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Highlands, NC 28741

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Exploring Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Exploring Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Anyone who has ever tried to lose body fat knows how difficult it can be to do without a lot of help. Eating the proper foods and exercising regularly are good and necessary for optimal health. They aren’t always the ticket to the slim body contours a person wants, though. At some point, many people hit a plateau that they can’t seem to overcome. Furthermore, fat loss does not happen uniformly, frequently from inherited tendencies so some areas of the body may reduce better than others. This is why there has been such a strong interest in surgical liposuction and nonsurgical fat reduction in recent years.

Examples of Nonsurgical Fat Reduction Body Contouring

Historically, body contouring has been achieved with liposuction and other shaping procedures like abdominoplasty. Now, we have several ways to reduce areas of excess fat without surgery. Common examples of nonsurgical fat reduction include:

  • Injectable lipolysis. This is better known as Kybella, the injectable treatment that breaks down fat cells under the chin with deoxycholic acid. Though we have used Kybella, we find it more uncomfortable, more unpredictable, and slower to achieve results than liposuction and have abandoned it.
  • Many people know cryolipolysis as CoolSculpting. This method of reducing fat works by freezing fat cells, causing crystals to destroy them. The body flushes these cells over several weeks. This, however, is quite uncomfortable and has a tendency for the removed fat to rebound
  • Laser lipolysis destroys fat cells by heating them, leading to destruction. This, however, is more of a surgical procedure than regular liposuction.
  • Radiofrequency lipolysis also heats fat cells through the skin. We have found it minimally reliable.
  • Unlike other forms of fat reduction, Zerona disrupts fat cells using low-levels of cold-laser technology. This energy causes the fat cells to release the stored fat, is totally painless and somewhat more reliable than the other non-surgical modalities. This is what we use for our patients.

As you can see, each of these treatments works through unique technologies and techniques. Individual results can vary within any one of these modalities. Most forms of nonsurgical fat reduction offer some degree of gradual improvement over a few months. While none are intended for weight loss, each can result in a slimmer physique and better-fitting clothes. Also, none require downtime.

The Real Question to Ask

Many people procrastinate in getting treatment that can achieve their desired result because, with so many options, it’s difficult to know which one is right. This isn’t the real question. All you need to do is decide that you have done all you can with dietary and lifestyle modifications and that you still have some areas you would like to change. You then discuss with Dr. Buchanan how to achieve your desired outcome. Zerona nonsurgical treatment is ideal for larger to medium sized areas of excess fat. For small areas, minimally-invasive liposuction is frequently the best path to a better body.

We are here to help you find your way to your best self. To learn more about body contouring in our Highlands, NC office, call (828) 526-3783.

One and Done Beauty: Is it Possible?

Non Surgical Procedures Highlands, NCWe hear this question quite often. “Will one treatment be enough to achieve results?” Unless your cosmetic objectives can be met with a surgical procedure alone, this is an unlikely accomplishment. Even in the case of injectables and soft tissue fillers, which do achieve immediate results, improvements require maintenance every year or so.

To understand the role of professional treatments in ongoing beauty at every age, it can help to think of the skin the same way you do the body. Your skin needs to be “fed” quality products every day to rebuild itself just like your body relies on healthy foods to maintain vitality. Similarly, as much as we would like it to be true, we cannot work out one time and develop six-pack abs. Just like we won’t slim down after one healthy meal or strenuous workout, our skin will not look many years younger after one nonsurgical treatment.

One Way to Feed the Skin

In reality, there are several ways to feed the skin, but there is one objective that may trump all others: collagen and elastin production. By age 30, fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen and elastin, begin to slow down. Not just a little, but a lot. Some studies suggest that fibroblasts go dormant, into a state of sweet slumber that allows the signs of aging to creep in. With the body wearing out its existing supply of collagen and elastin at a rate of about 1 to 2% a year, we typically see noticeable changes in the skin by age 40 and continually for the rest of our life. The key to managing aging skin, then, is to encourage the fibroblast cells to continually produce more collagen and elastin.

