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Archive for March, 2012

If you have recently lost a significant amount of weight, congratulations! You are most likely experiencing many changes in your body. You probably feel better and can fit into smaller clothing, but may still be unsatisfied with your appearance. After all, weight fluctuation can cause irregular stretching in the skin or tissue that creates bulging and flab in certain areas of the body.

Men and women who experience a rapid deflation of their body due to fat loss typically have relatively poor skin quality. The skin has lost its elastic properties. This lack of elasticity is evident through stretch marks and cellulite (which are classic signs of permanent skin damage). These patients are NOT ideal candidates for liposuction since removing more fat from already damaged and deflated skin makes the sagging skin appear even worse.

For such cases, excisional cosmetic surgery techniques are ideal. The issue is skin and muscular laxity as opposed to excess fat cells. Unfortunately, liposuction is only effective in eliminating excess fatty tissue. However, our practice offers cosmetic surgery procedures that address saggy, deflated skin. Below are some of the most effective procedures for removing the excess skin.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,a tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) is the fifth most common cosmetic surgery procedure performed in the United States. Individuals interested in a tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) seek to improve the appearance of a protruding abdomen after a lack of results from traditional methods such as weight loss through dieting and muscle strengthening. By removing excess skin in the mid to lower abdomen and tightening lax skin and muscles below the navel, a tummy tuck contours the body by redefining the abdominal area and promotes the appearance of a narrowed waist line.

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

If you are experiencing a case of “bat arms” or “wings”, an arm lift (Brachioplasty)could be the solution for you. An arm lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that eliminates and tightens loose skin from the arm, giving you a more toned appearance. It is also a great way to combat the effects of gravity, aging and reduced skin elasticity.

Thigh Lift

Sometimes, liposuction alone can take care of unsightly thighs, but if extremely loose skin exists, a thigh lift may be the only solution. The most common type of thigh lift is a medial lift. A medial lift eliminates fatty tissue and tightens loose skin of the inner thigh. The incision is made at the inner crease of the leg and is closed by dis-solvable sutures. Some patients elect to combine this procedure with a butt lift. The combination of a thigh lift and butt lift is known as a spiral lift. A spiral lift is ideal for patients with loose skin on the inner thighs, sagging skin on the buttocks and a poorly defined gluteal crease.

All of these cosmetic “lifts” and “tucks” require downtime and will involve scarring. As with any surgery,certain risks are involved and can be discussed during your consult with your cosmetic surgeon or plastic surgeon.

Call 423-648-4011 to schedule your skin removal consult.

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For the past two weeks, we have explored the scientific effectiveness of facial rejuvenation procedures like face lift, brow (forehead) lift and cosmetic eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) surgeries, but now we will take a closer look at a new trend on the rise. Several recent studies reveal a dramatic rise in professionals electing to have cosmetic surgery procedures throughout the United States, France, Spain, Germany and Turkey, with Australia and New Zealand following closely behind.

According to five years worth of research conducted by Flinders University sociology chair Professor Anthony Elliott, more and more of the world’s workforce are investing in cosmetic surgery, not only as a way to enhance their confidence, but also as a means of boosting their career.

Anthony Elliot explains , “My research – undertaken over five years of intensive interviews with women and men turning to cosmetic surgery and other makeovers to enhance their appearance – indicates that professionals are motivated by two key reasons. First, cosmetic surgery offers a perceived fast way to combat age discrimination in the workplace. Second, it is also widely viewed as an effective means to boost a flagging career.”

Although face lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) and brow lift surgeries were scientifically proven to erase approximately ten years from one’s perceived age, there is not enough concrete evidence to suggest that these cosmetic procedures are effective in enhancing one’s career and even if this research existed, it is not advisable to undergo any surgical procedure simply with the intent of improving one’s career.

Cosmetic surgery patients need to fully evaluate their motives for undergoing any procedure and also be fully aware of the risks associated with surgery. Cosmetic surgery can work wonders for your appearance, but you need to undergo it for you, not anyone or anything else.

*Anthony Elliot quotes taken from http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/flinders-news/2012/03/20/cosmetic-surgery-for-career-boost/*

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facial plastic surgery Chattanooga, TennesseeAs demonstrated through scientific studies published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery and explained in last week’s blog , facial rejuvenation procedures like brow, eyelid and face lift surgery were proven to erase approximately ten years from patients’ perceived age. Last week we discussed brow lift and eyelid lift (Blepharoplasty) procedures. Now, we will take a closer look at face lift surgery.

Face Lift Surgery

Degradation of skin elasticity, deflation of facial volume and the falling of facial structures are unfortunate effects of aging. Many men and women who don’t wish to look their true calendar age consider face lift procedures to erase waggling jowls and loose, draping, wrinkled skin under the chin. The traditional face lift addresses each of these issues; but with a price: Down time, invasive surgical exposure, evident scarring and expense. Searching for a less invasive, more natural approach to facial rejuvenation- the Office Based Mini Face lift procedure was developed.

The Office based Mini Face lift is a surgical face lift to address the mid to lower face as a minimally invasive office procedure. The Mini Face lift can be combined with an eyelid lift (Blepharoplasty), brow lift, or Botox and facial fillers to achieve dramatic cosmetic improvements. The post operative effect provides a more natural appearance with limited down time when compared to other formal face lift procedures.

Mini Face Lift vs. Traditional Face Lifts

Most “traditional” facelifts are performed with general anesthesia and involve multiple weeks of downtime with a long incision beginning at the upper temples and extending behind the hairline on either side of the face to the nape. Due to the length of the procedure and the type of anesthesia, there is an increased risk of complications. The S-Lift minimal incision face lift, which has been performed since the late 1990s, is the basis for our Office based Mini Face lift procedure. The Mini Face lift is the new and improved version of the S-Lift mini facelift. Through a smaller incision, The Mini Face Lift allows for less scarring than “traditional” methods , but is still effective in correcting sagging jowls and “turkey neck”.

Mini Face Lift is for…

The office based Mini Face lift, is designed for men and women between the ages of 40 and 65+ to stay ahead of the “Ds” of the aging process:Degradation, Deflation, Descent. As we age, most individuals lose elasticity in their skin and develop varying degrees of descent along the jaw line and beneath the chin. The Office based Mini Face lift not only tightens skin, it is designed to permanently suspend the underlying structures of the lower face and upper neck. This suspension of the lower face offers men and women the benefit of a more youthful appearance without the “wind blown” look of a formal face lift. This “turn back of time” from the Office based Mini Face lift will last until the normal aging process resumes for the individual. Lifestyle choices, heredity, bone structure, skin type and sun exposure all play a part in determining how long the mini face lift surgical results will last. If you are between 40 and 65+ years of age, are a non-smoker and in good health, you are probably a candidate for the mini face lift. To schedule your Mini Face Lift consultation, call 423-648-4011.

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Recent studies have only confirmed what we have been seeing in our Cosmetic Surgery practice for quite some time. According to a study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, patients looked an average of 9 years younger than their actual age after receiving facial rejuvenation surgery.

Facial Rejuvenation effectiveness scientifically proven

Researchers conducted the study by using the before and after photos of 60 patients, all around 60 years of age, who had undergone facial cosmetic procedures. Of the group of 60 patients, 22 patients had received face lift surgery, 17 patients received face lift surgery in addition to an eyelid lift (Blepharoplasty) and 22 patients received face lift surgery in addition to an eyelid lift and forehead/brow lift.

Forty participants, all first-year medical students, were shown before and after photos of these patients and asked to estimate the patients’ ages before and after the surgery. Researchers found that patients who had only undergone face lift surgery looked approximately 6 years younger, patients who had undergone face lift and eyelid lift surgery looked about 8 years younger and after receiving face lift surgery in addition to eyelid lift and brow/forehead lift surgery, patients looked approximately 9 years younger.

We offer all of these procedures at our practice and were not surprised with the study’s results. If you are looking to erase years from your perceived age, below are a few of the most effective procedures proven successful through scientific research.

Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty) Surgery

Do your eyes always look tired and droopy? If so,Blepharoplasty, more commonly known as cosmetic eyelid surgery, is a procedure you may want to consider.

One of the first places our face can show age is around the eyes- the windows to the soul. Skin and other tissues around the eyes start to loosen and sag in the mid-30’s with loose, lax skin, hoods and wrinkles

Blepharoplasty is a surgery performed on the eyelids in which fat, excess skin and muscle are removed from the upper and lower eyelids. The procedure eliminates the eye’s droopy and puffy appearance and can improve the patient’s vision. In fact, insurance often covers the cost of Blepharoplasty surgery if the patient can prove loss of vision due to droopy eyelids. An eyelid lift can be performed in conjunction with brow and face lifts.

This outpatient procedure takes one to three hours and is completed under local anesthesia. Recovery lasts for approximately ten days and minor discomfort is normal. While healing, the eyelids may feel sore and tight. However, pain medication is administered to minimize discomfort.

Although a Blepharoplasty is highly effective at correcting droopy, hooded or puffy eyelids, an eyelid lift will not correct dark circles, crow’s feet or sagging eyebrows. Sagging eyebrows are addressed through a separate procedure known as a forehead/brow lift.

Forehead/Brow Lift Surgery

Often performed in conjunction with a face lift or blepharoplasty, forehead lift surgery lifts droopy brows and smoothens out frown lines on the forehead.

Various brow lift techniques exist including coronal brow lift, endoscopic brow lift and endotine brow lift. Typically, the coronal brow lift technique is the most invasive form of forehead/brow lift surgery while endotine and endoscopic procedures are less invasive approaches.

