Cosmetic Surgery Today

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

Archive for February, 2009

New Wave of Beauty Innovations Presented at AAAS Annual Meeting

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 28, 2009

42-16020607The AAAS Annual Meeting took place in Chicago from February 12-16, 2009 to provide some insights on the latest beauty innovations on the horizon. Scientists from P&G Beauty & Grooming presented research and product demonstrations for several advanced beauty and grooming products, giving show attendees a preview of some of the latest technologies and products for anti aging, skin rejuvenation and facial enhancement.

According to a press release about the event from Medical News Today, top topics included: color science, genomics of skin aging, hair science and grooming science.

The color science presentation provided information on how skin defects such as under eye circles, age spots and skin discoloration vary across different populations and regions, and how this knowledge can be used to create natural-looking cosmetic foundation. Light absorption and light scattering principles are some of the key factors involved when using cosmetic foundation to hide flaws and create a natural appearance, and researchers are focusing on ways to optimize compounds in foundation so that it can provide the most flawless finish.

The genomics presentation offered insights on how gene expression patterns can change when exposed to the sun, and how this effects the aging process. UV light and photo-aging are of tremendous concern to those who live in sunny environments, and the next generation of products may include age reversal and intensive photofacial treatments.

The hair science presentation covered topics about how hair becomes damaged, and what products can help to restore or strengthen the hair fibers. Coloring, bleaching and excessive sun exposure are some of the most damaging factors of all hair types, and researchers are working on liquid crystal technology solutions that may be able to prevent or reverse some of this damage.

Finally, the grooming science presentation took a close look at the value of five-blade razors, a concept that has taken almost 90 years to perfect. Multi-blade razors may be able to produce a very close shave and leave the skin looking flawless and smooth. This could set a new standard or the grooming industry, and is currently under development by P&G.

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Syneron Introduces LipoLite Laser Assisted Liposuction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 27, 2009

lipolite-systemLiposuction continues to be one of the most sought after procedures by men and women of all ages, and is an effective, permanent solution for losing a few pounds of excess body fat. Over 550,000 body contouring treatments are performed each year in North America, and demand is expected to increase to more than 33 million treatments by 2010.

There are now several different liposuction techniques and advanced treatments available, and every cosmetic surgeon uses his or her own strategy for getting rid of body fat with as minimal trauma and scarring as possible. Laser assisted liposuction is one of the latest innovations for permanent fat removal, and Syneron Medical, an innovator in the development of the elos ™ combined energy medical aesthetic devices, has recently introduced the LipoLite Laser system.

The LipoLite Laser Liposculpture procedure combines tumesecent liposuction with an advanced laser technique that allows the surgeon to melt the fat significantly before extraction. This gives the plastic surgeon more control voer the procedure, with the potential of producing more precise and effective results.

Laser liposculpture may be particularly effective in body contouring procedures where only a few ounces of fat are to be removed. The LipoLIte device promises minimally-invasive treatment specifically for destroying fat cells and coagulate tissues. Key features of the device include: pulse energy that gives the surgeon more control over the intensity of the laser; and photo-thermal energy that helps destroy adipose tissue within seconds. LipoLite liposuction can be performed on delicate areas of the face, and larger parts of the body.

Syneron is launching a set of training courses for physicans to understand exactly how the LipoLite system works, and how they can integrate it into their practice. The training program is being launched as part of a partnership with the American Academy of Cosmetic Physicians (AAOCP), an organization of physicians and researchers who focus on clinical training, safety and protocol for new procedures.

(Photo courtesy of

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Researchers Warn Melanotan Tan ‘Jabs’ Are Dangerous

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 26, 2009

While more people turn to tanning booths this season to work up a tan for spring break, some are forgoing booths and self-tanning lotions altogether in favor of a tanning injection. Melanotan, an injection made of peptides that color the skin naturally, was developed at the University of Arizona and the Arizona Cancer Center in the late ‘90s. Since then, it has undergone several testing phases around the globe, and researchers in Australia and New Zealand have shown positive results with this ‘tan jab.’

However, researchers now confirm that Melanotan is linked to a number of side effects and can actually be harmful to a person’s health. Michael Evans-Brown from Liverpool John Moores University is one of the authors of a study recently published in the BMJ. He explains that people who are getting these ‘tan jabs’ at tanning salons, hair salons and beauty spas are not only putting their health at risk from the formula, but may also contract an infection or disease if they reuse or share injecting equipment, or the injections are not sterile. Details of the study can be viewed here.

Common side effects of Melanotan include nausea, vomiting, facial flushing and long-term effects that could harm how the body reacts to the compounds over time. Currently, Melanotan I and Melanotan II are available for purchase online and at several tanning salons and even medical spas around the globe. Still, experts warn that these tanning injections may have adverse side effects, and there is not enough clinical evidence available to deem these as safe and effective.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Melanotan and its variants for use. For now, consumers may need to stick with natural tanning options, protect themselves with sunscreen when using tanning booths and tanning in the sun, and enjoy a UV-free tan with a variety of spray tans or self-tanning lotions available.

Posted in Antiaging, Cosmetic Surgery News, Cosmetic Surgery Trends | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Oscar Season Spurs Botox Boom

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 25, 2009

oscarsFrom holiday season to the Presidential Inauguration, many Americans have been working hard to freshen up their look without surgery, turning to affordable treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers instead.

Oscar parties and Spring Break are now top reasons to enjoy a mini-makeover, and many Hollywood stars and Oscar onlookers jumped into a pre-Oscar treatment to lose a few wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin and face. Even during the recession, demand for non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures remains steady.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports a significant increase in pre-Oscar procedures in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Hollywood in 2009. According to Santa Monica plastic surgeon Michael McGuire, MD, and ASPS president-elect, business increased by as much as 20 percent during a few weeks and months before the Oscars.

Demand for cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures typically spike a few months before holiday season and during the summer time when clients have time to heal and recover from an intensive procedure. Spikes are also prevalent right before major awards shows and events; Oscar-related makeovers include cellulite treatments, Botox and other fillers, and conventional spa treatments that provide an all-around refresher.

Non-celebrities are also likely to schedule in a quick-fix treatment such as laser facial rejuvenation, chemical peels or injectables before a class reunion or a wedding. Some procedures provide instant results, while others require at least 3-4 weeks before full results are visible.

Botox and dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm are among the ‘most affordable’ during these tough economic times, and many people who are interested in getting rid of wrinkles or tightening up the skin are choosing these procedures over a full facelift or other type of facial surgery. Botox injections cost between $400 – $600+, depending on the doctor and location of the practice.

Despite the dismal economy, the pressure to look good will continue to fuel demand for the latest cosmetic surgery trends.

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Botox Provides Relief from Enlarged Prostate

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 24, 2009

Botox has already proven to be a successful treatment for wrinkles, but some doctors use it to help patients suffering from excessive sweating, migraines, and other ailments that can be treated by paralyzing the muscles. Researchers in Italy recently published findings that show Botox injections can provide relief from prostate problems.

According to Michael B. Chancellor, M.D., senior author of the study and professor of urology and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “It’s a challenging disease to live with because it causes frequent and difficult urination. Unfortunately, common treatments also are problematic because they carry some risk of serious side effects, such as impotence. Our results are encouraging because they indicate that Botox could represent a simple, safe and effective treatment for enlarged prostate that has long-term benefits.” (Source: Science Daily)

Botox injections not only paralyze the glands, but also begin the cellular breakdown process known as apoptosis; essentially, the cells begin to a die, which means the size of the prostate is reduced, and the patient can resume normal urine flow.  Recent studies show promising results; most patients do not experience any side effects such as erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence.

More than half of all men over the age of 60 will have enlarged prostates, and many experience significant discomfort and a poor quality of life as a result. Sufferers are often required to take certain medications to reduce pain, and perform various exercises to keep their prostate as healthy as possible.  In 2007, several studies showing a significant improvement in symptoms after injecting botulinum toxin directly into the prostate gland were conducted, and researchers have continued to review the potential benefits of this procedure; several noteworthy trials and results have been published by the American Urological Association (AUA).

Still, researchers say that trials of using Botox for treating enlarged prostates are still in their testing phases, and treatments will need to be tested further before being made available for general use.

Posted in BOTOX | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Berkeley Lab Researchers Claim a Protein Could Eliminate Wrinkles

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 23, 2009

lab1While many people are lining up for their latest Botox fix or injectables session, researchers say we could be saying bye-bye to Botox sooner than we think. A recent study shows that RHAMM protein, a protein that has been linked to the spread of several major human cancers, has the ability to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, and rejuvenate the skin.  RHAMM stands for Receptor for Hyaluronan Mediated Motility, a compound that is directly involved with signaling fat cells to repair wounds and injuries that result from skin cuts, or even a heart attack.

