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Dr. Vu offers a full range of surgical procedures which may include but not limited to breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction, body lifts, face lift, brow lift, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery. Dr. Vu is also interested in pursuing areas of post-bariatric surgery and surgeries for men. Dr. Vu feel that these two areas have not been given much attention, whether due to being a sensitive topics or because these areas have not been given much media attention. “I feel that everyone has his or her own reason to wish or desire to look good, feel better and be confident about themselves.”

Dr. Vu welcomes you to review the information regarding her most popular procedures. We encourage you to call our office to inquire about other procedures you may be interested in. We also highly recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Vu to learn about your surgical options. Call our office to learn more about procedures offered by Dr. Vu and to schedule your consultation at 503-601-2910.

“It is very gratifying for me to have the opportunity to show my techniques to my patients and feel very honored and privileged that my patients have the trust in me to help them look and feel more beautiful.”

Face Procedures

Wipe away years or unwanted appearances with the help of Dr. Vu and these facial procedures. These procedures can help reduce wrinkles, remove fat and loose skin, and re-shape your face so that you’ll love what you see in the mirror.

If you’re looking for a non-surgical approach, Dr. Vu also offers treatments and products. Botox and Juvederm are injectable treatments that help improve and reduce lines and creases and restore a smoother, more youthful appearance.

If you’ve experienced sun damage, have skin that is dry or oily, or are just looking for a healthier skin care regimen, The Vu Center offers great skin care products by Obagi and Epionce. Dr. Vu also offers the VI Peel which is a highly effective chemical peel that restores and rejuvenates all skin types.

BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY

Facelift

Wipe the years away and look young again with a face lift. With aging we develop lines and creases on our faces, due to the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life. Deep creases and lines form on the forehead and on the face, ...

Facelift

Wipe the years away and look young again with a face lift. With aging we develop lines and creases on our faces, due to the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life. Deep creases and lines form on the forehead, the face, there is jowling along the jawline, folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. Now you can turn back the clock and recapture your lost youthful look.

Blephoraplasty/Eyelid Surgery

Do you have droopy eyelids or unsightly bags beneath your eyes? Are they making you look older than you are? Now you can refresh your look and your face with a Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery. Eyelid surgery (technical term blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove redundant fat...

Blephoraplasty

Eyelid Surgery

Do you have droopy eyelids or unsightly bags beneath your eyes? Are they making you look older than you are? Now you can refresh your look and your face with a Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery. Eyelid surgery (technical term blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove redundant fat, skin and sometimes muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – the unwanted aesthetic appearance that make you look older and more tired than you feel. Sometimes the severity may even interfere with your vision.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is An Eyelid Surgery Candidate?

  • If you have excessive, sagging or wrinkled upper or lower eyelid skin. If you have excess upper eyelid skin that interferes with vision.
  • If you have lost your natural upper eyelid crease.
  • If you have puffy pouches of fat in the upper or lower lids that create a tired or aged appearance.

Eyelid Surgery Intended Results

  • A more youthful and rested appearance of the eyes.
  • Widening of visual fields if excessive upper lid skin has partially blocked vision.
  • It will not remove or erase all wrinkle lines.
  • It will soften wrinkle lines.

Eyelid Surgery Procedure

The operation is done on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia. The incisions are made where the natural crease should be in the upper lids and below the lash line in the lower lids. Excess fat and skin are removed. If only excess fat is present in the lower lids, it may be removed through an incision inside the lower lids with no external incision or scar (transconjunctival blepharoplasty).

Eyelid Surgery Recuperation and Healing

  • All sutures are usually removed within 7-10 days.
  • Initial mild discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
  • Bruising and sensitivity to light last at least a week or two.
  • Swelling progressively disappears over several weeks.
  • Eye makeup can be used shortly after sutures are removed.
  • Contact lenses can be worn when comfortable — usually within 3-7 days.

Eyelid Surgery Other Options

Additional procedures that would enhance the result are: Forehead Lift, Face Lift, Chemical Peel or Laser Skin Resurfacing.

Eyelid Surgery Insurance Guidelines

Occasionally, if surgery is being done to improve the field of vision, insurance may cover upper lid surgery.
Otherwise, these procedures are considered cosmetic and the patient is responsible for payment.

SURGERY RISKS

Who Is An Eyelid Surgery Candidate?

  • If you have excessive, sagging or wrinkled upper or lower eyelid skin. If you have excess upper eyelid skin that interferes with vision.
  • If you have lost your natural upper eyelid crease.
  • If you have puffy pouches of fat in the upper or lower lids that create a tired or aged appearance.

Eyelid Surgery Intended Results

  • A more youthful and rested appearance of the eyes.
  • Widening of visual fields if excessive upper lid skin has partially blocked vision.
  • It will not remove or erase all wrinkle lines.
  • It will soften wrinkle lines.

Eyelid Surgery Procedure

The operation is done on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia. The incisions are made where the natural crease should be in the upper lids and below the lash line in the lower lids. Excess fat and skin are removed. If only excess fat is present in the lower lids, it may be removed through an incision inside the lower lids with no external incision or scar (transconjunctival blepharoplasty).

Eyelid Surgery Recuperation and Healing

  • All sutures are usually removed within 7-10 days.
  • Initial mild discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
  • Bruising and sensitivity to light last at least a week or two.
  • Swelling progressively disappears over several weeks.
  • Eye makeup can be used shortly after sutures are removed.
  • Contact lenses can be worn when comfortable — usually within 3-7 days.

Eyelid Surgery Other Options

Additional procedures that would enhance the result are: Forehead Lift, Face Lift, Chemical Peel or Laser Skin Resurfacing.

Eyelid Surgery Insurance Guidelines

Occasionally, if surgery is being done to improve the field of vision, insurance may cover upper lid surgery.
Otherwise, these procedures are considered cosmetic and the patient is responsible for payment.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.
A. Ice
Ice packs or iced sponges help tremendously after eyelid surgery. A bowl of ice cubes and several sponges at the bedside can soothe sore areas during the first day or so. It is more important to sleep than to have ice on your eyelids, so don’t “stay up” in order to ice. When you do awaken, apply some ice for a few minutes before going back to
sleep.
B. Bleeding and clotted blood
Keeping the head elevated will help reduce swelling. If you bleed from one of the suture lines, apply pressure with a sponge for 10-20
minutes, and it will almost certainly stop. If dried or clotted blood is stuck in the sutures or along the suture line, we advise gentle cleansing with peroxide or soap and water.
C. Sutures
Dr. Vu will remove the steristrips or bandages 2-4 days after surgery. Any sutures may be removed 4-6 days after surgery, and will place adhesive strips (steri-strips) over the part of the incisions that extends outward from your eyelids. These remain in place for several days.
D. Sunscreen and Makeup
After the sutures have been removed, use a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on your eyelids when outside, and continue to do so for at least 6 months after surgery. You may apply makeup in addition to sunscreen on your eyelids the day after the sutures are removed.
E. Activities
Most people feel nearly normal within a day or two after eyelid surgery (except for the eyelid itself). You can return to work as desired, provided your job does not involve any heavy lifting or straining. Do not do aerobic or heavy exercise for at least 3 weeks after surgery in order to avoid excessive swelling or bleeding.
F. Dryness
After surgery you may notice that your eyes feel dryer than normal. This usually subsides in a matter of days to weeks. Until then, use artificial tears to comfort and protect the eye surface.
G. Sensitivity and vision
Your eyes may feel sensitive to light for several days, and your vision may blur for a week to 10 days. These are common occurrences and should not alarm you.
H. Swelling
All swelling will not disappear for several months. During this period, the eyelids will feel heavier and thicker than normal.
I. Scars
The scars usually along the upper eyelid crease and/or along the lower lid margin, which may not be visible. However, any visible scars will become almost invisible when they turn white. This usually happens 4-12 months after surgery.

Rhinoplasty/Nose Surgery

Is your mirror telling you your nose doesn’t fit your face? Have you suffered a nose injury or a birth defect that needs repair? Perhaps your nose just doesn’t fit as proportionately as you would like. Whatever the reason, with a rhinoplasty surgery for nose reshaping from Dr. ...

Rhinoplasty

Nose Surgery

Is your mirror telling you your nose doesn’t fit your face? Have you suffered a nose injury or a birth defect that needs repair? Perhaps your nose just doesn’t fit as proportionately as you would like. Whatever the reason, with a rhinoplasty surgery for nose reshaping from Dr. Kim-Chi Vu, your nose will have new appeal and your face will be in proportion.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Rhinoplasty Surgery Candidate?
If you have an abnormal appearance of the nose as a result of birth defects, injury, or disease, or a nose that is cosmetically unattractive or does not “fit” with your other facial features.

Intended Results:

More attractive nasal shape. Your Nose in better proportion to other facial features.

Procedure Description

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Frequently used for difficult or larger noses, rhinoplasty involves one external incision across the columella (strut between the nostrils). Bones, cartilage, and soft tissues are reshaped under direct vision.

Open Rhinoplasty:

If only the nasal tip is abnormal, it may be corrected with either a standard or external open approach.

Open Tip-Plasty:

Large nostrils may be reduced through tiny incisions at the outer base of the nostrils with either type of rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty Recuperation And Healing:

The patient goes home with an external cast or splint in place. The nose may be packed for 24-48 hours. The cast or splint is usually removed in one week.
Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.

The majority of swelling and bruising subsides progressively over 2-4 weeks. External sutures (if any) are removed in 4-6 days. Internal sutures dissolve on their own.

Semifinal result is evident in 3 months. Final result is evident in 12-14 months which is the time necessary for complete tissue softening.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks.

Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes.

Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding rhinoplasty surgery.

A. Possible Need for further surgery

If asymmetry or an undesired contour is present after surgery, you may require an additional small surgical procedure to revise the appearance.

This seems to occur more commonly in nasal procedures than in other cosmetic surgery operations because we cannot always predict how the nose will heal over time. If a second procedure seems necessary, we usually wish to wait at least 6 months from the time of the most recent procedure.

B. Difficulty breathing

Swelling: It takes 10-12 months for ALL swelling to disappear and for your final result to show. Nasal surgery causes swelling both inside and outside the nose. If your septum has been operated on, you will have plastic splints within the nostrils. Dr. Vu or a nurse will usually remove the splints in 7-14 days.

C. Decreased sensation

Scarring: Internal scarring or adhesions may occur, but are unlikely complications. Reduced sensation or numbness of nose may occur (usually the nasal tip) following rhinoplasty. The problem usually (but not always) disappears with time.

D. Nasal obstruction

Possible healing problems may occur which may result in the airways remaining blocked or obstructed causing difficulty in breathing.

E. Injury to adjacent structures and nasal functions

Injury to nerves, tear ducts, muscles and sense of smell are very rare, but can potentially occur.

F. Perforated nasal septum

A permanent hole (perforation) developing through the septum (divider between the two sides of the nose) is a remote possibility following rhinoplasty. Most small perforations are essentially asymptomatic.

In rare cases, further surgical correction may be indicated. Very rarely, the septal perforation cannot be corrected.

G. Tip swelling

There may be persistent swelling in the nose especially around the tip that may be temporary, last several months or years, or may be permanent.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your rhinoplasty postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Nasal packing

We usually are able to avoid nasal packing after surgery. If you have bled slightly more than usual during your operation, or if there is some other reason, we may occasionally use packing.

With packing in place, you will have to breathe through your mouth, and you will have somewhat more swelling than usual. We will usually remove such packing in 24-48 hours.

B. Internal splints

If you have had surgery on your septum as part of your rhinoplasty, plastic splints willbe sutured inside your nose. Although these take up some room, your nasal passages should not be totally obstructed. Dr. Vu will usually remove the splints from 7 to 14 days after surgery.

C. External splint

The splint put on your nose at the end of surgery is intended to provide protection, serving as a sort of small external skeleton. We will change it in the office 2-3 times a week. It will be removed in 10-14 days.

D. Head elevation

Keeping your head (and nose) elevated tends to reduce swelling. If possible, sleep on two or three pillows.

E. Dried blood in nostrils

After surgery, some oozing and bleeding usually occurs for a day or two, and crusting dried blood will collect in the nostrils. Use of NA-SAL or Ocean Spray Saline Nasal Spray for a few days will help clean the area; debris can be removed with an infant aspiration bulb.

F. Numbness and swelling

You may experience some degree of numbness of the tip of your nose for up to one year. You may have some swelling for 12-36 months, and the incision site inside the nose may remain swollen or feel firm for many months after surgery.

G. Swelling

Increasing Intermittent increases in swelling will occur for the first few weeks after surgery.

H. Dripping

You may want to carry some tissues with you for a few weeks after surgery, as your nose may “drip.”

I. Activities

Nasal surgery usually hurts very little. Many people feel quite “normal” within a day or two. If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return when you are able. Heavy exercise or straining can cause bleeding or swelling during the first 2-3 weeks. Please be careful!

Brow Lift

A forehead lift or browlift is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired. In a forehead lift, the muscles...

Brow Lift

A forehead lift or browlift is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad or tired. In a forehead lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. If yo

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Browlift Candidate?

If your forehead sags or your brows hang too low and too close to the eyes. If you have deep vertical furrows between the eyebrows (frown lines).

Intended Results:

A more youthful and rested appearance to the forehead and upper eyelids.

Procedure Description

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. The incisions are usually made behind the hairline. For patients with high foreheads, the incisions can be placed in front of the hairline. The forehead skin is lifted and repositioned. The muscles that cause frown lines are weakened. Endoscopic Brow Lifts are performed through limited scalp incisions when done as isolated procedures.

Browlift Recuperation And Healing:

The patient goes home with head wrapped in dressings, which are usually removed on the first or second day after surgery. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Sutures or staples are removed within 10 days. Most swelling and bruising is gone in 7-10 days.

Other Options:

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Lower and/or Upper Eyelid lift, Face Lift, or other facial procedures or implants.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding your browlift surgery.

A. Loss of Sensation

The upper part of the forehead and the top of the head usually experience reduced or absent sensation for several months to a year (or even longer) after surgery. As the sensory nerves regenerate, patients normally experience tingling, shooting sensations, or itching. Massage usually relieves these symptoms.

