Dr. Jason GrayCosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Gray aims to provide the highest level of cosmetic and reconstructive surgical care to his clients, with an emphasis on compassionate and personalized attention to detail. These skills have been developed over 20 years of clinical practice serving the Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island communities.
Dr. Gray operates at Victoria Surgery, Vancouver Island's longest established private surgical clinic. Patients of Dr. Gray can rest assured that they are in fully knowledgeable and capable hands. Dr. Gray performs a wide array of both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including:
- Forehead Lift
- Tummy Tuck
Dr. Jason Gray, MD
Dr. Gray has been a Cosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon for over 25 years and is a member of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He studied medicine at the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1984. After completing his residency in plastic surgery, he entered into clinical practice in Victoria, B.C. in 1991.
Dr. Gray is an advocate of volunteerism and has worked with Mercyships in 2006, performing reconstructive burn surgery on patients in Liberia. He has been a member of the Cleft Palate Team in Victoria for 25 years and in 2015 and 2016, he worked with Health For Humanity, performing cleft lip and palate surgery on patients in Guatemala.
Julia Cote, RN
Julia has worked with Dr Gray for 10 years and provides exceptional pre and postoperative care to his patients. She has expertise in skin care and Botox injections. She works as a post-anesthetic recovery nurse at Victoria Surgery and as a clinical nurse leader in the Victoria General Hospital Intensive care unit.
Colleen, Office Manager
In time, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life take their toll on our faces and necks. Deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens and becomes jowly, and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. Facelifts counteract these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. After surgery, some patients look 10-15 years younger.
What can a facelift do for me?
Facelifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (literally, "removal of wrinkles"), rejuvenate the mid- to lower face and neck. Facelifts are most effective for patients who want to correct:
- Midface sagging
- Deep creases under the eyes
- Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Jowls due to loss of muscle tone
- Sagging areas of fat
- Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw
What won't a facelift do for me?
Facelifts can produce a dramatic improvement in appearance for patients with the problems mentioned above. However, facelifts do not stop the aging process; in time, signs of aging will gradually appear once again.
Further, facelifts will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose, and some of the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).
Injectable soft-tissue fillers, facial implants and skin resurfacing can also enhance the effects of a facelift.
Am I a good candidate for a facelift?
The best candidates for rhytidectomy:
- Wish to improve one or more of the signs of aging indicated above
- Are men or women whose faces have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Are considering a facelift for personal reasons, not because someone else is pressuring them to do so and:
- Have realistic expectations
During your consultation, your doctor will discuss whether a facelift is right for you.
How is a rhytidectomy performed?
Facelifts are typically outpatient procedures and may be performed in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. Patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about two hours.
The way a facelift is performed varies depending on the surgeon, the patient's facial structure, and the extent of correction desired. The three most common incision techniques are:
- Traditional facelift: The "full" facelift for rejuvenating the face, jowls and neck, including fat sculpting, lifting and repositioning of muscle and deeper tissues, and skin trimming and redraping. The incision begins at the temples and travels down to the front of the ear, around the earlobe, and behind the ear to the lower scalp at the hairline. Sometimes, another incision is made under the chin.
- Limited-incision facelift: For limited rejuvenation around the eyes and mouth, including nasolabial folds and other deep creases. Short incisions are made at the temples and around the ear, and possibly in the lower eyelids and/or under the upper lip as well.
- Neck lift: A neck lift concentrates on jowls, loose skin on the neck, and fat under the chin. The incision is made around the ear lobe and behind the ear to the lower scalp.
In all three methods, incisions are closed with stitches or tissue glue. Scars are hidden in the hairline and natural contours of the face.
What is the recovery from a facelift like?
After your rhytidectomy, your doctor will wrap the incisions in bandages and may place drainage tubes in the area. The tubes will be taken out the next day, when your hair will be carefully washed. If surgical clips are used to hold the incisions closed, they will be removed one week after the facelift, along with your stitches.
At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. Your face may look uneven or distorted, and your facial muscles may feel stiff. Most of these usually resolve within 3-6 weeks, and sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy or itchy in time.
Many patients return to work by the third week. Camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising. You should be gentle with your skin and hair as you recover. Men may need to shave behind the neck and ears where areas of beard-growing skin have moved.
How long do the effects of a facelift last?
Results of a facelift do not last forever. You may want to have another procedure in five or ten years. But in another sense, the effects are permanent; years later, your face will continue to look better than if you had never had a facelift.
What are the risks of rhytidectomy?
Possible complications of facelift include: bleeding, infection, bruising, uneven swelling or discoloration, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, skin blistering (usually only seen in smokers), and temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the face. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of a facelift with you before your surgery.
Rhinoplasty (Nose Surgery)
Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It can reshape, reduce or augment a person's nose to achieve facial harmony and boost self-confidence. It may be performed as a reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect or an injury such as a broken nose.
Rhinoplasty may be performed for functional rather than cosmetic reasons as well. Combining nose reshaping with septoplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery can effectively treat certain breathing problems, such as those caused by a deviated septum.
What can rhinoplasty do for me?
Rhinoplasty is an excellent procedure for achieving the following:
- Balance the size of the nose with the other facial features
- Modify the width of the nose at the bridge
- Improve the nasal profile, including removing humps or depressions
- Contour a nasal tip that is too large, "boxy," drooping or upturned
- Change the angle between the nose and the mouth
- Narrow and reshape the nostrils
- Correct asymmetry or deviation
Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?
The best candidates for rhinoplasty:
- Are at least 13 years old
- Have finished facial growth
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not pressure from others and:
- Have realistic goals for the procedure
How is the procedure performed?
Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Surgeons use one of two techniques when performing nose surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, the incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. With both methods, Dr. Gray gently lifts the soft tissues covering the nose. He sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. Any additional cartilage needed to augment the nose can often be taken from the septum.
If the patient has a deviated septum, Dr. Gray will adjust the septum and the inner structures of the nose to improve breathing. Then the tissues are re-draped and stitched closed. If the patient desires nostril reshaping, this is done as the final stage of rhinoplasty.
The entire procedure generally lasts one to two hours.
What is the recovery from nose surgery like?
For a short time after surgery, patients may experience puffiness, nose ache or a dull headache, as well as some swelling and bruising, bleeding or stuffiness. Most patients feel like themselves within two days and return to work in about a week.
The results of rhinoplasty become gradually apparent as the days pass after surgery and swelling recedes. Swelling may reappear from time to time in the first year after the procedure. It is typically more noticeable in the morning and fades during the day.
Contact lenses can be worn immediately, but glasses may need to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to seven weeks.
Will I like the results of my nose surgery?
Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape of their nose. The exact results depend on the patient's nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age.
What are the possible risks of rhinoplasty?
Complications are rare and, when they occur, minor. These may include infection, nosebleed, or a reaction to the anesthesia.
Does insurance cover rhinoplasty?
Insurance may cover rhinoplasty if it is done for reconstructive or medical reasons, but likely not for cosmetic purposes.
What is revision rhinoplasty?
Revision or secondary rhinoplasty corrects deformities caused by a previous operation on the nose. It is a more difficult procedure to perform than primary rhinoplasty because there is less cartilage to work with and there may be scarring or tissue contracture (tightening). However, skilled plastic surgeons can improve both the appearance and the function of the nose.
Browlift (Forehead Lift)
Browlifts can revitalize drooping or lined foreheads, helping you to look less angry, sad or tired. Using either traditional or minimally invasive (endoscopic) methods, browlifts involve the removal or alteration of the muscles above the eyes to smooth lines and raise the eyebrows for a more youthful appearance. The procedure is often combined with other operations such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and facelifts to improve the look of the eyes and other areas of the face.
While browlifts are typically performed on patients aged 40-60 to counteract the effects of aging, anyone with lined or inelastic skin on the forehead – whether it's caused by muscle activity or inherited conditions – are eligible. The procedure is usually performed in an office-based facility or surgery center under local anesthesia and sedation.
First, the patient's hair is tied with rubber bands near the incision site. Then Dr. Gray makes a coronal (headphone-shaped) incision behind the hairline, stretching between the ears and across the top of the forehead. The incision may be placed further back or made along the skull bone joints to minimize visibility in patients with thinning hair or who are bald.
The forehead skin is then lifted, tissue is removed, muscles are adjusted and the eyebrows may be lifted as well. Excess skin is trimmed and the incision is closed with stitches or clips. The site is washed and the rubber bands are removed. Sometimes Dr. Gray will protect the stitches with gauze or bandages.
You will be on your feet and able to wash your hair in a day or two, and many patients return to work or school in 7-10 days or less. Swelling and bruising should fade by the third week.
Complications are rare and usually minor, but may include temporary numbness, nerve injury, hair loss along scar edges, formation of a broad scar requiring surgical correction, and infection and bleeding.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
By removing excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids, blepharoplasty can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes. It is typically a cosmetic procedure but can also improve vision by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient's field of vision. Blepharoplasty cannot be used to raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow's feet or dark circles under the eyes, but the procedure can be combined with others such as a facelift and BOTOX® treatments to achieve these results.
The procedure is usually performed in an office with local anesthesia and lasts 45 minutes to a few hours depending on how much work is done. Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places (in the creases of the upper lids, and just below the lashes on the lower lids). Dr. Gray removes excess tissue through these incisions and then stitches them closed with fine sutures. In the case that no skin needs to be removed, Dr. Gray will likely perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where the incision is made inside the lower eyelid and there are no visible scars.
Stitches are removed after three or four days and most people return to work in ten. Contact lenses may not be worn for two weeks. Eyes can be sensitive to light and wind and may be slightly irritated for a short while; Dr. Gray may prescribe eye drops and cool compresses to counteract these discomforts.
Complications from the procedure are uncommon, but can include: infection, reaction to anesthesia, double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling of the eyelids, tiny whiteheads, and difficulty closing eyes when going to sleep. Uneven healing and scarring, and ectropion (pulling down of the lower lids) are very rare and may require surgical correction. Patients with thyroid problems, dry eye, high blood pressure, diabetes, detached retina, glaucoma or other health problems should consult with an ophthalmologist about eligibility.
Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in Canada, and is one of our most popular services. Breast augmentation can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of saline or silicone implants in the breast.
Our patients elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic reasons, including balancing breast size, compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery, and correcting a congenital breast defect. Under Dr. Gray's expert care, patients enjoy great-looking, natural-feeling breasts that are one or more cup sizes larger after the operation.
Fully Customized Breast Enhancement
We know that every woman is unique in both her desires and her body shape. With that in mind, we take the time during the pre-operative consultations to learn what each patient hopes to gain from breast augmentation surgery and to decide which implant type and implant placement is best. In this way, every one of our patients enjoys completely customized treatment designed with her specific goals in mind.
Breast augmentation can achieve dramatic and beautiful results on its own as well as in conjunction with other cosmetic surgery or non-invasive procedures. We sometimes recommend combining breast augmentation with other procedures such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Saline and Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel. Both implant types are very safe, and each offers its own advantages. We will help you decide which kind is right for you. During surgery, we will place the implants behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle.
Breast Augmentation Surgery - Incision Techniques
The breast augmentation procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. Incisions are made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility. These may be located:
- In the crease on the underside of the breast (inframammary), or
- Around the areola, the dark skin around the nipple (periareolar)
The breast is then lifted, creating a pocket into which the implant is inserted.
Breast Augmentation Surgery - Placement Options
Implant placement beneath the muscle of the chest offers a few advantages over placement beneath the breast tissue only. These include reduced risk of capsular contracture (post-operative tightening around the implant) and less interference with mammogram examinations. Possible disadvantages include need for drainage tubes and elevated pain in the first few days following surgery. We will discuss which option may be best for you.
After the implants have been inserted and positioned beneath the nipples, the incisions are stitched closed, then taped and bandaged. In a few days, these bandages may be replaced with a surgical bra.
Most patients feel tired and sore after breast augmentation surgery, but this usually passes in a day or two. Many patients return to work within the week.
Stitches are removed in a week to 10 days after breast augmentation. Any post-operative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks.
Scars from breast augmentation incisions will begin to fade in a few months and will continue to fade for months or years.
Complications following breast augmentation surgery are uncommon and usually minimal. They may include capsular contracture, swelling and pain, infection around the implant, a change in nipple sensation, milk production if you nursed a baby within a year before the procedure, and breakage or leakage of the implant (implant rupture) as a result of injury or the normal compression and movement of your breast.
If a saline implant ruptures, the implant will simply deflate in a few hours and your body will absorb the salt water. If a silicone implant leaks, you will need to see a doctor immediately.
Regular monitoring of breast implants after breast augmentation is recommended to ensure continuing breast and implant health.
Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
A woman's breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
What can a breast lift do for me?
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola—the dark skin surrounding the nipple—which may have stretched or drooped.
Breast size does not change after a breast lift, nor does the fullness or roundness in the upper part of the breasts. Women who desire larger, smaller or more rounded breasts may want to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction together with a breast lift.
Am I a good candidate for a breast lift?
The best candidates for breast lift are women whose breasts meet some or all of the following conditions:
- Breasts sag
- Breasts have lost shape or volume
- Breasts are flat, elongated, or pendulous (hanging)
- Breast skin and/or areola is stretched
- Nipples or areolas point downward
- Nipples or areolas are located below the breast crease when breasts are unsupported
- One breast is lower than the other
It is also very important that breast lift candidates:
- Maintain a stable weight
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
- Discuss realistic goals with their plastic surgeon
Who should not consider a breast lift?
Women planning to have children are advised to postpone surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract a breast lift's effects by stretching the skin.
Mastopexy does not affect breast size or upper fullness. Women who desire larger, smaller or more rounded breasts may want to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction either together with a breast lift or instead of a breast lift.
How is a mastopexy performed?
Mastopexy may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center or a surgeon's office-based facility. It is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, and lasts from one and a half to three and a half hours.
There are several types of incision methods that can be used when performing a breast lift. The technique used by Dr. Gray depends on the patient's:
- Breast size and shape
- Degree of sagging
- Size and position of the areolas/nipples
- Amount of excess skin
- Skin quality
- Other factors
The three most common incision types are two rings around the areola in a doughnut shape (small-incision mastopexy, generally only recommended for patients with small breasts and minimal sagging); around the areola and down to the breast crease in a lollipop shape; and the lollipop with an additional half-moon incision along the breast crease, in an anchor shape.
In all cases, breast lift surgery begins with administration of anesthesia or IV sedation. Dr. Gray makes the necessary incisions, and then lifts and reshapes the breast tissue into its new, rejuvenated contour. Dr. Gray then moves the nipple and areola higher on the breast and removes extra skin around the perimeter if the areola is enlarged. Finally, he trims the excess breast skin that resulted from poor elasticity. Stitches layered deep throughout the breast tissue support the lifted breasts.
When the mastopexy is complete, the skin is closed with stitches, tissue adhesive and/or surgical tape. Some of the incisions are hidden in the breast crease. Others will be visible. All scars will mature with time.
What is the recovery from a breast lift like?
After surgery, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, and you may need to wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. After a few days, this is replaced with a soft support bra, which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month.
The breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable after surgery, but this will pass in a few days. Any numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides. Stitches are removed after one to two weeks, and many patients return to work then.
Will I like the results of my breast lift?
If you agreed on realistic goals with Dr. Gray, you should be very satisfied with the look of your lifted breasts. You will be able to see the results of your mastopexy immediately after surgery, and you may become even more satisfied as swelling goes down and incision lines fade.
What are the risks of mastopexy?
Possible complications of a breast lift include:
- Temporary or permanent numbness in the nipple or areola
- Uneven positioning or shape of breasts or nipples
- Widening of scars
- Poor incision healing
- Fluid buildup
- Breast hardening
- Damage or necrosis of breast tissues
- Need for revision surgery
Dr. Gray will discuss all the risks and benefits of a breast lift with you.
Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)
Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the two- to four-hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who intend to breastfeed, since many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples are removed.
During the procedure, an anchor-shaped incision is made from the new location of the nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast. Dr. Gray removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches. Liposuction may be needed to remove excess fat from the armpit area, and in some cases when only fat needs to be removed from the breasts, liposuction alone is used for breast reduction.
For a few days after surgery, the breasts are bound with an elastic bandage or a surgical bra and you may be given surgical drainage tubes for fluid removal. Stitches come out in a week and the surgical bra must be worn for about a month.
A little pain is normal after surgery, whether it's mild discomfort, swelling during menstruation, a measure of numbness or sensitivity, or random, shooting pains that may last for a few months. Swelling, bruising, crusting and slight changes in breast size are also common. Most patients return to work in about two weeks, although you should avoid heavy lifting for three to four and only gentle contact with the breasts should occur for six weeks.
Scars fade with time but will not disappear, although they can be hidden with a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top.
Risks are rare and usually minor but may include bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, small sores around the nipples, slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples, and permanent loss of feeling in the nipple or breast.
Breast Reduction FAQ's
Am I a candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Women with large, disproportionate breasts who experience pain, discomfort, and embarrassment due to their breast size may be good candidates for breast reduction surgery. Ideal candidates for a breast reduction are women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Although the procedure is generally recommended for mature women with fully developed breasts, breast reduction surgery can be performed on younger women if their breasts are causing serious pain and physical discomfort.
When can I expect to return to work and resume my normal daily activities?
