Can Laser Treatments Erase Tummy Tuck Scars?

You did the work to get close to your target weight. You scheduled your tummy tuck surgery and went through with it. You’ve recovered, and now you’re ready for the moment. It might be at the beach, the pool at your gym, or at a backyard party that you’re hosting. We’re talking about “the reveal.” Anyone who has ever had a tummy tuck probably remembers this moment. It was the moment they got to show off their flawless, rejuvenated midsection with an entirely newfound sense of confidence.

The reveal is precious moment. It’s a testament to your dedication, and it’s a reward for all the work you did to get there. For some people, the reveal gets a little tainted by post-recovery scarring. The good news is that there are a variety of surgical and non-surgical treatments to address those inevitable little reminders of your tummy tuck surgery if you’re unhappy with them.

In this post, we’ll describe how we use laser treatments at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa as one of the options for improving the appearance of tummy tuck scars.

When to Start Thinking About Laser Treatments for Tummy Tuck Scars

When it comes to scars from a tummy tuck procedure or any other surgery, your body’s healing process via scarring goes through three basic stages:

  • Wound closure: During this initial stage of the healing process, your body produces fibers of structural proteins like collagen to help close the wound.
  • Building a foundation: Once the wound is closed, the body sends extra blood to the affected area to kickstart the healing and building of more collagen to protect the wound. It’s during this phase that the scar tissue usually changes color and starts hardening.
  • Scar maturity: In the late stages of scarring, some of the extra collagen begins to break down and can sometimes lead to a depression on the skin’s surface. This usually occurs within a year or two and will generally be a more permanent reflection of your scarring’s color and texture without any future skin care treatments.

Genetics, health, and age will all play a significant role in the way your scars heal and shape after a tummy tuck surgery. In general, we recommend waiting about a year after surgery before seeking laser scar reduction treatments.

Types of Laser Treatment to Treat Tummy Tuck Scars

Laser treatments will not completely erase the appearance of scarring, but two types of treatments can significantly improve it:

  • Laser resurfacing treatments: The most common type of laser treatment to correct the appearance of scarring, laser resurfacing treats tummy tuck scars by helping re-build collagen to improve skin texture and by targeting skin pigment to enhance color.
  • Vascular laser treatments: This type of laser treatment can be used to enhance the color and raised texture of scar tissue by using concentrated light energy to collapse blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface.

Want to Learn More about Tummy Tuck Surgery or Laser Treatments?

If you’re considering laser treatments, plastic surgery, or other cosmetic procedures, place your care in the hands of our board-certified, highly skilled doctors at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa.

Contact us online, or call our plastic surgery practice in Vernon Hills, IL, at 847-367-8815 to schedule a consultation today!

Say Hello to Halo and Your Best Skin Ever

Blemishes can distract from even the most beautiful bone structure. That’s why we recommend incorporating medical skincare into your long-term beauty plan, even if you’re also planning to have cosmetic surgery. Procedures like Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Therapy can correct many stubborn skin problems that topical treatments can’t touch—safely, effectively, and with little downtime.

What is Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Therapy?

Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Therapy is the first laser skin treatment that blends ablative and non-ablative technology. Ablative lasers are used to exfoliate the skin; they create very tiny perforations in the skin’s surface, removing damaged cells and speeding up the rate of cellular renewal. Ablative lasers cause the skin cells that make up superficial blemishes, like age spots and fine lines, to evaporate. Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, use light energy to gently heat up the water molecules inside skin cells. This stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that keeps our skin strong and healthy, without causing targeted skin cells to evaporate.

Combining these two technologies is advantageous because it permits extensive collagen synthesis and deep blemish removal while limiting downtime. Patients who have conventional ablative laser therapy often notice symptoms of redness and swelling for up to five days. After Halo laser therapy, these symptoms typically abate within just one to three days. Blending ablative and non-ablative lasers also cuts down on the amount of treatments patients need in order to create optimal results. Most patients need between six and eight non-ablative laser treatments to achieve the same results as just two Halo laser treatments.

What Conditions can the Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser Treat?

The Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser can be used by adults of all ages to improve the overall tone, firmness, and smoothness of the skin. At the Ritacca Laser Center, we use the Halo laser to treat all of the following skin conditions:

-Wrinkles, fine lines, and areas of loose skin. By increasing the production of collagen, the Halo laser makes the skin stronger, fuller, and more supple. This erases signs of aging associated with collagen loss; it also makes the skin more wrinkle-resistant.

