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  Michael B. Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.
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Endoscopic Plastic Surgery

As research continues, it's expected that many new uses for endoscopy will be developed. In the meantime, some plastic surgeons are using the technique on carefully selected patients. Some procedures that may be assisted by endoscopy are:

Cosmetic surgery
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) -- Endoscopy is sometimes used as an adjunct for selected patients who have lost abdominal muscle tone. Guided by the endoscope, the muscles that run vertically down the length of the abdomen may be tightened through several short incisions. Endoscopy is generally not used in patients who have a significant amount of loose abdominal skin.

Breast augmentation -- Inserted through a small incision in the underarm or the navel, an endoscope can assist the surgeon in positioning breast implants within the chest wall. Endoscopy may also assist in the correction of capsular contracture (scar tissue that sometimes forms around an implant, causing it to feel firm), and in the evaluation of existing implants.

Facelift -- Although the traditional facelift operation is still the best choice for most patients -- especially those with a significant amount of excess skin -- certain selected individuals may benefit from an endoscopically assisted procedure. When an endoscope is used, the customary incision along, or in the hairline is usually eliminated. Instead, small incisions may be strategically placed in areas where the most correction is needed. If the muscles and skin of the mid-face need to be smoothed and tightened, incisions may be hidden in the lower eyelid and in the upper gumline. To tighten the loose muscles of the neck, incisions may be concealed beneath the chin and behind the ears. The endoscope may also assist in the positioning of cheek and chin implants.

Forehead lift -- Of all the cosmetic procedures that use endoscopy, forehead lift is the one which plastic surgeons more commonly perform. Instead of the usual ear-to-ear incision, three or more "puncture-type" incisions are made just at the hairline. The endoscope helps guide the surgeon, who removes the muscles that produce frown lines, and repositions the eyebrows at a higher level.

Reconstructive surgery
Flap surgery -- Endoscopy can assist in repairing body parts that are damaged from injury or illness. Often, healthy tissue is "borrowed" from one part of the body to help repair another. Using an endoscope, the issue or flaps can be removed from the donor site with only two or three small incisions.

Placement of tissue expanders -- Used frequently in reconstructive surgery, tissue expanders are silicone "balloons" that are temporarily implanted to help stretch areas of healthy skin. The newly expanded skin is then used to cover body areas where skin has been lost due to injury (such as a burn) or disease. Using an endoscope, a surgeon can help ensure that a tissue expander is precisely positioned beneath the surface to bring the greatest benefit to the patient.

Sinus surgery -- An endoscope can assist a surgeon in pinpointing and correcting sinus-drainage problems. It can also help locate nasal polyps (growths) or other problems within the sinus cavity, and assist in full rhino-septal surgery.

Carpal tunnel release -- After the endoscope is inserted through a small incision in the wrist area, the surgeon locates the median nerve, which runs down the center of the wrist. A separate incision may be made in the palm to insert scissors or scalpel to cut the ligament putting pressure on the nerve.

     
  violet square Endoscopy: An Introduction  
  violet square About the Endoscope
  violet square A Typical Procedure
  violet square Finding a Qualified Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Plastic Surgery and Laser Center
2820 West Main Street, Visalia, CA 93291
559.625.8636 or toll free 800.321.5273

Beverly Hills Office
270 N. Canon, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.275.3030

Questions, comments or to request a consultation: info@drstevens.com

© 2000 Michael B. Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S. All rights reserved.

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