Linda L. Swanson
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About My Practice
What have you learned during your years as a plastic surgeon?
Over the last two decades, I’ve learned how important it is to focus on the nuances of each individual case to yield the most beautiful results. Hard work truly does pay off.
How do you manage patient expectations?
Simple—I listen to them! Through experience, I’ve learned the best way to ensure clear communication is to first listen to the patients’ desires and then present them with the options that will give them final results closest to their goals. We never move forward with any procedure until the patient is 100 percent confident that it is the best option.
What have you learned throughout your 25 years of practice?
Every patient is unique, which means no two surgeries are exactly the same. As a surgeon, understanding and adjusting to these small nuances can make a huge difference in the final results.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing patients’ joyous reactions when they come in for their postoperative consultations.
What are some of your hobbies?
I have been a competitive equestrian rider (on and off) since grade school. I love that there are no shortcuts in the riding arena, or in the surgical suite.
Why did you become a plastic surgeon?
I was moved by reconstructive procedures that help restore normalcy to children with cleft palettes. My appreciation for reconstructive surgeries later evolved into an appreciation for the field as a whole.
What procedures are your favorites to perform?
I enjoy all procedures, but I tend to find great joy in working with patients who have lost tremendous amounts of weight. They have worked very hard, and I offer them procedures that can streamline their results and create the silhouettes they’ve been seeking. Being able to help these patients achieve a healthier body and self-image is a wonderful pleasure
American Board of Plastic Surgery
American Board of Surgery
Affiliation:American College of Surgeons, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons
A Minute With
My work is always defining me as a surgeon
How i make the best first impression
Seeing the person first, not just as a patient, and giving them my full attention
"Get busy!” (borrowed from my mother)
My operating room playlist
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Mendelssohn and Brahms
My greatest achievement
Raising four great kids while running my practice
My happiest professional moment
Having patients tell me I changed their lives
What i love most about my profession
Every patient is different, so nothing is ever boring
When you know you’re ready for surgery
When your mirror is telling you something different then you feel
The most outrageous medical myth i’ve heard
After liposuction, fat “jumps”
to some other part of the body
How i would spend extra time in a day
I love ballroom dancing, equestrian riding and singing in my chorale group
What is your surgical niche?
Mommy Makeovers and Glamma
Makeovers. I enjoy recontouring
the breasts and torso because the
patients are so excited about the
improvements they experience
What one surgical advancement are you most excited about right now?
The drainless abdominoplasty—
it makes the recovery much more
comfortable and expeditious for the
patient and there are no marks left
from the drain sites
What trend do you think people still don’t understand?
People still don’t understand that
liposuction is not a substitute for
weight loss and that no amount
of exercise or dieting can tighten
loose skin or spot-reduce an area
of unwanted fat on the body
What are your most requested procedures?
Body contouring to improve the breasts, abdomen, torso, buttocks and thighs. Mommy and Glamma Makeovers combine several of these.
- Aesthetic Injectables
- Body Contouring
- Body Lift
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift / Reduction
- Buttocks Lift
- Dermal Fillers
- Facelift / Necklift
- Gynecomastia Surgery (Male Breast Reduction)
- Laser Liposuction
- Laser Resurfacing
- Lip Augmentation
- Skin Cancer Reconstruction
- Smartlipo Triplex™
- Dermal Fillers
- Botox® Cosmetic
What is liposculpture?What our experts say:
Liposculpture is simply another word for liposuction. Liposculpture is a surgical procedure aimed at re-contouring the body by suctioning unwanted fat from under the skin using long cannulae (metal tubes) introduced through tiny incisions.
Can I fix my hooded eyelids with an eyelift?What our experts say:
An upper eyelid lift will often correct and always improve hooded eyelids by removing excess upper eyelid skin. If there is also significant drooping of the brow, a browlift will be needed for full correction.
Is it better to get a breast reduction before or after having children?What our experts say:
The time to have a breast reduction is when one is experiencing upper back, neck and shoulder pain due to large breasts.
