Options for non-surgical facial rejuvenation

There is a range of choices available these days to enhance your natural beauty and boost your confidence. These include both surgical and non-surgical methods. As with all surgical procedures, the former approach comes with risks, and can involve time and costs that do not suit everyone. With non-surgical methods, we can rejuvenate your appearance, helping you to feel fantastic, without taking the more invasive route.

Professor Mark Ashton is internationally renowned for his surgical interventions. The medical, nursing, and administrative team at Ashton Plastics Surgery is at the forefront of plastic surgical care. We also offer a range of non-surgical options for you to choose from that can help you to feel revitalised and content with your face.

1. Anti-Wrinkle Injections

When it comes to our faces, one of the main age-related changes that lowers people’s self-esteem is the development of wrinkles. They are inevitable and unavoidable. Though they show a life well lived, they are a feature many of us would like to improve.

Anti-wrinkle injections cause the muscles that create wrinkles and lines to stop moving. The relatively painless procedure involves extremely fine needles that inject a diluted sample of substances that target the neuromuscular junction within the desired muscle.

We can strategically concentrate on any muscle of the face. The areas that are most treated are the brow and forehead, and the orbicularis muscle, which is the cause of crow’s feet. We create a generalised weakening of the muscles rather than complete paralysis to allow for movement and expressions while still reducing the creation of wrinkles.

2. Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers can reduce wrinkles and indentations, redefine the angles of your jaw and mandible, or plump and re-contour your eyelids, lips, face or lower neck. Hyaluronic acid, which is a natural sugar gel, is injected into soft tissues with the use of ultrafine needles. There is also local anaesthetic within the fillers, reducing pain.

We use different thicknesses of filler depending on the desired area, which allows for strategic improvement of specific issues, whether they be fine wrinkles in the thin skin surrounding your eyes, or droopiness of the firmer areas of your cheek or chin. Unlike treatments in the past that used collagen, our dermal fillers are low-risk and biocompatible, and generally entail only minor side effects, such as redness and itching, which usually reduce within a couple of hours of the procedure.

3. Lip Enhancement

The method we use is similar to dermal fillers when it comes to lip enhancement. This treatment can create a younger, more balanced look with the use of hyaluronic acid. The natural product is injected into the lips, attracting the body’s water to create fullness. Lip enhancement is generally well-tolerated and mostly painless, usually with only minor swelling and redness afterwards. The solution used is thin and fluid to assist with natural lip movement while defining the mouth and reducing age-related sagging.

4. Fraxel Laser Resurfacing

Fractional lasers treat the epidermis and dermal layers of the skin with thousands of fine columns of laser energy. This technique can remove old pigmented epidermal cells and encourage the formation of new collagen and collagen remodelling. The lasers specifically target the desired areas of the face, meaning the skin between the columns is untouched, which can allow for a faster healing process.

During assessment, the treatment type and strength are determined to suit your specific requirements. The skin is numbed before the delivery of fraxel laser resurfacing, and a cold air flows over the area to assist in improving your comfort. The process is generally not time consuming, and mild swelling and redness usually reduces within a couple of days. Because the new skin is pink, your face may have mild redness for approximately a week.

Look And Feel Refreshed Without Surgery

When you are interested in giving your face some extra care, there is wide range of options. When it comes to non-surgical procedures, there can be a lower risk of side effects and after-care is often less involved and time-consuming. It is extremely important that these methods are administered by experienced and trained technicians despite the lack of surgery involved. If not delivered correctly, complications and unsightly results can occur.

At Ashton Plastic Surgery, we can help to revitalise your face, reducing the signs of a busy life and boosting your confidence.


Facial Aesthetic Surgery

With face lifts and procedures such as blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty becoming more readily available, improving your confidence is easier now than it ever was before. If any of your facial features are impacting your self-esteem or lowering your confidence, you have the option to change it and improve your outlook.

This article explores facial aesthetic surgery options that can help to increase your confidence and self-esteem. For further information or personalised advice, contact our team at Ashton Plastic Surgery today.

Radiate the Confidence You Have Within

Most of us have one insecurity or another, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s no good in hiding and feeling self-conscious about any perceived flaws you may see in yourself— there’s a world out there that deserves to see your smiling face. If you decide that facial aesthetic surgery is an option you’re interested in, there are avenues to explore that can address the area or feature you’re insecure about.

Face Lift

What is Face Lift Surgery?

Face lift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, has advanced significantly in the last 10 to 15 years. Due to improvements in technology, it is now a less invasive procedure but still provides the same— or even better— results.

Face lift surgery tightens sagging skin on the face and neck, and can remove excess skin from these areas as well. It contours your neck, chin, and lower face in order to reduce the signs of ageing. While face lifts are mostly performed for people between 40 and 65, people older than this can still benefit greatly from this surgery.

