Erasing the Regrets of Body Modification

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Body modification with tattoos and body piercings has become an increasingly accepted and popular mode of self-expression.  However, as younger people transition into more professional environments, they often find that these affectations have become a hindrance.  Fortunately, cosmetic plastic surgery techniques can often minimize or even eliminate these once-permanent alterations.

Like any other injury to the skin, piercings can lead to scarring.  Nose piercings, in particular, can often leave behind a small dimple on the skin or even a raised scar after they have been removed.  Dimples, or indentations in the skin, can usually be treated with soft tissue fillers like Juvéderm®.  These injections of hyaluronic acid, a substance that is produced naturally in young and healthy skin, can give the area more volume, smoothing out the skin surface and restoring a more even appearance.  Raised scar tissue, on the other hand, is best treated with chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing, which remove the surface layer of dead and damaged skin cells and allow new, refreshed skin to take its place.  However, in some cases, the scar may need to be cut out so that the nose may heal more completely.

Ear piercing has long been an almost universally accepted form of body art, but earlobe stretching, or “gauging”, which involves gradually enlarging the hole to accommodate progressively larger jewelry, has been met with more resistance.  Employers and professional associations often look negatively on stretched ears, and even the United States Army has a prohibition against enlarging the holes in the ear lobes greater than 1.6 mm.  Repairing these large holes and distorted tissue requires the use of scar revision techniques.  The scar tissue often needs to be completely removed from around the hole, and then the area must be sutured or fitted with a skin graft, depending on the size of the surgical wound.  Compression bandages, silicone-based creams or corticosteroids are often used after the procedure to minimize the formation of new scar tissue.

A similar form of reconstructive otoplasty, or ear surgery, is used to correct damage caused by trauma, as in cases of cauliflower ear.  Relatively common among boxers, wrestlers, and martial artists, cauliflower ear results when repeated trauma to the ear has caused blood clots to interrupt the usual blood supply to the cartilage.  Ultimately, this interruption causes the cartilage to die and contract in on itself, forming a shriveled up outer ear.  During reconstructive otoplasty, cartilage can be folded or trimmed to reshape the ear and create a more balanced, aesthetically pleasing appearance.

If you have any questions about any of the treatments that I offer, please contact me 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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Lift and Enhance Breasts with Auto Augmentation Technique

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Breast augmentation and breast lift procedures are commonly performed in combination. Breast augmentation uses breast implants to enhance the shape and size of breasts, while breast lift surgery restores breasts to a more youthful position. Breast lifts address problems caused by factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuation, and gravity that can cause skin to lose its elasticity and the breasts to shift downward as we age. While patients can choose breast lift as an individual procedure or with traditional breast augmentation using implants, Atlanta plastic surgeon Dr. Hunter Moyer uses an auto augmentation technique to lift and reposition breasts while also using excess breast tissue to augment the breast’s size and shape.

Traditional breast lift surgery is performed by making an incision around the areola and under the breast’s crease to trim excess skin and reshape the breast for a firmer, natural position. The areola and nipple can also be repositioned or reduced for a more proportional result. Breast lift surgery alone will not significantly alter breast size or increase volume in the upper part of the breast. Breast lift with auto augmentation, which is short for autogenous tissue transfer augmentation, uses existing excess breast tissue as a substitute for an implant to augment the breast. Since auto augmentation is performed using the patient’s own tissue rather than foreign material, post-operative risks are minimized.

To perform a breast lift with auto augmentation, Dr. Moyer performs a traditional breast lift to tighten skin and reposition the breasts. After completing the lift, Dr. Moyer uses inferior breast tissue from the sagging lower area of the breast to restore fullness to the upper portion. Auto augmentation preserves excess breast tissue by transferring tissue to serve as an “implant” instead of simply discarding excess skin and tissue. This technique provides a natural and safe way to enhance breasts without implants or additional surgery. However, it is important to discuss treatment options with Dr. Moyer to discuss your aesthetic goals and which procedure will achieve the most natural results.

If you’re interested in breast surgery or any other cosmetic and reconstructive procedure that Dr. Moyer offers at his Atlanta and Cumming practices, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Connect with Dr. Moyer on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.