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New at Savannah Plastic Surgery: Pain and Anxiety Relief with Pro-Nox


Do you want to try Botox but are worried about pain? If so, you're not alone. There are plenty of patients who fear pain and even needles. In order to better help patients and calm fears, Savannah Plastic Surgery is proud to debut the Pro-Nox Nitrous Oxide Delivery System. Nitrous oxide is an inhaled analgesic that helps to relieve the pain and anxiety a patient may experience during cosmetic procedures and other in-office procedures.

Pronox Photo.jpgDr. Luke Curtsinger recently tried the Pro-Nox while getting Botox and fillers. He said he felt no pain during the injections. "This is patient-administered nitrous oxide where the patient breathes in the nitrous oxide from a tube," says Curtsinger. "It is a very safe and controlled delivery method. A patient can control when they need more and it takes effect in seconds."

When Can Pro-Nox Be Used?

Pro-Nox can be used during a number of procedures. Some of the main ones include:

  • Fillers
  • Laser treatments
  • Small surgical procedures

"Oftentimes barriers such as fear of pain, fear of needles and fear of general anesthesia for small procedures may prevent a patient from having something they want done or will cause a great amount of anxiety," says Curtsinger. "Pro-Nox will enhance our patient's experience and allow them to participate in the procedure while being relaxed."

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a clear, colorless vapor with a slightly sweet odor and taste. The mechanism of action of nitrous oxide is thought to be an increased release of endorphin, dopamine, and other natural pain relievers in the brain, which modulate pain stimuli via descending spinal cord nerve pathways. It is safe for patients and proven very effective.

While, nitrous oxide does not completely relieve the pain it creates "diminished pain, or a continued awareness of pain without feeling bothered by it." It also has an anti-anxiety effect, which may be helpful if the patient is restless and doubts his or her ability to cope, emotions that are not uncommon, especially during medical procedures. The potential side effects are very minimal and include nausea and dizziness.

If you're interested in using Pro-Nox during a procedure, call Savannah Plastic Surgery at 912-351-5050. You can also schedule a complimentary consultation online.

Watch Dr. Curtsinger Use Pro-Nox

Investing in Savannah's Future with the Summer 500


summer500.jpegDon't be surprised if you see a bright, young face in the halls of Savannah Plastic Surgery this summer! Our newest employee is part of the Savannah Summer 500, a Youth Employment Program led by the City of Savannah.

The program connects local youth ages 16 and older with paid summer jobs in a variety of industries. Our summer employee is spending time with staff in Savannah Plastic Surgery as well as The Skin Institute and Laser Center.

These students have attended workshops on job readiness, career exploration and financial literacy, and now it's our turn to participate by giving them real-world work experience. We're pleased to play our part, investing in the future of our community!

Savannah Plastic Surgery - Best of Savannah!


connect-2019.jpgWe are thrilled to have earned the distinction of Best Plastic Surgery Center in Savannah! The readers of Connect Savannah voted for their top choice, and we are so thankful for their confidence in us.

Choosing to have plastic surgery is a monumental decision, and you shouldn't trust your transformation to just anyone. Your surgeon and the staff members need to be knowledgeable and skilled, but also understanding and kind. We strive to be all of these things, and are so pleased that the Savannah community recognizes the care we put into every interaction.

Thank you Savannah!

Dr. Pearl is Best of the Best!


Carl Pearl Best Plastic Surgeon.jpg

Congratulations to Dr. Pearl for being voted best plastic surgeon in the Savannah Morning News' Best of the Best contest! We are proud to have some of the greatest surgeons in the Coastal Empire.

Transforming Savannah Into a Blue Zone


bluezone-globe.jpgThere may be no literal fountain of youth, where a drink of magical water can restore you to your physical prime. But for seekers of health and longevity, there are certain areas of the world that seem almost as magical. They're called Blue Zones, and they're locations with a high concentration of people who live to be 100 years old or more.

Scientists are studying these populations, which are currently found in small communities of Costa Rica, California, Japan, and Italy. Researchers hope to uncover the secret recipe of longevity. Is it climate? Diet? Lifestyle? Genetics? Some combination of all these things?

cursinger-bluezone.jpgDr. Luke Curtsinger of Savannah Plastic Surgery is also researching these Blue Zones, specifically looking for ways to transform Savannah into a Blue Zone of health and wellness.

"When a community decides to apply Blue Zone principles, and when it has support from local institutions, you see a lot of improvement in community health," says Dr. Curtsinger. "Smoking rates decrease, blood pressure rates improve, obesity rates decline - we've seen this happen in other cities like Naples, Florida, once they adopted Blue Zone priorities."

Blue Zone communities tend to have several traits in common, like a higher percentage of people eating plant-slant diets, and communities where people exercise naturally through gardening, yard work, walking or cycling. People drink wine. They take naps. They belong to faith communities, and they live near family.

"In Blue Zone cities, employers offer health and nutrition programs, and people have opportunities for exercise, healthy food, good friend groups and community service. You make the Blue Zone choice the easy choice, and these efforts add up to healthier, happier populations," Dr. Curtsinger says.

But Blue Zone communities can't be created by just one person. "First it's a matter of education, and finding the community stakeholders who are interested in a project like this," says Dr. Curtsinger. He is now working to cultivate relationships with partners interested in seeing Savannah transformed into a Blue Zone, in what he calls "the ultimate public health project."

Dr. Curtsinger's efforts were recently featured in South Magazine, and you can click here to read the full article.

Learn more about Blue Zones at

How World War I Led to the Birth of Plastic Surgery


WWI-tents.jpgOur country - in fact, our world - just recognized the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 on November 11th. The horrific war resulted in horrific losses, with 16 million people dead and another 21 million people injured.

Toward the end of the war, medical advances allowed doctors to save some people whose injuries would have been fatal just a few years earlier. Shrapnel and shell blasts had caused many facial injuries, but doctors had little experience helping these survivors. Plastic Surgery was not yet a specialty, but was soon to be born.

The most severe facial injuries often left people deformed, with difficulty seeing, breathing, eating or drinking. According to an article on The Conversation, Harold Gillies, a young surgeon from New Zealand, recognized the need for a new specialized medical unit devoted to repairing facial injuries. In 1916, Gillies established Britain's first plastic surgery unit.

According to the article, Gillies described the development of plastic surgery as a "strange new art." Since that time, the art of reconstructive plastic surgery has continued to evolve, allowing many people with injuries, deformities, and other concerns lead normal lives that would not have been possible otherwise.

We're proud of plastic surgery's history, and proud to be part of its future, too.

Motivation: More Than Just Looking Good


When you look good, sometimes that helps you feel good, too.

mirror-smiling-600.jpgMinimally invasive cosmetic procedures are growing in popularity, and a new study finds that many patients are motivated by more than just looks.

Researchers with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine surveyed about 500 adult patients in the U.S. who had recently undergone a non-invasive cosmetic procedure. The survey found that nearly 7 in 10 patients chose the procedure to improve their mental well-being. Other motivating factors included protecting their health and looking more professional at work.

Survey respondents had undergone a variety of procedures, including:

Many patients in the survey said the results of these minimally invasive procedures helped boost their self-confidence and increase their overall quality of life.

If you'd like to learn more about how these procedures might impact your life, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Researching Plastic Surgery on YouTube


video-shocked-600.jpgYou're considering plastic surgery and doing your research, which includes checking YouTube for information. A YouTube search will quickly reveal lots of videos on all sorts of cosmetic procedures, with men or women in white physician jackets giving advice about what's right for you.

But a new study cautions: viewers beware. That doctor may not be a certified plastic surgeon, and he or she may not have your best interests in mind.

This article on outlines a recent study by Rutgers University which examined the reliability of YouTube videos for information about medical procedures.

The study included 240 of the most popular cosmetic surgery videos on YouTube, with a combined reach of more than 160 million views. Researchers evaluated the accuracy of the information in the videos, as well as the credentials of the video presenter.

Researchers found many videos that appeared educational, but were actually veiled marketing schemes. Study authors concluded that YouTube content can be biased and unbalanced, and the practitioners may be unqualified.

Does this mean every video on YouTube is suspect? No - there are bound to be some quality programs in the mix. But when it comes to plastic surgery, your research must be solid.

If you're the visual type who really prefers a video, we have lots of 3D animation videos on our website that explain procedures in detail. We invite you to check them out on our Video page.

Before you commit to plastic surgery, take time to learn as much as you can about the procedure - the risks, benefits, recovery, expectations, etc. - from reputable sources. Your health may depend on it.

Removing Excess Skin After Weight Loss


scale.jpgIf you've battled against obesity and lost a significant amount of weight, then congratulations are in order. Weight loss is not easy for most of us, but an appropriate body weight is important for your overall health.

For some people, dramatic weight loss can leave behind a lot of excess loose skin. This article on follows the story of a woman who lost more than 100 pounds. She was thrilled with her weight loss, but "I didn't feel great about the loose skin around my belly. It hung over the waist of everything, even skirts."

So she had plastic surgery to remove 7 pounds of loose skin. You can read more about her journey at

If you have loose skin after major weight loss, get in touch with us so we can schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our surgeons. You can get answers to your questions, and see if you're a good candidate for plastic surgery. Contact us online, or call us at 912-351-5050.

Injectable Fillers for Hand Rejuvenation


Injectable fillers have long been popular for hand rejuvenation, and now Restylane has FDA approval for use in the hands.

Your hands can say a lot about you, including your age. As we get older, our skin gets thinner and we lose collagen and elastin. This change makes the tendons and veins in our hands visible, and gives our hands an aged appearance.

But the same injectable fillers that are used to give our faces a fuller appearance can also be used in the hands.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of the hyaluronic acid injectable gel Restylane for the hands. Radiesse is another dermal filler approved for hand rejuvenation.

Huffington Post published an article about fillers for hand rejuvenation, and you can read more about it here. If you have questions about hand rejuvenation, contact us through our website, or call us at 912-351-5050.


Trading the Quick Fix for More Long-Lasting Results


mirror-woman.jpgIf you're looking to smooth away wrinkles, sculpt your waistline, or trim your thighs, you have plenty of options - both surgical and non-surgical.

For years, the non-surgical "quick fix" was gaining popularity, but as this article in Allure reveals, doctors are now seeing a marked shift. More patients are demanding long-lasting results, and opting for traditional plastic surgery.

Facial rejuvenation is a good example. Non-surgical procedures like Botox injections can be great for temporarily wiping away facial lines. But inevitably those wrinkles will return and more Botox will be needed. We're finding that some patients would rather have a facelift, even though the upfront costs are higher and they'll have to plan for some recovery time. But these patients prefer a long-lasting fix, rather than repeated costly trips to office for more and more Botox.

For more insight into the non-surgical vs surgical debate, check out the article in Allure. If you'd like to discuss your options with one of our six surgeons, make an appointment today for a consultation.

Plastic Surgeon Vs. Cosmetic Surgeon: What's the Difference?


doctorclipboard-600.jpgMany people use the terms "plastic surgery" and "cosmetic surgery" interchangeably. But when it comes to doctor training programs, there are some important differences between plastic and cosmetic surgery training. As you research the right surgeon for you, keep these things in mind:

Specialty training for a cosmetic surgeon is typically 3-5 years, and focused on specific cosmetic procedures like liposuction and breast implants. By contrast, plastic surgery training takes an additional 5-8 years following medical school. Plastic surgeons learn all the same things cosmetic surgeons do, but also learn about additional procedures, including reconstruction.

So how can you know if the doctor you're researching is a cosmetic or plastic surgeon? Check his or her board certification. When a doctor is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, that means, in addition to receiving their undergraduate medical degrees, doctors have completed a residency in general surgery and an approved residency in plastic surgery, passed a rigorous written and oral board examination, and practiced plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery for a minimum of four years.

Before you entrust your physical transformation to a physician, take time to make sure he or she has the right training and credentials for the job.

The Top 5 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures in 2017


youngwoman-sunshine.jpgThe latest report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons confirms what we see in our office - an increase in people choosing minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. These types of procedures, like Botox, fillers and chemical peels, are up by almost 200% in this decade. We find that our patients like these procedures because the downtime is minimal or non-existent, and they still get great results.

Requests for surgical procedures are on the rise too, up 2% from 2016-2017. Breast augmentation, liposuction and rhinoplasty (nose surgery) top the list.

According to this article in USA Today, here are the top five cosmetic surgery procedures, and minimally invasive procedures in 2017.

Top five cosmetic surgical procedures:

1. Breast augmentation
2. Liposuction
3. Nose reshaping
4. Eyelid surgery
5. Tummy tuck

Top five cosmetic minimally invasive procedures:

1. Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox)
2. Soft Tissue Fillers (Like Restylane & Juvederm)
Chemical Peel
4. Laser hair removal

Stretched Earlobes or Earrings Pulled Through? We Can Help.


mirror-600.jpgA lifetime of wearing heavy earrings can be tough on your earlobes. Over time, some earlobes become enlarged, even stretching enough that studs fall through the holes.

If this sounds familiar, you may be glad to know there is a simple outpatient procedure that can correct this problem. It's called earlobe reduction surgery, and can be performed by a plastic surgeon in our Savannah Plastic Surgery office, and usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

Other candidates for earlobe reduction surgery are people who used gauges to purposefully stretch their earlobes, or someone who has had an earring torn out of the earlobe. Some people choose to have the procedure just because they don't like the natural size of their earlobes.

If you're unhappy with your earlobes, contact us to schedule a consultation and see if earlobe reduction surgery might be right for you.

Plastic Surgery Rates Increasing Among Older Americans


oldercouple.jpgPlastic surgery is becoming more popular among many age groups, and we're seeing a lot of older patients coming into our office, looking for plastic surgery. Whether seeking eyelid surgery, facial surgery, or something else, many patients tell us they want to look on the outside how they feel on the inside - which is youthful and energetic.

As people live longer, it's no surprise older Americans are seeking plastic surgery. Some folks have more financial freedom in their later years, making plastic surgery more financially feasible. For others, retirement is the perfect time for a procedure because work obligations no longer interfere.

A recent news report on WISH-TV confirms what we're seeing in our office too. Click here if you'd like to see the story.

If you are wondering if you're a good candidate for a plastic surgery procedure, we offer complementary consultations for cosmetic surgery. Just contact us online or call us at 912-31-5050 and we'll be happy to set up an appointment.

Unexpected Side Benefits of Plastic Surgery


Typically, you may not associate plastic surgery with something like smoking cessation. But a recent study confirmed something we've experienced with our own patients - sometimes having plastic surgery is an incentive for patients to finally make healthier choices, like stopping smoking.

exercisingwomen copy.jpgThe website Physician's Briefing released details about a small study involving 85 patients who were active smokers before having cosmetic surgery. During their pre-surgery consultations they were advised to stop smoking in the 2 weeks prior to surgery. They did, and after a long-term follow up, 40% of the patients were no longer smokers.

For some people, finally getting a cosmetic procedure they've been wanting is enough incentive to make improvements in other areas of their health. Some, like those in this study, will choose to quit smoking. We've had other patients so pleased with their new body shape, they finally feel like exercising and eating healthier. If your surgery makes it easier for you to move around, you might find yourself playing with the kids or the grandkids more.

The aesthetic improvements from plastic surgery are easy to predict, but we're pleased to see how many other ways our patients' lives improve after cosmetic surgery.

We offer complimentary consultations for cosmetic surgery, so contact us today if you'd like to make an appointment with one of our seven surgeons.

Protect Yourself from Counterfeit Fillers


iStock-627196908.jpgYou've decided you're ready to try a wrinkle relaxer like Botox & Dysport, or a dermal filler like Juvederm, Radiesse, or Restylane. Your next step is choosing a doctor - but did you know, you also need to make sure the product you're receiving is legit?

Unfortunately, we're hearing stories about counterfeit injectables being sold and used in the United States. These imitation products can be a safety concern for patients - not to mention an ethical issue if your doctor is marketing them as the real deal. At Savannah Plastic Surgery, we only sell brand-name fillers, and what we advertise is what you get.

