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The Surgical Artist's Blog

Introducing Dr. Justin Gusching

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Feb 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM

He enjoys anything outdoors and that includes hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, not to mention dirt biking, cars, and... riding Harleys. Dr. Gusching has a true sense of adventure. In the past three years, he made a number of trips to Guatemala to perform mission work, operating on those who are less fortunate. He also volunteers his time to take additional trips like this to other parts of the world to help others.

That sense of mission and purpose was extended to the Ohio Army National Guard for almost nine years. While serving in the Guard, Dr. Gusching was a field surgeon, where he went on a number of support missions in Texas, California, Ohio, and Idaho. Field surgeons work in Combat Support Hospitals. These are generally self-contained, mobile tent cities that come complete with operating and recovery rooms, pharmacies, and emergency rooms. Everything that’s needed to treat troops before they are medevac’d to a permanent medical facility.

Dr. Gusching is from the state of Ohio and completed his undergraduate work at Ohio State University in Columbus. He received his medical degree from Ohio University in Athens, where he graduated as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or DO. The university’s focus is training osteopathic primary care physicians. DOs are fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine, emphasizing the “whole-person approach to treatment and care.”

He completed his five-year general surgery residency at Cleveland Clinic- South Pointe Hospital and was the chief of surgery during his 5th year. Dr. Gusching is also an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. He is currently a Fellow at Southern Surgical Arts in Chattanooga.


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Topics: Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon

IGNITE RED 2018 Shines the Spotlight on Women and Heart Disease

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Feb 3, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Continuing a commitment to bring heart health to mind and heart disease to a halt, Southern Surgical Arts once again partnered with The American Heart Association to host the 4th Annual Ignite Red Event, which took place January 26th.

A sophisticated shimmering landscape set the stage for spotlighting women's heart health.  Event planner Victoria Love orchestrated the wintry scene mixing Lucite furniture, crystal chandeliers and sparkling silver and white accents. The visually stunning affair incorporated strategic pops of brilliant red with ribbons gathered aloft and glittering boxes encasing white quince, roses, and hydrangeas from The Clay Pot. The placement of Go Red's signature color proved effective in symbolizing the reality of heart disease –  typically detectable yet often hidden in plain sight as the #1 killer of women. 

An invited crowd of 200 gathered for the fête, appropriately hosted at the soon-to-be revealed LIFE facility, which will house SSA's health and wellness program within their Southside Chattanooga complex. Music flowed, along with the La Marca Prosecco champagne fountain, of which a bottle was sabered by Dr. Chad Deal. A Joe Jumper floral installation crowned the mirrored bar where the "Little Red Dress" signature cocktail was mixed as everyone mingled. The concoction of vodka, Lillet blanc, Hibiscus tea, and lemon, was topped off with a bit of bubbly to pair with various canapes from Events with Taste. Cleverly suspended on clear trays attached to the ceiling, the smoked trout, lobster salad, and tenderloin beef with oyster sauce appeared as if floating in mid-air. Other sumptuous eats included seared tuna, carrot curry ginger bisque shots and grilled lamb, as well as a liquid nitrogen sorbet station.

MAC cosmetics make-up artists Alexis Taylor and Angelica Deharo presided over the Kiss Heart Disease Good-bye lip stick booth, featuring lip shades in a nod to the cause which matched the red couture seen around the room. Lip-prepped partiers then shared memorable moments as they were snapped at Ignite Red's backlit metallic photo booth. 

SSA recently participated in National Wear Red Day on February 2nd  and will donate 10% of every cosmetic breast surgery in the month of February to the American Heart Association. To learn more about the risks of heart disease and prevention, click here.

Additional sponsors for Ignite Red 2018 include Sound Force who provided music, linens and furnishings and Maycreate Advertising.

WE’RE GOING RED TOO! Southern Surgical Arts is committed to women’s health and is ‘Going Red’ with you to raise awareness about the alarming incidence of heart disease in women. With EVERY breast procedure we perform in the month of February, we’ll donate $100 to the cause.

Photos from our Ignite Red 2018 event:

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Topics: Patient Care & Experience, American Heart Month, Women's Health, Go Red for Women, Heart Health, Cardiac Health

Southern Surgical Arts Supports American Heart Month

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Jan 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM

February is American Heart Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the prevalence and prevention of heart attack, stroke and other health issues related to heart disease – a condition which claims approximately one life every minute. Often mistaken as a problem that predominately affects men, many people don’t realize that heart disease is actually the #1 killer of women today. 

Overall patient care is most important at Southern Surgical Arts, and encouraging cardiac health is a top priority. EKGs are often performed to ensure a patient’s safety on the operating table and the test results can determine whether they are a viable candidate for cosmetic surgery. “You want to have healthy blood pressure, healthy blood sugar levels, not be hypertensive or suffering from diabetes. It’s really important in your recovery process in order to heal well,” says Pam Thompson, DNP, and registered nurse. When staff meets with patients who have been cleared for surgery, they make certain to advise them on heart-healthy habits in preparation for their upcoming procedure.

The American Heart Association estimates that 80% of cardiac events are preventable, with healthy habits and the right information. Talking with your primary care physician, undergoing annual exams and knowing the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke can save your life. It’s important to note that the warning signs are often different for men than for women. While both can suffer from chest pain or discomfort at the onset, women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms as well, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Along with symptom awareness, the AMA introduced the My Life Check campaign and The Simple Seven plan to help people reduce their risk of heart disease. The Simple Seven focuses on easy and attainable steps you can take for optimal heart health. The AMA believes that adjusting just one of the following areas of your life will make a significant impact on your cardiovascular health. Furthermore, practicing the Simple Seven habits provides everyone inexpensive and easily accessible ways to improve their chance of having a longer, healthier life.


The Simple Seven:

  • Manage Blood Pressure
  • Control Cholesterol
  • Take out the Sugar
  • Get Moving
  • Eat Well
  • Shed those pounds
  • Quit the Cigs

Eating well means reducing your sugar and salt intake, as well as choosing foods containing HDLs, aka, the “good fats” such as avocados and nuts. It’s a sure-fire way not only to control cholesterol levels and manage blood pressure but to also lose weight and reach a healthy BMI, or Body Mass Index, the measure of your fat to muscle mass ratio. Twenty to thirty minutes of cardio exercise such as walking, swimming or biking three times a week accomplishes the same goals. You can visit the AMA website, www.heart.org, and take a quick quiz to discover your Heart Health Score, as well as find out your risk of developing heart disease. 

Educating yourself and passing on what you’ve learned to the friends and loved ones in your life may help save their lives, too. Supporting each other in maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a fun and rewarding way to stick with the changes you have made for wellness. You can also wear red together with SSA and all of Chattanooga on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 2nd.

WE’RE GOING RED TOO! Southern Surgical Arts is committed to women’s health and is ‘Going Red’ with you to raise awareness about the alarming incidence of heart disease in women. With EVERY breast procedure we perform in the month of February, we’ll donate $100 to the cause.

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Topics: Patient Care & Experience, American Heart Month, Women's Health, Go Red for Women, Heart Health, Cardiac Health

Are You Ready for Surgery? Here's Why It Matters.

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Jan 23, 2018 1:00:00 PM

You’ve finally set the date for that tummy tuck, liposuction or facelift you’ve been wanting for years. You know you’re in good hands at Southern Surgical Arts and you can’t wait to see the results of their expertise in time for your vacation this summer. But did you know that alongside your trusted medical specialist, you also play an important role in how flat or firm you become? Committing to your physical health and educating yourself before you go under the knife (or laser) will help give you the body you want and make the most of the money you’re spending to get it. “Your surgical outcome will always be the best when you’re in the best shape,” says Pamala Thompson, RN, DNP. Preparing for surgery is more than an investment of your time and money – it’s an investment in your mind and body, too.


