Plastic Surgery – Body

Augmentation, Reduction or Lift – Join Our Breast Surgery Live Chat

Join us for a live chat on November 17th as we discuss different types of breast surgery options and answer questions about what to expect from surgery.Have you been contemplating breast surgery? Whether you are considering breast augmentation (enhancement), breast reduction or breast lift surgery, it is important to understand the full extent of the procedure. Join us for a live chat with Emory Aesthetic Center plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST as he discusses these different types of breast surgery options and answers all of your questions about what to expect, the surgery and recovery. He will also give you advice on choosing the right plastic surgeon to obtain the natural looking results you desire.

If you have been wondering if a breast surgery procedure is right for you, you won’t want to miss this chat.

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About Dr. Eaves

eaves-iii-felmontDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.

‘Brazilian Butt Lift’: What Exactly Is It?

Learn about the different options available for buttock augmentation, such as the Brazilian butt lift, at Emory Aesthetic Center.In Brazil, the female derriere has long been appreciated and buttock cosmetic surgery is very popular. Several techniques, often referred to as a Brazilian butt lift, currently used worldwide for buttock enhancement were developed or refined by Brazilian plastic surgeons.

“Brazilian butt lift” is a popular search term on Google, but it isn’t just one procedure. It’s a common name for several different procedures that can result in a shapelier, firmer backside. More technical terms are “buttock augmentation” or even “gluteoplasty” — which both simply mean aesthetic improvement of the buttock area.

Buttock Enhancement Options

The best option for you depends on your anatomy, shape and desired results:

Liposuction with or without fat grafting

Liposuction of the back and hip area alone (sometimes called “liposculpture”), can sculpt the body in a way that enhances the buttock without surgery. Fat from liposuction can also be used as a filler to reshape the buttock in a procedure called fat grafting or fat transfer. Fat grafting or a fat transfer involves taking fatty tissue from another area of the body using liposuction, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs, and using it to add natural-looking volume to the buttocks.

Gluteal implants

If you don’t have enough fat for grafting, placement of a silicone gel implant may be an option. The procedure involves your doctor making a cut just above the buttock crease where the implant is inserted and placed under the muscle.

Lower body lift

A lower body lift involves removal of skin and fat in the upper gluteal area (just below the waist) and can be especially helpful if you have excess or stretched skin from losing a lot of weight.
The fat your doctor removes can then be used to reshape your hips.

More important than the naming of a Brazilian butt lift, as liposculpture or as gluteoplasty is to make sure that your surgeon knows how to match the right procedure to the right candidate. A good assessment of your body’s anatomy, skin quality and fat distribution is crucial to determine the right combination. The highly skilled team at Emory Aesthetic Center will carefully evaluate you and help you define the best options for your body.

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Or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule your personal consultation

Mommy Makeover: When Is the Right Time?

A mommy makeover can reshape your body to help you look more like yourself again. But when is the right time to do it?The “mommy makeover” is on the rise. Women want to reclaim their bodies from the changes brought on by pregnancy and breastfeeding. But a common question is “when is the right time to do it?”

What Is a Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover is a procedure, or combination of procedures, that help reshape a woman’s form after pregnancy. Each woman’s needs and goals are unique, but mommy makeovers typically involve any combination of the following:

  • Tummy tuck
  • Liposuction of the tummy or other areas such as the back, thighs or arms
  • Breast procedure:
    • Breast augmentation with implants to add volume
    • Breast lift to address low-hanging (sagging) breasts
    • Combination of both breast lift and augmentation to lift breasts and add fullness

When Is the Time Right for a Mommy Makeover?

While you may be in a hurry to reclaim your pre-pregnancy body, there are several factors to consider before scheduling your procedure(s).

Is My Body Ready?

It’s important to give your body time to return to “normal” following pregnancy. It’s best to wait until the stretched tissue returns to its typical state and until you’ve lost your pregnancy weight. Not only is surgery safer when you’re at a good weight, but the results are also better.

What If I’m Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is a factor to consider, especially when a breast procedure is part of your plan. You shouldn’t have elective breast surgery until your baby is fully weaned and your milk has completely dried up. Most surgeons prefer to wait at least three months after you stop breastfeeding, regardless of the procedure you’re considering.

How Much Time Will I Need to Recover?

As a mom, you have lots of responsibilities — caring for your family being only one of them. So you’ll want to consider when you’ll have the time and support you need before scheduling your procedure(s). Most women need a few weeks to recover.

