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Archive for March, 2011

Chemical Peel’s can very in depth from very superficial to very deep. Post treatment care for chemical peels is dependent on the type of peel, and condition of the skin. Your skin health professional should give you post treatment instructions that are specific for the type of peel you have had. Some peels are so superficial that they cause little to no peeling, and may not require a big change in your skin care regimen. Having a deeper level chemical peel provides a greater level of correction, however it also can create a greater risk for complications. Most complications can be avoided by strict patient compliance, meaning you should follow your post treatment care instructions exactly as instructed. Deeper peels may also require preconditioning, this especially important for darker skin types. The Obagi Nu-Derm system is ideal for preconditioning skin for resurfacing procedures and chemical peels. Be sure that you have all of the appropriate products needed and do not use any skin care products that have not been approved by your skin health professional.

Keep Your Skin on

One of the most important things to remember after a chemical peel is to avoid picking, scrubbing or assisting the peel in any way. Treat the skin like you are trying to keep it on. The old dead skin that is about to peel off acts as a protective barrier. If you have caused the skin to peel off prematurely you are at increased risk for complications, including hyper-pigmentation. If you have assisted or accidentally removed the peeling skin prematurely, contact your skin health professional immediately. You may be instructed to apply an occlusive such as Aquaphore to the area’s that have peeled off. You may also need to use hydroquinone and/or tretinoin after the peeling process is complete to prevent or correct complications.

[ Chemical Peel: Do’s and Don’ts ]

Gentle Cleanser

Beginning the day of the peel until peeling is complete you will need to use a gentle cleanser. Avoid scrubs, exfoliants and any acne cleansers unless otherwise instructed. This is also not the time to use cleansing brushes such as the Clarisonic, you should cleanse the skin gently.

I prefer Obagi Gentle Cleanser after most chemical and laser peels.

Cetaphil gentle cleanser is another option, and you can buy this product at most drug stores.

Moisturizer and Topical Hydrocortisone Cream

Use a gentle moisturizer 2 – 4 times a day.
Be careful that you do not use a moisturizer that contains exfoliants or irritating ingreadiants after your peel. If you have had a medium to deep peel, you may also be instructed to use a topical Hydrocortisone cream. It is important that you do not over use Hydrocortisone creams, as extended use can inhibit healing. Check with your Esthetician or Doctor before using any products after a peel.

post peel instructions
Obagi’s Tolereen has a 0.5% Hydrocortisone cream, and can be applied before moisturizer or mixed with in with the moisturiser.

Obagi Action is appropriate after most peels and is generaly my first choice.

Skin Medica’s Ceratopic Replenishing cream is ultra hydrating and can be used after most peels.

Sun Protection

After a chemical peel your skin is more vulnerable to Ultra Violet Rays. You should avoid sun exposure as much as you can, hats and sunglasses are helpful. Depending on the depth of the peel, you may be instructed to avoid sunscreen until the skin has completed the peeling phase. You will find that your skin is sensitive to chemical sunscreens, so look for a physical sunblock that contains zinc oxide. A pure mineral makeup such as Jane Iredale, contains a Titanium Dioxide 14% and Zinc Oxide 3% and can be used immediately after chemical peels, when other sunscreens may not be appropriate. Keep in mind that the depth of your peel will determine when you can start to use sunblock.

Anti viral

post peel
Herpes simplex infection can occur on the face after skin resurfacing procedures, including chemical peels. A viral outbreak is more common with deeper procedures. You may be prescribed an antiviral medication such as Zovirax to help prevent breakouts. If you do have a history of cold sores or any herpes breakout be sure to mention this to your Esthetician or Doctor before your peel. Many skin professionals prefer to treat all patients with antiviral agents regardless of a positive history. Don’t be insulted or embarrassed if you are prescribed an antiviral medication, it is often standard protocol. It is important to understand that some people may carry the virus, even if they have never had an outbreak.


antibiotics, post peel procedures
It is not unusual to see milia or small acne breakouts after deep resurfacing procedures, including deep chemical peels. There are chemical peels, such as Skin Medica’s Vitalize peel that are appropriate for treating skin with active acne. Deep chemical peels should be put off until acne is under control, without any active breakouts. Topical antibiotics can not be used immediately after a chemical peel, so if you have a recent history, you may be prescribed an oral antibiotic.

