American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Debra J. Johnson, MD

Active Member

Active Member


Debra J. Johnson, MD

Debra J. Johnson, MD, is an ASPS Member plastic surgeon who is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery® and trained specifically in plastic surgery. ASPS members operate only in accredited medical facilities, adhere to a strict code of ethics and fulfill continuing medical education requirements in plastic surgery, including training in patient safety techniques. As your medical partner, Dr. Johnson is dedicated to working with you to achieve your goals.


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About

Meet Dr. Debra Johnson


Procedures

Procedures Performed

Arm Lift

Body Contouring

Body Lift

Botulinum Toxin

Breast Augmentation

Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Revision

Breast Lift

Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

Brow Lift

Buttock Lift with Augmentation

Chemical Peels, IPL, Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments

Chin Augmentation

Chin Surgery

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Cosmetic Surgery

Dermabrasion

Dermal Fillers

Deviated Septum Correction

Ear Surgery

Endoscopic Technique

Eyelid Ptosis Repair

Eyelid Surgery

Facelift

Gender Confirmation Surgery

Hair Transplant

Injectable Fillers

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Lip Augmentation / Enhancement

Liposuction

Male Breast Reduction

Microdermabrasion

Mommy Makeover

Neck Lift

Panniculectomy

Permanent Make-up

Retin-A Treatments

Rhinoplasty

Scar Revision

Skin Cancer Removal

Spider Vein Treatment

Thigh Lift

Tummy Tuck

Ask A Surgeon

Ask a Surgeon

Dr. Debra Johnson participates in the ASPS Ask A Surgeon service. View responses to public questions below.

Internationally board certified?

Eyelid Surgery

Member Response:

Plastic surgeons who trained outside of the United States or Canada cannot become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery unless they are working as a teacher in a medical school. And even then, the requirements are quite strict. Your surgeon may be well trained, but it's a little more difficult to do your background checking when he's from a foreign country. You can ask if he is a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) or an international member of the ASPS. You can also check your state medical board website to make sure there have been no issues with this doctor. You can also ask to speak to one or two of his patients who had the same procedure you are considering to discuss their experience.

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safe for me?

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

A prudent plastic surgeon would want to know your age, your BMI, and whether you or a family member have had any thrombotic events, and any other risk factors you might have to determine what your Caprini risk assessment would be. If you didn't develop clots during your pregnancy/bedrest that is somewhat comforting. But Dr. Culbertson is right, you would need your hematologist to agree that you weren't putting yourself at undue risk. Your plastic surgeon would need to accurately assess your risk, and develop an appropriate strategy to try and get you through surgery safely. Consult with an ASPS member plastic surgeon to frankly discuss your options, risks, and mitigation strategies. Good luck.

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tummy tuck/mommy makeover the diffarence between the 2

Mommy Makeover

Member Response:

A "tummy tuck" is another name for an abdominoplasty. After pregnancy or weight loss, there is often loose skin in the abdomen. Sometimes the muscle wall gets stretched out as well, and some women have unattractive contours due to excess fatty tissue. Abdominoplasty addresses this by liposuction to thin the excess fat, tightening the abdominal wall to repair the muscle separation, and removing the extra skin. You are left with a long horizontal scar in your lower abdomen, and a small circular scar around the belly button. Mommy Makeovers also include some improvement in the breasts. This can be breast implant placement, a breast lift, or a reduction. Your options would depend on your anatomy and your priorities. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to get good advice. Use the Find a Surgeon link at the top of this page to locate and ASPS member surgeon near you.

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Help

Body Lift

Member Response:

Congratulations on your wife's success with weight loss. The loose skin can be quite bothersome. There are several things that can be considered to treat the loose skin, depending on her priorities and your budget. We would be happy to see you both and determine what her best options would be.

