Plastic surgery beyond the procedure

Your relationship with your plastic surgeon is a crucial step in creating a more beautiful you.

We all know looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. But the symbiosis between the two is perhaps never more apparent than when you walk into a plastic surgeon’s office as a patient.

SPY Elite System Technology for Breast Reconstruction

The Savannah breast reconstruction surgeons at The Georgia Institute For Plastic Surgery now have access to a valuable type of technology that will aid in reconstructive surgery using the patient’s own tissue to restore the breast. Memorial University Medical Center has added a piece of equipment to its operating rooms called the SPY Elite System. The SPY system helps the surgeons select the best tissue to use when reconstructing a breast, and can reduce the risk of complications and further surgeries.

What is the Spy System?

The SPY system identifies the patient’s tissue that has adequate blood supply and can be used to reconstruct the breast mound. If a certain area of tissue has poor blood supply, it could decay and become infected, requiring additional reconstructive surgery. It’s difficult for the naked eye to determine which tissue has good circulation, but the SPY system is almost 99 percent accurate, according to GIPS surgeons.

“You’re going to be making a significant change in your body, and it’s a journey you’re going to travel with your doctor, so feeling comfortable with the person as an individual is important,” said Dr. Richard Greco, a spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “You want to feel like the person is going to embrace you and be there for you every step of the way.”

plasticsurgery-openerAccording to ASPS statistics, there were more than 1.5 million cosmetic surgical procedures in 2011, and another 12.2 million minimally invasive procedures, like Botox and laser hair removal.

“We’re living longer, working longer, and having second and third relationships in our life,” said Greco, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Savannah. “So people have more of a reason to want to look good, to compete in the job market or the social market.”

While plastic surgery has become slightly more affordable and much more widely accepted, it is still anything but commonplace, and brings with it a special kind of vulnerability that must be tended to along with the physical issues being addressed.

“There are (cosmetic surgery centers) that are commercial operations, where people are selling you hope, where you never even meet the doctor,” Greco said. “But in most instances, a plastic surgeon wants to get to know you – your life, your hopes, your goals, and then try to meet those needs, if that’s appropriate.”

Building a relationship with your plastic surgeon is crucial to that process, he said, particularly if you’re like half of his patients, who return for additional procedures.

“In my practice, you usually will see a young lady in their 20s for rhinoplasty or breast augmentation. And then she’ll come back after kids for a tummy tuck or liposuction … and then she’ll be back in her 40s for Botox or some filler … and then in her 50s when she’s ready for a facelift.”

So who’s responsible for building that relationship? Both the patient and the plastic surgeon, Greco says. The patient should be forthcoming about insecurities and concerns, and the surgeon should take the time to get to know the patient, not just the body part that’s being “fixed.”

“If you feel at all uncomfortable, go back and see the doctor a second time,” Greco suggested, as it is sometimes hard to tell in a single visit whether a doctor was rushed because of a separate emergency, or whether your personalities did not mesh well.


What’s new in cosmetic surgery?

Due to technological advances, the process of transferring one’s own fat to the hands, face or breasts has now become mainstream and once again, Finger and Associates is on the leading edge of this procedure.

Using special centrifuges and tickle liposuction, we are now able to aid in the longevity of the fat that is transferred. Tickle liposuction uses low-frequency acoustic infrasonic vibration to remove body fat while respecting the surrounding tissues, resulting in smooth contour and a rapid recovery. The tickle lip process is a proven reliable system which safely allows for precise, high volume de-bulking in all body areas. The whirling nutational pattern offers notable benefits, especially in the areas of fibrosis (secondary liposuction, backs, and in males). The result is more predictable, longer-lasting results.

The procedures are usually done
under local anesthesia with minimal

“Any plastic surgery procedure has ups and downs, physically and emotionally, and your doctor should make you feel special, make you feel comfortable when you’re in your time of need.” Greco said a good plastic surgeon calls their patients the day before surgery, on the weekend and the night of the surgery, just to make sure they feel comfortable. “A lot of times they don’t want to bother the doctor by calling, but they do have a question.”

Three Steps to Building a Good Relationship with Your Plastic Surgeon

1. Do some digging beforehand. Conduct some research on the doctor’s personality and background. Make sure the surgeon is board certified, has hospital privileges and works at an accredited facility. Speak to previous patients if possible about their experiences with the doctor and the practice.

2. Go with an open mind. Express your short-term or long-term goals, and be open to the surgeon’s guidance, Greco said. “If your goal is ‘I want to age gracefully over the next 10 years with you as my guide,’ tell him that, and that’s the approach the surgeon will take with you.”

3. Shop around until you’re comfortable. Don’t be afraid to speak to more than one surgeon if you’re thinking about undergoing a cosmetic procedure.