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What are my options if I want a cosmetic procedure?

What are my options if I want a cosmetic procedure?

There are fewer options out there than before the credit crisis / recession that hit in ’08, but you still have several ways you can go.

Cash of course is king. Can’t ever go wrong with cash and a lot of offices do offer a discount for those paying cash. Personal checks are fine provided they are received early enough before surgery. Trust me, there isn’t a Plastic Surgery office out there that hasn’t taken a personal check a day or two before a surgery only to have the check bounce and the patient dissappear. Kind of the one bad apple spoiling the barrel thing. Credit cards are fine.

Most offices take them all, Visa, MC, Amex and Discover. In fact, I have a few pateints who have the cash ready but use the credit cards instead to get ther frequent flier miles and pay the balance off when the bill shows up.

Now, the financing world has changed. Before the Fall 2008, my office got a daily barrage of offers to finance our cosmetic surgery patients. Well, those offers have dried up and even some of the bigger nationally known banks, like Captial One, who are still viable, have pulled out of the market. But there is still financing available. In my office, we work with a couple of lenders, like Care Credit, that our patients find to be fair and user friendly. So there are still several options out there. If you want to finance the lenders are a little pickier, but they are still lending!

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery in Louisville, Kentucky.

What are all of those initials I see behind a Plastic Surgeon’s name?

Good question. As a Louisville Plastic Surgeon I am so used to seeing all of them that I mistakenly assume everyone else does too. I figured out most people don’t a few years ago. A patient asked me if I was Board Certified. I was and told her so. Then I asked her if she knew what that even meant. She didn’t, she had just been told to make sure she asked that question.

So here are the explanations of what you might see in a Plastic Surgeons office.

M.D.: This person is a medical doctor.

FACS: This means your surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In order to be a Fellow you have to be Board Certified in a surgical field and be in good standing within your respective society. You can link to their website by clicking here.

ASPS: This stands for American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This is the mainstream society for most Plastic Surgeons. In order to be a member you must complete a proper Plastic Surgeon residency. At that point you are a Candidate Member. Once the Plastic Surgeon passes his Boards (see my blog on Board Certification), he or she can become an Active Member of the ASPS. You can link to their website by clicking here.

ASAPS: This is the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. This is a subset of the ASPS. The members of this society must be Board Certified Plastic Surgeons whose practices are heavily devoted to cosmetic surgery. You can link to their website by clicking here.

Any society with the words “cosmetic surgery” in its’ title is going to be made up primarily of Dermatologists but can include physicians from any training background who practice cosmetic medicine.

Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of what all those framed diplomas on your surgeons wall mean. If you see one you don’t recognize, ask!

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Dr. Lee Corbett who has practiced cosmetic plastic surgery in Louisville, KY for 11 years.

Do Breast Implants cause Breast Cancer?


I get this question, not infrequently, from patients interested in implants. Typically it is a younger woman whose family member is trying to scare her out of doing the surgery. The answer is a resounding “NO”!

There currently is no link, nor has there ever been any connection between implants and breast cancer, or any kind of cancer. The whole silicone gel investigation never asserted that cancer was a problem. That claim was that the silicone, if it escaped from the implant, would give women one of a long list of connective tissue disorders like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue to name a few. But, Cancer was NEVER on the list.

Futhermore, when women with Breast Cancer have reconstruction, we use the very same implants to reconstruct their breasts as we use for augmentatin. Obviously we wouldn’t put a cancer causing device in a woman who already has cancer.

Now, on the flip side, there is a recently publised early European study with indicates women with breast implants seem to be getting breast cancer less often than expected. What they did was look at a set number of women with implants and then apply typical cancer rates for the countries(Sweden and Denmark) for all types of cancer. What they found out was that while the other types of cancer were found in the study group at expected percentages, the group had fewer cases of breast cancer than predicted. ( International Journal of Cancer, Volume 124 Issue 2, Pages 490-493)

Now, it is way too early to run around saying that breast implants ward off breast cancer, but as we sit here in 2009 there is zero evidence to link implants to breast cancer.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett specializes in plastic surgery including breast augmentation, breast lifts, breast reductions, and Louisville, Kentucky breast reconstruction.

What’s a “Mommy Makeover”?

A “Mommy Makeover” is a cutesy name someone came up with for the operations we typically perform on women who have had kids. I am preaching to the choir, but pregnancy obviously takes a pretty big hit on your breasts and tummy. A Mommy Makeover represents some combination of breast and tummy procedure.