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My personal Mommy makeover requires me to have

Lip Augmentation / Enhancement

Member Response:

In our practice, fat transfer to the buttocks is a stand-alone procedure. It requires significant liposuction, and then placement of the fat into the buttocks. Post-operatively, you can't sit for three weeks! You can only stand or lay on your tummy. It's an investment to maximize your result. Any breast surgery requires you to lay on your back or sides for four weeks, no tummy laying. So you see they can't be done together if you want the best result. Also, doing two bigger operations like that carries more risk due to longer anesthesia time, more bodily injury, etc. You're far safer separating those surgeries. You don't mention your height and weight, but having a "healthy" BMI below 30 also makes the surgery safer. Good luck.

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High BMI 360 lipo

Liposuction

Member Response:

Your BMI is in the "morbidly obese" range at 42.77. That is not healthy. You are setting yourself up for diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and an early death. Liposuction can remove small amounts of fat to improve contours. It is not an appropriate method of weight loss. You need to get serious about reducing your weight into a "healthy" range. Talk to your primary care doctor about medically supervised weight loss, or give consideration to bariatric surgery. Once you are truly "healthy", a plastic surgeon may be able to help you improve your shape by removing excess skin and contouring the remaining fat.

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Mastopexy and implant replacement with history of radiation to one breast

Breast Lift

Member Response:

This is a tough situation. Radiation damages the blood supply to the breast and hampers healing. With a failed implant, I usually perform a capsulectomy to make sure all the silicone is gone. Then your body makes a new capsule around the new implant. After radiation, you are at higher risk of developing a capsular contracture on that side. Some try and mitigate that by using acellular dermal matrix and/or by having the patient take a leukotriene inhibitor after surgery. If you also perform a mastopexy, you are creating a larger wound with a risk of significant healing problems. Your doctor is not blowing smoke, any surgery on the radiated breast is a higher risk procedure, in which you might lose the implant completely and/or deform the breast. You might get away with it, but you need to be prepared for the worst.

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Nipple sparing techniques

Breast Reconstruction

Member Response:

The nipple sparing mastectomy is usually performed by a breast surgeon, a general surgeon who specializes in breast. The plastic surgeon then "reconstructs" the breast using an implant or the patient's own tissue. If you are having a mastectomy and prefer to "go flat" but want to maintain your nipple, there are some options. For small breasts without a lot of extra skin, a nipple sparing mastectomy may work . If there is extra skin you can end up with skin folds/wrinkles. If the breast is larger, the excess skin can be removed and the nipple placed as a free graft. If you don't have breast cancer and are willing to keep a little breast tissue, the nipple can survive on a small pedicle and the skin tailored to be flatter. You'll need to discuss your options with your breast surgeon or a plastic surgeon that performs mastectomy.

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Ejection fraction

Breast Augmentation

Member Response:

With your heart history, most plastic surgeons would want a "clearance" from your cardiologist that you are safe to undergo another anesthetic. Usually you need to have a relatively recent EKG that is "normal". Or if abnormal, a stress test or echocardiogram. Your surgeon may ask you to obtain a clearance or have the anesthesiologist look at your EKG and EF and determine if elective surgery is safe for you.

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Small breast augmentation for male

Breast Augmentation

Member Response:

If you don't need much volume to make the contours more comfortable for you, one option might be to transfer fat into the breasts (if you have some fat elsewhere in your body that could be donated for transfer). A small breast or pectoral implant would also be a possibility but would carry risks of a tight scar, malposition, and implant failure. Use the Find-a -Surgeon link on this website to find an ASPS member near you. Not all plastic surgeons perform breast fat transfer, so you can ask over the phone before making an appointment. Good luck!

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Breast Lift & Augmentation

Breast Lift

Member Response:

For a 36 size bra, you're around 175-200cc/cup size. So 375 is around a 2 cup size increase. If you are a small C, then it might work, but if you're a full C, that volume may be a bit over the top.

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Post Bariatric Body Contouring

Body Contouring

Member Response:

You should call your insurance customer service line (usually listed on your insurance card). Tell them you've had weight loss surgery and now have symptoms due to your excess skin. Ask what their requirements are for coverage of post-bariatric surgery to see if you qualify. Ask for the names of plastic surgeons in your insurance network and whether you need a referral from your primary care doctor or not.

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willing to do breast lift surgery but having concerns

Breast Lift

Member Response:

A breast lift involves reducing the excess skin envelope of a drooping breast and repositioning the areola. It is impossible to reposition the areola without creating an incision around the areola. A permanent change in sensibility is a risk of this operation, but is relatively low. The vast majority of breast list patients have normal sensation within a few weeks of surgery.

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So much anxiety after breast implant removal, capsules left inside

Breast Implant Removal

Member Response:

Capsules form around foreign bodies. When the foreign bodies are removed, the capsules will slowly dissipate. Your risk of BIA-ALCL from your short exposure to Siltex implants is very low. You are more likely to be struck by lightning! Residual capsules can sometimes create pockets of fluid, so you should be on the look out for that and seek attention, but these fluid collections are most often benign. While your risk isn't zero, it's pretty darn close, so I would dial down the anxiety and just take appropriate care of yourself.

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What would you recommend to fix asymmetrical lips resulting from previous injury? (photos)

Cosmetic Surgery

Member Response:

It is difficult to know exactly what might work best for you without an examination in person, but options might be: the addition of filler or fat to the smaller side lip to make it as plump as the other side, surgical reduction of the larger side (depending on which side you like best), or if the lip is symmetrically full and doesn't need plumping you could consider tattooing the left side to create a more symmetric lip line. I would consult with a local ASPS plastic surgeon to determine your best options. Good luck!

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Explant, lift with tummy tuck safety

Breast Implant Removal

Member Response:

Statistics show that combined procedures carry more risk of complications and even death. One large study showed that although plastic surgery carries a low risk of death, many of the deaths involved an abdominoplasty plus another procedure. Combining procedures increases the anesthesia time. Abdominal procedures and prolonged anesthesia do increase the risk of blood clots forming in the legs, with the risk of pulmonary embolism if the clot moves to the lungs. That being said, I do perform combined procedures often, but only on healthy people who promise to drink plenty of fluids after surgery and walk immediately and frequently after surgery. Make sure your doctor uses a sequential compression device on your legs during surgery, and best if they even send you home with the SCD machine to use for a couple of days when you're sleeping. Although touted in chat rooms, there is no science behind en bloc capsulectomy. To perform it requires a larger incision to get to the capsule.

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Explant, lift with tummy tuck safety

Breast Implant Removal

Member Response:

Statistics show that combined procedures carry more risk of complications and even death. One large study showed that although plastic surgery carries a low risk of death, many of the deaths involved an abdominoplasty plus another procedure. Combining procedures increases the anesthesia time. Abdominal procedures and prolonged anesthesia do increase the risk of blood clots forming in the legs, with the risk of pulmonary embolism if the clot moves to the lungs. That being said, I do perform combined procedures often, but only on healthy people who promise to drink plenty of fluids after surgery and walk immediately and frequently after surgery. Make sure your doctor uses a sequential compression device on your legs during surgery, and best if they even send you home with the SCD machine to use for a couple of days when you're sleeping. Although touted in chat rooms, there is no science behind en bloc capsulectomy. To perform it requires a larger incision to get to the capsule.

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Can I get a reduction? Please help!

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

Your BMI is 38.3, in the high obese range. This excess weight increases your risk of a postoperative complication, such as infection , wound healing delays, or reduced blood supply that can result in skin loss, nipple loss, or fat necrosis (scarring) within the breast tissue. The heavier you are, the more tissue has to be removed to satisfy insurance carriers that the reduction is necessary. At your current weight, many insurers would require removal of over 550 grams of tissue from each breast. Weight loss will reduce the size of your breast, so it is much better to lose weight before embarking on breast reduction. If you lose the weight after a reduction, your breasts will lose fatty volume, become smaller and saggier. Your current weight puts your overall health at risk, so I would encourage you to work to get your BMI below 30, which reduces your surgical risk and is healthier for your heart and back. Talk to your doctor about a medically supervised weight loss program.

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Smoking

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

It is never "safe" to smoke. My smoking father died a pulmonary cripple, and my smoking sister died at 60 from lung cancer. You've done something very nice for yourself in having your breast reduction. You should continue that trend by quitting smoking entirely. You've made it 6 weeks, you're over the hump! Keep up the good work!

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