Cosmetic Surgery Today

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

Archive for February, 2010

Fractional Laser Receives FDA Clearance for Treating Stretch Marks

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 27, 2010

Since stretch marks are very difficult to treat topically once they have formed, many individuals that want to get rid of stretch marks permanently must pursue cosmetic procedures that improve the appearance of the skin from inside out.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the fractional laser for the treatment of stretch marks, which means that many medical spas and cosmetic surgeons that currently use the non-ablative laser for facial treatments can now begin offer stretch mark removal procedures.

The Lux1540™ Fractional non-ablative laser hand piece is the first device to have received clearance by the FDA for stretch mark removal. Results of clinical studies show that those who had been treated with the Lux1540 laser achieved a 51 to 75 percent improvement in the texture and tone of their skin. The results were based on a blinded review of photographs that compared the skin in its pre-treatment state, to the skin approximately three months after treatment.

According to Vic Narurkar, MD, a dermatologist in San Francisco, California and a former president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, “Our experience with the Palomar Lux1540 is consistent with the results seen in Europe…for the right patient, the Lux1540 provides a laser treatment option for stretch marks that offers significant improvement. The non-ablative fractional laser allows for comfortable treatments with little to no impact on the patient’s daily activities.” (Source:

The treatment process works with a single application of the laser device directly onto the skin’s surface. The heat and energy from the laser help to contract the dermal tissues and promote collagen production. Over time, this helps to restore the damaged skin and also resurfaces the broken skin so that it appears smoother and becomes more resilient.

More information about the fractional laser can be found here.

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Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Shows Promise

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 26, 2010

While millions of children and teens struggle with childhood obesity, there are several effective weight loss treatments available.

Many adolescents suffering from obesity-related health problems can improve their state of health and lose weight at a steady rate by undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgery. The procedure has been available in the United States since 2001, and The Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery recently performed its 100th LAGB procedure with continued success.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Zitsman, director of the Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery, states that the program available at his center is different than other types of bariatric surgery because it is safer and less traumatic than conventional procedures. With this procedure, the teen’s digestive anatomy is modified enough to stimulate weight loss, but since it is reversible, offers the patient more options if they are not getting the results they want.

Dr. Zitsman reports that nearly 90 percent of adolescents with a body mass index of 40 or higher are unable to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight with medical intervention. Surgery is an effective way for these teens to begin losing weight at a healthy rate and keep it off for the long-term. Teens who carry excess weight are often at risk for experience several health problems including joint problems, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, irregular periods, and many become insulin resistant.

The Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery is one of only four weight loss centers in the United States that has been reviewed by the FDA.

All candidates interested in the LAGB procedure undergo a comprehensive assessment process that includes a thorough review of their current exercise regiment, diet, and an analysis of their mental health by a bariatric surgeon and psychiatrist. All candidates must be screened thoroughly to ensure they are in good health to withstand the effects of the procedure, and that they have realistic expectations about the outcome.

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Study Reports on Outcomes After Bariatric Surgery Revisions

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 25, 2010

Many people undergoing bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass, LAP-BAND surgery and gastric banding must return to the doctor’s office a few months after surgery for a follow up and additional treatment.

Bariatric surgery revision procedures may be necessary when the patient is not able to achieve the results they want, is unable to recover effectively from surgery, or if there are complications associated with the procedure.

A study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery reveals that more people who are undergoing bariatric surgery revision procedures are able to achieve their weight loss goals and surgeons are improving their techniques as a result.

Researchers at the University Hospital of Patras, Rion in Greece studied 56 patients who had undergone revisional bariatric surgery between 1995 and 2008. The majority of the patients in the study were dissatisfied with the weight loss they had achieved with their procedure, and others had experienced severe nutritional complications and malnutrition. Participants were studied for about 102 months, and many had serious complications within 90 days of the procedure, including internal leakage, kidney failure and the development of a hernia at the incision site.

After the revision surgery, most patients experienced a significant decrease in body mass index and their nutritional problems were resolved.

According to the report from the authors in the Archives of Surgery, “As improvements in technique and instrumentation take place in the surgical field, along with the novel compelling application of bariatric surgery in the treatment of severe metabolic disorders, it is very likely that revision rates of both failed operations of the past and currently popular procedures will increase considerably in the near future.”

Patients who wish to undergo bariatric revision surgery may consider returning to their original weight loss doctor to discuss their options.

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Allergan Receives FDA Approval for Juvederm with Lidocaine

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 24, 2010

Juvederm is one of the most popular dermal fillers available at medical spas and cosmetic surgery centers around the country.

The hyaluronic acid filler is administered to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and is especially effective for treating nasolabial folds around the nose and mouth area. Now, the injectable has been formulated with lidocaine to ward off pain and increase the patient’s level of comfort.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the dermal filler with lidocaine for use n the consumer market, making Juvederm the first and only dermal filler to have received FDA approval for up to one year from initial treatment.

According to Robert Grant, Corporate Vice President of Allergan and President of Allergan Medical, “We lead innovation in the dermal filler category with the first and only smooth-consistency gel hyaluronic acid dermal filler approved by the FDA to last up to a year. Now we have added lidocaine to Juvederm to provide the same smooth, long-lasting result, but with additional comfort for patients.”

Lidocaine helps to numb the treatment area within seconds of being injected into the skin, which means the administering physician or medical professional does not need to apply topical numbing agents to the area. Juvederm can be administered in several areas of the face at once, and produces instant results that can last for several months.

Before Juvederm was formulated with Lidocaine, it could take up to 30 minutes for the topical anesthetic to begin working, and many patients still tolerated a certain level of pain during and after the treatment. Lidocaine helps to minimize the effects of the acid going into the dermis, and also reduces pain from the injection’s needle.

Juvederm with lidocaine is now available nationwide, and is available only by a prescription by a certified medical practitioner.


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Plastic Surgery Channel Launches iPhone App to Connect Patients with Experts

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 23, 2010

As more prospective patients to the Internet to research their procedure, find a doctor and learn about previous patient’s outcomes, several companies are developing iPhone applications to make the research process easier.

The Plastic Surgery Channel has launched an iPhone App that allows patients to ask questions about their procedure and find a surgeon in their area.

The iPhone app allows patients to ask questions about their cosmetic, plastic or reconstructive procedure and get an answer from a qualified expert within a few hours. The application was developed by Dallas-based GWHQ Productions, and users can not send and receive text responses, but also watch videos posted by dozens of board-certified plastic surgeons who are registered with the site. The application currently taps into a pool of approximately 5,000 board-certified plastic surgeons, and users can search by zip code to narrow down the field to an expert in their local area.

According to Leslie Thompson, Executive Producer of The Plastic Surgery Channel, “In today’s economy, a lot of doctors from other specialties are offering cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation or liposuction. But, if the doctor isn’t board-certified in plastic surgery, they can lack the proper training and experience to ensure the patient’s safety. In some cases, they just attended a two-day seminar to learn how to do a procedure, and then started marketing it in their practice.”

Patients who take the steps to learn more about the doctor’s experience, track record of success and set realistic expectations about the outcome of their procedure may be better equipped to make an informed decision when selecting their doctor and setting up their appointment.

The Plastic surgery Channel was founded by Dallas-based entrepreneur and Internet Protocol Television expert Craig Thompson, and plastic surgeon Dr. William P. Adams, Jr.

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Helen Mirren Says She Has No Problem with Plastic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 22, 2010

Helen Mirren recently confessed that if she wasn’t in the Hollywood spotlight, she would have undergone plastic surgery years ago. The Oscar-winning actress recently told the Times that she would go under the knife to improve her appearance, and really does not have any issues with plastic surgery.

