In the last decade, the medical advances we’ve made on plastic surgery are astounding to say the least. Not only are most updated procedures faster now, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll go straight home immediately following your operation. With things like “the lunchtime lift” and “lunchtime lipo” making news, it’s no wonder why in the last decade, according to ASPS( American Society of Plastic Surgeons) , we’ve experienced a 169 percent increase in cosmetic surgery. Also adding to the lure of achieving perfection are the dropping prices and the choice of financing them.
Most women (we account for 92 percent of cosmetic surgeries) when discussing plastic surgery, seem to vacillate between wistfulness and fright. Still, in a world where growing old gracefully means gracefully walking from your car to the plastic surgeon’s office, the surgeons of ASPS devote an entire department to monitoring and rallying new trends and advancements in conjunction with other countries. This can minimize the fright.
I spoke with Dr. Gryskiewicz ( AKA Dr. Joe), author of Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Safety, and Chairman of the Committee of New Trends with ASPS on March 16th, and he gave me the lowdown on the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Mini- Lift
The Mini-Lift or Weekend Lift are the same procedures but named by different surgeons. These procedures are small versions of a face lift which have drawn close attention from women in their early thirties to early forties. The reason, it seems is because these women wish only to fix a slight sagging. It’s cheaper and the down time almost nonexistent.
But what Dr. Joe had to say about these popular procedures was shocking. “These lifts show very minimal results and the before and after pictures are extremely misleading. All that surgery is doing for the patient is pulling back a tiny piece of skin behind the ear – not the entire face like a full-blown face lift will do”. When I asked Dr. Joe what alternatives the younger patients should explore, his advice was to go for the highly advanced skin tightening and resurfacing techniques as they have shown better results than the cutesy named former procedures.
The Vampire Lift
And in comes Selphyl, better known as The Vampire Lift. If you’re expecting a sexy vampire to saunter into your plastic surgeon’s office and passionately bite you, well that’s only in the movies. Instead, expect to have your blood drawn by a needle. From there, it’s put into a centrifuge and the platelets (part of the blood that repairs damaged tissue and bone) are spun out. When those platelets are injected into the face, they stimulate the growth of collagen.
Dr. Joe warns that the results will not be immediately noticeable. “The plumping will really begin to show three to four weeks after the injections. The good thing is that the results last longer than Restalyne or Juviderm and cost less.” More importantly, you’re not using animal derivatives or bacteria-formed hyaluronic acid ( the actual filling substance), you’re using your own blood to repair your skin. Team Selphyl!
The Skinny on the Fat
In Japan, Dr. Kataro Yishimura is using the stem cells of fat taken from the hips or tummy area on his patients and using it for breast augmentations. Although it’s had much success there, it’s still a hotly debated topic here in Europe. Why? Some experts believe that the injection of fat into the breasts might interfere with a mammography, hiding early detection of breast cancer.
Dr. Joe states, “Stem cell augmentations are more accepted in Japan because the women there tend to be smaller and wish only to use 150 to 200 ccs, due to their smaller rib cages.” “Here in the states”, he adds, “the average woman will requests 350ccs.” Big difference.
What Dr. Joe does see happening in our neck of the woods is cryogenically stored fat for smaller procedures. Imagine going in, having an ounce of fat harvested from your tummy and sent to a “fat bank” for culture, growth, and later withdrawal. Dr. Joe seemed particularly excited about this concept. “We need to have a system where you can have fat removed from your hips and tummy and shipped to a lab where we can cryo preserve and grow it. And a couple of weeks later, the patient can request almost any amount of fat from their reserve to be injected. It’s really a great concept and I’m sure it will be big in the future.”
Fat transfers have been around for a long time. Even from chaos-ridden Libya the breaking news today is that Moammar Gadhafi had fat from his belly injected into his face in 1995 because, according to his former surgeon, Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro, he allegedly he didn’t “want the young people of his nation to see him as an old man.”
Going too Far?
Although I got lip fillers for my birthday present which i absolutely love, I think it can go a bit too far. Celebrities are likely the first to come to mind when it comes to this subject. People like the late Michael Jackson, Joan Rivers, and the latest “Knifenstein”, Heidi Montag are a few people who should have kept their money and stayed at home. The current mentality in Hollywood appears to side with quantity over quality. So what makes most people wince is the thought that if these kinds of results can happen to the affluent, then what could happen to one of us?
I asked Dr. Joe his opinion on these particular celebrities and what he thought about their plastic surgeons. This is what he had to say: “Most of these celebrities are plastic surgeon junkies and will go from surgeon to surgeon to get whatever they want. They’re the driver, not the plastic surgeon.”
When I probed him about Michael Jackson’s alleged multiple surgeries he responded by saying, “Michael was told by a plastic surgeon that I personally know that he would not perform a second surgery. So Michael shopped around until he found one that would. That’s what he did. He just went from surgeon to surgeon.” Dr. Joe’s advice for anyone considering cosmetic surgery? Look for a board certified surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and/or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.