Cosmetic Surgery Today

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

Archive for October, 2008

Contour Plus May Be New Alternative to Liposuction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 31, 2008

While liposuction continues to be one of the most popular fat removal and fat reduction methods for millions of men and women that want to get rid of stubborn body fat, many turn to non-surgical treatments such as VelaSmooth and mesotherapy to achieve their ideal figure.  The makers of UltraShape, an increasingly popular ultrasound device available in Europe and Canada that helps dissolve body fat, have recently launched a study using Contour Plus, a body contouring system designed to sculpt and tone the skin while tightening up the skin tissues.

The Contour Plus device is designed specifically for patients who have localized areas of fat that cannot be treated with liposuction alone; it works using ultrasound waves that penetrate deep into the skin and help break down fatty tissues immediately.

Millions of men and women pursue fat removal procedures such as SmartLipo and tumescent liposuction to get rid of love handles, streamline their silhouettes and create a more contoured appearance.  However, liposuction often results in a ‘bumpy’ appearance or leaves behind loose skin that must be managed with skin tightening treatments that sculpt and tone up the skin tissues after the procedure.

The Contour Plus treatment presents a less-invasive option for smoothing out the skin and creating a truly sculpted, natural-looking silhouette.

According to Dr. Sue Ellen Cox, Medical Director at Aesthetic Solutions in North Carolina, Other body contouring devices are notorious for over-promising and under-performing such as the VelaSmooth which is used more for temporary cellulite reduction. This is the first real non-invasive device that can achieve a reduction of fat. The Contour Plus can actually be shown to disrupt the fat cells, so there is actually an objective change going on and not only a subjective change.”

(Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times)

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PurTox Trials Underway – The New Face of Botox?

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 30, 2008

Botox is one of the most coveted non-surgical cosmetic enhancements for men and women who want to get rid of wrinkles on the forehead and reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eyes.

However, recent reports of bad Botox procedures and a noticeable increase in ‘bargain Botox’ scams has many patients looking for alternative solutions to the popular wrinkle-fighting injectable.  Mentor Corporation has been working an alternative to Botox called PurTox for several years, and has recently completed the first set of clinical trials in its Phase III study.

PurTox is a purified form of Botox that promises to offers a similar outcome of the popular dermal filler – reducing wrinkles on the forehead, smoothing out the skin and even getting rid of laugh lines in the short-term.  PurTox is a branded form of Botox, and differentiates itself from the conventional Botox treatment based on how long the results last and how quickly it starts to work.

The recent trial involved 400 patients who received a single treatment with either PurTox or a placebo.  According to Cosmetic Surgery Times, “a very large percentage of subjects expressed a high degree of satisfaction with treatment outcome.”

After the second and third sets of trials for Phase 3 are complete, Mentor Corporation will be able to file a Biologics License Application for FDA approval.  If approved, PurTox could be one of several dermal fillers to offer a safer, perhaps alternative option for wrinkle removal.

Posted in BOTOX, botox alternatives | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Laser Still the Best Choice for Hair Removal

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 29, 2008

Laser Hair Removal Better than ShavingWaxing, shaving and electrolysis are the most affordable options for most men and women interested in getting rid of unwanted hair, but recent studies suggest that laser hair removal is still the best choice for removing hair in the long-term.

Conventional hair removal methods such as waxing and shaving only remove the tip of the hair and fail to remove the hair from its root, and hair typically grows back within a few days or weeks.  Laser hair removal procedures work by passing a high-intensity light beam through the skin to destroy the hair follicle completely.

A recent study published in the October issue of the Archives of Dermatology indicates that a series of separate laser therapy treatments is the best way to reduce hair permanently.

Testing was conducted on two different types of lasers; the alexandrite laser; YAG laser on two separate spot sizes to determine the efficacy and efficiency of each type of laser.  Participants in the study were given four treatments in eight-week intervals; the hair and skin was tested and measured after 18 months of treatment.

The results indicate that both the alexandrite and YAG laser systems proved to be successful, and it took at approximately four treatment sessions to create a noticeable difference.   Research for this study was conducted at the Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences in Tehran.

Though laser hair removal treatments can be painful – especially treatments that involve the alexandrite laser – patients can look forward to being hair-free for the long-term.  However, a series of treatments is necessary to achieve copmlete results, and many patients need to use a combination of shaving and waxing with their treatments until the hair follicle is completely destroyed.


Posted in Hair Removal, laser hair removal | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Quest for Perfection Fuels Plastic Surgery Trends in the Far East

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 28, 2008

The ‘ideal beauty’ defined by the mainstream media in the Western world doesn’t stay within the U.S. or European borders; sociologists and market researchers are tracking the influence of Western culture on countries such as Thailand, India and Malaysia, indicating that many Western ideals are now a mainstay of foreign cultures and stereotypes.

So much so, that countries in the eastern Pacific Rim are picking up on the ‘quest for perfection’ by offering more plastic and cosmetic surgery ‘fixes’ for the masses, and even catering to foreign visitors with makeover holidays and the latest innovative treatments.

According to the International Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (IASPS), Japan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan are the top four out of 15 countries with the most aesthetic procedures performed. (Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times)

Researchers are finding more of the Far East’s youth are turning to some form of cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks to achieve an ‘ideal’, and some countries such as Taiwan are experiencing rapid growth in demand for cosmetic procedures; nearly double the amount than five years ago.

Americans looking for affordable plastic surgery abroad can also turn to countries in Asia to get the treatment they need at a fraction of the cost of U.S.-based procedures.

Thailand and India continue to be prime locations for medical tourism, offering low-cost procedures as part of a complete vacation package.  Consumers are advised to research and investigate these facilities to make sure the practice does not have a track record of malpractice or unsanitary conditions.  Still, there are several places that offer safe treatments, especially if the surgeon has studied and obtained certification from a Western country.

Cultural pressures related to body image abroad may be similar to those that are prevalent in the U.S. and Europe; youthful, wrinkle-free skin; a slim figure; plump lips; and sculpted cheekbones are just a few prominent features of the ‘ideal beauty’ that lives not only in the Western world, but also in the Far East.

Posted in Cosmetic Surgery Trends, Medical Tourism, Plastic Surgery | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Demand for Cosmetic Procedures Peaks During Fall Harvest Season

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 27, 2008

Cosmetic Surgery Peaks During Fall SeasonWhile many parents are tightening up their wallets during the troubled economy, others are loosening up their spending habits to relieve the pressure from a stressful summer season.

Las Vegas plastic surgeon Dr. Arthur Cambeiro reports a noticeable increase in parents pursuing plastic or cosmetic surgery procedures before the holidays – in the aftermath of back to school season – and Fall seems to be the perfect time to mark up the calendars for treatment and recovery.

According to Dr. Cambeiro, “Summer is very busy with activities, and get-togethers with friends and family around the holidays means that most people just don’t have the time to take off and recovery properly. But in fall, you can improve your appearance in time for those seasonal get-togethers and be all set for spring clothes shopping to show off your new look.” (Source:

Lengthier procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction and body lifts may require a few months from the consultation to the recovery period, but less-invasive treatments such as micro-lipo, skin rejuvenation and skin tightening procedures with less recovery time can make surgery during the Fall a good match for those with busy schedules.

Still, many cosmetic surgeons are experiencing the effects of the economic slump and seeing far fewer patients than their seasonal average.  Patients who can no longer afford treatment are either holding off on procedures altogether, or pursuing surgery alternatives to meet their monthly budget.  Some doctors are catching the wave of increasing demand for noninvasive procedures such as BOTOX and Restylane for wrinkles, and VelaShape for cellulite reduction, offering patients discounts and incentives to fill up the appointment book and simply get first-time patients into the practice.

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Titanium Coated Implants May Be Breast Enhancement Procedure of the Future

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 26, 2008

Silicone and saline breast implants continue to be top choices for breast augmentation procedures in the United States, but many surgeons around the globe are experimenting with innovative materials and alternatives to traditional implants in hopes of creating more natural-looking breasts that also render fewer complications.

Currently, breast implants that make use of silicone or saline are inserted into the body to adhere to the surrounding tissues; over time, the body ‘adapts’ these foreign materials as its own and produces collagen and elastin fibers around them.  However, many patients experience a significant number of inflammatory reactions from the procedure when the body detects the foreign matter is present under the skin.

Researchers at Medical Vision Australia in Hackney, South Australia are conducting trials on titanium-coated breast implants that may be more ‘acceptable’ by the body, and present fewer side effects and complications as a result.  Since titanium is already present in the body, the body may not react to the implants as if it were a toxic material and therefore adapt better to the implants.

During the adaptation process, the body produces excess collagen to connect the natural tissues to the implant.  Researchers suggest that the titanium coating will improve ‘collagen maturity’ which then results in smoother, more natural-looking breasts.

The idea is still relatively new and is undergoing comprehensive research as more surgeons explore new ways to create healthy-looking and natural breasts.

Cosmetic Surgery Times reports that Stan Raci, Managing Director of MVA is still unsure how valuable this procedure may be; titanium-coated silicone breast implants are currently in “clinical trial and we don’t as yet have a full report on what the likely outcome will be. As much as we are very enthusiastic and very positive that this technology could make huge changes to women in the future, we cannot say that with any long-term authority at this point.”

Posted in Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants, Cosmetic Surgery News | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

AboutFACE Conference Reviews Energy Devices for Wrinkle Reduction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 25, 2008

About Face Anti Aging Symposium 2009Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), infrared treatments and laser procedures are some of the most popular anti aging treatments currently available, and have proven to be effective at reducing the sign of wrinkles, tightening up the skin and bringing back ‘that youthful glow.’

As technology continues to improve, more anti aging doctors and medical professionals are turning to a lineup of innovative energy devices that complement dermal fillers and other skin rejuvenation procedures, claiming that a combination of heat, light and radiofrequency waves may be the ultimate solution for restoring the skin to good health and maintaining a youthful appearance.

The Art and Science of Using Injectable Agents and Energy-based Devices for Facial Aesthetic Enhancement event will be held from March 27 to 29, 2009 in Las Vegas, and the symposium will be reviewing several innovative treatments and technologies designed specifically for the anti aging market.

One of the educational objectives at the symposium is to “Perform a comprehensive facial aesthetic analysis to determine which areas would benefit from treatment with injectable agents, energy-based devices, cosmeceuticals, surgery or a combination of these techniques to achieve optimal results.” (Source:

Wrinkle reduction and skin firming technologies such as ReFirme, FotoFacial RF Treatments, the Fraxel C02 Repair and Thermage are a few brands and procedures under scrutiny, even though they have been approved for consumers in the U.S. market.

Some people experience dramatic results with a series of these procedures, while others experience mild to moderate complications from the treatment.  The AboutFACE conference will be reviewing each of these treatments, along with a lineup of new procedures on the horizon, to determine which ones are indeed a legitimate solution for long-term wrinkle reduction.

Posted in Antiaging, Cosmetic Surgery News, Cosmetic Surgery Trends | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stem Cell Facelift – The Next Anti Aging Breakthrough?

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 24, 2008

Stem Cell Facelift to Get Rid of WrinklesInjectable fillers, microdermabrasion and laser facial rejuvenation procedures are some of the most popular anti aging solutions on the market, but an innovative facelift procedure made with stem cells is on the horizon.

The official ‘Stem Cell Facelift’ is currently undergoing comprehensive testing by researchers and plastic surgeons around the country, and will be presented at the International Academy of Aesthetic Medicine in Miami, FL on November 2.

The treatment is one of the latest non-invasive facial procedures designed to tighten and tone the skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the contours of the face.

This no-needle facelift works by injecting the patient’s own stem cells into key facial compartments so that the skin can begin to restore and repair itself naturally.

Most adults store an excess number of stem cells in the lower abdominal area, an area that is often considered to be a ‘problem area’ for men and women who want a smooth and sculpted midsection.  While this procedure won’t eliminate a large amount of fatty tissue from the abdominal region, it does involve extracting a high number of stem cells from the fat, and transplanting these cells into the face.

Dr. Vincent Giampapa, a Certified Anti-Aging Medical Physician and Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon is leading the demonstrations in Miami, and will use only local anesthesia to numb the facial tissues and extract the fat needed for the transplant. reports that this procedure will cost approximately $5,000, and the result may be the ‘long term improvement that enhances skin quality and youthful contours of the face’, and that ‘the skin and fatty layers are induced to produce more of their own cells’ as a result of the treatment.  Downtime is just under one week, and patients can resume their makeup and skincare routine shortly after the healing period is over.

(Photo courtesy of manitou2121 via Flick’r)

Posted in Antiaging, Cosmetic Surgery News, Facelift, stem cells | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

1 in 7 Men Strong Candidates for Hair Restoration

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 23, 2008

Hair Restoration Procedures for Male Pattern BaldnessHair loss is one of several side effects of the aging process, and can be devastating experience for those who encounter thinning hair or baldness at an early age.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, “Androgenetic Alopecia or common male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. By the age of thirty-five two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss and by the age of 50 approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.”

The risk of baldness is hereditary and medical hair restoration procedures offer one solution for reshaping the hairline and stimulating new hair growth.

However, researchers at McGill University, King’s College London and GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. are conducting comprehensive studies to lcoate the baldness gene.  They recently identified two genetic variants on chromosome #20 that may be linked to the risk of developing male pattern baldness.  The study concludes that the cause of baldness may be traced to this chromosome, and that scientists may soon be able to intercept the development of this variant to lower the risk of becoming bald.

Dr. Brent Richards of McGill’s University Faculty of Medicine explains that:

Researchers have long been aware of a genetic variant on the X chromosome that was linked to male pattern baldness…however it’s been long recognized that that there must be several genes causing male pattern baldness. Until now, no one could identify those other genes. If you have both the risk variants we discovered on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold. (Source: Medical News Today)

According to the results of this study, one in seven men are at risk for developing male pattern baldness at some point in their lives.  They may pursue medical hair restoration procedures such as hair transplants, the Bosley LaserComb and Propecia , but researchers may soon find a way to modify the variant gene to prevent the condition from happening in the first place.

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LEDs Help Lighten Up Wrinkles – Better than BOTOX?

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 22, 2008

LED Lights for Skin RejuvenationBOTOX and injectable fillers continue to be a popular choice for getting rid of wrinkles, a nonsurgical option for baby boomers and individuals who want a more youthful look.  Still, these fillers are only temporary and frequent touch-ups mean many patients are filling their monthly schedules with a pricey treatment.

Researchers in Germany are investigating an alternative to injectable fillers that may provide lasting results for the anti-wrinkle crowds.  The ACS Crystal Growth & Design, a bi-monthly journal scheduled for publication on November 5, puts the spotlight on using LED lights for skin rejuvenation. Applying high-intensity, light emitting diodes to the skin’s surface may help reduce wrinkles and create a brighter complexion.

The LED study was conducted by researchers Andrei P. Sommer and Dan Zhu, and they point out that high-intensity light has been used for decades to help heal the skin, reduce the signs of aging and also increases the production of collagen and elastin.  Currently, there are several variations of light therapy on the market; many consumers turn to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments to remove blemishes and tighten and tone the skin, and infrared light treatments to help reduce the signs of wrinkles.

However, scientists are now saying that LED lights may do a better job at reaching the deeper skin tissues in need of repair so that the body can naturally begin to produce collagen.  The light is powerful enough to change the molecular structure of elastin; the result?  Fewer wrinkles, tighter skin and possibly a reduced risk of developing more wrinkles in the oncoming years.

Overall, the LED treatment provides a revitalizing and rejuvenating treatment, and may soon become a part of the suite of services available from anti aging doctors across the country. Will it be better than BOTOX?  It’s too soon to tell if this will be a replacement for the ever-popular fillers, but it may work as a complementary treatment in the short-term.

(Source: Medical News Today; Picture Credit: Zpyder, via Flick’r)

Posted in BOTOX, Cosmetic Surgery News | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »