Discover the Body of Your Dreams

I’m interested in a Mommy Makeover but I don’t like the idea of getting breast implants. Is it possible to take the fat from my tummy and move it to my breasts?

The short answer is yes AND no. In order to successfully and safely perform fat transfer, fat must be removed very gently and treated with special solutions to maintain the fat’s stem cells after transplant. The process is very time consuming because the fat must be layered in very tiny droplets. In addition, fat transferred to another part of the body may not last or survive as intended. The surgeon must “overcorrect” the area to account for this. It is possible to transfer moderate amounts of fat to augment the face (5-10 cc), increase the breasts a cup (50-100 cc) or to augment the buttocks (100-300 cc), but this can substantially increase operative time and cost to you. If you desire to change your breast size dramatically, often an implant is much more reliable and predictable. During your consultation, Dr. Pacella will discuss if fat transfer can be safely incorporated into your procedure.

I have heard that if I get liposuction in my tummy, that I will gain more weight in other areas such as my arms, legs and face. Is that correct?

Not really. We are born with a set number of fat cells. As our weight fluctuates, these fat cells swell. We never really add more cells, but the existing ones can get larger. During liposuction, the total number of cells is reduced in the area that was treated. If you gain weight months or years after liposuction, the non-treated areas (which didn’t have cells removed) will appear to gain more than the treated areas. After your liposuction procedure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise is the key to maintaining your results long-term. If your weight remains stable, so will the results of your procedure.

I lost 100 lbs. after a gastric bypass procedure. I am interested in procedures for my tummy, breasts, arms and face. Will insurance pay for any of these?

This is a common question which depends mostly on the insurance carrier. Unfortunately, in today’s healthcare environment, body contouring procedures are becoming increasingly more difficult to get insurance approval for. Most insurance carriers require documentation of medical necessity for body contouring. For example, if abdominal skin following weight loss causes irritation, redness or chronic infection, then the insurer may be more amenable to covering the procedure. In general, most insurance carriers deny procedures that are purely cosmetic in origin. During your consultation, Dr. Pacella will perform a complete exam and document any pertinent medical necessity. Photographs may be required by the insurance carrier for preauthorization. Dr. Pacella and his staff will assist you with obtaining insurance approval for any covered procedure, while providing you guidance and support for any procedure that may not be covered.

I have a small hernia at my belly button. Should I get this repaired before my tummy tuck?

Often, small umbilical or abdominal wall hernias can be repaired at the same time as your tummy tuck. The benefit is that the hernia can be repaired underneath the skin, without a separate visible scar. In most cases of tummy tucks, the abdominal wall muscles are cinched together with an extra layer of special sutures. This provides extra protection to prevent recurrence of the hernia or bulging.

I have had 3 operations in the past for a ventral incisional hernia. In each case, prosthetic mesh was used and each procedure has failed. I’m beginning to give up hope that there is a cure for this problem. What are my options?

Studies have shown that hernia repairs with prosthetic mesh have a high rate of recurrence. With each subsequent repair, the rate of failure continues to climb. All hope is not lost. There are very good and reliable approaches to repairing complex, recurrent or contaminated hernias. Dr. Pacella and his team utilize the technique of abdominal component separation with biologic mesh underlay. This procedure, while much more involved and complex than a standard hernia repair, can provide long-lasting results to restore the abdominal wall musculature to its original position. Since 2008, Dr. Pacella has been performing these procedures with general surgeons at the world class institution of Scripps Health. Recurrence rates are exceptionally low and complications are very few. We look forward to assisting you with this very complex issue.

To schedule your appointment, please call (858) 554-9930.

The questions above are represented for informational purposes only. They do not constitute actual medical advice. Dr. Pacella is pleased to discuss your unique personal circumstances at your consultation.