In early March, Dr. David Santos faced an unwelcome setback at the Seattle office of plastic-surgery chain Lifestyle Lift: an eviction notice.
The letter meant his office, where he worked full time and which was paid for by Lifestyle Lift, had to quickly shut its doors. Days earlier, Lifestyle Lift’s founder, Dr. David Kent, had notified the company’s nearly 400 employees that they were out of a job and that the company would cease operations. Lifestyle Lift pioneered the mass marketing of face-lifts through its nationwide chain of around 50 surgery centers. But as The Wall Street Journal examined this week, the 14-year-old company faltered under the weight of rapid growth and an expensive advertising campaign.
To ensure the ongoing care of his patients, Dr. Santos is now working out of the office of a local surgeon, where he can follow through on already-scheduled Lifestyle Lift surgeries. “They’ll be out in the cold if I don’t,” Dr. Santos, a former medical director at the chain, said recently. “I’m trying to take care of them. I’m trying to get back on my feet.”
Dr. Santos and dozens of Lifestyle Lift’s former doctors are banding together to help make sure patients know where to go for follow-up care or with questions about planned operations. Lifestyle Lift’s signature face-lift typically cost between $6,500 and $9,000, payable upfront or through zero-interest, 18-month payment plans. Unlike most face-lifts, its procedures were done using only local anesthesia.
An attorney for Dr. Kent said Thursday that “we are working on plans at the local as well as national level” to accommodate patients, including those in line for refunds.
Separately, “the doctors have gone to great lengths to protect their patients here, to make sure they can reach us, and to safeguard the charts,” Lifestyle Lift’s former chief medical officer, Dr. Jason Swerdloff of Tampa, Fla., said. (Patients can find doctors’ contact information at this website.)
Dr. Swerdloff, like Dr. Santos, said he plans to honor payments already made by patients, which were paid to the company and not to the individual doctors. A little more than half of Lifestyle Lift’s 77 doctors worked part time as independent contractors, with the rest working full-time at the chain.
Lifestyle Lift had grown to command a major share of the face-lift market. At its peak in 2013, it brought in $186 million in revenue and performed 18% of all face-lifts done by board-certified physicians in the U.S., according to data prepared last fall by a former outside financial adviser to the chain.
Lifestyle Lift’s TV ads, some featuring its onetime spokeswoman Debby Boone, managed “to engender interest in individuals, mostly women, who otherwise were not the typical candidates for a face-lift,” said Dr. Dennis Hurwitz, a plastic surgeon who co-branded his Pittsburgh private practice with the Lifestyle Lift name. “It was the egalitarian face-lift.”
When it comes to social media, we’re huge advocates of using it to the best of your abilities. It opens up communication, allows us to share photos and ideas with our friends, and in general, gives everyone a voice. Today, however, we found out social media is doing another influential thing: contributing to the plastic surgery craze (it’s okay if you need to re-read that last sentence, we get it).
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, reports on their annual findings on surgery found that the world of social media is strongly linked to the increase in plastic surgery, mainly because Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are making those who frequently use the sites more critical of themselves. Below are some of the statistics from the study that have us a little concerned:
- Because of social media photo sharing, 31% of surgeons have seen an increase in requests for plastic surgery because patients have a more critical eye on themselves.
- 73% of procedures (up from 62% the previous year) were cosmetic versus reconstructive in nature.
- Studies show that people are more drawn towards images in specific proportions, like facial features, making them more aesthetically pleasing.
So what does this all mean? When people look at pictures of themselves on social media, they’re looking at much more than just themselves. They’re also comparing themselves to the people that they follow, whether they be friends, models, celebrities, etc. and users are being much more critical of themselves because of the comparisons they’re making. This, in turn, is contributing to a rise in plastic surgery requests. Call us crazy, but we’re pretty sure that one or two bad Instagram photos aren’t worth thousands of dollars in surgery to look like someone else.
