Archive for April, 2012

Minimize Recovery Time with Liposuction Options

Friday, April 27th, 2012
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Small pockets of fat can keep people from truly enjoying their bodies, but the recovery time associated with liposuction in Los Angeles often deters them from visiting a plastic surgeon. Luckily, advances in procedures and techniques have paved the way for liposuction alternatives that greatly reduce recovery time.

Here are 4 of the most popular options that I offer to my patients:

CoolSculpting®: This innovative liposuction alternative uses a special cooling process to freeze fat. No anesthetic or incisions are needed, and there is no recovery time. Surrounding tissue and skin are not affected.

Liposonix®: High intensity ultrasound energy destroys targeted fat tissue to contour a patient’s abdomen and flank area. Treatment typically lasts only an hour, and surrounding tissue and skin are unharmed.

ZERONA®: Using a low-level laser system to target fat cells, this procedure helps patients lose fat in areas such as the thighs, hips and waist. Patients typically undergo multiple treatments, depending on the amount of enhancement desired.

Exilis: Precisely controlled radiofrequency (RF) energy is used to heat the deeper layers of the skin, shrinking fat cells and tightening skin tissue. Unlike traditional liposuction, Exilis requires no downtime. It can be performed on the face, arms, thighs and midsection.

Questions about alternatives to liposuction should be discussed with a qualified plastic surgeon.

BOTOX® or Fillers?

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
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People frequently come to my practice with misconceptions about what facial rejuvenation procedures actually do and which is the most effective for their needs. While BOTOX helps Los Angeles residents achieve smoother, more youthful looking skin, it works differently from injectable fillers. Understanding what separates these procedures can help you choose which one can most effectively help you gain the refreshed appearance you desire.

BOTOX

  • Targets facial muscles to temporarily block nerve impulses that lead to wrinkles
  • It’s FDA-approved for treatment of glabellar lines between the brows.
  • Results typically last 3 to 4 months.
  • Patients have seen reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, brows and forehead.

Dermal Fillers

  • Popular options include: Restylane®, Perlane®, RADIESSE® and JUVÉDERM®
  • They replace lost volume and collagen by plumping up skin.
  • Depending on the extent of treatment, results can last from 3 months to 2 years.
  • Products such as Sculptra® Aesthetic stimulate collagen production.
  • Typically, a topical cream or local anesthesia is used to increase comfort.

Knowing the Difference Between Trendy and Timely

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
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Non-surgical alternatives to Los Angeles liposuction are constantly emerging. So, how do you know whether a procedure is just a “flash in the pan” or a revolutionary new technique? Here are some things to look for:

  • FDA approval: Approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ensures that the procedure has been thoroughly researched and tested for safety and effectiveness. However, it’s important to note that there is a difference between medical devices that are “FDA cleared” and those that are “FDA approved.” FDA clearance applies to devices that are substantially similar to those that are already available. Approval applies to items that employ new technology that hasn’t been previously tested and must go through a complete approval process to be investigated for possible new hazards.
  • Scientific research: There are a lot of inflated claims floating around in the field of cosmetic medicine. Clinical studies give validity to a new product because they measure how predictable the new cosmetic device is. This also allows researchers to identify whether the machine produces reliable results, as well as pinpointing any weaknesses or limitations in the technology.
  • History of use: There’s a fine line between “trendy” and “timely.” One of the distinguishing characteristics of a new cosmetic treatment is whether it is being widely used. Doctors only want to invest in technology that is safe and delivers real results. The more accepted the procedure is in the medical world, the more likely that it is turning out to be trustworthy and effective.

CoolSculpting®: A Non-invasive Method That Works

I have found CoolSculpting to be one of the most reliable methods of non-surgical liposuction. This procedure has undergone clinical testing and has been shown to reduce fat by an average of 20% to 25% after just 1 treatment. CoolSculpting received FDA approval in 2010 and has been widely used by doctors and dermatologists since that time. The results are consistent, and the side effects are minimal. With these qualifications, I think it’s safe to say that CoolSculpting is much more than a trend; it’s here to stay.

Does At-home Hair Removal Work?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
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You may have seen advertisements for at-home hair removal kits in Los Angeles. These ads make some pretty exaggerated claims, including the claim that at-home hair removal products are as effective as an in-office procedure.

As a surgeon, I am constantly keeping up with the current trends in technology, and I can confidently say that the best way to remove unwanted hair is to trust a trained professional. Here’s why:

  • At-home results vary. The at-home devices have shown varying results, and none are comparable to results from a procedure performed by a professional laser hair removal specialist. Laser hair removal has been available in a clinical setting since the mid-1990s and has a proven track record for safety and effectiveness.
  • At-home kits are less powerful. The technology used for laser hair removal at a doctor’s office is much more sophisticated and powerful than that which can be sold over the counter. Better technology means longer-lasting results and less risk of complications.
  • More room for error. At-home laser hair removal kits can be purchased by anyone, which means that mistakes and improper use are highly possible. An in-office laser procedure, on the other hand, must be performed by a trained medical professional. This reduces the risk of unwanted side effects and ensures more satisfying results.

Mommy Makeover Rated as ‘Worth It’ by 98% of Patients

Friday, April 6th, 2012
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It comes as no surprise that Mommy Makeovers have a 98% “worth it” rating on Realself.com, a website that connects men and women who are interested in cosmetic enhancement with medical professionals. This procedure, which often combines a Los Angeles tummy tuck and breast augmentation, helps women flatten their midsections and enhance their breasts for a younger, firmer-looking body.

Benefits of a Mommy Makeover

A Mommy Makeover is perfect for restoring areas of the body that are affected by pregnancy and childbirth. Some advantages of this procedure include:

  • Tightening abdominal muscles that were stretched by pregnancy
  • Restoring fullness to the breasts
  • Reducing the visibility of stretch marks and scarring from a C-section
  • Removing excess fat from the stomach, hips, buttocks or thighs
  • Sculpting slimmer, sleeker body contours
  • Balancing body proportions
  • Elevating the breasts to a higher position

Do Your Implants Have a Shelf Life?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
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If you live in Los Angeles and had breast augmentation several years ago, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change your breast implants. If there are no physical complications and you are happy with your current size and appearance, then most surgeons will advise you to keep your current implants. The old rule of thumb that implants should be replaced every 10 years refers only to the manufacturer’s warranty. There’s really no need to undergo another surgery unless 1 of 3 things occurs:

  • You want to change the implant size or style
  • Your implants rupture or deflate
  • You experience problems with the implants or a complication such as capsular contracture

While many women don’t experience any problems with their implants, it’s still important to realize that they are not meant to be permanent devices. The life span of breast implants varies greatly from person to person. Some people have implants for many years without a problem, while others may need revision surgery within a few years. Selecting a qualified breast augmentation surgeon can reduce your risk of complications and future surgeries.

Dr. Grant Stevens

I am a board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience researching and implementing new approaches to plastic surgery. At Plastic Surgery Insider, you get the benefit of my experience and authority when you read my perspectives on the latest news and procedures in plastic surgery.
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