Patient Resources

Tuesday Topics in Plastic Surgery Newport Beach

Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 1 – #SunDamage and #IncreasedSkinCancerRisk

Except for my friends and colleagues down under and in other parts of the southern hemisphere, summer temptation of fun in the sun & sand is here, and we need to remember sun protection with sunscreen hats and umbrellas. UV light from sun exposure is a risk factor for skin cancer.

A couple of my patients recently had skin biopsy showing basal cell carcinoma, one of three common types of skin cancer. After removing the skin cancer in the OR, the resulting defects will be closed & reconstructed with either local flap of adjacent tissue or skin graft if defect is too large for a local flap.

Till the next time : )

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 2 – #Falls and #FacialLacerations

In addition to the ER physician, many emergency rooms are staffed today with mid-level providers, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners, who repair most of the lacerations seen in the ER. Specialists, such as plastic surgeons, are then usually called in to treat more complex injuries, that may require a higher level of expertise.

Last week while on call for the ER, I was called in a couple of times to repair facial lacerations, both due to falls. The first call was to repair an ear laceration involving all layers, including the #cartilage. Treatment of this type of injury includes proper alignment of the tissue and anatomy, with repair of all five layers.

My second call was for a full thickness laceration through all three layers of the upper lip – skin, muscle, and mucosa. Often times, when the injury crosses the vermilion i.e. involving both the skin and red part of the lip, a plastic surgeon is asked to repair the injury, as misalignment in this area of the upper lip is very noticeable to the human eye. Treatment of this type of injury includes repair of all three layers, similar to a three layer repair of a cleft lip.

Till the next time : )

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 3 – #Liposuction vs. #TummyTuck

One of the most common questions I get asked by my patients is whether they should have liposuction or a tummy tuck to get rid of their tummy bulge. I then ask them: “What are your aesthetic goals?”

Liposuction is a great way of reducing the stubborn, fatty pockets that remain in the body, even after focused exercise, healthy eating, and disciplined weight loss. Overall, liposuction is an effective and less invasive way of reducing fat, utilizing a suctioning mechanism. The local anesthesia in the tumescent fluid used to numb the fatty tissue during liposuction allows the fat to be removed comfortably, under either general anesthesia or just light sedation. We rely on a patient’s own skin elasticity to bounce back after liposuction so the ideal candidate for liposuction is a patient with good skin tone.

For patients who already have loose skin from pregnancy, weight loss or gain, or aging, they may have increased skin laxity after liposuction. If their goal is to fit better into their clothes and they are not worried about loose skin, liposuction is a good option for them to reduce the fat in their tummy and waist. If their goal is a flatter tummy or a beach bod, then a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty may be the better option for them.

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. Pregnancy, aging, weight loss or gain, all can increase the amount of fatty tissue and excess skin in the abdomen. A tummy tuck removes the excess fatty tissue and skin from the abdomen to improve your abdominal contour and restore you towards your youthful figure.
A traditional tummy tuck involves removing the excess skin and fatty tissue, tightening the muscles through suture plication, and transposing the belly button to a higher location. For some women who only have excess skin and fatty tissue below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck can be done through a smaller incision, with muscle plication limited to the low abdomen, and without transposition of the belly button. Liposuction is often done to complement a tummy tuck, helping to contour and sculpt the waist and abdomen.

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 4 – #NonSurgical #MediSpa

Another common question I get asked by patients is “What’s the difference between botox and fillers” for the wrinkles in my face. Both of them are used to treat rhytids or #wrinkles on the face, with botox being used to treat the UPPER part of the face for the wrinkles in motion, and fillers used on the LOWER part of the face for the wrinkles at rest.

Another difference is that botox is injected directly into muscles to temporarily paralyze them, so the overlying skin is unable to move into wrinkles, such as in the forehead or around the eyes (crow’s feet). Fillers such as Juvederm help to fill in wrinkles to make them more shallow, such as in the smile lines (nasolabial folds) or corners of the lips.

A couple of newer non-surgical options include SkinPen microneedling that creates tiny perforations in the skin to stimulate natural wound healing and collagen and help diminish fine wrinkles, acne scars, and stretchmarks! Kybella is an injectable used to aid in the breakdown of fat in a double chin!

Till the next time : )

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 5 – #FacialTrauma #BonyReconstruction

Living here in SoCal, motor vehicle accidents occur all too often. Blunt force trauma to the face from car accidents, fist fights, or falls can cause the bones in the face to fracture or break. When this happens surgery sometimes is necessary to realign the bone and fixate them in the correct position. Facial fractures should be repaired within 2-3 weeks after initial injury to allow for easy movement and realignment of the bone before bone healing and fixation begins.

There are 14 bones in the face, and sometimes when multiple bones are broken, reconstruction and repair occurs from bottom up, similar to the construction of a house. The base or foundation is usually fixed first which would be the jawbone or mandible. Next, the midface is repaired and finally the upper face.

Around the eye, there are 7 bones. I often explain to my patients that the eye sits in a box or house with a roof, medial and lateral side walls, and a floor. Recently, one of my patients had an orbital floor fracture, caused by trauma from a motor vehicle accident. In this case, the orbital floor fracture had enough missing bone to need repair and reconstruction to prevent the eye from lowering over time. For the repair, I used an 3D anatomic shaped orbital floor medpor implant with titanium that allows tissue ingrowth, to reconstruct and reinforce the orbital floor.

Till the next time : )

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 6 – #PediatricPlasticSurgery

Pediatric Plastic Surgery helps to restore or improve function and appearance in children with birth defects, disease, and traumatic injuries. This includes the repair and reconstruction of congenital birth defects, abnormalities, and anomalies such as cleft lip and palate, hemangioma, dermoid cyst, congenital hairy nevus, congenital ear deformity, webbed finger, and finger duplication. In addition, pediatric plastic surgeons help to repair and reconstruct pediatric traumatic injuries such as burn injury and facial fracture.

As a fellowship trained pediatric (and adult) plastic surgeon, I spent a year working for a non-profit, ReSurge International, (formerly Interplast), and traveled to over 10 countries helping kids and adults with repair and reconstruction of congenital and traumatic abnormalities, such as cleft lip and palate, burns, and webbed finger. Founded in 1969, ReSurge International is the oldest non-profit in the world providing free reconstructive surgery to its patients.

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 7 – #PlasticSurgery&Men #DadBod

Today’s society places a high value on looking young and fit, and a growing number of men of all ages and from all walks of life are turning to plastic surgery to maintain and restore a youthful appearance! Men have unique goals when seeking plastic surgery, which may include rejuvenating their face, trimming their waistline, and attaining a more sculpted body.

Some of the more popular procedures for men include liposuction of the abdomen and love handles to achieve a trimmer waistline, as well as nose and eyelid surgery to refine and rejuvenate the face! Non-surgical rejuvenating procedures popular for men include injectables, such as botox and juvederm to improve wrinkles, and kybella for reducing a double chin!

Till the next time : )

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 8 – #MommyMakeover #1-OCPlasticSurgeryProcedurePerformed

Though motherhood is priceless, pregnancy and breastfeeding can wreak havoc on your body and cause it to lose its original form and shape so it becomes almost unrecognizable to its pre-pregnancy state. Often there is increased fatty tissue, muscle laxity, skin laxity, and drooping breasts.

A mommy makeover can help regain your pre-pregnancy body and your self-confidence back! It combines either a traditional tummy tuck or mini-tummy tuck with a breast lift and/or augmentation to remove excess skin and fat, tighten and sculpt your abdomen and waist, and perk up your breasts for a more youthful figure! Liposuction is often added to contour the waist and back areas! Mommy Makeover is the #1 plastic surgery procedure performed here in OC!

Till the next time! : )

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Tidbit Tuesdays #TBT – #TopicsInPlasticSurgery w/ @JoyceChenMD

Week 8 – #BreastSurgery #BreastRecon #BreastAug #Gynecomastia

Breast surgery for both women and men is a core area of plastic surgery. For patients with breast cancer undergoing partial or total mastectomy, immediate or delayed breast reconstruction is often done using either tissue expanders/implants or flaps from one’s own tissue. Surgery can also be done to improve symmetry of the other breast. In 1988, Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) was passed making it mandatory for all group plan insurances to provide coverage for breast reconstruction and prostheses.

Other types of breast surgery include breast augmentation, breast lift or mastopexy, and breast reduction. Breast augmentation is one of the most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Using implants, the size, shape, and projection of the breast can be altered. A breast lift raises the nipple areolar complex and removes excess skin to create a more youthful appearance. Breast reduction removes breast tissue to decrease the size of the breast in both women and men. In women, there is usually immediate symptomatic relief in neck, shoulder, and back pain. In men, minimally invasive techniques using small incisions or liposuction can sometimes be done to treat gynecomastia.

Till the next time :) !

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