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Minnesota Gynecology & Aesthetics Blog

Monday, August 19, 2013 

In Office Liposuction: Fad or For Good?

What if there was an option to get rid of fatty tissue that diet and exercise can’t touch, in about an hour, without a trip to the hospital? In office liposuction may sound too good to be true, but it continues to be a great option for women looking to treat small pockets of fat, and is especially useful to reduce and sculpt stubborn areas like the lower abdomen (also referred to as a mons pubis reduction).

So is in office liposuction just a passing fad, or can be it be a viable alternative for patients looking for body sculpting in less time and with lower costs than traditional liposuction? Let’s take a look.

Team “Fad”: Demand Has Decreased

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, demand for cosmetic surgery procedures has decreased year over year for the past few years, a trend which has been attributed to the economic recession. Despite the downturn, however, recent polls show a higher approval rating of cosmetic surgery by young adults, and in 2011, liposuction took the top spot for most procedures performed, with over 300,000 cases between 2010 and 2011, representing a 13% uptick. Other things that might predict a further upswing: in office liposuction techniques, such as laser-assisted ProLipo, allow for cheaper, quicker options with less downtime. The laser helps to melt fat and tighten skin as it goes, for a better overall result.

Team “For Good”: Results Are Forever

One of the reasons liposuction is a worthy investment? Once fat cells are removed, the body does not replace them by creating new fat cells. While remaining fat cells can swell to a larger size if a healthy lifestyle is not maintained after the procedure, it is unlikely that you will see fat growth resume in the treated areas. The better technique your surgeon has, the better your results, so make sure your in office liposuction is performed by a trained cosmetic surgeon in an appropriate and accredited clinical setting.

Discuss with a Doctor

For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in liposuction, particularly In Office Laser-Assisted ProLipo, as well as mons pubis reduction.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Beginner’s Guide to In Office Liposuction

Liposuction on an outpatient basis, in an ambulatory surgery center or an accredited clinical setting, is becoming the option of choice for patients looking for a less expensive and less time intensive option. Enter: in office liposuction. Suction away unwanted fat and sculpt and smooth out the silhouette in less time and for lower costs than traditional lipo. Not surprisingly, surgeons see an uptick in the number of patients interested in liposuction during the summer months, when scrutiny on the body is at an annual high. But no matter what season or how busy your schedule, in office liposuction can be a viable option and a wonderful solution for many women. 

What areas can be treated with in office liposuction?

Technically, most areas of the body can be treated with in office liposuction, though the most popular include the lower abdomen (also referred to as a mons pubis reduction), the waist, the legs, the arms and even the chin. These are often the areas of a woman’s body where fat cells resistant to diet and exercise tend to accumulate. (We call them our trouble zones!) The good news is, the body does not generate new fat cells to replace the ones taken away during liposuction, so once removed, those rolls are gone for good. 

Can in office liposuction be done in place of a diet?

The answer to this is a resounding “No.” Liposuction should never be used as a weight loss tool. In fact, patients should be relatively close to (or on their way to) their ideal weight range when they undergo the procedure. In office liposuction is unique in that a modest volume of cells can be removed in a single procedure (compared to up to five liters in traditional liposuction), further emphasizing its intended use as a targeted solution for stubborn pockets of fat rather than as a broad way to address body weight. 

What surgical techniques and tools will be used for in office liposuction?

This depends on your doctor and their tools and techniques of choice. Options include Laser-Assisted ProLipo, which uses high-powered lasers to deliver energy to heat tissues and cause skin retraction, or tightening. This particular technique has been nicknamed “Lunchtime Lipo,” as it can be performed in an hour.  
For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in liposuction and mons pubis reduction. If you are interested in learning more about what these procedures can do for you, email Dr. Erhard and her team at info@mngaclinic.com or read more about the procedures at http://mngaclinic.com/AestheticServices/LiposuctionInOfficeProLipo.aspx.

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Ins and Outs of Vaginoplasty

Vaginoplasty is a broad term; it can refer to reconstructive, rejuvenative or purely cosmetic procedures involving any of a number of organs and tissues related to the genital region of a woman. With that much information encompassed, it can be difficult for patients to parse out the data related to the procedure that interests them, or even match up intended goals with the appropriate operation. That confusion ends here. Below is a guideline of the "ins and outs" of vaginoplasty, with four different surgeries outlined by name and designated as “in” or “out,” based on whether the organ of interest is located internally or externally.

In: Hymen Repair/Reconstruction

This one’s a bit unusual in our day and age, and not widely performed in western medicine. Usually requested for religious or other ceremonial purposes, the procedure involves reconstructing or repairing the hymen.

