While we in the cosmetic industry are getting better and better at delivering the results that patients expect, I still hold fast that 60 to 70% of modern high-tech materials and devices in plastic surgery over promise and under deliver ! Considering that the future of plastic surgery will be less about actual surgery as more more and more technological advances are made in the lab (think genetic engineering, better fillers, better lasers, etc.), this 60-70% statistic is rather disappointing. What makes this all the more egregious is the fact that doctors are forced to pay an arm and a leg for such underperforming technologies (Ulthera ® Thermage®, etc.). In light of the fact you can get a state-of-the-art Tesla with all the bells and whistles for around $100,000, paying $150,000 or more for a machine that just delivers fuddy-duddy ultrasound technology through a wand to aid in liposuction is frankly outrageous. However, the medical tech companies can’t be solely blamed for this-they are basically governed by the FDA’s policies which, in turn, are a response to precedents extrapolated to an absurd degree by lawyers. Unfortunately, I have seen it all too many times – a new plastic surgery technology coming out amidst a flurry of media only to fade into relatively rapid obscurity. This is similar to a Billboard chart topper only to turn out to be a one-hit wonder! In my opinion the latest overhyped snakeoil is Kybella® from the big pharma conglomerate Allergan®, proud makers of Latisse®, Botox®, Voluma®, Juvéderm®, etc. I was glad to hear from some of my esteemed colleagues at the recent American Society of Plastic Surgery meeting in Los Angeles that their thoughts on Kybella ® echoed mine. Taking into account Kybella’s negative points, which include: 1. relative risk of damaging important facial nerves, 2. cost (though one treatment is less expensive than liposuction, more often than not multiple treatments are necessary and these, of course, add up), 3. associated pain, 4. longer recovery (which, ironically, is worse than surgical liposuction since remarkable swelling can occur after every injection session) and 5. inferior results to those obtained with aesthetically and skillfully performed liposuction …there is little to no advantage in utilizing Kybella® for my patients except perhaps for its superior multi-million dollar marketing campaign! Indeed, micro liposuction can provide unprecedented control in removing fat to treat a double chin while refining the jawline and addressing the jowls as well-all with less downtime and more economically so in the end. Case in point:
Know your nose job options: knife or needle?
…and it doesn’t involve surgery.Your new plastic surgeon offered to inject filler into your nose to camouflage the irregularities, smooth and even out your bridge and even give you more of a chic tip. From the front view, by strategically injecting the filler to alter the light reflex and control shadows your deviated nose can even be made to appear straight. He/she offers you a temporary or permanent filler. The temporary ones can serve as a dress rehearsal, so to speak, if you are unsure as to whether this is a good idea or not. Temporary ones such as hyaluronic acid (e.g., Juvederm ®, Restylane ®, Voluma ®) or calcium hydroxyapatite (Radiesse ®)are good choices. Permanent ones such as Bellafill ®, Aquamid ® (not FDA approved) or fat transfer (a living transplant from your own body) are all excellent fillers in my opinion. You decide to go for it but you must be counseled to have realistic expectations. Fillers definitely cost less and involve less recovery (a few days of swelling and perhaps minor bruising at worst). However, the filler solution will: 1. Neither help breathing problems 2. Nor will they treat all forms of aesthetic deformities such as this: So the next time you’re considering altering the shape of your nose with a rhinoplasty of some sort, you may ask your plastic surgeon (hopefully, board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) about the filler option. Albeit, it cannot match the power of an actual surgical rhinoplasty, the non-surgical, filler rhinoplasty can be an excellent alternative to actual scalpel- based surgery in many select circumstances. In these cases, the needle can be more powerful than the knife as one can see below:
A recent study came out in our esteemed, peer-reviewed journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery addressing stem cell enriched fat transfer versus “regular” fat transfer (PRS Journal: stem cell rich fat transfer). In essence, this study showed there was no difference in the effects of a fat transfer whether it was enriched with stem cells or not. This was essentially the same conclusion of a blog post I wrote a few years back. However, what makes this news different is that it comes from a well-designed, randomized prospective study.
You may then ask yourself why are there so many doctors promoting stem cell facelifts and fat transfers as being the chalice of youth or life’s elixir to immortality and aging. The simple answer is finance and marketing. By promoting your fat transfer as being different, labeling it with the trendy buzz prefix of “stem cell”, prospective patients will naturally think they are getting something better, longer-lasting and more natural.
You may then ask yourself why their before-and-after photos are impressive. The simple answer is that for every before-and-after photo of a stem cell-enriched fat transfer there are 10 equally-as-impressive before-and-after results from regular fat transfers. The bottom line is that one can achieve equivalent results from a regular, well-performed fat transfer-specifically, one in which the fat is appropriately harvested, cleaned and transferred by the physician with precision and artistry. Fat is basically serving as a filler, but one that is extraordinary. Extraordinary because it is not only permanent but is actually living as well-consequently it can grow or shrink depending if the patient gains or loses weight, respectively.
Stem cell science is in its infancy and we have much to learn. Indeed, many stem cell scientists now believe that the byproducts of stem cells (cytokines, etc) play a far more important role in healing than the actual stem cells themselves.Fat is a rich source of stem cells but to assume that the stem cells, when transplanted into the face, can miraculously know how to uniquely reverse aging is pipe-dreaming at best.
Randal Haworth M.D., F.A.C.S.
Here is a classic example of a strategic fat transfer to the lower lid. The results are permanent and natural appearing.
Obviously, as we continue to age, the cheeks descends further thereby widening the “tear trough” or lower eyelid Hollow/dark circle. The fat that worked perfectly to bridge the gap is now inadequate since the gap has widened. The results of fat transfer should be permanent, however, as long as the surgeon adheres to proper fat harvest and transfer techniques.
For further information into how Dr. Randal Haworth of Beverly Hills(Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery), Call 310-273-3000
Dr. Randal Haworth Beverly Hills is an expert specialist in facial plastic surgery including maintenance therapy through fillers and paralytic agents such as Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomen®.
Botulinum toxin A seems to do far more than just block the transmission of acetylcholine (the neurotransmitter chemical released from nerve endings to affect change in muscle, glands etc.).
There is new evidence to suggest that Botulinum toxin type A can be used to treat depression which was first reported in 2006 by two American doctors (Finzi E, Wasserman E “treatment of depression with botulinum toxin A: a case series, Dermatol Surg 2006; 32 (five): 645-649). Based on this small study, a much larger study with careful patient assessment has shown that a single treatment of the glabellar lines (the dreaded “11” frown lines) with botulinum toxin resulted in a significant and sustained benefit for depressed patients (Wollmer MA, de Boer C, Kalak N, et al. “facing depression with botulinum toxin: a randomized controlled trial,” Journal of psychiatric research May 2012; 46 (five): 574-581).
Therefore, one can conclude that Botox®, through control of facial expression, seems to have the ability to control patient mood. However, is this an effect of increased self-confidence on the patient’s part or is this a result of hormone or regulatory peptide secretion as well?
Who knows at this time, but this is intriguing nonetheless. Dr. Haworth of Beverly Hills, however, is still not offering this treatment for depression even though many do say that aesthetic plastic surgery can be surgical psychiatry when performed in properly selected patients! Is this why there are so many ostensibly happy people in Beverly Hills and and its environs? 😉
For further information click on this link to body language.net
We all want to have the eyelids when we were 20 with minimal-to-no wrinkles, no bags, no dark circles and a smooth transition from the lower eyelid into a nice full elevated cheekbone.
But life tends to throw us a curveball. As we get wiser, our wrinkles get proportionately deeper.
80% of this is hardwired into our genetics while 20% is in our hands. In other words, genetics is our gun and the environment is our trigger.
The best treatment is prevention by avoiding environmental toxins-tobacco smoke, harsh chemicals and sun exposure are the three main culprits that come to mind.
The second treatment is maintenance through the use of hygiene, moisturizers and strategic use of topical antioxidant therapy. Among the latter is a dizzying and bewildering array of botanicals, herbals, vitamins, roots, vegetables, nutritional supplements and berries! But the two most singularly effective treatments are the use of vitamin A (derivatives of retinol, Retin-A, etc.) and fat-soluble vitamin C. The early use of these substances goes a long way in helping to prevent and diminish the wrinkles in the first place. I know many 60+ year old patients who have virtually no crows feet (without the use of Botox™) because they have been using a derivative of Retin-A for close to 20 years.
The third and final treatment is direct physical intervention through the use of either lasers, Botox™/Xeomen™, fillers (Restylane®, Juvederm®, etc) and/or plastic surgery. Plastic surgery on the lower eyelid is called blepharoplasty and can consist of any combination of skin removal, fat bag reduction and eradicating the dark circles/hollows that frame the lower eyelid from the cheek.
As a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon dealing with the most discerning of patients, I perform lower eyelid rejuvenation every day in my practice. Any blepharoplasty specialist is well aware of the potential pitfalls of performing surgery on the lower eyelid. The most dreaded complication that patients are fearful of is a changed lower eyelid shape (that “pulled down” look that was so frequent in surgery before the 1990s).
In the vast majority of cases I do remove skin through what I call a lower lid pinch technique utilizing one single stitch. This minimizes any chance of lower eyelid retraction. This scar basically heals as an invisible one, one which needs a magnifying glass to visualize. Though I still reduce protruding fat bags on occasion, the frequency with which I do perform this has dropped precipitously in the last 10 years. In the majority of cases, transferring fat with extreme sensitivity and appreciation of the delicate eyelid anatomy, will not only significantly diminish the dark circles but also hide any protruding fat pockets around the lower eyelid.
Fat transfer, if properly performed, is by-and-large permanent around the lower eyelid and should be performed by extremely experienced plastic surgeons. While adhering to this principle, the incidence of lower eyelid irregularity and small bumps can be vastly diminished.
Contact The Haworth Institute for further information.
Over the last 3 to 4 years I, as a primary and revision rhinoplasty specialist, have noticed an increasing and disturbing trend being practiced amongst those facial and classic plastic surgeons in my immediate community of Beverly Hills and other cities. This trend revolves around the use of rib grafts for not only revision but also primary rhinoplasty (!) (or in common parlance, nose job).
A good number of rhinoplasties require cartilage in order to achieve exemplary results. Cartilage is used to either build a bridge, fill depressions, augment or support the nasal tip. It is mainly harvested from the septum (that partition that exists in the midline of the nose which separates the left and right nostril) or the ear. Though I am fully trained general surgeon and am comfortable operating in and around the lungs and heart, I rarely employ rid graft as a source of cartilage. For most, it is generally a last resort when absolutely no other cartilage source is available. Admittedly, rib provides a strong support and is generally in plentiful supply. However, a number of downsides arise when rib is harvested: a permanent visible scar is created below the breast. Additionally, significant pain can arise from the harvesting as well as a small chance of creating a pneumothorax (or a collapsed lung) . Finally, rib can be notorious for warping thereby creating a nose that is crooked. Despite these drawbacks, I will use rib when there is a collapsed nasal septum (or dorsum creating a saddle nose deformity) or when plentiful cartilage is needed while other sources are exhausted.
See the accompanying photos.
|I always use cartilage to highlight and augment the nasal tip, however, when there is not enough cartilage present and I only need to build the bridge by a small amount, I do not hesitate to employ some artificial material such as Goretex®. I utilize this only when the chance of infection is remote. When patients are properly selected for utilizing Goretex®, the chance of infection extremely minimal in my experience. Unfortunately, the surgeons who habitually use rib grafts will scare the bejesus out of their patients into choosing the rib graft method by overstating the chance of infection and poor outcome if Goretex® is used.
So if I am writing that rib grafts are over utilized, then why do the rib graft cartel tell their patients otherwise?
I feel it is simply a matter of finance. When a rib graft is harvested, the surgeon can charge a lot more for both his services and the operating room, especially if insurance is billed. Most patients will not question their surgeon’s motivated choices and indeed, feel that they have no choice at all, believing that the rib-graft-mafia method is their only solution.
What is especially unsettling is that these doctors who are members of the rib graft cartel are now utilizing rib grafts for primary rhinoplasties (first time nose jobs). This is very puzzling because there is plenty of prime cartilage graft material available from the septum and ear and there is little to no reason to subject the patient to a rib surgery.
All I can say is that this is a dangerous trend which introduces unnecessary risk and morbidity to the operation.
A good patient is an educated patient and the purpose of my blog is to merely propagate information in the most objective way possible so that patients can make their own decisions as sentient adults. To learn more about primary and revision rhinoplasty , you can click here.
Dr Randal Haworth
Beverly Hills, California
This lesser known anatomic point of the nose is often purposely overlooked by rhinoplasty specialist surgeons because of the challenges it poses to those attempting to alter it. It is represented by the angle formed by the uppermost portion of the nose as it blends into the forehead proper. Yes, altering this area does have a subtle, yet profound influence upon the final appearance of a nose job- it can differentiate an excellent result from a “so-so” one. The surgeon can raise the radix so that the nose blends into the forehead at a higher latitude as well as softly elevate the natural valley that can exist at this are if it is too deep. Furthermore, one can deepen the radix if too much bone is present between the eyeball and the bridge on profile view.
The ideal position of the radix lies approximately at the latitude of the upper eyelash/upper eyelid crease. Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr Randal Haworth can raise it by placing a precisely shaped softened cartilage graft (usually harvested from the nasal septum or ear) with beveled edges onto the bone of the radix area. Alternatively the radix or nasion can be rasped or chiseled with specialized delicate instruments to a lower, deeper position.
Why does raising a radix from a low position improve the final appearance of a nose? Well, imagine two noses which are identical in shape and forward projection except that one has a low radix while the other has a high one. The one with the low radix is shorter compared to the one with the high. Now imagine two men, both with the same 34 inch waist, but one is short while the other tall. Who appears fatter? The short person does, of course. This same optical illusion applies to the nose with a low radix-it appears as it projects further out from the face as compared with the one with the higher radix and not necessarily in an attractive way.
The following photos represent a beautiful result of a corner lip lift and concomitant rhinoplasty in which the radix was raised.
|Work here results in some extra swelling localized to the space between the eyebrows in the sense that it lasts a few days longer. Dr Haworth at the Haworth Institute has a few tricks up his sleeve to accelerate the resolution of the nasal swelling by injecting a dilute mix of Kenalog under the skin (and it is relatively painless) two weeks out. This “turbocharges” the swelling to go away! Of course, the radix can also be augmented with a filler of some sort, such as fat, Radiesse, Juvederm, Aquamid and Artefill.|
Before I begin, one must first understand that these stem-cell facelifts are basically high-priced fat transfers that are supposedly enriched with stem cells. They are branded under many different names such as Stem Cell Facelift®, FAMI, Naturalfill® , Celution, etc. Experienced fat grafting surgeons have long known that successful fat grafting is highly dependent on the techniques used for extracting, processing, and reinjecting the fat cells. Surgeons are beginning to understand that fat processing techniques which result in high concentrations of adult stem cells produce not only long lasting results, but also have therapeutic results in injured tissues. However, it is already well accepted that properly performed fat transfers already come replete with stem cells.
I have been performing fat transfers for over 15 years and know that the results are often spectacular and permanent, recreating youth not only in terms of facial contour but also in terms of skin quality. I realize that stem cells are a normal component of the fat-mix that I or any other experienced plastic surgeon transfers and success basically relies upon the surgeon’s technique and artistry. Those that claim they have the magic-mix or snake elixir because they utilize stem cells in their fat transfer are essentially taking credit for the sky being blue. Their claims of superior results are currently unsupported and amount to nothing more that marketing- a way to get more patients in the door and charge higher prices. It is also important to know what these practitioners are comparing their so-called superior results to- facelifts, fat transfer, Restylane or a healthy diet?
My concern with the “stem cell facelift” is not that it’s a bad procedure, but rather that this is not the most accurate description. Some doctors even feel that calling fat grafting a “stem cell facelift” is misleading. When seeking treatment, make sure that your surgeon relies on science, experience, and skill rather than catchy marketing phrases.
For more information, go to the source, read this article and decide for yourself: Stem Cell LA Times Story