What Does Face Lift Surgery Do?

Face lift surgery helps to make your skin look younger and fresher, while not changing your bone structure. It targets sagging in the mid-face and can reduce the appearance of a double chin and sagging skin below your chin or jawline. If you have deep creases below your lower eyelids or between your nose to the corners of your mouth, face lift surgery could be a good option for you.

Recovery From Face Lift Surgery

Although face lift surgery is less invasive now than it used to be, you will still need to allow time for recovery. Generally, people take a week to ten days off from work following their face lift surgery.


What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is a procedure performed on the upper and/or lower eyelids. It creates a more youthful looking appearance of the eyelids, which can make a significant difference to your overall facial aesthetic.

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is a separate operation from lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Depending on your individual circumstances, you can undergo one or the other, or both.

What Does Blepharoplasty Do?

This procedure involves removing excess fatty tissue and/or loose skin around the eyes. It targets the signs of ageing such as excess fatty deposits, bags under the eyes, and loose or sagging skin. While eyelids are a small area of the face, a youthful looking upper eyelid can give you a more youthful appearance overall.

Recovery From Blepharoplasty

Bruising and bleeding around the eyelids can occur following blepharoplasty. If this happens it will typically be gone by day 10 post-operation. Most people are able to return to work after a week to 10 days.

Since blepharoplasty focuses on the eyelids, recovery may involve needing to clean your eyes using drops so that they don’t become crusty or itchy. You may be sensitive to light for several days afterwards. Additionally, if you typically wear contact lenses, you will need to switch to glasses for two weeks following your surgery.


What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a procedure that alters the shape of your nose. It is a surgery that will not only alter the appearance of your nose, but also improve your nasal breathing. While rhinoplasty can be a cosmetic procedure, it is also often used to reduce the effects of nasal trauma and to help people breathe more easily.

What Does Rhinoplasty Do?

Rhinoplasty can be performed as a cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. It can change the width of your nose, the tip of your nose, and the shape of your nostrils. Rhinoplasty can also remove bumps from the bridge of your nose, correct birth defects, and repair damage caused by injury or other damage. Rhinoplasty can change the look of your nose to make it bigger or smaller or look more symmetrical, however it’s important to keep in mind that perfect symmetry isn’t often possible.

Recovery From Rhinoplasty

As with any other procedure, it’s important to rest well afterwards for the best recovery possible. Recovery can take 10 days to two weeks, and you may experience some bruising around the eyes which is usually at its worst on day 4 post-surgery and resolves by day 10. In addition to the 10 days to two weeks for general recovery, you should also refrain from heavy running or strenuous exercise for up to three weeks following surgery, and contact sports for a minimum of six weeks.

Interested in Facial Aesthetic Surgery?

If you’ve been considering facial aesthetic surgery to increase your confidence, we hope this blog has helped you to discover some options available to you. If you’re interested in a surgery such as face lift surgery, blepharoplasty or rhinoplasty in Melbourne, our team at Ashton Plastic Surgery is ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. To make an appointment for a consultation, call (03) 8560 0590 or enquire online.


Breast implants linked to cancer should be banned

Photo: Professional ballerina Lily Bones had Allergan breast implants after a double mastectomy following breast cancer. (ABC News: Alison Branley)

A group of women who underwent mastectomies following breast cancer is considering legal action after having reconstructions with a brand of implant that’s now been linked to a rare type of lymphoma.

Key points:

  • The TGA is set to meet to decide whether lymphoma risks warrant a total ban
  • Recent research shows the risk of developing cancer for those with highly textured implants was about 1 in 2,800
  • Australian women who received Allergan implants after mastectomies are considering a class action

It comes as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) calls an emergency meeting to decide whether to follow the lead of French regulators, who last week decided to ban textured breast implants.

There are more than 13,300 breast implant procedures in Australia each year, mostly for cosmetic reasons.

Among those closely watching the outcome of the TGA meeting is professional ballet dancer Lily Bones.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a lump at the age of 29.

A woman looks at the camera as she poses for a photograph while seated at a table.

Photo: Ms Bones’ implants have ruptured mildly but not severely enough to qualify for Medicare funded MRI scans. (ABC News: Alison Branley)

“For me at the time, it seemed very out of the blue, quite a surprise,” she said.

“You feel like a bit of a leper, it’s quite lonely, especially in a ballet company.”

Wanting to get back to work as quickly as possible, Ms Bones took part in a clinical trial where she had a double mastectomy and breast implants in one surgery.

A ballerina in costume smiles as she poses for a photo with her hands on her hips

Photo: Ms Bones was in Swan Lake in the Slovak National Ballet in 2015. (ABC News: Supplied)

“We didn’t talk a lot about implant choices. Basically, I was just told what would be involved,” she said.

“I was told that my implants wouldn’t rupture, I remember that quite distinctly.”

A decade on, the Allergan implants she was given have started to rupture.

Now the mother of a two-year-old, she is concerned about the continuing threat that leaking silicone and the risk of lymphoma pose.

“I’ve got enough to worry about. I don’t need other issues to be playing on my mind,” she said.

“I’ll be very interested to know what they [the TGA] decide obviously since Europe’s already rejected them. That really just raises alarm bells in my mind as to the safety of having those implants in my body.

“I think that they should put women’s health first.”

The safety of medical implants has been under the spotlight after the ABC and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed women around the world were suffering significant health problems after regulators failed to the detect the threat from receiving textured breast implants.

Regulator to consider total ban

The TGA meeting, to be held on Monday night, will consider whether the risk of developing Breast-Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, or BIA ALCL, warrants a total ban.

France banned implants made by six manufacturers, including Allergan.

Countries that have banned textured implants

  • France
  • Canada
  • The Netherlands
  • Australian implants with European approval mark after December 17, 2018 can’t be sold

(The Allergan brand has also gone by the name of Natrelle and McGhan prior to company takeovers.)

Australian surgeon Professor Anand Deva sits on the TGA expert panel and is hoping for swift action.

He said his latest research showed for women with highly textured implants, the risk of developing the cancer was around 1 in 2,800.

“We would be hoping that the TGA makes a decision sooner rather than later,” he said.

Australian women are particularly affected by the health scandal because doctors here are much more likely to use textured rather than smooth implants.

Photo: US health authorities have called for more data on the risks of breast implants. (Supplied)


Are textured implants still used in Australia?

Late last year, the TGA followed the European regulators lead and removed the approval of any textured implants with a European stamp of approval, prior to December 17.

But it meant that technically, any existing implants in warehouses or on hospital shelves with approval prior to that date could be used.

What is BIA-ALCL?

  • Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a type of blood cancer
  • It often presents as a build-up of fluid in a sac on the breast, and grows in the scar tissue around the breast
  • It is thought to be linked to a bacteria that grows in a groove of textured implants and enters during the initial surgery
  • Symptoms typically appear after about seven years
  • Any women with concerns should consult their surgeon

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons told the ABC they understood that its surgeons were no longer using the Allergan textured implants.

But the ABC has received anecdotal reports from patients of surgeons continuing to offer the products early in 2019.

A number of Australian women who received Allergan implants after mastectomies are now considering a class action.

The law firm Slater and Gordon has also been contacted by a number of women and they are currently looking at their cases.

President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Professor Mark Ashton said surgeons always had a discussion with patients about the risk of BIA ALCL and textured implants.

“The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons would support the TGA should it decide to ban Allergan textured implants,” he said.

He said they would also support banning of a second newer type of implant made from polyurethane, which has also been linked to the lymphoma.

How long have authorities known about the link?

US health authorities began investigating the link between the textured breast implants and the risk of developing BIA ALCL, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in 2011.

A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration said in most cases, BIA ALCL was found in the scar tissue and fluid near the implant, but in some cases it could spread throughout the body.

Last week, the FDA held two days of meetings to discuss the long term risks of textured implants and cancer.

It did not issue any recommendations after the meeting, and instead called for more data.

In the past, the FDA has not recommended that surgeons stop using the implants, or that they be removed

“Because it has generally only been identified in patients with symptoms such as pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry that occur after the surgical incision has fully healed, breast implant removal in patients without symptoms or other abnormality is not recommended” the FDA website said.

As of September 30, 2018, the FDA had received a total of 660 medical device reports (MDRs) of BIA ALCL worldwide, including the death of nine patients.

In Australia and New Zealand, 90 patients have been identified, including four who have died.

Manufacturers say they are safe

The makers of Allergan textured implants defend the product, saying its safety was supported by extensive data.

Mark Marmur, from Allergan, said patient safety and product quality were the company’s highest priorities.

“There is more than a decade of successful European and US clinical use as well as a large number of peer-reviewed and published studies,” he said.

He said the company strongly disagreed with the French decision to restrict the use of highly textured implants ‘because this decision was made without any new safety information”.

Ballerinas stretch their arms horizontally and raise their left legs as they practice moves in a studio

Photo: Ms Bones has to pay $500 for every scan she needs to assess the state of her implants. (ABC News: Chris Taylor)

Women left high and dry

Ms Bones’ concerns have been compounded by the lack of services in the health system for women in her position.

She faced extensive delays in the public system but after having breast cancer, she does not have the funds to get scans in the private system.

She has mild rupturing of her implants, not severe enough to qualify for a Medicare funded MRI.

