January Spotlight Patient: Meet Denise

There are several things that really seem to validate the rewards of being a plastic surgeon: I get to work with a diverse group of patients on a daily basis, help patients improve their self-image by achieving their personal cosmetic surgery goals, and have the opportunity to build lasting relationships – just to name a few. Through the recommendation of her surgeon and thorough research of my reputation, when Denise first came to Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS), she had successfully battled breast cancer, undergone a double mastectomy in 2012, and was ready to take on breast reconstruction to restore her breasts.

My JOYAs a mother of three adult children with a passion for life, Denise knew that although she had to endure a journey that she did not choose, there was much to be thankful for. We have had the pleasure of working with Denise over the past 2 ½ years and recently caught up with her to welcome her as our January spotlight patient so she could share a bit about her breast reconstruction experience:

“My memories with Dr. Whiteman and his wonderful staff will always be with me. At the first consult, Dr. Whiteman asked me what I wanted – to which I shared what I thought I needed. He was willing to do what I wanted but he wanted the BEST for me. After a very detailed discussion on what my daily life and activities were, we settled on using tissue expanders and implants to complete my breast reconstruction (which today was the BEST choice for me and my active lifestyle).

Dr. Whiteman is very easy to talk to; he listens to everything you say and surprisingly he remembers the office discussions on the day of surgery. Today, I am EXTREMELY THRILLED WITH MY RESULTS! It has enabled me to meet so many people and to help others that have had to deal with breast cancer themselves. During my experience with the Southern Plastic Surgery team, I became a part of their family. They knew about my family just as much as I knew about their families. Even when I had to have a complete hysterectomy and was fearful that the cancer had spread from previous tests in mid-2014, Dr. Whiteman and his staff visited me. The laughter, hugs, and even tears that they shared with me during my journey are something I’ll never forget.

I learned so much from the SPS team and totally enjoyed getting to know the different variety of plastic surgery interns that Dr. Whiteman had in his office during their rotations! I would most definitely consider another plastic surgery procedure but for right now, I am enjoying taking the time to let my body heal from all the previous surgeries – but the newest Laser Lights Laser Center treatments are definitely on my bucket list. I’m enjoying life and still learning something new every day! I try to not take life for granted and pay more attention to even the small things in life.”

Denise’s SPS experience didn’t end after her breast reconstruction but continued as she chose to refine her thighs with liposuction, rejuvenate her face with laser treatments and facials, and even partnered with our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison and Daryl Madison, experienced ACE certified personal trainer during her recovery through their Lifestyle & Weight Management programs. It’s our philosophy to treat each of our patients as if they were our own family and enjoy getting to know them as they each go through their unique plastic surgery experiences. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from Denise and encourage you to check back in the coming weeks when we will be sharing more patient testimonial stories in the future.

New Year, New Resolutions

By now you’re probably tired of seeing the trillions of lists on the internet trying to help you figure out what your goals are for the New Year. Whether you call them goals, resolutions, dreams, aspirations, or simply whatever you like best, the theme remains the same – a chance to improve on some aspect of your life. I find that many of my patients start the year off with such great motivation and intensity but often have difficulty sticking to their original plan as the year gets busier and everyday distractions get in the way.  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon with over 22 years of practice, my job is not only to help patients attain their plastic surgery goals but also to encourage maintaining the results long after you’ve left my office. But how you may be wondering? With a new year and new resolutions!

Plastic surgery is a choice and it can certainly help patients regain their confidence when it comes to how they feel about their appearance. What it’s not is a weight-loss tool. Yes body contouring procedures like the mommy makeover, Grammy makeover, liposuction, and tummy tuck can help achieve a slimmer, more sculpted body, but what do you think happens to your figure if you go back to eating unhealthily, leading a predominately sedentary lifestyle, and barely working out? Well, the same stubborn fat can come back and ultimately reverse the plastic surgery results you worked so hard to get.

Whether you’re seeking a breast surgery procedure like as breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, or more concerned with anti-aging facial procedures such as rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, or facelift, I will help you to achieve the plastic surgery results you’ve always wanted. It’s no surprise that one of the most common resolutions for the start of the year includes some form of health. From taking the first steps to major weight loss or wanting to unearth that 6-pack from the college days, as a society weight management tends to be a big focus when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet/exercise routine. The health benefits alone should be reason enough to join a gym or incorporate daily walking into your schedule, but it’s sticking with it that can be the challenge.

Since plastic surgery should never be a “fix-all” weight loss solution, we’ve taken our commitment to improved health one step further at Southern Plastic Surgery.  For several years now, we have provided all of our patients the opportunity to take the first steps towards healthy lifestyle changes by giving them direct access to our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison and Daryl Madison, experienced ACE certified personal trainer. The Lifestyle & Weight Management program specifically helps coach you through your pre- and post-surgery journey by teaching you how to commit to an active lifestyle, achieve weight loss and weight management goals, provide effective eating habits, manage your time and assist with battling stress. You’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve when you have the right motivation in your corner.

To help you start looking towards a brighter year, we’re offering a Mommy Makeover special for patients interested in combination breast and body procedures. Combine a tummy tuck + any cosmetic breast procedure and receive $500 OFF your surgery. Don’t let the idea that plastic surgery isn’t affordable deter you from giving the gift you’ve always wanted to yourself; check out our special plastic surgery financing or give us a call at 770-622-9100 with any questions you may have! Be sure to also follow me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery specials, news, and updates.

How Much Recovery Time is Needed for Your Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures?

Once a patient has completed their plastic surgery procedure and had the chance to start the healing process, I always have them meet with me for a follow-up consultation to make sure they’re healing properly and are happy with their new plastic surgery results. In my nearly 22 years as a double-board certified plastic surgeon, there are two remarks I often hear when I have follow-up consultations with my patients:

“I didn’t think affordable plastic surgery existed.”

“I should have done this procedure a long time ago – the recovery time was better than I could have ever expected.”

This got me thinking that perhaps these misconceptions were because patients simply were not aware that the most popular plastic surgery procedures can produce positive, life-changing results without the need of breaking the bank or causing setbacks in their daily work and home routines. The first step to success is choosing a plastic surgeon who is board certified (means they have completed all requirements in their specialty according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Next you’ll discuss your plastic surgery procedure of choice and start your journey to doing something that is gift all for yourself.  Each month I like to feature a facial plastic surgery, body contouring, breast enhancement or nonsurgical anti-aging procedure to offer extra savings for my patients.  This month we’re featuring tummy tucks and breast enhancement procedures. Each patient is unique and therefore there is no exact science to recovery time, but let’s take a look at the expected recovery time needed for this month’s featured procedures.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Tummy tucks are one of the top body contouring procedures that are performed on their own or as a part of combination procedures like the mommy and Grammy makeover to restore their pre-baby/grandchildren bodies. The first week post-tummy tuck surgery is the time when patients will need the most help from their friends and family. We don’t want you to stress the newly contoured abdominal area so resting is crucial to let the body begin the healing process. Typically patients are able to return to work after 2 weeks and are advised to hold off on heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks.  We know many patients are anxious to get back into the gym, but exercise must be eased in to.  In the beginning I recommend that patients regularly walk to help keep the muscles active but anything more should not happen until the 3-6 week recovery mark.  As we continue to monitor your healing, this could certainly change, but following doctor’s orders and waiting until you’re cleared will only stand to benefit you and your tummy tuck results.

Breast Enhancement

This month patients can receive a FREE mini breast lift with a purchase of a breast augmentation.  These two procedures are great combination breast enhancement procedures to not only beneficial for increasing the size of the breasts but also to remove extra fat and skin to position breasts higher on the chest.  A bonus for combining procedures is that you reduce the overall amount of downtime.  It doesn’t seem like it would benefit a patient to have a breast augmentation in one procedure, then turn around and undergo a breast lift shortly thereafter.  If you combine up front, then you’ll combine the total time needed to recover.  If we look at each procedure separately, the recovery time is pretty similar for both a breast lift and breast augmentation. Depending on your comfort level and ability to heal, breast enhancement patients can generally expect to return to work in a few days to a week after their procedure. You’ll have to refrain from heavy lifting and any activity that could put strain on your chest, but it shouldn’t prohibit light activity. For the exercise-conscious, I like to recommend holding off until 2-3 weeks post-surgery before starting light exercises.  You’ll be able to gradually work up to more strenuous exercise, but don’t get ambitious until your surgeon says otherwise.

Knowing that my patients leave our office feeling truly happy with their plastic surgery results is what I strive to achieve on a daily basis. Only you can be your biggest advocate for your safety, so do your homework and make sure that you ask as many questions as you need to feel confident in your decision! We have several plastic surgery specials for November (including non-surgical hand rejuvenation) and invite you to reach out to our office at 770-622-9100 with any questions you have, or to schedule a consolation for any of the procedures we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS).  All of the SPS team hope you have a great month and get to spend loads of time with those you are most thankful for!