Can Getting Enough Sleep Keep You Looking Younger?

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Most people would like to look and feel younger, but are unsure exactly where to begin.  While the majority of people understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle complete with balanced nutrition and regular exercise can help maintain your physical vitality, many often ignore the vital role of sleep in revitalizing the body.  The most recent scientific research suggests that adequate, healthy sleep can not only reduce the effect of general aging on the body, but can also improve the results of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures by strengthening the body’s natural recuperative processes.

Although it may seem as though sleep is a time when the mind and body are shut down, this is not the case.  Sleep is actually an extremely important part of the body’s natural cycle, during which a great deal of restoration and strengthening occurs.  The deepest stage of sleep is the only time that the body releases the growth hormones essential for cell repair and regeneration.  This is one of the reasons growing children require more sleep than adults.  However, if a given period of sleep is too short, or if the sleep cycle is frequently interrupted, the body has less time to repair and replenish itself.  Specifically, collagen and elastin, two protein fibers that give the skin its elasticity and help keep it hydrated, are replaced at a slower rate as the skin ages.  Without these regenerative proteins, the skin’s texture, thickness, and elasticity diminish.  While it is impossible to completely stop the aging process, adequate sleep gives the body more time to replenish these growth factors, and plays an important role in preventing premature skin aging.

Because sleep plays such an essential role in the body’s major restorative functions, like muscle growth, tissue repair, and protein synthesis, getting enough rest is vital to recovering from plastic surgery procedures.  Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, leaving you more prone to infection.  Long-standing sleep deprivation has been associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and, higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, all of which can contribute to an increase in swelling and may put an unhealthy amount of strain on the heart.  Lastly, many plastic surgery procedures, like tummy tuck or liposuction, are significantly less effective on patients who are overweight or obese.  However, studies conducted at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Stanford University have shown that sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full and increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone, in their bodies.  This is believed to be just one of the factors that accounts for the results of the Nurses’ Health Study, the largest and longest study to date on adult sleep habits, which found that women who slept five hours or less were 15 percent more likely to become obese when compared to women who slept seven hours a night.

If you have any questions about any of the cosmetic plastic surgery treatments that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care CreditSM, to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

 

Evening Aesthetics: A Botox® Event

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The holiday season is rapidly approaching.  It’s a time of year filled with parties and social engagements, when we can get together with friends and family that we may not have seen in years.  However, those years do not always treat our faces kindly.  Botox® Cosmetic relaxes wrinkle-causing facial muscles between and around the eyes and along the forehead, reducing the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines, and wrinkles for up to four months and giving you just the boost you need to step into the holiday season looking your best.

Join us on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, for Evening Aesthetics, a Botox® event hosted by Dr. Hunter Moyer and Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C.  Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while you chat with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Moyer about the latest news in plastic surgery techniques and technology.  Most importantly, take advantage of our exclusive Botox® offer.  This evening, Dr. Moyer will be personally administering Botox® Cosmetic injections for the low promotional price of only $10 per unit.  So bring a friend and enjoy an evening of beauty with Dr. Hunter Moyer!

Evening Aesthetics will be held in our spacious and beautifully appointed Cumming office, located at 1400 Northside Forsyth Drive, Suite 390, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.  Although the event is free and the invitation is open to all, space will be limited, so be sure to RSVP by November 6th, 2014 to Rebecca Brock at (404) 256-1311 or RBrock@atlplastic.com.  If there is insufficient time to complete everyone’s injections, those in attendance will be extended the promotional price on their next visit.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!  If you have any questions about any of the treatments that I offer, please contact me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, today to schedule a consultation.  Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including CareCredit®, to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

Treating the Signs of Facial Aging

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There are many changes that occur in the face as time and gravity begin to take a toll.  However, there is also a wide array of facial rejuvenation techniques that are designed to treat these signs of facial aging and keep you looking younger, longer.

If you have questions about any of the treatments that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care CreditSM, to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

More Men Taking Advantage of What Plastic Surgery Has to Offer

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One of the most exciting recent developments in plastic surgery has been the degree to which men have begun to embrace the possibilities of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.  Since 2000, the number of plastic surgery procedures performed on men in the United States has increased by over 20%, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).  As the social stigma attached to male plastic surgery diminishes, men are coming to more readily opt to take advantage of what these procedures have to offer.

The majority of this increase in popularity is due to the increased use of non-invasive facial rejuvenation procedures.  Botox® Cosmetic injectable treatments, for example, can help alleviate many of the signs of facial aging, particularly the lines that develop between and above the brows and the crow’s feet that can accumulate at the edges of the eyes, by relaxing the facial muscles that cause wrinkling in the first place.  On the other hand, facial fillers like Juvéderm® and Restylane®, help restore the volume and youthful “plumpness” that gradually diminishes in the tissues of the face over the years.  Together, these quick and easy maintenance procedures can effectively counteract the damage caused by time and environmental factors, keeping your skin and face looking younger, longer.

However, the fascination with maintenance procedures doesn’t end with the non-invasive.  Over the past several years, men have been increasingly drawn to a number of surgical procedures designed to relieve tiny pockets of excess fat and tissue in areas that are either genetic or notoriously difficult to exercise.  Specifically, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and liposuction remain two of the top five most popular cosmetic procedures among men, and both are excellent ways to make those minor, subtle changes that can make a significant difference in the overall appearance.

If you have any questions about any of the treatments that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

The History of Botox® Cosmetic

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No one can argue that the use of Botox® cosmetic to help alleviate the signs of facial aging has become incredibly popular.  In 2013 alone, over 6.3 million treatments were preformed in the United States with Botulinum Toxin Type A, the active ingredient in cosmetic injectables like Botox® and Dysport®, and that number continues to rise every year.  However, despite its incredible popularity, many don’t know the fascinating history behind the development of this extremely versatile facial rejuvenation procedure.

1820’s – Dr. Justinus Kerner studies a batch of improperly prepared blood sausages responsible for the death of several dozen Germans.  His experiments lead to a better understanding of the neurological symptoms of food-borne botulism (drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, and if left untreated, paralysis and respiratory failure).

1890’s – While investigating an outbreak of botulism, Dr. Emile Pierre van Ermengem of Belgium is able to make a connection between botulism and a spore-forming bacterium he named Bacillus botulinus (later renamed Clostridium botulinum).

1953 – Physiologist Dr. Vernon Brooks discovers that injecting small amounts of botulinum toxin into a hyperactive muscle blocks the release of acetylcholine from motor nerve endings, causing temporary “relaxation” and reducing involuntary muscle spasms.

1978 – After several years of injecting botulinum toxin type A into monkeys in an attempt to discover if its muscle relaxing effects might help in the treatment of strabismus, or crossed eyes, Dr. Alan B. Scott receives FDA approval to inject tiny amounts of botulinum toxin into human volunteers.

1988 – The pharmaceutical company Allergan Inc. acquires the rights to distribute Scott’s batch of botulinum toxin type A, and begins conducting additional research.  Eventually, it is discovered that the drug can also provide patients with temporary relief from facial spasms, neck and shoulder spasms, and even vocal cord spasms.

1989 – The FDA approves botulinum toxin type A for the treatment of both strabismus (crossed eyes) and blepharospasm (spasms of the eyelid muscle).  Allergan introduces it to the market under the brand name Botox® Cosmetic.

1992 – After noticing that her blepharospasm patients were starting to lose their frown lines, Canadian ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers, and her dermatologist husband, publishes a study in the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology stating that though temporary, “treatment with C. botulinum-A exotoxin is a simple, safe procedure” for the treatment of brow wrinkles.

1997 – Botox® use increases so rapidly that the country’s supply is temporary exhausted until a new batch receives FDA approval.

2002 – FDA approves Botox® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA), the same formulation as Botox®, for use in alleviating moderate to severe frown lines between the eye brows.

2004 – FDA approves Botox® for the treatment of severe underarm sweating that does not respond well to topical medicines.

2006 – Botox® sales soar past the $1 billion mark, with cosmetic uses accounting for about half of sales.

2010 – FDA approves Botox® therapy for increased muscle stiffness in elbow, wrist, and finger muscles with upper limb spasticity.   Later that year, Botox® becomes the first medicine to be approved by the FDA specifically for the prevention of headaches in adults who suffer from chronic migraines.

2014 – Botox® Cosmetic receives FDA approval for the temporary treatment of moderate to severe crow’s feet, also known as lateral canthal lines.

If you have any questions about Botox® cosmetic or are interested in any of the treatments that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

Frequently Asked Questions about Popular Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

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In the past year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 1.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States.  Nearly a third of those procedures were either breast augmentations or liposuction treatments.  However, despite their incredible popularity, many are still unclear as to what, exactly, these two procedures entail.  Specifically, many come into my office wondering if they are a good candidate or what they can expect during downtime.

Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation surgery involves using breast implants or fat to increase the size of the breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight gain and loss, or pregnancy.  Breast augmentation is designed to increase fullness and projection of your breasts and can also improve the balance of the figure.

Am I a good candidate?  Breast augmentation is a very personal procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to please someone else.  Optimal candidates for breast augmentation surgery are physically healthy, have realistic expectations and breasts that are fully developed, and are dissatisfied with the size, shape, volume or symmetry of their breasts.

