Happy Valentine’s Day from Cosmetic Surgery Center Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery Center and Dr. Perkins wishes you a very Happy Valentine’s Day this weekend!

Thigh Liposuction in Santa Barbara at Cosmetic Surgery Center

As a cosmetic surgeon in Santa Barbara, I see many patients who dislike the appearance of their thighs. It is especially frustrating for those who are in good shape and lead healthy lifestyles, yet the fat on the thighs does not budge.

The proportion of fat in the inner and outer thigh area is known to be stubborn and, sometimes, resistant to any type of diet and exercising. For some women, this is a genetic predisposition while for others it may be linked to hormonal changes (such as menopause). Whatever the case, Thigh Liposuction is really a great option for exercise-resistant thighs.

At Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara we treat fat accumulation on the outer and inner thighs with liposuction and skin removal (if necessary). Our goal is to decrease bulk and create a thin, fatty layer that is similar to other body regions. We do a crisscross pattern of fat removal to assure a smoother end result.  Incisions are hidden in the pubic hair and the buttock creases. If skin is removed, it is done in the inner thigh area where the incision line will lie in the groin and upper thigh area which can easily be hidden by underwear or a bathing suit.

In our experience, most thighs respond well to liposuction. Our patients are pleased with their thighs that are now more in proportion to the rest of their body.

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Set up a thigh liposuction consultation with Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry J. Perkins by calling 805-563-0000.

Skin Care Tips by a Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgeon

The new year is almost here and most of us will commit to starting (or continuing) healthy habits such as eating more veggies, going to the gym, and so on.  In my Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery practice I get a lot of inquiries about skin care and how to keep skin looking young and healthy. With New Year’s resolutions upon us, I thought this would be a great opportunity to suggest some skin care tips to incorporate into your list of resolutions. These skin care recommendations will help prevent accelerated aging and will encourage healthier skin in the coming year.

Use Sunscreen Daily
One of the top causes of premature aging that leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and “sun spots”  (hyperpigmentation) is the damage caused by UV rays. Use sunscreen daily – year round – with an SPF 30+ to help prevent sun damage. Reapply often if you are outdoors, sweating excessively, or swimming.

Avoid Trendy Products
Skin care products that promise you the moon usually don’t deliver. Do your research and buy your skin care products from a reputable place – such as a physician’s office or a medical spa. Physician-grade products contain higher quantities of potent ingredients that are often clinically proven to deliver results.

Encourage Exfoliation
As we age, cell turnover decreases and the “build up” of cells can leave your complexion dull. Exfoliate two times per week to encourage faster cell turnover.

Clean and Replace Skin Care Tools
If you’re using a Clarisonic as part of your cleansing routine, that is great! Allow the brush head to dry after every use (patting it dry immediately after each use helps) and replace the brush head every 2 to 3 months. Make-up brushes can cause more harm than good if they are not washed regularly. Use a brush cleaner solution or mild baby shampoo and commit to cleaning your brushes weekly.

Moisturizing hydrates and protects the skin. It also can improve tone and texture and can often mask imperfections. Moisturizing is good for all skin types even those with oily or acne-prone skin. For oily skin, choose a non-comedogenic and oil-free moisturizer.

Be Hands-Free
Commit to keeping your hands off your face. Dirty hands and nails can contaminate the skin you are working so hard to keep clear and clean.

“You Are What You Eat”
Consume lots of colorful vegetables and fruits. These are packed with antioxidants and will help your skin from the inside out. Fatty and greasy foods can upset the natural balance of your body and can cause your overall health – and your skin – to deteriorate.

Get Your ZZZ’s
While you “rest”, so does your skin. Sleeping lowers your metabolic rate so you’re not producing as many skin damaging free radicals. It also gives your skin a chance to focus on skin repair (instead of protection, as it does when it is being exposed to the sun or environmental pollution during the day).

Don’t Smoke 
One of the fastest ways to prematurely age you skin is through smoking. Nicotine causes narrowing of blood vessels and impairs blood flow to the outermost layers of the skin. Less blood flow means less nutrients and oxygen to your skin. The result is wrinkles and sagging of the skin.

Conduct Self-Screening
Before putting on make-up, take a close look at your skin and note any changes, discoloration, funny looking moles, or abnormal looking skin. Follow up with a dermatologist to further assess the condition. It’s a good idea to see a dermatologist annually for an overall skin check.

A New Year is the time to make changes and improvements. Following these skin care recommendations will give your skin the opportunity to be healthier and more youthful-looking in 2015 and years beyond.

All of us at Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara wish you (and your skin) a happy, healthy new year! 

Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery Center on How to Look Young

Many people are on a quest to retain their youthfulness – or at least to look younger than they are. Facelifts, chemical peels, Botox, and many other cosmetic surgery procedures offered by Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins can keep a person looking refreshed and, perhaps, even looking like they are a decade younger than their true age. But, alas, there is more to staying youthful than plastic surgery.

Dr. Perkins has seen many patients over his three decades of cosmetic surgery in Santa Barbara. He will readily admit that it is not just surgery alone that keeps people “young”. Here are his top ten (non-surgical) tips for defying age:

  • Be happy. Being happy, not just on the outside, but also on the inside, is key. Being content with who you are can unburden you from all the stressors of wanting more, wanting something else, or wanting to be someone that you are not. 
  • Protect your most delicate skin. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and most fragile and can be the first to show signs of aging – i.e. wrinkles, crepey skin, and age spots. Moisturize and apply an SPF daily to protect this skin. Eyes are often what people notice first and you want your eyes to be surrounded by healthy, glowing skin with little to no wrinkles.
  • Laughter is good medicine. Laughter can improve your mood and induce changes in your body such as stimulating your heart, lungs, and muscles with extra air intake. It also increases the endorphins that are released in your brain and acts as a tension reliever. You have lots to gain from laughing. 
  • Sweat regularly. Walking and cycling are great, but give your body a boost by adding short, intense bursts of exercise. When you do this, the growth hormone – which is the most powerful way to cut body fat, tone muscle and promote anti-aging – is naturally produced by the body.
  • Feed and protect your skin. Keep your skin nourished and looking plump by moisturizing daily. Always use a sunscreen, year round, to ward off the UV rays which are known to cause wrinkles, age spots, fine lines, and cancer.
  • Embrace tomatoes.  Lycopene, found in the red pigment of tomatoes, is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by sun exposure. Research has shown that adding just 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily to your diet may reduce sun damage by 35%. Cooked tomatoes are more potent because the heat liberates three times the amount of lycopene from the plant’s tissue. 
  • Breathe deeply. Ten slow and deep breathes a day can make a remarkable difference in your life. Breathing deeply massages vital organs and improves circulation in them. It also relieves tension and removes toxins. It slashes cortisol levels and lowers blood pressure. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more benefits to breathing deeply (we could write a whole blog post on that alone).
  • Put your best brow forward. As we age, eyebrows tend to gray and/or thin out. Brows “shape” your face so keeping them full and colored helps. Eyebrow tinting is available at many salons or coloring them in with a specialty eyebrow kit will add back the definition that was there in your youth.
  • If you snooze you … win.  Seven to nine hours of solid sleep every night helps your body and skin to regenerate. It also allows your facial muscles to relax (softening potential wrinkles) and helps to prevent bags from forming under your eyes. There are also a whole host of benefits that getting a good night’s sleep brings including boosting the immune system, relieving chronic pain, and better weight management, to name a few!
  • Don’t let age stop you. Don’t succumb to the number of candles on your cake! Make your age an attitude. Do what you like to do and don’t stop just because you’ve reached a certain number. 
Practicing a few – or all – of the suggestions above will help anyone to feel “young at heart”. If you still feel like that is not enough to keep your skin from sagging, your eyebrows from covering up your eyes, or your neck from wobbling, know that we are always here to help! 
Facelifts, brow lifts, neck lifts and more at Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara. For a Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery consultation, contact us at 805-563-0000. 

Non-Invasive Treatments for Sun Damaged Skin

This Fall in Santa Barbara we were treated to an extended summer. Lots of clear, sunny and warm days drew us outside for beach days, backyard barbecues, and hikes in our local mountains. While we were enjoying our beautiful weather, many of us were unknowingly exposing our skin to photodamage (sun damage) due to repeated and/or prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays.

For some of us, the sun damage appears almost instantly (usually in the case of a bad burn) while others may not show any “damage” for many years. The photodamage can present itself in different ways:

  • Abnormal pigment clumps (often referred to as “age spots” or “liver spots”)
  • Wrinkles and sagging of the skin (caused by damage to the collagen and elastin network in the dermis)
  • Neoplastic changes (such as pre-cancerous or true skin cancer)

As winter approaches, some people may notice more “freckles” or discoloration on their face, shoulders, chest, and hands (the places that are exposed to the sun most frequently). As a Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon, I will receive lots of inquiries about how to reverse the sun damage and/or prevent further damage from taking place. The good news is that there are now a number of way to erase sun damage that ranges from medical grade products all the way to the operating room.

