Phone : 864.214.5232

Archive for July 2016

Chemical Peel vs Dermabrasion?

“True dermabrasion” (as I’ll call it) is going to go deeper than a chemical peel, but your recovery is going to be longer with dermabrasion. That is, more swelling, more minor bleeding, and longer recovery. That is, if true dermabrasion is done.

Many places (including other doctors, and non-medical offices/spas and even at-home kits!) are only doing “micro-dermabrasion”. This is a very superficial treatment of the upper skin layers, with a very light “sanding” of the thicker outer skin layers. This type of treatment is more analogous to the results from a chemical peel than “true dermabrasion”. While micro-dermabrasion can help with skin texture, and stimulate some collagen thickening, the results typically are much less noticeable than true dermabrasion or laser resurfacing (see below). And like many non-invasive facial treatments, they need to be repeated at regular intervals.

Confused with terminology yet?

While true dermabrasion is still used for a small variety of conditions, most plastic surgeons have replaced “true dermabrasion” with laser resurfacing, like fractionated laser treatment. Again, laser treatments can be tuned for different depths of treatments and different colors of light for different effects, with varying level of “social downtime.” This relates to the number of days that the patient will not want to go out in public because of minor bleeding, crusting, swelling, or redness.

As will nearly everything we do in plastic surgery, there is an upside and a downside to varying the levels of treatment. And nearly always, more/deeper/longer treatment results in an improved appearance and result, but comes at the cost of more downtime.

It all depends on what results you are looking for, how much you want to spend, and how much recovery time you have!

The best thing to do is discuss the details of your goals in a plastic surgery consultation.

Read more about all of the non-invasive facial skin care options at

Read More

Breast changes after breastfeeding


I remember my mom taking me along with her to La Leche League meetings when I was a toddler. So I’m a big proponent of breast feedings.

However, this columnist has a good point about changes to her body, and the emotional impact these have.

I have this discussion with my patients frequently – and we can come up with plans to help reverse some of those changes!

Breastfeeding Ruined My Body – Harpers Bazaar



Read More

Benefit of “Gummy Bear” Implants Over Regular Implants?

Over the past several years, breast implant companies have introduced additional types of silicone with their newer silicone implants. (There are now over 500 different implants that plastic surgeons can choose from!)

While traditional silicone implants are still available and used frequently, the new gummy bear, or more technically – “highly cohesive”- implants are being favored for some patients because of their characteristics.

Highly cohesive refers to the chemical structure and the number of chemical bonds within the silicone material, making these implants a little more firm and able to hold their structure (and hence the breast tissue, like an internal scaffold) in a better position, longer.

Long term studies are being conducted to assess whether these implants last longer than traditional silicone implants.

This type of silicone has also made it possible to create “anatomic” or “teardrop” shaped breast implants. These are more natural in shape than the traditional round implants. While not better or worse, they are different!

So, the term “gummy bear” has been applied to a lot of different implants and probably not always used correctly. You should know that there are a large variety of implant shapes, textures, material types now available.

With so many choices, the best advice is to speak with Dr. Birchenough in consultation about which implant best fit your needs and desires in breast surgery!

Read More