Posts Tagged ‘plastic surgery atlanta’

How to Heal After Plastic Surgery

You may love what plastic surgery can do to enhance your appearance and self-esteem, but nobody looks forward to the recovery after plastic surgery. You may fear the pain of surgery or the temporary limitations on your normal activities like working, exercising or caring for your kids.  Fortunately, there are new strategies and surgical techniques that offer less pain and a quicker recovery.

Blepharoplasty: Eyelid Surgery and Recovery Explained

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can make you look years younger. Nonsurgical options include hyaluronic acid and fat injections.People often refer to eyes as windows to the soul. In fact, our eyes do provide lots of information about our emotional state. According to Psychology Today, we can tell a genuine from a fake smile by looking at a person’s eyes. The mouth shape of a smile is easy to fake—we do it all the time out of politeness. But our eyes are usually the giveaway.

The area around our eyes (the periocular area) also plays a crucial role in how we express ourselves and communicate with others. Aging in this area can change how others see us and can mean the difference between being seen as “bright-eyed” or tired.

As we get older, our eyelid tissues become thinner and our skin loses elasticity. We may also notice more puffiness around our eyes, as well as dark circles and wrinkles. The good news is there are several options for rejuvenating the periocular area:

  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
  • Hyaluronic acid fillers
  • Fat grafting

Eyelid surgery for a younger, fresher look

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a common procedure that can refresh the area around your eyes. Making tiny incisions along your eyelids (in the natural creases so the scars are hidden), your surgeon will remove any excess skin or fat from your upper and/or lower eyelids, and tighten the tissues.

Blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgery usually done under local anesthesia with sedation. This involves numbing the area around your eyes to prevent any feeling of pain during your procedure in combination with medicine to calm you. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend general anesthesia instead.
Either way, you can go home the same day.

Typically, you can expect a complete recovery in about two weeks. You will experience some bruising and swelling for a few days after your surgery, so you may not want to plan any major social events during that time frame. Use ice and anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen) to help with your swelling or any discomfort. You may also need to have stitches removed a few days after your procedure.

Nonsurgical options

If you can’t or don’t want to have surgery, you still have options for refreshing your look. For hollowed eyelids (or deep, dark circles), hyaluronic acid fillers or fat grafting are effective, nonsurgical methods for plumping up the tissue around your eyes.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary, but can be repeated as needed. Our specialists provide hyaluronic acid injections in the office using topical anesthetic to numb the area around your eyes.

Fat grafting is a more permanent solution, but since fat is partially reabsorbed, you may need more than one injection session. In this procedure, fat is taken from another area of your body and injected into hollow or drooping areas around your eyes. Because it’s your own tissue, your body won’t reject it – it’s your own natural filler. Fat grafting requires local anesthesia to numb the area where the fat is harvested and where it will be injected.

You can go home immediately after both procedures. There may be some bruising and swelling for a few days following your injection or grafting procedure, but you should experience a quick recovery. Ice is recommended to help with swelling and Ibuprofen can be used to help with any discomfort.

Emory Aesthetic Center

If you’re ready to refresh your eye area, the expert cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center can help you determine the best treatment option for you.

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

How to Choose the Best Aesthetic Surgery Center

What do I look for when choosing an aesthetic surgery center for my cosmetic surgery? Learn what to look for to ensure a safe, quality procedure.While we all consider having a great surgeon a must, there are many other factors that contribute to safe surgeries with quality outcomes. Where you have your aesthetic procedure, for example, is just as important as who performs it.

So, how do you find the right aesthetic surgery center? Here are some important factors to consider:

Do they offer exceptional resources?

Resources include a well-trained team (surgeons, nurses, anesthesia, etc.) with certified facilities and equipment, and an evidence-based approach to clinical knowledge. When the right resources are in place, you have a great foundation for quality and safety.

