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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.

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Here are my most recent posts

lip lift markings pre-opThis patient is being prepped for an upper lip lift today and after completing the surgical plan markings, she graciously allowed me to take this quick video to explain the pre-op markings I make for lip lift patients. >> Continue reading Lip Lift Pre-Op Markings

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BBL death headlines thumbnailMedia reports over the past couple of years detail many BBL tragedies, the most recently reported tragedy was just last week. I have been performing this procedure safely for 15 years and the new data emerging about the increased mortality rates is disturbing.

As a member of the multi-society task force team of surgeons studying gluteal fat grafting, I believe that the recent mortalities with this procedure can be dramatically reduced . . . >> Continue reading Brazilian Butt Lift and Risks of Pulmonary Fat Embolism

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IFATS 2016 conference in San DiegoSince I started writing about fat grafts, stem cells, and the regenerative properties and medical potential back in 2009, about 7 years after performing one of my first fat grafting cases, I have become more and more involved and dedicated to the science of fat grafting.

As the current President of IFATS (the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science), I’m excited to be posting a quick note about this year’s conference, which starts tomorrow in San Diego. This year we’re bringing together not only the leading clinical practitioners with whom we are all familiar, but also leading endocrinologists, experts in the field of genomics and big data as applied to medicine, and stem cell researchers from other specialties such as cardiology and orthopedics. >> Continue reading #IFATS2016: Fat Grafts, Adipose Stem Cells, and The Big Picture

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skin layers epidermisLaser resurfacing is a procedure which is aimed at rejuvenating the face. It works by evaporating the top layers, the epidermis, of your skin causing a regeneration of new skin. While it is an effective method for prompting fresher, more youthful facial glow, there is a great alternative to consider if you are seeking a younger looking face.

In fact, I am using laser resurfacing less and less in favor of fat grafting for facial rejuvenation. Why? Because with laser, regeneration of the skin is prompted by destruction and that destruction can also cause fat volume loss whereas with fat grafting, regeneration of the skin is prompted by adipose stem cells which reside in the fat that is injected and there is no additional facial fat loss.

Here is why some people experience facial fat loss after laser resurfacing. >> Continue reading Why Laser Resurfacing Can Cause Facial Fat Loss

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slightly hypertrophic scarFollowing surgery, in an effort to repair damage to your dermis, your body forms new collagen fibers – which results in a scar. This new scar tissue will look and feel different than the surrounding tissue. A normal scar will generally appear somewhat flat and pale and will typically fade with time. In fact, many scars eventually become undetectable to the naked eye.

However, some scars follow a more disruptive path, and can even get worse as time goes on. When the body produces too much collagen in an effort to repair the damage it can result in a ‘raised’ scar. These are considered ‘bad scars’ or ‘adverse scar conditions’ and they can unfold following any incision, including an incision made during a Plastic Surgery procedure. >> Continue reading Keloids & Hypertrophic Scars in Plastic Surgery

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Gustav NeuberSince the 1990’s Plastic Surgeons have reliably used fat grafting as a way to improve and enhance the cosmetic appearance of the face, breast, hands, feet, hips, and buttocks. However, more recently, clinicians have documented the therapeutic benefits of fat grafting in the healing of wounds and scars, as well as fat’s ability to repair damage to breast tissue following radiation treatment. >> Continue reading Fat Grafting History and Applications

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thumbnail of best fat grafting cells graphicPatients routinely get fat grafts to the face, breast, and buttocks. However, some patients do not get the result they wanted because the fat graft did not ‘take.’  So, what happened? Why do fat grafts sometimes die or fail to take? In this post, I will explain one of the most important factors in creating a long-lasting fat graft.

When the recipient tissue is normal, there really should be no need for a touch-up, or revision. Plastic surgeons have all of the tools they need to create a good fat graft on the first try! >> Continue reading Fat Graft Success Starts with Liposuction

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inverted T scar thumbnailWhat type of scar will you get with a breast lift procedure?
This is a very common question, and an important question that all patients should discuss with their Plastic Surgeon prior to having surgery.

Any procedure that lifts the breast will require the surgeon to make an incision and that incision will leave a scar on your breast. In most cases, the scar will eventually fade and the positive aesthetic outcome of the ‘lifted’ breast will far surpass the remnants of a scar. >> Continue reading Breast Lift Scar Options

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We get quite a lot of questions regarding lip lifts, so here’s a quick video of me talking about what techniques I consider to be the key for getting the most successful lip lift.

The goal of the upper lip lift procedure is to raise the upper lip to a more youthful… >> Continue reading How to get the best Upper Lip Lift Results

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There is an old saying in photography: “A photographer is known for what he shows, not for what he shoots.” In other words, a photographer only shows his best work and there may be a lot of lousy pictures… he is just not showing those.

Think of post-operative pictures of Brazilian Butt Lifts the same way. You may be seeing the surgeon’s best work because that is what he is showing! So the question is, “how do you find out about what the surgeon is NOT showing?”

Here are few hints for gathering information about a plastic surgeon’s Brazilian butt lift results by seeing what he’s really showing you in his patient photo gallery. . . >> Continue reading Questions to Ask About Before and After Brazilian Butt Lift Photos

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Patients interested in having a procedure involving fat grafting should be familiar enough with the process to ask questions above and beyond the usual questions they might ask when consulting with Plastic Surgeons.

The success of fat grafting is highly dependent on the skill and technique of the surgeon as well as the patient’s attention to detail and instructions during post-op. Here are 10 questions to arm yourself with prior to a consultation for any plastic surgery involving a fat transfer . . . >> Continue reading 10 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About Fat Grafting

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History is full of disruptive innovations: Just look at what e-mail did to the postal industry, the Ford Model-T to the transportation industry, and Wikipedia to the traditional encyclopedia. All three of these “disruptive innovations” revolutionized their respective industries via low-cost, democratic solutions. Luckily, we are at the forefront of an exciting disruption in the healthcare industry via Apple’s upcoming iWatch. >> Continue reading Will Apple's iWatch Marry Big Data to Medicine?

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tummy tuck scar hidden below the bikini lineMany patients are afraid of getting a Tummy Tuck because of the scars. But patients should not be afraid, because these incisions can be surgically placed so that they are not noticeable, even when you wear a bikini after the surgery.

However, you should know that the appearance of the final scar is very dependent on the technique your surgeon uses. Based on some of the before and after photos that I have seen on the web, there is a wide variation in scar placement for this procedure. There are very concrete steps that a surgeon can use to ensure a scar is well placed (and thin enough) to allow the patient to wear a bikini after having a tummy tuck. >> Continue reading What do Tummy Tuck Scars look like?

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Tummy Tuck Worth it RatingI’ve been online for quite some time, writing this blog and producing videos in hopes of educating patients who are considering cosmetic surgery. As such I’ve also been involved with online forums centered around plastic surgery topics. Perhaps the most comprehensive online portal for patients looking to gain first-hand knowledge and information about plastic surgery procedures is RealSelf.

Today I took a look at the “Worth It” Ratings for the various cosmetic surgery procedures and according to RealSelf, the highest rated procedures are . . . >> Continue reading Tummy Tuck Patients Are Happy Happy Happy

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average amount of fat injected into buttocks
I have been performing the Brazilian Butt Lift for almost a decade.  With this procedure, I remove fat from unwanted areas and then reinject into your buttocks.  Patients are now doing so much research , that I often get the question about how much fat is injected into the buttocks.

To answer the question, I looked at my last 100 procedures to find out the average amount of fat which is injected per patient, per buttock cheek.  Before I give you the answer, you should know that the final amount injected will NOT be the amount which is removed. The amount reinjected will only be  a fraction of the amount of fat which  I  have removed.  I only keep the ‘good fat’ . The rest of the fat contains dead cells, blood, and other components that will *not* help the fat survive. >> Continue reading How Much Fat is Injected with the Brazilian Butt Lift?

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