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Fat Injections for Facial Rejuvenation: What to Expect

Fat Injections for Facial Rejuvenation: What to Expect

 Fat Injection Highlands, NC

The idea of using fat from one part of the body to enhance another used to be tossed around in a humorous way. Through innovation in medicine, we can now look at this concept much more seriously. Fat injections, or fat transfer, is now commonly used to restore youthful contours to the aging face. Fat cells can also be injected into the lips to make them fuller, or into deep creases around the nose and mouth. Fat can be used like other fillers, but the results are, essentially, permanent.

What Happens During Treatment

Fat injections require two different processes. First, the skin in the donor and recipient sites is cleansed and treated with local anesthesia. Then, a syringe and cannula (the hollow tube instrument used during liposuction) are used to remove a predetermined amount of fat. This process is slightly different than traditional liposuction and does not typically result in a major change in the appearance of the donor area. After removing fatty tissue, cells are processed to separate the purest fat for injection into the face. The recipient site may be slightly overfilled at the time of treatment to account for natural fat absorption. The entire process can take a few hours.

After Fat Injections

There is very little downtime needed to recover from fat injections. Most patients feel well enough to immediately resume normal activities. However, we do suggest avoiding more strenuous activities and exercise for up to one week. The intensity of effects like redness, swelling, and bruising typically relate to the location and size of the treatment area. Usually, these fade over the course of several days. If a larger volume of fat is extracted, the donor site may be slightly swollen for a few weeks. At about four months post-op, we expect the final results of treatment to be apparent and long-lasting. The renewed facial contouring after fat injections can last a lifetime.

Learn More

Get the full details on fat injections and how they can correct the signs of aging on your face. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

What You Need to Know About Fillers

dermal fillers

Which Filler Works Where?

A filler, by present aesthetic definition, is an injectable substance used to correct wrinkles, folds, or volume loss in the body, particularly the face.  As fillers have evolved, they have replaced early facelifts, redo facelifts, facial implants, and many other surgical procedures such as lower blepharoplasty, peels, and laser resurfacing in many cases.  Their popularity continues to increase.  But, what are these and how do we use them?  Read on to find out.

What are Fillers?

There are many different types available, including fat, collagen, collagen precursors, “collagen generators,” and semipermanent to permanent substances.  Fat is an excellent option and also semipermanent but requires harvesting the fat before it can be injected.  All of the others are products that can be taken off the shelf ready for injection.  Collagen, the first filler developed, is rarely used anymore because its results last at most 6 months and frequently much less.  Collagen generators, such as Sculptra are less often used, since they take a significant time to achieve results that can be achieved by other fillers almost immediately and since many of the other fillers now have a longevity as long these.  Additionally, the collagen precursors have recently been shown to also stimulate collagen, the building block of the support layer of the skin and deeper tissues.  The permanent and semipermanent fillers, (Bellafill®, silicone) though still used, are less so because of difficulty in using without a high problem rate.  The most common fillers used today are collagen precursors, either calcium hydroxyapatite or hyaluronic acid.  The hyaluronic acid fillers, because of their safety record and reversibility if problems arise, are, by far, the most common.  They come in multiple consistencies, each better at correcting specific parts of the face or elsewhere.  There are also many brands of these.  I use the Juvéderm® family of fillers which have the greatest longevity and widest spectrum of product characteristics.

Treatment of the Lips:

Lips generally present 3 different aesthetic problems.  They can be too small congenitally, asymmetric, or lose volume with age.  As they lose volume, the upper lip flattens and loses its normal pout and appears smaller, the skin of the lower lip becomes the most prominent portion rather than the vermillion and wrinkles develop.  Over the years, different surgeries to correct these problems, including implants have been used.  Presently, however, use of a filler generally gives a better, more natural result.  I generally use either Juvéderm® Ultra or Juvéderm® Vollure, depending on the specific need.  Both provide volume filling, though Ultra® provides slightly more fill for the same volume injected.  It lasts approximately 10-12 months in the lip where Vollure® lasts about 18 months or longer.  I use Juvéderm® Volbella for finesse of the shape and for any fine lines remaining after restoring volume.  It also works excellently if only a small amount of correction is needed since it comes in a smaller quantity than the other products.  

