Patient Information

Patient Information on Choosing a Surgeon, Pain Management, Plastic Surgery Terms, and Patient Forms

It is Dr. Whiteman’s sincere belief that the best way to ensure a successful cosmetic surgery procedure and exceed patient expectations is through extensive patient education. His intention for this website is to give you an opportunity to investigate any procedures that interest you. Below, you can find a patient glossary containing key terms that may help you come to a better understanding of cosmetic surgery, as well as an introduction to two methods of effective pain management, the RecoveryRx breast patch and the abdominal pain pump both available at our Atlanta office.

Should price be a determining factor in choosing a cosmetic surgeon?

The decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is a big one, affecting the way you look and feel about yourself for the rest of your life – so it makes sense to put that responsibility in the hands of someone who is fully qualified.

There is a misconception that in order to get work done by a top physician you have to spend an exorbitant amount of money, but the truth is, many procedures are more affordable than you may think. At Southern Plastic Surgery, we offer a wide array of services at a reasonable cost to the client and even offer a monthly “feature procedure” where patients can great deals on our most popular services. Southern Plastic Surgery also offers care credit (with 18 months no interest, minimum monthly payments required) for those patients that cannot afford to pay for their procedure all at once.

Every person is unique and requires a unique technique and treatment plan in order to get the best outcome. “One fit for all” is not feasible for surgery; so do not be fooled by the less-than-qualified physicians (and even non physicians) that try to lure you in with their slash cut pricing.

It is important that your physician is board certified in both general surgery and plastic surgery and thus has the experience and knowledge to give you the look you desire. Realizing the importance of proper certification, Dr. Whiteman has worked to become double board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Learn more about Dr. Whiteman’s credentials or contact our office to learn about pricing and to schedule a consultation.

Of course, the best way to educate yourself on all procedures you are considering is to set up an appointment with Dr. Whiteman. During the consultation he will walk you through every procedure you are considering, and give you an accurate assessment of the dangers, risks, and potential benefits you may draw from the procedures you are considering.

RecoveryRx Pain Patch — Atlanta Pain Management

We have several non-standard methods of pain management for our cosmetic surgery patients that can lessen or completely circumvent the need for narcotics or other pain medication. We currently offer the RecoveryRx patch to our patients.

RecoveryRx is a non-narcotic anti-inflammatory patch that is applied directly to the surgical site to accelerate the healing of soft tissue injury. Through a pulsed radiofrequency electromagnetic field (PEMF), the RecoveryRx patch reduces pain and inflammation while increasing blood flow and wound healing without side effects. The pain pump is a device that delivers local anesthetic directly to your treatment area from the moment you leave the surgical suite, and some patients report having no post-operative pain whatsoever with the use of the device. Both devices can facilitate faster, more comfortable recovery from surgery.

For more information on pain management, ask Dr. Whiteman today.

RecoveryRx Pain Patch System

recoveryRx logoBy creating a safe low-power pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), the RecoveryRx patch helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. Electromagnetic therapy has been used for over 20 years by doctors for a variety of conditions with an excellent record of safety. This system reduces swelling and recoveryRx imageinflammation which occurs around soft tissue injuries such as surgical sites and is especially popular with our breast surgery patients.

Mommy Makeover Surgery

Dr. David Whiteman of Southern Plastic Surgery offers mommy makeover surgery to patients who are done having children and wish to restore the appearance of their bodies to their pre-baby condition. Dr. Whiteman’s mommy makeover surgery typically consists of a strategic combination of tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty), to tighten the abdominal muscle and/or remove skin that is stretched with the baby’s growth, liposuction of small areas of fat, and breast augmentation or breast lift procedures to remedy the effects of weight gain and/or breast feeding. Because each mother’s body reacts differently to pregnancy and childbirth, a successful surgical plan can only be made following a thorough consultation. To schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Whiteman’s office.

Patient Glossary

We invite you to take a moment to browse through this list of common plastic surgery terms. If you have any questions whatsoever about any procedure or technique, please feel free to contact our office.

