Body Aging and Plastic Surgery

There are many reasons why people choose to have cosmetic or plastic surgery. Some have struggled all of their life with weight, loose skin or breasts that have lost volume or are too large. Others simply want to change something about their appearance. However, Dr Bartell also sees many older female patients that dislike certain parts of their bodies as they age.

Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery Procedures That Diminish the Signs of Body Aging

As the female body begins to age around age 20, we start noticing changes in ourselves. As the years pass, breasts begin to sag, skin starts wrinkling and drooping, and we lose muscle mass, which makes parts of us look lumpy or disproportionate. Dr. Bartell, who is the area’s only board certified plastic surgeon that focuses on below the neck cosmetic procedures, performs multiple types of procedures that can be done to tighten, tone and and lift the areas of your body that are showing signs of body aging.

Body Liposuction

When the body aging process begins, one of the most common issues women have is gaining fat. As we age, our bodies lose muscle mass, but instead of us slimming down, our bodies replace that lost muscle mass with fat, and in most cases, this fat is not reduced by diet and exercise. Women end up with fat where there wasn’t any before, and it can make one look almost lumpy in some areas, the most common being a woman’s hips and thighs. Body liposuction is a great cosmetic procedure to help reverse this sign of body aging in your abdomen and sides (flanks).

We do always remind our patients that body liposuction is not an substitute for weight loss; the best candidates are those in good health who maintain an average weight yet still have areas of localized fat they cannot get rid of. It does not get rid of the bumpy look of cellulite.

During the liposuction procedure, Dr. Bartell will use general anesthesia, which means you will be “asleep” for the procedure. Depending on how many areas or how large the areas of fat are, this surgery can last between one and two hours. Every effort is made to make incisions where they will not be seen, and the fat is removed using a series of cannulas that vaccuum it out of your body. Patients will need to make sure they have a ride home who is free all day, as once the procedure is over, you may still need to spend a short amount of time in our recovery area before going home.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Although it affects men and women of all ages, excess abdominal fat is most common in older women, especially after pregnancy. The stomach’s muscles stretch and contort, and it is extremely difficult to get that muscle tight and firm again. If you are at your desired weight and do not plan to lose any more and don’t plan on a future pregnancy, then a tummy tuck could be the answer to a flatter stomach.

Tummy tuck surgeries are delicate procedures in which Dr. Bartell makes an incision directly above the pubic line and first performs liposuction if fat removal is needed, then uses instruments to raise up the tissues and sutures to tighten abdominal muscles. As it is so in depth, this procedure can take between two and three hours. Patients are under general anesthesia the entire time, so you will sleep straight through. A driver is required to take our patients to and from the appointment to make sure they are brought home safely for some much needed rest. Once healed the abdomen will be flatter and the skin smoother. A tummy tuck is a great way to reverse body aging for many women.

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Many areas of our body begin to lose definition during the aging process or following significant weight loss, and one of them, the underarms, can be one of the most frustrating areas to start sagging. When your arms lose muscle mass they begin to droop, causing the loose skin and fat to shake. Many people compare it to “flapping wings,” especially when waving or dancing. This can be horrific for many women, especially because underarm fat is very hard to get rid of. Thankfully, Dr. Bartell is skilled at below the neck cosmetic procedures, including something called an arm lift.

Once you’ve had a consultation with Dr. Bartell and have decided to proceed with your arm lift surgery, the process of removing that annoying underarm skin and fat can begin. At your surgery appointment, you will be placed under general anesthesia, which means you will need a driver to take you to and from your surgery. Once you are under the anesthesia, Dr. Bartell removes excess skin and fat after making incisions in your arm, and also tightens the muscles of each arm with sutures. The procedure itself can last between two and three hours, and patients usually spend a little time in our recovery room.

Breast Augmentation

During the body aging process you begin to lose definition in your breasts. Unfortunately, breast ptosis (sagging) is completely natural, as your breasts will eventually succumb to gravity and, regardless of their size, they will begin to lose their perkiness and become flatter. Multiple pregnancies, smoking and extreme weight gain and loss also play a large factor. As they age and develop breast ptosis, many women become embarrassed by the appearance of their breasts with or without clothes on. A breast augmentation is a short procedure that involves inserting breast implants behind the breasts to make them rounder and give them more definition and size, which can also smooth possible wrinkles in the breast skin. However, in more severe cases of breast ptosis, a patient might need a breast lift instead, which will raise and reshape a woman’s breasts.

Dr. Bartell excels not only in reversing the body aging process on women’s breasts, but is well known for his scarless breast augmentation techniques. While his patient is under general anesthesia, Dr. Bartell inserts the breast implants through a small incision in the their armpit. Once complete, there is no breast scarring, and the scars in the armpits vanish within six months. The entire procedure only takes about 45 minutes, but will need a driver to take you to the appointment and back home again to watch over you until the anesthesia wears off (typically 24 hours).


Plastic Surgery and Aging. Is It a New Trend?

Though it may seem that more people are getting cosmetic surgery now, it is actually something that began centuries ago, and some cases have been dated back to ancient Egyptian times. Of course, as the years progress, the use of technology rises. More and more people are online, watching television and movies, seeing ads and being bombarded with what the media portrays as the “perfect” body for women and men alike. The more we are shown images of a body type no one can achieve while remaining healthy, the more we strive to perfect ourselves. It is important to remember that Photoshopped images of the female body aren’t showing you the real woman’s body, and that you should be proud of yourself. If there is a flaw you cannot control, a small cosmetic procedure can help you tuck, tighten and tone, but only if you are in good health, and only if you understand that body recontouring is not a replacement for proper exercise and healthy eating.

Consult with Dr. Bartell

While cosmetic surgery can greatly alter your appearance and boost your confidence, every patient responds differently. You may not achieve the exact results you envisioned. However, Dr. Bartell has been performing below the neck cosmetic procedures for over 25 years. Don’t feel embarrassed about how your body has changed over the years! The best way to determine if one of the above surgeries is right for you to combat body aging is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bartell at which he will discuss your goals, show you before and after photos of real patients he performed on, and answer any questions you may have. Together you will work towards the body you’ve been dreaming of.