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!

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!

Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Lila

Each year I mentor several medical students that spend a few weeks interning in our office to get hands-on learning in the field of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery and I thought it was about time we introduced the bright students that are going to be the future of medicine!  For the 4th year interns who choose our practice for their elective internship, we really wanted to give them a well-rounded scope of topics we feel are important to helping future physicians properly care for their patients; from surgical techniques to office management and patient caretaking.  First up on our spotlight is Lila.

dr david whiteman southern plastic surgeryOriginally from Alpharetta, Georgia, Lila is an aspiring pediatrician who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past several weeks.  Lila received her Bachelors of Science in Biology (with a minor in Global Health) from Emory University and is currently studying at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus.  We sat down with Lila and asked her a few questions about her time spent interning with the Southern Plastic Surgery family:

What made you choose a career in medicine?  For as far back as I could remember being a doctor is what I said when people asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I have a brother who had very bad childhood asthma, and to me, the doctors that looked after him during his really terrible asthma exacerbations were miracle workers. I wanted to do for other families what they did for mine.

Describe your internship in ONE word.  “Independence”.  Dr. Whiteman really pushes his interns to think independently, but will never abandon us and will never waste an opportunity for us to learn something.

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?  I won’t be doing a lot of plastic surgery in my practice, but nonetheless have learned some incredible things that I will carry with me throughout residency and my practice.  Dr. Whiteman has really helped me improve my suturing and surgical skills.  What I’ve learned will be invaluable throughout my emergency medicine rotations and pediatric surgery experiences.  I also have learned so much about wound care and management, post-operative care for patients, and am now able to confidently discuss the risks, benefits and process of certain procedures that I will be referring my pediatric patients to plastic surgery for.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far during your internship?  I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for help! I won’t always know the right answer or what to tell my patients – but its ok, that’s why I’m working with the best to learn!

What’s been the biggest challenge?  How to transition from thinking like a student to thinking like a physician.  Suddenly, it isn’t about just diagnosis anymore, it’s about recognizing disease states and conditions, testing for them, efficiency and being economical with my time and tests I want to order.

What’s the best thing about interning with Southern Plastic Surgery?  Some may say plastic surgery is a very superficial or shallow field of medicine, and I admit, before I started I can’t say that I completely disagreed.  But, working with Dr. Whiteman, I’ve really been humbled by his work, his patients, his attitude and the relationship he has with his patients.  It isn’t about looking “pretty” or “beautiful” – although all his patients I’ve seen certainly do look so, but rather it’s about how his patients FEEL and celebrating who they are and how they feel about themselves.  He helps patients who have lost over 100+ pounds celebrate by removing excess skin and helps women who have beat breast cancer rebuild a part of their bodies that are so associated with femininity.  He treats every patient that walks through his door like family – and that is something that really made an impression on me and I aspire to achieve in my own practice.

What’s your favorite memory so far?  Dr. Whiteman dancing to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars in the operating room while his patient got settled, so she was more at ease.  It is surgery, yes, but he always made it fun!

Then, we asked her the really tough questions:

Hobbies: Traveling, cooking, spending time with family & shopping.

Favorite movie: The Princess Bride

Do you have a personal motto?  It is a quote from a famous Persian poet that my father read to me growing up, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

Fun fact about yourself:  I never use my given name, Lila!  My nickname, which everyone knows me by, is only a one letter difference from my given name!  “Lily” Is my nickname.

If you didn’t practice medicine, what would you do professionally instead? A wedding planner! One of my hobbies is decorating and party planning, but a lot of why I enjoy this is because I love celebrating happy occasions with families!  In medicine, when my patients gets discharged from the hospital after several days and get to go home healthy again, it’s always a mini-celebration!

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta:  In the spring I love to get lunch from Alon’s Bakery and have a picnic at Piedmont Park!

Pick one: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner?  Brunch.  Definitely brunch.

Stay tuned for more intern spotlights in the upcoming weeks to learn more about the stellar group of men and women you may see around the office from time to time.  Feel free to also contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. with any questions you may have about our practice or procedures.  You can also stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.