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Richmond Plastic Surgeons Utilize Innovative Technique to Improve Breast Reconstruction Results

Richmond, VA – At his center for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery in Richmond, Dr. Neil Zemmel has recently begun offering an advanced microsurgical technique for helping women with breast cancer restore their natural curves and rejuvenate their self-confidence. While traditional breast reconstruction has utilized synthetic implants, which oftentimes require replacement in the future, Dr. Zemmel is now utilizing Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) surgery to take tissue from one area of a woman’s body and then transfer it to the breast in order to sculpt a more natural recreation of what was removed due to cancer. As one of the few private practices to offer the innovative DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedure, Dr. Zemmel says they are excited for an opportunity to improve the lives of women battling breast cancer and honored to help revive their sense of womanhood.

“Because DIEP flap reconstruction was not performed in the Richmond area until recently, women with breast cancer have been at a disadvantage,” says Dr. Zemmel. “We feel that all women should know and understand each option prior to their breast reconstruction and be able to choose the treatment that works best for them.”

Thanks to recent advancements in microsurgery, Dr. Zemmel says surgeons have been able to produce better results with less complications, higher-quality outcomes, and lower morbidity. The Richmond plastic surgeon says because the DIEP flap only takes skin and fat, not muscle tissue, from the abdomen, patients experience less weakness in that area. Dr. Zemmel also says the procedure provides better blood flow and less fat hardening than other microsurgery techniques such as TRAM reconstruction, so patients can enjoy a softer, more supple breast.

Generally considered one of the most complex techniques for performing breast reconstruction, Dr. Zemmel says the DIEP flap procedure is performed predominantly at large academic centers; however, Dr. Zemmel has been able to bring the treatment to Richmond. He says the difficulty and intricacies of microsurgery demand rigorous training, since many of the sutures and blood vessels involved in the procedure are smaller than a human hair. Dr. Zemmel says despite the complexity of the DIEP flap reconstruction, the reward is well worth the effort.

“DIEP surgery involves microsurgical skills and techniques that require extensive training over many cases,” says Dr. Zemmel. “Knowing how to use the instruments, the microscope, suturing, and thousands of intricacies of microsurgery ensures we are able to consistently produce safe and effective outcomes. We are dedicated to being able to finally offer these procedures to the women who deserve them.”

Dr. Zemmel says a typical patient will stay in the hospital for three to four days after surgery to recover, although it can take up to two weeks before patients feel like they have most of their energy back. He says physical therapy is an important part of any postoperative breast reconstruction course, and staying motivated is essential to a healthy result. As with any surgical procedure, whether it be an aesthetic breast lift or a breast reconstruction, Dr. Zemmel encourages all patients to consult with a board-certified, dedicated plastic surgeon so as to ensure their treatment is performed with precision as well as compassion.

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer is an extremely difficult time, and we understand how tough the decisions are that lay ahead of women,” says Dr. Zemmel. “Our pledge has been to always listen, explain the various options, answer all questions, and ultimately allow the patient to decide which reconstruction is best for their body.”

About Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS

Dr. Neil Zemmel graduated from the College of William and Mary, after which he earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia Medical School. He completed a combined six-year plastic surgery training program at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where he served as Chief Resident of Plastic Surgery during his final year. Dr. Zemmel is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He also volunteers his time to local and international medical missions organizations such as Operations Kids, traveling to Guatemala to perform cleft lip, cleft palate, and burn reconstruction.

Located at 611 Watkins Centre Parkway Suite 350 in Midlothian, VA 23114, Richmond Aesthetic Surgery can be reached at (804) 423-2100. The practice can also be contacted online via the websites or

Smaller Lighter Breasts with Breast Reduction

“The grass is always greener on the other side.”  With the rise of breast augmentations, the trend seems that “bigger is better”, but there are thousands of women that suffer from physical and emotional pain from large breasts.  Chronic neck, shoulder and back pain are common among women with large breasts.  Large breasts may make physical activity difficult or uncomfortable and self-confidence low because you feel that this is not the body you were meant to have.  Richmond Aesthetic Surgery can alleviate both the emotional and physical pains caused by large breasts.

Breast Reduction surgery is designed to create smaller lighter breast that are proportional to the rest of your body.  During breast reduction surgery, they are able to remove fatty tissue, glandular tissue and in some cases, excess skin.  When needed they may reposition the areola or alter its shape and size to create a more natural appearance.

If you are interested in breast reduction surgery, feel free to contact our office for a complimentary consultation.  Breast Reduction surgery is sometimes covered by your insurance so  please have your insurance card or information available when calling and we can provide you with the appropriate information.

Hairy Situations

As we age, our hormones go into a million different directions.  You may notice more “peach fuzz”, stray wiry hairs that came out of nowhere, changes in color or texture of hair that is on your face or body.  There are many over the counter solutions out there.  Richmond Aesthetic Surgery offers two that may be a better benefit for you.  The first is dermaplaning, a procedure in which a certified aesthetician gently removes the top layer of skin—and any excess hair—with a surgical blade.  It is essentially a deep exfoliation and will leave your face fuzz free and radiant.  The other is laser hair removal.  Laser hair removal is great for those stray coarse hairs that either appears alone or in clusters.  Wherever and whatever your need for smooth, hair-free body parts is, we can help you find a solution!  Contact us anytime for a complimentary consultation.

Eyes Are The Window To The Soul

Stayed out past curfew? Enjoyed too many cocktails? Crammed all night to finish a presentation? Who’s going to rat you out? Your eyes!!!

Redness, under eye baggage, dark circles, crow’s feet! Your eyes aren’t the windows to your soul, they’re windows to your secret behaviors and the real age on your driver’s license!

The skin around your eyes can age faster than other parts of the body due to its thin and delicate nature. Seemingly, every expression we make affects your eyes; temporarily creasing the skin, which encourages the wrinkling associated with age and crow’s feet. Fatigue, allergies or irritation can cause dark circles. The obvious ways to address the problems is by getting more sleep, or allergy medications. However, if you are looking for more immediate types of action, Richmond Aesthetic Surgery offers many solutions for your “truth telling” eyes.

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery offers many solutions from surgery or injectables (like Botox or Juvederm) to eye creams and gels. Stop in for a complimentary consultation to see which solution would be the best for you!

Plastic Surgery Financing

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery understands that not everyone is able to pay for their cosmetic procedure by traditional methods of payment, like cash or credit card.  We believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to enhance their image and self-confidence.  Richmond Aesthetic Surgery participates with several medical financing companies to offer alternative payment solutions to those who qualify.

Financing your cosmetic procedure allows you to have your procedure now, rather than later until you have saved enough money. We participate with:

Care Credit

Medical Financing

Don’t let your credit history keep you from applying for financing.  Many companies will work with you to create a financing solution that fits with almost any budget.  There are even low and no interest rate options for those who qualify.  As always, we offer complimentary consultations.  Contact us anytime 804.423.2100.