Mirren is one of several dozen celebrities to admit that plastic and cosmetic surgery is acceptable. Many celebs  have undergone procedures such as tummy tucks, breast augmentation, nose surgery and facelift surgery to improve their appearance, ward off the signs of aging or just to land a new role in a movie.

Others are less open about sharing the outcomes of their procedure, and many are completely against plastic surgery of any kind, preferring instead to maintain their natural appearance and let nature take its course. The plastic surgery argument continues to be a hot topic among Hollywood celebs, and stars such as Jane Fonda and Sally Field prefer to maintain their natural look and embrace the aing process instead. Jane Fonda is now in her 70s and says that she would “prefer to age gracefully and not fight the natural aging process…I have chosen not to have any more plastic surgery. Sally Field and I have kind of made a pact about that.” (Source:

Still, stars that do go under the knife while they are in the media spotlight run the risk of becoming the next “plastic surgery gone wrong” story. Some of the most famous examples of bad plastic surgery include Tara Reid’s tummy tuck, Pamela Anderson’s breast implants, Donatella Versace’s lip augmentation procedure, Melanie Griffith’s Botox facelift, and Jocelyn Wildenstein’s facelift and lip augmentation procedure. (Source:

More information about the latest cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures can be found here.

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Parents Say Cosmetic Surgery-Related Death Was Avoidable

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 20, 2010

Valerie Castonguay, 25, died on May 2008 after undergoing a routine nose procedure called septorhinoplasty.

Her parents, Danielle Roy and Gerard Castonguay are now filing a civil lawsuit against the physician who performed the procedure at her private clinic in Montreal, claiming that even though the procedure was routine, the death was the result of inadequate oxygen administration in the recovery room.

The coroner’s report revealed that Valerie had in fact died because of a lack of oxygen after the procedure. The staff at Rene Crepau’s clinic on Seaforth Avenue in Montreal did not change the pressure when they connected her to the oxygen tube, and Valerie’s lungs over-inflated as a result. Valerie was declared brain dead at Montreal General Hospital approximately 12 hours after her surgery.

No criminal charges were filed as a result of the patient’s death, but the lawyer for the Castonguay family, Jean-Pierre Menard, is pushing for better regulation for doctors and nurses at private clinics. He states that “It’s a situation that could have been clearly avoided”, since the nurses and doctor’s assistants should have been trained to check the oxygen tank pressure levels after the patient had been transferred from the surgery room, and should have taken steps to monitor the patient throughout the recovery process.

Private clinics in Quebec are currently not regulated at the same level as hospitals and government-owned clinics, so there is a vast gray area regarding acceptable protocols and procedures for private clinics throughout the country.

Menard states that, “We must go further t make sure that what happened here, could not happen again.”

Patients considering undergoing plastic or cosmetic surgery in Canada should take the time to learn about the clinic or practice’s track record, and be aware that there are inherent risks involved with undergoing surgery at a private clinic that is relatively unregulated.

(Source: CBC News)

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Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 19, 2010

Many cosmetic and plastic surgeons have tapped into the Internet to find patients, setting up attractive websites and listing themselves on doctor directories so that patients can find them easily with basic search engine search. Now, some doctors are taking things to the next level by performing online consultations for patients at no extra charge. has automated the process of consulting with  a surgeon by allowing patients to fill out an online form about the procedures or treatments they are interested in. The patient has the option to upload images to a private account, and up to three surgeons can review the data and get in touch with the patient with an estimated cost for their procedure, and a possible treatment plan at their practice.

Dr. Jason Mussman, the founder of, states that this process allows the patient to “meet face-to-face with the doctor of their choice and have a more focused conversation detailing specific outcomes and scheduling.”

Many prospective patients do months of research before undergoing plastic and cosmetic surgery, and many turn to the Internet for information.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises patients to do extensive research about the doctor so that they can learn about the doctor’s track record, look at before and after photos of successful procedures, confirm that the doctor is board-certified to perform the selected procedure, and find out what the specific treatment costs will be.

Patients who are ready to take the next step to set up their consultation may be able to make a more informed decision by creating a profile on sites like and comparing quotes and responses from their selected doctors. is free to join and use, but an online consultation still has its limitations.

The President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Michael McGuire, questions the legality of this process and says that patient should not schedule surgery only after communicating with a physician online.

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Rachael Ray Invites Plastic Surgeon to Showcase Latest Procedures

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 18, 2010

Rachel Ray recently invited Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Troy, Michigan on the Rachael Ray Show to talk about the pros and cons of plastic surgery, and what the best types of treatments are for improving aging skin.

People around the globe spend approximately $10 billion on plastic surgery every year, but Dr. Youn says that there are several ways to save on the costs of certain procedures. Dr. Youn revealed several minimally invasive procedures that promise similar results as extensive surgery at a fraction of the cost. One of the most significant points he made on the show was about the brow lift procedure.

Many patients undergo a pricey brow lift (approximately $5,000 depending on the doctor and location of the practice), because they want to rejuvenate their face and create a more wide-eyed look. Dr. Youn stated that he has sent many patients to an esthetician first to have their eyebrows waxed instead (approximately $25) in order to elevate the brow. This simple step has helped many patients save thousands of dollars and achieve the look they were looking for.

Another area where patients can save money, according to Dr. Youn, is with laser treatments for facial rejuvenation. Many laser treatments cost between $2,000 to $3,000 or more depending on the type of laser used, follow up treatments required and products required to heal the skin. However, a skilled plastic surgeon or reputable medical spa can help the patient achieve the results of a laser with the right type of chemical peel application instead.

Dr. Youn recommends the Obagi Blue Peel for getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles, improving the skin tone and for eliminating blemishes. He explains that, “the reason I like it is because it comes with a blue dye that helps you actually keep the peel as light as you want to, so the risk of burns and complications like that are actually minimized.”

The Rachael Ray Show summary with Dr. Youn as a guest can be found here.

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Allergan Buys Massachusetts Cosmetic Surgery Product Company

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 17, 2010

Allergan, Incorporated, the makers of BOTOX Cosmetic and several other anti-aging products, has purchased a cosmetic surgery company from Medford, Massachusetts. Allergan, Incorporated now owns Serica Technologies, Incorporated for an undisclosed price.

Serica Technologies specializes in making biodegradable, silk mesh scaffolds that can be used as part of skin grafting procedures and in reconstructive surgery. These scaffolds help with the tissue regeneration process, and have helped thousands of patients recover from surgery and achieve the best results with their cosmetic or reconstructive procedure. Many procedures such as facelift surgery, breast implants, body contouring procedures and other complicated types of plastic and cosmetic procedures require the patient to undergo weeks and months of recovery so that the skin tissues can heal properly. Products and materials that can speed up the tissue and cell repair process can help the surgeon achieve better results and improve recovery outcomes.

Allergan, Incorporated plans to operate Serica out of the company’s state-of-the-art office in Medford. Serica has been in business since 1998 and raised nearly $24 million in financing from Hong Kong-based investment company Morningside Technology Ventures, Massachusetts-based Prism VentureWorks, and New Jersey-based Ivy Capital Partners.

Allergan currently has quarterly sales of approximately $1 billion, and plans to integrate Serica into its breast implant unit.

In addition to making and distributing the ever-popular BOTOX Cosmetic product, Allergan makes a variety of skin fillers and the LAP-BAND gastric banding system for weight loss patients. Allergan also makes Natrelle breast implants, an innovative implant that promises natural looking results and fewer risks and complications than traditional breast implants.

Chief Executive David Payott reported that Allergan is “pleased that we further strengthened our pipeline” buy purchasing Serica this past year. Allergan will continue developing pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices as it continues to grow and diversify its product line.

(Source: Orange County Business Journal)

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