Columbia, SC

  • The Nose Knows

    by Nicholas Henry | Jun 11, 2019
    It is the most prominent feature of the face.  It is often associated with ethnic and cultural connotations.  It is commonly referred to by many names.  It is your nose.

    rhinoplasty

    Men and women alike are often times dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose, which can often be improved with outpatient surgery.  In cosmetic nose surgery (Rhinoplasty), a small change can make a big difference, increasing confidence and lessening self-consciousness.

    As a cosmetic nose surgeon, many of my patients come to me with a variety of issues that they would like to see improved.  It can be a dorsal hump, an ill defined tip or just a nose that is too large for their facial proportions.  In addition, some patients come to me for issues they developed from previous cosmetic nose surgeries.  No matter what is bothering you, my objective is to devise a tailored and individualized treatment plan to help you reach your goals.  

    Cosmetic Rhinoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis meaning you will go home the same day.  Most people take off about 5 days from work/school.  An external (outside of the nose) splint is worn until your first post-operative appointment in about 5-7 days.  Pain is usually very mild and is most often handled with extra strength Tylenol.  You can drive as soon as you are off of prescription pain medicine (many patients do not even feel the need to take this).  Swelling and bruising is variable for every patient.  Most of the surrounding swelling of the face (around the eyes) typically is much improved by the end of the week after surgery.  You should know that depending on a number of factors like skin thickness and the type of cosmetic nose surgery, your final results would likely not be seen until 1 year post-op. 

    Good candidates for Rhinoplasty surgery are those who have noticeable issues that can be managed surgically and who are in relatively good overall health.  Most importantly, having realistic expectations of what can and cannot be accomplished is a must.  

    Please feel free to contact us for more information or to schedule your consultation.
  • Dr. Lefkowitz on WLTX Spotlight

    by Nicholas Henry | Dec 28, 2018
  • Surgical and Medical Tourism

    by Julie Rhodes | Feb 23, 2018

    Medical-tourism

     

    Over the last decade, trips abroad for “surgical vacations” have become increasingly popular. Patients often travel to exotic destinations for “bargain-priced surgery” and recover on white sand beaches. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Not so fast.

    As these trips have become more popular, many patients have come forward with stories that are far from picturesque – inability to reach their surgeon or the office, severe wound healing complications, blood clots, unhappy cosmetic results and even death. Adding insult to injury, further treatment is often an additional out-of-pocket expense that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There goes the bargain… swept out to sea. 

    Patients must inform themselves before any plastic surgery procedure. They must always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon before deciding on any surgery.  

     

    Five Things to Know About Plastic Surgery Tourism

    1. Cosmetic surgery is real surgery and has some risks.

      Every surgery, including cosmetic surgery, has some risks involved. These risks may increase during vacation-related plastic surgery.

    2. Vacation-related activities may compromise your health after having a procedure.

      Cosmetic surgery trips are marketed as vacations, but vacation activities should be avoided after surgery to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of complications.

    3. Combining travel with surgery significantly increases the risk of complications.

      Long flights or surgery can increase the potential risk of developing pulmonary embolism and blood clots.

    4. You may not be legally protected in the U.S.

      Currently, there are no U.S. laws that protect patients or mandate the training and qualifications of physicians who perform plastic surgery outside the country. There may be no legal recourse if surgical negligence occurs.

    5. Bargain surgery may not be a bargain.

     

    Please feel free to contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

  • New You New Year Event

    by Ken Breeden | Dec 20, 2017
    You're invited to our second annual New You New Year event.

    Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018
    Time: 4:30 - 8:00 p.m.
    Where: Lexington Medical Park 1, Suite 105 
    Address: 2728 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, SC 29169

    RSVP to Julie Rhodes: jarhodes@lexhealth.org or (803) 936-7045.
  • Guys-Do you dread the pool or locker room?

    by Lexington Medical Center | Jun 30, 2017

    The Common, yet rarely discussed, issue for boys and men

    Gynecomastia (excessive male breast tissue) is a common condition affecting males of various ages, which can make the chest area appear protruding or even feminine.  In fact, gynecomastia is the most common benign disorder of the male breast tissue.  It can have a profound negative affect on self-confidence and be a source of psychological distress.   On average, an estimated 25% of all adolescent boys and 25% of all men between the ages of 50-69 can be affected by this disorder.  Naturally occurring hormonal changes in the body can lead to this condition, along with some known prescription medications, anabolic steroids and marijuana usage. 

