When Plastic Surgery Becomes a Business Model

The other day I saw a news report that talked about a large, national facial cosmetic surgery practice that unexpectedly shut down, without any warning to patients and even their doctors.   They were most notably known for their “minimally-invasive face lift” that they touted could be done under local anesthesia, take less time and money, and would produce results that were just as good as traditional facelifts.  While it may be true to some degree that we live in a society that enjoys instant gratification, there are just some things that deserve to be done the right way, even if it means it will take a little longer or cost a bit more.

Heavy marketing through infomercials and nationwide campaigns generated a lot of buzz about this company and the procedure they purported to perform for many patients looking for a low-cost facial rejuvenation treatment.  So how does a company that became so known go out of business so quickly?  The suggested downfall of this corporate structured practice is that there were numerous malpractice claims, dissatisfied patients and reports of safety concerns that led to several lawsuits filed against the company.  Reports from previous patients who had negative experiences described a type of structure that tried to sell a product and didn’t actually have the patient’s goals and health at the forefront of their practice.

I find this all to be quite alarming.  As a double board certified plastic surgeon I have devoted my entire practice to my patients because their safety and ultimately satisfaction with their plastic surgery procedures is what motivates me to keep learning, implementing and perfecting techniques that will only work to benefit the patient.  It’s already emotionally taxing for patients to navigate the world of plastic surgery in general; they’ve met with numerous doctors, decided on “the one”, scheduled the procedure and mentally start prepping for the next chapter in their journey.  To hear that a company would suddenly shut down leaving past, present and future patients high and dry is disheartening to hear for everyone involved because it’s not what anyone deserves.  It’s my belief that you build a trust between patient and doctor.  As a patient you entrust your life and as a doctor we have your best interest at heart, at least which is what healthcare providers should always strive to do.  When your practice and main focus becomes more about how much revenue you’re generating, this can only benefit you and that’s not why we practice medicine.

The best advice I can give to patients considering any plastic surgery procedure is to do your research.  Yes, online reviews can often be skewed but use your best judgement.  Reach out to actual patients, take in-depth looks at a surgeon’s plastic surgery results, meet as many doctors as you have to (meet with the same one more than once if you need that) until you feel completely comfortable and confident in your decisions.  If a gimmick seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is – so why take the risk when it comes to your health?

Spring Into Spring With Cosmetic Injectables

“Thanks to Botox and fillers, as well as the work that I’ve already had,
my face pretty much maintains itself.”  -Dolly Parton

Cosmetic injectables are the temporary, non-surgical defenders from one of the most common signs of aging, wrinkles.  Providing effective facial rejuvenation, many Southern Plastic Surgery patients choose facial injectables because treatments are quick and require minimal downtime (meaning no surgery, scars or incisions required).  Depending on your specific anti-aging concerns and goals, cosmetic injectables can leave the skin wrinkle-free for four months to over a year.

This month, we want to help ease your aging woes and invite you to try (or revisit for those familiar) these great anti-aging treatments.  We are featuring a special on cosmetic injectable packages featuring two popular treatments: Xeomin® and Radiesse®:

Xeomin® – If you’ve ever tried Botox® in your lifetime then you are already familiar with the general capabilities Xeomin® treatments can have.  Both Xeomin® and Botox® are similar in that they contain the same botulinum toxin A and block the release of specific chemicals in facial muscles, stopping them from contracting and subsequently forming wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes.

Radiesse® – As signs of aging seem to be most noticeable on the face, over time our cheeks may start to deflate and show excess skin as gravity takes its toll.  Composed of naturally-occurring substances found in our bodies, Radiesse® re-plumps areas with lost facial volume and effectively smooths wrinkles and lines for patients experiencing moderate to minimal signs of aging or want to help maintain their previous plastic surgery results.  Radiesse® is typically injected in the cheeks, mouth area and jaw line, to treat smile lines (wrinkles around the corners of the mouth), marionette lines (wrinkles on the cheeks) and jowls that have thinned due to lost collagen.

Be sure to read our flyer for more details on the facial filler package special we are currently offering – we only have 10 packages available, if you would like to reserve your package or find out more information about facial rejuvenation, please contact us at 770-622-9100. You can also connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest cosmetic and reconstructive surgery news and information.

Non-Surgical & Surgical Facial Rejuvenation

Facial rejuvenation treatments come in many forms.  From daily skincare regimens of moisturizer to more entailed cosmetic facial plastic surgery, men and women of all ages and skin types are choosing facial rejuvenation procedures to combat signs of aging in order to revive their youthful appearance.  In fact, according to the 2014 statistics shared by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, facial rejuvenation procedures saw a surge in popularity and remained among the top five in both minimally-invasive and cosmetic surgery procedures:

Plastic Surgery in Atlanta GABotox® – 6.7 million treatments performed

Botox® contains a purified form of botulinum that works by temporarily relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles between (glabellar lines) and around (crow’s feet) the eyes that form with age and repeated facial and forehead expressions.  As Botox® is injected into the muscle, it is eventually absorbed and eliminated by the body and therefore treatments must be “re-touched” just about every 4-6 months to maintain the same facial rejuvenation results.

Facial Fillers – 2.3 million treatments performed

Like Botox®, facial fillers are cosmetic injectables but are unique in that they are composed of naturally-occurring substances found in the human body that work to restore lost facial volume and smoothes wrinkles and lines.  Facial fillers such as Juvéderm®, Expression®, Perlane®, Radiesse® and Restylane® are great for patients aged 21 and up who have moderate to minimal signs of aging or simply want to help maintain previous plastic surgery results.  Popular areas for facial filler treatments include the cheeks, lips, around the mouth area and jaw line.  Depending on the type of filler you choose, typical results can last anywhere from 6 months up to two years, therefore follow-up treatments are necessary to keep a more youthful appearance.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) – 207,000 procedures performed

As we age, skin loses its elasticity, often causing the upper eyelids to droop and form excess fat deposits underneath the eyes on the lower eyelids.  Blepharoplasty is performed to eliminate those telltale signs of aging on the upper and/or lower eyelids by removing excess fat, tissue and skin around the eyes in order to provide a rested appearance.  Depending on the patient’s particular goals, eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids (to address the “hooded” appearance from sagging eyelid skin) and/or on the lower eyelids (to target the fatty tissue that creates under eye bags).

Facelift – 128,000 procedures performed 

When you’re at the point where you’re looking for longer-lasting facial rejuvenation results, facelift surgery can target moderate to minimal signs of aging such as lax skin, or deep wrinkles and fine lines; particularly helpful for those looking to eliminate excess skin around the cheeks, jowls and neck.  Once I remove excess, sagging skin, I reposition the remaining skin, tissue and muscles (if needed) to fill lost volume and create an overall smoother, wrinkle-free appearance.  There are also those patients who may have specific isolated areas of concern on their face in regards to the neck and jowls and choose to opt for a mini facelift to only rejuvenate and tighten the lower third of the face.

Whichever facial rejuvenation plan we tailor for your unique needs is entirely up to you, however, the first step towards facial rejuvenation is to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive training in the procedure of your choosing.  When your safety is concerned, it is important to be your biggest advocate and do the research!  If you’d like to meet with me, cosmetic surgeon Dr. David Whiteman, to answer any questions, feel free to schedule a consultation whenever the need arises.  You can also stay connected with Southern Plastic Surgery on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for plastic surgery news and updates.