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The Surgical Artist's Blog

Experience is Important for Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Carey Nease on Aug 9, 2017 10:10:00 AM

Choosing a cosmetic surgeon is a decision that can’t be rushed. Once you know that you wish to have a certain cosmetic procedure, it’s time to start researching your options. This may include reading reviews, talking to friends who have had the procedure, meeting with cosmetic surgeons in person for a consultation, and viewing a surgeon’s before and after photos. There are many important questions you should ask prospective surgeons, but the most important may very well be: How much experience do you have with my particular procedure?

When it comes to experience, all surgeons are not created equal. You may find a surgeon who has a considerable amount of expertise in breast augmentation and other body work, but not much experience with facial surgery. Likewise, you may interview an outstanding facial surgeon who has more limited experience with the Brazilian Butt Lift or thighplasty.

Award-winning, board-certified cosmetic surgeons, Dr. Chad Deal and Dr. Carey Nease, bring a wealth of experience in diverse procedures to Southern Surgical Arts, and they have hundreds of satisfied patients to prove it. Please view the infographic below to see how their experience in a range of cosmetic procedures stacks up to the national average of cosmetic surgeons in the United States.



Download How Much Experience  Does Your Surgeon Have? (PDF)

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Topics: Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon

Q & A: The Difference Between Botox and Fillers

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Aug 4, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Q: I am so confused about injectables. Is Botox a filler? If not, what is, and what is the difference between Botox and a filler?

A: Good question, and one that many people seem to find confusing. Botox and fillers are not the same thing, nor do they treat the same conditions, but both are equally important tools for the cosmetic or facial plastic surgeon in helping patients look rejuvenated. Depending on your treatment desires, your surgeon may choose to use either Botox or a filler, or they may decide to use both to achieve different goals.

Botox is a drug made from botulinim toxin that can be used for a variety of health purposes. It can be injected in the armpits to treat severe sweating, or hyperhidrosis. It can also be used to treat intractable migraines. Some people have even had success with Botox treatment for overactive bladder. For cosmetic purposes, Botox is used to smooth out wrinkles and creases in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet. Botox works by temporarily paralyzing muscles in the face, and can last anywhere from three to six months.

Injectable dermal fillers are a minimally-invasive way of temporarily restoring youthful fullness to a patient’s face, especially around the eyes, in the lips, and in marionette lines. The aging process causes a loss of volume throughout the face, resulting in a hollowed appearance that can age you beyond your years.

Botox VS Fillers.png

In the hands of a skilled cosmetic surgeon, dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Sculptra can be used to plump out those hollowed places. All fillers are not created equally, however, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, whereas Sculptra is composed of poly-L lactic acid that causes your body to produce its own natural collagen to achieve plumpness. Different parts of the face will require different solutions.

Although Botox and fillers are temporary, the results will be highly visible for the entire time they are present. We’ve all seen pictures of celebrities with bad Botox and overplumped smiles. For this reason, it is very important to choose your cosmetic surgeon carefully, and to ask to see their before and after pictures. Botox and fillers are an excellent, affordable approach to looking younger and rejuvenated without surgery, especially in the hands of an experienced, artistic practitioner.

For more information on Botox and fillers, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331.

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Topics: Botox, Fillers

Which Face Lift is Right for You?

Posted by Carey Nease on Jul 3, 2017 1:01:00 PM

As we age, it’s common to lose volume in our faces as well as experience a decrease in the tautness of our skin.  This loss in volume and increase in skin laxity causes the skin to droop, creating wrinkles, sagging jawlines and jowls as well as hollow cheeks and lower eye areas. With contributing factors like genetics, sun damage and smoking, this process may happen prematurely, leaving you looking older than your actual years.

Fortunately, cosmetic and facial plastic surgery has made incredible strides over the last decade, and these problems can now be addressed in a way that leaves you looking refreshed, rejuvenated, youthful, and most importantly of all—natural.

Many of our patients come to us already determined to have a face and neck lift, only to find out that there is more than one choice available. If you’re considering having a lift, keep reading to learn more about your options.

  • Face_3_red.pngCosmetic Face Lift. This is probably what most people think of when they hear the term “face lift.” A cosmetic face lift is a full face lift in which your cosmetic or facial plastic surgeon will lift and remove excess skin from the neck and jawline, effectively removing jowls and any sagging in that area. A cosmetic face lift will restore volume loss in the cheekbone area and tighten the skin of the lateral brow and around the eyes. You will also have smoother skin with far less wrinkling as a result. A cosmetic face lift is a good option for you if you have significant volume loss and sagging in many areas of your face. You can expect a recovery time of 2-3 weeks, with some swelling and bruising being a normal expectation. You can also expect to look 10-15 years younger with this procedure. 
  • Faces_1_blue.pngRevalift. In this mini face lift procedure, developed by our own Dr. Carey Nease, sagging and volume loss in the lower face and neck is addressed. This is an excellent option for women and men in their 40s and 50s, who are not quite ready for a full cosmetic face lift but desire tightening along the jawline, especially the jowls. A Revalift can also address laugh and marionette lines around the mouth. Because only the lower face is targeted, patients can expect less recovery time than with a cosmetic face lift—about 7-10 days back to normal activity.
  • Face_2_blue.pngLaser Face Lift. Another option for someone who is not yet ready for a cosmetic face lift, the Laser Face Lift is a non-surgical, non-invasive method of tightening skin, removing blemishes and sun spots, and improving texture. Your cosmetic surgeon will use powerful lasers to target the deeper fat and muscle tissues beneath the skin to promote tightening, while also improving the surface of the skin. Recovery time for a laser face lift is three to five days, with some mild redness and swelling lasting up to a week. 
  • Vampire FaceLift®. The Vampire FaceLift has gotten a lot of buzz recently, due to the remarks of several celebrities who have been impressed with the procedure, which is not exactly a face lift. This treatment got its moniker because the patient’s own blood is harvested in order to extract the platelet-rich plasma. This fluid is then spun in a centrifuge, creating a highly-concentrated mix of platelets (referred to as Platelet-Rich Plasma or PRP) with much higher growth factors than normal, which will add volume, accelerate healing and rejuvenate the skin. Your cosmetic surgeon may then use them as part of a laser treatment, a microneedling procedure, or inject them directly into your skin. Your treatment will be customized according to the condition of your skin and your treatment goals. There is very little to no recovery time involved in a vampire facelift, depending on how the PRP is administered.

If you’d like to learn more about your face lift options, please call us at 423-266-3331 for a free personal consultation with Dr. Nease, a Triple Board-Certified Cosmetic and Facial Plastic Surgeon.

Which Face Lift Technique Is Right for Me?

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Topics: Face

Breast "Refresh" Surgery Pioneered by Southern Surgical Arts

Posted by Chad Deal on Jun 26, 2017 2:56:00 PM

breast.pngEveryone knows that breast augmentation with silicone or saline implants is a great way to add fullness and volume to natural breasts. But did you know that if your implants are less than ten years old you can have your breasts “refreshed” without having new ones placed? In the video below, Dr. Chad Deal discusses a new technique pioneered at Southern Surgical Arts to restore your breast augmentation to its original, youthful appearance if your implants have dropped over time. Take a look to learn more about the procedure, including information on downtime, scarring, and more. We are excited to have this groundbreaking new technique available at SSA and look forward to sharing it with our patients.

Interested in learning more about a breast refresh? Dr. Chad Deal, Dr. Carey Nease, and Dr. Vincent Gardner welcome your questions about this innovative new procedure. Call us at 423-266-3331 for a free personal consultation.


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Topics: Breast Augmentation

Our 5 Most Popular Blogs of All Time

Posted by Chad Deal on Jun 12, 2017 11:51:51 AM

blog.jpgWe’ve been blogging for nine years now, and during that time we’ve covered so many topics to help educate and inform our readers about the “ins and outs” of cosmetic surgery. From articles on face lifts to lasers and lights, from breast augmentations to Brazilian Butt Lifts and more, we’ve tried to represent the breadth and depth of all the services we offer here at Southern Surgical Arts.

Over the years, some of these posts have really resonated with our readers. Keep reading to learn which five posts are the most popular of all time:

  1. 5 Signs You Might Need a Tummy Tuck Because tummy tucks were the third most popular cosmetic surgery in 2016 according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, it’s no surprise that an article about tummy tucks would also be popular. This blog post covers the five most common reasons patients seek tummy tucks, as well as explaining how a tummy tuck can address their issues.
  2. Hollow Eyes: Can They Be Treated By a Cosmetic Surgeon? Sunken-appearing eye caused by volume loss due to aging is a common problem for both women and men, and is one that can add years to the face. This blog post takes our readers through the options available to them for achieving more youthful, rejuvenated eyes.
  3. Q & A: Mons Pubis Lift This blog post, on a topic a lot of people are interested in but no one really likes asking about, was a big hit with our readers when it was first published and still continues to be going on three years later. If you’ve ever wondered what, if anything, can be done about excess fat on the pubic bone, this post hits the highlights.
  4.  Beauty on a Budget: All Under $300   Everyone likes a bargain, but sometimes choices can be overwhelming and it can be hard to decide which products or procedures are best for you and your budget. This blog post covers popular options for $100 and under, $200 and under, and $300 and under—helping you to get the most bang for your buck!
  5. Q & A: Will Losing Weight After a Brazilian Butt Augmentation Undo My Results? A great question from a reader inspired this blog post, which should reassure anyone who’s considering this procedure.

