Grammy Makeover Series: The Face

When we announced our brand new Grammy makeover procedure last month, there was so much we wanted to share (but there are far too many possibilities and we didn’t want to flood you with everything all at once)!  As a single, combination procedure made up of face, hand, arm, body and breast procedures, this “a-la-carte” type of tailored surgical plan helps restore a pre-child/grandchild body – so we thought we’d highlight each key part that makes a Grammy makeover so appealing to mature, female patients.  Since the face is often the first thing people notice about another person, let’s start with the surgical and nonsurgical features that can be included in your Grammy makeover facial plastic surgery plan.

When we consider facial plastic surgery, there are two ways that I can approach treatment.  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years specializing in facial procedures, I like to start by mapping out your surgical goals.  Are your eyelids hooded?  Has your chin accumulated pockets of fat creating a double chin?  Are the deep wrinkles of the forehead bothering you?  A facelift is often the first facial procedure that comes to mind when I talk to facial rejuvenation candidates.  A full facelift tightens loose facial skin and smoothes wrinkles mainly around the cheeks, neck and jowls (think lower half of the face) but sometimes that’s not necessarily enough, or for others needed at all, to achieve a younger look.  There are several facial procedures that focus on specific portions of the face to help provide overall rejuvenation.  The main facial plastic surgery procedures included in the Grammy makeover, beyond facelifts, are browlift, necklift and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) – we’ll get more into the nonsurgical highlights a bit later:


Now, to cover the other part that makes up the facial side of Grammy makeovers.  Cosmetic injectables are always topping the most popular nonsurgical facial rejuvenation procedure list.  They can do everything from temporarily relax facial muscles of the forehead (like Botox® or Dysport®), plump up the lips (Restylane® Silk) and even add volume to hollowed cheeks (with Juvéderm® as an example).  Now, we have added Kybella™ for fat reduction of the chin to our menu of cosmetic injectables.  Kybella™ is the newest, and only FDA-approved, treatment for the “double chin” that can add unwanted weight and age to a person’s face.  This cosmetic injectable uses the active ingredient deoxycholic acid, which is already naturally found in the body.   Once Kybella™ is injected in the fat below the chin, it breaks down and destroys the fat accumulating cells so they are no longer able to store fat.  Several treatments may be needed to get a younger-looking profile of the chin or they can be used post-facial rejuvenation surgery as a type of “touch-up.”

Facial plastic surgery results can last a very long time as long as you do your part to maintain (like wearing your SPF, avoiding smoking and making sure you’re eating and exercising right).  In order to do this, many Grammy makeover patients tailor a post-makeover maintenance plan to incorporate nonsurgical treatments like cosmetic injectables and laser skincare procedures to help them keep their face looking young.  We’re all going to continue aging and a lot of patients like to keep a consistent routine to push back the need for more surgery until a later time.  Just depends on your overall goals!

Next time on our Grammy makeover series we will talk about the arm and hand components, so be sure to check back regularly.  If you’re interested in learning more about Grammy makeovers, mommy makeovers, or any of the other cosmetic and reconstructive procedures we offer, we encourage you to contact Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) at 770-622-9100 with any questions you may have.  Stay connected with the SPS and me, Dr. David Whiteman on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more.

Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Andrew

Part of what I enjoy about being a double board-certified plastic surgeon is getting to know my patients.  I like hearing their stories and what motivates them on a day-to-day basis; same goes for my interns, which is why we started the Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) intern spotlight series.  We wanted to give you all a chance to get to know more about the interns who have spent time as an integral part of the SPS team – this month we are turning the spotlight on Andrew.

Southern Plastic Surgery InternA little backstory on Andrew: he lived in Mexico for a few years after he finished high school and it was there that he honed in on his goal to become a medical provider.  What stuck out the most during his time in rural Mexico was how poor health and hygiene affected entire families and communities.  He ultimately decided he wanted to help people feel better and live longer, happier lives.  That dedication to improving the quality of life for others is only a small fraction of what will make Andrew a great dermatologist in the future.  Here’s a little bit on what Andrew had to say about working with us and our cosmetic plastic surgery patients:

What’s your favorite memory?  Probably when I was able to attend a national conference with Dr. Whiteman and observe an entire group of dedicated professionals improving their own skills and knowledge to benefit their patients. It was a fun and educational weekend!

Describe your internship in ONE word.  Inspiring!

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?  I learned how you can interact with your patients in a fun and comfortable way while still maintaining a professional, positive workplace. I was also reminded that medicine really is an art – that no two patients are the same and each requires unique attention and your best effort in order to make each and every procedure a masterpiece.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your internship?  You cannot help people if you don’t know how. Medicine is not easy, and neither are the many procedures that are often advertised all around town by sometimes inadequately trained semi-professionals. When a patient trusts you to help make them feel better and look better, that is a big responsibility and one that should never be taken lightly. Having adequate training, experience and a strong foundation of medical knowledge is key in ensuring your patients get the safe and effective plastic surgery results they deserve.

What’s the best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman?  Dr. Whiteman’s outgoing and upbeat personality makes him a pleasure to work with! There is never a dull moment when the Doctor is around. For an intern it makes learning more fun, and for a patient it’s much more comfortable and reassuring when your doctor actually has a personality.

What’s been the biggest challenge?  Definitely keeping up with Dr. Whiteman! He has been doing this for a number of years and keeping up with his schedule, his preparation and especially his mind-set has been both challenging and rewarding!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  Fresh out of medical residency and looking to establish my own dermatology practice.

Andrew is originally from Vancouver, Washington and when he’s not studying at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, he leads a really active lifestyle.

Hobbies: I love hiking in the mountains, camping, snowboarding, playing basketball and soccer, gardening and cooking with my wife.

Fun fact about yourself: I worked as a snowboard instructor during college (yes mom, it was work…)

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta:  Hiking in the North Georgia Mountains with my wife and kids!

Do you have a personal motto?  Growing up my dad would always say, “Leave it better than you found it.” I’ve learned you can apply that to almost any situation whether it’s a hiking trail, a relationship or even a simple conversation. In medicine I’ve been able to use this with patient encounters – always leave the patient better, happier and healthier than when you met them.

Pick one: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner?  Breakfast all day long!

If you didn’t practice medicine, what would you do professionally instead? Probably work for the National Parks Service as a Forest Ranger or a Ski Patrol/EMT at a ski resort.

Catch the latest on our intern feature stories on our blog and stay tuned for more in the near future!  If you have any questions about our practice or any of the reconstructive and cosmetic procedures we perform, feel free to contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C.  You can also stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

What is Ethnic Plastic Surgery?

Facial plastic surgery is constantly evolving.  I say it’s ever-evolving because as a society, so are we.  Our opinion of what we consider beautiful now is a mosaic, largely attributed to a mix of worldwide travel diversity and the internet.  What we considered as ideal beauty 30 years ago is certainly not the case now, nor will it be the same 30 years into the future.  In direct correlation to shifting trends, there has also been a shift in ethnic plastic surgery procedures.  But what exactly is ethnic plastic surgery and what factors should be considered when exploring these various facial procedures?

Ethnic Plastic Surgery in Atlanta GAAs a double-board certified plastic surgeon with over 21 years of performing ethnic plastic surgery, I have seen the same evolution of patient goals occur among every cultural background; each one is different.  The reason it’s termed ethnic plastic surgery is centered largely around unique cultural identities and the vast diversity that is embodied within each culture (specifically African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino and Asian).  Each culture has distinct facial structures and features that are indigenous to that specific culture and it takes a great wealth of knowledge, in regards to the facial complexities, to be able to produce plastic surgery results that are directly in line with the patient and their goals.

Ethnic facial plastic surgery procedures have surged over the past decade as more men and women are seeking cosmetic results that cannot be achieved with makeup or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.  For example, many of my African American/Black patients decide on a rhinoplasty to address the look of a large or flattened nose (think wider tip, flatter bridge and flared nostrils).  The main goal is to reduce the overall size, so I typically draw from several techniques to reshape the nose.  Typically, rhinoplasty involves removing cartilage or bone to create a thinner appearance.  With African Americans, the nose’s structure generally has weaker cartilage and shorter nasal bones in which we must augment the bridge to sculpt the narrower look the patient is going for.  Instead of using implants, I use a technique where I take the patient’s own cartilage and tissue from a donor area to add volume and reshape the nose.  To further augment the overall appearance, I might recommend facial fillers like Juvéderm® or Restylane® to restore lost volume and straighten the bridge (fillers can be safely injected into the tip, base or bridge of the nose, with repeated treatments to maintain final results).  In the same respect, rhinoplasty continues to vary even among Hispanic/Latino cultures (who tend to have wider bridges and bases of the nose as well as weaker cartilage) and Asians (who have thicker skin, lower bridges and a wider base).  On top of each person coming from a different ethnic background, each person also comes with a unique facial structure, all their own.

With every ethnicity, elective surgery is a choice.  The end result is to create natural-looking plastic surgery results that the patient has in mind.  There are many factors to consider when creating a patient’s rhinoplasty plan, one that accentuates their individual qualities but at the same time also focuses on maintaining cultural identity.  My job, as the surgeon, is to listen to my patient’s concerns and properly address them at surgery.  It’s not to put my “stamp” on their results because as with any ethnic representation, corrective measures should be individualized and ethnically appropriate to suit their face.  My patients, in the simplest of terms, want an improved version of themselves.  I’m just here to help them achieve that.

The face is delicate and should be handled by someone that knows the complex details to perform facial plastic surgery procedures in a safe and successful manner.  When it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon, do your homework to avoid disappointing results.  If you’re interested in ethnic plastic surgery or any of the plastic surgery procedures we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.  Stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube for more plastic surgery news and updates.