Ask Dr. Whiteman: Am I Too Old for a Mommy Makeover?

In the words of Pablo Picasso, “youth has no age.” At the very core, age is a numerical representation of how many years we’ve lived on this Earth. What’s great about aging is that we get to experience many things in a lifetime and whether good or bad, we still have the capability to embody a youthful spirit even as we tack on years. Plastic surgery is an art, one that helps sculpt patients into a form that can positively impact their life and give them a real sense of looking as young as they feel. I’ve been a double-board certified plastic surgeon for nearly 22 years now and I still get the question, “am I too old for a mommy makeover procedure” more times than you may believe.

Whether you’re 30, 40, 50 or 60, if you truly believe that age is just a number, then the answer to this question is easy – no, you’re not too old for a mommy makeover. As a society we tend to get stuck on the nomenclature of just about everything and can lose sight of the real goal that we’re trying to achieve. The current procedure names that we know today are just identifiers we use to describe the type of plastic surgery procedure we’re performing.  Tummy tucks cover the abdomen, breast enhancement works with breasts, and facial rejuvenation to refresh your look.

Since physical changes to the abdomen and breasts commonly arise after women experience childbirth, mommy makeover is the name used to describe a combination breast and body contouring procedure to correct patients’ concerns for multiple areas at once. This also means that it’s not a procedure exclusively for mothers; it’s for all women. It’s for the 55-year-old single woman who lost significant weight and wants to get rid of excess skin and fat around the stomach and on her breasts. It’s for the 36-year-old mother of two who is finished having kids and wants her pooch, caused by weakened abdominal muscles, gone and larger breasts to fill out a bikini. It’s for the 60-year-old grandmother who has aged gracefully in the face but would like the rest of her body to exhibit the same youthfulness (but if she wanted to combine a face procedure she would be a better Grammy makeover candidate).

As your surgeon I can examine if you’re in good mental and physical health to undergo a mommy makeover. Age is factored into the equation to increase your safety as the patient and to decrease any unforeseen risks that arise with any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. If those two check out then the only person who can answer the “am I too old?” question is you. Plastic surgery is about improving upon what you were already gifted with because it will make you feel better in the clothes you wear, appreciate the reflection in the mirror more, or simply increase your overall happiness. Having the mommy makeover results of your dreams could be just the gift you needed for yourself and no age or misconception of what’s appropriate or not according to society’s standards should get in the way.

Each month we feature a cosmetic procedure by offering special savings to our Atlanta-area patients. Two popular procedures included in the mommy makeover are featured for December and we encourage you to check out our plastic surgery specials page if you’re interested in exploring breast enhancement and body contouring procedures. We are here to help in any way we can so give Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) a call at 770-622-9100 or get to know more about the SPS team during your consultation with me, Dr. David Whiteman, when the time is right for you.

Top Reasons to Choose Rhinoplasty

Myth: Plastic surgery is purely cosmetic.  Fact: It’s not.  I’m not sure exactly how this misconception started but it’s simply not the case.  Plastic surgery has the ability to dramatically change a person’s life for the better.  For the woman who beat breast cancer and chooses to rebuild her breast with breast reconstruction to the man who fears taking off his shirt because of his man-boobs and chooses breast reduction – is it fair to judge the motivations of a person choosing to do something that will genuinely make them happy?  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon having had the fortune to work with Atlanta-area patients for over 22 years, the motivations are endless but the absence of judgment remains the same.  Today I wanted to share some of the top reasons my patients choose rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, in hopes that it’ll inspire anyone considering this procedure to find common ground with previous patients of mine.

I hear a lot of discussions in the media about this celebrity getting cosmetic injections or that celebrity getting body contouring and facial plastic surgery.  I’m not one to preach (I prefer to think of it as teach), but why does it matter?  Just because we have lumped breast and body procedures into the category of plastic surgery doesn’t mean it’s purely cosmetic.  Rhinoplasty patients can fall into two categories: cosmetic rhinoplasty and reconstructive rhinoplasty.  Let’s start with reasons to consider rhinoplasty:

  • You’re unhappy with the shape, size, or projection of your nose
  • Your nose does not proportionately fit your face (meaning it’s too big or too small in relation to your overall profile)
  • You have breathing issues related to a deviated septum
  • Your nose is crooked, misshapen, or out of alignment due to trauma
  • You have a birth defect
  • You simply want to improve the nose you already have

The face is such a prominent feature and the nose, eyes, and mouth tend to be some of the first things we notice about one another.  It’s not like you can go through life covering your face with a bag just because you’re unhappy with the way you look, so rhinoplasty is a great way to address the biggest concerns plaguing patients.  Rhinoplasty reshapes the nose, smooths bumps on the bridge, enhances the angles of the contours, and can reduce enlarged tips when performed by a doctor who understands the finesse required for such a delicate procedure.  Depending on your reasoning for electing to have a nose job, there are several techniques that are used but the end result is to improve what you already have.

For some patients this means wanting to look in a mirror and feel their nose isn’t the most noticeable feature of their face.  For other patients it’s wanting to have the ability to breathe clearly for the first time in their life or to reduce the memory of an injury to the face.  In the final results, your rhinoplasty results should best fit your face and look as natural as if you were born that way.  We’re not going for overdone in our practice, we’re going for improved.  If you’re interested in learning more about cosmetic and reconstructive rhinoplasty procedures performed at Southern Plastic Surgery, don’t hesitate to send us a message, reach out by telephone, or connect with us on social media to get the conversation started.  I’m here to listen to your concerns and help you get there; it’s a decision that is completely up to you and should lift your spirits in a way you may not have known possible.

Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Jakai’

It has been a while since we’ve had an intern at our Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) office but today we are thrilled to share with you the latest SPS plastic surgery intern rock star – Jakai’!  Jakai’ is a 4th year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus and has been a great addition to the SPS family.  She’s got a genuinely caring personality and an infectious laugh, but what we admire most about Jakai’ has been her ability to connect with many of our patients over the past month.  We had Jakai share some of her experiences with us and here’s what she had to say:

What made you choose a career in medicine? My parents have always instilled in me the understanding that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.  Growing up, my pediatrician was a young, black female.  I can remember becoming instantly fascinated with her and her job, and she eventually became my idea of what a doctor looks like.  In a field that I now know to be dominated by my male counterparts, I’ve always felt that there was a place for me.  My pediatrician was my role model until I turned 20 (yes, I had trouble leaving the pediatric nest).  Thankfully my love for science and reading followed our initial introduction and my parents, teachers, and other loved ones helped to cultivate what soon became a love for medicine.  So I guess you can say that I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.  It also helped that I somehow successfully made it through the pre-med coursework at Vanderbilt University, because honestly, things could have easily gone south.

What’s your favorite memory? I have two favorite memories.  My first was being told that one of our post-operative patients came in for their follow-up and asked to see me before leaving.  It felt good knowing that I had built up enough of a rapport that the patient felt comfortable coming to me with questions and accepting my medical advice.  My second was all of the events leading up to being given the nickname “little sister”.  I won’t get into that story, but there is never a dull moment with Dr. Whiteman and his team!

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?

  • Listening; all patients come in with a plastic surgery goal and it is the job of the physician to understand what it is and guide the patient towards reaching that goal.
  • Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race; time is precious when in the OR and though I always freak out when Dr. Whiteman tells me to move faster, his surgery tips have come in handy and I am slowly, yet steadily increasing my suturing and note writing speed.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your internship? To trust myself – whether it is knowing the answer to one of Dr. Whiteman’s questions or anticipating where my hands need to be in the surgical field, I know more than I think I do and there is little to no time for hesitation.

What’s the best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman? The best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman is the autonomy that he and his staff expect and allow.  Learning to be “THE doctor” is one of the greatest struggles I’m sure I will encounter after graduating and beginning residency.  This month has been a small taste of what I can begin to expect.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself fresh out of my neurology residency program and hopefully on a much-needed vacation!

Hobbies: Reading, traveling, watching football and my weekly television shows.

Favorite movie: The Breakfast Club.

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta: Brunch

Do you have a personal motto?  I don’t know if I would consider this a motto, more of a note to self: “Keep trying, keep praying, stay positive, be Awesome: become better!”

We’re going to miss having Jakai’ around the office but we have no doubt that she is going to go on to do great things in the medical field because she’s got the drive and determination needed to excel.   Hopefully you all enjoy getting to know our interns as much as we have these past several months, so be sure to catch the latest on our intern feature stories on our blog in the upcoming weeks!