Is there a lot of scarring with a brachioplasty? How long does it take for it to fade?What our experts say:
The most commonly used incisions for an arm lift extend from the axilla (the armpit) to the elbow. In some cases, where there is a great deal of skin excess, it may be necessary to extend the incisions onto the chest and/or across the elbow joint to get a smooth contour. These incisions will fade with time, improving for at least a year or two. In some cases, where the excess skin and fat is only in the upper part of the arm near the armpit, it may be possible to use an incision that is completely hidden in the armpit. This will also have the added benefit of removing most of the hair bearing skin.
Can I correct breasts and body at the same time?What our experts say:
It is certainly possible to correct breasts along with other procedures. Likely procedures would be abdominoplasty or brachioplasty. Doing a body lift along with breast surgery would be a very lengthy procedure but may be possible for the appropriate patient. It is best to have a whole surgical plan mapped out by your surgeon to address each area that needs correction.
How long does facelift surgery take?What our experts say:
The length of time needed for a facelift depends on the difficulty of the case, the extent of surgery required to achieve the desired result and the individual surgeon’s experience and style.
How soon after a body lift can I return to exercising?What our experts say:
They key to being able to return to exercise after a body lift is to be certain that all the surfaces are healing together and no fluid is accumulating. Generally, depending on the size of the patient, the drains will be in place for one to three weeks. Once the drains are out and healing is progressing, exercise can be resumed, starting with simple walking and gradually increasing to full activity. Most people will be at a normal activity level between four and six weeks.
What is a mommy makeover? Is there a typical menu of procedures for a mommy makeover?What our experts say:
In general, a mommy makeover refers to a combined procedure which involves improving the appearance of the breasts and abdomen. The breasts might need an increase in size, improvement in shape or both, i.e., an augmentation, a lift or a combined lift and augmentation. Occasionally a breast reduction is needed. The abdomen usually will require an abdominoplasty, but rarely liposuction may be sufficient. Sometimes contouring of other areas, such as the back or thighs with liposuction is also done.
What does a lower body lift entail? What is the recovery like?What our experts say:
A body lift improves the appearance of the lower back, buttocks and abdomen. Essentially a strip of skin and attached fat is removed circumferentially using an incision just below the level of the pubic hair and going all the way around the body like a low riding wide belt. Many surgeons will begin with the patient lying on their stomach, removing the loose skin with incisions curving over each buttocks. Once this is removed and closed, the patient is turned over onto his/her back and an abdominoplasty is performed connecting with the incisions on the back. Sometimes, due to the size of the patient or the anticipated amount of tissue to be removed, two separate operations are planned. The most important thing is to make it as safe as possible for the patient. Recovery depends on the extent of the surgery. Most people will need 2-4 weeks for basic recovery and 2-4 additional weeks to return to vigorous sports and physical labor.
What is the difference between regular liposuction and SmartLipo?What our experts say:
Liposuction, as a general term, simply means removing unwanted fat by vacuuming it out from under the skin. This is usually done through very small incisions in the skin and long metal tubes placed through the incision. The vacuuming is preceded by placing a “wetting” solution, salt water with medication to reduce pain and bruising. After placing the wetting solution, the fat can be suctioned directly or for a more complete removal, first treated by using ultrasound, laser light or a pressurized water jet. “Smartlipo” in a brand name for one company’s laser assisted liposuction machine. The advantage of laser assisted liposuction is that it can safely be performed on an awake patient, eliminating the need for general anesthesia and a more complete removal of the unwanted fat is accomplished. The disadvantage is that a more limited number of areas can safely be done at one time.
How many parts of my body can I “lift” at one time without risks or complications? How many procedures can I have done at once?What our experts say:
First of all, every surgical procedure has some potential risks and complications. Your surgeon will suggest a plan for your individual case. In general, the trunk is done first followed by the breasts and finally the extremities. If a body lift is required, this is best performed as a single procedure, because it will require repositioning and reprepping and draping of the patient. If only an abdominoplasty is needed, this can often be combined with the breast portion of the case. In other cases, where a body lift in done, the second procedure could consist of the breast portion and the brachioplasty. Thigh lifts are often done as an isolated procedure.
