Cosmetic Surgery Today

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

Archive for April, 2010

Study Supports Repurposing of Body Fat for Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 30, 2010

As more effective fat grafting and fat transfer procedures are developed and researched, plastic surgeons are setting their sights on body fat repurposing procedures as an alternative to implants.

A small study conducted by researchers of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that cosmetic breast reconstruction in slim, athletic cancer patients without enough fat elsewhere in the body, is effective with a certain fat transfer technique.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported results of their procedure in the online version of the Microsurgery journal after reviewing results on cadavers and 12 breast cancer patients over the course of a year.

Ariel N. Rad, M.D., Ph.D., one of the assistant professors of cosmetic surgery and plastic reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explains “when implants aren’t used, the most common technique for reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy is to make breast tissue from a flap of fat and skin from the abdominal region…thin, athletic women don’t have enough tissue there. But even they often have some excess fatty tissue in the space between the hip and waist. For them, using those love handles is a new option.” (Source: Medical News Today)

The fat grafting procedure is  relatively simple process, and involves removing several milliliters of fat from an existing fatty pocket, sterilizing it, and separating the fluid to extract stem cells and pure fatty tissue. The pure fluid is then re-injected into the body in the desired areas, and it typically only takes a few days for the body’s tissues to adapt.

Surgeons who have tested this procedure have been able to achieve good cosmetic results.  If the patient is a good candidate for the procedure, the overall effect can improve the contour and shape of the waist and hip area.

Posted in breast enhancement, Fat Grafting | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Thermage for Cellulite Featured on ABC 25

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 29, 2010

The Body by Thermage system is designed to target cellulite and assist with the body recontouring and reshaping process after weight loss or liposuction.

The non-invasive procedure works by increasing collagen production deep under the skin’s surface, and this causes a tighter, toned and more youthful appearance. Body by Thermage was recently featured as a cellulite procedure on Columbia ABC 25. The Preva Laser Skin Center in Columbia, South Carolina demonstrated the Thermage Cellulite tip, and explained how this procedure helps to shrink the body’s tissues and improves the appearance of cellulite.

The Body by Thermage procedure requires only a single treatment that lasts between 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the area being treated. There are no injections, drugs or surgery involved and patients can return to regular activities immediately after the procedure. The procedure uses powerful radiofrequency (RF) technology to heat the deeper layers of the skin, reaching deep into the subcutaneous tissue behind the dermis while keeping the surface of the skin intact. The heating process stimulates collagen production, and also causes a contraction that tightens existing collagen. Thermage, and the Body by Thermage procedure can be performed on all skin types.

Results are not noticeable immediately, but when the skin begins to heal and the tissues begin generating more collagen, the skin appears tighter, firmer and more toned. Unsightly cellulite is less noticeable, and may even disappear. Other effects of the procedure include an overall improved skin texture, reduction of sagging skin or extra bulges after weight loss or pregnancy, and an overall softening and toning of the skin.

Patients can also expect more natural-looking results than extensive surgical procedures such as a tummy tuck or liposuction, that often require additional body reshaping treatments in order to achieve the desired shape.

Body by Thermage can be performed anywhere on the body, including the knees, shoulders, back, glutes and backs of the legs.

Posted in Cellulite Reduction, Thermage | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cytori Seeks Standardization of PureGraft Fat Grafting Process

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 28, 2010

Many physicians and plastic surgeons are now relying on fat grafting procedures for body recontouring and facial rejuvenation.

Fat grafting is the process of extracting body fat from certain areas of the body – typically the hips, thighs and abdomen – and re-injecting it into the facial or body tissues that need more shape. In order for this procedure to work, the fat must be sterilized and separated into fat cells and stem cells. It is then purified and prepared for injecting.

Medical manufacturer Cytori has recently released the PureGraft 250 technology, a system that standardizes the fat grafting and preparation process. The company demonstrated this device at the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) in Washington D.C. earlier this month.

Unlike other fat grafting technologies, the PureGraft System is can process between 50 to 250 milliliters of body fat quickly and precisely, and it is one of the safest and fastest processes available. The technology helps to separate the graft fluid so that only the pure fat tissue remains. This is an important step, because the body’s tissues will not be able to reabsorb the fluid if there is an excess of graft fluid in the injectable.

Over 46,000 fat transfer procedures were performed in the United States in 2008, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. The most sought-after procedures were those that increased facial volume in the cheeks, jowels and chin , and these were preformed as an alternative to facelift surgery and injectable fillers made with hyaluronic acid.

Some plastic surgeons are also experimenting with fat transfer procedures as an implant procedure.  Patients interested in breast or buttock augmentation may be able to achieve natural-looking results with a fat transfer procedure that removes fat from the “love handles” hips and thighs. The fat can be transplanted to other areas of the body to create a more balanced, contoured appearance.

Posted in Facial Rejuvenation, Fat Grafting | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Fat from Love Handle Area Can Be Used in Breast Reconstruction Procedure

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 27, 2010

Women interested in undergoing a breast reconstruction procedure after a mastectomy, or after botched implants, now have more options for achieve a natural, sculpted look.

A new surgical technique listed in the print issue of the Microsurgery journal indicates that doctors can extract body fat from the lower waist, or “love handles”, and re-inject it into the breast tissue. This procedure would eliminate the need to insert silicone or saline implants, and to perform extensive tissue manipulation procedures when reconstructing the breast.

According to study co-author Dr. Ariel N. Rad, an assistant professor of cosmetic surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, “When implants aren’t used, the most common technique for reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy is to make breast tissue from a flap of fat and skin from the abdominal region…thin, athletic women don’t have enough tissue there. But even they often have some excess fatty tissue in that space between the hip and waist. For them, using those love handles is a new option.” (Source:

The procedure is relatively simple, and serves as an alternative for extracting fat from the buttocks or other parts of the body, that often become deformed after such a procedure and also require post-procedure treatment. Women that undergo this procedure may also benefit from achieve a more sculpted waistline and balanced appearance around the hips and waist.

The fat is removed using an innovative liposuction procedure, and involves only a few incisions around the lower waist area. The fat is extracted and purified, and then reinjected into the breast area so that it can adapt to the existing tissues. Some women may need to wear compression garments to speed up the healing process, and results are noticeable within a few days after the procedure.

Posted in breast enhancement, Liposuction | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

80 Year Old Woman Pays $7,500 for Cosmetic Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 26, 2010

A former dancer and teacher recently scheduled surgery at a local plastic surgery office to improve her looks. She paid $7,500 for the procedures, but a few months later, decided that she didn’t want to undergo the procedures after all.

“I gave myself three months to think about it and I look and I think I really don’t look that bad. Maybe I’ll just grow old gracefully” (Source:

However, the plastic surgery office would not grant the woman a refund. The 80-year old woman had rescheduled her surgery for January, but decided to cancel in December. The office said that they could not grant her a refund because she called on the day of the surgery, and the doctors had to b e paid.

The cancellation requirements detailed in the contract state that the patient must cancel seven days prior to the originally scheduled date in order to receive a full refund. Since the patient had rescheduled her procedures, she had passed that date. Ultimately, the doctor’s office needed at least a week’s notice of the original scheduled date, not any rescheduled date that a patient may have initiated.

The mistake cost the woman $7,500.

More and more elderly patients are seeking cosmetic surgery in recent years, and the trend will likely continue as more options become available. ABC News reported on the trend of “downaging” earlier this year, pointing out that many elderly patients are pursuing procedures including facelifts and breast implants. The American Society for Plastic Surgery also reports that the number of cosmetic surgery patients over 65 has grown more than 352 percent in the past five years – and the numbers continue to rise.

All patients considering plastic or cosmetic surgery must undergo a thorough medical checkup to ensure that they do not have existing medical problems that could complicate the procedure.

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

Lumenis Laser Helps Treat Burn Scars

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 24, 2010

Lumenis, the company behind the LightSheet Duet laser for hair removal and the UltraPulse Encore for burn scars, presented results of an important clinical study at the 30th annual meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in mid-April.

The company showed how effective the UltraPulse Encore is for reducing burn scars and how C02 lasers can help individuals achieve better looking skin, regardless of their age, or the skin’s current condition.

The company led several scientific discussions about the new Lumenis AcuPulse Aesthetic SuperPulsed C02 platform that can be combined with the UltraPulse TotalFX system to restore damaged skin. The combination treatment is now used internationally for treating old and new burn scars, and can be performed on patients with dark, ethnic skin.

According to Lumenis, the UltraPulse is about six times more powerful than the traditional C02 laser, and delivers energy in continuous waves to reach deep into the dermal tissue. The short, high-energy pulses ablate the tissues quickly and help to trigger collagen production shortly after the treatment. In addition to healing scars rapidly, the UltraPulse TotalFX can help reduce and eliminate pigmentation, and improve the texture and tone of the skin.

Dr. Jill Waibel of the Palm Beach Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Center in Palm Beach, Florida treated three burn victims in 2008 using the UltraPulse technologis. After just three treatments, the burn victims saw a significant reduction in the appearance of scars on their arms, chest, back and face, and saw gradual improvements for several months after the treatment.

The UltraPulse TotalFX system is also commonly used to treat deep wrinkles because it helps speed up the production of collagen, creating a smoother, more toned appearance.

For now, the UltraPulse TotalFX system may present an attractive option for individuals who have not been able to achieve significant results with topical treatments and other skin rejuvenation procedures.

Posted in Scar Removal, UltraPulse | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Study Says SmartLipo Offers Skin Tightening Benefits

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 23, 2010

Many men and women that undergo the SmartLipo procedure for fat removal not only get the benefits of permanent fat reduction, but also enjoy skin tightening benefits. Unlike traditional liposuction, Study Says SmartLipo Offers Skin Tightening Benefits

SmartLipo uses heated laser energy to break down the fat cells before extraction. The fat-melting process causes tissue coagulation, which in turn helps to tighten and tone the area around the treatment area, and ultimately creates a more contoured, streamlined appearance.

Dr. Barry DiBernardo, Medical Director of New Jersey Plastic Surgery, recently led a study that evaluated the fat-disruption and tissue tightening around abdominal tissue that was treated with SmartLipo technologies. The test involved administering three separate wavelengths, including a 1440 nm laser. Results of the study were recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 1440 nm wavelength is one of the newest options available with SmartLipo treatments, and is the highest-powered laser device that has been approved as a fat removal procedure by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to Michael Davin, President and chief executive officer of Cynosure, “The research presented at ASLMs further validates the investment we have made to increase the efficiency and performance of our Smartlipo technology with the addition of a 1440 nm wavelength.” The high-powered laser helps to provide more muscular definition after fat removal, including areas such as the arms, abdomen and legs. In some cases, the patient also experiences less post-operative trauma because the tissues contract quickly and heal faster than traditional liposuction procedures.

Laser liposuction is among the leading fat removal procedures available in the United States, and is currently available at hundreds of medical spas, plastic and cosmetic surgery centers around the country. More information about SmartLipo can be found here.

Posted in laser lipo, smartlipo | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Fraxel Re:Store Can Treat Precancerous Skin Conditions

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 22, 2010

Many people with moles, age spots and lesions undergo chemical peels, skin resurfacing procedures and microdermabrasion to help reduce the appearance of these marks and keep the skin healthy.

Unfortunately, some of these blemishes and lesions can be cancerous, and require intervention by a professional dermatologist. Dermatologists now have more options than ever for treating precancerous skin conditions, and many are turning to the Fraxel Re:Store system to achieve exceptional results.

Solta Medical, the medical aesthetics manufacturer behind Fraxel, recently announced that its Re:Stor DUAL laser system can provide superior results as  treatment for actinic keratoses, a precancerous skin condition caused by excessive sun exposure.

A clinical study at a laser and dermatology office in New York shows that the Fraxel Re:Stor DUAL laser was able to resolve over 85 percent of all AK lesions, and also helped to improve the texture and tone of the skin. Dr. Roy Geronemus, director of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, states, “if one already has significant sun damage, as can be the case with active golfers, I recommend the new Fraxel re:store DUAL laser treatment…the (treatment) is comparable or better to other topical therapies; however Fraxel has the added benefit of improving skin quality, color and texture.” (Source:

In 2008, Fraxel’s family of laser systems was presented during the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery’s annual conference, and highlighted the effects of the Fraxel Re:Pair, Re:Store and Re:Fine laser systems, which have now become the gold standard for fractional skin treatments.

The Re:Store laser was introduced to the United States market in 2004,  and is currently available at over 1,500 dermatology, plastic surgery and aesthetic surgery offices around the world. The procedure can be administered to the face, neck, chest, and hands, and is suitable for almost all skin types.

Posted in Dermatology, fraxel | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Stem Cell Treatments Help Create More Natural Look with Surgery

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 21, 2010

Many men and women that undergo facelift surgery don’t achieve their ideal results right away because the skin does not heal evenly, or the skin tissues lose their natural contour and resilience.

Extensive surgical procedures, including facelift surgery, breast augmentation and tummy tucks often require post-procedure cosmetic enhancements, including body or facial sculpting and fillers to achieve the desired silhouette. Now, several plastic surgeons are turning to stem cells to achieve better results after just a single procedure.

Dr. Jeffrey Caruth of Plano Aesthetics in Dallas has developed a technique that uses the body’s own fat to recreate facial and body tissues. He uses fat from the buttocks and abdomen, for example, for breast augmentation procedures, facelifts, and even for enhancing the hands and feet.

The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the amount of fat that needs to be transferred, and typically takes between three to four hours. Dr. Caruth extracts excess body fat from the stomach, hips and thighs using traditional liposuction, and then uses special technology to extract the regenerative stem cells in the fat. The cells are preserved, and the rest of the fat cells undergo a purification and sterilization process. The doctor can then recombine the fat cells and stem cells, and prepares them in injectable form.

The stem cell injectable can be administered to any area of the body, and the body’s tissues adapt the cells within hours and days after treatment. When injected into the breast or facial tissues, the patient typically sees results within a few days after treatment, and progressive results within weeks after the procedure.

Overall, stem cell treatments promise to create a more natural look than implants, traditional tissue manipulation and hyaluronic or collagen fillers.

Posted in Cosmetic Surgery Trends, Plastic Surgery | Leave a Comment »

American Academy of Dermatology Makes Statement About Tanning Tax

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 20, 2010

There is a significant amount of scientific evidence that shows indoor tanning beds can increase the risk of skin cancer, but millions of people still hit the tanning beds to achieve a coveted radiant glow, season after season.

Indoor tanning is especially dangerous for teens, individuals with sensitive skin types, and those that have delicate skin, and those that do not use enough sunscreen – or are tanning on a regular basis – increase their risk of developing skin cancer even more.

The federal government is now imposing a tax on tanning beds, in an effort to reduce the frequency of use of tanning beds, especially in teens. William D. James, MD, FAAD, President of the American Academy of Dermatology, recently made a statement about the indoor tanning tax. He points out that, “a tax on indoor tanning services serves as a signal from the federal government to young people that indoor tanning is dangerous and should be avoided. In addition, the indoor tanning tax furthers the goal of promoting wellness and prevention as part of health reform.”

The tax is designed to discourage individuals from using tanning beds so frequently, and to save patients from the adverse effects of chronic UV damage.

Dermatologists around the country have reported on the impact of indoor tanning on young women, indicating that those that use tanning beds frequently before the age of 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent. Melanoma has now become the most common form of cancer in young adults between the ages of 25 and 29 years, and the second most common form of cancer in adolescents and young adults between 15 to 29 years of age.

As more men and women reduce their use of indoor tanning beds, they will not only be protecting their health, but also saving money in the long run. (Source:

Posted in Dermatology, skin cancer | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »