Healing from Cosmetic Surgery: Why You Wear Compression Garments

Healing from Cosmetic Surgery: Why You Wear Compression Garments

Whether you’ve already had a cosmetic procedure such as a breast lift, liposuction or abdominoplasty or are considering one, you may be wondering why your surgeon has prescribed the use of a compression garment following your procedure. A compression garment is a foundation garment you wear under your clothing like a bra or underwear. The difference between compression garments and regular undergarments is that compression garments are more like the shapewear you might use to smooth out the appearance of body fat underneath your clothing. The major difference is compression garments aren’t for hiding flaws. They’re important medical-grade garments designed to help the body heal from cosmetic surgery procedures.

When you undergo a procedure such as an abdominoplasty, liposuction or breast lift, your compression garment will greatly aid in the healing of your body.  Immediately following your procedure, your compression garment helps by applying pressure to the affected area, reducing swelling and helping your body drain excess fluids. Following an abdominal liposuction procedure, for example, the body will likely still be full of excess lidocaine and tumescent fluid, which is used to help separate the body fat from the abdominal wall and to reduce bleeding. Wearing compression garments following abdominal liposuction helps your body not only heal in a desirable shape, but it helps this excess fluid drain upward and out of your body. If your liposuction is accompanied by an abdominoplasty, or "tummy tuck," compression garments can aid in preventing a dangerous accumulation of fluids in the body called a seroma. Seromas often require additional emergency surgeries and can cause additional scarring.

For breast augmentations and lifts, compression garments are also recommended. Many patients may be required to wear a compression bra around the clock for the first few weeks following their procedure. This will help keep swelling down and hold implants in place. Depending on the procedure and individual patient, compression bras may be required for longer periods, until a regular non-underwire bra is safe.  It is often recommended that patients avoid underwire bras immediately following surgery, as these bras can irritate the skin and nerves underneath the breast during the healing process.

Patients undergoing breast augmentation may also be required to wear a device called a compression strap. A compression strap is a garment which is used to help hold breast implants into a natural position. Usually, augmentation patients wear compression straps for up to 6 weeks, but this may vary by individual patient.

Compression garments serve many purposes. They can help reduce blood clots and keep your skin, including your incision, from moving during sleep or when you are walking around.  While they may not be the most comfortable thing to wear following surgery, they really do make a dramatic difference in your healing and overall results. If you are prescribed a compression garment following your procedure, please wear it exactly as instructed and don’t think your surgeon won’t find out if you don’t wear it. Cosmetic surgery is a big investment in your time, money and physical endurance. To achieve the best possible results, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions before and after the procedure and don’t try to cheat the system!

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Everything You Need to Know About Surgical Drains

Everything You Need to Know About Surgical Drains

For many patients preparing to undergo a plastic surgery procedure, there’s one element to their recovery that may come as a surprise to them: the use of a surgical drain.

 

A surgical drain is a long tube that is inserted into the body at the site of a surgical incision that runs along the incision and drains out of the body into a bulb that may resemble a lemon or a grenade. As your body begins to accumulate excess fluids as part of the healing process, the fluids drip into the drain line, and down to the end grenade-like piece. Though there are many types of surgical drains, for plastic surgery, most doctors use what is known as a Jackson-Pratt drain.

A Jackson-Pratt Drain uses a negative pressure device to suction out the excess fluid. Once the collection bulb becomes full of fluid, the Jackson-Pratt drain has a valve (like the type of valve used on inflatable beach balls or tubes) that can be opened and the fluid emptied into a cup.

When emptying your surgical drain, it is important that you hold the drain line firmly at the incision and squeeze the line towards the bulb, emptying as much of the fluid still in the line as possible. When you have cleared as much of the drain line as you can, you must then empty the fluid into the cup provided by your surgeon.

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Think Plastic Surgery is Out of Your Budget? These Procedures May Be Covered by Insurance!

Think Plastic Surgery is Out of Your Budget? These Procedures May Be Covered by Insurance!

Wouldn’t it be nice if anytime you wanted to correct a problem area on your body you could simply call up your doctor and have it fixed, just like that?  With plastic surgery, you can to a degree, however paying for that procedure is where the real challenge comes in.  But while insurance plans won’t pay for a facelift or breast implants, there are a surprising number of plastic surgery procedures your insurance actually will pay for.

