Category Archives: Anti-Aging

Facial Fat Grafting Offers a Natural Alternative to Temporary Fillers

Facial Fat Grafting Offers a Natural Alternative to Temporary Fillers


Fat can be your friend when it comes to fighting certain signs of aging, like sagging cheeks and deepening lines.


You may never have thought of fat as being your friend. But when it comes to fighting aging, fat becomes your natural ally when used as a facial fat graft to restore that youthful lift and plumpness to your face.


“Most people are surprised to hear about this procedure, because they’ve only heard of temporary fillers, like Juvederm or Restylane,” says Al Cohn, MD, a plastic surgeon with Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery in Birmingham. ”But with facial fat grafting, you can have all that a temporary filler can give you and then some, often for less cost.”


What is it? “It’s a cosmetic surgical technique where fat is moved from one part of your body, like your tummy, and placed where we’re using temporary fillers now to fill hollows in the cheeks and under eyelids or smooth out lines that become more prominent with aging,” says Dr. Cohn.


Better than fillers. “Unlike temporary fillers, facial fat grafting is relatively permanent,” says Dr. Cohn. “And once the living fat is in place, you don’t traditionally have it repeated, unlike with fillers that dissipate in six months to a year.”


Back on your feet. Facial fat grafts do require more recovery time than fillers, though. “When fat is injected, the instrumentation is larger than with fillers, so there’s generally bruising that lasts a couple of days following this out-patient procedure,” says Dr. Cohn.


Costs less. “Two to three syringes of a temporary filler equals the entire cost of facial fat grafting, and it’s permanent,” says Dr. Cohn. With this cosmetic surgery, you’re just paying for the procedure, because everyone has enough body fat to achieve their relevant facial goals.


Choose wisely. “Get your facial fat grafting done by someone who has done a lot of them,” advises Dr. Cohn. “Performing liposuction is not the same. Just because you have removed fat from some part of your body doesn’t necessarily make it usable for a graft. Ensuring that your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a good starting point.”


by Jane Ehrhardt


To read more about Dr. Al Cohn, click here.

For more on Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, click here.

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Mini Face Lifts Drop the Years

Mini Face Lifts Drop the Years

With mini face lifts, everyone can see you suddenly look younger, but they can’t figure out why.

Between Botox and lasers, you might feel like you can fully restore the appearance of your youthful face. Not completely true. When it comes to the jawline and neck, you want a mini face lift.

“When extra skin starts showing in the cheek and neck area, nothing else but surgery can fix that. That’s why the mini face lift is so popular,” says Melanie Petro, MD, a cosmetic surgeon with Cosmetic Surgeons in Birmingham.

They’re just a smaller version.
Unlike in a full face lift, a mini face lift uses surgery to rejuvenate only one area of your face — your neck and jawline. “So the mini face lift makes you look instantly younger without the potentially overdramatic change of a full face lift,” says Dr. Petro.

What’s new?
“We’ve always used surgery to lift the jawline and neck area,” explains Dr. Petro. “What’s new about it is using surgery on just part of the face versus the full face lift procedure that includes brow, forehead and eyes.”

Not for everyone. Mini face lifts work best on people who need a lift and tightening in the neck and jowl line areas, and whose other age-identifying areas, like brow, mouth and eyes, are being youthfully maintained in other ways. But for many older people, the full face lift is still the best option.

Quick recovery.
“Patients are most surprised at how quickly they get better after a mini face lift,” says Dr. Petro. “Recently I had a patient who was ready for her reunion only three weeks after her surgery. She looked incredible.”

And they last. “Remember that the mini face lift is not like lasers or fillers that offer you an aesthetic improvement for only six months,” says Dr. Petro. “It’s a surgery that will last for many years. You need to take it seriously when choosing your cosmetic surgeon.”

Word of advice. “Find a cosmetic surgeon with an anesthesiologist on staff,” advises Dr. Petro. “There’s no doubt that the most competent person to be in charge of your anesthesia is a physician who’s board certified in that specialty.”

She also recommends you find a practice with operating rooms certified by a reputable third-party to meet national standards, like the AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care).

by Jane Ehrhardt

To read more about Dr. Melanie Petro, click here.

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New Cosmetic Eye Surgery Avoids the Fake “Round-eye” Result

New Cosmetic Eye Surgery Avoids the Fake “Round-eye” Result

Birmingham plastic surgeon devises improved blepharoplasty approach to lower eyelid surgery

You’ve looked at some celebrities after a facelift and known immediately that they’ve had something done. And that something wasn’t good. “The number one cause of people having an odd appearance after facial aesthetic surgery is due to the eyelid surgery,” says Grady Core, MD, with Core Plastic Surgery in Birmingham.

The traditional blepharoplasty. In the popular method of lower eyelid cosmetic surgery, called blepharoplasty, an incision is made in front of the lower eyelid and the excess skin and fat are removed to create a tighter, younger-looking eyelid. The other popular method makes an incision inside the lower lid to hide the incision better, but they still remove fat.

The round-eye effect.
“A common complication with those methods results from the eyelid being pulled down and that gives you the round-eye look,” says Dr. Core. “It’s less common with the incision from behind the lid, but it still happens because you have to go through some muscles.”

The new approach. “To avoid those problems, you make a small incision out beside the lower lid, in the corner,” explains Dr. Core, who devised this new method. “You go in without having to make an incision in the muscle, because you go in underneath it from the back of the eyelid. Just like lifting up layers in a sandwich.”

Keep the fat! “You don’t remove the fat in this method of blepharoplasty because that makes lower eyelids look older,” says Dr. Core. “Instead we re-contour the fat and that gets rid of the groove under the eyelid. Then we lift the muscle and that tightens the whole lower lid and supports the lower lid a lot better.”

Less trauma to heal.
“It’s all reshaping and re-contouring,” says Dr. Core. “It rejuvenates the lower eyelid without any incision on the front or back of the lid, which lowers the risk of the round-eye look to almost zero with this method of blepharoplasty.”

The only place to find it.
Right now, the only cosmetic surgeon to offer the Minimally Invasive Lower Eyelid Rejuvenation is Dr. Grady Core, its creator. He’s recently submitted a paper on the procedure after perfecting it for the last five years on over 50 patients.

The creator.
This is not the first minimally invasive cosmetic surgery technique Dr. Core has developed. As a co-developer of the endoscopic plastic surgery technique in 1991, Dr. Core has continued to explore and develop improved minimally invasive applications for the face, breast and abdomen.

A warning: Look twice at your plastic surgeon’s board certification.
“Just because a cosmetic surgeon is board certified doesn’t really mean they’re qualified,” explains Dr. Core. “You need to ask two more questions: ‘What are you board certified in?’ and ‘Is your board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties?’” The name of an association can be created to sound like a medical board but it has no unbiased criteria to be met on a physician’s education or performance before being granted certification.

Dr. Grady Core is board certified with the American Board of Surgery and in plastic surgery with the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

by Jane Ehrhardt

To read more about Dr. Grady Core, click here.
For more on Core Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, click here.

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many rubber gloves touching the face of a young woman

How to Choose the Right Cosmetic Procedure

Choosing that beautiful outcome you desire seemed so easy. But deciding which plastic surgery technique to use takes some careful thought. Your body is a priceless package, so approach cosmetic procedures with open eyes and sharp questions.


Fad or Fact. We all want a miracle, but beware. “They come and go, and they keep coming and they keep going,” says Dr. Peter Van Hoy, a leading plastic surgeon in Birmingham for 28 years who practices at Premier Plastic Surgery Center. “Resist the urge to immediately embrace the latest and greatest product, because people find out later that most of them don’t work,” he warns. “And it can take at least a year for that information to surface.” He points to the examples of RF (radio frequency) facelifts, thread facelifts, and drugs that claim to dissolve fat.


Use your common sense. Sometimes it’s not the procedure that’s creating those fabulous results. If a weight loss process says it involves injections and putting you on a 600-calorie diet, “do you think it’s the expensive injection or that strict diet creating those results?” says Dr. Van Hoy.


FDA approval doesn’t mean it works. The FDA’s job is to ensure the piece of equipment used in a cosmetic surgery is safe for its intended use on your body. They do not test for or ensure whether it will really lessen the look of aging or actually reduce fat in your thighs.


Check the Board. Go to the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or your plastic surgeon and ask for their position paper on that procedure. “ABPS studies new techniques with unbiased observers, so you can verify whether a procedure worked or not,” says Dr. Van Hoy.


“If it’s new, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. But I would be very reluctant to do anything that was not out a year or two and not reviewed in a medical journal,” sums up Dr. Van Hoy. “Not because something terrible might happen to you, but because you’re going to waste your money.”

by Jane Ehrhardt


Hear Dr. Van Hoy, talk about his philosophy on plastic surgery, click here.

To read more about Dr. Van Hoy, click here.

For more on Premier Plastic Surgery Center, click here.

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