Treating Volume Deficiency:

Loss of volume is one of the main problems that occur to the face and body with age.  It is responsible for many of the other problems generally considered signs of aging.  In the face, as volume is lost, the tissues descend forming superior flatness and, inferiorly, folds or creases at the places where the underlying ligaments prevent further descent.  When we first started using fillers, one of the most common areas of injection was along the nasolabial folds, the junctions between the cheek and the lips.  This, however, did nothing for the superior areas that had lost volume and had caused the increased prominence of the nasolabial folds.  Presently, we most commonly treat the nasolabial fold areas by refilling the upper cheeks.  This usually effaces and reduces the folds.  If not, we will revert to filling the fold, but this is now much less common than previously.  We also treated tear troughs, those depressions that appear to be bags in the lower eyelid area by trying to fill the lines.  I discovered many years ago that the most efficient method of doing this is to fill the cheek under the tear trough, thus pushing the tissues back up to their normal position.  This method is now being taught throughout the industry.  Although I previously used Radiesse®, a calcium hydroxyapatite filler for this, I now use Juvéderm® Voluma.  It is placed deep, just on top of the bone, and pushes the tissues up, replacing fat that was lost.  It generally lasts at least 2 years but, in a few cases, has lasted over 4 years.  For the areas where there is no bone to push against, such as in the lateral cheek, both Voluma® and Vollure® can be used more superficially.  Treatment here frequently effaces marionette lines reducing the need to treat them individually. Other areas like the Back of the hand can also be filled to hide the signs of age. 

Treating Lines, Folds, and Wrinkles:

If fine lines and wrinkles are not eliminated by use of Botox® or replacing volume, fillers have also become our best option.  Previously the only thing available was either a leveling peel or laser procedure.  The problem with both of these is that recovery takes at least 10 days to 2 weeks with significant discomfort for that entire time.  Fillers have allowed us to correct the problem almost immediately with minimal down time and no continued discomfort.  Although fillers were originally designed for intradermal use and are still called “dermal fillers,” this is the only time we actually presently place the filler in the dermis, the support layer of the skin.  Volbella®, a relatively thin though strong filler, works excellently when placed in lines and wrinkles.  Unlike many other fillers placed in this location, it rarely causes a blue line (the Tyndall effect).  This elevates and frequently eliminates the wrinkles.  Since the wrinkle is generally caused by loss of thickness of the dermis, I generally, also, crisscross either Volbella® or Vollure® under the area of wrinkles to thicken and stiffen the skin, making it less reactive to the underlying muscle pull.  We then make certain that you are on a good retinol or tretinoin (Retin-A) so the body can use some of the filler to create its own collagen returning the skin to its younger thickness.  By doing this, the most I have had to inject the wrinkles to get them to remain minimal, is twice.

The Option of Fat:

An excellent option for folds and volume replacement is fat.  It can be used anywhere a filler can except intradermally.  However, when placed just below the dermis it can stimulate dermal growth and improvement in the skin because of the inherent stem cells within the fat.

To discuss further the difference between these, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how they might help you, please call our office in Highlands at 828-526-3783 to schedule an appointment.

Eliminating Lip Wrinkles

Wrinkles around the lips are caused by multiple factors. The first is thinning of the skin and loss of its elasticity. This happens partially with age as the body stops making collagen and elastic tissue continuously at about 30 years of age, and partially from sun exposure. Secondly, the underlying muscle acts to accordion the skin because of the loss of elasticity and the ability to contract without wrinkling. The more you like to talk or use the mouth expressively the more wrinkling you tend to create. Thirdly, the lip loses its subcutaneous support that separates the skin from the muscle. This also increases the wrinkling. Once formed, there are a number of things that can be done to eliminate the wrinkles, depending on their severity. 