 "One of the procedures patients are most surprised to hear is covered are breast reduction surgeries," said Dr. Ryan Mitchell of Henderson, Nevada.  

According to Mitchell, breast reduction is often covered because these surgeries are often not simply a cosmetic procedure, but a medical procedure.

"Large or heavy breasts can often cause severe shoulder and back pain," said Mitchell. "Some women will come in and have welts on their shoulders from their bra straps. Others will simply have back aches because their center of gravity is pulling them forward. Undergoing breast reduction can help patients stand straighter, and can eliminate that painful back strain. Because it is a pain issue, breast reduction is often fully covered by some insurance plans."

As for men, Mitchell says male breast reduction surgery is often also covered for the same reason. Called gynecomastia, men with enlarged breasts often suffer from lower self-esteem, but they also may suffer some of the same side effects as women with larger breasts, including back aches and shoulder pain.

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A New Trend in Liposuction Is Reducing Body Fat from a Surprising Place

A New Trend in Liposuction Is Reducing Body Fat from a Surprising Place

If you pay attention to cosmetic and plastic surgery trends in magazines and celebrity gossip shows, you may already be aware of some of the new plastic surgery procedures making headlines. From lip fillers to Brazilian butt Lifts, there are seemingly endless ways to get the results you desire by going under the knife. But now, a new trend in cosmetic surgery is making headlines, and it’s being used to treat an area you may not have even thought about before: your back. Dubbed "bra bulge" liposuction, surgeons are seeing an increase in women looking to have fat deposits removed from the area of their upper back where their bra-band sits.

 

While bra-bulge liposuction may seem unconventional, as Dr. Ryan Mitchell of Henderson, Nevada explains, it’s not as unbelievable as you might think.

"Women seeking bra-bulge liposuction aren’t simply looking to have back fat removed, they are trying to remove the pockets of body fat that cause the appearance of lumpiness along the back of their bra line," he said. "In some cases, you may not even realize you have body fat on that part of your back until you put on your bra."

So, why would someone be concerned about how their back looks with their bra on? After all, it’s not like anyone will see that part of your back with your clothing on, or can they?

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Tie Tucks the Hot New Trend in Male Plastic Surgery

Tie Tucks the Hot New Trend in Male Plastic Surgery

Studies have shown that one of the biggest indicators of attractiveness in men is a strong, square jawline. According to psychologist Dr. Kang Lee of the University of Toronto, this is because the human eye is drawn to mathematically average, symmetrical faces. So, what’s a guy to do when as he ages his jaw begins to appear less chiseled, and more on the jowly side?  The answer many men are turning to is a combination of procedures known as the ‘tie tuck,’ which specifically address those sagging pockets of fat that hang from the jaw and chin.

According to Dr. Ryan Mitchell, of Henderson, Nevada, as we age, the fat pads in our cheeks begin to lose support, and slowly slide down the face to the jaw.

"This creates the illusion of a weaker chin and jaw, because the bone structure is hidden behind these fat pockets," Mitchell said.  

But now, a concerted combination of procedures designed to firm up the skin along the jawline is growing in popularity in Hollywood and around the United States, and it’s making a substantial difference in how many men see themselves.

Dubbed the ‘tie tuck,’ because of the chin and jaw’s proximity to where men tie a necktie, the procedure involves many different procedures working together to tighten the skin and eliminate the fat pads along the jaw.

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Are Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Safe During Pregnancy?

Are Cosmetic Surgery Procedures Safe During Pregnancy?

 Recent photos of singer Beyonce Knowles have sparked rumors and outrage that the singer may have undergone lip injections while pregnant with her second child. Knowles’ publicist Yvette Noel-Schure has denied the claims, saying Knowles’ plumper pout is thanks to pregnancy hormones and normal pregnancy-related weight gain, but the controversy has left many wondering, is it ever safe to undergo any cosmetic procedures while pregnant?

 

"The short answer is no," explains Dr. Ryan Mitchell a plastic surgeon in Henderson, Nevada. "For an elective procedure, it is not worth the risk of potentially fatal consequences to performing any kind of plastic surgery or cosmetic procedure on a pregnant patient."

According to Mitchell, the main risk usually lies not in the procedure itself, but in the anesthesia used in cosmetic surgery, and the chemicals used in injectable fillers.

