Tag Archives: the lucas center

The Lucas Center Announces TLC Rewards Program to begin 3-1-2016

We are pleased to present our new TLC Loyalty Rewards Program. This program lets you earn TLC Reward Points that can be redeemed for any of our products and services.*

HOW DOES THE LOYALTY REWARDS PROGRAM WORK?

For each $1 spent on ancillary services and products, you will earn 1 Point. You can earn bonus points during promotions advertised in our emails, Facebook page or special events. Be on the lookout for these promotions and accumulate your Points faster. For a complete listing of point opportunities, please see our list below.

How can I earn points?

  • 1 TLC Point for every $1 spent on products, injectables and peels
  • 500 bonus TLC Points for scheduling cosmetic surgery
  • 500 bonus TLC Points for referring friends and family members who have cosmetic surgery or ancillary procedures (make sure the person you refer has your references you so we can add your points as required).
  • 500 bonus Points for purchasing gift certificates for friends and family valued at $400 and up
  • 100 bonus Points for attending our bi-annual events (Spring and Holiday)
  • TLC Points for special promotions will vary and will be specified with each special.
  • A minimum of 1000 TLC Points are required to redeem your rewards.
POINTS REWARD
1,000 $50.00
1,500 $75.00
2,000 $100.00
2,500 $125.00
3,500 $175.00

Remember to bring your card with you to our office so we can credit or redeem your points. Simply hand it to us any time you make a purchase. TLC Rewards do not expire and are not transferrable. TLC Reward cannot include any retroactive transactions and must be accumulated as a result of new purchases.

*Points are not redeemable for cash, may not be used for outstanding balances, and are accrued on pre-tax amounts. If a product is returned, any points accrued will be deducted. Points are not redeemable for gift card purchases. Points are not earned on dollar amounts for cosmetic surgery procedures. Points are not earned on any insurance procedures. The Lucas Center may, at its discretion, terminate or change the TLC Rewards Loyalty Program.

TLC Rewards

Are your upper arms fit for spring?

It’s winter in East Tennessee, but I’m already looking forward to sunny blue skies with spring blossoms floating through warm breezes. Gone will be the heavy coats and long sleeves, replaced by sleeveless clothes and bare arms. If you’re self-conscious about your upper-arm contour, then spring might not be your favorite season. No worries. Board-certified plastic surgeons like me are at your disposal to give you the confidence to be comfortable in your own skin and bare it all. No more hiding your arms when the temperature rises.

A successful arm-contouring plan depends your specific anatomy. What’s your skin quality and quantity? Is there excess flesh with thin deflated tissue and inelastic skin? Or do you have reasonable skin quality with some increased adipose tissue and a thicker arm contour? Your personal medical history is important as well. Have you gained and lost significant weight or undergone bariatric weight-loss surgery? Do you have a history of large amounts of sun exposure with subsequent sun damage leading to a crepe paper-like skin tone?

The algorithm for management of the unacceptable upper-arm appearance starts with the question of excess skin. Particularly if there is thin deflated skin that is present the full length of the upper arm, a vertical brachioplasty is required. The advantage of this procedure is the ability to remove a great deal of excess skin along with aggressive liposuction to create a wonderful tight contour. The disadvantage is the vertical scar that runs in the posterior medial aspect of the upper arm. Generally speaking, the scar is not visible when someone is facing you or behind you with your arms in repose. The scar can be exposed when the upper arm is extended away from the center of the body.

I can say with great certainty that patients who have undergone massive weight loss, with or without bariatric surgery, would choose the scar over the skin excess any day. Of course, there can be shades of grey in terms of skin excess and laxity. Milder forms may be treated with judicious VASER-assisted lipectomy followed by a modified horizontal brachioplasty, in which the excess tissue is resected and advanced within the axilla (arm pit). Scars are only visible when the arms are elevated with a sleeveless shirt.

If there’s no skin excess and the overlying skin is of good quality and there is contour excess related to an increased volume of fat in the upper arm, the VASER-assisted suction lipectomy is an excellent choice for sculpting the arms to a new contour. The manipulation of the dermis with the cannulas used to remove the fat via small openings in the skin placed in hidden areas of the arm leads to skin re-draping and shrinking. This redistribution creates firmer skin coverage of the arm leading to a nicer sculpted appearance.

What about Cool Sculpting (Cryolipolysis)? My answer is if there is only a very limited amount of excess fat and already tight skin it may work.

