Is there Such a Thing as Affordable Plastic Surgery?

There has been much talk lately in regards to affordability and how it relates to plastic surgery.  Saving money is great but there are certain purchases that should be given more thought and consideration – especially when it comes to elective surgery.  Cutting corners and risking harmful plastic surgery results because a surgeon is not qualified to perform safe and effective procedures doesn’t sound like a cost effective route.  Patients are often concerned with the feasibility factor of affording cosmetic plastic surgery but before you go bargain hunting, know that it can be affordable for many patients – you just have to know the best way to plan.

We are a tech savvy society.  Think about the most common payment options we have today like cash, checks and debit/credit cards.  Many surgeons are up with the times and accept many forms of payment to go towards a patient’s plastic surgery procedures.  What patients may not also realize is that financial institutions have partnered with physicians to create great plastic surgery financing options to help them achieve their goals.  At Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) we have decided to partner with Prosper Healthcare, CareCredit® and Alphaeon™ to help cover cosmetic and reconstructive procedures that may not be covered by insurance.  Each program offers different benefits such as zero interest charges if payments are made on time, low monthly payments and immediate decisions that won’t affect your credit rating.  It really just depends on your preferences and what fits best in your financial planning.

If a plastic surgery special sounds too good to be true, it very well could be so err on the side of caution.  I can’t stress enough the fact that patients must do their homework.  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon I’ve had the pleasure of working with a wide range of patients in the over 20 years I’ve been a practicing plastic surgeon.  Not all doctors are equal in their specialty, their technique and ethical standards.  Only those surgeons with board certification in plastic surgery can honestly say they have successfully completed the rigorous qualifications needed to be accredited by the largest plastic surgery organization in the world – the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).  This board certification upholds each of us to exemplary safety and care for our patients and not solely making a profit, at any cost.  Don’t let the smoke and mirrors of a bargain put your health and happiness at risk!

Virtually free plastic surgery is like a unicorn – it doesn’t exist.  From the mommy makeover candidate who has tummy tuck at the top of her wish list to the man who’s tired of hiding his overly large breasts and just wants to feel confident going shirtless after a male breast reduction, plastic surgery is possible.  It is affordable and not nearly as expensive as most people may think.  The most common thing we tend to hear is how surprised patients are to know that their procedure was far less expensive than they thought it was going to be originally.  Ask all the questions you need to feel good about your decision and leave the rest to us.  All of the SPS team is knowledgeable in working with patients to make affordable and sound decisions when it comes to the financial planning of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.  If you’re interested in learning more about our featured procedures and getting started on your own personal plastic surgery journey, we’re only a phone call away.

Why Some Men Have “Breasts” & Others Don’t

Let’s take it back; all the way back to birth.  With the exception of a few key anatomical differences between males and females, we are essentially built similarly.  When it pertains to the breasts you may be saying to yourself, “only women have those!”  Well technically you’re incorrect on that statement.  In the medical sense, men and women both have breast tissue from the start.  It’s when we hit puberty that the estrogen versus testosterone component comes into play.  When females enter puberty the hormones stimulate the breast tissue to develop into breasts while the males predominately maintain a flat chest and minimal breast tissue.  For some men however, their breast glands can become enlarged, giving them unusually large breasts.  So, why do some men have breasts and others don’t?  We have a name for the answer: gynecomastia.

To give you a little history lesson, gynecomastia comes from the Greek phrase “woman-like breasts” and is the classification of a medical condition that affects an estimated 40-60% of the male population.  It can affect both breasts, or one or the other, and can make men self-conscious or incredibly embarrassed by the appearance of their overly large breasts.  Typically the root of a patient’s gynecomastia is left unidentified but is largely due to hormone imbalances, genetic predisposition or excess weight gain.  While most gynecomastia cases occur around the time of puberty, men can be affected as well if they have any hormonal level abnormalities or are taking certain medications.

