Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dr. Alton Ingram
At Haute Beauty expert dr Alton Ingram’s practice, Ingram Cosmetic Surgery, in Nashville, TN they do things differently. Compared to your average cosmetic surgery office, Dr. Ingram doesn’t “try to do everything for everyone.” In fact, they only perform surgical procedures and focus only on the procedures that have the highest patient satisfaction and the lowest complication rates. To learn more about Dr. Ingram’s ways, Haute Beauty asked him a series of questions; here’s what he shared.
What are you best known for?
I’m best known for providing the highest quality patient care and safety and ensuring that every one of my patients gets the entire staff’s undivided and personalized attention.
What is the future of your field?
The future of cosmetic surgery is really exciting. In the next few years, I expect to see a greater focus on individualized treatments and procedures, with patients and surgeons focusing on the procedures that give the most dramatic results with the fewest complications. I also believe that patient safety has become a much bigger part of the conversation, and this fact will help to ensure that more surgeons and patients will provide and expect the highest standards regarding surgeon and staff training as well as surgical facility design. All this taken together means to me that cosmetic surgeons will be able to dramatically improve patients’ lives more than ever before.
Biggest misconception about your field?
The biggest misconception that people seem to have about cosmetic surgery is that it’s just for the wealthy or for people who aren’t happy with themselves. The vast majority of my patients are women with fulfilling family lives and careers who are happy with their lives or bodies but just have one or two little aspects of their appearance that they want to improve. These patients’ have natural-looking results and aren’t looking to completely change who they are.
Most requested procedures?
Our most popular operations are breast augmentation and abdominoplasty (frequently at the same time as a “mommy makeover“).
What sets your practice apart?
We have a small practice by design and only perform six to eight procedures a week. This allows us to give every patient the personal attention she needs without any of our patients’ being rushed or feeling like they don’t have our undivided attention.
What surgical advancements are you most excited about?
Patient safety is probably the topic on which I am asked to lecture the most, having co-founded the Cosmetic Surgery Patient Safety Campaign. In that regard, I am very excited about the recent addition of ultrasound guidance during the injection portion of BBL surgery. I have been performing BBLs since the late 1990s when I trained in Brazil with Professor Ivo Pitanguy, who developed the procedure. BBL is a safe procedure when performed properly, but unfortunately when it is not performed safely there are lots of risks. I will be teaching an anatomy course for other surgeons and moderating a group of surgeons who are speaking about BBL safety and how to incorporate intraoperative ultrasound at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery in San Diego this Spring. I am really excited to get this safety equipment in as many doctors’ hands as possible!
What is your most memorable patient reaction?
There are too many to list! Patients all react differently to their results. Some patients cry happy tears, scream and dance with excitement or tell me how much the procedure has changed their life or improved their confidence for the better.
What do you love most about your profession?
I love getting to interact with each of my patients before and after surgery. I love getting to see their results and the positive impact it has on the patient.
Career defining procedure?
I really have two procedures that fit this description. In my early career, breast augmentation was definitely my career-defining procedure. I was lucky enough to have studied with two of the surgeons (John Tebbets and Patrick Maxwell), who at that time were at the forefront of the development of the then-new generation of implants. Because of that, I was able to use the newest implants (teardrop-shaped, cohesive, “gummy bear,” etc.) while they were still being studied by the FDA to determine their safety and efficacy, and after studying with these two superb surgeons I developed new techniques of my own that allow my patients to have more predictable outcomes, shorter recovery times, and generally better results.
Lately, I have really developed an affinity for abdominoplasty surgery. During my early career, I really didn’t realize what a life-changing operation this can be for many women, but in the last few years, I have become more aware of what a difference this operation can have on my patients’ self- esteem, confidence, and ability not only to wear the clothes that they want but also to participate in the types of athletic and leisure activities that they may have foregone for years. Every couple of weeks, one of my patients breaks down in tears when we remove her bandages and binder for the first time, and this is really fulfilling to see.
What new services are you excited to offer?
None. I don’t perform any surgery that hasn’t been performed safely and effectively for decades. Our philosophy is to limit our practice to procedures that have been around long enough for me to have become an expert in them, rather than jumping on the “latest and greatest” fad (which likely won’t be around in a few years).
For more information, visit Dr. Alton Ingram’s social media: