Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS * †
Kasandra R. Dassoulas, MD
Megan J. Goff, PA-C
Rachel M. Duke, NP, CANS
Caitlin M. Roop, LME
Short Pump Office
11934 W Broad Street, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233

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Should You Tell Your Partner About Your Plastic Surgery?

Telling your partner, or anyone significant in your life, about your plastic surgery procedure is a very personal decision. If you wish to tell those closest to you, you should. We have had many partners, friends, and/or family members involved in the entire process of our patients’ plastic surgery experience: from the initial consultation to the final recovery day. However, if you wish to keep the matter private, then it is your right to do so. Other patients have chosen to undergo the process with only the confidence of our professional medical staff.

If you are still deciding on whether to keep your procedure private or not, it is best to spend some time reflecting on why you are having plastic surgery in the first place. If you are comfortable talking about the procedure, even the more intimate procedures, with your partner, your friends, and/or your family members, then perhaps you should go ahead and tell them. They can often provide a wealth of support and encouragement through your plastic surgery journey. For some patients, it might be better to wait until your treatment is over to talk to your loved ones. This can allow you to make the decision yourself, without outside influences. Still, some of our patients choose to keep their procedure to themselves, telling no one. The reasoning here could be that the ones closest to them may not support their decision.

No matter what road you take on your plastic surgery journey, please know that our Richmond plastic surgeon, Dr. Neil Zemmel, and our staff will be here to help guide and support you. To find a procedure that could be beneficial, please contact us today. We are also available to discuss your aesthetic goals or answer any questions you have regarding plastic surgery.

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery Patient Featured in National Television Commercial After Incredible Weight Loss

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery Patient a Spokesperson for Atkins Commercial

A Central Virginia young man is now a spokesperson for “The Atkins” diet brand after losing half his body weight.

Richmond, VA — Just a few years ago Austin Shifflett tipped the scales at 324 pounds. He said a lifestyle of video games and fast food caused his weight to spiral out of control – and made his high school experience terrible. He was bullied and called names by his classmates. Austin took that torment and turned it into motivation. He began eating a low carb diet, exercising religiously and lost half of his body weight in the process.

His inspirational story has been told on several television shows including “The Doctors”. While taping “The Doctors”, Austin learned that Richmond Aesthetic Surgery agreed to take him on as a patient and to help him with something that he could not do on his own – remove 10 pounds of hanging skin which was a side-effect of his dramatic weight loss. Richmond Aesthetic Surgeon Dr. Neil Zemmel said he was so impressed with this young man’s dedication and resolve that he performed the body reconstruction (also known as a body lift) at no charge, helping this special teen complete his total body transformation.

Austin’s determination and transformation has now brought him more than just a new body – he’s being paid to share his success as a spokesperson for the Atkins diet weight loss products (just in time for New Year diet resolutions). Take a look at his new television commercial with actress Alyssa Milano:

You can watch Austin’s weight loss transformation story by following this link:

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery is proud to have played a small part in this young man’s incredible transformation and hopes that his success inspires others across the country to take charge of their life and improve their health.

Austin and Dr. Zemmel are available for interviews. Please contact Andrea Emery Cumbie @ 804-312-4102 for scheduling.


Andrea Emery Cumbie
RVA Video
Phone: (804) 312–4102

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

Am I a Candidate for Liposuction?

Liposuction Candidate

Getting the toned physique many of us desire can be difficult when stubborn areas of fat won’t seem to budge. While diet and exercise are important parts of achieving a sculpted figure, some people are more susceptible to carrying extra fat in certain areas, which can be nearly impossible to get rid of with healthy habits. If you have these “trouble spots” and can’t seem to lose that last bit of weight, you may be a good candidate for liposuction.

At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Neil Zemmel performs liposuction as a solution for concentrated areas of excess fat. Although the surgery is not intended as a weight loss method, it can provide beautiful contouring results for those who want to put the finishing touches on an already healthy body. There is a wide variety of areas that can be treated with liposuction, and the most common include the abdomen, flanks, hips, thighs, chest, chin, and neck.