B. Hair Loss

A few patients experience hair loss in front of the incisions. When it does occur, it usually lasts only several months, during which the hair follicles remain in a resting phase.

C. Itching

Areas of itching in the forehead or scalp may occur and be annoying for a few months. This will usually resolve with time.

D. Nerve Injury

Permanent motor nerve damage (loss of motion of one or both sides of the forehead) is possible, but unlikely. Some weakness of one or both sides of the forehead can occur after surgery. In this occurrence, partial or complete improvement usually occurs after several months or a year or more.

E. Asymmetry

Please realize that everyone’s face is uneven from side to side. This will not be changed by this surgery. Preoperative differences in the appearance of your eyebrows will usually not be corrected by a brow lift. Small height differences between the two brows may be corrected.

F. Contour abnormalities

Partial removal of the muscles that cause frowning or forehead wrinkling may leave small skin depressions. This is not common, and if it occurs, is mild.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Shampoo

You may shampoo your hair as soon as 24 hours after surgery. Because of the decreased sensation that often occurs in this area, use warm rather than hot water, and gently use your fingertips. You may touch the staples, but do not pull or remove them. If you use a hair dryer, use the lowest heat setting.

B. Dressings

A nurse or Dr. Vu will remove your dressings the day after surgery.

C. Position

Keeping the head elevated helps reduce swelling and discomfort.

D. Sutures

Dr. Vu will remove the sutures or staples approximately one week after surgery.

E. Exposure to Sunlight

If you have thin hair, protect your scar from sun exposure for at least 6 months after surgery. Remember to wear a hat or sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 whenever you go outside.

F. Bruising and Swelling

If postoperative oozing occurs under your forehead flap, some swelling and bruising may develop in the upper eyelids or around the eyes. This will usually resolve within 2 weeks.

G. Numbness

Beware of bumping your head. The decreased sensation that often occurs in this area may make you temporarily unaware of an injury.

H. Activities

You may return to work as soon as you feel comfortable doing so (usually anywhere from 3 to 7 days after surgery). DO NOT DO ANY STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES OR AEROBIC EXERCISE FOR AT LEAST 3 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY. Strenuous activities can cause bleeding and swelling for longer periods than you realize.

Chin Augmentation

A good candidate for Chin Augmentation has a small or receding chin, a chin that looks too small in comparison with other facial features and possibly makes the nose appear longer. Or someone with a desire for increased chin prominence. The intended result is an improved profile...

Chin Augmentation

A good candidate for Chin Augmentation has a small or receding chin, a chin that looks too small in comparison with other facial features and possibly makes the nose appear longer. Or someone with a desire for increased chin prominence. The intended result is an improved profile, and a more attractive jaw line that creates a better balance between the chin and other facial features.

Additional procedures that would enhance the result are: Liposuction of the neck, nose reshaping (Rhinoplasty), Neck Lift, or Laser Skin Resurfacing.

QUICK GLANCE

Procedure description:

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia.
An incision is made inside the lower lip or under the chin, and an implant is placed.
In an alternative method called sliding osteotomy, a portion of the chin bone is permanently moved forward.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Postoperative Care FAQ

The patient goes home with a small pressure dressing over the chin.
Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
Swelling, tenderness, and possible local numbness gradually subside within a month or two.

BOTOX® Cosmetic

As you’ve aged, has your face started to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting. Are you seeing unsightly lines you wish weren’t there, lines you didn’t have even just 5 years ago? As you age, ...

BOTOX® Cosmetic

As you’ve aged, has your face started to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting? Are you seeing unsightly lines you wish weren’t there, lines you didn’t have even just 5 years ago?

As you age, the underlying tissues that keep your skin looking youthful and plumped up begin to break down- often leaving laugh lines, smile lines, frown lines, crow’s feet or facial creases over the areas where this muscle movement occurs.

BOTOX® Cosmetic (onbotulinumtoxinA) is the first and only FDA approved product that temporarily treats crow’s feet on the sides of your eyes and frown lines located in between your eyebrows. Botox is injected into the muscles between the brows and the area around the sides of the eyes to improve the look of these lines.

The results, frequency of treatment, and number of units of Botox injected varies from patient to patient. This will be discussed and determined after a proper evaluation and consultation at The Vu Center. Injection treatments are very quick and performed in office by Dr. Vu.

 

Please see below for more information provided by Allergan.

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JUVÉDERM®

Over time, our facial appearance and skin change- skin loses elasticity and volume, lines and wrinkles form. Fortunately there is Juvéderm to restore a more youthful appearance by lifting, plumping, and smoothing different areas of the face. Juvéderm is an injectable gel that fills facial lines and creases, ...

JUVÉDERM®

Over time, our facial appearance and skin change- skin loses elasticity and volume, lines and wrinkles form. Fortunately there is Juvéderm to restore a more youthful appearance by lifting, plumping, and smoothing different areas of the face. Juvéderm is an injectable gel that fills facial lines and creases, adds volume and contour to the cheeks, and plumps the lips for a fuller smile.

This is a non-surgical treatment that is done quickly in the office and delivers instant, long-lasting results. The results, frequency of treatment, and volume of Juvéderm injected varies from patient to patient. This will be discussed and determined after a proper evaluation and consultation at The Vu Center.

 

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VI Peel®

VI Peel® is a new generation skin resurfacing chemical peel that improves skin texture, tone, and color. It’s formulated for anti-aging, rejuvenating, and restoring a variety of skin types. VI Peel® softens lines, wrinkles, and rough skin, reduces age spots and sun damage, and gives a more even skin ...

VI Peel®

VI Peel® is a new generation skin resurfacing chemical peel that improves skin texture, tone, and color. It’s formulated for anti-aging, rejuvenating, and restoring a variety of skin types. VI Peel® softens lines, wrinkles, and rough skin, reduces age spots and sun damage, and gives a more even skin tone.

The Vu Center also offers the VI Peel® Precision Plus Peel that includes all the benefits of the regular VI Peel® but contains an extra booster that specifically targets pigmentation, sun damage, and acne scarring. It helps to brighten and renew stubborn and discolored skin.

Both the VI Peel® and VI Peel® Precision Plus treatments are quick, virtually pain free, and done in the office where a chemical solution is applied to the skin. It helps remove the top layers of skin, revealing fresh skin layers with little downtime but long lasting results, transformation, and prevention of future skin damage. Your skin will begin to peel and exfoliate usually during days 3-7 after the chemical peel is applied. Results and level of peeling varies from patient to patient. You will be given a take home kit with the essential products and instructions to ensure optimal results and care. A proper evaluation and consultation at The Vu Center will help determine which VI Peel® is suitable for you.

 

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What-to-Expect

Breast Procedures

The aesthetic beauty of a breast is to achieve harmony between the breast skin envelope, the volume of breast tissue parenchyma and the nipple position. During your consultation, Dr. Vu will address these factors. Then based on the breast examination and measurements, her goal is to provide you with proper information and recommendation of breast surgery options depending on what your concerns and desires may be.

BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY

Breast Augmentation

Thinking about Breast Augmentation? Based upon the examination and measurements of the breasts, you will be provided with the proper information and recommendations about different options for your breast enhancement depending on what your concerns are and what your desires may be...

Breast Augmentation

A breast augmentation is a procedure that allows you to have beautifully proportionate breasts, with the right volume and shape to help you look your best, whether dressed for the ball or the beach.

Have more confidence than you have in years, feel a surge of self esteem and turn heads where ever you go with a breast augmentation from Dr. Kim-Chi Vu, Plastic Surgeon, Portland, OR.

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure for breast enhancement to restore the natural and esthetic beauty of the breast to achieve harmony between the breast skin envelope, the volume of breast tissue (parenchyma) and the nipples position. During your breast augmentation consultation, Dr. Vu will address all the breast augmentation issues with you.

Based upon the breast augmentation examination and breast measurements, you will be provided with the proper information and recommendations about different options for your breast enhancement depending on what your concerns are and what your desires may be.

Breast augmentation surgery will enhance breast volume and projection by using breast implants. The implants of choices are saline implants and silicone gel implants, both are approved by the food and drug administration (FDA) in the United States. The breast implants used in breast augmentation can be placed in either a submuscular position or subglandular position.

The incision to gain access to create the pocket for the implants can be either along the periareolar, inframmary fold or axillary approach. Consideration in choosing the implant will be influenced by the amount of natural breast tissue you have, your existing breast size, and the breast size you hope to achieve. In addition, your overall body size and height as well as your chest wall dimension will also taken into consideration in choosing an implant to make it more proportional to your body.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Breast Augmentation Candidate?

  • Women who desire larger breasts.
  • Women with a moderate degree of breast sagging and smaller breasts, whose problem can be solved by enlargement.
  • Women who have one breast that is noticeably smaller than the other.

Intended Results:

  • Larger and more shapely breasts.
  • A more positive self image.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.
  • A small incision is made under the breast, around the nipple, or under the arm and a saline implant is inserted under the breast tissue or under the breast tissue and the underlying muscle.

Recovery and Healing

  • The patient goes home in an elastic bra. The bra helps hold the breasts in the correct position.
  • Initial discomfort is controlled with oral medication.
  • Sutures are usually removed in 7-12 days.
  • Light activities can be resumed as tolerated. Aerobic activities can be started in about 3 weeks.

Other Breast Augmentation Options

An additional procedure that would enhance the result is a Mastopexy (breast lift), if the breasts are saggy in addition to being small.

Insurance Guidelines

This procedure is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. The patient is responsible for payment.

NOTE:

THE SPECIFIC RISKS AND THE SUITABILITY OF THE BREAST AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE FOR A GIVEN INDIVIDUAL CAN BE DETERMINED ONLY AT THE TIME OF CONSULTATION. ALL SURGICAL PROCEDURES HAVE SOME DEGREE OF RISK. MINOR COMPLICATIONS THAT DO NOT AFFECT THE OUTCOME CAN OCCUR OCCASIONALLY. MAJOR COMPLICATIONS ARE UNUSUAL.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding breast augmentation.

A. Capsular Contracture
Capsular contraction is the most common side effect of breast implants. During surgery, a pocket is created for the implant that is somewhat larger than the implant. A fibrous membrane, called a capsule, then forms around the device. Under ideal circumstances, the pocket maintains its original dimensions and the implant stays inside, remaining soft and natural. For reasons that appear to relate to the individual characteristics of the patient, however, the scar capsule shrinks in some women and squeezes the implant, resulting in various degrees of firmness.

This contraction can occur soon after surgery or many years later and can appear in one or both breasts. Some theories suggest that a low-grade infection may “trigger” some contraction. Capsular contraction is not a health risk, but it can detract from the quality of the result and cause discomfort, pain, or distortion of the breast contour. When contraction of the capsule occurs, correction may be possible, depending on the degree to which it has progressed. Treatment may be as easy as massages to severe circumstances where surgery is required for removal of the capsular tissues.

B. Hematoma

Some postoperative bleeding into the pocket containing the breast implant occurs in 2-3% of women. If the bleeding has been minimal, the body will absorb it with time. However, marked swelling resulting in expanding hematoma may require surgery for evacuation of the hematoma, which rarely occurs.

C. Infection

Postoperative infection is uncommon, but possible. We reduce this to a minimum by giving intravenous antibiotics during surgery and oral antibiotics after surgery. Most infections are mild and resolve without incident. If a serious infection should develop, the implant will probably need to be removed.

D. Decreased/Loss Of Skin Or Nipple Sensation

Nerves that supply skin or nipple sensation may be cut or damaged while the pocket or space for the implant is being created. Although this does not happen routinely, it can happen no matter how carefully the surgery is done. If sensory loss occurs, the nerves slowly recover within 1-2 years in about 85% of cases.

E. Wrinkling

Occasionally, the edge of the implant can be felt. These problems are usually mild and require no treatment. Experience has shown that the wrinkles usually improve with time. The quality of your skin and the amount of your breast tissues may also contribute to postoperative wrinkling.

F. Asymmetry

If your breasts had slightly different shapes before surgery, they may remain slightly different after surgery. Rarely, in spite of careful attention to detail, the dissected pockets may end up slightly different in shape or height. If this is not noted while you are in surgery, and poses a problem after healing, you may later need a small adjustment procedure.

G. Deflation
If, for any reason, the valve or implant covering fails, the saline will leak and be excreted by your body. This causes no medical harm, but requires replacement of the implant in a secondary procedure. The rate of saline-implant leakage is quoted at about 1-2% over many years.

H. Breast Feeding

Many women with breast implants have nursed their babies successfully. Nevertheless, any breast surgery can theoretically interfere with your ability to breast feed.

I. Breast Cancer

There is no evidence linking saline or silicone gel implants and breast cancer. The only clinical studies available show that the prevalence of breast cancer in women with implants is the same or even slightly lower than that in women without implants! Furthermore, two studies have shown, to date, that the stage of breast cancer detection in women with implants appears to be identical to that found in the overall population.

J. Mammography

You should tell the technician that you have implants. Special techniques will be used and extra views may be needed in order to see as much of the breast tissue as possible. Even under the most ideal circumstances, some breast tissue will remain unseen, and a suspicious lesion may be missed.

Because the breast is compressed during mammography, it is possible, but rare for an implant to rupture.

K. Asymmetry

It is quite common for the two breasts to heal differently. One may swell more, one may feel more uncomfortable, or the shapes may differ initially. After complete healing, they should look remarkably similar and natural.

L. Healing of Sensory Nerves

Regeneration of the sensory nerves is also accompanied by tingling, burning, or shooting pains, which will disappear with time and are nothing to be alarmed about. As the nerves regenerate, the nipples commonly become hypersensitive. This will subside with time. You may find that gentle massaging helps or desensitization exercises will also help.

M. Sloshing

You may hear and feel “sloshing” in your breast after surgery. This is not the implant! It is the air that is trapped in the space around the implant and the natural fluid that accumulates after an operation. It will all be absorbed by the body within a few weeks.

N. Immune Disorder

Some women have claimed that silicone gel prostheses have contributed to or stimulated connective tissue disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosis, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis etc.

Other complaints involving the nervous system, skin and immune systems have been reported. After extensive studies and data collections from two manufacturing implant companies, Mentor and Inamed, reports claiming a causal relationship between silicone gel and such symptoms have been published in the medical literature and widely reported in the press. To the present time, no such relationship has been established scientifically to claim a causal relationship between silicone gel and symptoms published. The FDA as of 2007, have approved Gel implants to be available for primary breast augmentation, as well as for mastopexy with augmentation and breast reconsctructions. The saline (salt water) used to fill saline implants is harmless and is absorbed from the body should there is leakage of the implants.

O. Subpectoral Placement Of Implants (Under The Muscle)

If you and Dr. Vu have decided to place the implants under the pectoralis muscle, a unique set of risks apply. During contraction of the muscle, the implants will temporarily be flattened and/or pulled upward.

Occasionally, the implants may “ride” higher than their original position because of the muscular contraction. Implants were originally placed under the muscle to reduce the frequency of capsular contraction as well as providing additional support and coverage of the implants, especially in thin women or women with suboptimal amount of tissue parenchyma to begin with. Placing the implants under the muscle may reduce visible wrinkling.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Dressings

During your postoperative period, you will be provided with a bra strap to wear. The bra strap will help keep the implants from rising too high. In addition, we will have you start doing breast exercises the following day. This will help keep the implants mobile and soft. Approximately after about one to two weeks, proper fitting bra will be recommended, to help maintain the shape of your new breasts. The sutures will be removed approximately five days postoperatively.

During the first week, attempt to sleep on your back instead of on your side. We want
your implants to stay in a perfect position during the initial healing process. If you cannot sleep on your back, sleep in another comfortable position.

B. Bathing

We recommend sponge baths for the first couple of days. You may shower about postoperative day three. We recommend that the steristrips be left alone during shower. Keep the surgical site clean and dry. Dr. Vu will remove the sutures about day five postoperatively.

C. Sun Exposure

Scars take at least one year to fade completely. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 at all times when in the sunshine. Be extremely careful if areas of your breast skin have reduced sensitivity.

D. Driving

You may drive when driving does not cause pain. This usually occurs in 4-6 days if you have a car with power steering.

E. Exercises

You may take gentle walks within a few days. Do not return to aerobic exercise for 3 weeks. Return to unrestricted activities take approximately six weeks.

Mastopexy/Breast Lift

Have you lost your “youthful” breasts? Due to age or childbirth, have you developed “droopy nipple” or lost volume and perkiness in your breasts? Is it time for a Mommie Makeover? A Breast Lift procedure from Dr. Vu will have you looking and feeling better about yourself than you have ...

Mastopexy

Breast Lift

Have you lost your “youthful” breasts? Due to age or childbirth, have you developed “droopy nipple” or lost volume and perkiness in your breasts? Is it time for a Mommie Makeover? A Breast Lift procedure from Dr. Vu will have you looking and feeling better about yourself than you have in years.

Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery removes excess skin and reposition the breast tissue parenchyma and nipples back to a more aesthetic position. The causes for mastopexy surgery can be breast ptosis, droopy nipple, or loss of volume due to hormonal changes from pregnancy ,weight loss, or simply the aging process.

Sometimes a breast augmentation with implants may need to be combined with breast lift surgery to achieve more volume and projection. The implants may be placed in submuscular position or subglandular position. The implant of choice is either saline or silicone gel implants. The surgical approach for breast lift (mastopexy) surgery may be either circumaerolar, circumvertical, circumvertical inverted T. This  depends on the amount of excess skin that need to be removed to give you more youthful breasts.

The aesthetic beauty of a breast is to achieve harmony between the breast skin envelope, the volume of breast tissue parenchyma and the nipples position. During your consultation, Dr. Vu will address these issues. Based on the examination and breast measurements, you will be provided with the proper information and recommendation about different option of breast surgery depending on what your concerns are and what your desires may be.

 

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Breast Lift Candidate?

  • If you have sagging breasts due to past pregnancies, genetics, or aging.
  • If the sagging is too great to be treated with an implant alone.
  • If your nipple-areolar complexes (pigmented areas around nipples) are enlarged.

Intended Results:

  • An elevated, more youthful breast contour.
  • Nipple-areolar complexes of the desired size and at the correct height.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia.
  • The design of the incisions can vary but usually include incisions around the nipple-areolar complex and in the crease under the breast.
  • The nipple-areolar complex is repositioned higher, the excess skin is removed, and the breast is reshaped in a pleasing contour and in a more normal position.
  • The insertion of an implant as well, may or may not be advisable.

Recovery and Healing

  • The patient goes home in a bra with only light dressings over the incision lines.
  • The bra is worn as a “dressing” for 2-3 weeks.
  • Sutures are usually completely removed within 2-3 weeks. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
  • Light activities may be started in 7-10 days.

Other Breast Augmentation Options

Additional procedures which may enhance the result are a small Breast Reduction or Breast Enlargement.

Insurance Guidelines

This procedure is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. The patient is responsible for payment.

NOTE:

  • The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation.
  • All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.
  • Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.
  • Major complications are rare.
SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding breast augmentation.

A. Incisional scar

Breast lift incisional scar will depend on the technical approach for removal of the excess skin and the amount of lifting required, to achieve the lift that you desire, which may be either circumareolar (you will have scar around the areolar), circumvertical (scar around the areolar and in a vertical line from the areolar to the crease below the breast), or full wise pattern (scars around the areola, in a vertical line from the areola to the crease below the breast, and horizontally in the crease. The scars usually flatten and fade with time, but thicker and heavier scars can persist and require subsequent treatment, including surgery. Redness of the scars may continue to fade for up to 2 years.

B. Asymmetry

Mastopexy operations involve very careful planning and execution in order to achieve complete symmetry and a natural look for each breast. Because the planning of this operation combines “art” and “science,” it is not always possible to predict perfect and equal breast shapes. Should you have slight asymmetry after healing, a small subsequent operation usually solves the problem.

C. Tissue loss

During the operation, skin flaps are undermined, and the skin envelope around the breast tissue is tightened. The remote possibility exists that small or larger areas of skin or breast tissue or even the nipple can suffer from decreased circulation and can be partly or completely lost. Should this unlikely event occur, you may require extra time for healing or further surgery for closure and/or reconstruction.

D. Sensation

Although uncommon, a partial or complete loss of sensation to small or larger areas of breast skin or nipple can occur. This usually, but not always, improves with time.

E. Poor Results

Asymmetry, unhappiness with breast size, poor healing, unequal nipple height, etc. may occur. Minimal differences are usually acceptable. Larger differences frequently require revisional surgery.

F. Risks for Smokers

Smokers have a greater chance of skin loss and poor healing because of decreased skin circulation. (for more information, please go to About Your Surgery section)

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Dressings

Postoperatively, you will have fluffs and pads covering the breast and incisional site. There usually will be some oozing along the incisional site, which is quite common. You may change the bandages at home if necessary before your postoperative followup appointment.

B. Bleeding

Small amounts of oozing and bleeding are very common. If this entails more than slow staining of the gauze, apply firm pressure for 20-30 minutes before calling the office. Should heavy bleeding occur (very rare), apply firm pressure and call the office immediately at 503-601-2910.

C. Postsurgical bra

A bra may be placed at the time of surgery or a day or two after. The bra acts as a “dressing,” holding the breasts in perfect position. If the bra feels too tight or hurts, switch immediately to any bra that feels comfortable. A bra that is too tight can cause ulceration of the skin, and you must not let this happen! We want you to wear the bra at all times for at least 3 weeks. You should wear bra regularly during the day for 6 weeks after surgery.

D. Showering

Water does not hurt healing incisions. You may shower or bathe once the gauze dressings are removed. You may leave the adhesive strips (steri-strips) in place if they are adherent. If they come loose, remove them.

E. Driving

You may drive when driving does not cause pain. This usually occurs in 4-6 days if you have a car with power steering.

F. Exercise

You may take gentle walks within a few days. Do not return to aerobic exercise for at least 3 weeks. Usually your body will tell you when you are ready to return to strenuous exercises.

G. Postperative Sagging

The breast skin and tissue will continue to sag with time. No “lift” is forever. If and when sagging occurs, a small skin excision or tightening will usually solve the problem. Also, it is quite common for the two breasts to heal differently. One may swell more, one may feel more uncomfortable, or their shapes may differ initially. After complete healing, they will look remarkably similar and natural.

H. Healing of Sensory nerves

Tingling, burning, or shooting pains accompany regeneration of the sensory nerves. These pains will disappear with time and are nothing to be alarmed about.

Breast Reduction

Are your breasts too large? Do your breasts cause you pain and discomfort? Do you experience backaches, neck or shoulder pain due to the excess weight of oversized breasts? Do they limit your physical activity? Is buying a bra a hassle? Breast reduction is the removal of excess breast tissue...

Breast Reduction

Are your breasts too large? Do your breasts cause you pain and discomfort? Do you experience backaches, neck or shoulder pain due to the excess weight of oversized breasts? Do they limit your physical activity? Is buying a bra a hassle?

Breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) is the removal of excess breast tissue, skin and repositioning the nipple areolar complex to allow your breasts to be more proportionate to your body. Large breasts may interfere with your daily activities, due to back pain, neck and shoulder pain, posture problems, and rashes under the inframmary fold where maintaining hygiene care may be difficult.

The goal for breast reduction surgery is to remove the excess breast tissues to achieve symptomatic improvement. The amount of breast tissues and skin removal will determine the end result of the scar placement. The surgical scar vary from circumvertical or circumvertical inverted where the scar will be around the nipple areolar complex and extend vertically down the breasts, or the scar will extend further horizontally along the inframmary fold.

QUICK GLANCE

Who is a Breast Reduction Candidate?

  • If you have large, heavy breasts, which may be the cause of breathing difficulties, back, shoulder and neck pain, poor posture, bra-strap indentations and chafing under the breasts.
  • If you have excessive breast size, which may decrease a sense of attractiveness and self- confidence.
  • If large breasts interfere with normal daily activities or with exercise.

Intended Results:

  • More attractive contour and smaller breast size.
  • Freedom from health problems associated with excessively large breasts.
  • Improved self image.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis or in the hospital.
  • Incisions are made around the pigmented area (the nipple-areolar complex) and extend vertically below the nipple and in the fold under the breast.
  • The nipple-areolar complex is moved upward to the desired location and excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are removed.

Recovery and Healing

  • The incisions are covered with light dressings, and the breasts are placed in a bra.
  • The bra holds the breasts symmetrically during initial healing.
  • Initial discomfort subsides daily and can be controlled with oral medication.
  • Scars will usually fade in 6-12 months.
  • Surgery will probably reduce and possibly eliminate the ability to breastfeed.

Other Breast Augmentation Options

An additional procedure that would enhance the result is Liposuction of the axillary area to reduce excess fat deposits.

Insurance Guidelines

  • This procedure is commonly covered by insurance though insurance criteria are becoming more and more restrictive.
  • Our staff will assist you in obtaining pre authorization.

NOTE:

  • The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation.
  • All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.
  • Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.
  • Major complications are rare.
SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Our goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding breast augmentation.

A. Scar

Breast reduction scars encircle the areola, drop vertically from the areola to the crease beneath the breast, and run horizontally in the crease. The overall shape of the scars resembles an “anchor.”

Any of these scars may thicken and spread or remain red for many months. Dr. Vu will suture them all meticulously, using the best plastic surgery technique available at the time of surgery. How they eventually look, however, depends largely on your own unique skin qualities and healing characteristics.

Occasionally, injections of a steroid(Kenalog) into thick scars can help flatten them. Dr. Vu recommends waiting at least one year before scar revisional surgery be entertained, allowing enough time for scar maturation. Dr. Vu and her staff work actively with your postoperative recovering to ensure best quality scar formation possible.

B. Loss of Sensation

Although many patients experience partial numbness of some skin areas after a breast reduction, permanent sensory loss is rare. It is not common, but permanent loss of sensation to the nipple also can occur.

Erection of the nipple, a nonsensory function, is usually present after surgery. Reduced sensation may improve for up to 2
years.

C. Asymmetry

Very few women have perfectly symmetrical breasts. After surgery, you may still have some asymmetry. This usually improves when the swelling subsides. Rarely, patients require further small revisions a year or more after surgery.

Breast Reconstruction

Are you a cancer victim? Have you suffered a debilitating disfigurement due to a mastectomy? Are you ready for breast reconstruction to restore your sense of self? Breast reconstruction is primarily for patients who have had a mastectomy secondary to breast disease or breast cancer.

Breast Reconstruction

Are you a cancer victim? Have you suffered a debilitating disfigurement due to a mastectomy? Are you ready for breast reconstruction to restore your sense of self?

Breast reconstruction is primarily for patients who have had a mastectomy secondary to breast disease or breast cancer. The breast tissues and nipples are excised by the general surgeon. The plastic surgeon then would perform breast reconstruction to help recreate a breast mound to achieve a natural looking breast.

This process will require appreciative communication between the breast surgeon and plastic surgeon. Reconstructive options may be a tissue expansion followed by implants placement, a TRAM FLAP (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myodutaneous Flap Latissimus Muscle, or an Implants Free tissue transfer.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Trim Flap Candidate?

If you have loss of breast tissue and skin following mastectomy — one or both sides. If you have loss of breast tissue only following subcutaneous mastectomy If you have a desire for larger breasts (uncommon).

Intended Results:

Reconstruction of a missing breast(s) or replacement of breast tissue.

Procedure Description

A flap of lower abdominal wall fat, muscle (and usually skin), is transferred to the area of missing breast tissue with its own blood supply. In a standard TRAM Flap, the blood supply is within the rectus muscle(s) which is left attached at the lower edge of the rib cage. In a Free TRAM, the blood vessels are reconnected to vessels in the axilla. In a Turbocharged TRAM, the muscle is left attached superiorly, but the inferior vessels are connected in the axilla creating a double blood supply. The abdominal donor site is closed as in a Tummy Tuck, leaving a horizontal scar and a tighter abdomen. An attempt is made to create a “normal” breast mound and shape at the first operation, but subsequent smaller procedures are frequently necessary. Nipple/areolar reconstruction is performed at a later date and is elective.

