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  • Raquel’s Story: Don’t Always Believe the Hype

    I get to work with a lot of great patients – for some, on more than one occasion.  Being able to hear how a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure has positively impacted their lives later in life is part of the drive that keeps me motivated to help patients achieve their goals!  Today, I’d like to share with you Raquel’s story.  When Raquel first came to me nine years ago, she was interested in pursuing her first breast enhancement procedure.  “A friend of mine was also consulting for breast implants around the same time and had recommended Dr. Whiteman.  She had explained how comfortable she felt with him versus other doctors she had met with,” Raquel recently shared, “but what sold me was that Dr. Whiteman also worked with breast cancer survivors for breast reconstruction surgery.”

    breast implant surgery in atlanta georgia dr david whitemanDuring Raquel’s consultation we discussed her goals and explored several different breast implant sizes and types to find the fit that worked best for her.  “I had always been flat chested, smaller than an A cup, so I had always wanted breast implants to balance me out.  Fitting into bathing suits or tops and dresses was always a problem; I never wanted anything too big, just natural,” Raquel recalled.  “Once in my 20s, I was mentally ready and went for it.”  A few years after her procedure, Raquel gave birth to her first child and experienced capsular contracture, a condition associated with breast augmentation where scar tissue forms around a breast implant causing the breasts to harden.  “I had the misfortune of having one of my breasts capsulate after my first pregnancy, which is something random that could happen for no rhyme or reason, and replacing them was the only solution.  I chose to have them replaced and both experiences with Dr. Whiteman and the hospital staff were the best.”  When we have a patient come to us with something like capsular contracture, breast revision is the procedure of choice to eliminate the scar tissue and exchange the affected breast implant.

    Since her breast revision four years ago, Raquel has welcomed her second child into the family (her kids are currently 5 years old and 5 months old) and keeps busy as an active mom and wife, fitting in home projects and decorating in her spare time.  “Life after my surgery is great; my husband has no complaints!  I have been extremely happy with my breast augmentation results; they are the perfect size for my tomboyish body and it has given me a confidence boost.  I enjoy not having to worry about clothes fitting me!”

    For breast augmentation patients, breastfeeding with implants is a common concern.  While it’s true that some patients may have difficulty, don’t believe the hype for discouraging breast augmentation and breastfeeding because each person is different.  When we asked Raquel how it was for her choosing breast augmentation prior to having kids and breastfeeding, she would tell you what she told us, “I had no problem breastfeeding both of my kids.  It’s been nine years since my first breast surgery and four years since replacing them and they still look as good as when I had my first surgery.”  As a double board certified plastic surgeon, it’s my job to educate my patients on maintaining their results to the best of their ability. This could mean incorporating a healthier diet and exercise plan, finding the time to have a procedure that fits into your lifestyle and discussing what’s best for you and your body long-term.  With open communication between you and your surgeon, hopefully your experience will be just as rewarding as it has been for Raquel.

    I’ll be sharing more patient testimonial stories with you in the upcoming months and invite you to reach out to my office if you have any questions regarding a procedure that we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery.  Be sure to also connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, patient features, news and information.

    Cosmetic Injectables: Beyond Wrinkles

    dysport atlanta georgiaThere are many benefits to cosmetic injectables: they work as anti-aging treatments, require little to no downtime, can be done on your lunch break and require no hospital stays, to name a few.  There are quite a few cosmetic injectable brands on the market today that each work to address a variety of aesthetic concerns for patients.  While they are most notably known for slowing down the progression of aging, cosmetic injectables are very dynamic and beneficial for much more than just fine lines and wrinkles.

    Let’s take a look at three key areas that can benefit from cosmetic injectables:

    Face – We all go through different stages of aging.  For some of us we spend summers outdoor and the sun’s powerful UV rays break down the collagen in the skin, making the skin sag and appear more aged than those who stay indoors.  For others, their genetic makeup simply shows fine lines and wrinkles at earlier stages in life.  To tackle these facial concerns we have two options within the injectables family: Botox®/Dysport® or facial fillers.  Botox® and Dysport® are two main brands of cosmetic injectables (both FDA approved to produce the same results but made by different manufacturers) used to treat expression lines (fine lines and wrinkles) on the upper part of the face.  They work by relaxing the muscles in the face that cause expression to create a smoother, less furrowed appearance.  Then we have facial fillers, which as the name would suggest fills areas of the face.  Made from naturally-occurring substances found in the human body, facial fillers restore areas of the face that have sunken in or could use added volume (such as the cheeks, lips and around the mouth), in addition to smoothing wrinkles and lines.  All cosmetic injectables provide temporary relief (results vary from six months to over a year depending on the specific injectable you choose) but can safely be repeated to maintain your cosmetic injectable results.

