Cosmeticsurg Blog

Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez discusses Plastic surgery, Medicine, Stem cell research and more.

  • How do I choose between Tummy tuck and Liposuction?

    2 road signs pointing in different directions.

    The question of whether to have a Tummy tuck or liposuction is a very common one. The two procedures address different problems. Liposuction deals only with fatty tissues, whereas Tummy tuck deals with muscle, skin, and fat. Some patients are candidates for lipo only, some for Tummy tuck only, and some could have either procedure, depending on their priorities. A candidate for liposuction only should have good skin tone. The skin will retract nicely after taking out the fat. Recovery time will be minimal, 7-10 days and you’re back to work. I like doing the procedure with a super fine cannula, and after surgery I apply foam pads to the skin to create the best possible smooth contour.

  • After pregnancy: Breast lift or Breast augmentation?

    A single breast implant.

    A woman’s body goes through so many changes during and after pregnancy. Many of my patients have children and came to me looking for information about Breast augmentation. Did your breasts appear deflated after pregnancy? Did you like the look of your breasts during pregnancy? Are you wanting them to look fuller, perkier, or both? What are your options for breast augmentation after pregnancy?

  • Multiple cosmetic procedures at the same time – common!

    A collage of a patient's body, showing her before and after Tummy tuck and Breast augmentation procedures.

    If you think that multiple cosmetic procedures are only for the rich and famous, think again! The ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) says that 38% of all patients have multiple procedures in the same operative session! It is increasingly common for patients to have multiple cosmetic procedures at the same time. In our Baltimore office, common plastic surgery procedure combinations including…

  • Brazilian butt lift goal: not just about big butts

    A collage of photos of a patient's lower body, showing her before and after a Brazilian butt lift procedure.

    Curves, love handles, and Brazilian butts. I have been doing a lot of Brazilian butt lifts. It continues to amaze me how good this procedure is! It is perfectly suited to how the body handles fat, and the different components of the procedure enhance each other. Although the procedure is called Brazilian butt lift, what makes it great is the way the love handles are reshaped and create a nice curve between the butt and the waist.

  • What does it mean to look younger?

    A drawing of a woman's shoulders, neck and head.

    Most patients who come to my office don’t come in asking for a full facelift. Most come asking for a specific face procedure to “make them look younger”.   If they are relatively young, they focus on the nasolabial folds the lines that go from the side of the nose to the corners of the lips). Or they may mention the lips, how they are getting thinner. If they are somewhat older, they will focus on the jawline and neck. I listen to them, because that is what they are concerned about, but then I have to ask: Do you want to look better to yourself or to others?

  • Breast asymmetry

    A photo of a patient's breasts, showing their asymmetry.

    Today I saw a patient who had been operated on for a condition known as “tuberous Breast deformity” and asymmetry. Tuberous breast deformity occurs when a patient has a narrow base of the breast. The fold underneath the breast is tight or narrow and the breast mass appears to hang over the breast base. The term “tubular” breast deformity is also used to describe this as the breast has a tubular shape instead of rounded one. Some patients are also unfortunate in that their tubular breasts are also different in size.

  • What is the Brazilian butt lift?

    A collage of photos, show a patient's lower body before and after a Brazilian butt lift.

    I received an email the other day requesting information on whether I did the “Brazilian butt lift” and a long list of technical questions about how I did it. As with all surgical procedures, everybody does it a little differently. I am not sure anybody can say they “own the procedure” or “this is the way it’s done” and everyone else is wrong. Well, for any patient’s purposes, the results are what counts, not the name of the procedure or whether it was done like this or like that. In any case I started doing a procedure that for all intents and purposes is almost identical to the ‘Brazilian butt lift’, and I would like to explain to you why and how I do it.

  • Surgery and symmetry

    A drawing of a woman's shoulders, neck and head.

    Every once in a while I get an unhappy patient complaining that that her results are “uneven.” Unless the patient has been counseled beforehand that perfect symmetry is virtually impossible to achieve, she will be very upset, as most patients expect surgery to make things perfectly “even.” Most patients know not to expect perfection, but I have heard people say, “I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect, but this is UNEVEN.” Indeed, the surgeon himself expects and wants symmetry, but rarely gets it. Why is this?

  • Liposuction, Tummy tuck and weight gain

    liposuction fat cannister

    Every once in a while I get a patient that tells me that after Liposuction, they weigh the same, or may have even gained weight but their clothes fit better. So even though they are proud of their new figure, they are unhappy about the weight issue.   Your body weight is the product of how many calories you eat versus how many calories it takes to “run your body”. If you take some fat off, but do not change your intake of calories, you will slowly drift back to your preoperative weight. The only difference is…

  • How it got to my head to become a doctor

    Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez.

    When my mother was pregnant, my dad said (or so I was told): “I will put a scalpel in his hands when he is born”. Now that’s a scary thought. Well, whatever… as my kids say. But I can tell you that my most early memories have to do with medical stuff. The earliest memory of a real event is at my grandfather’s hospital bed. It is my only memory of him. The whole place; however, struck me forcefully. It was quiet, whereas in Puerto Rico everything else was always noisy. The hallways were long and empty, whereas I was always floating in a family crowd, or a “herd”, as my daughter says. Looking outside I saw a courtyard with a fountain. Somehow I got the impression that in that place something big and hidden was happening and that it had something to do with me. It was awe inspiring.

  • Diet, exercise, and surgery

    Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez, in the operating room, performing cosmetic surgery.

    Check out most pre and post operative pictures for body contouring in plastic surgery sites, and you will see that in most cases the postoperative photos will show some weight loss in areas AWAY from the surgery sites. This is no accident, as those patients really do look better. Better yet, when you see those shows as “The Swan,” you see the patients are literally sequestered from home and put in a boot camp of sorts where their diet is controlled, they work out, and finally get the surgery. Again, this is no accident. The best “surgical” results are obtained when the patient is motivated enough to change diet and exercise patterns in addition to the surgery.

  • Tummy tuck with no visible scars

    A slightly hypertrophic scar.

    In some cases where patients have a minimal pouch in the lower belly, the standard has been the “Mini tummy tuck.” An incision similar to that used for a “C section” is used to tighten the muscles below the belly button. At the same time a small amount of skin is taken out above the mons pubis. The procedure works well, but does not address the muscles above the belly button.  On the other hand…

  • Liposuction revisions

    Dr. Rodriguez performing liposuction cosmetic surgery.

    I once had a patient who wanted a revision of her Liposuction. I have seen her already several times and she is unhappy about small areas on her hips. The small bulges are above and below the panty line so the indentation of the panties on the skin magnifies the defect. She recognizes that the result is an improvement on what she had before but these small things are irritating her.

  • Old classmates try Botox and Restylane

    A collage of photos of a patient's forehead, showing the patient before and after a botox treatment.

    Last weekend (10 days ago) I went to my medical school 25th year class reunion at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, Wisconsin. I had been so driven in my surgical residency, then marriage, then being on the faculty at Yale, that wonderful memories had been buried deep. This was the first time I set foot in Madison in over 25 years!

  • Doing the Upper eyelids versus Forehead lift

    A photo of a patient's left eye, showing the area above the eye that needs to be corrected.

    Today I got a very nice letter from a patient who had consulted with me about Eyelid surgery. I had recommended a Brow lift with a mid Facelift. She thanked me for a very thorough and knowledgeable consult, but decided to go ahead and get just her eyelids done by an ophthalmologist who does Plastic surgery.   This is an issue I encounter often, and I thought I would write my thoughts down in case anybody can benefit from this. First of all…