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Tummy Tuck Recovery

Posted in Tummy Tuck


Recovering from Your Tummy Tuck

One of the most disconcerting aspects of any surgery is not knowing what to expect afterwards. Fortunately, recovery from a tummy tuck is usually a very smooth process. While most patients are thrilled with their appearance following the procedure, many won’t feel like themselves for a few weeks while they readjust to their new bodies.

Postoperative Care

Directly after surgery, your incisions will be bandaged. Your surgeon may then outfit you in a compression garment or elastic bandage to support your healing abdomen and minimize swelling, as well as to help your body conform to its new figure. Ask your doctor how long you should continue to wear this garment in order to optimize your results.

Your doctor may also insert temporary tubes underneath your skin to drain any excess blood or fluids. Your doctor will instruct you on the proper sanitation of this system. You will experience discomfort for about two weeks following the procedure, and should expect to see bruising around your abdomen. Your doctor will likely prescribe you a pain reliever to soothe any discomfort.

Physical Limitations

Limit physical activity for four to six weeks following your tummy tuck to facilitate proper healing. You may need to take up to two weeks off of work, depending on your job and level of recovery. Many people, however, feel ready to return to work in as little as a week. It is also recommended that patients abstain from nicotine use for at least a month prior to surgery and for the full duration of the recovery period.

Recovery Time

Full recovery from abdominoplasty usually takes three to six months, but scars will take longer to fade. At first, scars may be red and obvious, but there is no need to worry. With proper care, they will become virtually unnoticeable after healing. Preserve your tummy tuck results through proper diet and exercise.

Your doctor will provide you with personalized instructions to address your unique needs and concerns. These instructions should address: when to follow up with your surgeon, what medications to take orally or topically to prevent pain and infection, and any other concerns specific to your tummy tuck procedure or personal history. Ask your doctor about how and when to clean your surgical site, how to position your body to prevent discomfort or damage, and when you can resume your normal activities, including exercise.

Schedule a Consultation

Don’t let excess fat or loose skin hold you back from feeling the way you want. If your body isn’t making you feel your best, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chiu today, and join our many satisfied patients at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc.


Botox for Sagging Neck and Face Skin

Posted in Botox Treatments


How Botox Can Tighten the Skin around Your Face and Neck

As we get older, sagging skin becomes more and more of a problem. If this starts occurring around your neck and face, the results can become incredibly obvious. Fortunately, there are ways to treat it so you no longer have to worry about the nagging and stressful effects of aging.

While a facelift can be very effective for certain people, many others may want a simpler option; for these people, Botox could be the best answer.

Eligible Candidates for Botox

Though the FDA has approved Botox for people from ages 18 to 65, it is important to note that a variety of other factors may prevent you from having a Botox procedure:

  • Allergies to any of Botox’s ingredients.
  • Allergies to other botulinum toxin brands (e.g. Myobloc, Xeomin, or Dysport), or experiencing side effects from these products in the past.
  • A skin infection or other skin condition in the affected area.
  • You have a disease that affects the muscles or nerves.
  • Breathing problems like asthma.
  • You have difficulties swallowing.
  • Bleeding issues.
  • You are going to have surgery soon.
  • You have had facial surgery in the past.
  • Weakness in your forehead muscles.
  • You have drooping eyelids.
  • You are taking (or have recently taken) certain medications, vitamins, or supplements.
  • You are pregnant or you are currently breastfeeding.

If you are looking into facial Botox, keep in mind that it does not treat facial lines that occur when your face is completely relaxed. In such cases, dermal fillers are a better choice: Botox can only soften the lines, but not necessarily get rid of them.

Botox for the Face

Wrinkles in the skin usually form perpendicular to the contracting muscle directly beneath it. For example, the forehead muscle is vertical. When it contracts (like when you raise your eyebrows), the lines or wrinkles formed will be horizontal. In a similar way, the two muscles where frown lines occur are slightly horizontal between the eyebrows – so when these muscles contract, frown lines will appear in a vertical alignment.

When Botox is injected into the related muscles, nerve impulses to those tissues are blocked. This reduces muscle activity in that area, reducing frown lines and producing a much smoother appearance in the skin. In short, once the contracting muscle is blocked off from nerve impulses, the skin has a much harder time forming wrinkles.

