My Plastic Surgery Story: Why I’m Choosing Plastic Surgery

 

Dear Readers,

It’s not every day you get inspired to share your personal story with the public, but here we are, so bear with me if this seems a bit scattered, it’s my first time!  I guess I’ll start with a little background about myself.  I’m 29 years old, no kids, no spouse and have lived in Atlanta for about 5 years now.  I’ve always been pretty fit – standing at 5’8” and weighing 140lbs, give or take a few donuts (sorry Dr. Whiteman I know, I know – I’m not supposed to be fluctuating weight before my plastic surgery procedures but I’m trying to fit everything in before I make the change for good!).  All through elementary, middle and high school I was a competitive swimmer with very little body fat to my name thanks to twice a day workouts and a lot of time in the weight room.  Fast forward to today and everything has seemed to sloooooow down, including my metabolism and confidence.  The dining hall food from the University of Georgia, nights out on the town with my friends and less gym time than before has left me with a bit of a permanent food baby that I can’t seem to get rid of.  On top of that I can barely fill out my size 36A bra without feeling like my shirt is going to get swallowed up by my bra.  I can’t say I’ve ever been one to consider plastic surgery before now; those who know me were actually surprised to hear that I have not been entirely happy with the way I look.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand nobody is perfect and wholeheartedly believe beauty is really in the eye of the beholder, but I decided that I wanted to do something for myself; something that makes me happy and is entirely my own.

There’s been a lot of buzz in the media about the stigma of plastic surgery shifting and I’ll be the first to admit I was one of those “I’ll never get plastic surgery…blah blah blah” people until recently.  Sadly when I was younger (and dare I say more naïve) I was one of those who saw it as a vanity and a complete waste of money, but as I’ve grown I realize that plastic surgery is no different than buying a particular purse or pair of shoes because they make us feel good about our look.  I’m so used to hiding my body under baggy clothes in the hopes that nobody will mistake my breasts for bee stings or my stomach pooch for a fanny pack, but why should I feel that way?  Before you judge and think I just need to get on a treadmill, trust me, I’ve tried that.  It got to a point where no matter how much I watched my diet and exercise regularly, nothing would budge.  That’s about the time that I decided to stop wallowing and do something…so I started a little research on body contouring procedures.

Nonsurgical treatments prove that technology and science can accomplish amazing things.  But for me, that’s not enough because I want something that’s longer lasting.  I did some research on plastic surgeons in the Atlanta area; male, female, old and young – you name it and I probably goggled it.  For me, doing the research was exciting because it was the first time I was actively working towards my goal so I started with an online community detailing procedures and real patient experiences to get an idea of what I could potentially be going through.  Sure it was a bit overwhelming and got a bit daunting trying to figure out who was worth meeting for a consultation and who wasn’t, but I felt like I was investing more into my procedure and not being hasty like I tend to do.

Once I met with Dr. David Whiteman, it was a wrap.  It was during my consultation that we talked about my stomach pooch and he explained that I was an excellent liposuction candidate because I only had a small amount of fat to address and was already in great health.  What I wasn’t expecting was learning that combination procedures were a “thing.”  I honestly hadn’t factored breast augmentation into my procedure because I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford more than one procedure.  But I was wrong!  Dr. Whiteman and his staff did such a great job at giving me ALL the materials I needed as far as financing, what to expect during my procedure and lots of visuals (I’m a visual learner so before and after pictures are my jam) that I was sold on combining a breast augmentation and liposuction for my upcoming procedure.  The reason I decided to do them both at the same time is because I don’t have unlimited vacation days and it actually saved me money by not having to pay surgical fees more than once!  That, plus my recovery time was not going to be as long as I thought.  Sure it’s not an exact science but just a few short days/weeks sounded extremely reasonable to me.

So here I am, writing this as I stare at my calendar with my surgery date circled in obnoxious exclamation points.  Right now I’m not nervous…well maybe a little, but it’s an excited nervous because I can’t wait to see what my plastic surgery results are going to look like!  I’m already planning my new wardrobe, have started hitting the gym more to work on underlying muscle tone and added just about every bra on Victoria’s Secret website to my wish list for when I get out of surgery.  When Dr. Whiteman asked if I would share my story in a series I thought he was crazy, but I’ve found this is sort of a nice outlet to express what I’m going through leading up to my big day.  As I wrap up this long diatribe, I kindly ask everyone to put their judgments aside for a second and consider the underlying reasons so many people willingly choose cosmetic surgery.  It’s a very personal matter for me, an intimately personal choice and one that I know I am making on my own – free of judgment or pressures from others.  For once it’s about me and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for taking these steps.

The internet is only able to cover so much and it’s not until I was face to face with my future surgeon that my dream became more of a reality than I ever expected.  There’s no pressure to you or the doctor to just have a conversation but it’s the only way I would recommend getting started.  You may be just as surprised as I was.  Just remember, do it because YOU want to – forget the haters!

Kybella™ Fat Reduction for the Double Chin


kybella chin reduction atlanta duluth gaOh, the dreaded “double chin.”  How does it seemingly appear out of nowhere?  Why won’t it go away?  Can it go away with diet and exercise?  If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then listen up!  There are several factors that can contribute to a man or woman’s double chin; age, genetics and weight gain are all possible causes.  No matter how diligent you are in eating right and exercising, it just may not be able to do the trick.  That’s where the new, FDA-approved nonsurgical treatment Kybella™ fat reduction for the chin comes into play!

