October 12th, 2020 by Amy, LPN, CAC, CDT

The Aug Blog:

A Girlfriend to Girlfriend Guide on Breast Augmentation Consultation


by Amy, LPN, CAC, CDT
Cosmetic Nurse for Plastic Surgery at
Soderstrom Skin Institute

Did you know that Breast Augmentation is the #1 cosmetic procedure?  299,715 cases completed in 2019 to be exact.  Whatever your reason for wanting breast augmentation, know that you are in a very popular group. There are a variety of reasons women pursue breast augmentation, including aesthetic reasons, volume loss, asymmetry, and post breastfeeding changes. Soderstrom Skin Institute is trained and experienced with addressing all of these patient desires. 

To help you along I would like to share a few tricks of the trade to help you get the best out of your breast consult.

Tip #1:  Be real with yourself.

Consider your personality and lifestyle when the time comes to choose implant style and volume. Stay true to yourself. Women know what women want! If you are the type of person who worries about what others may say you may choose something on the small side and be disappointed.  If you feel uncomfortable with the larger implant, listen to your gut and go with the size that you feel amazing in! After you meet with your surgeon and the surgical plan is established the implant sizing process begins. We have a small army of implant sizers for you to try on. I want you to be confident knowing you have picked out a size that is right for you.  We will do this as many times as we need to before surgery to ensure we get it right the first time!  Lastly, do not do breast enhancement for anyone but yourself! 

Tip #2:  Bring a trusted support person to your consultation.

It can be helpful to bring in a second set of eyes and ears to the consultation.  There is a lot of information to take in and it can be overwhelming especially if this is your first time coming in.  Having a trusted opinion can help keep track of the information your surgeon provides.  Sizing of the breast implants is very personal and having support or offer feedback can be very helpful.  After all, they know best and having a friend can make this process fun and less stressful.  If you want to be on your own in this process, that’s ok too.  Either way, we are here for you and look forward to the opportunity to help you!

Tip #3:  Do your homework.

Having a body contouring procedure is a commitment that requires training and you want to ensure that your surgeon is experienced.  Dr. James Jeffries III, MD Plastic Surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute is Board Certified and also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. With over 25 years of experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, he understands that the patient’s best interest comes first. He is active in the community he calls home and is past President of the Peoria Medical Society.  He has a kind and caring bedside manner and truly cares for his patients. He gives back to the community in many ways, but my favorite is the work he does in his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha which incidentally is the same Fraternity of Dr. Martin Luther King.

All surgical procedures require an initial consultation. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, please call Soderstrom Skin Institute at 833-439-8616.




The Basics on Botox and Fillers

by Sara Snarr, Nurse Practitioner

You have unwanted lines and wrinkles, you say? We have options! Whether you are just starting to notice lines around the eyes in delightful photos, or you have been noticing deepening lines around your mouth that you seemed to inherit from your mother, we possibly have options! Now don’t get scared- I am referring to MINIMALLY invasive techniques with little downtime! BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers are widely used to help treat, and prevent, unwanted lines, wrinkles, and volume loss. Here are a few facts about BOTOX® and fillers to help you determine if one, or both, may be right for you.


First, let’s begin with neuromodulators. There are four types of neuromodulators: BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, Xeomin® and Jeuveau®. BOTOX®, the neuromodulator used for treatment at Soderstrom Skin Institute, is the first neurotoxin ever to be approved for treatment by the FDA.  BOTOX® is a purified protein that is injected into the target muscle, causing it to relax.  This relaxation gives a smoothing effect to the unwanted lines and wrinkles that are caused by that specific muscle contraction. Common areas of treatment are the glabella (lines between the eyes), forehead, and crow’s feet, though the list of BOTOX® treatment options is quite lengthy. BOTOX® takes anywhere from 4-14 days to fully set in, and will last approximately 3-4 months. The amount of BOTOX® needed is dependent on many factors, so treatment dosages and placement will be specific to each patient. Your injector will determine what is best for you.

Injection of BOTOX ® is virtually painless: a little poke with a tiny needle. There may be small bumps in the area after treatment that typically subside within a few hours. Though typically minimal, there is a small risk for bruising in the area of treatment. We really try to avoid this side effect if at all possible, but bruising is a risk of treatment.


Next up, we have fillers. The fillers used at Soderstrom Skin Institute are all made up of hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring substance within the body. Fillers, to the human eye, look like a clear gel and are used to correct the signs of age-related volume loss. Common areas for treatment include the cheeks, lower face, and lips.  When injected, the results are seen immediately and will last 12-24 months, depending on the filler used. I like to think of fillers as in terms of structure. Each filler has a different way of plumping and smoothing the skin. Let’s use a bed as an example.  If the mattress is boggy, or the sheets loose, or the comforter not properly draped, the bed looks messy, right? You can have a nice comforter lying flat on the bed, but if the sheets are wadded up or the mattress is sloppy, the bed still looks unkempt.  All of the layers need the proper support to complete the look. 