Knowledge

Over the past several years, there’s been an ever-increasing focus on the quality of medical knowledge in the field of cosmetic surgery. The best surgery centers are in the forefront of research and analyze the data to ensure the best outcomes for their patients. It’s okay to ask questions about the care team’s training, experience and credentials. It’s also important to understand their approach to care and how they stay on top of medical advances.

Facilities and equipment

The facility itself matters. And, because medical technology continues to advance quickly, so does their equipment. We suggest asking these questions before making a decision:

  • Is the facility clean and well-kept?
  • Is it Joint Commission certified?
  • Do they have access to new technologies and equipment?
  • What surgical methods do they use and what’s their level of experience with them?

What systems and procedures are in place?

Systems and procedures are used to make sure your entire medical team is on the same page and that nothing is overlooked. Systems and processes include tools like checklists. Just like a pilot taking off in a commercial airliner, you want to know that your team has thought of all the things that have to be done. Checklists are one way that the entire team can be following the same playbook. Protocols are another tool that works with checklists. Ask about what systems and protocols are used to ensure your safety during a procedure.

Do you like their culture?

The way the staff interacts with each other and with you plays a large role in your overall experience and satisfaction. We suggest a visit to each center you’re considering — there’s nothing like experiencing it yourself — and asking yourself these questions:

  • Do they seem happy?
  • Do they communicate well and treat each other with respect?
  • Are they open to your questions?
  • Do they take time to educate you about the procedures?
  • Do you feel welcomed and comfortable there?

Are You Ready to Choose an Aesthetic Surgery Center?

At the Emory Aesthetic Center, we’ve worked hard to put these components into practice each and every day to optimize your safety, the quality of care you receive, and your experience. We have a team of highly trained, qualified, and experienced staff that are focused on giving you the best and safest care possible. Our facility is Joint Commission certified, and we use evidence-based protocols, checklists and process tools to make sure we work effectively and efficiently in a safe environment for you.

Do you want to learn more?

cta-learn-blue

Liposuction versus CoolSculpting®: Which is Right for You?

Lipo vs CoolSculptingLiposuction and CoolSculpting® are two very different procedures that are designed to reduce unwanted fatty deposits. So with both procedures producing the same outcome in the end, how are you to decide which is best for you? Like so many things in cosmetic medicine, it depends . . .Let me break down the differences between the two so that you can make the best decision for you.

Liposuction was developed in the 1980’s and has been around a lot longer than CoolSculping. There are now many types of liposuction including Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) – the original technique but still a great one; Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL) that uses sound waves to break up the fat, Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) that uses vibration, Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL) that uses laser energy, and Fluid Assisted Liposuction (FAL) that works like a water jet. Despite the different approaches, all of these techniques can work well, and none is clearly superior over the other, despite marketing claims to the contrary.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure and can be performed under local anesthesia, under sedation, or with full general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you will need depends on the area(s) to be treated and the amount of fat that needs to be removed. In general, the more areas that you treat, the more sedation or full general anesthesia you will need. The incisions for liposuction are small, typically less than 1/4 inch, so there isn’t much scarring. There is, however, a recovery period that lasts for a few weeks – bruising and swelling are most common. Patients can usually resume light exercise after a few days.

As opposed to liposuction, CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia at all. The CoolSculpting system includes a disposable gel pad that is placed over the treatment area. A cooling head is then placed over the gel pad and suction is activated. The machine has a base that cools the liquid flowing through the headpiece and pulls the fatty area into the head, therefore, freezing the fat. After an hour or so (or two hours for a non-suction treatment type) the cooling head is removed and the frozen area is massaged briefly. Although there can be some discomfort when the tissue is first pulled into the cooling head, this becomes numb once the cooling starts and the massage doesn’t hurt. Like liposuction, it takes a few weeks to see the final result, and although there really isn’t much pain, like liposuction, the treated area can feel a little tender for a while.

Liposuction is the more aggressive treatment of the two, allowing more fat to be removed in a single session. Because CoolSculpting removes less fat per treatment, patients may need several sessions of CoolSculpting to get their optimal result.

