Archive for the ‘Plastic Surgeon’ Category

More Couples Getting Plastic Surgery Together

Monday, June 27th, 2011

With the increasing acceptance of cosmetic procedures among men, a new phenomenon among the plastic surgery clientele has been on the rise: more couples are appearing together in surgeons’ offices across the country.

According to in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, America’s recovery from the recession has seen a resurgence of plastic surgery procedures. Women account for roughly 80 percent of plastic surgery patients, but the number of men has skyrocketed 88 percent from 1997 to 2010. The most popular procedures among men include Botox, liposuction, and rhinoplasty.

The article tells the story of Marsha and Mike Gavula, a couple from Evans City, PA, who do just about everything together. Recently, the 50-year-olds both stepped into a plastic surgeon’s office. Marsha has undergone chemical peels, dermabrasion, and other minimally invasive procedures, while Mike opted for Botox and wrinkle-filling injections for the first time on his fiftieth birthday.

One medical spa with three offices in the Pittsburgh area reports that it offers cosmetic procedures for nearly 30 couples annually, compared with a half-dozen couples in the mid-2000s.

What are some of the factors driving this increase in couples’ procedures?

  • Plastic surgery no longer carries a stigma among men, particularly as the baby boomer generation ages.
  • More options are available for those who don’t want a surgical procedure, as products like Botox can produce results comparable to facelifts.
  • Many men wish to have a more youthful appearance in order to compete in a younger workplace. Injectable fillers such as Restylane and Artefill are fast, effective ways to rejuvenate your appearance.
  • Recovery times for many procedures have lessened, thanks to cutting-edge techniques like VASER LipoSelection that reduce tissue trauma.
  • Couples who have surgeries around the same time can “leapfrog” their procedures, alternating care and recovery.

Not All Elderly Patients Have Higher Risk for Facelift Complications

Monday, June 20th, 2011

How old is too old for plastic surgery? The answer may surprise you. A recent study has indicated that carefully selected patients who have facelifts after the age of 65 are not at a greater risk for facelift complications.

While no one is certain about the best age for a facelift, many doctors are uncertain about the risks of facelift complications among their elderly clients.

The prevailing wisdom is that facelift surgery in the elderly carries more post-operative risk, since this has often been the case in other areas of medicine. Slower healing times and latent medical issues often entail more complications among older patients than their younger counterparts.

However, a study by the Cleveland Clinic shows that the potential for facelift complications among the elderly can be significantly reduced through careful patient selection, so that a 65-year-old patient may be as safe entering surgery as someone 20 years their junior. The study, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, examined consecutive facelifts in 216 women performed by a single surgeon from 2005 to 2008.

The women were divided into two groups, with 68 patients being 65 years or older, and 148 patients being under the age of 65. Elderly patients were carefully selected based on their medical history. After comparing various factors (such as co-morbidities, operative details, and overall health status) with statistical analysis, the study revealed that age was not an independent contributing factor to post-operative facelift complications.

The key to preventing facelift complications, according to the study authors, is to carefully screen patients and exclude those with significant co-morbidities (related medical conditions). While co-morbidity rates are higher among the elderly, this does not mean that all elderly patients should be excluded.

Post-Divorce Plastic Surgery? Consider Carefully

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

People get plastic surgery for many different reasons, but should divorce be one of them? While post-divorce plastic surgery can be a means of reclaiming one’s self-confidence, it may be that some are using the procedures to get revenge on their former spouses, according to ABC correspondent Ashleigh Banfield.

Women have been in a long-term relationship may feel uncomfortable returning to the dating scene after ending their marriage. Aging gracefully is often more difficult for women than for men, as past pregnancies can leave stomachs looking stretched and saggy, and stress can add frown lines and other wrinkles.

Many women feel that their return to the dating scene can be eased by such procedures as facelifts, Botox, liposuction, and tummy tucks. Dermatologist and post-divorce surgery patient Dr. Marina Peredo says that a breakup can make a woman feel vulnerable. It’s important to take the steps necessary to feel comfortable in your own skin.

