When Plastic Surgery Becomes a Business Model

The other day I saw a news report that talked about a large, national facial cosmetic surgery practice that unexpectedly shut down, without any warning to patients and even their doctors.   They were most notably known for their “minimally-invasive face lift” that they touted could be done under local anesthesia, take less time and money, and would produce results that were just as good as traditional facelifts.  While it may be true to some degree that we live in a society that enjoys instant gratification, there are just some things that deserve to be done the right way, even if it means it will take a little longer or cost a bit more.

Heavy marketing through infomercials and nationwide campaigns generated a lot of buzz about this company and the procedure they purported to perform for many patients looking for a low-cost facial rejuvenation treatment.  So how does a company that became so known go out of business so quickly?  The suggested downfall of this corporate structured practice is that there were numerous malpractice claims, dissatisfied patients and reports of safety concerns that led to several lawsuits filed against the company.  Reports from previous patients who had negative experiences described a type of structure that tried to sell a product and didn’t actually have the patient’s goals and health at the forefront of their practice.

I find this all to be quite alarming.  As a double board certified plastic surgeon I have devoted my entire practice to my patients because their safety and ultimately satisfaction with their plastic surgery procedures is what motivates me to keep learning, implementing and perfecting techniques that will only work to benefit the patient.  It’s already emotionally taxing for patients to navigate the world of plastic surgery in general; they’ve met with numerous doctors, decided on “the one”, scheduled the procedure and mentally start prepping for the next chapter in their journey.  To hear that a company would suddenly shut down leaving past, present and future patients high and dry is disheartening to hear for everyone involved because it’s not what anyone deserves.  It’s my belief that you build a trust between patient and doctor.  As a patient you entrust your life and as a doctor we have your best interest at heart, at least which is what healthcare providers should always strive to do.  When your practice and main focus becomes more about how much revenue you’re generating, this can only benefit you and that’s not why we practice medicine.

The best advice I can give to patients considering any plastic surgery procedure is to do your research.  Yes, online reviews can often be skewed but use your best judgement.  Reach out to actual patients, take in-depth looks at a surgeon’s plastic surgery results, meet as many doctors as you have to (meet with the same one more than once if you need that) until you feel completely comfortable and confident in your decisions.  If a gimmick seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is – so why take the risk when it comes to your health?

What Causes Aging?

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” ― Mark Twain

There are multiple factors that can contribute to the aging process including toxins, sun exposure, stress, nutrition, and gravity, which all cause the deterioration of the suppleness of our skin. Though I perform various facial plastic surgery procedures including facelift, mini facelift, and blepharoplasty, I continue to remind patients that it is important to keep realistic expectations and understand that plastic surgery does not slow down the body’s natural aging process. In addition to surgery, there are also everyday regimens that can all help aid in prevention.

breast implantsIn an article on U.S. News “Fight These 4 Causes of Aging,” nutritionist and author of The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer, Jonny Bowden declares that we indeed can control the rate at which the signs of aging appear. According the Bowden, 5 to 20 percent of aging derives from genetics and the rest are caused by diet and lifestyle choices.

By exposing yourself to free radicals such as trans fats, cigarettes, overcooked meats, or fruits containing pesticides and herbicides, you’re speeding up the aging process as they contain chemically unstable molecules which attack our cells and harm our DNA. Inflammation plays a vital part in many diseases of aging such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s which is caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues. Engaging in daily physical activity and consuming anti-inflammatory foods such as whole grains, salmon, vegetables, nuts, avocados, or dark chocolate can aid in reducing your chances of having a heart attack. Excessive sugar intake can also increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes as the sugar collects, causing blood to not smoothly run through capillaries and into vital organs.

Stress is a large contributing factor to the aging process as it causes the release of multiple stress hormones that heighten your blood pressure. It is known that stress is one of the leading causes of weight gain and noticeable signs of aging. One of the best ways to minimize stress is by making sure to get the recommended 6-8 hours of uninterrupted rest. When we sleep, our bodies go into “repair-mode” to mend the damage from daily activities by replacing old cells and stimulating new skin cell growth.  When our bodies are not able to get enough rest, they become stressed and release increased amounts of the hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol can affect the skin’s collagen production, which is beneficial in preserving the skin’s elasticity, and can lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.

While I offer various facial and body procedures, I place the utmost importance on patients leading a healthy lifestyle in order to preserve successful and aesthetically-pleasing results. If you’re looking to make the first steps towards healthy lifestyle changes, our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison is here to help. With the Lifestyle & Weight Management program, Jackie will help coach you through your pre and post-surgery time period 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.

If you are interested in any of the cosmetic procedures I perform, please contact us today. Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news.

Erase Time with Facelift Surgery

The case remains true that we can’t stop aging, but the signs can certainly be combated. If you’re looking to revive and rejuvenate your appearance, double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. David Whiteman recommends facelift surgery for patients wanting to fight the effects of aging and keep looking as young as they feel!

facial plastic surgery atlanta ga dr david whitemanThere are multiple factors that can contribute to the aging process including pollutants, sun exposure, and gravity, which all aid in deteriorating the suppleness of our skin. A youthful appearance tends to be a sign of fullness and triangular whereas aging tends to be empty and square.  To turn back the block on your look, Dr. Whiteman offers various facial rejuvenation procedures including a full or mini facelift. For patients who have more noticeable signs of aging such as lax skin, or deep wrinkles and fine lines, Dr. Whiteman performs a full facelift in which excess and sagging skin is removed and the muscle and tissue is re-tightened to refill areas of lost volume and to smooth wrinkles.  A full facelift also restores the neck line, jawline, and removes turkey neck.

Patients who are only concerned with specific and isolated areas of the face may opt for a mini facelift. During a mini facelift, Dr. Whiteman reduces wrinkles and sagging skin by making smaller, hidden incisions without affecting the brow and eye areas. Additionally, a mini facelift can also address jowls on the lower third of the face, including the neck and requires minimal downtime.

Dr. Whiteman likes to remind patients that though these procedures can restore a more youthful appearance, it is important to keep realistic expectations and understand that plastic surgery does not slow down the body’s natural aging process. In addition to surgery, there are also everyday regimens such as exercising, healthy eating, limiting UV exposure and using sunscreen faithfully that can all help aid in prevention.

For more information about facial plastic surgery at Southern Plastic Surgery P.C., please contact us to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with Dr. Whiteman on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for the latest cosmetic and reconstructive surgery news and information.