Is there Such a Thing as Affordable Plastic Surgery?

There has been much talk lately in regards to affordability and how it relates to plastic surgery.  Saving money is great but there are certain purchases that should be given more thought and consideration – especially when it comes to elective surgery.  Cutting corners and risking harmful plastic surgery results because a surgeon is not qualified to perform safe and effective procedures doesn’t sound like a cost effective route.  Patients are often concerned with the feasibility factor of affording cosmetic plastic surgery but before you go bargain hunting, know that it can be affordable for many patients – you just have to know the best way to plan.

We are a tech savvy society.  Think about the most common payment options we have today like cash, checks and debit/credit cards.  Many surgeons are up with the times and accept many forms of payment to go towards a patient’s plastic surgery procedures.  What patients may not also realize is that financial institutions have partnered with physicians to create great plastic surgery financing options to help them achieve their goals.  At Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) we have decided to partner with Prosper Healthcare, CareCredit® and Alphaeon™ to help cover cosmetic and reconstructive procedures that may not be covered by insurance.  Each program offers different benefits such as zero interest charges if payments are made on time, low monthly payments and immediate decisions that won’t affect your credit rating.  It really just depends on your preferences and what fits best in your financial planning.

If a plastic surgery special sounds too good to be true, it very well could be so err on the side of caution.  I can’t stress enough the fact that patients must do their homework.  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon I’ve had the pleasure of working with a wide range of patients in the over 20 years I’ve been a practicing plastic surgeon.  Not all doctors are equal in their specialty, their technique and ethical standards.  Only those surgeons with board certification in plastic surgery can honestly say they have successfully completed the rigorous qualifications needed to be accredited by the largest plastic surgery organization in the world – the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).  This board certification upholds each of us to exemplary safety and care for our patients and not solely making a profit, at any cost.  Don’t let the smoke and mirrors of a bargain put your health and happiness at risk!

Virtually free plastic surgery is like a unicorn – it doesn’t exist.  From the mommy makeover candidate who has tummy tuck at the top of her wish list to the man who’s tired of hiding his overly large breasts and just wants to feel confident going shirtless after a male breast reduction, plastic surgery is possible.  It is affordable and not nearly as expensive as most people may think.  The most common thing we tend to hear is how surprised patients are to know that their procedure was far less expensive than they thought it was going to be originally.  Ask all the questions you need to feel good about your decision and leave the rest to us.  All of the SPS team is knowledgeable in working with patients to make affordable and sound decisions when it comes to the financial planning of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.  If you’re interested in learning more about our featured procedures and getting started on your own personal plastic surgery journey, we’re only a phone call away.

Grammy Makeover for Arm & Hand Rejuvenation

True or false: signs of aging mainly affect the face.  If you answered false – congratulations, you know your signs of getting older!  As gravity and a combination of weight changes (increase and decrease), genetics and natural aging start to take shape, we often overlook other key areas of the body that can make a person look older than they really are.  In this edition of our Grammy makeover series I want to focus on two additional procedures to help get your pre-Grammy body back: the arms and the hands.

Arm Sculpting

The term bat wing is a ‘lovely little nickname’ to describe the nature of sagging skin that accumulates and droops downward on the arms.  When we experience significant changes in weight, skin that is stretched cannot be retightened no matter how many reps of curls, bench pressing or body sculpting you do.  Collagen also inherently breaks down as we get older, adding to that sagging appearance that occurs to the arms.  Regardless of how localized fat and excess skin accumulates, the solution remains the same: arm lift, or bracioplasty as we say in the medical world.  Depending on the extent of your lax skin and remaining tissue, there are several incision techniques I utilize to help hide any visible scarring beneath the arm.  The actual arm lift procedure consists of removing loose skin, addressing that stubborn fat and smoothing over the remaining skin to restore a more proportionally-toned look to the arms.  Arm lift results should look as natural as possible but the work shouldn’t stop there!  With just about any cosmetic procedure, plastic surgery results can be maintained with proper diet and exercise regimens to reduce the chance of reversing results you’re already happy with.  Grammy makeover patients already have their hands full with keeping up with the grans – why add worrying about your results to your laundry list of priorities?