-Sun damage. The Halo laser can remove most of the visible symptoms of UV damage, such as brown spots, freckles, and areas of rough, leathery skin. Laser treatments can also remove pre-cancerous cells, potentially reducing the patient’s risk of skin cancer.

Halo laser therapy is suitable for use on a wide range of skin types and tones. If you would like to assess whether or not you’re a good candidate for this innovative skin rejuvenation procedure, contact the Ritacca Laser Center to arrange a personal consultation. Our team of experienced, certified skincare experts will help you get the best skin of your life—without unwanted side-effects.

Get Younger Looking Lips: Lip Enhancement Options in the Chicago Area

Who doesn’t want full and youthful lips? Unfortunately as we age we lose collagen and elasticity which can lead to thin lips, sagging skin, and fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. The good news is there are many lip enhancement options available that can reverse and prevent signs of aging in the lips and around the mouth. Learn how to get younger looking lips in the Greater Chicago area below.

Lip Enhancement Options in our Northern Chicago Medspa

Injectable Fillers

lip enhancement options north chicago lip enhancement options - before and after lip filler

Common injectable fillers used for lip rejuvenation are comprised of hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in the body. These include:

Injectable fillers are a quick procedure that offers safe and effective results with minimal downtime. Having an experienced injector is key to help provide a natural and beautiful result. Topical anesthetic is applied to the lips or lip lines prior to injection. The injections themselves are quick and they can be administered to the lip for volume and into the lip lines to improve wrinkles. Your injector will go over post-care with you which may include applying ice and avoiding makeup that day. Lips often appear swollen the first few days after treatment and there is a small risk of bruising which typically resolves within one week. Optimal results are seen about 2 weeks after treatment and last approximately 1 year. Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa is an Allergan and Galderma training facility, the makers or Juvéderm® and Restylane®. Our injectors are highly experienced national trainers.

Laser Resurfacing/DermaPen®/Fractora

lip treatment before and afterhow to get younger looking lips

Textural irregularities such as fine lines and wrinkles can be improved with a series of DermaPen® microneedling or laser treatments. Laser resurfacing offers dramatic improvement to wrinkles by removing a layer of damaged skin leaving behind softer and smoother skin. Downtime varies based on the aggressiveness of the procedure and can range anywhere from a few days to a week. Laser resurfacing is an efficacious option for moderate to severe wrinkles. DermaPen® microneedling uses tiny virtually painless needles to precisely stimulate collagen in a gentle manner and offers downtime of only a mild sun burnt appearance. It is typically performed in a series of 6 treatments spaced 2 weeks apart. DermaPen® is a great option for those looking to treat mild textural irregularities and to stimulate collagen as an anti-aging preventative. Fractora is also an efficacious laser treatment for improving texture and stimulating collagen and it uses the latest radiofrequency technology. Fractora tightens and improve texture offering results comparable to laser resurfacing without the downtime. Fractora can be a great lip enhancement option for mild to severe wrinkles.

Glytone Eye and Lip Peel

The Glytone eye and lip peel is formulated with lactic acid and trichloroacetic acid. This unique peel is specifically designed to improve the appearance of pigmentation as well as fine lines and wrinkles. There is minimal downtime with this peel unlike other standard peels. The glytone eye and lip peel is usually performed in a series of 4 treatments.

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy

how to get younger looking lips in chicago

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy are designed to tighten sagging skin. Thermismooth uses radiofrequency to precisely heat the skin to a temperature that stimulates collagen for a firming and lifted appearance. Thermismooth is done is a series of 3 to 6 treatments and there is no downtime or discomfort with the procedure. Ultherapy uses advanced ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen on a deeper level with a precise imaging system. With Ulthera there may be some swelling that typically resides within one week. Both treatments work gradually as the body builds new collagen and tightens in the months post treatment. Both ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy offer long lasting results.

Explore Your Lip Enhancement Options with Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa in Vernon Hills, IL

There are a variety of lip enhancement options available to rejuvenate the lips and mouth. Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa offers complimentary consultations to find the perfect treatment for you based on individual need, goals, and candidacy. Call us at (847)367-8815 today to schedule your appointment.

