Building a better you

Is plastic surgery the way to go?

By Pamela A. Keene

Are you happy with the way you look? Perhaps your neck is sagging? Or you’ve been regularly exercising and just can’t get rid of that bulge at your waistline. Perhaps you have a choice.

“Sometimes you can’t accomplish what you’d like by just going to the gym,” says Glen Walton, MD, FACS, partner at Northeast Georgia Plastic Surgery Associates at the Aesthetic Center of Gainesville. “More people are coming in for procedures, not because of vanity but because they want to look the age they feel.”

Dr. Walton says that it’s becoming more commonplace for people — men and women – to seek assistance to improve their appearance.

“Maybe you have a little extra loose skin you want to remove,” he says. “As plastic surgeons, we give modern help to our patients to get rid of loose skin or to try to turn back the clock in certain areas. Many of our clients say that they just don’t want to look like their mother or grandmother did at their age. And with today’s techniques it’s safer and more reliable than ever.”

He says that people can use creams or other procedures to improve their looks to some degree. “We meet regularly with our aesthetician to talk about the latest products and techniques,” he says. “And these can work very well, but we caution our patients to be wary of internet products that offer quick solutions. Products on the internet are not regulated, and often people spend a great deal of money and end up not being happy with the outcome.”

As for plastic surgery, there are many options, including full and partial facelifts, rhinoplasty/nose surgery, neck lifts, breast reductions, tummy tucks, removing loose arm skin or reducing thighs.

The first step in seeking plastic surgery is to set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon. He or she will discuss your options, costs, how the procedure works and typical recovery time.

“Be sure to select a qualified BoardCertified plastic surgeon,” he says. “In our profession we’re constantly being trained on the newest techniques and we are strictly regulated. We’ve found that those who are cosmetic surgeons may not have the same demanding standards and regulations as we do as plastic surgeons.”

In that first meeting, the plastic surgeon will also demonstrate possible outcomes on the patient, lifting or moving skin to replicate the results of the procedure. “It is so much more realistic to show the patient on themselves than to take a photograph and manipulate it,” Dr. Walton says. “When they see what it would look like on their own bodies, they have a better indication of how any changes will appear on them.”

He compares plastic surgery to the work of a tailor. “A tailor can modify a dress to make it fit better, and that’s rather like what we do,” he says. “They can remove extra fabric and improve the shape and appearance.”

For his patients, Dr. Walton helps them look their best. “When we work with our patients we want to help them with their selfimprovement goals,” he says. “It’s important that we both understand the objectives and that we do our very best to help them achieve them realistically and affordably. We want them to be happy with the results.” Northeast Georgia Plastic Surgery Associates at the Aesthetic Center of Gainesville is located at 1296 Sims Street

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