With acceptance has come breakthroughs
Currently the medical director of the Plastic Surgery Center of Hattiesburg, Paul J. Talbot serves as chairman of the department of surgery at Wesley Medical Center. He also appears as a guest lecturer throughout south Mississippi and performs medical volunteer work in Hattiesburg. Talbot recently sat down with Mississippi Business Journal staff writer Nash Nunnery to discuss elective surgical procedures.
Q — What do you attribute to the dramatic rise in cosmetic surgery procedures in the last 10-15 years?
A — The acceptance of cosmetic surgery as a good thing, and not something for just the rich and famous.
Q — Since the Plastic Surgery Center of Hattiesburg opened in 1998, what new developments/procedures have you witnessed in the cosmetic surgery industry?
A — Many new laser procedures and endoscopic procedures have taken hold in the field. Also, Botox and injectable fillers for fine wrinkles have all evolved in the last ten years.
Q — You are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Does certification ensure that a patient will get a perfect result from an operation?
A — No. Board certification means that you have completed an approved residence, passed a written test in your field and an oral examination. Perfect results come from perfect patients.
Q — What sort of specialized training is required by a surgeon to become board certified?
A — In plastic surgery, you must have first completed an approved residence or at least three years of general surgery, followed by a two or three year approved plastic surgery fellowship, where you are exposed to a wide variety of surgical cases. Then, a written test is taken after one year of practice; nine months of your case log are submitted and approved, which, of those cases, five are selected for intensive review by the board, including photos, hospital records, billing information, etc. to make sure your practices are within standards. You then take three oral examinations on unknown cases to complete certification.
Q — As a principle investigator on both the McGhan and the Mentor silicone breast implant studies, please explain to our readers the difference between silicone and saline-filled breast implants. Are silicone implants now considered safe?
A — First of all, if the implants were not safe, we would not, and the FDA would not allow surgeons to implant the devices. More patients have been enrolled in implant studies then in any other single type of medical study and never has the FDA found a problem with the safety of gel implants. Physically, the only difference between gel-filled and saline-filled implants is the filling. The shells are the same. The actual silicone gel that fills a gel-implant varies by manufacturer on thickness and cohesiveness. Gel implants are softer to the touch and have less wrinkling than saline implants.
Q — Aside from the more common cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation and facelifts, what other procedures do plastic surgeons perform?
A — Tummy tucks are very common. Breast reconstruction after mastectomy, carpel tunnel release, removal of skin lesions, muscle flap reconstruction for traumatic wounds and repair of facial fracture from trauma are seen commonly, as well.
Q — What makes someone a good candidate for cosmetic surgery? What would be the percentage of patients that are turned down because they are not deemed a good candidate for a procedure?
A — A motivated person that is willing to follow direction and wants the best outcome they can get at their age. People with realistic expectations do the best and are the happiest after surgery. People who think they can look eighteen again are avoided – you can never make them happy and most are after an impossible dream.
Q — Are there more men wanting cosmetic surgery now than in past years? What types of surgical procedures are available for them?
A — Yes, men often get liposuction of the love handle area and eye lid surgery. Botox is also popular for facial wrinkles. Most men only want subtle changes that are hard for people to notice.
Degree(s): B.S., biology; MD, University of Mississippi
Hobbies/Interests: Working out, hunting
Favorite Restaurant: Shapley’s
Favorite Movie: “The Matrix”
Last Book Read: “The Shack”
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