Plastic Surgery Tailored to Your Individual Needs
Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Randall Weil performs procedures ranging from face and neck lifts to tummy tucks, abdominal suction, and mommy makeovers. His No. 1 most common procedure is breast augmentation. Dr. Weil discusses the latest implants, his other procedures, and some common fears people may have about plastic surgery.
How has breast augmentation changed from a generation ago?
For one thing, silicone is back on the market, and the newer implants, which have been around for about three years, can give a very beautiful, natural appearing, and soft breast. And we have a tremendous choice of styles for a woman’s particular needs.
Wasn’t there talk of dangers with silicone implants several years ago?
That turned out to be a media scare. There’s no danger in silicone, and there never was. Studies have come out over the past 12 to 15 years showing that there was never any increase in any incidence of autoimmune diseases or any other problems. So silicone is back on the market, and it has been used extensively in recent years—about 60 to 70 percent of the women coming in for breast augmentation are requesting silicone.
What other materials do you use?
We use a gel material that is highly cohesive, not liquidy. None of the materials come out as liquid now. It’s all solid, but very soft, so the natural feel is maintained.
What are some of your other common procedures?
About 50 percent of my practice involves the face, which would be the upper and lower lids, the face and neck, and the nose. The face lift is a very common procedure, and some of the most common facial procedures I do are eyelids, where people look tired when they don’t really feel tired. Much of what I do is maintenance, where I’m not doing a giant procedure to the face, but just smaller things over time.
The other half of my practice consists of body contour procedures—things like tummy tucks and mommy makeovers, where women who have finished their child-bearing want to get close to where they were before they had kids. Sometimes we’ll do abdominal work—abdominal suction and suction on the sides. Flanks are popular among both women and men.
Do many men come to you?
Men are about 10 to 15 percent of my practice—and that’s mostly things like the neck or eyelids, or suction. For women, the most popular procedures are those around the face and neck—and also, of course, the breast augmentation.
What are the concerns patients typically have?
The most frequent concern is that they’re afraid they may be significantly changed. They want to look like themselves. They don’t want to appear radically different. Sometimes people worry that they’re going to be so changed that it will not be a positive effect. We let people know that you’re just going to look 10 to 15 years younger, you’re going to look better, and you’re going to look less tired. It’s not going to be a shocking change. When plastic surgery is done well, other people won’t really know what’s been done. They’ll just say, “You look great. You look less tired.”
What’s unique about your practice?
I focus on partial procedures—those that are specific to an individual—rather than global procedures, where you automatically say, “OK, you need to do your eyes, your forehead, your face, your neck, everything.” No. Most of the time we can do very specific things that are particular for that individual.
For example, many women have necks that are loose, they don’t like the extra skin, the central bands are prominent, but they’re pretty happy with their face. So I’ll do what’s called a neck lift, which includes the jowls as well. In that case, the face remains pretty much the same. In other cases, the neck is good and the person just want their cheeks elevated—better jaw line, fewer deep creases in what we call the nose-lip line. So I can do a procedure for just that. I also do fillers, which fill up areas that people are concerned with, such as the nasal lines that go from the nose to the lips, or even the lips themselves. We also can fill up the cheeks so that they look tighter and fuller. Those procedures are done right in the office—takes about a half an hour.
Another unique thing is that I don’t do a lot of marketing. Some practices depend a lot on Internet marketing and that type of thing. We do mostly patient-to-patient referrals. I feel very confident, and I’ve found that this is the most effective way to attract patients who trust they’ll get good results. It’s one of those situations where if you’ve been around for a long time and you do good work, people will feel comfortable that you will do things appropriately.
Does insurance cover any of these procedures?
It doesn’t cover what’s considered cosmetic procedures, but it does cover breast reductions. That’s not considered a cosmetic procedure, so women who have very heavy breasts are alleviated from that weight. Usually right in the recovery room after the procedure is done, the patient notices a difference. In addition to breast reduction, insurance also typically covers breathing problems and heavy eyelids.
Randall B. Weil M.D., F.A.C.S., 1414 Everett St., Alameda, 415-781-2081, RandallWeil.com