Jan. 19, 2010 09:36
20100120-Health-0101

Plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures are not necessarily for the famous or the vain. With good health and realistic expectations, these medical techniques can help a person achieve self-esteem where once there was great self-consciousness.

Despite the national and regional economic downturns, Dr. Darrell Henderson, board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, finds that people still place great emphasis on their looks. “People are proud of looking better,” says Dr. Henderson. In addition to body sculpting, breast enhancement or reduction, liposuction and skin resurfacing, women are requesting procedures for vaginal rejuvenation, scar revisions and breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery. And plastic surgery is not limited to female patients, says Dr. Henderson. Men are seeking gynecomastia procedures to correct over-developed or enlarged breasts as well as facelift surgery and other procedures to help them look younger.

Dr. Henderson says that these techniques were unheard of 40 years ago and some patients would have been reluctant to correct physical features that significantly troubled them, “but it’s so much more acceptable now.” He not only performs extensive and complex surgical procedures involving the hand and wrist, but also carries out congenital and pediatric plastic surgery, maxillofacial surgery, surgery of the head, neck and oral cavity, microvascular surgery, and cosmetic surgery.

New advances in aesthetic medicine mean less downtime and improved outcomes and include such products as Body-Jet Lipo, introduced to Louisiana by Dr. Kelly Cobb and Nouriche Wellness and Aesthetics. Dr. Cobb is a board certified internal medicine physician who holds an MD from LSU School of Medicine as well as degrees from the University of Texas in psychology, humanities and communications. She completed internal medicine training at Emory University in Atlanta.

Body-Jet Liposuction is a new liposuction technique that delivers pulses of saline fluids to gently dislodge fat for removal. Traditional liposuction requires a lengthy pre-infiltration phase where large quantities of tumescent fluid (a saline/adrenaline/lidocaine mixture) are introduced into the body. While Body-Jet uses these same fluids, less of the medications are typically needed during the procedure. According to Nouriche, patients experience very little discomfort, a quick healing time and visibly precise results.

How do you know if you are good candidate for plastic surgery? How do you select a physician? Dr. Jeffrey Joseph believes in word of mouth and second opinions. Dr. Joseph began his private practice in ear, nose, throat and facial plastic surgery in Lafayette in 1993. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UNO and received his MD from LSU, New Orleans. He completed his otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) residency at LSU, New Orleans, and became board certified after successfully completing a facial plastic surgery fellowship with the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery under William E. Silver, MD in Atlanta. Dr. Joseph holds a faculty appointment at LSU, New Orleans in the department of otolaryngology, division of facial plastic surgery.

Dr. Joseph says patient/doctor rapport is extremely important and that patients should take the time to talk to other patients and physicians to ensure that they have a complete and realistic understanding of their expectations and outcomes. In addition to relaxed and unhurried consultations, Dr. Joseph provides his prospective patients with computer imaging so they will see beforehand what their results will be. “I like to ask patients to bring me a ten to 12-year-old photograph,” he says. He is also a painter and believes his artistic abilities positively inform his surgical techniques to his patients’ benefit and his own joy. “I love what I do,” says Dr. Joseph.

“I also believe in skin care,” says Dr. Joseph, so the effects of the surgery will last as long as possible. Dr. Bradley Chastant agrees with Dr. Joseph. A native of Lafayette, Dr. Chastant received his Bachelor of Science degree from ULL, and his medical degree from LSU, New Orleans. His residency in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) and facial plastic surgery was completed in LSU, New Orleans. Dr. Chastant specializes in the difficult nose. He currently serves as a clinical instructor at LSU Health Sciences Center and is the residency program director in the department of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at UMC.

Dr. Chastant feels that a patient’s education and understanding is vitally important. As an otolaryngologist as well as a facial plastic surgeon, he must consider function, what the contoured feature will look like in five years, as well as overall aesthetics. He, too, has an artistic bent and is an avid woodworker who builds fine furniture.

Lafayette is home to physicians with extensive experience and knowledge, as well as a genuine caring for their patients’ well being. And help is available to patients who want to look as good as they feel.

For a complete list of specialists who are members of The Lafayette Parish Medical Society, consult The Independent’s Medical and Dental Resource Directory by visiting www.theind.com under Publications.