To learn if liposuction is the most appropriate solution for your needs, you will need to schedule a consultation to be properly evaluated. However, those who are typically eligible for the procedure are in generally good health, have localized areas of excess fat, have good skin elasticity, and are in fairly good shape.

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery Featured on The Doctors

Over the past six months, our team has proudly discussed the details of our patient Austin—a young man who our surgeons performed extensive body contouring after weight loss pro bono. Today, we are excited to announce that our entire team was able to travel to Los Angeles for Austin’s final reveal on the medical-themed talk show “The Doctors,” which aired on November 11th.
In the show’s segment, Austin shared that he had lost almost 170 pounds from diet and exercise, but he still suffered from nearly 10 pounds of excess skin covering his new body. To help the inspiring teenager, our board-certified plastic surgeons volunteered to perform his procedures free of charge. During the episode, Dr. Neil Zemmel, and Megan Goff, PA-C were featured to share the details of his procedures.

Austin underwent two skin removal surgeries. The first was a belt lipectomy, which involved the removal of skin from his lower abdomen around to his flanks and lower back (similar to a tummy tuck). The second surgery was an upper body lift that entailed skin removal and tightening from the chest, around his pectoral areas, and extending to the back area.

Dr. Zemmel described this surgical process as more than just cosmetic—it was a reconstruction to restore function to his body that had been covered with a significant amount of excess skin. Austin and his mother had nothing but rave reviews about their experience at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, and we are proud to have helped such an inspiring young man in his journey to be his healthiest self.
In the words of Austin’s mother: “He’s there, after lots of hard work and thanks to the entire team at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery—that whole staff from beginning to end has been fabulous. We couldn’t have asked for a better surgeon team at all.”

To view Austin’s and our surgical team’s feature on “The Doctors,” feel free to watch the video below:

Dr. Zemmel Appearing on ‘The Doctors’ After Life Changing Transformation

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery Featured on the Doctors

Obese bullied teen loses half of his body weight through diet and exercise, and two Virginia plastic surgeons help him complete his inspirational transformation.

Richmond, VADr. Neil J. Zemmel of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery recently performed post-major weight loss body contouring for a young man who was featured on an episode of the Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show “The Doctors.” The teenager, Austin, had lost over half of his body weight after adopting a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Unfortunately, by shedding so much weight, he was left with almost 10 pounds of excess skin. In response to Austin’s incredible transformation, the board-certified plastic surgeon volunteered to perform contouring surgery to help complete his weight loss journey.

Dr. Zemmel performed a belt lipectomy, or body lift, for Austin to address his loose, sagging skin. The surgeon recounts the procedure, saying both the surgery and anesthesia went as planned, and the entire process was completed in just under five hours. Considering the hard work and dedication that Austin put forth to achieve his remarkable results, the surgical team was proud to provide the finishing touches to reveal his new physique.

Austin’s follow-up segment on The Doctors is airing Friday, November 11th at 1PM on WRLH, the Fox News station in Richmond, VA. For those outside the Richmond area please check your local listings for times and dates. During the new episode, Dr. Zemmel will discuss the details of Austin’s surgery, and his body lift results will be revealed. The surgeon looks forward to his feature on the popular show, as he believes it will not only shed light on the many benefits of body contouring after major weight loss, but also the life-changing impact of prioritizing one’s overall health.

About Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

Dr. Zemmel is the Medical Director of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery. The experienced plastic surgery doctor offers patients a comprehensive array of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. From facial rejuvenation to breast surgery and body contouring, Dr. Zemmel strives to help patients achieve their goal results through customized treatments using the most advanced surgical techniques. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, indicating his commitment to continuing education, strict safety standards, and high quality care. He is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, visit


Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
11934 W Broad Strest, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 424-2000

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

What Can I Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery?