     There are two major types of gynecomastia:  True gynecomastia and pseudo gynecomastia.  True gynecomastia is where excess fibro glandular tissue occurs beneath the nipple region.  This tissue often feels rubbery to touch.  Fibro glandular tissue can become more prominent or noticeable during different times and at various ages.  Pseudo gynecomastia refers to fatty infiltration of the chest area even though the person is of normal weight for their height.  This usually affects the entire chest and not just beneath the nipple region.  The end effect for both types is a chest with a less than ideal contour. 

    Fortunately, there are outpatient surgical solutions for both types of gynecomastia.   For true gynecomastia, where the tissue is tougher and more fibrous, a small incision at the edge of the darkened areola is made and the excess tissue is removed.  For pseudo gynecomastia, liposuction with two small incisions the width of the pinkie nail can be utilized to suction the excess fat in the chest region.  I recommend wearing a compression garment continuously for the first four weeks and then nightly for another two weeks.  Return to light aerobic exercise is encouraged after 14 days.

    Both surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you would go home the same day of surgery.  The initial recovery usually takes 4-7 days.  Often, my patients will tell me they notice an immediate improvement the day after surgery.  You should see the true aesthetic result between three and six months following surgery.  It is a very rewarding surgery, both professionally and personally, that allows men to feel better about themselves and less self-conscious in both public and private settings
  • It's Our Fight, Too

    by Bekah Corbett | Oct 08, 2016
    When it comes to treating cancer, Lexington Medical Center believes "It's Our Fight, Too." Our multidisciplinary team of clinicians works together to diagnose and treat cancer with state-of-the-art technology. Learn about our cancer program and read the inspiring stories of our patients in this special newspaper section below.

    For more information on Lexington Medical Center's cancer program, visit LexMedCancer.com

  • Breast Reconstruction Options

    by Bekah Corbett | Oct 03, 2016

    October 17 represents an important day for many patients who have undergone the harrowing journey of a breast cancer diagnosis, tumor surgery and reconstruction. It’s National Breast Cancer Reconstruction Awareness Day. For many patients, the month of October also represents a month-long reminder that breast cancer remains an integral piece of so many lives. 

    Breast reconstruction is a vital part of my practice. It represents a labor of love and is a way to help my patients with breast cancer feel “whole and feminine” again. Despite the misconception that breast reconstruction is a single surgery, it is actually a variety of different types of surgeries that are designed to help patients feel as good as possible after their breast cancer surgery. 

    A variety of techniques and surgical procedures are available for women with breast cancer. Most importantly, we must remember that all women diagnosed with this condition are treated uniquely based on their particular cancer biology, tumor location within the breast, their body and current breast type. In addition, the possible need for radiation is an important consideration for your plastic surgeon. Thus, what might work well for a friend or family member may not work as well for you.

    Women who have already had breast cancer surgery and have not had reconstruction, or those who have had reconstruction and desire a revision or improvement may also be candidates for breast reconstruction surgery. Importantly, this criterion includes women who may have had breast conservation therapy (as described below) on one side and have uneven breasts due to volume differences. 

    For women undergoing breast conservation therapy, also known as lumpectomy with radiation, your plastic surgeon should work with your breast surgeon to attempt to minimize the breast deformity resulting from the lumpectomy (removal of cancerous tissue). Options may include a breast lift or breast reduction, if excess tissue is indicated, at the time of the lumpectomy.

    Another option may be to rearrange internal breast tissue to “fill in” the space created by the lumpectomy. This process is called oncoplastic surgery, which simply means that we combine the cancer portion of the surgery with the plastic/reconstructive portion to achieve an optimal outcome. Ideally, this type of reconstruction takes place before radiation as the effects of radiation can be quite significant on the skin and underlying breast tissue. These effects make molding, lifting and healing the tissue after surgery extremely difficult and oftentimes disappointing. Thus, it is important to discuss oncoplastic surgery with your breast surgeon at your initial consultation. It is always a good idea to request a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon when trying to determine your options regarding your breast cancer care. 

    Women undergoing one-sided or double mastectomy have two main types of reconstruction options. The first option is an implant-based reconstruction that can be performed at the time of the mastectomy (removal of the breast) or be delayed (sometime after the removal of the breast). The second option is autologous tissue reconstruction (taking your own tissue to make a breast). Back and abdominal tissues are often used for this procedure. Depending on your goals, body type, medical issues and need for radiation, your plastic surgeon will help guide you through the different options to help you determine what is best for you. 

    If you would like to schedule an appointment with me, please feel free to contact us.