And a lot of women are doing just that. Dr. Jon Turk, a plastic surgeon, says that about a fifth of his clients are recently divorced women. He says that he always advises a cool-down period before proceeding to surgery:

“Patients who come in who are bitter or angry about their divorce and looking to use surgery to make their spouse jealous or to just fill some type of emotional void, those are the ones that I think we need to counsel really carefully.”

Some of Dr. Turk’s patients feel that revenge is a perfectly good reason to get plastic surgery, and ultimately that’s something that every woman might need to decide for herself. But tread carefully: surgeries have long-lasting effects on the body and often require weeks of recovery. Women who have undergone a divorce may be emotionally fragile and should carefully consider whether surgery is something that they truly want.

The Story of California’s First Hand Transplant Patient

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Luke Skywalker from the movie Star Wars recovered quickly after losing his hand, but in the real world, replacing a lost hand is a painful and long-term proposition. With the recent success of high-profile surgeries such as the , it seems that transplant surgery has come closer to the dreams of science fiction, but it’s worth bearing in mind that fiction rarely reveals the long road to recovery. In reality, the surgeries, physiotherapy, and risk of rejection demand true heroism.

Emily Fennell, who recently became California’s first hand transplant patient, lost her right hand in a car accident in 2006, when she was a passenger in a car that was sideswiped. The car rolled and Fennell’s hand was flung through the sunroof, crushed between the car and the road. The hand was mangled and had to be amputated.

The 26-year-old single mother didn’t give up, however, and after getting home from the hospital, she taught herself to use her left hand for everything. But Fennell didn’t want to live the rest of her life with only one hand. She learned about hand transplant surgeries and was accepted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s hand transplant program. She knew the risks of the surgery, which typically requires lifelong use of powerful immunosuppressant drugs and may result in outright rejection of the hand. The Center found a donor within a couple of weeks.

Fennell is now enrolled in eight-hour daily physical therapy, and waits for the day when her nerves will grow enough to connect with the nerves in the hand. The hand has no sensation, and Fennell still can’t fully accept the hand as hers. With time and effort, however, Fennell will soon get her wish: to hug her daughter “with both hands.”

Ethnic Groups Prefer Different Cosmetic Procedures

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

The face of the American plastic surgery industry is becoming more diversified and multi-ethnic as more than one-third of Americans now identify themselves as members of minority groups, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

In ethnic enclaves like New York City, where white people have been a minority for many years, a number of niche markets are popping up, and they are getting increased attention from the Big Apple’s plastic surgeons.

From its beginnings, cosmetic surgery was often used to conceal ethnic identities in order to blend in. Many European Jews had nose jobs to look “more American” in the early 20th century. These days, however, more people are celebrating their unique heritage and specific features with more customized procedures.

People want the results of their surgeries to appeal to their cultural beliefs and take advantage of their natural lines and shapes. Women often want to emulate celebrities from their own groups, such as the wide-eyed Korean pop star Lee Hyori, or the full-breasted Mexican singer Thalía.

Standard procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction are popular across all groups, but certain less popular procedures have become heavily favored by ethnic groups. According to the Times article, here are some of the preferences that have emerged in New York’s diverse clientele:

  • Italian women have procedures done on their knees to show off their smooth legs in miniskirts.
  • Recent Chinese immigrants accentuate their earlobes, but reduce their nostrils.
  • Latinas accentuate their natural curves with breast and buttocks implants.
  • Double-eyelid surgery, which makes the eye look rounder and more visible, is a popular procedure among Asians.
  • Chinatown Koreans often want their jaw lines slimmed.
  • Breast enlargement is very popular among Russian women in Brooklyn.

Muscle-Derived Stem Cells Could Improve Fat Grafting

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Extracting and using muscle-derived stem cells may enhance the long-term prospects of fat grafting, say the authors of a recent article in Medical Hypotheses, a journal that encourages speculations about the future of medical practice and procedures.

