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Latest Tomes On Plastic Surgery


The Thanksgiving-to-Christmas holidays are rapidly approaching and, with them, more people will be enjoying time off. If you are interested in using the leisure time to learn more about plastic surgery, some interesting new books by plastic surgeons are available.

Or, you may know somebody who has been thinking about having some type of plastic surgery and needs to do some serious research.

Below, we present reviews of four popular books about various aspects of rejuvenation surgery.

A Little Nip, A Little Tuck
– Age Defying Procedures
That Really Work

by Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S.
MD Publish, NYC

by Brook Flagg, PlasticSurgery.com writer
Blogger, Beauty Chat

There’s no denying the surge in popularity that cosmetic surgery has experienced in recent years. Today, the stigma of “having work done” has all but disappeared from the cultural landscape.

In his new book, “A Little Nip, A Little Tuck – Age Defying Procedures That Really Work,” Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S. writes that while the average age of cosmetic surgery patients is still in the range of 35 to 50, people from all walks of life are taking notice of its benefits – and they aren’t necessarily snickering.

In the book’s introduction, citing an American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistic which reveals the surprising average income of first-time candidates, he implies that the decrease in procedure costs may have something to do with this phenomenon. It seems that as more people realize they can, indeed, squeeze an elective procedure into their budgets, they are flicking on the off switch on plastic surgery criticism.

Increasingly, this is becoming true for men as well as women. Dr. Greenberg cautions men that the “haphazard approach to grooming” is no longer considered chic.

When society’s obsession with youth spills over into the workplace, and the standards of business shift in favor of younger (and less experienced) men, we know that times have changed. As men come to terms with this reality, they are also more likely to embrace the advancement potential that cosmetic surgery offers them.

We have our good friend the Internet to thank for the opportunity to perform more of our own research. However, some of us prefer to gather all of our facts from one convenient source. Dr. Greenberg’s manual, designed for beginners, is by far one of the most comprehensive and concise new guides around. In it, he breaks down chapters by procedure – and yes, all the big ones are discussed! Whether you are on the cusp of considering trendy dermal fillers, breast augmentation, liposuction, or good old rhinoplasty, Dr. Greenberg has you covered (that’s not all, though – body lifts, eyelid surgery, and laser treatments are in here as well). Staying true to the times, he also devotes a section solely to cosmetic surgery for men.

Right off the bat, he acknowledges that some who pick up the book may not have even begun the process of selecting a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, not everyone can visit Dr. Greenberg’s New York City office; for that reason, he presents “Choosing Doctor Right” in the first chapter. The importance of choosing a board certified plastic surgeon is made plain immediately. If you were considering a surgeon who talked “discounts” due to his lack of credentials, Dr. Greenberg is here to convince you otherwise.

Need another one? If a surgeon did a great job on your friend’s facelift, does that make him the right choice to perform your breast augmentation? Wondering what percentage of American parents are considering cosmetic surgery for themselves in the future? Want to break it down by ethnicity?

Each chapter is outlined by segments such as “What’s Hot/What’s Not,” “Greenberg’s List” (addressing Top 10 questions and the like), “How We Do It” (detailed procedure descriptions), and “What to Expect Afterward.” Leaving no stone unturned, Dr. Greenberg includes a “Potential Pitfalls” section, as well as a sidebar on proper aftercare for each procedure presented. A humanizing element, “Straight from the Heart,” wraps up the chapters with a personal anecdote from someone who fits each procedure’s average patient profile.

While this is a great format that makes for easy reading, sometimes you just want to get the info and get out (or in this case, close the book). When you awaken at 3 a.m. with the burning question, “Which injectable dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, and which ones are made of human-based collagen?,” Dr. Greenberg offers handy, “at a glance” charts that tell you what you need to know in an easy-to-find fashion, eliminating the fuss of scanning through text. Other charts and sidebars include fast facts and statistics on topics, such as average fees for each procedure, the duration of surgical procedures, longevity of results, medications to give up prior to surgery (you’ll be surprised!), and yes, some fun stuff, including Dr. Greenberg’s Top 5 celebrity breast requests.

The book concludes with an Appendix featuring procedure information geared specifically toward specialized categories of patients – in this case, brides and teens. For the woman who needs a timetable for recovery before the wedding, or the parent who is on the fence about granting her child permission – and payment – for a procedure, these bullet points can be invaluable.

Whether you have just started researching procedures, or have already attended your initial consultation, this book is a must-have to help you become informed and prepared for the big day.

***

Face Value
The Truth about Beauty - and a
Guilt Free Guide to Finding It.

by Hema Sundaram, M.D.
Living Planet Books/Rodale

Kim Alexander* vs. Gravity


As I've talked about (endlessly), I'll be getting married in less than a year. Now, there's a lot of planning that goes into an event like this, obviously, but there's one thing that you can't plan on but you can count on: gravity.

Gravity and I go way back. We had a fairly uneventful relationship at first — my breasts pointed more or less forward, and my neck started up around my ears, where it belonged. But somewhere over the last couple of years, gravity has been acting like I poached its boyfriend, stole its good parking spot, forgot to pick it up at the airport, and spat in its low-fat, chicken Caesar wrap.

I ignored gravity's snotty behavior for as long as I could. I figured out how to hold my head to stretch everything out. I replaced all the light bulbs in the house with 40 watters — I tried to make it work. But gravity was about to strike the blow that would change our relationship forever. I looked in the mirror one day not long ago, and I had jowls. Oh, they weren't deputy dog, Winston Churchill style flappers, but they were definitely the literal low point of my face. Was I doomed to a wedding day where I'd have to toss a jowl over each shoulder as I marched down the aisle?

That's how gravity became my arch enemy.

Now, my fiancé, the prince, is either nearsighted or really, really kind, because he doesn't see it. When I told him I was going to see a cosmetic surgeon, he did not react with the kind of glee my female friends showed. He was all worried that I'd wind up hideously deformed...what a killjoy. My girlfriends, on the other hand, all wanted to tell me about their Botox. Because botulism is the new black! Even so, everyone wants to look like the end results, but they'll only talk about it with lowered voices. Because Botox is the new guilt?

So I got a copy of a book called Face Value. Even though I generally stick to fiction, I can happily recommend this book, which cuts through a lot of the nonsense that surrounds the subject. (It's your God-given right! It's evil and dangerous!) The author, Dr. Hema Sundaram, comes at this as a woman who has given some serious thought to what it means when you show your face to the world, and talks a lot about the perception that cosmetic surgery is just one more thing women have learned to be ashamed of. She posits that de-jowling oneself is not stumbling down an anti-feminist path. It doesn't make you shallow and silly to take advantage of what's out there. Should beauty be another arrow in the modern woman's quiver? Or should she (I) face the future (see what I did there?) and let gravity have at me? While I'm at it, maybe I should also chuck my under wire bra, my hair conditioner (and color, while we're at it), my moisturizer, my whitening toothpaste, and my special 'made for a woman's legs' razor. Or, you can try to pry all that stuff out of my cold, dead hand.

So I went to see Dr. Sundaram at her office in Maryland. Once I got over being hypnotized by her lovely British accent, I was able to think about the number of options available. Obviously, I don't want to change the way I look. I just want to escape the clutches of my old nemesis. So I have some thinking to do and some decisions to make. I hope you'll check back now and then to hear about my progress in my cage match against gravity.

*Kim Alexander usually writes about contemporary fiction on XM Satellite Radio, but she made an exception for Dr. Hema Sundaram’s Face Value. You can read the review and about Kim’s attempts (with Dr Sundaram’s help and advice) to fight gravity on her website, www.fictionnationonline.com.

***

The Beverly Hills Shape:
The Truth about Plastic Surgery

by Stuart A. Linder, M.D., F.A.C.S.
LifeSucces Publishing, LLC

Take this dictum to the bank; it’s the golden rule of plastic surgery: An educated and informed patient stands a better chance of being happy with the results of surgery because he or she knows exactly what to look for during the initial consultation. Those patients also have fewer complaints and complications because they know what to expect at each step along the way toward a completed surgical rejuvenation.

Dr. Linder’s book is a:

  • Handy workbook with checklists
  • Great tool to take to a plastic surgery appointment

The Beverly Hills Shape has plenty of blank pages for taking notes, and offers insider tips on key questions to ask any surgeon who may be considering your case. The book is filled with patient anecdotes, so you can benefit by not making the same mistakes and missteps as others who have walked a mile or two in those shoes.

For instance, if you are seeing a doctor for a breast augmentation, you can use the chapter about enlarging breasts to look at many before and after pictures of breast enlargements.

Succeeding chapters will also inform you about combining several procedures into one surgical session, give you everything you always wanted to know about scars, and provide some basic truths that all plastic surgeons know and now are revealed for your benefit.

