October 3, 2014

We are saddened to learn of another death at a cosmetic surgery clinic in Seoul. According to Korea Bizwire, a South Korean woman in her 50's died on September 27 during abdominal liposuction operation at a cosmetic clinic in the Gangnam district of Seoul.

While such disasters can happen by qualified plastic surgeons, one imagines that the risk is higher by lesser trained surgeons. From what I can surmise, the International Academy of Cosmetic Surgery does not require board certification in plastic surgery or have rigorous operating room standards.

The only international society of plastic surgery that counts is ISAPS – the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery also has a large number of international members. All members of these two groups are board certified and go through a rigorous approval process. If you are looking for a plastic surgeon abroad, you should look at these websites.

September 30, 2014

September 28, 2014 was Brigitte Bardot’s 80th birthday. In my mind she had some of the most elegant and beautiful facial features of the last century. Check out this cool video and read the wonderful bio on Jezebel.

It is at once interesting and sad. She had such big eyes, full cheeks, and wonderful lips. Those are the way full lips should look – not the ridiculous overstuffed Juvederm lips of our generation. What a beauty!

September 16, 2014

For a piece published August 20, 2014, Dr. Teitelbaum was interviewed by the New York Times for a controversial piece about using saline injections to temporarily enlarge the breasts for 24 hours.

Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, a plastic surgeon in Santa Monica, Calif., and an associate clinical professor of plastic surgery at the U.C.L.A. School of Medicine, called the saline solution unnecessary. “Between good bras and chicken cutlets, you can always look good in clothes,” he said.

As for its use in gauging implant size, he added: “The feel of saline is sharply dissimilar from an implant, and the appearance is different because the edges diffuse and feather, which an implant does not.” Three-dimensional imaging, which has become a viable option for projecting surgical outcomes, would be a more accurate prediction of size and shape, he said. (Indeed, a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that 3-D imaging was more than 90 percent accurate in predicting postoperative breast volume and surface contour.)

Read the full article in the New York Times: What a Difference a Day Makes

March 5, 2014

The “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”  is an absolutely wonderful video.  Women describe themselves to a police sketch artist who does a rendering.  Then someone who met the woman describes her to the artist.  Lo and behold, the women look much more beautiful in the photo in which they were described by the stranger.

Maybe the strangers were being unduly kind in their descriptions. And of course the sketch artist is in on this, so the project proves nothing.

But it certainly is very thought provoking and fun.

March 5, 2014

The California Society of Plastic Surgeons has been valiantly fighting for protections for plastic surgery patients, such as requiring surgery in accredited operating rooms, requiring insurers to cover breast cancer reconstruction, orthodontic treatment for cleft lip children, etc. 

In recent years we have been battling efforts to extend the licenses of relatively untrained personnel to perform more and more treatments with lasers, injections, and so forth.  We even lost a battle to protect patients from dentists doing facelifts.

The clear trend in California is to loosen training requirements and allow more people with inadequate training to dabble with lasers and fillers and botox.

In the meantime, regulators in the UK have recognized that they have a problem and are reducing what these unqualified people are allowed to do.

So while they are going in one direction, we are going in the other.

But plastic surgeons are but a small group.  There are more dentists than plastic surgeons, and far more nurses and cosmetologists in the state than plastic surgeons.  What does that mean? More votes.

So unless people speak up, things are going to get worse and worse until we have well-publicized disasters.  And those disasters will occur.  But just like the blind street corner that doesn’t get a stop sign until several people are killed, we are going to have to wait for more disasters until legislators to do the right thing.