How to Address Problems after Weight Loss

Posted in Body Procedures, Uncategorized | September 16, 2015


After a long battle with changing your habits and mindset, the hard part is over, and you’ve successfully lost weight.  Unfortunately, those who have lost a lot of weight are now faced with new struggles that can affect their daily lives.  Some of these include sagging skin, gallstones, and an unhealthy fixation on exercise and eating habits.  Luckily, there are fixes to all of these problems, and you can be the person you aspire to be in no time.  Here are some problems faced by people after weight loss and how to address them:

Sagging Skin

The number one complaint of people who lose a dramatic amount of weight is the excess skin on their body.  Losing a lot of weight can cause breasts to sag and create unsightly folds along the stomach, arms, and thigh areas.  This is unfortunate, because people who struggle to feel better about themselves post-weight loss still have self-confidence issues from excess skin.  This can cause them to try to cover up their body more than they did when they were carrying more weight.  This problem is often addressed by consulting a trusted cosmetic surgeon such as Dr. Brian Howard.  Cosmetic surgeons everywhere help patients feel good about their bodies and to finally celebrate the hard work they put into their weight loss.  After fixing sagging skin, patients can wear the clothes that show off their body with confidence, and not have to worry about unsightly sagging.


It’s still not exactly clear what causes gallstones, but many people who lose weight in a short amount of time can have an increased risk of gallstones forming.  According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, gallstones are more likely to develop in people who lose more than three pounds in a week, compared to those who lose weight more slowly.  Whether you have lost weight quickly or not, take care of your body by eating foods high in fiber and foods that contain healthy fats, such as fish and olive oil.  Avoid eating refined grains and processed sugar to help you reduce your risk of developing gallstones.  If you have already developed gallstones, they can be treated by various methods including surgically removing the gallbladder in a procedure called a cholecystectomy.

Obsessive Eating and Exercising Habits

Unfortunately, there can be too much of a good thing.  Those who have worked hard to achieve their weight loss goals can often take things too far, and become obsessive about their exercise and eating habits.  There is nothing wrong with being dedicated to health and fitness, but when it begins interfering with your life, it can be a huge problem.  New fitness apps such as My Fitness Pal can be a huge game changer for many on the weight loss path, but counting calories can become extreme.  If you refuse to attend social gatherings because of the food, or you are skipping out on family time because you absolutely have to run nine miles, you may need to rethink your habits.  Both your body and mind will thank you for recognizing when to cut back and achieve a healthy balance of exercise and nutrition.

Continued Self-Confidence Issues

It is not uncommon for people who have lost weight to still struggle with self-confidence and many still see the “fat” version of themselves whenever they look in the mirror, despite the scale telling them otherwise.  This can lead to serious self-confidence issues and, on a more serious scale, it can lead to depression.  In the past, people who were heavier may have tried to combat these feelings by eating more food.  A lack of self-confidence can trigger you to fall off the weight loss wagon and try to eat your feelings once more, causing you to lose all the work you fought so hard for.  For this reason, many people who have a dramatic weight loss seek counseling services.  If you would rather not see a therapist one-on-one, there are other alternatives, such as group meetings for support.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

You have taken a serious stance on getting healthy and achieved your weight loss goals.  This is something that you should be incredibly proud of.  Many of us highlight the success of dropping pounds, but few care to recognize the struggles that can come after.  Don’t let these problems rule your life and your confidence by suffering in silence.  Being proactive about these problems can allow you to look and feel your best, just like you deserve.

Is Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Worth the Money?

Posted in Uncategorized | September 16, 2015


The consideration of cosmetic and plastic surgery is not uncommon in today’s society.  In fact, according to the Daily News, one in five American women have planned or considered plastic or cosmetic surgery.  Tummy tucks, breast lifts, rhinoplasty, and Botox are all common procedures in the United States.  Some people think that these procedures are only for the rich and the famous, but this isn’t the case at all.  Many surgeons are willing to work with you on your budget and can help you plan for it financially.  Here’s what you stand to gain from having plastic surgery.

How Expensive Is It?