Patients who are thinking about other cosmetic surgical procedures may be better candidates for liposuction than CoolSculpting since they would already be under aesthesia. In addition, the combination of liposuction with an excisional procedure (think tummy tuck with liposuction) is very powerful and can deliver dramatic results. Another example of when liposuction is preferable is when a patient might want to add volume to an area and they want to do so with their own fat. Liposuction can be used to harvest fat for fat transfer to another site. Liposuction is often preferred when there are many body areas that the patient wants treated, as these can be done all at one time, rather than over many different sessions with CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting can be a great option for smaller fatty deposits. It is also a great choice for patients that are keen to avoid surgery, either for personal preference or because of health issues that may increase the risk of surgery.

Patients always wonder which is more cost effective – liposuction or CoolSculpting. This is another it depends situation. If a patient is treating a single small area that will probably be effectively treated with two sessions, then CoolSculping makes a lot of sense and may be cheaper. However if there are multiple sites to treat, and some of these will need three or more CoolSculpting sessions to get full resolution, then liposuction may be the less expensive of the two.

In the long run the choice of which is best for you depends on you – how you feel about it, what issues are the most important, and how aggressive you want to be in removing the fat. If avoiding surgery is super important to you, and you’ll accept less dramatic results in order to do so, then CoolSculping might be your best option. On the other hand, if you’d rather get as much fat off as possible, and would rather do this in one session instead of several, then liposuction may be your best bet. Let the board certified cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center help you figure out what approach is best for you.

404-778-6880
emoryaesthetic.org

About Dr. Eaves

Felmont Eaves, MDDr. 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.

Realistic Liposuction Results: What Can I Expect?

Liposuction ResultsUnderstanding what any treatment can do . . . and even more importantly, what it can’t do . . . is critical for you to know when considering the best cosmetic procedure to address your individual needs. This is particularly true for liposuction, as the tremendous popularity of the procedure has spawned some misconceptions and unrealistic expectations. In the right patient liposuction is a wonderful procedure with small scars, quick recovery, and dramatic results. However, in the wrong patient liposuction can lead to disappointment, and if pushed beyond appropriate limits, can even lead to deformity requiring surgical repair.

One of the most common misconceptions about liposuction is that it can help you loose weight. Liposuction, in general, is not an effective weight loss tool. In order to keep the procedure safe, there are long-standing recommendations to limit the amount of liposuction done on an outpatient basis. Very large amounts of liposuction can be associated with the development of loose skin in the treated areas.

Another misconception about liposuction is that it can tighten loose skin, especially if it is “laser liposuction” or “ultrasonic liposuction”. For sure the skin will retract some after any liposuction technique due to the skin’s inherent elasticity, however meaningful tightening typically doesn’t occur, despite marketing claims. Although rare, I’ve had to help a couple of patients in which their surgeon pushed an energy-based liposuction (laser or ultrasound) too far in hopes of tightening the skin. Doing this can lead to an irregular appearance to the skin, lumps, and even burns and visible scarring. The long and the short of it is, if you have significantly loose skin and want it to be smoother and tighter, liposuction by itself is probably not the procedure for you.

Cellulite – that frustrating, pitting appearance of the thighs or buttocks – is another area that patients sometimes expect liposuction to help but it really doesn’t. Currently there aren’t great treatments for cellulite that give consistent and dramatic results (again, despite the marketing!). Sometimes patients have pits that are associated with loose skin but don’t have real cellulite, and in these cases a body lift – not liposuction alone – can help these areas. Here’s a test you can do at home — lift up on the skin above the pitting area. If the pits smooth out dramatically, then the pits are probably related to loose skin in the area and you might be a candidate for a lifting procedure. If you lift and the pits just stare back at you, then a lift is probably not for you.

We’ve just reviewed the things that liposuction doesn’t do, but the great news is that liposuction of the right amount and in the right patient is safe, effective, and gives predictable results. The patients that do the very best with liposuction are at a good weight but have certain stubborn areas that just won’t go away with diet or exercise. The best candidates also have tighter, more elastic skin. Often, but not always, that means that younger patients are better candidates for liposuction.

However if you have some loose skin, don’t despair. Liposuction can still be a powerful tool to contour your body when combined with an excisional procedure. For example, let’s say you have some fatty collections in the love handle area and in the front of the tummy but you have loose skin in the lower part of the tummy. In this case you may be a great candidate for liposuction combined with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Liposuction can smooth and contour the flanks and can thin the upper abdomen while excision of the fat and loose skin of the lower tummy will tighten everything up.

Another area where it is good to set expectations relates to recovery. Patients always want to know how they’ll feel after liposuction, how long it takes for the pain to fade, and how long until the swelling is gone and they see their final result. In general, liposuction is less painful and with a quicker recovery than excisional procedures, like a tummy tuck. Patients are often able to return to work after only a few days, and although they have some soreness for a couple of weeks, they are able to function well. Usually patients can resume light exercise within 2 weeks. There will be swelling, although often even swollen areas look better than before surgery. The majority of the swelling is gone by 3-4 weeks, although subtle amounts of swelling can take 3-6 months to resolve. You may also develop some bruising, and if so, this typically fades away within a couple of weeks.

Liposuction is the most common aesthetic surgical procedure performed in the United States, and with good reason: liposuction works and it works well. It works best in patients who are good candidates and who are not trying to have liposuction do more than it is capable of delivering. The board certified physicians of the Emory Aesthetic Center are happy to consult with you about what are reasonable expectations of liposuction in your individual circumstance, and help develop a treatment plan specific to you.

404-778-6880
emoryaesthetic.org

About Dr. Eaves

Felmont Eaves, MDDr. 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.

Ask the Doctor: How Do Fat Transfers Work?

Fat TransfersPatients often ask “How do fat transfers work, and do they last?” It is a very good question, and pertinent, too, because fat transfers have become very common in cosmetic surgery over the past several years. Fat transfers have assumed an important role in facial rejuvenation, breast augmentation surgery, buttock enhancement, and the secondary treatment of body contouring deformities, so it is important to understand what is going on.

Fat transfer is a lot like the old real estate saying: It’s all about location, location, location. Most of us have extra fat in areas we don’t want, and the beauty of the fat transfer is that we can remove some of this unwanted fat and relocate it to where we want to enhance volume. Even though this concept is quite simple, the actual way the procedure is performed has taken cosmetic surgeons many years to develop. We are still constantly improving and enhancing our techniques as we get a better understanding of how these techniques affect the survival of the fat in the new location.

The first step in fat transfer is to collect the fat from the donor site. The most common location where we harvest fat is the tummy, but we can use many potential sites, including the love handles, the thighs, and the back of the arms. The fat is collected by liposuction, either using a syringe system or a system with a fat collection chamber. The fluid obtained during liposuction (the aspirate) is then treated to remove excess fluid from damaged fat cells so that concentrated fat is ready to inject. There is significant variability in how surgeons prepare the fat for transplantation. This prepatory step can be as simple as gently straining the aspirate, may involve washing the fat, or may involve centrifuging the aspirate. The prepared fat is then loaded into syringes for injection.

The injection of the fat cells into its new “home” is done using fat grafting cannulas, these are generally small and designed to be gentle on the fat cells. The surgeon injects the fat into many tunnels and layers, as you want the fat to be widely dispersed in the tissues and not to “pool” in one area. Pooling leads to a decreased “take” of the transplanted fat. To explain this further, I like to use the analogy of planting seeds. Like seeds, the fat grafts need to get nutrients from the bed in which they are planted in order to survive. If you plant a full bag of seeds into a single hole in the ground, the seeds in the middle of the “pool” would not be able to get their roots into the dirt and would eventually die. That’s how it works with transplanted fat – if you put too much in one place, the cells in the middle will die and will be absorbed by the body.

When fat cells survive in their new location, they are there forever, and will be of stable size (unless you gain or loose a lot of weight). Cosmetic surgeons love to argue sometimes about the best way to harvest, prepare, and transplant the fat in order to optimize graft survival, and although we’ve made tremendous progress (fat transplantation is now highly effective and reliable – probably in the range of 70% survival), I don’t think we know all the answers yet. Be cautious if you feel you are being sold a “magic solution” for fat grafting, as these are often not backed up by good clinical evidence, at least currently.

One more word of warning relates to “stem cell fat grafts.” Stem cells are a current hot topic in medicine, and indeed stem cell science has tremendous potential to change the way medicine will be in the future. All tissues – including fat harvested for transfer – have stem cells anyway. However there is currently no compelling science to support the clinical claims of any special stem cell fat transplantation techniques in aesthetic surgery, and there is a lot of deceptive advertising to entice unknowing patients. In fact, both the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons have issued a joint statement emphasizing this point.

The physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center keep up with the latest developments in fat transplantation, and we’d be happy to help you figure out how they can work for you.

404-778-6880
emoryaesthetic.org

About Dr. Eaves

Felmont Eaves, MDDr. 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.

What Can I Do To Improve My Cosmetic Surgery Results?

Cosmetic SurgeryAs a prospective cosmetic surgery patient, you spend a lot of time researching doctors, centers, facilities and credentials, and that is as it should be. It is a critical step in getting the right result. But all too often, patients forget to consider that their surgery team – in addition to the surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and other staff – should include another vital team member – you! What you do, or what you don’t do, can have a tremendous impact on the quality of your surgery outcome and the safety of your care.

For instance, sometimes patients feel reluctant to share their entire medical history with their plastic surgeon, thinking that it may not be relevant. In order to provide you the very best care, your team needs to understand all of your previous surgeries, medical treatments, medications, significant illnesses, or prior reactions to medication or anesthesia. Knowing this information can help us modify and customize your care, such as identifying risk factors that might be addressed or adjusting techniques or medications to improve your results and your surgical and recovery experience. As an example, if you have had nausea after previous anesthesia for an unrelated procedure, that might clue the anesthesiologist to use different medications and techniques with your upcoming surgery to reduce the risk that this will happen again. If you have a family history of certain types of blood clots, this would alert your surgical team that you need additional prophylactic measures to decrease the risk of a clotting complication.

A second way patients can help optimize their results is in carefully following preoperative instructions and guidelines. Your particular instructions might include stopping medications that may lead to an increase in the chance of surgical bleeding or bruising, using skin care products that will help prepare your skin for laser resurfacing or a chemical peel, or losing a few extra pounds that will help a body contouring procedure give even more dramatic results. The instructions from your anesthesiologist are particularly important to keep your surgery safe. For instance, everyone knows that it is important not to eat or drink prior to surgery, however sometimes patients think that “just a little bite” or “just a small drink” won’t do any harm, but it can significantly increase your risk of lung problems after surgery.

The third way that patients can help to optimize their results is to follow the post-operative instructions carefully. Like pre-operative instructions, these are intended to keep you safe and give you the best outcome. For instance, if you have had a chemical peel or laser resurfacing, it is important to keep out of the sun until you are fully healed to get the best look afterwards. It is also very important that you follow instructions related to physical activities after surgery. Too much early activity to a body area treated by surgery might cause wound problems or bleeding which could require further treatment and could compromise the result. On the other hand, it is important to be up and out of bed early, which decreases the chance of blood clots developing. Recent trends are that surgeons are encouraging more and earlier return to physical activity, which patients usually love, however the type of activity is important. For example, after a breast augmentation early push-ups or pilates may put too much strain on the chest area and cause problems, but a recumbent exercise bike might be a perfect cross-training choice until the chest area is fully healed.

