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Want Fuller Lips? Your Surgical and Non-Surgical Options

What woman doesn’t want a fuller, more sensuous pout? In this blog post, the team at Pearl Plastic Surgery Centerlip augmentation has a few tips — some involving injections and some not — on how to get lip-plumping effects for both the short- and long-term.

Create a Fuller Look with Makeup

Makeup is a handy tool that, when used expertly, can create the illusion of fuller lips. You can achieve this by first hydrating your lips with a lip balm. Next, use a light nude-colored pencil to fill in the middle portion of your lips (the width of your cupid’s bow) from top lip to bottom lip. Be sure to stay within your natural lip lines. Next, take a darker-colored nude pencil to outline your lips and fill the outer corners, blending the edges with your finger as you go. Finally, apply sheer lipstick or lip gloss to your lips. The result? Gorgeous, full-bodied lips.

Use a Toothbrush on Your Lips

The lips, like the rest of your skin, benefit from regular exfoliation. This will both rid the lips of dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow to the area, causing them to plump. The best way of doing this is to use a dry, soft-bristled toothbrush on your lips to gently exfoliate them. For the best results, apply petroleum jelly to the brush so that your slightly plumped lips are also softer and smoother after this home treatment. You can also use a paste made of sugar and water to exfoliate the lips further as you brush. Once done, apply a soothing, hydrating lip balm to your lips. Your lips should appear softer and fuller instantly.

Try Lip Augmentation

Other lip-plumping techniques, like the ones mentioned above, may be perfect for a night out, but some women want their fuller lips to last months instead of hours. For these women, a non-invasive procedure like lip augmentation is the perfect “lunch hour” procedure, taking less than 20 minutes to complete and requiring zero downtime afterwards. In his lip augmentation procedure at Pearl Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Pearl offers the option of using a hyaluronic acid filler (such as Restylane, Perlane or Juvederm) or the patient’s own fat (that has been processed and refined) for injection. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, which Dr. Pearl can discuss with you during your consultation. In either case, the results look natural and can be expected to last for up to eight months.

Get More Facts about Lip Augmentation

Are you curious to learn more about how you can achieve fuller yet natural-looking lips? Why not talk to a doctor at Pearl Plastic Surgery Center? To schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Samuel Pearl or Dr. Alexander Ereso, call Pearl Plastic Surgery Center at (650) 964-6600.

Five Things That May Hinder Recovery after Plastic Surgery

iStock_000001087977SmallWhether you have scheduled your plastic surgery procedure or you are still in the consultation phase, it’s never too early to plan for the recovery period. Sticking to the right habits — and avoiding the wrong ones — will affect both the length and intensity of your recovery. Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso have compiled some helpful advice on what to do and what not to do while recovering from surgery.

Smoking

If you’re a smoker, Dr. Pearl recommends that you quit smoking at least two weeks before and two weeks after your surgery. Nicotine has an adverse effect on the body, especially after surgery because it constricts blood vessels and prevents blood flow, which may cause problems with blood clots and prevent wounds from healing adequately. In severe cases, the effect of nicotine could cause necrosis, or tissue death, which can lead to skin loss.

Not Getting Enough Rest

Your body, including your immune system, needs to be operating at its optimal level so that you can heal and recover properly. If you try to rush the recovery period by not getting enough sleep or rest, it may lead to infection of the incision sites and even more serious complications. You should plan for someone to stay with you for at least the first 48 hours so that you can have an uninterrupted period of sleep and rest. After that, and depending on which procedure you have done, a period of at least a week (and more time for procedures like tummy tuck and liposuction) without work and exercise should be planned in order for you to recuperate fully.

Hitting the Gym Too Soon

Exercising too soon after having surgery could cause a number of problems, including opened incisions and risk of bleeding. Elevating your heart rate and blood pressure with aerobic exercise and lifting weight can have these effects on the body if they are resumed too quickly. Talk to your doctor about how long you should wait before resuming both light and more rigorous exercise. With some procedures, like tummy tuck surgery, you may have to wait six to eight weeks, whereas with other procedures like facelift surgery, patients can often return to exercise after two weeks.

