Cosmeticsurg Blog

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

  • 10 Questions to ask your surgeon about Fat grafting

    fat cell syringes

    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.

  • Will Apple’s iWatch marry big data to medicine?

    A photo showing multiple iWatches.

    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.

  • What do Tummy tuck scars look like?

    Tummy Tuck scar is placed in panty line

    Many 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.

  • Tummy tuck patients Are happy happy happy!

    96% worth it rating based on 5705 stories

    I’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.

  • How much fat is injected with the Brazilian butt lift?

    An image of a quote by Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, as found in the article.

    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.

  • Smile surgery to help permanent frowns

    An illustration showing a smile surgery.

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted a Korean Plastic Surgeon who is popularizing the so called Smile Surgery. MSN News also recently featured an article about smile surgery, called a “smile lipt,” – a combination of the words “lip” and “lift.” While this procedure may sound odd, there are definitely some patients who are good candidates for this procedure. I have performed it in my practice in Baltimore. Some people have a distinct permanent frown type expression and Smile Surgery can help them because it lifts the corners of the mouth. It helps change the permanent sad or angry look to a more pleasant expression. This technique is different than a traditional lip lift procedure, as that technique focuses solely on the long space between the upper lip and the base of your nose.

  • How to get the smoothest Liposuction results?

    Different liposuction cannulas.

    To get the smoothest result with Liposuction your plastic surgeon needs four things: SMALL 3 MM LIPOSUCTION CANNULA: The instrument that a plastic surgeon uses to remove the fat from your body is called a cannula. Cannulas come in a variety of sizes and are classified by the width of the long slender tube. After over 25 years of performing Liposuction, I have found that the cannula which works best is a small, thin, 3 millimeter diameter cannula. The small diameter cannula ensures that you don’t leave defects in the fatty tissue where fluids or blood can accumulate. Larger liposuction cannulas allow fluids to accumulate and have a higher likelihood of uneven scarring and surgery results. Uneven scarring is what causes skin contour irregularities.

  • How much does Breast augmentation cost in Baltimore, Maryland?

    A woman saving money in piggy bank.

    Patients who call our office looking for Breast augmentation information are usually also gathering total surgical cost prices as well as financing information. This week, our office did a little bit of secret shopping to find out what the average cost of a Breast augmentation procedure costs in Baltimore. Remember that Breast augmentation total costs depend on whether you select silicone or saline Implants. We compared costs of both.

  • 6 Essential questions to ask before a Brazilian butt lift

    An illustration of woman with a question mark in a thought balloon.

    A lot of surgeons now are beginning to perform Brazilian butt lifts. Fat grafting is highly technique dependent and some surgeons are having more success than others. Unfortunately most surgeons do not see other surgeon’s work so it is hard for them to compare results. But you can. The information you can get from these questions will help you pick the best surgeon for yourself!

  • Dr. Rodriguez of Cosmeticsurg awarded 2013 Maryland stem cell grant

    MSCRF logo

    Any of you who have been following this blog knows of my interest in adult stem cells derived from fat tissue. Adipose stem cells are an abundant source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s), and provide tremendous promise for many types of injury and diseases. For the past 4 years I have been on an amazing journey that has brought me in contact with brilliant scientists all over the world, taught me new skills, and opened a world of wonder in my profession of plastic surgery. Yesterday, together with Jeff Bulte, PhD (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions) and others from University of Maryland, I was awarded one of the 2013 Maryland stem cell research fund (MSCRF) Grants. Our team will investigate the location, longevity, and fate of labeled adipose stem cells once we have injected them into breast tissue damaged by radiation.

  • Compression garments for Liposuction and Tummy tuck

    A compression garment from Design Veronique.

    For the best results following any plastic surgery procedure it’s important to choose your board certified surgeon carefully, discuss your goals and options very specifically, and follow your surgeons post-op instructions completely. Not wearing your compression garment after surgery might not seem like a big deal, but in fact, it is very important to your surgical result! I ask all of my patients to wear a compression garment after their Liposuction and/or tummy tuck surgery. Here’s why.

  • Hydrogel injections to the buttocks – Don’t do it!

    A screenshot of a product description of hydrogel for butt injection.

    In 2007, I wrote a blog post about Hydrogel for Buttock augmentation. In the post I detailed my reasons why I did not think it was a good idea to do a Buttock augmentation or Butt Lift with Hydrogel. The only thing that has changed since I wrote that post is that I have seen many patients who have suffered terrible damage from Hydrogel injections! My position remains the same: Hydrogel to buttocks: Don’t do it! To recap.

  • Lip lift technique: Lifting skin only vs muscle

    An illustration showing the nerves around the upper lip.

    Patients today are doing a lot of research about the upper Lip lift,. One of the most frequent questions I get is if the surgery involves the muscle of the upper lip. Patients want to know if my technique involves only the skin, or if I lift the muscle in any way. My Lip lift technique involves lifting the skin only, and I do not involve the muscle. It seems one of the biggest proponents of technique incorporating the muscle is Dr. Randall Heyworth in California. In 2008, he and I met on a trip to China representing the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and I enjoyed his company. But I have a different approach to the upper lip lift and I will explain why.

  • How long is the Tummy tuck recovery?

    A pen marking a date on a calendar.

    Recovery after a Tummy tuck has to balance two things: the need to get your body going as quickly as possible versus the need to keep things quiet until your body has a chance to heal well. In the past, patients were told to stay very still for a long time, but that created complications such as blog clots in the legs and problems with the lungs. Nowadays patients are encouraged to get moving much sooner, but that can have its own set of problems such as wound separations and infections. Like most things in life, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Here is how we advise our own patients who have surgery in our Baltimore surgery center, and we hope you find it helpful.