The Surgical Artist's Blog

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

Solutions for Stretch Marks?

Posted by Carey Nease on Aug 13, 2014 12:01:00 PM


Ever since I had my children several years ago, I’ve had very prominent stretch marks on my tummy. None of the creams and lotions I’ve tried have worked. Are there any treatments that can permanently remove stretch marks?


bodyWe hear this question a lot at Southern Surgical Arts—in part because stretch marks are so common, especially among women who have had children. We also get this question from patients who have developed stretch marks because they have quickly gained or lost a significant amount of weight for reasons other than pregnancy, or experienced rapid growth during puberty.

You are also more likely to develop stretch marks over the course of your life if you are fair-skinned, have a family history of stretch marks, have certain adrenal disorders such as Cushing’s Disease, or use steroids to build muscle mass rapidly.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect remedy for stretch marks. In fact, no reputable cosmetic or plastic surgeon will promise to remove them. We hope technology will exist in the future to eliminate these scars as it would certainly be in demand! In the meantime, we do offer two treatments that can minimize the appearance of stretch marks and help you love your skin more.

1. Vbeam Pulsed Dye Laser—This laser treatment is very effective at reducing redness in “fresh” stretch marks. Time will eventually fade the color of stretch marks, but for those who are ready for them to be less visible ASAP, the Vbeam pulsed dye laser is an excellent option. The cooling “mist” feature also keeps this treatment comfortable during each pulse of the laser.

2. MesoPen—This “skin pen” microneedling treatment has provided remarkable results in our practice at Southern Surgical Arts. The pen creates tiny holes in the skin, which the skin “perceives” as injuries. This triggers the skin’s natural repair response to produce collagen and elastin, creating smoother skin. Although it works best on fresh, red marks, the aestheticians at Southern Surgical Arts are very impressed with improvements to texture and appearance of older stretch marks as well.

If you would like to see if you are a candidate for either of these treatments, please call our office at 423-266-3331 for more information or to make an appointment.

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Topics: Skin

Introducing Sciton Nano Peel

Posted by Carey Nease on Jul 28, 2014 11:29:33 AM

EllipsePostCardARTWhen you hear the name “Sciton NanoLaserPeel™”, you might think of a futuristic technology or possibly something out of a science fiction movie. This is only appropriate, as the Sciton NanoLaserPeel is one of the most cutting-edge new procedures available today for skin rejuvenation. Southern Surgical Arts is proud to offer this exciting technology to our patients.

What is NanoLaserPeel?

Does your complexion need a pick-me-up? Perhaps you would like your skin to look brighter, younger, smoother, more radiant overall? You might just be a candidate for a NanoLaserPeel.

The NanoLaserPeel uses light energy to remove the damaged top layers of skin in a manner that promotes the skin’s natural healing process. If you need a procedure that is a little more intensive than microdermabrasion but you’re not quite ready for a deep laser resurfacing, your cosmetic surgeon may recommend a NanoLaserPeel treatment.

A very precise instrument, the Sciton NanoLaser can safely penetrate more deeply than a chemical peel, revealing younger, smoother skin on the face or hands in just one treatment. You will not need abrasive or chemical topical treatments with a NanoLaserPeel, making this a popular procedure for those patients with sensitive skin.

You may wish to consider a NanoLaserPeel if you want to improve the look of:

  • Fine facial lines and crow’s feet
  • Dull, aging skin
  • Skin tone and texture
  • Pigmented lesions or spots due to sun damage

What patients love about the NanoLaserPeel is that there is little to no discomfort, they leave with alight pink glow for the next 24 hours and are able to resume normal activity the same day. And, it’s as impressive as 3-4 sessions of microdermabrasion. Best of all, you can schedule your NanoLaserPeel over a lunch break and still have time to grab a sandwich. Average treatment time is only 15 minutes.

If you’d like to learn more about the Sciton NanoLaserPeel, please contact our office at 423-758-6414 to set up a complimentary personal consultation. While you’re here, you can check out our beautiful, new office location in Chattanooga’s Southside!

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Topics: Face, laser resurfacing

Trends for Men and Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Carey Nease on Jul 14, 2014 2:38:00 PM

CEOOne of the biggest misconceptions about gender and elective surgery is that women are the only ones who are interested in enhancing themselves through cosmetic surgery. When many people think of cosmetic surgery, they may simply think of women getting breast augmentations, liposuction, face lifts and even quick-recovery options like Botox and lasers. But, actually more men are turning to their local cosmetic surgeon to achieve a more athletic physique and look more attractive.