How to Get Younger Looking Eyes

Many of us know the feeling of getting told we look tired even when we aren’t. Under eye bags, wrinkles, and dark circles can give the eyes a tired and aged appearance. Rejuvenation treatments to the eyes are a commonly sought out treatment. We all have a desire to look rested and youthful. There are a variety of treatments in the toolbox that can offer you younger looking eyes in our North Chicago medical spa located in Vernon Hills.

Get Younger Looking Eyes with Injectable Fillers

younger looking eyes before and after photos eye rejuvenation younger looking eyes younger looking eyes in chicago

As we age we lose volume under the eyes and in the cheeks that can cause hollowness, bags, dark circles, and flat cheeks. Some are genetically prone to hollowness or bags. Hyaluronic acid injectable fillers are made of a gel substance we naturally have in our bodies and are commonly used to add volume to the under eye and cheek area. There are several different types of fillers that can be used such as Restylane® and Juvéderm® depending on the individual. The injections themselves are quick, virtually painless, and offer results you can see instantly. There is a risk of bruising and swelling that typically resides within one week. Results last approximately 1-2 years. The injectors at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa are national trainers for injectables. They also use the innovative microcannula technique which is a safer method and offers less risk of bruising.

Laser resurfacing and Microneedling for Eye Rejuvenation

laser eye rejuvenation chicago

Microneedling is performed with a small portable device that uses tiny needles to painlessly puncture the skin. This stimulates collagen and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. DermaPen® microneedling is typically done in a series of 6 treatments spaced every 2 weeks and offers minimal downtime; often a mild sunburned appearance for a couple of days. Laser resurfacing also improves wrinkles and can be customized as a mild or aggressive treatment depending on individual need and goals. Laser resurfacing removes a layer of damaged skin leaving new rejuvenated skin in its place. Downtime can range anywhere from 1 day to 1 week depending on the treatment. Fractora skin resurfacing is another treatment that uses advanced radiofrequency to tighten the skin on a deeper level with ablated skin that heals very quickly. Fractora offers results comparable to laser resurfacing without the downtime. Fractora is typically performed in a series of 1-3 treatments depending on individual need. Growth factors can be added to any of these treatments to give the skin a boost in collagen stimulation, nutrients, and to speed up healing.

Glytone Eye & Lip Peel for Younger Looking Eyes

chemical peel for eyes

This in office peel uses a combination of Lactic Acid and Trichloroacetic acid also known as TCA. This TCA peel benefits skin firmness, fine lines & wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark circles. It is typically done in a series of 3-4 treatments and offers minimal downtime vs standard peels.

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy Skin Tightening for Non-Surgical Eye Rejuvenation

chicago Ultherapy eye rejuvenation

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy are both skin tightening treatments. They can be used to rejuvenate, lift, and tighten the lower and upper eyelids. The Thermismooth uses advanced radiofrequency technology that uses controlled heat for collagen remodel. Ultherapy uses advanced ultrasound technology to penetrate deep into the skin with precise heat and imaging. Thermismooth offers patients no downtime and typically a series of 3-6 treatments is recommended. Ultherapy is a single treatment with optimal results seen 3-6 months after treatment with long lasting results. Some individuals experience swelling or bruising after treatment that typically reside within 1 week.

Blepharoplasty Surgical Eye Lift

get younger looking eyes with blepharoplasty chicago

A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that offers the most dramatic results. A blepharoplasty can be done on the upper eyelids or lower eyelids to remove excess skin and fat. The treatment only takes about an hour and there is minimal downtime. It can be performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia. Sutures remain in the area for about 1 week so there may be some restrictions such as strenuous working out until the sutures come out. Post care is given by your physician based on individual need. Some blepharoplasty surgeries can be covered through insurance.

Ready to Get Younger Looking Eyes in North Chicago?

There is no shortage of eye rejuvenation treatments available. We offer complimentary consultations and based on individual need, goals, and result expectations one of these methods may be the perfect fit! Call us at (847)367-8815 to schedule your appointment.

Ever wanted a Hand Augmentation? Radiesse® Injectable could be the answer!

Radiesse®, and injectable filler from Merz Aesthetics, has received approval from the FDA for hand augmentation to eliminate the look of aging due to fat loss/volume loss in the hands. Radiesse® can last for up to a year, and provides an immediate volumizing effect that reduces the prominence of tendons and veins in the hands. This new treatment will provide a natural-looking result and make your hands look years younger!