Allure magazine recently published an article with 5 tips for protecting yourself from counterfeit fillers. Click here to read the full article; we paraphrase the 5 tips here:

1. Be sure your treatment is done by a board-certified professional.

We've said it before but we'll say it again - board-certification is important! Physicians must gain specialized skills and knowledge to receive board certification, and misconduct can result in a loss of certification. If your doctor is board-certified, that's a good sign that he or she takes the job - and your health - very seriously.

2. Ask to see the product box - you can ask your physician to show you the box your injectable comes in.

3. Be wary of super low pricing.

We do offer discounts on fillers from time to time, but if you see a price somewhere that's too good to be true, that could be a red flag that the product may not be authentic.

4. Pay attention to any side effects.

You should always talk to your doctor about any possible side effects before receiving injectables. If there is unusual pain during treatment, or persistent redness and swelling after treatment, you may need to investigate the authenticity of the treatment you received. Any medical emergencies should be treated right away.

5. Ask for help.

If you're concerned that your side effects are abnormal, you should talk with the medical professional who treated you. If his or her answers are unsatisfactory, it may be time to get help from another doctor.

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 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.

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.

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


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


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.


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


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, 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 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!

Cosmetic Procedures in Demand During the Holidays

All I want for Christmas is ... maybe some facial fillers? Nose surgery? For some adults, a better, healthier body tops their Christmas wish list. Whether it's a Botox treatment to get rid of some frown lines before holiday photo-taking time, or finally getting an enhancement surgery she's been wanting for years, demand for cosmetic procedures jumps during the holidays. 

According to professional surveys, appointments for cosmetic procedures (surgical and non-surgical) go up about 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. In addition to wanting to look good for holiday photos and parties, many people also use the holiday down-time from work to schedule a surgical procedure so they have time for post-surgical healing. 

The survey also noted that "gifting" others with plastic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic treatments is a growing trend. If you're interested in giving a gift certificate from Savannah Plastic Surgery this season, call us and we'll put together a package tailored just for you. 

Treating Puffy or Drooping Skin Around the Eyes

As we age, the skin around our eyes often changes, and sometimes in unwelcome ways. But there are treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, to help your eyes retain a more youthful appearance.

For some people, extra fat deposits in the lower eyelid cause what we call "bags" under the eyes, and give the eyes a puffy appearance. Puffiness can also occur in the upper eyelids, creating a tired look. A surgical procedure called blepharoplasty can be done to remove these fatty deposits around the eye. 

Blepharoplasty is also done to remove excess skin in the natural fold of the upper lids, and excess skin and wrinkles around the lower lids. Sometimes this loose skin can hang down from the upper eyelids and even partially obstruct your vision. 

There are non-surgical options for treating other eye issues. If you have too little fat under the eye creating a droopy-eyed look, you may benefit from dermal fillers like Restylane, Juvéderm and Perlane. If you have dark circles under your eyes caused by natural skin pigment or leaking blood vessels, a laser treatment from The Skin Institute may be your best option. 

The sooner you begin to address the problem, generally the better your results. If you aren't happy with the skin around your eyes, contact us for a consultation.

More Seniors Opting for Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery isn't just for the young or the mid-lifers. Recent statistics show more and more seniors are opting for cosmetic surgery. 

According to an article in New Hampshire Magazine, nearly 8% of all plastic surgery in the US last year was done on people over the age of 65. Just four years ago, that number was 5%. 

As baby boomers age, that statistic may continue to grow. Also, advancements in medicine have made plastic surgery safer for older patients than it was in the past. 

The article states that the "most commonly requested surgeries by seniors are liposuction, facelifts, breast lifts, eyelid lifts and tummy tucks. Breast augmentation, forehead lifts, lower body lifts, arm lifts, breast reductions, cheek augmentation, chin augmentation and nose restructuring also make the wish list."

Seniors are also increasingly having non-surgical procedures to reduce wrinkles or bring back that youthful glow to their skin.

If you're over the age of 65 and thought it was too late for plastic surgery, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Our physicians can talk to you about the various procedures available, learn more about your overall health, and help you determine if cosmetic surgery is right for you. 

Dr. Ruf Reflects on 35 Years at Savannah Plastic Surgery

For the past 35 years, Savannah Plastic Surgery has had the privilege of serving Georgia and the surrounding coastal area. Founded in 1980 by E.D. DeLoach, M.D. and Lawrence E. Ruf, M.D., Savannah Plastic Surgery is today one of the largest plastic surgery groups in the Southeast. Our practice includes 7 surgeons, with nearly 200 years of combined experience.
Dr. Ruf recently wrote this reflection of the practice's past, present and bright future.
By Lawrence E. Ruf M.D.
Reflecting back 35 years ago, two strangers met in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to see if they had enough in common to form a partnership for the practice of plastic surgery. One from Valdosta, Georgia and one from Louisville, Kentucky, each had been raised by principled, stern, Christian parents who believed in integrity, dedication, hard work, and persistence. Their young nurse wives were heavily invested in the early days, as they provided clinical and clerical support.


Knowing the three "A"s of starting a practice in those early days, the two surgeons made themselves available to the emergency room staff of all three local hospitals for any problems that might benefit from the most up to date techniques in plastic surgery and hand surgery. They demonstrated their abilities in managing trauma, cancers of various types, congenital (birth) deformities, burns, hand problems of all types, reconstruction of damages and surgically removed tissues, and cosmetic problems. In caring for patients with this wide spectrum of problems, they have tried to remain approachable, always willing to answer questions and teach the resident physicians.
Over the years,these surgeons have introduced new techniques to the Savannah Metropolitan community. Some of these include newer methods of repairing hand fractures, and hand tendons, the 1st tram flap breast reconstruction, 1st Co2 laser resurfacing procedures for facial wrinkles and laxity, the 1st medical skin care institute, and the 1st of its kind skni surface ablation/deep dermis fractionated laser that can be used anywhere on the body without loss of pigmentation. In addition, over the years they have added more board certified plastic surgeons who have brought newer techniques for hands and free tissue flaps, special wound care innovation, and endoscopic procedures for the face, body, and hands.
Not lost on the founding members as well as newer members, is the need for plastic surgery expertise in 3rd world countries. While they continue to do a tremendous amount of gratis work for patients from southeast Georgia and the low country of South Carolina, the medical mission work of the group was launched by one of the founding members in 1996. This continues through the present, thanks to the effort of 3 additional group members, while still more initiatives have been started in other countries.
A joint effect of the two founding members and the Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, the Roy Blackburn Georgia Southeastern Cleft lip and Palate Clinic honors a founding member of the clinic who died tragically, just a few years after the clinic formation. For almost 30 years, it has continued to educate, treat, and help coordinate care of cleft lip and palate patients (and families) under the guidance of one of the founding members of Savannah Plastic Surgery.
Savannah Plastic Surgery, now in their "new" building for past 10 years, remains committed to its basic philosophies. education and service in an atmosphere of knowledge, compassion, and kindness. While the founding members will not be here for the next 35 years, we hope the group will be, and that it will remain true to the basic principles upon which the group was established.

Do Your Homework: Not All Doctors Are Qualified to Perform Plastic Surgery

You've been dreaming of a particular plastic surgery procedure for years, and you find a doctor willing to do the surgery at a price you can afford. Should you go for it?

Not so fast.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is urging patients to do more research before moving ahead with plastic surgery. Specifically, they are warning patients to make sure the physician is board-certified in plastic surgery.

In a recent press release, ASPS President Scot Glasberg, M.D. says members are seeing an increase in requests to "fix" botched surgeries.

"Plastic surgery is real surgery and patients need to do their homework before they undergo any plastic surgery procedure," says Glasberg. "People spend more time selecting the model and color of a car than they do selecting their plastic surgeon. That needs to change."

All seven of the surgeons at Savannah Plastic Surgery are board-certified in Plastic Surgery. Board certification means doctors have:
  • Completed a residency in approved general surgery.
  • Completed an approved residency in plastic surgery.
  • Passed a rigorous written and oral board examination, and
  • Practiced plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery for a minimum of four years, all this in addition to receiving their undergraduate medical degrees.
Our surgeons have more than 190 years of combined plastic surgery experience. We invite you to learn more about our surgeons on our website, and you can make an appointment with confidence, knowing you're trusting your surgery to a competent expert.

What's Popular Right Now in Plastic Surgery

The new year is a time when people often focus on improving themselves in myriad ways, and some will look to plastic surgery for body transformation. So what are the most popular cosmetic procedures right now, as 2014 gives way to 2015? An article in the Modern Medicine Network reports that these procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, are on the rise:

Brazilian Butt Lift
This procedure was in demand last year, and is expected to remain popular in 2015. In the Brazilian Butt Lift, fat is removed from one area of the body via liposuction, and transplanted on the buttocks to give them a rounder, fuller shape.

The Mommy Makeover
We get a lot of requests for the Mommy Makeover. Pregnancy, childbirth and nursing can cause unwanted changes in a woman's body, and the Mommy Makeover is a unique blend of surgeries to address problem areas. Mommy Makeovers often include a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast enhancement.

Liposuction of the Neck
Many women and men elect to have liposuction to remove that "double chin" around the neck and the jowls. This is a popular procedure for giving your face and neck a slimmer, more youthful shape.

As we age, we lose volume in our faces, which can contribute to a sagging, hollow appearance. Non-surgical fillers are popular for plumping lips and adding volume back into the cheeks and other areas, giving you a facial rejuvenation without surgery.

Men and Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery is not just for the ladies - the industry has seen an increase in the number of men seeking cosmetic procedures. From liposuction, to tummy tucks, to male breast reduction and more, there are many surgical and non-surgical procedures that can be applied to both genders with success.

If you're ready for a new you in 2015 and would like to discuss these or any procedures with our physicians, contact us today for a consultation. We look forward to seeing you!

Look Good in Those Jeans

If you dabble at all in social media, then chances are you saw that outlandish Kim Kardashian photograph that was making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter recently. You know the one - where she's balancing a full wine glass easily on her expansive derriere.

Few people want a backside quite so ... what's a nice way to say it? Ample. However, we do have a lot of patients who are looking to enhance their buttocks, to better fill out jeans or swimsuits and in general give them a better body shape. 

We've seen an increase in requests for buttock augmentation, and we're not the only ones. A recent article in the Washingtonian says the number of these procedures increased last year by 58%.

Silicone butt implants used to be the procedure of choice, but lately we've been performing more and more Brazilian Butt Lifts, which involve removing fat from one area of the body and using that fat to augment the buttocks. Often, fat is removed from the lower back using liposuction, and when it is placed on the buttocks, the overall change to your body contour is obvious.

Generally, anyone in relatively good health can be a candidate for a Brazilian Butt Lift, as long as he or she has fat to harvest that can be used for the augmentation. Click here to read more about the Brazilian Butt Lift, and then make an appointment if you'd like to speak with one of our physicians about the procedure. 


Ear Surgery for Large or Protruding Ears

"You'll grow into your ears when you get older."

smallearsurgery.jpegA lot of kids who are born with large or protruding ears hear this during their childhood. But for many of them, growth doesn't actually bring their ears into better proportion with the rest of their features. For some children, teens and adults, having large or protruding ears can become a source of anxiety or lead to a lower self-image.

Fortunately, there is a procedure that can improve the shape, position or proportion of your ears. Some people call it "ear pinning surgery," but the official name is otoplasty.

Otoplasty can treat overly large ears as well as ears that "stick out" or protrude on one or both sides of the head. Children can usually be considered for the surgery if they are at least 5 years old, generally healthy, cooperative and able to follow instructions. Healthy teens and adults may also be good candidates.

Ear surgery isn't for everyone, and you should discuss your unique situation with a physician. He or she will help you understand the surgery, the expected outcome, and the recovery.

If you're interested in learning more about otoplasty, contact us today and read more on the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Get the Facts about Stem Cell Cosmetic Procedures

If you search the internet for information about  new technology in cosmetic procedures, you'll likely come across advertisements for injections using stem cells. Stem cell technology is certainly an exciting field in medicine right now, with many researchers investigating all the ways in which stem cells can be used to renew our bodies. But be wary of ads promoting their use in cosmetic procedures - there simply hasn't been enough research yet to know if some of these methods are safe.

Claims about positive results for facelifts, breast augmentations and other procedures may be unsubstantiated. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved one cosmetic stem cell procedure to treat facial wrinkles. And even since its approval, the product continues to be closely monitored. 

Any other cosmetic stem cell procedures have not yet gained FDA approval, and therefore the risks remain unknown. We're hopeful that in the future, many more procedures may gain approval, but for now, use caution when considering any cosmetic stem cell procedures. Be diligent in your research, and if you still have questions, make an appointment to talk with one of our physicians.

How to Choose a Cosmetic Surgeon

You've decided you're ready for cosmetic surgery - what next? You need to choose the surgeon who will be your partner through this process. Having the right physician can make an enormous difference in whether or not your experience is a positive one. 

Dr. Lawrence Ruf recently published an article in Savannah Health Perspective magazine, and outlined the top 5 things you should do when choosing a plastic surgeon:

1. Do your research. Gather referrals from family, friends and the Internet.
2. Schedule a consultation with two or three surgeons for a first-hand opportunity to evaluate your options. 
3. When selecting your surgeon, make sure he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
4. Do your homework. Prepare a list of questions to ask, remember to ask the surgeon about expectations, potential risks, complications, and the length of recovery.
5. Choose a surgeon who makes you feel comfortable asking questions. 

Improve Your Vision with Eyelid Surgery

Eye strain. Headaches. Obstructed vision. These are just some of the issues you may encounter if you have sagging eyelids. 

As we age, skin on our forehead and around our brows can loosen and begin to droop. Sometimes, the skin droops enough to partially cover your eyes and interfere with your vision. This is a problem that affects both men and women.

Thankfully, there is a fairly simple procedure that can be done to correct the issue and make it easier for you to see. With an eyelid lift, also known as blepharoplasty, a plastic surgeon removes the excess skin from the eyelids. The procedure can sometimes be done using just local numbing medicine around the eyes. Eyelid surgery is often covered by health insurance as well. 

With eyelid surgery, in addition to improved vision and relief from excess eye strain, you often get cosmetic benefits too. Many patients find that their eyes look brighter, giving them a younger, more rested appearance.

We can help you determine if blepharoplasty is right for you, and we can work with your insurance company to see if the procedure is covered under your current plan. Contact us today for more information.


Performing Multiple Procedures

Many of our cosmetic surgery patients are interested in having more than one procedure done. For those Mommy Makeover clients, perhaps a tummy tuck is needed along with a breast lift. Or perhaps you are considering both a face lift and eyelid surgery.

The question we often hear is, can multiple procedures be performed at the same time? The question is understandable - most patients want to complete their body makeover as quickly and efficiently as possible. Also, if surgeries can be done at the same time, it may be easier to schedule time off of work, or arrange to have a friend or family member help during recovery.

The answer really depends on your unique situation. If the affected areas are in close proximity, it may be reasonable to operate on both of them during the same surgery. For example, a nose job and chin implant can often be done at the same time.

Time is another factor - how much time can the patient safely tolerate anesthesia, and how much time can the patient take for recovery? 

Your age and overall health may impact how long you can safely be kept under anesthesia. For a young woman undergoing a mommy makeover, a longer surgery session may be acceptable. But for an older patient needing multiple procedures, it may be safer to spread them out over more than one session of anesthesia.

As for recovery time, if you only have one week you can take off from work, then you may need to stick to just one surgery. But if you can take two weeks to recover, then it may be possible to combine more surgeries into a single session.

In summary, it is possible for some people to combine multiple procedures at once, but safety has to be the top priority. You should discuss your options with one of our surgeons to determine the best, safest way to achieve the results you desire.

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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 customize every surgery to meet your personal needs and goals. Our surgeons: Dr. Barbara Davies, Dr. Carl Pearl, Dr. Luke Curtsinger, Dr. Matthew McLeod, and Dr. Scott Vann 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
Permit Number: 025-062

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

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For appointments at any location:

Satellite Offices

Statesboro Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Center
4463 Country Club Rd | 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


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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