Men are increasingly seeking cosmetic enhancements for their faces and bodies as they look to improve their appearance whether it is to erase wrinkles, repair a crooked nose or protruding ears, remove excess breast tissue or sculpt some abs when sit-ups don’t do the trick. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that men had 1.3 million cosmetic procedures in 2012, up 5% from 2011.

This growth is part of a much larger trend--the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reports that the number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 273% from 1997. “Men face the same pressure to look and feel great as women,” said Dr. Nease. “Many of my male patients have said that they feel healthy and are working out, but also see the increasing number of health magazines with very fit males on the cover. I think it is a definite growing trend for the guys, especially those who are aging but need to compete in their profession.”

Another surprising reason men seek cosmetic surgery is to increase the chance for success. Whether they spend more time in a boardroom or a weight room, men are turning more and more to cosmetic surgery to give them that something “extra” they feel will help them to achieve their goals.

“At Southern Surgical Arts, we also see many professional men come in because they want to look younger and stay competitive in the workplace, especially those in sales and leadership roles. Our focus is to help them while also avoiding obvious signs of surgery,” said Dr. Nease.

Among male clients, Botox®, which is injected to treat facial wrinkles, is popular because of the quick results and little down time. We also frequently perform chin implants, as many men feel a firm, strong chin conveys strength and youth. Other common requests are SmartLipo of the abdomen and neck (as well as neck lifts), laser treatments and chemical peels. We also routinely perform rhinoplasty and eyelid lifts on our male patients.

Because professionals in sales and leadership positions are so visible to the public, and the job market has gotten more competitive in recent years, some men are eager to ensure they look like the vibrant, effective go-getters that they still feel inside.

Professional bodybuilders may not spend much time in a 9-5 office setting, but they are highly visible as well. Not to mention, just as highly competitive in their own setting. Bodybuilders tend to seek abdomen sculpting and male chest reduction through liposuction. Liposuction removes stubborn excess fatty tissue to help reveal the chiseled physiques they have worked so hard to attain. Once a man stops bodybuilding, he can be left with excess skin and fat that can be improved with laser liposuction to the chest.

Of course, men who don’t feel pressured to look younger for business or competitive reasons also want to look good—for themselves and their spouses or partners. It seems that looking younger, happier and as appealing as possible is a universal desire across the sexes. As results have improved and the signs of surgery become less and less visible, men are increasingly turning to their cosmetic surgeons to help them look their best.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has identified the top five cosmetic surgery procedures requested by men:

  1. Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping)
  2. Eyelid surgery (upper or lower eye lifts)
  3. Liposuction (Smartlipo)
  4. Male breast reduction (gynecomastia treatment)
  5. Facelift (lower face and neck lift)

Although chin implants did not make the “top 5” list, the procedure is increasingly gaining popularity each year among men. Botox also did not make the list because it is considered a non-surgical procedure.

If you are interested in learning more about how Southern Surgical Arts can help you look younger, more attractive, or simply help you bring out your best appearance, please call (423) 266-3331 for a discreet, free personal consultation with Dr. Deal or Dr. Nease.

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Topics: Eye and Brow Lifts, Face, Liposuction

Want to Give Your Bust a Boost?

Posted by Chad Deal on Jul 7, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Q. Can a breast augmentation give me more cleavage?breast

We hear this question quite a bit at Southern Surgical Arts. When people think of a “breast augmentation,” they tend to automatically think of larger breasts, period. And while you will have an increase in size with implants, that may not be the ultimate desire of some of our patients.

Many women who have had children have lost a good deal of volume in the upper half of their breasts, an area that cosmetic surgeons call the “upper pole.”

The upper pole is an area of the breast that is typically full and shapely prior to childbirth and breastfeeding. Once the fullness is gone, women may compensate by using bras that push the breasts together and upward, especially when they wish to wear a low cut v-neck or strapless top.

We also hear this question from women whose breasts are naturally a more narrow shape, and more widely-spaced on the chest. With this profile, it can be difficult to “fake” cleavage with even the best of bras, because of the distance between the breasts.

With both types of patients, they may not desire to have significantly larger breasts—they may simply wish to gain (or regain) a more feminine, curvy shape that looks as good in a business suit as a bikini.

If you are looking for sexier curves and eye-catching cleavage, then yes, a breast augmentation can help you achieve the look you desire. You will have to “go up” somewhat in size due to the implants, but the end result won’t just be bigger breasts—you will gain a fuller, more beautiful bust overall.

This is where your choice of cosmetic surgeon is so important. Any competent surgeon can add implants to an already-symmetrical chest and make a patient look and feel beautiful.

However, when you are trying to recreate volume or create cleavage on a chest where the breasts are naturally farther apart, you want the most skilled surgeon possible.

Such surgeries are more challenging—and this is where the difference between a simply “good” versus an “outstanding” cosmetic surgeon can make or break a procedure.

You will get the best results by choosing a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who has a mastery of breast augmentation and a detailed understanding of the anatomy of the breast. Look for a surgeon who has performed many similar surgeries and can show you a “before” and “after” picture gallery with examples of patients whose “before” breasts are similar to yours.

As always, trust is paramount. You should feel that your concerns are carefully considered and addressed and that all your questions are fully answered.

At Southern Surgical Arts, patient satisfaction is our primary priority. We provide free, personalized consultations to give patients the chance to ask all the questions they need to feel comfortable and empowered. We want our patients to be satisfied with each encounter, from the initial consult to the surgery to post-procedure follow-up.

If you would like to beautify your bustline, contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331.

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Topics: breast reduction, breast augmentation, breast lift, Breast

We Moved! New & Improved Southern Surgical Arts Location

Posted by Carey Nease on Jun 23, 2014 1:30:00 PM

New_buildingYou may have noticed we took a brief blog vacation. (We missed you, too!)

We’ve been busy moving into our beautiful new location—a 25,000 square foot building in Chattanooga’s South Side district downtown.

Our new office and surgery center features a medical spa and two state-of-the-art surgical suites. Just as we seek out new technological advancements to better serve our patients, we also upgrade our facilities when necessary.

Our practice has continued to grow, making it necessary to expand into this office suite, known as “Southside Station.”

This new location is conveniently located one block off of Main Street, at 1405 Cowart Street.

We opened in this space last Monday and got right to work consulting with patients and other cosmetic procedures.

We are already hearing positive feedback about the beauty, convenience, comfort and professional appearance of our new office. Please let us know your thoughts when you come for your next procedure or spa appointment.

You’re Invited! Southern Surgical Arts will be hosting a grand opening event on September 26th.

Watch out for more details about our upcoming event and special offers.

Thanks for your patience and encouragement as we made this transition. We are grateful to have the support of both our patients and the business community of downtown Chattanooga.

We’ll get back to regular blogging business next week.

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Topics: In The News

Help for Aging Hands

Posted by Chad Deal on Jun 9, 2014 12:29:00 PM

reassuring_handMany of us are very careful about our skin these days. We are constantly reminded about the importance of sunblock for preserving a youthful look and preventing skin cancer and so we slather up our faceswith expensive products.

It’s easy to forget to take the same care of our hands, at least until we start to notice the changes caused by years of sun exposure and aging.

Sun exposure causes the same damage to the skin on the back of our hands as it does elsewhere—causing brown spots and changes in texture, sometimes even leaving a leathery appearance.

Aging takes its toll as well, causing volume loss and collagen depletion. Because the skin is typically thinner on the hands, veins become more visible and “bulgy.”

Skin also loses its elasticity and may “tent,” rather than snap back immediately after being pinched.

Even young women may experience dissatisfaction with the appearance of their hands. This can be due to having a very slender frame with little fat underlying the skin to start with. Genetics can also play a role—if your mother or grandmother developed prominent veins and thin skin early on, chances are you might as well. Even beautiful Hollywood elite face the issue. Earlier this year, Sarah Jessica Parker blasted tabloid reports about her wanting cosmetic surgery to fix her “witches hands.”

Unfortunately, while sporting a beautiful manicure and jewelry can divert attention from imperfections, most desire a more dramatic result than mere distraction.

The good news is that your cosmetic surgeon can help you achieve the results you desire without surgery. The same treatments that reverse the damage of sun and time on your face are also excellent for restoring a youthful and beautiful look to your hands.

  • Fillers. Your cosmetic surgeon can inject hyaluronic acid fillers such as Radiesse®Volumizing Filler, Restylane®or Juvederm®to plump up the skin on your hands, leaving a smoother, more youthful appearance. Wrinkles will be less pronounced and your hands will look refreshed.
  • Fat transfer. A skilled cosmetic surgeon can “harvest”fat from places you don’t want it and inject it where you do—under the skin of your upper hands. Because you are using your own fat cells, it’s a natural solution.
  • Laser resurfacing. As with your face and décolletage, laser skin resurfacing done to the hands can provide you with dramatic results. Laser resurfacing can eliminate brown spots, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and tighten the skin.
  • Combination therapy. At Southern Surgical Arts, we have recently seen beautiful results by combining a Broadband Light Therapy™(BBL) treatment with a NanoLaserPeel™. BBL phototherapy gently removes the damaged upper layers of skin while stimulating collagen growth. The NanoPeel also precisely removes damaged skin in a manner that accelerates healing, quickens your recovery time and leaves you with refreshed and younger-looking skin.

Fillers can last around 8 months to a year, depending on the type your surgeon uses. Fat injections tend to be more long-lasting, rejuvenating your hands for up to five years. However, fillers provide a more uniform result and are much less invasive.

Your cosmetic surgeon will examine your hands and take your desired results and skin tone into consideration when choosing the appropriate laser treatment.

Most of these procedures require minimal downtime, with bruising and mild swelling as the most common side effects.

If you would like to turn back the hands of time, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 for a FREE personal consultation.

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Topics: MedSpa, Fat Transfer, laser resurfacing

Recapturing Your Youth: Face Lift Techniques in the 21st Century

Posted by Carey Nease on Jun 4, 2014 2:00:00 PM

At one point or another, perhaps in an old TV show from the 80s, we’ve all seen a “bad” face lift. This is a face lift that is obvious to even the untrained eye, leaving an unnaturally plastic, stretched look to the skin, the eyes tugged back harshly—and the result is anything but enviable.

Images like this can stay with us for a long time, making us cringe at the thought of ever pursuing that kind of surgical intervention for ourselves. But today’s reality could not be more different!

Not Your Mother’s Face Lift

Today’s face lifts are beautiful, natural, and best of all, undetectable. That is, if you know what to ask for and choose the correct cosmetic surgeon. A board-certified cosmetic surgeon, who has performed hundreds of similar procedures and stayed current with the latest advancements, will have the most sophisticated tools and techniques at his disposal.

Because your face is the most visible part of your body, and the one that is arguably the most instrumental in first impressions, the type of procedure you choose is vital to your ultimate satisfaction. Don’t be seduced by talk of low prices and unrealistically quick downtimes if you desire results that will truly remove 10-15 years, tighten sagging areas, and leave your hollow places looking plumped, dewy, and fresh.

Below you will find an infographic that illustrates the differences between three surgical face lift techniques you will find offered in many cosmetic surgery practices.


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Topics: Eye and Brow Lifts, Face, Fat Transfer

Q&A: Will losing weight after my Brazilian Butt Augmentation “undo” my results?

Posted by Chad Deal on May 28, 2014 3:30:00 PM


I recently had a Brazilian Butt Lift and love my results. I feel more confident about my body and love the way I look in my bikini and yoga pants! Because I am more body-conscious now, I have been eating better and exercising more. If I lose weight, will it ruin my Butt Lift?


We’re glad to hear you are so happy with your results! The answer to your question is “no,” weight loss will not ruin your Buttock Lift. Please read on for an explanation.

A Brazilian Butt Lift uses harvested fat from other areas of your body. This requires us to alter these areas—including the abdomen, back and flanks—when we remove the excess fat. This process is called “liposculpturing.” This is a more accurate term than “liposuction” because we are not just randomly suctioning out fat—we are carefully sculpting a new surface.

A good cosmetic surgeon will approach this procedure as the work of art it is—creating smoother, shapelier contours not only on your bottom, but in the harvested areas as well. A successful liposculpturing procedure of any kind is not just about the fat we remove, but the fat we leave behind (no pun intended!).

Something is only as big as your frame of reference. Because we are effectively making the surrounding areas smaller, your buttocks will already look somewhat larger in proportion before we even inject your fat back into them.

Once we have added your harvested fat into your buttocks area, you will have those coveted curves.

If your weight fluctuates up or down after your procedure, your results will not be negatively affected. Current research strongly indicates that transferred fat is permanent fat. We routinely transfer fat to the face, hands, and occasionally breasts, as well as the buttocks. Our own experience supports that fat transfers like these are permanent.

If you lose or gain weight, you will lose or gain weight proportionately—from all over your body. So your buttocks will still be the size and shape they are, in proportion to the size of the rest of your body—be that with more or less weight overall. If you lose or gain a dramatic amount of weight, it might affect your proportions, but that is true for every figure, whether you have had a cosmetic procedure or not.

So continue to enjoy your Butt Augmentation even if your weight fluctuates —it’s not going anywhere!

Related articles:


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Topics: Brazilian Butt Lift

Taking Care of Your Skin after Laser Resurfacing

Posted by Carey Nease on May 21, 2014 1:23:00 PM

SSA-Skin_ResurfacingIn our last blog post, we discussed the many benefits of laser skin resurfacing. Meeting with your surgeon is the vital first step in the process of attaining younger, firmer, more beautiful skin.

Once you’ve chosen your procedure (ablative or nonablative;) and the surgeon has performed it, what comes next?

Taking Care of Your Treated Skin

The most important thing you can do to take care of your newly-resurfaced skin is to follow precisely the instructions your cosmetic surgeon has given you.

Dr. Carey Nease and Dr. Chad Deal have performed thousands of laser resurfacing procedures at Southern Surgical Arts and will be able to advise you on the best way to care for your skin, taking into consideration the type of procedure, your skin’s condition and your goals.

Some good general guidelines for post-treatment care are listed below.

What to Expect

Your surgeon will place you on a course of antiviral medication prior to your procedure. This will help reduce the risk of developing a cold sore, which can sometimes happen after a laser procedure if you carry the virus that causes fever blisters. Following a laser skin resurfacing, your skin may feel rough or tight, and look reddened as though you have just acquired a fresh sunburn. Depending on the depth the laser penetrated, you may also experience some mild oozing and crusting.

Although your skin may itch, it is important not to scratch it. Interfering with the healing mechanisms of the skin will disrupt and ultimately delay your recovery—not to mention affect your final results. Since you want your beautifully resurfaced skin to shine through after your recovery—don’t scratch!

The First 48 Hours—Stage 1

Taking good care of your newly-treated skin in the first 48 hours after your procedure is essential. You can apply cool compresses of dampened, soft cloths but should never apply ice or ice packs to treated skin.

Cleaning the area several times a day with sterile saline water or a diluted vinegar solution will be both cooling and cleansing. Your surgeon will also prescribe a healing ointment for you to apply after cleansing.

Take any prescribed medication, such as antibiotics, as directed. You will also be able to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for any mild discomfort you experience.

Stage 2 Healing

After the first two days, you can still apply cool compresses for comfort. You can also continue to take over the counter pain relievers if necessary, but your discomfort should be greatly reduced or gone by this time.

You will be given a stage 2 healing cream to begin applying at this point in your recovery. You should reapply every 4 to 6 hours to keep your skin moist. Saline water can be traded for a gentle cleanser—do not scrub your tender skin.

Remember, however tempting it may be, do not pick or scratch at itching or peeling skin. This can cause scarring or pigmentation problems.

Rejuvenated skin will fade from red to pink and will gradually return to your normal skin tone. This will take longer in fairer-skinned patients. Your skin will improve over the course of several months before you see the final results of your treatment.

One of the most important things you can do for your skin post-resurfacing is to protect it from the sun. Once your skin has finished its initial healing, you will need to apply a special sunscreen prescribed for your treated skin every day without exception.

You will also need to avoid sun exposure for 4-6 weeks after your procedure, covering your treated skin when you have to go outside, and using a wide-brimmed hat.

In many cases, sun exposure is the cause of much of the damage our surgeons treat with laser resurfacing. So not only do you not want to expose your tender skin to the harsh rays of the sun, you don’t want to undo your results before you get to enjoy them!

When you schedule a laser skin resurfacing treatment with Dr. Deal or Dr. Nease, they will spend time with you one-on-one discussing treatment options, the details of your procedure, and your recovery care instructions. The more informed you are, the more likely you are to be satisfied with your outcome.

Now that you know more about the ins and outs of laser skin resurfacing, we hope that you’ll feel more empowered when considering your treatment options. For more information, call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 to schedule a FREE personal consultation.

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Topics: laser resurfacing

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