Savannah Plastic Surgery Blog


Savannah, GA Plastic Surgeons. Six Surgeons. Endless Possibilities.

The Buddy System is Effective in Early Detection of Skin Cancer

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sunscreen-application copy.jpgEarly detection of skin cancer can be life saving, and some dermatologists are recommending a new way to protect yourself: the buddy system.

A recent study showed success with early detection of skin cancer when partners were trained to check each other for warning signs of melanoma.

In the study, pairs of people were given specific training on recognizing skin concerns, like a change in the border, color and diameter of moles. During the 2-year study, 43 new melanomas were spotted by these skin check partners, who were able to alert a doctor and seek early treatment.

Melanoma is a serious concern, and the cancer rate is rising steadily. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 85,000 new melanomas will be diagnosed this year, and more than 9,000 people will likely die from melanoma.

But prevention and vigilance can be lifesavers. Here are some helpful resources from the American Cancer Society:

Learn to recognize the early warning signs of skin cancer, and partner with someone to check each other for skin changes. If you have questions about skin protection or reversing the effects of sun damage on your skin, contact our Skin Institute and Laser Center. And as always, if you're concerned about any suspicious areas on your skin, you should see your doctor.


Looking for a Plastic Surgeon? Watch for These Warning Signs

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You've decided to explore the possibility of cosmetic surgery, and now you need to find the right surgeon to help you on your journey. This is a critical step in the process, and there are some important "red flags" you should look for when reviewing surgeons. FOX-5 in Atlanta recently aired a news report on this topic, which you can watch by clicking here.

One of the first things you should find out - is your surgeon board certified in plastic surgery? We've talked about this on our blog before but it bears repeating. To be a board certified plastic surgeon, physicians must have at least six years of residency training and be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. Doctors who are not board certified can still perform some cosmetic procedures, but we think it's important to work with an expert in his or her field who understands all the cosmetic options available to you.

Secondly, you shouldn't feel any pressure from your physician to have a certain procedure. Your doctor should be willing to meet with you for a consultation and to answer your questions, and should evaluate your health and your expectations to ensure you're a good fit for the procedure. But regardless, he or she should never rush you into booking an appointment. Having cosmetic surgery is a big decision, and you should feel good about the choice you're making and not pressured.

Also, when you talk with your surgeon, he or she should explain the risks of the procedure. All procedures carry risks, and you need to be educated on possible complications, risks and benefits before you choose to have cosmetic surgery. If a surgeon tells you a procedure is risk free, that's a big red flag.

At Savannah Plastic Surgery, we offer complimentary consultations for cosmetic procedures. You can meet with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons and have your questions answered face-to-face. Contact us today if you'd like to make an appointment or learn more about our process.


U.S. Health Officials Issue Warnings about Medical Tourism

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airplane-600.jpgSome people who want to cut the costs of plastic surgery will turn to "medical tourism," or traveling to another country for less expensive medical procedures. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say medical tourism can be risky.

According to this article on WebMD, at least 18 women from the US became infected with a disfiguring bacteria after having plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic.

The women were infected by a germ called mycobacteria, and several of them had to be hospitalized. According to the article, it's not clear how the women were infected, but it's possible the bacteria entered wounds through contaminated tap water or instruments used in surgery.

The CDC outlines these potential risks from medical tourism:

  • Communication - if you don't speak the same language as the care-givers in the facility, misunderstandings could arise.
  • Medication quality may be inferior in some countries.
  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria may be more common in other countries than in the US.
  • Flying after surgery carries a risk of blood clots.

If financial concerns have you considering plastic surgery in another country, you might first check out the financing options we offer. You can finance your procedure and have it done in a comfortable, familiar and safe environment without the risk and hassle of travel.


Choosing the Right Sunscreen

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The summer beach and pool season officially kicks off this Memorial Day weekend. You know you need a good sunscreen to protect your skin when you're out soaking up rays, but all the sunscreen options can be overwhelming. Here is some advice for choosing the right sunscreen for you and your family.

sunburn-relief.pngThe American Academy of Dermatology says you should look for sunscreen with the following three things:

  • SPF of 30 or higher
  • Broad-spectrum protection (UVA/UVB)
  • Water resistance

If you look at a bottle of sunscreen, you should see all three of those properties listed on the label. These factors are important for offering protection against skin cancer, including melanoma, which is the most serious kind of skin cancer.

But beyond those three properties, there are other considerations as well. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you'll want a sunscreen that doesn't clog pores. But if your skin is dry, a sunscreen with moisturizer might be more appropriate. If you have sensitive skin, or a skin condition like rosacea, then you'll want to use a sunscreen that contains only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

At the Skin Institute and Laser Center, we carry several different sunscreen products and can help you choose the right one for your skin type. Come see us at 7208 Hodgson Memorial Drive, and we'll be glad to talk with you about skin care and skin protection, so you can enjoy your summer outdoors without sacrificing the health and beauty of your skin!


Popularity of Upper Arm Lift Surgery on the Rise

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Arm wobble. Bat Wing. Arm Charm.

Davies11.jpgThere are a lot of different names for excess skin and fat on the upper arm. But whatever you call it, that jiggly, swinging upper arm may have you avoiding sleeveless dresses and tank tops. But there is a way to permanently remove your "bat wing," and the popularity of the procedure is on the rise.

Brachioplasty is also called an arm lift, and it's a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arm. This is typically an outpatient procedure, and involves making an incision from the armpit to the elbow along the underside of the arm. Skin and fat are removed and the skin is stretched together and stitched.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, demand for brachioplasty has risen more than 900% in the last two decades. In 2015, more than 25,000 upper arm lifts were performed.

If you're bothered by excess skin and fat on your upper arm, we invite you to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation with us to see if brachioplasty might be right for you. Then you can look forward to a summer of short sleeves, minus the arm charm.


Younger Clients Use Botox for Wrinkle Prevention

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Botox has long been used to treat wrinkles, but increasingly Botox is used for prevention too. It's not your mother's remedy anymore - we're seeing an increase in younger patients requesting Botox to stop wrinkles before they form.

During our growing years, collagen production makes our skin thicken. But once we enter our 20s, that process stops. Eventually, as your skin begins to lose thickness, wrinkles form and deepen.

wrinkles-600.jpgBotox injections relax those muscles where wrinkles occur, and help to smooth out the lines. And if you begin Botox injections before your wrinkles are prominent, it's possible you can prevent deeper wrinkles from forming. That's good news for millennials looking to slow the affects of aging on their skin, and to avoid or delay a more invasive procedure like a face lift.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a majority of Botox users are 40-54 years old. But the number of younger Botox patients is on the rise, and people in their 20s accounted for 18% of Botox treatments in 2015 in the U.S. Overall, the number of Botox injections increased by 4% from 2015-2016, with more than 7 million injections given last year.

Some people use Botox by itself for wrinkle prevention; others will use Botox in conjunction with other minimally invasive skin treatments.

Curious about Botox, and whether it might be right for you? You can read more about Botox on our website, and then contact our office to set up a consultation.


Plastic surgeon vs. Cosmetic surgeon - is there a difference?

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Plastic surgeon ... cosmetic surgeon ... these two titles may seem interchangeable, but they're not. There can be a big difference between the two, and if you're considering a cosmetic procedure, it's important that you understand your surgeon's qualifications.

surgeryinprogress copy.jpgCosmetic surgery is an elective procedure done to improve your appearance, whereas plastic surgery also encompasses reconstructive work. To be a board certified plastic surgeon, physicians must have at least six years of residency training and be certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

In contrast, a doctor can call herself or himself a cosmetic surgeon with a year or less of training in cosmetic procedures. So there are many physicians marketing themselves as cosmetic surgeons, but with no residency training in plastic surgery.

We're proud of the fact that all of our surgeons at Savannah Plastic Surgery are board certified in plastic surgery. This means they've undergone years of rigorous training to prepare themselves for a career in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

A recent article in Consumer Affairs addresses this issue of medical marketing, and says that more doctors are performing minimally invasive cosmetic surgery to meet an increase in demand. Many of those doctors are not plastic surgeons, but the public often doesn't realize there is a difference.

Wether your procedure is elective cosmetic surgery, reconstructive, or a combination, the results will be with you for years to come. That's why we believe it's very important to do your research and ask your doctor about his or her training and credentials before you commit. Look for a plastic surgeon, and one board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

If you have any questions about our physicians or their training, contact us. We'll be glad to help with your research!


Plastic Surgery Procedures to Avoid

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surgeryprep.jpgOnce you've decided to have a cosmetic procedure, you need a surgeon who is looking out for your best interests - both your aesthetic results, and your overall health and safety.

That's why there are some procedures many plastic surgeons won't do. Fox News Health recently published this article about "The 6 procedures plastic surgeons don't want you to get."

First of all, if a procedure doesn't have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then it may be unsafe. We would advise against any procedures that aren't regulated by the FDA because of the possible risks involved.

