The Best Time to Get Your Body Ready for Summer? Now!

A very common question I get is when to get cosmetic procedures done in order to look great for bathing suit season.

There are 4 operations/procedures that are going to be extremely popular in preparation for getting your body ready for summer:

  1. Breast Augmentation
  2. Smartlipo
  3. Tummy Tuck
  4. Sculpsure

Let’s discuss briefly the time frame for improvement for each of these procedures.

Breast Augmentation
After a Breast Augmentation (BA), there of course is an immediate improvement in your appearance. From day one, you will have a much better figure, both in and out of clothes. However, there is usually some upper pole swelling (more pronounced with saline implants) that is more noticeable if you are without any clothes. This can be easily hidden with clothing. You need to allow 3 months for your implants to drop into place. In general, the swelling is much milder with silicone and this allows you to look more natural sooner.

SmartLipo
I stress to my patients that after Smartlipo, you will continue to improve for 6 months. Of course, you can enhance the results by also exercising and by dieting, so as to decrease your total body fat. Smartlipo will reduce the fat in the treated areas. Multiple areas can be treated and you can generally return to work the next day. Only one treatment is required per area.

SculpSure
Sculpsure is done in the office and no sedation is required. You can even do this on a lunch break. I went to the gym immediately after I treated my love handles! A treatment session only takes 25 minutes and you can return to work immediately. You can treat multiple areas one after another during a single office visit. However, you should treat each area at least twice, usually with 6 weeks between sessions (it can be reduced to 4 weeks however). Once again, you will get more dramatic changes if you can also reduce your total body fat (through diet and exercise), as we reduce fat in the treated areas.

Tummy Tuck
A Tummy Tuck will show a dramatic change immediately after surgery. You can return to work after 10-14 days and usually to more intense workouts by 6 weeks. You can usually start exercising gently after about 3 weeks (sometimes even sooner). Your scars will continue to improve and fade with time. Your appearance will also improve with time so it is good to have some time between your TT and donning your bikini. If you know which bathing suit you want to wear, you can bring it along at the time I mark you for surgery, so I can do my best to try and design the incision scars to be hidden by your swimsuit.

Want to know more about cosmetic procedures and what might be right for you? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me.

How Much Does SculpSure Cost?

In this video, I discuss our Sculpsure pricing – and why our pricing is so much lower than our competitors. 

As you may know, Sculpsure is the latest innovation in non-invasive fat reduction. This means that there are no incisions. The laser energy travels through the skin (it is safe for all skin types) and heats and kills the underlying subcutaneous fat. Cynosure’s studies have shown up to a 24% reduction of fat – though it is important to remember that some people will get more and some will get less.

If you’d like to talk more about Sculpsure, please do not hesitate to schedule a complimentary, private consultation with me calling our office at 703-406-2444.

Advantages of Sculpsure over Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck - Berman Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Advantages of Sculpsure over Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck

There are several of advantages to getting a SculpSure treatment over Smartlipo (which I love), liposuction or more invasive surgery such as a tummy tuck or arm lift. This popular procedure melts up to 24% of stubborn fat with highly advanced laser technology.No Downtime:
The biggest advantage with Sculpsure is that it is totally non-invasive. There are absolutely no incisions or downtime. I had my love-handles treated twice, and both times, I went immediately to the gym from my office. SculpSure is so convenient you can do it on your lunch break or on your way home for dinner. Treating an area only takes 25 minutes and you can treat several areas, one right after another.Low on Risk & Side Effects:
There are very few risks and side-effects from the treatment. The laser light can travel through any skin color and only penetrates into the subcutaneous fat. It is safe to use even if you have had a hip replacement (as I have) or abdominal surgery (we don’t, however, want to place the paddles directly over scar tissue). I do tell all of my patients to make sure they eat something and drink lots of water before they do their treatment.

Sculpsure is a great addition to your diet and workouts to maximize your chance of improvement. I always stress to my patients, that there are no magic treatments. If you want maximum improvement, you will want to increase your exercise and improve your eating.