We hope you enjoyed a look at the “best of the best” of our blogs. We hope you’ll stick around to see which posts rank highest in the coming years. 

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Cosmetic Surgery by Body Type

Posted by Chad Deal on May 29, 2017 12:33:00 PM


We see women of all shapes and sizes every day at Southern Surgical Arts. And while you can’t place every shape into a neat category, some of the most common body types that we see are the Hourglass, Rectangle, Pear, and Apple.  Patients in each shape category have their own individual beauty concerns, but we have noticed some trends that are common to each type.


Image from http://www.superskinnyme.com/body-shape.html.

The Hourglass

Famous Hourglass Women: Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Vergara, and Scarlet Johansson

Considered by some to be the ideal body shape, hourglass women still have features that they would like to maintain or improve as aging and pregnancy impact the body. We frequently perform breast lifts and augmentations to help our hourglass patients maintain their signature curves. Many women will request a Mommy Makeover after they’re done having children to return to their pre-baby, “bombshell” shapes.

The Rectangle

Famous Rectangle Women: Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, and Bella Thorne

You can tell a Rectangle shape by the long, lean lines of their figures, with shoulders, bustline, and hips of the same width. While Taylor and Nicole’s figures may be the envy of many women, we frequently see Rectangles who want to add a little more shape to their silhouettes. For these women, we typically recommend breast implants in a size appropriate to their bone structure. Some rectangles are interested in a Brazilian Butt Lift, but will have to have sufficient body fat elsewhere to be harvested and transferred to the backside.

The Pear

Famous Pear-Shaped Women: Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Rachel Bilson

You may not be able to easily identify a Pear shape, and that’s because push-up bras and careful dressing can add volume on top that creates the impression of an hourglass. And if the Pear is petite, such as Rachel Bilson, you may only be able to identify her Pear characteristics in a swimsuit. Generally speaking, however, Pears tend to have average shoulders, smaller breasts, tiny waists, and are widest through the hips and bottom. We see many pears who wish to even out their figures with breast augmentation, liposuction to reduce saddlebags, and cellulite treatments.

The Apple

Apple figures tend to carry weight around the waist, with slim arms and legs. Apples enjoy their trim limbs, but frequently want to slim down their waistlines with liposuction or SculpSure and possibly a Tummy Tuck after childbirth, and add curves with breast implants and Brazilian Butt Lifts. Apple types are usually good candidates for the Brazilian Butt Lift because they are likely to have excess fat around the waist that can be transferred to add curves to their derrieres. In some cases, our surgeons may discover that intraabdominal fat is present, which cannot be removed by cosmetic surgery. Those patients will be referred to Life, our wellness center.

One thing we know for certain, for every flaw you perceive in your shape, there is someone else who will happily trade places with you. Each body shape has beautiful features to be appreciated, so enjoy the assets you’ve got, and we can help you make the most of the rest! If you’d like to learn more about using cosmetic surgery to balance out your body type, please call us at 423-266-3331 for a free, personalized consultation.

Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery

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Topics: Brazilian Butt Lift, Tummy Tuck, Body

6 Ways to Be Kind to Your Oily Skin

Posted by Felicia Wright on May 22, 2017 2:02:00 PM

29989-youngerskinpng.png.204x150_q80_crop-smart.pngOily skin can make skin care a serious challenge. Combating that ever-present shine can take up way more of your time and attention than you’d like, and you’ve always got to be careful your efforts don’t cause more harm than good. Keep reading for 6 ways to bring out the best in your oily skin. 


  1. Start with a specialist. Before you begin the battle against oily skin, make sure you are armed appropriately—make an appointment with a skin specialist. A skin specialist will be able to make suggestions specifically tailored to you—taking into account your age, presence of acne or scarring, oily vs. dry spots, lifestyle; etc. In the long run, you’ll probably save money by seeing a dermatologist first, simply by avoiding spending extra cash on products that won’t work or that will inflame your skin.
  2. Commit to a routine. Once you’ve found a regimen that works for you, stick to it. That means staying consistent with your products and any treatments such as peels or facials. Remember, treatments like peels may make a dramatic temporary difference, but the only way to truly get on top of your oily skin is to use the correct products on a daily basis.
  3. Blotting papers are your friend. If you’re looking a bit slick by mid-day, don’t add an extra wash. This will only dry out your skin, causing it to produce even more oil. Instead, try blotting gently with oil-absorbing papers for a matte appearance without adding pore-clogging powder.
  4. Jessner Peels are your best That’s because one of the best treatments for oily skin is salicylic acid, and a Jessner Peel has a high concentration of it. Salicylic acid penetrates deeply into the pores, cleansing and slowing down oil production. A Jessner Peel also contains lactic acid, a powerful alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps to reduce acne breakouts.
  5. Choose your exfoliant carefully. Anyone who has ever dealt with excess oil and the accompanying breakouts knows the temptation to wash the greasies away with rough-surfaced puffs that look more like pot scrubbers, or abrasive apricot masks, or alcohol-laden toners and astringents. However, the harsher your methods, the more dramatically your skin may react. To avoid damaging skin, clogging pores, causing excessive dryness or even more oil production, use a gentle salicylic acid cleanser to exfoliate pores—no rough scrubbing or rubbing!
  6. Consider a Broad Band Light (BBL) treatment. A BBL treatment is one of our favorite treatments for oily skin because it is gentle, yet able to effectively minimize pores and alleviate oil production. Used in conjunction with a good daily cleansing routine (see #2, above), it can help to greatly improve the appearance of oily skin.

If you’re losing patience trying to manage your oily skin, just remember there are people with super-dry skin who might like to trade with you (we’ll cover tips for them in a future blog)! If you’d like to talk to one of our experienced aestheticians about making the most of your oily skin, please call us at 423-266-3331 for an appointment.

Skin Treatment Pricing


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Topics: Skin, MedSpa

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatments for Hair Loss

Posted by Vince Gardner on May 15, 2017 11:57:00 AM

prp-woman-hairloss-blog.jpgIf you’re one of the millions of women (or men) struggling with hair loss, you know how upsetting it can be to experience. Watching your “crowning glory” become thin and sparse takes an emotional toll, and you may end up worrying about your hair’s appearance instead of simply enjoying your life.

 Thankfully, Southern Surgical Arts can now offer new hope to those with thinning hair, thanks to the addition of platelet-rich plasma treatments. During this procedure, your cosmetic surgeon will take some of your blood and process it so that only the platelet-rich plasma cells remain. These contain many growth factors and nutrients that will be injected directly into your scalp, stimulating hair growth.

Keep reading to see what one of our patients had to say about this procedure:

Many years ago, I had some hair loss after a surgery.  Things went downhill from there. I continued to lose more and more hair no matter what medications or measures I took. I finally got to the point where I had to always have a perm, just to get enough scalp coverage. Then I also needed a tinted cream that I’d put on the sections of my scalp that still showed through. After that, the perm was not doing the job anymore, and the scalp that showed now was too much for the cream to keep up with, and I had to start using tinted fibers that you shake on for coverage.  I was the Queen of the Comb-over—after using “Velcro” curlers to get what “floof” I could, I’d pull the hairs over just so, shake on the fibers for the parts of the scalp that weren’t covered, and then use hairspray galore to try to ensure it never moved. I would have been humiliated if anyone had seen my problem!

 Well, I’ve now had my PRP treatments and my life has changed! I can get complete scalp coverage with just a blow-dry. I have tons of hair. I no longer have to use any covering product. (Tip for women with dark hair: keep your roots dyed as much as possible for best coverage.) I’m even thinking of taking a cruise, because the wind can whip through my hair without revealing any humiliating secrets!


If you’re tired of dealing with thinning hair and would like to learn more about platelet-rich plasma treatments for hair loss, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331. We would be happy to answer all of your questions!

Learn more about PRP

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Topics: Hair Restoration

Summer Sun Care—Important at Every Age!

Posted by Tammy Capel on May 1, 2017 11:16:00 AM

billboard_main.jpgIf you were to ask women in their 40s and 50s what they wish they could go back in time and do differently regarding their appearance, many would tell you, “I wish I had taken better care of my skin.” Whether they regret the time spent perfecting their tans by the pool or in tanning beds, driving with the convertible top down in the middle of summer, or playing tennis in sleeveless tops and short skirts, chances are some poor sun exposure habits caught up with them in later years.

But even if you’re already regretting a youth spent enjoying the sun without worrying about the consequences, it’s not too late. It’s always a good time to take care of the skin you’re in!

Here are some of our favorite tips for taking the best care of your skin during the summer and all year round.

  1. Apply sunscreen liberally. Whether you’re planning to spend a few hours in the garden, an afternoon at the beach, or just run an errand with your sunroof open, it’s worth slathering on the sunscreen. Choose a broad spectrum from a reliable brand and reapply every two hours, especially if you’re going in the water. If you choose a spray, make sure you apply it evenly for consistent coverage. It’s easy to miss spots, especially if it’s windy.
  2. Add Vitamin C serum. Boost the sun protection benefits of your sunscreen by adding a high-quality vitamin C serum for maximum protection. While vitamin C won’t protect your skin from the sun’s rays like sunblock, it is a powerful antioxidant that will help to mitigate any damage by aiding in skin repair. We recommend you apply the serum everywhere you apply sunblock, with special attention to on your hands, face, décolletage and neck. If you’d like a recommendation for a good serum, be sure to speak to one of the knowledgeable aestheticians in our Medspa.
  3. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Hats are always a fun fashion statement, and even better, they can do a great job of protecting the delicate skin of your face and and ears (not to mention the part in your hair). Add sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun and prevent fine line formation from constant squinting. It’s an added bonus that you’ll look glamorous and sun-savvy.
  4. Avoid tanning beds. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as safe tanning, and certainly no safe tanning in beds. People who use a tanning bed under the age of 35 increase their risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, by 75%. A tan may be many people’s ideal of beauty, but the most beautiful skin is healthy skin.
  5. Don’t forget your hands. Applying sunscreen to your face and body may be second-nature by now, but many forget the all-important skin on the hands. The skin on your hands will betray your age and any bad habits as fast, or faster, than the skin on your face, leading to premature wrinkling and age spots. So share the sunscreen love with your hands, even when you’re just driving to work. Consider wearing gloves when gardening too.

If you’re already dealing with the consequences of a little too much unprotected fun in the sun, don’t worry. From chemical peels to laser treatments to IPL, we’ve got options to help you erase the years and regain your youthful glow. Please call us at 423-266-3331 to learn more about our skin care products or treatment options for removing sun spots and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.

And enjoy your summer!

Supercharge Your Skin  Care for Summer

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Topics: Skin, MedSpa, Laser Resurfacing

5 Things to Know About Hollow Eyes

Posted by Carey Nease on Apr 17, 2017 2:17:00 PM

eyelid_surgery_after.jpgeyelid_surgery_before.jpgOne of the most tell-tale signs of aging is the development of hollow eyes. The term “hollow eyes” refers to a sunken appearance under the eyes leading to a “hollow” look. If you already have deep-set eyes, hollowing can be even more dramatic, causing you to look older than you are, or chronically tired. Improving the look of sunken eyes is a common request at Southern Surgical Arts, especially now that they can be treated with minimally-invasive methods as well as surgical interventions.

Keep reading for five things you should know about hollow eyes and how they can be treated.

  1. Hollow eyes can be caused by volume loss under the eyes and upper cheek areas, aging, genetics, or a combination of these factors. If your mother or father developed a sunken look to their eyes as they aged, chances are you will, too. Additionally, being dehydrated, stressed, or tired can exaggerate the sunken appearance.
  2. Hollow eyes can increase the appearance of dark shadows, because fat loss may lead to blood vessels beneath the surface becoming more visible. Once hollowing has occurred, you may not be able to achieve the same results with concealer and foundation that you once did.
  3. Hollow eyes can be treated with your own fat. A qualified cosmetic surgeon can “harvest” fat cells from elsewhere on your body where they are not wanted and purify and relocate those cells where you do. This all-natural treatment is long-lasting and leaves the skin under the eyes looking plumper and more youthful. Additionally, your surgeon can add platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to the fat for improved results. PRP is also natural, derived from your own plasma, with growth factors that improve fat transfer survival and provide a “glow” to the skin.
  4. Another effective treatment for hollowing is to inject dermal fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm beneath the eyes. These hyaluronic acid fillers are excellent for plumping out hollow places to leave the skin looking more youthful and attractive, and can help to minimize the appearance of dark circles as well.
  5. Thin skin under the eyes can be unforgiving, revealing inexpert work clearly with texture issues and unevenness. It’s very important to choose a cosmetic or facial plastic surgeon who has extensive experience working with this delicate area. Ask to see “before and after” pictures of previous patients so that you can get a feeling for his technique and artistic ability before you choose a surgeon.

Every patient’s needs are different, and so treatment methods will also differ from patient to patient. Your surgeon may recommend a minimally-invasive treatment method or you may be a candidate for eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Your surgeon may also recommend a combination of treatment modalities for the best, most beautiful results.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can energize tired-looking eyes, please call Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331 for a free consultation.

Rejuvenate Your Eyes  with an Eyelid Lift


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Topics: Eye and Brow Lifts, Face