According to a 2014 American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), 68% of people polled shared being bothered by their double chin (also referred to as submental fullness).  As a double board certified plastic surgeon, I am always researching the latest techniques and products influencing the plastic surgery field.  Typically, body contouring procedures were the only way to address fat stored below the chin, but Kybella™ has proven to be the nonsurgical alternative.  Let’s go over some of the top frequently asked questions we’ve received regarding Kybella™ and its benefits:

Q: Am I a good candidate for Kybella™ fat reduction treatments?
A: Patients who are unhappy by the appearance of their double chin, feel their appearance looks aged or heavier than it actually is or may not yet be ready for surgical contouring procedures, like liposuction, are good candidates for Kybella™ treatments.

Q: Does Kybella™ fat reduction work on other parts of the body?
A: Kybella™ is only FDA approved for use on the fat below the chin.  Sorry, but it’s not recommended as safe for use on any other parts of the body.

Q: How do Kybella™ fat reduction treatments work?
A: Think of Kybella™ as a combination of body contouring and cosmetic injectable treatments.  The main ingredient used is a naturally-occurring substance already in our bodies, called deoxycholic acid.  This molecule helps the body breakdown and absorb dietary fat; when Kybella™ treatment is administered (during a 15-20 minute series of injections into the fat below your chin), it destroys the fat cells so they can no longer accumulate fat.  After treatment, Kybella™ patients see improved, younger-looking contours and a slimmer chin profile.

Q: Are there any risks and how long will my results last?
A: Downtime is fairly minimal after your first treatment.  Common side effects include swelling, bruising, numbness, stiffness or redness.  An ice/cold pack and over-the-counter medicine is all that is really recommended to help relieve any discomfort after treatment.  As far as results, it will depend on the person and how much fat we need to get rid of.  Generally we recommend 2-4 treatments but some patients may need up to six for the best results.  As long as you’re diligent with doing your part to maintain your weight, the fat cells should remain permanently gone!

Instead of wishing your double chin away, why not treat it the nonsurgical way with Kybella™ fat reduction?  If you’d like to learn more about Kybella™ or schedule your Kybella™ treatment, contact Southern Plastic Surgery today.  Stay connected with SPS by following me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Importance of Weight Management

As a society, our battle with obesity rates has been a hot topic of conversation and while there have been many initiatives put into place to encourage all of us to get active and be more mindful of the food and beverages we consume, for many weight management can be difficult.  An increasing trend among plastic surgery procedures is post-bariatric procedures, or body contouring procedures performed after losing a substantial amount of weight from either diet/exercise or gastric bypass surgery.  Once a person has successfully reached their goal weight, the removal of excess skin that has stretched out, due to the extra weight the body once carried, can be viewed as the last step to achieving their desired physique.  However, it is my belief that being mindful of weight management before, during and after rapid weight loss is the key to living a healthier, more active lifestyle and also maintaining your results.

liposuction atlantaBeing obese can cause a plethora of complications to your health.  From diabetes and depression to cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders, not giving your body the nutrition and physical activity it needs to function properly on a daily basis can be detrimental.  Every inch of our bodies are interconnected and our bodies function similarly to smoothly run cars.  With proper maintenance and giving it the right “oil,” we are able to reduce stress, increase energy and brain function, control weight and even improve our mood.

Often times we hear the importance of exercising regularly; this alone is not going to help manage your weight.  There needs to be a nice balance of exercise and diet, plus a commitment to sticking with it, to ensure gradual success.  I say gradual because it’s a marathon and not a sprint when it comes to weight management; the challenge is finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.  Our days may simply seem like there aren’t enough hours to go to work, get on a treadmill for 30 minutes then follow that up with making a hearty, home cooked meal.  But if you were to think about all of the effort and resources needed to reverse prolonged weight gain, why not mitigate the need for multiple cosmetic procedures because your final plastic surgery results are reversed once you slip back into your previous lifestyle?

Body contouring isn’t a method for weight loss, so you shouldn’t be fooled by the idea that you can liposuction large amounts of fat to help you get to a specific weight.  The work doesn’t stop after you leave the operating room and battling pockets of fat can be an ongoing struggle if you let it work its way back into your areas of concern.  For those of you who are exploring your options for post-bariatric procedures, there are several procedures to help you address sagging skin and improve contours.  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon, most commonly I perform arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, tummy tuck and body lift to help patients achieve a more sculpted appearance that matches your new body.

We understand the difficulty sticking with such an undertaking as changing your lifestyle can be, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.  To help better serve our patients and give them the extra resources that could benefit them, we have a Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist to help keep you focused and motivated.  Spearheaded by NESTA Weight Management Specialist Jackie Madison, our Lifestyle Change program promotes healthy active lifestyles by encouraging weight loss and management and holding you accountable each step of the way.  From past experiences, we have seen many of our patients make the most out of our Lifestyle Weight Management program and we really want each of them to have continued success long after leaving our office.

If you’re interested in starting your healthy lifestyle plan or want to find out about the body contouring and post-bariatric procedures we perform, please don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery today.  For more updates on plastic surgery and health and wellness, be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.