Out: Labiaplasty

In contrast, labiaplasty is a very popular procedure. This surgery involves the resizing of the genital lips, and often includes either a labia minora reduction or a labia majora augmentation (less common). Labiaplasty can be performed to correct asymmetries, as well as to address discomfort from clothing, exercise or sex. 

In: G-Spot Amplification 

Ah, the g-spot: subject of myth and medical journal alike, and now, the subject of a new procedure that promises to raise sexual gratification. Located on the inside wall of a woman’s vaginal canal, the g-spot is thought to be the center of arousal and orgasm. To that end, G-Spot Amplification is an outpatient procedure in which a small amount of collagen is injected underneath the g-spot, raising that sensitive zone and increasing its stimulation during sexual intercourse. Results are immediate and last anywhere from 4-6 months.

Out: Clitoral Unhooding

Exactly as it sounds, clitoral unhooding refers to a procedure in which excess skin that may be hanging over the clitoris is trimmed away. Clitoral unhooding is often performed in conjunction with a labiaplasty, and is intended to increase stimulation and improve sexual gratification as well as deliver a pleasing aesthetic result.

For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in vaginoplasty and labiaplasty. If you are interested in learning more about what these procedures can do for you, email Dr. Erhard and her team at info@mngaclinic.com or read more about the procedures at http://mngaclinic.com/VaginalRejuvenation.aspx

Monday, August 12, 2013

5 Minute Q&A About: Vaginoplasty

According to a report released by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the popularity of Vaginoplasty is increasing exponentially. Between 2011 and 2012 alone, the number of Vaginoplasty procedures being performed in the United States grew by over 60%. That number seems especially staggering when compared to the percent decreases reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for 2011-2012 for historically popular procedures, including Breast Augmentation (-7%), Breast Lift (-2%), Butt Lift (-36%) and Tummy Tuck (-8%). 

So, what accounts for the vigorous interest in Vaginoplasty? Female baby boomers and Gen X’ers are exploring rejuvenative options; and as the number of procedures performed annually rises, so too do the number of plastic surgeons and board certified OB-GYN’s with the training and medical expertise to deliver highly precise, refined results. All research begins with a question; in this case, let’s start with three.    

Q: What does the operation entail, and how long does it take? 

Vaginoplasty, like labiaplasty, is an outpatient procedure. The surgery itself is completed in 1-2 hours, though patients may also choose to have it done in conjunction with another procedure, such as a labia minora reduction or a labia majora augmentation. Surgical techniques and tools vary, and can include laser vaginal rejuvenation, a radiofrequency device, an electric knife, plastic surgery scissors and a surgical scalpel. Vaginoplasty usually involves decreasing the external and internal diameter of the vagina, as well as tightening the vaginal muscle wall. 

Q: After the procedure, how long do I have to abstain from sex? 

Your doctor will provide you with specific post-operative instructions, but a good general guideline is to avoid sexual intercourse and masturbation for at least six weeks after surgery. If you choose to undergo a labiaplasty at the same time, your doctor may have additional guidelines for the recovery period. 

Q: In general, how long do results last?

Aging and accident aside, the results from Vaginoplasty are long-lasting. This procedure carries an exceptionally low risk of side effects, which means you can expect to be very happy!
 

For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in vaginoplasty and labiaplasty. If you are interested in learning more about what these procedures can do for you, email Dr. Erhard and her team at info@mngaclinic.com or read more about the procedures at http://mngaclinic.com/VaginalRejuvenation.aspx.

Friday, August 9, 2013 

2 Unusual Facts About Vaginal Tightening

Let’s be frank: For the uninitiated, any fact about vaginal tightening may sound unusual. If you’re not an OB-GYN, chances are your knowledge about your nethermost is limited to personal experience, a health class, or the occasional informative article. So when things start to change—after childbirth, perhaps, or just due to the natural process of aging—it can be hard to know what’s normal. From urinary incontinence to loss of sensation during sex, decreased vaginal muscle tone has implications ranging from merely uncomfortable to downright alarming. Surgical vaginal tightening can be a wonderful recourse for women looking to tighten and tone, and despite its intimidating name, this outpatient procedure is very safe and involves minimal downtime and discomfort. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at two unusual facts about vaginal tightening. 

Fact #1: In 2012, over 3,500 vaginal rejuvenation procedures were performed in the United States. 

That may not seem like a lot, but according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), it constitutes a 64% increase over 2011. That means more women than ever before are seeking vaginal tightening, and more surgeons are incorporating it into their practice’s portfolio of services. The increased interest has been attributed to a rise in the popularity of the Brazilian wax, and the increased visibility it gives to the region. Whatever the reason, the numbers keep climbing.   

Fact #2: Cosmetic gynecology is an emerging field—which means it doesn’t fall perfectly under either OB-GYN or plastic surgery. 

