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What can I put on my scar?

What can I put on my scar?

My preference is a product called Scar Guard. I recommend it for breast, body and facial procedures.

First, though, understand that scar formation is normal. Once the skin is wounded, be it in surgery or by trauma, your body will start to make collagen in the wounded area to heal itself. This is 100% normal and natural. Collagen is a part of normal skin too but in a scar there are no hair follicles, sweat glands, or pores. This makes the scar look different from the skin around it. Since scar formation is inevitable, our goal is to minimize the amount of scar made.

Scar Guard is a liquid combination of three components known to help with scar formation: cortisone, Vitamin E, and silicone. By applying the product starting about 2 weeks after surgery, the hope is that the resulting scar will be as small as possible and match the surronding skin. This isn’t 100% possible but it is our goal.

Scar guard is a clear liquid that paints on with a small brush much like nail polish. You apply it over the scar and just let it dry. Typically you will want to use it for about 6 weeks.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented Louisville Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett.

Why do you swell after Liposuction?

Swelling is universal after liposuction. Without a doubt, it is the most common lingering side effect of the procedure. So why do you swell much?

Well, the swelling is a totally natural process. When we do liposuction, be it laser lipo, ultrasonic or standard liposuction, we cause a fair amount of soft tissue trauma. Yes it is done in the OR, everything is sterile, you have antibiotics, you are under anesthesia, everything is as safe and controlled as possible. But, at the end of the day, we do beat up those fat cells pretty thoroughly and your body is responding.

There are three phases of wound healing, the lag phase, the proliferative phase, and the resolution phase. During the lag and proliferative phases, the blood vessels become more porous in areas of trauma. This allows the cells that are responsible for  healing to leak from your bloodstream into the the area to do their work. Well, when the cells escape into your tissues, they attract water to follow them…and you swell. Compounding the problem is the fact that some of the tiny blood and lymphatic vessels that are responsible for returning the water back to your blood stream are distrupted as well…more reason to swell.

The swelling WILL GO AWAY! Don’t despair. But also, be patient, the swelling can last from 3 to 6 months before you see your final result after Liposuction.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Kentucky Liposuction surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett

Laser Hair Removal. How does it work?

Lasers for Hair Removal hit the scene about 10 or 11 years ago. As you might expect, hair removal has become one of the most popular MediSpa procedures done in the U.S.

Here’s how they work.

When fired, a laser will emit a beam of light of a specific wave length. Different wavelengths of light are preferentially absorbed by different colors. For instance, things that are red absorb light at a 532 nm wavelength. The hair  laser family emits a wavelength of light that is absorbed by brown.

In the shaft of a hair, there are cells call melanocytes. Melanocytes produce pigment and make our hair, and skin, brown. Blondes have fewer melanocytes and people with black hair have the most in their hair.

The way the laser works is that when fired, the light beam goes into the skin, and because of its’ wavelength, it is absorbed preferentially by the melanocytes in the hair. The melanocytes absorb all of the heat energy from the light, and they get so hot that they cause that hair to die.

Now the problem is that if your skin is very dark, the melaocytes in the skin will also absorb the laser light, and this can bleach your skin. Think Michael Jackson. The ideal candidate for laser hair removal is the young version of Elizabeth Taylor…very dark hair and very light skin.

Some newer hair lasers claim to be able to treat all skin colors but I cannot speak to the certainty of this claim.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Laser Hair Removal expert, Dr. Lee Corbett.

Hand Rejuventation

Hands and necks tend to give us away from an aging perspective.

As far as the hands are concerned, what I typically see are brown spots and a thinned, skeletonized appearance. Both problems are actually pretty easy to correct though.

I treat the dark spots with a Laser. There are a lot of lasers out there that treat pigment. It can be done in the office in just a few minutes. It is slightly uncomfortable but in 11 years I’ve never had anyone tell me it ‘hurt’. In fact, I’ve lasered myself numerous times to put a patient at ease. It’s not a big deal. Afterward, the spots will get a little red and may scab but within a week the skin will flake and your spots will be gone. The cost is very reasonable, about $300, but this is a treatment you will have to repeat, probably about once a year depending on how much sun you get.