For the breasts, a lot of women have just lost the upper breast fullness and only will need an implant. Others have maintained size but now the breast droops (see my previous blog on droop) and they need a lift. Many women opt for an implant with  lift combination to reverse the changes we see from pregnancy, aging, and breastfeeding.

On the torso, one of the biggest complaints I hear are a changed distribution of fat. You weigh the same as before your kids but your shape has changed. Most commonly I see fat in the waist & hip areas that need liposuction. Skin and muscular laxity are also common complaints. If your skin and muscles took a big hit we can address this with a tummy tuck. If your skin is good but you can’t get rid of that last little fatty pooch, we can also treat that with lipo.

So, a Mommy Makeover isn’t anything new, just a good marketing idea to catch your eye.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville mommy makeover surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett.

What is a Rhinoplasty?

A Rhinoplasty, typically known as a “nose job”, is an operation intended to change the shape/apperance of your nose. The procedure is done in an OR and almost always requires a deep sedation if not a general anesthetic. It is not typically a very long operation, usually lasting less than an hour. Afterward, most patients go home but some do stay.

So what are we doing when we ‘do’ a nose. Well, the most common manuevers involve taking down a hump on the back of the nose, straightening a crooked nose, or working on the tip of the nose to make it smaller, less round, less pointy etc…the goals very from person to person.

The nose is made up of two things: bone and cartilage. The upper most part of your nose is bone. Pinch between your eyes and you can feel the hard bone. As you move your fingers down the nose gets softer, that is the transition to cartilage.

Noses can be operated on by either an ‘open’ or ‘closed’ technique. Open surgeries involve a small incision on the columella, thats the fleshy part just above your upper lip that seperates your nostrils and the rest of the incision is inside the nostrils. Open procefures are usually done when tip work is being done. Closed surgeries use incisions that are only on the inside of the nostrils and unseen. We use this approach most often to address a hump or a crooked nose. A rhinoplasty will rarely change the way you breathe.

Breathing difficulties are usually the result of problems with your septum, the caritalge that divides your nose into a right and left side, or your turbinates which are in the nose on the sides. These two parts are not always affected with a rhinoplasty.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery including facelifts, browlifts, blepharoplasy, Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, breast augmentation, breast lifts, breast reductions, body lifts, liposuction,  and tummy tucks.

Who are all those people I see when I go into the OR?

There are typically going to be about 5 or 6 folks in the OR when you first get into the room.

There are either one or two anesthesia folks. Typically there is an anesthesiologist, he or she is an MD who is there when you go to sleep and wake up, and a CRNA, who is a nurse anesthetist. This person is an RN who did two years of intense training to become a CRNA. The CRNA will be with you the entire case and make sure you are adequately cared for during your surgery. In some centers there is all MD anesthesia but this is rare. CRNA’s do over 95% of my cases and they do a very nice job and give flawless care!

Next, there will be a circulating nurse. He or she will be in scrubs with a cap and mask. This person is a R.N. who has a lot of jobs. They will help you move onto the OR bed, get you warm covers and pillows, put a seat belt on you, and once we get started this person moves around the OR and gets any equipment, suture etc… that I need to do your surgery.

The person in the OR gown is your scrub nurse. This person is either a tech or a nurse who hands me the instruments I use during your surgery. Before your surgery starts, this person pulls all of the equipment we will need for your procedure.

Finally, you’ll see Yours Truly. At this point, they’ll be giving you the “happy juice” through your IV so you may not remember me being there, but I promise I am.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett practices cosmetic plastic surgery in Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Do I have to go to sleep?!?!

Understandably, a lot of patients are leary of being put to sleep. Those guys in the picture on the left can be a little scary. You have heard horror stories of people not waking up or of being awake the whole time but unable to move and being operated on. The reality is that yes, this sort of thing can occur, but these type of events are exceptionally unusual. Bottom line, and I got these numbers from an anesthesia colleague,  if you are an otherwise healthy person without significant heart and lung disease, your chances of dying from an anesthetic are about 1:12,000,000. One in 12 million is the same risk you run of being killed driving a car each day. It happens, but the chances are pretty good you are going  to be one of the other 11,999,999. The reason folks have trouble while under anesthesia is if they have coronary artery disease. Well, in my practice, I really don’t do a lot of surgery on folks with bad hearts. If your ticker is bad enough that your PCP won’t clear you for surgery, you have bigger concerns than drooping eyelids or wrinkles and I’m not operating on you. So, the converse of that is, that if I want to put you to sleep to do your surgery, you are a very healthy person and a very low anesthetic risk. Lee Corbett, MD 502.721.0330

All posts on this blog are authored by Dr. Lee Corbett who specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery. He treats provides Frankfort,KY cosmetic plastic surgery, Lexington, KY cosmetic plastic surgery and Elizabethtown, Ky cosmetic plastic sugery.

How many procedures can I have done at once?

This is a very common question that I deal with almost on a daily basis. In general, it is perfectly fine to combine procedures and I do it all of the time. The advantages are one anesthetic, one recovery, and you will save some money. Facial procedures are often combined, like eyelids and facelifts. Breast and body procedures are commonly coupled as well.

But there are things I consider before I give a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.

First is the time it all takes. Most surgeons will agree that about 6 or 7 hours is long enough to have someone asleep for an elective cosmetic procedure. After this time period your risks for post operative complications start to go up. So I will combine procedures if I can do my best work in less than about 6 hours.

Secondly, I take into consideration the type of procedures being performed. Though the incisions are very small, a large volume liposuction is a bigger shock to your system than combining an eyelid tuck and breast augmentation for instance. So we have to consider what we are planning and what kind of a toll this is going to take on you immediately after surgery and during your recovery.

Lastly, we have to look at your medical history. A 30 year old woman with no medical problems can safely have more surgery than a 60 year old over weight diabetic patient.  And it’s not even the age that  matters that much. My mother is 80 and other than some aches and pains, she is completely healthy. I could safely operate on her all day long. The bottom line is we need to step back and look at your whole picture before we develop some grand plan that  may be too risky. So more often than not the answer I give is “Sure, that’s fine”. I even recommend it most of the time.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery including facelifts, browlifts, and blepharoplasy in Louisville, Kentucky. 

I’m having a C-section, can I have a tummy tuck at the same time?

My opinion, and it’s only my opinion, is No.

There are Plastic Surgeons who will do a tummy tuck immediately after a C-Section, but most won’t. Here’s why.

First, the abdominal wall is completely distorted. The skin and muscles are very streteched out and the uterus is still huge, so it’s hard to know how much loose skin to remove or not remove. In my opinion, it would be very, very difficult to get predictably good results. But, for the next reason, I will be the first to admit I have never done this combination of procedures.

Second, when the uterus is opened to get the baby out, by definition the infection potential goes up. This is true because once your water breaks, the sterile environment in the uterus is lost because the unterus is back in communication with the vagina. So, by OR terms, the case has officially gone from a “clean case”, which carries the lowest risk of infection, to a “clean-contaminated” case which carries a higher infection risks. A post operative infection can be a threat to Mom’s health, render her unable to breast feed, and ruin the cosmetic result.

Third, adding a tummy tuck to the ordeal will prolong your recovery. This is not a good thing when you have a new baby to care for, especially if there are older little ones around.

So, I think it’s best to wait. There is little to gain and a lot of potential down side to combining the procedure. Plus if you decide to have more kids later all of our hard work gets “undone”.

Wait…it’s safer.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville tummy tuck surgeon Dr. Lee Corbett.

My Plastic Surgeon insists I stop smoking, why?

Here comes a smoking lecture that is a little different than any you’ve endured before. There will be no mention of lung disease. The culprits are vasospasm and carbon monoxide.

I realize you probably don’t know what Vasospasm is, so I will explain what it is and why it affects plastic surgery procedures. When you smoke a cigarette the nicotine absorbs into your bloodstream. When it hits the very small vessels just under your skin, it makes them spasm closed. Well,  the problem is, for a lot of our operations, like facelifts and tummy tucks, we depend on those vessels for you to heal and for your skin not to die. So if you are smoking, you run the risk of segments of your skin dying. I don’t mean being numb, I mean dying and falling off! Trust me, this is not a good thing. Especially if it is on your face or breasts!

Carbon monoxide plays into things because when this gets into your lungs it gets distributed to your tissues instead of oxygen. The problem is, your tissues don’t need carbon monoxide to heal, they need oxygen. So when you smoke you are effectively starving your tissues and this can lead to your wound falling apart. Smoking is horrible for wound healing. Period. That is why Plastic Surgeons are so adamant you quit. I don’t want your result to be ruined and I know you don’t either.

Lee Corbett, MD


All posts on this blog are authored by Louisville Plastic Surgery physician, Dr. Lee Corbett.