I like to take this analogy and apply it to fillers as well. JUVEDERM VOLUMA® XC the thickest of our hyaluronic acid fillers, is like the mattress on the bed. It is the firm base, or the structure builder. The structure of JUVEDERM VOLUMA® XC makes it unique, in that it works best when placed on bone. JUVEDERM VOLUMA® XC is a beautiful, subtle filler that is built off of the patient’s natural structure: the cheek bone. It helps to rebuild the natural volume loss that we often seen with aging, and helps to lift the cheeks and lower face. My patients love this filler because it provides a subtle, but noticeable, improvement!

Other HA fillers can be placed in the upper layers of the dermis to correct volume loss. Examples include JUVEDERM® Ultra Plus XC, JUVEDERM® Ultra XC and JUVEDERM VOLLURE ™ XC. These fillers are most commonly used in the nasolabial folds, marionettes (puppet lines) and lips. They can even be used around the corners of the mouth to fix that downward turn as we age. This filler group is softer, and gives a beautiful, natural result when placed correctly by a skilled injector.

So whether it be unwanted wrinkles, or loss of volume: BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers may be just what the doctor, or injector, ordered! And remember, consultation is key to determine what products should be used to address your concerns! We can determine a course of action and devise a plan together based on your goals!

To schedule your consultation please call Soderstrom Skin Institute at 833-439-8613.

March 12th, 2020 by James M. Jeffries, MD, FASC


Another year of “New year, new me”? You have been watching your diet and exercising regularly but you may still be carrying some stubborn, unwanted fat after trying everything. Body contouring may be the next step to get rid of extra skin and stubborn pouches. There are a variety of procedures that can be performed alone or in combination with other methods to accomplish your desired goals.


Non-invasive Contouring 

Just like the title suggests this option is not-invasive and treats the fat through the skin. Some non-invasive methods used are radio-frequency, ultrasound (Liposonix®), heat (Sculpsure®) or cooling reduction (Coolsculpting®) treatments. There is no downtime or discomfort. In 2018, there were 376,962 of the non-invasive fat reduction procedures performed. 

Liposuction Methods

Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that uses a variety of options. These options allow for more targeted treatments that can provide a major change and extra contouring to help you achieve a specific look. In 2018, 258,558 liposuction procedures were performed, including, traditional, ultrasonic, and laser methods. These may be done under tumescent with oral sedation, twilight anesthesia, or general anesthesia. It is best for treatment of exercise resistant fat. It is not meant for weight loss or treatment of loose skin. 

Traditional Liposuction 

This is a surgical procedure that uses a suction cannula to remove fat from targeted areas of the body. This method is highly personalized to the patient’s goals and body so results vary from patient to patient. An initial consultation is required to decide if liposuction is right for you. Learn more about liposuction by visiting this link:

Ultrasonic Liposuction

This method uses ultrasonic waves to dissolve fat through small incisions. The ultrasonic waves are emitted through a small tube inserted into the small incisions and the waves will liquefy or emulsify the fat so, it can be aspirated with a suction cannula.

Laser Liposuction

The laser method is much like the ultrasonic procedure. Instead of ultrasonic waves, this method uses focused low-energy waves that are delivered by a thin laser fiber. The fiber is inserted through an incision and the fat is melted and liquified to be suctioned out. At our institute, we offer SmartLipo Triplex, which is the most advanced laser-assisted lipolysis system available today. To learn more about this method schedule a consultation or visit this link:

Tummy Tuck

In 2018, 130,081 tummy tuck, also known as Abdominoplasty, procedures, were performed. This method is a major procedure that removes both fat and excess skin from the lower abdominal wall. This method is perfect for those that have lost a significant amount of weight due to exercise, diet, or multiple pregnancies. This procedure can be used in addition to liposuction to provide a better body contour. Learn more about Tummy tucks by visiting this link:

This is just a general overview of the options you have when you look at body contouring procedures. Body contouring procedures are personal to your body and current lifestyle and they all require an initial consultation to learn more about you and your goals. If you are ready for a “New You” this year schedule a consultation with our board certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. James M. Jeffries III MD FACS. 


American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

May 14th, 2019 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

A NEW Way to LIFT Sagging Facial Contours…

We have recently introduced Silhouette InstaLift™, the breakthrough facial rejuvenation procedure that lifts sagging facial skin without the need for surgery, or general anesthesia.

It is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure to re-contour your face by lifting the deeper layers of your skin. You will see immediate lifting with gradual volumization and regeneration of collagen, one of the building blocks of skin that diminishes with age.

The best thing about this treatment is the minimal downtime…and is available in all of our locations.

**individual results may vary

Contact us now to schedule a consultation to find out if Silhouette InstaLift™ is right for you at 888.970.7546.

August 29th, 2018 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

2018 Best of the Best Winner – Soderstrom Skin Institute & Skin Dimensions Day Spa

2018 Best of the Best Winner Badge

Winner of 6/6 Categories

Soderstrom Skin Institute and Skin Dimensions Day Spa placed first in 6 of the 6 nominated categories in Journal Star Media’s 2018 Best of the Best business listing: Best Dermatology Group, Best Cosmetic Surgeon (James M. Jeffries III, MD), Best Plastic Surgeon (J. Eric Lomax, MD), Best Spa/Medical Spa, Best Manicure and Best Cosmetics. Thank you to everyone who voted for Soderstrom Skin Institute and Skin Dimensions Day Spa!