"Anesthesia during the first trimester can be fatal to an unborn baby, and it carries a lot of risk in the second and third trimester as well," said Mitchell. 

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Got Scars from a Kitchen Accident? Plastic Surgery Can Help!

Got Scars from a Kitchen Accident? Plastic Surgery Can Help!

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are rushed to emergency rooms with serious and even life-threatening injuries, all caused by a common offender: kitchen knives. Here in the United States it is estimated that around 500,000 people a year are treated for accidental hand lacerations due to kitchen knives, accounting for a staggering 42 percent of all hand injuries treated in the ER. For many of those patients, the ER isn’t their last stop. Many of those patients will end up at their local plastic surgeon’s office attempting to repair the permanent scars and tendon damage left behind from their injury.

Since the mid-1990’s, one of the most common foods to send patients to the hospital with hand injuries is the bagel. In fact, bagel related injuries are so common, they earned their own acronym, BRI’s. However, a new food may be poised to steal the laceration injury throne from the bagel: the avocado.

Avocados may seem innocent enough, with their semi-soft skin and mushy interior, but as they increase in popularity in kitchens around the world, avocado-related mishaps are sending people (including Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep) to emergency rooms and plastic surgeons in record numbers. Why? Because many people don’t know the proper way to peel an avocado. Much like bagels, the rounded shape and softness of the fruit makes it tricky to cut. But it doesn’t have to be. As the temperatures warm and avocado’s start appearing in produce sections around the world, try these cutting pointers to help keep yourself out of the ER when preparing an avocado:

Always cut any item (even avocados!) on a flat surfaceAlways use a properly sharpened knife. This seems counterintuitive in avoiding cuts, but the sharper the knife, the less of a struggle it will be to use, and the lower the risk of injuring yourself.First, cut the avocado in half, lengthwise. Holding it flat on the cutting board, puncture the fruit with a sharp knife, cut until you feel the pit at the center, sliding the knife around the entire fruit, rotating it without lifting it off the cutting board.Split the avocado in two, and remove the pit with a spoon.Scrape out the insides with a spoon by sliding the spoon between the avocado slice and the peel. If you are chopping the avocado, cut gently without damaging the peel, and then use the spoon to remove the slices.

So, what can you do if you’ve already injured yourself? There are many ways a plastic surgeon can repair damage caused by kitchen knife injuries. Whether you simply want to hide an unsightly scar with scar revision surgery, or you need repair to damaged tendons, your plastic surgeon can help repair your hand and correct much of the damage caused by your kitchen accident.

Unfortunately, in the case of some tendon injuries, the damage may be permanent and can include loss of sensation, tendernes and inability to move or bend affected fingers, however your surgeon can evaluate the damage and determine if surgery is worth attempting.

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Can Plastic Surgery Help You Land Your Dream Job?

Can Plastic Surgery Help You Land Your Dream Job?

Brand new suit? Check! Minty fresh breath? Check! Mini face lift? Wait, what? If you’re one of the nearly 2 million students graduating from college this spring, it may be time to start interviewing for your first full-time job. But while a stack of freshly printed resumes and a professional outfit should be at the top of your interview checklist, according to an article by King Malleta on the news site Nextshark some new graduates in China are taking the adage, dress for the job that you want to new heights and undergoing plastic surgery procedures to help them gain an edge in the job market. In fact, cosmetic and surgical procedures are up 200% this year among new grads in China.

So, should you consider plastic surgery to help ace your next interview?  Here are some key factors to consider before hiring or firing your current look.

Do I really want a new look? It’s no secret that youth is valued in many cultures. If you’re concerned that a few brow creases might make you seem older than you are and hurt your chances over other applicants, Botox is a safe, temporary, and effective way to smooth out the appearance of those furrows and project a more youthful and energetic appearance at interviews. But make sure you’re truly comfortable with undergoing your chosen procedure, and that you are prepared for the changes in your face after you’ve healed.Do I have time for this? Cosmetic procedures like Botox can be done in under an hour, with most swelling going down within a week or two after injection. If you decide to get Botox, make sure you have adequate time to heal before scheduling a job interview. For surgical procedures, you should allow several months between your procedure and interviews. A mini facelift can take 6 to 12 months to heal completely, and scars may still be very visible even 3 to 6 months after your procedure. If you're in a hurry to find employment after graduation, you may want to consider scheduling your appointment for the summer before you graduate if possible.Am I getting this procedure from the right reason? If you’re a recent college grad, chances are you know how to do your research. Just like your final exams, acing plastic surgery requires some studying. Make sure you know what procedures you want, and make sure you are selecting a board certified surgeon who is qualified to perform it. Don’t choose a back-office Botox procedure with a cosmetologist, or a discount surgeon who is operating without a license or from a hotel room. Sure, you may save a little bit of money, but the consequences can leave you permanently disfigured, or worse.Can I afford to do this? If you’re graduating from college, you may not have a lot of extra money at your disposal, especially if you haven’t had a full-time job yet. Make sure when you consider a procedure that you remember that you will still need to pay the bill. Many financing options are available, but without a job to pay them back, you likely will not be approved for credit, and if you are, you don’t want to max out your new salary paying tons of interest on a loan. Bottom line, make sure you can afford to pay for your procedure before you do it!Am I doing this for the right reasons? If you’ve never considered plastic surgery before but suddenly feel compelled to get it to keep up with your fellow graduates, you may want to reconsider rushing out and changing your appearance. Permanent changes to your face should be considered carefully and should not be made to one up or keep up with someone else. This can have disastrous consequences if you aren’t fully comfortable with making permanent changes to your appearance.

Getting a little post-graduation pick me up procedure is an effective way to boost your job searching confidence and put your best face forward in the interviewing process, if you do it the right way. If you’re interested in learning more about what your surgical and cosmetic options are, and how much you can expect to invest, give Dr. Ryan Mitchell’s office at call today at 702-430-1198.

Caring for Your Breast Implants After Surgery Got Scars from a Kitchen Accident? Plastic Surgery...
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Caring for Your Breast Implants After Surgery

Caring for Your Breast Implants After Surgery

According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 290,467 people received breast implants in 2016, a number that has been steadily climbing since the year 2000.  But while most of these patients likely successfully completed their post-surgical aftercare, many patients may not realize that caring for breast implants should continue well beyond the initial recovery period. Post post-op aftercare is an important step in maximizing the longevity of your breast implants and minimizing the effects of rare but dangerous complications.

Your surgeon may have already told you that breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime. Most implants have an expected shelf life of about 8 to10 years, however, there is no need to remove and replace them if they are in good condition after any duration of time. That being said, the older the implant, the greater the risk of deflation or and serious complications including rupturing. That is why it is imperative to follow the care guidelines for your implants and to get regular breast implant exams.

 

Get regular MRI’s on your implants The FDA recommends getting an MRI done on your implants 3 years after they are first implanted, and every two years thereafter. This will help your doctor see if there are any ruptures to the implant itself. For saline implants, ruptures are usually quite easy to detect and you would most likely already know it was leaking prior to your MRI. Because the saline solution is fluid, your ruptured implant would rapidly decrease in size, and the saline would absorb into your body. The saline itself is not dangerous, but you would still need the implant removed and/or replaced. For those with silicone implants, MRI’s are very important, because silicone is not absorbed into the body the way saline is. The silicone used in breast implants is considered a cohesive material, meaning that if it leaks out of your implant, it remains in a gel-like state and must be removed separately from the implant. Unfortunately, because of the thickness of the gel, it is nearly impossible to detect if the implant is leaking without the aid of an MRI, though it is important to note that it is very rare for silicone implants to rupture.Massage your implants It is recommended that you massage your implants every day. An ideal time to do this is when you’re in the shower, because your body temperature is already warmer. Massaging your implants ensures that they stay soft and malleable, but it also allows you to make sure you can move the implant up and down, and from side to side towards each other like your natural breasts would move.Support yourself Just like natural breasts, your implants need support, so make sure you protect them with a properly fitting bra. This will not only keep your breasts looking their best, it will also reduce strain on your back and shoulders, ensuring that you are comfortable with your implant size. Larger breasts can be a big adjustment for your body if you make a dramatic increase. A good quality bra can make a big difference in your comfort and happiness with your new implants.Notify your dentist Some patients have reported cases of a condition called capsular contracture following dental procedures. Capsular contracture is a hardening of the scar tissue around the breast implant that can change the look and feel of the breast. Capsular contracture can be easily prevented by taking a broad-spectrum antibiotic several hours prior to your dental cleaning. Speak to your dentist prior to your appointment for a prescription, and always make sure to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed.Watch for Changes If you notice hardening, shrinking, traveling’of the implant or any other change in the breast or implant, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your surgeon or primary care doctor as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns about your breast implants, give Dr. Mitchell a call at 702-430-1198.

Putting Your Best Face Forward When You Walk Down ... Can Plastic Surgery Help You Land Your Dream Job?
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Putting Your Best Face Forward When You Walk Down the Aisle

Putting Your Best Face Forward When You Walk Down the Aisle

The average couple is paying nearly $2500 for wedding photos alone. If you’re spending this kind of money on photos of yourself, you want to be sure you’re putting your very best face forward. After all, chances are you won’t be shelling out that kind of money for another photo session anytime soon. Whether it’s you that’s getting married, or if you’ll be part of a wedding party or simply in wedding photos as a guest this summer, here are some tips for looking your very best in photos that are sure to become family heirlooms.

 

Last year, American brides spent an average of $1564 for a wedding gown and an additional $275 on average for hair and makeup. Add in accessories like jewelry, shoes, and veil, and the median cost for a bride’s total wedding look is well over two-thousand dollars! In fact, according to vaguepenguin.com, the cost of the bride’s look alone rings up at around four percent of the entire average wedding budget. For men walking down the aisle, prices can range anywhere from $300 for a rented tuxedo to over $1500 for a purchased, altered tuxedo. But with all that money being spent to look your best, don’t forget your skin! After all, studies have shown time and time again that no matter how beautiful your outfit or backdrop, when viewing photos, the human eye is naturally drawn to the face. One study even found that using attractive female faces in advertising increased sales by four percent, proving that looking your best in pictures matters.

If you’re searching for a way to put your best foot forward this wedding season but aren’t sure what’s right for you, keep reading!

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Plastic Surgeons Push for Coverage on Certain Procedures

Plastic Surgeons Push for Coverage on Certain Procedures

Each year, millions of plastic surgery procedures are performed in America, and most of them are not covered by medical insurance. This means these costly procedures are often done at the expense of the patient, to the tune of over $12 billion dollars a year. But now, a growing number of plastic surgeons are pushing for health insurance providers to cover more plastic surgery procedures, as many procedures do improve the health and well-being of the patient.

"A popular example many surgeons are using is reconstructive surgery for transgender patients or breast cancer survivors," said Dr. Ryan Mitchell, a plastic surgeon based in Henderson, Nevada. "Many women opt to have breast augmentation following a mastectomy, but most insurance plans don’t cover augmentations. That leaves a woman who has just likely endured a grueling medical battle with the added expense of having to purchase what is essentially a prosthetic breast with her own money."

Ethics aside, this is also problematic because many cancer survivors are low on extra money following a lengthy recovery.

"Paying out of pocket may not be in their budget for some time following chemotherapy,  especially if the patient has been out work, or has had to pay for any portion of her treatment out of pocket," said Mitchell. 

Another problem Mitchell sees with billing cancer survivors for reconstruction is that were it any other body part, it would most likely be covered.

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Ruptured Implants Spark Lawsuit

Ruptured Implants Spark Lawsuit

When Cynthia Hedgecock tripped on a broken piece of San Diego, California sidewalk in July of 2015, she had no idea that her ordeal was just beginning. Hedgecock is the wife of former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, who served the city from 1983 to 1985. Following Mrs. Hedgecock’s fall, she reportedly suffered continued pain, but it was not until September of 2015 that she discovered both of her breast implants had ruptured in the fall and were leaking silicone into her bloodstream. The lawsuit alleges Hedgecock sought medical attention for "persistent breast pain and deformities," and that was when the discovery of the extent of the fall’s damage was revealed.

Hedgecock’s lawsuit claims that due to the fall she endured "serious personal injuries" and required an extensive period of recovery following the removal of the leaking silicone, ruptured implants and the subsequent implant replacement surgery. According to the lawsuit, Hedgecock states that the incident cost her and her husband over $25,000 in medical expenses. Her husband has joined the lawsuit as a co-plaintiff, alleging the accident and recovery of his wife caused him to suffer "loss of support, service, love, companionship, society, affection, relations and solace from his wife."

