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.

Nose Reshaping Popular with Younger Patients

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Sitting at the center of the face, the nose can have a dramatic effect on the overall balance and symmetry of the facial features, an effect that has not gone unnoticed by an appearance-conscious younger generation.  High-tech trends like web chatting or the “selfie” craze have drawn a great deal of attention to the face in general and the nose in particular.  In 2013, according to statistics published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure performed on patients under the age of thirty was nose reshaping, or rhinoplasty, surpassing even breast augmentation among this age group.

The flexible cartilage that makes up the majority of the nose can frequently be shaped and sculpted to achieve a number of specific cosmetic effects.  The size of the base can be reduced, and the nostrils and tip can be reshaped to be more symmetrical or proportionate with other facial features.  The bridge can also be shortened, straightened, or even augmented with additional cartilage or an artificial graft.  Altering a nose that may appear bulbous, upturned, or hooked can significantly improve the appearance of the face as a whole.

Because the nose is such a delicate and intricate organ, it requires a great deal of skill and experience to successfully mold and shape it cosmetically while preserving its ability to perform its necessary function.  In the past, many surgeons avoided performing rhinoplasty, and other plastic surgery procedures, on younger patients whose features had not fully formed.  While the possibility of the facial features changing over time does present certain challenges, advanced surgical techniques and a greater understanding of facial anatomy have made performing rhinoplasty among patients in their teens and twenties a more reasonable proposition.

Nose reshaping may be one of the top plastic surgery procedures because it can be performed for both cosmetic and functional reasons.  A deviated septum is just one of the many possible structural anomalies that can occur in the nose and contribute to increased congestion and breathing difficulties.  Nose reshaping procedures can also remove a part of the nasal structure that has become a breathing obstruction or correct an internal or external valve collapse resulting from facial trauma.  In all of these cases, the reconstructive procedure can be performed in conjunction with cosmetic alterations, improving the function of the nose while simultaneously improving its aesthetic appearance for ideal rhinoplasty results.

If you’re interested in a breast procedure that I offer, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Additionally, some plastic surgery procedures can be covered by insurance and we 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.

Latest Trends in Breast Surgery

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Women today are opting for more subtle, natural looking options in all forms of cosmetic surgery, particularly when it comes to breast augmentation.  In the past, large, round breast implants were common, but today, modestly-sized, shaped implants, which have more projection at the bottom and are tapered towards the top, have become increasing popular.  While round implants have a tendency to make the breast appear fuller and can achieve more projection and cleavage, in some cases they can appear less natural and more artificial, particularly when sized too large to comfortably fit the patient’s frame.  Shaped breast implants mimic the natural form and contour of the female breast, achieving results that are often indistinguishable from the real thing.  Round implants are also easier to insert, since they are the same shape all over and so resist rotating out of place.  Shaped implants, on the other hand, may shift within the “pocket” created for them during surgical implantation, making the breast appear distorted and unusual.  To alleviate this concern, the most advanced shaped implants have a textured surface, allowing healing tissue to adhere to the implant and making accidental repositioning far less likely.

One of the most recent advances in breast augmentation is the introduction of what are known as “gummy bear implants.”  These shaped and textured implants are filled with a more cohesive form of silicone with a thicker consistency than traditional silicone or saline.  This makes them “form-stable”, which not only creates a firmer final result, but is also ideal in that the cohesive gel maintains its shape even in the case of accidental rupture.

Some women, specifically those who are generally happy with the size of their breasts but uncomfortable with the sagging that occurs with age, have shown a preference for breast lift, or mastopexy, procedures over augmentation with implants.  In fact, according to statistics published by the American Society of Plastic surgeons, the number of breast lift procedures performed in the United States has increased by 70% since 2000, almost double the rate of increase in breast augmentations.  A breast lift can reposition the breasts to a higher, more youthful position while making them appear more firm and lifted.  Often, some of my patients opt to combine breast lift and breast augmentation to not only gain higher placement of the breasts on the chest, but also to make them fuller with implants.

If you’re 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.

Facelift Remains the Gold Standard in Facial Rejuvenation

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There are many options available today for facial rejuvenation, ranging from minimally-invasive skin resurfacing techniques and injectable cosmetics to surgical procedures like blepharoplasty and facial liposuction.  The most dramatic and long lasting results can still be achieved by a traditional facelift procedure, or rhytidectomy.  Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons list facelifts as one of the five most commonly performed procedures in 2013, and their popularity continues to increase each year.  While many procedures may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery, a traditional facelift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results.

A facelift procedure cannot radically change a person’s appearance or stop the aging process, but it can dramatically improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck.  Facelifts are designed to alleviate sagging in the mid-face and the deep creases below the lower eyelids or along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth.  They also can correct the loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls and remove the excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw that can give even a person of normal weight the appearance of a double chin.  Many also choose to complement a facelift procedure with a neck lift or eyelid surgery in order to maximize their final results.

A full facelift procedure involves the removal of excess fat and skin, the tightening of underlying muscles, and the repositioning of the skin around the face and neck.  Traditionally, facelift incisions began in the hairline at the temples, continued around the ear, and ended in the lower scalp.  However, modern techniques allow for shorter incisions hidden in the natural creases of the face.  I also perform a special facelift technique, originally developed at Emory, which tightens and supports the strong suspensory ligaments deeper in the face, effectively prolonging the plastic surgery results.

If you’re interested in cosmetic or reconstructive procedures that I perform, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

Natural Options for Body Contouring

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Men and women today are more health conscious than ever before.  Increased access to information and improved education have made people more aware of what they put into their bodies and, with increasing frequency, many are opting for natural, unprocessed ingredients and products.  For example, there are many people who may desire to improve their overall shape with different body contouring procedures, but may be wary of the idea of having a foreign object placed in their bodies.  Fortunately, several body contouring options exist that utilize more natural methods, such as your own body fat, to achieve completely natural and highly satisfying results.

Fat transfer has long been performed as a facial rejuvenation procedure to fill facial wrinkles and augment the cheeks, lips and other areas requiring volume restoration.  The Brazilian butt lift uses a similar technique to take fat that has been removed from your own body through liposuction while carefully purifying it, and then using it to increase the size, fullness, roundness and projection of the buttocks.  Moreover, the removal of excess fat in the areas around the site of the buttocks allows me to achieve a more defined contour, accentuating the curves that result.

I also perform breast lift (mastopexy) procedures using an auto-augmentation technique where the lower breast tissue is moved from underneath your breast and sutured higher up on your chest.  This not only lifts and firms the breasts, restoring them to a more youthful position, but also adds volume and fullness without the use of artificial implants.  The ideal candidate for breast auto augmentation already has enough breast volume to create the fullness desired without implants, so the results are determined by the amount of tissue available.  As a result, the final effect cannot be as pronounced or significant as the results that can be achieved with implants; however, breast auto augmentation can work well to rejuvenate deflated breasts certain women experience after significant weight loss.  Using only natural tissue taken from your own body also avoids the possibility of capsular contracture, a rare complication that can arise after breast augmentation surgery where the body forms excess scar tissue around the artificial implant, creating an overly firm and rigid breast texture.

If you’re interested in body contouring, cosmetic, or reconstructive procedures 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.

Facial Rejuvenation on Your Schedule

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Many people would like to look younger but few people can find the time, given our busy, fast-paced, and highly active lifestyles, to take days off to recover from an extensive surgical procedure.  Fortunately, I offer a wide array of non-surgical facial rejuvenation options that require minimal downtime and can provide subtle and elegant changes perfect for those not quite ready for the more comprehensive changes that full surgery may entail.  In fact, given so many different options, it may be difficult to determine which is best suited to your needs.  So here is a comparison of the most popular facial rejuvenation treatments to help you determine exactly which one is right for you.

