Archive for May, 2012

breast implants Chattanooga, Tennessee

Are silicone implants dangerous?

Once deemed as unsafe, silicone breast implants were reintroduced to the market with the approval of the FDA in November of 2006. Since then, silicone implants have grown in popularity and remain supported by the FDA as a safe and effective device when used as intended.

What do breast implants feel like? Will they feel real?

The way your implants feel will depend on the type of material your breast implant is composed of. Typically, silicone gel implants most closely mimic the look and feel of real breast tissue while saline will feel a bit different from silicone implants and natural breast tissue. If you want your breast augmentation to produce the most realistic feel possible, silicone is the preferred choice. During your complimentary consultation with our Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons, you will be given the opportunity to feel the difference between silicone and saline implants.

Is it too late to have breast implants for this swimsuit season?

It is definitely not too late to show off your new look this summer. Two to three weeks after breast augmentation surgery, most patients are able to reveal their new,improved look. Please note, however, that complete healing will continue for weeks to follow.

Will others be able to tell I have had breast augmentation surgery?

The look of your new breasts will be dependent upon multiple factors such as type of implant , placement/location of implant and surgical technique. If you are going for a subtle effect, our surgeons will probably recommend using silicone implants placed under the muscle. Our cosmetic surgeons will never force you to go larger in size than you feel comfortable. For the most part, we can make your breast implants as noticeable or as subtle as you prefer.

Will I have Scars?

Wherever an incision is made, a scar will form. However we include post-op laser treatments in your procedure costs. Upon completion of laser scar treatments, most patients can no longer see any signs of the incision site.

Call 423-648-4011 to schedule your FREE breast augmentation consult with our Board Certified Surgeons.

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scar removal ChattanoogaScarring after cosmetic surgery like breast lift, tummy tuck and arm lift procedures is simply inevitable. Wherever an incision is made, a scar will form. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the appearance of scars after cosmetic surgery.

Laser Treatment for Scars

Although many cosmetic or plastic surgeons do not include laser treatment for scars in their procedure cost, we at Advanced Surgical Concepts typically include 4-6 laser scar treatments in the cost of procedures such as tummy tucks, breast lifts, breast augmentations and arm lifts. Three to four weeks after surgery, we begin treating our patients with a Vbeam laser wherever scarring is present. The Vbeam is a minimally invasive laser which emits intense yet gentle pulses of light to pigmented areas of the dermis. The V beam is so gentle that it does not require any anesthetic or pain medication. At the most, the patient may feel a short-lived “sting”. In most cases, we have found the Vbeam laser to be very effective at correcting scar pigmentation.

Laser Scar Treatment Chattanooga, Tennessee
When V beam is not aggressive enough to tackle the appearance of a scar, we may suggest a more invasive laser treatment such as a Fractionated YAG or CO2 laser. These lasers basically ablate, or vaporize, the skin one layer at a time. The damage inflicted by the laser stimulates the healing process which will eventually reveal a fresh new layer of skin. The more invasive the laser, however, the more downtime and pain associated with the procedure. The areas to be treated by the laser are cleaned and marked with a pen. A nerve block with a local anesthetic is usually used to numb the area before treatment. You may also be given a sedative or anti-anxiety medication.

After surgery, scabbing will begin to surface as your body begins to heal itself. Once the scabbing is gone, the epidermal layer of the skin has healed yet thin scars become visible. During this phase of the healing process, the scar gradually thickens as underlying collagen is produced as a means of additional healing. To further facilitate the scar healing process, scar creams such as Mederma (with SPF) and ScarGuard MD are helpful.

Scar Creams

One of the best ways to reduce scarring is to shield the scar from sun exposure as UV exposure can actually worsen the pigmentation of the scar. This is why Mederma with SPF is recommended as a first line of defense. Mederma and ScarGuard also help to improve the coloring and texture of the scar and can be applied as soon as scabbing has subsided. For best results, patients should use these creams consistently for 3 to 6 months following their procedure.

Scar Revision Surgery

When treating scars, either from a cosmetic procedure, injury or previous surgery,we will try to exhaust all minimally- invasive solutions first. For older, more stubborn scars, however, scar revision surgery to reduce the appearance of the scar may be advised. Scar revision surgery is effective in reducing or decreasing the size of the scar.

Although all of these methods can be effective in reducing the appearance of scars, they cannot completely remove the scar. Therefore, it is important for the patient to accept scarring as a side-effect before undergoing any type of cosmetic surgery. To avoid more aggressive forms of scar reduction, it is important to treat scars with great care as soon as they surface.

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It is a well-known fact that cigarette smoke stains our teeth, prematurely ages our skin and can lead to cancer, but there are other reasons we do not recommend that our cosmetic surgery patients smoke. Smoking has a serious impact on the results of your cosmetic surgery. Consequently, you may have noticed that most candidates for our surgical cosmetic procedures are “non-smokers”. So, how does smoking specifically effect your cosmetic surgery results?

How does smoking affect my cosmetic surgery?