While many people would love to have the majority of their sun damage, acne and/or facial scarring, skin irregularities and pre-cancerous lesions removed in one process (via a cosmetic surgery procedure called Chemabrasion), the reality is that many people do not have the downtime required for healing and/or the financial means to have this done. If this is the case, then there are non-invasive medical procedures that require little (or no downtime) that give a nice result. Some of these procedures take a series of treatments to yield the maximum result desired.

These are the non-invasive aesthetic treatments that I recommend for treating mild to moderate sun damage:

Chemical Peels
Before lasers were available, photodamaged skin was often treated with chemical exfoliation in order to cause the surface damaged tissue to peel off exposing cleaner, fresher, and younger skin underneath. Peels involve the application of an acid solution to the skin and are still appropriate treatments today – especially for larger areas on the body that may be relatively expensive to treat with light energy alone. More aggressive peels (using stronger acids) may also help fine lines and wrinkles. At my Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery office we have some protocols that combine both peels and light-based modalities to get the best of both!

FotoFacial RF
This non-ablative procedure uses both intense pulsed light (IPL) and radio frequency (RF) to improve the color imperfections of your skin. The inventors of this treatment found that combined IPL and RF give better results than IPL alone and patented the name spelled with an “F” – FotoFacial. So any procedure spelled with a “Ph” – PhotoFacial – uses only IPL energy. A FotoFacial will improve the skin’s texture and appearance through reduction of redness, age spots, sun damage, liver spots, and uneven pigmentation. There is no downtime after a FotoFacial and it can be used on the face, neck, chest, and backs of the hands.

Laser Genesis
The Cutera laser company developed a unique treatment for “ruddy” skin called Laser Genesis. This Nd:Yag laser delivers thousands of low energy pulses to the rosy skin and gently causes the small vasculature to “seal off”, resulting in a more normal appearance without any downtime.
Sublative Rejuvenation + DNA Repair. This radio frequency skin resurfacing series is great for ALL skin types. It will improve the skin’s appearance and tighten skin. The DNA CryoStem Therapy that accompanies this treatment gives the skin an additional boost. The flawless stem cells that are introduced right after the resurfacing will influence the older cells to replicate healthier, stronger, more youthful-looking skin cells, repairing sun damage, acne scars, and mild wrinkles.

Fractional CO2 Skin Resurfacing
Laser energy is delivered to the skin in thousands of tiny pulses that create minute holes and injure only a fraction of the skin. These holes cover over very rapidly so “downtime” is usually short. As the spacing between the holes and the depth of each hole can be controlled, this type of resurfacing can be “titrated” to the problems being addressed. One treatment can produce a 40% improvement. The procedure will not only address pigmentation but it can also improve fine lines and wrinkles, textural irregularities, and acne scars. The resurfacing procedure also encourages new growth of elastin and collagen which will tighten the skin.

Sun damage happens to everyone – sometimes even more so living in sunny Southern California and in Santa Barbara where I practice. Treating sun damaged skin helps to reverse hyperpigmentation as well as improve the overall appearance and health of the skin. This holiday season give yourself the gift of renewed skin that will last you through the winter and beyond!

All of these medical aesthetic treatments can be done at Evolutions Medical & Day Spa in Santa Barbara. Contact Evolutions Medical & Day Spa at 805-687-0212. 

Ear Pinning Surgery in Santa Barbara

Ear Pinning Surgery Patient of Dr. Perkins

Ear pinning surgery – Otoplasty – can improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ears. Many people choose to have their ears “pinned” because they have been teased about how their ears “stick out” prominently or because their ears are overly large. Children, especially, who have ears that protrude or are too big can be subjected to quite a bit of ridicule from their peers. The exciting news about Otoplasty is that you do not have to wait until you are an adult to have the ear pinning surgery done. By the age of 6, ears are about 90% of the size that they will be as an adult which is why this procedure can be done on younger children.

When to consider Otoplasty:

  • If you were born with ears that are too small or too large
  • If your ears protrude prominently 
  • If your ears are disproportionate or are placed oddly
Dr. Perkins at Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara has performed many ear pinning surgeries. He is an expert in facial rejuvenation and his treatment will take into account the relationship between the ears to the face and the side of the head. For most people, the total downtime (including the surgery) is one to two weeks. Many clients, especially those who are younger, feel that taking the time to have ear pinning surgery done is worth it in lieu of years of teasing or feeling self-conscious. Otoplasty can offer a true emotional lift in addition to it’s cosmetic benefits. 
Schedule an Otoplasty (ear pinning surgery) consultation with Dr. Perkins by contacting his office at 805-563-0000.

Cosmetic Surgery and Renee Zellweger

There has been a lot of buzz this past week about Renee Zellweger’s “appearance”. After years of not being regularly seen in the public eye, she showed up at an awards event last week and the tabloids have been having a field day speculating about what she had “done”. Plastic surgeons from all over the world are weighing in with their opinions: eye lift, forehead lift, Botox, fillers, and so on. At Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara we don’t make it our business to speculate on what other people may or may not have had “done” but we will share with you why people may choose cosmetic surgery or aesthetic medical treatments such as Botox.

Most people who come to see us at Cosmetic Surgery Center are interested in rejuvenating their appearance. Age, genetics, and environmental factors (i.e. air pollution and sun exposure) all play a big role in how a person’s face may change as they enter into their “golden” years – or even before that. The onset of wrinkles, fine lines, and skin laxity can suddenly make a person appear much older than they really are (or feel). Foreheads may droop, causing the eyes to look heavily lidded and smaller, the chin can lose definition, neck skin can hang and become “wobbly” and high cheekbones may drop. All or some of this may cause a person to look unhappy or tired when that may be furthest from the truth.

Actual Patient of Dr. Perkins
FaceLift Surgery Before & After

There are cosmetic surgery options for any and all of the above that can help to restore what was once there. An Eyelid Lift Surgery can re-open the eyes or a Forehead Lift can address the heavy lids and smooth wrinkles. A Neck Lift can redefine the chin and remove excess skin in the neck area. A Face Lift can reposition and create extra support for the midfacial area and the jowls. Nonsurgical options include Botox or Dysport to relax forehead wrinkles and/or dermal fillers (i.e. Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse) to replenish volume in areas of the face (lips, cheekbones) or plump up deep folds or wrinkles. Dr Perkins performs cosmetic surgery so that his patients look naturally refreshed, rested, and restored, not “done”. Patients of Cosmetic Surgery Center tell us that they love their “new” look and often feel it gives them a refreshed sense of self that is reflected in their outlook and demeanor.

Renee Zellweger looked happy and confident last week on the red carpet. And she has taken all of this discussion about her appearance in the same cool and calm stride. Her response is simply that she feels this conversation is “silly” and, as she told People magazine, she is glad that “folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows”. Good for her and whatever she may have “done” to get to this healthy time of her life … that’s only her business and we’re fine with that.

Rhinoplasty in Santa Barbara by Dr. Terry Perkins

Rhinoplasty – commonly referred to as a “nose job” – is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is usually done to improve the appearance of the nose. A rhinoplasty nasal surgery involves reshaping the nose by reducing it in size or shape or enhancing it. Last year, rhinoplasty was the second most popular cosmetic surgery* with over 221,000 surgeries performed (breast augmentation was the first, with over 290,000 done).

Is rhinoplasty nasal surgery the only way to reshape a nose? A few decades ago the answer would have been yes, but nowadays we can use dermal fillers to slightly alter the nose without undergoing surgery. Dermal fillers (such as Restylane/Perlane, Juvederm, and Radiesse) are used to replace volume, and fill wrinkles and folds in the face. Using a bit of filler in the nose area can make a bump or hump in the nose disappear. The results are immediate and can last up to a year or more (depending on the type of filler used). This is a great way for people to “preview” what can be if they do elect to have rhinoplasty done.

Rhinoplasty Patient of Dr. Perkins

Rhinoplasty cosmetic surgery can be done to fix small to large nasal irregularities. For some people, rhinoplasty is also done to help breathing function. Dr. Perkins can change the shape of a nose by altering bone, cartilage, and soft tissue. A crooked nose can be straightened, a bulbous tip can be refined, and a widened nose can be narrowed. Dr. Perkins pays close attention to the nose/chin connection so facial proportion is balanced and the result looks “natural”.

Whether you are having rhinoplasty to bring balance to your features, improve your look and confidence, or alleviate breathing problems, it is important that you speak candidly about your expectations with your doctor. Dr. Perkins takes the time to listen to his patients, educate them on their options, and help them make a decision that best suits their needs. When the doctor and patient have this sort of understanding, the patient is usually very pleased with the outcome.

Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins is an expert in facial cosmetic surgeries, including Rhinoplasty Nasal Surgery. Call Cosmetic Surgery Center at 805-563-0000 to schedule a consultation with him. 

* Cosmetic surgery statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons “2013 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report“.

Natural Breast Augmentation in Santa Barbara

Breast augmentation can be done through fat transfer which uses a person’s own fat to enlarge the breast area up to one cup size. This is a great option for women who are hesitant to use implants for breast augmentation but want to re-fill sagging breasts (that often happen as a result of nursing or with age).

Dr. Perkins has been performing natural breast augmentation, usually with a breast lift, in Santa Barbara for many years. The fat is collected through liposuction from the person’s abdominal and/or leg areas and, in the same surgery, Dr. Perkins uses the fat to fill the breast area. A large benefit to using fat is that it allows Dr. Perkins to choose specific areas of where to place it so he can correct unevenness much more precisely than an implant can. 
Using a person’s own fat for breast augmentation eliminates side effects that implants can have. For example, there is no risk of capsular contracture (when the body’s immune system attacks the implant and collagen fibers squeeze and surround the implant making it distorted) and no rippling of the skin. Also, there is no worry about having to replace the implants in an additional surgery down the road (as it is suggested that implants should be replaced after 10 to 15 years). Natural breast augmentation is a safe and effective way to enhance your breast size and is less invasive than an implant surgery. 
Schedule a consultation for natural breast augmentation with Dr. Perkins at Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery Center by calling 805-563-0000.

Sagging Neckline: Neck Lift Surgery or Skin Tightening Treatment?

Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins is an expert in facial cosmetic surgery and extremely knowledgeable in skin tightening procedures. He runs a Santa Barbara cosmetic surgery practice and plays an active role in Evolutions Medical & Day Spa, of which he is the founder and Medical Director. So when people come to see him because they are bothered by loose skin in their neck area, he can offer more choices than just plastic surgery. Dr. Perkins answers questions about skin tightening and neck lift surgery in this blog post:

How is Skin Tightening done?
Dr. Perkins: For Evolutions, I developed a protocol called Total Tightening that combines two of the top non-invasive skin tightening procedures, ReFirme and Titan, into one treatment. ReFirme uses Bi-Polar Radio Frequency and infrared light energies to heat the dermal tissue in the target area which reduces wrinkles and lifts sagging skin. Skin also becomes smoother and toned. Titan is a safe infrared light that heats the dermis which is well below the skin’s surface. The heat contracts existing collagen and stimulates new collagen to be produced. The epidermis -the top of the skin’s surface – is protected through a cooling device on the Titan handpiece. Each treatment will work to tighten existing collagen and promote new collagen growth. The result is a firmer, fresher look. 
Does Total Tightening work for the neck area?
Dr. Perkins: Yes! ReFirme is safe and effective and can treat a number of areas including the face, abdomen, upper arms, knees, and neck. With Titan, we have seen exceptionally good results on the jawline, under the chin / neck area, and the abdomen. So using Total Tightening to firm up the neck area is definitely an option. 
How many Total Tightening treatments are needed? 
Dr. Perkins: We typically recommend four treatments and many clients see results after just one treatment. Results are cumulative so we urge people to continue with their series even if they are seeing results after the first session.

Are the Total Tightening treatments painful and is there downtime after the treatment?
Dr. Perkins: Most clients consider it comfortable and a topical numbing cream is usually not needed, but available for someone who is more sensitive. There may be some redness or swelling directly after the treatment that usually subsides within a few hours. Otherwise there is no downtime.

Who is a good candidate for Total Tightening?
Dr. Perkins: Total Tightening is good for those who have minimal looseness in the neck area. The new collagen that is stimulated from this treatment not only lends itself to tightening of the area, but will also create smoother skin. Clients are very happy with this result.

“Before” and “After”
Neck Lift Surgery by Dr. Perkins

How is Neck Lift surgery done?
Dr. Perkins: Incisions are made behind the ears and a small incision is made under the chin. Then I tie the muscles to create a sling effect to better support the neck area and a suspension suture may be used to give more long-lasting support. If necessary, excess skin will be removed. This is a surgical procedure so the patient will have a combination of local anesthesia, oral and intravenous sedation to provide relaxation and lack of awareness throughout the procedure. General anesthesia is not used. There is downtime for this procedure. People usually take 7 to 10 days off work for recuperation.

Who is a good candidate for Neck Lift surgery?
Dr. Perkins: In general, a person who has moderate to severe skin laxity in the neck area is a good candidate for Neck Lift surgery. Neck Lift surgery can really redefine the lower half of a person’s face. More definition in the neck and jawline can take years off a person’s appearance.

Any additional advice?
Dr. Perkins: Whether you have neck lift surgery or a skin tightening or no treatment at all, I always remind people that they can help to stave off wrinkles and sagging skin by treating their neck area as they treat their face. The delicate skin needs to be cared for through proper cleansing, moisturizing, and, of course, daily application of an SPF broad spectrum sunscreen.

If your saggy neckline is in need of help, contact Dr. Perkins. Call Cosmetic Surgery Center in Santa Barbara at 805-563-0000 for a consultation