Smaller, Bigger, or Tighter
Plastic Surgery can Improve Nearly Anything
Dr. Farbod Esmailian is rare in the world of plastic surgeons because he is double-board-certified, as a plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and as a general surgeon by the American Board of Surgery. A native of the local area, he did his General Surgery Residency at U.S.C. Benefits: Can help people achieve the body shape or looks they want virtually anywhere on the body; can repair unsatisfactory breast augmentations done by less skilled surgeons; can greatly reduce loose skin resulting from weight loss surgery.
Q: Who are the best candidates for plastic surgery?
A: Age is usually not the determining factor- you can be 75 years old, and if you’re in good shape with no underlying medical problems or concerns, you’re as good a candidate as a healthy 35-year-old.
Q: What are the most in-demand procedures?
A: It can change year to year, but it mostly balances back and forth between breast augmentation and body procedures, especially liposuction.
Q: It seems like you do procedures for everything – thigh lifts, butt lifts, making the upper arms less saggy – is there anything plastic surgeons can’t fix?
A: We can pretty much make anything bigger or smaller or tighter, but there is always a trade-off, and the trade-off is that there may be some scarring. However, techniques have advanced to the point that in most cases, scaring is in a location where it’s hardly noticeable.
Q: What’s the latest development to improve the work of plastic surgeons?
A: There are better techniques and devices to use during surgery that minimize scarring and reduce the time on the table, which means patients heal faster and return to work and regular activities more quickly.
Q: What misconceptions do people have about what a cosmetic surgeon can and cannot do?
A: The phrase “realistic expectations” is key among plastic surgeons. However, patients sometimes underestimate how much a plastic surgeon can help them. One area is breast revision surgery, where patients have had complications or are unhappy with past breast surgeries.
Another is in facial rejuvenation, where we’re often able to make the patient look ten years younger. A third area is for people who’ve had massive weight loss through surgery. They feel good, they’re not diabetic and they don’t have high blood pressure, but they’re unhappy with the way their bodies look because of loose skin. That group is usually very satisfied with the resulting surgery because it creates such a dramatic improvement.
Q: How much does artistic skill matter in the surgeon’s work’?
A: I go by the ideal of what something should look like – a nose, a breast, an eyebrow – and I’m always thinking in a three dimensional sense. Patients always have the opportunity to say “I want it to look like that;’ but more often they want my expertise and advice as to what would look best for them. That said, I think it’s very important that the plastic surgeon always aim for what the patient desires, rather than what the surgeon desires for the patient.
Q: What should people look for in a consultation for plastic surgery?
A: They need to pick the surgeon carefully – there are a lot of doctors out there practicing plastic surgery who aren’t certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and that certification is important. It’s also important that the patient meets with the actual physician, and that the physician is the one who will be doing the surgery and the follow-up. Make sure that it’s not one doctor doing the consultation, another doing the surgery, and a third doing the follow-up.