Guest Post ... From a Familiar Face

Rachel Harper - Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Those who are long time patients who read this may know me. They may have sat across from me while I gave them their surgical quote or signed them up for Brilliant Distinctions. Perhaps we talked on the phone or at length about the procedure of interest. Invariably or in most cases, I would get asked the same question, "Is he good?" I took pride in my answer, because I too was a patient before becoming an Augusta Plastic Surgery employee and could answer with a resounding "Yes!" And I was not embarrassed to share my experience, because I knew what it was like to consider cosmetic surgery.


When I look back at my surgery, my goal was to feel like me again. After nursing two children, things were just no longer the same. A family member referred me to Dr. Ewart. Everyone there made me feel comfortable, but I struggled with spending that much money on myself, the risk of anesthesia, and my own religious beliefs (my body is a temple... a droopier temple than what I wanted). Nervous was an understatement. Knowing what I know now and how pleased I am with the outcome, I never would have hesitated.


Throughout my time at APS there was a common theme amongst our patients for their reasons why they were there even with the most modest of patients, they all wanted to feel better about themselves. The desire did not discriminate from male or female, young or old. I've seen a young high school aged guy go from shy and embarrassed to walking tall. After one patient received a Juvederm injection, the patient was staring into the mirror crying. She looked at me and told me in amazement she no longer looked sad.


Although the perception of cosmetic or plastic surgery may be related to crude jokes about overworked celebrities, the reality is it is extraordinarily common, especially with injectables like Botox and fillers. Patients ranged from young to mature, male and female, married couples, and the like all trying to erase the "11s", "their forehead buttcrack," "crows feet," bunny lines, laugh lines, etc. Coming for an injection is easier and quicker than a cut and color from a top salon and certainly lasts longer.


After I left the practice to be a stay at home mom, I committed to a personal goal of becoming fit. This was not just a go to the gym goal. It was a lose weight, gain muscle, and while I was doing it go ahead and compete in a fitness competition. I know it was a crazy commitment, but I wanted to see how far I could push myself.


About 7 months later and 30 pounds lighter, I went to visit Augusta Plastic for a little bit of competitive edge. The weight loss had my face looking gaunt and tired and I knew a bit of Botox, Juvederm, and Voluma could freshen up my face right before competition. Amazing how a few needle pricks can help one's perspective. I felt and looked so much better. My cheeks were full and healthy, the forehead lines were smoothed, and there were fewer lines around my mouth. 


Happy is an understatement. 




Bikini Competitions Are the New Black

Madeleine Giovannelli - Monday, December 14, 2015




The world of bikini competitions is one many of us only see from the outside, but take one step inside and you can check off your #MotivationMonday for the week. Meet Lecai Williams, a CRSA woman who went from being an avid gym-goer, an accomplishment in itself for many, to placing 5 th among competitors at her first bikini competition in Atlanta. She gives us some insight into the world of sparkly costumes, clean eating, and days of devoted training that she loves so much.


Competitors all have their own goals and purpose for themselves when they decide to compete. For Williams, it was the desire to take it to a different level. Already an athlete, she sought to reach an even higher goal. Many women across the country are doing the same. “I really think that a lot of moms and women are getting involved because of health risks, says Williams, "heart disease, high blood pressure, all the risk factors with women. Working out decreases those factors, so I really think that that it's just wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.”



What does that look like for a bikini competitor? “I had to be disciplined. And I mean mentally and physically; I was very disciplined, recalls Williams.” She will readily admit to how difficult it was. Eating six small meals and drinking a gallon to a gallon and a half of water each day to stay hydrated, she completely changed her routine. A routine that already involved life as a busy mother working as both the office manager and secretary of corporation at One Smile Away INC. “There were so many different entities that went into it, not just working out, but my eating habits had to change. I had to do that for at least four months. The last month was the hardest, because as I got closer to the competition, there was a decrease in carbs. So my energy level went down of course because I didn’t have that fuel.”


Our only question is how? “I had a nutrition plan. You really have to want it. I tell anybody, you really have to want the change, because it’s a lifestyle change.” Williams can laugh now, but remembers actually crying when her husband would bring pizza into the house. A struggle we can all relate to. “You want it, but you have this goal that you’re working towards and you want to master it.” In addition to the dedicated eating regimen, Williams also attributes much of her success to her posing coach Katie, at Be Bella Fitness Boutique as well as the help of a her online fitness coach, Christina.


Carol Johnson, who founded Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness (SNBF) with her husband in 1996, knows the sacrifices necessary to succeed in these competitions better than most. “I think what keeps us going here and motivates us is that people begin to live these healthy lifestyles, eating healthier and exercising,” said Johnson. SNBF works with some competitors from start to finish with the competition prep workshops they put on, seeing positive changes first hand. “Confidence shoots to a totally different level, both mentally and physically,” said Johnson.


Williams would agree, not only did she build muscle, she built her confidence. Something all women desire, and few have actually attained. “If anything it boosted my confidence. Just seeing myself in the mirror and looking at my transformation. It’s just been great.” And trust us, Williams exemplifies poise. To find something you are truly passionate about is a gift. For that passion to be something that contributes to your health and well being is even better. We are all about bettering yourself, for yourself; whatever that looks like for you.



Williams is all set to compete again in the new year with SNBF. Her advice to those considering their first competition? It’s something every woman needs to hear. “Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Do this for yourself, and just stay focused. You have to stay focused and disciplined and don’t let anything deter you. It’s very important, because we all have different body types, I’m shorter and I’m heavier on the bottom so of course, I’m going to be different, I’m not going to look like the other ones, or I’m not as thin, don’t compare yourself. Do it for you. Be consistent.”



Madeleine Giovannelli - Monday, October 26, 2015

Some people think instantly of orange and black: Halloween, or bonfires and fall festivities. Pink is the other color associated with this month. All over the football fields from high schools to the NFL, many are wearing their pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. University Hospital is proudly displaying its pink banner across the front of the building. We are nearing the end of the month, and the initial excitement over the new pops of pink all over the place has probably begun to fade. Looking beyond the ribbons, Nike socks, and football cleats, are the people they represent. For a plastic surgeon, the realities of breast cancer can be close. It’s a special gift to be able to give someone back what they once had, but lost. Because of the extent of not only the surgeries, but also the number of follow up appointments, our physicians typically get to know these patients better than any others. While it might be a difficult job, rewarding is how Dr. Ewart describes it.


“Breast Cancer patients are typically overwhelmed, anxious and worried when I first meet with them because of the new found circumstances they are now in. Everything is new to them and they don’t know what to expect. The initial consultation is typically longer than most consults because of the variety of options to reconstruct the breast. The options available also are very dependent of the type of cancer. Will they need radiation or chemotherapy, do they want to remove just one or both breasts, their current breast size, their desired breast size, and the amount of extra abdominal fat they have. An important part of this process is education and also support groups from other patients who have been through the same thing.” Our job then is to guide them through it all.


It might surprise you to know that most breast cancer patients don’t actually have reconstructive surgery. At least not right away. Some need time to think on it, or may just be weary of recurring cancer. The most common method of reconstruction is the tissue expander, which is achieved through saline injections. It takes two to three months to expand the skin and underlying muscle. Once this is done, a permanent prosthesis can be placed. After one month, they can begin reconstruction of the nipple, and two weeks from that point they can begin the tattoo process to try to make the color as it was before. “Satisfaction is high, says Dr. Smith, even when the reconstruction isn’t done right away, it gives patients hope knowing it can be done.”


To our breast cancer patients: we admire your strength and are proud to be on this journey with you.


​What Is The One Product That Will Solve All My Problems?

Madeleine Giovannelli - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It can't fix everything, but its skincare powers are impressive.


We ask this question everywhere, but likely most often when we are starring at a vast array of skin care products with a look of exasperation in our eyes. We all know that following a skin care regimen will help to get us the best results, but is there one thing that might help get us on the right track? The answer may just be a derivative of Vitamin A.



Listed as one of the top 6 antiaging breakthroughs by WebMD, retinols are extremely effective in reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. One study showed: after 52 weeks, retinol had improved crow's feet fine lines by 44%, and mottled pigmentation by 84%, with over 50% of subjects showing +2 grades of improvement in many parameters. Additionally, at week 52, histochemical data confirmed the clinical results, showing increased expression of type I procollagen, hyaluronan, and Ki67 as compared to vehicle.


In other words, the anti-aging properties are real.


These days, it seems that regardless of your age, you were supposed to start using anti-aging products yesterday. The issue with that for many 20 and 30 somethings is that many are still trying to get their acne under control. They then face the dilemma. Anti-aging products and acne, or clear skin and falling behind on the proactive wrinkle prevention bandwagon. When it comes to our faces, we don’t ever want to compromise. We don’t want to deal with acne or wrinkles. Retinol can help both.


How does it work?

Retinol works by aiding in cell turnover. It helps to get rid of dead skin cells and promote the growth of new ones. This creates that glowing look everyone is after and wipes away all of the dullness. Getting rid of dead skin cells means less clogged pores, one of the biggest causes of acne. Collagen production is boosted as well, thickening the skin. Like it or not, retinol use gives you just one more very compelling reason to use a sunscreen daily. We all know we shouldn’t leave the house without it, but for many, when they can’t see the damage being done, it can be hard to be diligent. Think of it like this. This product is shown to reduce photodamage, so why allow any more?


Many people experience peeling and dryness at first, but this only means the retinol is doing the job. When these side effects do show up, all it takes is a few days of backing off to see these dwindle. Don’t let the potential of dry skin scare you away, your face will tell you when to slow down and when it has become used to the product. Begin with a lower strength and work your way up. Trust us, we think it will be worth the wait.





Why Everyone Will Be Talking About Chins This Year

Madeleine Giovannelli - Monday, September 28, 2015

Because the game has changed. Let’s face it. You’re not going to the gym to hammer out your double chin-fighting exercises. And that’s okay. The FDA has recently approved an injection to dissolve submental fullness, aka your double chin. Yes, you read that right. Expected to be just as big as Botox, the new drug by Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Kybella, is the first of its kind and is hitting select facilities this fall. Augusta Plastic Surgery is one of them.



Kybella is made up of deoxycholic acid, which our bodies actually naturally produce to absorb and break down fat. This artificial version is injected right underneath the chin. Much like the results of CoolSculpting, the fat cells are killed and excreted through the body. Kybella is different than its other injectable counterparts, in that once the results are evident, there is not a need to continue treatments because the fat cells eliminated can no longer store fat. Most patients will require between two and four treatments spaced one month apart and only lasting about 15 minutes each. Up to six treatments can be given. So what kind of research is out there? Quite a bit. Check out these stats released by Kythera:


Kybella is supported by a global clinical development program that includes over 20 clinical studies with more than 2,600 patients worldwide, of which over 1,600 have been treated with Kybella. In the pivotal Phase III studies, 68.2 percent of patients responded to Kybella based on a composite of validated physician and patient measurements. Patients treated with Kybella reported an improvement in the amount of fat in the area under the chin. Patients also reported improvement in the emotional impact of submental fat when asked how happy, bothered, self-conscious, embarrassed, old and overweight they felt following treatment in relation to the amount of their submental fat.



Sign us up. In a 2014 survey administered by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 68% of respondents reported dissatisfaction with excess fat under the chin. This common dissatisfaction is not limited by a greater age or weight, but can be a result of genetics. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle should always be a staple, but some areas can be hard to address. The Cara Delevingne chiseled jawline is in reach. We know it’s brand new, but it’s worth noting that Kybella has already received a 100% worth it rating on


A report from one of our staff members who volunteered to be the first to try our newest procedure:


Initial thoughts: Painless. She did not feel much aside from the first numbing shot administered. The area was a bit red and swollen.


1 Day Post Procedure: The area injected felt a bit hard, there were just a few faint bruise marks.


2 Weeks Out: The area has now softened and there is no sign of injection bruising visible.


We will keep you posted with results!


For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 706-724-5611.

Nervous? Don't be.

Madeleine Giovannelli - Monday, September 21, 2015



A trip to the doctor’s office means something different for everyone. For some, there are no reservations. For others, the thought sends shivers. Throw in the idea of surgery or needles? It’s over. Perhaps connotations are based upon previous experiences, horror stories, or scenarios we build up in our minds. Face your fears with these tips.


Bring your iPod. One study looked at 73 randomized controlled trials, finding that listening to music reduced not only anxiety, but also postoperative pain and the use of painkillers. It was also shown that the music selection did not alter these results. So go ahead with your guilty pleasure 80’s ballads, it doesn’t have to be Bach.



Ditch the Starbucks for the day. Caffeine can induce anxiety. Grab your to-go mug and fill it with hot tea. Meet L-theanine. Research shows that the L-theanine found in green tea leaves can reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. If you’re missing your venti caramel macchiato, try adding some milk to your tea to doctor it up a bit.


Do some research. Read reviews. But do this within reason. Sometimes doing so can psych you out even more than necessary. We’ve all done the WebMD search for a minor symptom we had and come to the outrageously quick conclusion that we are in fact dying. What you can and should do, however, is read up on your physician. is an excellent resource with a list of reviews a mile long. Knowing others have had a positive and rewarding experience can make all the difference.


Get moral support. Bring a friend. At the very least, they can make you laugh. If they’re a good friend, they’ll tell it to you straight. Letting you know which fears may be irrational.

Communicate. Let your doctor know your nerves are on a level comparable to how you’d envision them being if you were about to dive into a shark tank. He or she will no doubt have some famous words of wisdom they tend to give out.

Remember why you are doing this. From Botox to breast reductions, whatever the procedure, at the end of the day, it’s for you.

6 Reasons CoolSculpting Might Be for You

Madeleine Giovannelli - Monday, September 14, 2015
  • Maybe you should consider CoolSculpting after reading this.
  • 1.You passed out at the school blood drive because nothing scares you more than the thought of a needle. Deep breaths. There are no needles involved here. CoolSculpting is completely noninvasive.In fact, it’s the only other FDA approved way to get permanent fat removal other than through liposuction or surgical procedures.
  • 2.You are so busy you should have a personal assistant to manage your life. There is no downtime with CoolSculpting. It truly is unparalleled. You can get back to your life right away. Oh, and did we mention we have 2 CoolSculpting machines? We can treat 2 areas at once, cutting the treatment time in half. Save those vacation days for a trip to the beach.
  • 3.You have to see it to believe it. There are countless before and after pictures to browse. The results speak for themselves. Check out this study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Here are some we’ve seen for ourselves.

  • 4.You like to fly under the radar. Many people don’t want anyone to know they’ve had anything done. They just want results. There will be no telling scars, but you may just decide to tell everybody. This study found that 82% of the patients treated would recommend the procedure to a friend.
  • 5.You’re tired of painting on those abs every morning. Just kidding. But there is a better way. You’re there front and center for every new class at the gym, but that stomach has looked the same for years and you’re tired of the muffin top. Think of it as a fresh start. You’ll continue to exercise just like before but that stubborn pooch is now gone. And it really is gone. The fat cells treated are excreted from the body. Put down the iPad and the ever popular contouring tutorials.

  • 6.You love the return of fall because it means big sweaters and riding boots, but then you remember what goes in between the two. Skinny jeans. Cue the dreaded dance required to get them up our legs. The fat cell itself does not weigh much, so you won’t necessarily notice dramatic weight loss from your CoolSculpting treatment, but you will see inches lost. Which we all know is the key to squeezing into the jeans you haven’t seen since last September.
  • For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us at 706.724.5611

Should You Find A Plastic Surgeon with 3D Imaging for Breast Augmentation?

Christopher Ewart - Friday, November 08, 2013
A most enthusiastic....YES.
  1. First off, what is 3D imaging? The Vectra XT takes 6 instant images and creates a 3D replica of your chest on a large video screen. We can then rotate the image and show what any size implant would look like on your chest.
  2. Why would I need this? You can get a realistic view of what the results will look like and can pick the right size the very first time. No more...."I wish I picked a larger size."
  3. How accurate is it? A recent study places the accuracy at about 90% which is what we have been seeing here at Augusta Plastic Surgery.
  4. Other reasons?
    1. More planning and discussion can be done about any asymmetry and if different sizes are needed, we can address those before surgery
    2. View the potential results from the front, side, angles, bird's eye view
    3. Look at different profiles to see about creating more cleavage
So lets see an example This is a young lady who wanted to go from a 34 A cup to a full C cup.


We discussed using silicone implants placed behind the muscle to create the most natural feel and look with her body type. I showed her some images with 350-400 cc implants which would give her a full C and she felt that might not be large enough. This is a 421 cc Midprofile Silicone Implant using the 3D imaging. She felt this was more of the size she wanted which would put her closer to a small D in some bras. Here are her before, 3D and after images side by side.

  Image Image

If you are considering having this surgery, get the 3D imaging first. Augusta Plastic Surgery Breast Augmentation with 3D Imaging Dr. Christopher J. Ewart, MD Augusta Plastic Surgery 706-724-5611

Moderate versus Moderate Plus versus High Profile Implants

Christopher Ewart - Sunday, October 17, 2010
Disclaimer: Let your plastic surgeon help you decide which implant shape and projection is the best for your body. If you are the patient who has gone the extra mile and researched every possible option involved in breast augmentation, then this webpage is for you. You either want to know why your surgeon has chosen a certain profile implant for you or you want to make that decision yourself. Well here is what you need to know plain and simple as possible. There are basically three implant profiles and 2 types of material (silicone gel and saline)
  1. moderate (flat and wide)
  2. moderate plus (in-between)
  3. high profile (narrow and more projecting)
   Notice above: The saline implants are much taller and more projecting than the silicone implants. If all of these are 300 cc implants then the high profile silicone will have the same projection as the moderate plus saline. You may want to reread that last sentence to completely understand. Look at this photo: (All patients in their 20s who are approximately 5'5", 120 lb. and go from an A cup to a C cup with 350-375 cc implants)     This photo shows why I lean toward placement of Moderate Plus Saline and High Profile Silicone implants if possible. Too flat sometimes with the moderate silicone and too much projection sometimes with the high salines. But remember...not always. You can actually get great results with every type of implant when placed in the right patient. Your body shape, measurements, current and desired cup sizes, and skin quality all come in to play when determining which implants are best for you. At Augusta Plastic Surgery, we listen to what you want and can help you choose the right implant for you.

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    Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery of the face, breast, body and hand provided by Dr. Christopher J. Ewart and Dr. Michael S. Tarakji at Augusta Plastic Surgery. Proudly serving the CSRA and surrounding areas including Augusta, GA , North Augusta, SC,  Evans, GA, Martinez, GA, Grovetown, GA Aiken, SC and Columbia, SC.

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