How Young Is Too Young For Rhinoplasty?

Cosmetic surgery is only growing more popular as surgical techniques and technology advance. The popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, filled with people showing off aesthetic changes, opens up trends to younger segments of the population. 

A rhinoplasty, or nose job, is the most common plastic surgery performed among teenagers. The teen years are a favorite time for the procedure since abnormalities on the nose usually arise during the early teenage years – while the nose usually stops growing between the ages of 14-17. 

Physical appearance is a vital aspect of self-image for many teenagers, but some question if teenagers have the emotional maturity to handle cosmetic surgery. Others worry adjusting the nose could lead to a face that later appears abnormal as a young person continues to grow and experience changes to their body. 

There are no one-size-fits-all answers for an age that is too young for a rhinoplasty. Keep reading to get an understanding of discussion considerations before deciding on the procedure. 

Consider The Physical Development Of The Person

Rhinoplasty should only be carried out on a nose that has finished growing. One performed while growth is occurring might open up the need for a revision down the road to re-balance the nose to present a natural look. 

Nasal bone growth usually stops after puberty, which often comes around one to two years after menstruation for girls. Since every girl starts menstruating at a different age, the decision for rhinoplasty should only occur once a surgeon examines a girl’s (or boy’s nose) to see if they have stopped growing.   

Emotional Preparation Is Essential Before A Rhinoplasty 

Even if a teenager’s nose has stopped growing, it does not mean they are the right candidate for a rhinoplasty.

It is essential to carefully consider if a young person desires a rhinoplasty to correct a legitimate abnormality to the nose, or if they are feeling peer pressure that cultivates a desire for a nose job.

An impulsive rhinoplasty will not be effective and could lead to complications down the road. Teenagers who express interest in rhinoplasty should be prepared and mature enough to understand what the procedure can achieve. 

The results of a rhinoplasty last a lifetime unless there is a revision rhinoplasty down the road. Other facial rejuvenation surgeries that address the signs of aging usually need follow-up treatment to maintain results. 

For a nose job, alternations to structure and appearance will be permanent. Young patients and their parents need to be prepared for their new nose to stay the same for life, even as other areas of the face start to age and change in appearance.  

Rhinoplasty will not lead to a completely transformed body, but it can help cultivate a sense of greater self-confidence to help teenagers naturally engage with friends and family. 

The question of emotional maturity varies for each teenager and is a point that should be brought up with a surgeon when deciding about the proper time. 

Can Post-Surgical Instructions Be Followed?

While rhinoplasty is a relatively non-invasive form of cosmetic surgery, it does come with a recovery period. Most surgeons ask for six to eight weeks of abstention from contact sports after a rhinoplasty. The recovery process can be a significant lifestyle change to a teenager who is active with friends. 

Swelling, bruising, and other discomforts also accompany rhinoplasties. Patients need to be prepared to manage their pain and carefully follow instructions from the surgeon to minimize swelling. Some teenagers, no matter their age, might not be ready to take care of their nose or temporarily adopt a more sedentary lifestyle after a rhinoplasty. 

Help With Finding The ‘Perfect Age’ For A Rhinoplasty 

Rhinoplasty is not a magic solution for younger patients, but it can help address breathing problems and other aesthetic issues safely and effectively. The decision-making process between a teenager, their parents, and a cosmetic surgeon are important to hash out during discussions about a rhinoplasty. 

During a free consultation at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa, our team corresponds closely with parents to decide an appropriate age for rhinoplasty based on emotional and physical maturity. We take special care when speaking with teenagers so they can safely articulate their feelings about a rhinoplasty. 

Reach out to the office of Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa in Vernon Hills, IL to learn more about rhinoplasty and how to guarantee optimal results from the procedure. 

Contact us today or call 847-367-8815

Everything You Need To Know About Orbera Weight Loss System


Losing weight is an immensely rewarding process but can quickly become frustrating if your diet and exercise plan is not achieving the results you desire. Fortunately, the Orbera® intragastric weight loss system is an effective and FDA-approved non-surgical option for people who are looking for drastic reductions in weight.

Many patients find success using Orbera to achieve significant weight loss goals. On average, Orbera users lose up to three times the weight compared to patients who just try to stick with a dedicated gym plan and eat healthier. 


For people interested in keeping excess weight off permanently – Orbera is here to help. Aside from aiding in the weight loss process, Orbera retrains the brain to form better eating habits and stay away from unhealthy foods, all to prevent shed pounds from coming back. 


Over two decades of research and patient success stories backs Orbera. Keep reading to get an understanding of how the weight loss system works, its use as a successful fat reduction tool, and how you can achieve desired results with the program. 