  • Take Care of Yourself and Your Skin

    by Bekah Corbett | Jul 08, 2016
    beautytreatments_article
  • Inverted (Retracted) Nipples

    by Bekah Corbett | Jun 01, 2016
    While having inverted nipples is extremely common, it can be a source of embarrassment and frustration for those who have them. Approximately 10–25 percent of women are born with this condition, which can affect one or both breasts. 

    Inverted nipples are the result of shortened or scarred milk ducts that attach the breast tissue to the nipple and, as a result, pull the nipple inward. Causes of nipple inversion vary and may include infection, prior breastfeeding, trauma with resultant scarring, massive weight loss and pregnancy. Women should see their primary care physician or a board-certified plastic surgeon for newly onset nipple inversion to evaluate for a possible cancerous cause.  

    Nipple inversion has three grades. Grade 1 (sometimes called “shy nipples”) is the least severe. Grade 3 nipple inversion occurs when the nipple is severely retracted and cannot be released without significant force.  

    If you have Grade 2 or Grade 3 nipple inversion, a relatively low-risk, in-office procedure is available. With the patient under local anesthetic, the physician releases the shortened and scarred ducts to allow the nipple to correct itself. Patients experience minimal downtime and often regain their confidence after having the procedure.  

    You should also consider that you may not be able to breastfeed after this procedure and recurrence, although rare, is possible. Please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lefkowitz if you would like an evaluation.  
  • C'mon Get Happy!

    by Bekah Corbett | May 31, 2016

    What operation has the happiest postoperative patients?
    Breast reduction

    We all want what we don’t have. Women with small breasts usually wish they had bigger breasts, and those with larger breasts usually want smaller ones.

    Excessively large breasts can strain the neck and upper back muscles. This medical condition is known as macromastia or breast hypertrophy. Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed by plastic surgeons around the world with proven success. Performed in the outpatient setting, patients go home on the same day. They often say that they already notice a big difference at their first postoperative appointment.

    The amount of breast tissue removed varies greatly depending on the patient’s size. The ultimate goal is to remove enough tissue to be effective, but keep the breast size proportionate with the patient’s natural body frame. As a result, predicting postoperative bra/cup size is extremely difficult.


    What is the recovery like?
    Patients tend to do well with this surgery and take anywhere between five to seven days off before returning to work (longer for physical labor). The patient wears a comfortable support bra, placed at the time of surgery, for approximately three months. 


    What about the scars?
    The exact type of scar can vary depending on the initial shape of the breast and the amount of excess skin and tissue to be removed. A wise-pattern or anchor-pattern incision is often utilized along with a vertical scar pattern. While not insignificant, most patients gladly take the scars to feel better after surgery. 


    Am I a candidate?
    Women with a BMI below 35 (refer to the body mass index chart) who have symptoms of breast hypertrophy and failed conservative measures may be candidates for surgery once all other medical conditions are considered.


    bmi_lg

    Is this surgery covered by insurance?
    Breast reduction is usually covered by insurance plans if the patient has symptoms not relieved by more conservative measures, such as physical therapy or better support bras. Oftentimes, documentation by a primary care doctor (family physician, GYN, etc.) is needed and can be helpful. Some insurance companies require the surgeon to remove a certain amount of tissue based on the patient’s height and weight. We will help our patients complete the pre-approval process once they are considered a good candidate for surgery. 

    If you think breast reduction surgery might be for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  • Subscribe to our email list here!

    by Bekah Corbett | May 17, 2016

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    Don’t miss out on a chance for a new you!

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  • Double chin got you down? Kybella may be the answer! *VIDEO*

    by Bekah Corbett | May 09, 2016

    For many people, the small area beneath the chin can cause big headaches. In fact, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 67 percent of people say that under-the-chin fullness, or double chin, bothers them. The submental region under the chin often contains fat that can obscure a nice jawline and even give the appearance of “chubbiness.” Luckily, there is a relatively new non-surgical treatment used for this specific area on adults older than age 18. 

    Kybella® (deoxycholic acid) is a recently Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment that doctors inject similarly to Botox® by using tiny needles in the comfort of the office for as little as 15 minutes. Kybella is composed of a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. This destruction and absorption of fat in the submental area leads to improvement in contour. 

    During the initial consultation, Dr. Lefkowitz will assess you for the amount of fat in this region and determine whether Kybella is right for you. Generally, two to four treatments spaced approximately six to eight weeks apart will provide optimal results. There is no downtime after a Kybella injection, and patients tolerate these injections well. 

    You may be asking, “What should I expect after my Kybella treatment?” Some swelling and minor bruising in the submental area, along with numbness, is normal and expected. Some hardness in this area is also common due to the natural inflammatory reaction. We will schedule your second session when the numbness in this area fades away. 

    Please feel free to contact us for more information and to schedule a consultation.

  • Does Excessive Sweating Have You Sweating?

    by Bekah Corbett | May 04, 2016
    Believe it or not, you may be suffering from one of the most common medical conditions — hyperhidrosis. Essentially, it’s a fancy term for excessive sweating. Arm pits, hands and the scalp are the usual suspects, but for those of us who have given a presentation or had to shake hands at an important business or social function, we know it all too well.

    Luckily, there is a great solution to this embarrassing problem! Botox®. Yes, Botox. The same injection that makes wrinkles soften and disappear can reduce excessive sweating. 
    Here’s how it works. When injected into the problem areas, Botox affects the sebaceous glands and associated hair follicles to temporarily decrease the chemical signals that stimulate these glands. This reaction makes you to sweat less.

    Similar to a Botox injection for facial wrinkles, this procedure is performed in the office, often during a lunch break to minimize time spent away from work, school and the gym. One treatment may improve sweating for up to six months, while Botox lasts three to four months when used for wrinkle improvement. Effectiveness can vary from patient to patient.

    Please feel free to contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. 
  • Face Time Friday: Chemical Peel *VIDEO*

    by Bekah Corbett | Apr 15, 2016
    A chemical peel is a solution applied to the skin. The top layer of skin is peeled away; stimulating new healthy skin production with more uniformed pigmentation and organized collagen bundles. This gives your skin a smoother, more youthful appearance. 

    Dr. Lefkowitz believes a pre-peel skin regimen is essential to maximize your aesthetic results. In addition to strict sun protection with UV-A and B sun block, in the month prior to your peel, he recommends a pre-treatment regimen consisting of a retinol (Retin-A) and a lightening cream (hydroquinone.) Following this regimen will prepare your skin for the peel, minimize your downtime, and provide more natural and balanced results.

    Ideal Candidate
    • Photodamaged Skin/Aged Skin
    • Fine lines (around mouth and eyes)
    • Textural irregularities

    Recovery Time
    • Minimal to moderately pigmented skin types
    • Recovery Time 
    • Back to Work: 3 - 4 days (You will still be red—like a bad sunburn)
    • Back to Exercise: 7 - 10 days
    • Make-up/Cover: 10 days
    • Back to Social Functions: 10 - 14 days

  • Wrinkles, Wrinkles, Go Away!

    by Bekah Corbett | Mar 04, 2016
    Here’s the bad news first… no matter how well you care for your skin, you WILL eventually get wrinkles.

    As we age and because of our genetics, wrinkles develop on the forehead and between the eyes (glabella region), and crow’s feet appear beside the outer portion of the eyes. This wrinkling happens because of the strong muscular actions that occur thousands and thousands of times during our lifetime. The result is wrinkles in cosmetically sensitive areas.

    Now, the good news. Several great treatments are available to help those stubborn places that don’t seem to improve with expensive creams and anti-aging products, and they have minimal downtime. Neuromodulators, such as Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin®, are commonly used to attack wrinkles in the comfort of an office with little downtime. 
    Although Botox procedures greatly improve many problem areas, the forehead and eye areas are the best places for treatment. People often worry about looking “frozen” after having Botox. But when done correctly, these treatments will actually SOFTEN your appearance!

    Neuromodulators, such as Botox, do a great job of treating “dynamic” wrinkles, which appear when you animate or move muscles in the forehead, squint or scowl. In addition, these treatments often soften “static” wrinkles that appear when not moving your facial muscles. Another great benefit — your boss won’t know if you’re mad at him or her because you won’t be able to scowl, making treatment a plus for your career!

    Feel free to contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.  
  • Reconstructive Plastic Surgery for Skin Cancer *VIDEO*

    by Bekah Corbett | Jan 15, 2016

    South Carolina has an above average rate of skin cancer. Using tanning beds and not wearing sunscreen outdoors are leading causes. In this story for WIS-TV, Dr. Todd Lefkowitz of Lexington Plastic Surgery introduces us to one of his patients, who needed extensive reconstructive plastic surgery on her face after a diagnosis of skin cancer.

    Thank you to WIS-TV and news anchor Dawndy Mercer-Plank for helping us to bring attention to this important health topic.

    Read the full story. 

     
  • Is Eyelid Surgery Right for Me?

    by Bekah Corbett | Jun 23, 2015

    “Why do I look tired all the time when I don’t feel tired?”