What is a “drainless tummy tuck”? Why is a drain normally used?What our experts say:
A “drainless tummy tuck” is one in which the surgeon sews the abdominal flap down to the muscle with large “quilting” sutures. This is supposed to eliminate the need for drains. Drains are used to remove fluid which would otherwise collect between the muscle and the overlying flap, i.e., the skin and muscle which has been lifted up and pulled down during the procedure. If the fluid is allowed to collect, the two surfaces cannot stick together and heal.
What kind of recovery should a patient expect after a tummy tuck? Are there drains?What our experts say:
Most surgeons will use drains for an abdominoplasty. These will be in place generally one to two weeks depending on the size of the patient and the individual amount of drainage. Once the drains are out and no fluid accumulates, the activity level can be increase. Most patients can return to sedentary jobs in two weeks, work that requires more physical activity will require more time off. Woman with small children will need some help at home for one to two weeks. Between four and six weeks post op, most woman will have returned to their full normal activities.
What symptoms come from having overly large breasts that may need a reduction?What our experts say:
The chief symptoms from large breast are upper back, neck and shoulder pain. A reduction will generally reduce these symptoms immediately!
What type of scarring is there with a breast reduction?What our experts say:
The traditional incisions used in breast reductions look a little like an anchor. They go around the areola, down to the crease below the breast and horizontally beneath the breast in the bra line. However, many surgeons today use a more minimal incision which goes around the areola and straight down to the fold, eliminating the horizontal component. The choice is determined by the surgeon’s preference and experience. In either case, the sutures should all be buried under the skin eliminating any cross hatching. Usually the incisions do not need any post-operative treatment and will improve on their own over time. Occasionally the surgeon may recommend a topical scar treatment or bleaching cream for patients who may develop dark scars. These treatments are begun after the crusts and scabs have all cleared.
Can I breastfeed after a breast lift, augmentation or reduction?What our experts say:
Most breast lifts and reductions, and even combination augmentation and lifts, can be done with an incision around the areola and vertically down to the crease below the breast, in the shape of a lollipop. Very rarely is a horizontal component necessary. It depends on the surgeon’s experience and preference. The sutures should all be under to skin to eliminate any cross marks. These incisions generally heal very nicely with no additional treatment.
How do you get rid of sagging skin on the body?What our experts say:
Sagging skin on the body can only be improved by surgically removing it. To date there are no techniques available that will tighten skin appreciably.
Can you treat asymmetry in the breasts with augmentation alone?What our experts say:
It depends on the nature of the asymmetry. Asymmetry can results from differences in volume, shape, and nipple placement. Each case must be assessed individually. Most of the time a combination of differential implants and lifting is required. Occasionally reduction of the larger breast with or without lifting of the smaller breast will be needed. In general depending on the problem, it is possible to improve symmetry, but perfectly matched breasts are difficult to achieve.
My doctor says during the next few months my implants will move upwards to give me a full roundness at the top of my breasts. How does this happen?What our experts say:
What your doctor is describing is exactly what you don’t want to happen! Implants that move upwards and appear more round on top are developing scar tissue around them. This is called encapsulation and eventually causes the breasts to feel hard and unnatural and may cause saline implants to rupture. What we do want is for the implants to stay soft and in their original position. When implants are first placed, they may feel firm because of the muscle stretching over them. As the muscles adjust to the implants, the breasts will feel softer and look more natural.
What do I need after weight loss - a body lift or body contouring?What our experts say:
First of all, a body lift is body contouring. Body contouring is any procedure that changes the shape of the body, breasts or extremities. Body contouring may involve liposuction, which can be done by multiple different methods or by surgical excision of excess skin and attached fat. After weight loss, if the skin is saggy and loose, liposuction alone will not fix the problem, but make it worse. If the skin is of good quality, i.e., there are no stretch marks and the skin is smooth and elastic, liposuction may achieve the desired result. When patients have lost significant amounts of weight, surgical removal of the extra skin will be required. When considering the abdomen, back, buttocks and flanks, after massive weight loss, a body lift will improve these areas significantly.