How Does Orbera Work? 


Orbera is a comprehensive weight loss system that consists of the insertion of a gastric balloon in conjunction with coaching and training to help the body retrain habits and mindsets centralizing around food. 



  • Insertion Of The Balloon: The central part of Orbera is the placement of a temporary soft balloon inside of a patient’s stomach for about six months. The surgeon inserts a gastric balloon with a thin tube running through the esophagus. Filled with a saltwater solution, the balloon expands to fill a portion of the stomach. Placement reduces the capacity of the stomach so people feel fuller faster. The balloon also aids the body with slower digestion of food. The insertion process usually takes around 20-30 minutes and is performed with no incisions. 
  • Rapid Weight Loss And New Eating Habits: Many patients see significant weight loss in the first three months after insertion as the body adjusts to a smaller stomach capacity. During this time, the brain’s hunger response system is naturally altered, which helps people practice better portion control and eat more nutritious foods.

    During this stage, Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa closely works with Orbera patients to support their weight loss journey and help craft dieting and exercise plans that are integral to a healthy lifestyle. Our office closely monitors your body as it loses weight, and most patients can expect to lose between 20-50 pounds at this point in the Orbera program.  
  • The Removal Of The Balloon: Right about six months after the initial insertion, it is time to remove the gastric balloon. The extraction process is very similar to placement after drainage of the salt solution. Patients receive sedation during the 20-30-minute removal process.  
  • Additional Support With A New Diet & Exercise Plan: After balloon removal from the stomach, our team works alongside patients as the stomach gets used to the idea of digesting food without the gastric filler. New diet and exercise plans are made during the final six months of Orbera to keep weight away. Orbera Coach, a digital support tool that can be accessed by a phone or tablet, is introduced at this stage.


How Do I Know If Orbera Is Right For Me?


The Orbera intragastric balloon is suitable for patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30-40, which is classified as obese by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Treatment is optimal for patients who have tried more conservative options for weight loss, like supervised diets and behavior modification but have not seen success.


People diagnosed with alcoholism or drug addiction, are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking certain anti-inflammatory agents without medical supervision are not good candidates for Orbera. 


To see optimal results from the Orbera intragastric balloon, patients must be willing to adhere to medically-supervised diets and behavior modification programs. Regular follow-up visits and correspondence with the surgeon are an essential aspect of treatment. 


Reaching Out To Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa


At the office of Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa in Vernon Hills IL, a personalized Orbera consultation will include discussion of your weight loss goals and details about treatment steps, all to help you live a longer and more vibrant life. Our team of medical professionals is happy to answer any questions about constructing a healthier life during the Orbera process. 


Contact us today or call 847-367-8815

The Benefits of Cryotherapy

The Benefits of Cryotherapy


At the Ritacca Laser Center, we’re constantly looking for safe, minimally invasive ways to reverse the aging process. In doing so, we often turn to established medical technologies. Many of the methods doctors use to heal injuries and manage chronic health conditions can also encourage cosmetic rejuvenation. This overlap exists because compounds used during healing, like collagen and elastin, are also essential for the maintenance of firm, smooth, and youthful skin. 


Cryotherapy has been used for decades to provide pain relief and prompt tissue regeneration, but it’s only recently been adopted by plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Today, this procedure is used to quickly and painlessly improve the health and appearance of patients.


What is Cryotherapy?


Cryotherapy is a system wherein patients are exposed to hyper-cooled vapors for two to four minutes. This exposure time is sufficient to stimulate the healing process and metabolism, while being too short to induce cold-related injuries. 


Cryotherapy can be applied to the whole body or just specific areas, such as the face. When applied to the face, cryotherapy is often called a “cryofacial” or “frotox.”


What are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?


The primary advantages of cryotherapy over other skin rejuvenation treatments are safety and convenience. No harsh chemicals or injections are used during cryotherapy, and patients can resume their normal activities soon after treatment. Furthermore, cryofacials do not cause the skin to crack or peel. Cosmetically, cryotherapy can grant all of the following benefits: 


  1. Instantly tighter skin.


Extreme cold causes a wide variety of materials to contract, and human tissue is no exception. When cold vapors are applied to the skin, the blood vessels and connective tissues below the epidermis are immediately constricted. This instantly (and painlessly) firms the skin, lifting the face and reducing the visibility of wrinkles. 


  1. No-contact exfoliation.


Under the right conditions, cold air can act as a powerful exfoliant. Cryofacials open clogged pores, induce the natural shedding of dead skin cells, and reduce the production of sebum (skin oil). This creates a radiant, glowing look and helps control acne symptoms.


