Why Plastic Surgery Is Not a Freak Show

Let’s be honest, some people in today’s society attach stigmas to plastic surgery – some may be good but others can be scathing. Everyone has an opinion on just about everything these days and I find myself still being disappointed by the negative comments I read on cosmetic plastic surgery articles. In my over 22 years of plastic surgery experience, the main motivator that pushes me to do better and work harder is the positive way plastic surgery can change lives. It’s the giant smile on a mother of three’s face when she expresses she never thought she’d see her youthful body again, the teenager who is excited to be able to swim with his friends without feeling embarrassed by his male breasts, and the tears of joy from a young woman in her 20s who had stopped looking at herself in the mirror because her nose was all she could see – it’s for all of them, and those to come that I do it. So when I see such judgment being directed towards those that choose plastic surgery because they want nothing more than to lead a happy, active lifestyle, I feel the need to speak up. Even though certain tabloids and media outlets love to cover the most bizarre and often over the top, one in a million fanatical cases, plastic surgery is not a freak show.

Why Plastic Surgery Is Not a Freak ShowFor many people, plastic surgery is the only way to help reduce functional body issues some active men and women face on a daily basis. I saw an article over the past few months that claimed more women were electing to have labiaplasty (a procedure that reduces the folds of skin surrounding the vulva, called labia majora and labia minora) because they weren’t happy with the way they looked in yoga pants. That type of motivation is purely cosmetic and not exactly a reason that I would have ever considered before reading that article, but for the aspiring dancer who can barely move without having extreme discomfort due to chafing or the teenager whose period causes incapacitating labial swelling and pain, this type of procedure is life changing.

Our bodies are not symmetrical and many of us have quirks that make each of us unique. It’s when day-to-day living is a physical struggle or when a person’s health is at risk that plastic surgery becomes the type of treatment that is most effective. Men who have gynecomastia, the medical condition where they have oversized male breasts, can cause an immense amount of insecurities that keep them hiding inside. Exercise is vital for both brain function and nourishing the body so we can perform at our best. Women with overly large breasts also find themselves in a similar boat in regards to health concerns. Large breasts can contribute to chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, leaving it virtually impossible to properly exercise without experiencing discomfort. Instead of suffering day in and day out, these types of cases look to breast reduction (for women) and male breast reduction to alleviate the excess fatty tissue and skin that make up their once pendulous and extremely heavy breasts.

The thigh gap concept was also another “trend” I saw that got a lot of attention but also added some negative opinions of body contouring. Instead of certain body contouring procedures being accredited for helping patients with what I like to call “friction syndrome” (like when the inner thigh rubs together constantly to the point of causing clothes to feel uncomfortable, chafing, and pain) that interferes with walking and simply being able to function without being miserable, the benefits are being overshadowed. But whether a patient chooses to go with liposuction or a thigh lift to address their lower body or the SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction method, they’re alleviating a genuine concern that is persistently bothersome – and there’s nothing freakish about any of that in my opinion.

Thanks to advancements in technology and the constant improving of surgical techniques, patients have access to more options today than ever before. The internet and social media certainly have become hot beds for conversations and shared opinions on all things plastic surgery, but at the very core, the choice for a person to undergo any surgical procedure should be extremely important, personal, and shouldn’t be dictated based on societal views and prejudices. Vanity will perhaps always exist but I think keeping an open mind when considering the pieces of a person’s story we may not know, before lumping them into negative stereotypes, will foster a stronger support system within our community and view those who benefit from plastic surgery in a more positive light.

Gift Guide for Surgical & Nonsurgical Cosmetic Treatments

Sometimes we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find “the perfect gift.” We don’t want to give someone a sweater that’ll end up buried in the bottom of a dresser or a piece of artwork that ends up at next year’s annual yard sale but for someone you feel has it all, what’s left to give? Each month we hand select special savings on a variety of treatments that patients choose to help relax, pamper their skin, and restore their body. This month, since we are celebrating moms everywhere, the Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) team thought a gift guide for surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic treatments might come in handy when figuring out what will make the special person in your life most happy.

Southern Plastic Surgery May Specials

Southern Plastic Surgery May Specials

Nonsurgical Cosmetic Treatments

Of the nonsurgical cosmetic treatments on today’s market, two treatments that rank as two of the most popular go to facial fillers and nonsurgical fat reduction. Between SPS and Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center, we offer patients a plethora of FDA-approved anti-aging facial fillers that focus on specific areas of concern that contribute to patients looking tired, skeletal, or older than they actually are (some focus on sagging cheeks, others focus on deep wrinkles on the forehead, and there are others that focus on plumping the lips).

SculpSure™ new nonsurgical fat reduction (as recently seen in Harper’s Bazaar and Best Self Magazine, and also one of our featured procedures for May) combats the same trouble zones that were once only treatable with liposuction. This latest FDA-approved fat reduction technology system beats other currently outdated systems because it provides better results in less time (only 25 minutes per treatment), at a fraction of the cost. Commonly treated areas include love handles, thighs, and abdomen and best of all, no downtime is needed so SculpSure™ patients are back to their regular routines once they’re all done.

Laser Lights May Specials

Laser Lights May Specials

If you’re curious to find out for yourself why SculpSure™ is as great as it is, join us at Laser Lights on Thursday, June 9th, 2016 for a special SculpSure™ Open House Event. We’ll have two live demos that you can RSVP to watch (abdomen demo at 11am and flank demo at 2pm), followed by complimentary consultations. Attendees can also enjoy light refreshments and special event pricing available for one-day only! For details or to RSVP, give the Laser Light’s team a call at 770-495-9322.

Surgical Plastic Surgery

Gifting plastic surgery is a trend we’re starting to see more of as cosmetic plastic surgery continues to grow in affordability and popularity. It’s not necessarily a matter of knowing exactly what a person would want to have performed but more about giving them the means to choose. Two procedures that are performed at Southern Plastic Surgery that let women choose their preferences are the Mommy makeover and Grammy makeover. Mommy makeovers include a combination of breast enhancement (breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction) and body contouring procedures (liposuction and tummy tuck) to restore the physical effects of pregnancy, childbirth, breast feeding, and natural aging. A Grammy makeover goes a step further to include hand and facial rejuvenation (like facelift, browlift, cosmetic injectables, etc.). You can think of these procedures as an a-la-carte type of cosmetic procedure that let’s mom, or grammy, focus on the areas they most want to improve, in one fell swoop.

Gift Certificates

If you still feel like finding an ideal gift for mom is hard, gift certificates are a great way to let the gift receiver pick what they want the most for themselves. Whether gifting plastic surgery at Southern Plastic Surgery or selecting one of our skincare treatments at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center, our gift certificates will make sure everyone gets exactly what they want.

Can’t make it to the SculpSure™ Open House Event but have friends who want to find out about SculpSure™, the most recent non-invasive fat reduction technology? Give us a call and ask Jackie Madison about scheduling a SculpSure™ Party for at least 10 of your family and friends to enjoy, including treatment demonstrations, refreshments, and more (plus, as the host or hostess, you’ll receive a special gift and discount as well)!

For details on the May savings we’re featuring at SPS and Laser Lights, check out our flyers for more.  Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 770-622-9100 if you have any questions about our specials, events, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation or Laser Lights appointment. We wish everyone a great month ahead!

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.