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Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just another WordPress site
Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just another WordPress site
Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just another WordPress site
Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon

Every parent expecting a new baby hopes that their child will be born healthy and perfect, but unfortunately that is not always the case.  According to estimates conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the United States about 1 in 1000 babies are born with either a cleft palate, a cleft lip, or both, making isolated orofacial clefts, or clefts that occur with no other major facial abnormalities, one of the most common types of birth defects in the United States.  Advances continue to be made in the treatment of people with clefts, and today most children with clefts are able to reach adulthood with a good sense of self, an acceptable appearance, and healthy social skills.  Still, almost all parents have many questions when first encountering this condition.  Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about orofacial clefts can often help alleviate a great deal of anxiety.

reconstructive surgeonWhat is cleft lip and cleft palate?
Between the 8th and 12th weeks of fetal development, special cells from each side of the forming head grow toward the center.  As the face nears its final form, this space closes and the left and right halves of the upper lip and palate (the roof of the mouth) join.  However, in children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, the space does not fully close and a small gap, or “cleft”, remains.  This cleft can form in the lip, causing a split in the upper lip and base of the nose, in the palate, causing a split in the roof of the mouth and back of the nose, or in both.  A cleft is not usually dangerous or a medical emergency and causes no pain for the baby.  Clefts may occur on one side of the face (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral), but both types can be eventually repaired thorough a gradual treatment process.

What causes cleft lip or cleft palate?
The exact causes of cleft lip and cleft palate among infants are often unknown, but the condition may be inherited from one or both parents.  Furthermore, groups or clusters of problems, called syndromes, can sometimes appear together in newborn infants.  A cleft lip or palate may be only one part of one of these larger syndromes.  A number of clinical studies reported by the CDC over the past several years also suggest that certain environmental factors may increase the chance of having a baby with an orofacial cleft.  Specifically, infants born to women who smoked during pregnancy, who were diagnosed with diabetes prior to pregnancy, or who used certain medications to treat epilepsy, such as topiramate or valproic acid, during the first trimester were shown to have an increased risk.  Scientific research into the specific underlying causes of cleft lips and palates is still ongoing and a geneticist can tell you more about the risk of clefts in an individual case.

cleft palate photoHow can cleft lip and cleft palate be treated?
Treatment of a cleft palate requires a team of medical professionals who play different roles in the child’s care.  This “craniofacial team” generally includes a craniofacial surgeon, an orthodontist, and an otolaryngologist, but may also include geneticists, speech/language pathologists, nutritionists, and occupational therapists as necessary to meet the child’s specific needs.  Craniofacial surgery needs to be specifically tailored to the overall health of the child and the severity and location of the cleft, but initiating treatment as early as possible is highly recommended.  The first surgery to repair a cleft lip usually takes place between the third and sixth month and cleft palate surgery, or palatoplasy, can be completed between the ninth and twelfth months.  Both involve reconstructing the features to help with appearance and function while helping to insure that the patient will maintain both form and appropriate use as he or she grows.  Multiple surgeries and long-term follow-up care are necessary in order to achieve optimal facial reconstructive results.

Every child’s case is unique, and requires individual assessment and diagnosis in order to formulate a treatment plan that best meets their specific needs.  If you have additional questions about orofacial clefts, or about any of the facial plastic surgery procedures that I perform, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.

As a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the face, I am familiar with a wide variety of cosmetic surgery procedures that can help eliminate the signs of facial aging and give the entire face a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.  However, some of the most persistent facial aging concerns deal not with the underlying musculature and tissues, but with the skin itself.  When we are young, the skin of the face is smooth and elastic, stretched taunt over the facial features like a clean bedsheet over a freshly made bed.  However, over time, environmental factors and the aging process can cause the skin to lose elasticity, causing it to wrinkle up in some places and sag down in others.  Fortunately, there are many exceptional surgical and non-surgical treatment options for damaged and aging skin that can help keep you looking younger, longer.

medical eye serums for anti agingOne way to improve the appearance of dry and damaged skin is with laser skin resurfacing.  The Sciton® Erbium laser uses focused light energy to instantly vaporize the damaged skin cells that make up the outermost layers of skin, exfoliating the area while encouraging collagen production for new, healthy skin.  Laser skin resurfacing with the Sciton® Erbium laser can treat wrinkling, severe acne, post trauma scarring, keratosis, and pigment irregularities safely and effectively, with treatment levels that can be customized to the individual patient’s personal skin care needs.  I most often use this technology, or a relatively mild trichloroacetic acid (TCA) chemical peel, after a plastic surgery procedure in order to help minimize scarring by removing the damaged outer skin and to help reveal the smoother, clearer, and generally younger looking skin underneath.

