Preparing Your House Post-Surgery

While you meet with your doctor to discuss your procedure and mentally prepare yourself for this journey, it is also recommended that you adjust your home to make it more comfortable and accessible for you during your recovery. 

After procedures such as breast augmentation surgery, you will experience soreness and will need to move around slowly for the first few days of recovery to minimize pain. To help make your life easier during your recovery, we’ve put together some tips on how to prepare your family, home, and wardrobe for a comfortable recovery. 

Choose your recovery crew. 

On the day of your procedure and for at least 24 hours afterward, you will need the assistance of another adult for various tasks. This person will need to drive you to your surgery location, help you in and out of the car, and will need to monitor you for 24 to 48 hours as you come out of anesthesia. 
You should appoint this job to a family member, spouse, or close friend. If you live alone and prefer to keep your procedure private, you could hire a nurse to assist with your recovery.

Schedule full-time childcare. 

In addition to caring for yourself, it is also recommended that you arrange for full-time childcare for the first few days of recovery. You will also want to have extra help with childcare scheduled for a few weeks after your procedure since you will be restricted from lifting anything more than 10 pounds to prevent straining your incision or stretching your scars, meaning you will not be able to pick up your children during recovery. 

Pet care should also be considered. You will have to avoid walking your dog or cleaning your cat’s litter box out during recovery. Allow your children to help you with pet care or enlist the help of a trusted family member or friend. 

Prep your meals or get assistance with cooking meals. 

Eating nutritious meals during your recovery will help you feel better and heal faster. While you can order healthy takeout, you may want to consider saving money by stocking up your fridge and meal-prepping food for at least a few days since you will not be able to drive to the store while taking your prescription pain medication. 

You can prep and portion meals such as meat and veggies, soups, and casseroles that are easy to heat up in the microwave. You can also prepare the ingredients ahead of time and have a family member or friend cook for you. 

Create a comfortable recovery/rest area. 

Breast surgery recoveryDuring your recovery, rest is a major part of your healing. Prior to surgery, we recommend that you designate an area in your home with a comfortable temperature, privacy, and one that is easy to get in and out of without having to strain your arms and allows you to move your legs freely. Avoid areas that you could roll over on your chest while sleeping. 

You want to make sure you rest on your back with your head and chest slightly elevated. This avoids pressure on your implants and helps you keep from straining your incisions. Make sure this area has easy access to your phone, tablet, water, light switches, etc. 

Be sure the spot you choose has room for you to get up and move around to reduce the risk of stiffness and blood clots. This area should also have your necessities such as skincare and your toothbrush. Make sure these items are placed at waist height for easy access. 

Make some comfortable and convenient additions to your wardrobe. 
Pulling shirts and sweaters over your head can cause strain to your incisions, so it is recommended that you find more comfortable garments to wear during recovery. Prior to your surgery, purchase easy-to-wear items such as wrap dress, button-up PJs, open front, and button-up shirts. You will also need to add a few bras to your wardrobe that are front-closing as well as soft and supportive. 

Breast Augmentation Surgery in Pittsburgh

If you are ready to enhance the shape and size of your breasts, breast augmentation surgery may be right for you. Contact Renova Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation.