After breast reduction surgery, it is often possible to return to work within just a couple of weeks, depending on your job. Many patients can resume most of their normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, within a few weeks as well. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but these feelings are normal.
Because sexual arousal could cause incisions to swell and create the possibility of delayed healing, sexual activity should be avoided for at least one week after breast reduction surgery.
When can I shower after breast reduction surgery?
Many patients are concerned that limited mobility after surgery may prevent them from showering for several days. Dr. Gray actually recommends that patients shower as soon as possible after surgery to help them feel refreshed and able to move up and about.
How long with the results of breast reduction surgery last?
After breast reduction surgery, breasts will remain smaller than they would be if the procedure had never been performed. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your breast size should remain fairly constant. However, the effects of aging and gravity may cause breasts to sag over time. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast lift procedure to restore their more youthful contour.
Will there be scarring?
The various techniques for breast reductions produce different types of possible scarring. Traditional breast reduction surgery will produce anchor-like scars that extend around the nipple, down the middle of the breast, and under the breast. Vertical incision breast reduction surgery creates shorter scars which also circle the nipple and extend vertically down the breast, but do not continue under the breast. Scarless breast reduction surgery typically only leaves minor, inconspicuous scars that are usually under the breast crease.
Avoiding breast reduction surgery because of possible scarring is ill-advised, since the benefits of a breast reduction usually outweigh the appearance of scars. Scars from breast reductions also tend to fade over time and can usually be hidden under bras, bathing suits, or a low cut top.
Can I breastfeed after a breast reduction?
There is a chance that breastfeeding may not be possible after breast reduction. The level of risk depends on the surgical technique used for the procedure.
- Traditional breast reduction surgery has the highest risk of affecting the ability to breastfeed. During this type of breast reduction, many of the milk ducts are removed, making it more difficult to breastfeed in the future.
- Vertical incision breast reduction surgery has a lower risk than traditional incisions since a portion of the nipple will remain connected to the milk ducts.
- Scarless breast reduction surgery has practically no risk of affecting breastfeeding because this breast reduction technique leaves the glandular and connective tissue largely untouched.
What are the major risks and complications of breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery may have potential complications that are possible for all surgeries, including bleeding, infection, hematoma, adverse reactions to anesthesia, and scarring. Potential risks that are specific to breast reduction surgery include asymmetrical breasts, altered or loss of nipple and areola sensitivity, and the inability to breastfeed.
A body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is performed to remove excess skin or fatty tissue on the body that results from age or extreme weight loss. More extensive than just a tummy tuck, the body lift is performed on the lower torso and upper legs and resculpts the abdomen, hips, back, buttocks and outer thighs.
Why Get a Body Lift?
Exercise and a healthy diet cannot always achieve the desired results for people who have loose, sagging skin and uneven contours. Aging, sun damage, cellulite, genetics, pregnancy, and significant fluctuations in weight may contribute to poor tissue elasticity and can result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. A body lift may help to achieve a firmer, more youthful-looking body.
Candidates for Body Lift
People who have lost a large amount of weight, either through gastric bypass surgery, intestinal bypass surgery, or change in nutrition and fitness habits, may have excess skin on their bodies and are excellent candidates for a body lift. A body lift is also an option for normal-weight women who have given birth and want to remove remaining skin and tissue after losing post-pregnancy weight.
The Body Lift Procedure
The steps of the body lift procedure differ depending on the needs of the patient. In most cases, however, Dr. Gray will operate on the stomach first, removing excess skin from the belly button to the pubic area and then tightening the abdominal wall muscle. This is the area that is most often loosened by pregnancy or excessive weight loss. The fat and skin from above the belly button is pulled down and sutured in place, and the belly button is pulled out to its normal position.
The procedure continues with the buttocks and thigh areas, with the incisions being made as inconspicuously as possible. In cases that require the removal of fat, liposuction is often involved. The entire body lift procedure takes 3 to 7 hours and is performed under general anesthesia.
A body lift is a major surgical procedure and requires significant recovery time. Most patients can expect to remain in the hospital for 1 to 3 nights after the operation and can typically return to work in 4 to 6 weeks. Patients are encouraged to walk after the surgery, but to avoid other activities such as exercising until sufficient healing has occurred. This usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Approximately 75 percent of the swelling goes down after six weeks and 90 percent after about three months.
Risks and Complications
As with every surgical procedure, a body lift has risks and potential complications. These include:
- Fluid accumulating under the skin (seroma)
- Small skin separations
- Reduced sensation in the treated area
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Unfavorable scarring
- Skin discoloration
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
Liposuction is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to remove localized areas of fat from the body through a small thin tube called a cannula. The fat from the targeted area is suctioned from the body through this tube to help patients achieve a slim and balanced appearance.
While the conventional liposuction procedure was effective in removing excessive fat deposits, it was a painful procedure that involved suctioning out large areas of solid fat. New technology has allowed for different techniques that improve the accuracy and reduce the pain associated with this procedure. Today, liposuction is usually performed via the tumescent technique or with the help of ultrasound imaging or a laser. These new technologies have transformed liposuction into a much safer and less invasive procedure.
Candidates for Liposuction
The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in good overall health and maintains a healthy life, but has one or more problem areas with unresponsive fat deposits. It is also important for patients to have realistic expectations, and remember that liposuction cannot be used as a means for major weight loss. It is instead used to remove localized areas of stubborn fat after the patient has attempted other natural weight loss methods.
Liposuction can be used to treat localized fat deposits within the:
This procedure may be performed alone, or can be combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as a facelift, breast reduction or tummy tuck, to achieve maximum results.
There are several different techniques currently available for patients seeking liposuction treatment. New technologies have improved the accuracy of this procedure for both patient and doctor, and allow patients to achieve their desired results through a much less invasive procedure. Liposuction is performed through a tumescent technique, and may also include the assistance of ultrasound imaging or laser energy.
Liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation. Your doctor will make several tiny incisions and inject a local anesthetic into the area to help expand and firm the fat, making it easier to remove. The cannula is then inserted through the incisions to suction out the fat. No stitches are needed after liposuction since the incisions are small enough to heal on their own.
Recovery and Results
After the liposuction procedure, patients may experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area. Compression garments or elastic bandages may be used to help reduce these symptoms while the area heals. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks.
Dr. Gray will give you special instructions on how to care for your treated area and reduce any complications after the procedure. The results of the liposuction procedure may not be visible until after swelling and bruising subside. This may take several months, and results will appear gradually throughout this time.
The results of liposuction can be permanent, as long as patients maintain a healthy and active life. If substantial weight is gained after this procedure, the results may be altered.
Although liposuction is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any type of procedure. Some of these risks may include infection, scarring, allergic reactions, hematoma or unsatisfactory results. Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures and is almost always performed with no serious complications.
You can minimize potential risks by choosing an experienced doctor like Dr. Gray and by following his instructions before and after your procedure. To learn more about the liposuction procedure, we encourage you to call us today and schedule a consultation.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty, often called a "tummy tuck," is a popular procedure used to flatten and shape the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles. Dr. Gray has been performing tummy tucks with excellent cosmetic results for many years. Patients love the look of their new flat stomachs after surgery under Dr. Gray's exceptional care.
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven't responded well to traditional diet and exercise. This procedure can also benefit older people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity.
Tummy tucks can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy. Results from the tummy tuck procedure will likely diminish if women continue to bear children, so we advise patients who plan to become pregnant to consider postponing this procedure until they are done having children.
We also encourage patients who intend to lose a lot of weight to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in the abdominal area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
Customized Treatment for Optimal Cosmetic Results
We take the time during every pre-operative consultation to learn what patients want to achieve from a tummy tuck both for their bodies and for their self-confidence. By listening to what patients have to say and closely examining them rather than performing a one-size-fits-all procedure on every person, we provide patients with a completely customized treatment that takes into account their specific goals.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Tummy tucks take approximately two hours and are performed under general anesthesia. This procedure may be performed on an in-patient or outpatient basis, depending on the complexity of your surgery and Dr. Gray's recommendation.
Dr. Gray will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. He will separate the skin from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is then stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached in a natural position. Finally, Dr. Gray will close the incisions and apply sterile surgical dressings over the sutured areas.
Recovery after Tummy Tuck
After surgery, compression garments are worn and a temporary tube may be inserted under the skin to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months. You should limit strenuous activities for at least six weeks, and may need to take off from work for up to a month. Dr. Gray will give you specific instructions for your individual recovery. Following these instructions can help speed up your recovery and reduce the risk of any post-surgery complications.
Tummy Tuck Results
A tummy tuck leaves patients with a flatter, more toned abdominal area that fits the natural contours of your body. It can improve a patient's appearance and confidence by helping them look and feel younger and slimmer. The results of this procedure are visible right away and will continue to improve. With a balanced diet and regular exercise, results are long-lasting. Scars will fade with time, leaving your stomach sleeker and more defined than ever before.
