Savannah Plastic Surgery Blog

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

Thread Lift Vs. Face Lift


chin and face copy.jpgYou may have heard of a procedure gaining popularity as a non-surgical alternative to the face lift - it's called a "thread lift." In a thread lift, threads are sewn into a patient's facial skin, and then pulled to tighten the skin for a lifted, younger appearance. Patients are under local anesthetic, and downtime is minimal.

It sounds like a good plan at first, but the threads dissolve and results usually only last 6 months. So 180 days after your procedure, you're back to where you were before, and out of pocket a significant amount of money.

That's one reason we don't perform thread lifts at Savannah Plastic Surgery - we want you to be happy with your results in the long term. A face lift is cosmetic surgery, and patients are put under general anesthesia and need around 2 weeks to recover. But the results are long lasting. No one can completely stop time - your face will continue to age and you may want to repeat the procedure one or more times-perhaps five or ten years down the line. But in another sense, the effects of even one face lift are lasting; years later, you'll continue to look better than if you'd never had a face lift at all.

You can read more about the thread lift vs face lift debate here:

If you are looking for facial rejuvenation but aren't ready for a full face lift, you may also consider the FreshLook Lift. The FreshLook Lift is a less invasive facelift performed by our plastic surgeons as an outpatient with local anesthesia and mild sedation. This allows the patient to return home and resume daily activities sooner. The "down time" is reduced to a few days.

Or, if you just need a "quick fix," fillers and injectables like Botox, Dysport, Restylane and Juvederm are also viable alternatives to surgery.

If you have questions about which facial rejuvenation procedure is right for you, we'd love to bring you into the office for a consultation with one of our surgeons. Contact us today!

School is Back In Session: Moms, it's YOUR time!


Sometimes as mothers, it's not easy to take time for ourselves. This seems especially true in summer, with school-aged children at home or being shuttled to camp, and family vacations on the schedule.

Mom-School copy.jpgIf you've considered a Mommy Makeover, but worried about downtime, this may be the best time of year for you to finally schedule your procedure. The kids are back in school, vacations are over, and the holiday rush is still a few months away.

The Mommy Makeover procedure is a unique combination of surgeries to help restore the figure you had before pregnancy and childbirth. A Mommy Makeover typically includes a combination of tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast surgery.

Many of our Mommy Makeover candidates are unhappy with their abdominal area. For some women, the skin and muscles that get stretched during pregnancy never rebound to their former positions. Even with exercise and a proper diet, some women are left with loose belly skin, stretch marks and weak abdominal muscles. The tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, can reverse some of these changes. The surgeon will tighten the abdominal muscles, pull the skin down and then remove excess skin, including stretch marks. Liposuction can also be used to remove excess fat. The result is a slimmer, flatter mid-section.

Breast procedures are also popular parts of the Mommy Makeover. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause breasts to sag, and for some women a breast augmentation and/or breast lift will help to restore volume and improve the shape of breasts. Or if the breasts are overly large, they can create back and posture problems for women, and a breast reduction may become part of the Mommy Makeover.

We have several before-and-after mommy makeover images in our website photo gallery. We encourage you to take a look, and then schedule a consultation to see if a Mommy Makeover might be right for you.

The Right Nose for Each Face



Nose reshaping surgery, called rhinoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the US. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 220,000 people had rhinoplasty in the US last year - an increase from the previous year.

But no two nose jobs are the same.

Some nose surgery is done to repair breathing problems, or because of a traumatic nose injury. Others are done for aesthetic purposes, or a combination of reasons. Each nose surgery should be custom designed to look as natural as possible, taking into account factors such as ethnicity, proportion with other facial features, nostril size, bridge width, and much more.

At Savannah Plastic Surgery, we've performed many rhinoplasty procedures, and on a variety of patient types. If you're considering nose shaping surgery, you may find it helpful to explore our rhinoplasty page where you'll find information about the procedure as well as a 3-D animated video about nose surgery. We offer complimentary consultations for cosmetic surgery, so contact us if you'd like to set up an appointment to discuss rhinoplasty. We'd be happy to answer your questions, and we recognize that your surgery will be as unique as you are!

The Buddy System is Effective in Early Detection of Skin Cancer


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


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


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


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


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


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?


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!

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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 seven surgeons: Dr. Lawrence Ruf, Dr. Scott Vann, Dr. Barbara Davies, Dr. Chris Pettigrew, Dr. Dan Deloach, Dr. Carl Pearl, and Dr. Luke Curtsinger 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

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For appointments at any location:

Satellite Offices

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

Statesboro Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Center
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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


600-B East Oglethorpe Highway | Map
Dr. Luke J. Curtsinger, Every other Thurs. 9 am - 12:30 pm

650 Scranton Road | Map
Dr. Luke J. Curtsinger, Every other Thurs. 9 am - 12:30 pm

17 Sherington Drive | Map
Dr. Luke J. Curtsinger, Every other Tues. 1 - 4 pm

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