Can I Have Another Baby After I Get a Mommy Makeover?

Results of your mommy makeover will be compromised by a pregnancy. So, you shouldn’t consider getting procedures done if you’re planning to have another child.

That being said, life is complex. Sometimes circumstances change. Typically, you can safely have another baby after you have a mommy makeover. However, you may wish to have some additional surgical procedures done following the pregnancy to address the new changes to your body.

Another thing to consider is that depending on the type of breast surgery you had, you may or may not be able to breastfeed.

Are You Ready to Consider a Mommy Makeover?

The board-certified plastic surgeonsat Emory Aesthetic Center  can help you determine the right timing and combination of procedures for your mommy makeover.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

Your Body Contouring Questions Answered: Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

swimsuit-chat-260x200-emailAs we kick-off the summer months and have officially reached bathing suit season, it is natural that many of us take a look in the mirror and think about how we might change our body. In addition to keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly, there are now more choices than ever in how we might achieve our goals. But with so many choices, both surgical and non-surgical options, choosing what body contouring procedure is best for you can be difficult.

During our live chat on Tuesday, March 22nd, hosted by Emory Aesthetic Center’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, we answered your questions around body contouring options to help shape your body for summer and tighten excess or loose skin. Dr. Eaves discussed both surgical and non-surgical procedures – including liposuction, tummy tucks, and thigh lifts.

Below are just a few highlights from the chat. A full list of questions and answers can be found on our chat transcript. You can also visit emoryaesthetic.org for a full list of services and treatments offered by the Emory Aesthetic Center.

Question: How do you get rid of a stomach belly fat?

Dr. Eaves: If diet and exercise don’t get you what you want, then there are three main ways to address belly fat, non-surgical fat reduction, liposuction, or abdominoplasty. Which one is best for a patient depends on their individual circumstances.

For instance, non-surgical treatments like Coolsculping® work best in patients with smaller amounts of fat and youthful, elastic skin. Liposuction works best in similar patients, however is more aggressive in terms of fat removal. The tummy tuck is the “king” of tummy contouring – it can tighten muscles, reduce fat, and tighten skin. Tummy tucks are more common in patients that have had pregnancies or who are a bit older and have developed some skin laxity.

Question: I have 2 weeks until I have to be in a bathing suit. What are some quick fixes that can be done with belly and thigh bulges?

Dr. Eaves: That doesn’t give much time! I’m afraid that neither surgery nor non-surgical fat removal would work and get you ready in such a short period of time.
One thought, however. We often think about concentrating on getting our bodies (or faces) ready for a big event. However to get your body where you want, it really takes a sustained, consistent approach. Crash diets and hours in the gym for short periods of time doesn’t really get you anywhere . . . a good, healthy, balanced and sustainable diet coupled with a reasonable exercise routine that you can stick with is the key. Of course surgery can help a lot, but the patient gets the very best results when they get their weight and health to a good place.

Question: Is there such a thing as a “mini” tummy tuck which does not have to go all the way across the abdomen?

Dr. Eaves: Not only is there the mini-tummy tuck, but some patients are candidates for tummy tucks with even shorter scars – the endoscopic tummy tuck. However before you get excited about these options, be aware than only a very small percentage of patients are candidates for these procedures. In order to be a candidate, you need to have good, elastic skin and relatively small amounts (or not) excess fat.

These procedures are ideally suited for patients who have experienced some spreading of the muscles of the abdomen from pregnancy, which we call a diastasis recti. If you have any significant amount of loose skin, or more significant fatty deposits, you are unlikely to get a good result with a limited scar approach. That being said, we now use techniques to help the scar appear better, such as special sutures that take the tension off of the skin. There sutures also eliminate the need to have surgical drains with a tummy tuck, which is a big plus.

Question: I need help with both my tummy and my breasts. Can I have both surgeries at the same time?

Dr. Eaves: Not only can you treat both the tummy and the breasts at the same time, but this is a very common procedure. For the tummy, most often this involves a tummy tuck due to the effects of the pregnancy. What we might do in the breasts depends on how the breasts recovered after pregnancy and maybe breast feeding. For instance, if the breast lost volume but didn’t become saggy (we call that “ptosis”), then a breast augmentation is a great option.

If you like the size of the breasts but they have become too droopy, then you would likely want a mastopexy, or breast lift, but without implants. It is also quite common to do both breast augmentation with implants and a lift. If you have a consultation with a plastic surgeon, he/she can help you sort through these options and see which is best for you.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

If you have additional questions for Dr. Eaves, please feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

Get Ready for Swimsuit Season! Join our Live Chat on Body Contouring

swimsuit-chat-260x200-emailSpring is here, therefore, swim suit season is just around the corner. To help get your body ready for the warmer weather, join Emory Aesthetic Center plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST as he discusses body contouring solutions to help improve your shape and tighten excess or loose skin. Dr. Eaves will answer all of your questions and walk you through both non-surgical and surgical body contouring options – including CoolSculpting®, liposuction and tummy tucks.

If you have been wondering if a cosmetic body contouring procedure is right for you, you won’t want to miss this chat.

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About Dr. Eaves

eaves-iii-felmontDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.

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Boosting Your Buttocks: What You Need To Know

bottom250x250Up until a few years ago, requests for surgery to change one’s buttocks were few and far between, and in fact, a decade or so ago it was more common to have a request to reduce the buttocks than to enlarge or lift them. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2014 (the most recent year in which statistics are currently available), buttock augmentation procedures increased by an impressive 86.1% year over year.

It is interesting to speculate on why this shift is occurring. There is no doubt that having better surgical techniques and improved results over time has played a factor. There has also been the growing influence from South and Central America where the desired aesthetic has always focused on buttock shape. And even the influence of certain celebrities has had an effect . . . think Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez.

The vast majority of patients that come into our office seeking buttock augmentation are asking about the “Brazilian Butt Lift”. This is a term that is a source of amusement to my Brazilian plastic surgeon colleagues as it is not a term they use. For us in the U.S., this term has become synonymous with buttock enhancement using one’s own fat to create a fuller, more rounded shape to the buttock, and doesn’t require synthetic implants. Unlike Brazil, in the U.S. we don’t have implants specifically available for buttock enhancement as an alternative to fat grafts, as none of the implants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This can be a source of frustration for some patients who have too little fat to provide adequate volume of grafts, as there are currently few additional options.

To be a good candidate for buttock enhancement a patient needs to be of a healthy weight, typically with a body mass index, or BMI, of 32 or less. You must have enough fat on other areas of the body to “harvest” the fat through liposuction. This provides a great benefit for buttock enhancement – not only do you get improvement in the buttocks, but other areas like the tummy, thighs, and love handles can be improved at the same time. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, so you’ll go home the same day, but you will need to have a responsible adult with you for the first 24-48 hours. Many normal activities (such as driving) are typically comfortable after 7-10 days, and most patients are able to start light exercise within 3-4 weeks, sometimes sooner. The scars are generally very small – about a quarter of an inch – for typical liposuction plus fat grafting. Not infrequently, patients may combine fat grafting to the buttocks with a tummy tuck, in which case the tummy tuck incision would obviously be longer.

While the majority of patients coming to see us are interested in boosting their buttocks, there are special circumstances when we might suggest other options. For instance, if a patient has lost a large amount of weight through lifestyle changes or bariatric surgery, then he or she might be a good candidate for a buttock lift which not only adds volume to the flattened buttocks, but which directly lifts the tissues by excising skin above the buttocks, a procedure which is often combined with a tummy tuck and thigh lift.

If you think that enhancing the buttocks might be for you, come see one of the board certified physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center for a complimentary consultation. We’ll take a close look at your medical history and the amount of tissue that is available for harvesting to see if you are a good candidate for surgery. We’ll explain the process in detail, and what you as an individual might expect to achieve with the procedure.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

Choosing the Best Breast Implant for You

implant-250x250Silicone gel? Gummy Bear? Highly Cohesive? Saline? Round? Anatomical? Teardrop? Smooth? Textured? There are many choices when it comes to breast augmentation surgery and breast implants. Not only do we have choices for the implants themselves, but there are also choices around techniques to inserting them, as well as where the incision site will be placed. We have subglandular, subfascial, and submuscular positions which can be combined with transaxillary (in the underarm), periareolar (between the pigmented skin around the nipple and the normal breast skin), and inframammary (in the fold underneath the breast). But we’re not done yet . . . you also have to decide what size of implant you want, and in some cases, whether or not you need a breast lift. There are so many options when it comes to breast augmentation with implants that the choice may seem overwhelming.

But do not despair…when working with a board certified plastic surgeon, getting to the best choice can be a lot easier than you might imagine. The process starts at the beginning of the consultation. Your surgeon should listen to your ideas, goals, and concerns, and then follow-up with a physical examination that will evaluate the volume of your natural breast tissue, the dimensions of the breast, the tightness of the skin, and the position of the nipples. These factors will guide your surgeon toward recommendations that he or she can discuss with you. For instance, the width of the chosen implant needs to match the dimensions of your breasts. The size of the implant needs to fit with your frame and your aesthetic goals. The shape of the chosen implant helps determine the appearance of the upper part of your breasts.

To see how this all works, let’s think through a couple of scenarios together. First, let’s say the patient is thin, the areola and the breasts are quite small, and the soft tissue in the upper part of the breast is very thin. In this case, because a submuscular implant is less likely to show ripples, the surgeon would likely recommend a submuscular implant placement. If the patient wants a fuller upper pole of the breast, a round implant may be chosen, but if she wants a more subtle, smooth transition between the chest and breast, a shaped implant (“anatomical” or “teardrop”) would be the way to go. And since the areola are small and anatomical implants need a bit bigger incision, placing the scar under the breast would be a better choice.

On the other hand let’s consider a different scenario, this time in a patient who is a bit heavier with moderate thickness of the soft tissue of the upper breast and normal sized areola. In this case, the implant could be placed on top of or underneath the muscle, as the thickness of the tissue will hide the implant nicely either way. The shape of the implant also becomes less important with thicker tissue, as the natural breast shape will have a greater effect. Therefore, a less expensive round implant may be preferable. Although this patient might also be a candidate for a saline implant, with the improved designs of silicone gel implants over the years and with a large amount of data showing the safety and efficacy of silicone gel breast implants, the vast majority of women in our practice are choosing silicone gel implants even in this situation. Silicone gel implants of all types tend to feel more natural, look more natural, and are less prone to produce visible waves and ripples than saline implants.

In making your choice of implants, one technology that has proven to be very helpful and popular with patients is 3-D computer imaging. In this process, an array of cameras take a picture of your chest and then an avatar of your chest is produced in the computer. Because the cameras and computers can calculate distances and volume, it ultimately allows the user to simulate different brands, sizes and shapes of implants on an image of your own body. This helps you choose not only the size of the implants that will fit you, but it also helps you see how different styles of implants might look. Of course, this is a simulation only and you cannot be guaranteed that your final result will look exactly the same. However, studies have shown – and our experience has confirmed – that this is a very helpful tool to help patients make choices.

So in the end don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by choices. Come in for a complimentary consultation with one of the board certified physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center. We’ll help you understand your choices and choose a great implant and technique specifically designed for you.

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About Dr. Eaves

eaves-iii-felmontDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.

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When is the Best Time to Get a Tummy Tuck?

eac-250x250A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes the unwanted excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen improving the abdominal contour. It can be limited and only involve the front of the abdomen, or it can be extended to also address excess fat and/or skin in the back. Abdominoplasty typically involves reestablishing the native abdominal anatomy, i.e. restoring the muscles that have been affected by childbirth or weight gain. The procedure can be done with or without liposuction depending on your overall appearance and goals.

So now the question…when is it the best time to have a tummy tuck procedure?

When I meet with patients who want to improve their abdominal contour, it is generally due to life changes that have affected their midriff. These changes can be due to the birth of a child/children, the loss of significant weight, or just the process of aging in general. Depending on the specific change, my recommendation is to wait until that change has plateaued. Meaning, if the abdominal excess is related to childbirth, I recommend that your family is complete prior to having a tummy tuck done. If it is related to weight loss, I recommend that your weight be a number you can maintain long term.

Additional questions typically follow. “Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck? I don’t know if our family is complete.” That’s OK if you are uncertain. You can successfully carry a baby after a tummy tuck. The pregnancy may affect the result and a revision could be necessary in the long run.

“What if I gain the weight back?” If you gain some weight back, the abdomen will appear fuller again but likely the skin excess will not be present so I would encourage you to again lose the weight before any revisions are considered.

Recovery is another component to consider if you are ready to schedule your tummy tuck. I recommend at least 1 week off of work to get through the most painful part. The first few days can be hard and having to go back to work will add unnecessary stress. Try to schedule the surgery during a less busy time in your job, and when you have accrued enough leave time.

If you are ready for a change, and it’s the right time for you based on the information provided in this blog, let the Emory Aesthetic Center help you realize your vision of you. Come in for a complimentary consultation with one of our board certified cosmetic surgeons.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

About Dr. Anderson

anderson-ericaErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.

Defying Gravity: Surgical and Non-surgical Treatments to Prevent Aging

crunchesPatients ask me all the time…”How do I fight off the effects of gravity, and do I need surgery to do that?” The good news is that we now have more tools than ever before to defy the effects of aging. In order to get the best results, it is essential to know what each tool can do, but perhaps even more importantly, what it cannot do. By picking the right tool for each area of your body – whether surgical or non-surgical – you will have a better chance to get the result you are seeking.

As we age, the loss of elasticity of our skin results in the appearance of sagging. Brows can look low, eyelids can sag, and jowls invade once beautiful jawlines. Laxity in the neck can result in drooping that is especially noticeable when looking down or in pictures taken from the side. Sagging of the breasts, technically known as breast ptosis, may result not only from aging and the effects of gravity, but from the after-effects of pregnancy and breast feeding. Pregnancy can have a profound affect on the tummy area and can lead to loose skin as well as separation of the muscles which leads to an appearance of rounding. Weight fluctuations can also have a profound effect. If you gain and loose weight frequently, and especially if you loose a large amount of weight, the laxity and sagging will be much greater, particularly contributing to laxity in the tummy and thighs.

Non-surgical treatments have a critical role in preventing aging and the effects of gravity, but when actual sagging occurs, surgery is typically the best and often only solution to get the changes you want. Currently non-surgical treatments have little capacity to tighten loose skin, particularly in the body region. But non-surgical treatments can do a wonderful job addressing wrinkles due to muscle hyperactivity (Botox®), of softening the appearance of deeper creases in the face (dermal fillers), of reducing isolated areas of fat accumulation (CoolSculpting®), and improving the texture and appearance of the skin(skin care, lasers, chemical peels).

In the face, if you really want to tighten sagging jowls, lift a droopy brow or eyelids, or to address loose skin in the neck, surgery is definitely the way to go. A brow lift can reposition the brows and help create a more open, bright look to the eyes. An eyelid lift can smooth the skin of the upper eyelid or soften the appearance of “bags” of the lower eyelid. A facelift can improve the cheek contours and reduce jowls, creating a more youthful, smooth jaw line, and a neck lift can tighten and smooth the neck. While surgery is the dominant solution for defying gravity in the facial area, there are situations where non-invasive procedures can play a role. For example, if a patient has very early jowling and isn’t yet ready for a face lift, placing fillers along the edge of the jowl and along the jawline can camouflage the appearance, although it will not “lift” it away. If a patient has lost volume of the upper cheek area, injecting the area with fillers can replace volume and give the appearance of lifting the midface.

In the facial area it is extremely common to combine surgical and non-surgical approaches to optimize your results. For instance, while a face and neck lift will help you defy the effects of gravity, the surgery will not change the overall appearance of your skin. A skin care program can work wonders to enhance the results of your surgery by smoothing rough spots, evening the color of your skin and reducing dark spots, shrinking pore size, and creating a healthy glow to your skin.

In the breast and body areas, non-surgical approaches have little to offer in terms of actual lifting of tissues in order to defy gravity. This is because current technologies do not sufficiently tighten skin to create dramatic improvements, nor can they effectively tighten the soft tissues under the skin. If you really want to tighten sagging tissue back to its youthful position, surgery is required. In the breast, this means undergoing a breast lift (mastopexy) either with or without implants. In the tummy area, this means an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with or without liposuction. In recent years, buttock lifts and thigh lifts have become increasingly common.

While there are plenty of non-surgical technologies being marketed that tout skin tightening, they have not been proven to work. In fact, some of our patients have said they tried these treatments, especially in the body areas, and most felt that they had either no result or that the results were so minimal that it was not worth the investment.

If you are interested in counteracting the effects of gravity, come and consult with one of the board-certified physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center. We can go over options specific to your individual needs, and help you understand which surgical or non-surgical treatments are best for you.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

About Dr. Eaves

eaves-iii-felmontDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.

Breast Augmentation: How to Get the Most Natural Looking Breasts

feeling-goodI have found this blog to be somewhat challenging mainly because I had to ask myself…what is meant by a natural looking breast? Is it what you remember pictured in a National Geographic magazine? Those are definitely natural. Or has Hollywood altered our perception so much that we no longer know what it is to have natural breasts. If you are considering an enhancement to your breasts, you are likely interested in additional volume and possibly improvement in shape. Let’s review some of the decisions you will need to make with your plastic surgeon, and help you understand how these decisions may affect the end appearance of your breast augmentation.

Decision #1: Should I get breast implants?

This is the first basic question to consider if you are at all concerned about a natural result. Breast implants are just not natural. Look at yourself in the mirror with a bra or swimsuit top on. Do you like your breasts overall? Is there enough volume in clothes? If you are happy with the volume in clothes, consider a breast lift as opposed to placing implants.

Small increases in volume can also be performed using fat from other areas of your body, called fat transfer or fat grafting. This avoids implants but has limitations as to how much volume increase you can expect. A breast lift with or without fat grafting is a way to improve your breasts and definitely get a natural result.

But if you feel there is not enough volume, and a small increase from fat grafting would not be enough, read on…

Decision #2: Implant choice

  • Saline or Silicone?
    Saline versus silicone for the implant fill material is really about how it feels and less about appearance. They are both breast implants therefore they both look basically the same once placed. Since silicone feels more natural, I think more patients associate them with appearing more natural, but truthfully either device is fine. The incision required for silicone implants is a little longer and the cost is slightly higher, but that is the major difference between the two devices. However, if you want a natural feel as well as appearance, silicone implants are the better choice.
  • What about profile?
    Implants come in a variety of profiles known as moderate, moderate plus or high profile. This is a way to classify the implant as to how much projection it has. Projection is how much the implant sticks out from the chest wall. The moderate profile has the least projection and the high profile the most. The more projection an implant has, the more round the result may end up. In general, a high profile implant will have a less natural appearance. If you want a more natural result, a moderate or moderate plus device would be a better choice.
  • Volume?
    It’s simple. A larger breast implant is more likely to look artificial than a smaller one. Common sense really. But there are not definitive numbers that guide you as to what a large implant is. Is 300cc large? Or do you cross the line at 500cc? This is the art of breast augmentation. And this is where your body proportions play a role. If you have a narrow frame and are short to average height, a large implant for you may be 300cc. If however you are tall with broad shoulders, your frame can easily carry a volume of 450cc. The amount of native breast tissue you have also plays a role in these decisions. The chosen projection of the implant is also considered when choosing the implant volume. When you meet with your surgeon, a breast width measurement is taken. This number guides what implants will likely fit you the best. From that range of implants, if your focus is on a natural result, choose an implant with the least volume. In general, smaller implants produce more natural results.
  • Tear drop/Shaped Implants?
    Anatomically shaped implants are a newer device on the market that allows for a more sloped appearance to the breast after enlargement. Like it sounds, the implant is not round and there is more volume in the inferior portion of the device than the superior. If you are relying on the device to give additional volume and provide an improved shape, an anatomical implant may be a good choice. The disadvantage of the device is that it can rotate and need revision surgery. I typically think of using a shaped device in someone who has lost volume after weight loss or having children, has a slight degree of droop to the breast and has a flat upper portion of the breast. In these cases, a natural and improved result can be obtained.

Decision #3: Implant location

There are two locations typically used for placement of implants for breast augmentation. They are either placed in a subglandular plane, directly under the breast tissue or in a submuscular plane, under the pectoralis major muscle. Advantages and disadvantages are associated with either location. In general, the implant placed below the muscle will give the most natural result as it is providing more soft tissue coverage.

Decision #4: Plastic Surgeon

This is key. First, you have to be honest with yourself about what you want and then you have to find the right board-certified plastic surgeon to execute your wishes. You should interview many surgeons, and find the one who you feel understands what you are trying to accomplish and what you want. Preoperatively an implant is chosen and the surgery is planned, but adjustments may have to be made in the operating room while you are asleep. You need to feel confident that your surgeon is thinking about what YOU want. I use sizers in the operating room after I create the implant pocket and then make a final decision on the implant once I see it in place. Whether you want natural or not, be sure that you trust the surgeon doing your surgery.

Breast augmentation surgery can be exciting and scary all at the same time. My advice is to meet with one of the board-certified surgeons of the Emory Aesthetic Center. We can help you understand your options, walk you through the process and get you the natural result you want.

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or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule a consultation

About Dr. Anderson

anderson-ericaErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.