Love the Skin You’re In! Details About Dermaplaning

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning utilizes a sterile surgical scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dull, dead skin cells. Sounds scary, right? But don’t worry; I’ve been doing this for quite some time, so you’ll be in safe hands!

Dermaplaning

Who Is A Good Candidate for Dermaplaning?

Healthy individuals who want brighter, softer skin are good candidates for dermaplaning. It’s an excellent treatment for those with drier skin and those with lots of “peach fuzz” on the face. It’s not recommended for those with severe cystic acne or active and open pustules (white heads)—wait for it to clear up prior to trying out this treatment. It’s also a favorite of my pregnant and nursing clients who want facial exfoliation without the harsh chemicals that can pass the blood/skin barrier and potentially harm their babies.

How Is Dermaplaning Performed?

I first clean and dry your skin. Next, I’ll hold an area of your facial skin taut with one hand and hold the blade in the other hand. With swift, short strokes, the dead skin cells and peach fuzz are removed. It’s painless and feels a bit like shaving your legs. The whole treatment takes about 20-30 minutes. About 21 days’ worth of skin cell build-up is removed.

Dermaplaning vs. Microdermabrasion

Although both treatments will help brighten the skin and remove dead skin cells, microdermabrasion essentially “sands” and suctions away dead skin cells. It also cleans out the pores around the chin, mouth and nose. In comparison, dermaplaning “scrapes” away the dead skin cells with the top layer of skin, removing vellus hairs with it.

Both dermaplaning and microdermabrasion are excellent treatments for all skin types, so the choice of one over the other often boils down to your personal preference.

What Should I Expect After Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a safe procedure with no down time. It aids in product penetration and acts as a treatment booster when combined with other services. The exfoliation helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and helps to brighten dull and discolored skin. The removal of the vellus hairs (“peach fuzz”) rids the skin of oil and dirt-trapping hairs, and creates a silky smooth surface that allows your foundation to almost glide on.

I recommend that you wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 35 after your treatment, as your skin may be more sensitive. Although redness after treatment is not typical, it can occur. If it does, it will subside within a couple of hours.

Only Turkeys Want a Turkey Neck!

What’s a Turkey Neck?

It’s that sagging skin in the front of the neck and under the chin that looks like a turkey wattle—hence the name.

What Causes a Turkey Neck?


Turkey Neck
Normal aging, genetics and weight loss can hasten the onset of excess skin where fat used to be. As we age, our skin becomes less elastic, contributing to this sagging. Further, bands in the neck called the platysma bands—a group of thin muscles in the neck—become more visible as we age.

Everybody’s body ages differently. Weight fluctuations, genes, lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, sun exposure, etc) all contribute to your body’s aging pattern. Even your gender affects your aging—a man’s skin is thicker than a woman’s, allowing men to look somewhat younger than a woman of the same age—again, affected by his lifestyle habits, genes and weight patterns.

Your facial structure also affects your neck. Those with a smaller jaw will notice sagging earlier than someone with a stronger jaw line, like Brad Bitt or Emily Deschanel (Bones). What’s this tell us? Beauty isn’t skin deep—it’s bone deep!

How To Fix a Turkey Neck

We have 3 options in our Portage and Battle Creek plastic surgery offices to treat turkey neck:

  1. Kybella
  2. Liposuction
  3. Neck Lift

Kybella is an injectable geared to treating double chin. Depending upon the amount of sagging, a series of these injections may be just the ticket for specific patients.

For patients with resilient skin, liposuction can often provide adequate correction. Liposuction doesn’t work well, however, in patients with a great deal of loose skin. In those cases, the skin will look even worse after the fat has been removed, and is the reason I’d recommend a neck lift for them.

A neck lift is a surgical option that can be done alone or in combination with a facelift.

What Are the Benefits of a Neck Lift?

  • Eliminate sagging skin from under the chin (the dreaded turkey-neck)
  • Connect the visible bands on the front of the neck
  • Remove fat from under the chin (double chin) and from the neck
  • Restore a smooth, youthful neckline

How is a neck lift performed?