Learn more about Soderstrom Skin Institute >>
Meet Dr. Lomax >>
Meet Dr. Jeffries >>
Schedule an appointment at Skin Dimensions Day Spa >>
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May 25th, 2018 by Soderstrom Skin Institute


Different colors are absorbed by different wavelengths of light. Make sure the laser can target the specific colors in your tattoo. Soderstrom Skin Institute uses the Q-Switched Nd: YAG (black, blue, red, orange and yellow inks) and the Alexandrite (green inks). These lasers are gold standards in the industry and FDA approved for tattoo removal.


Laser tattoo removal at Soderstrom Skin Institute will be performed by highly-trained staff and board certified dermatologists.


The laser penetrates the skin and vaporizes the ink, as a result, pigment in the tattoo is broken up. A scab forms over the treated area and pigment is released through the scab and absorbed by the body’s natural cleansing process.


Time in between treatments is needed so the tattoo can heal and your body has enough time to process and flush the ink from your system naturally. The immune system breaks down the ink slowly, usually taking a few weeks to see the full results from each treatment.


Each patient is unique. The number of treatments will vary depending on several factors including:

  • Amount of ink used by the tattoo artist.
  • Depth of the ink in the skin.
  • Type of ink used.
  • Location of the tattoo on the body.
  • Age of the tattoo.
  • Colors used.

Each session removes approximately 50% of the remaining pigment. Your treatment plan should be discussed during your initial consultation.


There are hundreds of tattoo ink colors, manufacturers and formulas – each tattoo fades at a different rate. For these reasons, it’s difficult to predict 100% removal. Black and red pigments are easier to remove. Light blues and greens are the most difficult. In many cases, more than one laser will be needed to treat a tattoo.


Every person has a different pain tolerance. Many compare it to the discomfort of getting the original tattoo. It is often compared to a rubber band snapping on your skin. A topical anesthetic is available if needed.


There are risks with any medical procedure. All risks and benefits will be discussed during your initial consultation.


Soderstrom Skin Institute is proud to provide you with photos of our own patients after they have completed our laser tattoo removal program.
View our Before and After Gallery >>

*individual results may vary

February 28th, 2018 by Soderstrom Skin Institute

Considering a laser treatment like laser vein treatment, laser hair removal, or laser tattoo removal? Here are 9 helpful questions to guide you in your search.

How many years has your center provided laser services?

Like many technologies, medical laser treatment has advanced rapidly. It is vitally important your provider has the necessary training and experience to provide safe patient care and desired aesthetic outcomes.
More than 25 years ago, Soderstrom Skin Institute started their laser treatment program and became one of the first providers of these services in the state.

Is there a medical doctor that oversees laser protocols and techniques?

In some states, medical training is NOT required to operate a laser treatment center. Keep in mind, operating a medical facility means a physician is required to meet certain guidelines set by the state medical board that optimize efficacy and patient safety.
The medical staff at the Soderstrom Skin Institute are leaders in the field of dermatology, plastic surgery and cosmetic services. Highly educated and board-certified, our physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are the foundation upon which Soderstrom Skin Institute has been grounded since its inception 40 years ago. Our philosophy is simple: our patients come first.

Are your laser clinicians certified and trained?

Licensing and training requirements for laser operators can vary from state to state. Make sure your provider is properly trained prior to your treatment.
Our doctors are proud members of the ASLMS American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and follow their guidelines on laser safety and training.

What type of lasers do you use?

Some laser centers only have one or two lasers and try to provide multiple treatments with limited equipment. Make sure your provider has the right laser for your specific needs.
Soderstrom Skin Institute has ten different lasers providing multiple wavelengths for use in treating a variety of issues including brown spots, wrinkles, facial rejuvenation, unwanted  hair, leg and face veins, tattoos, birthmarks, scars, stretch marks, warts, psoriasis and rosacea.

Do you have Before and After treatment photos?

Make sure your laser provider has before and after photos of patients of who have received laser treatments at that facility.
Photos of our own patients are available here on our website. These will give you an idea of your potential results:

Is the laser treatment painful?

Everyone’s pain tolerance is different. Some people compare it to a rubber band snapping.
At Soderstrom Skin Institute, a topical anesthetic is provided if needed.

How many treatments will I need?

This will vary depending on the type of laser and the type of treatment being performed. Be sure you know up-front how many treatments will be needed for the results you desire.
During your laser consultation, your goals will be discussed and a treatment plan will be provided that includes number of visits and time frame needed to meet your goals.

Are there any risks to Laser Treatment?

There are risks with any medical procedure. Be sure these are explained to you prior to your treatment.
Our laser clinicians will explain benefits and risks during your laser consultation.

Do you provide financing options?

Many patients have difficulty paying a large lump sum out-of-pocket for these services.
We offer financing is offered through Care Credit. Ask for details during your consultation.

Interested in a Consultation?

Give us a call at 1.888.970.7546 to schedule a consultation with our team or visit

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