Body procedures articles

Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez discusses plastic surgery for the body and related topics.

  • Pain pumps: Cosmetic surgery with minimal pain

    A photo of a computer screen showing a list of advantages of using pain pumps.

    Plastic surgery doesn’t have to be painful. If you are having a cosmetic surgery procedure ask your plastic surgeon about pain pumps. These types of pumps use local anesthetics, not narcotics. Pain pumps eliminate pain, reduce nausea, and result in much quicker recovery. Watch my Cosmeticsurg blog to find out about why I think pain pumps in cosmetic surgery are great!

  • Tumescent liposuction vs. Laser liposuction : Which is the best?

    A back side view of a patient's lower body.

    In Episode #3 of my CosmeticSurg Video Blog I discuss the difference between two types of liposuction: tumescent (suction) liposuction vs. laser/ ultrasonic assisted liposuction. If you are considering laser or ultrasonic liposuction you must watch this video to understand why these new technologies may not necessarily be as good as regular tumescent liposuction!

  • Liposuction cannulas: CosmeticSurg video journal with Dr. Rodriguez | Episode 1

    Different liposuction cannulas.

    Explore Cosmetic Surgery and the Science of Beauty with Dr. Rodriguez in his CosmeticSurg Video Journal. In Episode 1, Dr. Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon with 20 years experience, explains the significance of cannula size in the liposuction procedure. Find out which cannulas are considered the gold standard and yield the best results for liposuction.

  • Types of anesthesia used in Cosmetic surgery

    Monitor used to track vitals during anesthesia .

    Some of you may have read my posts on why I like to do Breast augmentation under IV sedation. I also do IV sedation for all major and combined procedures. Naturally, some patients are anxious because they don’t want to feel anything, but they are attracted to the idea of not undergoing general anesthesia. There is also some confusion as to what exactly is IV sedation. This is understandable because there are many levels of sedation. I will explain the different levels so you can make a more informed decision when discussing this with your surgeon or anesthesiologist. In cosmetic surgery, we often refer to the three distinct choices: local,  IV or General anesthesia.

  • Tummy tuck anesthesia makes a big difference | Tumescent local vs. General anesthesia

    A photo zoomed in on the hand of a patient while an anesthesia is being applied.

    In many plastic surgery forums I always see the question – ‘Can a tummy tuck can be performed with something other than General Anesthesia’? The good news is YES – you can have a tummy tuck with IV Sedation. Instead of general anesthesia, I use local tumescent anesthesia with IV sedation. This type of anesthesia is highly preferable compared to general anesthesia and I want to explain why. With General anesthesia , a machine is breathing for you and you have a tube down your throat or nose. With IV anesthesia you are breathing on your own and there is no tube in your throat or nose. Recovery from IV sedation is also much easier with IV sedation compared to General anesthesia. Most people experience much less nausea with IV sedation.

  • Removing excess skin after weight loss

    Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez in the operation room.

    The Body Lift procedure removes excess skin which occurs after weight loss. Dr. Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon has been performing the procedure for over a decade. Dr. Rodriguez performs all his body lift procedures in his AAAASF accredited surgery center in Baltimore, Maryland . Instead of General Anesthesia, he uses Twilight Anesthesia which results in much less nausea after surgery and a much faster recovery. Dr. Rodriguez explains the body lift procedure in this video.

  • Body lift techniques

    A photo of a patient's body, showing her body before and after a body lift procedure.

    A Lower Body Lift, or Belt Lipectomy is the combination of a Tummy Tuck, Outer Thigh Lift, and Posterior Buttock Lift performed in the same operative session. The ideal candidate for Body Lift has excessive amounts of skin. Getting the best results comes from taking out the right amounts of fat and skin. It is not proper to take out too much skin or too much fat. I believe that the Lockwood technique provides the best method for excising precisely the right amount of fat and skin.

  • Body lift – How to reduce risks

    Before and after photos from patients who have had a body lift

    The Body lift is a procedure which lifts and tightens the lower part of the body. The procedure is actually three separate procedures performed in the same operative session. The component parts of the Body lift are the Tummy tuck, the outer thigh lift and excisional butt lift. The average amount of time required for the Lower body lift procedure is 7-8 hours and it can be performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. With the procedure taking so much time, you may ask “How safe is a Body lift?” Surgery has a variety of risks, but the choice of anesthesia for the Body lift can definitely reduce the biggest risk – the risk of pulmonary embolism, or blood clot to the lungs. With long procedures, 5-7% of patients develop pulmonary embolism with the use of general anesthesia. So, in order to completely eliminate that risk , I have been using IV sedation exclusively instead of general anesthesia for the past couple of years.

  • How to control postoperative swelling after Tummy tuck

    An illustration showing postoperative swelling stages.

    In my previous blog post about postoperative Tummy tuck swelling I talked about how the blood supply is disrupted to different degrees using the two different types of Tummy tuck techniques (standard vs. Lockwood). In summary, the more skin that is elevated and separated from the muscle layer, the more blood supply disruption you have. On this post we will address swelling of the tissues after Tummy tuck and why compression garments following surgery are important to reduce swelling. The body is made mostly of water, and there is a constant fluid leakage from the tissues balanced by reuptake of fluid into the lymphatic drainage system. When the lymphatic system is impaired, we get fluid accumulations. The fluid can accumulate between the tissues as interstitial fluid (like a soaked sponge), or outside of the tissues as a seroma (like a sac of fluid). It can also accumulate at some distance from the operative site, usually the upper thighs or legs. The drawing illustrates the various types of fluid accumulation following surgery. As you move from left to right on the illustration you have increasing swelling to result in these conditions:

  • Tummy tucks: How to reduce swelling and eliminate fluid collections (seromas)

    An illustration showing the different Tummy Tuck techniques.

    I have been looking at Tummy tuck forums, just to get an idea of how patients perceive the whole experience of surgery of the abdomen, or abdominoplasty. Two things struck me. The first one was the large number of patients who complain of swelling, both immediately after surgery, and weeks after. The second is that a lot of patients are still getting fluid collections that have to be drained with a needle, sometimes repeatedly…