Coronal Brow Lift Technique

During a coronal brow lift, the incision is made behind the hairline, from ear to ear, in a straight line over the top of the forehead. The muscles and excess skin responsible for the sagging or frowning appearance are then shortened or removed. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures. Due to the larger incision site made in a coronal brow lift, longer recover time is required for this technique as compared to endoscopic or endotine brow lifts.

Endotine & Endoscopic Brow Lift Techniques

Less invasive forehead/brow lift techniques, like endotine and endoscopic brow lifts, involve multiple tiny incisions within the hairline or forehead. For maximal lift and line correction, incisions in the forehead are often paired with incisions hidden within the natural crease of the upper eyelids .
Endoscopic brow lifts involve the use of an endoscope, or small camera, which provides better visibility to the operating cosmetic or plastic surgeon. An endotine brow lift may or may not utilize an endoscope. However, both of these techniques involve less scarring and downtime than the coronal technique.

How does the endotine brow lift differ from the endoscopic lift?

An endotine brow lift differs from an endoscopic brow lift in that it involves the use of dissolve-able endotines, small devices made from a co-polymer, which provide lift to the brow by repositioning the sagging skin or muscles to a higher point on the skull. Instead of endotines, an endoscopic brow lift lifts the sagging muscles or skin through the use of screws. Many prefer the use of endotines to screws as the endotines have less potential to create tissue tear, hair follicle damage and irritating wounds.

For the patient’s safety, local anesthesia is used in a Brow Lift (forehead lift). Bruising and swelling are typical results of a brow lift and typically last for about 10 days. Mild to moderate discomfort, also typical after a brow lift, should be anticipated but can be managed through the pain medication prescribed by your cosmetic surgeon. Most people can return to work after 1 to 2 weeks, but brow lift patients need to refrain from strenuous exercise for 3 to 6 weeks.

With so many recent advances in the field of cosmetic surgery , the options can seem overwhelming at times. No matter what facial feature you wish to rejuvenate, it is important to research the healthcare provider based on his or her training, education, experience demonstrated practice history and before and after photos. A good surgeon will not make you look like someone else, but you- only ten years younger.

Stay tuned for the second portion of this blog which will explain face lift surgery.

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Fat Transfer

As we age, the underlying collagen and elastic connective tissues begin to break down and wrinkles emerge. We also tend to lose some subcutaneous fat on our faces. This brings about a haggard, hollow, or even skeletal look. Fat grafting is a natural approach to restoring a youthful look to the face that does not involve removal of skin, stretching the skin, or the risk of an unnatural look that can result from a face lift. Fat grafting can be combined with a face lift, if volume is what one needs.

Facial Fat Rejuvenation

Fat transfer — also called facial fat rejuvenation — is the process of taking small amounts of fat from one part of the body and reimplanting it elsewhere, where it is needed. This fat can be implanted to the lips, the nasolabial folds (the folds from the corners of the mouth, nose), the under-eye areas, the cheeks and other parts of the face and body. It is minimally invasive and can be completed in an office setting to help correct problems such as volume loss, acne scars and restore a youthful look to an aging face.

Fat: The Perfect Injectable Filler

As an injectable filler, fat is almost perfect. It is soft and feels natural, it does not cause immune problems,and most people have fat to spare! The fat is harvested from some other spot on your body, such as the abdomen, and can be a by-product, if you will, of liposuction reduction of that area. The main downside to fat grafting is that the body tends to absorb the transferred fat at least to some degree. The amount of fat that is implanted and then absorbed by the body varies. Some older studies have found that almost all the fat is absorbed, but there has been a lot of recent improvements in techniques for harvesting, treating and injecting the fat. Many cosmetic surgeons are reporting very good, lasting results with the newer techniques. A lot depends on factors including how the fat was removed, how it was concentrated and treated, how much was injected, where it was injected.

Fat Transfer Candidates

To be a good candidate for facial fat grafting, one has to be in good health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions, and one must have realistic expectations of the outcome. One may not be a good candidate for fat grafting if there is a history of poor wound healing or if their overall health is poor.

Fat grafting can be done on almost all areas of the face and body. However, the most common treatment sites are the areas under the eyes, the tear troughs under the eyes, the temples, the cheeks, the chin, the lips, the jaw line, the forehead, and the glabella (the area just above the nose in between the brows). Fat grafting has been used on the breast, buttocks and hips and the sternum. The site being treated must have good blood circulation and enough capillaries and larger blood vessels so that the injected fat cells are nourished and can form theirown blood supply. This is a key factor in getting the best and longest lasting results. Surgeons are continuing to discover new methods of aesthetic improvements through fat grafting. Although fat grafting and other types of grafting are still not perfect, they have certainly come a long way over the last few years.

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