“I need to pay $500 for an MRI every time I need to monitor the state of the implants,” she said.

“The reality is I have a chronic illness which I have to live with and I have to manage along with the trying to maintain normality, which is very much expected of me.”

Source: ABC News

First posted

Breast asymmetry procedure

Breast asymmetry is far from uncommon, most women would agree that their breasts are slightly different to each other which is normal, and natural, and usually nothing to be concerned about. When the discrepancy between breasts is significant however, it can impact clothing choices, can cause discomfort, and affect self-confidence, with some women seeking guidance on suitable corrective surgeries available to them. There are a range of surgical methods available to assist with this correction.

This blog details some of the most common procedures for women looking to make their breasts more symmetrical. To discuss your own surgical plans with an expert, reach out to Ashton Plastic Surgery today.

Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is used to remodel your breasts, reducing the larger of the two whilst maintaining an aesthetic breast shape so your breasts are more symmetrical. During breast reduction surgery we can adjust the position of the nipple(s) and correct any drooping or sagging to provide you a more symmetrical outcome.

Breast reductions take between 1-2 hours and you would stay in hospital for one night. The most common reduction technique employed by Professor Ashton is the Hall Findlay breast reduction. It is recommended that you take a minimum of 2 weeks off of work following your surgery to enable your body to repair and heal to its best ability, exercise should be avoided until your surgeon gives you clearance to return to it.

Breast Lift

In some cases, a breast lift (or Mastopexy) can assist with creating symmetry by re-shaping and lifting of the breast with the adjustment of the breast skin instead of the underlying breast tissue, giving a more youthful appearance and some correction of asymmetry. You will be required to stay overnight in hospital after your surgery, your surgery would take between 60-90 minutes.

If you are wanting to avoid breast implants, then a breast lift might be a good option for you.

Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic surgery operations performed globally. Breast augmentation is a cosmetic, sometimes reconstructive, surgery that provides breast enlargement through the use of implants, sometimes in conjunction with a mastopexy, or breast lift, to assist with breast shape and contour adjustments.

Following Breast Augmentation you would stay in hospital overnight, the operation takes between 60-90 minutes.

For patients who have an underdevelopment of the breasts, then breast enlargement or augmentation is often an effective option in the correction of asymmetry, for both cosmetic reasons or those due to a congenital abnormality.

Contact Professor Mark Ashton Today to Find the Procedure for You

Countless women will live their lives with asymmetrical breasts, but for some it’s going to be a cause of discomfort, something that might affect confidence and leave them unhappy with their bodies. If you’re looking to change the appearance of your breasts, there are many surgical options available for you. Take the first step toward symmetrical breasts today by reaching out to Professor Mark Ashton so we can assess your goals and clinical presentation in order to provide you with suitable corrective options to assist you. Contact Ashton Plastic Surgery today to enquire further.

Preparing for plastic surgeon consultation

The choice to undertake one or more plastic surgery procedures is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. The results of your plastic surgery will stay with you for life, so it’s crucial to do as much research as you can. You’ll want to ensure you’re as knowledgeable and prepared as possible— but how do you do that? 

This blog explains the steps to making sure you’re prepared for your initial plastic surgery consultation. For further advice or to book an appointment, contact our experienced team at Ashton Plastic Surgery today. 

Part 1: Do Your Research 

When considering plastic surgery, the first step to take is to research. Take all the time you need to gather as much information as possible. 

Research Yourself 

Firstly, think about what you’d like to achieve. Take some time to look at yourself in the mirror and pinpoint what you’d like to change. Even if you think it may be impossible or unrealistic, identify any problem areas and write them down.  

Research the Procedure/s 

Once you know what it is you’d like to change, look into how it can be done. Visit plastic surgery websites in a general sense to get an idea of the type of surgery you’d like to have. Look at before and after pictures by different plastic surgeons, and take note of any ‘before’ pictures that resemble you best. Compare this to the corresponding ‘after’ picture— would you be happy if this were your result? This will give you an idea of whether your expectations are realistic. 

Research Plastic Surgeons 

Conduct this part with a fine-toothed comb. Find the plastic surgeons in your area that can perform the surgery you desire, and get to know them and their work as best you can. Read biographies, testimonies, reviews, and view any before and after images they have available. Ask yourself: Are they qualified? Are they experienced? Do they, and their surgery environment and team, seem friendly and welcoming?  


Once you’ve chosen your plastic surgeon, book your consultation and prepare accordingly. 


Part 2: Know What to Bring  

A Friend or Family Member 

This is completely up to you— you can go alone or bring a trusted friend or family member for support. At Ashton Plastic Surgery we encourage this for more complex procedures. However, we ask that you arrange a baby sitter for any children so that you can focus all of your attention on the consultation itself. 

Medical History 

Many surgeries will require you to submit a form detailing your medical history and any other relevant personal information. At Ashton Plastic Surgery we ask you to fill out a Patient Registration Form prior to your consultation and submit it online, so it will be waiting for you when you arrive. 

Pictures of Your Desired Result 

Sometimes it can be useful for both your expectations and your plastic surgeon to display the look you’d like to achieve. While previously you researched before and after pictures that were similar to you, this is the time to find out if it’s realistic for you specifically.   

Part 3: What Should I Ask? 

Although it’s exciting and you’re looking forward to your consultation, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Note down any questions you may want to ask during your consultation— you may remember them now, but it’s easy to forget a question or two when you’re there. Write down every question you have, regarding anything about the plastic surgeon themselves, the procedure, the recovery process and time, and so on.  


Questions about the plastic surgeon 

This is your chance to ‘interview’ the surgeon to make sure that not only are you a candidate for the surgery, but you and the plastic surgeon are a good fit. Most of the questions for the plastic surgeon themselves will typically be answered on their website, but not always. Some questions you may want to ask are: 

  • What qualifications do you have? 
  • How many years of experience do you have? 
  • How many procedures of this type have you performed? 
  • Do you have any before and after pictures? 


Questions about the procedure/s and recovery 

You will also have questions about the procedure itself. The answers to some of these questions typically vary from patient to patient, and take answers from your medical and personal history into account. Some questions you may like to ask are: 

  • How long will the procedure take? 
  • How is the surgery performed? 
  • Will I need anaesthesia? If so, local or general? 
  • What possible complications are there? 
  • Will I have any scarring? If so, is it likely to be noticeable? 
  • Will I need to stay overnight or can I go home afterwards? 
  • Will I need somebody to pick me up? 
  • What can I expect during recovery? 
  • How long will recovery take? 
  • How long will it take to see results? 
  • How long will the results last? 

At Ashton Plastic Surgery, we pride ourselves on our commitment to you and your experience with us. We are happy to make an additional consultation to answer any additional questions that may arise following your initial consultation.  

Looking For an Experienced Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne? 

Professor Ashton is a specialist plastic surgeon offering breast reconstructionbreast reductionbreast augmentationbreast liftabdominoplastyrhinoplasty and facial aesthetic procedures in Melbourne. Professor Mark Ashton is ready to welcome you and answer any questions you may have regarding your plastic surgery options. Secure an appointment with Professor Mark Ashton today by calling (03) 8560 0590 or enquiring online. 

Ashton article dec 2021

State and federal governments have launched a landmark review aimed at overhauling laws around who can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, after a Four Corners investigation in conjunction with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Former president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Professor Mark Ashton — who spoke out as part of the joint media investigation — said he welcomed the inquiry.

“Hopefully, it will, for the first time, allow transparency of surgical training and qualifications against a national benchmark, and allow patients to accurately determine how much training and surgery the person intending to operate upon them has actually done,” 

Read the full article on ABC News

Breast Reduction Surgery

Undertaking any elective operation, despite what you read on social media or the internet is still a tough, stressful decision to make.  Especially if you do not understand the process and what the operation will be like.   

If you have ever been curious about breast reduction surgery and whether or not it may be an option for you, read on as we answer some of the most common questions about the procedure.   

What is breast reduction surgery and what has changed in the last 10 years? 

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common plastic surgery operations performed.  More than any other plastic surgery operation, it consistently improves patient confidence and well-being with almost all patients saying it is one of the best decisions that they have made.  Most patients state that they wished they had had the surgery performed a long time ago.  This is because the operation eliminates back pain and neck pain which almost invariably accompanies large breasts.  The surgery itself is relatively painless in that most patients report the pain as being either a 0/10 or at most a 1/10.  The other important thing to understand is that the surgical technique has changed considerably over the last 10 years with almost all surgery now being able to be performed using a “lolly pop” or vertical scar technique.  It is very uncommon for us to now use an anchor shape scar (in which there is an additional horizontal scar along the entire lower pole of the breast).  This means that almost all the scarring can be confined to the breast.   

In all breast reduction surgery, there are 3 main aims to surgery – to centralise the nipple within the breast, to eliminate any sag or ptosis of the breast making the breast more perky and upright, and finally, to reduce the size of the breast making them smaller, narrower and lighter. 

What is involved in a breast reduction? 

Breast reduction is performed under general anaesthetic in a licensed accredited hospital.  The surgery normally takes somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes and would involve you being admitted to hospital overnight.  All the sutures used are dissolvable meaning you don’t need to have any sutures removed after surgery.  We routinely use fine smooth soft silicone drains which are left in your breasts overnight before being removed just before your discharge.  Because the nipple and areola are left attached to your breasts, it is possible to breast feed after breast reduction surgery and in almost all situations your nipple sensation is preserved.   

The 15 most common questions after breast reduction surgery   


1. When can I exercise?  

You should be resting for the first 3 weeks post-op. The best way to remember what exercise you can do is remember the numbers 3, 6 and 12.  In the first 3 weeks you need to rest and not undertake any exercise at all.  At 6 weeks you can begin walking and you can undertake lower body exercise.  At 12 weeks you can undertake upper body exercise. 

2. How long do I need to wear tapes? 

Brown surgical tape has been shown to be the most effective device to minimise the scarring associated with your breast surgery.  There is no clear-cut answer as to timing but the studies show that wearing tape for a minimum of 6 weeks improves the nature of your scar.  Additional studies have shown that wearing tape at 12 weeks has a benefit over 6 weeks. However, sometimes people develop an allergy to the tape over time and the area under the tape becomes itchy.  If this happens, you should stop wearing the tape. 

3. Are there any other scar management products such as Bio-Oil, or Vitamin E that I should use? 

Products such as Bio-oil or vitamin E have not been shown to be as effective as the brown tape. They are significantly more expensive. With no additional benefit we would not recommend their routine use.  The only very expensive product which has been shown to be equal to the brown tape is Silicone strips, but as these strips cost somewhere between $100 and $150, and brown tape is under $10… We would recommend you use brown paper tape.   

4. When can I get my wounds wet? 

You must keep your suture line and the bandages dry for 2 weeks. After the white gauze dressings that were used at the time of surgery have been removed, and you simply have brown tape on your suture line, you are able to have a shower and bath as per normal.  However, after showering it is important that you towel dry the tape and if is still wet, you should use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry it out.  

5. How often do I need to change the tape? 

We would recommend that you change the tape weekly.  Please be careful when you remove the tape. Do not remove the tape aggressively as it may tear the underlying skin.   

6. When can I wear a bra? 

When you see our nursing staff they will advise you on the best time to wear a bra.  It is not straight forward, as we need to ensure we support, but also mould your breasts post operatively.  You need to be aware that the incision line at the lower part of the breast is vulnerable to being damaged. As almost all bras have underwire or gusseting in this area,  you need a wear a bra with extreme care.  One tip that we found to be very useful is to insert a ‘make up’ gauze removal pad inside your bra -in between the bra and the scar at the bottom part of your breast. This pad will provide protection and absorb any moisture, particularly if you are exercising. If you have been advised that you are now able to wear a bra, we would recommend the bra as much as possible with the above precautions. Wearing the bra overnight improves your breast shape.   

7. I have noticed that I have what looks like a small pimple arising in the suture line, is this normal? 

This is almost certainly a reaction to the dissolving sutures used to close your wounds.  These sutures should slowly dissolve over 3-6 weeks after surgery.  During this process, a suture may force its way through the overlying skin and result in a small area of redness and a small white area of dissolving suture containing white paste.  This is not an infection but never the less can be quite tender. I recommend that you keep the area dry and frequently apply Betadine directly to the area to help dry out the skin and inflammatory reaction.    

8. When can I go swimming? 

Swimming, (as all exercise), should follow the same rules of 3, 6 and 12 weeks described above.  Gentle bathing, that is, where there is no exercise involved, can be undertaken from 3 weeks on, but more aggressive swimming such as doing laps in a swimming pool, involves upper body exercise and therefore can be undertaken from 12 weeks.   

9. When can I do more aggressive exercise such as surfing or boxing or golf?   

Surfing, boxing and golf involve the upper body and hence should not be started until 12 weeks after surgery.   

10. When can I do yoga or Pilates? 

Yoga or Pilates involves a combination of lower body exercise, core strength exercise and upper body exercise.  As above, some parts of yoga or Pilates (like stretching) class could be undertaken as early as 3 weeks after surgery, but other more aggressive exercises such as those involving planking, core strength and the upper body should be delayed until 12 weeks. 

11. My nipple sensation is different, and in particular one nipple is more sensitive than the other? 

This is very common and we find that it is not uncommon for the nipple sensation to return in an uneven way -where one nipple is more sensitive.  You may find that in the early stages after surgery that your nipples may be incredibly sensitive. Over time your nipple sensation will settle all by itself with no further treatment.  

 12. I have noticed underneath my breast at 6 o’clock there is small area of fullness.  

This is normal.  The area of fullness underneath your breast is called a “dog ear” and normally settles all by itself without any surgical treatment. 

13. How often do I need to come back to the rooms for follow up reviews? 

Patients would normally return to our rooms 10 days after surgery, 3 weeks after surgery and 6 weeks after surgery.  Follow up appointments after that, would normally be at 3 and 6 months.  This is assuming that everything is progressing smoothly, and your breasts are healing exactly as we would expect.   

Obviously if you have any concerns, or were worried about any aspect of your care, we would see you more frequently. Our rooms are able to see you at any time.  We are open from Monday 8am through to Friday 4pm.  Mark is available on his mobile phone 24 hours a day, and there is a 24/7 nursing call service to answer any questions that you may have about your dressings or about any changes in your breasts about which you are concerned.   

Please be respectful of this service. 

 14. I live in the country, it’s a 4 hour drive, can’t my GP manage my postoperative care? 

Unfortunately no.  

We must see you at you day 10 appointment and your 3 week appointment. This is when we monitor the wound healing of your breasts and coordinate the fitting of a bra to help mould your breast. This is not straightforward. We need to see you. 

 15. What is the most common thing people do wrong? 

That is an easy one. People don’t give their bodies time to heal and try to continue on with their busy lives without slowing down and resting. You must allow time to recover. Be kind to your body. 

If you’re looking for a trusted Melbourne plastic surgeon to perform a breast reduction procedure, or if you simply want to find out more, book an appointment with Dr. Mark Ashton today. 


What is abdominoplasty and tummy tuck

Considering plastic surgery can feel like a daunting decision, particularly when the entire process can feel so foreign to many of us. Perhaps you’ve never come across formal terms such as an ‘abdominoplasty’, but many surgical procedures are more common and easy to understand than you might think. An abdominoplasty (known more commonly as a ‘tummy tuck’) is one of the more common procedures performed by plastic surgeons, yet many people don’t have a lot of knowledge of what it entails.

This blog will go through some of the most frequently asked questions about Abdominoplasties. If you think and abdominoplasty is a viable option for you, book a consultation with Ashton Plastic Surgery to receive personalised advice.

What Exactly is an Abdominoplasty?

An Abdominoplasty is a procedure designed to shape and tone the abdomen. The procedure involves removing excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen and belly, slimming the torso to create an overall firmer physique. Once the excess tissue is removed, muscles are often brought closer together, and connective tissues are tightened with the use of sutures. An abdominoplasty is performed under anaesthesia.

What is the Abdominoplasty Process?

With a procedure like this, it’s important to understand what result you are likely to achieve, as well as understanding the surgery itself. There are specific protocols that need to be followed in preparation for a tummy tuck, as well as a few tips and tricks that will help make the recovery process easier. Here’s a breakdown of what the entire procedure process may look like for a patient:

  1. Pre-Surgery

The better the physical condition you are in before the procedure, the quicker your recovery will be. Leading up to surgery it is important to get yourself as fit as possible, and to try to reach your ideal weight goals – remember, an abdominoplasty isn’t a replacement for weight loss. Abdominoplasty surgery is aimed at removing excess tissue from your abdomen. Your surgeon may recommend specific medications, or lifestyle habits such as smoking, be adjusted in preparation for the procedure and general anaesthesia. It is essential to prepare your home for your recovery before having the procedure, having a comfortable spot at home set up with the essentials nearby, will make your post-procedure experience endlessly easier.

  1. Surgery

With Professor Ashton your abdominoplasty will take place in an accredited hospital, and you will stay in Hospital overnight following your surgery. Be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to drop you off and pick you up from the hospital, as you won’t be able to drive yourself afterwards.

  1. Post-Surgery

You will need to organise a friend or family member to stay with you for at least 48 hours following discharge from the Hospital. Your plastic surgeon, Professor Ashton will provide detailed instructions on post-operative care. The healing process may look different for every patient, compression garments might be recommended, and there may be temporary drainage tubes placed under the skin to help drain any excess fluid. All recovery needs will be tailored to your body and explained by your surgeon and his team. Most importantly, it is vital to keep yourself comfortable, and to follow instructions to ensure your body can heal appropriately.

Who can get an Abdominoplasty?

There are a few specific guidelines for people considering an abdominoplasty, it may not be suitable for everyone. The procedure is ideal for people who are at a stable and healthy weight, aware of the realistic outcomes, and are looking to shed some of the stubborn excess skin/fat on their abdomen.

An abdominoplasty may not be suitable for anyone unable to have an anaesthetic, at a high risk of surgical complications, or looking for a substitute for a weight loss. People planning to get pregnant in the future may also be recommended to delay the procedure, as pregnancy may affect the surgical results. Anyone considering plastic surgery should discuss it at length with a professional and assess what is right for them.

What are the Risks and Benefits?