Cosmetic plastic surgery is on the rise. In the current job market, it seems tattoo removal–much like eyelid surgery in Asia–is becoming a new path to employment. From botox injections to breast augmentations, revamping the human body is a desire shared by earth-conscious individuals and unconcerned beauty seekers alike.
But is it possible to be eco-friendly and still partake in an elective surgical alteration of the body? Can tattoo removal be considered any more or less drastic a process than getting a tattoo in the first place? Is there a limit to which procedures are environmentally friendly “enough” to be acceptable to the green community?
Procedures should be weighed individually. An earth-conscious surgery seeker could consider his or her options by analyzing the type and source of the chemicals or fillers used in a given procedure, the source and ethical origins of the equipment used to laser the tattoo or slice the skin, the end location of surgery waste products, and even the fumes or particles put into the air that the practitioners have to inhale during the surgery.
Setting aside the controversy over self-esteem issues and the ideal of aging gracefully, cosmetic surgery is not likely to disappear from the radar any time soon. Those with an eye on a future procedure for themselves might do well to encourage the industry to green itself up.
Bottom Line is: The short (but not so satisfying) answer to the possibility of green plastic surgery is, “Maybe.”
In some ways, the cosmetic surgery industry is already moving in a greener direction. Breast implant material is likely to eventually be human tissue, and the source and type of chemicals used in some procedures (such as chemical peels and lip injections) boast more ethical and sustainable ingredients and sources every year. Although these are steps in the vein of improving and protecting human and environmental well-being, even natural or ethically produced ingredients may be unhealthy for human use or damaging to the environment.
If you are considering a cosmetic surgery procedure, just think about doing your due diligence. There are many ways to achieve health and beauty without harm to the environment. If you do opt for a surgical or chemical alteration, ask your surgeon about the issues that are important to you. Inquire about the origin of products and surgical materials before consenting to a procedure if the sustainability and ecological impact of your choice is likely to affect your decision. The more frequently clients request eco-friendly practices, the greener the future of plastic surgery is likely to become.
There are numerous myths about beauty and skin care that keep popping up no matter how wrong they are, yet every once in a while a beauty myth turns out to be true. Such is the case with beauty sleep. It’s a real thing, and you definitely need to be getting enough of it.
It could be you didn’t need to read what I wrote above in order to know that beauty sleep is a real thing. You know it just from looking in the mirror after not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes dark under-eye circles, your skin looks less than great, and your fine lines or wrinkles appear more pronounced. In the WebMD article Are You Getting Enough Beauty Sleep? dermatologists had the following to say about beauty sleep:
“Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles,” says dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco. Sleepily rubbing your eyes doesn’t help those dark rings.
Not enough sleep can also make you more stressed, and everyone can see that tension. “It makes you look angry, tired, sad, and certainly older,” says New York City dermatologist Doris Day, MD.
What exactly is happening to your skin when you do not get enough sleep? Dr. Ellen Marmur explains in her excellent book Simple Skin Beauty: Simply put, if you sleep too little, you’re not giving your body time to repair itself. The nervous system has two states that are in balance. The sympathetic system, which is more in control while we’re awake, keeps the blood flow near the core of the body. While we sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system runs the show and blood flow shifts to the skin. Additionally, skin isn’t under attack from the sun and the elements at night. This relaxed parasympathetic state allows greater circulation and oxygen flow to the skin, or peripheral vasodilation in medical terms. This is when the skin gets a lot of internal attention and repair mechanisms go into action, much like the night workmen at Disneyland who fix and restore the rides and clean the place up before the part opens the next day. Receptors spring to life within the blood vessels and grab amino acid molecules (the building blocks) to help build more collagen, and fluid and toxins are drained.
Without enough rest, the skin doesn’t get this repair and restoration, and all that important activity isn’t being done. One example: when excess fluid near the skin isn’t transported to the bladder to be excreted, the result is puffiness. … It shows up most around the eyes because there’s less fat in that area, so water retention is more apparent.
