Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Lila

Each year I mentor several medical students that spend a few weeks interning in our office to get hands-on learning in the field of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery and I thought it was about time we introduced the bright students that are going to be the future of medicine!  For the 4th year interns who choose our practice for their elective internship, we really wanted to give them a well-rounded scope of topics we feel are important to helping future physicians properly care for their patients; from surgical techniques to office management and patient caretaking.  First up on our spotlight is Lila.

dr david whiteman southern plastic surgeryOriginally from Alpharetta, Georgia, Lila is an aspiring pediatrician who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past several weeks.  Lila received her Bachelors of Science in Biology (with a minor in Global Health) from Emory University and is currently studying at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus.  We sat down with Lila and asked her a few questions about her time spent interning with the Southern Plastic Surgery family:

What made you choose a career in medicine?  For as far back as I could remember being a doctor is what I said when people asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I have a brother who had very bad childhood asthma, and to me, the doctors that looked after him during his really terrible asthma exacerbations were miracle workers. I wanted to do for other families what they did for mine.

Describe your internship in ONE word.  “Independence”.  Dr. Whiteman really pushes his interns to think independently, but will never abandon us and will never waste an opportunity for us to learn something.

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?  I won’t be doing a lot of plastic surgery in my practice, but nonetheless have learned some incredible things that I will carry with me throughout residency and my practice.  Dr. Whiteman has really helped me improve my suturing and surgical skills.  What I’ve learned will be invaluable throughout my emergency medicine rotations and pediatric surgery experiences.  I also have learned so much about wound care and management, post-operative care for patients, and am now able to confidently discuss the risks, benefits and process of certain procedures that I will be referring my pediatric patients to plastic surgery for.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far during your internship?  I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for help! I won’t always know the right answer or what to tell my patients – but its ok, that’s why I’m working with the best to learn!

What’s been the biggest challenge?  How to transition from thinking like a student to thinking like a physician.  Suddenly, it isn’t about just diagnosis anymore, it’s about recognizing disease states and conditions, testing for them, efficiency and being economical with my time and tests I want to order.

What’s the best thing about interning with Southern Plastic Surgery?  Some may say plastic surgery is a very superficial or shallow field of medicine, and I admit, before I started I can’t say that I completely disagreed.  But, working with Dr. Whiteman, I’ve really been humbled by his work, his patients, his attitude and the relationship he has with his patients.  It isn’t about looking “pretty” or “beautiful” – although all his patients I’ve seen certainly do look so, but rather it’s about how his patients FEEL and celebrating who they are and how they feel about themselves.  He helps patients who have lost over 100+ pounds celebrate by removing excess skin and helps women who have beat breast cancer rebuild a part of their bodies that are so associated with femininity.  He treats every patient that walks through his door like family – and that is something that really made an impression on me and I aspire to achieve in my own practice.

What’s your favorite memory so far?  Dr. Whiteman dancing to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars in the operating room while his patient got settled, so she was more at ease.  It is surgery, yes, but he always made it fun!

Then, we asked her the really tough questions:

Hobbies: Traveling, cooking, spending time with family & shopping.

Favorite movie: The Princess Bride

Do you have a personal motto?  It is a quote from a famous Persian poet that my father read to me growing up, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

Fun fact about yourself:  I never use my given name, Lila!  My nickname, which everyone knows me by, is only a one letter difference from my given name!  “Lily” Is my nickname.

If you didn’t practice medicine, what would you do professionally instead? A wedding planner! One of my hobbies is decorating and party planning, but a lot of why I enjoy this is because I love celebrating happy occasions with families!  In medicine, when my patients gets discharged from the hospital after several days and get to go home healthy again, it’s always a mini-celebration!

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta:  In the spring I love to get lunch from Alon’s Bakery and have a picnic at Piedmont Park!

Pick one: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner?  Brunch.  Definitely brunch.

Stay tuned for more intern spotlights in the upcoming weeks to learn more about the stellar group of men and women you may see around the office from time to time.  Feel free to also contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. with any questions you may have about our practice or procedures.  You can also stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Are Your Hands Giving Away Your Age?

How many people do you know who have been celebrating their 30th birthdays for a few years now?  Sure we may feel young in fashionable clothes and are able to keep up with the lingo of younger generations, but when it comes to aging there isn’t much we can do to hide its transparency without a little assistance.  When gravity begins to take its toll on the skin, as we age, it becomes thin, starts to sag and more pronounced wrinkles and brown spots appear.  Fortunately, advancements in both nonsurgical and surgical cosmetic treatments make it possible to help reduce common signs of aging on the hands and face so you can keep everyone guessing as to what your real age is.

radiesse hand rejuvenation atlanta gaWith the face being one of the most prominent features that is most noticed in daily interactions with people, an aged appearance can make us look tired and dull.  However, solely looking at someone’s face is not always going to be a dead giveaway of their age; we’ve all seen how genetics can keep women and men looking years younger than they really are.  But if you look at the hands, they can be quite telling of a person’s age.  Our hands are constantly exposed to harmful environmental elements, like sun damage, and unless you are wearing daily SPF, there isn’t much you can do naturally to slow down the process.  Cosmetic injectables like Botox® and facial fillers like Juvéderm® and Restylane® have seen successes as wrinkle-reducing treatments for the face, but recently the popular filler Radiesse® was FDA-approved for hand rejuvenation.

Hand rejuvenation using Radiesse® works similarly to the way treatments are administered for areas of the face.  I like to start by determining the appropriate amount of filler to be used to fill out the bony, delicate skin that has thinned out on the hands.  Once I am ready to start injecting, I lift the skin off of the back of the hand (making sure to avoid tiny vessels) and inject the filler into areas that can use plumping.  After the injections are administered, I then gently massage Radiesse® into the hands to even out any bumps and make sure that the treatment successfully covers the soft tissue and creates less prominent veins and tendons.  There is a numbing agent within in the Radiesse® syringe that helps alleviate discomfort for patients and only minimal swelling or bruising may occur after treatment. Results can be seen immediately after treatment and patients can return to their normal activities.   Generally, patients can expect their results to last 1-2 years and touch ups are encouraged to continue stimulating collagen, reduce volume loss and overall extend the result of your younger, more rejuvenated hands.

To learn about hand rejuvenation, cosmetic injectables or the various facial rejuvenation treatments offered at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., please don’t hesitate to contact us 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+.

Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures: Belly Button & Below

To me, plastic surgery is such a diverse field.  I am able to work with men and women of all ages and walks of life and each person has their unique desires and motivations for enhancing their lives physically and mentally.  When it comes to body contouring, as an Atlanta cosmetic surgeon I have worked with patients ranging from a mother who is hanging up her pregnancy hat and ready to get her pre-baby body back to men who have lost significant weight and want to add the finishing touches of eliminating excess skin.  From tummy tucks to liposuction, there are many cosmetic plastic surgery procedures within the body contouring umbrella and I wanted to share two of the most popular procedures that accentuate the body from the belly button, down:

plastic surgery-tummy tuck - buttock augmentation atlanta georgiaTummy Tuck considerably the most popular of the body contouring procedures, tummy tucks (also known as abdominoplasty) are designed to create a smoother midsection.  I still utilize the traditional method of removing excess skin and fat and retightening the abdominal muscle that may have become weakened due to pregnancy.  My preferred method is a “no-drain” abdominoplasty which eliminates the extra space within the abdomen that collects fluid (and subsequently requires a drain to help clear out the fluid during recovery) by suturing the remaining skin and fat together down towards the muscle.  What this does is it not only allows my tummy tuck patients to have better control of their abdominal movements (because you’re not delaying the natural healing of the fat to the muscle when you twist or contort the body) but also makes recovery much less complex or difficult.

In addition to the no-drain abdominoplasty, I utilize a special Scarpa fascia waist contouring technique that I developed over the past several years to produce a flat, smooth contour for a patient’s midsection.  This is significant because previously these results were only possible with liposuction alone; now, I am able to improve the contours and shape of the abdomen with the Scarpa fascia technique so the stomach and waistline is shapelier than traditional tummy tuck results can produce.

Buttock Augmentation Buttock augmentation has seen a surge of popularity in recent years and I would argue that we can thank popular culture for this increasing trend.  Also known as Brazilian butt lift, this procedure is commonly performed through a fat transfer process for patients who wish to enhance the shape of their derrières.  The fat transfer process uses injections consisting of the patient’s own fat from other areas obtained through liposuction around the buttocks, thighs, hips or abdomen.  Once I have taken an ample amount of donated fat, it is then purified and re-injected into the predetermined areas of the buttocks.   A benefit of fat transfer is that by using a patient’s own fat, it allows me to sculpt the injected fat into a more naturally-prominent buttock, plus, the fat transfer technique for Brazilian butt lift also significantly decreases the risk of complications associated with the introduction of a foreign object into the body, like butt implants.

To learn more about body contouring procedures I perform including thigh lift and arm lifts, or any of the additional plastic surgery procedures available, contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C today to schedule your complimentary consultation.  Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, news and information.