Monday, October 31, 2011


■Material used in illegal implants harms the lungs and brain

Hardware store-grade silicone used by unqualified practitioners for buttock and breast implants can dissolve in the body. Despite media reports of deaths and injuries, the incidence of illicit procedures may be rising. "We've been hearing about this," said American Society of Plastic Surgeons President Malcolm Roth. "There are 'pumping parties,' involving high-volume injections to fill up the face, lips, cheekbones, chin or breast. Often it's buttock enhancement and often it's not sterile." The ASPS is reminding patients to check and understand providers' credentials before seeking cosmetic procedures. HealthDay News (10/24)

Monday, October 10, 2011


■Chances of surgical complications rise with anemia in study

A study in The Lancet found that patients with anemia were 35% more likely to experience postoperative complications in the month after surgery and their risk of dying was 42% higher compared with those without anemia. Researchers examined data from more than 227,000 Americans who had surgery and found the increased risk of postoperative complications was 31% for mild anemia and 56% for moderate to severe anemia. HealthDay News (10/6)     

Saturday, October 1, 2011


■Plastic surgeons urge patients to do their homework

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons launched a campaign to warn the public of the dangers associated with choosing an unqualified surgeon, including "pumpers," who inject industrial-grade silicone into patients' bodies. Complications range from infection to death. "Our message is very clear and very easy to remember," said ASPS President Malcolm Roth. "Consumers need to investigate their medical provider's background. ... Anyone can wear a white coat and claim to be a plastic surgeon, but not everyone is a plastic surgeon and not everybody is qualified to perform cosmetic procedures." National Public Radio (text and audio) (9/26)


■When prevention doesn't work, treatment helps patients with scars

In Surgical wounds, traumatic wounds and burns to include chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing, a very important aspect of post-operative care is the prevention of infection.  Infection can be caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus as well as viruses, such as Herpes.  If the patient is a carrier of the bacteria or virus, despite good surgical treatment, good post-operative hygeine, and antibiotics/anti-viral medication, infection can occur.  It is extremely important that the patient use good hygiene and anti-sepsis in the postoperative healing phases (that means good hand washing, keeping your bathroom and counter-tops cleaned with alcohol, clean bed sheets, avoiding pets, etc.).  Many of these infections caused by bacteria and virues can be difficult to treat and can advance despite good treatment. Infection can transform a superficial wound or burn that normally would not scar, into a full thickness injury of the skin that can scar. Sometimes, these scars can be thick and symptomatic (sensitive to touch and itching).  These thick scars are classified as  "Hypertrophic Scars" or "Keloid Scars". The "Hypertrophic Scar" is a scar that elevates above the surface, whereas a "Keloid Scar" not only elevates above the surface, but spreads out beyond the normal boundry of the initial wound.  If the scars occur around structures that are mobile (joints, eyelids, lips), the scars can pull and distort the tissues as they heal.

"Good surgical technique and infection prevention can stop surgical scars, but they often form despite the best methods, says plastic surgeon Kelly Gallego. Surgery, silicone dressings, pressure, corticosteroids, radiation, cryosurgery, lasers, vitamin E and other topical treatments can lessen the appearance of scars and prevent recurrence, he said. The choice of treatment depends on the patient and type of scar. Some patients with hypertrophic or keloid scars may be poor candidates for surgery because the risk of recurrence might be unacceptably high."