The Surgical Artist's Blog

Q & A: Mons Pubis Lift

Posted by Chad Deal on Oct 27, 2014 10:03:02 AM

Question. I have always had an extra “pooch” of fat on my pubic bone that I feel embarrassed and self-conscious about. After two kids, it’s more prominent than ever, but now I’ve also got loose, saggy skin there. Is there anything you can do to make this area look better?


Answer: The “pooch” that you are referring to is the mons pubis, an area of fatty tissue located directly above the pubic bone. At Southern Surgical Arts we are often asked to make that area “look better.” Some women feel that theirs is too plump or prominent, or that it bulges visibly through their clothes. Others want to have the area lifted due to sagging skin caused by childbirth or significant weight loss. Often our patients are unhappy with their mons pubis due to a combination of both issues: excess fat and loose skin.

If you are unhappy with your mons pubis area, you may be a candidate for a mons pubis lift. We suspect that the mons pubis lift is not more well-known because many women find the topic embarrassing. Please be assured that there is nothing unusual about wanting to have this area “beautified,” especially after childbirth.

The procedure we will recommend to correct a mons pubis area depends specifically on the patient and the condition of their body. If there is a significant fat pad, we will recommend liposuction to remove the excess fat and create more attractive contours in the surrounding area. If loose, sagging skin is a problem, we will make a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen, in the same location a c-section or tummy tuck incision would be located. We will then remove excessive skin and lift and tighten the remaining skin. Generally, both liposuction and surgical excision are necessary to achieve the results the patient desires.

Because it is common to have excess fat and sagging in both the tummy and mons pubis after childbirth, many of our patients elect to have a tummy tuck procedure at the same time as the mons pubis lift. The incision is made in the same place for both procedures, so you will not have multiple incision scars. Additionally, the scar should be hidden by most styles of panties and bikini bottoms.

A combined mons pubis lift and tummy tuck is a surgery that requires a high degree of skill and artistry. You will want to choose a board-certified surgeon who has performed many of these procedures and who will share his “before and after photos” with you. Both Dr. Carey Nease and Dr. Chad Deal are multi-award-winning cosmetic surgeons who have performed hundreds of these procedures and who possess the surgical skill to achieve your goals.

If you would like to learn more about how a mons pubis lift can help beautify your body, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 for your FREE personal consultation.

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Topics: tummy tuck, Liposuction, Body

The Laser Face Lift: New, Improved and Available at Southern Surgical Arts

Posted by Carey Nease on Oct 20, 2014 1:00:00 PM

laser_facelift_baOne thing we have noticed in our interactions with patients here at Southern Surgical Arts is that many do not realize they can get some of the benefits of a traditional face lift without actually undergoing surgery.

While most people are familiar with the traditional, surgical face lift procedure, many do not realize that a “laser” face lift can provide you with younger-looking, firmer, tighter skin…without stitches or scars.

If you are interested in having tighter, firmer-looking skin, minimizing wrinkles and fine lines, or just want a smoother, refreshed appearance—but are not ready to commit to surgery—a laser face lift may be an ideal option for you.

Keep reading to discover four important facts about laser face lifts.

  1. Good just got better. Laser face lift capability has been around for a while, but the technology just keeps getting better. At Southern Surgical Arts, we insist on having the “gold standard” tool or equipment for each procedure that we perform. In this case, the newest, most state-of-the art tool for laser face lifts is the PrecisionTX™ laser.

