When Shannon began contemplating plastic surgery to enhance her appearance, she asked women who went under the knife about their experiences. Many of the women she talked to recommended Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. James Scheu who is acclaimed for his dedication to delivering beautiful facial rejuvenation results. Shannon, age 60, has gone to Dr. Scheu several times in the last few years and remains a loyal and satisfied patient.
What procedures or treatments have you experienced?
- BOTOX® Cosmetic
- Dermal fillers
- Fractional CO2 laser
- Fraxel® laser
- Mini facelift
- Fat transfer to the lips
What did you like about the doctor and his staff?
Dr. Scheu is very thorough, and he doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He tells you the upsides and downsides of anything you want to have done, and then you decide if you want to take the chance. He’s very honest about the procedures and what to expect. He is also nice and friendly. I’ve been there so often that I know all the staff members, and they’re very sweet.
What was the doctor’s availability?
He calls you when you get home from surgery and checks on you. If I have any questions, he is available, unless he’s in [the operating room]. If so, he always calls back. He has good follow-through. He answers questions very well and thoroughly.
How was your recovery?
- BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers: You can go to work the next day [after treatment with injectables]. I bruise a little, but I can cover it with makeup. My bruises last around two weeks, but it depends on the patient’s skin type.
- Fractional CO2 laser: This was my longest recovery, and it was two weeks. It seems more like the top layer of skin was removed, so I had to be bandaged for a while. I couldn’t go anywhere for five to seven days except to see Dr. Scheu.
- Fraxel® laser: I had some redness, but no oozing. It seems like Fraxel® works from the inside out. You can go back to work that day if you want to.
- Mini facelift: I had some bruising around my neck for about one week, but like I said I just covered it with makeup. I went out after five days.
- Fat transfer to the lips: It’s better than fillers! You can go out, but you will have really big lips for a while. The swelling goes down a little every day. It’s been a month since I had it done, and my lips are perfect now.
How do you feel about your results?
I think it’s obvious! I’ve been going to Dr. Scheu for years, so I’m very happy with the results. My results are fabulous! When I go out, and people ask how old I am, they don’t believe I’m 60. I just look like I haven’t aged; it’s very natural. Some people really look like they had something done, but I don’t.
If you could do it all over again, would you have still undergone this procedure? Are you planning on undergoing any other procedures in the future?
Yes! It helped that I knew what to expect. Research your outcome. Consider what you’re doing and whether the effects are going to be temporary or permanent. Ask about the side effects and downsides of what you get, and find an honest doctor.
Knowing the length of recovery needed after a cosmetic procedure is vital for active patients who are seeking enhancement. The type of treatment you want will determine how long it will be before you can resume physical activities and sports such as tennis, hiking, cycling, and aerobic exercise. Of course, everyone’s recovery timeline will vary depending on individual healing and the extent of their procedure, but here is a general guideline for when you can get back to your fast-paced lifestyle.
Liposuction is a fat removal procedure that involves the use of tiny incisions, tumescent solution, and cannulas to produce slimmer body contours. If you undergo this procedure, you will need to wear a compression garment for four to six weeks, but you can resume physical activities in three weeks.
Facelift surgery is ideal for patients who want to rejuvenate the jawline, jowls, and neck. If you decide to undergo facelift surgery, you will have to wear a chin strap around the clock for 7 days and then only at night for the next 10 days. You can resume physical activities after the first 10 days of recovery.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure that targets the abdominal area, during which muscles are tightened, excess skin is excised, and pockets of unwanted fat are removed. If you undergo a full tummy tuck, you will need to avoid strenuous activity and stairs for two weeks, but you should be able to resume working out after four to six weeks. You may need to hold off on abdominal exercises for longer depending on how quickly your repaired muscles heal.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck is less invasive and less uncomfortable than a full tummy tuck, as it involves minimal skin excision and no muscle tightening. You will have to wear bands during recovery instead of bulky compression garments. Recovery after a mini tummy tuck is half as long, and you can resume your regular physical activity after three weeks of recovery.
Injectable fillers are designed to rejuvenate the face by adding youthful volume, improving contours, and smoothing out fine wrinkles. Filler treatments require little to no downtime, and you should be able to go back to your everyday activities straight away. Because it is common for patients to notice some swelling and bruising after treatment, you may be advised to avoid wearing hats and headgear for one week.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a temporary treatment that stunts specific muscle movements that cause facial wrinkling. Like injectable fillers, it also requires little to no downtime, and you can go back to your usual activities following treatment. You may be advised to avoid strenuous activities for the first 24 hours of recovery, but there is no lengthy period of repose needed.
Laser treatments are perfect for reducing the effects of sun damage and aging as well as improving skin quality. You will likely be given a protective ointment to apply to the treatment site while it heals. Because the skin will be extremely sensitive, you will have to avoid direct sun exposure for eight weeks, but indoor physical activities can be continued one to two weeks after treatment.
For more information about recovery timelines after surgical and nonsurgical procedures, schedule your consultation with Dr. Scheu by calling 314.899.0842.
No matter what type of surgical procedure you undergo, postoperative care is essential to get the best results with maximum comfort. The last thing anyone wants to do in recovery is compromise their results or lengthen the recovery time. Of course, I will provide you with detailed postoperative instructions tailored to your particular surgical plan during your personal consultation, but these are a few tried-and-true tips for taking care of your surgical investment and helping you obtain the outcome you desire:
To repair surgical wounds, the body needs its rest. One way to make sure you relax as much as possible is getting help from family and friends until you can resume your normal activities. Try to have any housework and grocery shopping done before surgery so you don’t worry about errands as you heal. Pushing yourself too much during recovery can exacerbate discomfort and even lead to complications.
Some Movement Is Healthy
While you do need to take it easy during recovery, it is vital to get up and walk throughout the day. Walking slowly and carefully will promote circulation without straining your treatment areas. Increased blood flow helps prevent constipation and reduces the risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis.
After surgery, you will need certain foods and vitamins to help you heal and restore your energy. Some of the most helpful nutrients are as follows:
- Protein helps rebuild and repair tissue. Chicken, seafood, and eggs are excellent sources of protein.
- Iron helps stimulate the production of new blood cells. It can be found in poultry, beans, eggs, and whole grains.
- Fiber is important for combating postoperative constipation and for maintaining overall digestive health. Yogurt, oats, fruits, and vegetables are high-fiber foods.
- Vitamin C has been known to aid in healing as well as preventing infection. Foods like oranges, berries, potatoes, and sweet bell peppers contain vitamin C.
Things to Avoid
While it is good to make healthy choices on any given day, you need to take special care of yourself during surgical recovery if you want to have a smooth experience with satisfying results. After surgery, you should avoid:
- Sports drinks, which can increase swelling due to high sodium levels.
- Sugary foods and drinks, which spike blood sugar levels and can lead to fatigue.
- Tobacco and nicotine use, which has an adverse effect on healing and blood circulation.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, as these dilate blood vessels and can lead to bleeding and poor healing.
- Do not take the following types of medications/herbals/supplements prior to or just after surgery: aspirin, Aleve®, ibuprofen, ginseng, bilberry, ginkgo, omega 3s, fish oil, vitamin E, etc. All of these products increase your risks of bleeding at surgical sites and post-op bruising. This list is not all-inclusive, so please refer to the list of prohibited meds/supplements sheet that will be provided to you at the time of your consultation.
Take TYLENOL® for mild discomfort or use the provided pain prescription (as directed), but do not take both simultaneously (the pain medication already has TYLENOL® in it).
Protect Your Most Valuable Asset—Your Skin!
Skin cancers. Brown spots. Wrinkles. These are just a few of the “benefits” of long-term sun exposure without adequate protection from harmful ultraviolet rays.
But the warm sun feels so good on our skin, and tanned skin looks so “healthy,” right?
Unfortunately, we have found that this is short-term thinking and that long-term exposure causes cumulative damage, resulting in aging and even cellular degeneration in the skin that can lead to skin cancers.
Realizing this reality, physicians in general and especially those of us in the beauty business have been advising people for decades to put on the sunblock! And now, the manufacturers have begun placing information on their products that can help, telling us how long the protective effects will last before you need to re-apply your sunblock.
I advise my patients to use a minimum of a 30 SPF block for any lengthy time in the sun and, for anyone who has just had any resurfacing (microdermabrasion, peels, or laser skin rejuvenation), to stay out of the sun completely for several weeks following the treatment and to then go out only with a 50 SPF block (or a higher rating) covering the treated skin.
You can always have the “spray tan” done or use the “tan in the can” to get that “look” without the skin damage that the sun and tanning booths are known to cause. Look good, but protect your most valuable beauty asset — your skin.
Wishing you a safe and healthy rest of the summer.
Welcome to our new website. Our whole staff here at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery in St. Louis is excited about our new format, and we hope you will stay to explore our site to see what we offer. You will find a combination of the tried-and-true cosmetic surgery procedures and some new technologies as well.
We have moved now into our new office and surgery center in Clayton (St. Louis), and we are quite happy with the fresh look and expanded facilities we now have to serve you.
Our expanded staff is ready to meet your requests for the non-surgical approaches that are so popular for rejuvenation of the face, neck, chest, and even hands, including microdermabrasion, peels, and laser treatments. We also have Smartlipo® (Laser Lipo) to complement many standard surgical techniques, including the “awake lift” technique we have been using for the past several years for the utmost in safety and economy in facial rejuvenation.
Our grand opening at our new facility in Clayton, Mo. is coming soon, so check in for my next “blog” for the details, including procedure discount specials coming up to get you ready for the fall and pre-holiday seasons. Feel free to browse our FAQ section or to e-mail us your questions. Or, you can go to our Contact Us section to schedule a complimentary consultation with us.
Best Wishes to All