Recovery and Healing

A TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction is a major procedure performed in the hospital and requiring at least several days of hospitalization. Ambulation will begin the day after surgery and be reasonably comfortable within 10-14 days. Complete recovery usually takes about 6 weeks. The abdominal donor site causes the most discomfort during healing.

Other Options

Additional procedures that will enhance the result are enlargement, lifting, or reduction of the opposite breast, and nipple/areolar reconstruction.

Insurance Guidelines

Almost always covered by insurance.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because elevation of the TRAM Flap involves removal of abdominal skin, fat and muscle, you will experience some difficulty standing up straight for 2 or more weeks.

During this period you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow under your knees while in bed. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please make no special attempts to stretch or pull the abdomen straight during the first two or three weeks of healing.

During the postoperative period, avoid heavy pressure to the reconstructed breast.

B. Activity

You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks. After the first two weeks you may resume moderate walks. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling and healing.

C. Use of ice packs

Cold or ice packs help to reduce swelling, bruising and pain. Use frozen peas in a soft pack or crushed ice cubes in a zip-lock bag. If the cold is too uncomfortable, reduce applications.

D. Dressings

Your incision lines will probably be covered with Steri Strips or tape. You will probably have an elastic abdominal binder to provide gentle pressure, to give you stability and to reduce swelling. If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin which could cause blistering or skin loss!

The binder can be removed temporarily for laundering.

E. Showering and Bathing

You may shower even though drains are still in place. Water and soap will not hurt your incision lines. If you are weak or slightly unstable, we suggest you sit on a stool in the shower and have someone nearby in case you need help.

F. Drains and drain care

Dr. Vu will probably place drains into the abdominal surgical area at the time of surgery. Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or abdominal binder with a safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands to 50% or more, empty the bulb by opening the plug at the top, and pour out the fluid contents.

Do not attempt to remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to re-compress it and put the plug back into the hole at the top in order to maintain the vacuum. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying it, or you need to empty it more than 3 times a day, please call the office.

G. Sun exposure

We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sun block with an SPF of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

Breast Implant Exchange & Removal

A breast implant exchange procedure is generally less invasive than the original breast surgery. Patients experience less pain and have a faster recovery because the space or pocket has already been created during the previous breast augmentation surgery. If your breast implants are ruptured

Breast Implant Exchange & Removal

WHO IS A CANDIDATE?

Desire to have previously placed breast prostheses (implants) removed for symptomatic or medical-legal reasons and to have new implants inserted.

INTENDED RESULTS

Removal of implants.
Possible removal of capsules (scar tissue) and residual silicone.
Placement of new implants.

PROCEDURE DESCRIPTION

If only the prostheses are being removed and replaced by new ones, the operation can be done under local anesthesia, sedation and local anesthesia, or general anesthesia.
If the capsules or scar tissue around the prostheses are also being removed, sedation and local or general anesthesia will be required.

Usually the operation will be performed through the old incision (scar).

OTHER OPTIONS

An additional procedure that might enhance the result is a Breast Lift (Mastopexy).

Body Procedures

If you have excess subcutaneous fat or excess skin laxity, which is resistant to diet and exercise, then a body contouring surgery may be appropriate for you. These body contouring procedures could be what you’re looking for if you’ve experienced major weight loss, body changes due to child birth, or if you simply want to change the way your body looks and feels.

BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY

Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck

If you have excess subcutaneous fat or excess skin laxity, which is resistant to diet and exercises, then body contouring surgery may be appropriate for you. An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Mini-abdominoplasty removes the lower...

Abdominoplasty

Tummy Tuck

Have you had children or perhaps just gained a few pounds over the years that exercise just can’t seem to touch? Jeans too tight, concerned about wearing a bikini?

Considering a  waist reducing tummy tuck may be an option.

If you have excess subcutaneous fat or excess skin laxity, which is resistant to diet and exercises, then body contouring surgery may be appropriate for you.

An abdominoplasty(tummy tuck) surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Mini-abdominoplasty removes the lower abdominal wall skin only, and no manipulation with the umbilicus.
Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.

Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar). Extended abdominoplasty tights the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flank onto the lower back).

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Tummy Tuck Candidate?

  • If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin frequently associated with abnormal relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies or prior surgery).
  • If you are unable to tighten abdominal wall skin with exercise.

Intended Results:

A smoother flatter abdomen.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. (Mini and modified abdominoplasties are similarly performed.)
  • Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only (shortest scar). Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.
  • Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar).
  • Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)

Recovery and Healing

  • Abdominoplasty can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery.
  • One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care or assistance at home is usually indicated.
  • You will be encouraged to be moving and walking regularly within 1-2 days. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days.
  • Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Other Options

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift.

NOTE:

  • The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation.
  • All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.
  • Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.
  • Major complications are unusual.
SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding tummy tuck surgery.

A. Incisional scars

After a full abdominoplasty, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending toward the flanks or beyond, as well as a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly a shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline.

You should discuss your incision lines with Dr. Vu and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles. (In cases of extreme skin redundancy — that is, after massive weight loss — a vertical scar extending from the pubic hairline to the lower end of the breastbone may result.)

B. Uneven Skin Contours

Following an abdominoplasty, the skin contours may be slightly uneven and areas of slight depression or wrinkling can occur. As healing progresses, most of these problems (if present) usually improve dramatically.

C. Asymmetry

Minimal asymmetry of abdominoplasty scars occurs frequently as healing is not always even from side to side. The mild asymmetry is usually not cosmetically significant. If the asymmetry is significant, revisional surgery of the scars may be considered.

D. Belly button (umbilicus)

The belly button may be slightly off center, heal poorly, suffer necrosis (loss of circulation), protrude or be unusually retracted. Significant problems are uncommon.

E. Loss of Sensation

Patients commonly experience areas of partial and/or complete numbness of the abdominal skin. Few experience permanent loss of feeling, but it may take several months or longer for sensation to return. Rarely, areas of numbness persist.

F. Fat Necrosis

In rare cases, some of the underlying fat can necrose (die) because of infection or excessive tension. An uncommon problem, it is usually nothing more than a severe annoyance, requiring additional healing time, dressing changes, and sometimes, revision of the scar later. It usually does not seriously affect the ultimate outcome.

G. Skin loss

Like fat necrosis, skin loss can result from infection or excessive tension. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause. Careful preoperative planning and resisting the urge to make the tummy “as tight as possible” reduces but does not eliminate the possibility of this problem occurring. In addition, patient who smokes is at increased risk of skin loss and fat necrosis.

H. “Dog Ears”

When Dr Vu closes the angle at the end of the skin incision during the repair, a nipple or projection of bulging tissue called a “dog ear” can occur. Liposuction under the area or extension of the incisions can solve or reduce the problem. If a small “dog ear” appears at the end of surgery, it will usually flatten or disappear with time and healing. If it remains visible, a small procedure under local anesthesia can solve the problem at a later time.

I. Fat Emboli and Blood Clots

These problems can occur rarely with any surgery, but occur a little more frequently after an abdominoplasty. Shortened operating time, postoperative leg movements, and walking soon after surgery help to avoid these problems.

Although fat emboli and blood clots can be life threatening, they usually resolve completely with hospitalization and care by a medical specialist.

J. Fluid accumulation (seroma)

Rarely, tissue fluids collect under the abdominal skin flap (usually after the drains have been removed). If this occurs, aspiration of the fluid with a needle two or three times a week for 2-3 weeks usually solves the problem. Few patients require further surgery.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because abdominoplasty involves removal of the extra abdominal skin and (usually) tightening of the abdominal muscles, you will experience some difficulty standing up straight for a week or two or even longer. During this period, you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow or two under your knees while in bed. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please make no special attempts to stretch or pull the abdomen straight during the first 2-3 weeks of healing.

You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots.

B. Dressings

We will place an elastic abdominal binder around your tummy after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling.
If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss! You may also remove it temporarily for laundering.

Many patients wear the binder for several weeks after surgery and some choose to wear it for several months. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible without swelling.

C. Drains & Drain care

Dr Vu will usually place two drains into the surgical area at the time of surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster.

When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand.

Drain Care: Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal binder witha safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by drain when the drain output is less then 25cc per bulb within 24 hour time period, which may be anytime between postoperative day 3 to 5.

D. Activities

Tummy tucks are probably the most uncomfortable operation we do. You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks.

After the first 2 weeks, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling and cause you to easily fatigue.

You may be able to return back to work in 10 –14 days, but with modification, and with an understanding that you will still have some discomfort with motion.

E. Exposure to Sunlight

We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

F. Healing of sensory nerves

Usually, the skin of the abdomen remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer. Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as 2 years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.

Buttock Augmentation

Butt Augmentation is the enhancement and augmentation of the female buttocks is an option chosen by 98% of our patients presenting for a liposculpturing procedure. The Butt Augmentation, also known as Autologous Fat Transfer (AFT) or Brazilian Butt Lift, involves the use of the patient’s...

Buttock Augmentation

Butt Augmentation is the enhancement and augmentation of the female buttocks is an option chosen by 98% of our patients presenting for a liposculpturing procedure. The Butt Augmentation, also known as Autologous Fat Transfer (AFT) or Brazilian Butt Lift, involves the use of the patient’s own fat from a liposculpturing procedure which is then used to augment the volume and enhance the shape of the buttocks for the individual patient.

The use of fat to enhance the shape and increase the volume of the buttocks is the preferred and best approach for the aesthetic enhancement of the buttocks. We first sculpture out the most aesthetically pleasing buttocks with liposculpturing. The fat is collected, processed, and concentrated and then our special technique is used to strategically position the fat into the fatty tissue of the buttocks to produce the ultimate buttocks that everyone wants. The procedure goes far beyond merely adding fat to the buttocks region. Careful evaluation of the individual patient’s buttocks is performed in order to plan the best surgical approach to achieve the optimal results based on the ideal and most aesthetically pleasing buttocks. The individual surgical approach is tailored to achieve the ideal buttocks in the female patient. These principles are carefully applied based on the desired results of the patient. The individual goals of the patient combined with a careful and thorough surgical approach will translate into the creation of a beautiful and ideal result of the buttocks region.

Unlike synthetic implants, the final results not only look but feel normal in every way. The fat is autologous, meaning that it comes from the patient directly, thus eliminating any risk of rejection and scarring. The fat used for transplantation to the buttocks is living tissue, meaning that it goes far beyond what a temporary filler can accomplish. The majority of the fat is able to reestablish it’s natural blood supply in the buttocks, thus remaining alive. It is expected that you will keep 70-80% of the fat that is transplanted and what you have after threee months is what you can expect to keep, regardless of changes in diet and exercise. The beauty of the procedure is that more fat can be safely added at later times if desired. Proper buttocks enhancement with the use of fat must not only be performed with a thorough understanding of the ideal anatomy of the buttocks, but careful consideration of the surrounding anatomy. The natural beauty of the buttocks can not only be enhanced by fat transfer, but also by liposculpturing of surrounding areas, such as the waistline and lower back.

Liposuction

Are you tired of starving yourself and beating yourself up with exercise with no visible results in your core area? Do you have abdominal fat that just won’t go away? If you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercises and you wish to change the ...

Liposuction

Are you tired of starving yourself and beating yourself up with exercise with no visible results in your core area? Do you have abdominal fat that just won’t go away?

If you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercises and you wish to change the contours of your body, then liposuction surgery may be appropriate for you.

Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck ( under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.

Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal.

Liposculpture can be useful to heavier persons as well as a means of reducing risk.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Liposuction Surgery Candidate?

If you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise. If you wish to change the contours of your body. Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck (under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.

Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal. Liposculpture can beuseful to heavier persons as well.

Intended Results:

A permanent improvement in the contour and proportion of the treated areas.

A more flattering figure or physique, in or out of clothing.

Procedure Description

The procedures are done on an outpatient basis.

General anesthesia is usually used for safety and comfort.

Small suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted through very short incisions placed in inconspicuous locations near the fat deposits, and excess fat is removed.

If very large volumes of fat are to be removed, we will probably ask you to donate one or two units of blood and take supplemental iron before surgery. Your own blood will be used as a transfusion at the end of surgery.

Recuperation And Healing:

The patient goes home with a compression garment (or tape) covering the treated areas. Compression is advised for about a month as it helps reduce swelling and helps you achieve the final result more quickly.

Once pain and soreness decrease, it is frequently more comfortable to wear lycra or spandex exercise pants. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.

Bruising and swelling usually subside in 2-4 weeks. The final result takes shape over 2-3 months.

Other Options:

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, Thigh Lift, or Buttock Lift.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding liposuction.

A. Waviness, Wrinkling, or Dimpling of the Skin

As knowledge has increased and technology has improved, this potential problem has become much less common. The use of much smaller cannulas (tubes inserted to remove the fat cells) has helped tremendously. Tight and firm skin before surgery will probably remain so after healing.

If your skin is loose, wrinkled, or dimpled before surgery, it may remain the same or be slightly worse after surgery.

B. Asymmetry

It is not always possible to obtain total symmetry when bilateral procedures are performed. Very few people are totally symmetrical prior to liposculpture. If a significant difference is visible following healing, a secondary “touch up” procedure may be indicated to minimize such findings.

C. Loss of Sensation

Usually, any numbness or loss of sensation is temporary and resolves within a few months.

D. Excess Fat Removal

Although this can occur in an attempt to remove as much fat as possible, careful discussion and preoperative understanding between you and Dr. Vu make this an unlikely possibility.

E. Fluid and Electrolyte Problems

When we anticipate that large volumes of fat need removal (2000 cc or more), we will request that you donate a unit or two of your own blood during the preoperative period. This will help your body adjust to the loss of fluid and blood that occurs during surgery and to the postoperative shift of fluids to the areas under the skin that were suctioned.

These changes, the operative fluid losses and the postoperative fluid shifts, help to explain why you may feel “washed out” for a few days after surgery.

F. Bleeding and Bruising

Some bruising almost always surfaces for 2-3 weeks after liposculpture. Formation of hematomas (blood clots under the skin) is rare. Resolution occurs with time and massage. Extremely rare cases may require suction of the blood clots.

G. Skin Loss

Skin loss is extremely rare following liposculpture and may require secondary reparative surgery.

H. Lumpiness, Firmness

During the healing phase (several weeks or longer) you may feel firmness or lumpiness under the treated areas.

I. Seroma Formation

Fluids can collect under the skin following liposculpture (very uncommon). If this problem occurs, aspiration with a needle or even open drainage might be indicated.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Compression Garment

If you have had suction of your knees, thighs, hips, or abdomen, Dr. Vu will have put a compression garment on you at the end of surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort.

We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise garment (Lycra or Spandex) whenever it feels comfortable to slip it on or off, as you will have to do so in order to go to the bathroom.

B. Ice Packs

A significant amount of bruising accompanies liposculpture. Ice packs can be helpful with both swelling and discomfort. After liposculpture of the abdomen, it is not uncommon for the groin and genitalia to become markedly swollen and bruised. Do not be alarmed! The swelling and bruises will go away within several weeks. Ice packs will help the discomfort and swelling.

C. Bathing or Showering

You may shower or bathe the day after surgery.

D. Massage

If you so desire, feel free to have a gentle massage during your post-operative course. This will help smooth out some area of lumpiness or irregularity.

We will wish to examine you 3 or 4 days after surgery, once the tape or foam has been removed. Your stitches will need to be removed about 1 week after surgery.

E. Activities

You must start walking immediately. You may continue the activities of daily living as you feel able. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 2-3 weeks.

F. Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The swelling, on the other hand, takes as long as 6-9 months to disappear completely, although you should see vast improvement within 1 month. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed.

Body Lift

Have you experienced significant weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercise? Are you experiencing excess skin laxity throughout the trunk region, involving the abdomen and the back region? Embarrassed to be seen at the beach, in the gym, in the pool?

Body Lift

Have you experienced significant weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercises?

Are up experiencing excess skin laxity throughout the trunk region, involving the abdomen and the back region?

Embarrassed to be seen at the beach, in the gym, in the pool?

In addition, you may be experiencing abdominal wall weakness results from rectus diastasis, which can cause you to have an appearance of abdominal bulge. Overall the excess redundant skin tissues may now be a hindrance to your daily activities and physical appearance.

Having trouble fitting into those smaller clothes as easily as you thought you would after your weight loss? Is your hindrance preventing your from exercising properly thus compounding the problem and preventing you from obtaining good body tone?

Thus, an abdominoplasty surgery alone may not be sufficient, but you may require a circumferential body lift surgery, where the excess redundant skin and fat are removed from the abdomen, flank and the back region, thus, achieving more nice contour throughout the trunk region.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Candidate For Body Lift Surgery?

If you have excess body skin (frequently due to significant weight loss or post gastric bypass surgery).

Intended Results:

A smoother flatter abdomen and buttock tightening, diminishing thigh cellulite and removal of back rolls or excess back skin.

Procedure Description

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. Although the surgical sequence varies depending on the needs of each patient, we will usually treat the belly first, by removing the excess skin from the belly button down to the pubic area.

The abdominal wall muscle, which is deep to the skin and fat of the belly, is then tightened. The fat and skin above the belly button is then stretched down to the pubic area and sutured in place. A new opening is made to allow the belly button to be brought through, in its original position.

The patient is then turned to the side and the excess skin and fat from the side to the mid back is removed. This part of the operation reduces and lifts the outer thighs. As the skin and fat are removed from the back the back rolls are reduced and the buttocks are lifted.

Each of these maneuvers is done to a different degree depending on the needs of the patient. Some patients require liposuction of the outer thighs. The same is performed on the other side of the body. A belt lipectomy will usually require between 3.5 to 7 hours to perform.

Recovery and Healing

The Body Lift can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery.

One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care or assistance at home is usually indicated. You will be encouraged to be moving and walking regularly within 1-2 days. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Other Options

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, Upper Arm Lift or Thigh Lift.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding body lift surgery.

A. Incisions

After a Circumferential Body Lipectomy, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending around the flanks and back. There will be a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly as shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline.

You should discuss your incision lines with Dr. Vu and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles.

Redness, thickness, and some widening of these scars to a variable extent will occur once you return to normal activities. Incisions placed in high-tension areas (i.e. central back) tend to create slightly wider scars.

B. Loss of Sensation

Patients commonly experience areas of partial and/or complete numbness of the abdominal skin and/or the skin around the flank and back incisions. Few experience permanent loss of feeling, but it may take several months or longer for sensation to return. Rarely, areas of numbness persist.

C. Fat Necrosis

In rare cases, some of the underlying fat can necrose (die) because of infection or excessive tension. An uncommon problem, it is usually an annoyance, requiring additional healing time, dressing changes, and sometimes, revision of the scar later. It usually does not seriously affect the ultimate outcome.

D. Skin Loss

Like fat necrosis, skin loss can result from infection or excessive tension. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause. Careful preoperative planning and resisting the urge to make the hips and buttocks “as tight as possible” reduces but does not eliminate the possibility of this problem occurring.

E. “Dog Ears”

When Dr. Vu closes the angle at the end of the skin incision during the repair, a nipple or projection of bulging tissue called a “dog ear” can occur.

Liposuction under the area or extension of the incisions can solve or reduce the problem. If a small “dog ear” appears at the end of surgery, it will usually flatten or disappear with time and healing. If it remains visible, a small procedure under local anesthesia can solve the problem at a later time.

F. Fat emboli and blood clots

These problems can rarely occur, however there is an increased risk with this procedure. Continuous use of compression stockings during surgery and postoperatively until normal activity is resumed, coupled with postoperative leg movements and walking as soon as possible after surgery help to minimize the risk.

Although fat emboli and blood clots can be life threatening, they usually resolve completely with hospitalization and care by a medical specialist.

G. Seroma

Rarely, tissue fluids collect under the back skin flap (usually after the drains have been removed). During surgery, Dr. Vu usually places two to four drains throughout the front and back along the incision If this occurs, aspiration of the fluid with a needle two or three times a week for 2-3 weeks usually solves the problem.

Few patients require further surgery. The frequency increases with the length of the incision. It is important to maintain compression on your abdomen for several days after the drains come outand high activity levels should be avoided.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because Circumferential Body Lipectomy involves tightening of the abdominal muscles coupled with removal of excess skin of the abdomen, hips, buttocks and back, you will experience some difficulty sitting for a week or two or even longer. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please try not to stretch or bend down during the first 2-3 weeks of healing.

B. Dressings

You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots. We will place an elastic abdominal binder around your abdomen and hips after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling.

The compression garment or binder is required to be worn continuously for 2-3 weeks following surgery (except when laundering, bathing, etc.) unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Vu.

If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off and call us at 503-601-2910. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss!

C. Post-surgical taping

Some patients choose to wear the garment for another several months after surgery. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible without swelling.

Dr. Vu will place a surgical tape around the incision line. Do not remove this yourself. Dr. Vu will remove the taping during your postoperative visit.

In addition, she will also instruct you in applying taping along the incisional scar daily to help improve with overall scar healing and appearance.

D. Bathing and showering

Take a “sponge bath” until Dr.Vu or your nurse has approved you to bathe or shower.Take a “sponge bath” until Dr.Vu or your nurse has approved you to bathe or shower.

E. Drains

Dr. Vu will place two drains into the surgical area at the time of surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster. When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand. The drains will be removed when the fluid collection is at least less then 25cc per bulb within 24 hour period.

F. Drain Care

Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal binder with a safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents. Do not attempt to remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to recompress it, and put the plug back into the hole at the top in order to maintain the vacuum. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying it, or you need to empty it more than three times a day, please call us at 503-601-2910.

Dr. Vu or a nurse will remove the drains 5-10 days after surgery, when the fluid begins to turn a clear straw color and/or the amount of drainage diminishes. You may shower the day after your drains are removed.

G. Activities

Body Lifts are probably the most uncomfortable operation we do. You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks. After the first 2 weeks, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling.

H. Exposure to sunlight

We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

I. Healing of sensory nerves

Your abdomen, hips, buttocks and back will feel tight for a month or longer. Usually, the skin around the incisions remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer.

Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as 2 years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.

J. Activities

If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 14 days, with the understanding that you will still have discomfort with motion.
Please discuss this with Dr. Vu and the nursing staff. Here again, swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 5-6 weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do and please check with us before returning to exercise or strenuous activities.

Arm Lift

Do you have excess subcutaneous fat and excess skin laxity around the arms region? Does it refuse to disappear even with diet and exercise? Have you experienced a large amount of weight loss and have sagging skin around your arms as a result? If you wish to change the contours ...

Arm Lift

Do you have excess subcutaneous fat and excess skin laxity around the arms region? Does it refuse to disappear, no matter how much you diet and exercise? Have you experienced a large amount of weight loss and have sagging skin around your arms as a result?

If you wish to change the contours of your arms, then an Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) may be appropriate for you.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is An Arm Lift Surgery Candidate?

If you have unsightly sagging skin on the upper arms due to aging, genetics, or weight loss.

Intended Results:

Reduction or elimination of excess skin from the upper arms.

Procedure Description

The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia. In order to remove the unwanted skin, an incision is required that runs from near the elbow into the armpit.

The incision is placed in the most inconspicuous location (inner arm toward the back), but some scarring will always be visible.

Recovery and Healing

After surgery, the upper arms are either wrapped or placed in an elastic sleeve to reduce swelling. Initial healing usually occurs in 10-14 days. Sutures are usually removed within the first 2-3 weeks.

Swelling and bruising gradually disappear over 3-4 weeks. All swelling is gone in 3-6 months.

The scars fade in 6-24 months, depending on your skin.

Other Options

An additional procedure that may enhance the result is Liposuction of the upper arms.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding brachioplasty surgery.

A. Scars

The scars usually extend from the inner aspect of the elbow up into the axilla (armpit). Dr. Vu will place them in the most inconspicuous line possible, but you will always see them to some extent. No matter how carefully we make repairs, using the best plastic surgery techniques, you will always have scars.

B. Uneven skin contours

Following your upper arm lift, the skin contours may be slightly uneven and areas of slight depression or wrinkling can occur. As healing progresses, most of these problems (if present) usually improve dramatically.

C. Asymmetry

Minimal asymmetry of upper arm lift scars occurs frequently as healing is not always even from side to side. The mild asymmetry is usually not cosmetically significant. If the asymmetry is significant, revisional surgery of the scars may be considered.

D. Nerve injury

Normal surgery can damage sensory nerves. Although this does not occur frequently, you may have areas of numbness adjacent to the scars. If so, the numbness usually improves with time.

E. Arm swelling

Normal postoperative swelling always occurs and will take several months to disappear completely. Surgical interference with the lymph drainage system rarely happens. If any interference should occur, it should prove minor and transient.

Dr. Vu recommnends postoperative compression garment to be worn postoperatively to help with control the arm swelling as well as provide comfort and support.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Showering and bathing

You may shower once proper bandages removed. Sponge bath is encourage the first postoperative week.

B. Dressings

The dressings placed at the time of surgery usually stay in place for several days. Dr. Vu will change them at the office.

C. Activities

Use your arms carefully and gently until the staff gives you clearance for full Activities. Usually Dr. Vu recommends not having your arms to be raised above shoulder level during the first three weeks postoperatively. Subsequently with return back to unrestricted activities should be reached by sixth weeks postoperatively.

D. Driving

You can probably drive as soon as you are comfortable. Let your body “tell” you when you are ready. If you have questions, ask the staff.

E. Scars

Initially, the scars will appear red or dark pink, and they will slowly fade over a period of months to a year or more. The scars will start out very narrow, but may widen over time. Neither you nor Dr. Vu can control their eventual width.

Thigh Lift

After having a significant amount of weight loss secondary to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercise, you end up with excess skin laxity throughout the thigh and leg region. Overall the excess redundant skin tissues may now be a hindrance to your daily activities...

Thigh Lift

After having a significant amount of weight loss secondary to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercises, you end up with excess skin laxity throughout the thigh and leg region. Overall the excess redundant skin tissues may now be a hindrance to your daily activities and physical appearance.
You may not be able to put on the smaller sizes clothing like you hope you would after losing the weight, you may not be able to exercises properly, which then prevents you from obtaining good body tone. Thus, thigh lift surgery to remove the hanging, redundant skin may be ideal to achieve aesthetic looking thigh.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Thigh Lift Candidate?

If you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity of the thigh, hip, or buttock areas. If your skin area is saggy, has an orange peel, flabby and/or dimpled appearance. If your thigh appearance improves dramatically when you lift the lax skin. If you are self-conscious about your lower body appearance.

Intended Results:

Tighter, more attractive thigh and buttock skin. Improved contours. Decreased irregularities in skin surface.

Procedure Description

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis unless otherwise advised by the surgeon.

Dr. Vu will show you what procedures are available to solve your particular problem. Wide variations in the design of the incisions to meet clothing or personal desires are possible.

Lifting the inner thighs requires only short incisions extending from the anterior part of the thigh/groin crease around to the buttock crease. Lateral or anterior thigh lifts can be performed as separate procedures if desired.

Lifting the entire thigh and buttock (circumferential lower body lift) will require much longer incisions that start in the buttock crease, extend around the groin, up over the side of the abdomen, over the flank and across the back. The buttocks can be lifted with upper or lower scars.

Recovery and Healing

The patient is placed in a compression garment (similar to a long-line elastic support girdle) at the end of surgery to reduce swelling and assist in the natural shrinking and tightening of the skin.
Smaller thigh lifts: Initial discomfort is usually easily controlled with prescription pain medication.

Larger thigh lifts: One or two nights care in a skilled nursing facility or hospital are usually required. This allows for pain injections, intravenous catheters, etc.

Bruising and swelling usually subside within a month, strenuous activities are usually possible in 6 weeks and almost all symptoms are gone in 4-6 months.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding thigh lift surgery.

A. Infection

The location of the incisions near the anus and the inevitability of some fecal contamination increases the possibility of wound infection. To reduce contamination and infection, the nursing staff will ask you to shower and wash the entire perineal and pelvic girdle with soap and water after each bowel movement.

After drying, coat the incision lines with a thin coating of antibiotic ointment.

THIS PROGRAM WORKS, SO FOLLOW IT CAREFULLY.

B. Excessive swelling

Occasionally, the superficial lymphatic system in the medial part of the groin is interrupted during the surgical process. If this should occur, excessive swelling will probably occur for several weeks as the lymphatic channels form again.

This is an uncommon problem, but it requires some patience and understanding if it does occur.

C. Asymmetry, uneven skin contours

Minimal asymmetry of the scars and of the skin contours may occur. Every attempt will be made to make the result as equal as possible. You must understand that very few people are entirely symmetrical prior to surgery and, healing may not occur evenly from side to side.

D. Scars

Standard incisions for a thigh lift are usually placed as high in the groin as possible in order to reduce their visibility when you are wearing panties or a bathing suit. This places the incisions and scars close to the anus and sexual organs.

It usually takes a month or two for tenderness and tightness to disappear and for the scars and area to feel completely comfortable.

E. Planning the incision

Because the weight of the inner thigh skin “hangs” on the scars, the scars will gradually tend to pull downward. The scars may migrate interiorly as much as 1-2 cm.

Because of the weight of the thigh skin, and the location of the incisions, the ultimate scars will probably widen no matter how well they have been repaired.

Dr. Vu will discuss the risks of scar widening carefully during your consultation as well as during our preoperative period. You need to understand that there is a wide variability in HOW the incisions can be planned.

If you do not completely understand the information, ask Dr. Vu to talk to you again before surgery. Observe the marking of the incisions carefully and make your wishes known.

F. Inability to meet your expectations

People having thigh lifts hope or fantasize that the thigh lift surgery will make their thighs look perfect. In truth, this seldom occurs. Thigh lift surgery makes your thighs look better – not perfect.

G. Wound separation

Because of the unusual tension on thigh lift incisions and the tendency for wound infections and inflammation, wound separation and breakdown in localized areas occurs somewhat more often than in other surgeries.

Although this is not a common problem (if the skin is cleansed properly — see INFECTION above), it can still occur. Local wound care, dressings, and time usually lead to normal healing, but there can be a delay of several weeks or more.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because of the location of your incisions, it is impossible to avoid lying on them. Move as carefully as possible. Try to put as little stress on the incision lines as possible. Change position at least every 30 minutes.

B. Bleeding

Small amounts of oozing and bleeding are very common. If this is more than slow staining of the gauze, apply firm pressure for 20-30 minutes before calling the office.
Should heavy bleeding occur (very rare), apply firm pressure and call us at 503-601-2910 immediately.

C. Compression garments

If you have had suction of your knees, thighs, hips, or abdomen, Dr. Vu will have put a compression garment on you at the end of surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You should not remove this garment at all until the second or third day after surgery. After that, feel free to remove the garment temporarily for laundering. We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise garment (Lycra or Spandex) whenever it feels comfortable to slip it on or off, as you will have to do so in order to go to the bathroom.

D. Walking

You must get up and walk some every day. As you heal, you will be able to do more and more.

E. Tightness

The areas operated on will initially feel tight and swollen. During this initial healingtime, we want you to progressively do the activities of daily living as much as is tolerable.

DO NOT, HOWEVER, MAKE SPECIAL ATTEMPTS TO STRETCH OR EXERCISE THE HEALING AREAS.

F. Numbness

Swelling: Postoperative swelling will gradually disappear during a 4-6 month period. If you have small areas of numbness on your thighs, they usually disappear gradually over several months.

G. Activities

You probably should not plan on returning to work for at least 10-14 days if your job is sedentary. If your job requires lifting, etc., wait 4-8 weeks before returning. After the first 2-3 weeks, you may walk as much as is tolerable. Do not return to heavy or aerobic exercise for at least 4-6 weeks. Let your body tell you what it can tolerate.

Designer Laser Vaginoplasty

Dr. Vu is pleased to announce the latest in female intimacy surgery, Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and Designer Laser Vaginoplasty for vaginal tightening and labiaplasty surgery. With time or childbirth, many women experience vaginal relaxation, or “loose vagina”, destroying feeling...

Designer Laser Vaginoplasty

Dr. Vu is pleased to announce the latest in female intimacy surgery, Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and Designer Laser Vaginoplasty for vaginal tightening and labiaplasty surgery.

With time or childbirth, many women experience vaginal relaxation, or “loose vagina”, destroying “feeling” and thus the important intimacy women love as well as sexual gratification.

With Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and Designer Laser Vaginoplasty procedures by Dr. Vu, you can now benefit from the latest technology and procedures to correct female genitalia problems. Whether you desire vaginal surgery for a tighter vagina or whether you are wanting to improve your aesthetic appearance with a labiaplasty procedure, these latest techniques ensure a quick surgery as well as very rapid recoveries.

 

QUICK GLANCE

Although our experience and labiaplasty surgery techniques provide us the ability to design most anything that one can desire, our most common DLV procedures are as follows:

  • Laser Reduction Labioplasty can sculpture the elongated or unequal labial minora (small inner lips) according to ones specification. Most women tell us that they do not want the small inner lips to project beyond the large outer lips. Many women bring us Playboy and say that they want to look like this. With laser reduction labioplasty, we can accomplish the desires of the woman. Our labiaplasty techniques can also reconstruct conditions that are due to the aging process, childbirth trauma, or injury.
  • Laser Perineoplasty can rejuvenate the relaxed or aging perineum. It can also enhance the sagging labia majora (large outer lips) and labia minora. Overall, this labia plastic surgery procedure can provide a youthful and aesthetically appealing vulva.
  • Augmentation Labioplasty can provide aesthetically enhanced and youthful labia majora by autologous fat transplant (removal of the patient’s fat via liposculpturing and transplanting it into the labia majora).
  • Vulvar Lipoplasty can remove unwanted fat of the mons pubis and upper parts of the labia majora. Liposculpturing can alleviate the unsightly fatty bulges of this area and produce an aesthetically pleasing contour.
  • Hymenoplasty (reconstruction of the hymen) can repair the hymen as if nothing ever occurred. The Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute is sensitive to the needs of women from all cultures that embrace these particular issues because of cultural, social, or religious reasons.
  • Combination of DLV with LVR: LVR and DLV can be performed in combination. They can also be performed with most other cosmetic surgery; the most popular of these are Liposculpturing, breast implants, breast reduction, tummy tuck, nose surgery, and eyelid surgery.

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation

Laser vaginal rejuvenation for the enhancement of sexual gratification is the modification of a standard existing gynecologic vaginal surgery used throughout the world for the treatment of vaginal relaxation and its associated symptoms, primarily that of stress urinary incontinence ...

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation

Have you lost the intimacy in your sexual relationship? How about passion, spontaneity and your own sexual gratification? We hear this from many patients suffering from Vaginal Relaxation or “loose vagina”. Whatever the cause, you can now have a tighter vagina with Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation.

Millions of women suffer from vaginal relaxation and are to embarrassed to discuss it. Please, don’t be one of those. I am here to listen to you. As a woman I can understand what you are going through. As a woman I understand how important intimacy and sexual gratification are for a normal and healthy relationship. As a woman, I understand the emotional and physical needs you have.

Now you can have the intimacy you long for and the sexual gratification you desire so much. Now you can “feel” him again. Now your vaginal sensitivity can be restored and you can put the passion and spontaneity back into your love life.

Now sex can be enjoyable again, as it was intended to be.

Want The Intimacy And Spontaneity Back?

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation® (LVR) is a one-hour outpatient surgical procedure designed to enhance sexual gratification. According to Master and Johnson, sexual gratification is directly related to the amount of frictional forces generated. We can accomplish this with LVR. LVR is the modification of a gynecological surgical procedure used for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. Our laser techniques result in gentle precision procedures with controlled accuracy that ensures relatively bloodless surgery. Our pioneered techniques result in rapid healing and resumption of daily activities in a short period of time.

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation® (LVR®) will effectively enhance vaginal muscle tone, strength, and control. It will also effectively decrease the internal and external vaginal diameters as well as build up and strengthen the perineal body.

Now, let me remove my surgery white’s and tell you again, woman to woman. What all of that means is this is vaginal tightening surgery by laser designed to give you a tighter vagina.
In vaginal relaxation, the muscles are relaxed and have poor tone, strength, and control. The internal and external diameters increase. The muscles of the perineum are weak and poorly supported. Under these circumstances, the vagina is no longer at its optimum physiological state. As a result, the sensual side of sexual gratification is diminished because the vaginal walls have collapsed, leaving you with “loose vagina”.

LVR was designed to enhance sexual gratification for women, who for whatever reason lack an overall optimum architectural integrity of the vagina.

Our mission is to empower women with knowledge, choice, and alternatives. We encourage our laser vaginal surgery patients to participate in their healthcare and surgical design. In one of our patient surveys, women were asked: do women want to be loose or relaxed or do women want to be tight? Women answered 100% – women want to be tight. LVR can accomplish whatever you desire.

We have learned a tremendous amount from listening to women. From all over the world, women come to us for vaginal tightening surgery because they want knowledge, choice, and alternatives. Women want their plastic surgeon to listen to them and provide viable solutions. Women throughout this nation and the world have told us that Kegels do not provide the vaginal tightening they want – but no one is listening. Women who have had children want a solution to rejuvenate the vagina and achieve the best sexual experience possible. For women with no children, solutions are available through design modification to accomplish their desires.

No one wants to age or lose optimal function anywhere, and this includes the vaginal and vulvar structures. LVR is the solution. We have found that the vaginal and vulvar issues women are self-conscious about can be solved with LVR. For vaginal rejuvenation in Portland, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Kim-Chi Vu, Plastic Surgeon, Portland, OR has the experience you can trust.

Patients with involuntary loss of urine with coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or sex can have their stress urinary incontinence corrected along with enhancement of sexual gratification.

Women are multiorgasmic. The female sexual response cycle is unimpeded by a required refractory period that prevents successive orgasms in the male.

Principal understanding of the physiology of the human sexual response emanates from observational research studies by William H. Masters, M.D. and Virginia E. Johnson. The researchers tested 382 women and 312 men in more than 10,000 episodes of sexual activity. They also studied more than 7,500 cycles (one cycle is an individual episode of sexual activity) of female sexual response during intercourse, masturbation or oral sex. They were the first researchers to put forth a four stage model that described and explained these natural physiologic changes. The four stages are excitation, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.

We developed the LVR program by listening and caring about the needs of women in this area of sexual gratification. We also integrated the historical research of Masters and Johnson into the ultimate individual design of each of the laser surgical procedures. Women of the world inspired all of the surgical designs. For this, we as well as present and future patients thank the “true pioneers” and inspirational forces that made Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation a reality… WOMEN.

Laser vaginal rejuvenation is a one hour or less outpatient surgical procedure. The procedure is designed to enhance the feelings of sexual gratification. This is accomplished through a reconstruction process of vital areas of vaginal relaxation that are essential to sexual gratification, namely the outer third of the vagina, the orgasmic platform, internal and external vaginal diameter, introitus, and perineal body.

Laser vaginal rejuvenation for the enhancement of sexual gratification is the modification of a standard existing gynecologic vaginal surgery used throughout the world for the treatment of vaginal relaxation and its associated symptoms, primarily that of stress urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of urine with stress such as exercise, etc.).

Vaginal relaxation is the loss of the optimum structural architect of the vagina. In the vaginal relaxation process, the vaginal muscles become relaxed with poor tone, strength, control and support. The internal and external vaginal diameters can greatly increase. The muscles of the perineum (the group of supporting muscles right outside the vaginal opening at the bottom) thin and separate in the midline producing a weakened, poorly supportive, thinned out perennial body.

Under these circumstances the vagina is no longer at its physiologically optimum sexual functioning state. In short, the sensual side of female sexual gratification is diminished. Thus, vaginal relaxation has a detrimental effect on sexual gratification because of the reduction of sexual feelings or pleasure.

Hand Procedures

Dr. Vu’s exceptional knowledge of her field comes from her surgical experiences along with continuing her education by attending local and national meetings in the field of plastic surgery year long. In addition, she has a background in hand trauma, which is a valuable complement to her usual work. While very different in some respects from carefully choreographed cosmetic procedures, emergency surgeries she performs on hand trauma patients keep her surgical skills at the highest level.

“My work in cosmetics and trauma complement one another. Trauma keeps me attuned to the minute level of detail that will restore function to an injured hand, while cosmetic work requires an aesthetic, almost artistic, appreciation of how the body works.”

The use of our hands is essential to our day to day functions, from typing on a keyboard to grasping a cup of water. When pain or injury limits our hands from these everyday tasks, it can cause a large toll on our lives. Dr. Vu is here to help. Hand injuries and conditions that Dr. Vu can provide treatment for include, but are not limited to, the following: fractures, lacerations, tendon or nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, and trigger finger. Dr. Vu accepts most major insurances and her staff will gladly assist you in your insurance authorizations and verifications.

Fractures / Dislocations

A hand fracture is a break or crack in the bones of your hand, also known as your metacarpals. Fractures can also occur in the bones of your fingers. Hand fractures are commonly caused by some kind of forceful impact to your hand or fingers. Some examples include car accidents, ...

Fractures / Dislocations

A hand fracture is a break or crack in the bones of your hand, also known as your metacarpals. Fractures can also occur in the bones of your fingers. Hand fractures are commonly caused by some kind of forceful impact to your hand or fingers. Some examples include car accidents, sports injuries, falling and landing on your hands, or punching a hard object.

There are different types of fractures:

  • Non-displaced: when the bone cracks or breaks but it stays aligned and in place.
  • Displaced: when ends of the broken bone are separated and not aligned.
  • Comminuted: when the bone is broken in multiple different places.
  • Open fracture: when the bone breaks through your skin and is exposed.

Typical signs and symptoms of a hand or finger fracture are:

  • Pain or tenderness in the injured hand, especially when moving your hand or touching the injured area
  • Presence of bruising, swelling, or a bony bump
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling of the hand or finger

The best way to determine if you truly have a fracture is to get an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI of your hand. These images of your bones will help determine what type, the location, and severity of the fracture. This will also help determine which treatment plan is most suitable for your injury.

Treatments of hand fractures include:

  • Immobilization: Your injured hand or finger may be treated by immobilization with the use of a cast, splint, or buddy taping. These methods keep your hand or finger from moving and hold the broken bones in place while healing.
  • Surgery: Surgical treatment may be a better treatment option to help achieve better alignment and bone position. The most common surgeries for hand fractures are open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) or percutaneous pinning.

Lacerations / Open Wounds

A laceration or open wound are types of injuries that happen relatively quickly where the skin is torn, cut, or punctured (an open wound), or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion (a closed wound). In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the ...

Lacerations / Open Wounds

A laceration or open wound are types of injuries that happen relatively quickly where the skin is torn, cut, or punctured (an open wound), or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion (a closed wound). In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the dermis of the skin. Wounds are commonly caused by accidents or injuries, or physical, muscle, or skin conditions.

Common lacerations and wounds include:

  • Incisions or incised wounds: caused by a clean, sharp-edged object such as a knife, razor, or glass splinter.
  • Lacerations: irregular tear-like wounds caused by some blunt trauma. Lacerations and incisions may appear linear (regular) or stellate (irregular). The term laceration is commonly misused in reference to incisions.
  • Abrasions (grazes): superficial wounds in which the topmost layer of the skin (the epidermis) is scraped off. Abrasions are often caused by a sliding fall onto a rough surface.
  • Avulsions: injuries in which a body structure is forcibly detached from its normal point of insertion. A type of amputation where the extremity is pulled off rather than cut off.
  • Puncture wounds: caused by an object puncturing the skin, such as a splinter, nail or needle.
  • Penetration wounds: caused by an object such as a knife entering and coming out from the skin.
  • Gunshot wounds: caused by a bullet or similar projectile driving into or through the body. There may be two wounds, one at the site of entry and one at the site of exit, generally referred to as a “through-and-through.”
  • Hematomas: also called a blood tumor, caused by damage to a blood vessel that in turn causes blood to collect under the skin. Hematomas that originate from an external source of trauma are contusions, also commonly called bruises.
  • Crush injury: caused by a great or extreme amount of force applied over a long period of time.

Treatment and care for your lacerations and wounds:

If a laceration or wound is severe, sutures may be required to close those wounds. Surgical treatment may be required for tissue, nerve, or muscle damage.

It is important to continue monitoring your laceration and wound until it heals completely. Keep the site clean and dry and change any bandages or dressings daily as instructed by your doctor.

If at any time there is excessive bleeding that will not stop with pressure OR if there are any signs of infection (increased redness and swelling, red or purple streaking spreading from the wound, pus or drainage, fever), contact your doctor or go the ER immediately.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissues in the hand include tendons, ligaments, vessels, and nerves which all help with the movement, sensation, and stabilization of the hands. Injuries to these soft tissues typically cause weakness to the hand and fingers and disable simple motions although symptoms can be even more severe. Soft tissue injuries ...

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissues in the hand include tendons, ligaments, vessels, and nerves which all help with the movement, sensation, and stabilization of the hands. Injuries to these soft tissues typically cause weakness to the hand and fingers and disable simple motions although symptoms can be even more severe. Soft tissue injuries can be strained by overloading and excessive every day use of the hands and fingers, but are typically caused by lacerations and cuts from sharp objects.

Tendon Injuries: Extensor and flexor tendons of the hand help the hands and fingers flex and extend- this is important for grasping/gripping and letting go of objects. Partially severed or completely cut tendons typically cause partial or total loss of mobility of the injured hand and fingers. Other symptoms include: an open wound at the laceration site, inability to straighten or bend the injured finger, pain and numbness.

Ligament Injuries: Ligaments are tissues that are attached to the bones and joints and work to stabilize and give strength to the joints. Ligament injuries are common because they can be caused by excessive everyday motions and activities that may strain or tear the ligaments. Symptoms of ligament injuries are pain and instability of the hand and fingers and abnormal movement of the injured joint.

Vessel Injuries: Blood vessels carry blood to and from the heart and throughout the body. If a main vessel in the hand or fingers are cut then it is important to see a doctor urgently to determine if surgical repair is necessary to stop the vessel from bleeding. If the laceration is not severe then elevation and local pressure may stop the bleeding. But if the vessel is not treated or repaired and bleeding continues, the hand or finger may become necrotic from lack of blood supply.

Nerve Injuries: The nerves in the hand and fingers are connected to the brain where messages are relayed about sensations and even commands that tell the hands and fingers what to do. Nerves can be injured by strains and pressure or more severely by tears or cuts to the finger. Numbness, weakness, and pain are common symptoms as well as lack of sensation or delayed motions since the signals cannot travel from the brain to the hand.

Soft tissue injuries are diagnosed by physical examinations and can be detected with an MRI scan. If the injury is mild, then non-surgical options can help with treatment such as: splinting, RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), NSAID medications. When an injury is more severe caused by cuts and lacerations, surgical treatment is the best option to repair the tendon, ligament, vessel, or nerve.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a small area/tunnel in the wrist. It is filled with ligaments, blood vessels, and the median nerve which all pass through the carpal tunnel from the arm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the ligaments that make up the carpal tunnel become swollen ...

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a small area/tunnel in the wrist. It is filled with ligaments, blood vessels, and the median nerve which all pass through the carpal tunnel from the arm into the hand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the ligaments that make up the carpal tunnel become swollen and irritated. This causes painful pressure on the median nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is most commonly caused by repetitive or forceful motion of the wrist that increases pressure placed on the median nerve, for example: factory or assembly line work, or keyboarding.

You are at higher risk of having carpal tunnel syndrome if you’re pregnant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or arthritis, or have had previous injuries to your wrist. Signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may come and go and may have different levels of intensities.

You may have one or more of the following symptoms if you have carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Dull aching, pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in your hand mostly felt in the thumb, index, and middle fingers
  • Sharp shooting pain that may radiate up your forearm and even shoulder
  • Stiffness, cramping, or weakness that makes it difficult to do simple every day tasks that involve gripping and grabbing objects
  • Swelling of the hand and wrist

Besides a physical exam and evaluation of your personal health and work history, a nerve conduction study (NCS) can determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. This measures the electrical activity of your muscles, speed of your nerve impulses, and how well the nerves control the muscles of your hand.

If signs and symptoms do not go away on their own, treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Wearing a splint or brace to help immobilize your wrist to decrease motion and therefore pressure to the median nerve
  • Hand therapy and exercises to help strengthen your wrist. Your therapist may also recommend a TENS unit that will stimulate pulses to your hand/wrist to help alleviate pain.
  • Steroid injections that reduce inflammation and swelling and relieve pain
  • Surgery to release and cut the carpal ligament to give more space and ease pressure off the median nerve

Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a lump under the skin that is filled with thick, jelly-like fluid. It may grow on the thin outer covering of a tendon. A tendon is a tissue that connects muscle to bone. It may also grow on a joint capsule. A joint capsule is an ...

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion cyst diagramA ganglion cyst is a lump under the skin that is filled with thick, jelly-like fluid. It may grow on the thin outer covering of a tendon. A tendon is a tissue that connects muscle to bone. It may also grow on a joint capsule. A joint capsule is an area where two bones join together, such as the wrist or fingers. Ganglion cysts may also grow on the back of the knee, the foot, the ankle, or the finger. The cause of a ganglion cyst is unknown. However, certain people may be more likely to develop a ganglion cyst. These people include those who overuse, injure, or bump their hand, wrist, fingers, or ankles a lot.

Common signs and symptoms of a ganglion cyst include:

  • Dull ache or tenderness around the affected joint (joint with the ganglion cyst on it).
  • Firm, fluid-filled lump. The lump may become smaller or larger over time. It may go away on its own and come back again. It may feel like one large lump or a cluster of smaller lumps.
  • Numbness, swelling, or muscle weakness around the affected joint.
  • Pain that may be made worse by use or movement of the affected joint. But a ganglion cyst may not be painful at all.

It is important to see a provider if you develop a lump near any of your joints. Your provider will do a physical examination of the affected area and may recommend tests such as ultrasound or x-rays. These tests show a picture of your joints and muscles and will help find any cysts or joint problems.

You may be told that no treatment is needed since ganglion cysts often go away in time. Even with treatment, your ganglion may go away and then grow back later. You may do one or more of the following to treat your ganglion cyst:

  • Watch and wait:  If you are waiting for your ganglion cyst to go away, do not try to break it yourself. Pressing, poking, or slamming hard objects on it can hurt you, and usually will not make it go away.
  • Splint:  Your caregiver may tell you to put a splint on the joint with the ganglion cyst. You may wear a splint to rest your joint and limit movement. This may help your ganglion cyst to decrease in size.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs): these may help decrease pain and inflammation (swelling). Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine. 
  • Needle aspiration:  drains the fluid out of the ganglion cyst. During this procedure, a needle is put into your cyst. The fluid is removed and sent to the lab for tests. Next, a steroid medicine may be injected into the cyst to decrease inflammation (redness and swelling). Caregivers may add local anesthesia to the steroids to help decrease pain.
  • Surgery:  Surgery may be done if your ganglion cyst is causing pain or is limiting your joint movement. It may be done if other forms of treatment have not caused your ganglion cyst to go away. This surgery is usually done in the clinic or in a surgical center or hospital. The ganglion cyst and possibly a small amount of tissue around it may be removed. You may need to wear a splint after surgery to limit joint movement and help the area to heal.

Men Procedures

Men everywhere are taking advantage of plastic surgery to improve looks, for better health and for a surge of confidence in the boardroom, speaking engagements and in their personal life.

These socially acceptable procedures are being used by men everywhere to feel better, look better and improve their emotional state.
Ready for a rush of confidence, a surge of self esteem?
Ready to look better than you have in years and feel better about yourself than you can remember?
Ready to look great in a suit or in the gym?
Review these highly popular Men’s Plastic Surgery procedures performed by Dr. Vu.

BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY

Liposuction

Are you tired of starving yourself and beating yourself up with exercise with no visible results in your core area? Do you have abdominal fat that just won’t go away? If you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercises and you wish to change the ...

Liposuction

Are you tired of starving yourself and beating yourself up with exercise with no visible results in your core area? Do you have abdominal fat that just won’t go away?

If you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercises and you wish to change the contours of your body, then liposuction surgery may be appropriate for you.

Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck ( under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.

Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal.

Liposculpture can be useful to heavier persons as well as a means of reducing risk.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Liposuction Surgery Candidate?

If you have excess subcutaneous fat, which is resistant to diet and exercise. If you wish to change the contours of your body. Commonly involved areas are the anterior part of the neck (under the chin), upper arms and armpits, male chest/breasts, trunk, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and ankles.

Most patients are near normal weight and desire permanent contour changes. Improved techniques now allow larger amounts of fat removal. Liposculpture can beuseful to heavier persons as well.

Intended Results:

A permanent improvement in the contour and proportion of the treated areas.

A more flattering figure or physique, in or out of clothing.

Procedure Description

The procedures are done on an outpatient basis.

General anesthesia is usually used for safety and comfort.

Small suction tubes (cannulas) are inserted through very short incisions placed in inconspicuous locations near the fat deposits, and excess fat is removed.

If very large volumes of fat are to be removed, we will probably ask you to donate one or two units of blood and take supplemental iron before surgery. Your own blood will be used as a transfusion at the end of surgery.

Recuperation And Healing:

The patient goes home with a compression garment (or tape) covering the treated areas. Compression is advised for about a month as it helps reduce swelling and helps you achieve the final result more quickly.

Once pain and soreness decrease, it is frequently more comfortable to wear lycra or spandex exercise pants. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.

Bruising and swelling usually subside in 2-4 weeks. The final result takes shape over 2-3 months.

Other Options:

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, Thigh Lift, or Buttock Lift.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding liposuction.

A. Waviness, Wrinkling, or Dimpling of the Skin

As knowledge has increased and technology has improved, this potential problem has become much less common. The use of much smaller cannulas (tubes inserted to remove the fat cells) has helped tremendously. Tight and firm skin before surgery will probably remain so after healing.

If your skin is loose, wrinkled, or dimpled before surgery, it may remain the same or be slightly worse after surgery.

B. Asymmetry

It is not always possible to obtain total symmetry when bilateral procedures are performed. Very few people are totally symmetrical prior to liposculpture. If a significant difference is visible following healing, a secondary “touch up” procedure may be indicated to minimize such findings.

C. Loss of Sensation

Usually, any numbness or loss of sensation is temporary and resolves within a few months.

D. Excess Fat Removal

Although this can occur in an attempt to remove as much fat as possible, careful discussion and preoperative understanding between you and Dr. Vu make this an unlikely possibility.

E. Fluid and Electrolyte Problems

When we anticipate that large volumes of fat need removal (2000 cc or more), we will request that you donate a unit or two of your own blood during the preoperative period. This will help your body adjust to the loss of fluid and blood that occurs during surgery and to the postoperative shift of fluids to the areas under the skin that were suctioned.

These changes, the operative fluid losses and the postoperative fluid shifts, help to explain why you may feel “washed out” for a few days after surgery.

F. Bleeding and Bruising

Some bruising almost always surfaces for 2-3 weeks after liposculpture. Formation of hematomas (blood clots under the skin) is rare. Resolution occurs with time and massage. Extremely rare cases may require suction of the blood clots.

G. Skin Loss

Skin loss is extremely rare following liposculpture and may require secondary reparative surgery.

H. Lumpiness, Firmness

During the healing phase (several weeks or longer) you may feel firmness or lumpiness under the treated areas.

I. Seroma Formation

Fluids can collect under the skin following liposculpture (very uncommon). If this problem occurs, aspiration with a needle or even open drainage might be indicated.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Compression Garment

If you have had suction of your knees, thighs, hips, or abdomen, Dr. Vu will have put a compression garment on you at the end of surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort.

We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise garment (Lycra or Spandex) whenever it feels comfortable to slip it on or off, as you will have to do so in order to go to the bathroom.

B. Ice Packs

A significant amount of bruising accompanies liposculpture. Ice packs can be helpful with both swelling and discomfort. After liposculpture of the abdomen, it is not uncommon for the groin and genitalia to become markedly swollen and bruised. Do not be alarmed! The swelling and bruises will go away within several weeks. Ice packs will help the discomfort and swelling.

C. Bathing or Showering

You may shower or bathe the day after surgery.

D. Massage

If you so desire, feel free to have a gentle massage during your post-operative course. This will help smooth out some area of lumpiness or irregularity.

We will wish to examine you 3 or 4 days after surgery, once the tape or foam has been removed. Your stitches will need to be removed about 1 week after surgery.

E. Activities

You must start walking immediately. You may continue the activities of daily living as you feel able. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 2-3 weeks.

F. Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The swelling, on the other hand, takes as long as 6-9 months to disappear completely, although you should see vast improvement within 1 month. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed.

Body Lift

Have you experienced significant weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercise? Are you experiencing excess skin laxity throughout the trunk region, involving the abdomen and the back region? Embarrassed to be seen at the beach, in the gym, in the pool?

Body Lift

Have you experienced significant weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercises?

Are up experiencing excess skin laxity throughout the trunk region, involving the abdomen and the back region?

Embarrassed to be seen at the beach, in the gym, in the pool?

In addition, you may be experiencing abdominal wall weakness results from rectus diastasis, which can cause you to have an appearance of abdominal bulge. Overall the excess redundant skin tissues may now be a hindrance to your daily activities and physical appearance.

Having trouble fitting into those smaller clothes as easily as you thought you would after your weight loss? Is your hindrance preventing your from exercising properly thus compounding the problem and preventing you from obtaining good body tone?

Thus, an abdominoplasty surgery alone may not be sufficient, but you may require a circumferential body lift surgery, where the excess redundant skin and fat are removed from the abdomen, flank and the back region, thus, achieving more nice contour throughout the trunk region.

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Candidate For Body Lift Surgery?

If you have excess body skin (frequently due to significant weight loss or post gastric bypass surgery).

Intended Results:

A smoother flatter abdomen and buttock tightening, diminishing thigh cellulite and removal of back rolls or excess back skin.

Procedure Description

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. Although the surgical sequence varies depending on the needs of each patient, we will usually treat the belly first, by removing the excess skin from the belly button down to the pubic area.

The abdominal wall muscle, which is deep to the skin and fat of the belly, is then tightened. The fat and skin above the belly button is then stretched down to the pubic area and sutured in place. A new opening is made to allow the belly button to be brought through, in its original position.

The patient is then turned to the side and the excess skin and fat from the side to the mid back is removed. This part of the operation reduces and lifts the outer thighs. As the skin and fat are removed from the back the back rolls are reduced and the buttocks are lifted.

Each of these maneuvers is done to a different degree depending on the needs of the patient. Some patients require liposuction of the outer thighs. The same is performed on the other side of the body. A belt lipectomy will usually require between 3.5 to 7 hours to perform.

Recovery and Healing

The Body Lift can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery.

One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care or assistance at home is usually indicated. You will be encouraged to be moving and walking regularly within 1-2 days. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Other Options

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, Upper Arm Lift or Thigh Lift.

NOTE:

The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding body lift surgery.

A. Incisions

After a Circumferential Body Lipectomy, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending around the flanks and back. There will be a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly as shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline.

You should discuss your incision lines with Dr. Vu and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles.

Redness, thickness, and some widening of these scars to a variable extent will occur once you return to normal activities. Incisions placed in high-tension areas (i.e. central back) tend to create slightly wider scars.

B. Loss of Sensation

Patients commonly experience areas of partial and/or complete numbness of the abdominal skin and/or the skin around the flank and back incisions. Few experience permanent loss of feeling, but it may take several months or longer for sensation to return. Rarely, areas of numbness persist.

C. Fat Necrosis

In rare cases, some of the underlying fat can necrose (die) because of infection or excessive tension. An uncommon problem, it is usually an annoyance, requiring additional healing time, dressing changes, and sometimes, revision of the scar later. It usually does not seriously affect the ultimate outcome.

D. Skin Loss

Like fat necrosis, skin loss can result from infection or excessive tension. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause. Careful preoperative planning and resisting the urge to make the hips and buttocks “as tight as possible” reduces but does not eliminate the possibility of this problem occurring.

E. “Dog Ears”

When Dr. Vu closes the angle at the end of the skin incision during the repair, a nipple or projection of bulging tissue called a “dog ear” can occur.

Liposuction under the area or extension of the incisions can solve or reduce the problem. If a small “dog ear” appears at the end of surgery, it will usually flatten or disappear with time and healing. If it remains visible, a small procedure under local anesthesia can solve the problem at a later time.

F. Fat emboli and blood clots

These problems can rarely occur, however there is an increased risk with this procedure. Continuous use of compression stockings during surgery and postoperatively until normal activity is resumed, coupled with postoperative leg movements and walking as soon as possible after surgery help to minimize the risk.

Although fat emboli and blood clots can be life threatening, they usually resolve completely with hospitalization and care by a medical specialist.

G. Seroma

Rarely, tissue fluids collect under the back skin flap (usually after the drains have been removed). During surgery, Dr. Vu usually places two to four drains throughout the front and back along the incision If this occurs, aspiration of the fluid with a needle two or three times a week for 2-3 weeks usually solves the problem.

Few patients require further surgery. The frequency increases with the length of the incision. It is important to maintain compression on your abdomen for several days after the drains come outand high activity levels should be avoided.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because Circumferential Body Lipectomy involves tightening of the abdominal muscles coupled with removal of excess skin of the abdomen, hips, buttocks and back, you will experience some difficulty sitting for a week or two or even longer. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please try not to stretch or bend down during the first 2-3 weeks of healing.

B. Dressings

You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots. We will place an elastic abdominal binder around your abdomen and hips after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling.

The compression garment or binder is required to be worn continuously for 2-3 weeks following surgery (except when laundering, bathing, etc.) unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Vu.

If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off and call us at 503-601-2910. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss!

C. Post-surgical taping

Some patients choose to wear the garment for another several months after surgery. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible without swelling.

Dr. Vu will place a surgical tape around the incision line. Do not remove this yourself. Dr. Vu will remove the taping during your postoperative visit.

In addition, she will also instruct you in applying taping along the incisional scar daily to help improve with overall scar healing and appearance.

D. Bathing and showering

Take a “sponge bath” until Dr.Vu or your nurse has approved you to bathe or shower.Take a “sponge bath” until Dr.Vu or your nurse has approved you to bathe or shower.

E. Drains

Dr. Vu will place two drains into the surgical area at the time of surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster. When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand. The drains will be removed when the fluid collection is at least less then 25cc per bulb within 24 hour period.

F. Drain Care

Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal binder with a safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents. Do not attempt to remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to recompress it, and put the plug back into the hole at the top in order to maintain the vacuum. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying it, or you need to empty it more than three times a day, please call us at 503-601-2910.

Dr. Vu or a nurse will remove the drains 5-10 days after surgery, when the fluid begins to turn a clear straw color and/or the amount of drainage diminishes. You may shower the day after your drains are removed.

G. Activities

Body Lifts are probably the most uncomfortable operation we do. You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks. After the first 2 weeks, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling.

H. Exposure to sunlight

We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

I. Healing of sensory nerves

Your abdomen, hips, buttocks and back will feel tight for a month or longer. Usually, the skin around the incisions remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer.

Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as 2 years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.

J. Activities

If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 14 days, with the understanding that you will still have discomfort with motion.
Please discuss this with Dr. Vu and the nursing staff. Here again, swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 5-6 weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do and please check with us before returning to exercise or strenuous activities.

Gynecomastia/Breast Revision

Men everywhere are taking advantage of plastic surgery to improve looks, for better health and for a surge of confidence in the boardroom, speaking engagements and in their personal life. These socially acceptable procedures are being used by men everywhere to feel better, look better...

Gynecomastia

Breast Revision

Men everywhere are taking advantage of plastic surgery to improve looks, for better health and for a surge of confidence in the boardroom, speaking engagements and in their personal life.

These socially acceptable procedures are being used by men everywhere to feel better, look better and improve their emotional state.

Ready for a rush of confidence, a surge of self esteem?

Ready to look better than you have in years and feel better about yourself than you can remember?

Ready to look great in a suit or in the gym?

Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck

f you have excess subcutaneous fat or excess skin laxity, which is resistant to diet and exercises, then body contouring surgery may be appropriate for you. An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Mini-abdominoplasty removes the lower…

Abdominoplasty

Tummy Tuck

Have age and inactivity added a few additional pounds over the years that exercise just can’t seem to touch?

Jeans too tight, going to the beach or the pool embarrassing?

Maybe it’s time for you to explore a waist reducing tummy tuck.

Dr. Vu specializes in Tummy Tucks for men.

If you have excess subcutaneous fat or excess skin laxity, which is resistant to diet and exercises, then body contouring surgery may be appropriate for you.

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Mini-abdominoplasty removes the lower abdominal wall skin only, and no manipulation with the umbilicus.

Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.

Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar). Extended abdominoplasty tights the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flank onto the lower back).

QUICK GLANCE

Who Is A Tummy Tuck Candidate?

  • If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin frequently associated with abnormal relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies or prior surgery).
  • If you are unable to tighten abdominal wall skin with exercise.

Intended Results:

A smoother flatter abdomen.

Procedure Description

  • The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. (Mini and modified abdominoplasties are similarly performed.)
  • Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only (shortest scar). Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.
  • Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar).
  • Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)

Recovery and Healing

  • Abdominoplasty can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery.
  • One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care or assistance at home is usually indicated.
  • You will be encouraged to be moving and walking regularly within 1-2 days. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days.
  • Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Other Options

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift.

NOTE:

  • The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation.
  • All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.
  • Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.
  • Major complications are unusual.
SURGERY RISKS

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding tummy tuck surgery.

A. Incisional Scars

After a full abdominoplasty, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending toward the flanks or beyond, as well as a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly a shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline.

You should discuss your incision lines with Dr. Vu and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles. (In cases of extreme skin redundancy — that is, after massive weight loss — a vertical scar extending from the pubic hairline to the lower end of the breastbone may
result.)

B. Uneven Skin Contours

Following an abdominoplasty, the skin contours may be slightly uneven and areas of slight depression or wrinkling can occur. As healing progresses, most of these problems (if present) usually improve dramatically.

C. Asymmetry

Minimal asymmetry of abdominoplasty scars occurs frequently as healing is not always even from side to side. The mild asymmetry is usually not cosmetically significant. If the asymmetry is significant, revisional surgery of the scars may be considered.

D. Bellybutton (umbilicus)

The bellybutton may be slightly off center, heal poorly, suffer necrosis (loss of circulation), protrude or be unusually retracted. Significant problems are uncommon.

E. Loss of Sensation

Patients commonly experience areas of partial and/or complete numbness of the abdominal skin. Few experience permanent loss of feeling, but it may take several months or longer for sensation to return. Rarely, areas of numbness persist.

F. Fat Necrosis

In rare cases, some of the underlying fat can necrose (die) because of infection or excessive tension. An uncommon problem, it is usually nothing more than a severe annoyance, requiring additional healing time, dressing changes, and sometimes, revision of the scar later. It usually does not seriously affect the ultimate outcome.

G. Skin loss

Like fat necrosis, skin loss can result from infection or excessive tension. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause. Careful preoperative planning and resisting the urge to make the tummy “as tight as possible” reduces but does not eliminate the possibility of this problem occurring. In addition, patient who smokes is at increased risk of skin loss and fat necrosis.

H. “Dog Ears”

When Dr Vu closes the angle at the end of the skin incision during the repair, a nipple or projection of bulging tissue called a “dog ear” can occur. Liposuction under the area or extension of the incisions can solve or reduce the problem. If a small “dog ear” appears at the end of surgery, it will usually flatten or disappear with time and healing. If it remains visible, a small procedure under local anesthesia can solve the problem at a later time.

I. Fat Emboli and Blood Clots

These problems can occur rarely with any surgery, but occur a little more frequently after an abdominoplasty. Shortened operating time, postoperative leg movements, and walking soon after surgery help to avoid these problems.

Although fat emboli and blood clots can be life threatening, they usually resolve completely with hospitalization and care by a medical specialist.

J. Fluid accumulation (seroma)

Rarely, tissue fluids collect under the abdominal skin flap (usually after the drains have been removed). If this occurs, aspiration of the fluid with a needle two or three times a week for 2-3 weeks usually solves the problem. Few patients require further surgery.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because abdominoplasty involves removal of the extra abdominal skin and (usually) tightening of the abdominal muscles, you will experience some difficulty standing up straight for a week or two or even longer. During this period, you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow or two under your knees while in bed. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please make no special attempts to stretch or pull the abdomen straight during the first 2-3 weeks of healing.

You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots.

B. Dressings

We will place an elastic abdominal binder around your tummy after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling.

If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss! You may also remove it temporarily for laundering.

Many patients wear the binder for several weeks after surgery and some choose to wear it for several months. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible without swelling.

C. Drains & Drain care

Dr Vu will usually place two drains into the surgical area at the time of surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster.

When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand.

Drain Care: Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal binder witha safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by drain when the drain output is less then 25cc per bulb within 24 hour time period, which may be anytime between postoperative day 3 to 5.

D. Activities

Tummy tucks are probably the most uncomfortable operation we do. You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks.

After the first 2 weeks, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling and cause you to easily fatigue.

You may be able to return back to work in 10 –14 days, but with modification, and with an understanding that you will still have some discomfort with motion.

E. Activities

You must start walking immediately. You may continue the activities of daily living as you feel able. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 2-3 weeks.

E. Exposure to Sunlight

We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

F. Healing of sensory nerves

Usually, the skin of the abdomen remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer. Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as 2 years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.