Reducing Scars after Plastic Surgery: What Really Works?

scouthern plastic surgery scar removalTraditional plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), breast reduction surgery, and facelift surgery all require incisions to produce the results most cosmetic surgery patients seek.  Unfortunately for many patients, an array of factors such as incision type, skin type, age, heredity, and even ethnicity can increase the chance of developing scars post-plastic surgery.

Dr. David Whiteman and the staff at Southern Plastic Surgery do their best to educate their Duluth and Atlanta area cosmetic surgery patients on how to avoid additional scarring.  To dispel some of the myths out there about what is and is not effective in minimizing the appearance of scars, we’ve devised a list of scar therapy components:

Paper Tape: The only topical treatment advisable for new incisions, paper tape is useful in alleviating tension on the skin surrounding the incision(s).  With less tension, the affected skin can heal quicker.  Additionally, the pressure provided by the tape when placed directly over the incision keeps the scar tissue from becoming raised and turning into a hypertrophic scar. Continue reading

Diversity of Plastic Surgery Procedures among Differing Ethnic Groups

Diversity of Plastic Surgery Procedures among Differing Ethnic GroupsLast February, The New York Times released an article about ethnic diversity in plastic surgery in New York City. The article described the plastic surgery procedures that different ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians, were more likely to undergo to help preserve their cultural identities. With that article in mind, I’d like to offer my perspective as a plastic surgeon about the role of cultural differences in plastic surgery. In Atlanta, I see a variety of ethnicities seeking plastic surgery, and while preserving cultural identity is important, it’s also important for a plastic surgeon to understand the complications that can arise with different skin types.

Going beyond color, skin type differs from ethnicity to ethnicity. According to the Cosmetic Dermatology for Skin of Color, the stratum corneum of black skin has more cell layers and elevated lipid content compared to white skin even though the overall thickness is similar, meaning darker skin is more compact. Patients with darker complexions, especially African American patients, have more melanin in their skin than patients with lighter complexions. Because there is more melanin present with darker skin tones, there is an increased risk of pigmentation changes with any incisions or trauma to the skin, including surgery.

Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) is more complex among diverse ethnicities due to differences in cartilage texture and should be performed by plastic surgeons with ethnic plastic surgery experience. Cartilage is flexible, connective tissue found in many parts of the body such as the nose, ears, rib cage, in many joints and between bones. A black patient’s cartilage is typically softer and less prominent than that of a white patient. Continue reading

Why does pricing for Botox® and Dysport® vary so much from provider to provider?

Botox® and Dysport® have become wildly popular wrinkle treatments for patients wishing to reduce the appearance of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and wrinkles between the eyes.  The active ingredient within these dermal injectables is a purified form of botulinum toxin A– a substance that works to temporarily relax the wrinkle causing muscles into which it’s injected.  Most Botox® and Dysport® patients report noticeable reduction of their wrinkles for two to four months following the cosmetic skin treatment.

Why does pricing for Botox® and Dysport® vary so much from provider to provider?Given the temporary nature of the treatment, facial rejuvenation patients regularly search for the best Botox® and Dysport® discounts to try and minimize the size of their ongoing investment.  Although, it’s important to understand that, just as the case with the cost of plastic surgery, there are many components involved in Botox® and Dysport® pricing.  Injectable providers purchase their products from manufacturer representatives in various quantities and varying solution dilution percentages (based on patient demand, practice budget, relationship with representative, etc.)   The providers (i.e.- board certified plastic surgeon or certified nurse injector) then charges for the product by the number of areas being treated, the number of units being used, or the number of syringes.

The best deal on Botox® and Dysport® treatment depends on the patient’s individual needs.  If a patient has deep set lines and extensive wrinkles, they may want to explore a provider who offers injectables priced per area as pricing by the unit will be higher (more wrinkle relaxing product is required for more expansive wrinkles).  If you’re looking to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles in numerous areas, price per area would not be the best option.  At Southern Plastic Surgery, our Atlanta Botox® and Dysport® pricing is simple: we charge a flat fee for unlimited treatment areas with one injectable.  With all of the media attention surrounding the treatment, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the different offers.  One thing to always remember before pursuing facial injectables or any facial plastic surgery procedure is to thoroughly research your plastic surgeon.  A wonderful price cannot replace medical training and procedure experience.

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