Battle of the Bulge: Waist Training vs. Body Contouring

fad, noun – an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.

Seems like every day there is a new fad featured on television talk shows, radio commercials, magazine articles, billboards, social media, you name it, that EVERYONE just has to try.  I don’t normally pay attention to these types of things simply because just as soon as I’ve started doing my research it’s no longer a “thing” anymore (not to mention in a week nobody will remember it even existed).  If you’ve heard the term “waist training” recently then perhaps you were as curious as I was about this new “body contouring” craze.  Now there hasn’t been long term studies done on waist training but I wanted to share my initial thoughts on this and whether you should consider this type of investment over surgical and nonsurgical fat reduction procedures.

liposuction-atlanta-georgiaPopular celebrities are flooding Instagram with images of their tiny hourglass figures and telling people all across the country that a corset can essentially help you achieve the waist of Barbie and Ken.  What they are essentially doing is wearing a corset-type mechanism that covers the area below the breasts down to just above the hips with the intent that it’s to be worn from sun up to sun down.  Over time, the waist training is supposed to flatten any extra bulge and create a slimmer abdominal contour like those of a tummy tuck or liposuction.

So the million dollar question – does it really work?  Based on what I know about accumulating fat and manipulating the contours of the body, my impression is that it’s a superficial treatment, at best, and you should put your hard earned money towards something safer, longer-lasting and more beneficial.  The problem with waist training is that it isn’t addressing the underlying fat cells – unless fat cells are literally removed from the body there is only so much diet, exercise or rib crushing corsets can do to help get rid of it; sorry folks.  It’s more like the functionality of say a bra (they provide a nice hammock for the breasts but the minute you take it off, gravity kicks in) or butt pad inserts for women who are better off getting a Brazilian butt lift instead of worrying if the pads look natural or don’t shift while enhancing the derrière.  The potential health risks from waist training are also something to consider – damage to major internal organs, bruising, cause dizziness and even fainting (think too tight to breath and multiply that by 24 hours).  Overall, altering the waist long term is just not possible without plastic surgery and your waist will eventually go back to the way it was over time and you’d have potentially wasted time, money and possibly your sanity.

Long story short, stick to the old fashioned way of getting into shape by actively incorporating good ole’ diet and exercise into your routine.  If at any point you decide that the stubborn fat of your midsection gets to be too much to tolerate, there are several procedures I, Dr. David Whiteman, perform that can get to the root of your issue and help you achieve the midsection you goaled to have.  Feel free to contact Southern Plastic Surgery if you have any questions at all regarding our face, body and breast procedures.  In the meantime, you can always stay connected with me, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and share your thoughts on some of these new cosmetic procedures and fads!

Refresh Your Look with Facial Rejuvenation

As an Atlanta cosmetic surgeon, I’ve seen how facial rejuvenation procedures are some of the most sought after cosmetic plastic surgery options today.  When you think about it, our faces are tough.  Not only do they fight against gravity, harmful exposure to the sun and aging in general, but the face is such a prominent feature that trying to hide certain insecurities we may have is near impossible and can be cause for concern for many of us.

Plastic Surgery in Atlanta GAOur genetic makeup is different, so there isn’t a recommended age to start facial rejuvenation but instead something to consider at different milestones in your life.  Think about the first time you noticed fine lines by the corners of your eyes or the moment you looked in the mirror and realized the under-eye bags were there to stay.  There are a variety of facial plastic surgery procedures that can help refresh your look and when you delve even deeper, I see many of my facial rejuvenation patients fit into two distinct groups: those that wait until signs of aging are prominent before they are prompted into action and those that start early to slow down the progression.

Get started early.

The beauty of cosmetic injectables is that they give patients temporary relief for the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin and depending on the type of product used (injectables vs. facial filler) can yield results up to a year.  The earlier you start cosmetic injectable treatments the less noticeable the concerns you have with your facial appearance will present themselves as your skin matures.  Starting earlier gives patients more time before major concerns give added cause to start considering a longer-lasting way of anti-aging.  Patients as young as 18 may opt for Botox®, Dysport® or Xeomin® to relax the wrinkle-causing muscles of the face while patients with thinned lips, deeper wrinkles or loss volume may consider facial fillers like Juvéderm®, Restylane®, Radiesse® or Perlane® to smooth out their skin or to better help maintain previous facial plastic surgery results.