Injectable fillers are used to add volume to the back of the hand so it doesn’t look so skeletonized. This does require a couple of needle sticks on each side so it is a little uncomfortable. It is done in the office and only takes a few minutes. There is no recovery though. The main ‘downside’ to this treatment, like all fillers, is cost and the need for repeat treatments. Costs will range from $500 to $1000, depending on how much filler is used, and most of the fillers will go away after 12 to 18 months.

Check with your Plastic Surgeon if you are interested because if you really hate your hands and your budget allows, we do have a really effective solution for you.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville MediSpa physician, Dr. Lee Corbett.

I’ve got “Cankles”, what can I do?

I am assuming the slang term ‘cankles’ is understood by everyone. The term describes the lack of tapering from the calf down to the ankle.

If the problem is you have a skinny leg and a lack of calf musculature, exercise and weight training will help. For some, calf implants are an option. Honestly, I rarely see anyone seeking this treatment.

More commonly, I see a female whose calf/ankle transition zone is indistinct and her leg is thicker than she would like. The treatment of choice for this problem is Liposuction. This is a very nice procedure because a small amount of Liposuction can make a really nice difference.

The downside to the treatment is swelling. Anytime you have any kind of surgery done below the knee, swelling will be a problem because we are on our feet all day. Swelling after Liposuction is already a main side effect so when you combine the two, prolonged swelling is to be expected. What this means is that after surgery you should plan on wearing a compressive sleeve or wrap on your leg for 2 to 3 months. Doing so isn’t that big of a deal but it makes this procedure one that you may want to consider in the winter months.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Liposuction surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett.

Base width and Breast Implants.

This post is a bit technical, but if you are considering Breast Augmentation, base width is incredibly important to your Plastic Surgeon when deciding on your implant type and size.

Base width is a measurement of how wide your breast is from side to side and from top to bottom. A “normal” side to side measurement is about 16 or 17 cm but a lot of women seeking implants have a narrower BW, more in the 14 cm range.

The significance of base width is that you want to choose an implant whose diameter fits within your breasts’ original ‘boundaries’. In other words, if your breast is 14 cm wide we want to use an implant that has a diameter of 14 cm or less. Otherwise, depending on how much breast you have to start with, you may be able to see a clear transition where your more narrow breast base sits on top of the wider implant. It can give you a ‘stacked ring’ look, like the little kids toy.

Variance in base width is one of the reason implant manufacturers started making high profile breast implants. These implants., volume for volume, fit better under the breast of a more petite woman yet still give a nice full appearance.

So, when you are at your consultation and your surgeon starts measuring your breasts, this is what we are checking on. It enables us to give you the best advice on your implant choice.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Breast Augmentation Surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett.

More on Gynecomastia

Q: I’m a 45-year-old man, and I have overly large breasts. My wife tells me it’s because I need to lose weight. I’ve researched the problem online and read about something called gynecomastia. Is that the cause? What can I do about this? I’m starting to feel embarrassed.

A: Enlargement of one or both breasts in men is surprisingly common. So you’re not alone.

One condition that causes large breasts in men is, as you mention, gynecomastia. In this case, the glands of the breast become enlarged. Lipomastia, on the other hand, also causes breast enlargement but the underlying cause is an increase in fatty tissue around the breast—with no changes in the glands.

While it can be hard to tell the two apart, with gynecomastia the breast tissue feels firmer and more rubbery than with lipomastia. In addition, gynecomastia may cause breast soreness, something that is uncommon with lipomastia.

Hormones are usually the culprit behind gynecomastia in men. Although testosterone is the dominate sex hormone in men, males also have small amounts of estrogen on board. If estrogen levels increase relative to male hormones (or if a man becomes more sensitive to the effects of estrogen), breast tissue may enlarge.

Temporary gynecomastia is common in newborns due to exposure to the mother’s estrogen during pregnancy. This may occur in adolescence, too, because estrogen increases during puberty.

However, gynecomastia is also common in older men. As men get older, testosterone production falls. In addition, the testosterone that is produced is more likely to be converted to other hormones that act like estrogen. Certain health conditions such as liver or kidney disease, hormonal disorders, and heavy alcohol use can also cause gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia can be a side effect of some medications, such as:

* Spironolactone (used for heart failure and high blood pressure, among other conditions)
* Cimetidine (used for heartburn and acid reflux)
* Finasteride (used for an enlarged prostate and male pattern baldness)
* Performance-enhancing steroids

However, the cause of gynecomastia is often unknown.