Vaginal tightening requires a unique mix of expertise in gynecology and cosmetic surgery; the surgeon you choose should have a similarly specialized background. General OB-GYN’s usually lack the surgical training and experience needed for exceptional results; likewise, plastic surgeons often don’t perform a high volume of vaginal rejuvenation procedures each year, inherently limiting their expertise. The ideal candidate would be a board certified OB-GYN who specializes in the field of aesthetic vaginal surgery. During your initial consult with a surgeon, ask about their background and ask to see certification for their practice emphasis. This shows that you’re a savvy patient, and helps establish doctor-patient trust. 

Ready to take the next step? Talk to your doctor. 

For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in vaginal tightening and labia minora reduction.

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vaginal Tightening 101 (For Those Too Embarrassed to Ask)

Alright, ladies. This may sound bold, but we’re just going to come right out with it: vaginal tightening is the new black. Plastic surgery is infamous for its fads—the Botox freeze, anyone?—but this outpatient procedure is the equivalent of an investment piece. It’s also rife with myths, dubious product marketing and unanswered questions for women interested but too afraid to ask. Here’s everything you need to know about vaginal tightening, from the good news to the just plain weird. 

101.1: Reasons to Go For It 

“Sex isn’t quite what it used to be.” Childbirth, aging and plain old genetics can all play a role in the changing circumference of your love canal. Our favorite new mantra? Change is inevitable, but not irreversible. Surgical vaginal tightening, also known as vaginoplasty, decreases the internal and external diameter of the vagina. Vaginal tightening is often performed in conjunction with a labia minora reduction; both can have a profound effect on sexual gratification. 
“Sometimes when I laugh, sneeze or run...” You don’t even have to finish that thought—we’ve all been there. The medical term for it is “stress urinary incontinence,” but in the vernacular it’s the little leak that starts to happen with age, after childbirth, or sometimes, for no apparent reason at all. Vaginal tightening surgery decreases the diameter of the vaginal canal, as well as tightens and tones the surrounding muscles and tissue, moving this concern from daily problem to distant memory.  

101.2: Don’t Trust Topicals 

“Feel 18 Again!” We say: Think again. Innumerable topical products (read: gels and creams) are being marketed with far-reaching promises as vaginal tightening miracle cures. There is little to no evidence of success with these types of products. If one such product piques your interest, your best bet is to discuss it with your OB-GYN. He or she will be able to get you a medical thumbs up or down about the product, as well as provide information about proven alternatives, such as surgical intervention. 

101.3: Talk to Your Doctor 

For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in vaginal tightening and labia minora reduction. If you are interested in learning more about what these procedures can do for you, email Dr. Erhard and her team at  info@mngaclinic.com or read more at http://mngaclinic.com/vaginalrejuvenation.aspx

Monday, August 5, 2013

Liposuction: 3 Myths Busted

Like many kinds of cosmetic surgery, liposuction is fraught with myths, from celebrity nightmares to unrealistic expectations. From advances in surgical techniques to new, non-surgical liposuction, the range of experience will only continue to increase. As you read about the procedure and make your way towards a decision about what’s right for you, here are three myths you may come across—and how to navigate your way through them as a smart, informed woman.  

“Lunchtime Lipo” doesn’t exist. Surgery is time intensive and involves a lot of downtime.

False! Lunchtime lipo is a catchphrase coined to describe the outpatient procedure known as laser-assisted liposuction, or ProLipo. With this technique, a laser is used to melt the fat before it is removed. Patients report less post-operative discomfort, less bruising and a quicker return to normal activities. It’s minimally invasive and results include a slimmer appearance and tighter skin.

So you’re saying laser-assisted lipo offers the same results as traditional liposuction—but faster?

This one’s tricky. For the right candidate, laser-assisted liposuction can be a wonderful alternative to traditional surgical techniques, and can save up to half the cost. With a combination approach of melting then removing the targeted cells, ProLipo can be performed in less than an hour and involves less downtime. Ideal candidates are slightly to moderately overweight and have realistic expectations. Talk to your doctor to see if this is the right choice for you. 

Liposuction can’t be done in conjunction with other surgical procedures. 

Not true. Many women undergo liposuction as part of a comprehensive surgical program, from mons pubis reduction to labiaplasty. Aesthetic procedures are never one size fits all, and should be tailored to your individual goals—talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. 
For women in Minnesota and beyond, Dr. Erhard is a board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon with a practice emphasis in vaginal rejuvenation and mons pubis reduction. If you are interested in learning more about what this procedure can do for you, email Dr. Erhard and her team at info@mngaclinic.com or read more about the procedure at http://www.mngaclinic.com/AestheticServices/LiposuctionInOfficeProLipo.aspx.