Though the lawsuit will not head to trial until later in 2017, it has already begun to raise a lot of questions about breast implant safety. Dr. Ryan Mitchell of Henderson, Nevada did not treat Hedgecock, but says that a fall like the one Hedgecock experienced could cause breast implants to rupture.

"Though breast implant ruptures are very rare, physical trauma from a fall or car accident certainly could cause an implant to rupture," said Mitchell. 

Other causes of implant rupture include normal wear and tear, damage from surgical instruments, over or underfilling of saline implants, and in extremely rare cases, from pressure during a mammogram. Mitchell says if you suspect your breast implant has ruptured, call your doctor as soon as possible.

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May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America- and that the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, kills an average of one person an hour? If you’re not already actively screening your skin for skin cancer on a regular basis, or trying to protect your skin from sun damage- now is the perfect time to start. Here are some tips for what to look for when checking your skin for signs of skin cancer- and what you should be doing every single day to prevent it.

This year, 3.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer, and 160,000 of those cancers will be melanoma. Melanoma is thought to be caused by unprotected sun exposure, but despite better screening methods and greater awareness, numbers are increasing. Scientists believe this is due to increasing deterioration of the earth’s ozone layer, which is allowing higher levels of radiation from the sun’s dangerous UV rays to reach our skin. In fact, researchers now estimate that 1 in 50 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime. So, what should you be looking for when checking your skin for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer- and what can you do to help protect yourself from the sun’s dangerous rays?

 

Melanoma: The deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma isn’t just an older person’s problem. It’s not only the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women aged 25-30, but it is also becoming increasingly common in children. About 500 children a year are diagnosed with Melanoma- and that number is increasing at a rate of 2% a year! Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body- even the eyeballs (ocular melanoma), fingernails and scalp- and can affect anyone of any race, age or gender. When checking your skin for Melanoma, the best way to remember what to look for is to use the ABCDE Method.

Asymmetry: is your mole symmetrical? An asymmetrical mole does not always mean cancer, but it is one of the signs to look for, especially if the mole meets some of the other warning criteria.Border: In addition to not being symmetrical, cancerous moles do not have round, defined borders- instead they usually appear as a jagged- edged cluster.Color: Most benign moles are uniform in color, though there are some that do vary slightly. Melanomas are rarely uniform in color and can appear brown, black, and even red, white, or blue in spots.Diameter: Moles with melanoma are usually larger than healthy moles. They may start out small but grow over time. They are usually larger than the size of a pencil eraser.Evolving: Cancerous moles will evolve over time. In fact, all of the factors in the ABCD method can change, which is why it is important to check your moles frequently, and conduct full-body melanoma screenings on a monthly basis. If you have a mole that begins crusting over, bleeding or itching, contact your doctor immediately.

Basal Cell Carcinoma:  Basal cell carcinomas (BCC) are the most common form of skin cancer. Thankfully, if caught early, they are usually not fatal. BCC’s are also thought to be caused by sun exposure. They appear on the skin as open sores, red patches, scars, shiny bumps, or pink growths. Thankfully BCC does not usually spread- but they can if left untreated. They can also cause permanent scarring when removed and can return to previously treated areas- so regular follow-up care is extremely important. BCC is caused by prolonged sun exposure AND by short-term, intense sun exposure that may result in a sunburn. People most at risk for BCC are those with fair skin, red or blonde hair, and light colored eyes. Though it has traditionally been more common in men, an increasing number of women are developing BCC.

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Deadly Silicone Injection Trend Making Headlines

Deadly Silicone Injection Trend Making Headlines

A disturbing new trend is making headlines around the country: unlicensed practitioners known as "pump-doctors" are using industrial grade silicone as a cosmetic filler on unsuspecting patients. The pump-doctor trend is flourishing along the east coast, in places like Atlanta, Florida, and Maryland, where patient fatalities have resulted in a series of high-profile cases. But despite grim warnings from authorities and the medical community about the use of pump doctors, these illegal practices continue to thrive.