But FDA approval doesn't mean we advise having the procedure. For example, we discourage injecting silicone oil for acne scars. Even though it's FDA-approved, there is a substantial risk of inflammation and complications, and there are other solutions we'd recommend.

Some other procedures we discourage are ribrosections, or removing a rib to get a tiny waistline; buccal fat excisions, which involve removed fat pads from the cheeks; and threadlifting, or using threads inserted under the skin to tighten the face. All of these procedures can have complications that render them unsafe or unwise. And while neck lifts are a popular procedure, we don't recommend that your neck lift include removing glands below the jawline. While these glands sometimes protrude, removing them can be dangerous.

We want to help you achieve your goals and get the results you desire, but we also want to keep you safe and healthy. Whatever body area you'd like to improve, there are likely many different available solutions. Schedule a consultation with one of our 6 Board-Certified plastic surgeons, and we can help you determine which procedure is right for you.


Demand on the Rise for Upper Arm Surgery

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Jiggly arms, bat wings, flabby triceps - no matter how you describe it, more and more women are taking action against upper arm fat.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, demand for an upper arm lift has risen more than 900% in the last two decades. More than 25,000 upper arm lifts were performed in 2015, and we're seeing an increased demand for the procedure in our Savannah office as well.

An upper arm lift is also called brachioplasty. This surgical procedure removes excess fat and skin from the tricep area.

Davies11.jpg

There is a scar associated with brachioplasty, which usually diminishes over time. But if you don't have a lot of excess skin and don't need a full brachioplasty, there are other options available that leave minimal scarring, such as liposuction to remove fat followed by a SkinTyte procedure to tighten up the loose skin on your arms.

Our surgeons can help you determine which solution is best for your unique situation. So if you're bothered by excess fat or loose skin on your upper arms, make an appointment today for a consultation with one of our six physicians. We'd be happy to answer your questions!


Plastic Surgery Myths

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liptsick-mirror.jpgIs plastic surgery only for rich people? Do you need a broken nose to get a nose job?

When it comes to cosmetic surgery, myths and rumors abound. That's why we loved this article from NewBeauty.com, dispelling some of the most common plastic surgery myths.

For example, that nose job question - you certainly don't have to have a broken nose to be a good candidate for rhinoplasty. Some people do get a nose job after having a broken nose, but others just want to change the look of an otherwise healthy nose, or improve nasal breathing. You and your doctor can determine if a nose job is right for you.

Another myth? If you get plastic surgery, that means you're vain. First of all, if there is something bothering you physically and you change it through surgery, that doesn't make you shallow or vain. Also, for some people plastic surgery actually improves their overall health and well-being. For example, breast reduction patients have often suffered from back pain prior to surgery because of overly large breasts. Patients who undergo eyelid surgery sometimes have difficulty seeing because of excess skin around their eyes.

As for the rumor that cosmetic procedures are only for the wealthy - thankfully that one isn't true either. For one thing, there are many procedures that are minimally invasive and therefore generally cost less. Injectables and laser treatments can provide long-lasting results without breaking the bank. And even if you do choose to undergo plastic surgery, there are financing options to make the procedure more affordable. Our staff will be happy to discuss financing with you.

You can read more about plastic surgery myths at newbeauty.com. Or better yet, contact us to schedule a consultation for cosmetic surgery, and have your questions answered by one of our six physicians. We look forward to hearing from you!


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About Savannah Plastic Surgery

We want to be your first choice when it comes to cosmetic surgery, skin care, and life enhancing services delivered by a team committed to compassion, education, and excellence.

Using a delicate balance of science and art, our physicians can customized every surgery to meet your personal needs and goals. Our six surgeons: Dr. Lawrence Ruf, Dr. Scott Vann, Dr. Barbara Davies, Dr. Chris Pettigrew, Dr. Dan Deloach, and Dr. Carl Pearl recognize that no two people are alike. You are unique and we are, too.

We now offer complimentary consultations for cosmetic surgery. Contact us today to begin your body transformation.

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Main Office

7208 Hodgson Memorial Drive
Savannah, GA 31406 | Map

Toll Free: 1-800-424-8478
Phone: 912-351-5050
Fax: 912-351-5051

Monday-Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For appointments at any location:
1-800-424-8478

Satellite Offices

Pooler
1000 Towne Center - Suite 501 | Map
Dr. F. Chris Pettigrew, Wed. 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Statesboro
East Georgia Urgent Care Center
4451 Country Club Road | Map
Dr. Carl Pearl, Every other Wed. 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Richmond Hill
The Urgent Care Center of Richmond Hill
60 Exchange Street, Suite B7 | Map
Dr. Carl Pearl, Every other Wed. 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm


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