Monday, 30 March 2015

3 Habits You Shouldn’t Indulge In Right After Plastic Surgery

We’ve all got our vices. Maybe you like to unwind after work with a glass of wine or a pint of cold, crisp beer. Or you sneak in a cigarette here and there (there’s no judgment here at all!) But if you’re fresh out of a plastic surgery procedure like a rhinoplasty or tummy tuck, you’re going to have to cut out these habits for at least a few weeks. That’s because these habits can prolong your recovery and increase your chances of complications which is something you and your plastic surgeon don’t want.

It might be tempting to cave in and enjoy a drink after surgery, but you'll have to wait a few weeks.


After a successful procedure, perhaps you want to celebrate with a glass of bubbly but unfortunately, you really shouldn’t. Drinking alcohol is known to cause problems when you’re recovering after a procedure. First off, you’ll be dehydrated after surgery. Alcohol is known to cause dehydration, and if you drink, you’ll just lose more fluid from organs that need it.

Drinking alcohol also increases your risks of swelling because your blood vessels widen. If your cheeks or nose tend to get red and flushed after drinking—and you just had rhinoplasty—you could be susceptible to swelling if you drink after your operation. You might be seeking a buzz or craving to let loose, but drinking after rhinoplasty will only cause pain and prolong your recovery time.

So when can you drink again? That all depends on what procedure you had, your medical history and what your plastic surgeon recommends.

Plastic surgeons often tell their patients to stop smoking several weeks before and after surgery.


Many plastic surgeons will tell their patients to quit smoking at least a month before and after certain procedures. These common but complex procedures where surgeons would tell you to stop smoking beforehand include: breast lifts, breast reductions, tummy tucks and facelifts. This is because skin and tissue is moved around, thus changing the blood supply of the tissues. When performing these procedures, surgeons have to ensure there’s enough blood flow through blood vessels—cigarette smoke negatively affects blood flow.

The nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict, which affects your blood flow. Nicotine can also cause blood clots which all factors into a decrease of blood supply to tissues, poorly healed wounds and serious complications.

Smoking before your surgery has many known side effects like dealing with a longer recovery time and worsened scars.

Avoid vigorous exercising like running and heavy weight lifting after surgery.


You probably didn’t expect to see this habit after reading the first two. Even a “good” habit could be a hindrance to your procedure results and recovery period. You might be anxious to start hitting the gym, but that will have to wait for a few weeks. Intense exercise soon after surgery can cause serious complications like swelling, inflammation, infection or post-operative scarring.

Depending on the procedure you had, most plastic surgeons will recommend that patients wait at least six weeks before getting back into their regular exercise routines. You don’t have to quit exercising altogether though; light exercise such as short walks during the day is fine. Over the weeks, you can ease into your regular routine and increase the intensity of your workouts once you’ve hit the sixth week after surgery.

It might be hard to resist that drink or cigarette when there are different parties and occasions happening, but it’s just not worth risking your health or results. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

6 Foods and Habits That Make You Feel Heavy and Bloated

Ever eaten so much to the point you felt so heavy and bloated? We’ve all been there. Feeling bloated doesn’t only happen after eating an excessive amount of rich food. It’s a really normal problem to feel bloated even if you’ve just eaten a regular sized meal.

What is bloating?

Being bloated causes a person to feel full and makes their stomach look visibly swollen. For some people the swelling isn’t visible, but they still feel discomfort and tightness in their abdomen. Other unpleasant symptoms like pain, excessive gas and abdominal rumbling happen when someone’s bloated. These symptoms can be so severe for some people that it actually interferes with their work and social lives.

What causes bloating?

Bloating can be a symptom of serious conditions like ovarian cancer or celiac disease. But once you’ve gotten that ruled out by a medical doctor, you should also take a look at what you eat. Below are a few habits and foods that are known to cause bloating.

Processed Food

Too lazy to cook your own food? You’d probably order take-out food or warm up a frozen meal. Frozen meals contain high amounts of sodium, though—the average TV dinner contains 1,800 milligrams of sodium. That’s about 80% of the total amount of sodium that’s recommended for a healthy adult for a whole day. All that salt will have you feeling heavy and probably thirsty.