Domeboro Astringent Soaks

post peel, domeboro
Domeboro Astringent solution is an over the counter product that can be found at most drug store. Domeboro Astringent Solution, when applied as a wet dressing or compress, cools and cleanses irritated skin and soothes inflammation. Domeboro contains Aluminum acetate which helps to reduce itching, stinging, and inflammation. Domeboro powder can be mixed with water, the solution is then applied topically as cold compresses to the treated area. I usually recommend using sterile gauze dipped in the solution and gently press onto the treated area for about 5-10 minuets, twice a day. The skin should first be cleansed with a gentle cleanser, after treating skin with the compress solution you can apply an appropriate moisturizer and Hydrocortisone.


Generally, cosmetics such as foundation, concealer and powder are not recommended after resurfacing procedures and chemical peels. There are some mineral cosmetics that can be used immediately post procedure. It is important to know that not all mineral makeup is created equal, many are simply mineral based. Jane Iredale is an excellent mineral makeup, that is safe to use after cosmetic procedures and provides SPF protection. Jane Iredale is also antimicrobial and anti inflammatory, offering several benefits after a chemical peel.

[ Chemical Peels 101: A lesson in skin anatomy, chemical peel levels, and peeling agents ]

Deep Chemical Peels

If you have a deep chemical peel, such as a 30% – 35% TCA peel, Standard or Designed Obagi Blue Peel, you will be instructed to follow additional instructions. Avoid “cracking” by keeping the skin moist and minimizing facial expressions. You can use Aquaphor in the corners of the mouth. Aquaphor can be used if the skin becomes tight or over areas that cracking may have occurred. When you shower, do not let the water strike you in the face. You will also need to sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated. If you have a deep chemical peel, it is important to make follow up appointments with your skin care professional and address any concerns immediately.

After the peeling phase

The first stage of a peel is the peeling stage, this is complete when the skin is no longer peeling and reepithelialization has occurred. After the skin has completed peeling, you may begin a skin care regimen. Again, if you have had a superficial peel you will most likely continue with your normal skin care regimen. If you have had a deeper peel, the next stage is when dermal changes begin. You may be instructed to use products like Hydroquinone, tretinoin and a good sunblock. You should avoid exfoiliating treatments and products for about 6 weeks, depending on the depth of the peel.

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Read MoreMarch 28, 2011 8:49 pm - Posted by Kristy

bee pollen

Some nutritionists state that you could live adequately on bee pollen alone. I know that sounds crazy, but science shows that bee pollen has natural rejuvenating powers, boosts energy, extends life span, fights allergies (and possibly even cancer) and relieves digestive orders. Bee pollen bursts with easily assimilated protein and lecithin, which nourish the brain and nervous system. Who would have thought?! Honeybee pollen and raw honey are the only food on earth that contain all 22 nutrients needed by mankind for complete and perfect health.

Everyone can benefit from taking bee pollen, but check with your doctor before using if you suspect sensitivity or have an unhealthy condition or if you are in question. There are many different types of Bee pollen. I recommend buying it from your local farmers market, that way it is the freshest and purest form. Small jars are usually about $8 and medium sized jars about $15-20. It should be kept in the freezer to preserve freshness.

I have purchased my bee pollen from THE FISH HUGGER and MADE BY BEES . Both have a great selection of honey and bee pollen. Both vendors are found at a few of the farmer’s markets around town. Follow both vendors on facebook to see updates and get more info!

The Fish Hugger Facebook

Made By Bees Facebook

Click here for a list of farmers markets in Az

bee pollen

Its important when taking bee pollen to start with 1 to 3 granules for adults in the morning followed by water, juice or milk,and start with 1 granule for children and increase by 2 grains every day. For normal daily intake adults can take up to 1 or 2 tbsp. I don’t know how to describe the taste but it may take a little bit to get used to. Mix in yogurt, smoothie, oatmeal, or whatever you want if you don’t want to eat it out of the jar.

Bee Pollen self digests and aids the digestion of other foods. It makes fats burn faster and increases the rate of burned calories therefor aiding in weight control. Many athletes take bee pollen to help their endurance. It’s also used as an immune system builder. Since the bee pollen increases the body’s healing power, it can help build resistance to disease. Pollen brings back vitality without the dangers of artificial stimulants like caffeine, ephedra and can be taken safely at anytime. Pollen also contains active antibiotic substances, which destroy bacteria on contact. Bee pollen is useful in cases of stress and nervous endocrine system disorders due to its high content of natural B vitamins. Bee pollen increases energy and mental alertness and is believed to slow down the aging process!

Here is a list of the vitamins and minerals it contains:
Provitamin A
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, H, K
Folic Acid
Pantothenic acid
Vitamin PP
Sodium, titanium, zinc

Plus amino acids, fatty acids, proteins, globulins, and peptones.

There are 28 minerals that are found in the human body. 14 are vital, essential elements present in such small amounts that they are called micro-nutrients and honey bee pollen contains all 28 minerals.

Each ounce of honeybee pollen conatins 28 calories. 7 grams are carbohydrate, plus 15% lecithin, the substance that burns away fat and 25% PURE protein.

There are so many benefits and so much information on this mysterious nectar that it would be pages long if I wrote about everything!

I am not guaranteeing taking bee pollen will help or cure any health problems, nor is it recommended to live off be pollen. Please do your own research and talk with your Physician if you are in question.

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Read MoreMarch 27, 2011 9:45 pm - Posted by Kristy

The delicate thin skin around the eyes is the first place that skin starts to age. Even the hair on our eyebrows and eyelashes reduce and become lighter over time, and if that isn’t enough many women find it difficult to apply eye makeup because vision can become worse with age.

Crows Feet and Lines Between Eyebrows

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines).
Botox will temporarily relax the muscles that create the lines around eyes known as crow’s feet. Botox is also used to treat the lines between the eyebrows, often refereed to as the elevens (11).

Eyes, Botox

Fine lines and Crepey Skin

Laser and chemical peels can be done to resurface the skin around the eyes and stimulate the fibroblast to produce collagen. Some laser treatments can be done around the eyes, as long as ocular shields are used to protect the eyes, however some patients are not comfortable with having the metal ocular shield placed inside their eyes. I personally prefer to do a chemical peel using a 30% – 35% TCA. I prefer the TCA because I am able to peel all the way to the lash line, I also feel that I am able to produce a better result with the TCA peel.

If you are considering a TCA peel, be sure to go to someone with a lot of experience, especially if you have dark skin. It may be recommended that you precondition the skin with Tretinoin ( Retin-A) and Hydroquinone, before the peel. It takes about 7 – 9 days for the skin to complete the peeling phase, however this is dependent on the depth of the peel. In general you can expect the skin to start to darken up on the third day, you may see some peeling as soon as the fourth or fifth day. It is extremely important that you don’t “assist” the peel, treat the skin almost like you are trying to keep it on. Picking and peeling the skin off prematurely can lead to complication. Follow all post treatment instructions, which usually includes using a moisturizing product like Obagi’s Action.

Bags under the eyes

A plastic surgeon can easily remove fat pads from under the eyes. A Blephaplasty removes excess skin and fat. A transconjunctival blepharoplasty, is a procedure where the fat is removed from the lower eyelid, by making the incisions from the inside of the eyelid. The advantage is that there isn’t any visible scars, however it doesn’t remove excess skin from the lower lid. A plastic surgeon can also reposition fat, and reinforce muscles and tendons around the eyes. The surgeon may recommend a canthoplasty to reinforce lower eyelid support. In some cases a blephaplasty can be performed in the office with little to no down time. You should schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon to see what procedure is best for you.

Hollow under the eyes, or sunken in look

You can have filler injected under the eyes to fill on the hollow area under the eyes. This is an advanced technique and should be performed be an injector that is very experienced at injecting fillers around the eyes.

Photograph from Shapiro Plastic Surgery

This patient has been bothered by the hollowing beneath her eyes that make her appear fatigued. The photograph shows the patient after injection of Restylane® to the right lower eyelid region, and before injection to the left side to simulate a before and after view. She was delighted with her immediate improvement at the end of the injection session. Photo courtesy of Shapiro Plastic Surgery.

[ Arizona’s Master Injecter: Botox, Juvederm, Restylane and more ]

Droopy Brow

The browlift is a procedure designed to elevate the brow to a more youthful position relative to the eyelids.
The endoscopic browlift is a minimally invasive procedure, which means there is very little bruising or swelling from the procedure. The procedure involves inconspicuous incisions made throughout the scalp, hidden in the hair meaning that the thin, few scars that are left behind, are hardly noticeable by even the patient themselves. The recovery time is very quick; surgical sutures are removed within ten days, after which most patients can comfortably socialize without pain. This is a very common procedure performed by, Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon, Dr Daniel Shapiro. An open (coronal) browlift is a specialized procedure for patients with deep wrinkles or heavier skin. Deep wrinkles in the mid-forehead and between the eyebrows can be lifted out by using an open browlift technique. Both techniques are common procedures performed by, Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon, Dr Daniel Shapiro.

Skin Tightening

ReFirm and Thermage are skin tightening treatments that use Radio Frequency (RF) technology to gently tighten the skin. These treatments do not require any down time, however you may need a series of treatments for best results. I find that these treatments work best when combined with other treatments.

[ Radio frequency (RF) 101: Understanding (RF) Skin Treatments ]

Permanent Makeup

Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing elevated to the highest artistic level. Permanent make up can help give you back what time has taken away, and help to enhance your natural look. Permanent make up is not necessarily intended to replace cosmetics completely, because the color is placed “in” the skin and not on the skin, so a more natural, softer look results after the skin has healed. Permanent make up makes it possible to look better round the clock and be less self conscious. When you look better you feel better! It is a great time saver, perfect for active outdoor lifestyles, sensitive skin, and clients with contacts, glasses or difficulty applying make up.


You may notice that your lashes and brows are not as full as they were when you were younger.Latisse is the first and only FDA approved prescription treatment for eyelash growth. It is an easy to use topical solution that you apply once a day at the base of your eyelashes. Lashes gradually start to get longer, thicker and darker. You will notice results in as little as 8 weeks, and full results in as little as 16 weeks. Keep in mind that hair growth can develop in other areas that the solution is applied to. I personally have used Latisse on my eyebrows and have seen an improvement.

Eyelash and Brow Tinting

To enhance the look of your eyes, you can have your eyelashes and eyebrows tinted. The treatment is quick, painless and inexpensive. The results are temporary, and last about 4 weeks. Eyelash and eyebrow tinting is also great for men, because they generally don’t wear makeup.

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Read MoreMarch 22, 2011 2:22 am - Posted by Kristy

“The Most Beautiful Woman In The World” was awarded to Lynda Carter in 1978, by The International Academy of Beauty and The British Press Organization. America’s beloved Wonder Woman is an Arizona Native, and she will be back here April 16, 2011 as the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 15th Annual Phoenix Pride. She also has a new CD titled “At Last”.

Linda Carter was born in Phoenix, Arizona on July 24, 1951. ( FYI – That makes her a Leo) She went to Globe High School and Arcadia High School in Phoenix, she also attended Arizona State University. While she was attending ASU, she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta and was voted ” most talented”. Lynda Carter played the role of Wonder Woman, an Amazon woman of eternal youth, and she seems to truly have been blessed with eternal youth and beauty.

Freshman Year at Arcadia High School, 1966

Junier Year at Arcadia High School, 1968

Lynda Carter was Miss Phoenix 1972 and represented Arizona in the Miss World-USA contest. Carter won the title of Miss USA, and went on to the semi-finals of Miss World 1972-1973.

Lynda Carter was cast in her famous role as Wonder Woman in 1976.

I bet you didn’t know she cold sing!

Listen to: At Last

… with Lynda Carter, the most beautiful woman in the world

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Read MoreMarch 12, 2011 8:14 pm - Posted by Kristy

M∙A∙C Spring Colour 2011 is the feminine force that saves the day! No nemesis can match her super-sized Mineralize Skinfinish, Eye Shadows, Lipsticks and Powder Blush for this transformation!

When my BFF, sent me a photo from her phone of the M.A.C. counter decked out and covered with Wonder Woman products, I was totally elated. Anyone that knows me, should know I am a huge Wonder Woman fan! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the M.A.C. cosmetic counter for a couple weeks, and when I finely went to the M.A.C. counter at Paradise Valley Mall, I was disappointed to learn that they had sold out of almost the entire collection. Apparently, this limited edition collection was very popular. The packaging is nostalgic of the Wonder Woman from the comic book series and the cosmetic M. A. C. has even put together a series of Wonder Woman looks: Classic Wonder Woman, Defiance, Golden Lariat, Deep Truth, Mighty Aphrodite and Marine Ultra.

I was so excited and surprised, when my Aunt showed up at my house with the Wonder Woman makeup case and the cosmetic products that they still had left in the collection. I have also been getting text and Facebook messages from my friends about any of the Wonder Woman products they find. If you are looking for the Wonder Woman cosmetic collection, rumor has it that the
M. A. C. counter at the Arizona Biltmore still has some products available. I would like to send out a huge thank you to all my friends and family that have supported my Wonder Woman addiction.

“Please take my hand. I give it to you as a gesture of friendship and love, and of faith freely given. I give you my hand and welcome you into my dream.” Wonder Woman

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Read MoreMarch 9, 2011 7:08 pm - Posted by Kristy

pregnancy mask

Melasma (chloasma) is hyperpigmentation or dark, irregular patches commonly found on the upper cheeks, nose, upper lip, and forehead. The patches can develop gradually over time or during pregnancy. Melasma can also develop when taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy medications. Melasma is thought to be stimulated by hormones, however exactly which hormones are involved has yet to be determined. The most important factor in the development of melasma is sun exposure,and without the strict avoidance of sun exposure, treatments for melasma are likely to be unsuccessful. Melasma can be permanent or disappear and reappear with each pregnancy.

Hyperpigmentation is the term used to describe any type of abnormal dark area of the skin, this includes melasma, freckles and sun spots. When we treat hyperpigmentation in the skin, it is important to understand that the melanocyte is not functioning properly, so it overproduces melanosomes and the excess melanin can not be evenly distributed among the keratinocytys. As the cells rise to the surface of the skin they cause over pigmented or dark spots. When the skin is exfoliated with AHA’s, chemical peels or microdermabrasion, the hyperpigmentation will appear lighter because some of the top layers of skin have been removed and the pigment is less dense (temporarily). The pigment is still there, it is just appears lighter and the melanocyte is still not functioning properlly, so in a few weeks as the top skin layers are replaced the pigment will appear dark again. Tanning will also further stimulate the melanocyte causing darker pigmentation to develop and Melasma will become worse. Hydroquinone works to suppress the melanocyte and is an excellent way to treat the pregnancy mask. For best results Hydroquinone can be used in conjunction with exfoliating treatments. I understand this description may be a little difficult to understand, so if I have lost you, you can come in for a consultation and I will use visual aids to better explain the cause and treatment for hyperpigmentation.

melasma, pregnancy mask

Melasma: My Personal Story

I have Melasma myself, on my upper cheeks and forehead. I first developed Melasma patches on my upper cheeks in my late twenties and later after giving birth to my second child I developed another large patch in the center of my forehead. I have successfully treated my Melasma, but I need to continue to maintain my skin so that it doesn’t come back. As a Medical Esthetician, I obviously have access to the best skin care products and treatments available. I can share both my professional and personal experience with treating Melasma. Using hydroquinone, and broad spectrum sunblock is absolutely necessary for treating and controlling Melasma. Even after successful correction of Melasma, the hyperpigmentation can reappear especially after sun exposure.

My Personal Skin Regimen

Topical Products
My personal skin regimen includes using the Obagi Nu-Derm system, with a 1/2 gram of Clear (4% hydroquinone) AM and PM. Initially I used a 1/2 gram of a .1% tretinoin ( Retin-A) every night, however I am now on a maintenance protocol and only use tretinoin occasionally. I also use a topical vitamin C and a broad spectrum sunblock containing Zinc oxide. I top it off with Jane Iredale mineral makeup SPF 20.

Professional Skin Treatments
I have had an Obagi Blue Peel, and Fraxel treatments. I personally felt I had better results with the Blue Peel. Fractional laser resurfacing and Blue Peels are ideal when treating deep or resistant Melasma.

Although I have corrected my Melasma, I still need to continue to maintain my skin to keep the Melasma under control. In addition to the topical products I previously mentioned, I try to have a light chemical peel every 4-6 weeks. The chemical peel I have found that gives me the best results treating pigmentation, is a custom chemical peel.

Obagi Nu-Derm System

This is correction after using the Obagi Nu-Derm System. This is a prescription strength skin system and is only available at medical skin clinics. Treatment protocols vary depending on skin type and condition.

Obagi Blue Peel

This is an example of deeply pigmented Melasma.
After treatment with Obagi Nu- Derm & Obagi Blue Peel

It is important to precondition with the Obagi Nu-Derm System and Retin-A before having a Blue Peel. I recommend preconditioning for a minimum of 6 weeks or longer depending on how aggressively Tretinoin is used. Patients that are better preconditioned get a better result. It is also necessary to continue to use the creams after peel to prevent Hyperpigmentation & to maintain healthy skin.

Custom Chemical Peel for Melasma
The Custom Chemical Peel I use is a light peel that can be repeated as often as every 4-6 weeks, compared to the Obagi Blue Peel which is a deeper peel necessary for treating deeper pigmentation. I have decided to not include details of my protocol for this custom peel. It is proprietary information that I don’t wish to share with others in the industry. If you would like to learn more, you can schedule a private consultation. I can tell you that with this peel, I will usually get light peeling for 2-3 days. The peeling is minimal and I would not consider there to be any “down-time”, you can still go about your regular routine. You just don’t want to schedule a peel less than a week before any major event like a wedding. I make it a point to work with my clients and their social calendar, so that they look their best for any events.

Get Professional Treatment For Melasma

If you have Melasma call to schedule a free consultation at
Paradise Valley Skin Klinic.
480 421-1701

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Read More 1:36 pm - Posted by Kristy

I had a breast augmentation with mastopexy, subpectoral silicone implant and bilateral capsulectomy.

Simply put, I had my old saline implants that were placed over the muscle removed and replaced with the Natrelle® Silicone Gel implants, under the muscle with a breast lift and removed the scar tissue that developed around my old implants. My procedure was performed by Dr. Daniel Shapiro, at the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center.

Why I am sharing my personal story.

I struggled with the decision to share my experience of having a breast augmentation. This is kind of a private issue, but I decided that I have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed that I had a breast augmentation. I know that there are plenty of people that are opposed to cosmetic procedures, and they are quick to pass judgment on those that choose to have surgery. I think some people have created a stereo type in their mind of what type of person would have cosmetic surgery. I have read some comments on other blogs sites, that are insulting, ignorant, cruel and even hateful toward people that have cosmetic procedure. Obviously, I work for a plastic surgeon so I have some insight to the type of person that has cosmetic surgery. First of all, most of the people that have surgery do not fit the high maintenance stereo type some people might imagine and they are certainly not all rich. The truth is, there is no one “type” that has cosmetic surgery, however mom’s often desire to regain their pre-pregnancy body. That’s why the “mommy makeover” has become so popular. Society does not seem to have any problems excepting the changes that pregnancy can do to a woman’s body, so why should we feel guilty for wanting fix what we can. Maybe you were genetically blessed with naturally great breasts, that have not been affected by age, gravity or pregnancy, and you can be grateful for your assets. If pregnancy has caused your breast to droop, sag, or deflate and you have learned to love and embrace your body as it is, then that is simply what works for you. What ever the case is, it is not fair to pass judgement on those that choose to have a cosmetic procedure. If you are thinking of having cosmetic surgery, you should not feel embarrassed, it is natural to want to look good.

My First Breast Augmentation

Yes, I said my first breast augmentation. I had my first breast augmentation about 12 years ago. I was young when I had my first child and when you are in your 20’s your supposed to have perky, cute breasts, but pregnancy left me “deflated”. I knew that I might have more children in the future, but not for a long time, so I decided to go ahead and have a breast augmentation without a lift. I had a Transumbilical Breast Augmentation also known as (TUBA), because it didn’t leave any scars. This procedure seemed “trendy” at the time and I even paid about $1000. extra to have my implants put in this way. During a Transumbilical Breast Augmentation, the surgeon makes an incision in the belly button and the breast implants are put in empty with an endoscope and then filled with saline when they are in place. The endoscopic equipment creates two tunnels underneath your skin and the implants are placed, and then filled, through these tunnels. The advantage is you don’t get scars, but unfortunately you can only do this procedure with saline implants. The tissue along the tunnels rarely do, but can leave visible tracks and because the incision is far from where the implants are placed, there is a greater chance for error, especially in the placement of the implant.

My recovery wasn’t that bad except my entire abdomen was black and blue, swollen and very sore. It felt like I had done a million sit-ups. They also fill your abdomen up with a gas, so your abdomen is distended for a while. I had little to no pain in the chest area, probably because my implants were placed over the muscle and I didn’t have any incisions in that area.

For the most part I was happy with the results of my first surgery, except they were placed lower than my natural breasts were, so although I didn’t have saggy or deflated breasts, I did have large breasts that made my torso look shorter. I was willing to except this because I was going to have more children and I knew I would need another procedure in the future when I was done having children. I think a lot of women need a breast lift, but choose to have large implants put in instead, because it is less expensive and they don’t want the scars of a lift. Some women can get away with simply putting in implants without having a lift and still look good.

My Second Breast Augmentation

I know that I am done having children, so I feel like I can finally make an investment in my body. Working for a plastic surgeon gives me a unique advantage, I get to see the results of different surgery’s. A lot of my client’s have had breast augmentations with Dr. Shapiro and they are happy to show me the results and I am always impressed. (I also get to see the work of other surgeons too.) One client was on her third surgery, (the first two were with another surgeon) she had her first surgery before children. Her second surgery was after children, but that surgeon put in huge implants instead of a lift and she wasn’t happy with that look. Her final surgery was with Dr Shapiro and he put in smaller implants and did a lift. She showed me her results and they looked great and the scars had already started to fade. I can’t tell you how many people I have met that got large implants instead of a lift and then wish they had done a lift. So my advice is, if you need a lift, get one. I know it is more money for a lift, but the cheapest procedure is the one done right the first time. I also know that people hate scars, but the truth is they do fade with time. It takes about a year for scars to fade and there are also products and procedures you can do to improve scar reduction. Dr. Shapiro has a full staff of highly experienced medical estheticians and nurses that can work with you, to reduce your scars.

The Consultation
During my consultation with Dr. Shapiro, I explained that this time I wanted to have a lift, have my implants placed under the muscle and switch to the Natrelle® Silicone Gel implants. I had saline implants, and honestly they were fine, but I wanted to switch to the new silicone gel implants because they feel more natural and they are less likely to cause capsular contractor and rippling. I also told Dr Shapiro that I have a short torso and that my original implants were placed so low that it made my torso shorter, he agreed and said we could place them higher. We also discussed size, I was okay with my current size, but thought I would actually like to be a smaller. He assessed the size of my frame, and said we could go a little smaller, but suggested that I probably would look better if I didn’t go too small. He also explained that when you place implants under the muscle they look smaller anyway. I had one other concern, like many other women, pregnancy caused the areola to spread and I wanted to make them a little smaller. We discussed all my concerns and I felt confidant that Dr. Shapiro could create the look I wanted. I must add that a good plastic surgeon is like an artist, and I think Shapiro has a good eye for aesthetics and knows what looks good for each person. I don’t know if this comes from experience or is just a natural talent, I suspect it’s both. So, although I had an idea of what I wanted, I also wanted his opinion of what would look best for my body type. I’m kind of a control freak, but I respect and trust his opinion.

Day of Surgery
I arrived at the Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center an hour early, so that I could be prepped for surgery. When we got to the surgery center I was impressed with how nice it was. The waiting room was warm and inviting, however my husband and I were quickly escorted to a private room, that was also very comfortable. A nurse came in to prep me and start my IV, then Dr Shapiro came in to go over any last minute questions and mark me for surgery. The entire ambiance made me feel relaxed, like I was at a nice hotel or spa. It is always cold in a surgery room but I was put on to this warm cushioned surgery table and covered with warm blankets. I remember thinking “wow, this is so nice” before slipping off to dream land.

During surgery Dr Shapiro discovered I had developed bilateral capsular contractor, which is scar tissue that can form around breast implants and may even cause the breasts to harden. This wasn’t visibly obvious, my breasts didn’t feel hard, and nothing showed up in my mammogram. I’m guessing it’s because I had a lot of dense natural breast tissue, but I am only guessing. Dr. Shapiro had to spend an extra hour to do a corrective bilateral capsulectomy. A Capsulectomy is the surgical removal of a Capsular contracture or the formation of tight scar tissue that can develop around the implants. I would like to apologize to whom ever was scheduled for surgery after me, but I am so grateful that Dr Shapiro took the time to do the job right. He obviously cares about his patients and takes pride in his work.
capsular contracture around breast implant
Capsular Contracture Around Breast Implant

capsular contracture

Photo’s from

After surgery you are moved back into a private recovery room. I appreciate the special attention to privacy. I have had outpatient surgeries before in a hospital, and they only have little cloth curtains between patients and when you wake up and you can see and hear the nurses, other patients and their family’s in the recovery area, which means they can hear your conversations too. I remember having to go in to a hospital surgery center and I hated thinking that other patients could hear my conversation with the nurse about my post-op care. It was already a very difficult time and I had hoped that they would be more discrete.

The Recovery
I only took a week off work to recover. I am only two weeks post-op and am starting to feel much better, however having implants under the muscle is much more uncomfortable than over the muscle. The muscle feels tight and sore, like you did a strenuous work out, but worse. I seem to feel fine during the day, but first thing in the morning, when I am getting out of bed, my breast feel heavy, they are probably swollen. If I have pushed myself, trying to do to much, I find I am more uncomfortable at the end of the night. I have had all my stitches removed, and have to wear a sports bra for 6 weeks. Dr Shapiro’s nurse Pat has instructed me on how to massage my breasts to keep them soft. I must warn you there are instructional video’s online, for breast massage, however some techniques may not be appropriate for you. Always, follow your surgeons instructions.

The Result
I know you shouldn’t judge results until about 6-8 weeks post opp, because the breasts are healing and swollen. When the implants are placed under the muscle, the muscle pushes on the implant and the muscle will relax with time and the breast will look and feel softer. However, even at this point I can tell they look great. Dr Shapiro and I were joking that I owe him big, because they look so good.
(Plus he had to work so hard to reconstruct and correct the damage I had) It is a little strange that they are smaller, I even felt a little sad for a moment, because I was use to very large breasts. I had mixed feelings because my larger breast made me feel a little National Geographic, and matronly. I tried on one of my old bra’s and I am actually not much smaller, it just looks that way because they are firmer and lifted. I have noticed a lot more women coming in and switching out their large implants, and now I know why. It really looks better and believe it or not younger.

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Read MoreMarch 7, 2011 9:47 pm - Posted by Kristy