Why Electronic Medical Records Are More Scary Than Ebola

Posted by David Reath, MD

October 19, 2014

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you have probably been concerned with the Ebola epidemic.

Truly this epidemic is unprecedented and will have profound effects in Africa and around the world if not contained.The recent patient who died in Dallas and the transmission to  nurses who was caring for him brings this much closer to home.

How this patient was cared for in his initial Emergency Department visit brings up a major concern that I have with our current infatuation with computerized charts and electronic medical records.


Topics: Health, Fitness, Weight Loss

Instant Breasts For Special Occasions....Really?

Posted by David Reath

August 25, 2014

This week an article surfaced in the New York Times about temporary breast enlargement with the injection of saline into the breasts. And before you ask, no I will not be doing this.

It appears that there is a demand for temporary breast enlargement for that special party, social affair or wedding day. Did I just say that, Wedding Day? Yup. As you might surmise from my tone here, I am not a fan. (And I actually had been contacted by this reporter through the ASPS about this article.) I had never heard of this before then, and after reading the article, I still think it is not a great idea. Perhaps this plays in Manhattan, but not so much in Knoxville.

Before You Go Calling Your Fairy Godmother


Topics: Breast Implants, Plastic Surgery News

Plastic Surgery As Entertainment: Dr. Reath's Latest Reviews

Posted by David Reath, MD

July 30, 2014

If you think about plastic surgeons and plastic surgery with movies as your reference point, you probably will not get a very realistic view of what it is that plastic surgeons really do. Or what can plastic surgery really do to/for someone. Even most novels get it wrong.

You may have read a recent bestseller where someone wanting to hide his identity has radical plastic surgery and even his close friends and family members don’t recognize him ("The Accident" by Chris Pavone). This is pretty unlikely as was the case for the character played by Johnny Depp in the movie "The Tourist". Very few of us have hidden clinics on a mountain top in Switzerland where we work to render our patients virtually unrecognizable!

So how does real life compare with the reality TV show "Botched"? Glad you asked....


Topics: Plastic Surgery News, Celebrity Plastic Surgery

What Not To Do The Night Before Your Breast Augmentation

Posted by David Reath, MD

June 25, 2014

Elective plastic surgery differs from almost any other type of medical care that you will receive. Because ultimately you, as the patient, get to decide what to do, or at the very least be pivotal in the decision making process, especially when it comes to breast augmentation. As a surgeon, this is a part of my daily life and work. But most patients are not so accustomed to making these types of decisions. This can lead to a lot or rethinking or overthinking of the surgical plan. And, of course, when does this happen the most? The night before surgery. Or even the day of surgery.

And it seems that this happens most in dealing with breast implants, specifically the size of breast implants. Of course it’s normal to rethink things and to worry about the outcome. So if you find yourself going back and forth about your breast implant size the closer you get to your surgery, here's what to keep in mind.


Topics: Breast Implants

Dear Allergan: Keep Up the Valeant Fight

Posted by David Reath, MD

June 10, 2014

Recently, one of the hottest topics in both the worlds of aesthetic medicine and big business has been the attempts by the pharmaceutical company Valeant at a hostile takeover of Allergan. To date this has not been successful, but this fight is by no means over. And, it could have a major negative affect on you and me if this succeeds.

Now, let me start by professing my juvenile understanding of the world of big business and major investing. So, I will not discuss the major financial implications of this takeover. Instead, I will explain about how this proposed takeover might affect you.


Topics: Plastic Surgery News, Botox, Juvederm, Collagen, Radiesse

My Plastic Surgery Pet-Peeve: Up-selling

Posted by David Reath, MD

May 29, 2014

Like every other plastic surgeon, I see many patients who have already been to see another plastic surgeon – most are looking for second opinions, or another expert's take on the solution to their concerns. I have noticed that the people who are the most unhappy with their previous consultations are those who have been given what they think is an overly-complicated solution to treat their problem. And by that I mean one which treats issues which are not a concern to them or one that treats something entirely different than what they came in to talk about. It’s like going to a furniture store to buy a chair, and being pushed by a salesman to buy two chairs, a sofa, coffee table, and two end tables. And, by the way, how about a couple of lamps? Up-selling may be good for business, but it is not so good for plastic surgery.

What I've learned along the way
I always start my consultations with a simple question: “What can I help you with?” And not: “Let me tell you all the things I can do for you.” I was told early on in my plastic surgery training that it is wise not to address something that is not a concern to the patient, particularly in cosmetic surgery. They may be perfectly happy with the shape of their nose, but once a plastic surgeon says something about it, they start thinking that there really is a problem with their nose when it never bothered them before. Put in somewhat more medical terms, it’s hard to make an asymptomatic patient better. The trap I try to avoid is when a patient comes in and says “Tell me what I need to have done.” I will always direct the conversation to the things that bother the patient most.

Here's the kind of plastic surgery up-selling that really bugs me....


Topics: Breast Implants, Tummy Tuck, Mommy Makeover, Plastic Surgery Prices, Financing, Facial Plastic Surgery

Shaped vs Round Breast Implants: Can You Tell The Difference?

Posted by David Reath, MD

May 13, 2014

Highly cohesive breast implants are getting a lot of play in the media and at the meetings I attend. I've also noticed a real push from the breast implant manufacturers to persuade us to use these in our practice. They even have a cute, catchy nickname: gummy bear implants. But the question in the minds of many plastic surgeons and their patients is: Can you tell the difference in the shaped and round implants when you look at breasts? In other words, does this difference make a difference?

Last week I was at the meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Surgeons in San Francisco. (I know, thankless job, but someone has to do it.) There were several sessions on breast implants and one was specifically on the difference between round and shaped implants.

At the beginning of the session, the audience of about 250 Board-certified plastic surgeons were shown 20 sets of patient photographs. We were then asked to vote electronically on whether the implants used were round or shaped. So, how good were we – the experts – in telling the difference between the two? Drum roll please.....


Topics: Breast Implants

How To Get Christie Brinkley's "Stay-Young Secret" At Home

Posted by David Reath, MD

March 25, 2014

Remember Christie Brinkley? She is one of those people who seems to age gracefully and beautifully, which means she seems to not age at all. Recently she was featured on the cover of People Magazine looking fabulous at age 60 and she revealed "all her stay-young secrets".

The meat of the article is a section called How She Does It and talks about her beauty tricks, her fitness rules, what she eats and her fashion philosophy. And guess what her number one tip is?:


Topics: Real Medical Skincare, Celebrity Plastic Surgery

The List: Every Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon In Knoxville

Posted by David Reath, MD

March 10, 2014

You have heard me talk about this before, and  you will probably hear me talk about this again: when you are having plastic surgery, go to a Board-certified plastic surgeon.  And by now you could think I am terribly redundant, obsessed, totally daft, or that I can't remember what I've written about.  Well, while neither of these are true (to the best of my knowledge), I also realize that if you are reading this blog, I'm sort of preaching to the choir, as far as you are concerned.

Still, several times each month, I see someone in consultation who has had plastic surgery by someone who is not a surgeon, or not a Board-certified plastic surgeon, and has not had the desired results.  At times, they have had treatments that I would consider medically unsafe.  Others have traveled outside the country to have "bargain" surgery.  But usually, they have not been properly evaluated and had the appropriate surgery properly performed.

So, it is out of frustration to get the message out, that I am trying a different approach. That is, to give you the list.  Below are the names of all the Board-certified, or Board-eligible plastic surgeons currently practicing in our area (Knoxville, Oak Ridge, and Maryville):

Topics: Board Certification, Plastic Surgery Safety, Plastic Surgery News, Health, Fitness, Weight Loss

Plastic Surgery Stats Released: Here Are the Latest Trends

Posted by David Reath, MD

March 4, 2014

Last week the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) released our statistics for the procedures performed in 2013. As the Chairman of the Public Education Committee, I was asked to write a blog about these stats. If you would like to read the 2013 plastic surgery statistics in all their glory you can do it here. But, if you want the abbreviated version and my take on it, read on.

Plastic surgery continues to grow in almost all areas. The top five operations in order are.......


Topics: Plastic Surgery News