Do I need Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

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Many people have questions about liposuction and tummy tucks. They tend to be confused about the differences between these procedures and have questions about which is the best option for them. So let’s talk about these two, very different, procedures. We will review what each procedure really treats, and how to figure out which one is best for you.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is the removal of fat from anywhere on your body. During liposuction, a special tool called a cannula is inserted under the skin through tiny incisions and then connected to a suction pump. The suction helps to remove fat cells from under the skin in the area you are concerned about. This procedure is specific for removal of fat. It does not do anything to directly improve skin, although some skin tightening can occur naturally over several months after liposuction. The scars are small and, when done properly, are usually very well hidden. Small areas of liposuction can be performed using only local anesthesia, while larger areas will require general anesthesia. The amount of fat that can be removed in a single procedure will vary by state. We consider liposuction to be a body-shaping procedure, not a weight loss procedure.

What is a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is procedure that addresses multiple aspects of the abdomen. It removes the excess skin of the abdomen and tightens the underlying abdominal muscles that have become separated from weight changes or pregnancies.  Relocation of the belly button is also a part of a tummy tuck. The belly button is brought through a new opening in the abdominal skin. Often, liposuction is performed as part of a tummy tuck to help improve the results by helping to shape the sides. Because skin is removed during a tummy tuck, there is a resulting scar. This scar can be hip-to-hip, depending on the amount of skin removed, and is placed beneath the underwear or bikini line. A tummy tuck can take 2-3 hours and requires general anesthesia administered in a properly accredited operating facility.

How to Decide if a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction is Right for You?

Deciding which procedure is right for you will depend on your specific complaints. If you are someone with tight skin but complains of excess fat, then liposuction is probably the right procedure for you. Liposuction can be performed on those specific areas that you want smaller. It is a terrific procedure for people who are in good shape and near their ideal body weight, but who have “problem areas” where there is fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. For men, these “problem areas” are commonly the chest, abdomen and flanks. For women, it is commonly the abdomen and thighs. Liposuction can be done on any other area of the body.

However, if you have hanging skin of your belly with stretch marks, then you will require removal of the skin. Also, if you have separation of your abdominal muscles, called a diasthasis, then you will require muscle tightening. Abdominal muscle separation usually occurs after pregnancy or changes in weight. Removal of the skin and tightening of the muscles can only be accomplished with a tummy tuck. Liposuction will NOT help these problems.

In general, younger patients with good skin quality, will do well with liposuction. If your skin is loose, or has a lot of stretch marks, then liposuction may actually make the appearance worse, since removing the fat will make the skin even looser.  This means that people who have had frequent or significant weight fluctuations, will usually require skin removal. If you have lost a lot of weight, then it is likely that your skin is hanging and the only way to make it better is to cut it off with a tummy tuck.  If you are a mommy and have had multiple pregnancies, it is likely that your skin has been stretched and is now loose. Also, pregnancy causes abdominal muscle separation. For these reasons, a tummy tuck is usually the solution for the typical “mommy belly”. Additionally, if you are older, your skin has likely lost some of its elastic properties and collagen. In these situations, the skin will not tighten after liposuction, and the appearance can be made worse unless the skin is removed.

If you have extra fat, then liposuction may be for you. If you have extra skin or separated abdominal muscles, you will likely need a tummy tuck.

Let Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Decide for You!

So, liposuction is a very different procedure than a tummy tuck. Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will be able to examine you and help you understand which is the better option for you. The recovery for a tummy tuck is harder and longer than liposuction, but it may be the best option for you. I would strongly recommend that if you need a tummy tuck, do not choose liposuction since it will only make your problem worse and you will need a tummy tuck even more.

Contact Schulman Plastic Surgery to Book Your Plastic Surgery Procedure.

Contact Schulman Plastic Surgery today and schedule your procedure.

10 Ways to Heal Properly after Your Procedure

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Any cosmetic surgery is a serious procedure, and even minimally invasive treatments require patients to follow a few guidelines for optimal recovery. These guidelines can help control post-surgical pain, but they also are designed to ensure that the surgery has the best possible chance of improving the appearance of the area affected by the procedure. That’s why proper healing is crucial both to your overall health and happiness and to the long-term effectiveness of your cosmetic procedure.