    Hands – Our hands are exposed to all kinds of harmful elements and one of the dead giveaways of our age.  As we age, our skin becomes thinner and the veins more prominent – often creating a skeletal look for some patients.  Just this past June, Radiesse® was FDA-approved for the use of hand rejuvenation.  Hand rejuvenation using Radiesse® works similarly to the way treatments are administered for areas of the face; predetermined areas that could use more volume are determined and Radiesse® is administered in a short series of injections.  Once the filler has been injected, it is massaged into the hands to create an even look that covers soft tissue and reduces the appearance of veins and tendons in the hands.  Results are immediate and can last up to two years.

    Nose – This is probably the least known option for cosmetic injectables.  For patients who have a sunken nose or simply want more volume added to reduce a flattened appearance, facial Juvéderm®, Expression® and Restylane® can revitalize the nose and the surrounding areas.  Fillers can be injected directly into the tip, base or bridge of the nose to produce a natural, more balanced look.  The results are not permanent as they are with a rhinoplasty (nose surgery) procedure, but additional treatments over time can help to maintain the results.

    If you’re interested in trying Dysport®, we’re having a flash sale with special pricing for the first 15 patients!  See the flyer for details or contact Southern Plastic Surgery to book your appointment.  To learn about hand rejuvenation, cosmetic injectables or the cosmetic treatments offered at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., please don’t hesitate to reach out for more information.  Stay up to date on the latest cosmetic plastic surgery and skincare news by following me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

    You Don’t Have to Be a Mom to Enjoy a Mommy Makeover

    Contrary to what the name may suggest, a mommy makeover procedure isn’t only reserved for those who are mothers.  While it’s original intent was to identify a procedure that corrects common physical changes that a woman’s body experiences during/after carrying and delivering a child, similar effects can also occur to those who have never had kids themselves.  Mommy makeover surgery consists of a strategic combination of body contouring and breast procedures to remedy effects that natural aging and weight gain/loss can have on the body.  Don’t let a name fool you into thinking that it’s not an option for you, because it is.  With the many benefits combination procedures have, let’s take a look at what mommy makeovers can be for all women.

    liposuction-atlanta-georgiaOriginally, mommy makeover was coined as a term to describe procedures that reverse the effects of pregnancy weight gain, weakened abdominal muscles and excess sagging breasts from breastfeeding.  Each surgical plan is customized to give each patient mommy makeover results that mirror a pre-pregnancy body; one more proportionate to the patient’s frame, without all of the excess fat and skin.  The two biggest areas of concern for moms tend to be the stomach and the breasts.  As your child grows in the womb, the abdominal muscles can stretch and become separated from the abdominal wall, commonly referred to as diastasis recti.  On top of weakened muscles, the abdomen can form a pooch and harbor excess skin and fat long after a child is born.  Achieving a contoured waistline can be hard to do with even the most steadfast diet and exercise regimen, therefore tummy tuck surgery tops the list for procedures to re-sculpt the midsection and re-tighten the muscle.

    Then we take a look at the breasts.  After breastfeeding, the once enlarged breasts simply will not go back to the position they were once before; the extra skin sags and the breasts become more pendulous and less perky.  We have several options to address these concerns.  First we’ll figure out if you want to go bigger, smaller and possibly add a lift.  With a breast augmentation, we’ll use a pre-determined breast implant to increase the bust and raise the breast higher up on the body.  If you already have large breasts and want them to relieve some of the weight from your body, a breast reduction can remove the excess fat and skin.  When combining a breast reduction with a breast lift we aren’t enhancing the breasts but raising them higher in position, one more proportionate to your body’s frame.  For those that aren’t mothers, gravity takes its toll on the breasts and can cause the same pendulous effects when experiencing dramatic weight gain/loss.  The same combinations would be beneficial to helping restore the breasts to a more youthful aesthetic.

    A major benefit to combination mommy makeover surgery is that you’re minimizing several key factors: recovery, time and money.  Having one comprehensive procedure versus say three (for example one procedure for a tummy tuck, another for a breast reduction and another for a breast lift) will reduce the overall amount of time you need to recover.  Less time spent in the hospital means less time spent at home recovering and quicker time getting you back to your regular schedule.  With each surgical procedure there are fees outside the cost of materials and labor like hospital stays, anesthesia, surgical fees and medications.  Each time you have a procedure these are factored into your total costs; if you have one complete procedure, those fees apply to that one procedure versus multiple.

    It’s really about when the timing is right for you.  For mothers, the time should be when you’re finished having children because the same physical effects could reverse any results you’ve accomplished from your plastic surgery procedures before that point (the same goes for women who have a tendency to fluctuate in their weight gain/loss).  If you’d like to learn more details on the benefits of mommy makeover or combination procedures, don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery.  For the most up-to-date plastic surgery news and specials be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.