The Surgical Artist's Blog

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.

SSA-Tummy-Infographic-FA

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

Solutions for Stretch Marks?

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

Q.

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?

A.

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

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