Give the Gift of… Botox?

Yes, I realize it is not even Halloween yet.  And I’m in no way trying to give the impression that I start my Christmas shopping this early, because I don’t.  But I do start worrying about Christmas shopping, namely, what to get everyone in my family.

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shutterstock.com

We give, and receive, quite a few gift cards in our family.  It seems a little more personal than cash, which I think is why they’re so popular.  And indeed, gift certificates can be a great way to provide the recipient with something he or she might otherwise not try.  But you do have to be careful of the message that is being sent; for example, giving a loved one a gym membership can send a pretty specific message that you think he or she needs to get in shape.  But if that person had been talking about getting a gym membership, and maybe even looking into different options, then the message is entirely different.  Along the same lines, giving your loved one a gift certificate for a specific procedure, such as Botox, can be a great idea. And we do sell quite a few gift certificates in my office around the holiday season.  Here I’m going to give you two key tips to ensure your well-intended gift doesn’t backfire by sending the wrong message.

  • First, be sure this is something the recipient is actually interested in.  Has she mentioned it to you?  Can you ask her friends to find out if it’s something they’ve discussed? A gift certificate for something you’ve always wanted to try is a wonderful gift.  But if you have no interest in Botox, for example, than that gift certificate can be an insult instead.
  • Second, make sure the gift certificate does not dictate a specific treatment.  At our office, for example, gift certificates can be used not only for Botox, but also for fillers, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, skin care products, aromatherapy treatments, and massage.  Giving your wife a nonspecific gift certificate with information on the variety of options she can apply it towards lets her know that you want to pamper her, rather than possibly suggesting she needs some work done.

 

Have you ever bought a gift certificate that backfired?  Or one that turned out to be fabulous?  Tell us about it!

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

What is Local Anesthesia, Anyway?

Today I’m going to cover the types of anesthesia available, and why you might have one or another.  This is something that gets glossed over a bit when discussing surgical options, so I thought it would be helpful to dedicate an entire post to it.

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shutterstock.com

First, some definitions:

  1. Local anesthesia.  Having a procedure done “under local” means that you have an injection to numb the area before surgery.  Sometimes this is in the form of a block, where numbing medication is injected around a nerve.  Sometimes the numbing medicine is injected directly into the area that is being worked on (e.g. if you’re having a cut sutured up).  The key thing to know is that you are awake and aware of what is happening.  Local anesthetic works very well, but the injection itself is painful (although thankfully brief).  Local also does not work well for very large surface areas.
  2. General anesthesia.  This is the other end of the spectrum: you are completely asleep for the procedure, and you may have a tube down your throat (i.e. you are intubated) to help you breathe.
  3. Sedation.  This is somewhere between local and general anesthesia.  You receive some medications to make you sleepy so you don’t really know what is going on, but you’re not all the way to sleep. This is the “twilight” anesthesia that is used for colonoscopies.

Generally what type of anesthesia you need is dictated by the procedure that is being performed.  An abdominoplasty or breast reduction, for example, is virtually always done under general anesthesia.  Those operations last several hours and cover a large surface area, so general anesthesia is the best way to keep the patient comfortable.  A face lift, on the other hand, can be done under local with some sedation.  But many surgeons will also perform face lifts under general anesthesia.  A face lift lasts over three hours, and I find I can keep my patients more comfortable if they are fully asleep.  Something like a blepharoplasty (eye lift) can go either way.  If I am operating on only the upper eyelids, I find that I can keep the patient very comfortable with just local anesthesia.  However if a patient is nervous about the procedure, or cannot tolerate things near their eyes, then sedation certainly helps.

Do you have a question about types of anesthesia?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

How Long do Implants Last?

photo courtesy of office.com

photo courtesy of office.com

Breast augmentation is a common procedure, and it is not uncommon for women as young as 18 years old to get breast implants.  This raises a question: how long do breast implants actually last?

 

Implants do not last forever.  A good guess on how long they might last would be around 10 years, but I’ve also seen patients who had implants placed 15 years ago that still look good.  There are generally two reasons a breast implant would need to be replaced.

  1. Capsular contracture.  This is when scar tissue forms around the implant, causing the breast to become firm and painful. Capsular contracture isn’t all-or-nothing; it occurs along a gradient.  So a person with mild capsular contracture may not notice anything at all, but a Plastic Surgeon can detect it on physical exam.  When capsular contracture becomes severe, however, the breast implants can look distorted, and be quite painful.  If you have capsular contracture, the decision to replace your implants is one that you would make together with your Plastic Surgeon.
  2. Implant rupture.  Implants do rupture, at a rate of about 1% per year.  With saline implants the rupture is easy to detect; the saline is reabsorbed by your body and the implant deflates.  Rupture can be more difficult to detect with silicone implants, because the silicone stays in place.  For this reason, the FDA has recommended women with silicone implants have an MRI three years after their augmentation, and then every two years to look for implant rupture.  Even if a ruptured silicone implant goes undetected, (i.e. your implant is ruptured and you don’t realize it) the silicone doesn’t go anywhere.  It just stays in the breast implant pocket.

Long story short, if your implant looks or feels different, I recommend seeing your doctor so he or she can examine your for a capsular contracture or implant rupture.  And every woman should see her Plastic Surgeon, Ob-Gyn, or Primary Care Doctor for a breast examination yearly.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Why do I always look sad?

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One of the common reasons patients come to my office is because they think they look “sad all the time”, no matter what mood they’re in.  Those lines at the side of your mouth that always make you look grumpy?  Those are called “marionette lines” – they actually look more like the mouth of a ventriloquist dummy, but I guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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As we age, our faces start to show the effects of years of gravity; those lines are caused by the fullness over your cheeks moving to a lower position on your face.

 

 

 

There are two ways to improve the appearance of these lines.  The first is to move that tissue back to its original position.  This is what a facelift does.  Facelifts work wonderfully to tighten the lower face and jawline, but there is some down time involved.  The results, however, generally last for many years.  The second option is to plump up the wrinkles with filler.  This works very well, but you will need a treatment every 6-8 months.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.