Dr. Linder adds his own pearls of wisdom that you’ll want to remember, including:

  • “No plastic surgeon can guarantee the final appearance of a scar.”
  • Liposuctioning too close to the skin can leave track marks, dents, and contour deformities.”
  • “The size of a breast implant is a major indicator of how quickly breasts may sag after surgery.”

Doctor Linder also provides an insider’s look at plastic surgery patients through the eyes of the surgeon.

***

Mantalk

by Elliot Jacobs, M.D., F.A.C.S.
MD Publish, NYC

The foreword of Mantalk, Elliot Jacob's new nonfiction book on the art of health and beauty for men, says:

"It is a common stereotype that men do not like asking for directions... men are tacticians."

Perhaps it was my "tactical," anti-directions side -- or just my cynical, skeptical self -- that made me wary of a book with chapters titled "New Skin, New Man" and lengthy paragraphs on pec implants.

But Mantalk quickly showed me that not only is the practice of man-beauty, so to speak, entirely valid, healthy, and interesting, it's also in surprisingly high demand.

Mantalk is the book men have been waiting for ever since Norelco came out with a men's razor whose ambiguous use is not shaving, but "body grooming." This book cuts through the ambiguity and makes "male grooming" understandable. Metrosexuality has indeed spread to the masses, and this do-it-yourself (with a good plastic surgeon) guide to man-grooming is the straight eye for the every guy. So, men - let's talk.

The male grooming market has been cited as a $3.5 billion industry, according to Mantalk. While masculine vanity was once considered unmanly, it is now becoming something of a status symbol. Plus, it's emotionally and physically healthy for a man to look and feel good. This is especially true for middle-aged men and baby-boomers, who have found that aging, while sometimes deeply gratifying, isn’t always pretty.

That's not to say that the modern man wants to be "pretty.” But to look and feel good is a very fulfilling thing for a man and his special somebody. With the nerve-wracking threat of heart disease and numerous forms of cancer -- and the sometimes equally nerve-wracking threat of just being fat or unattractive -- it is not only fun and fulfilling for a man to take care of himself, but important. All of this helps to explain why the market for men's beauty products -- from the classics like razors and colognes to exotic jaw implants -- has increased dramatically over the past several years.

Plastic surgeon Elliot Jacobs, M.D., F.A.C.S., a Mensa member in Manhattan who is also inexplicably licensed to practice in The Bahamas, New Jersey, New York, and California, explains that as men age, their skin loses its firmness. As early as thirty-five, the skin begins a slow descent downwards as it loses its battle with gravity, a process greatly sped up by sun exposure and alcohol. You might forget what you did the night before, but your skin won’t.

By age 55, a man's skin can go from having had "acne and some loss of elasticity" (age 25-45) to "wrinkles, uneven color and pigmentation, sagging, a sallow yellow color, and dark circles under the eyes." This is a natural process, but science and Dr. Jacobs are waging war on it all.

Avoiding wrinkles entirely is probably impossible, but consistent moisturizing can greatly help the health and appearance of skin. After that, Dr. Jacobs skips right to Botox, which he assures, is safe and non-surgical. Your last resort for younger-looking skin is the ever-efficient facelift, which Dr. Jacobs later explains has become substantially simpler.

The term "neck lift" might sound daunting and just plain weird at first, but Dr. Jacobs attests that this subtle surgery is an effective way to look younger and better. As gravity pulls skin down toward the Earth's surface and fat into weird parts of the body, many men are bothered by a "turkey gobbler," the hanging fat that appears in the lower face and neck. A neck lift, sometimes with an additional chin implant, can enhance your jaw line and make your features appear finer. Other facial fun you can have is eyelid rejuvenation to look less tired or bloated, or a nose job to create a "strong, balanced facial profile that gives the impression of personal confidence." Personal confidence - or at least looking personally confident - has become immeasurably important in both the business world and dating, making this book a useful guide.

Filled with anecdotes about men who have successfully rejuvenated themselves, Mantalk is easy for anyone to read. Really, it is not just the "metrosexual" trend that is encouraging men to take care of themselves. From simple, healthy lifestyle choices to luxurious, effective plastic surgeries, men should be taking an active interest in their physical looks and well-being for their own sake and health.

At eighteen, I’m not a boy but not yet a man, so I will be taking to heart several of Dr. Jacobs' health tips. Well, when it comes to pec implants, I'll stick with push-ups for now. But the man on the cover of Mantalk looks healthy and sharp, with defined features, cool hair, and a glowing tan.

If that's the future for me -- and the future of older men -- it's looking pretty bright.
--Mike Vilensky




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