News & Features



Plastic Surgery News: World Roundup March 2006


Extreme "Fakeover:" Reverse Plastic Surgery


Usually, the point of cosmetic and plastic surgery is removing years. But Age Swap, a British television reality show, makes a big splash by adding years -- 50, in one case and onto one of the most beautiful and popular British models known, 33-year-old Melinda Messenger.

Media watchers say Melinda combines the energy of Richard Simmons with the physical attributes of Baywatch babes like Pamela Anderson. To age the Brit Beauty a half century, cosmetic surgeons advised makeup artists how and where a person is most likely to change over the years. Body language experts, voice coaches and other experts prompted Melinda on how her gait, posture and other characteristics should change to be convincing as an octogenarian. Plus, Melinda donned a body suit and some prosthetics to pull it off.

Fakeover
"Age Swap is the weirdest thing I've ever done," Melinda told a local newspaper. After all the reverse plastic surgery preparations, Melinda sallied forth as an 83-year-old meet friends, her mother and three children, all of whom were fooled, or "gobsmacked," as Melinda put it. "Even my husband did not recognize me," Melinda said. "He just could not believe that 83-year-old woman was me. He loved the stunt but then, of course, he does like older women."

So far, though, no viewers have called the station, looking for a plastic surgeon to add 50 years onto their looks.



Titanium Bra


A new twist on a common plastic surgery operation, the breast lift (known to doctors as a mastoplexy) is currently being done only in Turkey, after going through a long development phase in Germany. But it's a sure bet the technique will rapidly travel to other lands. Because, unfortunately, time, age and gravity will eventually make all breasts turn south, nicht wahr?

In the new procedure, a special mesh bra is implanted under the skin, bringing the patient's breasts closer to that youthful state some wags have described as "stand up." The titanium bra is being implanted by Ziya Saylan, M.D., a Turkish surgeon practicing at the Aesthetix Face & Body Center in Istanbul, Turkey.
Artist Rendering - Titanium Bra


Why titanium? Other internal bras have been tried including Gore-Tex, polyester and other substances. But those attempts did not give the breasts enough projection, while the scarring response often hardened around the implant or made the breast too large to be lifted. However, titanium mesh has long been used in other internal fixes inside the body without rejection or reaction. Moreover, titanium is flexible but extremely strong.

The Titanium Bra works just like a brassiere worn on the outside with straps to hold everything up. However, this internal bra is suspended by sutures tied to some of the patient's major muscles, her sternum and ribs. Dr. Saylan says the operation can be done on anyone under age 60, although he gets the best results on women with small, sagging breasts.

"The advantage is that a woman with these implants will never have to wear a regular bra again," says Dr. Saylan. So, if the device were adopted universally, it could do something college deans have tried to halt for decades: stop bra-snapping fraternity boys.



Mask Chills Faces after Surgery


If you've always wondered what you would really, really look like after that long-awaited plastic surgery, here are a couple of images that probably never popped into your mind: Zorro and the Phantom of the Opera. Well, at least the masks of Zorro and the Phantom.

Sacramento plastic surgeon David Kaufman, M.D. and other rejuvenation surgeons were tired of telling their patients to flop bags of frozen peas onto their faces just after surgery. And because necessity is the mother of invention, Dr. Kaufman and other surgeons began telling a maker of medical devices what the post-op surgical patient really needed on his or her face just after surgery. To wit, patients needed something cold -- but not so cold it would cause freezer burn or something that would thaw, drip or become goo. Plus, it would be convenient and helpful if the cooling device stayed in place on the face if the patient fell asleep.

Fakeover
Cold therapy has been proven to provide a whole range of benefits to any post-op surgery patient. Coldness reduces pain, swelling and bruising and helps skin and other tissues to heal faster. In the best scenario, it even reduces the amount of pain medications required. When swelling is held down, pressure on sutures is reduced and that causes the wound to heal with a lighter scar.

Aqueduct Medical in San Francisco took notes and then developed the Aquecool Therapy System, which is a mask connected via hoses to a plug-in, portable cooling device. The portable gizmo pumps cool water at a controlled temperature through the tube into the mask and back into the device again. Aqueduct's masks cover the patient's forehead, cheeks, and around the eyes and under the chin. For eyelid patients, the device has cooled, removable eye flaps that allow recovering patients to watch T.V. or read while sitting up. Plus, you can dial your own coldness comfort level. In addition, patients are not required to buy the device. Moreover, no ice is needed because it's like carrying around a small electric refrigerator.

"Virtually all cosmetic surgery patients want optimal results with minimal downtime," says Dr. Kaufman. "So my patients report getting significant improvement and shorter recovery times by wearing the Aqueduct mask."

No telling how much time you can save by skipping the shopping trips when your supplies of frozen peas get low.



Show, "10 Years Younger" Saves a Life


Plastic surgery reality shows are what network producers know as "Evergreens." That is, most of those T.V. shows are fresh and in vogue. But how many can boast of saving a life?

49-year-old Eileen Breading of Peterborough, England, applied to the British version of the television show Ten Years Younger, because an age poll pegged her age at 56. So Eileen thought perhaps the show would give her something of a new lease on life. Well, that turned out to be the understatement of the year. Because the doctor associated with the show found what could have become a fatal skin cancer on Eileen's face.

Fakeover
In addition to the usual smile, style and body makeover, Eileen was slated for an upper and lower eye lift and a chemical peel. Eileen wasn't too concerned about a blemish that looked like a mole because she had already seen a doctor who told her not to worry about it. Looking back, she could see she was a likely candidate for skin cancer, thanks to two decades of vacations in the world's sunniest climes along with her tri-weekly visits to stretch out under sun bed tanning lights. Consequently, her skin was thrashed after so much sun worship. She went ahead with the eye lifts and had the "mole" analyzed in a lab. Alas, it proved to be cancer.

Since then, Eileen has had all the malignant cells removed, her upper and lower eyelids done, ten porcelain veneers added to her teeth with some bleaching and Botox injected into her face. Her hair, makeup and wardrobe were also revamped. The next time people gathered to guess Eileen's age, the onlookers guessed her age, not at 58 but 45. She was pleased about that, but the thrill of looking younger paled in comparison to the gift of life.



Brazil & Germany: Lasers Zap Varicose Veins


Traditionally, surgeons have treated varicose veins by using a surgical procedure, "vein stripping" which is usually performed in a hospital. While we're going to gloss over the details, the long story writ short is the offending veins end up outside the body. Meanwhile, the patient experiences some major bruising, post-operative pain and possible nerve damage.

But, hey, it's the 21st Century and a better mouse trap has come along. Actually, make that a better high-tech mousetrap. It's a solution women can love. The American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (A.S.D.S.) says over 20 percent of women suffer from varicose veins. The condition is sometimes linked with more serious conditions like phlebitis and blood clots.

But some plastic, cosmetic and dermatologic surgeons have forsaken the knife on varicose veins in favor of a laser method known as photocoagulation. That requires a laser which focuses heat from a high-density beam through the skin and onto the bugbear varicose vein which is then destroyed - without removal -- and later absorbed by the body.

To test the laser's results, researchers at Brazil's University of Campinas studied 20 patients who had one varicose vein leg treated by traditional surgery while the bulging veins on the other leg were zapped by a laser. Results? Afterwards, the laser legs had less swelling and bruising and, according to the subjects, showed greater improvement than the vein-stripped limb.

Meanwhile, German researchers at the University of Heidelberg compared treatment of varicose veins in 84 patients using YAG and Diode lasers. Outcome? The YAG laser treatment caused fewer side effects like post-operative pain and ruptured blood vessels. And with unsightly varicose veins gone, any woman can again listen with joy to the timeless lyrics in ZZ top's hit, Legs and imagine herself as the one who has got those legs and that she knows how to use them.



Celebrity Plastic Surgery


Will Hollywood Stars Look Bad in HDTV?

It's no secret that nips and tucks are a very big thing in Hollywood. After all, for a television or movie actor, your face is your fortune.
Artist Rendering - Titanium Bra


So what is likely to happen when most people are watching super-sharp High Definition Television (HDTV?) Will the scars from past nips and tucks show up clearly in every living room? Will it suddenly become clear your favorite leading man shaves behind his ears because his skin has been pulled back so many times? Will the beads of sweat trickling down the forehead of your favorite leading lady cause you to tune her out?

Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com and the leading analyst in spotting which celebrities can look worse in high definition. He says Hollywood is getting way concerned.

For decades, Swann observes, the Hollywood glamour machine has dictated who is - and is not -- considered beautiful. Using soft lighting in TV, movie appearances and magazine photo shoots, Hollywood moguls have created the impression that some people are far better looking than they are in real life. (Recent examples, according to Swann include Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears, Teri Hatcher, Demi Moore, Donald Trump, Healther Locklear, David Letterman, Ray Liotta, President George Bush, Sandra Bullock and Clint Eastwood.)

"Beautiful people everywhere is a big reason why some 12-year-old girl feels unworthy," Swann says. "When she looks at a photo of Ms. Spears in a magazine, she has no idea the singer's pimples and puffy eyes have been airbrushed away." But HDTV is up to six times clearer than normal T.V. And makeup can only do so much in high-def. That means Hollywood may start placing their bets on people who are naturally beautiful, and look great in any setting.

"I know it's a serious issue because I get email from actors, agents and network officials asking for my thoughts about how various stars look in HDTV," Swann says. Consequently, Swann reports distressed celebrities are rushing to plastic surgeons and dermatologists for even more rejuvenation surgery. Technical and make-up experts are, meanwhile, devising increasingly ingenious techniques for masking flaws such as acne scars and bulging veins.

However, there is something to look forward to. Swann says celebrities who appear flawless on high-definition television include Mischa Barton, Anna Kournikova, Eva Longoria, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jessica Alba.



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