Here are 10 things Dr Schulman recommends to my patients to help ensure that their bodies can heal properly after cosmetic procedures.

1. Follow Doctor’s Orders

For some patients, it may seem too obvious a tip, but closely following the post-operative or post-treatment instructions your Board Certified Surgeon provides is absolutely crucial. Your doctor is the expert on your specific procedure and is the only one who can provide their unique perspective, having actually operated on your body. No website will ever know as much about your body as your doctor does. The after-care instructions you get from your doctor are meant specifically for you based on your body and the procedures you’ve undergone. It can be tough to resist, but if you have questions or concerns about those instructions, you should consult your doctor rather than relying on the internet for advice.

2. Take Relaxation Seriously

For any surgery, your activity level is likely to be severely restricted for days or even weeks. While you’ll need to limit your activity level, it’s also important to remember that relaxation extends to your mind as well. That means you should avoid unnecessary mental and emotional strain as well as taking it easy on your body. Many of my patients find it helpful to meditate each day or just to spend time in a quiet room, away from the daily hustle and bustle of their families.

3. Be Patient

The full effects of many cosmetic procedures can take as long as a year to be realized. I’ve worked with patients who find themselves disappointed when they look at their body following surgery and don’t see the jaw-dropping effects they’d hoped for. While that disappointment is understandable, it’s important to give your body plenty of time to adjust. Your body right after surgery will be swollen, and depending on the procedure, the new shape created has yet to fully take effect. For instance, if your surgery involved fat grafting, which uses liposuction to take unwanted fat from one area of the body and transplants it to another that’s lacking volume, it will take some time for the fat cells to begin thriving in their new home. It can take up to a full year after surgery to see your final results - and in some people even longer.

4. Stay Indoors When You Can

The sun has notoriously bad effects on our skin, from causing cancer to dotting the face and neck with dark spots. But direct sunlight can be even worse for those healing from surgery. UV rays can make scars appear darker and redder and this can last for months. Additionally, excessive heat can worsen inflammation, which can increase your pain level. Your skin may be numb, and you will be more likely to suffer a sunburn. If you do need to be outside for extended periods, I recommend applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 directly to the scars. Remember that the UV rays are strong enough to penetrate clothing, so even if you are covered up, make sure to protect your healing scars.

5. Stop Smoking (and Don’t Vape)

Of course, nobody should smoke, but millions of Americans are smokers, and smoking is known to be an incredibly difficult habit to kick. In addition to raising your risk of cancer and heart disease, smoking can actually make your recovery from surgery much worse and more difficult. That’s because nicotine constricts blood vessels, which slows the healing process considerably and increasing your risk for wound healing issues and infection. If you think vaping is safer, think again; one Juul pod contains 20 cigarettes’ worth of nicotine. You should quit smoking for more reasons than just surgical recovery, but consider this: The investment you’re making in cosmetic surgery could well be wasted if you continue smoking after your procedure.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping well-hydrated is a crucial aspect of ensuring successful recovery from cosmetic procedures. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day (juice, coffee, soda, and tea don’t count) can help flush your system of potential toxins, reduce your risk of infection, and speed the healing of your surgical incisions by boosting nutrient delivery. Additionally, drinking lots of water can help prevent constipation, which is a frequent but unfortunate side effect of the pain medication you may be on. It is common after surgery to have a reduced appetite, which is even more reason to push the fluids. Electrolyte-containing drinks, such as gatorade or powerade, are helpful in keeping you well-hydrated.

7. Increase Your Protein Intake

As your body continues to recover, it will require increased amounts of nutrients to ensure proper healing. Protein is an especially helpful nutrient because it spurs production of new cells, such as collagen and blood cells, and because it can help strengthen your immune system. Your ideal intake level will depend on your body weight and level of activity approved by your Board Certified Surgeon, but men usually will need slightly less protein than women.

8. Move Your Body, but Don’t Strain Yourself

I’ve already told you to take it easy, so this could seem like contradictory advice. The fact is that some physical activity is good. Proper healing from cosmetic procedures doesn’t mean lying in one spot for weeks on end. In fact, lack of activity can increase your risk of blood clots as well as cause stiff and sore muscles. I recommend my patients move their bodies, whether by light walking or gentle stretching, at least once an hour when they’re awake. Remember to always follow post-operative instructions on strenuous activity, such as going to the gym or lifting more than 10 pounds. Try to listen the signals your body is sending; if something feels like too much of a strain, it probably is.

9. Ask for Help from Others

Most major cosmetic procedures will seriously impact your ability to meet the normal obligations of your life. This includes not being able to go to work for at least a couple of weeks after surgery, and it could even mean reducing your ability to care for your children or pets adequately for a brief period. Particularly for patients who are undergoing multiple procedures, such as a mommy makeover, or having invasive surgeries, it’s crucial to arrange help in the everyday tasks that are part of your life. Asking for help can be a challenge for most people. We all want to feel independent. Forcing yourself to return to your normal activities too soon can not only jeopardize the effectiveness of your cosmetic procedures, but it can negatively impact your overall health.

10. Keep All of Your Post-op Appointments

The more successful a patient’s recovery is, the more likely some patients are to forego follow-up appointments. After all, many people think, “I feel good, so I’m sure everything is OK”. While this is an understandable inclination, skipping your follow-up appointments means that your doctor cannot monitor your progress or check for possible signs of infection. Your doctor will only schedule follow-ups with you that are necessary, and most doctors will only release patients back to normal activities if they’ve been able to examine them in person.

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Considering cosmetic surgery? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Schulman today.

Additional Resources

American Cancer Society, Ultraviolet Radiation. (2015.) Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/uv-radiation/uv-radiation-does-uv-cause-other-health-problems.html

Truth Initiative, How much nicotine is in juul? (2019.) Retrieved from https://truthinitiative.org/news/how-much-nicotine-juul

What is the normal recovery period after a Brazilian Butt Lift?

 

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Before we can discuss the normal recovery process for a Brazilian Butt Lift, let’s describe what the procedure is. A Brazilian Butt Lift, or BBL, is a procedure where we combine liposuction with fat transfer. We remove fat from the areas that you don’t want it, such as your abdomen, flanks, back, thighs, or arms. The fat is removed using a specialized liposuction technique so that the fat cells are not harmed. We then process the fat to remove the blood and dead fat cells. This fat is then injected into the butt and hips to enlarge and reshape the areas, or fill in some contour defects like “hip dips” or other dimples.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in a fully certified and accredited operating facility. Dr. Matthew Schulman believes that general anesthesia is the safest method of anesthesia for this procedure. The procedure takes 2-3 hours depending on the amount of liposuction and fat transfer required. You will then be transferred to a recovery area where you will spend a few hours until you are awake and feel better. You are able to leave the facility and return home or to wherever you plan on recovering after your procedure.

What the Recovery Period From Brazilian Butt Lift Will Be After You Get Home

So now let’s talk about what the recovery will be after you get home. There is certainly pain after the procedure. Liposuction hurts. There is bruising and swelling that cannot be avoided. Even though people have different thresholds for pain, I tell all my patients to expect “the worst pain of your life” for 4 to 5 days. Hopefully your pain will not be this bad, but you should mentally prepare yourself for this possibility. I would rather have you experience less pain than you expected, than experience more pain than expected. You will be bruised and swollen in the areas of fat removal and fat injection. During this time, you should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take your medications as directed. After this initial 4-5 days, you will begin to feel better, but the soreness will last several weeks. If you had a drainage tube placed during your procedure, it is usually removed on the 7th day. Most patients will be able to resume normal activities and return to school or work after 10-14 days. You can begin more strenuous activities, such as exercising, after 3-4 weeks, with your surgeon’s permission of course.

Even after return to daily activities, there will be significant swelling and probably some bruising. There will be days where you feel great, and other days where you feel terrible. The ups and downs are normal after any surgery. You will not be entirely happy with your surgical results right away. The buttock and hips may seem bigger than you wanted, or the shape may not seem as round as you had hoped for. Also, the areas of liposuction may not seem small enough for you. This is completely normal. It usually takes about 4-6 weeks before you begin to see the improvement in your shape, so you must be patient with the healing process.

The keys to Brazilian Butt Lift recovery

The key to the recovery is to not put pressure on the areas of fat grafting for a total of 6 weeks. This means no sitting directly on your butt and no sleeping on your back or sides. This is necessary to protect the newly transferred fat cells and they develop a blood supply and become permanently part of you again. It is no different than putting grass seed down on the dirt. If you walk on the grass seeds or tiny seedlings, they will die. Think of your transplanted fat as tiny seeds. If you put too much pressure on your butt or hips, a lower percentage of fat cells will live, or “take”. Even if you follow every rule and restriction, a loss of about 30% of the fat cells is normal. We just don’t want you to lose more fat than that.

I understand that not sitting is the most difficult part of the recovery process. You should practice learning to sit upright, with good posture, and more forward on the edge of your seat. This will place the pressure on the back of your thighs instead of your butt. The use of a specialized “BBL pillow” can also help. Many of my patients who work in an office have used a “standing desk”. But remember, if you are planning to keep your surgery a secret from your co-workers, you may want to start using your standing desk long before you return from your 2 week “vacation” with a round butt.

You will likely experience “fluffing” that occurs about 6 months after the surgery. You should notice increased roundness to your butt and hips. This occurs as the fat matures and settles, and the skin becomes more relaxed. This is a good thing and people think that the butt gets bigger. It doesn’t actually get larger, but it does get more round and appears bigger.

With any plastic surgery, it can take up to a full year to see your final results. Your Brazilian Butt Lift results are no exception. Patience is most important with this procedure. Of course, if you have questions about your recovery and results, make sure to speak to your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Contact Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with Any Questions!

Please feel free to contact Schulman Plastic Surgery to arrange for your consultation and feel free to look at our Brazilian Butt Lift before and after photos.

What is PermaLip Lip Augmentation?

If you’ve long coveted the lips of stars like Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson or the iconic Marilyn Monroe, you’ve probably done some research on lip augmentation procedures and wondered which option would, once and for all, give you the plump, pouty, natural look so admired on stage and screen. While there are several options available, from temporary injectable solutions to implants, Board certified New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman is particularly excited about PermaLip lip augmentation implants.

What makes PermaLip Implants Different from Others?

PermaLip lip implants are a significant and pleasing step up from previous varieties of cosmetic lip implants. They have been a life-changer for many of Dr. Schulman’s patients who wanted to boost and plump up thin lips, or who have experienced the thinning of the lips that often comes with the aging process.

Previous models of permanent lip implants came with several disadvantages, the most obvious of which was their unnatural look and feel. Some of them had what Dr. Schulman calls the “cigarette roll” look, as the ends were not tapered to conform to the natural shape of the mouth. Many of these older lip implants would migrate into unnatural positions over time, causing lip distortion and difficulty with activities like speaking, eating and kissing. They were also difficult to customize, so that also contributed to the unnatural look of older styles of lip implants.

In addition to these problems, if a patient later wanted a lip implant removed, the process was difficult and complicated because, over time, the body would begin to absorb the material and the implant would become one with the patient’s face, sometimes in an unnatural position. Bruising, scarring and swelling were frequent side effects of the removal process, and more extensive work was usually needed to restore the patient’s natural lip contours.

PermaLip implants, however, are extremely easy to implant; they are even easy to remove if the patient later feels that is necessary. Otherwise, PermaLip lip implants can stay put and perform well and naturally for years and years. They are made out of a soft, non-reactive silicone that has a natural feel and texture when inserted inside the lip. Patients rave about how natural these lips feel when eating, talking and even kissing.
Another thing that patients enjoy about PermaLip lip augmentation is that they are more customizable than previous styles of lip implants. They are tapered at each end to prevent the “cigarette roll” look and they come in three different widths and three different lengths. The patient can choose either a 3-millimeter, 4-millimeter or 5 millimeter diameter, along with the correct length. The wider the diameter, of course, the bigger the pout.

PermaLip implants also do not become incorporated into the body’s other tissues over the course of time. This is an added benefit for those patients who choose this lip augmentation procedure. If the patient later decides to remove the implant for any reason, the removal process is as simple as the original insertion process. The insert just slides right out, and recovery time is minimal.

Some patients initially express concern that perhaps the PermaLip lip augmentation inserts will rupture or leak, but they cannot do this. They are made from solid, but soft, flexible silicone that remains inert inside of the lips. There is no liquid component to the implants, so there is no danger of leaking.

For most of Dr. Schulman’s patients with PermaLip, however, these implants have lasted and looked great for years and years, so it’s relatively uncommon for him to have a removal request with these particular models.

Is PermaLip Lip Augmentation Better than Injected Solutions?

For years, lip augmentation by way of an injectable fat, collagen or other solution was the standard procedure for people going for the pouty, kissable look. Over the years, more sophisticated injectable solutions were developed, including hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the body, so adverse allergic reactions are extremely rare.

Dr. Schulman also has excellent results using several other non-surgical lip fillers such as Restylane®, Juvederm®, Perlane®, Radiesse®, Sculptra® and Belotero®. These all produce wonderfully natural, plump, pouty puckers and are a good option for many patients on a temporary basis.
The keyword here is temporary; lip augmentation injections usually last from about six to nine months, on average. So the main issue that patients have with injected solutions is that they have to be re-injected a couple of times a year to keep the pretty pout going strong. The cost of these repetitive injections can add up over time. Painful, biannual injections and the inconvenience factor of having to schedule the procedure and recover from it regularly can be a turn off for many patients.
The PermaLip lip implant, on the other hand, is truly permanent. It stays put and continues to plump up your pucker, so you only have to pay for it one time and then proceed to enjoy life with the fuller lips you’ve always wanted without having to keep paying to have them redone periodically.

What Should I Expect from a PermaLip Implant Procedure?

If you would like to know more about PermaLip lip augmentation or any other lip enhancing procedures, please schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. Schulman personally. He will talk with you about all of the options we can provide and help you plan a procedure that will create the best look and overall outcome for you.
If you and Dr. Schulman opt for PermaLip lip augmentation, you’ll schedule another appointment for the short, outpatient procedure. Dr. Schulman will use a local anesthetic and then cut tiny slits on either side of the mouth to slide the PermaLip implant right into the correct area of the lip, or lips. You can have the bottom, top or both lips augmented in this way.

Following the lip augmentation, you will probably experience some swelling, pain and tenderness in the area, particularly over the first 24 to 48 hours. Some patients experience minor bruising as well, but this is not common. You should be able to see the final results over the course of the next few days as the swelling continues to go down. Tenderness and light sensitivity can last for about two weeks in most cases. Just be sure to follow Dr. Schulman’s recommendations for recovery for the best outcome.
If there is ever a reason you want to have these lip implants removed, the process is fairly straightforward and simple. Once again, tiny incisions will be made on either side of the mouth and Dr. Schulman will simply slide the PermaLip implant right out.

If you are curious about the results other patients are getting from PermaLip lip augmentation, we invite you to look through the lip augmentation photo gallery. You might also benefit from hearing Dr. Schulman talk about PermaLip implants on his YouTube channel. But to find out how PermaLip lip augmentation, or any of our other lip augmentation procedures could give you the lips you’ve always wanted, definitely schedule an appointment with Dr. Schulman today.

Why is Plastic Surgery Growing Among Men?

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An area of plastic surgery that continues to grow is procedures for men. While men comprise only about 10% of all plastic surgery patients, this number is increasing each year. More men are requesting both surgical and non-surgical procedures for the face and body.

Top Surgical Procedures for Men and their Statistics

According to the official procedural statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgeons, the top 5 surgical procedures for men includes nasal surgery (rhinoplasty), eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), male liposuction, male chest reduction (gynecomastia surgery), and hair transplantation.

Hair transplantation For Men

Among these top five surgical procedures, hair transplantation is the fastest growing, increasing about 20% from 2016. This is mostly due to a combination of increased awareness as well as improved technology. Historically, hair transplant surgery involved techniques that were very crude, and resulted in very unnatural results. Oftentimes, the transplanted hair appeared to be “doll-like” and it was very obvious that a procedure was done. This made these procedures undesirable to most men and there was a stigma attached to it. However, there has been significant improvement in the understanding of the procedure and also the technology used.

Doctors have become more knowledgeable about creating an appealing hairline. They recognize that the hairline should be softer. This means that the transplanted hairs should be arranged more “randomly” along the front hairline, in order to avoid creating a sharp “wig-like” appearance. This was often not possible in the past since the older technology only allowed for larger clumps of hairs to be transplanted. Modern technology now allows them to harvest and transplant small number of hairs, even individual hair follicles. This means that the doctor can alternate groups of one, two, or three hairs along the hairline. The result is a much more natural appearance. Additionally, the improved technology allows for a much faster (and more discrete) recovery process. Since “donor” areas can be more hidden and heal quicker.

Liposuction for Men

The second fastest growing surgical procedure is liposuction. This can also be partially attributed to improved techniques as well. The use of smaller cannulas allows for smaller scars and faster recovery. Also, the use of newer energy-based liposuction technologies can help decrease bruising and swelling and also help stimulate more skin retraction. Men have also been happy with newer “highlighting” and “etching” techniques that create the appearance of muscle definition and a more masculine physique. There has been a 7% increase in male liposuction procedures since 2016.

Non-Surgical Procedures for Men

Non-surgical procedures are also more common among men. The top five non-surgical or minimally-invasive procedures among men are Botulinum Toxin injections (Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin), laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and soft tissue fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Sculptra).

Botulinum Toxin injections is the fastest growing of these top non-surgical procedures. Approximately half a million Botulinum Toxin treatments are performed each year on men. This represents a 7% increase since 2016. These are simple injections that are almost painless and require zero recovery time. They are done to reduce or eliminate lines between the eyebrows, on the forehead, and around the eyes. The results last approximately 3 to 4 months.

Why are men requesting more plastic surgery procedures?

So why are men requesting more plastic surgery procedures? As discussed earlier, the increased demand can be partially attributed to improvement in technology and techniques. Modern technologies and techniques allow for more natural results, less pain, and a faster recovery. This applies to all procedures, including those done for women. Those men who have avoided plastic surgery procedures because of fear of scarring, pain, and time off from work are now reconsidering things.

Also important is that there has been a reduced stigma surrounding male plastic surgery. 10 to 20 years ago, most people had plastic surgery done in secret. They were hesitant to let people know that they were having a procedure done. Men were even more secretive of plastic surgery procedures. More recently, everyone, including men, have become more open about what they want to have done and what they have had done. This can be credited to social media and television. Men are more open to discussing plastic surgery with others and this makes them more willing to have procedures. This is especially true when it comes to less invasive procedures like Botox, hair transplantation, and liposuction.

Increased desire among men to look better

There is also an increased desire among men to look better. Men are more concerned about their appearance. They want to look better and are no longer accepting of the old adage that men appear more distinguished as they get older. Men are more aware of personal grooming, fashion, and other things designed to look better. This trend may be fueled by millennials who grew up without the plastic surgery stigma and are now pursuing cosmetic procedures.

Society may also be putting pressure on men to look better as well. It is not uncommon for a man to have a procedure done in order to help advance personally and professionally. Some men feel that as the workforce becomes more competitive, there is a need to look better…. or younger. The influx of younger men into the workplace may put pressure on the older men to appear younger. There is also pressure within the dating world as well to look better.

As you can see, there is a variety of factors that have contributing to the increase number of men having non-surgical and surgical plastic surgery procedures. These are improved techniques and technologies, increased professional and personal pressure to look better or younger, and the reduced stigma surrounding plastic surgery in general. I have seen a growing number of men in my practice and anticipate that this trend will continue in the future. I would not be surprised if the number of men undergoing these procedures becomes 25% of the total plastic surgery procedures within the next 5 years.

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Take a look at our before and after gallery to results of Plastic Surgery for Men

Contact Schulman Plastic Surgery today to set up your consultation.

Plastic Surgery Procedure Guide: 10 Steps to a Gorgeous New You

A beautifully successful plastic surgery experience is, at its core, a team effort. As a patient, it’s essential for you to be educated, informed and prepared for the before, during and after process to get the results you desire. It’s also critical to do your homework and select a board-certified plastic surgeon who has the skills, expertise and experience to help you make your dreams come true. So before you do anything else, look through our comprehensive Plastic Surgery Procedure Guide: 10 Steps to a Gorgeous New You:

 

1. Research Your Plastic Surgery

First things first: do your homework! Dr. Schulman, our board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City makes it incredibly easy for people considering a plastic surgery procedure to learn about each and every possible operation, in-depth, in a number of ways. In fact, this is one of the reasons why 40 percent of his patients travel long distances from outside of New York to work with Dr. Schulman.

 

  • Spend some time Googling before and after photos of the procedure you are interested in, whether it’s a breast augmentation or reduction, a tummy tuck, a Brazilian butt lift, a Mommy Makeover, or any other procedure.
  • Download Snapchat and subscribe to Dr. Schulman’s daily video series at @nycplasticsurg. His Snapchat Plastic Surgery video stories have helped thousands of patients get informed by viewing plastic surgery close up, in the office. It’s an active, informative way to learn about the before, during and after process, as well as getting to know everyone you’ll work with in our office. Naturally, you can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Be sure to talk with friends and family members and pay attention to those all-important word-of-mouth referrals from other happy patients.
  • Also visit review sites like realself.com, healthgrades.com and Yelp! to learn more and make sure that your doctor is a board-certified plastic surgeon who abides by the highest standards and safest procedures.

 

2. Call Dr. Schulman to Schedule a Consultation

After you’ve researched your desired plastic surgery procedure and watched Dr. Schulman’s @nycplasticsurg Snapchat videos, call our office at 212-289-1851 to talk with one of our friendly receptionists, or, if you prefer, you can fill out the form on our contact us page.

When you call, feel free to ask any questions about the procedure you’re interested in. Our office staff are very knowledgeable about all of our procedures and their estimated pricing and can answer many of your questions over the phone.

When you schedule your first consultation, we’ll get the following information from you:

  • Name and contact information
  • Because demand is high, we’ll also need your credit card information (to hold your appointment). We’ll tell you about our 48-hour cancelation policy on the phone as well.
  • We’ll send you an email, text and phone reminder three days ahead of your appointment, just to touch base with you.

 

3. How to Prepare for Your Plastic Surgery Consultation Appointment

We recommend that you come 15 to 20 minutes early to your consultation appointment so that you have ample time to fill out the necessary paperwork.

After you complete all the necessary forms, our Physician Assistant will call you in to begin the appointment. We’ll record your height, weight and go over your medical history during this phase. We’ll also discuss the procedure you’re interested in and take notes for Dr. Schulman to go over with you when he talks with you.

Then you’ll get to meet with Dr. Schulman personally to consult with him about the plastic surgery procedure you want. During your appointment, he will evaluate your medical history and examine you to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for your desired procedure.

Dr. Schulman will discuss with you, in detail, how the procedure works, if there are alternative procedures that would be more suitable, what the normal recovery time is and what realistic outcomes you can expect. He will also be happy to answer any questions you have after his evaluation and consultation.

He will also discuss your medical clearance with you—this is essential for your health and safety during the procedure, and it is our top priority.

After meeting with Dr. Schulman, you will spend some time with our patient coordinator to discuss pricing and financing options. We’ll also look at the calendar to discuss scheduling your operation.

 

4. Booking Your Plastic Surgery

You have a couple of options for scheduling your surgery:

  • If you feel confident about everything you discussed at your consultation, you can book your pre-operative appointment and surgery day in the office before you leave.
  • If you need some extra time to check your schedule (and that of your post-operative chaperone), just call us back at 212-289-1851 and talk with our surgical scheduler over the phone to set a date.

Note: Keep in mind that Dr. Schulman is usually booking about 2 to 4 months in advance right now, due to high demand.

After setting a date, you will sign the booking paperwork, which includes a financial agreement and a medical clearance consent form (so we can check with your physician that surgery will be safe for you).

You will also need to pay the 10 percent deposit to hold your surgery date in place.

After you’ve set a date, you’ll need to follow any recommendations Dr. Schulman provides in order to properly prepare yourself for surgery. We will help you all along the way, and you’ll have another pre-operative appointment to make sure you’re on track for a successful plastic surgery.

 

5. Attend Your Pre-Operative Appointment

This appointment is extremely important as it will cover all of the things you need to be ready for on surgery day. This appointment includes:

  • Signing your plastic surgery consent form packet. These forms will authorize us to go ahead with sculpting your new, improved self.
  • You’ll meet again with our Physician Assistant who will describe the process of preparing for your surgery, what to expect on the day of surgery and how important following the recovery guidelines is to the final outcome of your procedure.
  • After talking with our Physician Assistant, you will talk with Dr. Schulman again to discuss operation specifics. He will answer last minute questions and make sure that you feel confident and fully informed about what to do and how to prepare for surgery day.
  • You’ll also get your “before” photos taken during this appointment so that you can compare them to the “after” photos once you’ve recovered from surgery several weeks later!
  • During this appointment, you should also purchase any post-operative recovery items that you will need, such as a BBL Recovery Kit, Scar Gel, etc. Our staff is very knowledgeable and will help you to know what you will need.
  • You will also fill prescriptions for post-operative medications at this time so you have them and they are ready to go the day of your surgery.
  • At the end of the appointment, once you have signed everything and gotten your post-operative medicines and supplies, you’ll make your final payment for the operation.

 

 

6. One Week before Plastic Surgery: How to Prepare

Although the pre-operative appointment a few weeks prior is extremely comprehensive, we also give you a call one week before hand to make sure you’re fully prepared for surgery day. We’ll confirm with you the following details:

  • Where and at what time you need to arrive for the surgery.
  • Last minute instructions about how to prepare in the days leading up to your operation.
  • That you have a chaperone scheduled to take you home after surgery.

Make sure to follow all of your preparatory instructions carefully so that everything will go smoothly that day.

 

 7. Plastic Surgery Day!

Bring all of the things with you that you were instructed to bring and arrive at the surgical facility an hour before the surgery is scheduled to begin. Here’s what to expect that day:

  • You’ll complete any final surgical forms, then meet with Dr. Schulman’s nurse to begin prepping you for the operation.
  • You’ll be given an intravenous antibiotic and other medications at this time.
  • The anesthesiologist will meet with you and discuss everything and answer your questions about the anesthesia process.
  • Then Dr. Schulman will come in and mark your body for the surgery.
  • After you’ve been prepped, you will be given relaxation medications and then the anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia and you will go to sleep for the surgery.

 

8. Recovery Time

After you come out of surgery, you will spend 1 to 2 hours in our recovery room. During that time, we’ll check all of your vital signs and ensure that you are in stable condition for going home.

We will also talk with your chaperone and release you to him or her when you are ready. Your chaperone will be given discharge instructions for your immediate post-operative care at home.

Make sure to take good care of yourself and follow all the instructions we give you!

 

9. Your First Post-Operative Appointment

About a week to 10 days after your surgery, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with our Physician Assistant to evaluate how well you are healing and answer any of your questions. If you need to purchase any additional recovery items, this is a good time to do it. Frequently, we have patients who need to purchase extra scar gel, surgical compression garments or recovery kits.

At this appointment, you’ll also make another follow-up appointment with Dr. Schulman about 2 to 3 weeks later so that he can evaluate your progress and answer any further questions you may have.

 

10. Don’t Miss Any Follow-Up Appointments!

Follow-up appointments are very important for your full recovery and to make sure that you get the results you were dreaming about when you first started Googling plastic surgery and watching Dr. Schulman’s Snapchat videos on @nycplasticsurg. It may seem like a long process, and it is—re-sculpting and re-shaping your body and, therefore, your life, is a process that requires time and commitment from the patient and a high level of skill and commitment from your board-certified plastic surgeon. Like we said, it’s a team effort through and through. So make sure to attend the following appointments:

  • First post-operative appointment (listed above), a week to 10 days after your surgery to make sure everything is healing nicely.
  • The second post-surgery appointment with Dr. Schulman, between 6 and 8 weeks after the operation. At that time, he will personally evaluate how well you are healing and discuss the results with you. You’ll also get your “after” photos taken at this time so you can compare them to your “before” photos! This is one of our patients’ favorite moments!

Take a look at our before and after gallery to get an idea of what kind of results you can expect. (Simply click on the links along the left side to choose before and after pictures of the procedures you’re interested in.) You can also visit our latest blog posts, such as this one on Brazilian butt lift surgery, to learn more about various procedures. Dr. Schulman likes his patients to have as much information about procedures and potential outcomes as possible so they are well informed and successful in helping us make their plastic surgery dreams come true!

Dr. Schulman and our whole team are committed to making sure you have the most amazing plastic surgery experience! To ask questions or schedule your consultation appointment, contact us at 212-289-1851. We look forward to working with you!

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