Breast Lift vs. Breast Reduction

Before you can choose between a breast lift or a breast reduction, it is essential to understand the differences and benefits of the two. You may be wondering which one you would be the best candidate for.
At Renova Plastic Surgery, we’ve put together an overview of each procedure to help you determine which procedure may be able to help you reach your desired results.
Breast Lift Procedure 
Breast Lift SurgeryWomen who have experienced events such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss may have noticed that their breasts have shrunk and have begun to sag. With a breast lift, your surgeon can resolve these issues by reshaping, repositioning, and increasing the volume of your breasts.
A breast lift is a surgical technique that is used to remove excess skin from your breasts while also eliminating sagging, raising the breasts to a more youthful position. With a breast lift, your surgeon can correct issues such as:
  • Asymmetrical breasts
  • Decreased breast volume[BT1]
  • Sagging breasts
  • Drooping or downward-pointing nipples
  • Stretched or enlarged areolas
  • Chest skin folds
Am I a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
If your goal is to achieve a more lifted and youthful appearance in your breasts, then you may be a great candidate for a breast lift. Ideal breast lift candidates will match the following criteria:
  • The patient is of sound mental health.
  • The patient is interested in addressing excess or sagging skin.
  • They have realistic expectations for the procedure and the outcome.
  • They are in good overall health.
  • They do not smoke cigarettes.
  • The patient has no active infections.
  • The patient is satisfied with the size of their breasts.
To be a good candidate for a breast lift, you must also be committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and stable weight. We also recommend that patients wait to have a breast lift until they no longer plan on having children is since pregnancy can have an impact on your results.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast Reduction SurgeryPatients who have large breasts often develop issues such as neck, back, or shoulder pain caused by the excessive weight of their breasts. To resolve these issues, a breast reduction can help you achieve smaller, lighter breasts as well as a more youthful look.
A breast reduction is a surgical procedure that is used to reshape the breast by removing excess breast tissue for more proportional and desirable size. A breast reduction can also help patients improve their comfort, quality of life, and self-esteem.
Who is a Candidate for a Breast Reduction?
If you are looking to reduce the size of your breasts to help reduce your issues with back pain and limited physical activity, then a breast reduction may be right for you. Ideal candidates for breast reductions surgery often experience the following:
  • Bra straps digging into your shoulders, forming deep grooves.
  • Limitations with physical activity.
  • Daily back, shoulder, and neck pain.
  • Issues with your posture.
  • Issues finding properly fitting clothes and bras.
  • Feel that your breasts are too heavy.
  • Feel that your breasts are too big/disproportionate for your body.
  • Other issues include a tingling sensation caused by the downward pull of your breasts.
  • Issues breathing when lying on your back.
Good candidates for breast reduction meet the following criteria:
  • The patient is in good overall health.
  • They do not smoke cigarettes.
  • The patient is self-conscious of their breast size to the point that it affects their daily life and quality of life.
  • They have realistic expectations for the procedure and the outcome it can achieve.
  • The patient is limited in what they can do physically because of their breast size.
Candidates for breast reduction should not be pregnant or plan to become pregnant after the procedure. Pregnancy can affect your results.
How do I Determine Which Procedure Matches My Goals?
If you are unsure about which procedure will best suit your goals, schedule a consultation at Renova Plastic Surgery today! Our surgeon will perform an exam and discuss your goals with you to determine whether a breast reduction or breast lift would be best for you. Contact us today to get started!

Why Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery is On the Rise

Plastic Surgery in Pittsburgh, PA

The year 2014 saw a significant increase in the amount of butt lift procedures — 58 percent increase when compared to the previous year. Re-Nova Plastic Surgery has outlined a few reasons why this plastic surgery procedure continues to be one of the fastest growing procedures.

The “Apple Bottom” Shape Is In

Like it or not, celebrity culture is mostly responsible for the popularity of this procedure. With pop stars and debutantes that include the likes of Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj proudly displaying their buxom backsides in “butt selfies” (termed “belfies”) on social media, people (most often women) are desiring a rounder, curvier rear end. Brazilian butt lift surgery, which adds fat that has been removed through liposuction from another area of the body and injected into the buttocks, gives the butt a fuller, more voluptuous appearance.

Fat Grafting is More Natural Than Implants

If you are unhappy with a flat or deflated buttocks, or if you simply want a more balanced, hourglass shape, the Brazilian butt lift procedure is the safest, most effective way to add volume to your posterior. Unlike buttock augmentation procedures that use gluteal (butt) implants, the Brazilian butt lift uses your own fat that has been removed from another part of the body (most often a “problem area” with excess fat) and refined before it is injected into the buttocks. This surgery is less invasive, involving only minor incisions where the needle is injected (as opposed to the larger incision created when placing implants) and there is less bleeding and a shorter recovery period. Plus, with Brazilian butt lift surgery, there is no need to worry that your body will “reject” any foreign material (like an implant), because it involves the use of your own fat! As such, the Brazilian butt lift procedure also creates the most natural-looking results.

You Can Slim Your Body and Plump Your Rear All At Once

Who wouldn’t want the benefit of two procedures in one? Brazilian butt lift surgery not only gives you a sexy, round derriere, it also removes fat from another part of the body (often the stomach or thighs) and gives you an all-around smoother body shape. The result? A smaller waistline or thinner thighs to accentuate your shapely new rear. What’s more, with Brazilian butt lift surgery you only have to go through one recovery period!

Schedule Your Brazilian Butt Lift Consultation Today

Are you ready to fill out your jeans and bikini bottoms with a curvier bottom? Find out more about the Brazilian butt lift procedure when you call Re-Nova Plastic Surgery at (412) 638-2391 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez.

Do I Need a Breast Lift?

A breast lift can restore breasts to their previously youthful appearance, eliminating the sagging that often results from extreme weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding, normal aging or genetic disposition. Every woman desires to look her very best and a breast lift can often restore not only outward appearance but self-confidence as well. In this week’s blog, Pittsburg cosmetic surgeon Dr. Julio Clavijo-Alvarez helps you answer the question, “Do I need a breast lift?”

The Breast Lift Result

First, it is crucial to understand what exactly breast lift surgery can achieve. Breast lift, known in the medical world as mastopexy, is a plastic surgery procedure performed to elevate breasts that are drooping, sagging or look flat on the chest. The desired result is perky and youthful looking breasts. The breast lift can be done alone or performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation or reduction, tailored to each individual’s needs and desires. Following a thorough examination of your breasts, your board certified plastic surgeon will present the options most appropriate for your goals during your consultation.

Signs You May Need Breast Lift Surgery

Several factors may indicated that you need breast lift surgery. One is the location of your nipples; if your nipples have fallen below the breast crease, or the region where your breast and torso join, you may be in need of a lift. Another factor is breast shape: flat, stretched or “deflated-looking” breasts are indicators of a need for breast lift. Many women seeking breast lift feel their breasts are simply not as beautiful as they once were and want to restore them to their youthful exuberance.

Recovery

The recovery time for breast lift surgery is two to four weeks, or longer if breast augmentation or reduction is performed in conjunction with the lift. Generally, any bruising or swelling is mostly resolved at two weeks, allowing patients to return to work and their regular routine.

Call Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez

To schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez regarding your concerns, and to determine whether breast lift is the right option for your goals, please call 412-638-2391 or email  us today

Tips for Your First Plastic Surgery Consultation

When you decide to undergo plastic surgery, it is imperative that you are ready for your first consultation. You’ll want to be able to clearly explain your desires to potential surgeons and ask questions regarding benefits, options and risks for the procedures you are considering. Pittsburg plastic surgeon Dr. Julio Clavijo-Alvarez offers these tips to help you prepare for your initial plastic surgery consultation and make the most of the appointment.

Questions to Ask

You’ll want to begin by asking the potential plastic surgeon if they are board certified. Board certification indicates a certain level of education, safety record and commitment to the profession. Next, ask the surgeon how often he or she has performed the procedure you are considering and the complication rate on the particular procedure; this information is important because no surgery is without risks. You’ll also want to ask about pre-operative preparations, risks, downtime and post-operative care, as well as any other personal concerns or questions you have.

Items to Bring Along

The surgeon will ask for your complete medical history, including any issues in your family medical history, previous surgeries and a list of your current medications, plus any vitamins or supplements you use. Depending on the type of surgery you are considering, you might elect to bring along swimwear so that the surgeon can take special care in planning incision placement and subsequently concealing scars as much as possible following your surgery.

Financial Obligations

Since elective plastic surgeries are typically not covered by your health insurance provider, you will want to plan accordingly. Be wary of plastic surgeons offering fees at considerably lower prices to other cosmetic surgeons in your area, and never base your decision solely on price. Your safety, well-being and successful outcome are of the utmost importance.

Contact Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez

Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez is ready to provide you with a personalized consultation to discuss your cosmetic surgery needs. Contact the doctor at 412-638-2391 or via email to schedule your consultation today.