A non-narcotic anti-inflammatory patch that accelerates the healing of soft-tissue injury such as those caused by surgical procedures. The patch works through the use of pulsed electromagnetic frequency, helping to stimulate healing and reduce pain and swelling without drugs.
Refers to the administration of a numbing drug, or to the drug itself, usually administered during surgical procedures.
Autologous tissue breast reconstruction
The use of the patient’s own tissues to reconstruct a new breast mound. The common technique is the TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap. A TRAM flap involves removing an area of fat, skin, and muscle from the abdomen and stitching it in place to the mastectomy wound.
Eyelid lift (blepharoplasty)
Procedure involving the surgical removal of excess fat, muscle, and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Calculation based on a person’s weight and height (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). Used to measure healthy weight, but does not take body fat percentage into consideration.
Body Fat Percentage
The amount of fat on a person’s body determined by the weight of the individual’s fat divided by their total weight. This number includes the body’s essential fat and stored fat.
Addresses excess and loose, drooping skin tissue resulting from aging, pregnancy, or major weight loss.
Also known as botulinum toxin, BOTOX® is a treatment where trace amounts of the toxin are injected into overactive muscles, causing muscle activity in the targeted area to decrease.
Also called an “arm lift”, this procedure is meant to remove loose skin and excess fat from the upper arm. The skin there may become loose and flabby from age or significant weight loss.
Breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty)
Procedure to reshape and enhance the breast in order to make it larger, usually using implants. The procedure can also be performed to reconstruct the breast following breast surgery.
Breast Implant Exchange
Surgical removal and replacement of breast implant due to a patient’s desire for a different breast implant size, implant shape, breast implant type, or exhibits a positioning complication.
Breast Lift (mastopexy)
Procedure designed to remove small amounts of tissue from the breasts, lifting and repositioning them higher on the torso to compensate for the effects of gravity.
Breast reconstruction
Surgery which recreates a breast which has been completely or partially lost to surgery or trauma. Often the recreation of the nipple and areola will go along with breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction is a highly personalized surgery often requiring several operations, and each procedure will be different depending on the patient’s situation.
Breast revision
Breast surgery performed to enhance the results of a previous breast augmentation procedure. Breast revision surgery may entail a breast lift , implant removal, implant replacement, or nipple revision surgery.
Breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty)
When a woman’s breasts are particularly large and heavy, it can create problems both aesthetically and physically. A breast reduction removes excess skin and tissue from the breasts, and places the breasts in a more natural position.
Browlift (also called a forehead lift)
Procedure to correct a drooping brow and give the face a more alert, awake appearance. By removing excess skin and muscle tissue, the forehead is smoothed and the brow raised, with minimal incisions and scarring.
Capsular Contracture
Hardening of the breasts caused by large amounts of scar tissue forming around a breast implant.
Chemical peel
Utilizes a chemical solution in order to improve the skin’s appearance by removing part of the outermost layer. It can reduce or eliminate fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth, correct uneven skin pigmentation, and treat other minor skin maladies.
A naturally-occurring fibrous protein found in skin that acts as a framework to support other bodily tissues like skin, muscles, bones, and tendons.
Cosmetic plastic surgery (aesthetic plastic surgery)
Plastic surgery performed to repair or reshape otherwise normal structures of the body, primarily to improve the patient’s appearance and self-esteem.
Expander/implant breast reconstruction
The use of an expander to create a breast mound, followed by the placement with a permanently filled breast implant.
Facial Filler
Dermal injectable fillers that are injected under the skin to plump and fill areas that have become shallow or thin due to age, sun exposure, or other damaging factors.
Facelift (rhytidectomy)
Surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess facial fat, the tightening of facial muscles, and the stretching of facial skin to approximate a smoother, firmer appearance. The procedure takes place on either the face, neck, or both.
Gives an overall lift to the neck and lower third of the face, rather than focusing on the entire face itself.
Often done using endoscopic, minimally invasive techniques, a mid-Facelift is perfect for patients seeking minor improvements in their facial region, without worrying about excess skin in the jowls or neck.
Flap surgery
One type of surgery that involves transporting healthy, live tissue from one location of the body to another – often to areas that have lost skin, fat, muscle movement, and/or skeletal support. There are several different types of flap surgery methods that may be utilized, depending upon the location of the flap and the structures that need to be repaired.
Gummy Bear Breast Implant
A term that originated in Europe to describe the structure of high-strength cohesive silicone gel breast implants, which are very similar to a recently FDA approved breast implant manufactured by Sientra.
Literally translated to “woman breast”, this is a condition in which the male breast tissue enlarges. This usually occurs when the male is experiencing periods of hormonal changes, such as those during infancy, adolescence, and old age.
High-Strength Silicone Breast Implants
A type of breast implant made out of cohesive silicone gel that is known for its singular shape retention and its unlikelihood to rupture or leak.
Darker areas of the skin, caused by increased melanin production, that results in an uneven skin tone.
Hypertrophic scars
An overproduction of collagen that appears raised and reddish in color. Textured similarly to a keloid scar, hypertrophic scars grow within the bounds of the original injury.
Skin discoloration opposite of hyperpigmentation marked by a lack of melanin production resulting in an uneven skin tone.
iGuide® Neck Lift
A minimally invasive neck lift procedure that uses threaded sutures underneath the chin to lift sagging jowls and neck skin.
Implant removal
Surgical excision of breast implants as part of breast revision surgery. A breast lift (mastopexy) may be performed with implant removal surgery if a patient elects not to replace the breast implants being removed.
An injectible filler that softens deep folds and reduces facial wrinkles. Used often to remove nasolabial folds, particularly “smile lines” running from the corners of the mouth to the corners of the nose. It is also used for lip augmentation and filling in hollow or scarred places on the face.
A type of hypertrophic scar caused by an overproduction of collagen that grows beyond its original wound.
Pigmentation in the hair, skin, and eyes.
Laser Tattoo Removal
A method of tattoo removal requiring 3-5 visits. Particular lasers are selected based on the tattoo’s location, the thickness of the skin, and the coloration of the tattoo (full-color, black and blue, etc all require varied methods of treatment).
Laser Peel
Rejuvenates the skin and reduces effects felt by sun exposure, aging, and some facial skin disorders. This procedure is safe and effective, removing damaged outer layers of the skin and stimulating the production of collagen to bring about smoother, younger looking skin.
Lifestyle Lift
A lift alternative that removes wrinkles and sagging skin with minimal downtime. The procedure only takes an hour to tighten and smooth your face.
Procedure in which a compound of enzymes and mild medications are injected into fatty tissue, dissolving the fat and expelling it through the urine.
Removal of excess fat through a suctioning process. Liposuction is an excellent way to improve the body’s contour and shape, but is not an acceptable alternative to weight loss.
Power-assisted liposuction
Utilizes a suction tube that vibrates at its tip, helping to dislodge fat cells so they may be removed more easily; often used in conjunction with the tumescent procedure.
Tumescent liposuction
By injecting a combination of saline, adrenaline (two substances found naturally in the body) and an anesthetic liquid, the fatty tissues to be removed are puffed up (“tumesced”), making them easier to remove.
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
Involves the use of ultrasonic waves to liquefy the fat to be removed. As the ultrasonic waves affect fatty tissue only, surrounding tissue is left unharmed and blood loss is minimized.
Surgery to remove portions, or all, of the breast.
Mommy Makeover Surgery
An individually tailored combination of tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty), liposuction, and breast augmentation or breast lift procedures to remedy the effects of pregnancy.Top
Otoplasty (ear surgery)
Reshaping or reducing in size prominent or large ears. Usually done on children, this procedure can also be done on mature adults.
Pain pump
A device, fitted to patients post-operatively, which is worn for a period of several days and delivers local anesthetic directly to the site of the surgery. Pain pumps eliminate or drastically reduce the need for pain medication following surgery.
An injectible filler that restores volume and fullness to the skin, correcting wrinkles and folds. Used mainly on nasolabial folds.
Plastic surgery
The surgical specialty that deals with the reconstruction of facial and body tissue that requires a reshaping or remolding due to disease, a defect, or disorder – in order to approximate a normal appearance or to repair working ability.
A facial filler used to contour the face to restore a healthy, youthful appearance. Downtime is minimal and effects can last for up to one year.
Reconstructive plastic surgery
One type of plastic surgery that is performed on abnormal structures of the body that may be caused by trauma, infection, developmental abnormalities, congenital defects, disease, and/or tumors. This type of surgery is usually performed to improve function, but may also be performed to approximate a normal appearance.
RecoveryRx Pain Patch
Similar to the ActiPatch™ system, RecoveryRx patches uses a pulsed electromagnetic field to reduce post-operative pain and swelling and increase blood flow and wound healing without narcotics or side effects.
Commonly used in lip augmentation, Restylane® has also grown popular in treating nasolabial and melomental folds as well as forehead wrinkles and “crow’s feet”. Effects last up to six months with about three days of recovery time.
Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping surgery or “nose job”)
Surgical reshaping of the nose in order to repair a defect or correct an unwanted aesthetic quality. Rhinoplasty can be used to change the size, shape, and angle of the nose, and involves the resculpting of the bone and cartilage.
The body’s natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. A scar is usually composed of fibrous tissue. Scars may form for many different reasons, including as a result of infections, surgery, injuries, or inflammation of tissue.
Used in the treatment of facial fat loss around the cheeks, eyes, and temples. Also called a “liquid facelift”.
Skin grafts
A skin graft may be used to cover skin that has been damaged and/or is missing. This surgical procedure involves removing healthy portions of skin from one part of the body to restore normal appearance and/or function to another portion of the same body. The location where the skin is removed is called the donor site. There are various types of skin grafts that may be utilized, depending upon the size and location of needed skin.
Spider Veins
Small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin or mucous membranes. Usually seen on the face or legs. These are easily treated with sclerotherapy.
Stratum Corneum
The outermost layer of skin that serves as a barrier for protection and fluid retention.
Telescopic Nipple Reduction
Involves making an incision at the base of the nipple and the areola, removing portion of skin and telescoping the nipple towards the chest, in an attempt to shorten it. Telescoping is designed to keep the nerves intact and avoid the loss sensation in the nipple.
Thighlift (Thigh Lift)
This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the thigh. An incision is made along the groin crease for most patients and upper-central thigh skin and fat are removed, smoothing the upper portions of the thigh.
Thread Lift
A cheap facelift alternative using barbed sutures to lift sagging eyebrows, eyelids, deep nasolabial folds or aging neck tissues. The barbs on one end grab and lift the sagging skin, while teeth on the other end anchor the skin to the underlying facial tissues. No incisions; no scars.
Tissue expansion
A surgical procedure that involves inserting a balloon-like device (called an expander) under the skin. The expander then slowly secretes liquid into the area to be repaired to actually stretch and expand the skin. This serves the function of “growing” extra skin to repair nearby lost or damaged skin.
Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
Procedure to minimize the abdominal area by surgically removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Mini tummy tuck (partial abdominoplasty)
Removal of a small amount of fat, ideally below the navel, in patients who do not require a full tummy tuck.
Varicose Veins
Veins that have become enlarged and twisted, generally found on the legs. Symptoms include aching, heavy legs, ankle swelling, redness, itchiness, or dryness of the affected areas. Non-surgical treatments include sclerotherapy, endovenous laser and radiofrequency ablation.
Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR)
Measures circumference of widest part of hips compared to the circumference of the waist to determine whether or not a person is at a higher risk for health conditions. This does not measure body composition or muscle-to-fat ratio.
Weight Reduction/Post Bariatric
After your procedure, you may be left with excess folds of skin and fat making you feel worse and not better. A series of operations called “body contouring” are usually recommended after your weight stabilizes.

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  • *Disclaimer:

    The information presented on Southern Plastic Surgery's website is only for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Therefore, Southern Plastic Surgery is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information; nor are they liable for any damages from its use. For complete plastic and reconstructive surgery information or medically related question, it is important to seek personalized care from a board certified plastic surgeon. Treatment results may vary from person to person.