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New Books about Plastic Surgery

New Books about Plastic Surgery With time off for the holidays, you may be up for some serious reading or perhaps just something light to thumb through during idle moments. Whatever the case, more plastic surgeons are taking pen - or mouse -- in hand and writing books about cosmetic and plastic surgery to help you gain the knowledge you need to get the results you want from that rejuvenation surgery you've been thinking about. Plus, with the Christmas season approaching, you might find a good book for a special somebody who intends to go in for a nip and a tuck. Below, we've outlined some of the more noteworthy books about going under the knife for an aesthetic overhaul:

Total Body Lift
By Dennis J. Hurwitz, M.D., F.A.C.S.
M.D. Publish, N.Y.C.

New Books about Plastic Surgery Made famous by stars like television personality Al Roker, reality-TV queen and rock-star wife Sharon Osbourne, singer Carnie Wilson and others, gastric bypass surgery is fast becoming a more common way to lose extreme amounts of weight. Nearly 141,000 Americans have elected to undergo the procedure in 2004, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (A.S.P.S.)

But after losing up to 150 pounds in the months after the procedure, a major problem still remains - what do you do with all of the excess skin that now sags from the arms, hips, legs, chest, stomach and buttocks?

Dr. Hurwitz, clinical professor of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, says he has the answer. In his new book, Dr. Hurwitz describes the Total Body Lift he has pioneered, an all-in-one solution that quickly, safely and effectively re-shapes the body to better reflect the new person created by bariatric surgery. Dr. Hurwitz's process is applicable as well to the excess skin created by a reduced diet, aging and pregnancy.

For over 60 years, Dr. Hurtwitz says plastic surgeons have treated skin laxity with an á la carte selection of individual operations with no organization. A reconstructive procedure for one area of the body was entirely independent of another part of the body and almost always required separate visits that increased the surgical risks while driving up costs. Dr. Hurwitz looked at this dilemma and decided a unifying approach was necessary to cure the extraordinary deformity caused by too much skin.

Total Body Lift surgery - Dr. Hurwitz has trademarked the term -- contours the body back to its intended shape by re-forming every area from head to toe, separating the process in two steps:

Top Tip: Prospective patients should keep in mind that removing more than 15 lbs. of excess skin is not a miracle, 45-minute, in-and-out event. Performed either all at once or in two separate procedures about four months apart, the operation is intensive and requires seven to nine hours of surgery, along with massive blood transfusions. Moreover, the procedure runs the risk of infection and -- as with all operations that incorporate anesthesia -- can be dangerous. It also leaves patients with significant scars (like long scars on the arms and legs) and some that can be hidden under most bikini lines.

Over the years, Dr. Hurwitz has refined the surgery to the point of consistency. Total Body Lift surgery can be the answer for anyone who is contemplating massive weight loss to combat the serious effects of morbid obesity, or for anyone who looks in the mirror and sees sheets of excess skin hanging on the body. Unfortunately, that skin and fat has no natural way of re-shaping itself to fit a body which has just been made slender.

More information about the surgery can be found at or

America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists Second Edition
By Wendy Lewis and John J. Connolly, Ed.D.
Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Publishing, New York, N.Y.

Every winter, more people sign up for various plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures than any other time of year. For one, they have time off during the holidays and are not likely to be seen in a bathing suit. Yet another good reason is they can be totally healed by the time the weather turns sweeter. Like it or not, the sound of two of the most dreaded words in the English language - bathing and suit -- echoes through everybody's mind with increasing frequency and urgency as summer draws nearer.

Thus, many start thinking about major or minor liposuction, a breast enhancement or some other body shaping procedure. And that begins the search for a plastic or cosmetic surgeon or perhaps a cosmetic dentist if you want your teeth to gleam in all that summer sunshine.

But a fate far worse than a simple case of swimsuit dread can befall you if you chose the wrong surgeon or dentist and the much anticipated procedure goes awry.

According to John Connolly, Ed.D. and co-author Wendy Lewis, about ten to 13 percent of the cosmetic treatments performed by the surgeons listed in the book are "re-do's." That means a patient became in the author's words, a "cosmetic casualty," who was unhappy with the outcome and sought a correction, or revision, surgery.

The book, which is actually a compendium, is written for prospective patients who do not want to swell the woeful ranks of those unhappy patients. It also includes a CD-ROM with biographies of some 6000 physicians and dentists.

Dr. Connolly, a former president of New York Medical College, and co-author Lewis, spell out virtually everything you need to know about selecting a cosmetic doctor or dentist. From insider tips on how to read the doctors' credentials to learning what areas of surgical rejuvenation are still controversial to arming yourself with the best questions for the initial consultation, the book promises to steer you away from the shoals of the English language's most dreaded third and fourth words, "botched procedure."

Top tip: interview at least three plastic surgeons before you finally go under the knife.

Co-author Wendy Lewis is a consultant and "Knife Coach" who brings patients wanting a particular plastic procedure to the surgeon who is most likely to provide the desired look. She takes no fees from surgeons and works entirely in the patient's behalf.

America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists includes a CD ROM of physician profiles. Also handy is the glossary of insider medical terms you might hear a surgeon or dentist utter while explaining procedures.

After a quick read, terms like "autologous fat transfer," "abdominoplasty," "plebharoplasty" and "gynecomastia" should fall easily from your lips.

The Essential Cosmetic Surgery Companion
By Robert Kotler, M.D. , F.A.C.S.
Ernest Mitchell Publishers, L.A.

New Books about Plastic SurgeryDr. Kotler's tome is the first workbook dedicated entirely to choosing and working with a plastic or cosmetic surgeon. The take-it-with-you workbook even has pages where your surgeon marks on outlines of faces and bodies where your own incisions and scars will appear.

In the last four years, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed has more than doubled, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This tremendous growth in cosmetic surgery - from 5.7 million in 2000 to 11.9 million in 2004 - is also driving a raft of non-specialists into the field of cosmetic surgery, says Dr. Kotler. So how can people interested in having plastic or cosmetic surgery tell the best from the rest?

Dr. Kotler knows whereof he writes. He has firsthand knowledge of the role television is playing in promoting cosmetic surgery because he is a featured surgeon on the hit television program Dr. 90210. So Dr. Kotler believes many prospective patients are driven to surgeons by reality TV shows. But, by the same token, those patients need far more substantial information about rejuvenation surgery than can be gleaned from the snippets shown on the tube.

"While many highly rated television shows and popular magazines have raised awareness of cosmetic surgery, these procedures and the very real surgical risks associated with them have been oversimplified," says Dr. Kotler. "Because of the tremendous boom in cosmetic surgery finding the very best surgeon and getting the results you want can be a daunting challenge."

Correcting poorly done cosmetic surgery is far more difficult than getting it right the first time, says Dr. Kotler. As a patient advocate, Dr. Kotler wrote the book as an easy-to-use outline for investigating, interviewing and selecting the most appropriate doctor.

Top tips: Dr. Kotler, the ultimate plastic surgery insider suggests:
  • Always choose a super specialist, a surgeon who has narrowed his scope and concentrates on a limited number of procedures.
  • If you arm yourself with a list of ten certain questions, a five-minute screening call with a surgeon's office manager can collect all the necessary information to decide if you want to go in for a consultation. You may save many hours and hundreds of dollars.
  • Avoid a "new" procedure or product: it takes years before all the benefits - and all the complications and dissatisfactions - become known.
  • Whether a cosmetic surgery procedure is performed in an office surgical suite, an outpatient surgery center or a hospital, a critical issue in case of an emergency is if nurses, surgeons and anesthesia specialists are on site at all times.
  • Most post-operative problems will occur within the first 24 hours after surgery. Top practices give attention and personal care before, during and after the point when the patient enters the operating room.

Save Your Face
By Brooke Rutledge Seckel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery
Harvard Medical School Peach Publications, Concord Massachusetts

New Books about Plastic SurgerySave Your Face is a comprehensive, scientifically referenced review about facial aging and the medically accepted methods for the prevention and correction of those changes. The book is written by an internationally recognized plastic surgeon and authority on non-surgical methods of facial rejuvenation.

Dr. Seckle thoroughly discusses and honestly evaluates all the common wrinkle and anti-aging cures that are so heavily marketed on the web, in magazines, at spas and beauty salons and in newspapers. Topics discussed include wrinkle removal, removal of brown spots, removal of blood vessels, removal of sun damage, how to tighten your skin, how to get rid of that tired look, how to remove dark circles under your eyes and the truth about facial anti-aging cures.

A helpful chart listing which creams are medically proven to work - along with those that don't work -- is included in Chapter 6 to help the reader decide on the various creams offered at the cosmetic counter. Popular "no down time" cosmetic, anti-aging treatments like Botox®, Restylane®, Radiesse®, Microdermabrasion®, MicroLaserPeel®, Gentlewaves®, Thermage® and Titan® are also explained along with indications for their use.

The book additionally tells readers in easy-to-understand language what causes facial aging and notes its first signs so prospective patients will know early what's coming, before the aging becomes more permanent. Finally, Dr. Seckel teaches the reader how to choose a qualified board-certified surgeon who is competent to help a person with facial rejuvenation. Save Your Face is intended to educate the consumer, promote patient safety and provide an ethical and honest discussion of this highly promoted and advertised topic.

The Facelift Diaries
By Jill Scharff, M.D. and Jaedene Levy, M.S.W.
BookSurge Publishing

In The Facelift Diaries, Dr. Scharff and friend Jaedene Levy offer forthright, professional advice on an intimate and personal experience. The duo reveals what it was like to have a facelift for the 500,000 Americans who undergo facial cosmetic surgery every year. This guide explores all the angles with personal diaries chronicling the authors' own journeys to and from facelifts. In entries ranging from "Sunshine and reflection" to "Still a Weirdo," the two friends give a faithful account of their post-op highs and lows which is unlike what you'll see on the countless T.V. makeover shows that glamorize such surgeries. Scharff and Levy's personal and professional approach to all aspects of cosmetic surgery - emotional and physical - demystifies the experience and offers tips and truths on everything from selecting a surgeon to facing family and friends. Honest and insightful, informative and conversational, the book is a must-read for everyone who thinks about plastic surgery and wonders "Should I or shouldn't I?"

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