Should I ask my doctor if he or she is a board-certified plastic surgeon?

Absolutely. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only board dedicated to plastic surgery of the face and entire body. Unlike other specialty organizations, ASPS requires each member surgeon to have a minimum of five years of surgical training, with at least two of those years specifically in plastic surgery. A board-certified plastic surgeon has passed the rigorous written and oral exams which measure his or her competency as a safe plastic surgeon. The state of Florida requires doctors to have a medical license and be board certified to maintain privileges in plastic surgery at a hospital. Please contact our office for any further questions 239-348-4357.

How does the face age?

The changes of the face we see due to aging begin as early as the 3rd and 4th decades of our lives. The skin begins to thin, gravity pulls the face downward, loss of facial volume gives wrinkles (like a deflated balloon), laxity of the deeper facial fat, muscle and ligaments causes sagging and visualization of discolored, sun-damaged skin. This results in wrinkled foreheads, falling brows, excess eyelid skin, and heavy bags under the eyes. You look tired and sad. The cheekbones flatten, the tip of the nose droops, facial and marionette lines of the mouth deepen and you lose the jawline with squaring of the face. The chin fades with neck laxity of the muscle and skin.

Call our office regarding the treatment of early aging, 239-348-4357.

What can be done to give me a more youthful appearance?

Wellness services are the first line of defense against aging. Frequent spa and skincare services, dieticians, nutritionists, and health club training are good specialists in the management of early aging. We use these “cosmetic life care “approaches to provide lifelong maintenance to our clientele in my practice. Early on, skincare spa services and Botox are easy office treatments to bring a youthful appearance. Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra and fat injections fill and restore the facial volume. And an assortment of lasers provides minimally invasive techniques for facial resurfacing. More permanent for facial youth are endoscopic brow and vertical midface lifts, neck lifts, and short scar S lifts of the face. One can also use cheek, lip and chin implants to restore these volume deficient areas.

Call 239-348-4357 for more information.

What is the difference between KELOIDS AND HYPERTROPHIC SCARS?

Although they can look similar, hypertrophic scars and keloids are not the same. A hypertrophic scar stays within the boundaries of an incision; a keloid extends beyond the incision line itself. With hypertrophic scars, more collagen forms than is broken down. Keloid scars are caused by the uncontrolled production of collagen. Some people are highly susceptible to keloid formation and form keloids with even minor scratches. Steroid injections can control itching in hypertrophic scars. Silicone gel sheeting and over the counter scar ointments can be effective but must be used on the wound for at least 12 hours a day. Keloids once formed are difficult to treat non-surgically. Removing the keloid in combination with steroid injections, radiotherapy or laser treatments can decrease the recurrence of keloids. For more information, call 239-348-4357.

Can I continue smoking when I choose to have cosmetic surgery?

No. Tobacco use by smoking, patch or nicotine gum results in cutting the needed blood supply for the skin to heal. This ultimately results in loss of skin, poor healing with scarring. Many studies in the plastic surgery literature have repeatedly found a correlation with poor wound healing and smoking. Patients considering elective cosmetic surgery should understand the severe risks of skin necrosis and poor wound healing with smoking. Patients should stop tobacco ingestion 3-4 weeks prior to surgery and 4 weeks after surgery.

For more information on cosmetic surgery, call 239-348-4357.

Are there procedures to improve my husband’s facial appearance without obvious signs that he had plastic surgery?

Most patients wish to have a quick recovery, no downtime and no obvious sign that they had cosmetic surgery. Men age around the eyes, deepening of the nasolabial folds (smile lines) and laxity of skin in the neck. Botox can temporarily reduce and soften deep wrinkle lines of the forehead. A blepharoplasty removes hanging skin of the upper lids and fat bags in the lower lids with short recovery. Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse are popular fillers for the smile folds around the mouth, that can last up to a year. Neck lifts can remove the hanging “gobbler” skin naturally, without that pulled look of the past.

For more information on facial rejuvenation in men, call 239-348-4357.

What are some ways I can improve the appearance of my skin?

Skin resurfacing can improve sun damage, reduce the density of wrinkles and improve uneven pigmentation and superficial scarring. Mechanical dermabrasion or dermaplaning can improve acne formed scaring. It uses fine abrasion or scalpel to remove the sin surface layers to a controlled depth. Chemical solutions or peels have different concentrations applied to remove the surface layer of skin. These then allow new skin to form that is tighter and smoother. Many lasers improve damaged skin. BBL, Fractional and intense pulse light (IPL) lasers require several treatments with less downtime than the traditional CO2 and erbium lasers. With the CO2 laser, the deeper layers of skin are addressed. There is flaking and crusting that resolves in 5-10 days. Skin is most likely pink or flush for several months.

Call 239-348-4357 for more information.

Is it important to give a full medical history to my plastic surgeon?

Absolutely. There is a risk with any cosmetic surgical procedure to improve the appearance. It is very important for the plastic surgeon to document your allergies, medications and medical history as a record. Hypertension, previous blood clots, diabetes, smoking, cardiac and respiratory symptoms do not prevent you from having elective surgery but can increase the risks of complications. So, it is so important to be honest with your surgeon prior to having elective cosmetic surgery.

For more information, call 239-348-4357.

How long should I wait to have plastic surgery after gastric bypass surgery?

Usually 12-18 months after surgery, patients are considered for face and body contouring after major weight loss. The majority of patients may have loosening of the neck and jaw skin, the tissue of the upper arms can sag, the breasts have flattened and dropped downward. The abdomen and flanks may have unsupported skin resulting in an apron-like overhang. The buttocks, groin, and thighs can also sag and give drooping pockets of skin. Surgical face and body contouring remove excess skin and fat while tightening the underlying tissues. It can be the final phase of your total weight loss experience.

For more information call 239-348-4357.

What is the difference between the CO2 and Fraxel lasers?

The CO2 laser is an ablative laser, that resurfaces the outer and deeper parts of the skin. The Fraxel laser is a non-ablative laser that selectively tightens the deeper layers while sparing any damage to the outer layers with its cooling to the epidermis. Downtime is less with the Fraxel laser, and redness or erythema is mild. This allows patients to apply cosmetics right after treatment. Patients usually need at least 4-5 separate treatments of the Fraxel laser to reach a similar result to that of the CO2 laser. With the CO2 laser, one treatment has a longer downtime and prolonged redness. But the CO2 has the greatest improvement in wrinkles, pigmentary changes, fine lines and texture of the skin. This has been the benefit of this conventional and aggressive type laser. For more questions regarding laser tightening of the skin, call 239-348-4357.

Is plastic surgery covered by insurance?

Cosmetic plastic surgery is performed to improve a normal functioning part of the face and body. Reconstructive surgery corrects an abnormality caused by a birth defect, tumor, trauma or infection. For patients having plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons, insurance does not cover that service. When plastic surgery is performed for reconstruction, such as following a mastectomy, it may be partially or fully covered service by insurance. Plastic surgery procedures that may be covered by insurance include breast reduction (for painful enlarged breasts), rhinoplasty (for breathing problems), eyelid surgery (to improve vision), and tummy tuck surgery (for gastric bypass patients) after massive weight loss. When insurance does not cover the plastic surgery procedures, a patient can now finance the surgery. The financing programs such as Care Credit are available to help patients get cosmetic surgery through payment plans. For more information call 239-348-4357.

How does a physician become a plastic surgeon?

Training to become a plastic surgeon is hard work and a very challenging task to accomplish. To become board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a physician must complete a specialized post-graduate training course of three to five years after medical school. Background training usually includes a fundamental grounding in general surgery however, a background in ENT or orthopedics may be acceptable. The final two to three years of training must be in an approved plastic surgery training center.

Prior to official certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the physician must pass a rigorous set of both written and oral examinations. While numerous physicians use the term “plastic” surgeons only those certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are true plastic surgeons under the guidelines of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

For more information call 239-348-4357.

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