A tummy tuck is one of the most effective ways to eliminate excess skin from the abdomen for a smoother, flatter stomach—particularly for patients who have undergone significant weight loss or women who have had one or more pregnancies. As with any major surgery, Dr. Zemmel educates his tummy tuck patients on what they can expect in the days and weeks following their procedure so they can properly prepare.

Tummy tuck surgery—whether performed alone or in a mommy makeover—typically requires patients to stay in the hospital overnight, where our team of nurses can monitor their recovery. Immediately after tummy tuck surgery, it is normal to experience mild swelling. Any discomfort after the procedure can be easily managed with a combination of oral and IV medication. Dr. Zemmel also ensures the body remains well-hydrated after surgery with IV fluids. The following morning, patients are usually discharged.

Before your surgery, you will be given detailed recovery instructions, including best practices for showering and changing your dressings. Though it may take a few days for your abdomen to adjust and relax, Dr. Zemmel recommends standing and walking around as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so.

After five or six days, your plastic surgeon will see you for a follow-up appointment. At this time, any sutures that are not absorbed can be removed, and a light compression garment should be worn to facilitate the healing process for the next three to four weeks. Strenuous lifting and exercising should be avoided during this time, though most patients return to work one to two weeks after surgery. Once your tummy tuck recovery is complete, you can begin to enjoy your slimmer, more toned figure.

To learn more about tummy tuck recovery, or to schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeon, please contact us today.

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery Heads to LA to Film The Doctors


Our team is traveling to Los Angeles to film an update on one of our patient stories on The Doctors! You may have read our blog post about Austin, the young man who received a body lift after his major weight loss, and we are excited to present an update on his case on the popular daytime talk show. Austin’s story is inspiring and relatable for so many people, which is why we are so proud to stand by him as he shares his weight loss journey.

After losing half his body weight by adopting a healthy diet and a routine exercise regimen, Austin achieved what so many people strive for—changing his life by changing his lifestyle. To address the excess skin that remained after his major weight loss, Dr. Neil Zemmel has performed two surgeries over three months—a body lift and an upper body lift with chest recontouring. Our surgeon reports that Austin has done great throughout this process, as they have been putting the final touches on his weight loss transformation with the help of his PA, Megan Russell.

Dr. Zemmel will be featured in the segment, which is being filmed on October 19th. Stay tuned for details on its air date!

Major Weight Loss Surgery Performed for “The Doctors”

richmond doctors

As mentioned in a previous blog post, our plastic surgeon, Dr. Neil Zemmel, was featured on the Emmy Award-winning talk show “The Doctors” earlier this month to present a major weight loss surgery patient case. He volunteered to perform body contouring for Austin, a young man who had lost half his body weight, to address his resulting excess skin. After assessing Austin’s physical needs, Dr. Zemmel determined he required a belt lipectomy, also known as a body lift, to reveal the much healthier, toned body hiding underneath.
The procedure was just recently performed, and Dr. Zemmel successfully removed the excess skin around his abdomen, trunk, and legs. Austin is now recovering from his body lift, and our team is excited to share more details of his progress in the future. His follow-up segment on The Doctors will be filmed and featured in September, so make sure to follow us on Facebook to stay updated on Austin’s journey!

Richmond Plastic Surgeon Offers Body Contouring After Teen’s Weight Loss

Dr. Zemmel Eliminate Excess Skin After Major Weight Loss

Dr. Neil J. Zemmel offers a young man who appeared on the TV show “The Doctors” free body contouring surgery after major weight loss to help complete his transformation.

Richmond, VA — On a recent episode of “The Doctors,” a young man from Virginia named Austin told the story of his weight gain and subsequent weight loss. Austin attributed his weight gain to a diet of fast food and spending his time playing video games instead of active sports. As a result, he was the target of school bullying, was constantly called nicknames, and weighed 324 pounds before making the decision to turn his life around. Hearing Austin’s story – and how he ultimately lost half of his bodyweight – Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery was proud to help Austin with the final step of his weight loss journey.

According to the board-certified plastic surgeon, “The after-effects that many people may not realize is that dramatic weight loss often leaves the person with a significant amount of excess skin, even after all of these lifestyle changes.” Due to Austin’s healthier diet and new fitness routine, he was able to see dramatic results, but he still carried around ten pounds of excess skin. Dr. Zemmel highlights: “To help achieve a more tightened and toned appearance, body contouring after major weight loss can be the final step to transforming the body and boosting self-confidence.”

For example, a body lift (otherwise known as a belt lipectomy) is designed to tighten excess skin from the lower abdomen, back, pubic area, and lateral thighs. Drs. Zemmel notes that after losing a significant amount of weight, patients often have excess skin sagging from these areas of the body. A body lift can eliminate this excess skin as well as contour these areas for results that look more toned and athletic. Some patients at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery choose to combine a body lift with an arm lift or a thigh lift for a more comprehensive rejuvenation. For patients like Austin, body contouring after major weight loss can help them look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside after working so hard to improve their health and their lives.

About Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

Dr. Neil J. Zemmel is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He operates Richmond Aesthetic Surgery and performs a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures for the breasts, body, and face. Using state-of-the-art surgical techniques, he offers the most safe and effective procedures possible to help patients achieve their cosmetic goals. The experienced plastic surgeon is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology. Dr. Zemmel is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, visit,, and


Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
11934 W Broad Strest, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 424-2000

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

Richmond Plastic Surgeon Highlights the Benefits of a Full and Mini Tummy Tuck

Richmond plastic surgeon Dr. Neil Zemmel highlights the differences between abdominoplasty and a mini tummy tuck.

Dr. Neil J. Zemmel discusses the advantages of full and mini abdominoplasty procedures – two of the most popular body contouring treatments he performs at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery.

Richmond, VA — For many patients of Neil J. Zemmel, MD, excess skin and fat around the abdomen is a serious cosmetic concern. According to the Richmond plastic surgeon, redundant skin and fat that builds up in front of the abdominal wall can often be difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise alone, even for extremely active individuals.

At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Zemmel offers full tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) and mini tummy tuck surgery, both of which are designed to remove excess skin and tighten the stomach region for a more toned figure. With their ability to be combined with liposuction for localized fat removal, he notes that these procedures can be particularly beneficial for men and women who have undergone significant weight loss but still have loose, redundant skin and remaining pockets of isolated fat in and around the midsection. In addition, he says women who have had difficulty returning their bodies to their pre-pregnancy shape can also greatly benefit from abdominoplasty.

Dr. Zemmel highlights that abdominoplasty does more than simply remove excess skin and tighten remaining tissues around the stomach. During the procedure, he explains that the underlying muscles of the abdomen are also tightened to achieve a rejuvenated silhouette that often cannot be accomplished by any amount of diet or exercise. This muscle tightening can be essential for women trying to slim and tone this area of the body after having one or more children, as these muscles are often stretched or torn during pregnancy, says Dr. Zemmel.

When explaining the differences between a full abdominoplasty and a mini tummy tuck, the Richmond plastic surgeon notes: “A mini tummy tuck improves the area below the belly button, removing excess skin and tightening the rectus muscles at this level.” He goes on to say that though this abbreviated procedure typically involves a smaller incision and a shorter recovery period, the results of a mini tummy tuck are often limited when compared to a full abdominoplasty, which targets concerns both above and below the bellybutton. As a result, for patients whose excess skin and fat is not limited to the lower abdominal region, Dr. Zemmel notes a traditional full tummy tuck may be a better choice to suit their needs.

Ultimately, Dr. Zemmel stresses that the best way to determine which body contouring procedure can meet an individual’s expectations is to schedule a consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. By doing so, he states that the safest, most effective technique can be selected based on the patient’s specific needs and goals.

About Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS

Dr. Zemmel is a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the head of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery. In addition to serving as an active member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, as well as a member of the Medical Society of Virginia. Dr. Zemmel offers a number of advanced surgical and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures for the breasts, body, face, and skin. He is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Dr. Zemmel and Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, visit,, and


Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
11934 W Broad Strest, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 424-2000

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

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