Professional treatments like fillers correct the signs of aging, which is certainly advantageous. However, injectables alone are not enough to effectively manage the signs of aging. By that, we mean to keep them from worsening. To do this, we recommend adding retinol or Retin-A and ELASTIderm to basic skin care starting around age 30.  The retinol or Retin-A (tretinoin) stimulates new collagen. The ELASTIderm by Obagi is the only product on the market that stimulates conversion of some of that collagen to elastic tissue. Other periodic collagen-inducing treatments like micro needling, actual dermal or just sub-dermal injection of the proper hyaluronic acid filler, peels or laser skin resurfacing can also help. Depending on where you are on the spectrum of collagen degradation, you may need one treatment a year, several treatments a year, or one treatment every few years.

If you are interested in reversing and managing the signs of aging, come talk with us. We may not be able to promise a one and done treatment for every concern, but we can promise that we are committed to long-term results and personal care for each of our patients.

Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule your visit to our Highlands, NC medical spa and plastic surgery office.

Why Consider Facial Fat Transfer To Rejuvenate the Face & Add Volume This Year

Part of the aging process, we have learned, is the loss of volume across the mid-face. Volume loss also occurs at the temples and on the lips. This is one of the reasons why the lower face starts to look wider and saggy as we get older. In recent years, research has discovered that the best way to rejuvenate the face may not be to perform facelift surgery (at least not on its own) but to restore volume using some type of biocompatible substance. Off the shelf fillers do this with temporary ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Facial fat transfer is the technique patients choose when they want permanent results or need significant volume added.

What is facial fat transfer?

Facial fat transfer is the minimally-invasive procedure in which cosmetic concerns are corrected using fat from your own body. Skilled surgeons now also use fat transfer techniques to add or restore volume to areas of the body such as the buttocks and the breasts. More commonly, fat cells are used to give the face a better contour, to fill deflated or thin lips, and to smooth deep creases around the nose and mouth and under the eyes

The treatment is performed in the office using local anesthetic and mild sedation, when needed. There are three parts to the technique:

  • Harvesting fat from a part of the body where you have an excess using liposuction. Common areas include the abdomen and the thighs. If desired, donor area can also be contoured.
  • Purifying fat cells. To add volume to the face, we want pure fat cells. To get them, we wash what is obtained via liposuction. The fat cells are then transferred to a syringe.
  • Transferring fat. The face is treated with local anesthesia before we begin injections. Then, a tiny cannula is inserted under the skin and moved back and forth. With each pass, a line of fat cells is deposited. This technique layers fat cells in a way that achieves natural-looking results.

The visit may last approximately two hours, after which you may return home to recuperate. Most people can return to normal activities by the next day.

What can you expect after increasing facial volume with fat?

After fat transfer, you may experience some swelling and bruising. Discomfort is typically minimal, although both the liposuctioned area and the facial areas treated may feel sore and somewhat tender. This is usually mild enough to manage with over-the-counter medication.

What is important to know about facial fat grafting is that 75 to 80% of the new fat cells introduced to the face are expected to survive. What is present at 4 months is permanent. Because of the loss of some of the fat cells we generally overfill the areas about 10%. Because the transferred fat cells contain stem cells, over time the overlying skin and surrounding tissue may actually improve in quality.

Dr. Buchanan performs facial fat transfer in a way that maximizes success. To learn more about this procedure, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

How Does Zerona Compare to Liposuction?

 ZERONA™ Non-invasive Body Slimming Highlands, NCBody contouring is more than a trend, it is a technique that has helped millions of people feel better in their own skin. In our Highlands, NC plastic surgery practice, patients may explore fat-reducing options including liposuction and Zerona. One, as you know, requires a minimally invasive surgical technique. The other is a laser treatment that causes the spontaneous elimination of unwanted fat. Initially, many people lean toward one or the other because of the belief that it may be better. This isn’t necessarily the case.

We offer both surgical and nonsurgical fat-reduction options because every scenario is unique. Some people may achieve their desired outcome with Zerona, while other’s needs may be best met with liposuction. Here, we discuss how liposuction and Zerona work, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option.

Liposuction

The surgical extraction of fat cells has been performed for many years. In the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon, liposuction is one of the safest and most predictable surgical procedures. The technique can be performed on just about any part of the body. With improvements over the years, liposuction has become so precise and gentle that the procedure can be performed in the office using a local anesthetic and, if desired, a mild sedative. To reduce fatty tissue, liposuction involves the insertion of a small hollow tube (cannula) that is attached to a suction device. Only small, discreet incisions are needed to complete this body contouring procedure. Though swelling and bruising may occur, recovery from liposuction is generally rapid.

Advantages

  • Liposuction can reduce localized areas precisely without much wait time.
  • It is, in fact, ideal for small areas of fat that you desire to lose.
  • It is a one time procedure that takes only an hour or so.
  • Fat cells are removed and will not grow back.

Disadvantages

  • Some form of local or other anesthesia is required and there is frequently some post operative discomfort, though this may easily be controlled with Tylenol.
  • A few days of downtime may include swelling, bruising, and soreness.
  • Irregularities like lumpiness are possible though unusual in expert hands. Treatment with a qualified physician is a must.
  • Remaining fat cells can increase in size if a healthy lifestyle and eating habits are not maintained, though the area will not gain as much as other areas.

Zerona

An FDA-cleared body contouring device, Zerona, safely and effectively targets unwanted fat using cold laser technology. When cold laser energy contacts fat cells, they open. Lipids in the fat cells move into intercellular space and become a part of the lymph, fluid that is naturally flushed from the body.

Advantages

  • Zerona is ideal for people who have larger or multiple areas that you desire to reduce.
  • Zerona is completely noninvasive.
  • No local anesthetic or sedation is needed as there is absolutely no sensation.
  • Normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment.
  • Fat is flushed naturally, virtually eliminating the risk of irregularities.

Disadvantages

  • Zerona takes 3 sessions a week for 2-3 weeks to benefit fully.
  • Zerona does not remove fat cells, it shrinks them. This could be an advantage and disadvantage in one. A healthy lifestyle is necessary to enjoy lasting results from treatment, but the brain frequently forgets its old appraisal of you so that it begins acting like you are the thinner person you have become. If this does not happen or you do not change your eating habits, you can regain what you lost.
  • Fat reduction occurs naturally, which takes time. At least two weeks pass before Zerona patients begin to see results.

Learn more about body contouring in our Highlands office. Schedule a consultation at (828) 526-3783.

Make Your Lashes Lush with Latisse

Latisse® Highlands, NC

We all know that the eyes are one of the first facial features to get noticed. This doesn’t apply only to eyes that are made up Red-Carpet style. Whether perfectly adorned under perfectly-threaded brows or ready for a no-makeup selfie, the eyes are going to get the attention of others. They will demonstrate our youthfulness by looking bright and energetic. The value of the eyes doesn’t end there. As you may know, the eyelashes also demonstrate a healthy dose of youthfulness.

It is no secret that lush lashes are totally on trend, and probably always will be. Today, it is not uncommon to notice a person wearing false eyelashes. While this is a trend all its own, false lashes do come with some disadvantages. One of them is that the look is unnatural because the lashes themselves are unnatural! We have a way to solve that problem: Latisse®.

Haven’t Heard of Latisse®?

Latisse is not a new drug. It’s been around since the FDA approved it in 2008. The product was developed on accident, really, when patients with glaucoma noticed enhancements in their lashes due to bimatoprost ophthalmic solution, a glaucoma medication. This was modified into Latisse®. Applied to the skin at the lash line, the product stimulates eyelash growth that results in improved thickness, length, and darkness.