Hand Rejuvenation

Sure you could have the face of a 35 year old but what do your hands say about your age?  Think about how often our hands are exposed to harsh environmental damage (sun damage specifically), which can contribute to speeding up the aging process.  As the collagen production slows down and the skin begins to weaken, wrinkles and veins become more prominent – making the hands appear almost skeletal.  FDA-approved Radiesse® for hand rejuvenation is the nonsurgical solution to re-plumping the delicate, thinning skin.  Cosmetic injectables have helped men and women fill prominent areas of the face (like the cheeks and lips) but Radiesse® is the first of its kind to get the stamp of approval for use specifically on the hands.  Hand rejuvenation treatments are relatively quick and don’t require downtime following treatment.  Once we identify key parts of the hand that could use a boost, I’ll administer Radiesse® injections and gently massage the solution into the hands.  The massaging part helps to smooth out bumps and make sure that we adequately cover the depressed portions on the back of the hand to make the veins and tendons appear less noticeably.  Radiesse® for hand rejuvenation results last generally 1-2 years, with touch ups encouraged to keep your results lasting longer.

When you break down all of the procedures Grammy makeover patients have to choose from, you may notice that the possibilities really are endless; it’s your procedure, your way!  So far we have covered the facial rejuvenation components of Grammy makeover and in our next part we will explore the various body and breast procedures that are also below the neck.  If you’re a Grammy who’s interested in exploring Grammy makeover opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery for your complimentary consultation.  Stay connected with me, double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more Grammy and mommy makeover news and updates.

Kybella™ Fat Reduction for the Double Chin


kybella chin reduction atlanta duluth gaOh, the dreaded “double chin.”  How does it seemingly appear out of nowhere?  Why won’t it go away?  Can it go away with diet and exercise?  If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then listen up!  There are several factors that can contribute to a man or woman’s double chin; age, genetics and weight gain are all possible causes.  No matter how diligent you are in eating right and exercising, it just may not be able to do the trick.  That’s where the new, FDA-approved nonsurgical treatment Kybella™ fat reduction for the chin comes into play!

According to a 2014 American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), 68% of people polled shared being bothered by their double chin (also referred to as submental fullness).  As a double board certified plastic surgeon, I am always researching the latest techniques and products influencing the plastic surgery field.  Typically, body contouring procedures were the only way to address fat stored below the chin, but Kybella™ has proven to be the nonsurgical alternative.  Let’s go over some of the top frequently asked questions we’ve received regarding Kybella™ and its benefits:

Q: Am I a good candidate for Kybella™ fat reduction treatments?
A: Patients who are unhappy by the appearance of their double chin, feel their appearance looks aged or heavier than it actually is or may not yet be ready for surgical contouring procedures, like liposuction, are good candidates for Kybella™ treatments.

Q: Does Kybella™ fat reduction work on other parts of the body?
A: Kybella™ is only FDA approved for use on the fat below the chin.  Sorry, but it’s not recommended as safe for use on any other parts of the body.

Q: How do Kybella™ fat reduction treatments work?
A: Think of Kybella™ as a combination of body contouring and cosmetic injectable treatments.  The main ingredient used is a naturally-occurring substance already in our bodies, called deoxycholic acid.  This molecule helps the body breakdown and absorb dietary fat; when Kybella™ treatment is administered (during a 15-20 minute series of injections into the fat below your chin), it destroys the fat cells so they can no longer accumulate fat.  After treatment, Kybella™ patients see improved, younger-looking contours and a slimmer chin profile.

Q: Are there any risks and how long will my results last?
A: Downtime is fairly minimal after your first treatment.  Common side effects include swelling, bruising, numbness, stiffness or redness.  An ice/cold pack and over-the-counter medicine is all that is really recommended to help relieve any discomfort after treatment.  As far as results, it will depend on the person and how much fat we need to get rid of.  Generally we recommend 2-4 treatments but some patients may need up to six for the best results.  As long as you’re diligent with doing your part to maintain your weight, the fat cells should remain permanently gone!

Instead of wishing your double chin away, why not treat it the nonsurgical way with Kybella™ fat reduction?  If you’d like to learn more about Kybella™ or schedule your Kybella™ treatment, contact Southern Plastic Surgery today.  Stay connected with SPS by following me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.