By Dr. Juris Bunkis
The Los Angeles Latvian Community if fairly substantial and active; the one in San Diego is much smaller, consisting of about 20 families who participate in Latvian events regularly. This past weekend two events affecting the Latvian community took place in San Diego, which brought hundreds of Latvians to town.
First, the World Lacrosse Championships are taking place at San Diego State University this week. San Diego hosts 30 nations through July 1 in a grand showcase for the sport on the hopeful road to an Olympic return in Los Angeles in 2028. Latvia beat Peru in the first round but on Saturday, lost in double overtime to Ireland. Players walked off the field after shaking hands – a much better way of settling disputes than was on display in Russia on the same day. I was blessed to have both of my kids, Justin and Jessica, and two of my grandkids, Kinley and Colton, join us for the game.
Following the game, with the chant “LAT VI A, LAT VI A, LAT VI A” still ringing in our ears, Latvian players and spectators alike head to the San Diego Latvian Celebrate to celebrate “Jāņi” – the summer solstice event. In Latvia and with the diaspora scattered around the globe, Jāņi is a significant and vibrant cultural event. Held around the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer, and is an important national holiday in Latvia. Latvians gather in the countryside, ladies adorned with wreaths made of flowers and herbs and men with wreaths made from branches of sturdy oak trees, to celebrate with bonfires, singing, dancing, and traditional rituals. Jāņi is a time of joy, fertility, and renewal, with ancient customs such as jumping over bonfires, searching for the mythical fern flower, and enjoying traditional foods like cheese, beer, and freshly baked rye bread. It’s a cherished occasion that showcases Latvia’s rich folklore and traditions.
Yes, this was the year for the San Diego Latvian Society to shine!
Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – What determines how much my skin will shrink after liposuction?
by Dr. John Compoginis
What determines how much my skin shrinks up after liposuction?
Skin shrinkage is a natural physiological response to weight loss and liposuction, but the extent and effectiveness of this process can vary dramatically among individuals. By understanding these factors, patients can make informed decisions about their weight loss or liposuction journey and take proactive steps to optimize skin elasticity and firmness.
Factors Affecting Skin Shrinkage
1. Amount and Rate of Weight Loss: The amount and rate at which weight is lost play a significant role in determining the extent of skin shrinkage. Rapid and substantial weight loss, such as through crash diets or bariatric surgery, can lead to a higher likelihood of loose skin due to insufficient time for the skin to adapt to the reduced body size.
2. Age: Age is a crucial factor affecting skin elasticity. As individuals age, the production of collagen and elastin fibers decreases, making the skin less resilient and prone to sagging. Older individuals may experience more challenges in achieving optimal skin shrinkage compared to younger individuals.
3. Duration of Obesity: The duration of obesity has an impact on skin elasticity. Prolonged periods of excess weight can result in permanent stretching and loss of elasticity in the skin. The longer the skin remains stretched, the more difficult it becomes for it to regain its original shape after weight loss.
4. Genetics: Genetic factors can significantly influence an individual’s propensity for skin shrinkage. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to have more elastic skin, while others may have less natural elasticity. Understanding one’s genetic predisposition can help manage expectations and guide appropriate interventions.
5. Body Composition: Body composition, including the ratio of muscle to fat, affects skin shrinkage. Muscle mass supports the underlying structure of the skin, helping to maintain its firmness. Individuals who incorporate resistance training and strength exercises during weight loss may experience better skin retraction due to increased muscle mass.
6. Hydration and Nutrition: Proper hydration and adequate nutrition are essential for maintaining healthy skin. Staying hydrated helps improve skin elasticity, while a nutrient-rich diet supplies the body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary for collagen synthesis. Hydration and nutrition play a crucial role in supporting skin shrinkage after weight loss.
7. Sun Exposure and Skin Care: Excessive sun exposure can damage the skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, leading to decreased elasticity and increased sagging. Protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and practicing a regular skincare routine can help maintain skin health and promote its ability to shrink after weight loss.
In my experience the strongest factors in determining skin shrinkage after liposuction are age and genetics. While these factors are beyond an individual’s control, others can be actively managed to optimize skin elasticity. Maintaining proper hydration and nutrition, and protecting the skin from sun damage can all contribute to a more successful skin shrinkage process. Consulting with healthcare professionals or dermatologists can provide personalized guidance and recommendations for individuals seeking to achieve optimal skin shrinkage after weight loss.
A healthy patient in her 50s before and after a liposuction (4 Liters) of her abdomen. Her genetics were favorable and her skin shrank well only 2 months post-operatively (Actual patient of Dr. Compoginis)