Cosmetic Injectables 
Brand Name: Botox® Cosmetic
What does it do? Relaxes the wrinkle causing facial muscles between and around the eyes and along the forehead, reducing the appearance of crow’s feet and the fine lines and wrinkles in the forehead created by expression.
How long does it take? The actual time of the procedure can vary depending on the amount of area being treated, but is generally an average of 15 minutes.  You can usually begin to see results a couple days after treatment.
What’s the downtime? You can expect to resume your normal activities immediately after the procedure; however, avoid rubbing or massaging the treated area or lying down for several hours, as this can cause the medication to migrate.
How long do the effects last? Depending on the area being treated, effects can last an average of four to six months.
Facial Fillers
Brand Names: Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Voluma™
What do they do? Restore lost volume and plumpness to areas of the face such as the cheeks, around the mouth, and the lips with hyaluronic acid and stimulating collagen production.
How long does it take? Effects are apparent in 15 to 30 minutes depending upon the area treated.
What’s the downtime? You can expect to resume your normal activities immediately after the procedure.
How long do the effects last? Six to 24 months, depending on the specific brand used and areas treated.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Brand Name: Sciton®
What does it do? Removes the old and damaged upper layers of skin to reveal newer, younger looking skin beneath – in the process, this removes unwanted wrinkles, sunspots, hair, and moles while improving the appearance of scars and stimulating collagen production.  The procedure is safe and effective on patients of all ages and skin types.
How long does it take? A typical session is 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the areas being treated.  However, full results may require multiple sessions for some conditions.
What’s the downtime? Minor swelling can be expected as well as a mild itching or burning sensation over the next few days.  Skin may become dry and begin to peel during the healing process which can last for several days.
How long do the effects last? After the procedure, the amount of time it takes for the new skin to show signs of damage or age depends on the patient’s long term care and maintenance.

 

There are a number of effective treatments that can be incorporated into your daily routine to additionally help take care of your skin.  In my recent two-part skin care series, I detail “the good, the not so good and the bad” side of skin care products that I recommend to my patients who wish to further maintain their facial rejuvenation results.

If you are interested in the facial rejuvenation procedures I perform, contact us today.  Also, connect with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery updates and latest news.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

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As we get older, and the effects of time and gravity increasingly take their toll, muscle and skin begins to sag.  Our metabolisms slow and the fat that was once able to be burned off, is now seemingly impossible to get rid of.  As a result, the once-trim midsection of youth begins to grow and stretch.  Weight gain or pregnancy can cause the muscles in the abdomen to stretch and separate and, as a result, even losing weight can’t tighten that midsection despite our best efforts.  Fortunately, I perform cosmetic procedures like abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, to address specific abdominal concerns for my patients.

Abdominoplasty can help improve the appearance of the midsection, especially after significant weight gain or loss. It helps flatten the lower abdomen and tighten stretched skin and may also help relieve skin rashes or infections that happen under large flaps of skin.  Generally, I perform tummy tucks by creating an incision in the lower abdominal region that is easily hidden by underwear and bathing suits. Unwanted skin and fat are removed and the skin is tightened downward.  The shape and length of the incision are primarily determined by the amount of excess skin.  Once the abdominal skin is lifted, underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.  Liposuction is performed on the flanks to further enhance the hourglass appearance and excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together while maintaining a natural navel appearance.

Tummy tuck results present a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.  During your recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to the surgical sites, and you may be wrapped in a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals.  I always give my patients specific, post-operative instructions and always encourage them to ask any specific questions about what to expect during the recovery period.  Individual recovery times can vary significantly, but maintaining a good line of communication with me is the best way to reduce the risk of any complications arising from elective procedures.

If you’re interested in body contouring, cosmetic, or reconstructive procedures 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.