Nicotine (of any kind ex. cigarette, nicotine gum, chewing tobacco) constricts small blood vessels resulting in worse blood flow to skin after surgery. In addition, smoking increases carbon monoxide levels in the blood resulting in less oxygen to the tissues. Following surgery, oxygen is particularly necessary for its healing powers and its ability to fight infection, transport antibiotics and other important medications and help keep skin tissue alive. Below is a list of important studies involving the effects of smoking and cosmetic surgery.

  • Studies have shown that smokers are 12.5 times more likely to develop skin loss with delayed healing in facelift surgery than non-smokers.
  • In one study, smokers having tummy tucks had a 47% chance of developing a wound at the incision site. These types of wounds may result in increased costs and delayed healing because of the need for wound care devices such as a wound V.A.C. Some wounds may take months to heal and may even require skin grafting.
  • Smoking a single cigarette can decrease the blood flow to the thumb by 24%.
  • A research study found that 85.3% of patients that said they quit smoking 2 weeks before surgery in fact kept smoking. Realize that you are taking significant risks by continuing to smoke when you are asked to quit.

Procedures Most Affected by Tobacco & Nicotine

Tummy tucks, facelifts, breast reductions and breast lifts are the top procedures most affected by tobacco and nicotine use. These types of surgeries are unique in that the skin is undermined and as a result the blood supply to the skin in compromised. In healthy non-smoking patients, the risks of wound breakdown and healing is low. However, in smokers, the risks of skin loss, delayed healing and scarring are increased.

The following are pictures showing major wound with skin loss after cosmetic procedures. Smoking increases these problems after surgery!

How do I avoid this?

Studies show that quitting smoking (and all nicotine products) 3-4 weeks before surgery and 3-4 weeks after surgery will decrease the likelihood that you will develop a wound problem. You will still be at a slightly higher risk than a non-smoker.If you need help quitting there are prescription medications that we can prescribe to help you quit.

Smoking Policy at Advanced Surgical Concepts

We REQUIRE that all smokers COMPLETELY QUIT smoking (and any nicotine products) a minimum of 3-4 weeks before surgery and 3-4 weeks after surgery. After this time period, if you wish to resume smoking, that is your choice.

Some procedures do not require that you quit smoking but we still recommend that you quit for optimal healing.

We may request you have a nicotine test….if the test is positive we may refuse doing your surgery.

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Laser Rejuvenation in Chattanooga
Age spots; those ugly brown indicators of skin maturity. We hate them and their partners in crime, wrinkles. Unfortunately, our skin is an unforgiving, historical record of exposures. Exposure to chemicals, exposure to trauma and exposure to sun. Most brown spots are skin stains caused by sun damage and the first line of defense is SPF 30 sunscreen (or higher). To improve already existing brown spots, there are several different forms of treatments. Photodynamic therapy, chemical peels and laser resurfacing are the mainstay for the treatment of sun spots and wrinkles.

CO2 laser resurfacing

Skin Resurfacing is a medical procedure which modulates the skin to have a more youthful appearance. Some skin resurfacing devices, such as CO2 lasers, use the ablative method: removing the epidermis and some of the dermis as a deep, thermal injury. Basically, a second degree burn, the ablative method is quite invasive. While a great result is eventually evident, the drawbacks include red, raw and unsightly skin and risk of infection for several weeks after the treatment. The injury inflicted by this laser is actually quite impressive. Most patients require two to three weeks of down time, out of the public eye, after CO2 laser ablation. However, the results are impressive with the growth of new, pink and supple skin.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL)

Other devices use the non-ablative method:sending light pulses into the dermis, while leaving the epidermis intact. This method is called IPL or intense pulsed light therapy. This IPL therapy allows quick recovery, but when the light pulses don’t penetrate far enough into the dermis, the change in skin tone and texture is negligible. Therefore the options: great results with extensive downtime or limited results with no downtime.

Fractional Skin Rejuvenation

Thankfully technology has yet advanced. Fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing is now available. So what makes fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing different?

Fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing is the only method which offers both excellent results and no downtime. Fractional skin treatments deliver laser light in an array of narrow, focused “microbeams” to create columns of heat within the skin. These “microbeams” penetrate deep into the dermis for the most effective, long-term results obtainable. The heated tissue within the columns starts a natural healing process that forms new, healthy tissue. This results in a decrease in sunspots, fine lines, wrinkles and acne scarring, and a fresher, more youthful skin tone and texture.

Now for the down side of fractional therapy. A series of treatments may be required to achieve the desired results. Fractional skin rejuvenation is designed to alter only portions of the target skin tissue. Think of it as digital tissue editing. Fractional skin rejuvenation creates millions of microscopic, thermal columns within the skin. Together these micro-treatments cause a change in the collagen and elastin below your skin’s surface which gradually improves the appearance of your aging and sun-damaged skin. It also results in a healing process with minimal downtime.

The number of fractional laser treatments varies from patient to patient depending on the severity of the condition, the skin type and the desired results. Most patients choose fractional skin resurfacing to decrease sun or age spots, decrease fine and moderate facial wrinkles as well as decrease the appearance of scars and stretchmarks.

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