Look more rested.

If you’ve graduated beyond the injectables phase and entered the ages of looking perpetually tired because of under eye bags and hooded eyelids, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) could be the facial rejuvenation treatment you consider.  The main goal of eyelid surgery is to remove excess fat, tissue and skin that accumulates around the eyes and this can be done on the upper, lower or a combination of both the upper and lower lids to get you back to looking more rested.  Eyelid surgery results are subtle enough that your family and close friends may not recognize that you had surgery, but effective enough that you look more relaxed, awake and as if you just had the best sleep of your life!

Lift your woes.

When the skin on your face starts to sag well beyond comfort and the folds are deep enough to make a bulldog your doppelgänger, a more invasive procedure, rhytidectomy (or better known as facelift), is needed to help turn back the clock.  Collagen breaks down as we get older and the loose skin creates a dulled appearance that can extend from the top of the forehead all the way down around the cheeks, jowls and neck.  A facelift can work in two ways.  On one hand it directly removes excess skin and on the other hand it addresses the fundamental cause of your facial aging.  To help these underlying concerns, I reposition the skin, tissue and muscle to replace the lost volume and create a look that is smoother and more youthful.  Patients have the option of a full facelift or may opt for isolated concerns on the upper, middle and lower sections of the face independently.  While facelift results are much more extensive than those which are produced from cosmetic injectable treatments, with any facial cosmetic procedure the plastic surgery results are not permanent and a touch up procedure is recommended to help you looking younger, for longer.

If you’re interested in exploring your facial rejuvenation options with me, please don’t hesitate to contact my office to set up a time when we can go over your questions and concerns.  To keep up with my latest rants and raves as a cosmetic surgeon, stay connected with me, David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for plastic surgery news and updates.

Shaping the Future: The Aesthetic Meeting 2015

Summer is right around the corner and even though the kids will be out of school soon, it seems our schedules show no sign of slowing down here at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C.  There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for us and we wanted to keep everyone in the loop on what’s happening in and out of the office this month!  I’m a firm believer that you should never stop pursuing education and higher learning and perhaps this is why my passion for plastic surgery goes beyond the operating room and into teaching.

This month, I am honored be invited to speak at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s 48th Annual Meeting – The Aesthetic Meeting 2015 – held in Montréal, Canada from May 14-19.  I always find a deeper appreciation for the reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery field whenever I attend The Aesthetic Meeting.  As one of the biggest annual events in the aesthetic surgery field, it brings together brilliant educators, researchers and practitioners from all over the world to discuss what advancements are happening in our field and how we, as surgeons, can better provide for our patients.

This year, I’ll be speaking to a select group of plastic surgeons on scarpa fascia flap abdominoplasty, a technique that I have developed over the past several years.  The scarpa fascia technique can be described as a waist contouring technique that allows plastic surgeons to modify the waste narrowing capabilities during a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure that was once only occasionally achieved with liposuction for patients of a specific body type.  We really wanted our tummy tuck patients to have a more contoured and shapelier abdomen that could be produced during the same procedure but the technique didn’t previously exist.

At the very core there is some formality when it comes to the techniques surgeon’s use to perform plastic surgery procedures but I really believe it is the advancements in the techniques that set good and great results apart.  For me, I want my patients to have as easy of a recovery as possible (keeping in mind the fact that we all recover differently) but have tummy tuck results that mirror their goal of achieving a slimmer, flatter and more contoured shape.  By sharing this improved technique with surgeons from all over the globe, I am thrilled at the idea that future tummy tuck patients will see better results than ever before!

Stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more updates on The Aesthetic Meeting, monthly specials and news at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C.  If you’re interested in learning more about the tummy tuck techniques I utilize or any of the cosmetic and reconstructive procedures we offer, don’t hesitate to give us a call at our office at 770-622-9100; we look forward to hearing from you soon!