Ask Dr. Whiteman

best-atlanta-plastic-surgeonI always enjoy answering questions my patients have about various cosmetic surgery procedures and treatments available at Southern Plastic Surgery. By sharing these exchanges, I hope I am able to both educate and encourage patients not to be shy if they have questions of their own. This week I’m fielding questions about three of my most popular cosmetic procedures: tummy tuck, liposuction & Radiesse® Hand Rejuvenation.

Dear Dr. Whiteman,

I absolutely hate the stretch marks and extra skin that I have after having two kids. Although the extra skin does not bother me as much as the stretch marks I have developed. They are most noticeable on my hips and under my belly button. Can a tummy tuck help me reduce these stretch marks?

Sincerely,

“S”

Dear “S”,

Although there isn’t a specific procedure for stretch mark removal, some stretch marks can be eliminated with procedures that involve skin removal like a tummy tuck. During a tummy tuck, excess abdominal skin is removed and (in some instances) the underlying muscles are tightened. Stretch marks below the belly button can be eliminated through tummy tuck surgery, but this will not eliminate stretch marks on your hips or on any skin left behind. If you have excess hanging skin on your hips/thighs, some of the bothersome stretch marks on your thighs could be eliminated with thigh lift surgery. If the stretch marks are red of pink in color, our laser treatments may be able to reduce the pigmentation to make the stretch marks less visible.


Dear Dr. Whiteman,

I had total body liposuction two weeks ago. I stayed the same weight during my first week after surgery, but I’m up three pounds from my pre-op weight in week two and I am experiencing some swelling. Can you recommend anything that can help reduce the swelling and prevent further weight gain?

Sincerely,

“J”

Dear “J”,

It’s important to remember that liposuction is NOT a weight-loss procedure. Liposuction gives patients better body contour and a shapelier silhouette, but is not meant to help you lose pounds. I do understand that seeing the scale move upward from your pre-surgery weight after having fat removed can be discouraging. That’s why I tell patients to avoid the scale during their first month after surgery. During this month, the body is in healing mode from surgery stress which can cause it to retain water (which could translate to increased pounds). Once the body realizes you are fine, the water weight should come off. Maintaining a balanced diet moving forward and following your doctor’s prescribed post-op instructions will also help you on the right track toward a healthy recovery. Additionally, wearing a compression garment on the treated areas following liposuction will help reduce swelling and allow your new body shape to heal evenly and smoothly.


Dear Dr. Whiteman,

I recently had Radiesse® hand rejuvenation treatments injected in my hands for the first time. The injector told me to massage my hands twice each night. Is this really necessary? Will the results of my treatment be dependent on my massaging?

Sincerely,

“K”

Dear “K”,

The main reason I encourage massaging the hands after Radiesse® hand rejuvenation treatment is to help smooth out bumps that can form after the injections are administered. Massaging helps make sure that the depressed portions on the back of the hand are adequately covered by the Radiesse® solution, so the veins and tendons appear less noticeably.

I hope I was able to bring some light to these subjects. If you have a question of your own, we encourage you to contact me, Dr. David Whiteman at Southern Plastic Surgery today. Southern Plastic Surgery offers complimentary consultations to patients seeking guidance on how cosmetic surgery can help them achieve their aesthetic goals. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for additional information and updates.

Which is better: Liposuction or SculpSure™ Nonsurgical Fat Reduction?

Having to pick between liposuction and new SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction is like asking a parent to choose which of their two children are better – they’re equally as awesome, just in their own unique ways. It has long been a belief of mine that the more options you can give patients, the better they’ll feel about the procedure and how they’re going to get the results they most desire. When choosing between a surgical and a nonsurgical body contouring procedure like liposuction and SculpSure™, there are clear differences in how they each treat areas of concern, but at the very core, they both help patients address underlying fat. If you want to attain a more sculpted and toned body, deciding between these two body procedures can be daunting, but we want to break down some key points of each to help you decide which fat reduction treatment is best for you.

For means of body contouring, and specifically addressing localized pockets of stubborn diet- and exercise-resistant fat, liposuction has been the go to treatment for hundreds of thousands of patients each year. On one hand liposuction is a surgical procedure, meaning there is a little bit more downtime needed for recovery (versus a SculpSure™ treatment) but on the other hand it’s a safe and highly effective procedure that’s been around for many decades and utilized in other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures like fat transfer.

Nonsurgical fat reduction systems have only been around in the past decade, but there hadn’t been an updated, or as effective of a system, until now. SculpSure™ is the newest nonsurgical fat reduction technology that puts those outdated systems to shame because it provides better results, takes less than 25 minutes per treatment, and is at a fraction of the cost of other nonsurgical systems. This technology is FDA-approved and works by targeting fat cells deep below the skin’s layers. Unlike older systems that use extreme cold to freeze fat, SculpSure™ uses gentle heating and four customizable flat plates to produce liposuction-like results for patients.

Other notable benefits of both liposuction and SculpSure™ include:

Liposuction vs Sculpsure

Many of you have expressed interest in SculpSure™ so we’ve planned a little something special for you all. Join us on Thursday, June 9th, 2016 at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center for a special SculpSure™ Fat Reduction Demo Day Event to see firsthand what all of the buzz lately is about! Attendees can watch live treatment demonstrations for SculpSure™ the most advanced non-invasive fat reduction technology available (there’s an Abdomen Demo at 11am and a Flanks Demo at 2pm – RSVP for one or both if you’d like) followed by a complimentary consultation to learn how SculpSure™ could help you. Guests can save big on any SculpSure™ treatments you purchase that day (all four-applicator SculpSure™ treatments purchased at the event will be priced at just $1000 for a savings of $800 on one session or $1000 on two sessions), plus, enjoy light refreshments, and be entered to win a free giveaway. RSVPs are required in advance, so call the Laser Lights team at (770) 495-9322 today before the schedule’s full! 

For information on the cosmetic procedures performed at Southern Plastic Surgery or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us at 770-622-9100. We hope to see many of you at the SculpSure™ Fat Reduction Demo Day Event and if you can’t make it but have pressing questions in the meantime, just give us a call – we’d be thrilled to walk you through how it’s done.

The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)

Liposuction has consistently remained one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for men and women who wish to re-contour localized parts of their body. Even with the introduction of alternative body contouring treatments like SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction, liposuction ranks among the top three most sought after procedures. There are several different liposuction techniques board-certified plastic surgeons can use to target accumulated fat cells, but today, I want to talk about fighting unwanted fat with PAL (Power-assisted liposuction).

The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)In 2015 alone, the reported number of liposuction procedures jumped 5% with over 222,000 procedures performed just in the U.S.* – and ranking it second just behind breast augmentation. Starting with the basics, traditional liposuction patients typically treat areas that have become resistant to exercise and healthy eating like: thighs, love handles, abdomen, chin, buttocks, etc. Utilizing the tumescent liposuction technique, which uses an injected anesthetic fluid to make fat removal smoother, quicker, and safer, a small incision hidden within the natural contours of the body is made to allow a very thin tube (called a cannula) to reach the fatty tissue. It’s with the help of the cannula that I’m able to manually suction the fat out effectively.

What is power-assisted liposuction (PAL)?

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) uses a special mechanical cannula that creates rapid vibrations within the layers of the fat. The vibrations break up the fat cells and make it much easier to suction out affected cells from the treatment area. The benefits of PAL include:

  • Allows more precise excess fat removal which lead to better liposuction results
  • Can sculpt once harder to reach areas like the inner thighs, male breasts, and around the belly button + harder to suction, more fibrous fat
  • Micro-movements let me target specific areas of fat without damaging the surrounding tissue
  • Quicker treatment times – means less time you spend in the operating room and the faster you get to rest easy in your own home
  • Less bruising
  • Reduced recovery time

What else can power-assisted liposuction (PAL) be used for?

Using a patient’s own harvested fat during cosmetic procedures has opened the doors for more ways to augment the body (specifically the face, breast, and buttocks) in recent years. I personally have been interested in using power-assisted liposuction beyond body contouring and have found this technique to be particularly advantageous during fat transfer procedures. I’ve found it can provide great benefits when used during Brazilian Butt Lifts and have even developed my own technique that has attracted worldwide attention. This technique not only reduces the amount of pressure and damage to the fat cells, which results in potentially improved survival when added to its new donor site, but also has been proven to reduce a patient’s operation time by as much as 45 minutes to an hour.

As board-certified plastic surgeons, we are constantly researching new techniques and implementing those that help increase not only a patient’s safety, but their happiness with their results. Patients that are physically and mentally sound, have small amounts of localized fat, and aren’t seeing toned results, despite eating properly and staying active, make good candidates for power-assisted liposuction. The best way my patients can keep their svelte look after their liposuction procedure is to keep this reminder in mind: once I remove the fat cells, they’re gone forever – but that doesn’t mean fat cells can’t accumulate in other surrounding areas if you experience significant weight gain. Liposuction is not a weight-loss solution and requires your active participation in leading a health and wellness-conscious lifestyle if you want to get the most out of your liposuction results.