After all this bad news luckily there is a bit of good news when it comes to sleep and your skin. According to Dr. Day our skin recovers quickly once you are able to get a good night’s rest. So just because you missed out on getting enough sleep a few nights in a row doesn’t mean that you’ve damaged your skin for good. And just how much sleep do you need? That varies from individual to individual. Some people do fine with only 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep while others need 8 or 9 hours. That is something that you have to determine for yourself.
In order to make sure you get your much needed shut-eye create a soothing bedtime routine. Stop drinking caffeinated drinks in the afternoon, keep to a set sleep schedule as much as possible, and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Your skin will thank you for it.
What treatment is right for me? In other words, don’t ask the doctor for a specific procedure. Instead, explain the issues that need to be addressed and let the doctor offer the solution. ASDS doctors have extensive experience doing a variety of aesthetic treatments.
Is the specific laser, device or technique appropriate for my skin type? ASDS doctors know that cosmetic procedures and treatments are not one-size-fits-all. Each patient is evaluated for skin type as part of the initial evaluation.
How much does it cost? As a rule, almost all cosmetic surgery is considered “elective” and is not typically covered by insurance plans. Although some spas, salons and walk-in clinics offer cosmetic medical procedures at lower prices, consumers should be aware that “these discounted prices could put your health at risk as a result of the provider’s inadequate training and lack of expertise.”
What should I do to prepare for the treatment? Carefully following the physician’s guidelines before the procedure can greatly impact the final results.
Have you reviewed my medical history? Information that a patient may think is unrelated to their treatment may in fact play a key role in recovery or the length of a procedure. Patients should be sure to disclose their specific surgery history, any allergies and any pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter drugs or herbal supplements that they are taking at the time of their procedure.
What are my pain management and anesthesia options? To help avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia, ask the physician about alternative pain management options. Many techniques that are performed in a physician’s office can be done under local anesthesia, eliminating some side effects such as nausea and headaches that often accompany general anesthesia. Using a short-term local anesthesia may also eliminate complications that are sometimes related to general anesthesia, including allergies and heart problems.
What are the risks? Discuss the potential side effects of the proposed treatment, how often they occur and how they will be handled if they do occur.
What should I expect after the procedure is performed? Besides a discussion about the short-term and long-term effects, activity restrictions and the expected recovery period, doctors should share before-and-after photos of previous patients and discuss realistic expectations.
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Kim Kardashian is boosting plastic surgeons’ bottom lines.
Two doctors’ organizations have tallied up the cosmetic procedures performed last year, and butt augmentation skyrocketed — as did a controversial surgery to reshape women’s genitals. Meanwhile, old-fashioned breast enlargement, still the most common cosmetic surgery, took a dip.
Surgeons say stars who celebrate their cabooses are fueling the surge, but critics contend it’s medical marketing that has convinced some Americans they need posterior padding at the cost of thousands of dollars and physical risks. Click Below to read more.
In past weeks the media has refocused its attention on bullying to discuss fat shaming and its growingly popular retort, fat acceptance. Recently, Oprah’s program “Where Are They Now” featured a father who pressured his daughter into undergoing weight loss surgery, claiming he would love her more if she were skinny.
As a plastic surgeon, “fat shaming” is a major cause for teens visiting my office. The patients and/or their parents come in looking for a fast fix to alleviate the pain associated with this phenomenon. Typically liposuction is the option they hope for. However, my response is always the same. “Let’s deal with the global weight issue first.” I encourage them to try and empower themselves by improving their health before simply undergoing surgery. The only gain I want to see for my patients is in self -esteem.
Bullying is always wrong, but in my opinion, so is “accepting a state of overweight.”
Parents must diligently work to remain the guardians of their children’s self–esteem and that begins with body image. Unfortunately, we live in a society where success is often equated with the size of one’s waistline. We cannot legislate or police how people feel. However, we can encourage the youths of this generation to take control of their bodies.
If you are ready to challenge yourself to move toward improved health, wellness and enjoy a better body image, the power is yours. Your only gain will be in self-esteem and your only loss will be in weight.