Aging skin can also be refreshed and rejuvenated with injectable cosmetic treatments, like Botox®, or facial fillers like Juvéderm® and Restylane®.  These minimally-invasive procedures help to either relax the facial muscles responsible for the creation of fine lines and wrinkles or restore lost moisture and volume to the facial tissues, giving the face a full, smooth, and youthful appearance.  In some cases, that youthful appearance can effectively maintained with Ultherapy®, an FDA approved skin tightening system that gently heats the deep, underlying skin layers with high frequency ultrasonic vibrations, lifting and tightening the tissue while stimulating collagen production to counteract skin sagging and improve overall skin texture and tone.

It is my philosophy that these facial rejuvenation options will not only give you a younger and healthier look in the short term, but also keep your face looking refreshed longer, effectively postponing the point at which more involved cosmetic plastic surgery procedures become necessary.  If you are interested in discussing what approach would be best suited to your specific facial rejuvenation needs, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.

Everyone hates wrinkles.  These bothersome little lines sooner or later affect just about everyone, including men and women of all different skin types and tones.  Still, many of my patients have questions about this extremely common sign of facial aging.  Understanding how wrinkles form in the first place, and what you can do to help prevent them, can help delay the point at which plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation procedures may become necessary and keep your skin looking naturally young and healthy for as long as possible.

facial rejuvenation atlanta gaYour skin is basically made up of two layers: the outermost layer, or epidermis, which is mainly composed of dead, hardened skin cells that protect the body from outside elements, and an underlying layer called the dermis, which contains a network of flexible fibers that give skin its elasticity.  Over the course of your life, as old dead skin cells are shed from the epidermis, new skin cells are formed, continually replacing the ones that are lost.  However, over time, the rate at which the cells divide gradually slows down, and eventually new cells are no longer formed as quickly as old cells are lost.  As a result, the dermis becomes thinner and less able to hold moisture, leading to fine lines in the skin’s surface.  At the same time, fat starts to disappear from the skin’s deepest layers while vital collagen and elastin start to break down, weakening the skin’s support structure.  Slowly, the skin becomes less elastic, losing the ability to stretch and spring back into a firm position.

Once the skin starts to lose its youthful ability to continually renew and rejuvenate itself, a lifetime of shifting facial expressions begins to take its toll.  Just like in a piece of paper that has been folded, crumbled, and flattened over and over again, permanent creases begin to form, gradually growing worse with time.  Loss of elasticity eventually leads to a general sagging of the facial tissues, which creates the deeper facial wrinkles like frown-lines and furrows.  While this process is a natural part of aging, it can be significantly accelerated by external environmental factors.  Exposure to ultraviolet light, for example, directly breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers that make up the skin’s connective tissues.  Similarly smoking, which alters the pattern of blood flow to the skin’s surface, damages the skin’s collagen, causes inflammation, and leaves telltale lines around the mouth. Studies have shown that smokers are statistically five times more likely to have wrinkled facial skin than non-smokers.

Fortunately, there are several facial rejuvenation procedures that can alleviate the appearance of wrinkles and help restore the skin to a more youthful appearance.  Cosmetic injectables can temporarily relax the muscles in the upper third of the face that are responsible for the formation of frown-lines and crow’s feet, while facial fillers use hyaluronic acid to replace lost fat and moisture from the skin, restoring its volume along with a degree of elasticity.  Other non-surgical procedures, such as laser resurfacing and chemical peels can also help rejuvenate the skin’s appearance by gently removing layers of damaged cells on the skin’s surface.  Finally, plastic surgery procedures like a full or partial face lift, brow lift, or neck lift, can gently lift and smooth the face to achieve natural looking plastic surgery results that are both subtle and long-lasting.

If you are interested in discussing what approach would be best suited to your specific facial rejuvenation needs, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Keep up with the latest plastic surgery news and events by connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Combination Procedures to Rejuvenate Your Eyes

August 13th, 2015 | Posted by drburstein_marketing in Blog | Eye Rejuvenation - (Comments Off on Combination Procedures to Rejuvenate Your Eyes)

One of the things that I have learned in more than twenty-five years as a board certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist specializing in facial procedures is that there is almost always more than one path to the same goal.  While we may all want to reduce the signs of facial aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging, every patient is unique and brings to the table their own specific obstacles that must be taken into consideration.  Fortunately, there is a vast array of plastic surgery techniques available, many of which can achieve similar results in subtly different ways.  This truth is particularly evident when dealing with facial aging around the eyes, forehead, and in the upper third of the face.

eyelid surgery atlantaThe area of the face around the eyes is obviously the focus of most of our personal interactions, so it can be subject to a great deal of scrutiny.  However, because the tiny muscles responsible for changes in expression keep the face in almost constant motion, this area is also one of the first to manifest the signs of facial aging.  As the skin loses its natural elasticity it slowly begins to sag and droop, sliding lower on the face and creating deep furrows in the forehead or giving the brows a heavy, hooded appearance.  While several different plastic surgery procedures can help tighten the underlying musculature and smooth the sagging skin, it is my philosophy that the most subtle, natural-looking results can be attained by combining smaller, tightly-focused complementary procedures to achieve a synergistic effect.

eyelid surgery atlantaA full face lift, for example, can remove or tighten excess, sagging skin and effectively eliminate wrinkles and droopy areas across the entire face.  However, a brow lift, or forehead lift procedure, is designed to alleviate forehead wrinkles, frown lines, brow furrows, and sagging eyebrows specifically, achieving customized results with less extensive surgery.  In some cases, I can even use an advanced, endoscopic “key-hole” technique that reshapes and smooths the forehead with only minimal surgical incisions.  The appearance of the upper third of the face can then be further improved by enhancing the effects of the brow lift with a blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery.  Removing excess skin and fat deposits from the upper or lower eyelids, a blepharoplasty can correct puffy, droopy eyelids and leave the eyes looking more refreshed and alert.  Used together, these two procedures can rejuvenate the entire area around the eyes without the need for more comprehensive plastic surgery, and combining minor surgical procedures into a single hospital visit can help save on costs and reduce the overall amount of time spent in recovery.

If you are interested in discussing what approach would be best suited to your specific facial rejuvenation needs, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Keep up with the latest plastic surgery news and events by connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Popular Facial Anti-Aging Procedures for Men

July 31st, 2015 | Posted by drburstein_marketing in Blog | Male Plastic Surgery - (Comments Off on Popular Facial Anti-Aging Procedures for Men)

In the more than twenty-five years that I have been a practicing plastic surgeon in Atlanta, I have seen attitudes towards plastic surgery change a great deal.  One of the most significant changes that I have witnessed has been the growth in its popularity among men.  As the job market has become increasingly youthful and competitive, more men have opted to undergo facial rejuvenation and facial plastic surgery procedures to give them a competitive edge.  Moreover, as plastic surgery becomes more accepted and commonplace, any stigma it once had has started to dissolve, leaving an ever increasing number of men looking to anti-aging procedures as just one more way to help them look and feel healthier and more attractive.  Today, men who are interested in facial plastic surgery and rejuvenation procedures have a number of different options available.

male cosmetic plastic surgery atlantaWhen it comes to facial plastic surgery, the majority of male patients seem to gravitate towards subtle procedures that can achieve functional and cosmetic results at the same time.  According to statistics compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the two cosmetic facial procedures most commonly undergone by men are eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and nose reshaping (rhinoplasty).  Both of these procedures work by making minor alterations to facial features to improve the overall appearance of the face, with blepharoplasty removing excess skin and tiny fat deposits from the upper and lower eyelids and rhinoplasty making minute alterations in the bone and cartilage that form the structure of the nose.  However both procedures can also provide functional benefits as well.  In some cases, the removal of sagging skin from the eyelids can help restore vision that has become obstructed, and rhinoplasty is frequently used to correct respiratory difficulties like a deviated septum.

Men have also shown a growing interest in certain specialized plastic surgery procedures that are designed to focus exclusively on key areas of the face.  Mini-Face lifts, for example, can be customized to address only the upper, middle, or lower thirds of the face, providing individualized results with less recovery time than a conventional full facelift.  Similarly an endoscopic brow lift can reshape and smooth the forehead and area between the brows using an endoscopic “key-hole” technique that requires fewer incisions and produces less scarring.  Finally, many men undergo liposuction to remove tiny pockets of fat, particularly from the neck and jowls.  This fat can even be used to augment the volume in other areas of the face using fat transfer techniques.

Even more startling, however, is the surge in the popularity of non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures among men.  Designed to help men and women regain a more youthful and vital appearance without the need for invasive surgery or inconvenient time spent in recovery, these procedures include injectable cosmetic treatments like Botox®, facial fillers like Juvéderm®, and even TCA chemical peels to improve the skin’s surface appearance.  More and more, men are finding that these quick and easy procedures can help temporarily reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or replenish lost moisture and facial volume, revitalizing the appearance and, in some cases, even postponing the point at which more significant facial plastic surgery procedures may become necessary.

In the coming years, as these procedures become even more refined and men become more aware of all the things that they can accomplish, I expect facial rejuvenation and cosmetic surgery among men will become even more widespread.  After all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep looking as young as you feel.  If you are interested in discussing what approach would be best suited to your specific facial rejuvenation needs, I would welcome you to contact my office and schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.