Plastic surgery procedures to increase the size of your breasts, buttocks and lips can be a big expense.  For patients determined to get the kind of results only plastic surgery could create, shopping around for the best price can have its benefits. Perhaps that’s why illegal practitioners known as pump-doctors are flourishing in US cities. With their promise of major results at a fraction of the cost, pump doctors are offering patients what they may have thought was both physically and financially unattainable in the past. But buyer beware! These unlicensed and often untrained individuals are making promises they can’t deliver on, and it’s costing some people their health and even their lives.

Not to be confused with the medical grade silicone found in breast implants, industrial grade silicone is often used as an ingredient in shampoos, cement, glass and ceramics.  Injected directly into the body, victims of pump doctors have alleged that these individuals often use no anesthesia, and practice in unsterilized hotel rooms with dirty equipment.

"The unsanitary conditions in which these injections are given are dangerous enough," Mitchell said. "But then when you realize the injections are being given by untrained people who are literally injecting poison anywhere they want into the body, it’s a wonder to me that more people haven’t died." 

Indeed, in several cases it was not the silicone that killed victims but an embolism, a condition where arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. 

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Extremely Rare Form of Cancer Linked to Some Breast Implants

Extremely Rare Form of Cancer Linked to Some Breast Implants

A recent report by the Food and Drug Administration has once again confirmed a link between certain breast implants and an extremely rare form of cancer called BIA-ALCL, or anaplastic large cell lymphoma. In light of this new report, doctors like Henderson, Nevada plastic surgeon Dr. Ryan Mitchell are ramping up their efforts to warn patients about this uncommon disease, which is now estimated to affect 1 in 300,000 women. 

When most women consider getting breast implants, they are aware that their implants carry a certain level of risk. Though not common, any type of surgery or implant can have complications. But now some patients have a new risk to consider- the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma known as BIA-ALCL. Though his extremely rare t-cell lymphoma has only affected 359 people since its discovery in 2011, it still poses enough of a risk that surgeons like Mitchell are bringing it up to patients considering breast augmentation.

"Though BIA-ALCL is extremely rare, it is being found in an increasing number of patients with textured breast implants,"  Mitchell said. "According to the FDA, of the 231 reported cases of BIA-ALCL that included information about the texture of the implants, 203 were textured, while only 28 were smooth." 

Textured implants are not as commonly used in the US as they are in other countries, but there are still some US-based surgeons who use them. In light of these new findings, however- that could change. 

"As more patients become aware of the increased risks of BIA-ALCL in those with textured implants, I suspect more women will opt for smooth implants," Mitchell said. 

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What is Board Certification, Why Does It Matter?

What is Board Certification, Why Does It Matter?

You may have heard the term "board certified" used when discussing plastic surgeons, but you may not know what that is- or if it really matters. After all, you can save a lot of money going abroad for surgery or to a spa for Botox injections from someone who isn’t board certified.  So, what’s the big difference between board certified, board eligible, and not- and do those credentials really justify the difference in cost for the same procedure?

In order to practice any kind of medicine here in the United States, a doctor must be licensed in the state or states that they practice in. But just because a doctor holds a valid medical license, does not mean he or she is board certified in a medical specialty. Board certification is a voluntary certification that means a doctor has undergone additional training in a specific field and has completed an additional evaluation process beyond the licensing process in his or her field. Board certification is usually peer-conducted and is not a ‘one-time’ thing. Doctors who undergo the rigorous process of board certification must complete additional internships and both written and oral testing following their training. Once they pass their testing, the doctor must continue to attend training and keep current with the newest advances in their field in order to remain board certified.  Board certified doctors must also adhere to board standards and best practices. To do so could be a violation of their certification, and could be grounds for having that certification revoked.

 

 The purpose of board certification is to add an extra level of security to a doctor’s credentials beyond simply being licensed to practice. When a patient sees that his or her doctor is board certified, they can rest assured that their practitioner is well-versed in the most current science and adheres to all ethics and best practices in their field.  They can also rest assured that if a doctor violates the best practices set forth by the board, they can lose their board certification, and possibly their license. This helps not just the doctor to keep current on his or her education but should reassure the patient that their doctor is current in his or her methods, and compliant with laws and ethics.

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Talking to Kids About Plastic Surgery

Talking to Kids About Plastic Surgery

With an increase in both "mommy makeovers" and male cosmetic surgery procedures, a lot of parents are going under the knife these days. But while the change in your appearance may be a welcome change to you and maybe even your partner- it may not be as easily embraced by your children. If you’re struggling to figure out how to tell your kids that you’ll be changing your look, or if they know and are having fear or anxiety about your upcoming or recent surgery, here are a few tips to help explain your decision to them, and hopefully ease some of that stress, too.