    This question can mean many things to a plastic surgeon, but when my patients ask me this while pointing directly at their eyelids it becomes pretty clear.    

    Through genetics, sun damage and the aging process, changes occur to both the upper eyelids and lower eyelids, which can produce a tired, aged appearance. Heavy, drooping upper eyelids and baggy lower eyelids often times producing the classic “tear trough” deformity can represent these changes.

    Luckily, advances in eyelid surgery, which also incorporate non-surgical techniques, can markedly improve this popular area of concern. Whether it’s excess skin of the upper eyelids, fatty pouches on the lower eyelids or wrinkles from muscle over-activity, eyelid lifts can help remove and re-contour these areas. The result is a more youthful and refreshed appearance.    

    So how does one figure out if eyelid surgery is the procedure they’re looking for? You can use the following questions as a guide: 

    1. Do you appear perpetually tired or upset even though you aren’t?
    2. Do you have tired, aging eyelids?
    3. Do you have excess or drooping skin of the upper eyelids?
    4. Do you have bags or puffiness of the lower eyelids?
    5. Have you tried getting enough sleep and using eye creams to improve the appearance of your eyes but to no avail?

    If the answer is yes to one or more of the above, eyelid rejuvenation is most likely to help you in your quest to restore a more refreshed appearance.  

  • My Advice for Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

    by Bekah Corbett | May 23, 2015

    Choosing a plastic surgeon can be a daunting and confusing experience. The most important aspect, however, is that you feel he or she has your best interests in mind. Having a high level of comfort with your plastic surgeon and their office staff is essential prior to any major decision on having a surgery or procedure performed.

    Not including medical school, well-trained plastic surgeons spend close to a decade undergoing intensive surgical training, studying to learn and refine their techniques. Finding an American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) board-certified plastic surgeon is the most important indicator of his or her training and credentials. Becoming board certified in plastic surgery is the culmination of many years of training that includes multiple peer-reviewed exams as well as data collection from the surgeon’s practice to assure the public that he or she is a safe and competent surgeon. Always look for the board-certified designation when searching for the right plastic surgeon for you.

    Having a surgeon with extra training and special interest in the procedure that pertains to you is very important as well. Prior to your consultation, do your homework. A surgeon’s website and curriculum vitae will often times clue you into his or her surgical interests and to those surgeries in which he or she has had extra training. Ask around, especially if you know someone in the surgical/hospital community. They may be able to advise you on your surgeon’s reputation.

    At your consultation, don’t be shy. Ask questions! Surgeons who are comfortable in their own knowledge and abilities will not be offended by questions. In fact, they will take them as a sign of your level of interest. Consultations are a time for the surgeon to help educate you about the surgery or procedure in which you are inquiring. Use this time to your advantage.

    For additional advice about what questions to ask your plastic surgeon, please check out my next blog post for some tips and suggestions.

  • Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

    by Bekah Corbett | May 18, 2015

    You have been thinking about having something done, and now you are in your plastic surgeon’s office! You did your homework on the procedure(s) in which you are interested, the office staff has been great, and you are ready to find out if the surgeon and procedure are right for you. 

    Ask if your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is a crucial first step in the process. Ask about his or her experience.  Plastic surgeons, like many other physicians, have particular expertise and interests in certain surgeries and procedures. For instance, while I have extra training and experience in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts and body, I am not trained to perform complex cranial vault (skull) reconstructions on small children. This requires a different type of fellowship and additional training. Thus, your surgeon should be forthcoming with this type of information. Before and after photos along with patient testimonials are also great ways to get a sense of whether or not the surgeon and/or procedure(s) are right for you. Review sites online can be hit or miss, but a lot of insight about your surgeon and his or her practice can be obtained by taking the time to review these for yourself. 

    If a particular part of the surgical process (preoperative—before, intraoperative—during, postoperative—recovery) has not been explained to your satisfaction, be sure to inquire about the details of these steps. In my experience, every patient is more informed about one part or another, and both patient and surgeon will be more comfortable when you have a clear idea about each part of the process. 

    Finally, many of my patients ask me personal questions, such as whether I have had plastic surgery and why I became a plastic surgeon. None of this is off limits as far as I’m concerned. I am getting to know my patients during our initial consultation, and they are often sharing very intimate details, insecurities and expectations. My job is to make patients feel comfortable to open up and be honest about what they hope to achieve so that I can most effectively help them to reach their goals.

     

ASAPS

FACS

SESPRS

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

ABMS

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