However, there is no mechanism with cryolipolysis to induce inflammatory reactions leading to collagen production within the dermis, which causes skin tightening unlike liposuction or micro-needling. My advice is to save your money for the real deal. Radio frequency may have a role in skin tightening, but the results don’t warrant the investment in the expensive equipment, which certainly is passed down to the consumer.

The key to a good result or the avoidance of a disappointing outcome is good clinical experience by a knowledgeable board-certified plastic surgeon with the correct judgment to know which technique to employ to maximize results. Buyer beware when entering the multitude of medispas that exist today without competent medical supervision. Recently in the Atlanta area, an emergency room physician untrained in plastic surgery was performing liposuction in an office without hospital credentials and created injuries to the diaphragm and liver leading to the deaths of two patients. Vetting your physician before undergoing surgery can prevent tragedies like this.

Look as good as you feel in 2016

So you work out, eat smartly and watch your calorie consumption but your face looks tired, and you look older than you feel. Trust me, you’re not alone. The good news is something can be done that is predictable and sustainable to make you look and feel better about your face.

The key to success is a thoughtful facial analysis, which evaluates your bone structure, muscle activity, soft tissue volume, skin quality and the position of your forehead, brows, eyelids, cheeks and neck. I approach a patient’s face much like an engineer with a sculptor’s artistic eye. I create a problem set followed by a detailed treatment plan, tailored to each of my patient’s wishes and financial parameters.

Treatment plans often include skin quality improvement with techniques such as serial chemical peels and micro-needling. Please see previous blogs on these therapies on my website. If excessive muscle activity leads to a harsh appearing forehead and brows, muscle modulation with Botox can be an excellent approach.

Looking at the upper third of the face, I evaluate brow position with respect to the bony orbital rim and its relationship with the upper and lower eyelids. On women you want the brow to be above the orbital rim with the outer third being elevated compared to the inner 2/3 of the brow. Heavy hanging brows make the eye aperture appear small and tired.

Another important factor in evaluating the upper eyelids is eyelid ptosis (the muscle mechanism which elevates and maintains resting tone of the upper lids). Eyelid ptosis must be addressed with the blepharoplasty to prevent a tired sleepy appearance despite correcting the fat pads and excess skin.

The lower eyelids must be evaluated carefully in comparison to the bony anatomy surrounding the eye and the supporting structure of the lateral canthus, which anchors the eyelids to the lateral bony orbit. Great care must be taken if you have a prominent eye compared to your cheeks and have deficient lower eyelid vertical skin coverage. Weak lateral canthi can result in disastrous results with excessive eye exposure leading to pain and visual disturbance.

Finally, the lower eyelid cheek junction must be inspected. A large tear trough and bulging fat pads can detract from a youthful appearance. Taking out too much fat can result in a hollow eyelid, which can actually create an even older appearance. Current techniques include judicious removal of some of the fat and then actually transposing the fat pad down onto the cheek mass obscuring the demarcation and giving volume to the cheek and avoiding a hollow look.

The midface is all about volume. As we age, the cheek fat pad shrinks in size leading to the face falling with accentuation of the nasolabial folds. In most cases midface restoration can be corrected with volume-added techniques of either fat or filler agents making tissue repositioning in this area less important. A non-invasive injection of Voluma can be a great treatment option.

The lower facial third and neck are evaluated with regard to the jaw line, chin neck angle, and the draping of the soft tissues including the skin and neck muscles. Younger people with good skin quality may well be treated with liposuction alone to achieve a pleasing neck line. If the lower jaw is small with respect to the rest of the face, a chin implant or chin repositioning may help your neck appearance, in addition to liposuction to improve results and create harmony with the lower facial third compared to the rest of the face.

Older skin, with bands of the platysma muscle showing through, is less compliant and is best treated with a neck lift procedure. This surgery includes fat equilibration, neck muscle tightening and soft tissue repositioning and stabilization around the ears.

Facial rejuvenation is not painful, although swelling and bruising will occur. After the dust settles, results can be natural and youthful in appearance with long-lasting results that will boost your confidence beyond any wardrobe or hair makeover.

Look as good as you feel in 2016. Happy New Year!

Turn back the clock with facial volume restoration

mother

As we age, the volume in our faces diminishes over time. However, in the right hands you can age gracefully and look as good as you feel for a long time, which is the goal I have for all my patients. Volume restoration of the face, as a part of an overall comprehensive facial rejuvenation algorithm, combined with skin resurfacing and tissue repositioning, can yield beautiful results.

The aging process causes fat volume reduction in the face. The fat in our faces is organized into discrete packages and, predictably, the fat found just below our cheekbone is one package which reduces in volume first. The combination of gravity and volume loss in cheek fat results in our faces changing shape. Our cheeks appear to decrease, and our skin drops. Cheek folds become more pronounced, creating the inevitable downward-turning at the corners of the mouth and contributing to the jowling effect in the lower jaw line.

Another area that can experience volume loss is the lateral forehead in the temple region, which results in the brows re-draping downward, causing a hooding effect and obscuring the upper eyelids. Still another indication important to women is the loss of volume of the lips and the relative loss of the three-dimensional appearance of the upper lip with increased vertical lines emanating from the red border.
The tear trough region around the lower eyelid can lose volume, regardless of your age, particularly if the eyelid fat pads are prominent with a relatively soft mid face projection.

All the above areas can be treated nicely with filler agents. The advantages of out-of-the-box filler agents is they can be used quite nicely with topical anesthetic agents in the office. There’s relatively little to no bruising and no downtime. Many filler agents contain hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring agent in our skin that acts like glue to hold components of our dermis together. Denser material with lots of cross-linking can have a better effect of lifting tissue. Because of its dense properties, Voluma can last up to two years and is routinely placed in the area where the cheek fat packet decreases. This filler is used to lift the cheek back to a normal position, thus improving the cheek fold and the corners of the mouth.

Lips can be enhanced to normal volumes (not the duck lips that I see coming from various spas) to create a natural red lip border with the adjacent skin helping to eliminate the vertical lines. I also enhance the vertical pillars that span between the base of the nose and the cupids bow high points, which returns a three-dimensional appearance to the upper lip. I mostly utilize Juvederm for this area.

The tear trough deformity can be handled nicely with Restalyn or Juvederm to blend the eyelid cheek junction and smooth the appearance of the lower eyelid.

Volume restoration of the temples to return the brow to a more normal position can be best handled using a step-wise approach with Sculptra, which is an injectable form of a polymer of lactic acid. When introduced to the tissue, the lactic acid induces an inflammatory response leading to the formation of new collagen. The advantage of this material is that it can restore large areas of volume loss, which would be difficult with traditional filler agents. It also slowly builds up collagen and restores volume over a six-week period making your transformation less obvious to your friends and family.

Without question, the concept of volume restoration of the face as a part of an overall comprehensive facial rejuvenation algorithm has led to superior results compared to plans that did not include volume replacement. As with Botox, the overall value of the injection material is greatly dependent on who is administering the filler agent.

Poor technique can result in poor outcomes. I liken filler agents to sculpting materials for the face. You can put clay in front of a true artist who can transform this simple material into a work of art. An untrained eye with no sense of perspective or artistic skill will create very little value out of the raw materials. The same goes for these injectable products in the Wild Wild West of aesthetic services here in American and abroad.

Remembering my Mother on Mother’s Day

mother

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln

During this time of Mother’s Day, I try to take pause to remember how truly special my mother was to me growing up, contributing to who I am as a person and the meaning of unconditional love. She taught me to always think of others’ needs before thinking of myself. Unfortunately her pupil, her son has continued to fall short of this standard, but she sure set my internal compass to keep trying.

She had such a sunny disposition, and her greeting to everyone was “Happy Day.” Even one of my teachers growing up, who had a senior moment and could not remember my mother’s name, called her “Smiley.” In my childhood home right inside the kitchen door was a small chalkboard hung on the wall that said, “A kind word turns away wrath.” I try to remember this during times of strife with others. Even with her passing almost 14 years ago, she remains a big part of me and although my words could not express how grateful I am to her, I hope she can feel content in all she accomplished here on Earth.

For those of you who still have your mother with you, please take the opportunity while you still can and give her a big hug and tell her you love her very much.

Happy Day.

Botox creates a paradigm shift for facial aging

Botox has certainly become part of our lexicon since the new millennium. When I was in medical school at Penn in the early 1990s, botulinum toxin was only something to be memorized in pathophysiology class as the virulence factor for the Clostridium bacterium that caused botulism. Later on, in residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, it was used in the treatment of involuntary muscle contractions and eyelid spasms. At the beginning of my plastic surgery fellowship in 1998, Botox was just beginning to be explored as a novel approach to facial wrinkles. The literature and the applications were still in the infancy when I started practice in 2001.

Fast-forwarding to the present, what would women and yes, men, do without this little protein for facial rejuvenation and the prevention of early aging? What started out as a means to control our “elevens” or “mommy frowns” has now blossomed into a method to actually sculpt the face by applying the knowledge of muscle anatomy to deploy Botox in the right areas to balance opposing muscles of the forehead, mouth, jaw and neck, creating pleasing facial postures.

Having been part of the rise and current use of Botox, I can testify that using this neuromuscular-blocking agent can improve your current appearance with regular use and also prevent or postpone the aging process of your face. Today many clients, particularly women, look at it as yet another maintenance activity like getting your hair and nails done.

Botox can be used to selectively weaken the central brow area to reduce horizontal lines in the forehead. It can also be used on the circular superficial muscle surrounding the eyelids to minimize lateral fine lines around the eyes. Applied properly, Botox can preferentially reduce the lateral eyebrow depressor muscles to allow unopposed lift of the lateral brow by the forehead muscle, weakening the fine lines around the mouth, correcting asymmetries of the mouth, and reducing the banding appearance of a thin neck.

While the results are limited to around three months without reapplication, nothing else can achieve these desired effects as well as prevent the future etching of these lines deeper into your skin.

However, when something becomes commonplace, people begin to feel comfortable with the product to the point that they may oversimplify the treatment process. This comfort level can lead to the misconception that anyone can deliver Botox safely and reliably. For optimal safety and efficacy, Botox should only be purchased from Allergan, the owner and developer of the product. The company will only ship to licensed physician offices.

Some people try to purchase Botox online from out of the country in order to save money, which may or may not be safe or effective. The FDA recently reported that fraudulent Botox packaging was being sold on the Internet. There have been deaths or seriously neurologically impaired events when patients got a different kind of botulinum toxin which was a much stronger concentration and resulted in overdoses.

It’s my professional opinion that no one should receive Botox from an establishment that does not have a medical director who is intricately involved in the day-to-day practice of the office and has a firm command of the anatomy of the face and neck. I am baffled by the concept that dentists are now offering this service to patients as well. Having graduated magna cum laude from dental school prior to going on to medical school, I can emphatically state that dentists are not qualified to participate in these services. Botox is not inexpensive — why purchase it somewhere that might result in substandard results, not to mention nerve damage or death? The quality of the result is directly related to the skill level and knowledge of anatomy of the injector. Be good consumers and check the credentials of your provider. Caveat emptor.

Collagen Induction Therapy

Your skin has a challenging job. From environmental factors to hormonal changes, it bears and reflects the brunt of life’s shifts. Thankfully, your skin has two support systems – collagen and elastin. Skin loses its natural elasticity as we age, but we can turn to other sources of support like injectables. We mentioned in a previous blog that Botox is an option. Another skin rejuvenation method has also created some recent buzz.

Collagen induction therapy, also called microneedling, is an effective way to enhance your skin’s look and feel. This minimally invasive procedure uses tiny punctures to induce a collagen and elastin response from your body. This helps with skin texture and firmness and reduces scars, pore size and stretch marks.

We are proud to offer collagen induction therapy at The Lucas Center. Call us today at (865) 218 – 6210 to schedule a consultation. Let us help you put the “bounce” back into your skin!

Botox – A Sneaky-Smart Way to Tease ‘Father Time’

When considering injectable options, one of the first that comes to mind is Botox. It’s been around since 1990 and has only grown in popularity. From Real Housewives to neighborhood soccer moms, it’s probably the most acceptable and talked about procedure. In fact, “Botox banter” has become the vernacular in the office break room and is no longer a beauty secret whispered between gal pals.

So, why all the buzz about Botox?

  • Botox is an injection that helps eliminate the appearance of wrinkles by blocking the chemical that triggers muscle responses.
  • It’s a quick procedure that can be done on your lunch hour.
  • It helps smooth or “iron out” the vertical frown lines between eyebrows, the furrows in crow’s feet, and gives you a more youthful appearance.
  • It can help slim the face when injected around the jaw.
  • Botox’s effects last around 3 to 4 months, with easy upkeep based on your personal doctor’s recommendations.

Call us to learn more or schedule a consultation today at 865-218-6210.