    The PrecisionTX laser allows skilled cosmetic surgeons to perform minimally-invasive procedures with a high degree of precision and efficacy. This innovative tool allows your surgeon to tighten the skin of the neck and jowls while also “melting away” unwanted fat. The treatment also stimulates your skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin, two proteins essential to the health and beauty of your skin. The Precision Tx laser is often combined with the Smartskin CO2 laser for skin surface rejuvenation. Results of this treatment include skin tightening, wrinkle reduction, and overall improved skin tone and texture. The combination results in remarkable improvements and a very youthful appearance.
  1. It’s not just for faces. You may hear it called a “laser face lift” but the Precision TX laser also provides excellent results on the neck. If you have excess skin and fat on your neck and under your chin, you don’t have to resort to camouflaging the area with turtlenecks and scarves anymore. Your cosmetic surgeon can use the Precision TX laser to tighten lax and droopy skin while at the same time removing stubborn fat pads…all with virtually no scarring.
  1. Reduced procedure time and less downtime than surgery. Many of our patients delay treatment because they don’t want the downtime associated with traditional face lift surgery, or just aren’t ready for the idea of surgery in general. That makes a laser face lift a very attractive option. Using the Precision TX laser, a surgeon can usually perform a lift procedure in around 45 minutes with just local anesthesia and light oral or IV sedation. You will have less downtime than with a traditional surgery—generally about 3-5 days. Other than some mild bruising and swelling, you will experience very little discomfort. The scars are tiny and unobtrusive and will be unnoticeable even with short hair.
  1. Realistic expectations are key. While you can achieve dramatic and beautiful results with a laser face lift, your transformation will not be as extensive as with traditional facial plastic surgery. A surgical face lift is a better choice if you have deep lines and wrinkles or have significant skin excess or drooping that needs to be removed.

If you’d like to enjoy tighter, firmer, smoother skin of the face, neck and jowls but aren’t ready for a surgical face lift quite yet, consider a laser face lift. The best candidates for laser face lifts are non-smoking men and women in generally good health between the ages of 35 and 55. To learn more about your options for achieving a more youthful look, call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 to schedule your FREE personal consultation.

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Topics: Face

Dramatically Tighter, Firmer Skin Without Surgery with Ultherapy

Posted by Carey Nease on Oct 15, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Ultherapy_BAAt Southern Surgical Arts, we frequently see patients who desire tighter, more youthful looking skin on their faces—especially around the forehead, chin and neck areas. Patients also ask us to help with sagging, loose skin on their neck and décolletage. Many of these patients aren’t ready for a surgical intervention or don’t wish to commit to the downtime that surgery would entail.

Until recently, there was no FDA-cleared technology for a non-surgical lift or tightening procedure. But now there is, and Southern Surgical Arts has it!

Introducing Ultherapy

If you are interested in a non-surgical treatment for tightening sagging, lax skin, Ulthera may be just the solution for you.

Ultherapy is the only non-invasive technology approved by the FDA to lift and tighten skin on the face, neck and chest. No needles. No stitches. And no recovery time.

Ultherapy uses ultrasound imaging to allow your cosmetic surgeon to visualize specific layers of tissue so he can concentrate the sound energy on the areas where it is most needed. The ultrasound energy stimulates collagen regeneration at a very deep level. Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and is responsible for giving the skin its strength, structure and firmness. As your body begins to produce more collagen, your skin will look significantly firmer, tighter, and more radiant.

Depending on the area you are having treated, an Ultherapy session can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Only one treatment session is necessary. You will not have to take any time off from work and can resume normal activities immediately. The only sensation you may experience during the procedure may be a feeling of warmth and brief flushing of the skin. Afterwards you may experience mild discomfort for a few hours.

The final results of Ultherapy will be visible in 2-3 months, once your body has had time to make sufficient new collagen.

Best of all, Ultherapy is safe. Ultrasound technology has been safely used in the medical industry for half a century. As always, you will want to use a skilled, board-certified cosmetic surgeon to get the best results.

If you have mild to moderate sagging skin under your chin, on your neck or chest, around your jawline, or drooping brows, you may be a good candidate for Ultherapy. Please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 to schedule a FREE personal consultation with Dr. Carey Nease or Dr. Chad Deal. We look forward to sharing more information.



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Topics: MedSpa, Face

The Future of Tattoo Removal

Posted by Carey Nease on Sep 29, 2014 8:30:00 AM

picosure_before_afterAre you suffering from “tattoo regret?" If so, you’re not alone.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 45,000 tattoo removal procedures were performed in 2013 alone, and perhaps for good reason. A recent study by Dr. Andrew Timming of St. Andrew's University School of Management in Scotland in 2013 revealed that visible tattoos still have a negative perception among employers and could be hurting job seekers chances of getting hired.

