Sunday, November 27, 2011


■"Sicker" Americans neglect medical care to save money, report says

More than 40% of people who described themselves as "sicker" had financial problems in getting medical care in the past year, a Commonwealth Fund study shows. They said they were in poor or fair health, underwent surgery or were hospitalized in the past two years, or have chronic conditions. Such patients skipped prescriptions, didn't see doctors and took other steps to save money, the report said. American Medical News (11/21)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


■Do your homework

It's important for patients to investigate a doctor's qualifications before undergoing any plastic surgery procedures. There is a misconception among consumers that as long as a doctor is certified in a medical field that he or she is qualified to practice plastic surgery. This is absolutely wrong and it is dangerous for patients.

Suspect arrested in cement buttocks lift

Police in Miami arrested a transgender woman accused of posing as a doctor and injecting cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant into the buttocks of a woman seeking cheap cosmetic surgery. Police believe other victims exist but are too embarrassed to come forward. USA TODAY (11/22)     

■Illegal buttocks lift trend becomes more common

Authorities are seeing an increase in the number of women seeking treatment for complications after illegal silicone buttocks injections. Unlicensed, untrained practitioners have used hardware-grade silicone to enhance the breasts or buttocks of people seeking cheap cosmetic procedures. "Who would imagine someone would let someone else inject them with something from Home Depot? It's insane," said ASPS member Dr. Michele Shermak. Treating those injected with silicone can involve removing surrounding tissue. The Sun (Baltimore) (11/22)

■AMA delegates strengthen patient safety policies

The American Medical Association's House of Delegates endorsed policies to protect patients from invasive procedures performed by non-physicians at spas. Procedures such as injecting dermal fillers or Botox, and procedures involving lasers or intense pulsed light, should be considered medical, the delegates said. The AMA will develop awareness campaigns to alert patients to the dangers of so-called medical spa treatments. American Medical News

■Fill-by-night implant scams bring need for caution

The popularity of buttock-enhancement procedures has been accompanied by a spate of cases where unqualified practitioners have harmed women. Fat fillers are the typical procedure, but some people are turning to silicone that is not medical grade. "So, really, not only is it not good because it's not being done by a certified plastic surgeon, it's because it's being done at all," said ASPS President Dr. Malcolm Roth. ABC News (11/25)


■Liposuction helps improve triglyceride levels, study finds

Patients with high levels of triglycerides experienced a 43% reduction three months after undergoing liposuction, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. White blood cells, which are linked to inflammation and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, also dropped 11% after the procedure. Los Angeles Times


■More seniors seek plastic surgery

More people aged 65 and older are electing to have plastic surgery, due in part to the fact that people are living and working longer, doctors say. As with patients of any age, older patients should consult more than one specialist and discuss their goals as well as risks and their potential for healing, plastic surgeons say. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/31)


■Does minimally invasive mean minimal results?

More people are seeking minimally invasive cosmetic procedures compared with surgical procedures, according to the ASPS. Economics plays a role, but minimally invasive procedures might not pay off in the long run, writes ASPS member Dr. Michael Yaremchuk, chief of craniofacial surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. The procedures are "too often performed by weekend course trained doctors," putting patients at risk for poor results or permanent damage, Yaremchuk writes. The Huffington Post (11/1)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


■Lip reductions can help with confidence and proper sealing

More patients are seeking lip-reduction surgery, whether from over-augmentation or genetic hypertrophy, writes ASPS member Dr. Robert Tornambe. Abnormally large lips can prevent proper sealing of the upper and lower lips, causing drooling, and can cause speech impediments. Treatment options are limited, Tornambe says, and include steroid injections and surgical reduction, or reduction cheiloplasty. Whether seeking lip reduction or enhancement, patients should be sure to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to avoid complications and poor outcomes, he writes. The Huffington Post (10/31)


■Surgeons separate conjoined twins

Surgeons at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital separated 2-year-old twins joined at the chest and abdomen. The doctors evenly divided the girls' shared liver and tissues. Both girls will have abdominal scars from mid-chest to navel, said ASPS member Dr. H. Peter Lorenz, the team's chief plastic surgeon. Doctors expect both to recover well. Reuters (11/1)  


■Plastic surgeon helps a former skinhead reform

ASPS member Dr. Bruce Shack, chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, helped a former white supremacist by removing the many tattoos from his face, neck and hands. Dr. Shack "didn't just see the tattoos," said patient Byron Widner. "He saw me as a real human being." The Boston Globe