For Latisse to work, the product needs to be applied daily. Instructions state that Latisse should be applied on cleansed skin. Contact lenses need to be removed before treatment. For visible results to occur, daily use must continue for several weeks. Clinical use demonstrates full results after about 16 weeks (4 months) of use. Additionally, studies indicate that ongoing, though less intense, use is necessary to maintain adequate lash growth and fullness.

Can Someone with Glaucoma use Latisse?

Latisse contains an ingredient that has been used to reduce the intraocular pressure created by glaucoma. Studies suggest that most people can use Latisse safely, even those with glaucoma. However, due to the potential change in intraocular pressure, experts recommend patients discuss their interest in using Latisse with their ophthalmologist. The doctor may suggest more frequent observation of intraocular pressure for at least a few months after you begin Latisse®.

It just keeps getting easier to promote natural beauty. To learn how Latisse can help you, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

A Facial Refresher Without Surgery

The signs of aging create concern for many adults. As tissue loses firmness and resiliency, lines on the forehead and around the eyes, nose, and mouth worsen. In time, the changes in facial structure need to be addressed in more profound ways. Historically, the way to restore a more youthful appearance has been to undergo facelift surgery. When we hear the term facelift, it is surgery that comes to mind for most people. Today, we have another non-surgical option to consider. For patients of our Highlands, NC office, that option is Today’s Liquid Lift™.

What Is A Liquid Facelift?

A liquid facelift is a nonsurgical, minimally-invasive procedure for revitalizing the face. Treatment involves the strategic use of fillers to correct volume loss, one of the most common signs of aging. The Liquid Facelift has been around for many years now and has been refined by experienced physicians like Dr. Buchanan. Where the many Liquid Facelifts typically includes fillers only, our technique incorporates Botox and fat injections as needed to achieve optimal results.

Dr. Buchanan developed Today’s Liquid Lift in response to seeing many patients encounter re-aging after an initial facelift. Many of the patients who visit a plastic surgeon have no dramatic signs of aging on the neck to address but have a desire to restore more youthful contours to the face. Surgery may not be the ideal solution to achieve this objective. This is especially true since many of the surgical methods used by many physicians actually further thin the face.

Today’s Liquid Lift addresses the signs of aging that result from natural deflation in subcutaneous tissue. As volume is lost in the mid face, cheek or under the eyes, the now loose skin and tissue descend downward. They are stopped by ligaments attached deep resulting in a depression under the ligament and fullness above it. This creates under eye bags, depressions in the cheek with loss of the youthful cheek curve, and nasolabial and marionette folds around the nose and mouth. In the past, nasolabial folds were treated as an individual problem. Filling these creases with fillers may soften their appearance but it does nothing for the original problem. By neglecting the deflated tissue in the malar and cheek areas, there is a potential to increase the squareness of the face and actually worsen the appearance of aging.

A youthful face is triangular. There is more width near the top of the face, transitioning into a narrow jawline and chin. Today’s Liquid Lift restores volume in the malar area (the mid-face). In so doing, this technique naturally elevates the tissue that has begun to droop. Filing over the malar bone below the orbital rim also refreshes the face by smoothing the transition of skin between the upper cheek and the lower eyelid. This technique camouflages puffiness without the risk of swelling in the tear trough area.

Experience the Benefits of a Liquid Facelift

A Liquid Facelift is advantageous for several reasons. It is nonsurgical, convenient, incurs no downtime, and achieves good results. Today’s Liquid Lift offers all of these benefits and more thanks to refined techniques.

Learn more about nonsurgical facial rejuvenation. Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule your consultation.

Has Your Body Reached a Plateau? Consider What Zerona Can Do!

Throughout the many years since aesthetic plastic surgery emerged, liposuction has been one of the most popular procedures. Men and women alike have turned to the minimally-invasive procedure to whittle away their middle, slim their thighs, and sculpt their waistline. Dr. Buchanan obtained liposuction training from some of the leading surgeons in Europe. He has performed this body-shaping technique for over 35 years with excellent results; and now, though surgical liposuction is still an option for our patients, he also offers laser body slimming with Zerona.

What is Zerona?

Zerona laser body slimming treatment is completely hands-off. The nonsurgical, non-invasive procedure uses 635nm low-level, cold-laser energy to stimulate fat metabolism. Being a cold laser, the device does not heat the skin or other tissue. The energy that gets absorbed enters the mitochondria, the organelles inside of cells that give them energy. When energy is absorbed in fat cells, lipids transform into liquid. Simultaneously, laser energy makes the membrane of each fat cell porous. This allows the liquefied fat to seep out into the space between the cells. Not to worry, the lymphatic system will pick up this toxic fat and eliminate it. At the conclusion of treatment, the fat cells in the treatment area have shrunk so substantially that circumference can be reduced by one to several inches. Common treatment areas include the abdomen, waist, hips, arms, and thighs.

Tips for Maximizing Zerona Results

Zerona laser body slimming works by stimulating the body’s natural processing of fat. Each treatment essentially delivers fatty content up on a platter to the body to eliminate. To achieve the best results, it is necessary to commit to multiple treatments a week for a few weeks. This maintains adequate stimulation within cells to spill the desired amount of fat.

After the process has begun, patients are encouraged to maintain their usual exercise routine. Because there is no downtime after each appointment, it is possible to head straight to the gym to prompt increased metabolism. A healthy diet that includes less processed foods, low amounts of sugar and carbohydrates, and plenty of water is also recommended for maximum fat loss.

Water is key to the entire Zerona process. Water facilitates the expedited elimination of fat content and toxins through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. By aiding this process, water also hastens visible results and simultaneously decreases any side effects that this release may cause. Because fat cells hold toxins, their release may cause some people to feel slightly nauseous, woozy, or fatigued after their treatments. Drinking water throughout the day can significantly help, if not eliminate, these feelings.

Body contouring is made easy with Zerona. For more information or to schedule your consultation for treatment, call (828) 526-3783. We are pleased to serve the Highlands and Asheville, NC areas.

Treat Dad to Something Unique This Year

Father’s Day presents a challenge for a lot of people. Many of us look at Dad and question what we could possibly get the man who has everything. We propose jumping right out of the traditional Father’s Day gift box and getting the special man in your life a cosmetic treatment. Studies show that surgical and nonsurgical treatments are becoming increasingly popular among men of all ages. Some want to postpone the signs of aging and some want to regain the features they once had. In either situation, we can help and are glad to do so. Here, we offer a few suggestions that will bring a lasting smile to Dad’s face.

  • Neck liposuction is a popular procedure for men who have developed a double-chin. This troubling problem creates the illusion of age and excess weight. It can also make wearing a button-up shirt uncomfortable.
  • Neck lift surgery. Whenever we hear the word “surgery,” we think along more extreme lines than we may need to. A neck lift can be a streamlined procedure that is often performed with a local anesthetic and mild sedative. This technique can be combined with neck liposuction to restore the angular nature of the jawline.
  • Injectable wrinkle-reduction. Men were a little slower to jump on the injectable bandwagon than the women in their lives but they are making up for their slow start. Men of all ages have come to know and love the rejuvenating effects they can gain with Botox and fillers. Botox reduces the deep worry and frown lines that make Dad look older and less friendly. Fillers can correct cheek hollows, shape the nose and jawline, and reduce the appearance of under eye puffiness.
  • A skin refresher. Everyone can benefit from a skin refresher from time to time, even Dad. Microdermabrasion and micro peel treatments are gentle, pampering techniques that remove dead and damaged skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter, healthier skin.
  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). This laser like treatment can reduce either or both spots or red from the skin.
  • Skin Care. A man’s skin is just was likely, if not more so, to have sun damage as a woman’s. Although most men think skin care consists of a little soap when bathing and, maybe, some sunblock while golfing or fishing, good skin care can make a huge difference in how he feels about himself.

Patients of our Highlands, NC office benefit from personal care and minimally-invasive treatments that get results with little to no downtime. To schedule a treatment Dad will love, contact us at (828) 526-3783.

