office is located at 150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 190, Decatur.

 


 

It’s not unusual to add a few pounds during the holiday season. It’s also not unusual to resolve to improve your appearance in the new year. Dieting and exercise are a great way to lose pounds and firm up, but sometimes problem areas like “saddle bag” thighs and “spare tires” around the waist are stubborn. However, Smart Lipo can offer remarkable, fast results to help you start off 2012 looking your best.

Decatur plastic surgeon Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco answers questions about this latest innovation in body contouring.

What makes Smart Lipo different from traditional liposuction?

Smart Lipo uses traditional liposuction but adds an additional step—a laser that breaks up fat cells so excess fat can be permanently removed using smaller cannulas (hollow tubes) and small incisions.

What are the advantages to this newer type of liposuction?

With Smart Lipo, there is less tissue trauma, swelling and bruising. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, too. These advantages add up to a significantly faster recovery with about half the down-time of traditional liposuction. In fact, patients can usually return to work in one to three days after their Smart Lipo and return to exercising in about two weeks.

Who is a good candidate for Smart Lipo?

Any man or woman who is healthy but who has one or more areas of persistent fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise.

Can Smart Lipo be used on any area of the body?

In addition to areas like the waist and thighs, it also can be used on arms and even the jaw line. The laser stimulates collagen production which helps with skin retraction, creating smoother results.

If a person has indentions or other problems from traditional liposuction, can Smart Lipo help?

Complications such as dimples and lumps from prior procedures can be difficult to correct. They may require a combination of laser-assisted liposuction and fat injection. Patients should have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to tailor a specific plan for their problem.

For more information, visit www.drdifrancesco.com. Call 404.377.3474 to schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, M.D. Her office is located at 150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 190, Decatur.

 


 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could make superfluous—and embarrassing—hair on your upper lip or chin go away permanently? And what if you could face the summer months without worrying about shaving or waxing your legs and bikini line before donning that new bathing suit? Now you can, thanks to advances in medical laser treatments. Not only can lasers remove unwanted hair but they can zap away unattractive spider veins on your face and legs, too.

Decatur plastic surgeon Lisa DiFrancesco answers your questions about laser treatments.

What kind of beauty problems can be helped with lasers?

We use a laser for hair removal—most often on legs, underarms, lip or chin. Men as well as women can benefit. Men often opt for removal of excess hair on the back or face. In addition, the laser can remove pigmented lesions and small, fine blood vessels.

How long does it take to permanently get rid of unwanted hair?

Laser hair removal is typically done in packages of five to six treatments that take place four to six weeks apart. Several treatments are needed so we can catch hair follicles in an active growth phase.

Who is a good candidate for laser treatment?

Our laser can be used for all skin types and works on the majority of hair.

Do you offer free consultations on hair removal and spider vein treatments?

Absolutely. We are also offering 20 percent off laser packages purchased in January 2013, if you mention this ad. It’s a great way to get ready for spring and summer. Interested in laser hair removal or other cosmetic procedures? Schedule an appointment today for a consultation with Dr. DiFrancesco to discuss your individual needs.

For more information, visit DrDifrancesco.com or call 404.377.3474 to schedule a personal consultation with Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD. Follow Dr. DiFrancesco on Facebook and Twitter, too.

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