Skin Care

Occasionally, if the wrinkles are just beginning, all that is needed is what we call Basic Skin Care Plus. This is a good cleanser, an alpha-hydroxyl to remove the dead cells, a pH balancer and a good zinc oxide sunblock Plus an effective retinol to add collagen and Obagi®’s ELASTIderm® to add elastic tissue. 

Lip Injection

The normal upper lip has a noticeable pout at the vermillion and defined philtral columns (the vertical lines on either side of the midline). As we age, both are lost and the lip becomes straight rather than concave. Occasionally, significant lines also appear. If this is the case, plumping the lip just back to normal can eliminate the lines and return the lips to a more normal appearance.  

Laser Resurfacing

If the lines are resistant to injection and other treatments or you wish for fast results, the final option is to flatten the lines using a laser. This essentially removes the top layer of the skin, bringing the elevated skin down to the level of the bottom of the wrinkles. In and of itself, this evens the surface of the skin. Additionally, it stimulates collagen production and tightening to further smooth the lip. 

If you have lip wrinkles that you would like gone, call our office in Highlands for an appointment to see what is right for you. Call us at 828-526-3783.

Your Plastic Surgery “Caretaker”

breast reconstructionThe decision to undergo a plastic or cosmetic surgical procedure is a big one that you likely made with the help and support of a loved one. So, as you ready yourself for surgery, here are a few things to pass along to your point-person and caretaker, the one who will be helping you along this life-changing journey.

The First Night – Your surgical staff will ask you if there is someone at home to stay with you, especially your first night home. If you don’t have a live-in partner, it is essential that you arrange for someone to stay with you. Getting up in the night, feeling dizzy or ill can be especially frightening if you are alone.

The Care and Feeding of You – You may be given restrictions on what you can and cannot eat, depending on your surgical procedure. Staying hydrated and eating healthy will go a long way towards your recovery. You may want to prepare meals in advance and shop for the foods you like, but better yet, let your caretaker prepare your meals. Don’t forget to take inventory of your medications and read the advisory language on the labels. This is important and should be followed, as an upset stomach, unnecessary nausea or vomiting may result from taking your meds on an empty stomach.

  • The Kids – If you have small children, arrange for help with child care – whether that is your primary caretaker or a friend. And remember, no heavy lifting!
  • Housekeeping 101 – Let your caretaker vacuum. And do the dishes and laundry. Just for a short time while you get back to your old and “new” self!

Call us, today, to learn more about the plastic and cosmetic surgical procedures we offer, and let Dr. Buchanan help you be your best self, every day: (828) 526-3783.

It’s The Perfect Time to Consider Looking Your Best

tummy-tuckTime flies. Popular maxims such as living your best life and seizing the day ring oh so true.

No matter the time of your life, this may be the perfect time to refresh your image, regardless of your age or gender.

There are many plastic surgery options available today and choosing from them can be confusing at best. You know best what areas of your body and face need improving…and choosing the correct procedure often depends on your age. Dr. Buchanan can help you decide and focus on the goals you have for your surgery.

The Roaring 20’s – Just out of your teens and finally acne-free, you may want to improve the appearance of your skin using minimally invasive procedures and topical treatments. Breast augmentations, liposuction and rhinoplasty (“nose jobs”) are common procedures for young adults.

The Thriving 30’s – You may begin to see your first fine lines and wrinkles. Minimize their appearance with a facial, a chemical peel, laser skin resurfacing or facial fillers. This is also the decade of child-bearing and your body may not be responding to diet and exercise. Consider body contouring options such as liposuction, breast lifts, tummy tucks and “Mommy Makeovers.”

The Fabulous 40’s – You just keep getting better! You may want to consider injectables, brow and eyelid lifts, neck or face lifts. All are excellent compliments to your youthful, active life style. Breast implants and lifts, tummy tucks and liposuction are popular procedures of the “fabulous forty” crowd.

The Fun 50’s – “Fifty is the new forty” and this is your decade. Brow, face, neck and eyelid lifts, laser resurfacing and deep chemical peels are popular procedures for those in this adventurous time of life.

The Savy 60’s – Men and women “of a certain age” are increasingly more likely to have facial plastic surgery procedures during this decade and beyond. If you are in good health, you can still consider a tummy tuck, liposuction and other lift procedures.

Let Dr. Buchanan work his magic – regardless of your age. Call for a consultation, today!

Give Yourself a “Hand”

plastic surgeryConsider your hands. Think of all the things they have accomplished over the course of your life: The meals prepared, the love given, the dishes washed, the diapers changed, the letters written and the flowers planted. Your hands have worked hard and are one of the first places to show the visible signs of aging. With time, you may begin to see darkened “age spots” or a loss of fatty tissue which makes your hands look bony and perhaps older than your age.

Hand rejuvenation treatments can reverse the visible signs of aging, the effects of sun damage and can help restore your hands to a more youthful appearance – one that matches your youthful, active lifestyle. Various treatments are available and treatment options may be combined to help you achieve the look you desire.

Here are four ways Dr. Buchanan can treat your aging hands at The Center For Plastic Surgery:

Laser Skin Resurfacing – The Ellipse IPL® offers the advantages of intense pulsed light therapy, a proven technology that treats the red and brown areas of sun damage using short bursts of laser light which penetrate and gently remove “age spots.”

Chemical Peel – The Obagi® RADIANCE Blue Peel is a salicylic acid peel that can improve the look, texture and feel of your hands in minutes with no down time. Glycolic fruit acid peels remove the dry, top layer of the skin to reveal healthier, moist skin underneath.

Microdermabrasion – This is a superficial skin polishing that “sands” off the first layer of the skin with tiny crystals. The procedure is non-surgical, non-invasive, fast and easy.

Injectable Fillers – When injected, fillers such as Radiesse and Juvederm injectable gels plump the skin on your hands to give them a more youthful appearance.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to have realistic expectations and keep in mind that these procedures are designed for improvement, not perfection.

If you would like to know more, call for a consultation with Dr. Buchanan, today, and enjoy younger looking hands – just in time for the Holidays!

Face Your Future With A Facelift!

Eyelid SurgeryWhat does your future look like to you…how do you see yourself as you age?
These may be very difficult questions to answer, but more men and women “of a certain age” are considering a facelift as a way to rejuvenate their appearance and bring a more youthful look to their lives.

Having more candles on your birthday cake does not necessarily equate with feeling older, and with the new awareness of healthy lifestyles, you may find that the healthiest and best time of your life is ahead of you. Statistics from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery show that facelifts which naturally rejuvenate a person’s youthful appearance are increasing in number every year. In fact, facelifts are one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in the world.

Your face is one of the first areas to become affected by gravity. Your neck and skin around it can also begin to sag. At The Center For Plastic Surgery, it’s possible to discover the key to a more youthful future in just a few hours.

A facelift can counter years of the sun’s UV damage and the effects of the tug of gravity. Drooping folds are lifted, wrinkles are smoothed and time has takes a step backwards.

Patients who consult with Dr. Buchanan about a facelift procedure are interested in achieving results that will make them look years younger. Depending on each patient’s unique situation, we may advise a combination of procedures to achieve the most enhancing results.

A facelift can tighten the skin of your cheeks, forehead and around your eyes. A neck lift paired with a facelift, addresses the areas of your neck that may be sagging as well.

Using the Today’s Facelift procedure, Dr. Buchanan’s goal is to provide you the correction you desire, with as natural a result as possible. He wants you to look like you have had a great vacation, not like you had surgery.

The holidays are upon us and now is the perfect time!

Call to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Buchanan, today: (828) 526-3784.

Considering a Breast Lift?

