What To Know Before Your First Visit

plastic surgery candidate

Whenever you decide to pop into your surgeon’s office for a consultation, there is probably a list of things you’ll need to bring with you to make sure you and your surgeon share the right information with one another. Every piece of information counts and these are the keys to success when consulting so that Dr. Elias has all the information he needs to determine whether the surgery is the right one. When you set up your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Elias at Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we will tell you which items to bring so that you’re fully prepared.

While these pieces of information are helpful to determine the fit of the surgery, they also allow you to better prepare with any questions you might have for Dr. Elias. To start, we like for every patient to bring in a list of their current medications and any X-rays taken by referring physicians. Any reconstructive surgeries with a particular medical history are best performed with all information ready to go.

The questions you have are addressed during your first meeting with Dr. Elias, and we encourage you to bring them, so you feel ready to move forward with surgery. We are only as successful as your experience from the first moment you walk in until your procedure is complete. We also want you to know that you have the opportunity to check out all of our before and after photos, so you know what to expect.

Recap of what to bring with you on your first visit:

  • List of your most current medications
  • Copy of your insurance information
  • List of questions you have for Dr. Elias
  • Referral slip and any previous radiographs, CT scans or MRI if needed

Am I a candidate for surgery?

One of the most common questions that we have and address is whether or not you will be the best candidate for the surgery. As long as you are healthy and a nonsmoker without prior conditions that could affect the outcome of the surgery, you’re a great fit! Certain procedures do have requirements such as those for liposuction since we encourage patients to have tried healthy weight loss before looking into fat reduction. For a surgery like this, if we remove excess fat from the body it doesn’t mean you cannot gain the weight back. Liposuction requires that you make a lifestyle change to keep the weight off and it’s important that we don’t offer you a surgery that will have risks if it’s not necessary.

What lifestyle changes will I need to make?

We want you to achieve the results you want from your surgical procedures, and that means only offering you the right surgery for your lifestyle. As mentioned before, we like to make sure that clients are paired accurately with their surgical procedures and that we don’t perform an unnecessary surgery or that we do it at the right time. Liposuction candidates are encouraged to make a lifestyle change such as committing to a healthier diet with daily exercise to maintain a healthy weight or be quite close to the reduced weight they’re hoping to achieve.

Any facelift procedure will not last as long as you expect unless you stop smoking. Smoking isn’t the best thing for your skin and will cause increased aging even after you’ve asked for a surgical lift and tightening of the skin. Being realistic about what is possible and the lifespan on a procedure is important, but that begins with your lifestyle. So make these decisions with care, and we can help with the rest.

Now you know what you need to bring with you and what to expect from surgical procedures at SCCSA, so give us a call and make your appointment today at 818-616-6685.

Why it’s not too Late to Tone Up for the Rest of Summer


It is already the middle of summer (how??), and we know what a struggle it can be to keep up that workout routine in the middle of the busiest season for vacations, catching up with friends, keeping up with the kids while they are out of school and basking in the Los Angeles heat. Summer fitness can take a lot of self-discipline, especially when your August and September vacations are right around the corner.

The good news is you can be bikini-ready for your beach pictures without spending four hours a day at the gym. Get some help putting the final touches on your summer body with the help of the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts.

Benefits of a Mid-Summer Procedure

Some people might claim it is crazy to have a surgical procedure done during the summer. However, we think this is the best time to come in. During these months, it is often easier to find help during recovery, and because healing from these procedures is fairly quick, you will be ready to show off your body for the rest of the season. Here are some of the benefits to scheduling your fat loss procedure now:

  • Time off of work and school is easy to come by during these months
  • Enjoy the air conditioning during recovery (you probably need a break from the sun after the past few weeks in LA)
  • Your body will be ready to go by the time you’re ready to leave for your late-summer trip
  • Southern California beach season lasts well through October: be prepared for the final months of summer with a body sculpting procedure

What are my options?

At the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we offer many options for your fat loss procedure, depending on your areas of concern and goals for after surgery:

  • Liposuction: Lipo is one of the most efficient and effective means of removing unwanted fat from your body. It is minimally invasive, so recovery time is a breeze and scars are barely noticeable. You can have liposuction on any part of the body, including the tummy, inner or outer thighs and back.
  • Tummy Tuck: A tummy tuck is the best surgical procedure for eliminating excess skin and fat from the lower abdominal area. If you have significant weight to lose or are suffering from hanging skin after a major weight loss, this may be the best procedure for you. As it is an invasive surgery, recovery takes approximately 4-6 weeks, but scarring remains hidden below the bikini line.

Your Late-Summer Vacation Done Right

Relieve your stress about your upcoming vacation and rock that itty-bitty bikini we know you are saving for after your diet. You deserve to look and feel your best today, and we would love to help you regain confidence in your beautiful figure. To learn more about your options for body contouring and fat loss, call the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts to schedule your consultation: (818) 696-4425.

Tuck Your Way to a Tighter Tummy


Tummy Tuck surgery is designed for patients who are in need of significant weight loss or wishes to remove excess skin or fat. While weight loss is always on our minds and in our media, especially in Los Angeles, the way to get model-like lean legs or Beyoncé’s hourglass shape is NOT by going under the knife. However, if you are suffering from a significant excess of fat or skin in the abdomen, we can help!

Am I a Good Candidate?

When considering any kind of surgery, you must be aware of the consequences of putting your body through such a rigorous procedure. This is why we only recommend tummy tucks to patients who are or have been more than 30 pounds overweight. Many new mothers who are having trouble shedding their pregnancy weight often seek tummy tuck surgery to get them back to their normal weight and restore the confidence and happiness that may be affecting conditions like post-partum depression.

You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you have one of the following characteristics:

  • You were recently pregnant and are not planning on having more children
  • You are more than 30 pounds overweight
  • Your excess weight is carried in the stomach and is resistant to diet and exercise
  • You have recently lost a significant amount of weight and are suffering from sagging skin in the abdomen
  • Your extra weight makes you feel self-conscious, stressed or depressed

About the Procedure

Your tummy tuck procedure is done under general anesthesia to the whole body and typically lasts 2-5 hours, ranging depending on the patient and case. Often if a patient is in need of significant weight loss, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) will be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat before loose skin is tightened in the abdomen.

During the tummy tuck, an incision will be made across the lower stomach, typically a u-shape between the hip bones. If no liposuction needs to be performed, excess skin will be removed and the remaining skin tightened across the body. Muscular structure will be restored beneath the skin, and the incision will be closed with your new shape in tact.

Find out more about your tummy tuck recovery time and see before & after photos on our website!

Our Advice/Procedure Prep

In order to evaluate whether a tummy tuck is right for you, we recommend three tests:

  1. Make a natural effort: before considering surgery as a solution to skin tightening or weight loss, we recommend you try these options the natural way. Try editing your diet and exercise routine and see if you achieve your desired results without going under the knife.
  2. Prepare your body for surgery: if you believe you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck, begin preparing for your surgery immediately! Quitting smoking is essential for any cosmetic surgery patient, and improving your overall health is important for your recovery process. Though Dr. Elias will give you specific instructions and a full medical evaluation before your procedure, it is important to focus on your health as far in advance as possible, for best results and fastest recovery.
  3. Call Dr. Elias: He is known as Los Angeles’ most compassionate doctor for a reason! Dr. Elias has your back and is available to address your concerns and questions about any procedure you are considering. Schedule your consultation today and look forward to individualized care from LA’s best.

Loving Your Summer Body


Summer is a great time to refresh or re-evaluate your plastic surgery wish list. As the weather heats up, we all want feel the need to show more skin! However, people also have a tendency to become more self-conscious about their bodies during the summer, probably because it is the time of year when there is no shortage of objects (other bodies) with which to compare your own!

While the tendency to compare is a natural human trait, it is also important to always be gentle with ourselves in the area of body-image. Being too self-critical can make you unhappy, or worse!

Instead of focusing on other people’s bodies excessively during the summer, focus on what your magnificent body is capable of and form a realistic wish list of cosmetic procedures that will benefit you the most in terms of results! Remember, even small cosmetic changes can give a major boost to self-confidence.

Here are some of the most popular summertime cosmetic procedures that we see patients for, either in the beginning (consultative) phase or for actual surgery:

  • Liposuction: Bikini bottoms everywhere mean an increase in requests for liposuction in our office, particularly of the thighs and hips.
  • Breast Lifts: What bikini bottoms are to liposuction, bikini tops are to breast lifts (and augmentation), resulting in more interest in breast surgery.
  • Tummy Tucks: Not surprisingly, tummy tucks are another common request during bikini season!

While we all have the tendency to check out other people’s bodies during swim-season, it’s important to know what is realistic for our own bodies in terms of plastic surgery results. We can help you decide which procedures will help you achieve your best body (not someone else’s)!

Because Mommy Deserves a Mommy Makeover


After having a child, or multiple, many aspects of your life experience changes. Not only have you been given the gift of a newborn, but you have begun to take on a new role as “Mommy”. Even though this is a very sentimental and integral time for your family, not all arenas of becoming a new mom are perfect. Many aspects of your life have begun to change, and most for the better, however, your self-image and confidence may have taken a drop. Adjusting to the motherhood role can be difficult, and accepting your post-birth body is now something you don’t have to do.

With all your new responsibilities, working out or hitting the gym is really not a top priority when you now have a child to take care of, and for some, dieting and exercise doesn’t always work. Add a few months of breastfeeding and many sleepless nights, and your body is sure to take the appearance of a hard-working mom. Your body experiences many changes not only during pregnancy, but even after having a child. Many new mothers notice parts of their body change, leaving them unhappy with impacted areas caused by child bearing such as breasts, tummy, and waistline.

A Mommy Makeover combines various surgical procedures to restore your body after pregnancy to make you feel youthful, sexy, and most important, confident. At Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we can help you get your positive self-image back, not only to benefit you, but also to improve your interactions with your loved ones. You’ve sacrificed so much during those nine-months of carrying your child, and will continue to make your family your top priority. But you deserve to feel as great as you truly are, and that’s why we believe in our Mommy Makeover procedure.

We understand you have a lot to do and you have one of the hardest jobs there is, and thats why we want to help you get wonderful results quickly so you can return to your new family. One of the biggest problems Mommies have with this procedure is that they’re worried that they won’t be able to take care of their kids. However, with a quick recovery time of about two weeks, Mothers are able to quickly jump back into their roles. 

Dr. Elias’ board-certified experience and specialization in breast augmentation, reduction, lifts and abdominoplasty, will reassure you that your in great hands. Mommy Makeovers are becoming a growing trend for woman not only to boost their self-esteem but also to increase their happiness with their families.