Plastic surgery safety should be the utmost priority of any plastic surgeon, says Dr. Tarick Smiley who is the medical director of the California Surgical Institute.
Dr. Smiley has recently posted a series of Snapchat videos in an attempt to explain the importance of having one’s surgery at an accredited surgical facility, which is also referred to as ambulatory facility or same day surgery center.
“Plastic surgery is not just about doing the operation. Because we prioritize patient safety one of our most critical tasks is overseeing the facility centers. Currently, we have four accredited surgical facilities; they have been accredited for over 10 years. This means that they meet the strictest safety standard required by health regulators,” he said in the Snapchat video.
“Even the air ventilation system is designed to reduce risk of contamination and infection,” he added.
The list below explains the specific benefits of having one’s surgery at an accredited surgical facility:
- It is fully equipped with medical apparatus and medications should a complication arise.
- The staff members are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
- Should the patient require an overnight stay, she will receive round-the-clock care by licensed medical staff.
- The staff receives regular training to ensure patient safety.
- The staff knows the emergency plan that is implemented should any complication arise that requires transferring patients to a hospital.
Dr. Smiley prides himself for being fastidious in terms of patient safety and comfort that all the blankets, covers, and even the fluids used by patients are “warmed” in a special storage, which he has shown in his Snapchat posts.
To further promote plastic surgery safety, Dr. Smiley said he regularly uses sequential compression device, which resembles a pair of leggings worn during surgery. It works by “massaging” the lower limb to promote good blood circulation, which in turn reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.
Dr. Smiley’s accredited surgical facilities also contain state-of-the-art equipment to promote patient safety. For instance, Cell Saver processes the bodily fluids collected during liposuction and then filters out the red blood cells, which are re-infused into the patient.
With the use of Cell Saver, no or very little blood loss occurs after liposuction. Hence, patients can expect a shorter and more convenient recovery—i.e., no significant lethargy and nausea, which usually follows after large volume liposuction.
Renowned facelift surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley said the surgery should not solely rely on pulling tight the tissue and removing the excess skin lest it results in a “done” or “fake” look.
In his recent Snapchat video post, he has explained how he delivers natural results from facelift, which he almost always combines with ancillary procedures (e.g., fat transfer, neck lift, eyelid surgery, etc.) to achieve a more natural, proportionate result.
In the video, the celebrity plastic surgeon has enumerated the “age-related problems” of a certain patient.
Before-and-After Photos of the Patient
- Loose neck skin
- Fullness of the neck due to the excess fat
- Fullness of the upper eyelid
- Sagging of the mid face
Dr. Smiley started off the surgery with neck liposuction in which the excess fat has been removed. He placed a tiny round incision behind each ear where a slender probe called microcannula was moved back and forth to remove a small amount of fat.
Next, he proceeded to performing SMAS facelift in which all the incisions were hidden—i.e., inside the hairline and then curved behind the tragus (the small bump in front of the ear) before reaching the back of the ear or nape area.
The incision in front of the ear was positioned at the natural skin crease and so the resulting scar is expected to be invisible once healed.
Dr. Smiley said one of the most important elements is the vector of pull. After removing the excess skin, the tissue must be pulled at a 45 degrees angle before closing the wound.
“The right vector of pull results in natural fullness of the cheek and the best neck position,” he explained.
He has warned that the tissue should not be pulled straight up due to risk of skin pleating of the lateral face, nor horizontally because of the ensuing flat cheeks and poor neck appearance.
To further achieve proportionate results, Dr. Smiley also tightened the neck platysma muscle in the midline and removed the fat underneath. The goal is to create a smoother and tighter “angle” between the neck and chin, he said.
Then, he proceeded to upper eyelid surgery in which he removed a strip of excess skin with the use of incisions made precisely at the natural skin fold for optimal scar concealment. He also tightened the deeper muscle to further eliminate the appearance of fullness and thus achieve a more youthful eye.
He also injected fat to create a smooth transition between the lower lid and cheek, further contributing to the more youthful appearance.
