By Ruth Gray

“Nobody wants to feel like they’re not pretty,” said Kristin, a 39-year-old visitor to the Autumn Open House at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center on Griffin Road in Portsmouth. For some, the definition of “pretty” is the cleansing and relaxing effects of a therapeutic facial, while for others it is the ability to overcome the trauma and disfigurement of an injury or disease through reconstructive surgery.

I had been invited to the open house event at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center to be a “model” for the evening. Having never considered breast augmentation, microdermabrasion or any of the other services that they offer, I had no idea what to expect. What I found was wonderful.

The waiting areas, offices and treatment rooms were overflowing with adult women and men of every age. Although some had been there before, many were, like me, new to this experience and full of questions for the doctors, nurses, and aestheticians and office staff. The evening was planned so that visitors would have the opportunity to observe treatments, speak with the models on whom the treatment was demonstrated, and obtain information from the care providers.

25-year-old Catherine was a cancer survivor and had already undergone breast reconstruction surgery at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center. “I have so much more confidence now”, she said. According to Dr. Brannon Claytor, one of the two plastic surgeons at Atlantic Plastic Surgery, reconstructive surgery takes the patient “from trauma and fear to normalcy”. He added, “Our patients are normal women” and men, not “movie stars”. Meghan, 33, had sustained an injury, and freely offered that “Dr. Lawrence Gray reconstructed my nose”.

For those interested in breast augmentation, Atlantic Plastic Surgery has one of a handful of Axis 3 digital systems in New England and is able to provide three dimensional images, allowing the patient to see the anticipated results of her procedure.

For Shelly, age 45, “I’ve never been here before and [the open house] was a good opportunity” to gather information. “I am most interested in Botox, for my forehead”, she shared. “I was scheduled to receive Xeomin, an evolution of Botox, injections in my own forehead and I found the procedure to be relatively painless and the results fantastic.”

I was scheduled for laser hair removal under my arms and even now, 3 weeks post my one and only treatment, I have not experienced any regrowth. The husband of a woman with whom I spoke was interested in this procedure, and I reassured her that it was not at all painful.

For those seeking to ameliorate the scarring effects of acne, microdermabrasion is effective and safe. Fraxel, or laser resurfacing of the skin, is the most impressive procedure they have available for reducing or eliminating the appearance of both scars and fine lines. According to Kristen, the “model” for this demonstration, the procedure was uncomfortable, but not terribly painful, and the results were indeed impressive.

Sandy, a Certified Aesthetician at Atlantic Plastic Surgery, provides therapeutic facials for both men and women. “It is a little less aggressive than other procedures, and is more relaxing.” The enzyme exfoliates and the microdermabrasion and oatmeal mask stimulates the skin. I had the procedure and found it to be quite relaxing. I experienced a noticeable improvement in the tone, color and overall health of my skin.

Atlantic Plastic Surgery also offers a wide array of skin care products. Madeline, Dawn and Lynn, 3 friends whose ages range from 46 to 68, all agreed that “if you come here you may pay a little more, but you also wouldn?t need the over the counter products in your ‘product graveyard’ that don’t work”. “I feel like what I am doing here is working.”

In addition to these procedures and products, Atlantic Plastic Surgery also offers schlerotherapy, liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts and other procedures as well as Lattise for eyelash growth, Obagi Medical level skin care and Vivite skin care products. There are many other procedures and products not mentioned here. The Skin Wellness Center offers free skin consultation and digital skin analysis. What have you got to loose, except perhaps a few scars, lines and areas of discoloration? You may even walk away with a few more curves, and a lot more confidence.

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