High concentrations of this compound in the blood can trigger rapid skin tissue repair and healing, which mean the skin could be restored after significant tissue damage from the sun and other environmental factors.

Mina Bissell, a cell biologist at the Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division, explains that, “This technique could be developed as a means of providing a non-surgical approach for normalizing skin appearance after reconstructive surgery, for wrinkle reduction, and for face lifts and figure enhancement. ” (Source: Press Release via Science Daily)

Researchers have found that blocking the expression of the RHAMM protein by deleting the gene itself can increase the production of healthy fats, and even reduce the risk of unhealthy visceral fat accumulation. The protein could also be administered directly into the skin; instead of injecting Botox and other neurotoxin compounds into the forehead or around the eyes, a surgeon would be able to use an RHAMM-based compound that would not cause muscle paralysis but could still yield beneficial results.

RHAMM treatments may be especially effective for those who have undergone significant cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, and need to speed up the healing process. Burn victims, individuals suffering from inflammatory diseases, and those who have large patches of injured skin after surgery can receive RHAMM treatments to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection and skin-related diseases during the recovery process.

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Michigan Plastic Surgeon Offers Layaway Plan for Money-Strapped Patients

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 22, 2009

savingTummy tucks, liposuction and facial plastic surgery treatments were once at the top of the agenda for many people looking for ways to enhance their appearance.  However, these pricey procedures have become a low priority during the economic downturn; many people are simply saying ‘no’ to surgery in order to be more pennywise during the rough economic climate.

Doctors are hoping to entice frugal patients with layaway programs and financing options that help cover the costs of surgery.

Dr. Charles Mok, a cosmetic surgeon at Allure Medical Spa in Shelby Township, Michigan is one of several cosmetic surgeons to offer an exclusive layaway plan for patients.  This 100% interest-free program allows patients to make payments towards their procedure on their own schedule, and then have their procedure when all of their payments have been made.  If they decide to change their mind at any time before having the treatment, they can void the agreement and get a full refund.

The primary benefits of this layaway plan, or plastic surgery ‘savings’ plan, are that the prospective patient is only spending money that they actually have, and they have the freedom to void the contract if they need the cash for other expenses during the term of the agreement.  Dr. Mok explains that all the funds are put away in a safe and secure, non-interest bearing account and posted as credits to the patient’s file.  He also offers financing programs at his medical spa, but these are not always the best option for patients who want to get out of debt.

In addition to layaway plans or custom payment plans, many cosmetic and plastic surgeons still offer patient financing programs through CareCredit.  CareCredit works just like a credit card, and allows doctors to offer no-interest payment plans for cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures.  CareCredit accountholders can also use their credit line for cosmetic dentistry procedures, LASIK vision correction, and other elective surgery treatments where they are wholly responsible for the out-of-pocket expenses.

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Drinkable Collagen Proves Successful in Dermatological Review

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 21, 2009

tokiCollagen is naturally produced by the body, a protein that keeps skin looking smooth and fresh.  It is the highly-sought after compound for those who want to reverse the signs of aging and tap into the fountain of youth, and natural collagen production can be increased when there is trauma to the dermis.  This is why treatments such as Thermage and laser skin resurfacing are so effective; the procedures ‘injure’ the skin tissues so that the body produces extra collagen to promote healing.  However, some researchers report that we can now consume collagen for smoother skin, with a tasty and nutritious beverage called TOKI.

TOKI, a collagen drink made with Hijiki seaweed extracts, collagen peptides and other youth-enhancing ingredients, has been under close review by aesthetic doctors and researchers looking for alternatives to anti-aging procedures and surgery. One of the first clinical trials for TOKI involved testing on 32 women between the ages of 35 and 65, who drank the formula regularly throughout an 8-week trial. Subjects were evaluated every two weeks with a thorough visual assessment; they also had their blood collagen levels tested during hte first four weeks of the study.

Dr. Irwin Kantor, M.D., the supervising doctor involved in the clinical trials for TOKI, explains that, “TOKI excelled on all levels of expectations, especially in the improvement of the overall blood collagen levels, which is critical to the improvement of the outermost layer of the dermis.”

Results of the TOKI study were published in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association (JANA), and the product is now available online for a retail price of $175 per box. Results can be expected within as little as 45 days according tothe TOKI sales website, and the drink can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while making the skin look smoother, tighter and more resilient.

TOKI is available as a powder that is mixed into water or juice to ensure quick and rapid absorption into the bloodstream.  Key ingredients in the supplement include collagen peptide proteins, Vitamin C, Glucosamine, Hyulaornic Acid and Dermantanic Acid, Stevia leaves, and Sea Algae amino acid extracts.

More information about how TOKI works can be found here.

Posted in Antiaging, Beauty News | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Doctor Demystifies Anesthesia in New Book ‘Before the Scalpel’

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 20, 2009

before-the-scalpelIf you’ve considered having a tummy tuck, getting breast implants or having liposuction, your surgeon will most likely perform the entire procedure under general anesthetic.

Anesthesia is a procedure in itself, a powerful sedative that ensures you won’t feel a thing when going under the knife.  However, some people experience an adverse reaction to the narcotics and drugs administered during the procedure; others experience powerful hallucinations and lucid dreaming days, even weeks after the drugs wear off.

For many people undergoing surgery, their biggest fears are waking up in the middle of the procedure or feeling pain. One doctor hopes to demystify the anesthesia process in a new book, Before the Scalpel: What Everyone Should Know About Anesthesia. Dr. Panchali Dhar talks about the issues surrounding different types and uses of anesthesia, and ways in which it is used specifically for cosmetic surgery, dental treatments, and during labor.  The doctor provides solid, factual information about what happens to the body under anesthesia, and why some people do in fact, wake up during their procedure.

In a recent press release about the book, Dr. Dhar states that, “By the age of 50, most people have had at least three encounters with some form of anesthesia. Before you or a loved one undergoes another surgery or medical procedure, it’s important to empower yourself and learn the basic questions to ask about anesthesia in order to ensure a safe and pain-free experience.”

The book also contains a list of questions to ask the anesthesiologist before treatment, and tips for becoming a more informed patient.  Overall, it is a source book for patients who want to learn as much as possible about their operation, and offers tips for handling post-operative problems such as nausea, headaches and other ailments. Each chapter ends with a checklist that the doctor names ‘prescriptives’, so that patients can take notes as they read along and even make a copy for future reference.

Dr. Dhar is an anesthesiologist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and assistant professor of anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Before the Scalpel: What Everyone Should Know About Anesthesia sells for a list price of $24.95, and is available online and offline from all major booksellers.

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Alicia Duvall Admits She’s Addicted to Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 19, 2009

Silicone implants, plumped up lips, arm lifts, and tummy tucks are some of the most coveted cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures around the globe, but for many, the coveting turns into a full-fledged addiction.  Alicia Douvall, an English model and reality TV star who’s been spotted on the red carpet in both the UK and overseas, has recently admitted to a cosmetic surgery addiction.  She’s one of several celebrities who become trapped in an addictive cycle of fixing every physical defect, real or perceived.

A recent interview with the UK’s Independent provides some insights on this obsession:

“Douvall isn’t dependent on cocaine, alcohol, painkillers, or any of the other substances that traditionally lead to a celebrity’s downfall. Instead, she suffers an unlikely obsession: she is addicted to cosmetic surgery. “I’ve had so many operations that I can’t feel my stomach, my left breast, or anything under my right arm,” says Douvall, who first went under the knife as a teenager.” (Source: The Independent)

Douvall is not only addicted to undergoing the latest procedure, but also suffers from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a type of obsessive compulsive disorder where the person perceives that they are ugly – and will do everything they can to change themselves.  Unfortunately, their perception rarely changes with their physical appearance.

BDD sufferers often suffer from extremely low self-esteem, and may take extreme measures to change their appearance.  Many turn to extreme bodybuilding, compulsive exercising, or undergo several cosmetic procedures as a  ‘solution’ for their problem.

Alicia Douvall admits that she’s become addicted to cosmetic and plastic surgery, and has already had over 100 procedures; Douvall is just 29 years old.  After spending several weeks at the Passages Addiction Centre in Malibu to pursue recovery, she is now starring in a reality TV show ‘Rehab’.  The show follows seven celebrities who are trapped in an addiction, and have agreed to undergo therapy.

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