Decoding the Vitalize Peel

In our Highlands, NC practice, adults of all ages can take advantage of numerous modalities that promote younger looking skin. As advantageous as plastic surgery can be for more significant signs of aging, there is a lot to be said about nonsurgical treatments like micro peels. One of the popular peels sought today is the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel. Here, we explain how this peel works, what makes it unique, and what it can achieve.

The SkinMedica Vitalize Peel , is a form of chemical exfoliation that effectively maintains the skin on the face, neck chest, and other areas. Superficial chemical peels accelerate skin exfoliation and help to make your complexion appear more uniform and renewed, diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and roughness.

Chemical Peels: The Nitty-Gritty

Chemical peels generally fall into three classes. There are superficial peels that incur zero downtime at one end of the spectrum and deep peels on the other. Deep peels can require weeks of pre-treatment preparation and weeks of recovery.  The Vitalize Peel  is between the two. This peel enhances skin texture and addresses skin unevenness due to acne scarring or other pigmentary changes. Noticeable results will be seen after just one peel, typically more compelling results after 3 to 6 peels.

Chemical peels are not entirely without risk. A Vitalize Peel should only be obtained from a licensed professional like our experienced aesthetician. Risks such as hyperpigmentation can also be avoided by avoiding sun exposure during and shortly after the peeling process.

Get your skin on point before summer. Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule a chemical peel in our friendly office.

How Fat can Rejuvenate Your Face

 Fat Injection Highlands, NCHistorically, facial rejuvenation has required surgical lifting techniques. While procedures such as blepharoplasty eyelid rejuvenation continue to be popular, fewer people are undergoing full facelift procedures these days. Instead, they are choosing minimally invasive procedures that achieve subtle but beautiful results. Fat grafting is a prime example. We are pleased to offer this service in our Highlands office to help our patients feel better about their appearance as they age. Here, we discuss the various ways in which fat can be used to refresh the face.

What is Fat Grafting?

To understand how fat grafting can benefit your appearance, it helps to know the details of this process. It is the most natural and long lasting way to restore the fat that is lost over time and is responsible for much of the signs of aging. This cosmetic procedure may be performed in the office using local anesthesia to numb the area of the body from which fat will be harvested and the area where it will be injected. Depending on the amount of fat we need and the amount of body fat present, we may select the neck, abdomen, or thighs as a donor site. After the area has been numbed, a minor liposuction procedure is performed to obtain the necessary amount needed for injection. The tissue that is aspirated is processed to separate out the fat and stem cells from other tissue and blood. The prepared cells are then placed in a syringe and meticulously injected into the face to achieve the desired amount of contouring or wrinkle reduction.

Fat can rejuvenate the face by enhancing the following areas:

Cheeks

Rounded cheeks with higher cheekbones are an indicator of youthful beauty. With age, the bony structure may degrade. This exacerbates the natural loss of fat resulting flattening of the contours of the mid-face. The insertion of living fat cells across the mid-face restores height, projection, and triangularity to make the mid-face appear younger.

Forehead and Temples

Men and women over the age of 40 may struggle to pinpoint where their cosmetic frustration originates. This can be particularly relevant to the upper face, where the temples can hollow over time and the brow may drop below the bony ridge orbital rim ridge on which it once sat. Fat cells can be injected directly at the temple area to restore fullness to the outer area of the eyes. Injections can also be administered across the brow line to lift the brow without surgery.

Under Eyes

Non-surgical eyelid rejuvenation removing the hollows under the eyes has become one of the most common areas treated with a filler and can achieve outstanding results. Fat injections can achieve the same results but they last longer. Typically, fat is introduced to the area below the eye, not into the eyelid itself, unless absolutely necessary. When inserted into the tear trough it decreases the appearance of under-eye puffiness, and when into hollows it decreases dark circles.

Are You a Candidate?

Most healthy adults who do not have severe gravitational problems are good candidates for facial rejuvenation with fat injections. To learn more about this simple, in office procedure, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office by calling (828) 526-3783.

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