A neck lift, performed under general anesthesia, may be done alone or with a face lift. During a neck lift, the extra skin and fat are removed and the neck muscles (the platysma) are tightened. The incisions are placed so as to be nearly invisible after healing has taken place: behind the ears and at the hairline.

My Portage and Battle Creek neck lift patients are delighted with their new, defined jaw line after a neck lift. If you have concerns about sagging in your neck, call me for a consultation today. After all, turkey necks are for turkeys!

Are You Tired of Shaving?

Southwest Michigan Laser Hair RemovalFor most women, the task of shaving on a daily or every-other-day schedule is a real hassle! Knicks, cuts, flaking, not to mention the tender skin that’s exposed to the harsh, dry winter air. Ouch!  What’s a girl to do?

Laser it!

Laser hair removal is the latest trend for both men and women who want the ultimate in luxurious skin. No more stubble, just smooth skin, and you can have it in about six treatments!

If you start treatments in February or March, by the time the summer rolls around, you’ll be nearly finished with the 5-6 hair removal treatments needed to really make you look great!

Hair is like Crab Grass!

It takes 5-6 treatments to remove hair in any given spot because only 20% of the available hair is on the surface of your skin at any given time. The remaining 80% is underneath the skin waiting for a spot in which to surface. So you see, hair is almost like crab grass! You take some off and more comes up! To eliminate this problem, if 20% is removed at any one treatment, then another 20% is removed at the next and the next, etc.

Where Can We Remove Hair?

Laser hair removal can be performed on virtually any area of the body including the face, arms, underarms, legs and bikini area.

Laser Hair Removal For Men

If you or the man in your life is bothered with excessive chest and back hair, we have a treatment for that! Men are, obviously, much harrier than the average woman. Nose hair, ear hair, back and neck hair, chest hair—some men are nearly covered in hair. It creates discomfort in warm weather, can be embarrassing at the beach, and some men suffer with ingrown hairs on a constant basis. What used to be considered manly is now often considered to be a hassle.  If the man in your life is interested in hair removal, give us a call today!

Reasons to consider laser hair removal in Southwest Michigan

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 2017October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although I don’t perform breast reconstruction surgery, it’s important to my staff and I that you are up to date on the facts about breast cancer, so that you can enjoy a long life in good health!

Check out these facts, discovered by recent studies:

Linked to higher risk of breast cancer:

  1. A family history of prostate cancer
  2. Dense breast tissue
  3. Obesity
  4. High fatty food consumptions in teens

For more, click this link

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  1. Swelling of all or part of a breast
  2. Swelling in the lymph glands under the arms
  3. Skin irritation or dimpling in the breast
  4. Breast or nipple pain
  5. Nipple retraction
  6. Nipple discharge

Need instructions in breast self-examination?

National Breast Cancer Foundation Breast Self-Exam

To help raise funds to fight breast cancer, click below

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

American Cancer Society 10/21 Walk for Breast Cancer (Grand Rapids)

West Michigan Woman 10/14 Wine & Wig Event

For More Dramatic Improvement: A Facelift

surgical facelift michigan

If you have jowls, a turkey neck and/or notice that your face appears “flat,” because your cheeks have dropped with time, a surgical facelift may be just right for you. Different from the Lunchtime Facelift described elsewhere in another blog, a surgical facelift lasts longer because the facial muscles are actually lifted and tightened into a more youthful position and excess sagging skin is removed. While Botox® and dermal fillers are powerful anti-aging tools, they do not lift the muscles beneath the skin as in a surgical facelift.

What is a Facelift?

As the name suggests, a facelift “lifts” the face by tightening the facial muscles and tissues, to restore them to their more youthful positions, and removing sagging skin. Since a facelift is surgery, incisions are needed, and are usually placed around the ears so they are hidden in the hairline after healing has occurred.

How Much Time Does a Facelift Take?

Once you arrive at the Southwest Michigan outpatient surgery facility, I will “mark” your face with a special pen. After anesthesia has been given, I will make the incisions around the ears. The skin is lifted up, muscles are tightened, extra skin is removed and tiny sutures are put in place. A standard surgical facelift usually takes about 3 hours and patients go home the same day.