After a few days, you should see notable improvements in your appearance. Botox requires at least two to four days to attach to the necessary nerve endings; and after another 10 – 14 days, you should see the maximum results of the Botox. After this period, the results you see will be the effect of the Botox.

Botox for the Neck

Botox on the neck is great for the platysma muscle, which is found at the front of the neck and under the chin. As the skin in this area ages, neck bands begin to form, creating a look which many like to call turkey neck. A Botox treatment in this muscle will help make the neck bands that form around this muscle less prominent, relaxing the area and softening neck bands.

The masseter muscle, which is one of the active muscles used for chewing, can oftentimes relax and soften, creating a square, muscular jawline. Applying Botox can effectively contour this area, according to your needs. If you have a square jawline, Botox can make the sharp angles in your jaw more subtle.

Another option is the so-called “Nefertiti Lift.” In this procedure, Botox is injected into the neck bands at the front of the neck (the platysma muscle), as well as the side bands that form around the jaw. These side bands are what cause the lower portion of skin on the face and jowls to sag: by injecting Botox into them, the jowls and lower portion of the face are lifted, streamlining the neck while lifting the sagging portion of the lower face.

As with facial Botox, expect to see the final results after a period of about two weeks.

Get Botox Treatment from a Surgeon You Can Trust

Unfortunately, choosing where to get your Botox procedure is not a matter of simply choosing the cheapest option. You need to choose a cosmetic surgeon you can trust, like Dr. Gabriel Chiu. Dr. Chiu’s leadership and sincere approach to his patients’ health has made him one of the best plastic surgeons in the country. In fact, Dr. Chiu’s patients are so thrilled with his care that they voted him for the Patients’ Choice award eight years in a row, from 2008 – 2015. Give Dr. Chiu a call and see for yourself.


Breast Reduction Benefits

Posted in Breast Reduction


The Benefits of Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure that reduces the size of the breast by reducing fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin. Sometimes liposuction is used to remove fat from the underarm area.

Aside from any aesthetic reasons you may have for wanting to reduce the size of your breasts, there are some health benefits associated with this popular reconstructive procedure as well.

Breast Reduction Candidates

This procedure is usually used as treatment for women whose breasts are disproportionately large for their frame, creating a sagging, “pendulum” like appearance, leaving indents in the shoulders from weight-laden bra straps, and putting strain on the breast tissue from the excess weight. This strain often leads to neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as skin irritation, breathing problems, or even deformation of the skeletal structure due to the chronic hunched posture caused by overly heavy breasts.

However, a breast reduction is also an option for women who simply want to decrease the size of their breasts for aesthetic or non-health related functional purposes, such as participating in sports, especially high impact activities, or achieving a more attractive fit from their clothing.

The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are in good health and don’t smoke. Breast reductions aren’t usually performed until the breasts are fully developed, but in some rare cases the procedure may be performed earlier to relieve extreme health issues.

Breast Reduction: The Procedure

While the nipples typically stay connected to the nerves and blood vessels, in more extreme cases the nipple may have to be removed completely in order to be repositioned on the breast, resulting in a loss of sensation in the nipple and areola (the darker toned skin around the nipple) and a loss of the ability to lactate. Incisions and the resulting scar are typically made under the areola in a straight line down to the bottom of the breast and underneath in the inframammary fold. There are treatment options available to decrease the scar’s visibility.

In cases that require less reduction, just liposuction to remove fat tissue in the breast may be an option instead of a more invasive procedure. The removal of breast tissue makes the breast smaller, firmer, and more desirably shaped, and often leads to a smaller areola, but this technique does not address excess skin or sagging of the breast.

A breast reduction surgery typically takes three to four hours, but can sometimes take longer. Your doctor can provide you with an estimate for your particular procedure. Patients are asleep during the procedure, which uses general anesthesia.

Breast Reduction: Recovery

After surgery, incisions are covered in dressings, which may be removed one to two days after surgery, and the patient will need to wear a surgical bra (worn over the bandages) for several weeks to provide the breasts support as the tissue heals. Your surgeon will be able to tell you when you can stop wearing your support garment.

Patients are given a prescription for a pain medication to help alleviate discomfort, but some discomfort is expected for the first couple of days to a week or more, especially when moving or coughing. Pain may also occur during the first menstruation following surgery as the breasts swell, or at seemingly random times within the first few months following the procedure. Some loss of sensation in the area is also expected during the first few weeks after surgery, but this typically comes back after about six weeks. Some patients experience this for up to a year, and a few rare patients have this decreased sensitivity permanently.

Incisions and stitches should be kept dry, but moisturizer can be applied to the breast skin away from the sutures if the breast skin is dry. Make sure you understand what steps you need to take to ensure the best possible recovery before your surgery.

Breast Reduction: Your Procedure

For patients undergoing reduction mammoplasty for health reasons, insurance is may be able to cover the procedure. While this is less often true for those undergoing a breast reduction for other reasons, some insurance plans do cover breast reductions for health related purposes. Contact our offices or your insurance company to see what your insurance policy covers.

If you want smaller, shapelier breasts, don’t wait. Dr. Gabriel Chiu is an experienced surgeon who has operated on satisfied customers all around the Los Angeles area.

Contact Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc. today to schedule your consultation and find out what Dr. Chiu can do for you.


What is CoolSculpting?

Posted in CoolSculpting


What CoolSculpting Can (And Can’t) Do For You

You finally did it. You started a new fitness routine. You changed your diet. You stuck to your plan for the past year. You’re still going with your routine, but you just can’t get rid of that last bit of fat, and it’s driving you crazy.

The best way to get rid of those last bits of fat is a procedure called CoolSculpting, which we which we are proud to have added to our services. But before you make your decision about whether CoolSculpting is right for you, let’s be clear about what CoolSculpting can and can’t do.

What CoolSculpting Can Do For You

A better way to think of CoolSculpting is by its other names: “fat freezing” and cryolipolysis.  Cryolipolysis is a procedure based on the theory that fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures than other cells surrounding it.

The theory is based on a medical condition called popiscle panniculitis: a red, swollen area occurring in infants and young children after they have sucked on a popsicle or an ice cube. Simply put, the cause of this (and the reason why adults do not normally have it) is a high concentration of saturated fatty acids, which crystallize after only a slight decrease in temperature. These saturated fats are eventually replaced by unsaturated fats as children become adults.

The theory was eventually put to the test by Dieter Manstein, M.D., and R. Rox Anderson, M.D., who used cooling procedures on pigs. These experiments lead to the development of CoolSculpting as it’s used today.

The procedure involves placing a vacuum device on fat bulges (which you decide on with the help of a doctor), lowering the temperature of the area below normal body temperature, but still higher than the freezing point. The cooling targets and kills only the fat cells in the area. Since the fat cells will freeze much faster than the surrounding cells, you do not have to worry about damage to the surrounding cells or tissue.

Over the next few weeks, your body will eliminate the dead fat cells on its own. The fat will be gone permanently, leaving you much slimmer than before.

CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction

If you are familiar with medical weight-loss procedures, you have probably heard of liposuction. Judging by the name, it would seem that both CoolSculpting and liposuction are essentially the same: they both use vacuums to eliminate fat cells.

There are a couple of key differences, however. Liposuction is a surgical procedure, which requires the use of small incisions and an IV fluid to loosen the fat before it can be suctioned away. This means that there are more risks involved— including bruising, changes in skin sensation, damage to inner organs, infection, etc.—as well as a much longer recovery time.  What you get in return is a more aggressive reduction in fat, better contouring, and immediate results.

CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is a non-invasive procedure. A gel pad is placed on the skin to protect it; the vacuum sucks the fatty bulge into a cup, and then cools the area. There is no damage to the skin, muscles, or nerves.

This means that there is minimal downtime (or none at all), and a lower cost (depending on the areas you need to freeze). Though the results typically aren’t as dramatic, there are far fewer risks involved.

Who Is a Good Candidate For CoolSculpting?

As with liposuction, CoolSculpting does not claim to be a substitute for diet and exercise. The procedure is a cosmetic procedure: it is not meant to treat the negative effects of fat cells in other parts of your body, nor is it meant to help you lose weight.

It works best for people who are following a healthy routine involving proper diet and exercise, and want to remove stubborn fat that their regimen won’t eliminate.

Get Rid of Your Stubborn Fat Today

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc. (BHPS) is the premier plastic and cosmetic surgery practice led by Dr. Gabriel Chiu. Dr. Chiu has helped BHPS become one of the most well-received practices in the nation, and is himself a renowned plastic surgeon who has received numerous Patients’ Choice Awards.

BHPS prides itself on providing natural, minimally invasive procedures to enhance your beauty, confidence, and quality of life. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gabriel Chiu today to learn more about what CoolSculpting can do for you.


Stretch Marks: Prevention and Elimination


How to Prevent and Eliminate Stretch Marks

Though stretch marks are no cause for alarm, they can be a serious impediment to your lifestyle, making it difficult for you go to the beach or a pool party, for example.  If stretch marks have been bothering you for some time, now is the time to get treatment.   Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options that can help minimize them.


Stretch marks are a very common form of skin scarring, resulting from various causes such as pregnancy, puberty, and even muscle gain from bodybuilding.  (Overall, pregnancy is the most common cause, especially during the last trimester.)  These conditions may cause the dermis to stretch beyond its capacity.

The fibers in the dermis break, impeding collagen production and leaving visible scars.  While some stretch marks disappear (or become less visible) on their own, in certain cases stretch marks will require treatment to remove them.

Some of the places where stretch marks occur include the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs.  Nearly any place where high stress or rapid expansion occurs is subject to stretch marks.

Other factors may increase the risk for stretch marks:

  • Genetics: for example, the daughter of a woman who experienced stretch marks following pregnancy is more likely to have stretch marks, as well.  Females are also more prone to stretch marks in general.
  • Breast enlargement surgery.
  • Long-term use of oral or topical corticosteroids.
  • People with darker skin due to ethnicity are less likely to have stress marks.

Treatment Options

Topical and Basic Options

Generally, creams, lotions, and diet and exercise are recommended for stretch mark treatment.  Unfortunately, they are not the best options for older people or those with well-developed stretch mark scars.  In such cases, more involved treatment options are better.

Laser Stretch Mark Removal

With a stretch mark removal procedure, an excimer laser removes thin layers of skin around the stretch marks.  Rather than burn or cut the affected area as with many other lasers, an excimer laser uses a high-powered ultraviolet light to disrupt molecular bonds in skin tissue, beginning a process known as tissue ablation.

Once the procedure is completed, the area will heal quickly and new layers of healthy skin form.  The stretch marks will be gone, leaving you with a new layer of healthy skin.  Every person’s stretch marks will respond differently to treatment.  Particularly stubborn cases may need up to 10 treatments to completely remove stretch marks.

Recovery normally lasts only a few days, or up to a few weeks in certain cases.  The area will be red and tender as the new skin begins to grow over the treated area.  Sometimes, blistering and symptoms associated with a burn will be present temporarily.

Laser treatment is one of the most effective and safest treatment options.  The excimer is handled by an expert with a precise hand, meaning there is a small chance for injury.  It is also less invasive and less costly than other body sculpting procedures like tummy tucks.

Surgical Removal

A surgical stretch mark removal is the most reliable option to completely get rid of stretch marks: lasers and topical options may only fade or lessen them.

Currently, the only area of the body where stretch marks may be surgically removed is the stomach area.  Known as an abdominoplasty, or more commonly as a “tummy tuck,” this procedure tightens the abdominal muscles, and removes any excess skin in the mid or lower abdominal region.  The excess skin will be discarded along with the stretch marks.  Candidates for this procedure are limited to patients in good health, who do not smoke, and have an excessive amount of skin around the stomach.

Have an Expert Take Care of Your Stretch Marks

If you are ready to take action against your stretch marks, you need a reliable, trustworthy surgeon to take care of you.  A renowned plastic surgeon with impressive credentials, Dr. Gabriel Chiu is also renowned for his candid advice and sincere, warm approach with all of his patients.

But don’t take our word for it: Dr. Chiu’s patients have shown their appreciation for his care by giving him the Patients’ choice award for eight years in a row, from 2008 – 2015. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Chiu today to decide which treatment option will be right for you.