Sculpsure has been shown to decrease your truncal fat up to 24% (this result will vary from person to person) but this still means you will have 76% of your fat left behind. Sculpsure is a great start and a great addition to a workout routine. Combining this with your new diet makes it more likely that you will see results sooner.

It is important to know that doing Sculpsure now does not prevent you from doing more invasive procedures, such as a Smartlipo (laser lipo) or a tummy tuck later on if you feel you need a more invasive procedure to get your desired look.

Questions about SculpSure? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a private, complimentary consultation.

Berman Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Care Center - Body Surgical Procedures

How much does Sculpsure cost?

As you may know, Sculpsure is the latest innovation in non-invasive fat reduction. This means that there are no incisions. The laser energy travels through the skin (it is safe for all skin types) and heats and kills the underlying subcutaneous fat. Cynosure’s studies have shown up to a 24% reduction of fat – though it is important to remember that some people will get more and some will get less.

Generally, Sculpsure will cost $1,500 for a session. However, we are only charging $1,000 because we want to make this is more easily affordable to more people (and yes, we do offer financing).

How Does it Work?
A treatment consists of 4 paddles, which are about the size of a small cell phone. The entire session only takes 25 minutes. You can treat multiple areas, one after another, in the same visit.  To explain, you can put 4 paddles along your lower abdomen and after this immediately, place the 4 paddles on the outside of your hips, or the inside of your hips or knees or bra line or love-handles, etc.

No Downtime:
One of the best things about this treatment is that there is no downtime associated with it. I have actually treated my own love handles with SculpSure and after each of my two sessions, I immediately went to the gym.

How Many Treatments Will You Need?
I tell my patients that they should plan on treating each area twice, with 4-6 weeks between each session, to get the best results. You can certainly do more than two sessions per area, but the minimum you should plan on is two sessions. There are no hidden costs with this treatment, as it does not require any medication or an operating room.

Why You Should Consult with a Plastic Surgeon if Considering SculpSure:
The most important reason to see a plastic surgeon when inquiring about SculpSure is because a plastic surgeon is in the best position to explain whether you will be best served with SculpSure or Smartlipo (laser liposuction) or some type of excisional surgery. It is important to know whether your expectations are realistic for the given procedure, especially given the financial investment you are making. A plastic surgeon can also give you a good sense of the pros and cons of each option to help you make the right choice for you. In my office, your treatment will be carried out by an esthetician specially trained in the art of SculpSure. We will do our very best to make sure that your treatment is as comfortable and specific to your needs and body goals.

Have questions about this procedure?
Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a private, complimentary consultation with me.

Berman Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Care Center - SculpSure

Sculpsure and Your New Year’s Goals for Your Body

When Christmas and New Years (and all the parties!) come to an end, many of us are mortified to find our clothes too tight and the scale much higher than we like! Now is the time when so many of us create New Year’s resolutions. What can we do to maximize our success?

As a trained Life Coach, the first thing that comes to mind for me is to be very realistic in our goals. We should be bold in our resolutions, yet realistic. Secondly – and this is key – we need to break our goals down into manageable steps we can do every day, or at least most days. Third, we need some accountability. And lastly, many of us benefit from having a reward or penalty for sticking or not sticking to our plan.

Realistically, if you have never been one to exercise, it may make more sense to aim to do a class at the gym 3-4 days per week, rather than plan on doing 3 hours a day at the gym. Sure, there are people who do go to the gym for 3 hours per day, but is that going to be you 3 weeks into the New Year, once that initial excitement has faded? Probably not. With focused effort, you can likely accomplish your goals in one hour of gym time.

It is great to have a set amount of weight you want to lose – whether that be 10 lbs or 100 lbs. However, remember that the closer you get to your ideal weight, the harder it is to lose those last few pounds. One of the things that I have repeatedly observed in women is that they go on strict diets and work out faithfully for 3-4 weeks. At the end of this time period, they weigh themselves and low and behold, not one pound has been lost. They get frustrated and quickly return to their previous eating patterns.

What can you do to minimize this effect? My strong suggestion is to NOT weigh yourself for at least 6 weeks. Or better yet, until you feel that your clothes are looser. I have many patients who will take advantage of something such as Sculpsure (a non-invasive way to reduce fat but not weight) at the beginning of their diet to increase their likelihood of seeing a noticeable difference in their body sooner even without a decrease in the umber on the scale. It can reduce the fat in a given area by up to 24%. However, as I always stress, this still means that 76% of your fat is left behind. There is no substitute for better dieting and exercising if you want to look your best. But Sculpsure is a great way to jumpstart your success and is also an incredible catalyst for success.

A slow, steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is realistic and sustainable. I am also a great fan of our Paleo Meal Replacement to help you achieve this. However, I will be the first to admit that there are many good diet plans besides the one that I am suggesting, but my staff and I have had great success with it.

It is extremely helpful to have someone you are accountable to. It is best if you can find an exercise and diet partner. If not, you should keep a log and make sure that you share your progress daily. Knowing that someone (besides yourself) is going to be checking is a huge motivator.

Most people will do better if they plan on having certain rewards for sticking to their plan. It can be helpful if they will also include some “penalties.” These are not meant to be hard on your ego and make you feel bad about yourself but rather to motivate you.  They can be things like giving a certain amount of charity each time you break your plan or could be extra sit-ups or giving your partner a massage (assuming that feels at least a tad bit like punishment to you, that is!)

For those select patients who want to work more closely with me on the above, I do offer life coaching by phone. If this is an area you could use some help with, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 703-406-2444 to further discuss!

Advantages of Sculpsure over Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck - Berman Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Common Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures: How They Work and How Long They Last

There are now some great non-invasive procedures available these days, providing long-lasting results with minimally discomfort or downtime. Below are a few of my favorites:

 

  1. FOR THE FACE: My favorite by far, is the Picosure laser. This laser is a true game changer. It is not super well known, because it is a very expensive laser for the doctor to purchase and therefore is not in a lot of physician offices. You are not likely to find this in a medispa either.What makes this Picosure Laser so special is that because it fires 1,000 faster than other lasers, it can do a facial resurfacing with NO DOWNTIME. This means that you can significantly improve the irregular coloration in your face, neck, chest and hands, with just 3 treatments, spaced a month apart. And again, with absolutely no downtime. .Also, because the Picosure fires so quickly, there is little inflammation – meaning it can be used in skin types 1-4 with little risk of hyper-pigmentation. It will also stimulate your own collagen and elastic production, which will help diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

    How long do results last? This will vary from person to person. The most important thing is to use a good sun block (which we offer in the office) and good skin care after your treatment (also offered in our office). Good skin care that is pharmaceutical grade and can only be found in a doctor’s office, will continue with minor exfoliation and collagen stimulation. It can last a year or several years, depending on your genetics and how well you care for your skin.

  2. FOR THE BODY: Sculpsure is the most popular (and its competitor Coolsculpt) for spot reductions of fat in a completely non-invasive way.  Both of these techniques will destroy fat cells (Sculpsure through heat and Coolsculpt from freezing, which I feel has more complications) and these fat cells are permanently destroyed. They will not come back. However, it is important to work on better dieting and exercising to decrease your overall body fat. If, on the other hand, you eat poorly and put on fat, those remaining fat cells will expand in size and you will look larger. Thus, the total number of fat cells is reduced forever, however, there is no “free lunch” and you still have to look after yourself.
  3. LASER TATTOO REMOVAL: The Picosure laser is the very best tattoo removal laser that exists. It fires 1,000 faster than other lasers to vibrate away the tattoo pigment. You will need half the number of treatments with the Picosure laser than you will need with other lasers. I have seen pure black tattoos disappear after only 3 treatments. This laser rarely causes ghosting. It is also the only laser that removes blue pigments.
  4. LASER HAIR REMOVAL: With our Cynosure Elite laser, hair removal is permanent, unlike the less expensive lasers frequently found in medispas. However, when your hormone environment changes such as with pregnancy or menopause, you can get stimulation of dormant hair follicles. Most people will need 5-9 treatments to eliminate most or all of their hair. It should be noted that no laser treatments will work on white or blond hair or very fair hair.

Increasing Belly Fat Loss - Berman Blog

Increasing Belly Fat Loss

The first consideration is whether this fat is external or internal. If it is external, it is in the subcutaneous tissue and is usually pinchable. If it is internal or visceral fat, it is located behind the muscles and is deep in the belly, around the stomach and intestines.

If the fat is external, you do have some treatment options, both invasive an non-invasive, that can help. External fat is amenable to the various types of liposuction, such as Smartlipo (my preferred technique), and non-invasive techniques such as Sculpsure (my preferred technique) and Coolsculpt. A tummy tuck can remove the spare tire, provided the fat is external. A tummy tuck can also tighten the abdominal muscle wall, which makes the stomach flatter. Of course, you will get a better result if you combine these treatments with the methods below which will decrease your overall body fat, in addition to these spot treatments.

If the fat is internal, none of the above techniques will truly work, and it will come down to diet and exercise. Dieting is even more important than exercise, but clearly, both are complimentary. There are a multitude of diets. The common theme for all the sensible ones is stopping all sodas, including diet sodas (many studies have shown that diet drinks actually lead to weight gain, plus they are very unhealthy) and eliminating processed foods and refined sugars (as much as possible all sugars including alcohol). We have had great results with my patients with the Paleo Meal Replacement, but it is certainly not the only way to achieve great results.

What form of exercise is the best? The one that you enjoy most so that you will continue to do it! Numerous studies are showing that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the more effective ways to train (there are lots of free videos on Youtube – I have done many of these myself). The form of training can give you the most improvement in the least amount of time. I’d recommend that you exercise 4-5 times per week if possible. I am a big fan of the classes in a gym since it is hard to slack off when everyone around you is working out. Also, if it’s in your budget, personal trainers are a great investment. They hold you accountable and can give you some interesting, creative training workouts.

If you’d like to discuss your personal concerns or potential treatments, please contact my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary consultation with me. 

Berman Blog - Why Our SculpSure Pricing is So Much Lower than Other Providers

Why Our SculpSure Pricing is So Much Lower than Other Providers

Most places are charging between $1,500-2,000 per session for SculpSure fat melting sessions, while my office only charges $1,000/session. Why? Because you truly need 2 seasons to get the best results, ideally spaced 6 weeks apart. I find that many providers push clients to purchase one session only, at that higher rate. However, I feel that everyone should plan on 2 sessions to maximize your success.

It is important to know that you can do multiple sessions in different areas of the body, one after another, since each session is only 25 minutes and you are not sore after the treatment. I have had patients complete a session on their abdomen and immediately afterwards, move the 4 paddles to their love-handles, then to their bra fat and then to their thighs. I insist patients purchase a minimum of 2 sessions to see a noticeable reduction in body fat. Studies done by Cynosure have demonstrated an average reduction of fat of 24% when done on the abdomen or flanks. However, the paddles for Sculpsure can be placed almost anywhere on the body including: thighs, upper arms, knees, bra fat, male breasts,etc. If you are on the fuller side, you should consider doing 3-4 sessions per area.

I also offer Smartlipo, Bodytite and Facetite, as other options, in addition to the Sculpsure. However, Sculpsure is the only one that offers fat reduction with NO incision – meaning, NO DOWNTIME for you.

Have questions about SculpSure? Please call my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a complimentary consultation with me.

 

Berman Cosmetic Surgery - Can you remove fat without surgery

Can You Remove Fat Without Surgery?

The short answer is YES, you can remove fat without surgery.

SculpSure is the newest and best way to remove permanently subcutaneous fat (the fat under the skin) – though it will not attack the internal or visceral fat deep (deep within your belly, as an example).

I have been really impressed with the SculpSure laser, and my patients have seen really great results. And what’s also great is that SculpSure is a quick 25 minute treatment. Four  paddles are placed anywhere on your body that has pinchable fat (not the face or neck), which then conduct a laser beam which travels through your skin and melts the underlying fat. This laser is safe for all skin tones, by the way. Your body then breaks down the fat gradually over 3 months, and it is metabolized away. I recommend that patients plan two treatments, spaced 6  weeks apart – though they can be done at 4 weeks intervals as well. You will continue to improve for 3 months after the second session. According to Cynosure, patients can see up to a  24% reduction in fat in the areas targeted. After a session, you can do whatever you want. I went directly to the gym immediately after both of my sessions for a workout!

This is a far superior to Coolsculpt, which has greater name recognition because they were the first one to the market with a non-invasive fat reduction system by about six years. That time, however, allowed Cynosure to learn from their shortcomings and design a better system. From what I have seen, Coolsculpt has a lower patient satisfaction rate, takes longer, is more painful, has occasional issues with unevenness, and in a small percentage of patients, there has been reports of long term nerve pain. We have not seen this with SculpSure.

Of course, modifying your diet and getting rid of junk food, processed foods and soft drinks, cutting your carbs and incorporating more exercise are  excellent ways to reduce your overall body fat – as well as improve your health.

Berman Cosmetic Surgery - How to Improve your Results after a Tummy Tuck, SmartLipo or Sculpsure - Blog

How to Improve your Results after a Tummy Tuck, SmartLipo or Sculpsure

Whether it’s a tummy tuck, SmartLipo or SculpSure, you have invested considerable time, money and effort into your body contouring procedure and you surely want to get the maximum results. There are several things I recommend my patients do to optimize their procedure.

Almost of the people doing these body contouring procedures are trying to reduce fat in specific areas. Sometimes there is one area which has been treated, but more often, several areas have been treated. In a minority of the tummy tucks that I have performed, there was no extra fat at all – it was entirely a loose skin problem. If you have a bit more fat than is ideal, you can definitely enhance your results by decreasing your total body fat. I am decreasing fat in specific areas but if in addition to that, you can decrease your total body fat everywhere, you will look even more amazing.

There is no magic here. Modifying your diet is extremely helpful.It is almost impossible to out-exercise a poor diet. I believe that following a Paleo or Paleo-like diet works the best. It’s for that reason that I do offer my favorite Paleo meal replacement through my office. This makes it very easy to follow the Paleo diet if you can simply replace your regular breakfast and/or lunch with the powder. I realize that there are many different diets that can work. I am, however, not a fan of diet pills or anything artificial.

Maintaining or increasing your activity level is also key. More and more evidence is confirming that some variation of a high intensity workout done a few times per week gives you the greatest return on your time. Most gyms offer this and there are countless free videos on Youtube that you can do in the comfort of your own home with no equipment. I have a lot of opinions on exercising, and will be blogging about those in the future, but in short, it is my strong belief  that everyone should be doing core exercises as part of their routine. As we get older, this is even more important. For women especially, strength training for the upper body in women is critical.

Regarding the scarring from a tummy tuck or the small scars from Smartlipo (there are NO scars from SculpSure), we sell a scar cream that should help the scar fade and mature more quickly. I have many years experience and some people’s scars fade much quicker than others and this has little to do with the surgeon’s skills. Virtually every scar will continue to fade with time, but it should be noted that they will never completely disappear. They’ll be visible if you look hard enough for them! I have seen some women get tattoos over they TT scars and this does a great job hiding them. But of course this won’t be a desirable option for everyone.

It is important to recognize that there is plenty you can do to help you look and feel better overall. A tummy tuck, SmartLipo or SculpSure can help to eliminate fat and loose skin, but proper attention to your overall health, fitness and nutrition will help your skin look it’s absolute best.