Like any procedure, there are always going to be risks. When deciding if an abdominoplasty is right for you, it’s important to do your research, and to decide based on what is going to be best for your body. Some of the potential risks involved with a tummy tuck include:

  • Pain and discomfort

  • Wound infection

  • Prominent and itchy scarring

  • Blood clotting that will require further treatment

Along with potential surgical risks, there are various benefits to an abdominoplasty that have made it a common and popular procedure. These include:

  • Boosted confidence

  • Improved function of abdominal muscles

  • Reduction of tummy bulging as a result of excess fat and skin

  • Correction of divercation of the rectus muscles.

Interested in a Tummy Tuck Procedure?

Plastic surgery can be a big decision, but taking the time to understand the process and all the risks involved, allowing you to make an informed decision. If you’re considering an abdominoplasty, or are interested in finding out more information, Ashton Plastic Surgery is ready to help you on your journey.

Book an appointment with Dr. Mark Ashton today to find out if a tummy tuck is best for you.

Choosing the right breast implant size

Are you considering breast augmentation surgery? Not sure which size implants are right for you? Breast implants are one of the most popular plastic surgeries in Australia, with over 20,000 procedures completed in 2017. In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of the most common questions about breast implant sizing. While this information is relevant, it may not be perfect for you, so please feel free to give our friendly and helpful team a call for tailored advice. And, if you’re ready to take the next step, you can book your initial appointment with Professor Mark Ashton today.

What Should I Consider When Choosing the Size of Breast Implants?

When it comes to sizes, we look at CCs (cubic centimetres), which is about equal to 1ml. The most popular sizes in Australia are between 350cc and 550cc, although they can start at 200cc and can go as high as 800cc.

This is a very individualised choice and no two people will have the same requirements, because no two people will have the exact same body or reasons for breast augmentation surgery. Important factors to take into consideration are:

  • The look you are going for— You know you want breast implants. But do you know which size and shape? We’ll help you define your goals and choose implants that suit you.
  • Your height and body shape— The proportions of your body, including your upper body measurements will have a large impact on how your breast augmentation will appear. For example, a 200cc implant on a petite person can look similar to a 300cc implant on a taller person due to overall body composition.
  • The width of your chest— Professor Mark Ashton will measure the dimensions of your breasts and chest to help you determine what certain sizes will look like on your body.
  • The thickness of your breast tissue— If you have thicker breast tissue you can accommodate a larger implant than somebody with less tissue.

How Will My Size Change After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

In the early postoperative period, your breast size will be larger than you anticipated. Don’t stress, as this is completely normal and expected. At the beginning you will have swelling in addition to the implants, which will make your breasts look larger than they will be when the swelling has subsided. As you heal, extra fluid is absorbed into the body and your shape will conform to the CCs you have chosen. This additional swelling is usually between 70cc and 100cc, and takes about 3 to 4 weeks to resolve.

I Think I Know What I Want— Now What?

Your next step is to book a consultation with us to further discuss your options and what is the best choice for you. Here at Ashton Plastic Surgery, we want the very best for our patients, so you can expect your first consultation to last approximately 45 minutes, or longer. Professor Mark Ashton will take a detailed medical history and perform a physical examination to determine your preferences and suitability for breast augmentation surgery.

Book Your Initial Consultation with Professor Mark Ashton

If you’re interested in learning more about breast implants, book your consultation with us today! Ashton Plastic Surgery will work with you to consider your options to give you the body you’ve always dreamed of.

You can call on (03) 8560 0590 or book your appointment online.

You may have seen through social media and on recent cosmetic surgery websites, that some medical practitioners are advocating that you can have breast augmentation with your own fat as an alternative to breast implants. Fat transfer has increasingly gained popularity in the last 5 years, particularly as part of breast reconstruction after cancer, where we use it routinely.

However, trying to use your own fat to create an acceptable breast augmentation result is very difficult indeed. Fat is inherently soft, and it is difficult to get the projection that can be reliably achieved with implants. Further, the amount of fat that survives the transfer is unreliable, and is never more than 50 % of that injected.

It means the procedure must be repeated at least once, usually twice. And the extensive liposuction that is required raises the very real risk of irregularities and contour deformities in the areas where the fat is harvested, particularly in slim patients.

Because of these problems, most experienced plastic surgeons would only use fat as an adjunct, or in addition, to an implant, particularly to enhance the ‘cleavage lines’ or to narrow the gap between your breasts.

Beware the practitioner promising perky, natural looking breasts using your own tissue, without the need for implants. In reality, the end result could be saggy, droopy, very expensive, and not wait you expected.

If something seems to be too good to be true, it almost invariably is.

Breast Augmentation Procedures by Mark Ashton:

Professor Mark Ashton is a Melbourne-based plastic surgeon who specialises in breast augmentation procedures using the latest in breast enhancement techniques.

As former Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (2001-2016), Mark enjoys a reputation as one of Australia’s most respected and internationally renowned plastic surgeons.

Looking for some more information? Ashton Plastic Surgery can help – Call 8560 0590!