What can I expect from the recovery period?  After breast augmentation, the breasts will be wrapped in an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.  Once you are evaluated and cleared to leave the hospital, you will be given specific instructions that include how to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with me.  You may be instructed to wear a support bra around the clock for the first week or two, and given other important post-operative care instructions.  Be sure to follow all instructions carefully in order to achieve the best possible breast augmentation results.  After a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks and should reduce your level of activity accordingly.

Liposuction
Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body, such as the thighs, hips and buttocks, abdomen, waist, and back, by removing excess fat deposits that have proven resistant to diet and exercise and improving your body contours and proportion.  Liposuction can also be performed on small, precise areas like the upper arms, inner knee, calves and ankles, or even the cheeks, chin, and neck.

Am I a good candidate?  Ideal liposuction candidates are healthy adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin, good muscle tone, and no life-threatening medical conditions that can impair healing.  Because cigarette smoking can cause problems with blood flow and healing, non-smokers generally enjoy better results and a decreased risk of complications.

What can I expect from the recovery period?  Once your liposuction procedure has been completed, a compression garment may be used to cover the areas that have been treated.  These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours.  You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, what medications you may need to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, any specific concerns to look for at the surgical site, and when to follow up with me.  Your final liposuction results may not be evident until the swelling has fully dissipated, a process that may take several weeks.

If you’re interested in any of the cosmetic procedures that I perform in Atlanta and Alpharetta, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  I also provide a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, in order to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

What Can Liposuction Do for You?

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Many people would like to look slimmer or more toned, and even if you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet you may find yourself troubled by localized fat deposits that seem to cling to specific areas no matter what you do.  Often these areas of concern can be addressed with liposuction, a body contouring procedure that suctions out stubborn fat deposits and provides a more slender and shapely physique.

It is important to note that liposuction is not an effective treatment for obesity, nor is it a substitute for proper diet and exercise.  Liposuction does not have the ability to tighten skin that has been stretched by fat deposits or to remove cellulite, the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips and buttocks.  In fact, the removal of fat deposits with liposuction can, in some cases, leave sagging skin behind, particularly in more mature patients whose skin has lost some of the elasticity of youth.

The abdomen is an area commonly treated with liposuction in both men and women, as it can stubbornly hold on to fat deposits and is notoriously difficult to exercise effectively.  When the body first begins to store fat, it does so in areas where it can do the most good, protecting and serving the nutritional needs of the vital organs in the abdomen.  Only then does it go on to store fat in the less vital areas, like the arms and legs.  However, when losing weight, the body more readily gives up fat cells in the less vital areas first and stubbornly holds on to fat in the vital core.  That’s why it can be so difficult to lose weight in the abdomen and hip areas.  Only once fat has been nearly eliminated from everywhere else in the body will the fat in the abdomen even begin to be released.

Liposuction can provide benefits to the extremities, such as the upper arms and thighs, as well.  Such procedures may sometimes require more than one treatment to achieve the desired results.  However, they are less invasive than procedures like arm and thigh lifts, and so produce less scarring and require less down time.  In some cases, fat can be removed, via fat transfer techniques, from the hips, flanks, or thighs, and then re-injected into areas that may require augmentation or greater definition, such as the buttocks or even areas of the face.

If you’re interested in liposuction or any of the other cosmetic or reconstructive procedures that I perform, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, in order to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

 

Preventing Capsular Contracture with Acellular Dermal Matrices

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When any foreign object is introduced into the body, it is the body’s natural reaction to form a kind of coating, or “capsule,” of scar tissue around it.  In the case of breast implants used during either breast augmentation or breast reconstruction, this natural immune response can be helpful.  As long as the capsule remains soft, it helps to keep the implant stable and in the correct place.  Some implants are even equipped with a textured surface in order to facilitate this process.  At times, however, these capsules can become thick and hard, a phenomenon called capsular contracture.  When this occurs, the breast grows increasingly firm and rigid, eventually shrinking or taking on an abnormal shape and becoming extremely painful to the touch.  The most accurate estimates suggest that the condition occurs in somewhere between 9 percent and 15 percent of breast implant recipients, making it one of the most frequently occurring breast augmentation complications.

Once capsular contracture occurs, breast revision surgery is often performed to alleviate the symptoms.  During this procedure the breast implant is usually removed, along with the enclosing capsule or tissue, and replaced with a new implant in a slightly different location (below the muscle if the previous implant was above the muscle, for example).  While this does alleviate the problem in the short term, it does not guarantee that the capsular contracture will not recur, and so a great deal of research is being devoted to determining ways that capsular contracture can be prevented.

Recently, a growing number of studies have suggested that the rate of capsular contracture can be significantly reduced by placing an acellular dermal matrix (or ADM) between the implant and the natural breast tissue.  I have performed extensive research on this subject and effectively utilized this material in many breast enhancement procedures.  Originally developed as an alternative to skin grafting in burn patients, an acellular dermal matrix is composed of skin from which the cells have been removed, leaving behind a sterile framework or “lattice” of tissue that the patient’s own cells can grow into and eventually replace.  Ideally, this material allows the body to integrate itself into the surface of the implant as it heals, to create a natural and pliable connection rather than a thick capsule of scar tissue.

If you have any questions or are interested in a breast procedure that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

 

The Growing Popularity of Eyelid Surgery

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As the face ages, skin and tissue begin to lose their elasticity and start to sag, causing wrinkles and folds.  This can be particularly noticeable around the eyes, where sagging skin can make eyelids appear heavy and the eyes small, creating the appearance of boredom, disinterest, or general fatigue.  In some cases, the drooping eyelids can even impair vision by obstructing part of the visual field.  These concerns can be addressed with blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, which can improve the appearance of the eyes by creating a more aesthetically pleasing natural contour, or correct many functional issues that might arise.

Blepharoplasty trims the loose, sagging skin which creates folds and removes excess fatty deposits that can appear as puffiness in the eyelids or bags under the eyes.  Depending on each patient’s specific aesthetic goals, eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper and lower lids, either individually or in combination for maximum rejuvenation.  Additionally, many of the upper eyelid procedures that I perform can be done in my office in about an hour.  Eyelid surgery is considered a cosmetic facial procedure that can accomplish more than just subtle facial rejuvenation.  In fact, many younger patients are seeking out the procedure as well.

Statistics compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reveal that eyelid surgery has been steadily growing in popularity among patients under thirty for the past five years.  These patients have, presumably, experienced little of the sagging and loss of skin laxity that accompanies aging, but are still interested in the benefits that blepharoplasty can provide.  Some have speculated that this steady growth is, in part, the result of the rising popularity of blepharoplasty among younger patients of Asian descent who desire wider, more alert looking eyes that still maintain the subtle crease, downward-angled epicanthic fold, and flared outer edge that has been considered aesthetically pleasing.  Whether or not this is the case, it definitely seems clear that blepharoplasty can have wide ranging cosmetic results that go beyond merely minimizing the effects of aging.

If you’re interested in any of the cosmetic procedures that I perform in Atlanta and Alpharetta, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  I also provide a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, in order to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

 

What Can a Mommy Makeover Do for You?

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Over the course of a person’s life, there are many things that can cause the body to shift and change, however few can cause changes that are as wide-spread as those caused by pregnancy and childbirth.  The rapid gain and loss of weight can tax the skin’s elasticity to its limits, leaving areas of stretched and sagging skin in the breasts, abdomen, and even in the arms and thighs.  Many women would love to have their body look the way it did before their pregnancy, and acknowledge that it may require more help than just diet and exercise can provide.  Phillip Haek, MD, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, noted that “in the past we saw a lot of women in their 50s getting these types of procedures, but today we are seeing young mothers in their 30s coming in for procedures such as tummy tucks and breast lifts.  They don’t want to wait years to reestablish how they used to look.  They want their pre-baby bodies back now.”  That may explain why the mommy makeover is becoming increasingly popular.

Mommy makeover is actually a combination of procedures performed to restore a woman’s body to its pre-pregnancy state.  Typically, it includes one or more body contouring procedures, such as liposuction, tummy tuck, thigh lift, or even arm lift, as well as breast procedures including augmentation, lift, or reduction.  While liposuction is frequently used to remove small areas of localized fat deposits, it can do nothing for the stretched and sagging skin that significant weight loss frequently leaves behind.  Both arm lifts and thigh lifts remove excess skin and tighten the tissue that remains, leaving their specific target areas with smoother, shapelier contours.  More significantly, a tummy tuck not only removes excess skin, but can also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.

Many women experience significant stretching and sagging of the breasts due to breast feeding and often opt to restore their youthful figures after pregnancy with a breast lift.  This procedure, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.  A breast lift can be combined with a breast reduction, for those women whose breasts have grown beyond a comfortable size.  For women who wish to retain the fullness of the upper breasts, I frequently use an auto-augmentation technique where the lower breast tissue is moved from underneath the breast and sutured higher up on the chest rather than thrown away.  This allows the breasts to be lifted without losing their volume.

If you’re interested in cosmetic or reconstructive procedures that I perform, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Additionally, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care Credit®, to assist you.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.