Blepharoplasty surgery, or more commonly referred to as eyelid lift, is believed to be a rather straightforward procedure—just removing the loose skin and excess fat is enough to address the aging upper or lower eyelid. However, this is far from the truth, says leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
The list below shows the most common blepharoplasty surgery tips and traps, as explained by Dr. Smiley.
Before-and-After Photos of a Patient with Impressive Results from Blepharoplasty
* Placement of the scar in upper eyelid. In an attempt to raise the corner of the eyelid, some inexperienced surgeons commit a grave mistake of carrying the incision too high and lateral, which of course results in visible scar.
Dr. Smiley believes that the upper eyelid scar should follow the natural curve of the lid fold and then stop there. If the scar lies precisely at the natural skin crease, patient satisfaction tends to be high.
* Conservative fat removal. In the past, the fat pads were removed entirely in an attempt to eliminate the under eye bags or “heavy” upper lid. However, this aggressive maneuver almost always results in disaster—the eyes look skeletonized. To avoid this problem, Dr. Smiley will always leave a little fat; sometimes, he even perform fat injection particularly if the patient has deep tear trough or abrupt transition between the lower lid and cheek.
* Conservative muscle resection. When done judiciously during an upper eyelid surgery, this technique can contribute to a more youthful, natural appearance.
However, some doctors have tried to replace muscle resection with “multiple pinpoint” cauterization technique (“burning off” the tissue) in an attempt to create a lifting effect. But this method has a serious caveat—it may create a thick band of scar tissue in the muscle that can pull the edge of the eyelid, leading to unnatural contour. For this reason, muscle resection remains the most predictable and safest approach.
* Meticulous physical exam. Dr. Smiley says that great surgeons put a high value on precise anatomical evaluation in which the “rebound” of the lower/upper lid skin, the length of the lid’s border, and the amount of loose skin and fat are scrutinized.
Dr. Smiley says that blepharoplasty is a highly meticulous procedure that it is often referred to as surgery by millimeters.
Some patients may even require vision tests (and other similar modalities performed by ophthalmologists). This is particularly true when health insurance requires proof that upper blepharoplasty is going to be used to improve a person’s peripheral view affected by loose skin or eyelid ptosis (drooping).
Drastic breast reduction surgery is performed not solely for aesthetic reasons, but to improve the patient’s quality of life, said leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Dr. Smiley has recently demonstrated drastic breast reduction surgery on his Snapchat account. The female patient shown in the video complained about the chronic back pain, postural problem, and shoulder discomfort due to the extra weight of her large, pendulous breasts.
The left photo shows the result of drastic breast reduction surgery.
In the video, Dr. Smiley has explained the challenges of drastic breast reduction, particularly relating to increased bleeding and loss of nipple sensation. However, the risks can be avoided or at least minimized with meticulous dissection and deep understanding of the breast anatomy, he added.
Dr. Smiley said that large, pendulous breasts have longer blood supply originating from the muscle and therefore there is an increased risk of excessive bleeding and nipple areola loss.
“Nipple areola loss occurs when its skin literally dies,” he said, adding that one way to avoid this complication is to perform free nipple graft in which it is removed entirely from its stalk (main blood supply) and later grafted back into its place after eliminating some of the breast tissue and skin to reduce the “cup size.”
The right breast looks significantly smaller and perkier versus the “untreated” left side.
But even the free nipple graft has its own caveat, Dr. Smiley has warned.
“We try to avoid the free nipple graft because it typically causes loss of sensation in the areola. Hence, we only decide if this is warranted during the operation and I will try to avoid it as much as possible,” he said.
During the operation, Dr. Smiley decided not to perform the free nipple graft; hence the areolar complex has remained attached to its stalk or main blood supply. Nonetheless, he was able to lift the drooping nipple by 20 cm from its previous location.
He also reduced the areola so it will look proportionate to the new, smaller breast size.
Meanwhile, Dr. Smiley has ensured that the scar goes precisely around the areola’s border and parallel to the breast fold for optimal scar concealment.
And while the vertical scar between the nipple area and the breast fold is in a more obvious location, Dr. Smiley said it is expected to fade into the background after 6-12 months.
Brazilian booty lift, also referred to as buttock augmentation via fat transfer, is one of the most commonly sought after procedures in Beverly Hills plastic surgery.
Instead of implants, patients can achieve fuller, shapelier backside with the use of their own fat, which is derived from two or more areas.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a Snapchat video explaining how Brazilian booty lift can achieve the “Kylie effect.”
Posterior View of the Patient. The left photo shows the results of Brazilian booty lift with a “Kylie effect” in mind.
Over the past several months, Dr. Smiley’s patients have been citing reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s voluptuous body to describe their cosmetic goal.
“Basically, the Kylie effect is achieved by creating a narrow and high waist and the fullness of the hips,” he explained in the Snapchat video.
One female patient had requested for this “effect,” although she is naturally thin (weighing just 115 lbs. at the time of surgery) and so Dr. Smiley used multiple donor fats/liposuction sites to collect enough fats to be injected into her buttocks.
Dr. Smiley used the inner thigh, flanks, lower back, and arms as donor sites. He performed liposuction via microcannula, a suction probe with a very narrow body to dislodge and suction the fats in the most accurate and gentlest manner.
The use of microcannula, Dr. Smiley said, is particularly critical when treating the inner thigh because the area is susceptible to surface irregularities and so he avoids the use of large cannulas, which remove fats in bigger chunks and thus with less precision.
Moreover, Dr. Smiley had focused on reshaping the lower back and flanks through meticulous liposuction in order to replicate the reality TV star’s sultry silhouette.
Afterwards, the collected fats were processed with the centrifuge to separate and discard impurities such as the oil and blood cells.
Dr. Smiley injected more fats into the hips to make them appear fuller and curvier.
The celebrity plastic surgeon said that achieving high level of symmetry on both sides is one of the challenges of Brazilian booty lift; hence, he always uses laser light to guide him during the actual injection of fat.
The appearance of brachioplasty scar is perceived to be a major concern of patients with sagging skin in their upper arm caused by significant weight loss. Nonetheless, most feel that the “tradeoff” of having scars is worth it, particularly when the main goal is to have more slender arms that look proportionate to the body.
Leading Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a Snapchat video to demonstrate the appearance of brachioplasty scar resulting from the “standard” technique.
The female patient shown in the video has “flabby” upper arms due to large amounts of redundant skin that extended down to her elbow. For this reason, she required an incision pattern technique that extended from the armpit down to her elbow.
Dr. Smiley was able to remove a large wedge-shaped excess skin along the inner arm between the biceps and triceps. The brachioplasty scar from this technique is hidden as people usually hold their arms by their sides.
While placing the brachioplasty scar on the inner aspect of the arms is perceived to be the most ideal technique, sometimes having it more posteriorly (i.e., back of the arm and thus more visible) may provide a better contour. Nonetheless, the patient may have to ponder on the ramifications of each scar technique/placement.
A scar placed more posteriorly is also perceived to heal and fade better because of the reduced tension. The inner aspect placement, meanwhile, is believed to be slightly more susceptible to wound separations due to the natural tension in the area.
However, Dr. Smiley remains partial to the inner aspect scar placement because there are many ways to reduce tension on the wound and thus ultimately promote “better” scars. For this reason, he encourages his patients to take a proactive approach in scar treatments that typically include the use of compression garments, silicone gel and/or sheets, and sunscreen.
Dr. Smiley advocates the use of scar gels and other treatments containing silicone, which hydrates the skin and helps the scar fade better and remain thin and flat. (Note: Wound is known to heal better in a moist environment; hence, the mucosal skin of the mouth has almost zero risk of scarring. The same “line of thought” can be applied to keeping plastic surgery scars unobtrusive with the use of silicone gel and sheets.)