Common reasons patients ask for tattoos to be removed include:

  • Aging. Tattoos that seemed sexy and fun at 21 may be less appealing at 40.
  • Name removal. Many patients wish to have the name of a partner erased after the relationship has ended.
  • Bad tattoo job. No one wants to wear a misspelled word one minute longer than they have to.
  • Style. Some patients seek to remove tattoos because they have gone out of style, or because they have become so popular that they are no longer unique or statement-making. For example, lower back tattoos were a fringe trend that became extremely popular in the early 2000s (eventually becoming known as “tramp stamps”—another possible reason to want one gone!)
  • Job hunting. Many patients worry that their tattoo(s) may negatively impact their job search. In today’s competitive job market, they feel that hiring managers may dismiss them due to stereotypes, or because tattoos don’t fit the more conservative image of the organization.

Previously, many prospective patients may have avoided tattoo removal because they had heard it was painful, prohibitively expensive, or they have seen that others have gotten results that were inconsistent or, worse, caused scarring. But that is no longer the case.

If you are ready to say “goodbye” to a tattoo you’re not happy with anymore, Southern Surgical Arts has just the solution for you.

The New Look of Tattoo Removal

Introducing the new, state-of-the-art technology that has made tattoo removal more comfortable, effective and affordable than ever before: the PicoSure aesthetic laser. The PicoSure laser is far more effective and consistent than any other device in the world, and is much less likely to cause scarring than older technologies. It is THE gold standard for tattoo removal.

PicoSure works by delivering extremely short bursts of energy into the tattoo, “shattering” the ink into tiny bits that can be gradually cleared by the body. Because the PicoSure laser can deliver energy in shorter increments of seconds than the older, traditional lasers used for removing tattoos, and can break the ink into tinier pieces, PicoSure can eliminate tattoos in fewer sessions. Tattoos can be completely removed in between 3-5 sessions versus up to 20 sessions required by “old-school” laser tattoo removal.

This results in less pain, faster recovery time, and greater results.

PicoSure is an ideal choice for removing black tattoos as well as eliminating tattoos in harder-to-remove colors such as purple, green and blue.

While PicoSure treatments may cost more per treatment than procedures done with older-technology lasers, it is ultimately more affordable than these alternatives because you will need far fewer treatment sessions.

What Do I Need to Know?

You may be a candidate for PicoSure if your tattoo is black, green, blue or purple (or a combination of these colors). PicoSure is most effective on these colors and for fair-skinned patients. It is not recommended for red ink tattoos. While the laser can be used on darker skin tones, some loss of skin pigmentation may result. In most cases this is temporary, but you should discuss this possibility with your cosmetic surgeon during a consultation.

PicoSure treatments are typically spaced out 4-6 weeks, giving the skin time to absorb the ink distributed by the last treatment. Cost depends on the type and size of the tattoo, which determines the number of treatments necessary.

PicoSure is considered to be mildly uncomfortable, equal to or slightly less than getting your original tattoo. It is less painful than with the other laser removal technology, or with older alternatives such as dermabrasion or acid treatments. If you are concerned about discomfort, your cosmetic surgeon should be able to provide you with a topical anesthetic prior to your treatment.

Where Can I Get It?

The PicoSure laser is not yet widely available. We are pleased to offer this new treatment as part of our commitment to providing our patients with the most state-of-the-art technology on the market. If you’re interested removing your tattoo using the new PicoSure laser, call Southern Surgical Arts at 426-266-3331 for a free consultation. We look forward to sharing this exciting new option with you!


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The Votes Are In! We Won Best of the Best Again

Posted by Chad Deal on Sep 26, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Chad_Carey_Bridge-websizeThousands of votes were cast in the Chattanooga Times Free Press’ “Best of the Best” awards this summer, and the results are in! For the sixth consecutive year, Dr. Carey Nease has been voted “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” in the Chattanooga area. Dr. Chad Deal was also voted a Finalist in the Best Cosmetic Surgeon category for the fourth year in a row.

The “Best of the Best” award is special to us because it’s a true “people’s choice” prize—the votes are cast by YOU. At Southern Surgical Arts, we are dedicated to creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere where our patients are comfortable and happy with every aspect of their experience—from the first encounter to the beautiful final result. Awards such as the “Best of the Best” let us know that our patients are satisfied with our expertise, training, technology and their results.

Dr. Nease and Dr. Deal are both board-certified, award-winning surgeons who have performed thousands of procedures using the most cutting-edge technology available. Their exclusive focus on the artistry of cosmetic surgery is a major driving force behind their success, and their commitment to patient care and satisfaction is evident from the moment you walk through our doors. The surgeons and staff of Southern Surgical Arts feel blessed to positively impact our patients’ lives through state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery.

Thank you for putting your trust in us, and for recognizing us again this year. We look forward to many more years of serving our patients in Chattanooga and beyond.  Let us know how we can help you achieve a more beautiful you.

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Topics: In The News

Thinking of Giving Your Arms a Lift? What You Should Know

Posted by Chad Deal on Sep 15, 2014 3:30:00 PM

Arm_lift_before_afterLean, toned arms are the goal of many women, who spend countless hours at the gym trying to achieve them. Younger women who have maintained a steady weight over the years are more likely to be successful at sculpting their ideal arms through exercise alone. But for women (or men) who have lost significant weight, or whose skin is not as elastic as it once was, achieving those arms may seem like a constantly-moving mirage. As a result, the “arm lift” (or brachioplasty) has become one of the hottest trends in cosmetic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently reported that there has been a more than 4000% increase in the number of arm lifts performed since 2000, with more than 15,000 women undergoing the procedure in 2013.

To hear those statistics and realize there is a solution for excess skin and fat on the arms can be a powerful temptation. And arm lifts can be greatly transformative. However, the choice to have an arm lift is one that truly requires careful consideration.

Is an Arm Lift Right for YOU?

One of the most important considerations with any surgery is scarring. This is especially true with arm lifts because there is nowhere to hide the scars.

With a tummy tuck surgery, a talented cosmetic surgeon will leave you with a thin, horizontal scar that is situated to hide in even a low-rise bikini bottom. Similarly, well-done, lollipop-style breast lift scars are small enough that they will not be detected even in a tiny, triangle-style bikini top. But with sleeveless and even some short-sleeve tops, arm lift scars will be visible. They will fade with time, but they will never disappear.

If you’re considering arm lift surgery, you will need to make sure you are working with an experienced cosmetic surgeon who has a wide array of tools at his disposal—and who is willing to consider all of the options. An experienced surgeon who has your best interests in mind will be honest with you about the trade-off of having visible scars that extend from arm pit to elbow to achieve dramatically tightened, more youthful-looking arms.

If you have experienced major weight loss and have a significant amount of excess skin, chances are the transformation you will undergo with an arm lift surgery will be worth the scarring. Your arms will look radically tighter and more youthful, and having long scars may be justified.

But if you only have a mild to moderate amount of excess skin and fat, it may be in your best interest to explore other options before committing to such an aggressive approach as a total arm lift. Fortunately, you still have many options to help you achieve more beautiful arms that you’ll be proud to show off.

Dr. Deal and Dr. Nease make it a priority to consider the whole patient rather than just the body parts she (or he) desires to improve. Dr. Deal and Dr. Nease will consider your goals and lifestyle, as well as current body condition, to make recommendations that will provide the most satisfying results. He will not recommend an arm lift surgery simply because we can, or to chase the latest trend.

At Southern Surgical Arts, we prefer to think of the process as arm rejuvenation, which can include a variety of procedures dictated by your individual goals and condition. For women with mild to moderate excess fat and skin, we will likely recommend a combination of intraoperative and postoperative approaches. A more conservative approach will still result in an attractive outcome with no scarring.

We do not want you achieving smaller, tighter arms, only to retreat behind long-sleeves again. Especially considering how uncomfortable that would be for much of the year in the South!

For mild to moderate cases, we frequently use non-invasive approaches like topical skin tightening via radiofrequency devices, or ultrasound-based technology. Or minimally-invasive approaches such as radiofrequency, ultrasound, or laser-assisted lipolysis. We will recommend a more aggressive surgical approach when we are treating severe loose skin. Our goal is to find the treatment that is the most beneficial to you, period.

And, if you choose a less aggressive approach first and then find you want a bit more tightening —you can opt to do so. We’ll ask you to wait four months for the swelling to completely subside first so you can see your final result. If desired, we can then perform another topical or lipo procedure. Or, if you think you do want the most dramatic change possible, we can show you what you can expect from the scarring at different stages of healing. Then you will be well-informed as to whether the arm lift is worth it to you. You have many options, and we will help you find the best one for YOU.

At the end of the day, we want you to have confidence and feel good about yourself. We are dedicated to working with you to find out how best to achieve that.

For further information on the fine art of brachioplasty, look for an upcoming article published in Surge, a publication of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Our own Dr. Carey Nease has written an in-depth article on the topic that will be featured in the magazine!

If you want to learn more about your arm-beautifying options, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423.266.3331 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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Topics: Liposuction, Body

Botox…for Migraines?

Posted by Jennifer Deal on Sep 8, 2014 3:30:00 PM

botoxYou may think of cosmetic surgeons as your lifeline to a more beautiful “you”—but did you know some qualified surgeons are also a source of relief for those who experience chronic migraine headaches?

If you suffer from chronic migraines, you know the pain and frustration of how these intense, debilitating headaches can negatively affect every area of your life. Because of the extreme physical discomfort caused by migraines, chances are that your work and home life have been greatly impacted at one point or another. If medications and lifestyle changes haven’t brought you relief, you might want to seek help from an unexpected source—Botox®. Studies have found that both the frequency and severity of the migraine headache can be reduced by 50% as a result of Botox therapy.

Botox treatment is FDA-approved for adults over 18 years of age who suffer from chronic migraines for 4 or more hours each day, for 15 or more days each month. If you haven’t found relief through medication and lifestyle changes, you may want to consider discussing Botox treatment with either Dr. Deal or Dr. Nease at Southern Surgical Arts.

If you are a candidate for this treatment, your cosmetic surgeon will administer several Botox injections in several specific areas of your face and/or neck based on your symptoms. Results are expected to last for about 3-4 months.

If you or someone you love suffers from chronic migraines, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 to learn more about the benefits of Botox treatment.

Learn more about our top 10 questions about Botox, as well.

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Topics: Skin, Eye and Brow Lifts, Face

Tummy Tuck Scar Placement: A Quick Guide

Posted by Chad Deal on Sep 3, 2014 7:51:00 AM

If you’re considering a tummy tuck or ‘mommy makeover’ procedure, one factor you’re sure to consider is the scar that results from the procedure. While you’re likely excited about losing excess skin and fat and having your abdominal muscles tightened, one thing you don’t want is an overly-obvious scar that announces, “I’ve just had work done.” The best cosmetic surgery is as invisible and natural-looking as possible, and that’s why Southern Surgical Arts approaches each tummy tuck with a focus on artistry.

The infographic below illustrates possible placements for tummy tuck incisions and the location in relation to your panty or swimsuit lines. As you’ll see, our board-certified cosmetic surgeons, Dr. Carey Nease and Dr. Chad Deal, strive to place tummy tuck incisions below your clothing lines so that the focus will be on your smooth, shapely abdomen, not on your scar. Our award-winning surgeons will also craft a new belly button for you and will use liposuction to sculpt sleek new curves for a youthful, beautiful and natural-looking tummy you’ll be thrilled to show off at the pool and gym.


Want to see some real-life results? View our before and after picture gallery to learn why it’s so important to choose a surgeon who has a focus on artistry and the surgical skill to make that artistic vision come to life.

If want to learn more about tummy tucks, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423.266.3331 to take advantage of a FREE personal consultation with Dr. Nease or Dr. Deal.

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Topics: tummy tuck, Body

3 Things You May Not Know About Laser Liposuction

Posted by Carey Nease on Aug 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM

img_bor_inf_izqLiposuction is one of the most popular procedures we perform at Southern Surgical Arts—with good reason. While diet and exercise can trim, firm, and tone your body, they cannot eliminate those stubborn deposits of fat around the waist (“lovehandles”), on the belly, inner and outer thighs (sometimes referred to as “saddlebags”), on the neck, above the knees, or on the back. This can be very frustrating for men and women who spend hours at the gym with unsatisfying results.

Liposuction has become increasingly popular due to its ability to do what diet and exercise can’t—specifically target and eliminate those fat pockets for long-lasting, beautiful results. However, one of the best treatments available is a newer technology that takes the already impressive results of traditional liposuction to a new level—laser liposuction or Smartlipo.

A surgeon performing laser liposuction will use a small laser to melt and dissolve fat cells. Laser-assisted liposuction can be done alone or in conjunction with traditional liposuction to maximize the amount of fat removed.

When considering a laser liposuction procedure, there are three important facts you need to know about what it can and can’t do for you.

  1. While liposuction can remove a significant amount of fat to improve the look of cellulite, it cannot eliminate it. There are laser treatments designed specifically for the removal of cellulite, such as CelluSmooth and Cellulaze. These procedures work under the skin to target the fibrous bands that actually connect fat to the muscle, effectively treating the cause of cellulite development.
  2. One of the benefits of having a laser-assisted liposuction procedure is that the heat generated by the laser tightens mild to moderate loose skin, resulting in a smoother, firmer appearance. Traditional liposuction is very effective at removing fat, but does not typically tighten the skin like laser procedure does. (If you have significant excess skin, you will need a surgeon who also performs “tuck” procedures. With greater amounts of excess skin, such as after significant weight loss, laser liposuction alone may be enough to get the best results possible).
  3. Not only does laser liposuction have the ability to tighten mild to moderate excess skin, you will also experience minimal bruising. The procedure can be done under a local anesthetic with our without IV sedation, and because fat is removed in a liquid form, the trauma to your skin will be decreased compared to traditional liposuction. As a result, your downtime will be less, and you will recover more quickly.

Laser liposuction can dramatically transform your body to give you the contours you’ve always desired. Be sure to look at our before and after picture gallery so you can see what this procedure can do for you.

If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your liposuction options, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331.

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Topics: Liposuction, Cellulite reduction

Reduce Redness with Vbeam

Posted by Carey Nease on Aug 20, 2014 10:45:00 PM

frontpage_picIf you’re one of the nearly 14 million Americans with rosacea, you know how frustrating the condition can be. The characteristic redness on the cheeks, nose, and chin may eventually lead to visible blood vessels, small lumps and bumps and thickened skin. Adding to the frustration, one of the more popular “go-to” treatments for skin resurfacing—the chemical peel—will only irritate the sensitive skin of rosacea sufferers even more.

Even if you don’t have rosacea, redness may still be an issue for you. You may have “cherry” moles, port wine stains, or vascular lesions like surface capillaries. Or, you may have fresh surgical scars or stretch marks that are reddish in color and have not yet begun to fade.

Fortunately, advances in cometic laser technology mean that we can treat these red-hued lesions with more beautiful results than ever before, thanks to the Vbeam pulsed-dye laser at Southern Surgical Arts.

The Vbeam laser is the gold standard in treating red marks and lesions. It delivers an intense but gentle burst of light into targeted areas of the skin. The light is absorbed by the targeted blood vessels or red-pigmented areas in the skin (depending on which skin condition is being treated). The goal of this treatment is to fade the targeted red areas so they blend more readily into the surrounding skin.

One of the many attractive features of this treatment is that discomfort is minimal and there is little downtime. The Vbeam has a patented cooling technique that minimizes stinging. Your face may look slightly reddened for about 24-48 hours and you may experience some short-lived, mild swelling. Results will be influenced by factors including how long you’ve had the lesions and the locations on your body.

The Vbeam laser is most effective on patients with fair to medium skin tones. It is not recommended for darker skin tones because the contrast between the surrounding skin’s color and that of the treatment area may not be enough for the laser to target effectively.

To learn more about how Vbeam can help to reduce redness, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423.266.3331. We are happy to share additional information with you.

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Topics: Face, Body

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