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Plastic Surgery for Weight Loss

Plastic Surgery for Weight Loss

scaleOften times when I consult with patients who are considering a tummy tuck or liposuction, they will ask “How much weight will I lose?”. Unfortunately, for most patients the answer is a pound or two, so not very much. Plastic Surgery is just not intended as a weight loss tool.

While both procedures do remove fatty tissue, and in the case of a tummy tuck, loose skin, these just don’t weigh very much. Fat as a tissue, is not very dense. It takes a lot of fat to weigh even a pound. I always weigh the amount removed when I do a tummy tuck and it almost always between 2 to 3 pounds, that’s it. This if for the patients who have a fairly generous roll between their belly button and pubic area. For the patients who really only have loose skin, usually from babies, it might not even weigh a pound.

With lipo, the same applies. I am able to suction out the fat, but fat just doesn’t weigh that much. In the ‘pound of feathers vs pound of lead’ comparison, fat is in the feather category and a tissue like muscle is in the lead category.

What these operations are really intended to do is to shape and contour your figure by trimming off inches. They tighten loose skin and remove stubborn fat pockets to balance your body and improve your shape. They also change dress sizes for a lot of patients. So many patients tell me they have to buy larger sizes to accomodate their thighs or hips or tummy only to have their jeans or pants then be too loose every where else. These are the kinds of problems Lipo and Tummy Tucks do improve.

I hope this helps to answer the weight loss question. If you have questions please contact us at (502) 721 0330 or via our Virtual Consultation page at

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

I have Saline Breast Implants…How do I know if they’re leaking?

breast implantSaline Breast Implants were the only implant available in the US from 1992 through 1996 for breast augmentation. In my practice, I get a lot of patients with questions about needing to replace or exchange these implants. First let me say that you DO NOT have to exchange your implants just because they are of a certain age. If they’re not broken, don’t fix them.

Now, sometimes they do fail. The failure rate at 10 years is about 2.5%, so it’s low but it does occur. So how do you know? Well, you’ll literally get a “flat tire”. But how this shows itself varies based on why the implant failed. There are 2 points of failure for a saline implant. The first is if the fill valve fails, the second is a shell failure. The fill valve is a one way trap door valve that we plug into to fill the implant. If the valve becomes incompetent, what you will see is that the upper half of the implant loses its volume. The valve is right in the middle of the implant so all the water above this will leak out. The bottom half will stay filled. So basically, your fullness above nipple goes away. If the second problem occurs, the outer shell gets a hole in it, the implant tends to deflate more  readily and the entire implant will empty. Your breast will return to its pre augmented size. It’s typically not hard to detect for obvious reason.

The leaked saline will not harm you. It is nothing but saline IV fluid, the very same stuff we give patients who need an IV. So there is no danger to it.

So that’s the story on saline implants and leaking. If for whatever reason you were worried your implants were leaking, just look in the mirror. If they look the same as always, they aren’t leaking. If they do leak, no need to panic, they are warrantied for your lifetime and an exchange is a quick and easy procedure.

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Your Weight and Cosmetic Surgery

A common question that I hear when new patients are considering a cosmetic procedure, particularly liposuction or a tummy tuck, is “Should I lose weight first?”

My answer is that you should be within about 10 to 15 pounds of your goal weight at the time of surgery. Mind you “goal weight” is not the same as ideal body weight. Ideal body weight is a weight range that you will find on Body Mass Index charts. However, for a variety of reasons ideal body weight isn’t attainable , and honestly a lot of people feel more comfortable / think they look their best at a weight that is outside of this range. I call this your “goal weight” and I want you close to that number at the time of surgery.

The reason it’s ok to proceed with 10 pounds left to go is because as you lose weight it doesn’t all come off of one body part. There is no such thing as targeted or spot weight loss. Doing crunches doesn’t melt the fat on your tummy, it makes your abs stronger. Doing lunges doesn’t make your thighs smaller, it makes them stronger. When you lose weight you lose it all over your body. So 10 pounds isn’t really going to affect the  outcome. So, if you are more than 10 -15 lbs above your goal weight, it’s best to work on that before surgery.

Every plastic surgeon will have some guidelines on your weight, there are no hard and fast rules on this. But, most of my colleagues tend to agree on the 10-15 pound zone.

I hope this helps those of you who are contemplating cosmetic surgery prepare appropriately.

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa


Toxins and Fillers and the Holidays! Plan Accordingly…

It’s Holiday party season, are you ready?

This time of year we see a rush of patients refreshing their Dypsort/Botox and Filler to look their best in time for all of the Holiday parties. So, for those who are new to the game, I wanted to help you plan your treatments.

Botox/Dysport are so commonly used today that this may be unnecessary, but these are used to soften lines on the forehead, between the eyes and on the sides of the eyes (crow’s feet). The treatments themselves really only take a minute or two. Small amounts are strategically injected to soften and smooth out unwanted wrinkles and lines. But, because of the injection itself, you can get a bruise or a little swelling. Also, neither product works immediately. Dysport works more quickly but you wont see its full effect for about 4 or 5 days. So I would recommend treating about a week before your event.

The fillers, Restylane and Juvederm are the most widely used, are used to plump. They are commonly used on tear troughs, cheeks, nasolabial folds, and lips. Now, the effects of the filler are immediate, but again you can get a bruise and everyone gets some amount of swelling with fillers. So, again I would recommend you treat about 1 week before your event.

I hope this information helps you plan. Be sure to check our website at for our Holiday specials!

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Do I have to stay in the hospital after Surgery?

This is obviously a pretty common question patients have when they are considering cosmetic surgery. The answer is “probably not” in most all cases. Let me explain.

As the surgeon, when I make that decision, I am factoring in many issues. The time under anesthesia, the scope of the procedure, anticipated level of post op pain, and your co-existing medical problems all are considered to maximize patient safety. Let’s look at each of these factors individually and I’ll elaborate.

Time of under anesthesia: Most of the operations I do are pretty short. An hour or two, if we combine procedures 3-4 hrs. A long procedure would be one lasting say 6 hours or more. A healthy person can easily tolerate an hour or two of anesthesia and go home after. Examples of popular surgeries that fall into this category include Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, Breast Reduction, Blephaorplasty, Facelift, Necklift, Liposuction, and a Tummy Tuck. These cases are commonly done as out patient procedures. When patients opt to have several things done at once, the time in the OR can get longer. Once OR times pass the 6 or 7 hour mark chances of complications can go up. In those cases it makes sense to keep the patient overnight for monitoring. It’s ok to go past 6 hours, I’m not saying that, but those patients may have needs that first night that are best handled with good nursing care.

Scope of procedure: A lot of times patients are surprised I will do 4 or 5 different surgeries in one setting. It’s not the number of procedures so much as it is the time they will all take and the scope of the procedures. For instance, the impact of the combination of a blepharoplasty, liposuction under the chin, and a breast lift on your system is less than if you have a lot of liposuction. The recovery from the eyelids, a small area of lipo and a breast lift are fairly benign while high volume lipo ( > 5 liters) can result in fluid shifts where we need nursing care to monitor IV fluids and urine output. Likewise I can lipo 4 or 5 areas on a patient who has small localized problems areas removing a total of 1-2 liters of fat and safely send that person home. Conversely, I might keep a person who is heavier and we are treating just one area, like the front of the abdomen and flanks but here we might be removing 4 or 5 liters of fat. Those are two completely different operations in regards to their impact on your system the night of surgery.

Post of pain: Some surgeries just hurt more than others, it’s that simple. A great example is a thigh lift. These leave the patient uncomfortable and they often do better staying over night. It’s not that the surgery is all that long, usually 2-3 hours, or anything like a big lipo case or an extended tummy tuck case like we see with patients who have had lap bands with weight loss in excess of 100 lbs. It’s just that the patient may need more than pain pills to be comfortable.

Medical Problems: In general, if a patient is unhealthy, I wont operate on them. Why take the risk of having a problem for what after all is an elective procedure. But I do see a lot of patients with well controlled diabetes, or high blood pressure or asthma who seek cosmetic surgery. These patients are very good candidates for surgery, but sometimes they need a little monitoring after surgery. The diabetic patient is the perfect example. We don’t let you eat after midnight, then we do surgery, and sometimes patients are nauseated and don’t feel like eating. So how much insulin they need can require more checks and monitoring. It’s not a big deal or hard to do, but it needs to be done and the overnight stay and good nursing care solves the problem.

So in summary, I’d say that 99% of my surgeries are done as outpatient because I am operating on healthy people and rarely combine things that will take more than 3 or 4 hours. Now, I might ask you to come to the office the day after for a check (I do this with some of my face lift patients) but you can still go home. And in the end, if you do need or want to stay, the hospitals only charge around $250 for the night, so it’s very reasonable.

Hope this helps

Lee Corbett, MD

Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa

Swelling and Pressure Garments

After most body contouring surgery, especially liposuction and tummy tucks, post operative soft tissue swelling is a normal, natural occurrence. Basically, the skin, fatty tissue and muscle have been “traumatized” and they swell in response. To your body, the experience of surgery is the same as if you fell or were hit or had any other kind of accident. This is just the way the body heals itself.

So, as Plastic Surgeons, we use compression to help with the swelling. Usually after a body contouring procedure we recommend the patient wear some form of compression, be it a binder or girdle, for several weeks after surgery. The compression has many benefits. First, it minimizes the swelling, especially as you become more active at home and work. This in turn minimizes your discomfort. Almost 100% of my patients will tell me after surgery that they just feel better with compression. Secondly, especially in Liposuction cases, it helps the skin tighten and re-drape after the underlying fat cells have been removed. The amount of time one needs compression varies from patient to patient. Factors we consider are your age, skin quality, skin elasticity, amount of fat removed, and the scope of the procedure. In my practice, I usually recommend compression for at least 4-6 weeks but many patients will wear some form of compression for 2-3 months.

Every surgeon has his or her own practices so check with your doctor if you have questions. In general though, I think you will find most plastic surgeons feel as though there isn’t such thing as wearing your garment “too long”.

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director, Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa


Perfect Symmetry…Is it possible?

As a Plastic Surgeon, I spend most of my time improving/enhancing/correcting issues on paired structures. Breasts, eyelids, arms, legs etc… In all of these cases, the patient and I are in pursuit of perfect symmetry. Problem is, as humans, we are just not perfectly symmetric.

If you divide the body into a right and left side, and look closely, you will notice some differences in every body part. One side of the face is longer, an ear protrudes more, a breast is bigger or lower or rounder. We just aren’t even.

And so, as a Plastic Surgeon, my goal is to come as close to “perfect” symmetry as possible.

Younger Looking Eyes…

This past year I have begun combining 3 different modalities to help rejuvenate the upper and lower eyelids and the areas around them. The results have been quite good. The procedure is relatively quick and the recovery is well tolerated.

Two of the treatments, upper lid blepharoplasty and lower lid CO-2 laser resurfacing, are traditional more “old school” options while the third, filler to the upper cheek area, represents on the newer and fastest growing areas of cosmetic medicine.

The upper lid Blepharoplasty removes the excess skin and fat of the upper lid. Patients frequently complain that this skin makes them look older and more tired than they feel. Removing it opens up the upper lid and relieves that heaviness many patients complain of.

The CO 2 laser is a resurfacing laser the I use to treat the lower lids. The laser applies heat to the lower lid skin which causes it to tighten and resurface itself. The end result is a smoother tighter lower lid with significantly fewer fine lines and a much less of crepe texture.

The final component employes the fillers which have become immensely popular and wide spread. Examples are Restylane® and Juvederm®. The fillers are placed either in the tear trough, at the lower lid / cheek junction, in the upper cheek itself to re-volumize this area or in all of the above and give a smoother and more youthful appearance.

This combination of time proven and safe treatments has yielded very nice results. If you are interested please contact us at or via E mail at

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical  Director of Corbett Cosmetic

So what are Fillers?

Fillers represent the single largest growth sector of aesthetic medicine over the past few years yet I don’t think a lot of people know what they are or how they are used.

So here’s Filler 101. Most of the fillers out there today, Restylane® and Juvederm® are the most common ones, are composed of Hyaluronic Acid (HA). HA is a protein that is already all over your body. It’s in your skin and joints and connective tissue. HA’s have replaced Collagen injections because they last longer and are easier to use. The longevity of the fillers varies but tends to be many months at least with some of them lasting several years.

Uses: Fillers fill and that’s how we use them. They are not intended to smooth fine lines or crows feet or frown lines. That’s what the toxins do, think Botox® and Dysport®. Fillers restore volume to your face. As we age, our faces loose volume, particularly our midface. The mid face is the area between your lower eyelids down to the bottom of your nose. What happens is the fat pads we have in that area tend to shrink and descend. So, with the fillers we can safely restore that volume. It’s that simple.

Now, fillers can be used all over the face and commonly are. We inject them in the temple, between the eyes, in tear troughs, the nose, cheeks, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, lips and along the jawline. They are very versatile.

The lip injections are what most people see and they are the reason, based on the comments I hear from women, that some patients shy away from fillers. Some patients prefer a larger lip that some others may see as being “over done”. This is really a matter of opinion but the point is, if you see a patient with a very full lip or cheek or wherever, it’s because they like it that way. They have simply requested more filler. You don’t automatically get huge lips just because you inject some filler. Some patients request 1 syringe ( 1cc) of filler, others 3 or 4 syringes.

Fillers are injected in the office usually with topical anesthesia. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. After, you can have some swelling, or bruising and the area may be a little tender for a while. Overall there is very little down time associated.

So there’s a brief summary of fillers. If you are interested or have more questions please just contact our office. 502.721-0330.

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director of Corbett Cosmetic

Smart Lipo…my experience over the past year.

Corbett Cosmetic Surgery is the only practice in the State of Kentucky offering the SmartLipo Triplex. This is a 3 laser, laser liposuction machine. This differs from traditional liposuction in that the laser melts the fat cells instead of having to break them up mechanically. The laser also generates heat which helps with skin tightening and coagulates small vessels to minimize bruising.

Our experience is that patients are experiencing a shorter, easier recovery with less pain, downtime, and days off work. Also, in difficult area such as the inner thigh and upper arm, we are seeing much better skin tightening.

If you have questions or are interested in SmartLipo call our Louisville office at 502.721.0330

Lee E Corbett, MD   Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa