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CosmeticSurg Blog

Dr. Rodriguez discusses Plastic Surgery, Medicine, and Stem Cell Research

About Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez

I am a Plastic Surgeon with over 25 years of experience in both the academic and private practice worlds. At my AAAASF surgery center where I serve as Medical Director, (Cosmetic Surgery Facility LLC, DBA Cosmeticsurg.net), I specialize in multiple procedure makeovers.

I am Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, (ASPS). In 2016 I will serve as president of IFATS, a multidisciplinary research organization whose focus is the study of adipose tissue and adipose stem cells. For my own research activities, I was recently awarded an MSCRF grant to study invivo tracking of autologous adipose stem cells for the treatment of radiation damaged breasts. This study is registered at the ClinicalTrials.gov site.

My patients include medical professionals, actors and performers, diplomats, and people of all walks of life. I speak Spanish, French, and English, and I am happily married for 29 years with two beautiful children.

Learn more about my credentials here.

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

no painOne of the biggest concerns patients have with any surgery is the amount of pain they will have to endure afterwards. This is especially true in cases of breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgery procedures since the patient is undergoing elective surgery and wants the best experience possible.

Pain itself can have a negative impact following surgery. In fact, it’s the main cause for readmission to a hospital after cosmetic surgery. When patients are in pain, they tend to breathe in short, shallow gasps which results in poor oxygen delivery tot he tissues that, in turn, affects healing. Besides, when the lungs don’t fully expand, patients are more prone to additional complications such as pneumonia.

To prevent this, patients need pain relief. The traditional way is pain pills but there’s a better, less nauseating method for treating post-op pain… >> Continue reading Got Pain? How to Reduce Pain after Breast Augmentation

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There have been several comments recently on one of my previous blog posts about tummy tuck swelling. While swelling is a definite concern, it’s only one of the possible complications following abdominoplasty. Other complications can include infection, wound separation, and fluid collections. Be sure to discuss these things with your plastic surgeon prior to your surgery. >> Continue reading Tummy Tuck Complications - Infection, Wound Separation, Seroma, Hematoma

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74 Comments

SupermanA reader of our blog posed a very interesting question having to do with stem cell activation. Briefly put,

“why do you need to inject stem cells into an area if the normal tissues in that area already have some stem cells present?”–Charles

To understand why, we will talk about two concepts with adipose derived stem cells: the stem cell niche, and stem cell activation . Adipose stem cells are stem cells that are derived from your own fat tissue.

The Stem Cell Niche

Stem cells usually exist in a low grade resting state in a controlled environment called a niche. The niche contains mesenchymal stem cells, also known as MSCs. The mesenchymal stem cell niche is usually located in the blood vessel wall itself.

The status quo for a niche is not full blown stem cell activity, but a level of activity finely attuned to its surroundings. These cells like to keep a stable environment  (on the vessels) within the niche. They will only respond in a very specific way, to certain kinds of stimuli.

In a chronic disease state such as scar tissue or aged skin, the stem cells present in that tissue are responding in many small and measured ways to whatever is happening in the tissue. Stem Cells are trying to maintain balanced conditions, this is called homeostasis. There are no big changes, just a low-grade adaptation to aging or scar process. This is why the stem cells in the local tissue are not doing what you would like them to do. To get a stem cell to do what you want it to do, something else needs to happen. It needs to get activated. >> Continue reading Stem Cell Niches, Stem Cell Activation, and Superman

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crystal ball2010 ushered in the new promising decade for the use of adipose stem cells. Stem cells from your own autologous fat, also known as adipose stem cells, have the power to rejuvenate tissue, heal wounds, and cure diseases.

Taking the pulse at the various Stem Cell conferences around the country in 2010, we found that more clinical researchers are gravitating to adipose tissue as a source of stem cells. Bone marrow has historically been the default source of adult stem cells for researchers. Likewise, the volume of peer reviewed publications and research papers attesting to fat as an abundant source of stem cells has seen a tremendous increase in the past year.

So what’s in store for 2011? Fat is phat again! >> Continue reading Plastic Surgery Predictions 2011: Fat Stem Cells 2.0

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19 Comments

Looking at your breasts the way a doctor does can be an emotional event full of new information which may be hard to process, but it is essential that you and your doctor are ‘on the same page’ regarding the type of implant and surgical approach that will be used.

Learn what 7 questions you should discuss and answer during your initial breast augmentation consultation. >> Continue reading 7 Questions To Answer Before Your Breast Augmentation

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Lately, my patients have been quite educated about the various techniques that surgeons use for the Lip Lift procedure. Recently a patient asked me if my technique would cut muscle or nerves. This is a good question and I would like readers to know that my technique does NOT cut muscle or nerves!

In summary, this is a description of the lip lift technique that I have been using for many years:

1) An incision is made at the base of the nose in the natural ridge between lip skin and nasal skin.
2) Skin is elevated only to the level where preoperative markings were made, leaving the muscle intact.
3) We spread muscle fibers at 5 points to reach the membrane covering the septum and nasal bones. Three tunnels are made centrally: one through the septum and the other two on either side of i, corresponding to the middle and ridges of the philrum in the upper lip. One tunnel at the outer border of the nostrils.
4) The sutures are tied to the underside of the lip skin. The sutures do not tie muscle, and do not tie nerves. There is no cutting of any structure once we cut skin. >> Continue reading Lip Lift - A Technical Description of the Procedure

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90 Comments

Fat grafts to the face are a great way to rejuvenate your face. As you age, your dermis thins, and your face will sag.You may lose volume in your cheeks and under your eyes. These areas appear to be hollow or not as defined as they were when you were younger. Additionally, some people have areas of their face lacking volume no matter what their age.

Fat grafts will naturally fill those areas to restore your youthful appearance. Additionally, your own adipose fat contains adults stem cells. Adult stem cells have regenerative properties that can increase blood supply to your tissue and skin to make you look younger. >> Continue reading Fat Injections to the Face

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The use of non-laser liposculpture with fat injections can help a woman achieve a more feminine figure. Fat is removed where it is unwanted and reinjected to places where you desire more curves. Read more about it on Dr. Rodriguez’s CosmeticSurg blog. >> Continue reading Liposuction vs. Liposculpture with Fat Injections

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33 Comments

Patients often ask for post operative advice on the web. I think the web is a great information gathering tool, but in the post-operative period, it is not a good place to start.

Why is this? Dr. Rodriguez explains why all of his post op patients are given his cell phone number following surgery. >> Continue reading Know How to Get Answers to Post Op Questions--Before the Surgery

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Can I have another procedure at the same time as the brazilian butt lift? The answer is yes and no. A tummy tuck can be safely combined with the brazilian butt lift to give a great result. However, combining the butt lift with breast aug is usually not advisable. Watch this video by Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon. >> Continue reading Can a Tummy Tuck be performed with a Brazilian Butt Lift?

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Find out why Dr. Rodriguez, a Yale trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, thinks fat grafting is a better technique for facial rejuvenation than laser resurfacing. Fat grafts have a population of naturally occurring adult stem cells which rejuvenate the ageing face. >> Continue reading Laser Resurfacing vs Regenerative Fat Grafting

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Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon, explains what happens when you lose weight after a brazilian butt lift procedure. Do you lose some of your new augmented buttocks or does the fat graft survive? Watch his video which profiles a brazilian butt lift patient who lost weight following her brazilian butt lift surgery. >> Continue reading Brazilian Butt Lift-What happens when you lose weight after surgery?

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61 Comments

crystal ballThe year 2010 ushers in a new decade where science , beauty, and your own fat make a marriage that promises to deliver one of the most disruptive medical technologies of the century. Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon believes that stem cells from your own fat will lead the cosmetic surgery trends. >> Continue reading Cosmetic Surgery Trends for 2010 - Fat is phat!

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Congrats to Molly Plummer, of Maxx Factor quartet, who will be competing tomorrow night in NBC’s first annual Sing-Off. The competition is a voices only, a capella competition and will be broadcast on NBC throughout the Holidays. Eight groups from around the country were selected for the competition. Molly is our financial coordinator at CosmeticSurg. >> Continue reading NBC Sing-Off! - CosmeticSurg's Molly Plummer (Maxx Factor) in lights!

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Fat injections are long lasting if done correctly. That is my position and I stand by it! If you frequent various plastic surgery blogs, there is a big difference in the types of techniques that surgeons are using. Thus, there is a wide variation in their results, so many patients think that fat injections do not last.

Fat injections are permanent if the following is done:
1) correct technique of extraction and processing
2) proper post surgical protocol for patient.

Read more about it in my CosmeticSurg Blog. >> Continue reading Recipe for Permanent Fat Injections

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30 Comments