A tummy tuck will leave a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip. We are very careful to make the incision low enough for even a bikini to conceal the scar.
Risks of a Tummy Tuck
Though rare, post-operative complications from any surgical procedure are possible. They may include infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the tummy tuck procedure. A scar revision procedure after a tummy tuck can help minimize the appearance of unsightly scars.
Partial Abdominoplasty (Mini Tummy Tuck)
Partial abdominoplasty, or "mini tummy tuck", is similar to the regular tummy tuck procedure, except it involves a shorter incision and the skin is only lifted to the navel, which does not have to be moved. This procedure is ideal for patients who need just a little improvement in order to reach their desired results. You can discuss the differences between these procedures, as well as weigh their benefits and risks with Dr. Gray in order to decide which procedure is best for you.
As we age, our skin begins to lose its fullness, and sagging, wrinkling and hollowing occur. These changes and other effects of aging can be improved through the use of skin fillers and volumizers. These treatments, often made from collagen, hyaluronic acid gel and other natural substances, are injected directly into the skin to restore fullness and smooth out wrinkles and other fine lines. The injected substance supports the skin and restores the volume lost over time.
Skin fillers and volumizers can be used to treat the cheeks, eyes, mouth, brow, chin, nose and any other area of the face that may be affected by aging. The results are often visible immediately and continue to improve over several months. Many of the specific treatments have been approved by the FDA and are considered safe procedures with little to no side effects.
When you smile, laugh, frown, or look puzzled, you contract the muscles of your face. Over time, these contractions produce permanent furrows and deep wrinkles in the skin, especially around the eyes and mouth, between the eyebrows, and on the forehead. These lines can make you look older, sad, angry or tired. BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can not only prevent you from deepening these lines during natural facial movements, they can also erase these marks of aging, leaving you looking younger and more refreshed.
What can BOTOX® treatments do for me?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the country and one of our most requested services. Quick, safe and effective, BOTOX® reduces or eliminates facial lines and wrinkles for up to six months with no downtime and little to no discomfort. Through a series of tiny injections, BOTOX® gives you a rejuvenated look by smoothing crow's feet beneath the eyes, frown lines between the eyebrows, horizontal lines across the forehead, worry lines around the mouth, and lines on the neck.
In addition to smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, BOTOX® may be useful for treating migraine headaches, excessive sweating, chronic back and jaw pain, and muscle spasms.
How BOTOX® Cosmetic Works
BOTOX® is the brand name for botulinum toxin A, a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent derived from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. Originally approved by the FDA for the treatment of eye muscle spasms, BOTOX® was quickly recognized for its cosmetic value.
Physicians have been using BOTOX® Cosmetic for years as a treatment to correct visible signs of stress and aging. The medication relaxes the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles. When injected in small doses in specific areas, BOTOX® injections block nerve muscles responsible for the repetitive actions that cause fine lines and wrinkles. In this way, BOTOX® smoothes the lines in the skin that make you look tired or angry.
Candidates for BOTOX®
A good candidate for BOTOX® treatment may be anyone looking to enhance their appearance by getting rid of unwanted lines or wrinkles. It is also important that patients seeking treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic are in good physical health, are not pregnant or nursing, and do not have a neuromuscular disorder.
Men and women considering BOTOX® treatment should have realistic expectations of what the procedure can do. You should discuss the desired results with your doctor to ensure that your goals can be achieved.
The BOTOX® Procedure
Using a very fine needle, a qualified physician will inject BOTOX® Cosmetic into designated muscles in your face that are causing lines and wrinkles. You may experience brief, mild discomfort during the injection, but you can be assured that the treatment is very safe and effective. Taking only a few minutes, BOTOX® treatment requires no anesthetic and recovery is immediate, allowing you to return to work and resume your normal daily activities that same day.
The Importance of Choosing a Qualified Physician
Even though BOTOX® is not a surgical procedure, it is very important to choose a highly experienced and qualified physician when deciding to undergo BOTOX® treatments. Doctors who are less familiar with the technique could leave you looking "frozen" or perpetually surprised. Dr. Gray and his staff are intimately familiar with BOTOX® Cosmetic, having successfully treated hundreds of patients at our office. Not only that, we also take the time to talk with each candidate before beginning the injections to find out what he or she wants to achieve and to determine how best to correct their problem area(s), so patients can be happy again with their smoother, younger-looking faces.
