The Hinesville Rotary Club welcomed Dr. Ronald Finger, an anti-aging expert, author and board-certified plastic surgeon, to its Jan. 15 meeting, held at The La Quinta Inn in Flemington.
The Rotary Club asks a different member of the community with a business or a cause to speak at its weekly meetings to share information about what is going on in the area, said club member Dr. David Peer.
Peer introduced Finger to the group and read his biography before inviting him up to the podium, noting that he was the first board-certified plastic surgeon to practice in the Savannah area.
“(Dr. Finger) is a pioneer in plastic surgery. He is doing cutting-edge work,” said Peer, adding that although Finger already has an established practice, he always is looking to improve his craft and embrace learning opportunities, such as the new work he is doing with cells.
Finger, who has an office at the Hinesville Day Spa & Salon on E.G. Miles Parkway, gave a 45-minute presentation about what he does as a plastic surgeon, touching on some of the “firsts” that he has had in his long career and some of the technological breakthroughs that are coming to the industry.
He began his speech with a joke, stating that many of his clients ask him where the “plastic” is. In fact, there is no plastic used in plastic surgery at all, Finger said. The name merely comes from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means to shape or mold.
Finger received his medical training through the Air Force. When he started practicing, he said that a majority of his work was reconstructive. At that time, when seat belts were not widely used, he saw many hand, arm and facial injuries due to car accidents.
Over time, as the plastic surgery industry grew, his practice turned more toward cosmetic work, he said. Finger indicated that although plastic surgery can help “turn back the clock,” it does not stop the aging process altogether. Although scar tissue ages more slowly than regular tissue, he said, the body will continue to age, and more surgery may be desired later in life.
He described the various types of procedures — both surgical and non-surgical — that are available, and he explained a little about what is involved. Finger used a visual aid with before-and-after photos of some of his past clients who have undergone different procedures. He stressed his desire to make his work look natural.
“It needs to look natural. That’s the goal of everything — whether it’s a breast surgery or a facelift — to make it look like they didn’t have anything done. You don’t want someone to tell you, ‘Hey, nice face lift,’” Finger said.
He was one of the first plastic surgeons in the Savannah area to perform liposuction surgery in the 1980s. Again, he noted that surgical procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction can remove unwanted fat from the body, but they are not permanent. If the patient does not take care of themselves and does not exercise or follow proper nutritional guidelines, the weight can come back, he said.
Finger talked about advances in plastic surgery, such as using a patient’s cells extracted from excess body fat. These “fat grafts” are done by suctioning some fat from the body and isolating the cells within it, he says. The cells then are multiplied and injected into a different area of the body, such as the face, breasts or hands. The procedure is much safer than other types of surgery, posing much less risk. Finger said that the technology is new to the area, and few surgeons have the equipment to do these procedures, but he sees it as the future of the industry.
The physician also spoke about the benefits of non-surgical rejuvenation procedures, which reportedly can take years off a person’s appearance. Injectable fillers, such as Sculptera, can fill wrinkles and help with elasticity and volume loss in one office visit.
Finger stressed that good skincare is key in the fight against aging. Daily skincare regimens should include cleansing, moisturizing and sunblock, which is essential, he said, because exposure to the sun’s UV rays speeds aging. Finger has developed his own line of skincare products called New Youth Cosmeceuticals that are carried by select retailers.
Rotary Club President Tom Jackson presented Finger with a certificate of appreciation for sharing his time and knowledge with the group.
The Hinesville Rotary Club meets at 12:30 p.m. every Tuesday at the La Quinta Inn, 1740 E. Oglethorpe Highway.