Body


After weight loss or pregnancy, a patient may be left with an unwelcome flabby tummy, a stretched out lower abdominal skin, loose abdominal muscles and a disturbing fold of tissue above a C-section scar.

Strengthening the abdominal wall (abdominoplasty) and removing the excess stretched out skin will return a woman’s body back to its harmonious and youthful shape.

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Mommy Make-Over

Childbirth and pregnancy take a major toll on a woman’s body. The breasts and abdomen are the areas most commonly affected by having children. Fortunately plastic surgery can reverse the major damage inflicted by childbearing. Many women are seeking mommy makeovers to recapture their pre-pregnancy figure. While breast-feeding women enjoy full and shapely breasts, and are disappointed when they become deflated and sagging with large areolas and asymmetry. The breast lift as performed by Dr. Geppert reshapes sagging breasts giving them upper pole fullness, symmetric and attractive areolas and a youthful pre-pregnancy appearance. When women don’t have sufficient breast volume and desire fuller breasts the breast lift can be combined with a breast augmentation using saline or silicone breast implants.

Often rejuvenating only the breasts is not sufficient and the abdominal area in many women needs tightening, sculpting and removal of stretched out skin. Many women are left after pregnancy with excess loose skin full of stretch marks, which folds over their c-section scar, distorted belly button and lax abdominal muscles. Exercise and weight loss alone will not improve these problems. The tummy tuck procedure involves excision of excess stretched out skin, removal of unsightly lower abdominal scars, tightening of the abdominal muscles, reshaping the belly button and sculpting the waist line and love handles with liposuction.

The mommy make-over which combines abdominoplasty and liposuction with breast lifting and augmentation is a well deserved award for women who have completed childbearing and want to restore their body to their pre-pregnancy slender, firm and full of curves youthful contour. The mommy make-over can be safely performed in one surgical setting achieving harmonious rejuvenated feminine figure with minimal recovery.

Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck

After weight loss or pregnancy, a patient may be left with an unwelcome flabby tummy, a stretched out lower abdominal skin, loose abdominal muscles and a disturbing fold of tissue above a C-section scar. Strengthening the abdominal wall (abdominoplasty) and removing the excess stretched out skin will return a woman’s body back to its harmonious and youthful shape.

At Harbour Plastic Surgery in the Clear Lake area the tummy tuck procedure is performed under general anesthesia, on an outpatient basis. During abdominoplasty Dr. Geppert makes an incision as low down in the bikini area as possible, and detaches the abdominal skin and the fatty tissue from the abdominal wall. By sewing together the diverging abdominal muscles, she strengthens the abdominal wall and re-sculpts the waist. During the tummy tuck Dr. Geppert also performs liposuction of the love handles to give the patient a more defined and narrow waist. She injects the abdominal muscles with numbing medicine to help patients with pain in the post-operative period. The excess skin is then removed, the belly button is relocated to its new position, and the incision carefully sutured. Dr. Geppert carefully reconstructs the belly button during the tummy tuck procedure so that the scar is inconspicuous when a two piece bathing suit is worn. Two drains are placed under the abdominal skin to collect excess fluid and help the abdominal skin to adhere to the muscles. The drains are usually removed several days post-operatively after fluid drainage has subsided. Seroma formation (fluid collection) occasionally occurs especially if a patient moves excessively after abdominoplasty. Infections and impaired wound healing are rare. It is recommended that patients abstain from smoking for six weeks before the tummy tuck in order to avoid complications. Feeling of numbness of the abdominal wall will generally disappear after a few months. A compression garment is worn and no physical exercise is recommended for six weeks after abdominoplasty.

The abdominoplasty procedure helps women achieve a more youthful and svelte body contour, and fit better in tailored clothes and wear bathing suit. It is frequently combined with breast augmentation or a breast lift as part of the mommy make-over, so that a more harmonious body shape could be achieved.

Liposuction / Body Sculpting

In order to harmonize your body contours, local fat deposits can be removed by liposuction from the abdomen, upper arms, thighs or other areas of the body. The liposuction results will only last if bodyweight remains stable. Liposuction is not a procedure for correcting general excess weight, but rather a body sculpting operation.  Small, localized fat deposits that are resistant to exercise can be successfully removed to achieve an aesthetically pleasing body contour.