Daddy Do-Overs on the Rise

Today’s fathers are constantly on the move with work, hobbies and family. Responsibilities abound; from career pressures to date nights to peewee soccer leagues, dads are a busy bunch. In spite of it all, they still want to look good, staying fit and attractive for the special people in their lives. As a result, Dr. Julio Clavijo-Alvarez has seen “Daddy Do-Overs” catching up with the ever popular “Mommy Makeovers.” Here, Dr. Julio Clavijo-Alvarez discusses the finer points of the Daddy Do-Over procedures to help you determine if the procedure is right for you.

What Exactly is a Daddy Do-Over?

You might find yourself wondering what exactly a Daddy Do-Over is, and you wouldn’t be alone in your query. Daddy Do-Overs are a combination of cosmetic surgery procedures that address love handles (liposuction), oversized male breasts (breast reduction) and puffy or saggy eyelids (surgery to alleviate the tired, sad look). Because each daddy is different, a Daddy Do-Over can include other procedures; Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez customizes each and every Daddy Do-Over.

Lid and Brow Surgery

Many times, busy dads just don’t have the time to devote to procedures with lengthy recovery times, yet still desire anti-aging results. This makes eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and brow lifts a great option for dads. The eyelid surgery removes excess fat at the lower lid and excess skin on the upper lid restoring a youthful quality to the eyes. Brow lift addresses drooping eyebrows, furrows in between the brows and creases on the forehead to restore a “bright eyed” look. Both procedures cause minimal, hardly noticeable scarring, and the recovery is only a week or so.

Non-Invasive Treatments

While some dads opt for cosmetic surgery to achieve a more youthful look, others find non-invasive procedures more appealing and turn to Botox and fillers (hyaluronic acid) to hide fine lines, wrinkles and creases in the skin. These options restore youthfulness to the face and require only a short visit with minimal recovery time, which makes them popular among busy dads.

Contact Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez

To receive customized information along with exceptional care for your own Daddy Do-Over, call 412-638-2391 or email us to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez today.

5 Critical Decisions You’ll Make about Breast Implants

Size

The decision to have breast augmentation is a big one, and your choice of implant size is one of the most critical components. It is important that you fully and carefully express your goals and your desired result to your board certified plastic surgeon. He or she will take measurements and make recommendations based on your chest size, your overall anatomy and your desired result.

Type

Essentially, you’ll make your selection from silicone implants or saline implants. There are different variations of each type, with new variations being introduced regularly. There are also positives and negatives with both types. Many people believe silicone implants offer a more natural look and feel; however, ruptures and leaks are harder to detect. In contrast, if a saline implant ruptures, it is absorbed by the body and the breast becomes noticeably deflated, allowing the patient to remove the implant as soon as possible. No matter what you choose, regular follow-ups with your surgeon are a must.

Implant Location

Breast implants are placed in one of two locations: on top of the breast muscle or underneath it. Atop the muscle tends to provide a shorter recovery time while many believe underneath the muscle provides a more natural look. Your surgeon will help you decide which is the best option for you based on your desired outcome and other factors.

Incision

While you and your surgeon must decide what is best for you, implants are generally placed through incisions located underneath the breast, in the armpit or in or near the areola. Your surgeon will make recommendations based on implant size, type and location, and what is best for you.

Recovery

Recovery following your breast augmentation is generally in the one- to two-week range. Keep in mind that your breasts will be bandaged immediately following surgery, and some patients have drainage tubes which are removed a few days after surgery. During the first few days, you will want to rest and relax. You’ll likely have a bit of swelling and some discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medication can be used, and prescription pain medication will be prescribed as needed.

Contact Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez

To receive personalized information about your breast augmentation, call 412-638-2391 or email us to schedule your consultation with Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez today.

How to Make Your Plastic Surgery Recovery Short, Smooth and Stress-Free

Whether you already have decided to have plastic surgery or are just starting to do your research, it’s important to start thinking about how to prepare for your recovery. You need to make sure that you have everything ready, so that once you are home, the rest of your recovery is smooth sailing. In this blog post the experts at ReNova Plastic Surgery provide tips to help you look and feel your best as soon as possible.