Perky breasts…something to think about (if you haven’t already), whether you are a grandmother or a new mother. Breast implants are still a popular elective surgery, but women of all ages are opting to beautify their décolletage without implants. Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) seems to be outpacing breast implants two to one since 2002, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Acknowledging that your breasts change over time can be disheartening. Childbearing, breastfeeding, heredity, the aging process and significant weight loss can contribute to your breasts changing their position, hanging lower on your chest and just plain sagging. If you have been considering breast lift surgery, read on.

What a breast lift does and does not do:
• A breast lift firms and raises raises your breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new contours of your breasts.
• A breast lift does not use implants or change the size of your breasts.
• A breast lift does not round out the upper part of your breast.
• Your breast tissue is elevated, creating a more youthful appearance.
• The symmetry of your breasts is also improved, resulting in a more pleasing shape to your breasts.

What’s the procedure?
A breast lift takes about three hours; it is as an outpatient procedure, in a hospital under light general anesthesia. Incisions are made around your areolae and from the bottom edge of your areolae to just above the crease underneath your breasts. The skin is tightened, excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed with small sutures. After Dr. Buchanan has removed your excess breast skin, your nipples and areolae may be moved to a higher position but will remain attached to underlying tissue, which usually preserves their sensation and the ability to breastfeed.

You should be able to return to normal activities in a few days and sports activities within a month.

Why wait? Now is the time to experience more perky, youthful breasts.
Call for a consultation appointment with Dr. Buchanan, today: (828) 526-3783.

Why Dr. Buchanan in Macon and Jackson Counties?

When someone is considering undergoing a cosmetic procedure in Macon or Jackson County, they are often referred to Dr. Buchanan, and with good reason! When considering a procedure as risky as cosmetic surgery, it’s important to fully trust your doctor.

Dr. Buchanan not only has a long history of satisfied patients, he is also a leader in the cosmetic surgery industry and in educating the public about cosmetic surgery.
Beyond his extensive experience, Dr. Buchanan’s writing has appeared in medical publications worldwide, and he has been speaker at many different cosmetic surgery conferences.

When considering a procedure, Dr Buchanan will give you all the time you need to prepare. The initial evaluation begins with a thorough exam and a frank discussion about what issues you seek to address. During this evaluation, he will present your options concerning the various procedures that are available to fit your needs.

With all of Dr. Buchanan’s experience and education, it’s no wonder he comes highly recommended by people in Macon and Jackson Counties! His knowledge and education make him easy to trust, and his professionalism and experience means you can be assured the best results possible.

Why Macon and Jackson County Patients Trust Dr. Buchanan for Cosmetic Surgery

When someone is considering undergoing a cosmetic procedure in Macon or Jackson County, they will often be referred to Dr Buchanan – and with good reason!

When considering a procedure as risky as cosmetic surgery, it’s important to fully trust your doctor – he can’t be just anybody since you’ll trust him or her with your body.

Dr Buchanan not only has a long line of satisfied patients to attest to, he is also a leader in the cosmetic surgery business and in educating people about cosmetic surgery.

Dr Buchanan has years of experience in the field, and has become an expert in the cosmetic surgery industry. His writings have appeared in various medical publications worldwide and he has been speaker for many different cosmetic surgery events.

He also takes the time to His involvement in teaching others also keeps him updated on the latest techniques and innovations in the cosmetic surgery field. When going in for a procedure, Dr Buchanan will give you all the time you need to prepare. The initial evaluation begins with a thorough exam and talking about what you would like to have done. During this evaluation, he is known to take the time with you needed to make the right decisions in what types of procedures you need.

With all of Dr Buchanan’s experience and education, it is no wonder he comes highly recommended by people in your own city! His knowledge and education make him easy to trust, and his professionalism and experience means you can be assured the best results possible.

So when you’re considering undergoing any sort of cosmetic procedure, give Dr Buchanan a call and set up an appointment. Become another success story and feel young, energetic and carefree again!

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