Tag Archives: cosmetic surgery

Laser-Assisted Liposuction Gets Burned

It happens to me all the time at medical conferences: I scramble to get myself to a meeting room, squeeze myself past aisle-seat squatters (you know who you are), get settled, pull out my notebook, and realize with the introduction of the first speaker that I’m in the wrong place. I then either  get to where I need to be or just stay put, either because there’s no easy way out or I hear or see something that piques my interest.

The latter happened yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Boston, when I found myself in scientific session A – “Lipoplasty: It’s Us, Not the Machine” – instead of scientific session B – “The Face – Fillers vs. Fat.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia user Anarkangel by Creative Commons License

Anticipating an industry-sponsored feel-good fest dominated by slide after slide of before and after success stories, I started gathering up my gear to make my escape, when something unexpected happened. One of the panelists, Dr. Simeon Wall of the Wall Center for Plastic Surgery in Shreveport, Louisiana, slammed laser-assisted liposuction, which, since its arrival on the scene in 2007, has been touted as being a more effective, more efficient fat removal technology than traditional liposuction, resulting in less bruising and swelling and quicker recovery times, along with improvements in skin tightness and the appearance of cellulite. In fact, Dr. Wall stated, based on a review of the published literature, these claims “have no scientific basis,” even though the technology is FDA-approved and the machines have been on the market for a few years.

Intrigued, I decided to stay put for a few minutes to hear what some of the other panelists had to say, thinking a potentially interesting debate might ensue. I was half right. What followed was interesting, but there was no debate. In fact, the panelists were mostly in agreement with Dr. Wall’s assessment.

Dr. Constantino Mendieta, who is in private practice in Miami, referred to the laser liposuction device in his office as a “very expensive dust collector. It just doesn’t work.” Panel moderator Dr. Steven Teitelbaum of Santa Monica, Calif., suggested that the few good results achieved by select surgeons who are extraordinarily proficient with the device are exceptions to the norm and that the rate of dangerous complications associated with the technology outweigh the remote chance of substantial benefit.

In response to a lament from a session attendee in the audience that the majority of the revisional liposuction cases he sees in his practice are the result of laser-assisted liposuction, Dr. Wall agreed, and noted that the deformities associated with laser-assisted liposuction are typically “more difficult to correct” than those associated with other liposuction methods.

Although the session was filled with the expected collection of before-and-after shots achieved using a range of liposuction methods (some of the differences were impressive; some barely discernable), I was glad I stayed. The laser lipo-bashing was informative and entertaining, and the session seemed to lend credence to the stated theme of this year’s ASAPS meeting: “Affirming the Science of Aesthetic Surgery,” although the corollary – “Debunking the Hype” –  might have been a more appropriate moniker. Either way, it was well played. 

— Diana Mahoney


Filed under Blognosis, Dermatology, Drug And Device Safety, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Plastic Surgery, Surgery, The Mole

Cougars Are the Queens of Cosmetic Surgery

A recent perspective demographic survey has found that women are more likely to receive cosmetic surgery if they are younger or older than their partners, according to Dr. Joel Schlessigner, a dermatologist in private practice in Omaha, Neb., and his colleagues.

A cougar, of sorts ... By Art G., via Wikimedia Commons

He presented the results of his study on the “typical” cosmetic surgery patient at the Cosmetic Surgery Forum 2010 in Las Vegas.

I love this study not only because of the interesting results — cougars and trophy wives are the top cosmetic surgery patients — but because Dr. Schlessinger’s colleagues were his son, Daniel, and his father, Bernard Schlessinger, Ph.D.

To read more of this post, please visit our sister blog, The Mole, at www.skinandallergynews.com.


Filed under Dermatology, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Primary care, Psychiatry

Front and Center: Injectables and the Nose

It’s right smack in the middle of the face, but somehow, until now, I had not even considered injectables could be used to enhance the appearance of the nose.

Botulinum toxin for wrinkles on the forehead – seen it. Use of fillers to smooth out facial lines – I’ve watched these techniques live at dermatology meetings. Lip enhancement – I’ve heard a lot said about that too. But recontouring the nose? Nope.

“We are not going to replace rhinoplasty, but there is a lot we can do with fillers in an in-and-out procedure,” said Dr.

Dr. Vince Bertucci (left) and Dr. Jean-Francois Tremblay (photo by D. McNamara)

Dr. Vince Bertucci, a private practice dermatologist and cosmetic skin surgeon in Woodbridge, Ont., Canada. Making the bridge of the nose more prominent, relaxing the “bunny lines” a patient gets when they smile, and making a nose less “droopy” at the tip are examples.

Nonsurgical rhinoplasty has its advantages, Dr. Jean-Francois Tremblay said. Injectables “can be used to see if a patient likes the changes to their nose before making the changes permanent.” And, although results are not as dramatic, they avoid the often significant downtime, swelling, and pain associated with a traditional “nose job,” said Dr. Tremblay, a dermatologic surgeon in Outremont, Que., Canada.

Filler and/or botulinum toxin enhancements are less expensive. Also, unlike surgery, many filler corrections can be reversed or modified, Dr. Tremblay added. On the downside, the effects don’t last forever. Also, “you can only add volume and not remove anything.”

Many patients unhappy with their nose appearance do not know injectables are an option, commented a dermatologic surgeon attending this session at the ASDS/ASCDAS joint annual meeting in Chicago. Dr. Tremblay agreed, and said more patient education is needed in this area.

Dr. Bertucci receives honoraria from Allergan is a consultant for Procter & Gamble. Dr. Tremblay is a medical consultant for Allergan, Medicis, Canderm Pharma, LaRoche-Posay, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson.

–Damian McNamara

@MedReporter on twitter.com

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Filed under Dermatology, IMNG, Plastic Surgery, The Mole, Uncategorized

Toxin Language at the FDA

In the infinite wisdom of the FDA, the agency has decided that the 3 forms of botulinum toxin need new generic names.

Photo by Flickr member EverJean. Used under Creative Commons license

Photo by Flickr member EverJean. Used under Creative Commons license

Botulinum toxin type A, trade name Botox, will henceforth be known as onabotulinumtoxinA.

Botulinum toxin type A, trade name Dysport, will henceforth be known as abobotulinumtoxinA.

Botulinum toxin type B, trade name Myoblock, will henceforth be known as rimabotulinumtoxinB.

The FDA’s announcement says the reason for this change is “to reinforce individual potencies and prevent medication errors.  The potency units are specific to each botulinum toxin product, and the doses or units of biological activity cannot be compared or converted from one product to any other botulinum toxin product.  The new established names reinforce these differences and the lack of interchangeability among products.”

I think the FDA should have consulted a linguist, or an editor, or for that matter any random person off the street, before making these changes. Do they really think that using 9-syllable, 18- or 19-letter, compound words will actually prevent medication errors? I think they’re going to cause errors!

—Bob Finn

posted 11:50am PDT Aug 4, 2009

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Filed under Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Plastic Surgery