Cosmetic Surgery Today

Plastic Surgery News, Costs of Cosmetic Surgery and Elective Procedures Blog

Archive for August, 2008

FDA Warns ‘Injectables are NOT Cosmetics’

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 31, 2008

While many women don’t give a second thought to Botox parties and free samples of Restylane at the mall, the FDA is encouraging consumers to think twice before jumping into the latest injectables trend.

Botox continues to be the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic surgery treatment for both men and women, but recent reports indicate several harmful side effects linked to the injection. Botox is typically used to treat fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, but does serve other purposes; some doctors use Botox to treat migraines, reduce underarm sweating, and even for breast augmentation.

Still, the widely-used injectable is under investigation as more people report adverse side effects and cases of ‘botulism poisoning.’ A number of physicians around the country have received warnings and even prison sentences for distributing and using Botox illegally. Some medical centers have gone as far as rebranding and misrepresenting the drug, using copycat – and often inexpensive – alternatives to Botox and injecting them into patients. Doctors participating in these ‘get rich quick’ schemes are penalized with fines and jail time, but injured patients often need surgery and extensive care to reverse the damage.

The FDA recently reiterated it’s campaign against buying cosmetic injectables online with a press release, ‘Do It Yourself Botox, Not a Good Idea‘, stating that “genuine cosmetic injectables may only legally be purchased by licensed physicians, and should only be injected by one’s treating physician…counterfeit injectables and injectables that are not used properly can have devastating side effects. By injecting yourself or someone you know, you are not only taking on risk, you are engaging in the practice of medicine without a license – which in all 50 states is a criminal offense.”

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Stem Cells for Breast Augmentation – New Procedures on the Horizon

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 30, 2008

Silicone breast implants and even Botox for breast augmentation are increasingly popular methods for breast enhancement, but some doctors are trying a fresh new approach for their breast augmentation procedures.

Stem cells are now being used to regenerate skin tissues and help with the body’s healing process, and now these cells are being transferred to the breasts in hopes of creating strong, natural and attractive breasts in lieu of traditional implants.

The stem cell procedure involves harvesting stem cells from other parts of the body using liposuction – essentially a form of fat transfer – and injecting the stem cell concentrate into the tissues to encourage rapid regeneration. The process is different from conventional fat grafting and fat transfer techniques because it does not cause painful bumps or hard lumps that can be an indirect result of the implantation.

According to this post from MedicalNewsToday, “San Diego-based Cytori Theraputics said it has invented a machine that “combines fat with a mixture of stem cells and other regenerative cells,” which can then be injected into patients to reconstruct breasts after cancer treatments or used in augmentation procedures. The company has sold the machine for $75,000 to $100,000 to plastic surgeons in France, Israel, Italy and Japan.”

However, many experts are skeptical about the process, indicating that creating breast tissue with stem cells would demand extensive regulation and may not be as safe as some doctors claim. If this procedure proves to be safe and effective after a series of trials, it may soon become another option for women who want to refrain from implants and choose surgery instead.

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Demand for Facial Transplantation Donors on the Rise

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 29, 2008

Maybe you’ve been considering facelift surgery to regain your youthful looks, or a facial rejuvenation procedure that helps get rid of fine lines and wrinkles for good.   Heading to the plastic surgeon’s office to improve the contours of your face and tone up the skin is an option for hundreds of baby boomers looking for the ultimate anti aging solution.  Still, some surgeons are trying something different with facial transplants.

Facial transplantation is a controversial procedure that involves transferring facial tissues and compartments from another person to the patient.  The procedure was first performed in France, and is slowly gaining interest in the United States as more surgeons outline the benefits of fresh facial tissue and skin for facial reconstruction and correcting deformaties.

The procedure is already used for patients who have severe disfigurement or have suffered a major injury, but now some plastic surgery and medical centers may soon be offering the procedure as an option for general plastic surgery.

Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Lloyd Krieger reports that there are several misconceptions about the procedure and a significant level of public resistance.  While it is a fairly extensive procedure, it does not involve replicating the donor’s face and structure; the patient’s original facial structure and contours are preserved and enhanced, and the only transfer is the actual facial tissue. (Source: Los Angeles Plastic Surgery blog)

Still, the only way this procedure would gain waves in the United States is with enough donor participation.

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Darker Tan with an Injection – Melanotan-1 Shows Promise

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 28, 2008

Instead of hitting the tanning bed this season,  achieving that sun-kissed glow could be as simple as a quick injection.

Researchers at the University of Arizona, Tucson are working on a new drug that may provide an instant tan.  Melanotan-1 and Melanotan II are currently undergoing clinical trials and are already showing positive results during the testing phases.

According to MelanoCorp International, Melanotan II helps stimulate the hormones that cause skin to turn darker.  Taking the drug could reduce the need for excessive sun exposure that often leads to skin cancer, and the process can also help the body create a protective layer to reduce the impact of UV exposure.  Healthy skin management coupled with a safe and effective tanning routine can help create healthy, strong and youthful looking skin.

The product is a synthetic version of the hormone that helps release melanin into the cells, and can help many people simply get darker, faster.  Exposure to sunlight and tanning beds after taking the drug may accelerate the tanning process and make it easier to achieve a natural, healthy-looking tan within a few days.

Results of the tests have been published in the Archives of Dermatology, and all but one volunteer from the test sample tanned more quickly than average.

More information about the drug and its effects can be found in this video:

Posted in Antiaging, Cosmetic Surgery Trends | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

C02Touch Technology Helps Eliminate Cellulite

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 27, 2008

While thousands of women turn to endermologie, laser liposuction and mesotherapy injections to get rid of unsightly fat and cellulite, having a smooth and sculpted figure may be easier with the help of C02 gas.

Since cellulite is caused by ‘trapped’ fatty deposits beneath the skin’s surface, treatments that help loosen the fat and disperse or eliminate the cells entirely are some of the best ways to treat cellulite.

Carboxytherapy is now available at several cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery centers, and involves the administration of carbon dioxide directly under the skin’s surface. The pressure form the gas helps destroy fat cells and tissues, and can even be used to shrink the fat cells so that skin appears smoother, stronger and more supple.

Dr. Lisa Zdinak, an opthalmic plastic surgeon in Manhattan, explains how the C02Touch Carboxytherapy works: “My newest CO2Touch technique delivers the gas in such a manner that I can customize the treatment for each patient to ensure a virtually pain-free experience. I am also seeing more dramatic results sooner with the heated gas and my modified techniques.”

Dr. Zdinak is one of the first cosmetic surgeons in Manhattan to offer this treatment, offering women even more options for getting rid of cellulite and improving their appearance. She prefers to use carboxytherapy because it does not involve injecting foreign substances, compounds and potentially dangerous herbal solutions into the skin. (Source: PrecisionAestheticsMD.com)

Carboxytherapy is also known as the C02Touch Brazilian treatment, Brazilian cellulite reduction treatment, and C02 cellulite treatment.

More information: Cellulite Treatments

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Fraxel C02 Laser Launched in Canada

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 26, 2008

(Before and After Photos of Fraxel C02 Laser Treatments via LocateADoc.com)

Already a popular laser skin resurfacing treatment in the United States, the Fraxel C02 Laser has recently received approval from the Health Canada Clearance, allowing plastic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons the ability to offer fractional laser treatments at their Canadian offices. Before the system was approved, many Canadian consumers were forced to travel to the United States or overseas to receive the treatment.

Fractional laser resurfacing can be a fairly aggressive treatment for patients who want to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve the quality of the skin and smooth out rough or patchy skin that is a result of sun damage.

According to Mark Lupin, MD and director of Cosmedica in Victoria, Canada “The Fraxel re:pair system addresses the full range of photodamage – wrinkles, lines, pigment, and vascular irregularities, all in a single treatment.” (Source: Newswire.ca)

Fraxel continues to be a popular choice for many people looking for an effective, long-term solution for improving the skin. It can help correct severely damaged skin, reduce wrinkles and also boost collagen production so that skin grows back healthier and stronger over time.  50% of patients who share their results on sites such as RealSelf.com report that Fraxel laser skin resurfacing is ‘worth it’, and the average cost of treatment is approximately $2,600.  Most people need to undergo a series of 3-6 treatments in order to see results, and the skin begins to change within the first month.

More information about Fraxel skin resurfacing can be found here.

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YWCA Reports Young Girls Obsessed By Beauty Fixes

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 25, 2008

The beauty business continues to be a booming industry, accounting for over $7 billion of sales each year.  More and more women turn to beauty products, cosmetics and even cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks – and possibly their self-esteem – and are willing to pay a high price for their ‘fix’, according to a recent report by the YWCA.

The YWCA, a nonprofit organization that helps empower young women and girls, recently published its ‘Beauty at any Cost’ report, indicating that the average woman spends about $100 per month on beauty products.  Some of these female consumers are willing to pay a high price for cosmetic procedures that not only cost thousands of dollars, but also put their emotional and physical health at risk.

Chief Executive Dr. Lorraine Cole of the YWCA states, “We believe that the obsession with idealized beauty and body image is a lifelong burden that takes a terrible toll on all young girls and women in this country.” (Source: b100wobb.com)

The Beauty At Any Cost report indicates that “the diet, cosmetic and fashion industries are often willing to exploit these narrow beauty standards so women and girls will become cradle-grave consumers of beauty products, cosmetic surgery and diet programs.”

The real cost to women who pay a high price to go to achieve physical ‘perfection’ include: undergoing risky cosmetic procedures; participating in unhealthy competition with other girls and women; and putting themselves at risk with unhealthy cosemtic ingredients.

The Beauty At Any Cost report can be found here.

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Medical Tourism Guide Offers Education for Cosmetic Surgery Overseas

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 24, 2008

Managing the costs of cosmetic surgery can be challenging for many people paying for procedures out-of-pocket, but international companies are offering affordable prices and packages for some of today’s popular treatments.

From liposuction to breast augmentation, it’s now possible to get a procedure that costs a fraction of the U.S. average. Companies such as GorgeousGetaways.com offer 14-day packages with flight, hotel and surgery for under $10K; patients can book a getaway that includes a facelift and breast augmentation, all transfers between the hotel and hospital, and two weeks of accomodations in a one-bedroom apartment for only $9,099. Other overseas packages include procedures such as tummy tucks, liposuction and eyelid lifts – all from an accredited hospital in Malaysia.

Still, heading overseas for cosmetic surgery poses several risks, especially for travelers who are planning extended stays in a foreign country.  Since the procedures are not covered by insurance, any problems with the treatment will need to be addressed back home – and at a high cost.

The Medical Tourism Corporation, a facilitator of medical treatments at internationally renown hopsitals has recently published “Choosing the Right International Hospital – A Medical Tourism Company Perspective“, an 8-page booklet that offers tips on finding a board-certified doctor, ways to gauge the reputation of a hospital, and how to assess the total costs of a procedure.

The Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Medical Tourism also offers helpful tips and insights about the growing trends for cosmetic surgery overseas.

(Photo courtesy of GorgeousGetaways.com)

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Mommy Makeovers in High Demand for Cosmetic Surgery in California

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 23, 2008

Women already head to plastic and cosmetic surgery centers in California for innovative procedures, and body lifts, breast implants and liposuction have become a popular choice for those who want to improve their bodies after pregnancy.

Dr. Stewart Wang, one of several cosmetic surgeons in Rosemead, California recently reported a sharp increase in demand for the Mommy Makeover at his practice. Thousands of women are turning to fat removal and cellulite reduction, breast lifts and other body contouring procedures to regain their pre-pregnancy shape, or to simply undergo a complete body transformation to achieve their ‘ideal’ body. These procedures are typically offered as a package, and may help women increase their self-esteem after the drastic body changes associated with pregnancy.

Dr. Wang explains that “If you’ve had a baby, and despite taking care of yourself those loose muscles and that little roll of fat on your tummy just won’t go away, plastic surgery makes a lot of sense to you. It’s about restoring the appearance you previously enjoyed, or maybe even looking better than you ever have.” (Source: 24-7pressrelease.com)

Those who do not want to undergo surgery can improve their bodies with non-surgical treatments that get rid of cellulite and tighten and tone the skin. Thermage is another increasingly popular procedure that helps tighten loose skin and improves collagen production. Cellulite treatments such as VelaSmooth can also reduce inches and create a slimmer appearance.

Posted in Body Contouring, mommy makeover | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Half of Adult Population Has Less Than 20/20 Vision

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 22, 2008

20/20 vision is the ‘ideal’ for many adults, and today’s common eye focus problems – nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism – can be corrected with laser eye surgery.

LASIK and LASEK treatments account for nearly $7.2 billion each year according to HealthDay Reporter Alan Mozes on Medicinenet.com, and refractive eye problems have been linked to factors in the environment such as television, computers and inadequate eye protection.

A recent study conducted by the U.S. National Eye Institute found that 3.6 percent of adults surveyed were farsighted, nearly 33 percent were nearsighted, and just under 40 percent had some form of astigmatism.

Wavefront laser technologies have made it easier for many people to correct these common vision problems at an affordable price. Dr. William Ellis, a LASIK laser eye surgeon in El Cerrito, California offers LASIK surgery for only $499 per eye. The Ellis Eye and Laser Medical Center is one of only 26 LASIK practices in the U.S. that now uses the Bausch and Lomb ZYOPTIX Software program, and the procedure has become increasingly popular for many adults suffering from near-sightedness and other eye problems.

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Ellis @ Ellis Eye and Laser Medical Center)

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