Certain vegetables are known culprits for bloating. Broccoli, beans, onions, cauliflower and cabbage naturally produce gas that explains in your gastrointestinal tract. Eating raw vegetables also causes bloating if you have large servings of them.

Carbonated and high-acid beverages

Pops and carbonated water have bubbles, which contain carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide creates gas in your stomach. Coffee and alcohol, which are considered acidic drinks, are known to irritate your GI tract as well.


If you’re lactose intolerant, you can’t digest dairy product properly. When undigested lactose moves through the colon, symptoms such as gas and bloating occur.

Chewing gum

You swallow air bubbles when you chew gum. Gum tends to contain artificial sweeteners, another known culprit for abdominal bloating.

Eating too fast

Several studies have shown that a lot of office workers eat their lunches at their desks. According to this article, 65% of American workers eat lunch at their desk or don’t take a break at all. Fitting in time to actually relax and enjoy meals is sadly too difficult for many people. The problem with eating too fast is that the food doesn’t get chewed and broken down enough for the stomach. You’re also more prone to swallowing more air while eating when you eat in a hurry.

Try to cut down on consuming these foods or doing these habits if you feel bloated too often. Make sure to fit in plenty of water to help flush waste out of your system. Drinking peppermint tea also alleviates gas and relaxes your digestive tract. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

This Is Why You Should Treat Your Toe Fungus Now

Do you cringe at the thought of showing your bare feet in public? Sure, you can hide them in shoes and socks all year round but that just looks strange once you start hitting the beach. You don’t want to be that person in clothes and fully closed shoes tanning on the sand.

Some people hate their feet because there’s something unsightly about them that make them too embarrassed to show in public. Toe fungus (medically known as onychomycosis) is one of the most common reasons that would make a person reluctant to show off their feet. In fact, about 4 million Canadians have toe fungus.  

The causes of toe fungus

Before and after results of laser toe fungus treatments
Source: SpaMedica. Before and after photos of a patient who had laser toe fungus treatment and removal.

While getting pedicures at a salon is supposed to be a relaxing experience, it can be the source of your toe fungus if the environment or tools used are unsterile. Other causes of toe fungus include minor trauma to your nail plate or having conditions like diabetes or decreased blood supply to the legs.

Why you should treat your toe fungus

Toe fungus is caused by specific fungus that penetrates under your nail plate. Once the fungus is nestled in, it starts replicating and forms white opacification under the nail. If you don’t treat it and allow it to thrive, the toe fungus spreads to the entire plate. Eventually, the nail plate distorts and looks thick and really scaly. The fungus can spread and infect other toes on both feet.

Chronic toe fungus can lead to onychogryphosis, a condition that makes nails look like claws or a ram’s horn.

Treatments for toe fungus

Laser toe fungus treatments are available to improve and remove the fungus. The PinPointe laser is designed to specifically treat and remove toe fungus. The PinPointe laser treatment is considered the best option to address this problem.

When you visit SpaMedica, Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Mulholland or one of the consultants will conduct a physical assessment of your feet and toe fungus. They’ll compile your history and provide a diagnosis of your toe fungus.

What happens during the laser toe fungus treatments

Each affected toe will be treated for about 2 minutes. The treatment provider will make 2 passes with the laser on the toenail—1 horizontal pass and 1 vertical pass. The skin around the nail plate and the lunula (the white crescent-shaped area on the bed of the nail) is treated as well. The whole nail plate of each affected nail is treated twice.

The treatment won’t take more than 10-15 minutes.

What happens after the treatment

Treat your toe fungus with laser treatments
Source: SpaMedica. Before and after photos of a patient who had laser toe fungus treatment and removal.

You’ll receive an outline of how to treat and maintain your results after your laser treatment. You’ll get topical antifungal (Clotrimazole), which should be applied several times a day for the first 3-4 weeks after your laser treatment.

After applying the topical treatment for 3 weeks, formula 3 antifungal treatment should be applied on the nail plate. All of these products are prescribed at the time of your laser toe fungus treatment. They support and enhance your overall results of toe fungus removal.

You can also purchase ultraviolet light inserts so there won’t be recontamination in your footwear. You’re also advised to get rid of your old footwear and purchase new ones. It’s recommended for you to come back for a second treatment 6 weeks after the first one.

Book your appointment

Sick of hiding your feet? Then  get started with your laser toe fungus removal treatments now. No longer will you have to feel embarrassed or anxious about your feet. Book your appointment online or call 1-877-712-8367.

Monday, 16 March 2015

3 Expert Tips You Should Know About Breast Augmentation

You probably know a friend or a family member who had breast augmentation. It’s a super common procedure, after all—it was the second most performed procedure after liposuction last year. If you’ve been considering it for yourself, you’re most likely overwhelmed with the endless floods of information on the procedure.

While friends and family may mean well with their advice and opinions, it’s more reassuring to have expert advice of a plastic surgeon when it comes to breast implants. Dr. Mulholland, a Toronto plastic surgeon, answers 3 common breast augmentation questions below.

Q: How many minutes on a daily basis should I be spend massaging my breasts after breast augmentation? Should I continue doing this for months, years or forever?

A: There’s a great deal of surgeon variability and the lack of consensus when it comes to the value of breast massage following breast augmentation surgery.  Some surgeons feel quite strongly that breast massage will help soften breast tissues around the breast more quickly, allowing the breast implant to drop into the pocket more quickly and minimize the risk of capsular contracture hardening.  Other physicians feel the breast implant will adapt to shape and breast massage will have little influence on that shape nor on the degree of softness or capsular contracture formation.

In general it’s been my experience that most patients find breast massage to relieve early swelling in the breast tissue and allow the breast implant and breast to more rapidly adopt a more natural position and shape.  Massaging your breasts on a daily basis while performing a home breast self examination for breast cancer is a harmless and logical step.  Breast massage can be like touching your toes and straightening your knee and elongating fibrous tissue.  Elongating this tissue may minimize the risk of some degree of capsular contracture, but will not probably prevent strong capsule formations if they’re destined to occur.

Always seek the advice of your operative surgeon as their specific technique may or may not lend itself to a breast massage, but do not forget that they have home breast self examination for the detection of breast cancer.

Source: YouTube. Dr. Mulholland discusses Vectra 3D and breast augmentation in this video.

Q: How long do I have to wait until I can have a revision? I was told 425cc was the largest I could go, but I'd like them significantly larger. Is it possible to go larger and what size cc would get the results I'm looking for? Aside from size, the lack of cleavage is really irritating me, I want them to look “WOW!” I can barely force them together right now.

A: Eight weeks is still very early following breast surgery and there’s still too much swelling and edema to consider re-operation.  Most plastic surgeons will advise that you allow your breast implants time to settle and stretch out the soft tissue and have time to truly appreciate the breast enhancement size and breast waist tip ratio prior to entertaining any revision or enhancement augmentation procedure. 

The ability to go bigger than your current 425 cc implants will depend upon your soft tissue elasticity and chest wall characteristics.  In general you can increase in size, but large breast implants come with a whole host of other potential complications over time, such as loss of support, droopiness or ptosis of the breast implants as they will stretch out your soft tissue.

If you do decide to increase your size of your breast implant most surgeons would recommend you wait between 6 and 12 months prior to entertaining such a procedure.

Q: I am 33 years old with 3 children (including eight-month old twins) and I will be having the mommy makeover. I am between 5'1" and 5'2" and weigh 125 lbs. I was 115lbs pre-pregnancy. I am currently a size 32B. I wanted to know how many cc's would be good for me?

A: Your question is a common one and is excellent.  Your frame seems quite slight at 5’1” or 5’2” inches and 125 pounds.  In general, it is more important to match the breast contour shape and width to the shoulder waist hip ratio to achieve natural proportions.  If the breast implants that are selected are too big, it will lead to a very heavy artificial look to the breast, which may lead to some dissatisfaction.

I have found over the past 20 years of performing cosmetic aesthetic plastic surgery that the use of the Vectra 3D, a 3D imaging system, allows patients to pick different sizes and shapes of implants and very accurately assess the simulated post-operative result.  This “try before you buy” option has rendered the uncertainty that many patients have almost obsolete as patients can actually see their figure, shape and form before they go out and create it.

I would recommend seeking out the office of a plastic surgeon in the Toronto Area that uses the Vectra 3D so you can again validate the contour shape and form that you think would work best for you.

If you have more questions, feel free to book an appointment online

Thursday, 12 March 2015

How Your Dents and Wrinkles Disappear With Botox and Fat Grafting

Heather had a noticeable, deep dent on her forehead. Since her early 20s, she saw that the lines on her forehead were progressively deepening. It got to the point where she couldn’t stand looking at it. She visited Dr. Mulholland, a Toronto plastic surgeon, at SpaMedica to see if she could treat this pesky issue once and for all.

Since Heather’s parents both have deep furrows in their forehead, Heather inherited the same traits as well. Dr. Mulholland saw that her parents both had deep grooves on their foreheads when they were in their 30s in the old photos she brought in. Now that she’s in her mid 30s, Heather has a permanent indentation between her eyebrows even when she doesn’t frown. But because she’s been frowning often for so long, the collagen in her skin has changed which adds onto this problem.

How Heather’s Deep Forehead Lines Were Removed With Fat Grafting and Botox

Dr. Mulholland injected Botox in the problem area to put the frown muscles to sleep. Botox, which temporarily reduces a muscle’s activity for 4-6 months, is the most performed non-surgical treatment year after year. Botox takes 3-5 days to take full effect.

But that wasn’t the only step to correct her indentation. Fat grafting was the next step. Dr. Mulholland took some of her fat from one area to inject it to the base of her lines to soften the appearance.  Heather chose to take fat from her thigh to transfer to her face.

The fat had to be purified first before it was injected under the indentation. Dr. Mulholland also added a bit of Artercoll to smoothen everything out.

After all of her treatments, Heather’s wrinkles and her forehead looked completely smooth. The results won’t last without maintenance though. She should come in for Botox about 3 times a year.

“I love it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” said Heather. She said she feels really good when she looks in the mirror. It’s a massive difference for her. “When I looked in the mirror, the first thing I would focus on is my dent. But now, I feel great.”

Remove Your Wrinkles Now

Book your appointment online to get rid of those wrinkles and dents that have been bothering you. As always, leave us a comment if you have questions or concerns.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Brazilian Butt Lifts: How to Get a Bigger Butt with Your Own Fat

Remember back in the days when having a big butt wasn’t all the rage like it is now? With big booties mentioned and shown almost everywhere from songs, music videos and photos (Kim Kardashian breaking the internet, ahem) it’s clear that being curvaceous down below is the thing now.

There’s a lot of science and research on big butts and why people like them so much. This study revealed that women with larger than average butts give birth to children with higher intelligence compared to women with smaller butts. These women are also very resistant to chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Research also shows that men prefer curvy women because they’re seen as more fertile and have bodies that are well-equipped for making babies.

As we all know, not everyone is born with the same physique or curves—so you either deal with it or do something about it. In the last couple of years, plastic surgeons have seen a higher demand for Brazilian butt lifts. In the U.S, almost 10,000 Brazilian butt lifts were performed in 2013. One of the major reasons for this trend is because many women want to emulate curvier bottoms similar to Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj. 

What is a Brazilian butt lift?

Brazilian butt lifts involve taking fat from other areas of the body and then transferring it to the butt for more volume and shapelier curves. Typical areas where fat is taken from include the abdomen, hips and outer thighs. A lot of fat from the donor site should be present to give enough shape and volume to the butt. It’s like a win-win situation; you take fat from an area you don’t want and have it placed in the area you want to plump up.

The rundown of how fat transplantation works

Fat and stem cells are first spun down and then purified before transplantation
Source: SpaMedica. Fat and stem cells are taken from donor sites and prepared before transplantation.
After the fat and stem cells are harvested from the donor sites, they have to be prepared before transplantation.

-The fat is spun down in a centrifuge. This separates the fat and stem cells away from unwanted elements.

-The purified fat cells are transferred to syringes and then injections can be made to the butt.

What to expect after your Brazilian butt lift

Kim Kardashian's Belfie on Instagram
Source: Kim Kardashian's Instagram. Many women want to emulate Kim Kardashian's curves.
Brazilian butt lifts take about 1.5 hours to perform. After the procedure, you’ll experience some soreness and stiffness in your donor sites and butt. There are things to be mindful of after treatment, such as not sitting or lying on your butt directly. Instead, you’ll likely be recommended to sleep on your side and shift weight to the upper part of the back of your thighs when you sit. This minimizes pressure on the fat cells.

How long your results last

The results from your Brazilian butt lift will last for years. A structural fat grafting technique places fat cells and fat derived stem cells about 1-2 milimetres from a blood supply. New blood vessels grow into these fat cells (this process is called neovascularization).

Once the blood supply returns to the grafted fat cells and stem cells in the soft tissue of your butt, the grafted cells incorporate into the regular buttock tissue. These cells will last for years. But of course, as you get older, the buttock tissue will naturally undergo age-related fat and so will the fat grafts.

So if you find that doing hundreds of squats or other butt-lifting exercises aren’t giving you the results you want, you’ve got options. Learn more about Brazilian butt lifts here or book your appointment online now.

Monday, 2 March 2015

SpaMedica's CoolSculpting Demonstration at Park Hyatt Toronto

MedSpa team at CoolSculpting event
MedSpa team: Jennifer, Danielle, Lola, Marsha and Laurel

The SpaMedica team and Dr. Mulholland were at Park Hyatt last Thursday evening on February 26 to discuss and demonstrate CoolSculpting. As well with a lot of information to learn, there were h'ordeuvres, refreshments, free consultations and gift bags to enjoy.

The event started off with Dr. Mulholland explaining how prevalent fat removal procedures are in North America now. To be specific, 200,000 liposuction procedures were performed in the U.S in 2013, according to the latest ASPS plastic surgery statistics report.  

SpaMedica gift bags at CoolSculpting Event
Gift bags for the attendees! They contained skincare products, samples and coupons.

Genetics, diet and lifestyle contribute to the widening of people’s waistlines. It’s not just in North America where people have expanding waistlines—people are getting bigger in China, too. Dr. Mulholland says that since fast food is so common in China now, people are heavier than ever. Considering these changes in diet, culture and lack of exercise, fat reduction procedures like liposuction are booming.  

On the flipside, some people just have hereditary fat and can’t get rid of it regardless of diet or exercise. That’s one of the reasons why fat reduction treatments like CoolSculpting are so appealing.

What is CoolSculpting?

Dr. Mulholland talks to a CoolSculpting patient
Dr. Mulholland speaks to Charmaine about her CoolSculpting treatments.
CoolSculpting, a non-surgical fat reduction treatment, uses cold temperatures to permanently kill fat cells from areas where there is unwanted fat. The device sucks fat into a chamber where the temperatures are then dropped below freezing.

The fat cell’s temperature drops to the point where the cell disables and undergoes a permanent death cycle in response to the cold exposure. Up to 22% of the fat cells in the treated area will die. Dr. Mulholland says it’s the least invasive treatment at SpaMedica’s MedSpa.

As long as you maintain your weight, the fat won’t come back. Sometimes after seeing they’ve lost 10 pounds, CoolSculpting patients feel motivated and want to continue losing weight. They see CoolSculpting as a catalyst to keep dropping the pounds. Dr. Mulholland says measurements for final results should be taken 6-10 weeks after treatments—he guarantees noticeable results, and if not, a complimentary treatment will be offered.

Another bonus is that if you do decide to have a surgical procedure in the future, you could put 50% of the cost you paid for CoolSculpting towards that procedure (as long as he’s not retired or dead, Dr. Mulholland quipped).

Live demonstration of CoolSculpting

Claudia performs CoolSculpting on a demo patient.
Claudia shows us how CoolSculpting works.

Claudia, our senior medical aesthetician, prepped Sarah for a CoolSculpting treatment while Dr. Mulholland answered the audience’s questions. Sarah never had the treatment before so she was understandably nervous about it—but after a few minutes, she looked relaxed and comfortable. The treatments are comfortable enough that patients can work or browse on their phones and tablets, which is what Sarah did most of the time.

We were also giving away a free CoolSculpting package that night. We’ll announce who the lucky winner is this Wednesday. Overall, the evening was engaging and informative. Thanks to all of you who came out!