What about scar pain and sensitivity?What our experts say:
Scar pain and sensitivity, although possible with any surgery, is not common with breast surgery. If this should occur, it can be treated with topical medication.
Is the scar for a tummy tuck longer than a c-section scar?What our experts say:
The goal of a c-section is to deliver a healthy baby. The incision only needs to be large enough to get the baby’s head out comfortably. The goal of a tummy tuck is to remove extra skin and the attached fat and leave a smooth result with no puckering at the ends. In order to achieve this goal, the scar has to be longer so the closure will give the smooth desired result.
Is it true that a common recovery complication in a tummy tuck is the sutures splitting during the healing process?What our experts say:
If done properly, it is rare for the suture line to split during the healing of an abdominoplasty. However, it is not uncommon for a suture to “spit” during the healing process. What this means is that in the process of the sutures being absorbed, one or more my get close to the skin surface and develop what looks like a small pimple. These are easy “cured” by having the surgeon remove the offending suture. The tiny opening will then rapidly close on its own.
Is it possible for the breast to get bigger after surgery?What our experts say:
It is possible, but not common, for breasts to enlarge after breast reduction surgery. This is most likely to occur in patients who had breast reduction surgery in their teenage years or in menopausal woman due to hormone shifts.
I'm interested in breast augmentation at age 49. Is age a factor?What our experts say:
If you are in good health and have had normal breast exams and screening mammography, you would be a candidate for breast augmentation.
How do you approach mastopexy augmentation procedures?What our experts say:
I use a submuscular implant combined with a lollipop lift. The pre-operative markings are the key to this procedure. I mark where I want the nipple/areola to sit and then estimate and mark the amount of skin that I think I will remove. In the operating room after the implants are in place, I make any necessary adjustments before the extra skin is removed. The final incisions go around the areola and straight done to the bottom of the breast, like a lollipop. Very rarely is any horizontal incision below the breast needed. There are no drains and all the sutures are hidden under the skin and will be absorbed over a few months.
Is there any hope for me at age 55 to have a full upper pole, round perky breast for several years without my implants being north and my breast skin sagging south under the weight of the implants?What our experts say:
The key item in having perky breasts with or without implants, is the quality of the skin. Many people, regardless of age can have full perky breasts if the implants are correctly positioned and an appropriate lift is performed. Where this is very difficult to achieve is in patients who have had massive weight loss or for some other reason have stretch marks and very damaged inelastic skin of their breasts. For these patients it is a battle between using an implant to get upper pole fullness and gravity causing continued stretch of the already damaged skin and ultimately sagging of the implants. Gravity wins.
How can mommy-makeovers help give women their pre-baby bodies back?What our experts say:
Mommy makeovers can restore volume and shape to sagging, deflated breasts and restore a smooth tight abdomen by repairing muscle separation of the abdominal muscles and removing excess, damaged skin and the attached fat.
What is the benefit of combining breast procedures?What our experts say:
The goal of combing breast augmentation and breast lift is to eliminate the need for two separate surgeries. The reality is that often this works out very well, but sometimes revisions or touchups may be necessary.
Who is a candidate for a mommy makeover?What our experts say:
Candidates for a mommy makeover are women who have completed their families and would like an improved appearance of their breasts and abdomen. They may also want additional contouring of the hips and thighs if there are contour irregularities in these areas which cannot be improved by diet and exercise alone. Candidates are at least 6 months postpartum and have stopped nursing for a minimum of three months. This time lapse will allow the woman’s body to recover sufficiently from pregnancy and nursing.
Can silicone migrate into the lymph nodes?What our experts say:
Silicone can be carried by the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, to the axillary lymph nodes and may cause the nodes to become enlarged. This happens most commonly when the implant ruptures or a defect erodes through the implant shell. This is much less common with the newer implants as the manufacturing process has been improved, but it can still occur. Silicone granulomas can also form in the breast usually near the rupture of the implant and a tear in the implant capsule. Diagnosis is made by ultrasound, as there is a very characteristic shadow cast by the silicone outside the implant capsule. Silicone granulomas can become infected and are best removed before this has a chance to occur. All axillary masses need to be evaluated to rule out other more dangerous diagnoses.