So, as you can see, both you and your wife have good theories as to why your breasts are enlarged—but you’ll need your doctor’s help to figure out who is correct.

After reviewing your symptoms and performing a physical examination, your doctor may be able to distinguish between gynecomastia and lipomastia. Weight loss may indeed reduce breast enlargement due to lipomastia.

Additional evaluation is warranted for gynecomastia if the breast size is particularly large (more than 2 or 3 inches across), a lump is present, or there are findings that raise concerns about the possibility of breast cancer, such as enlargement of only one breast, or nearby lymph nodes that are swollen. (While it’s rare, men can get breast cancer.)

Blood tests for kidney and liver function, hormone levels, and a mammogram are commonly ordered, though frequently all of these tests are normal.

The treatment of gynecomastia depends on the cause. Options include the following:

* No treatment (especially if breast enlargement is longstanding and has not changed in more than a year or two)
* Treatment of the underlying cause. For example, when medication-induced gynecomastia is suspected, stopping or changing medications can return breast size to normal.
* Treatment with medicines that reduce or counteract estrogen, such as clomiphene, tamoxifen, or danazol
* Surgery to remove breast tissue

See your doctor for a proper diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options.

***This post was taken from a story on MSN. It is a nice summary of the condition***

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville, Kentucky plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett.

Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

For the first time in a while, I had a patient request her implants be placed through her under arm. This is a very nice but less common approach so I thought it was worth a little discussion.

The most common approach for implant placement is an under the breast crease incision, followed by peri-areolar (nipple edge) and then trans-axillary (armpit).

The obvious advantage to this approach is that there is no scar left on the breast. The scar in the armpit typically heals very well and is barely noticable.

The disadvantages are that special endoscopic equipment is needed, which in some facilities can increase cost. It is also a little more difficult to release the muscle so the risk of the implant riding high after surgery is a little higher than if the other access points are used. Finally, if you experience a bleeding problem or need any kind of revision surgery, a second incision will probably need to be made. These situations are rare, but do occur.

So, this is a really nice way to place implants. Kind of slick actually! There are a couple of potential drawbacks you need to consider but if you really don’t want a scar on the breast it is the way to go. Just make sure to have a good discussion with your surgeon and you should be fine.

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville breast implant surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett.

Men and Cosmetic Surgery

The number of men electing to have cosmetic surgery seems to be holding steady. Nationally, of all cosmetic surgery patients, about 8% are men. This number is fairly steady. In my practice the percentage is lower, probably being closer to 1 or 2 percent. Being a Louisville, Kentucky plastic surgeon, I suspect my percentage of male patients is probably lower than on the coasts where more men are having things done.

When I do see a male patient, they are typically seeking out 1) Liposuction for their abdomen/spare tire  2) Gynecomastia treatment ( aka “Man Boobs”)  3) Upper lid Blepharoplasty 

4) Botox and  5) Laser tattoo removal.

Nationally, the most common procedures men request are 1) Liposuction  2) Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping)  3) Blepharoplasty  4) gynecomastia and 5)  Hair transplantation.

I am not sure why more men do not have cosmetic procedures. As a group, male surgical patients tend to do very well. I suspect there is still a bit of social stigmata that holds a lot of men back.

Lee Corbett, MD


What does Cosmetic Surgery cost?

I am often surprised by how much my patients think cosmetic surgery procedures cost. Their estimates are often 2 to 3 times higher than the actual prices. Every year one of our societies, the ASAPS, collects data from member surgeons. I thought it would be helpful to list average prices (these are surgeon’s fees only)  for some of the more common procedures.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)   $5,470, Breast Augmentation  $3,603, Blepharoplasty  $2,921, Breast Lift  $4,380, Breast Reduction  $5,066, Facelift  $ 6,728,

Forehead lift  $ 3,355, Liposuction $ 2,874, Rhinoplasty $4,369.

These numbers are national average surgeon’s fees only. Typically there will be an associated anesthesia and O.R. fee.

Hopefully these averages will give you an idea if your procedure of interest is feasible.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville, Kentucky plastic surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett.