Archive for April 2015

A New Low: Panhandling for Plastic Surgery

A New Low: Panhandling for Plastic Surgery

Whether it means dropping a few pounds or putting on mascara in the morning, everyone wants to look good. But do you really want to look good—or do you want to be looked at?

An Ohio woman is raising money for breast implants, which will help improve her self-esteem, she says, but instead of picking up some extra shifts at work, she’s taking her cause to the streets. Thirty-seven-year-old Chrissy Lance, clad in a silver bikini and perched on a shiny motorcycle, has been panhandling at the side of the road to pay for her plastic surgery. You’ve got to give her props for putting it all out there to get what she wants, but her quest for $5,000 to pay for a boob job seems to be as much about attention as self-improvement.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I ever decided to opt for plastic surgery over my real breasts, I wouldn’t be parading around in next to nothing with strangers ogling my goodies. I would feel completely objectified. There’s got to be a better way! I’d keep it a private matter, maybe ask family and close friends for loans—or invest in a padded bra. But no busking on the street corner.

How far would you go to pay for plastic surgery?

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New Product Promises a Better Way to Get Full Lips

New Product Promises a Better Way to Get Full Lips

Duck lips have replaced fake boobs as everyone’s favorite cosmetic-surgery joke (not to mention celebrity rumor), but that may end soon. Restylane Silk, a new, softer form of Restylane, the hyaluronic-acid wrinkle filler approved by the FDA in 2011 (and again in 2012, when lidocaine was added for pain), will be widely available throughout the U.S. next month.

Restylane Silk was approved by the FDA last June for injection in lips and perioral lines (smoker’s lines or pucker lines to you and me). This is the first product approved for these fine wrinkles. Because of changes in corporate ownership, the introduction of the filler was delayed, and only a small group of physicians in a pilot program had access to it. By February, that will all change.

The product’s softness is its defining feature. Fillers can be manufactured with different viscosities, and Restylane Silk is composed of smaller and smoother particles than its siblings, which allows practitioners to use of an ultrafine needle. The lip is perhaps the most sensitive area of the body, and the combination of the tiny needle and the inclusion of lidocaine in the formula provides a more comfortable patient experience. “It’s wonderful to have a product that is approved specifically for lips and the lines around them that gives a natural, supple look,” says Diane Berson, a Manhattan dermatologist, who has found that a little goes a long way. “In most patients, I only need one syringe.”

Because the lips are in constant motion, longevity has always been a problem for fillers in the area. Previous products often lasted only three to four months in lips versus six months in smile lines, says Berson. In the FDA trial of Restylane Silk, which involved 221 mostly female patients, 98 percent had visible improvement 14 days after injection, and 76 percent still had lip improvement at six months. Study participants were offered an optional second injection at two weeks, and some took advantage of it. Some patients may not even bother to test Restylane Silk’s longevity, says Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey. “I think the majority of women getting this procedure will not wait the full six months, because they will enjoy the results so much, they will want to have it redone before their lips go back to baseline.”

If Restylane Silk lives up to its promise, comedians will need a different augmented body part to make fun of. Fortunately, the butt is coming on strong.

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New Trends in Plastic Surgery

New Trends in Plastic Surgery

The 2014 plastic-surgery statistics will be released later today by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Thanks to an advance peek, I can report that butts are getting bigger, while breasts are getting smaller.

Buttock augmentations are up 86 percent over 2013. Michael C. Edwards, a plastic surgeon and the president of the ASAPS notes that most women don’t want giant backsides, they just want more shapely ones. The other big news is breast revisions, which are up 30.4 percent. Many attribute that rise to aging implants in need of replacement, along with many women’s desire to switch from saline to silicone-gel-filled implants, which may not have been available when they originally had surgery. What’s more, insiders say most of these women are exchanging their old implants for smaller replacements.

The other news in the numbers is a five percent drop in overall procedures: 10,663,607 in 2014, down from 11,419,610 in 2013. The decrease was mostly in minimally-invasive procedures like Botox and fillers. No explanation for this was offered by the ASAPS, but could it be what I call injection fatigue? Many women I’ve spoken to don’t want to return again and again for refills. Surgical procedures fell only 1.5 percent from 1,883,048 to 1,764,956, a drop that the number crunchers say is not statistically significant.

Fat—and getting rid of it—is still a high priority. In recent years the top surgical procedures for women have flipped back and forth between breast implants and liposuction. In 2014, liposuction held the number one spot, followed by breast augmentation (down 8.5 percent), tummy tuck, blepharoplasty (or eye lift), and in fifth place, the breast lift. Facelifts are in eighth place.

Liposuction may still be king (or is it queen?) in the surgical department, but non-surgical fat reduction with devices such as CoolSculpting and VASERshape rose a whopping 42.7 percent, from 94,922 in 2013 to 135,448 in 2014. That number could rise even more this year if ATX-101, an injection for fat reduction under the chin, gets FDA clearance, which it’s expected to receive.

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