One final, and most important way in which patients can help control their results is to carefully listen to their doctor during their consultation. Sometimes what you hear may not be what you want, and it is important that you really think through that. As an example, when significantly overweight patients come in hopeful that plastic surgery will solve their weight problems, they are sad, and sometimes angry, to hear that their weight makes them poor candidates for surgery, both from a safety and an outcome basis. Others might come hoping to have many different procedures done at the same time. Although it is extremely common for surgeons to combine procedures, there is a limit to how much can be done safely at one setting, and thus it may be necessary to stage the procedures at different times with healing in between. There are well-publicized cases of hopeful patients who ignored the advice of well-qualified surgeons and “shopped around” until they found someone who was willing to do everything they wanted that ended in a tragic result. Remember, your surgeon wants you to have the best result possible result, so listen carefully and consider what they say. And through truly working as a partner in your own team, you will have a great impact not only on your results, but also on your experience.

At the Emory Aesthetic Center, we believe in this team approach to your care. The journey is about you, your hopes and desires, and we are delighted to share in this journey with you.

About Dr. Eaves

Felmont Eaves, MDDr. 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.

Related Resources

How to Choose the Right Aesthetic Surgeon for You

How to Choose the Right Aesthetic Surgeon for You

Cosmetic SurgeonWhen you first start to think about having an aesthetic surgery procedure or a non-surgical one, picking the right physician is a huge decision. You take time to look at the facts, but with every website touting world-class credentials and fame, how do you know who to choose? I once had a patient, who was a judge by profession, discover that she had undergone a procedure by a non-plastic surgeon. She had reviewed the doctor online and saw diplomas and certificates in the office, but yet she was still deceived. If it can happen to a judge, it can happen to anyone.

Any doctor can say they perform aesthetic surgery; however, there are ways to make sure that the physician you are considering does actually have the correct qualifications to perform the procedure that you desire. If you know where and how to look, it can be easier than you think.

  1. Training background. Common sense dictates that you want to find a doctor who is specially trained in the area in which you are interested. It would seem odd to choose an emergency room physician to do your facelift, or a pediatrician to do your breast surgery, but these things do happen. To know for sure, check out specific background training and if that training was actually completed in its entirety in a residency program approved by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) [acgme.org]. Appropriate background training for aesthetic surgery procedures, i.e. those training programs that include aesthetic surgery or procedures within their curriculum, include plastic surgery (all areas), otolaryngology (facial), ophthalmology (facial areas around the eyes), and dermatology (skin). Physicians trained in these areas will often have additional training such as an aesthetic surgery fellowship leading to additional credentials, e.g. certifications by the American Board for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or membership in the American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  2. Board certification. Everyone knows to check out board certification, but most don’t realize that medical boards are not regulated by the states or federal government. This means that just about anyone can create a “board” and print impressive looking certificates that may not be backed up by the appropriate training and testing to assure your safety. With successful completion of testing, ACGME training programs lead to certification by boards that are members of the American Board of Medical Specialties [abms.org]. These include the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Otolaryngology, the American Board of Dermatology, and the American Board of Ophthalmology, which together represent the “core four” boards. Be aware these boards generally require a period of time in practice before the certification is awarded. If a surgeon that you are considering is board eligible, don’t discount them for not having their certification in hand as long as they are working toward that certification.
  3. Where the doctor operates. Hospitals, outpatient surgery facilities, and office-based surgical facilities are all appropriate locations for aesthetic procedures. It is critical, however, that the facility is appropriately certified by one of the major certifying organizations. These include the Joint Commission, the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, or the American Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
  4. Hospital privileges. Most aesthetic surgery procedures are performed in an office or ambulatory surgery environment; however, it is important that your doctor has hospital privileges as well. In order to be granted hospital privileges, a credentialing committee must examine the training background, board certification or eligibility, and ethical considerations of the physician. The surgeon you choose should have privileges to perform your desired procedure in a hospital.
  5. Memberships in legitimate national professional societies. Many national medical societies require that members are board certified in a particular specialty. For example, both the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons require that members be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition to the education that they require, they examine marketing claims, review ethics complaints, and require that surgeons operate only in approved surgical facilities.
  6. Speaking with former patients. Often patients who have had surgery will volunteer to speak with others about their experiences with the doctor. This can be very helpful on a couple of fronts, first by making you feel comfortable with the care that has been provided to someone else, but also by understanding directly what the recovery and results were like.
  7. Don’t choose solely based on photographs. Although historically it was recommended to review a doctor’s before and after photographs to make a decision, in this digital age you can never be sure if those are actually that doctor’s patients or that the images are not touched up. Lighting and makeup can markedly affect how the photos look, and of course, surgeons tend to pick their best patients to showcase. For these reasons, choosing a doctor based primarily on their photographs may not be reliable. However, when talking with a doctor that you trust, pictures can be a powerful tool to help you understand what your results could look like and what are realistic expectations.

Once you do your homework, then it is very important to meet with the doctor one-on-one. Do they seem genuine? Do they really listen to you? Do they spend appropriate time with you? Are they trying to sell you something or do they seem truly interested in you and your goals? If you feel uneasy with a surgeon before surgery, just imagine how you will feel afterwards, especially if things don’t go as hoped.

At the Emory Aesthetic Center we are committed to having appropriately trained and certified physicians working within their scope of training. All of our physicians have undergone the scrutiny of Emory Healthcare’s credentialing process, and each holds an appointed faculty position at the Emory University School of Medicine. But most importantly, our physicians are committed to providing quality care to you, with understanding and compassion, as you embark upon your aesthetic journey.

Fat Grafting: How Your Own Fat Can Be Transferred to Give You the Look and Shape You Want

Body GraftingBody fat…we love to hate it. We try so hard to make it go away. Too much fat in the wrong place leads to a flabby tummy, ‘love handles,’ full thighs, a fatty neck, and in men, feminine appearing breasts. However fat has another side…a positive side. Yes, I said it – a positive side. Fat, in the right amount, makes our face have a youthful fullness, helps give fullness to a woman’s breast, and produces a youthful, round bottom. With fat, just like real estate, it’s about location, location, location.

As our faces age, we can develop somewhat sunken temples, flat cheeks, thin lips, and more hollowed eyes, all related to a loss of soft tissue volume. Not only does this loss of volume affect contours, but it also contributes to making the skin look looser. As women age, they sometimes lose volume in the breast, which also can make the breasts appear droopy (ptosis). In the buttock area, sometimes we are born with flat bottoms, but sometimes bottoms flatten with aging or weight loss.

Over the past several years, cosmetic surgeons have developed better and better techniques for fat transfer. In a fat transfer, or “fat graft” procedure, fat is harvested from the body by means of liposuction. The fat is gently prepared for injection back into the body, and then is “grafted” into position using small cannulas or needles. The fat is placed in the appropriate position and tissue plane so that it gets plenty of oxygen and nutrients as it develops a new blood supply. The fat that survives the transfer process and grows a new blood supply will survive long term to provide the soft fill needed to correct volume deficiencies. The part of the fat that doesn’t survive is simply reabsorbed.

The most common areas for fat transfer are the face, breast and buttocks, although sometimes fat is placed into aging hands. In the face, fat transfer can be done alone or it can be combined with excisional procedures such a facelift, blepharoplasty (eye-lid tuck), or brow lift. Fat is most commonly used to fill out a flattened cheek, deep nasolabial lines (run from nose toward corner of mouth), the groove underneath the eyes, or sunken temples. In the face, only small amounts are generally needed to get the right result. On the other hand, buttock augmentation with fat grafts, often referred to as the “Brazilian Butt Lift,” requires larger volumes, and in some instances, may require more than one surgical stage to get the full, desired result. One area where fat has proven particularly helpful is in the correction of contour irregularities that sometimes occur after previous liposuction procedures. In these instances, moving the fat around to fill in the depressions is a powerful improvement tool.

Recovery after a fat graft procedure is generally rapid, although this depends on if any other procedures were performed at the same time. For instance, facial fat grafts in combination with a full face-neck lift will take longer to settle than facial fat grafts alone. Typically after an isolated fat graft procedure you might experience a week or two of swelling, perhaps a little bruising (but often not), and the injected areas may feel firm for a few days. Since incisions are very small, after the swelling and bruising subside you can usually be up and working out in relatively short time. Complications like infection can occur but this is very rare with fat grafting procedures. Another potential complication is “loss” of the fat graft. In this instance, the transferred fat simply doesn’t seem to grow its new blood supply and hence melts away over several weeks. A good rule of thumb is that whatever volume that you have present at three months after surgery is the volume that you’re going to keep.

Of course everybody is different, and every BODY is different. Let the physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center talk with you about your goals, your unique situation, and create a plan to fit your specific needs.

Related Resources

Butt Lifts, Butt Augmentation, & Brazilian Butt Lifts – What are the Differences?
Butt Lift & Butt Augmentation
Fat Transfer/Grafting
Body Lifts Chat with Dr. Anderson
Takeaways from Dr. Anderson’s Body Lifts Chat

What is the Best Method of Liposuction?

Liposuction AtlantaStandard Lipo, Laser Assisted Lipo, Ultrasonic Lipo, Power Assisted Lipo, Tumenscent Lipo, Smart Lipo, Safe Lipo, Tickle Lipo…there are many different types of liposuction procedures currently offered in the market place, so logically patients are always asking “which is best for me?”. Although some practitioners may have strong feelings one way or another, the short answer to the question is that all of these techniques work, and the results are similar for all.

Liposuction became popular in the 1980s. The initial method of liposuction used hollow tubes (cannulas) to suction out fatty tissues from under the skin using very small incisions. Although initial techniques worked well, the results got even better when surgeons began using smaller, finer cannulas. A major advance occurred when the technique began to incorporate the injection of a dilute solution prior to suctioning. This technique was very helpful in reducing blood loss and bruising, and is commonly used in most types of liposuction today. During the 1990s, new technologies began to emerge to make the procedure even easier by using the application of energy to break up fatty tissues. Ultrasonic assisted liposuction (UAL) uses sound waves, power assisted liposuction (PAL) uses mechanical vibrations, and laser assisted liposuction (LAL) uses laser energy to this end. Some even newer technologies use water pressure to the same effect.

Although companies advertise significant advantages of their technologies over the competition, the scientific literature does not support major differences. Two particular studies about liposuction deserve special attention. The first study looked at over 26,000 consecutive patients undergoing liposuction by many of these different technologies.1 The authors found that overall the results were similar between these different groups. A second study published in 2011 examined trends in liposuction techniques among 492 plastic surgeons.2 In this study, the authors found that all these technologies are currently used by plastic surgeons, but that only a minority (about 10%) used laser liposuction (which include “Smart Lipo” and “Slim Lipo”), and that standard liposuction was still the most common technique used. While energy-based liposuction techniques can help your surgeon with hard to treat areas like the flanks, chest, and back, they also have an increased potential for complications such as burns. With experience and familiarity, however, all of these techniques can be safe and effective.

Non-Surgical Liposuction?

There is even a non-surgical procedure that may be an option for you. Cool Sculpting, which freezes the fat, is an office procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia.

So if all these technologies work, how should a patient choose? First of all, don’t be fooled by fancy ads promising huge results using the latest technology. Second, do your homework to select a qualified plastic surgeon with significant experience in all types of body contouring surgery, including both liposuction and excisional surgery such as tummy tucks. Here at the Emory Aesthetic Center, our surgeons have extensive experience and can explain the differences between all these techniques. We offer a full spectrum of options, and we will customize a plan that best fits your needs.

References
1Triana L, Triana C, Barbato C, Zambrano M. Liposuction: 25 years of experience in 26,259 patients using different devices. Aesthetic Surgery Journal 2009: 29: 509.
2Ahmad J, Eaves FF, Rohrich RJ, and Kenkel JM. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Survey: Current Trends in Liposuction. Aesthetic Surgery Journal 2011: 31; 214.

Related Resources: