Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Deciding to get plastic or cosmetic surgery is an exciting step toward achieving the body you’ve always wanted. So, what’s better than having a plan and doctor you trust?

Sometimes it’s tricky knowing how to choose a doctor. Here are six tips for deciding on a plastic surgeon.

Out-of-Pocket or Insurance?

Unless your procedure is fixing defects or health issues, insurance doesn’t usually cover plastic or cosmetic surgery. When you’re looking for a plastic surgeon, make sure you can afford the services you want. To be sure, you’re investing in yourself, but it’s important to be mindful of your finances. Some states, such as California, allow women to undergo a mastectomy for implants under their insurance. Check with your state to see whether you qualify for procedures such as these.


We all want our primary care doctors to be educated and certified, right? Plastic surgeons are no different. It’s important to find one who’s certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. In the latter case, however, they must have an American Board of Plastic Surgery certification beforehand. Board certification ensures your doctor is well educated in safety and ethics. If they don’t hold any of these credentials, it’s probably best to keep searching.

Experience and Expertise

Not only is education and board certification key; the experience they have will speak volumes. When finding a surgeon, make sure the procedure you want is something in which they’re highly trained. They should have experience performing this particular procedure weekly for three to five years. This ensures your surgeon is specialized and knows what he or she is doing. When searching for a plastic surgeon, ask questions about their experience and the major surgeries they perform weekly. If the surgeon conducts the same procedure you want frequently, this is a good sign that they’ve got the expertise to perform that surgery on you.

Hospital Privileges

One of the key elements to choosing a surgeon is their hospital privileges. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “No surgeon should perform a cosmetic procedure on you if they don’t have privileges to perform that same procedure at a reputable hospital.” This lets you know whether they’re properly trained and trusted to work in a hospital setting. Consider it a red flag if they don’t have the privilege to work in a hospital. In addition, it’s important to be close to a hospital in the rare case of an emergency.

Patient Comfort

No matter the doctor, you should feel comfortable expressing health concerns, medical history, or asking questions about several topics. This applies to plastic surgeons as well. Once you’ve narrowed down your specific needs, talk to a surgeon for their guidance and expertise. Ask yourself questions about your post-consultation comfort level. A few questions to consider:

● Did the surgeon answer all my questions?
● Do I agree with their communication style?
● Is the practice welcoming?
● Was the surgeon willing to listen to my questions and concerns?

If you answer no to any of these questions, this may not be the surgeon for you. Spend time researching and talking to multiple doctors before you make your decision to ensure you’ve found the one you’re comfortable with. Pay attention to the surgeon’s communication, credentials, and knowledge, as well as the behavior of the facility’s staff.

Getting to Know Each Other

Another component of finding the right surgeon is the desire to know you as the patient. Are they asking you questions about your health history, concerns you have, or procedure options? If not, this should also be a red flag. Getting to know each other is vital to reach the trust and comfort level needed to communicate appropriately. You want to know about their history as a surgeon, so they should equally want to know about your history as a patient.

They should be attentive, taking notes, and reciprocating your interest. If they seem uninterested in your concerns, questions, or comments regarding treatments and procedures, they may not be the doctor for you. Just like any other physician you’ll encounter, you want your voice to be heard.

Ready to Start Your Journey to Plastic Surgery?

If you’re struggling to find a plastic surgeon, you’ve come to the right place. Jim Branter, M.D. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, serving Johnson City, TN, and the surrounding areas, is here to help you with every step

Give us a call at (423) 328-9000 to discuss your plastic and reconstructive surgery options!

6 Most Common Plastic & Cosmetic Procedures

6 Most Common Plastic & Cosmetic Procedures

Gone are the days when celebrities are at the forefront of plastic and cosmetic surgeries. Such procedures have increased in popularity, especially for men, with a 40% rise over the past decade alone. While there are many procedures for men and women, what’s the most common?

Here we explain the six most common plastic and cosmetic procedures.


