New Year, New You!

2013 has been a busy year and we are looking forward to seeing you in 2014!

As we say goodbye to the current year, I wanted to thank my loyal patients for your support and wish you all a wonderful 2014. Our office building has seen a major construction project this past year (still unfinished), and we used the opportunity to perform a complete remodel of our office. If you are in the neighborhood, please stop in for a cup of freshly brewed coffee and take a quick tour of our gorgeous new facility!

What else happened in 2013?

Everything! We moved a step closer to the Holy Grail of plastic surgery.

This year saw the development of what may be the single most revolutionary procedure for rejuvenating aging skin and soft tissue. Not by pulling, freezing, burning or lasering, but truly repairing and restoring damaged skin. We call it Nano Stem Serum, and this is how it works:

I remain a leading edge surgeon and advocate for Natural Fat Transfer, where we use natural adipose (fat) tissue to fill lines and soften the thinning face as it ages. For reference, you can hear me talk about this in multiple short videos on my website. We now take the remaining, purified fat and gently process it to extract stem cells from the tissue and concentrate them into a smooth liquid. This serum is thin enough to be injected directly into damaged skin.

We can now make skin more healthy by placing growth factors and reparative stem cells exactly where we want them - in the skin! Injected into crows’ feet, upper lips lines and crepey skin, we see thickening and a smoother appearance. In the décolletage, we see softening and disappearance of wrinkles. We are also studying the effect of placing Nano Stem Serum into the lower eyelid skin for improvement of dark circles and skin discoloration.

Please feel free to call our office for any additional information we might be able to provide, and wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

- Dr. K

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Lawrence M. Koplin , M.D., F.A.C.S.

American Board of Plastic Surgery

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A Tummy Tuck can Get Rid of Your Stubborn Belly

Do you have a belly? Does it stay with you, no matter how much you diet and exercise? Maybe you’ve even lost weight, only to discover that your tummy continues to haunt you. This is especially common after pregnancy, when you are also dealing with stretched skin and abdominal muscles. You’re not alone.

A tummy tuck will give you the smoother, firmer belly you’ve always wanted. This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen, and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall.

Is a Tummy Tuck Right For You?

Whether you inherited your tummy, have loose skin after weight loss, or just lost the elasticity of your skin after pregnancy or as part of aging, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) will firm and tighten your abdomen. It is particularly helpful to women whose pregnancies have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. It may even improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel.

The procedure works best for people who are in relatively good shape and at their ideal weight. You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you have:

If you plan to become pregnant or lose weight in the future, you may want to postpone your tummy tuck. Weight loss could result in excess or loose skin, and pregnancy can cause vertical muscles in the abdomen that were tightened during surgery to separate.

How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?

During a typical tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), Dr. Koplin makes a very low horizontal incision just above the pubic area. He then makes a second incision to free your navel from surrounding tissue. Next, Dr. Koplin tightens the vertical muscles in your abdomen, providing a firmer abdominal wall and narrowing the waistline. He removes all excess skin and creates a new opening for your navel. Dr. Koplin may be able to remove all of the skin that contains stretch marks below the belly button! Finally, he makes a new opening for the umbilicus (which he can make smaller, prettier and sexier), closes the incisions and applies dressings. He may insert a temporary tube to remove excess fluid from the surgical site.

In a partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and your navel is usually not moved. Your skin will be separated only between the incision line and the navel.

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. A partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or two.

Liposuction may be sometimes be used in conjunction with abdominoplasty to remove abdominal fat.

Your One on One Consultation with Dr. Koplin

Dr. Koplin will personally meet with you so that he understands your expectations and desired outcomes for a tummy tuck. He’ll ask you a number of questions about your health, desires, lifestyle, and medical history. It’s important to tell Dr. Koplin if you plan to have children in the future, and/or if you plan to lose weight.

During this initial meeting, Dr. Koplin will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone. If your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, or mini-tummy tuck. Liposuction is another option, either alone or in conjunction with a partial or complete abdominoplasty, as it can remove fat deposits from the hips for a better body contour. Dr. Koplin will explain the procedures, discuss your options, and help you choose the procedure that is right for you.

What Makes Dr. Koplin Different?

Attention to detail, expertise in surgical technique, and expertise in liposuction sets Dr. Koplin apart from other surgeons. He may use a combination of these techniques to give you the shapely tummy you deserve.

Where is the Tummy Tuck Operation Performed?

Your custom procedure will be performed in a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility associated with our medical office. We are fully accredited by Medicare and AAAASF, and are held to the same standards as an operating room in a private or university hospital.

Your Tummy Tuck Procedure

General anesthesia is the gold standard for this operation. Under this type of anesthesia, you are fully asleep; there is no pain and no awareness. Safety and comfort are paramount. Your anesthesia provider has a wealth of experience in facial procedures, safety, and care. You will spend one to two hours in a fully-monitored and state-of-the art recovery room at the surgery center. Your registered nurse will be at your side every moment to attend to your safety and comfort.

Tummy Tuck Recovery and Convalescence

After your tummy tuck procedure, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions, and you will be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your abdomen as it heals. You may have a small, thin tube placed under the skin in order to avoid accumulation of fluids.

Dr. Koplin strongly believes it is best and safest for his abdominoplasty patients to have a two or three-day recovery at an accredited aftercare facility, of which there are several we can recommend. They will take wonderful care of you, and he is convinced that his patients can save as much as a week’s recovery time for every day they spend there. Following this, we’ll send you home with specific care instructions, as well as information about medications that can aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your overall health, and when to follow-up with Dr. Koplin.

What to Expect After a Tummy Tuck:

The First Week:

The day after surgery, you should be up and about, taking short walks to promote blood circulation.

Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding.

We may ask you to wear a support garment for several weeks.

You will need to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side.

You will be wearing a support garment for a few weeks, until you are feeling stronger and ready to resume exercise and full activities.

Stitches are all dissolving and do not have to be removed! Dr. Koplin uses a special type of suturing that never creates “Frankenstein” marks.

The Second Week and Beyond:

Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty and your general physical condition, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after a few weeks.

You need to avoid any sexual activity for at least two weeks, and Dr. Koplin may advise you to wait longer.

You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort and swelling during this time, but such feelings are normal.

Most patients experience tightness of the abdomen and sides (this is good!), but rarely significant discomfort. Severe pain should be reported immediately to Dr. Koplin.

You will have some numbness that persists for several months.

Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They’ll heal and fade over time, and will hopefully be narrow and barely visible. Fortunately, Dr. Koplin conceals incisions in areas easily concealed by most bathing suits and undergarments.

Swelling and bruising will disappear over a period of weeks, and you should be able to stand tall by the end of the first week. However, it may be months before all swelling subsides and you see the final result of your tummy tuck.

Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdomen. You’ll feel more comfortable in your clothing and more confident about your appearance. Following repair and tightening of the abdominal muscles, many patients who have back problems notice significant improvement in symptoms as a result of Dr. Koplin’s creation of a stronger central core. Ask Dr. Koplin about this at your consultation.

If you’d like to find out how a tummy tuck could enhance your appearance and bring you closer to your ideal self, please schedule your consultation today.

To view a list of all procedures, visit our Procedure List page.