Cosmetic enhancements such as tummy tucks, breast lifts and liposuction are most successful for patients who have the optimal Body Mass Index (BMI) based on their body type. BMI is the ratio of muscle mass to body fat, according to your height and weight. Make a quick online search or click here to find out where you stand on the BMI scale. Thompson says a high BMI where you’re carrying extra fat in the areas you want to tighten and tuck won’t help you make the most of your surgery. Basically, the better your BMI, the better you’ll look later. And there’s a surgical and post-op recovery benefit as well, because more fat means more time on the operating table and most likely, longer recovery time, too. “You’re going to do better not only in the way you will look, but from a cardiovascular standpoint you’re going to have a normal blood pressure, a normal blood sugar level, which is important to your healing if you’re at your optimal weight, you’re going to do better health wise, which is important to healing,” advises Thompson, who has 25 years of experience assisting surgical patients. 

Let’s say you’ve determined a face lift is for you. If you’ve never been a cigarette smoker or nicotine user, you’re already ahead of the game. But if you have a history of lighting up, it’s time to set down the smokes.  Besides saving your lungs you’ll also increase your chances of becoming a solid surgical candidate. “Because it’s elective surgery, some procedures should not be done if you’re a smoker. Not only a face lift but also breast lifts and breast augmentation,” Thompson advises. The SSA staff routinely run lab tests for all patients to check for nicotine and other problematic chemicals in your system. Older patients can expect to have an EKG test and all breast lift and breast augmentation patients receive a mammogram test to check for any signs of breast cancer.  Additionally, patients are advised which medications they should shelve several weeks before surgery to lessen their risk for complications. Even seemingly innocuous supplements - such as fish oil that causes thinning of the blood – can pose a threat.

Get busy and do some homework, so you know just what your procedure entails and what you can expect during it, immediately afterward, and beyond. Thompson stresses the importance of educating yourself with the most information you can get your hands on. Not only will you discover a better body after surgery but you’ll have more peace of mind going in, and help minimize the anxiety your loved ones may be experiencing, too. “I always tell patients to do their research and come in to their consultation with a list of questions, as many as they can, for the medical staff before,” says Thompson.

Suggested surgery prep steps:

  • Adopt a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Pick up your meds in advance from your pharmacy
  • Set up a support system for your recovery phase
  • Prepare your loved ones to be patient advocates and caregivers 

Finally, remember the surgical and nursing staff will be with you every step of the way. Your safety is everyone’s first priority along with your comfort and care, “The heart of any practicing nurse is taking care of your patient – really healthcare for a nurse is the art of caring - it’s the touch, the reassuring of the patient that matters most to all of us here,” assures Thompson.

Preparing yourself with a positive attitude, an educated mind and a healthy body will set you up for the most successful outcome possible and the body of your dreams.

If you feel ready to schedule your first consult don't hesitate to call us today!

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Topics: Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Patient Care & Experience, Preparing for Surgery, Preparing for Cosmetic Surgery, Facelift

Dr. Carey Nease Elected President, American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Jan 4, 2018 10:17:42 AM

With 14 years of experience in the field of facial plastic and cosmetic surgery, Dr. Carey Nease has earned a reputation as one of the premier cosmetic surgery experts in the country. The recently-elected President of the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (an elite group of 150 doctors nationwide) says it’s an honor to head an organization that requires a rigorous examination process for certification. “I’m grateful that I was chosen, and I’m happy to serve this organization.”

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After his term as ABFCS Vice President last year, Nease welcomes the opportunity and responsibility of his new role. “I have some goals to really grow this board, to bring on new interest, new members. We’re also working on an international division of the board as well, so I’m working with surgeons out of Europe and the Middle East who are interested,” says the physician, who regularly lectures nationally and internationally on emerging, innovative procedures and other advancements in cosmetic and facial plastic surgery.

Tennessee Valley residents are clearly fortunate to have such a well-respected surgeon practicing the intricate
art of facial plastic surgery in the area. Although initially interested in an arts profession, Dr. Nease decided to pursue a career in medicine instead. After obtaining his medical degree from the University of Florida, he completed his residency in head and neck surgery, followed by a fellowship in facial plastic and cosmetic surgery.  Today he focuses on the intricate subspecialty of facial cosmetic surgery. From early on in his medical training he found the anatomy of the face and neck the most fascinating to learn about, and that, along with his former study and continued appreciation of art, has contributed to a rewarding career. “The beauty of facial work – it’s a challenging part of the anatomy, and it’s also out there for everyone to see – so it can be a big challenge and also a very, very big reward,” he says.

Alongside serving on the ABFCS board, Nease is also the current secretary for the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.  He is also committed to passing his knowledge and training on to the next generation. While Southern Surgical Arts features the best in cosmetic surgery and enhancements, it is also a teaching center where Nease and his colleagues, Dr. Chad Deal and Dr. Vincent Gardner, offer year-long subspecialty fellowship training for graduates of a surgical residency. Dr. Nease will begin his term as president of the ABFCS in January.

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Topics: Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon

Benefits of Combining Skin Care with Facial Rejuvenation

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Jan 4, 2018 10:16:41 AM

When the telltale signs of aging seem to emerge overnight, many women opt for a facelift – no doubt a game changer in the quest for youth and beauty.  Since it typically includes lifting sagging skin of the cheeks, neck, and jawline, the effects are fantastic and dramatic. But to really reverse the footprints of Father Time, you need complete facial rejuvenation, and Southern Surgical Arts offers the best options in the business.

ssa-facial-rejuvenation-blog.jpgAlong with your facelift, enhancements such as laser therapy, fillers, chemical peels, and fat grafting are equally essential in successfully achieving tight, glowing, youthful skin. Think of it like this: if lifting your face is setting up the frame work of a beautiful new home, resurfacing your skin’s texture and tone are like the paint and landscape you need to take that home from being simply lovely to something exquisite. “A facelift will get rid of excess skin in the neck and the jowls (jawline), but if you have forehead wrinkles around your eyes or have lip lines, the surgical procedure doesn’t fix that. You have to do other things like Botox, laser treatments, chemical peels, or fillers like Restalyne and Juvederm,” says reknowned facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Carey Nease, MD.

Between the expertise of Dr. Nease, a knowledgeable team of aestheticians, and three million dollars’ worth of state of the art laser technology, SSA offers more solutions for facial rejuvenation than anywhere in town. Whether you want to reverse sun damage, decrease fine lines and wrinkles, eradicate pigmentation, or remove redness there is an effective laser treatment – or combination of them  available to you. “We have four different lasers for skin rejuvenation based on skin type. Are you darker skinned? Lighter skinned? How much sun damage have you had? We can address anything,” says Dr. Nease, who also recommends the carbon dioxide, or CO2, laser for tightening skin.

Often these procedures occur in the operating room in combination with your facelift surgery. The face lift can be combined with an eye lift and brow lift, and even fat grafting, which involves harvesting fat from another part of your body such as your thighs. It is then used to round out the cheek area or fill in the “tear trough” or space under the eye, creating a softer, more full appearance where sallow, loose skin and sharp angles used to be. “The typical “package” is a facelift, eye lift, laser resurfacing with a CO2 (skin-tightening) laser, and fat grafting – that’s the most common – but it’s very customizable,” says Dr. Nease, whose average age patient is in their late 50’s or early 60’s. Though there is no magic age for addressing cosmetic concerns, there are indicators of whether doing so is a good idea. ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re 45 or 75. If you’re in good health, it may be appropriate to do it  before you develop health problems or any problems with healing, which often come with age. Health is more of a determining factor than age,” he says.

Total facial rejuvenation, which includes both surgical and laser therapy procedures, typically takes about three hours. It is performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing you to go home the same day for a comfortable recovery that is usually complete in one to two weeks.

If you feel a facelift and rejuvenation treatment is right for you, contact Southern Surgical Arts for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nease at 423-266-3331.

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Red Spots Got You Down? We Can Help

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Dec 11, 2017 4:20:32 PM

Red is a great shade for lipstick, but it’s not such a flattering color when it accompanies pimples, broken capillaries on your nose or cheeks, or when it’s caused by rosacea. Facial redness is a common complaint in our medspa. Fortunately, there are several options available to banish or lighten unwanted red areas on your skin. Keep reading to learn more about your options.

  • Photorejuvenation. If your red spots are caused by acne, visible capillaries, or vascular lesions, we may recommend an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment. IPL is an excellent option to help even skin tone by exposing the skin to controlled pulses of light that target redness and break it down to be removed by the body in the following days and weeks. We generally recommend a series of treatments, spaced several weeks apart, to achieve the optimal results. IPL is also the gold standard treatment for redness caused by rosacea.
  • 6.jpgLasers. Lasers are not just for resurfacing the texture of the skin. Certain lasers can also be an excellent option for reducing redness caused by capillaries and visible red vessels. Downtime is minimal with laser treatments, with some mild redness and swelling for a few days as the only visible side effects. Your aesthetician will custom-tailor a treatment plan for you to help you achieve your beauty goals.
  • Chemical Peels. If the facial redness of acne is a continual issue for you, you might want to consider a chemical peel to help control oil production and prevent future occurrences, and the subsequent redness that comes with them. Your aesthetician can recommend the right combination of ingredients for you, depending on your goals and desires, as well as the condition of your skin. Even patients with sensitive skin can have a chemical peel, provided they are in the hands of a skilled and knowledgeable aesthetician. We do not recommend chemical peels for those with rosacea.
  • Topical products. Although no topical product can produce the same results as the treatment options listed above, there are several products that can produce a subtle lightening effect, or help to calm the inflammation that underlies some facial redness. Speak to one of the aestheticians in our medspa, Felicia, Tammy, or Neko, for personalized advice on the best products for you. All of our aestheticians have many years of experience in a wide array of treatments for numerous skin conditions, and they are always available to answer your questions.

To learn more about your options for reducing facial redness, please contact Southern Surgical Arts at 423-266-3331.

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Winter Facial Care: Your Go-To Guide

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Nov 30, 2017 9:52:32 AM

With the holidays in full swing and that winter chill settling in, a serious skin care strategy is a must for maintaining a healthy glow.Since the face typically bears the brunt of the season’s cold, dry, windy conditions, carving out the extra time to care for your skin will go a long way in fighting off old man winter. We’ve got you covered prepping for the party circuit with these proven tips and treatments: everything from what to nosh on to nourish your skin, to the necessity of a good night’s sleep, to top-notch anti-aging products and seriously effective laser treatments.

Know the Tricks of the Anti-Aging Trade:

  • Your go-to skin care routine should always start with a daily application of high quality physician-grade sunscreen. Colder temperatures can keep us complacent to the dangers of year-round exposure but your skin is still susceptible to damaging sunrays during the winter months and sufficient protection is paramount.
  • A daily dose of Vitamin C in your diet can help you save face, now and in the future. Foods such as carrots, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes and parsnips rank among your best bets and are often more readily available than the usual - yet sometimes scarce after summer - orange.
  • Skinceuticals CE FerulicVitamin C serums such as Skinceuticals CE Ferulic in your daily skincare practice pack a big punch as these products contain the same powerful antioxidants of the nutrient rich foods that combat damaging free radicals and toxins. Even better, these instantly absorbed high grade formulas specifically target your facial tissue to improve firmness while working to diminish fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Sufficient sleep is an essential soldier in the battle against aging – studies show too little shut eye over time dulls skin, exacerbates fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes when the stress hormone cortisol that is created by fatigue begins breaking down the collagen protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
  • Overnight retinol creams such as top-rated Skin Restorative from the Alastin Skincare line help you work double duty in turning back time while you rest. Retinol creams aid in regenerating the skin’s natural process of elastin and collagen production for increased volume and plumpness to diminish wrinkles and reveal a more even skin tone.

Treat Yourself Well – and Often:

  • Winter Facial Care: Go To GuideBeyond a high quality daily skincare and nutrition routine, cold weather calls for treating your face to the frequent pampering it desperately deserves. A Southern Surgical Arts Hydrating Facial nourishes your skin as it removes impurities to enhance collagen production and restore natural balance, radiance and moisture.
  • Regular laser treatments are your best shot to soften fine lines and wrinkles and significantly improve skin texture and tightness. The must-have Halo Treatment stimulates collagen growth while also improving skin pigmentation and reducing pore size. Although each laser technique provides a different delivery method, all ultimately increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity. To help you determine the best option to meet your needs, we offer complimentary full skin analysis to those interested.
  • Finally, getting the recommended amount of hydrating H20 and daily exercise goes a long way in giving you that youthful fresh face you need to shine this holiday season.

To book your appointment for these treatment options and more, call Southern Surgical Arts today at 423-266-3331.

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Topics: Face

D-r Deal Lektsil v Rossii (Dr. Deal Lectures in Russia)

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Nov 7, 2017 9:38:26 AM

Dr. Chad Deal was recently invited to speak to the international community in St. Petersburg about his extensive knowledge and experience in laser technology. Southern Surgical Arts is not only well known for this procedure but has been the area’s leading provider in these non-invasive, quick-recovery treatments for patients since 2004.

The special conference was held at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel, housed in an 1853 mansion along the Moika River in St. Petersburg. Doctors and Dermatologists from Russia, Europe, England and the United States attended the event.


Dr. Deal has done a considerable amount of quality research on laser treatments and is well versed on the subject. He said that it was a great honor to be selected as spokesperson, given the number of well-known doctors in our country who also utilize lasers in their practice.

Sciton®, located in Palo Alto, California and the world leader in the manufacturing, research and testing of laser technology, had two of its advanced and sophisticated products on site, the Halo™ and the diVa. Both products are not only the world’s first Hybrid Fractional Lasers (HFL), but are revolutionizing skin resurfacing and feminine rejuvenation.

Speaking of firsts, Dr. Deal conducted a live Webinar, in which he performed a procedure on a patient before members of the conference. Dr. Deal is one of the foremost cosmetic surgeons in the country and specializes in certain procedures with which he’s had very successful results.

Not only were there a number of famous doctors in attendance but there were a number of questions from Russian doctors about running and growing their own practice. Dr. Deal answered their questions and also said he sincerely appreciated the privilege of speaking to such an esteemed and talented group of individuals.




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Topics: In The News, Research & Forefront

We Can Never Say “Thank You” Enough.

Posted by Southern Surgical Arts on Nov 1, 2017 1:30:00 PM

When it comes to our patients, we are always grateful when they decide to come to us. We realize that we aren’t the only practice and ultimately, it’s the patient’s decision that determines who they entrust to perform a specific procedure.

It requires forethought, knowledge, and a little soul searching. When we meet with a patient for the first time, our biggest and most important responsibility is to listen. Listen to their concerns, their goals, and their expectations.

We understand that this is a chance for patients to truly change their lives. They walk away with a new perspective, because they decided to make an investment in themselves. We want to assure them that this investment will have a positive and lasting impact on their future.

It is our sincerest hope that every patient of ours is not only happy that they came to us, but that they have a newfound sense of confidence and well-being. Thank you for putting your trust in Southern Surgical Arts.


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Topics: Community