At Harbour Plastic Surgery in Houston liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The fatty tissue is injected with tumescent solution and suctioned off via a thin cannula inserted through tiny incisions. The patient needs to wear a compression garment for four to six weeks post-operatively in order to aid healing. The usual bruising and feelings of numbness nearly always subside by themselves after a few weeks. The liposuction incisions leave barely visible scars. Any irregularities that may arise with certain skin types during liposuction are usually treatable. The patient will be able to shower in two days after the operation. Depending on the circumstances, patients may resume work again one week or earlier after liposuction. Compression garments are worn for six weeks post-operatively.

Cosmetic Surgery After Weight Loss

Losing weight after diet and exercise or through bariatric surgery is a major accomplishment and a tremendous health benefit. Patients can fit into smaller clothes, but feel very uncomfortable with the loose, excess skin. We have helped a number of bariatric patients in the Houston and Clear Lake area with plastic surgery after weight loss. Cosmetic surgery after massive weight loss requires a special expertise because many different cosmetic procedures need to be performed on a single patient such as: tummy tuck, breast lift, arm lift, thigh lift, buttock lift, bra-line back lift and well as facial plastic surgery. Dr. Geppert will discuss with you the optimal combination of cosmetic weight loss procedures and the sequence in which they can be performed. Plastic surgery after massive weight loss is the final step of your transformation into the ideal self.

Body Lift

During a body lift the surgeon tightens the loose and sagging skin in various areas of the body. This procedure is most often used in massive weight loss patients with stretched skin that does not shrink. The body lift includes several surgical procedures: abdominoplasty, thigh lift, arm lift, mastopexy, and buttocks lift. Some of these procedures may be combined. This is a major surgical procedure and requires significant recovery time. After all the excess skin is removed patients are usually pleased with their new sculpted figure.

Medial Thigh Lift / Thighplasty

A thigh lift is suited for patients who have excess, flabby, and sagging thigh skin, especially in the medial/inner thighs. This results from massive weight loss, pregnancy or aging. Often the excess thigh skin gets irritated and macerated from the inner thighs rubbing during walking. The thighplasty procedure removes this loose skin and excess fat. At Harbour Plastic Surgery in the Houston area the thigh lift procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Several different incisions are possible. When minimal laxity is present, the incision is usually placed in the thigh crease and well hidden by underwear. In cases of severe skin laxity an incision is made along the inner side of the upper leg. Dr. Geppert performs liposuction in both cases in order to remove excess fatty tissue and achieve maximal skin tightening. An elastic garment is worn post-operatively for four to six weeks. No drains are used. Bruising and swelling subside in one month after the medial thigh lift and the patient may return to regular activity in six weeks. The medial thigh lift procedure leads to slimmer, more attractive thighs with tighter skin and improved contours.

The thigh lift is a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. Patient suitability for this procedure has to be determined at the time of consultation. As with any surgery, possible complications can occur. Delayed healing, infection, and formation of a blood clot are rare, but do occur in isolated cases. Smoking interferes with the body’s ability to heal itself. Smokers are encouraged to quit completely before any surgery. When additional procedures are performed with the medial thigh lift such as liposuction, tummy tuck or breast augmentation the patient overall image can be significantly improved.

Arm Lift / Brachioplasty

As patients age or lose weight, the tissue in upper inner arms begins to sag and the skin looks stretched and droopy. During an arm lift Dr. Geppert will make an incision along the inner arm and in the arm pit and removes excess skin and tighten the tissues. Prior to the brachioplasty Dr. Geppert performs liposuction of the upper arm to ensure that any residual fatty deposits are removed so that maximal tightening of the upper arm skin can be achieved. The incision is carefully designed so that it is well hidden and inconspicuous. Patients need to wear compression garments for one month after brachioplasty. The arm lift gives patients slimmer, tighter, and more graceful arms.

Bra-Line Back Lift

After massive weight loss and aging many patients develop excess skin laxity and fatty deposits in the upper back area.  Patients often complain of bulges above and below the bra line that cannot be covered with clothing. During the bra-line back lift Dr. Geppert performs liposuction to remove the excess fatty deposits and resects the loose skin. The incision in well hidden in the patient’s bra line. The back lift procedure can be combined with a mastopexy or breast reduction or arm lift. The bra-line back lift offers a complete correction of the upper back disharmony with dramatic results and high patient satisfaction.

Buttock Lift (Gluteoplasty)

The buttock lift is the procedure of choice for patients who have lost weight and are unhappy with the droop and sagging of their buttocks and outer thighs. During the gluteoplasty procedure Dr. Geppert lifts the buttocks and eliminates the outer thigh laxity by excising the excess skin above. In order to achieve minimal scarring and long-lasting results several layers of stitching are used. After the butt lifting procedure sitting must be performed with caution or avoided in the first few weeks.

In patients who lack buttock volume the excess tissue could be incorporated in the lifted buttock in order to create a fuller buttock contour.  Incisions are hidden under the panty line and two piece bathing suit could be worn after full recovery. The gluteoplasty procedure helps patients achieve a more lifted, natural and youthful posterior contour.

Brazilian Butt Lift

Despite going to the gym, the overall shape of one’s rear end is genetic and cannot be altered to a significant degree, until now. The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure allows women to have the round, curvy back side that they have always desired. The Brazilian butt lift surgery differs from a similar procedure known as butt implants. Both procedures result in a much better looking behind, but work in completely different ways. Butt implants involve using actual implants inserted in the rear end, similar to breast implants. A Brazilian butt lift, on the other hand, uses a procedure referred to as an autologous fat transfer. A patient’s own body fat is liposuctioned out from another area, such as the stomach, love handles, thighs, or arms and then reinserted into the buttocks.

At Harbour Plastic Surgery in the Huston area the Brazilian butt lift is performed under general anesthesia. Liposuction is performed on other areas of the body to create “donor fat” that will later be purified and then reinserted into the buttocks. The liposuctioned areas will compliment the new shape of your butt by removing excess fat in the areas around it, so it will stand out more. These areas will typically include the lower back, love handles, abdomen, and thighs. Just this alone will make your butt look better since it will now stand out a lot more, having the other areas contoured with liposuction.

Once collected, the fat will be purified and reinserted into the buttocks. The fat will be inserted into many different areas of the buttocks at different depths and different locations. During the Brazillian butt lift Dr. Geppert will use many small, precise injections into different areas and she will use massage techniques to ensure the fat is evenly distributed and smooth.

After surgery, the main issue with any autologous fat transfer procedure, is how much of the re-transplanted fat will survive. A good survival rate of the fat-transferred fat is about 50-60%. The rest will be reabsorbed by the body. The reason why fat cells die when reinserted into the body is that they initially have no blood supply. Dr. Geppert plans for this and tries to inject the fat as deep and as close to the muscle tissue as possible so that the greatest amount will survive. After the Brazilian butt lift, there will be a great deal of swelling after the surgery. These combined factors of swelling and not all of the re-inserted fat surviving means that the results you see the day after the surgery will be different months later.

Recovering will take several weeks and it is best not to sit. Soreness and swelling at the sights where fat was injected or removed and bruising will be present. You should be able to return to work, assuming it is not a job that involves rigorous physical activity, within two weeks. During your recover phase, you will wear a special compression garment that will help the healing process. One to two months after the Brazilian butt lift, you should experience a full recovery from any pain, swelling, bruising, and soreness, and you should be able to resume physical exercise.

Buttock Implant / Gluteal Augmentation

Butt augmentation can be accomplished through a variety of methods. The most permanent solution to increase size and projection of the buttocks is to insert a solid silicone implant, similar to breast implants. They come in round or oval shape with various thickness and texture. Butt implant surgery is performed under general anesthesia, on an outpatient basis. During gluteal augmentation an incision is made in the midline between the two buttocks.

After a pocket is made within the gluteus maximus muscle or between the muscle and its envelope or fascia, the butt implant is inserted. Drains will be kept in place for several days until a minimal amount of fluid is present. The gluteal augmentation scar heals nicely and is hardly evident even in the smallest thong or underwear. The best candidates for butt implants are men or women who desire a fuller, rounder and more projecting buttock.

Burns

We offer treatment of acute burns as well as reconstruction of burn scar contractures. For more information, please schedule a consultation.