Failing to Follow Up with Your Doctor

It is important that you return to your doctor within the first week after surgery so that they can exam you and see that your body is healing properly. During your consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso, they can map out a schedule for both your procedure and your follow-up appointments. Skipping these follow-up appointments is not advised, because if there are complications from surgery, they should be taken care of right away. If at any point during your recovery you have an unusual amount of pain, swelling or other effects, you should call your doctor immediately.

Not Protecting Your Skin

While it’s a good habit to get into anyway, wearing sunscreen — even on overcast days —is particularly helpful to the healing of your incision areas after plastic surgery. A sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 should be used, especially on exposed incisions, when you plan on being outdoors. Sun exposure can hinder the healing process and change the pigmentation of the skin on your incisions so that scars may become permanently darker in appearance.

Do you have more questions about the recovery period for a specific plastic surgery procedure? Learn more recovery tips in a private consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso. Schedule one today by calling Pearl Plastic Surgery Center at (650) 964-6600.

Do I Need a Breast Lift with My Breast Implants?

Perhaps you are unhappy with breasts that have become saggy as a result of having children, breast lift with implantsbreastfeeding, weight fluctuations or the aging process. You may wish to have a breast lift, but wonder if that procedure alone will give you the breasts you desire. At Pearl Plastic Surgery, Dr. Samuel Pearl offers breast lift both with implants and without. In this blog post, he will help you to determine which procedure is right for your needs.

Good Candidates for a Breast Lift without Implants

If your breasts are droopy and your nipples fall below your breast fold, but you are still happy with the size of your breasts, then breast lift surgery alone is sufficient for lifting your breasts to a higher and more youthful position. Dr. Pearl accomplishes this by removing excess, sagging skin and tissue from the breast, reshaping the remaining breast tissue higher on the chest and then shifting the areola and nipple to a higher position on the breast mound.

When a Breast Lift with Implants is Right for You

For women who not only wish to lift their breasts but who have also lost volume (often as a result of breastfeeding and significant fluctuations in weight), a breast lift surgery with implants may better suit their needs. With this procedure, not only is the excess breast skin and tissue removed from the breast, but an implant is placed in order to add fullness to the breast, particularly in the upper pole area. Women who wish to have breast implants can choose from saline, silicone and highly cohesive silicone gel implants. Silicone implants retain their shape within the breast pocket and are associated with a lower risk of capsular contracture and rippling.

Other Factors to Determine Candidacy

Generally, candidates for breast lift with or without implants also:

  • Are physically healthy overall (with no serious medical conditions)
  • Have fully developed breasts
  • Have realistic expectations of surgery
  • Have downward-pointing nipples
  • Have breast skin that is stretched out
  • Have elongated nipples
  • Have one breast that is lower than the other

Do you have more questions about your breast surgery options? Schedule a private consultation with Dr. Pearl and he can answer your questions about implant placement options, what to expect from recovery and any other concerns you may have. Call Pearl Plastic Surgery Center today at (650) 964-6600.

The “Brotox” Trend: Why More Men are Having Botox

BrotoxAlthough women have long been using cosmetic treatments to turn back the clock on their appearance, men are adding to this number in droves. In particular, the number of men having Botox injections in order to smooth out their fine lines and wrinkles has exploded, with a 310 percent increase from the past decade. Botox is so commonplace for male clientele that the term “Brotox” has been coined to describe the growing trend of non-surgical procedures for men. Dr. Samuel Pearl of the Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center explains the reasons why this this anti-aging cosmetic treatment has been on men’s radar.

To Get the Edge at Work

The unstable job market, especially since 2008, has increased many people’s level of anxiety when competing for jobs — or even keeping their current job. And according to a recent CNN report, nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers in recent years are 55 or older and have experienced difficulty when competing for jobs with younger contenders. This age group, and even younger men in their 30s and 40s, are looking for any edge they can find in the job market, and are finding that looking younger and more alert plays a significant role in their candidacy.

To Look as Young as They Feel

Many men  use Botox to match their appearance to how young they feel inside.  And with the increasing demands on men to keep up with their appearance, men who care for themselves with regular exercise and healthy diet habits often want a younger-looking face with less lines and creases to match their fit physique.

To Get Rid of Wrinkles on Their Lunch Hour

It is undeniable how quick and easy a Botox treatment is — you can get rid of forehead wrinkles, the “11” lines between your brows and smile lines in less than 20 minutes! Because the treatment is so fast and there’s no downtime or recovery afterward, men can have it on their lunch break from work. And since the effects of Botox are natural-looking, men look younger and less tired, without anyone being able to tell they had work done.

Are deep forehead creases or lines around your mouth and eyes causing you to look older or tired? To learn more about the Botox injection treatments offered at Pearl Plastic Surgery Center, call (650) 964-6600.

From Fillers to Lasers: Non-surgical Facial Rejuvenation

Anyone would take looking younger, happier and more well-rested over looking older, tired and upset. Cosmetic procedures like facelift and brow lift surgery will subtract several years’ worth of aging from the face, but what if you’re not ready for surgery? Not to fret (it causes frown lines anyway!). Dr. Pearl offers non-surgical alternatives to restore a smoother, more youthful look to the face, from top to bottom.

Botox for Frown Lines and Crow’s Feet

Botox, a derivative of the naturally occurring substance Botulinum Toxin A, is used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles on the face, including frown lines on the forehead and crow’s feet lines on the outer corners of the eyes. This less invasive alternative to facelift surgery temporarily relaxes the facial muscles that contract to cause these lines to form.

Restylane Fillers for Under the Eyes

The Restylane dermal filler, an injectable with a firm consistency, is ideal for filling in hollow areas under the eyes, as well as lessening the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags. The youthful, rejuvenating effect that Restylane has on the eyes — and the entire appearance of the face — lasts six months or longer.

Juvéderm for the Lips and Smile Lines

Juvéderm gel has a smooth consistency that, when injected, adds volume to the area being treated, dramatically reducing or eliminating the appearance of wrinkles in that area. This transparent filler made up of biocompatible materials effectively fills the fine lines that form around the lips and mouth with age. It is also ideal for lip augmentation, giving the mouth a plumper, yet natural-looking, pout that is reminiscent of youth.

Voluma for the Cheeks and Jawline

Voluma is a dermal gel filler that is most often used in the cheek and jaw area, in order to fill out a hollowed-looking face (an effect that sometimes occurs as we age). This filler, which is injected deep within the facial tissue, supports the overlying skin and results in accentuated, filled out cheekbones and a sleeker jawline. And these beautiful results can last up to two years!

Treatments for the Entire Face

For better overall skin texture, Dr. Pearl offers Fraxel Skin Resurfacing, a revolutionary skin care treatment that merges laser technology with dermatology to erase skin damage and restore a more supple texture to the face. This FDA-approved treatment is used on acne scars, stretch marks, large pores, wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation. Fraxel uses pinpoints of laser light to penetrate deep into the skin’s surface, eliminating damaged skin cells and promoting new skin cell growth in their place. It is safe and effective for all skin types.

At Pearl Plastic Surgery Center, we also offer our patients the SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion skin care procedure, which is similar to microdermabrasion in that it exfoliates the topmost layers of the skin. However, unlike microdermabrasion, it also employs the soothing and smoothing effect of any number of topical serums hand-picked for your specific skin care needs.

If you’re unsure about what skin care treatment would be right for you, contact our office to schedule a skin care evaluation so that we can personalize your treatment. We also offer home treatment programs tailor-made for treating skin conditions and restoring a healthy, more youthful glow to your skin.

To find out more about our non-surgical treatment options for beautifying the face, schedule a personal consultation today with Dr. Pearl by calling our Mountain View office at (650) 964-6690.

What Is the Difference Between Eyelid Surgery and Brow Lift?

Eyelid surgery vs. brow liftThe appearance of the eyes can dramatically impact a person’s facial appearance. For example, wrinkles and bags under the eyes can make you look older, while puffy eyelids can make you look tired. Eyelid surgery and brow lift are two facial rejuvenation procedures that can help restore youth and beauty to the eyes and face. While these two procedures are different, it’s easy to confuse them because they tackle some of the same problems and offer similar benefits. Here, leading plastic surgeons Drs. Samuel Pearl and Alexander Ereso discuss the differences between the two procedures.

Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery aims to eliminate sagging, excess skin from the natural fold on the upper or lower eyelids. This procedure has become increasingly popular among patients seeking to restore youth to the eyes and face. Removing drooping skin from the upper eyelids can make the eyes look refreshed, while eliminating bulges or “bags” in the lower eyelids can shed years off a person’s appearance.

Some people seek eyelid surgery for medical reasons. Loose skin hanging from the upper eyelids can make it difficult for someone to open the eyes and even interfere with vision. Eyelid surgery removes extra skin from the upper eyelid, allowing the eyes to open with ease.

Brow Lift Surgery

Sometimes, sagging eyebrows cause the upper eyelids to appear hooded, in which case a brow lift may be more appropriate. Brow lift, also known known as forehead lift or eyebrow lift, raises and reshapes the skin around the eyebrows for a younger, rejuvenated look. The procedure softens the deep creases and wrinkles across the forehead, and also reduces horizontal frown lines at the top of the nose and vertical lines between the brows for a youthful, refreshed appearance. Unlike eyelid surgery, brow lift can increase the distance between the lateral brow and upper eyelashes.

How Do I Know Which Procedure is Best for Me?

Now that you know about the two procedures, it’s time to review your options. If your eyebrows are in good position but the skin on your upper eyelids is hanging, you may need upper eyelid surgery. If you have drooping eyebrows, try raising them to see if there is any extra skin in the upper eyelids. If there is no excess skin in the eyelids, then a brow lift may be recommended. However, if you do have extra skin in the upper eyelids and sagging eyebrows, your plastic surgeon may recommend both eyelid surgery and a brow lift.

The best way to find out which procedure is right for you is by scheduling a personal consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso. Call our Mountain View office today at (650) 964-6690.

The Benefits of Combining Breast Lift with Implants

Breast lift with implantsMore often than not, women have more than one concern about their breasts. Some may feel their breasts are too small, or too saggy or shapeless following weight loss, pregnancy or aging. If more than one of these concerns sound familiar, it may be time to consider combining a breast lift with implants. These two procedures are increasingly being combined, and for good reasons. Read on to find out why more women are choosing breast lift with implants.

A Safe Procedure

When considering breast lift and implants, many women wonder if the two procedures be combined and performed safely. According to a study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the simple answer is yes. Researchers found there was no increase in complications when combining breast lift with implants between 2005 and 2009. Patients at our Mountain View plastic surgery facility can rest assured they are in good hands with Drs. Pearl and Ereso. New, advanced techniques are used to improve the breast shape and minimize scars, resulting in beautiful, natural-looking breasts.

Faster Results and Recovery

Many women undergo breast lift surgery only to realize they are not fully satisfied with the results. This is because while a breast lift raises the breast, nipple and areola to a higher position on the chest, the breast retains a natural teardrop shape, and there is more fullness on the bottom half than on the top. Implants can restore balance to the breast by making it rounder and more evenly shaped. Similarly, women who undergo breast augmentation surgery later decide to get a breast lift to perk up their heavier, fuller breasts. By combining the two procedures, you get the full results you desire faster, avoid multiple visits to your plastic surgeon’s office, and heal all at once.

An Improved Figure

Improving the shape and size of your breasts can do wonders to your overall body figure. During your one-on-one consultation, Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso will discuss with you what size implants can best improve your body figure depending on your height and body frame. A breast lift further improves your figure by providing a beautiful, sexier shape.

A Boost in Self-Confidence

As we previously mentioned, many women have more than one concern about their breasts, meaning they have more than one reason to feel self-conscious. A combination procedure improves the shape, size and overall appearance of your breasts, giving you more than one reason to smile and feel good about yourself! Not only will your breasts be the size you’ve always dreamed of, they will also look younger and perkier.

Schedule a Personal Consultation Today

Having performed breast lift with implants on hundreds of patients, Drs. Pearl and Ereso know that no two procedures are the same. Before your surgery, one of the doctors will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your desired goals and plastic surgery options. To make an appointment, call our Mountain View office at (650) 964-6690.

The Dangers of Medical Tourism

Traveling abroad for plastic surgery“Medical tourism” describes traveling abroad for medical care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 750,000 Americans travel to another country annually for medical care. This is especially popular in plastic surgery circles, as patients choose to combine an international vacation with cosmetic enhancement. Also, plastic surgery is often advertised at cheaper prices in other countries.

However, medical tourism is dangerous and, in some cases, even deadly. Here, Drs. Samuel Pearl and Alexander Ereso explain why you should avoid traveling abroad for plastic surgery.

Communication Hurdles Are Problematic

Traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language fluently is a problem, especially when receiving medical care. If you do not understand your physician’s pre- or post-operative instructions, or you develop an inexplicable complication, the misunderstanding can be fatal.

The Standard of Care Is Different

Other countries do not have the stringent medical standards that we enjoy in the United States. Facilities may be disorganized or dirty, medications may be counterfeit and doctors may not follow hygienic practices.

Plastic surgeons in other countries are not subject to the standards that American doctors are. They may not have the training or skill set necessary to perform complex plastic or reconstructive surgery operations.

In the worst-case scenario that your surgeon is negligent or something goes awry during your procedure, you probably won’t have solid grounds for legal recourse, either. You don’t have any laws protecting you or mandating the training and qualifications of foreign plastic surgeons.

Little Time/Energy for Tourism

Many people want to combine normal tourist activities with their operation, but recovering from a surgical procedure is challenging. You will feel groggy for the first day or so after surgery, and your range of motion will be severely limited. You will probably be confined to your bed or couch as your body heals. This leaves you little to no opportunities to explore your surroundings and soak up the local culture. And, even if you can walk around, you can’t participate in any physical activities (e.g., swimming, hiking). By the time you have enough energy to explore, it’s time to fly home!

Affordable and safe plastic surgery is available much closer to home. Dr. Pearl and Ereso are plastic surgeons who practice in Mountain View, Calif., and serve all surrounding areas. To schedule a consultation with the doctors and discuss your options, please call (650) 964-6600 today.

Why Does Board Certification Matter?

The importance of board certificationWhen selecting a plastic surgeon, board certification is a non-negotiable. Working with a board certified plastic surgeon ensures a certain standard of education, knowledge, experience and skill.

You must look for a plastic surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), or board-eligible. This is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to govern plastic surgeons.

The distinction is critical because some doctors call themselves “plastic surgeons” or “cosmetic surgeons,” but aren’t actually certified by the ABPS. A board certified dermatologist or OB-GYN could market themselves as a cosmetic surgeon in order to cast a wider net for potential patients. This happens more often than you would think, and can lead to botched or even deadly outcomes.

Plastic surgeons voluntarily meet certain standards to earn their board certification. In this post, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso explain what this credential ensures.

The plastic surgeon is educated.

To become board certified, a plastic surgeon must have an undergraduate degree and a medical degree (MD) or osteopathy degree (DO) from an accredited university.

The plastic surgeon is trained.

The surgeon must complete six years of surgical training after medical school before becoming eligible for board certification. A minimum of three of those years must be dedicated to plastic surgery residency training. This training covers a wide range of procedures for the face and body. It also teaches the plastic surgeon to prevent and handle emergencies.

In addition to developing technical skills during their training, plastic surgeons refine their aesthetic judgement. Attention to detail and form is important, as plastic surgery requires a deep understanding of balance and proportion.

The plastic surgeon is knowledgeable.

A board certified plastic surgeon must pass rigorous written (and sometimes oral) examination to test their knowledge of the specialty. They must keep up to date on industry best practices and the latest advances within the specialty.

The plastic surgeon adheres to high professional standards.

Board certified plastic surgeons must adhere to strict safety and ethics standards. They must be licensed by the state(s) in which they work, and operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities. They must follow a strict code of ethics set forth by the medical board.

If you would like to schedule an informational consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso to discuss your plastic surgery options, please call our practice at (650) 964-6600 today.

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Plastic Surgery

How to prepare for surgeryPreparing for plastic surgery can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You feel excited for the outcome, but nervous about what to expect (especially if you are a first-time patient). The best thing you can do to ease your nerves is prepare ahead of time.

To ensure a favorable outcome, Drs. Samuel Pearl and Alexander Ereso suggest the top five ways to prepare for your plastic surgery, so you go into the experience feeling calm and confident.

1. Stop Smoking

It is critical to stop smoking at least three weeks prior to and following surgery. Smoking is dangerous; it not only floods your body with toxic chemicals but also constricts the blood vessels and prevents them from delivering blood to the healing tissues. If you smoke, you put yourself at risk of post-operative complications, namely poor wound healing. In the same vein, stop drinking three weeks before surgery, too. Alcohol raises the risk of bleeding and other complications.

2. Get the Right Nutrition and Sleep

Strive for the healthiest lifestyle possible in the weeks leading up to surgery. Eating and sleeping well are important to boost your immune system, heart and brain health. The right diet can also help with your healing process.

Load up on lean protein, vegetables and fruit, while avoiding foods that are overly processed and high in fat, sugar and sodium (sodium can increase post-operative swelling and discomfort). Get as much restful sleep as you can. Hydration is also important before and after surgery. Drinking a lot of water is great for healthy circulation and flushing out toxins from the body.

3. Plan for Recovery

Your plastic surgery procedure will likely be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you will be released from the surgical center the same day as the operation. Initially, you will feel groggy and your range of motion will be limited. Make all arrangements ahead of time so you can return home and immediately go back to sleep or resting comfortably.

Stock your fridge with healthy, easy-to-digest foods, and fill any prescriptions. Cover your car, bed or couch with plastic sheeting if you are worried about fluid drainage. Place ice packs, medications, water, gauze, portable electronic devices and any other needed items in an easy-to-reach location near your bed or couch. Make sure you have loose, comfortable clothing nearby. As you set up your recovery area, keep in mind that you may need to sleep in an upright position (if you undergo facial surgery); extra cushions are helpful.

4. Stop All Medications That May Thin Your Blood and Cause Bleeding

Reducing complications after surgery is of the utmost importance. Bleeding in the first 24 hours after surgery is probably the most common of all serious complications seen in the immediate post-operative period.

For two weeks PRIOR to surgery, please stop taking all anti-inflammatory medications. This includes aspirin (including baby aspirin) and all aspirin-containing compounds, ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin and others), Naprosyn (Aleve) and all NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications). It is also important to stop taking Vitamin E supplements (400 or greater units per day). Most multivitamins have 30-90 units, which is fine. Omega 3 and fish oil supplements should also be stopped two weeks prior to surgery. There are many other supplements that increase the likelihood of bleeding. If you are unsure whether you should continue to take these medications, either stop or call the office for more information.

5. Wash with Chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) Prior To Your Procedure

We have been having our patients wash with Hibiclens three times prior to surgery for more than 20 years. This is the same antibacterial scrub that we use in the operating room. Washing the operative area with Chlorhexidine, which is the generic form of Hibiclens, decreases the bacteria count of the skin. This has been shown to significantly decrease the incidence of post-operative wound infections. Chlorhexidine scrub is an over-the-counter medication not requiring a prescription, and can be found in most pharmacies.

If you would like more information about plastic surgery recovery, or if you would like to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso, please contact our practice by calling (650) 964-6600 today.

 
 
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