  1. Increased collagen production.


When the body is subjected to extreme cold, it instantly goes into “panic mode” because it assumes that the skin is being injured (e.g., by frostbite). In its rush to repair potential damage, the body sends a surge of collagen and elastin to the skin’s surface. This collagen and elastin then gets to work, rebuilding and strengthening the epidermis. 


This healing process, which is a fundamental part of how laser and chemical peels work, effectively combats age-related collagen loss. In the weeks following a cryofacial, the skin gradually becomes fuller and healthier. 


  1. Better fat burning.


Our bodies have to burn a lot of calories to stay warm in cold conditions. In fact, being exposed to temperatures cold enough to induce shivering can burn 100 calories in just 15 minutes. Some people therefore use whole-body cryotherapy to enhance their weight loss efforts. The deep cold used during this procedure may burn up to 500 calories per session. However, it’s important to remember that cryotherapy is not a feasible substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Caloric restriction and regular exercise are necessary for weight loss, with or without the assistance of cosmetic treatments. 


If you’re interested in skin rejuvenation but don’t want to deal with downtime or peeling, cryotherapy might be right for you. To learn more about this treatment, contact the Ritacca Laser Center at 847-367-8815.

Keeping the Weight Off After Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck With Orbera

slim woman in sports bra

The decision to get liposuction and/or a tummy tuck can be a momentous choice. Those of you who decide to have these procedures often experience a significant change in how you view their bodies and, by extension, in your feelings about yourself.

However, maintaining these amazing results and one’s weight after the procedure can be a big part of preserving the desired results. Weight maintenance and weight loss can be difficult and can take a lot of effort.

How Does Weight Gain Affect Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

It is normal to gain back a little weight after liposuction or a tummy tuck, but too much weight gain can affect the long-term results of both procedures. For example, weight gain after a tummy tuck can cause problems with stretched skin and lack of muscle tone. Individuals who do not change their diet and exercise regimens after liposuction can sometimes see fat appear in other parts of the body, such as the breasts, back, and arms.

How to Keep the Weight Off

The following techniques can help ensure that people eat right and keep the weight off after having one or both of these procedures.

  • A good tip is to drink lots of water. This is almost always a staple of a regular dieting regimen because it will help individuals stay stable after surgery and will boost their ability to lose weight. Drinking more water helps burn more calories while resting, and it can help people feel fuller longer, which is especially beneficial for those who drink a glass of water before meals.
  • It’s also important to eat a balanced diet. Post-surgery patients should avoid eating the same foods every day and try to stay away from processed foods, which are often overloaded with sugar. It’s better to stick to whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins, including lean meats.
  • Another good tip is to eat smaller snacks or meals throughout the day, rather than limiting oneself to three squares. This can help keep one’s energy levels high and avoid the possibility of overeating during one sitting.
  • Finally, controlling stress can be important for maintaining one’s weight after surgery. Stress raises the level of the hormone cortisol, and cortisol can hinder the body’s ability to burn calories, making it more likely to store fat. It can also make a person more likely to reach for unhealthy foods as a de-stressor, so learning to de-stress can help lead to better eating habits. There are different methods of reducing stress levels, including meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and hot baths.

These are all great ways to maintain a healthy weight after a weight loss procedure like liposuction.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss – Getting Back to Your Post-Op Weight

Sometimes, everyone needs a little extra help, especially with something as difficult as maintaining or losing weight. When this is the case, an Orbera balloon can be extremely helpful.

Orbera is an FDA-approved balloon that is placed in the stomach and inflated with sterile saline solution to create a feeling of fullness, reduce hunger and lose 20-50 lbs. The procedure is extremely simple, noninvasive, and nonsurgical. The whole process only takes about 20 minutes.

Orbera not only reduces hunger pangs, but it also slows down the process of digestion, which ensures that patients aren’t eating more than necessary. It is important to mention that Orbera is not a permanent choice, but kick starts your weight loss — after six months, the balloon is removed, which allows for a lot of flexibility.

The balloon has been shown to help patients lose more than three times the weight than diet and exercise alone. It can also be an effective tool in helping keep weight off after a tummy tuck or liposuction. It can also work for those who have put on weight several years after surgery and are looking to lose 20 to 50 pounds or more without surgery.

It can be very difficult to follow the strict diet and exercise routine that is expected after these procedures, especially for those who have always struggled with weight gain. Orbera makes it easier to avoid unnecessary snacking or overeating, which will help keep the pounds off.

All in all, Orbera is an elegant, easy and noninvasive solution to the issue of weight gain after cosmetic procedures like a tummy tuck or liposuction. Those who have chosen Orbera are often able to retrain the brain to avoid unnecessary overeating and to make permanent changes in their lives without side effects. For full safety information about Orbera, visit their website at


Facial Rejuvenation: The Key to Your Youth

facial skin care for women

Feeling self-conscious about the signs of aging is more than an inconvenience. Poor self-esteem can cause you to withdraw from friends and miss opportunities; it can also diminish your energy and dampen your youthful, vital spirit. Solving this issue, rather than trying to ignore it, can empower you socially, emotionally, and professionally.

As the stigma surrounding cosmetic medicine lessens, researchers are discovering that both plastic surgery and non-invasive facial rejuvenation have significant mood-boosting benefits. According to a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, those who elect to have cosmetic surgery typically have higher self-esteem, suffer from less anxiety, and even report feeling healthier overall as they get older (when compared to people who don’t undergo any aesthetic procedures). This study also revealed that those who have cosmetic surgery almost always have a better body image: Having just one area of the face or body modified seems to improve how people view themselves as a whole.

Though this research shouldn’t be taken to mean that plastic surgery is right for everyone, it does indicate that looking younger is a valid and vital part of feeling younger. If you’re mentally and physically healthy and have an interest in facial rejuvenation, it’s worthwhile to book a consultation and explore your options.

What is Facial Rejuvenation?

Facial rejuvenation can take the form of facelift surgery or it can be conducted solely via noninvasive treatments like facial peels and injectables. Many patients choose to combine both surgical and nonsurgical procedures to achieve comprehensive results, but this isn’t always necessary. A good surgeon will personalize your treatment plan to reflect your aesthetic needs, your schedule, and your budget. Some of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures are outlined below:

Facelift Surgery

Facelift surgery is the most effective option for patients who have visible jowls, hanging neck skin, or other signs of advanced skin laxity. Modern facelift methods don’t stretch or pull the skin tight; instead, your surgeon will carefully lift the muscles and connective tissues that support your face, restoring your features to a more youthful position. Then, if necessary, he or she will remove any excess skin. These advanced techniques create graceful, natural results that remain visible for ten or more years.

Fractora Laser Skin Resurfacing

During Fractora laser skin resurfacing, a precisely calibrated medical laser is used to dissolve damaged skin cells and stimulate the production of skin-firming collagen. This treatment is a great way to get rid of the signs of cumulative UV damage (i.e., age spots, diffuse fine lines, and areas of leathery or “crepey” looking skin). It can also smooth out pitted scars and eliminate vascular abnormalities, like broken capillaries and spider veins.


Injectable fillers, like Juvéderm® and Restylane®, can safely restore facial volume that’s been lost over time. Fillers are often employed after facelift surgery to “fill in” any remaining facial hollows or creases. They can also be used to occupy loose skin and elevate the facial features of patients who don’t want surgery.

Non-surgical patients are often advised to combine fillers with a neuromodulator (like BOTOX® or Dysport) for more dramatic results. BOTOX® targets dynamic wrinkles on the upper face (e.g., crow’s feet and frown lines), whereas fillers primarily target sagging and volume loss on the lower face.

Though the treatments above form the backbone of most facial rejuvenation plans, they’re just a small part of what we offer at the Ritacca Laser Center. To learn more about the many ways our experts can help you look (and feel) your best, contact us to arrange a personal consultation.

Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore Before Getting BOTOX® or Fillers

When used correctly, BOTOX® and dermal fillers (like Juvéderm® and Restylane®) are some of the safest compounds in medicine. Unfortunately, poor federal oversight has allowed a number of unqualified practitioners to capitalize on the popularity of these injectable treatments. As a result, people have reported complications ranging from unsightly cosmetic issues (like the dreaded “frozen” look) to painful medical problems, such as nerve damage. In rare cases, patients have even been hospitalized after being injected with unregulated knockoff compounds. Before you have any kind of cosmetic injection, you should therefore familiarize yourself with the “red flags” that may indicate an injector is poorly trained.

3 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore when Choosing an Injector

  1. Your injector seems willing to work anywhere.

While the idea of having your BOTOX® or filler injector show up at your house, workplace, or hotel room seems very convenient, it’s a clear sign that hygiene isn’t your injector’s top priority. Many people who offer to make BOTOX® or filler “house calls” lack any specific training and don’t have an office of their own—because they aren’t medical professionals at all. This is roughly the equivalent of letting a random stranger give you cosmetic injections, so it’s incredibly risky. Cosmetic injections should only be administered in a sterile clinical setting (like a plastic surgeon’s office), never in a private residence, non-medical spa, or salon.

