A Comprehensive Three-Dimensional Rejuvenation Center

Monthly Archives: November 2015

What can a comprehensive plastic surgery center offer to men?

Plastic surgery for males is a relatively new phenomenon. Historically, men have viewed this venue of services as mostly for women. My father’s generation was not working out in gyms and drinking protein shakes to stay healthy and active in middle age and beyond. Undeniably, the aging baby boomer population refuses to be defined by chronologic age and embraces the concept of wanting to look as good as you feel. With this is mind, why let women have all the resources to age gracefully and look young and vibrant? Men can now maintain a youthful appearance proportionate to our level of health and to our significant others.

What services are available to men?

Skin care: The concept may seem too metrosexual at first glance, but there is a health benefit as well. Sun exposure has a cumulative effect, which damages the outer skin, and dermis making the skin look dry and leathery. Loose, inelastic skin coupled with blotches of dark pigmentation makes the skin appear older than chronologic age would suggest. This is also a set up for skin cancers. Skin care may include skin resurfacing with peels to remove the damaged skin along with micro-needling to induce collagen production and improve skin tightening to provide a much-improved appearance and reduce the potential risks of skin cancers.

The use of Botox, which will weaken the overactive muscles between the brows and around the eyes, can prevent the deep furrows of the skin thus smoothing the appearance. This agent can be employed to hide some of the muscle bands in the neck as well.

Filler agents, such as Voluma, can be easily injected into areas of programed fat atrophy which occurs in aging and results in the cheek falling causing accentuation of the cheek folds and may produce hanging on the jaw line. Voluma, which is a highly crosslinked stiff hyaluronic acid filler, can manage to lift the cheek without making the face look fat.

Rhinoplasty: This is the art and science of the interactions of skin, bone and cartilage of the nose to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance with normal function. Rhinoplasty is a very meticulous surgery with the goal of providing a balanced appearance between the various components of the nose as well as creating harmony with the rest of the face. This surgery can provide a real boost to someone’s appearance and self-esteem.

Gynecomastia: This is a condition in which the male breast increases in size with fibro-glandular tissue mixed with added volume of fat giving it a feminized appearance. Gynecomastia can occur at any age creating self-conscious situations both with and without clothing. Fortunately the correction is very straightforward and very predictable. We recommend the use of ultrasonic energy mixed with traditional liposuction to facilitate fat and fibro-glandular removal of tissue to sculpt the breast back to a masculine appearance. There are occasions when direct excision of tissue directly under the nipple-areolar complex is necessary in addition to the liposuction to achieve the desired results, but the scaring in minimal. Without question a very power surgery that gives wonderful results.

Lipo-sculpturing: Unfortunately diet and exercise can’t cure all problems with the contour of the abdomen and posterior flanks. With metabolism changes, even a meticulous healthy eater with an active lifestyle can still experience abdominal bulges and flank adiposity. For patients with good skin quality without a great deal of skin excess, liposuction can provide a means of sculpting the torso to give a more pleasing shape and enhance confidence with and without clothes. The surgery is generally not that difficult to recover from, and results can be effective.

Eyelid rejuvenation: Do people say you look tired? Do your lids hang over your eyes giving the appearance of sleepiness? Do you have puffy lower eyelids giving you a less vibrant persona? Then you may want to consider eyelid surgery to give you a refreshed look. It’s been said that the eyes are the windows into the soul; so don’t have outdated window treatments. The surgery is mildly uncomfortable with swelling being the biggest issue related to return of feeling comfortable in social situations. Careful consultation with your surgeon is required to avoid complications depending on the anatomy of your eyelids. People will notice the refreshed look after the recovery has taken place.

Neck rejuvenation: A hanging neck with loose skin and excess fat can give the appearance of an aged and out-of-shape individual. It may also project being overweight. Depending on the degree of tissue excess and skin quality, this may be correctable with liposuction alone. However if the skin quality is poor and there is the presence of muscle bands in the neck, a true neck lift will be required. This surgery can take an old-looking neck and transform it to a smooth crisp neckline with well-defined jaw contours. Neck rejuvenation can take years and pounds away from how you look.

In summary, plastic surgery offers men many options to consider feeling good about the skin you’re in. It’s not just for women anymore. For more in-depth discussions of procedures and spa services, visit thelucascenter.com or call 865.218.6210 to schedule your personal consultation with me.

Fat grafting versus filler agents: which is best for facial volume restoration?

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For many years, facial rejuvenation was limited to skin resurfacing with lasers and peels, and various surgical soft tissue repositioning procedures. However, our options have expanded with the understanding of muscle relaxation via neurotoxins such as Botox, and the evolution of our knowledge of how fat atrophy in the face leads to stereotypical architectural changes with aging. Plastic surgeons can now add volume to refresh the face. In order to achieve a youthful but natural appearance for my patients, I use a combination of muscle balancing, skin resurfacing and tightening as well as volume restoration. Ultimately, when the battle of gravity versus skin plays out over time, surgical repositioning is required.

Let’s examine the question of how best to restore volume in the face.

One option for facial volume restoration is off-the-shelf materials such as hyaluronic acid, in various structural manifestations, as a direct filler. Another option is a polymer of lactic acid (Sculptra), which acts as an inflammatory material inducing collagen synthesis to create a guided tissue volume additive over time. Both are easily administered in the office without any donor site pain or bruising. While these procedures are easy and safe, it takes experienced hands, eyes and judgement to achieve the best outcomes. Results can be expected to last up to two years.

Fat grafting is another source of filler material to restore volume to the face. Fat is easily harvested from the abdomen or the thighs to use in the face. The technique is a gentle form of liposuctioning which then requires a minimal amount of processing followed by reinjection into the desired locations. In the office setting under local anesthesia, patients may not enjoy some of the pressure sensations required to obtain the fat. In an effort not to injure the fat and to prevent fat from being injected into vessels, blunt cannulas are utilized to place the cells into the tissues. This technique causes some degree of pressure sensation as oppposed to a sharp small needle, which can inject off-the-shelf fillers. The advantage of fat is that it is cheaper to obtain than manufactured materials. In most cases, there is a relatively unlimited supply. Furthermore, peripheral stem cells may direct cellular differentiation leading to improved tissue quality.

Fat versus fillers

Fat is certainly more technically demanding and unforgiving. For injections around the eyes to smooth the eyelid cheek junction, I prefer hyaluronic acid. When injected smoothly with appropriate application, no lumps or bumps should occur. In the lips, when I am working to recreate vertical ridges of the phyltral columns of the upper lip and “Cupid’s bow” points as well as a nice rolled margin of the lip, I prefer hyaluronic acid, because it is the consistency of caulking material and can provide shape. Fat is soft, and does not exert force on the skin in the same way as fillers. However, recent research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center demonstrates excellent results of restoring large volume loss of the upper lip beyond the vermillion by placing fat cells in a broad area making the loose skin less apparent.

With regard to the common area of deflation of the sub-malar fat pad in a non-surgical case, I prefer the highly crosslinked stiff material of Voluma which does an excellent job of re-supporting the facial structures to a more youthful position. If I am already performing a surgical case of a face or neck lift, I always add volume to the face prior to elevating the tissue; this is when I choose fat, because of the ease of harvest and injection under anesthesia. Some thin women may show very demarcated loss of volume in the temple area giving the face a skeletonized appearance around the eyes and making the brows seem to sag. This is an excellent indication for Sculptra. If the volume loss exceeds several vials worth of Voluma in the sub-malar fat pad per side, I also prefer to use Sculptra.

Fat grafting is an evolving technique in plastic surgery. Every industry conference has a significant discussion about the techniques and the science behind the results with just about every region of the body applicable to its uses, including face, breast, hand, buttock and other contour deformities. For the early stages of facial rejuvenation, which can occur in the third decade of life and beyond, much of the volume restoration is performed with off-the-shelf filler agents in an office setting due to ease and convenience.

It’s a case-by-case decision.

So when do you use fat versus fillers? It depends. It’s a case-by-case decision to determine the best protocol for each patient. I take a customized approach from the consult to the procedure, based on my unique skill set and my years of experience and training. My goal is to provide the absolute optimal results for each of my patients and to cultivate a lifetime relationship.