BOTOX® Cosmetic Results
Immediately following the BOTOX® treatment, some patients may experience mild bruising, which will go away shortly. You will see your wrinkles begin to fade within 24 hours, with continued improvement over the next 5 days. The effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic typically last up to four months, although many have reported results lasting up to a full year. After several BOTOX® treatments, the results may be prolonged.
BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment will relax the muscles in your face and soften the skin, giving you a more relaxed and youthful appearance. For optimum results, many patients choose to use BOTOX® in conjunction with a facelift, skin rejuvenation therapy, and/or laser skin resurfacing.
Risks and Side Effects of BOTOX®
Side effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic are rare and are usually mild and temporary. The most common side effects caused by BOTOX® are headaches and temporary redness or bruising of the skin at the site of injection. In rare cases, slight drooping of an eyelid or asymmetry of expression may occur. Any risk of complication can be reduced by choosing a qualified and experienced physician.
Restylane is an FDA-approved dermal filler made of hyaluronic acid that restores volume to the skin, lifting and smoothing out wrinkles and other fine lines. This procedure is most commonly used to treat the glabellar lines (between the forehead) and the nasolabial folds. It can also be used to add volume and shape to the lips.
Since Restylane is made from a natural substance found in the body, no pre-testing is required. Restylane produces results that last for several months through its unique ability to bind with water and remain in the skin. The results of this procedure are visible right away, and can last for several months, depending on the condition of the individual patient's skin.
JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel
Juvéderm Injectable Gel is a safe, effective gel that restores volume to the skin and smoothes away moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds. Juvéderm is the first FDA-approved dermal filler proven safe and effective for persons of color. The Juvéderm gel is made of hyaluronic acid with a smooth consistency, allowing for easy injections and instant, natural-looking results. There is no pre-testing needed for this procedure.
Topical or injectable anesthesia may be used during this procedure to numb the treatment area and minimize any potential discomfort. The results of this procedure are available right away and can usually last for up to a year, the longest results available from any hyaluronic acid product.
Moles & Birthmarks
Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular lesions, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:
- Larger than six millimeters
- Itches or bleeds
- Rapidly changes in color, size or shape
- Has multiple colors
- Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp
Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient's skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive spa procedure that rejuvenates the appearance of the skin by treating sun damage, scarring, wrinkles and other unwanted skin problems. This procedure uses a gentle stream of tiny particles to exfoliate the outer layer of skin, leaving fresh, younger-looking skin and a renewed appearance.
Microdermabrasion may be combined with other procedures such as chemical peels or laser treatment.
During the microdermabrasion procedure, Dr. Gray will use a handheld device to transmit tiny crystal particles across the targeted area of aged or damaged skin to scrape away the surface layer. This skin is then suctioned away with a vacuum tool so that only the targeted tissues are affected.
This procedure is performed in Dr. Gray's office and does not require any anesthesia to be used. There is no downtime associated with this procedure, and patients can return to work or other regular activities immediately after. You may experience mild redness for about an hour after the procedure, but this usually goes away on its own. Most patients can achieve noticeable results after a series of five to ten treatment sessions spaced one to two weeks apart.
The microdermabrasion procedure offers patients effective results that are visible immediately. Patients can benefit from a reduced or eliminated appearance of acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, as well as improved skin texture and reduced pore size. In addition to its cosmetic results, microdermabrasion also helps enhance circulation and lymph flow, allowing skin to be healthy on the inside and outside.
The results of this procedure are long-lasting and can be further prolonged through follow-up maintenance treatments. Dr. Gray will recommend any additional treatment sessions or other treatment options for you after a thorough evaluation of your skin.
Microdermabrasion is considered safe for all skin types and is especially effective for Asian and dark-skinned patients who may be at risk for skin discoloration with other types of treatment. There are no serious risks associated with microdermabrasion, although some patients may experience mild redness and irritation after treatment.
It is important for patients to avoid sun exposure after this procedure, as the some of the skin's natural protection may be removed during microdermabrasion. It is also important to choose an experienced doctor to perform your treatment, as improper use of the machine may result in discoloration.
All surgical procedures are performed by Dr. Gray in his local office. Cosmetic and privately insured surgery is performed at Victoria Surgery.
To prepare for your consultation, you may download and complete this Patient Information form.
- 380 - 1641 Hillside Avenue
Victoria, BC V8T 5G1 Canada
- (250) 592-8668
- (250) 592-8625
- Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm