Cutting Edge Techniques Take Cutting Out of Plastic Surgery

Feb. 23, 2012
According to a recent study cited by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 50 percent of Americans would like to have their appearance enhanced through cosmetic medicine. It is a $10 billion a year business.

In record numbers — 14 million cosmetic procedures were done in 2011 alone, according to the American Society for Plastic Surgeons — Americans are being cut, stretched, tucked, smoothed, tapered, injected and filled.

But how these changes are made is changing, thanks to new techniques and tools that are making plastic surgery involve less, well, surgery.

“The catch phrase in the old days was, ‘Heal of steel’ — the knife can do everything,” said New York plastic surgeon Dr. Doug Steinbrech, in an interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters.

“What we are trying to do with facelifts now is to limit the amount of surgery we are actually doing,” Steinbrech said. “The cutting and the incisions, the length of the incisions.”

Less cutting means shorter recoveries and fewer scars. To complete a face lift, for example, Steinbrech uses a new skin-tightening device, not a scalpel. The face lift takes a little less than three hours under anesthesia. A patient’s stitches can be removed after five days. The overall cost? Up to $35,000.

PHOTO: Dr. Doris Day gives Cheri Bollman Ulthera treatments, which use focused ultrasound to achieve results similar to traditional surgical face lifts.
ABC News
Dr. Doris Day gives Cheri Bollman Ulthera treatments, which use focused ultrasound to achieve results similar to traditional surgical face lifts.
Some doctors go even further than Steinbrech, getting many of the same results without going under the knife at all.


“We have different tools and we also have different approaches,” said dermatologist Dr. Doris Day, who has explained these tools and approaches in a book called “Forget the Facelift.”

“I don’t believe in aging gracefully,” Day said in an interview with Walters. “I think you have to fight it every step of the way.”

Day said the new tools she champions, such as fillers and lasers, offer patients an option that can replace or be combined with more traditional surgery.

“I don’t think one excludes the other,” Day said. “However, my experience has been that you can get rid of lines and wrinkles, but that doesn’t always make someone look younger; they just look smoother. What we lose over time is volume. And what we do is we — very carefully, naturally and discreetly — add back volume.”

Before coming to Day, Cheri Bollman, 48, had never had cosmetic procedures, not even a facial. The lines on her face showed the stress of raising a large family.

“Unlike Lady Gaga, I was not born this way,” Bollman said with a laugh while sitting in Day’s office.

Bollman and her husband have four natural children and have adopted seven more. Their outsized, multiracial, musical family was featured on the TV show “My Life is a Sitcom.”

Day gave Bollman a non-surgical face lift using a new device that uses heat to shrink tissue under the skin.

“It’s not a laser,” Day said. “It uses ultrasound. But not the kind of ultrasound you had maybe during pregnancy and for other things. This is high-density focused ultrasound that delivers heat very deep, that helps give a lift.”

Day then applied her eye and artistry, observing how Bollman’s face moved as Bollman spoke, to determine what to do next.

Day decided to inject a combination of fillers made out of a sugary gel that adds volume to cheeks and temples.

“Before, we just had a few different types of animal-based collagen, and now we have a whole palette of tools available,” Day said. “We are putting some elements deep, and some elements more superficial, to get a very natural approach.”

Next, Day used new forms of Botox to even out Bollman’s eyebrows and soften her crow’s feet. Finally, Day applied finishing touches with a laser tool that evens out skin tone and texture.

A series of procedures like this typically costs about $11,000, Day said.

“It looks so natural!” Bollman said of her new face. Three weeks later, after the procedures had had time to take full effect, she reported, “I noticed I don’t have to pick up my eyelid to put on makeup anymore.”

 Less invasive cosmetic surgery isn’t limited to the face. As she was treating Bollman, Day was treating another patient, Ellen Cribbin, using Liposonix, a more powerful ultrasound tool to melt fat without surgery.

“Liposonix is the newest kid on the block for helping to re-sculpt and melt fat,” Day said. “It’s like liposuction, but it’s a non-surgical approach. … It uses that high-density focus ultrasound to actually heat up and melt fat.”

After just one treatment Cribbin is expected to drop one dress size. Her cousin Lauren Vincelli has had even better results. Now one month after her treatment, she has dropped two dress sizes.

So have Day and Steinbrech found the fountain of youth in these new cosmetic techniques?

“Well, it may not be that you never look old, but you can put it a long way off,” said Day. “We can slow that process down in a very natural way, with these procedures.”

Houston Plastic Surgeon and New ASPS Statistics Say Mommy Makeover Procedures are on the Rise

At his Houston plastic surgery practice, Dr. James F. Boynton says he has seen a growing number of patients interested in mommy makeover procedures. Typically combining breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction, the mommy makeover has been a popular request at practices across the country according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Backed by the latest survey from the ASPS, Dr. Boynton says he expects demand for mommy makeover procedures will continue to rise as more mothers discover the aesthetic benefits available from combining cosmetic enhancements.

Houston, TX (PRWEB) February 23, 2012

According to the most recent statistics from the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the U.S. and is up 4% to 307,000 procedures since 2010. With liposuction also in the top five aesthetic surgical enhancements performed, Dr. James F. Boynton, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, suggests the recent trend in mommy makeover procedures played a significant role in the surge in demand for related procedures. Dr. Boynton says mommy makeovers at his practice typically combine body contouring surgeries such as tummy tuck and liposuction with a breast lift or breast augmentation in Houston.

The ASPS also reports a rise in plastic surgery among women of child-bearing age and more than 325,000 mommy makeover procedures performed nationally on women ages 20 to 39. Additionally, if cost were not an issue, the ASPS study shows that 62% of moms say they would consider undergoing a procedure. While television shows like Desperate Housewives and The Swan have drawn attention to idealized, attractive mothers, Dr. Boynton says most of the patients at his practice simply want to restore their bodies to the way they were before having children. He says many women are seeking to enjoy the beauty and wonders of motherhood without sacrificing their physical appearance.

“Many women come to see me after having children with concerns about changes in their breasts and tummy areas in particular. They are often very motivated, eat right and work out, many times with trainers and simply cannot ‘get back to’ the shape and form they had prior to pregnancy. Most often after pregnancy, breasts lose tissue volume after breast feeding and a breast augmentation or breast implant can restore the volume and rejuvenate the breast and its appearance. In general, patients want one recovery and one healing period away from their kids and that is why I think the mommy makeover is so powerful: the procedure strives to improve all of the areas at the same time in one safe surgery with one recovery.”

Despite the recent rise in demand, Dr. Boynton strongly urges patients to steer clear of “fad” plastic surgery, or undergoing popular enhancements without the necessary research and commitment. As the ASPS shows that tummy tucks have increased by 85% in the past decade, breast lifts by 70%, and breast augmentation by 39%, he says the need to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon is now greater than ever.

“There are lots of doctors that may claim to do aesthetic plastic surgery. Dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and even dentists, ENTs, and general surgeons all perform this type of work much to the chagrin of board certified plastic surgeons. The only one that has been formally trained to do this work well, and to do it safely is the board certified plastic surgeon. Additionally, I try to take care of each of my patients like someone in my family and I do not cut any corners when it comes to patient safety.”

Plastic surgery takes average 7 years off face: study

WONDERING HOW young you’ll look after that face-lift? Now there’s a study to help you figure out.

Patients who had eyelid work plus neck and face-lifts turned the clock back 7.5 years on average. -- <i></i>
Patients who had eyelid work plus neck and face-lifts turned the clock back 7.5 years on average. —

Plastic surgery procedures took an average of seven years off patients’ appearance, with more extensive facial surgeries turning the clock back even further, researchers writing in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery said.

While the goal of surgery is to restore a more youthful and yet natural appearance, doctors haven’t had the data before to provide a good estimate to their patients of just how much younger they’d look after face-lifts, forehead lifts and eyelid work, they added.

“It’s not the numbers that are important so much as the trend,” cautioned Nitin Chauhan, a doctor from the University of Toronto, who worked on the study.

“Everybody has different objectives in mind [for surgery] and everybody has a different pre-operative state,” he told Reuters Health.

For the report, Mr. Chauhan and his colleagues recruited 40 medical students to evaluate the “before” and “after” photos of 60 people they’d operated on with face-lifts, neck lifts and additional procedures.

Those patients, mostly women, were between 45 and 72 years old when they got cosmetic surgery.

Before their procedures, the raters — who evaluated different sets of photos and looked at them in random order — estimated that patients were a year or two younger than their actual age. In the “after” shots, however, they pegged them at nine years younger than they really were.

The perceived age benefit was larger the more procedures patients had done, Mr. Chauhan’s team said.

Getting only a face and neck lift turned the clock back 5.7 years, on average, based on the photo assessments. That compared to 7.5 years for patients who had eyelid work in addition to neck and face-lifts, and 8.4 years for those who got forehead lifts on top of the other procedures.

When all of these were put together, patients looked an average of 7.2 years younger post-surgery.

A study published last month by some of the same researchers found that nose jobs come with a side benefit of taking a year or two off the patient’s perceived age.

But patients shouldn’t necessarily choose to get extra procedures done based on the new findings, said Antony Sciafani, a facial plastic surgeon at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

“The group that got the most benefit was the group that had more done. That’s somewhat intuitive,” said Mr. Sciafani, who was not involved in the study.

“But the underlying argument and realization should be, you did more because these people needed more. They looked more tired, they looked older.”

The researchers said that as well as looking younger, the goal of facial plastic surgery is also to make people look generally healthier, happier and more refreshed, which can often be more important than the perceived age itself.

“I would never tell somebody who’s 60 years old, ‘Go back and look at a picture of you from where you’re 52,’” said Mr. Sciafani.

“You’re going to look better, you’re going to be more rested. The exact number, I wouldn’t get too hung up about.”

One of the study’s authors is a consultant for Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that makes Botox. — Reuters

Plastic Surgeon Comments on Tummy Tuck Advancements

BIRMINGHAM, AL, February 24, 2012 /24-7PressRelease
As a tummy tuck surgeon in Birmingham, Dr. Michael Beckenstein cautions patients to choose a surgeon based on qualifications, not on the fact that they offer the newest plastic surgery innovations.
It’s 2012, which for the plastic surgery industry means more advancements than ever before.
While groundbreaking technology and the emergence of new surgical techniques are exciting, potential patients should be sure that these innovations are time-tested before seriously considering them. A tummy tuck surgeon in Birmingham, Dr. Michael Beckenstein, stresses that patients should choose a surgeon based on the doctor’s qualifications and experience with a particular procedure, and not just because he or she offers the “latest and greatest” treatments.
“As a Birmingham cosmetic surgeryspecialist, I feel it is my responsibility to be aware of and knowledgeable about improvements within the industry, particularly in regard to the procedures I offer,” Dr. Beckenstein says.
“When I came across a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, I was eager to learn about a new development in tummy tuck surgery. What surprised me the most about the study was what it determined about suction drains.”
This particular study looked at 113 consecutive abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) patients. Each person was examined for seromas, pockets of fluid that can develop in the body after surgery.
The study found that surgeries that used an extended incision, liposuction undermining of the deep fatty tissue between the superficial and abdominal muscle tissue, and progressive tension sutures resulted in better abdominal wall and waist contours, which decreased the need for abdominal drains.
“While the findings of this particular study are a step in the right direction, I would advise patients who are considering any plastic surgery procedure to be cautious about new products and new techniques that have not stood the test of time,” Dr. Beckenstein said.
“For instance, when my patients are choosing breast implants in Birmingham, I allow them to decide which implant option is best for them and their lifestyle. I offer both silicone and saline breast implants, which have been used for many years by authorities in the industry around the world.
“Further, I pride myself in being innovative yet critical when it comes to advances in plastic surgery. I believe my patients deserve the best, and that’s what I strive to provide.”
Dr. Michael Beckenstein is a board-certified plastic surgeon who offers procedures for the breasts, body and face at his practice in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Beckenstein earned his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School before studying advanced plastic surgery techniques through several residencies and fellowships. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Beckenstein has authored and co-authored a number of articles in journals and textbooks, and has been recognized as one of America’s Top Surgeons by the Consumer Research Council of America.

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