Fat grafting is an essential part of numerous plastic surgeries, with uses in breast reconstruction as well as breast, lips, buttocks, and facial augmentation. Transferring fat from one part of the patient’s body to another can smooth wrinkles, fill out aged hands and faces, and improve the shape of breasts and buttocks.

“Autologous fat graft… gives a natural consistency, is easy and safe to harvest, exhibits no hypersensitivity or foreign body reactions, and is readily available,” the authors write. However, there may be some long-term shortcomings of fat grafting procedures, most notably the tendency for fat cells to not survive, failing to integrate with the body.

Researchers from Harbin Medical University in northeast China argue that these side effects are caused by insufficient blood flow. Without enough blood getting to the transplanted fat cells, they may wither and die. The authors explore a strategy for dealing with this problem, which involves the use of stem cells from the muscle tissue.

According to the researchers, previous studies show that best results for fat grafting occurred when fat tissue was transplanted inside muscle – because stem cells within the muscle tissue improve the formation of new blood passages in the grafted fat. Stem cells extracted from the patient’s body could be injected into the patient’s muscle tissue, along with the fat, at the site of the graft. At the same time, the plastic surgeon would cause minor damage to the muscle tissue, activating the body’s healing process. Over time, the healing muscle would interact with the stem cells to improve the formation of new blood vessels and integrate the fat tissue into the muscle.

While this is only one small study, it could be very exciting to see further research in this direction for fat grafting procedures. You can read more about this study on Pubmed.

Fruits and Vegetables Help Relieve Post-Operative Inflammation

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

According to a recent study by a team of Brazilian researchers, there may be another reason why it’s always a good idea to eat lots of fruits and vegetables: they help to alleviate inflammation after abdominal cosmetic surgery.

Low-grade inflammation is normal after abdominal surgeries such as tummy tucks and liposuction, but has a negative overall effect on the patient’s metabolism and cardiovascular prognosis. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a plasma protein that rises in the blood when the body is suffering from inflammation disorders. Elevated CRP is a standard test in medicine that can measure the extent of inflammation in a person’s body.

For the study, which was published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria, sixty women between the ages of 25 and 60, and with body mass indices (BMI) of 30 or over, were selected. One group was asked to consume six servings each of fruits and vegetables during the first postoperative month, while a control group continued on their regular diets. To make sure that the women stayed on their diets, researchers gave them easy and convenient recipes, and checked up on them.

Almost all patients completed the study and kept to the diet. The study revealed that CRP decreased significantly in the treated group, and that increased fruit and vegetable intake was associated with lessened inflammation. The authors say that more research is necessary to learn more about longer-term effects and benefits.

For those who are anticipating or recovering from abdominal surgery, a diet high in fruits and vegetables may be one delicious lifestyle change that will reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and bolster their bodies with vitamins and antioxidants.

In the ER, Plastic Surgeons Play An Important Role

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

In the emergency room, the role of a plastic surgeon is becoming increasingly important, according to a new study out of Istanbul, Turkey. To analyze the role of plastic surgery, doctors looked back on over 10,000 patients who had been admitted for emergency plastic surgery at a single hospital. Factors such as patient age, gender and reason for treatment were evaluated.

It isn’t difficult to understand why the skills of a plastic surgeon would be valuable in the ER. Many board certified plastic surgeons today have training in complex techniques like microsurgery, wound care, hand surgery and facial reconstruction.

According to the study, these specialized techniques proved most useful in cases of injury to the head, neck, upper extremities, lower extremities and soft tissues.

Upper extremity injuries were found to be the most common indication for emergency plastic surgery, followed by head/neck injury and lower body injury. They write:

Among the 10,732 cases admitted to our emergency outpatient clinic between 2000 and 2004, upper extremity injuries were present in 64% of the patients. Twenty-five percent of the patients admitted to emergency plastic surgery clinics had head-and-neck injuries, and 37% had tissue defects of the lower extremities and trunk.

The patients, mostly young adult males, were often admitted to the ER because of an accident of some kind. Traffic accidents, burns, glassware cuts and other incidents were among the reasons.

You might assume that an American plastic surgeon working in the ER would have a slightly different focus, but according to the ASPS statistics, the most common emergency treatments look very similar. In 2010, some of the most frequently performed reconstructive surgeries included:

  • Laceration repair (355, 601 procedures)
  • Dog bite repair (32, 961 procedures)
  • Burn Care (19,369 procedures)
  • Hand surgery (105, 711 procedures)

You can read the entire study referenced here, “The practice of plastic surgery in emergency trauma surgery” through Pubmed.

National Surgery Groups Form Patient Safety Coalition

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Four widely known and respected medical specialty groups recently announced the formation of the Physicians Aesthetic Coalition—a new, interdisciplinary organization designed to champion patient education and safety in aesthetic medicine.

Organizations involved in the Coalition include the:

  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)
  • American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS)
  • American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS)

Each organization has a long history of promoting patient education and safety initiatives, however this is the first time these groups have worked cooperatively toward the goal of helping the public get better informed about cosmetic plastic and dermatologic surgery.

Dr. Felmont Eaves, III, president of the ASAPS, cites the increasing popularity of aesthetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic treatments, as well as the rising number of unqualified practitioners and unproven technologies in the industry, as the motivating force behind the formation of the Physicians Aesthetic Coalition.

“This is a significant patient safety issue,” said Dr. Eaves. “Through the Coalition, we can address these issues on a stronger platform than we could individually, using credible medical evidence to help patients make informed decisions.”

ASDS President Dr. Jeffery Dover also added that one of the primary objectives of the Physicians Aesthetic Coalition will be to provide patients undergoing popular surgical procedures such as blepharoplasty, liposuction and breast augmentation or new, non-surgical cosmetic treatments with reliable, unbiased educational resources.
“One of the Coalition’s founding principles is to develop educational forums for the public and media, transparent and free of commercial bias,” said Dr. Dover. “Over the next several months we will be announcing new resources to help [patients] differentiate fact from fiction.”

According to Dr. Jonathan Sykes, president of the AAFPRS, the Coalition represents the unified voices of more than 8,000 board certified physicians specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, body, eyes and skin. And at a time when the news seems dominated by awful plastic surgery stories and gimmicks galore, prospective patients can certainly rest easier knowing that there are physicians out there who really care about their well-being, not just making a buck.

“Nothing is more important to us, both as a medical society and as individual physicians, than keeping our patients safe,” says ASOPRS President Dr. Jeffrey A. Nerad. “We are hopeful that this new Coalition will help us in achieving this end.”

Survey of ASAPS Members Shows Preference for Traditional Lipo

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

With all the discussion about new liposuction techniques, you might begin to think that every plastic surgeon is using a laser or ultrasound assisted liposuction device.

You would be wrong to assume this, according to a recent survey of plastic surgeons from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. In fact, many members in the prestigious group say they prefer tried and true suction-assisted lipectomy, a procedure commonly called “traditional liposuction.”

A new study of current fat removal surgery trends, which is available in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, includes a survey with 17 questions about liposuction and fat reduction in plastic surgery.

After tallying responses from over 1700 surgeons, the study authors came up with these figures:

  • 51.4 percent preferred suction assisted liposuction
  • 23 percent preferred power assisted liposuction
  • 20.9 percent preferred ultrasound assisted liposuction
  • 3.9 percent said they preferred laser assisted lipo

Non-invasive liposuction alternatives were last on the list of preferred fat removal methods, making up just 0.8 percent. Many respondents said they had no experience with laser assisted liposuction or non-invasive fat removal devices.

“Our survey found that ASAPS members tend to more frequently employ the fat removal methods that have the longest track records and the most data to support their efficacy and safety,” said lead author Jamil Ahmad, MD.

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