Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

12-Hour Comedy Podcast Funds Reconstructive Surgery for Charity

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Last week, a 12-hour podcast by comedy host Jimmy Pardo raked in over $28,000 for the charity Smile Train, whose mission is helping children in third world countries with cleft lip and palate.

Last year’s Pardcast-a-thon all-nighter took 9 hours. Big names like Jon Hamm, Chris Hardwick, Greg Behrendt and Maria Bamford helped raise over $16,000. This year, on the day after Thanksgiving, comedians such as Sarah Silverman, Tom Dreesen, Rob Corddry, Andy Richter and others helped Mr. Pardo well exceed the goal of $20,000 in 12 hours.

For children in developing countries, cleft lip and palate can cause a variety of debilitating problems. More than just a cosmetic defect, these conditions can also interfere with speech development and breathing function. Fortunately, all it takes to repair cleft lip and palate is a 45-minute operation that costs just $250, according to Smile Train. Volunteer plastic surgeons routinely travel with Smile Train mission groups to perform the reconstructive surgery.

Cleft palate repair can be done when a child is around 9-18 months old, while cleft lip repair can be done earlier (at about 10 weeks). With the funds raised by this year’s pardcast-a-thon, over 100 children will be able to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Learn more about the cause through or

Doctors, Aestheticians Expand Hours to Accommodate Working Patients

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

plastic-surgery-schedulingA new article in the New York Times documents the expanding work hours of dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other professionals who offer aesthetic treatments.

Their columnist writes, “In most major cities, if you want pad Thai or a sweater dry-cleaned when most people are sleeping, there’s someone who will take care of it (for a price). These days, the same is true of beauty treatments.”

Many physicians, as the article explains, are offering expanded hours on certain days to accommodate working patients. Dr. Neil Sadick says his busy patients have been requesting early morning and late evening appointments; “Patients used to be able to get out of work when they wanted to, but things have changed,” so he has also changed, adjusting his office hours to be more convenient. Dr. Sadick mentions another reason to stay open longer: intense competition among doctors in the area. In New York, being more available will set a doctor apart from the regular 9-5 crowd.

Extended hours may be expected in the city that never sleeps, but can the same be said for the plastic surgeons here in Savannah, Georgia? It depends on the plastic surgeon you choose. At Coastal Empire, we have extended our hours. We now stay open Monday – Wednesday until 7 p.m. and Friday until 7 p.m. We also have many convenient locations for patients in Savannah, Hardeeville, Bluffton, Statesboro, Brunswick, Jesup and Rincon. Please contact us for more information on appointment scheduling.

Read the column: “Urban Beauty Services Offer House Calls in the Wee Hours

Raffles and Contests Present Ethical Dilemmas for Plastic Surgeons

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

A new reality series on E! is said to offer plastic surgery procedures  as prizes for soon-to-be brides prior to their wedding day.  The show, “Bridalplasty” is the latest television program to feature plastic surgery, and some say it presents the “most shocking” premise yet.

via ABC news:

Each week, a group of women competes head-to-head in such challenges as writing wedding vows and planning honeymoons.  The winner receives the chance to choose a plastic surgery procedure from her “wish list.” She’s given the procedure immediately, and results are shown at the start of the following week’s episode.

Is it ethical to give away plastic surgery as a prize?  Professional organizations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons say it is not and prohibit their members from participating in a raffle or contest in which the prize is a plastic surgery procedure (a treatment requiring an incision).  The ethical objections stem primarily from the possibility that a winner of the contest would not be a suitable or safe candidate for surgery.

Some medical practitioners are not governed by such ethical principles, especially outside the United States.  It’s becoming more and more common to see contests and raffles for procedures that have a broad public appeal, such as breast augmentation for example.

According to Reuters, a Venezuelan political candidate running for office in the National Assembly is raffling off a breast augmentation procedure in an attempt to raise funds for his campaign.  The candidate reportedly went on record saying that the raffle was nothing more than a “financing mechanism.”

Although the winner of such a contest could achieve good results from surgery, raffles and contests are not acceptable replacements for proper patient selection.  If you’re considering breast augmentation, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon who is practicing in accordance with a specific and reputable code of ethics.

Studies Say Reality TV May Increase Interest in Plastic Surgery

Monday, 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

Monday, 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.

Plastic Surgeons Offer Lawnmower Safety Tips

Monday, 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

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