A Comprehensive Three-Dimensional Rejuvenation Center

Monthly Archives: March 2016

DERMAPLANING BLOG

By Rebecca Ludwig

Dermaplaning is a client favorite as well as a personal favorite of mine for many reasons.  I call it an instant gratification service, and recommend it before any special event.  The main intention for dermaplaning is to allow better penetration of products, masks, treatments, or peels.  For this reason I perform dermaplaning as part of a full facial treatment.  The technique of dermaplaning involves using a surgical scalpel to ablate the surface layers of dead skin cells and vellus hair. All of the accumulated dry dead flaky skin cells are removed, improving the texture of the skin.  The vellus hair is the peach fuzz that many of us experience in certain areas or all over our faces.  By removing this fuzz the skin looks dramatically brighter.  Dermaplaning is a great option for many clients who are unable to use other methods of hair removal, such as waxing or depilatory creams, due to contraindications from topical cosmeceutical products, such as tretinoin, retinoic acid, retinal, etc. Dermplaning can be performed prior to facial peeling to improve the outcome of the facial peel.  Moisturizes, antioxidants, and humectants are easily absorbed post dermaplaning, leaving the skin feeling baby soft. Treatments are typically repeated every four weeks.  Step it Up with The Lucas Center, give us a call at 865.218.6210 today.

Worried about skin rolls around your bra line?
We got your back.

Skin

Many women are uncomfortable wearing form-fitting clothes, because the skin either above or below the bra line creates rolls detracting from the aesthetics of the female back. Unfortunately this can occur at any age. Spanx may hide the problem, but who wants to wear tight undergarments during warm weather months?

Causes: The skin of the back and shoulder must accommodate the wide range of motion of the shoulder girdle. When the arms are raised above the head, the skin in the posterior upper armpit region must stretch to avoid restricting this movement. Over time our skin begins to enlarge and increase in surface area, particularly in the posterior-axillary fold region tapering towards the tip of the shoulder blade. The skin lower in the armpit region and sides along the ribs does not require expansion, but a transitional line or fold can develop and become more pronounced with gravity causing a landslide effect of the skin above. The appearance is made worse with a restrictive band of the bra traversing this region thus forming the dreaded “bra strap fat roll.”

Anatomy varies greatly depending on skin type and quality, body mass index (BMI), and age. In some cases, skin folds are very tight without a great deal of excess fat, but the skin excess is the issue. People with greater BMI scores may have a great deal of fat deposited in this region. The other extreme is the massive weight-loss patient who has very little adiposity but has a great deal of inelastic deflated skin, which hangs over the bra. Each of these types of patients requires different treatments to achieve a pleasing result.

Treatment options: If you have slight increases in fat deposits in your back with deep tight folds, the treatment of choice is suction-assisted lipectomy with the added energy source of either VASER-assisted suction lipectomy (ultrasonic energy), power-assisted suction lipectomy (PAL), which is a mechanical rotating blade effect built into the cannula, or HydraSolve, a heat and water pulsing technique that breaks down interstitial fibers surrounding the fat. All these approaches work by breaking down the ligamentous attachments between the back and the dermis of the skin combined with the inflammatory reaction of the surgical cannulas allowing a re-draping/redistribution of skin to tighten over the back and conform to the new contour.

In my opinion, the results of these techniques are superior to liposuction alone. Non-invasive body-contouring procedures such as cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting) have no mechanism to break down the fibrous insertions to the skin from the deeper fascia, thus no elimination of the tight fold lines will occur.

If you have an elevated BMI and increased adiposity of skin folds, you will also benefit from the above-mentioned techniques of added energy sources with liposuction, but a greater degree of fat removal is necessary. Increased fat volume requires a more cell removal. However, discretion must be utilized to prevent over resection that can result in loose hanging skin on the back.

For the massive weight-loss patient or the person who has a large amount of loose-hanging skin with or without added fat volume, a skin resection technique is often incorporated with a brachioplasty to correct hanging skin of the upper arms as well. My incision choice is a vertical resection of skin along the posterior axillary line angle, which is easily concealed.

If bra line skin or fat excess is detracting from the overall aesthetics of your back, you need a board-certified plastic surgeon to thoroughly evaluate your situation to determine the right treatment option to feel more confident in your own skin. Visit thelucascenter.com or call 865.218.6210 to schedule your personal consultation with me.

Consider custom solutions for a sagging neckline

neck-blog

Consider custom solutions for a sagging neckline

Necklines for both men and women can be a focal point of self-consciousness. However, the etiology of an unattractive neckline can be diverse, so treatment options must be tailored to the underlying cause. There is no one solution for everybody. Careful three-dimensional analysis of the soft tissue and underlying bony structure of the midface, lower jaw and neck are imperative to choosing the correct modality to improve your neckline.

Some common underlying causes of poor aesthetic necklines:

Small lower jaw – If you have a deep underbite despite orthodontics and a short chin, this leads to less bone support of the soft tissues of the jawline and submental region. People with this type of lower jaw may have a very obtuse chin-neck angle leading to redundant skin. An ideal treatment for this situation is bony chin advancement (genioplasty).
If your chin is horizontally too short, then an augmentation with a chin implant is an excellent choice. I prefer the Medpore implant, which is carvable, and screw fixated and becomes an extension of the bone.

Both genioplasty and chin implants can easily incorporate the technique of liposuction as a means of sculpting the soft tissues of the neckline by removing unwanted fat. Liposuction induces collagen production and facilities skin shrinkage and redistribution yielding a pleasing result. This combination therapy can produce a wonderful outcome that makes you look more facially balanced. However, if your skin is too loose and hanging, a more formal neck lift may be preferable to liposuction.

Mid face descent of soft tissues – Aging can affect facial fat compartments leading to decreased volume, which results in the midface falling over time. This sagging increases nasolabial folds and causes lower facial soft tissue to drape over the jawline. A crisper jawline can be restored by replacing missing soft tissue volume in the fat compartments of the midface with filler agents like Voluma and Sculptra or via fat grafting. Subtle volume enhancements can create a nice effect on the jawline without looking like you’ve undergone a surgical procedure.

Gravitational changes to the soft tissue of the neck – Gravity affects all of us. The skin and muscles of the anterior neck begin to pull away over time. The appearance of the platysma muscle medial bellies becomes apparent leading to unsightly banding. In the early stages of gravity-induced changes, treatments such as chemical peels, micro-needling and radio frequency can yield improvements and delay the inevitable soft-tissue sagging.
Ultimately the best treatment option is a face/neck lift. A well performed facelift by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will yield excellent results with longevity of up to ten years depending on how well you age forward and take care of your skin, avoiding further sun damage.

Obesity: People with elevated body mass indices will accumulate increased fat throughout the body. The neck is no exception. Very mild amounts of fat excess with firm, good quality skin may realize improved contours with Kithera (an injectable product that dissolves fat in the neck). However, in my experience, few patients I evaluate are ideal candidates for this treatment. The injection results in inflammation, which can cause collagen production and skin remodeling, but most people need bigger guns to fight the battle. The price of several rounds of injections is as much as a true liposuction with less effective results.

If you have significant fat in the submental region and reasonable skin quality, liposuction can be a great treatment option to uncover a more normal neckline without a lot of expense or downtime. However, a face/neck lift with a corset platysmaplasty is the tried and true corrective option that works very predictably.

If you’re obese and undergo bariatric surgery or make lifestyle changes to produce massive weight loss, you’ll likely develop excess deflated skin that hangs off your face and neck creating an aesthetic deformity. Modifications of standard face and neck lifts must be incorporated to achieve a pleasing result.

The takeaway is that if you’re unhappy with your jaw and neckline, you can improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence by seeking out proper consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon. During the consult, a detailed facial analysis should be performed. Treatment options can be formulated to yield the best results by addressing your unique issues as presented during the interview. No need to hide your neck behind scarves and turtlenecks any longer.