Coastal Empire Plastic Surgery Blog

International Survey of Plastic Surgeons Uncovers Worldwide Trends

August 16th, 2010

The first international survey of plastic surgeons has been completed, providing data on the worldwide number of cosmetic procedures performed in 2009 by board certified plastic surgeons.  Thanks to ISAPS, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, we can now better understand the growth of this medical specialty.

The most popular cosmetic surgery, according to the data, is liposuction, followed by breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and tummy tuck.  Although procedures varied among different countries, the U.S., Brazil, China, Mexico, India and Japan represented the bulk of the top five surgical procedures.  The total estimated number of cosmetic procedures performed by board-certified (or equivalent) plastic surgeons was 17,295,557.

Interestingly, plastic surgeons reported more non-surgical procedures than surgical procedures, with the most common treatment being botulinum toxin injections (Botox or Dysport).

The survey data was released in time for the 20th Biennial Congress of ISAPS, which is taking place right now in San Francisco.  Read more on or

Studies Say Reality TV May Increase Interest in Plastic Surgery

August 16th, 2010

Two recent psychological studies from Rutgers University found correlations between interest in cosmetic surgery and viewing of “surgical makeover” reality TV shows.  According to these studies, people who watch reality shows are more likely to be interested in changing their appearance through cosmetic surgery.

In one study, the authors surveyed 170 participants and found that those who favored reality television shows about cosmetic surgery were more likely to show interest in pursuing their own procedure.  In a second study, 189 participants were split into two groups, with one viewing a television program about a surgical makeover, while the other half was exposed to a neutral message.  Participants viewing the surgical makeover program indicated greater interest in cosmetic surgery than the participants exposed to the neutral message.

Several networks have introduced programs with a significant focus on cosmetic surgery.  Cosmetic surgery has been shown on programs such as Real Housewives of Orange County or Extreme Makeover, The Doctors or The Biggest Loser.   But are these programs always giving us a realistic picture of cosmetic surgery?  If viewers are as impressionable as the study indicates, there’s surely a need to present a more realistic and less sensational documentation of cosmetic surgery.

Read more about these studies on PubMed: A correlational and experimental examination of reality television viewing and interest in cosmetic surgery

New Botulinum Toxin Granted FDA Approval This Week

August 3rd, 2010

Merz Pharmaceuticals announced yesterday that FDA approval was granted for XEOMIN, a drug containing botulinum toxin.  The new drug is indicated for the treatment of cervical dystonia and blepharospasm.  Along with the relatively new Dysport and ubiquitous Botox®, Xeomin is the 3rd product of this kind to receive clearance in the U.S.

Two clinical trials were cited during the approval process, along with studies that compared XEOMIN to Botox®.  According to a study cited in the Journal of Neurological Sciences, [XEOMIN] showed “non-inferiority” to Botox® when used in equivalent doses for the treatment of blepharospasm.

The difference between XEOMIN and its competitors, according to the manufacturer Merz Pharmaceutical, is that “XEOMIN does not require refrigeration prior to reconstitution. “  The company says this could “simplify product distribution and storage, and help ensure product integrity at the time of injection.”

Merz is also acquiring Bioform Medical, a California company that manufactures Radiesse dermal filler.  The German company seems poised to create a significant presence in the U.S. aesthetics market.  When the acquisition of Bioform Medical is complete, the company will be rebranded “Merz Aesthetics.”

Time Intervals for Outpatient Surgery Center and Hospital Compared in Study

July 19th, 2010

Plastic surgeons often have the option to perform surgery at an ambulatory surgery center or in a hospital setting.  While either facility is considered safe, there may be notable differences in the efficiency of each setting.  According to a new study published in the American Journal of Surgery, the total facility time and the time intervals before and after surgery were longer in the hospital setting.

Authors of the study had the opportunity to compare both surgical facilities as their breast operations were moved from an ambulatory surgery center to a hospital.  The records of 92 hospital patients and 92 ASC patients were retrospectively analyzed to compare time intervals and other information.

Time intervals for surgical care were measured and reviewed by the authors and they found that on average, total facility time was 69 minutes shorter in the ambulatory surgery center.  Most significant was the 55-minute difference in the preoperative time period – “the time from the entrance into the holding area to entrance into the operating room.”

Based on the findings, they argue that outpatient surgery is more efficient when performed at a dedicated outpatient center.  Also, if the time saving practices used at the surgery center are incorporated at the hospital, it could increase efficiency in that setting.

Source cited: “Outpatient surgery performed in an ambulatory surgery center versus a hospital: comparison of perioperative time intervals” The American Journal of Surgery (2010) 200, 64 – 67

July 12th, 2010

In the viewpoints section of the latest issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery you can read a short study article about the quality of medical information (specifically on melanoma) available on

Doctors analyzed 100 relevant videos about melanoma to determine their origin, the nature of their production and the quality of their content.

Why would anyone bother studying this?  Because right now, prospective patients of any physician are researching their condition or procedure of interest online.  “39 percent of patients with melanoma used the Internet to research their disease,” according to one study authored by Sabel et al.  When it comes to other medical topics such as cosmetic plastic surgery, the figure is likely higher.

For physicians,  it could be very useful know what patients are studying online so they can possibly adjust their care practices and communication tools.

Results and Discussion

The majority of the “relevant” videos available via youtube were uploaded by reputable sources such as “medical professionals, institutions, news broadcasters, government or non-profit organizations.”   Videos from other sources however, offered information that was misleading and possibly false.   “Our study found two clips showing patients testifying cure of melanoma from alternative therapies with no scientific basis,” write the authors.

Does this imply that video hosting sites like youtube should be censored or regulated when providing medical information?  With so many excellent online resources offering accurate information, it’s unlikely that anyone would argue such a position.  A more convincing argument would be for more open access to authoritative sources.

Read more about “The Availability and Content Analysis of Melanoma Information on Youtube.” in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Nurses Study Informational Needs of Breast Surgery Patients

July 6th, 2010

With so many rich information sources online, the average cosmetic surgery patient can learn a lot before the consultation even begins. During a consultation, your plastic surgeon should answer your questions and provide information in order to help you make an educated decision and manage your expectations about the procedure.  However, according to a recent paper published in Plastic Surgical Nursing, some patients are still lacking valuable information.

The authors argue that information about breast surgery post-operative events is “fragmented, incomplete, or lacking.”  They reached this conclusion by studying interviews with 48 patient who underwent breast reconstruction, breast reduction, and breast augmentation.

2 predominant themes were seen among breast surgery patients: unexpected outcomes and helpful/unhelpful information.  Both themes have some clinical implication for plastic surgeons performing breast surgery – namely, a “need for more comprehensive education to better prepare women undergoing breast surgery and to help create more realistic expectations.”

Patients generally reported positive outcomes for their surgeries, but most of them also reported an unexpected event.  Some patients who experienced post-operative swelling, numbness, discomfort and sensations in the skin were not prepared for these events.  If they had been educated about these possible events, the patients would have been psychologically prepared, the authors suggest.

However, many patients in the study did receive useful information, either from their surgeons or from a website.  Patient stories, before and after photos and online discussion forums were cited as helpful.  Although These information is readily available online, you should still seek a plastic surgeon who is willing to provide comprehensive information about breast surgery and what to expect during your recovery.

You can read the article “Not What I Expected: Informational Needs of Women Undergoing Breast Surgery” through or the journal, Plastic Surgical Nursing.

Plastic Surgeons Offer Lawnmower Safety Tips

July 5th, 2010

When combined, children and lawnmowers can become a dangerous combination. This summer, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and other medical societies have offered several safety tips for preventing lawnmower-related injuries.

When such injuries occur, it’s often a plastic surgeon that performs reconstructive surgery, hand surgery or wound care to restore form and function.

Safety Tips Courtesy of the official ASPS Press Release

  • Children should be at least 12-years-old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16-years-old for a ride-on mower.
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
  • Young children should be at a safe distance from the area you are mowing.
  • Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • Always wear eye and hearing protection.
  • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
  • Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.Plastic

Summertime and the Living is Not So Easy for Rosacea Sufferers

July 5th, 2010

Does summertime mean fun in the sun? Not if you are one of the estimated over 16 million Americans who suffer from the facial skin di­sorder, rosacea. According to a prominent recent survey by the National Rosacea Society, warm weather and sun exposure can exacerbate the condition. Hot tub sound like a relaxing indulgence? Again, rosacea can make the elevated temps and bubbling water a flare-up opportunity. In fact, many summer leisure-time activities can be on the list of flare-up triggers. Both steam and dry saunas, tanning beds, grills, bonfires, and even heavy exercise can worsen rosacea symptoms.

Can you still enjoy your summer with worries about heat-triggered flare-ups? Yes, with the right precautions, says noted professor of dermatology, Dr. Joseph Bikowski. First, see a professional for treatment options and therapy recommendations. Secondly, do all you can to stay as cool as possible. Wearing a broad-brimmed hat and avoiding sun exposure during the peak heat hours (from 10AM to 2 PM) as well as applying sunscreen with sufficient SPF all year round are necessities.

You might also be able to reduce flushing by sucking on ice chips, using a personal fan and bathing in cooler water during the summer.  In addition, the doctor recommends keeping a diary of how and where flare-ups occur in order to learn the environmental causes that exacerbate your personal condition. Many rosacea sufferers agree that flare-ups can often be prevented with attention to these details.

Don’t miss Artefill Day, July 9

June 6th, 2010

Don’t miss your chance to experience Artefill! Join Dr. Meghan McGovern to learn more about this long-lasting injectable filler.

Friday, July 9, 2010, 9am – 2pm

Meet our expert from Artefill. Discount pricing at event only. 

Must book appointment to qualify.

 Call Christy at now, times are filling fast!

What is Artefill?
Artefill is a microsphered enhanced long lasting collagen filler that allows you to keep the look you love!

How does it work?
Artefill is dual-acting wrinkle filler. Once injected deeply below the wrinkle, the collagen in Artefill acts as a temporary filler for immediate wrinkle correction. As your body absorbs the collagen over time, the microspheres remain in place and your body’s own new collagen is deposited on the surface of the microspheres. Your skin’s new collagen is what provides long-lasting, natural feeling wrinkle correction.

Call us at or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.