Dr. Finger: Q & A Tummy Tuck, Laser Treatments and Breast Lifts in Savannah, Ga.

These are questions I hear all the time in our consulting room. I would like to share a few with you:

* If I do Pilates or yoga all my life, will I still have to get a Tummy Tuck when I’m older?
Young women in their 20s often finish pregnancy with loose skin on their abdomens. Perhaps they don’t have loose muscles (yet), or excess fat, but the skin on their abdomens may not contract fully following pregnancy (this depends on how damaged the skin is from the stretching, how much weight was gained and on pure genetics).
Stretch marks are actually a sign that the skin has stretched too fast for the dermis to withstand (the deeper layers of the skin where the collagen resides). The dermis “tears” apart, leaving the thin epidermis, and a scar in the form of a stretch mark.The way to restore a tight-skinned belly for women is with a skin-only Tummy Tuck. It leaves a scar across the bottom of the belly. Many women struggle with the idea of undergoing the procedure because of this scar, but we tailor the scar to hide under your bikini line. For those with loose skin AND some excess adipose, we can recontour the abdomen through the tummy-tuck WITH some liposuction at the same time.

* Will my hands always give away my age, or are there treatments to rejuvenate them too?

Technology already exists to remove brown spots, spider veins and other surface blemishes while building the collagen layer that keeps skin plump and firm. Your chest doesn’t have to look like your mother’s. Your hands don’t have to give away your age. However, this requires maintenance.

You must begin with sunscreen protection to prevent premature damage to the tender and easily aged skin of the chest and hands. Medical grade skin care regimens with tretinoin, moisturizers and fading creams are next. Then, laser treatments as soon as you start to see damage. These regimens should be maintained—possibly over decades. Laser ablation of hand veins and fillers to plump up the top of the hands can also help.

* Do all women who have children end up needing breast lifts?

Most women are well-informed about breast surgery. There is one misconception I come across very often, and that’s the idea that breast implants can be used to “lift” sagging breasts.

That simply isn’t true. If your breasts have lost significant altitude because of pregnancy, breast-feeding, weight loss, or simply through aging, you will need a breast lift. (If they haven’t sagged significantly, you won’t.) Increasing volume is a separate issue, and if you desire that, we can certainly add implants.
Using implants alone to “fill” the saggy and deflated breasts DOES produce larger breasts; but they are often large, saggy breasts, which tend to look matronly. Often, we will replace volume with implants and also uplift the breasts at the same operation (a mastopexy-augmentation).

This is one of the most satisfying procedures we perform. Many women finished with childbearing feel heightened sexual desire when their breasts are restored and enlarged.