Top Ways to Ease Your Recovery

Aside from making sure you have all of the gauze, tape and medications you will need at home prior to having your surgery, there are a few things that you can do to help encourage a quick, more comfortable recovery. Here is a quick list of what to do, and what to avoid, to make your recovery easier.

  1. Do – wear any compression garments given to you by your plastic surgeon, and continue wearing them for as long as your surgeon tells you to. These garments are specifically designed to minimize bruising and keep swelling down significantly, and must be worn as directed to give you the easiest recovery.
  2. Avoid – exercise. Most of the time, exercise is really good for you, but when your recovery period following plastic surgery is one of the few times where taking it easy is key. Wait until your doctor tells you it is safe to go back to your regular workouts.
  3. Do – take your pain medications as directed. Pushing through the pain is never advised after plastic surgery, as the pain could increase your blood pressure, which can cause more swelling and bruising, which then slows down how long it takes to recover after surgery.
  4. Avoid – smoking, both before and following the surgery. Smoking in general slows down how quickly your body can recover, but it can also make it more likely that problems will arise during the recovery process. If you were able to avoid smoking for the weeks prior to your surgery, keep up the good work and steer clear of lighting back up just because your surgery is done.
  5. Do – move around as your doctor says it is safe to do. You will be advised to rest as much as you can during the first 24-48 hours after surgery, but after that, you need to be up and about. Moving your body around not only speeds up the healing process, but also helps keep your pain to a minimum.

For a Relaxing and Stress-Free Recovery, Contact ReNova Plastic Surgery

The staff and surgeons at ReNova Plastic Surgery are committed to helping make your recovery as stress-free and smooth as possible. If you have any extra questions about how to increase the ease and speed of your recovery, let us help guide you. Contact us today at (412) 638-2391.

Can Men Have Facelifts?

While the majority of trusted Pittsburgh plastic surgeon Julio Clavijo-Alvarez’s clientele is female, he does see male patients regularly. Many of these men desire a younger looking facial appearance, and are curious whether facelift is an option available to them. The good news is that men can certainly have facelift surgery — and when performed by the right surgeon, the results can be magnificent! However, there are some special considerations for male facelift surgery, which Dr. Clavijo explains here.

Excellent technique for natural-looking results. The key to successful male facelift is to make slight tweaks for subtle improvement. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples in Hollywood of bad male facelift surgery that overcorrected and feminized the patient. It is important to choose a plastic surgeon that understands the nuances of male and female facelift and has a track record of great results with both.

Unique challenges. Working around hair-bearing skin and a beard is challenging. The incisions must be made carefully, and the skin lifted and tightened in a way that does not change the position of the beard or side burns. Ignoring the hair pattern during these modifications could lead to hair growing in unnatural spots, such as the tragus (i.e., the bump in front of the ear) or behind the ear. Men typically don’t wear their hair as long as women do, so the incisions need to be carefully camouflaged.

Additionally, men’s skin tends to be thicker and less pliable than women’s skin. Men also have stronger ligament support, heavier necks and bigger faces. A good plastic surgeon like Dr. Clavijo understands how to work around these obstacles.

Increased post-operative risks. Men’s skin is more vascular than women’s, which can raise the risk of post-operative complications such as hematomas. Closely monitoring the patient and controlling blood pressure is critical to a safe recovery. Thicker male skin heals faster, so men tend to have rapid recoveries and resume activities sooner. Being too physically active within the first week of recovery could lead to other complications, so careful physician supervision is essential.

Desire for discretion. Many women have a natural proclivity to change their appearance, whether through cosmetics, a new haircut or facial plastic surgery. Some even talk about their plastic surgery procedures within their group of friends. On the other hand, men are less likely to change their appearance and not likely to discuss it within their social circle. As such, they generally prefer more privacy and discretion from their surgeon and staff throughout the entire experience.

Learn More about Male Facelift

To learn more about facelift surgery, please contact ReNova Plastic Surgery by calling (412) 638-2391 today.