North Jersey docs offer tips on avoiding the plastic surgery nightmares of some celebs


March 24, 2014 Last updated: Monday, March 24, 2014, 1:21 AM

kimnovakThe signs of aging have been creeping up for years — marionette lines around the mouth, under-eye pouches, the dreaded neck wattle just like the one your mom had. But then, one day, you look in the mirror and think, who the heck is tha


t person looking back at me? And that’s the day when you may resolve to look into what cosmetic facial procedures are out there.
But then you tune in to one of TV’s many star-studded awards shows and see something scarier than “The Following,” “Hannibal” or


“Bates Motel” — once beautiful and familiar faces that are now lumpy, puffy, frozen, barely even recognizable.

Take, for example, the recent Academy Awards, when the appearance of 81-year-old Kim Novak, 68-year-old Goldie Hawn and 60-year-old John Travolta generated lots of tweets and morning-after buzz. They join a long list of celebrities — including Mickey Rourke, Joan Rivers, Bruce Jenner, Kenny Rogers and Priscilla Presley — whose apparently bad facial work has inspired online ridicule and troubling questions. One of them: If Hollywood’s rich and famous could end up looking so bad, what chance have I of looking good?

“The nagging problem in our industry is that our good results — Mother Nature gets the credit. And our bad results are there for everyone to see,” says Dr. Richard D’Amico of Englewood, the 2008 president of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who saw enough of the latter to have been cringing as he watched this year’s Oscars. “If it looks like plastic surgery, then it’s bad plastic surgery. Good plastic surgery is something you’d never think of. You look at the person and say, ‘She looks good and she looks natural.’ That’s the good plastic surgery, and we get no credit for it.”

D’Amico and other North Jersey board-certified plastic surgeons say that patients often mention famous people that they do — or do not — want to wind up looking like. “Earlier today, I had a woman who came in for facial rejuvenation, and she said, ‘I just don’t want to look like the people I saw on TV the other day,’ and she was referring to the Oscars,” says Dr. Luis Zapiach, who has offices in Paramus and Franklin Lakes. “I told her, ‘I’m a very conservative plastic surgeon. I will make you refreshed and that’s it. … And she was very happy with what we had done, just with fillers. She was very concerned about not having her cheeks too full. Some of the things that we see sometimes on TV is their cheeks are too full.”

Dr. Valerie Ablaza, who does 80 to 85 percent cosmetic work (much of it facial rejuvenation) in her Montclair private practice, often has to reassure patients who bring up celebrity mishaps.

“Everyone says the same thing, ‘How did someone do that?’ ” says Ablaza, last year’s president of the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons. “I don’t know why those people and their handlers don’t see that just like the common people see what happened to that person. But I know that no one that walks out of my office looks like Kim Novak or Goldie Hawn.

“Even Priscilla Presley and Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett — they all just look a little bit freaky and you say, ‘Really, who’s giving you advice?’ Why did Priscilla Presley have silicone injections in her face when it’s not even approved by the FDA in this country? … You’d think that they have all the money in the world and all the exposure, they must be going to the best. But they aren’t. They’re just in their own little bubble of thinking.”

Ablaza believes that some celebrities “get carried away … and keep making changes, little by little, and they get so far off the mark,” they may even lose sight of their “starting point.” (She speculates that this may be the case with Joan Rivers.)

D’Amico has also had patients say, ” ‘I don’t want to look like blank.’ Fill in any number of those blanks,” he says. “People come in and they say, ‘Don’t change me.’ And what I explain to them about facial rejuvenation surgery is that time and the environment and stress has changed you. So, it’s restoration, never alteration. What you saw in Kim Novak and Goldie Hawn is alteration, and that’s always a mistake.”

Dr. David Abramson, chief of the department of plastic surgery at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, says, “I think, unfortunately, a lot of these people do too much, whether it’s surgery or fillers. If you overdo something, you wind up with abnormal facial expressions. They always talked about that ‘Joker’ look from having too many face-lifts, but I think when people have too much non-operative stuff they can look just as bad because they can look puffy, swollen.”

To be sure, many older actors and actresses look great, including 64-year-old Meryl Streep and 56-year-old Ellen DeGeneres, the Oscars host, who quipped that night that “the most important thing in the world is youth.”

“The ones that looked good, but didn’t look like they had something done, you bet your boots they had something done,” says D’Amico, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Although women in general account for the vast majority of all cosmetic procedures — 91 percent in 2012, the most recent year the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released data — the gender breakdown is surely less lopsided in Hollywood, where looking good is in everyone’s job description. Travolta, after all, was among the Oscar-night stars who raised eyebrows (and not just for mangling Idina Menzel’s name).

While a character actress like 84-year-old June Squibb may feel no need to hide her gray hair and wrinkles, aging can be especially tough for those once known for their looks, as Cameron Diaz told Oprah Winfrey on the March 16 episode of “Oprah Prime,” which also featured Sharon Stone. “It’s almost as if we have failed if we don’t remain 25 for the rest of our lives,” Diaz said.

While most of us don’t have millions of strangers watching as we age, the process is the same for celebrities as for everyone.

“When we’re young, the skin has a lot of elasticity, so all the rubber bands are nice and tight and the dermis is very thick with collagen and plump, and tight skin and plump skin is young skin, and that looks very good,” says Dr. Barry DiBernardo, a Montclair plastic surgeon and past president of the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Somewhere around 35 years old — it’s different in all of us, it depends on your genetics, your sun damage, your smoking — those cells will slow down the production of collagen and elastin, and that’s when you’ll start to see the lines come in. The skin thins. Things start to fall.”

The good news, the doctors say, is that there are now many non-invasive and minimally invasive options for rejuvenating faces, including toxin injections (such as Botox, for forehead wrinkles) as well as fillers like Radiesse or Voluma (for, say, cheeks); Juvéderm (for nasolabial folds); a newer, lighter filler called Belotero (good for lower eyelid hollows); and fractional lasers to resurface and tighten the skin.

“We now have more tools in our toolbox than ever,” D’Amico says. “It used to be, you held out and you went right into the operating room at some point. Nowadays, we have all different levels of intervention.”

Plastic Surgery Post: Five spots you never knew could look so great after lipo

By Dr. David Sayah–Beverly Hills Thursday, March 13, 2014
It’s hard to say whether it’s our tendency to hone in on imperfection or some other quirk of humanity, but when it comes to our appearance, it’s the little things that tend to feel the most irritating. Those small, isolated problem spots often continue nagging at us, even after accomplishing major weight loss or other fitness goals, and even when we’re otherwise happy with our appearance.

In some cases, liposuction can be an ideal way to address these problem areas. By specifically targeting the areas that bother you the most, lipo can help your body look amazing in five places you never expected.

1. Your Jawline
The earliest signs of jowls can make you look prematurely aged, as can the fatty deposits that cause a double chin. Slimming the jawline, under the chin and through the upper neck with liposuction can help you look thinner, and may also take years off your appearance.

2. Your Torso
Even naturally slender women may feel embarrassed about fattiness in the back and upper torso, specifically those small bulging areas that sneak out around bras and swimsuit tops. Some well-targeted body contouring can eliminate these trouble spots for smoother, uninterrupted curves.

3. “Cankles”
Normally, the transition from calf to ankle is trim and elegant…except when you have “cankles.” An ankle that lacks graceful lines can be made shapelier with the help of leg liposuction.

4. Your Breasts
Concern over potential scarring may leave some women hesitant to consider surgical breast reduction. Liposuction offers a “scarless” solution to sculpt away excess fatty tissue for a more svelte silhouette. Keep in mind, though, that lipo is better for subtle reshaping rather than significant reduction.

5. The Male Chest
Women aren’t the only ones who may feel uncomfortable about their breast size. Many men suffer from gynecomastia, the development of male breasts that becomes more common with age-related hormonal changes. Liposuction can reveal more muscular definition to the male chest for a firmer, more streamlined torso.

If you’re happy overall with your body but the feeling of frustration over stubborn spots sounds all too familiar, it might be time to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. Together, you can develop a treatment approach to make the most out of your existing assets, and eliminate those little imperfections for good.

3D printing tech used to reconstruct man’s face in groundbreaking surgery

reuter-frabrizio-benschFor what appears to be the first time in history doctors were able to use 3D printing technology during a facial reconstruction surgery to help a British man who survived a motorcycle accident but walked away traumatized and disfigured.

Stephen Power of Cardiff, Wales was hospitalized for four months after he endured multiple injuries in a 2012 accident. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash but still suffered gruesome injuries.

“I broke both cheek bones, top jaw, my nose and fractured my skull,” Power, 29, told Hywel Griffith of the BBC. “I can’t remember the accident – I remember five minutes before and then waking up in the hospital a few months later.”

Surgeons at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales used CT scans to recreate Power’s face and then print a symmetrical 3D model of his cranium. They then cut that mould down with cutting guides and printed plates to restructure his face.

The procedure lasted eight hours, culminating with medical-grade titanium implants set into his face to ensure that the bones remain in place.

Power said that before the surgery he would hide his face with help from a hat and glasses. That is no longer necessary, thanks to the surgeons and their willingness to try what could become a more common method of operation.

“It’s totally life changing,” Power said. “I could see the difference straight away the day I woke up from the surgery…I’ll be able to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, even go to any public areas.”

Maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar said in a statement that the results were unlike anything he’s encountered before.

“Without this advanced technology, it’s freehand. You have to guess where everything goes,” he said, as quoted by the AFP’s Guy Jackson. “The technology allows us to be far more precise and get a better result for the patient.”

The process of 3D printing includes manually entering geometric data into a computer and forming it into graphics, a process that has been compared to digital sculpting. The computer then scans the “sculpture” and forms a physical, three dimensional model of the desired piece.

afp photo

Printers have already been used to design new technology that could be used in zero or low gravity situations in outer space. Last year, a US-based group made international headlines after announcing it planned to “[design a working plastic gun that could be downloaded and reproduced by anybody with a 3D printer,” as quoted by Forbes’ Andy Greenberg.

The idea of 3D printers helping potentially dangerous people build their own high-powered killing machines was unsettling, although the possibility that 3D printers could be used to benefit someone who had suffered a serious injury did not seem to be considered at the time.

Stephen Power appears to be the first person to have undergone such an extensive surgery with help from a 3D printer. Yet dozens of patients in the UK last year did experience similar surgeries to aid with various maladies they were experiencing.

Ann O’Sullivan, a grandmother who lives in Roehampton, in south-western London, thought she had a sinus problem only to go to the doctor and be informed that she was in fact experiencing the rapid growth of a tumor just beneath the skin on her face.

“I’ve always been healthy so it came as a shock when the doctor referred me to the hospital where the scan revealed a tumor. The hardest thing to take was the loss of my left eye,” she told Emma Innes of the Daily Mail last year. “The surgeons told me it was just rotten luck but that I was lucky the tumor had been growing outwards rather than inwards.”

O’Sullivan underwent a 10-hour operation that involved surgeons taking bone fragments from her leg in order to reconstruct part of her jaw. The 3D technology also helped doctors reconnect a number of veins, arteries, and tissue grafts.

“I put my faith in the hospital and they saved my life,” she said. “I told myself it could have been worse and am now focused on getting on with my life. You have to be positive.”

Woman Charged in Death Caused by Silicone Injection

Plastic surgery is not the first thing that comes to mind when one walks into the Liberty Inn Hotel, the infamous lodge in Manhattan’s meatpacking district that charges by the hour and is known for romantic trysts.

Undeterred by the locale, Tamara Blaine, 22, went to a second-floor room at the hotel last July to have an illegal medical procedure, one that has become increasingly popular in recent years as full-bodied women like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian have become iconic fashion figures.

As Ms. Blaine lay on a bed, Tamira Mobley, a self-described beautician from Wood-Ridge, N.J., injected silicone into the young woman’s buttocks. It was the fourth time in a year she had given Ms. Blaine an injection as part of a buttocks enhancement regimen, according to a criminal complaint.

Something went wrong. Ms. Blaine, a college student from Jamaica, Queens, went into a seizure and was barely alive when paramedics arrived at 12:33 p.m. Ms. Mobley, having dialed 911, quietly walked away. Ms. Blaine died at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital a short while later.

Ms. Mobley, 28, was brought before a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday and charged with second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, the district attorney’s office said. A judge set bail at $100,000.

An autopsy found that the silicone had entered Ms. Blaine’s bloodstream, causing embolisms and asphyxiating her. Though the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide on Oct. 1, it took detectives five more months to gather evidence.

The police were led to Ms. Mobley because she had used a credit card to pay for the room. A security camera also recorded her as she arrived at the hotel at 10:40 a.m. and met Ms. Blaine.

Detectives discovered text messages and emails suggesting that Ms. Mobley, who has no medical training, had injected “numerous other women, over the course of two years,” a criminal complaint said. She found clients by placing Internet ads.

Ms. Blaine’s death is not isolated. Deaths from black-market buttocks injections have been reported in recent years in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Robert X. Murphy, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said the rise in deaths like Ms. Blaine’s had alarmed doctors, prompting the society to mount a public awareness campaign in 2011.

Black-market operators often inject industrial silicone into the buttocks, he said, “the stuff you are taking to grease your garage door with essentially.” Even with medical-grade silicone, surgeons would never resort to such a procedure, Dr. Murphy said, preferring silicone-filled implants or fat injections.

“This type of procedure should be performed by someone who knows the anatomy, knows the benefits and complications and knows how to take care of someone should a complication arise,” he said. “At the minimum someone should look toward a physician.”

Last month, in Mississippi, an interior decorator was sentenced to seven years in prison in the deaths of two women who were injected at her house. And in 2012, a Philadelphia woman known as the Black Madam was charged with murder after the death of a person she had injected with silicone at an airport hotel.

Six women in Essex County, N.J., were hospitalized in 2010 after receiving injections containing the silicone material contractors use to caulk bathrooms.

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