Commonly known as a nose job, this surgery is cosmetic and medically beneficial for patients suffering from breathing or structural issues. During the procedure, the patient will be under general or local anesthesia. The surgeon will make incisions inside the nostrils to restructure the bone and cartilage. Sometimes the surgeon will make an incision on the bottom of the nose.

Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure. Once the procedure is done, patients will wear a nose splint for a week. Bruising and swelling are normal but eventually pass within seven days, though the scarring can take months to fade.

Botox Injections

Botox is a form of botulinum toxin, a naturally occurring toxin in bacteria that is used to treat wrinkles, migraines, and excessive sweating. In most cases, Botox for cosmetic use is directly injected into the face or neck, tightening the muscles to reduce wrinkles or sagginess. Botox is injected into the face and neck for migraines. In the case of excessive sweating, it’s injected into the armpit.

It doesn’t take long to inject, ranging from 15 to 30 minutes in the doctor’s office, depending on the patient’s treatment. Results last four to six months for cosmetic use and four to twelve months for migraine use.

Breast Augmentation

Also known as breast enlargement, this procedure restructures breasts to make them larger. Women who’ve undergone surgery for breast cancer use augmentation for reconstruction. This procedure is either inpatient or outpatient. Some patients undergo local or general anesthesia, depending on their plan.

First, the surgeon will make an incision at the areola or in the patient’s armpit. This creates a pocket for the surgeon to place the implant under the pectoral muscle, aligning it underneath the nipples. The surgery lasts for two hours, with the removal of stitches a week later. Patients may have a post-surgical bra to support the breasts during recovery.


Otherwise known as rhytidectomies, facelifts are surgeries that help the skin tighten to erase fine lines and wrinkles. During the procedure, the surgeon will cut at the front of the ear and toward the temples and hairline. The surgeon will then lift excess skin and drape it to tighten, thus creating a smooth texture across the face.

Stitches will line the incisions, and patients can expect removal after ten days. There will be bruising and swelling, so it can take time to see results.

Forehead Lift

Popular among adults 40 and older, forehead lifts get rid of wrinkles and fine lines by tightening the skin of one’s forehead. Many patients use this and other procedures, such as facelifts, to diminish aging effects and unwanted skin. There are two surgery options to choose from:

● In the classic procedure, the surgeon will cut beside one ear and across the forehead to the other ear. The skin is lifted for the surgeon to remove fat and tissue while sometimes moving the eyebrows higher.
● An endoscopic lift involves up to five incisions on the scalp for the endoscope to observe the tissues and muscles. A tool will lift the skin in a separate incision to remove the fat and tissue and possible muscle realignment. In this procedure, the eyebrows may also move higher.

Both inpatient and outpatient options are available, depending on the patient’s needs. In the case of breast augmentation, either general or local anesthesia will be available based on the procedure plan. Some side effects may include numbness at the incision or scalp, swelling, pain, or bruising.


An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, lifts the eyelids to correct sagginess and excess fat. This occurs on both the upper and lower lids and isn’t dependent on age. Many younger patients have droopy eyelids or extra tissue caused by genetics. That said, most people who have blepharoplasty are 35 and older.

Eyelid lifts are either inpatient or outpatient. General or local anesthesia will be available alongside the use of sedatives. Post-surgery, the patient might be sore, and their eyelids may be tight. Short-term vision problems, inability to close one’s eyes, swelling, acne, and ectropion are possible side effects of blepharoplasty.

Want to know more about plastic and cosmetic procedures?

With many procedures to choose from, our team of experienced doctors is here to help you on your journey to the body you’ve always wanted. For more information, contact Jim Branter, M.D. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at (423) 328-9000 for service in Johnson City, TN, and the surrounding areas.

7 Plastic Surgery Trends That Will Be Huge in 2021

7 Plastic Surgery Trends That Will Be Huge in 2021

Last year, 2020 was normal until around mid-March. Our world completely flipped upside-down when COVID-19 paid a visit to the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that hospitals and outpatient facilities limit non-essential elective surgeries during the pandemic.

Now that coronavirus cases are declining, elective surgeries are on the rise again; however, hospitals and facilities still practice safety measures. Between quarantine and stay-at-home ordinances, people have had more time alone to think about cosmetic procedures. The pandemic also warranted more virtual work environments, which caused people to look at themselves more over their webcam.

A new year brings new trends to explore. Plastic surgeries in 2021 may look a little different, though some will be repeats of previous years. Trends fade in and out, but the following 7 trends are guaranteed to be huge and in high demand this year among patients and cosmetic surgeons.

1. Browplasty (Brow Lift)

Brow lifts are one of many ways to spruce up your face. Wearing face masks has made people hyper-aware of their eyes and eyebrows. A brow lift, known as browplasty, aims to reduce wrinkles and creases that form over time across the forehead and between the eyes.

This procedure also improves the vertical frown lines that appear between the eyebrows. Browplasty raises sagging eyebrows that hang over the upper eyelids. Overall, it reorients the eyebrows into a more youthful position.

During a brow lift procedure, other surgeries can be performed, such as upper and lower eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) and facelifts.

2. Rhinoplasty (Nose Reshaping)

Even though our noses are mostly covered under face masks in the pandemic era, they are still a prominent facial feature that people are likely to notice, especially on a Zoom video call. Rhinoplasty, or the reshaping of the nose, is a common cosmetic procedure.

Rhinoplasty is now available as a surgery or “liquid” procedure. Contrary to classic nose surgery, liquid rhinoplasty is getting more popular because it’s a liquid injection of hyaluronic acid (HA). Rather than going under the knife, you can opt for the non-surgical approach.

The HA injection works to reshape the nose in a safer way than going through surgery. Choosing the best option for you depends on the extent of your desired nose job.

3. Laser Resurfacing

Rather than trying to reverse the signs of aging, 2021 is the year people are getting into anti-aging. Younger people are taking preventative measures to make their youthfulness last longer, especially because they may be under harsh lighting on camera.

Laser resurfacing is attracting a wider audience of young people. Many people starting in their early 20s are considering laser resurfacing, which refers to removing the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and allowing it to grow back.

Once the laser removes the outer layer, it heats the dermis (the next layer of skin) and stimulates the collagen fibers to grow. As the epidermis heals, it comes back much smoother and tighter.

4. Facial Rejuvenation

Facial rejuvenation is a broad term for multiple ways you can revitalize your face. Types of facial rejuvenation include laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and facelifts. Laser resurfacing is a common type of facial rejuvenation treatment among young adults.

Similar to a chemical peel, microdermabrasion is a non-surgical procedure that renews skin tone and texture. Patients who request microdermabrasion may have sun damage, age spots, acne scarring, melasma, or other skin conditions that have left them feeling insecure. This deep exfoliation treatment will leave your face feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Facelifts were more common among aging adults in the 1970s and 1980s. Their main purpose was to tighten the skin on and around the face, including loose skin around the neck. This treatment is the least popular option in facial rejuvenation treatments now because it’s age-reversing rather than anti-aging.

5. Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation, also called enlargement or enhancement, will continue to be a popular cosmetic surgery. Technological and surgical advancements have changed the science of breast augmentation.

These improvements have helped reduce recovery times and lessen pain. However, the procedure is still the same: the surgeon places silicone or saline implants in each breast to enhance its size and shape.

6. Non-Surgical Injectable Fillers

In general, there has been an increase in non-surgical treatments, mostly due to pain, cost, and recovery time.

Botox is a popular facial injection that temporarily smooths skin. Its popularity is due in part to its short recovery time. However, the results are not permanent, and treatment must be repeated two to three times a year.

Facial fillers are generally made of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and hydroxyapatite. Fillers reduce wrinkles, raise depression wounds from scarring, enhance lips, and restore soft tissue. Fillers are often used with Botox to lengthen the time before more treatments are needed.

7. Body Contouring

Liposuction and CoolSculpting, also known as body contouring, have been on the rise and will continue their upswing throughout 2021. During quarantine, many people gained the “quarantine 15,” which refers to a 15-pound weight gain resulting from the stay-at-home orders of COVID-19.

Liposuction uses a suction technique to remove fat from parts of the body. The most popular areas to remove fat among men and women are in the hips, thighs, upper arms, and abdomen.

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive body contouring treatment that essentially freezes and kills fat cells, causing the treated area to melt away. Following treatment, your body will naturally wipe out the dead cells in one to three months.

Call Dr. Jim Brantner, M.D. for Your 2021 Plastic Surgery Goals in Johnson City, TN

Make 2021 your year to look and feel your best. To schedule a consultation, call the office of Dr. Jim Brantner at (423) 328-9000 or send a message. Dr. Brantner services the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee.

Where on Your Body Can You Get Liposuction?

Where on Your Body Can You Get Liposuction?

Liposuction, also known as liposculpture suction, lipoplast, lipectomy, or simply “lipo”, is a popular cosmetic procedure readily available for residents of the Tri-City, TN areas.

Even though liposuction is not considered a way to lose weight, it is, however, the best way to have troublesome areas of your body sculpted to your liking.

Doctors often recommend this type of procedure for those individuals who: have lost weight, who eat a healthy diet, and who engage in regular exercise, but who have a difficult time losing localized areas of fat. Typical problem areas include the stomach, upper arms, neck, butt, thighs, and upper and lower back.

In fact, some of the best doctors who perform liposuction are in Tennessee, and in the Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol, and Elizabethton areas in particular.

Areas of Your Body Where You Can Have Liposuction

Most individuals don’t know that there are lots of areas on the body where they can have liposuction. One main area that everyone knows about is the midsection, followed by the hips, thighs, and buttocks.

Some of the lesser-known areas where you can get liposuction are as follows:

Double Chin:  A double chin is the area in the neck and chin where excess fat can and does accumulate. When pockets of fat form here, a fold is created that makes people look as if they have two chins. Even though a double chin is most common in individuals who are overweight, people of normal weight can suffer from this as well. The good news is that liposuction can easily eliminate this by improving the angle of definition between the chin and the neck. Be aware, though, that liposuction will not tighten any loose neck.

Buffalo Hump: In nature, the term buffalo hump is used to describe a buffalo’s neck. In humans, however, this term describes an abnormal fatty deposit at the upper back and neck. According to doctors, the buffalo hump is caused by obesity, steroid treatment, and the body’s overproduction of certain natural steroids. Liposuction is a great way to eliminate this fat deposit.

Excess Arm Skin: For some, even when they have taken the time to properly tone their arms, there’s still the issue of flabby and/or loose skin that sags at the back. If that sagging is caused by fat, then liposuction can definitely help. However, if that fat is due to loose skin, then a more involved procedure called a brachioplasty is required.

Women’s Breasts: Even though most women feel that liposuction can be done on breasts of any shape and size, this is not so. Liposuction of the breasts is great for women with perky breasts that are fatty. In order to obtain optimal results, the breasts cannot be saggy or droopy, as liposuction will make this worse. In addition, breasts that have more fat and are less dense are better suited for liposuction. Interestingly, older breasts have more fat while younger breasts are denser. For those with dense breasts, a breast lift or a breast reduction is the best procedure to go with, as it will yield better results.

Male Breasts: Men who suffer from enlarged breasts have gynecomastia, which causes their chest area to grow and look like a breast. This condition commonly happens when excessive fat accumulates a man’s chest area. According to doctors, this is caused by hormone imbalances, obesity, steroid use, or frequently using drugs like marijuana. The good news is that liposuction can greatly reduce the appearance of enlarged breasts in men.  

Fat in the Back Area: More commonly referred to as back fat, those with fat in this area tend to have rolls that appear to hang from the back. Liposuction has been proven time and again to be excellent at correcting this condition. However, it’s important that the skin not be too stretched out, as this will cause results to not be as optimal as they should be. In cases where the skin is too stretched out, a bra line back lift may be needed.

Abdomen and Belly Pouch: These are the most common areas to receive liposuction. Belly fat is stubborn and oftentimes does not respond well to diet or exercise. Liposuction works great on these areas. However, liposuction is not advised for those who have hard, intra-abdominal fat, as it cannot be removed by liposuction. Belly pouches, commonly caused by excess fat that is localized to the lower abdomen, are always an ideal spot for liposuction because fat there is easily removed.

Muffin Tops and Love Handles: Liposuction is a great option to get rid of the excess fat on the sides of the abdomen as well as the extra fat located on the sides of the abdomen that also extends into the back. These are stubborn areas that both men and women struggle with despite a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Ready to Learn More About Fast, Reliable and Effective Fat Reduction?

If you’ve been struggling with stubborn excess fat in any of these areas on your body, then liposuction might be the perfect option for you.

Why not compliment your healthy diet and regular exercise routine with that sculpted body you’ve always dreamed of?

Ready to learn more? Contact Dr. Jim Brantner, MD, a licensed plastic surgeon in the Tennessee and Tri-City area today to get started.

What is the best treatment for Cellulite?

What is the best treatment for Cellulite?

Cellulite is a problem shared by many women (and men), old and young alike. It is indiscriminate, affecting those who are thin as well as those who are overweight.

Not only is cellulite unsightly, it can also wreak havoc on our self esteem and confidence, especially when wearing more revealing clothing like shorts, swimsuits or bikinis.

Dr. Jim Brantner, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing in Johnson City, Tennessee, offers residents of the Tri-City areas a safe and effective solution. Read on to learn more…

What is Cellulite?

That noticeable “cottage-cheese” appearance often seen on the butts, thighs, and pelvic area is caused by fibrous bands of connective tissue, called septae. The skin puckers over these areas when the septae breaks down, allowing the normal layer of fat underneath to push up.

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, “an estimated 85 to 90% of adult women suffer from cellulite. Further, the aging process can worsen the appearance of cellulite. As a natural part of aging, skin loses its elasticity. When this happens your skin is less able to resist irregular tension created by these fibrous bands, thus increasing the appearance of cellulite

Is there an effective treatment?

In the past, treatments ranged from expensive (and often ineffective) creams, to costly and invasive procedures such as liposuction or injections.

Fortunately, there are many new FDA approved treatments being offered by cosmetic surgeons that are safe, effective, and do not require invasive surgery.

New treatments that work

Some of these new and innovative treatments include:


  • Cryolipolysis is a noninvasive procedure that freezes and kills fat cells. Dead cells are removed from the body naturally. Results can in three to four months with up to three treatments.
  • Laser Treatments can help to break up those tough bands of tissue underneath the skin. Treatments also thicken the skin, increase blood flow, and stimulate collagen growth, resulting in an improved appearance lasting up to six months.


  • Mechanical Massage, using a machine with low-pressure suction, kneads the skin with spinning rollers that help to break up the connective tissue that causes cellulite.


  • Unfortunately, this procedure makes the skin appear better for only a short time.

Shockwave therapy is a lower energy version of the same technology used to dissolve kidney stones. This treatment is given twice per week over a span of six or more weeks but research is still being done to determine how long the results may last.

A Better Way to Treat Cellulite in the Tri-City, TN Area

For residents of the Tri-city, TN area there is new hope in the battle against unsightly cellulite.

Dr. Jim Brantner, a board-certified plastic surgeon who practices in Johnson City, Tennessee’s premier cosmetic surgery center, offers a gentle, non-invasive procedure called ThermiSmooth Body® to combat cellulite.

ThermiSmooth Body® uses patented heat technology to take care of stubborn body fat with no recovery time or surgery necessary. It reduces sagging and improves tone and smoothness while reducing or eliminating cellulite dimples.

Ready to learn more? Call our office and let us help you lose that stubborn cellulite today!

Debunking Common Plastic Surgery Myths

Debunking Common Plastic Surgery Myths

According to 2017 annual plastic surgery procedural statistics, over 17.5 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the US.

For many individuals, plastic surgery offers a way to turn back the sands of time, improving both the way they look and feel.

Non-invasive procedures such as dermal fillers and laser treatments have grown in popularity, and even traditionally invasive procedures are now less invasive with developments in technology, contributing to their growth in demand.

Plastic and reconstructive surgery are a popular area of discussion. With new levels of interest in these techniques, it is important to do research into who will be operating on you. If you are considering plastic surgery, it is necessary to first debunk a few common myths, leaving you prepared for your future appointment.

Invest in Yourself

Whether you need medically necessary reconstructive surgery or a cosmetic boost in confidence, plastic surgery can help. When making this decision, however, it is important to seek out a certified surgeon with the experience and satisfied clientele to back up their claims. You only get one body, so make sure to take good care of yours by fully researching any decisions.

Myth #1 – Every Cosmetic Surgeon is A ‘Real’ Plastic Surgeon

Having a valid medical license is all that is required to allow a physician to call themselves a plastic surgeon. It is essential to research any plastic surgeon before allowing them to operate on you. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery do have differences.

Dr. Jim Brantner is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to perform many different procedures. When you trust him with your surgery, you are in good hands.

Myth #2 – All Certifications Are Equal

The American Board of Plastic Surgery, or ABPS, certification is what you need to look for when considering who will perform your surgery. Attaining this certification requires 6 to 9 years of training, followed by an extensive written and oral examination.

Other certifications may not be as extensive, meaning that you may be at risk. Take care when selecting your surgeon.

Myth #3 – Procedures Are Always Done in Accredited Facilities

Non-certified plastic surgeons do not have to operate in accredited facilities. Plastic surgery is still surgery, so it is important to be operated on in a place where your health is being protected.

Besides working out of a few hospitals, Dr. Brantner also has an in-house facility. The East Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center offers the best in modern technology for those who need a 23 hour stay or less. Other facilities include:


  • Johnson City Medical Center
  • Franklin Woods Community Hospital


No matter the procedure, Dr. Brantner will do whatever it takes to make sure your health is put first.

Myth #4 – Questioning your Surgeon is Rude

This is your body and surgery is a serious procedure that is both expensive and comes with a certain level of risk. Any plastic surgeon who truly cares about the work they do will never hesitate to answer your questions, make sure you are informed about any risks, and showcase results from their past work.

Dr. Jim Brantner is ready to answer any question you may have regarding your procedure. Knowledge is key to understanding how the body works and how to best recover from surgery.

Myth #5 – Plastic Surgery is Only for the Rich and Famous

Decades ago plastic surgery was a “luxury” confined to those with the levels of income necessary to subsidize procedures. However, plastic surgery and cosmetic techniques have come a long way since then, and are both socially and economically viable options for anyone from any walk of life or level of income.

And you don’t usually need to pay upfront. Many providers offer in-house financing options with favorable terms to help you achieve your goals without putting you or your family into financial hardship.

Myth #6 – Only Women Have Plastic Surgery

Untrue. Men are just as self-conscious about their appearance as are women (even though they may openly talk about it less than their female counterparts).

Every year more men are turning more to plastic surgery to achieve a youthful and fit appearance.

Myth #7 – A Good Plastic Surgery Job Will Not Leave Scars

Any type of “invasive” surgery that requires incisions will result in some kind of scarring. However, skilled plastic surgeons and the latest techniques and technology have come a long way in greatly minimizing scarring.

If you have concerns be sure to discuss them with your surgeon.

Myth #8 – Plastic Surgery Lasts Forever

While plastic surgery is designed to provide long-term, nothing lasts forever. A number of factors will determine how long your surgical results will prevail. Healthy lifestyle habits such as staying away from smoking and alcohol, as well as a balanced diet, good sleep habits and regular exercise can all help.

Hire the Right Professional for Your Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

At Jim Brantner Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we treat you with dignity and respect. The decision to have plastic surgery can be a very personal one, and we would love to answer any questions you may have about the process.

Dr. Jim Brantner is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery. With both military and civilian experience, Dr. Jim Brantner is able to serve a variety of needs.