Recovering From Breast Reconstruction

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After a lumpectomy or mastectomy to remove breast cancer, many patients choose to undergo breast reconstruction, an elective surgery for women who desire to rebuild their breasts after breast cancer treatment.  Since each breast cancer patient’s journey is different, there are several reconstructive techniques to address the amount of remaining tissue, the severity of the cancer, and the patient’s body structure.  However, regardless of the particular form of reconstruction, all patients want to back to normal, healthy activities as soon as they possibly can.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hunter Moyer performs a wide range of breast reconstruction techniques, taking into account each patient’s unique breast cancer journey and works to develop the most ideal recovery plan.  Each patient’s road to recovery is different.  The most important aspect of follow-up consultations is the ability to monitor the healing process and advise when an appropriate time is to re-introduce regular physical routines.

A TRAM flap procedure uses a part of the lower abdominal muscle, its blood vessels, and some abdominal fat to rebuild the breast, therefore recovery should be gradual.  Patients can generally start walking the next day, with expected tenderness and soreness at the surgical site.  Calf and deep breathing exercises for the first two to three days can assist in preventing blood clots.  Three to four days after surgery patients can begin arm rehabilitation exercises to reduce swelling and, once the drains are removed, can start stretching the chest and shoulders as well.  Regular walks during recovery have been shown to be beneficial, but patients should avoid all abdominal exercises until at least six weeks after surgery and then only with your surgeon’s approval.  Start slowly and gently while continuing your stretching exercises and walking or other low-intensity aerobic exercise.

The latissimus dorsi flap technique uses an oval section of muscle, skin, and fat from below the shoulder and behind the armpit to rebuild the breast.  Because this type of reconstruction affects the shoulder muscle, you should wait to start any gentle shoulder stretching until about two weeks after surgery, and for about three months after surgery to do any resistance/strength exercises.  If you have any shortness of breath, pain, or tightness in your chest, stop exercising immediately. Directly working with your surgeon to develop a plan of movements that are right for you is beneficial in minimizing adverse effects to newly constructed breasts.

DIEP flap breast reconstruction utilizes fat, skin, and blood vessels, but no muscle from the wall of the lower belly to rebuild the breast.  Because no muscle is used, most women may recover more quickly than a TRAM flap patient.  After DIEP flap surgery, recovery is similarly experienced as with TRAM flap surgery, although strength training can probably be resumed earlier, with approval.

There are a number of factors to be considered when planning the road to recovery for breast reconstruction patients.  Thoroughly discussing your progress and future steps is vital to ensuring the safest recovery possible.  If you are interested in discussing breast reconstruction options or your plan to recovery, please contact us today. Be sure to follow Dr. Moyer on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.

Triumphing Adversity: The Story of Austin

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Working as a board certified plastic surgeon has blessed me in many ways.  I get to not only do what I love on a daily basis, but I also have the opportunity to work with some of the best patients around.  One patient in particular, Austin, is one who has truly inspired me.  His harrowing story is one that I had the pleasure of being a part of and I am excited to feature Austin in my first patient feature series.

The events that occurred on May 25, 2013 set into motion a story of adversity and triumph.  As a rising sophomore at Bremen High School, Austin led an on-the-go kind of life.  Sharing his father’s love of wrestling, Austin continued the family tradition and had his sights set on finishing the 2013 season with an individual state championship title.  On that summer day in May, Austin was involved in a four-wheeler accident that could have easily derailed his dream, but Austin’s determination would later prove otherwise.

When Austin came to me during his initial consultation, he had one of the worst orbital blowouts I had ever seen.  The left side of his face had been severely crushed: his maxillary jaw was fractured and there was essentially no eye socket left to support his eye.  His mother Jennifer recalled, “I honestly wasn’t expecting the extent of damage Dr. Moyer described.  I was petrified because it was my baby and it was his face.  One of my good friends highly recommended Atlanta Plastic Surgery’s providers to help Austin with this surgery because she had been impressed by the results her own son had.”  As a parent of two young boys myself, I genuinely connected with Jennifer’s concern for Austin and I was determined to help them during his arduous journey to recovery.

Austin’s surgery required precise execution and an experienced medical team to complete.  My team and I surgically placed three synthetic plates, eight screws and a cheek implant in a single combination procedure to restore the infrastructure to the left side of his face.  To reduce any visible scarring I was able to operate through the eye and the inside of the mouth.  As I met with Austin for several follow-ups to monitor his progress, I was elated by how quickly Austin was healing.

What really inspired me the most about Austin was what he accomplished next.  In addition to his facial procedure, Austin had broken both of his wrists and had to undergo surgery to repair those injuries.  It was uncertain if he would ever be able to wrestle again with the extent of the damage he sustained and the nature of the sport which could easily compromise his recovery.  Despite not being cleared by his physician, Austin focused on staying active and exercised every day for three months while he watched his teammates practice from the sidelines.  Just a mere two days after he was cleared, and after only one team practice, Austin was back on the mat and competed in his first dual competition late in the season.

Five weeks later he went on to secure his first GHSA Class AA state champion title for his weight class, all while wearing a protective face mask that undoubtedly made it difficult to see out of.  Jennifer described his tenacity best, “wrestling is his life, his motivation.”

Having to overcome what some might consider a large set-back served as a driving force for Austin’s success.  The focus and perseverance he exhibited is certainly something to be admired and it has been such a humbling experience to follow his journey.  Today the  family is back to their constantly on-the-go routine.  Jennifer recently shared, “We are extremely happy with Austin’s results.  Everyone who knows about the accident is amazed at his recovery and the results of his procedure, especially since there are no scars.  Austin is now driving and while the accident was horrible, I think it made him more self-conscious and aware of his surroundings.”

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is hearing about the great things that happen in the patients’ lives that I have the fortune of getting to know; all of their stories remarkable in their own right.  If you are interested in sharing your story and being my next patient feature, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  Be sure to also stay connected with me, Dr. Hunter Moyer, on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for future patient features and updates.

What is Laser Skin Resurfacing?

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When your conversations are Skype video conferences and your pictures are all in ultra-high definition even minor facial imperfections can seem obvious to the entire world.  Damage from wind and sun and the relentless effects of time and gravity can leave skin looking marred and blemished far beyond its years.  Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hunter Moyer keeps abreast of the most advanced technology to help minimize facial imperfections and leave skin looking fresh and revitalized with laser skin resurfacing.

Laser skin resurfacing uses high intensity light to vaporize the damaged skin in the outer layers of skin.  This creates a uniform “injury” to your skin, similar to deeper chemical peel or dermabrasion but with extremely precise control of the depth and location of the damage.  The removal of the damaged skin effectively reduces the appearance of acne, scars, and sun or liver spots, while stimulating the production of collagen.  As the skin heals, the newer skin that forms is younger-looking and more elastic, alleviating the appearance of wrinkles and the fine “smile lines” while giving the skin a fresh, healthy glow.

Sciton® laser skin resurfacing is the most advanced FDA-approved system that Dr. Moyer uses to remove damaged skin.  As Sciton® laser strength is fully customizable, it can be safely used on patients of all ages with a variety of skin tones and pigments.  An added benefit of Sciton® technology is that its intense beam of focused energy treats the most minute imperfections without damaging the surrounding tissue.

Laser resurfacing is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, with varied treatment times that depend on the specific area/s being treated.  Minor swelling can be expected as well as a mild itching or burning sensation over the next few days.  Additionally, skin may become dry and begin to peel during the healing process which (depending on the skin condition that was treated) can last for several days.  After treatment, it is particularly important that you use a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 45 or higher that screens ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays like those recommended in Dr. Moyer’s previous blogs on skin care.  By limiting your time outside you’ll not only protect your skin from harmful rays that can lead to skin cancer, but decrease the risk of adverse effects caused by light sensitivity.

If you are interested in skin care technology or the facial rejuvenation procedures Dr. Moyer performs, contact us today.  Also, connect with Dr. Moyer on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery updates and the latest news articles.