First of all, let’s talk about the cost of cosmetic and plastic surgery.  Many people are under the perception that cosmetic and plastic surgeries are outrageously expensive procedures that they can’t afford.  While costs vary depending on the procedure that is being performed, many cosmetic and plastic surgeries are not as expensive as you might think.  In fact, many procedures are quite affordable if you take away the costs of the anesthesia, medical tests, and prescriptions that go along with surgical procedures.  Here are just a few average costs of common cosmetic and plastic surgery operations according to

Tummy Tuck: $5,391

Liposuction: $2,815

Spider Vein Treatment (Laser): $355

Breast Lift: $4, 174

Face Lift: $6,675

Nose Surgery: $4,352

Lip Enhancement: $1,486

While different geographical areas may have different costs for these procedures and these are not Dr. Brian Howard’s specific pricing, it is safe to say that if you can afford a trip to Europe or perhaps half the cost of a brand new car, you can easily afford cosmetic and plastic surgery.

Budgeting Tips

There are a few ways you can be smart about your money when it comes to cosmetic surgery.  Here are a few ways you can avoid blowing your budget:

Find a Great Doctor

Many plastic surgeons are more than willing to work with you when it comes to paying for procedures.  Many practices offer discounts to those who pay in full before the procedure, offer monthly specials, and also provide free consultations to new patients such as Dr. Brian Howard at North Fulton Plastic Surgery.  Find a doctor who will discuss the financial aspects of getting plastic or cosmetic surgery.

Get Procedures Done on the Same Day

If you are planning on multiple plastic surgeries, consider scheduling them on the same day if the combination is felt safe by Dr. Howard.  This will save you money by reducing patient costs.  In addition, many plastic surgeons offer discounts for multiple surgeries.  If you are having multiple surgeries, you should also consider looking into plastic surgery insurance.  This insurance will help pay for any subsequent procedures needed for follow-ups or repairs due to complications.

Be Wary of Using Your Credit Card

While you may have the impulse to use your card for high-priced purchases, this isn’t always the best choice for plastic or cosmetic surgery procedures.  Many credit cards may offer interests rates of zero percent, but these rates can jump dramatically and can turn very costly for the user.

What You Stand to Gain

Last year, $12.9 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in the United States.  That is an increase of two percent from the previous year, which insinuates that the majority of these people do not regret their decision.  It may be scary initially to decide to have plastic surgery, but those who do potentially have these benefits as a result:

Improves Your Appearance:  One of the most common reasons for cosmetic surgery is to improve one’s appearance.  After being self-conscious about your excess arm fat, it can be nice to no longer worry about wearing tank tops or bathing suits.

Benefits Your Health:  Yes, you read that right.  Plastic surgery procedures such as rhinoplasty don’t have to be simply about appearance.  A lot of times rhinoplasty is performed to help patients breathe better or to correct their snoring problem due to a deviated septum.

Changes Your Life:  The ultimate reward for cosmetic or plastic surgery is the boost in confidence that you may receive and the potential effect that has on all other facets of your life.

In the End, It’s Your Decision

Plastic and cosmetic surgery is not as expensive as one might think, and the potential benefits could be huge.  Having confidence in your appearance can help you perform better at work, boost your social life, and increase your overall happiness.  It is ultimately up to you to decide whether or not plastic or cosmetic surgery is worth the expense.

Do We Shame Those Who Have Plastic Surgery?

Posted in Uncategorized | August 20, 2015

Young sexy girl with facial treatment modern arrows

Plastic surgery isn’t new. It’s not like it’s something that has just been invented. In 1000 AD, rhinoplasty was a common procedure. In 1798, the term “plastic surgery” was coined. And the first modern rhinoplasty was performed in 1923. So, to say that plastic surgery is a new phenomenon is incorrect.

Plastic surgery isn’t uncommon, either. In 2014, there were 15.6 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. The number of plastic surgery procedures has gone up 5% since 2011. Top procedures include: Botox, breast augmentation, soft tissue fillers, liposuction, and facelifts. The chances are overwhelming that you know someone who has had plastic surgery. In fact, you probably know more than one!

If plastic surgery isn’t new, and it’s a popular procedure, then why is there such a negative connotation associated with it? Some might say it’s because of the cost of plastic surgery. There are some people who pay $100,000 to look like their favorite celebrity, but that isn’t the norm. Even if it were, we don’t mind when that celebrity buys a $500,000 car. We don’t shame them for throwing their money away, when a $20,000 car would have gotten them where they needed to go.

Others might say that it’s a risky procedure, and you shouldn’t risk your life for a cosmetic procedure, but plastic surgery isn’t necessarily risky. When performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, it is relatively safe.

If it’s not the cost, or the risk either, what is it that makes us shame those who get plastic surgery? Based on recent research, it’s because we think of those who have plastic surgery as insecure and shallow. We tend to think that all they care about are their looks, and that they are reinforcing the narcissism in our culture.

Our society does have a problem with body image. We push images of what we think the perfect body should look like. People are bombarded by these ideal standards, and we emphasize that if you don’t look like that, then you are inadequate. And the kicker is that most of these images are photo-shopped to a body type that is unattainable for most people.

Yes, there are people who go into plastic surgery for the wrong reasons. Too much plastic surgery can be bad, but most of the people who are getting plastic surgery today have realistic expectations. They understand what they are getting into, and they know they aren’t going to come out looking what society considers perfect.

Most people who get plastic surgery are doing it to feel better about themselves. There is something on their body that they aren’t happy with, and they choose to change it.

We shame people who have had plastic surgery, and call them vain or superficial, when we have no idea why they got plastic surgery. There also are real benefits to plastic surgery. Those who have had plastic surgery for the right reasons are reported to be happier and healthier, and have an improved quality of life. They also report to have a much higher self-esteem.

People shouldn’t have to be ashamed of plastic surgery. They shouldn’t have to try to hide the fact that they tried to fix something about themselves, and we as a society shouldn’t shame them.

We should show them the same respect we give people who have made other types of body modifications.

We think of people with tattoos or piercings as artistic individuals who are showing their individualism. We don’t talk down to people who wear makeup or dye their hair. How is that any different? That’s changing a part of yourself because you want to be happy, and it’s just as superficial. Your hair color doesn’t really make or break who you are. But you dye your hair because you want it to be different. Just like you want some other part of your body to be different.

We shouldn’t judge people for wanting to be happy. We have three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We should be able to pursue our happiness without judgment from others.

What Does “Board Certified Plastic Surgeon” Mean and Why Does It Matter?

Posted in Uncategorized | August 20, 2015


If you are thinking about having plastic surgery, then you need to find a qualified surgeon who knows what they are doing. Plastic surgery is a life-altering procedure. You will live with the results for the rest of your life. For something as important as altering your body, you want to make sure that you pick a surgeon who has the correct training and plenty of experience in the procedure that you are considering.

One way to ensure that you are getting a quality surgeon who has the experience necessary to perform your surgery is to make sure they are board certified in plastic surgery. Some people think that you don’t need to make sure someone is board certified—that state medical boards ensure surgeons are qualified—but that’s not true. The government does not require a surgeon to be specifically trained in the procedures they offer (for example, a gynecologist can perform liposuction believe it or not), or that the doctor even be a surgeon to do your surgery! That is why it is important to know that your surgeon is certified in what you are seeking – “board certified in plastic surgery.”

What Is Board Certification?

Before we go into what board certification is, you need to understand the difference in types of plastic surgery. A plastic surgeon performs both reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. A plastic surgeon performs procedures to improve function and construct a normal appearance – reconstructive surgery, which tries to treat conditions that have caused an abnormal change in the body. It is important to note the word “treat” here. This type of surgery is considered needed and not elective.

To become a plastic surgeon, a physician must first complete a residency in plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery an important part of their training. After their residency, surgeons work toward certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To become a certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a surgeon must go through at least 3 years of general surgery training, 2 years of plastic surgery training, and a residency program; pass comprehensive written and oral examinations; and adhere to a code of medical ethics.

Cosmetic surgery is primarily focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance, usually with no medical condition present. Whereas reconstructive plastic surgery focuses on procedures like a cleft palate, hand surgery, breast reconstruction, and other reconstructive surgeries, cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, facelifts, etc.

Why Is Board Certification Important?

Board certification is an additional voluntary credential that a physician chooses to get after medical school and a residency program. It isn’t mandatory, but it adds extra training that gives a surgeon more experience in their field. By choosing a plastic or cosmetic surgeon who is certified by the appropriate board, you get an extra level of expertise on your procedure.

This means there is less of a chance that something is going to go wrong during your surgery. A lot of botched plastic surgery procedures are from surgeons who aren’t certified, and who have had little to no formal training in these types of procedures.

Any physician can call himself or herself a plastic surgeon. When trying to decide on a surgeon for your procedure, make sure to ask if they are board certified in plastic surgery. You can always check them out yourself. You can find out if a surgeon is certified or not by checking online with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

In the end, you want to make sure you get a surgeon who is qualified for the procedure that you are considering, and that you are comfortable with them. Plastic surgery is a big deal, and you want to make sure you feel comfortable with the surgeon operating on you. It’s not a problem if you decide to get a second opinion. This is a life changing procedure, and you want to take your time finding the best surgeon for you.

Cosmetic vs. Plastic Surgery

Posted in Uncategorized | August 17, 2015


Think plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are the same thing? Think again. While both plastic and cosmetic surgeries are trying to improve the patient’s body, they are very different. Don’t feel bad, though, if you’ve always thought they were one and the same. Most people don’t know or realize the differences between them. Because a lot of plastic surgeons tend to focus on cosmetic procedures, the terms have incorrectly become interchangeable. However, it is important for you to understand the difference between the two practices and the surgeons, especially if you are considering going under the knife for either type. All surgeons have different levels of training and, if you are going to have surgery, you want to make sure you pick the best surgeon for your needs.

Plastic Surgery

The goal of plastic surgery is to repair defects in order to construct a normal function and appearance. The main purpose is to improve function from congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, infections, injuries, surgeries, tumors, or other diseases. A way to think about this is that plastic surgery tries to treat conditions that have caused an abnormal change in body shape or appearance. The key word here is treatment; there is something wrong, and you want it fixed in order to improve your health. Most people consider this type of surgery not to be elective, instead, needed. Plastic surgery is intended to correct areas that do not function properly and to reconstruct them.

Common types of plastic surgery procedures include:

• Cleft Palate
• Hand Surgery
• Breast reconstruction
• Scar revision surgery
• Burn repair surgery

In order to become a plastic surgeon, a physician must first complete a general surgery residency, and then a two-year residency in plastic surgery. While a plastic surgery residency will normally include cosmetic surgery as a portion of the training, they typically do not go over every cosmetic procedure. After their residency, surgeons work toward certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is focused primarily on enhancing a patient’s appearance, usually with no medical condition present. However, this is not always the case. Cosmetic surgery can be in order to try to fix a medical condition that is no longer an issue. An example of this would be if a patient were to go through a massive weight loss, and is now seeking surgery for the excessive skin. In this case, doctors and most insurance companies would consider it cosmetic, because it is not needed for their general health. It is elective, because even though the area might not be aesthetically appealing, it functions properly.

Cosmetic surgery is done to reshape structures of the body for the purpose of improving the patient’s appearance and self-esteem. Examples of popular cosmetic surgeries include:

• Breast augmentation
• Breast lift
• Breast reduction
• Rhinoplasty
• Facelift
• Tummy tuck
• Liposuction
• Botox
• Filler treatments

It is important to consider, especially when looking for a cosmetic surgeon, that not only are the practices different, the training for them is, too. There are currently no residency programs in the United States for cosmetic surgery. There are some that will include cosmetic procedures, but, in order to gain the experience and training necessary, cosmetic surgeons must go through a post residency fellowship. Every surgeon that is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has completed a 1-year fellowship solely in cosmetic surgery. During this fellowship, they will receive the proper training in every cosmetic procedure, and they will perform a minimum of 300 individual cosmetic surgery procedures.

Whether you end up looking for a plastic surgeon, or a cosmetic surgeon, it is completely dependent on your needs. Keep in mind that they are trained in a certain area for a reason. A cosmetic surgeon is going to have a lot more training and expertise in a breast augmentation than a plastic surgeon. Just like a plastic surgeon will know more about burn repair surgeries. Regardless of what type of surgeon you choose, make sure you consider their certifications. Board certified surgeons should be able to prove they are certified, and, if you want, you can check online through the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery or the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Keep in mind that just because a surgeon claims to be board certified, it doesn’t mean they are. Many people have gone through botched procedures because they didn’t check to see the surgeon’s qualifications. This can lead to multiple surgeries to fix the problem—or permanent damage.

8 Characteristics which Good Plastic Surgery Candidates All Share

Posted in Uncategorized | August 17, 2015


Plastic surgery is popular and being sought by millions, but it isn’t necessarily for everyone. Not everyone who wants plastic surgery makes a good candidate for going under the knife, and only your plastic surgeon can help determine who makes a good candidate. It is important to understand that the surgery includes more than just being operated on. It includes the anesthesia, the operation, and the postoperative recovery. It might not be as straightforward as you might think, and there are a lot of variables to consider when thinking about plastic surgery. If you are thinking about having plastic surgery, consider the following 8 qualities that make good candidates for surgery.

1. You are healthy.

Most younger, healthy adults are good candidates. This means you don’t have any major health concerns, and any minor problems are well controlled. But health goes past what conditions you may or may not have. Health also encompasses your physical activity. Good candidates are those who try to eat healthfully and exercise regularly. Exercising helps you have better circulation and lower inflammatory responses, both of which help you with faster and better healing. Your diet can also determine how fast you will heal.

2. You don’t smoke.

Smoking can have a lot of negative effects on plastic surgery and is perhaps the biggest factor for a plastic surgeon to consider when evaluating patients. First, it can decrease your circulation and blood flow, which can hinder how much the doctor can do and can prevent healing well. Smokers also have been reported to need more anesthesia and pain medication. If you do smoke and are considering plastic surgery, stop now.

3. Your weight is stable.

Your weight is also a factor that should be considered when deciding if you are a good candidate for plastic surgery. A person with a lower weight is going to have better results with plastic surgery. This goes back to your being healthy. Being overweight isn’t healthy, and it can hinder your healing process. Obesity can complicate surgery even more and has its own set of problems. But having a healthy weight isn’t the only aspect you should consider about your weight. A stable weight is also desirable. Extreme increases and decreases in weight can affect the results of surgery.

4. You’re old enough.

Although not every procedure has an age restriction, considering your age is a big factor in whether or not you are ready for surgery. Most procedures, like breast augmentation, have established age guidelines that have to be followed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be age alone. Sometimes emotional maturity is more important than age. Plastic surgery is a life-altering procedure, and you want to make sure you are emotionally ready to handle it. Being mature enough will help you get positive results.

5. You’re not pregnant.

While this might seem like a no-brainer, there are women who come in asking for plastic surgery who are pregnant. You should not be considering plastic surgery while pregnant. Just like surgery is not good for your pregnancy, your pregnancy is not good for surgery. Adding pregnancy to the list of other variables to consider just makes the surgery more risky. Having a baby already changes your body chemistry, and you should wait until it is over to make these decisions about plastic surgery.

6. You’re not taking medications.

Being on medications is not an automatic denial for your plastic surgery, but it should be something you review and discuss with your doctor in detail before having an operation. Medications can affect surgery in a number of ways. Some medications can lead to increased bleeding, some can affect the healing processes, and some can interact with the anesthetics. It might be that you can just go off your medicines for a period leading up to the surgery, but that is something your doctor should advise you on. It is important to be completely honest about all medications with your doctor.

7. You know it’s not a quick fix.

As said earlier, surgery is more than just the operation. There is also a lengthy post-operation period for most procedures. That doesn’t mean your life has to stop for months after the procedure, but you need to understand that your life will change afterwards, and there will be things you need to do after having plastic surgery. Knowing this beforehand will make the post-op time better for you, and help your doctor know this is something you want and have seriously considered.

8. You have reasonable expectations.

If you are going into plastic surgery with unrealistic expectations, then you will probably be left disappointed. Plastic surgeons are doctors, not magicians. Not everything can be accomplished. Going in with reasonable expectations that can be met will make you a better candidate, because you aren’t going to be left disappointed and upset.

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