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Plastic Surgery News: World Roundup August 2005

Italy's Ugly Club: No Cosmetic Surgery for us!!

World Roundup August 2005 When it comes to people who are, say, beauty challenged, Italy's Ugly Club pulls no punches. "I'm ugly and don't regret it," says club founder Telesforo Iacobelli who has also served as president of the Club dei Brutti (Ugly Club.) With an international membership of around 20,000, Iacobelli says his club is not against beauty and admits to even allowing four former Miss Italys into its ranks. "We're just regular people who want to talk about the problems of ugliness in society," says Iacobelli.

The club actually started forty years ago as a marriage agency for the town's single women, all of whom assumed they were unmarried because they did not number among the town's more alluring prospects.

September is a special time for the Club Dei Brutti because they celebrate the Festival of the Ugly during which a new club president is elected.

But perhaps Club dei Brutti has already changed some attitudes about radiant people. According to the Ugly/Rage Models, a U.S. and United Kingdom modeling agency that puts hard-featured people into advertising, ugly is increasingly being used with good results. According to one report, switching to more homely models in one ad boosted sales of a body lotion.

Additionally, the demand and interest in unattractive things is seemingly high. Currently, websites are devoted to ugly bridesmaid dresses, ugly football players, ugly Christmas lights and ugly cars. At least three U.S. states hold Ugly Pickup Truck contests.

When it comes to humans, we may even see more cases of reverse discrimination - against the handsome and gorgeous.

For instance, in the United Kingdom, the Advertising Standards Association (A.S.A.) gives thumbs up or down on advertising before it is aired or printed. A.S.A. ordered one alcohol company to replace its attractive male actors in a commercial with men who are "overweight, middle-aged, balding and etc." The reason? A.S.A. standards prohibit ads that suggest a link between consumption of alcohol and sexual success. The censors figured everyone would immediately understand there was zero chance of the less attractive men getting to know the actresses in the ad, no matter how much the guys plied them with drink.

Miss Africa Switzerland

Of course, beauty is in no danger whatever of being regulated out of existence. As if we need any reminders about the enduring appeal and power of beauty, the African Mirror Foundation organized the first ever beauty pageant for women of African descent living in Switzerland, attracting hundreds of contestants from the 35,000-member African community there. Event organizers figured the contest will open more doors to the Swiss modeling and advertising industry for the beauties.

The "Almost" Plastic Surgery Workout

World Roundup August 2005 Suppose you have done plastic surgery on human bodies for 28 years. Could you then reshape a body with diet and exercise alone, forgetting about the surgery?

One plastic surgeon has done exactly that. Bruce Nadler, M.D. a 58-year-old New York City plastic surgeon, started lifting weights when he was a teenager. He switched to marital arts in his 20s and 30s but, by his early 40s, was "looking for something that did not hit back." So he returned to pumping iron, big time, and won several hands full of titles like the All Natural California Masters in 1996 and the New York-New Jersey Tri-State Masters in 1997.

Dr. Nalder still competes, but also helps clients work it out, instead of suction it out. Moreover, he is retiring from medicine in late August, 2005, to become a full-time, certified personal fitness trainer, working from two Manhattan gyms and another two on Long Island.

He has labeled his body building regime "The "Almost" Plastic Surgery Workout."

Says Dr. Nadler: "The idea is avoid plastic surgery by doing weight training based on cosmetic principles and creating precise changes in body shape to achieve ideal contours and symmetry."

The workout allows you, depending on the changes you want in your body, to build up some areas, just tone others and shrink other areas so they become smaller. For instance, most women do not want huge biceps, thick necks or large backs or thighs. So a typical woman client will concentrate more on good development of her abdomen, back and shoulders with trim, firm buttocks and well defined legs. Dr. Nadler say it's known as the "Almost" Plastic Surgery Workout because, if you do it right, you will have almost have had rejuvenation surgery.

Once Dr. Nadler's clients decide exactly which muscles they want to concentrate on, he helps them change their diets to resemble the recuperative nutrition surgeons usually prescribe for patients after an operation. Typically, that is a diet containing 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbohydrates and the rest in good fats.World Roundup August 2005

"By 'good fats,' I mean the fats that are liquid at room temperature like olive oil," Dr. Nadler says.

The key to the Almost Plastic Surgery Workout: if you want to make a muscle larger, do ten to 12 repetitions with a weight so that you can no longer lift it on the 12th try. If there is a part of your body you want to shrink, choose a weight you can no longer lift by the fourth or fifth repetition. To slim and strengthen muscles - like those in your legs - use lighter weights that you can no longer lift by the 20th repetition.

In virtually all other workouts, trainers ask the exerciser to work out the same way each session.

"For your aerobic activity, the activity that will burn fat, I usually ask my clients to pick one - treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, whatever -- they find the most interesting," says Dr. Nadler. "Swimming does not work, however, because the water pulls the heat away from your body and that heat is what causes you to burn fat and lose weight.

"All of that is true body sculpting," says Dr. Nadler, "without a scalpel."

Botox - Good for Breast Pain & Scars, too.

World Roundup August 2005 Botox is not just for wrinkles, anymore. Far from it. Almost monthly, more uses are found for the wrinkle easing substance. The latest includes a study to find if it can help in healing keloid scars. Moreover, it is being used for pain control during breast reconstruction.

While women are undergoing mastectomies, surgeons usually start immediately planning for ways to reconstruct one or both breasts. In most cases, after a breast is removed, the surgeon inserts a balloon-like device known as a tissue expander into the patient's chest. The balloon is then slowly inflated to allow time for chest tissues to stretch and make room for the implant. But the tissue expander causes muscle spasms and additional pain. Plastic surgeon Julio Hochberg, M.D., a professor of surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, had been injecting Botox into some patients' pectoral muscles with seemingly good results.

So Dr. Hochberg studied the charts of 89 patients who received Botox injections after mastectomy. He found those patients used 89 percent less morphine in the first 24 hours after surgery, had their hospital stay reduced by one day and needed three fewer physician visits than a control group.

Meanwhile, at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, physicians think Botox may help reduce the incidence of a particularly worrisome type of scar, the keloid. Found most often in African-Americans, a keloid is a thick, fibrous tissue outgrowth surrounding skin lesions. The puzzling wound formation -- described and documented since ancient Egypt - is caused by the slightest break in the skin like a mild scratch, an ear piercing or even a mosquito bite. The fibrous outgrowths continue to swell and grow like thick ropes if untreated, causing pain, itching and grotesque disfiguration. Dr. Anthony Brissett, assistant professor and director of several keloid clinics in Texas, estimates five to 15 percent of black populations suffer from the troublesome scars. Current thinking is that Botox injections may be able to paralyze the affected areas and can relieve enough tension to enhance healing and improve the scars. "If there is a lot of tension or movement around the wound, there is a tendency for keloids to form," says Dr. Brissett.

New Treatments for Varicose Veins

Surgeons have developed a new, quicker way - based on radio frequency technology -- to rid legs of those bulging, twisted, swollen blood vessels we know as varicose veins.

World Roundup August 2005 Those bulges happen because damaged valves inside the vein allow blood to flow backward into the vein and form a pool. In addition to the appearance of legs so unattractive that cause women to forego shorts and shorter skirts, varicose veins can cause pain, severe fatigue and leg cramps. But, alas, the valves can't be repaired even though an estimated ten to 20 percent of American women and some men suffer from the condition.

Previously, surgeons stripped out the swollen vein and allowed the body to naturally reroute blood flow through deeper, healthy veins. But after the procedure, one or two weeks of bed rest was required, along with some heavy bandages on the legs to prevent swelling, pain and bruising.

Now, surgeons can use a device known as the VNUS Closure which does its work inside the veins and through radiofrequency energy. The procedure can be done in the hospital or in the doctor's office.

Here's how it works: the surgeon uses an ultrasound machine to map the exact position of the vein. He or she then injects anesthesia and saline and then puts a slim radiofrequency probe into the vein. As the probe comes into contact with the vein wall, it heats the tissues to 185 degrees F., causing the vein to shrivel and, eventually, be absorbed by the body. Result? No more bluish bulges in the legs.

"Patients have reported feeling little, if any, pain during the procedure and there is basically no recovery period," says Walter McCarthy, M.D. section chief of vascular surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

According to Rush, the procedure is not covered by insurance for purely cosmetic reasons; however, most insurance companies will cover the cost of the newer procedure if it is medically necessary because of pain and discomfort.

Got Tatts? Lose 'em Thru Cosmetic Procedures

World Roundup August 2005 Just about everybody has a past which usually includes a few regrets about things done in the name of whatever was hip and cool during the teenage years. Leading the typical list are tattoos and multiple body piercings, followed closely by too many days at the beach or pool, lying in the sun.

Now, decades later, many people find their company's personnel policy asks you to keep tatts covered with long sleeves or slacks. Moreover, that once cool "skin art" can be positively embarrassing at your new country club and in other conservative social situations. Even worse than embarrassment, however, is the risk of skin cancer, a frequent ailment brought on by too much sun exposure.

However, help is close at hand. In all three cases, dermasurgeons offer restorative procedures to rid skin of unwanted tattoos, piercings and the ravages of excessive sun exposure.

"The outcomes of tattoo removal can vary, depending on the size and colors of the tattoos," says Rhoda S. Narins, M.D., president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. "Large multicolored tattoos are harder to remove, often requiring multiple treatments."

Lasers are frequently used to remove tattoos while smaller ones may lend themselves to surgical excision. But, in cases where repeated laser treatments are needed, permanent changes in skin texture and pigmentation may happen.

Body piercings often heal if just left alone but can be surgically closed, too.

"The dermasurgeon basically cuts out the hole and sutures it," says Dr. Narins. "When the wound heals, the piercing is no longer visible."

If you've had one or more serious sunburns before age 20, you may develop dark brown spots, sallow discoloration, dryness and wrinkles, according to Dr. Narins.

"Several dermatologic surgery treatments are available to restore and reverse much of the sun damage," she says. "They range from chemical peels to laser treatments to topical creams that can fade brown spots and smooth the skin.

"Fortunately, it's now possible to change at least some our pasts with many of the new treatments and devices used by dermasurgeons."

However, if surgery is not for you, there's another, more temporary choice.

According to Covermark, a cosmetic manufacturer, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Depp, Colin Farel, 50 Cent, Beyonce, Drew Barrymore, Gwen Stefani, Halle Berry and Gisele Bundchen lose their tattoos when a film, prom, wedding, funeral or other tattoo taboo situation presents itself. The Tattoo Cover Kit is makeup that promises to cover, and match, any skin tone.

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