Hickory Living
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By Kristie Darling

Photos by Shane Greene Photography

On the cover–Front row–Gregory Swank, MD, FACS; Dori Hunt, MD; and Charles Johnson, MD Back row–Rosiane Roeder, MD; Jerry Pruitt, MD; George Magel, MD; and Steven Siciliano, MD

Dr. Charles Johnson and SRT radiation technician
Kaitlyn Willard pictured with the SRT-100 Vision.

Dr. George Magel with a patient scheduled for a laser treatment.




Medicine is advancing in leaps and bounds. When our health is at stake, finding top quality, up-to-date, and effective treatment is critical, but I believe that’s only part of the story. Partnering with a healthcare provider with experience and skill, someone you trust and believe in, is possibly the most important part of your search. Whether you’re experiencing a significant health issue, such as skin cancer, or you wish to improve your appearance, the physicians and their professional support team at Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology have all you are looking for—expertise, cutting edge technology, and of course, abiding interest in your positive outcome. With two offices just across the parking lot from each other in Hickory, they are close at hand, very convenient for everything you might require.

DERMATOLOGY—Surgical, Medical, & Cosmetic
I met with Dr. Charles Johnson, a board-certified dermatologist with over 20 years’ experience as a specialist in Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology. What does this mean? Dr. Johnson treats skin cancer with the newest, most effective procedures available. “What I’m most excited about is offering SRT, superficial radiation therapy, in addition to Mohs surgery for my skin cancer patients,” he explained. “Each treatment modality has a specific purpose. Having this new tool available is important. SRT is as good as it gets for nonsurgical skin cancer treatment. We are the only group in the region doing this procedure.” SRT is not the type of radiation used for breast or colon cancer; rather it’s a low dose, like X-ray, type of radiation that penetrates only 7mm into the skin. It’s concentrated to only the cancer site and a small margin of surrounding skin.

Very small doses, over about two months are given, at quick, in-and-out visits. As Dr. Johnson explained, “It’s more like going out to get coffee three times a week.” SRT treatments are prescribed for superficial basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, and it is particularly useful for patients who would not tolerate surgery, such as elderly patients or those with multiple medical issues.

Dr. Johnson is one of only a handful of surgeons in our area whose expertise is Mohs surgery. He explained, “Mohs is the gold standard in removing non-melanoma skin cancers, typically on the face, hands, head, neck, and genitals. It is a tissue sparing procedure—I remove skin cancers layer by layer, each microscopically evaluated for any remaining cancer cells before I decide whether to remove another layer. A Mohs surgeon is a dermatologist, pathologist, and cutaneous oncologist wrapped up in one.”

This advanced technique allows Dr. Johnson to remove the entire cancer while saving good skin tissue resulting in the smallest possible skin defect and minimal scarring. Typically, the site is repaired during the same one to four-hour procedure with local anesthesia in the office. Larger or more complicated procedures might require one of PPSD’s plastic surgeons to reconstruct defects. “The cure rate for Mohs surgery is 98% to 100%,” Dr. Johnson said. “I highly recommend anyone with a biopsy proven skin cancer to call for a consultation and learn more about this effective treatment.”


Dr. Dori Hunt specializes in general and cosmetic dermatology, regularly seeing patients to treat conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. She has special interests in treating acne, sun damage, and skin aging. “I like being able to improve people’s quality of life by keeping their skin healthy and looking its best,” Dr. Hunt shared. “Our skin is the one organ that others see, so its condition is often critical to self-confidence. Patients want to look as good as they feel, and we offer very effective, non-surgical procedures and products to achieve that.”

Treatment plans for skin rejuvenation and renewing youthful radiance may include Botox, peels, and laser treatments, which diminish sun spots and small blood vessels and remove unwanted body hair, as well as prescription quality skin care products. “We have non-surgical interventions that can be performed quickly and easily. These can greatly diminish or delay the need for surgical procedures,” Dr. Hunt continued. “Juvéderm has several new products for wrinkles and lines, bags under the eyes, lip augmentation, and sagging skin. They are safe, effective, and effects can last up to two years.” Other lines at PPSD Hickory include Restylane and Radiesse.

Two popular treatments are Kybella, which targets and eradicates the stubborn fat responsible for double chins and contours the neck and jaw, and for women experiencing thinning eye lashes, Latisse can increase length and fullness.

Your dermatologist is a trained eye and an honest guide when evaluating how to improve your looks. The dermatologists at PPSD listen carefully during the initial free consultation, evaluate skin conditions, and develop a treatment plan to achieve goals and match interventions to the patient’s budget.

“Plastic surgeons treat all parts of the body, and we see patients of all ages,” Dr. Gregory Swank told me. “People who are not happy with how their face or body look can make improvements. During a free consultation, I learn what a patient wants and needs and explain options and results,” Dr. Swank said. “I suggest we start with what’s most important to them. The more you understand, the better decisions you can make.”

Surgical procedures include breast surgery (augmentation, reduction, lift, and reconstruction), nose and ear reshaping, facelifts, brow lifts, and eyelid surgery, as well as body contouring, such as butt lifts, tummy tucks, and liposuction. “There are more choices in breast implant options now,” Dr. Swank said. “Implants are safe and truly help women feel better about themselves. After childbirth, some women find that their body isn’t quite the same. Mommy makeovers combine breast reshaping and body contouring.” Contouring is also important for people who have lost weight, and the surgeons at PPSD work closely with bariatric surgeons and their patients. Cosmetic surgery for men, such as breast reduction, liposuction, and even tummy tucks are common. Other indications for plastic surgery include injuries from dog bites or accidents.

Reconstructive surgery might be needed to restore the breast after a tumor is removed or after mastectomy, or after skin cancer removal to provide the best cosmetic outcome.

The plastic surgeons at PPSD are all experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures. There are many conditions that can be corrected at Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology’s in-house operating rooms where the highest standards of care are maintained. Consumers need to make certain to see a qualified physician who has proper training and credentials. Unfortunately, there are non-plastic surgeons with little or no training doing some of these procedures.

Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology has offices in Hickory, Gastonia, Shelby, and Charlotte. The dermatologists are some of the most skilled and respected in the nation, and they partner with their nationally recognized plastic surgeon team. Together, they develop comprehensive, integrated treatment plans to address all aspects of any issue or condition.

Health and beauty are the basis of our well-being. Each can be enhanced and improved. Selecting Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology as your healthcare provider is the first step in protecting your health and beauty. I recommend you contact them to learn more and begin taking better care of yourself.

Call today or visit us at ppsd.com to schedule your appointment:
315 19th St. SE, Hickory, NC 28602

Building 100: 828.325.9849
Gregory Swank, MD, FACS; Steven Siciliano, MD;
Rosiane Roeder, MD; and Charles Johnson, MD

Building 200: 828.328.3500
Dori Hunt, MD; George Magel, MD;
Bethany Bergamo, MD; and Dr. Jerry Pruitt, MD

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© 2009 Last update May 17, 2018