Is Breast Reduction Right For You?

reduction mammoplastyWhen I hear someone react with shock or disbelief when they find out that some women are really excited to have breast reduction procedures, I know one thing for sure: they’ve never had to struggle with the pain and medical problems that are so frequently associated with very large breasts. Back pain, neck pain, skeletal deformities, skin irritation, difficulty breathing — these are some of the many symptoms our breast reduction candidates regularly describe to us. Many women show us the severe indentations in their shoulders caused by years of bra strap strain. When your breasts are so large they cause constant pain and deformities to other parts of your body, chances are, breast reduction could make a big improvement to your quality of life.

I recently read a Washington Post story on a woman named Kerisha Mark who suffered from a rare hormonal condition. Hers is a story that sheds light on why a breast reduction procedure can be so significant. For a significant portion of her life, Mark would experience pain in her chest so sharp and debilitating, she was convinced she was having a heart attack. Pain in her shoulders would travel through her neck, eventually transforming into migraine headaches that could last for days at a time. The feeling was so severe that she often found herself in the emergency room, where doctors eventually confirmed that it wasn’t a heart attack or a brain tumour that was causing this acute discomfort. All of these problems could be linked back to her excessive breast tissue.

Because of a hormonal condition called gigantomastia, her chest enlarged to a very uncomfortable 36NNN bra size. This led to pulled muscles in her chest, severe back pain, and unbelievable emotional distress. She was unable to run or work out at all; finding a sports bra in her size was completely out of the question. As a result, her health suffered in more ways than one, and doctors agreed she was at risk of developing degenerative kyphosis, a condition in which a person’s spine curves forward.

One month after undergoing a breast reduction procedure that adjusted her cup size to a full DD, Mark found that her symptoms disappeared. In addition to the weight lost from the reduction itself, she had even dropped an additional 10 pounds in the weeks that followed surgery. Now she’s excited to start a new exercise plan and to buy a new wardrobe for her new shape, including her first bathing suit in two decades. “Getting my breasts reduced was like a divorce,” she said. “And like a bad relationship, you don’t always realize how bad things were until it’s over.”

Not every case is quite as severe as Kerisha Mark’s. But if you recognize similar symptoms in your own daily life and you want to stop the pain and be able to do the activities you’ve been missing out on, a breast reduction procedure could be right for you.


Can You Get Rid of Gynecomastia with Exercise?

male breast reductionMany men who have excess breast tissue know one thing for sure: they want it gone, and they are willing to do anything to get rid of it. A quick search online will find you thousands of results for miracle pills that claim to “get rid of man boobs fast” and trademarked exercise regimes to help you “lose moobs now.” It’s no wonder I hear questions about these claims from men all the time. They want to know if any of these treatments work to get rid of gynecomastia. Here’s what I tell my patients and what I want men who are unhappy with male breasts to know. You may be the ideal gynecomastia candidate.

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes breast tissue to become enlarged in men. Sometimes that tissue is glandular, sometimes it’s fatty, and sometimes it’s even a combination of both. It’s true that exercise and diet can help eliminate fat in the body, and that’s probably why a lot of people assume you can get rid of excess male breasts by working out. For some men, the underlying cause of this condition can be attributed to marijuana use, steroid use, hormonal imbalance, environmental factors, or genetic abnormalities — none of which can be solved with exercise. But the majority of men with gynecomastia find that it’s in fact idiopathic, meaning we just don’t know what’s causing it.

If you look at a lot of these recommended exercise routines for getting rid of gynecomastia, you’ll notice that they suggest a lot of pectoral work. When you do intense exercise of the muscles in the chest, you are primarily building more muscle mass. Exercising a certain area doesn’t allow you to target fat loss; you lose fat all over the body in small increments. So this means that chest exercise doesn’t allow you to lose fatty tissue in the targeted area, and it’s not possible to eliminate glandular tissue with this strategy either. What happens instead is that you increase the size of your underlying muscle, which causes the condition to become more prominent and pronounced. So instead of getting rid of excess male breasts, you actually end up making them worse.

The fact is, gynecomastia doesn’t respond to diet and exercise because it’s a medical condition and not simply a case of being out of shape. Over the more than 25 years I’ve spent helping men eliminate it, the only thing I’ve seen work consistently and permanently is male breast reduction surgery. If there was an exercise or a pill that could fix it, someone would be a millionaire by now, because so many men are dealing with this problem daily and they’re really tired of having it affect their lives. We’re happy to be able to finally provide some real help to these men who’ve tried everything.


How to Get Rid of Fat After Pregnancy: Liposuction & Coolsculpting

coolsculpting procedureIt’s a common question I hear from women who come in for consultations after they’ve gone through pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding: how do I get my body back? No wonder it’s a topic that comes up all the time. You can’t pass by a magazine rack without seeing tabloids reporting on how quickly new moms in Hollywood find their bodies “bouncing back” to a pre-pregnancy state with seemingly no help at all. But that kind of timeline is just not a realistic standard. We have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes (not that it’s any of our business to begin with) and most women don’t have the resources to maintain a team of nutritionists, personal trainers, cosmetic surgeons, and nannies at all hours. So let’s talk about the options that are available for the rest of us and what’s realistic. Let’s talk about Liposuction & CoolSculpting.

Weight gain attributed to pregnancy usually responds well to keeping a balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle. Breastfeeding can also act as a kind of miracle worker when it comes to post-childbirth weight loss. That being said, the weight isn’t going to simply disappear overnight. It’s an ongoing process and it’s important to maintain reasonable expectations. For many women, it’s possible to eventually get within 10 pounds of a goal weight, the duration depending on actual weight gain, whether or not breastfeeding is a viable option, and other lifestyle factors. And it’s important to maintain perspective: since your body has undergone major changes over a period of nine months, it’s going to take a similar amount of time to get back to some degree of normalcy. Even after returning to that goal weight, many women find that they are left with pockets of stubborn fat around the midsection that don’t go away no matter what they do. The unwanted fat seems determined to stay.

There are a few ways to address the issue. The traditional route is liposuction, which is such a versatile technique that allows us a variety of different approaches that can work for several different areas of the body. Whether that unwanted fat is located in your hips, thighs, tummy, or buttocks, liposuction is a great way to achieve natural looking results with only a few small incisions. Many surgeons agree that it’s probably the easiest surgical cosmetic procedure to recover from.

We also have a brand new option that’s been hugely popular in the U.S. and we’re proud to be one of the first clinics in Canada to be able to offer it to our patients. CoolSculpting™ is a revolutionary technique that targets and freezes fat cells, effectively killing them and allowing your body to process and remove them. This non-surgical treatment is so safe and easy that many patients find themselves comfortable enough to read, check email, and even take a nap during the session. Most people see an undeniable reduction of fat after only one session. One look at the before and after photos and you can see why so many people love this non-invasive form of body contouring. Usually patients can even go right back to work after the session is over. Whether you’re a mom in the workplace or a mom in charge of the work at home, we know your time is unbelievably valuable and this aspect can be really helpful in that department.

If you want to find out more about this and other options we provide to get your pre-pregnancy body back, please join us at our Mommy Makeover Open House. Hear from other women who have been on this same journey, learn the ins and outs of the procedure, take a behind the scenes tour of our state-of-the-art-facility, and more. And of course, Dr. Ahmad and I will be on hand to answer any and all questions that might be on your mind. We’d love to see you there Thursday, November 6th.


Dr. Ahmad Presents International Rhinoplasty Lectures

It has been a busy month for our resident rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Jamil Ahmad. After presenting a course on “Raising the Bar in Rhinoplasty” and other lecture topics at the 88th edition of Plastic Surgery: The Meeting in Chicago in early October, Dr. Ahmad traveled to Tehran in late October to join the Iranian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He was one of nine surgeons from around the world invited to speak at the 8th International Congress of Advanced Rhinoplasty where he presented a total of seven lectures, one workshop, one video presentation, and one live surgery.

Thanks his unparalleled and wide-ranging expertise in the field of rhinoplasty, Dr. Ahmad’s lectures covered the following topics:

• Key Concepts in Open Rhinoplasty
• Safe Management of the Nasal Airway
• Aesthetics and Surgical Refinement of the Nasal Base
• For Better or For Worse: Critical Case Analyses
• Understanding the Nose-Chin Relationship
• Approach to the depressor septi nasi muscle
• The Role of Fillers in Rhinoplasty

Dr. Ahmad also performed a live Primary Open Septo-Rhinoplasty to put his extensive knowledge into action and to demonstrate to fellow plastic surgeons the intricate methods he uses that deliver natural looking results. He shared techniques and tips for an effective rhinoplasty approach, enabling other surgeons to see how to maintain step-by-step control of the changes created during surgery in order to achieve predictable results every time. He sent us these behind the scenes photos leading up to the live surgical event (click thumbnails to enlarge):



Renée Zellweger’s New Look: Plastic Surgery?

When Renée Zellweger stepped out onto the red carpet at Elle’s recent Women in Hollywood event, she likely had no idea that the appearance of her face would dominate the news cycle for the many days that followed. Rampant speculation followed – it must have been a facelift! And a forehead lift! She must have had facial liposuction, too! These were among some of the many outlandish and inaccurate claims that popped up in our news feeds.

While Dr. Lista doesn’t usually agree to make media appearances to speculate on celebrity plastic surgery, when he was asked to join Mad Dog and Maura at Virgin Radio’s Breakfast Show to talk about Renée’s new look, he wanted to take the opportunity to explain what in his expert opinion was really only a minor procedure, hopefully putting an end to the needless continued scrutiny.

“I think that we haven’t seen her in a long time, she’s reached sort of a critical age — early 40’s — where your face changes a lot,” he explained. “She’s just grown older but I think she’s had something really minor done. I think she had her upper eyelids done, which were her most characteristic trait. Combined with facial aging where your face thins out a little bit and gets thinner and longer as you grow older, think the combination of that and a little minor procedure on the most unique part of her body and she looks totally different.”

More importantly, he added, “she looks beautiful, and she’s happy, so… who cares?”

Dr. Lista also explained how he wouldn’t be surprised if the motivation for this procedure was also for functional reasons. “If you look at her pictures from about five years ago, she had a really heavy upper eyelid, and that was her most characteristic trait and it looked like she was even having trouble seeing,” he observed. In Renée’s case, it appeared to be an inherited condition that contributed to her signature look, but also likely inhibited her sight. “I think that it was interfering with her vision and I think she didn’t like it. So that little minor thing, having an upper lid blepharoplasty, made all the difference for her.”

Aging in Hollywood continues to be a difficult endeavour, especially for women. “I think about being a celebrity and how horrible it is because they’re in a movie and they’re not seen for four or five years and then they come out and people say, “oh my god, you look so different, what did you do?”” Dr. Lista says. When something so simple can put a person’s face under the microscope, stir up so much conjecture, and dominate the 24-hour news cycle, sometimes it’s best to remind everyone once again: it’s her body and she’s happy. So who cares?