Merz is proud to be able to provide patients and physicians with the first and only dermal filler approved by the FDA for use in the hands,” said Jim Hartman, vice president and head of U.S. Aesthetics/OTC for Merz North America. “Market research tells us that attention to the aesthetic appearance of hands has increased in recent years, particularly among individuals who have undergone facial rejuvenation procedures. This new indication for Radiesse® is a result of our focus on meeting unmet needs in the U.S. aesthetics market, and we are excited to provide our physician customers with this new option” says Hartman.

In clinical trials, Radiesse® improved the appearance of hands in 75% of treated patients after 3 months. Most adverse events were injection site reactions such as swelling, redness, pain and bruising, which were usually mild to moderate, short in duration (lasting about one week) and require no additional treatment.

Surgical vs. Laser Scar Removal

Laser scar removal is a modern technique for getting rid of all types of scars. Whether your blemishes were caused by acne, a wound or a medical condition, laser treatments can help reduce the appearance of the scar. Even if your scar has extended beyond where the initial injury occurred, the built up collagen that has caused this to happen can be removed with laser procedures.

Of course, not everyone should get laser treatments for scar removal. If you have skin already struggling with the pressure of a condition such as psoriasis, it isn’t a good idea to use lasers to reduce scarring. In fact, scar removal on sensitive skin can just make things look and feel worse. There are also some medications that shouldn’t be mixed with laser scar removal.

The basics of how lasers remove scars is by removing layers of skin. Exposing fresh, healthy and ultimately unmarked skin below, you leave each treatment with your scar less and less visible. The laser also activates collagen cells in your skin, the very things that help your skin heal and stay firm. This means that getting laser treatments for scar removal can actually help your skin look, feel and actually be healthier and firmer.

The biggest risk you will be taking in getting laser scar removal is a change in color around the area treated. The sun often makes the color difference more obvious, too. In the case of infections post laser scar removal, antibiotics can keep you healthy and healing.

The most common type of scar removal these days is done with lasers. This is a simple, low risk procedure that takes less than two hours to complete. Depending on the strength of the scar, more treatments may be needed.

For very severe scars, your doctor may recommend getting it surgically removed instead. This procedure involves having the area of skin with the scar completely removed from you body. A piece of skin, called a graft, is then taken from a different part of your body and added to the area that once had the scar.

This type of scar removal takes a lot longer to heal and is usually only done in severe cases. However, it is the more traditional method as laser scar removal is still a relatively new technology. What type of procedure is best for obliterating your blemish is a decision to be made with your cosmetic surgeon.

Benefits of the new DermaPen®!

Launched last year in 2011 in Europe, Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa are thrilled to add DermaPen® to their menu of services. The DermaPen® is a device that helps to build collagen, re-texturize the skin and promote great product absorption. Because of the stamping technique, the DermaPen® is precise and effective with 1 treatment however, a series is recommended.

Laser resurfacing has been a popular treatment for people who experience fine lines or wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, forehead, shallow scars from acne and other tone & texture issues. If you have active acne, you may not be a candidate. Now, there are options for darker skin types.

DermaPen® mimics laser resurfacing treatments with less dermal damage therefore, less downtime and recovery with the same great results. The DermaPen® can also be used safely, on all skin types and ethnicities, and has shown great clinical results in addressing wrinkles and fine lines, acne scars, stretch marks, keloid scars as well as promoting wound healing and stimulation, skin tightening, lifting and rejuvenation.

Dr. Ritacca says, “The DermaPen® device is very effective when used alone, but can be combined with other popular treatments like BBL, profractional laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.”

The DermaPen® is a convenient small pen that allows greater precision than an ablation type laser and “stamps” the skin which allows for greater depth in areas where you need it. The piercing is a vertical insertion rather than a rolling insertion and the higher speed offers more comfort, less trauma and quicker treatment times.

Because of the less ablative approach, the benefits go beyond surface level results, with almost no downtime. It has been proven to be just as effective as Fractional Laser Therapy or laser resurfacing, IPL or BBL, and chemical peels.

Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa is seeing great results with this new skin technique and offers free consultations to learn if you are a candidate for the DermaPen®.