A common misconception about gynecomastia is that because it’s a case of oversized breasts, it must be an issue with fat – one that can be solved with diet and exercise.  Sorry to say you’d be wrong again, folks.  Gynecomastia can only be treated with a male breast reduction procedure.  First, I start by removing the excess breast tissue and fat, by way of liposuction and surgical excision.  Once we get that out, I’ll remove any loose, remaining skin and reposition it to create a smoother chest area.  If you’re one of the rare patients with large areolas (the circular pigmented tissue around the nipple), don’t worry, we want everything to be proportionate to the new breast size so I am able to reduce and reshape the areola as we deem fit to compliment the final look.

As your double board-certified plastic surgeon, my goal is to create a flatter, firmer chest.  I want my patients to be confident with their male breast reduction results and regain their self-confidence.  A word to the wise though – if you start to gain weight and abandon proper exercise and healthy eating, the extra pounds could cause your breasts to become enlarged again, and we certainly wouldn’t want that for you.  Do your work and enjoy your results for as long as possible.  If you believe you suffer from gynecomastia and would like to discuss your male breast reduction opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery.  Keep up with the latest plastic surgery news by following me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Grammy Makeover for Arm & Hand Rejuvenation

True or false: signs of aging mainly affect the face.  If you answered false – congratulations, you know your signs of getting older!  As gravity and a combination of weight changes (increase and decrease), genetics and natural aging start to take shape, we often overlook other key areas of the body that can make a person look older than they really are.  In this edition of our Grammy makeover series I want to focus on two additional procedures to help get your pre-Grammy body back: the arms and the hands.

Arm Sculpting

The term bat wing is a ‘lovely little nickname’ to describe the nature of sagging skin that accumulates and droops downward on the arms.  When we experience significant changes in weight, skin that is stretched cannot be retightened no matter how many reps of curls, bench pressing or body sculpting you do.  Collagen also inherently breaks down as we get older, adding to that sagging appearance that occurs to the arms.  Regardless of how localized fat and excess skin accumulates, the solution remains the same: arm lift, or bracioplasty as we say in the medical world.  Depending on the extent of your lax skin and remaining tissue, there are several incision techniques I utilize to help hide any visible scarring beneath the arm.  The actual arm lift procedure consists of removing loose skin, addressing that stubborn fat and smoothing over the remaining skin to restore a more proportionally-toned look to the arms.  Arm lift results should look as natural as possible but the work shouldn’t stop there!  With just about any cosmetic procedure, plastic surgery results can be maintained with proper diet and exercise regimens to reduce the chance of reversing results you’re already happy with.  Grammy makeover patients already have their hands full with keeping up with the grans – why add worrying about your results to your laundry list of priorities?

Hand Rejuvenation

Sure you could have the face of a 35 year old but what do your hands say about your age?  Think about how often our hands are exposed to harsh environmental damage (sun damage specifically), which can contribute to speeding up the aging process.  As the collagen production slows down and the skin begins to weaken, wrinkles and veins become more prominent – making the hands appear almost skeletal.  FDA-approved Radiesse® for hand rejuvenation is the nonsurgical solution to re-plumping the delicate, thinning skin.  Cosmetic injectables have helped men and women fill prominent areas of the face (like the cheeks and lips) but Radiesse® is the first of its kind to get the stamp of approval for use specifically on the hands.  Hand rejuvenation treatments are relatively quick and don’t require downtime following treatment.  Once we identify key parts of the hand that could use a boost, I’ll administer Radiesse® injections and gently massage the solution into the hands.  The massaging part helps to smooth out bumps and make sure that we adequately cover the depressed portions on the back of the hand to make the veins and tendons appear less noticeably.  Radiesse® for hand rejuvenation results last generally 1-2 years, with touch ups encouraged to keep your results lasting longer.

When you break down all of the procedures Grammy makeover patients have to choose from, you may notice that the possibilities really are endless; it’s your procedure, your way!  So far we have covered the facial rejuvenation components of Grammy makeover and in our next part we will explore the various body and breast procedures that are also below the neck.  If you’re a Grammy who’s interested in exploring Grammy makeover opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact Southern Plastic Surgery for your complimentary consultation.  Stay connected with me, double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more Grammy and mommy makeover news and updates.