  1. Your injector isn’t a board-certified plastic surgeon or registered nurse with specific training.

Even if you know that you should never let a hairdresser or manicurist give you BOTOX® injections, it’s still possible to choose an under-qualified practitioner. Today, many doctors and nurses offer in-office cosmetic injections, and patients feel safe with this option because they know they’re working with medical professionals. However, while it’s true that doctors and nurses know how to administer medical injections, they often lack the specific training needed to create aesthetically pleasing BOTOX® and filler results.

Injecting too much BOTOX® or filler, or injecting these compounds in the wrong areas, can result in a stiff, unpleasant look. Injectors therefore need to develop an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and cosmetic injection techniques before they can properly administer these treatments. Because doctors and nurses don’t get this kind of training at medical school, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the results you want when you visit them. For best results, you should always see a board-certified plastic surgeon (or a registered nurse working alongside one) for aesthetic injections.

  1. The price looks too good to be true.

BOTOX® and dermal filler injections are some of the most affordable cosmetic treatments available. Still, it’s wise to be wary when an injector offers rates far below the average cost of treatment in your area.

Medical professionals have to charge the rates they do because maintaining a clinic and employing trained staff costs money. Ergo, if someone is offering you a bargain on injections, it’s usually a sign that they aren’t properly qualified. More dangerous still, they may be using completely unregulated knockoff compounds, which are often very toxic. If you encounter one of these compounds, your medical bills will end up costing you far more than authentic BOTOX® or filler injections ever would.

The low cost and excellent safety profile of BOTOX®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane® have combined to make injectable treatments extremely popular. Still, we should never let this fool us into thinking cosmetic injections are anything other than a medical procedure. Having a safe, satisfying injection experience means working with trained experts in a clinical setting—like the Ritacca Laser Center. For more information on BOTOX® or dermal fillers, contact our team to arrange a personal consultation.




The Secret to Tighter Skin is Now Minimally Invasive with J Plasma

skin tightening treatment

Traditionally, invasive procedures have always been the best choice for treating loose skin. Patients hoping to get rid of deep wrinkles, diffuse fine lines, and sagging jowls had to choose between facelift surgery and intensive laser or chemical peeling. For loose skin on the body, tummy tuck, thigh lift, and arm lift surgery were the only options. J Plasma, an innovative new skin strengthening procedure, promises to change all of this: J Plasma uses ionized gas to dramatically tighten and rejuvenate the skin, without significant discomfort or downtime.

How J Plasma Works

J Plasma shouldn’t be confused with skin treatments that use human plasma to stimulate collagen regeneration. The plasma employed by J Plasma is comprised of helium gas that’s energized with an electrode to form a low-current cold plasma. Cold plasma was originally pioneered for use in medical applications because it can destroy unwanted cells (like cancer cells and bacteria) without harming surrounding healthy cells.

In recent years, researchers discovered that combining helium gas with existing noninvasive skin-tightening technology could produce superior results. During J Plasma treatment, cold plasma is energized with radio frequency (RF) waves, the proven skin-firming agent used in procedures like Ultherapy. First, tiny incisions are made in the patient’s skin, then a device administers cold plasma directly into the dermis. The incisions used during J Plasma treatment are too small to cause significant discomfort or scarring, but they allow the applicator device to access the deeper connective tissues that support the epidermis. The cold plasma simultaneously heats and cools these tissues, causing them to contract. The result is instantly tighter, younger-looking skin.

Like other noninvasive skin rejuvenation systems, J Plasma treatment activates collagen-producing fibroblasts in treated areas. In the weeks and months following treatment, new collagen binds with the patient’s skin and connective tissues, creating further improvements in firmness, volume, and elasticity. The effects of J Plasma treatment are so profound that this procedure has been called the first truly non-surgical equivalent to facelift surgery.

Where can J-Plasma be Used?

The safe, gentle nature of J Plasma technology makes it suitable for use virtually anywhere on the body. Most people use J Plasma to eliminate facial wrinkles, jowls, and loose neck skin, but you can also tighten your stomach, arms, and thighs with this procedure. In some cases, J Plasma treatment makes a good alternative to tummy tuck surgery, provided that the patient isn’t suffering from abdominal muscle separation.

Does J-Plasma have any Side Effects?

J Plasma isn’t associated with any serious side effects. Sometimes, patients notice mild redness and bruising in treated areas, similar to the bruising that occurs after having an injectable treatment. These symptoms are generally minor and resolve on their own within a few days.

Learn More About J-Plasma

If you’re concerned about loose skin on your face or body but you don’t feel ready for surgery, J Plasma might be right for you. To learn more about this procedure, contact our team of board-certified plastic surgeons to arrange a personal consultation.