Keep in mind that a facelift doesn’t address aging in the eye area. Because of this, my Michigan facelift patients often add a blepharoplasty (eye lift) to their facelift for more complete rejuvenation. Furthermore, some patients benefit from a little “plumping” with a facelift, in the form of dermal fillers or fat transfer. If you add any of these additional procedures or injectables, the procedure does take a bit longer, perhaps an additional hour. In the case of fat transfer, liposuction is used to remove fat from your body where you desire less fat, such as the hips, tummy or thighs and then processed for injection.

What are the Risks of a Facelift?

The risks of a facelift are the same as those inherent in any surgical procedure: namely, the risks of anesthesia and bleeding. If you are healthy, these risks are extremely small. If you have health challenges, we can consider a Liquid or Lunchtime Facelift (see that blog post on this website). To minimize risk, my patients over the age of 50 are screened with an EKG and other tests, and I ask for a letter from their physician to confirm that my patient is healthy enough to undergo both anesthesia and the procedure itself.

What is the Recovery Time for a Facelift?

My Michigan facelift patients are always surprised at how quickly they recover from a facelift and how relatively little discomfort they experience. Applying ice packs and sleeping upright in a recliner or sofa the first few nights can reduce swelling. Of course, don’t smoke for at least 4 weeks after your procedure (good time to quit altogether!), because smoking keeps oxygen from reaching your cells, which can delay healing.

If you have concerns about facial aging, schedule an appointment to see me in either of my Southwest Michigan plastic surgery offices. Together we will evaluate your facial aging pattern and I will give you all the options that I believe will meet your goals!

Fast Fall Facial Rejuvenation: The Liquid Facelift

portage mi liquid facelift

If you’re ready for facial rejuvenation, but (A) aren’t ready for a surgical facelift; (B) aren’t medically cleared for a surgical facelift; (C) don’t have time to recover from a surgical facelift or (D) want a more budget-friendly option, come in and see me about a Liquid Facelift, also called a Lunchtime Facelift, to rejuvenate your appearance in rapid fashion with a recovery time of only a few hours!

What is a Liquid Facelift?

A liquid facelift is sometimes called a chemical facelift because it’s performed with chemicals—Botox® and fillers—rather than a scalpel. A liquid facelift uses Botox® to relax the wrinkles around the eyes, in the forehead and between the brows. Dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm and others are used to fill the wrinkles to make them less visible. The result is a refreshed, younger-looking appearance that, while not permanent, lasts anywhere from 6-18 months depending on the products used. A longer lasting option is fat transfer, which involves fat removed via liposuction before processing and injecting it. Fat Transfer is a bit more involved than the injection of commercial fillers but it’s still far shy of a surgical facelift and results last longer than dermal fillers.

How Much Time Does a Liquid Facelift Take?

After you’ve arrived at my Portage or Battle Creek plastic surgery office, my medical assistant will apply an anesthetic cream on your skin. After about 45 minutes to an hour that is removed and I will then inject the right amounts of Botox® and fillers to improve your appearance. From beginning to end, expect to spend about an hour in our office. Some patients remain in the office to apply ice packs and some take a few ice packs with them. All return to their regular schedule following treatment.

An alternative to dermal fillers is fat transfer. Excess fat removed by liposuction from your tummy, thighs, back or other parts of your body is processed and injected into your wrinkles and/or areas that require plumping, such as the lips or cheeks. Although initially more expensive than dermal fillers, fat tends to remain in the body indefinitely, compared with fillers, which generally lose effectiveness within 6-18 months after injection.

Are There Risks With a Liquid Facelift?

Other than perhaps some swelling and/or bruising, risks are extremely low. All of my Liquid Facelift patients are cautioned to stop any blood thinners at least a week prior to injection to minimize the potential for bruising (if you take them, you must speak with your doctor prior to stopping them!). These include prescription blood thinners (Coumadin, Warfarin, etc), Vitamin E and aspirin. Since no general anesthesia, sutures or surgery is done, a Liquid Facelift does not have the risks of a surgical facelift. This is especially helpful for patients who have chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, which might stop them from having a surgical facelift.

What is the Recovery Time for a Liquid Facelift?

Most patients go about their business immediately after they leave the office. Some of my patients have the procedure performed on a Friday just in case they have a little swelling, so that it goes down by Monday. Remember, there are no sutures or bandages, so there is no need for follow-up visits to remove them.

If you have concerns about facial aging, come in and see me for a consultation. Together, we’ll discuss your goals and review all the options to improve your appearance, including treatments with our aesthetician, Sarah. When you leave, you’ll have a plan for improvement including prices and dates. Can’t wait to see the new you!

Limits and Satisfaction Rates of Liposuction

What Are the Limits of Liposuction?

Contrary to what you might think, liposuction is not a weight loss method. You will weigh less after liposuction, but you’ll get your best results if you are at—or near—normal weight. Furthermore, there are safety limits to the amount of fat that can be removed in one procedure, i.e., usually about 5 liters, which weighs about 10 lbs.

How Satisfied Are Patients After Liposuction?

southwest michigan liposuctionAccording to several studies, 4 out of 5 patients are very satisfied with their appearance after recovering from liposuction. It stands to reason that having liposuction as a body sculpting method, your clothes will fit better, you’ll have a more balanced appearance and, consequently, you’ll feel happier and more self confident.

One challenge to liposuction satisfaction is the issue of skin quality. For patients who have lost a great deal of weight and, as a result, have hanging, loose skin, liposuction must be combined with skin excision for the best outcome. Otherwise, after the fat is removed, the skin sags more than before the procedure. In fact, that’s often the difference between a patient who is advised to have a tummy tuck versus a patient who needs just liposuction in the tummy area. If you have youthful, taut skin, your skin will “shrink” to fit your new, post-liposuction contours. This is something we’d discuss at your exam during consultation.

How Is Liposuction Performed?

Liposuction is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited same-day surgery center near my Battle Creek and Portage plastic surgery offices. After marking the areas to be treated, I’ll make small incisions that allow the cannula to be inserted once I’ve injected tumescent fluid. After the appropriate amount of fat has been suctioned out, I’ll put steri-strips on the incisions, place you in a compressive dressing that will aid in healing, and you’ll leave the recovery room with a friend or family member to drive you home. Recovery is usually just a few days, during which you’ll feel sore, and will notice bruising and swelling in the treated area(s). We’ll see you in the office routinely to be sure things are healing well. For the complete details of the procedure, visit my liposuction page.

Liposuction Basics

liposuction michiganLiposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat in certain areas using suction connected to a hollow tube (called a cannula) inserted under the skin through very small incisions.

Liposuction is also called lipoplasty, liposculpture, lipectomy or just lipo.

How Many Types of Liposuction Are There?

  • Tumescent liposuction is the “traditional” liposuction. After a local anesthetic is injected into the area(s) to be treated, a sterile solution is injected into the fatty tissue before fat is removed. This solution contains epinephrine to minimize bleeding/bruising, and Lidocaine, an anesthetic.
  • Ultrasound-Assisted liposuction, sometimes called UAL, uses ultrasonic waves to liquefy the fat, making it easier to remove.
  • Laser liposuction uses low-energy heat waves to liquefy the fat. It’s most often marketed under a brand name, such as SmartLipo® or CoolLipo®.

What Are the Most Common Areas for Liposuction?

In theory, you can undergo liposuction anywhere on your body but its most popular spots are the tummy, thighs, buttocks, back of the arms, calves, back, neck and chin. It’s the most common cosmetic procedure in the US, and has been for a number of years because the results are immediate and because the fat cells in the treated area(s) are permanently removed.

What Are the Benefits of Liposuction?

  1. Both men and women in Southwest Michigan visit my practice to have liposuction as a means to treat stubborn fat. We all know that, with diet and exercise, one can lose weight and fat. However, due to genetics, we sometimes “store” fat in areas that resist these attempts to lose it. For example, perhaps you tend to store fat in your thighs, while your friend tends to store fat in her tummy. This is genetically based, making it more difficult to get rid of that fat with diet and exercise. A benefit of liposuction is the permanent removal of fat cells in those challenging areas.
  2. Another benefit of liposuction is the ability to “balance” your body contours for a more pleasing appearance. Some of my Southwest Michigan liposuction patients have very large thighs compared to their upper torso, making it difficult to find clothing that fits both the bottom and top. Liposuction eliminates this problem by removing fat to create a more balanced figure.
  3. Liposuction can treat lipomas, which are non-cancerous fatty tumors that appear in certain areas of the body, particularly the chest and back.
  4. Liposuction is an excellent treatment for men with excessive fat in the breasts, often called non-flattering names like Man Boobs, Moobs, etc.
  5. Liposuction results are permanent because the removed fat cells are gone forever.
  6. Liposuction tends to influence better dietary and exercise habits, as the results of liposuction must be maintained.
  7. After swelling has gone down, results are immediate.

What Happens in a Breast Augmentation Consultation?

The most important appointment we’ll have together is your consultation. After examining your breasts and hearing your goals for enhancement, I’ll take multiple measurements to insure that the right fit is accomplished. Following this, you’ll have the opportunity to insert various sizes of breast implants into a soft jog-bra, so you can estimate the results.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your consultation:

  1. Bring a low-cut, white tee shirt to wear so you can clearly evaluate the amount of cleavage that occurs with various implant sizes.
  2. Bring your Significant Other or close friend with you for feedback. This is a big decision so it’s helpful to have “outside” advice.
  3. When you’ve settled on a size, I’ll come back into the consultation room to see what you’ve decided and give my feedback as well.
  4. Take photos of yourself with the various implants in your bra from the front and the side. Be sure to label them so you know what sizes you inserted in each photo. Tip: write the size on a piece of paper and hold the paper in front of the camera in a corner of the shot. Easy!

Want to find your perfect fit? Schedule a consultation!

Michigan breast augmentationYour breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Raghu Elluru at Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery includes a personal implant sizing session, so you can feel the difference between the various implant sizes. Board certified plastic surgeon & breast surgery specialist Dr. Raghu Elluru spends time at each consultation to help you make the right choice. Call 269-329-0655 for your appointment today!

Size Matters—But Size Isn’t Everything!

My objective in every breast augmentation is to create natural results with breast implants that compliment my patients’ body shape, lifestyle and personal goals for enhancement.

Two Limiting Factors in Breast Implant Size

Current Breast Size

Your current breast size determines the amount of breast tissue available to cover your breast implants. If you have very small breasts and taut skin, some implants are too large to be covered. Does this mean you can’t “go large”? No. It means that, if you wish to enlarge your breasts more than 2 cup sizes, you may have to increase implant size in stages to avoid stretch marks and/or tissue damage.

Shoulder and Chest Width

Nobody wants their breasts to extend beyond the sides of the rib cage, i.e., “side boob.” For this reason, I carefully measure the width of your breasts so that the results are attractive both when viewed from the front and the side.

Two Important Questions To Answer When Choosing Breast Implant Size

1. What is your personal style?

Most women have a personal style. Maybe you favor a sporty look in your choice of clothing and accessories. Perhaps you tend toward a more glamorous appearance. Whatever your style, there are options in breast implant size and projection to fit your personal style. Consider this, however: of all reasons to replace implants, the biggest reason is a desire to be larger. On the other hand, going too large can set you up for sagging and back pain down the road.

2. What is your lifestyle?

Women engaged in rigorous sporting activities tend to prefer smaller implants. Intensive physical workouts, even with a snug fitness bra, will contribute to breast bouncing, which can impact the speed of breast sagging. Further, if your implants are too big to allow you to exercise comfortably, you won’t be happy.

Two Facts About Breast Implants & Pregnancy

If you plan to have children, it’s wise to know two basic facts about breast implants & pregnancy:

  1. Most women can breastfeed without problems after breast augmentation
  2. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can increase the likelihood of breast sagging, with or without implants.

Most Women Aren’t Matchy-Matchy in the Breast Department

southwest michigan breast implantsIs one of your breasts larger or smaller than the other? Believe it or not, this is pretty common. Most often this asymmetry is barely noticeable but for some women, it’s a full cup size! One of the many benefits of breast augmentation is my ability to adjust implant sizes so that your breasts are symmetrical when we’re finished!

For a personal consultation to discuss what type of breast implants might be best for your body and lifestyle, call 269-329-0655 to set up your appointment today!