How do I tell my children I’m having surgery without them getting scared?

Telling your kid you’re about to have major surgery can be very scary- for you and for them. While it is recommended that you discuss what is about to happen with them, depending on their age there are varying degrees of detail you should give them about the procedure. For preschool aged children and younger, telling them that mom or dad are going to see the doctor so they can feel better about themselves is a great, vague way to summarize what’s about to happen. Nothing in their lives is changing, you will just be happier with how you look, and after you heal, you’ll feel better, too.

 

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Warning: Confidence Boost on the Job May Occur

Warning: Confidence Boost on the Job May Occur

It probably comes as little surprise that plastic surgery can have a positive effect on your self-esteem. Correcting an issue with your appearance can do wonders for how you feel about the person staring back at you in the mirror- but did you know that when it comes to cosmetic procedures, self-esteem is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak? Studies have shown that in addition to the boost in self-esteem and confidence most patients notice post-surgery, there are some other surprising benefits you may not have even thought about! Dr. Ryan Mitchell shares some surprising new findings.

In 2013, when researchers at the University of Melbourne surveyed 121 patients at prominent local plastic surgery clinics, they weren’t sure what to expect. They knew that plastic surgery would likely improve the self-esteem of their respondents, but they were surprised to find that it also improved their job satisfaction, too! Why job satisfaction, though? The answers might surprise you!

 

In the study, published in Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, researchers Alicia Kalus and Christina Cregan found that patients returning to work after surgery experienced not only higher levels of job satisfaction, but lower levels of job-related burnout than they did prior to their surgery. Kalus and Cregan theorize that in addition to benefitting from a deeper sense of self-esteem which boosted the overall happiness of the post-op patients, the responding patients also benefitted from a boost in what Kalus and Cregan refer to as a "beauty premium." This theory states that beautiful people are said to be treated better in the workplace (and in society) than those deemed less attractive. This is also known as an "attractiveness bias," and it has been shown to unwittingly cause employers to overestimate the confidence they have in an employee’s abilities, based solely on their appearance. In other words, the study respondents’ employers may have -whether correctly or incorrectly- believed their newly-refreshed employee was capable of more challenging work following their surgical procedure!

Ultimately, the most positive finding in this study was that patients returning to work had a more positive outlook on life and their job. This means that even if nothing else changed for the majority of the responding patients meaning their employers’ opinions didn’t change, and did not afford their employees the benefit of an attractiveness bias or beauty premium- the patient’s own boost in inner-happiness had enough of a positive effect in the patient’s job-life that it helped the patient view their job in a more positive light!

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More Plastic Surgery Procedures Using Stomach Fat

More Plastic Surgery Procedures Using Stomach Fat

Stomach fat. Many of us have it, but it’s pretty safe to say that none of us want it. But now, this famously stubborn and hard-to-lose deposit of body fat has found a role that might finally give it a little respect: as a plastic surgery filler. We spoke to Dr. Ryan Mitchell of Henderson, Nevada about why an increasing number of plastic surgeons are using stomach fat as a surgical filler.

It’s called ‘fat grafting’- the procedure where a surgeon takes fat from one area of your body, and then injects that fat into another area of the body that is lacking in volume. The fat can be taken from the buttocks, thighs, hips, and increasingly, from the stomach. The grafted fat can then be transferred elsewhere in the body, such as the lips, breasts or buttocks. This benefits the patient in many ways- most notably because by grafting fat that was already part of the patient’s body, the surgeon is not introducing anything new or unnatural to the body. This increases the likelihood of the body "accepting" the fat transfer, it also looks and feels more natural than injecting synthetic materials would. There are of course some downsides to fat grafting, but according to Mitchell, those downsides are minimal.

"Unlike with synthetic fillers, fat grafting requires a bit more downtime following the procedure," Mitchell said. "This is because the fat first has to be harvested from the patient’s body via liposuction, so it’s not as simple as opening a container of Botox and sending the patient on their way."

Fat grafting is a two-step process, first the extraction, and then the injection. In some cases, the extraction may require local or general anesthesia, depending on where the fat is taken from, and how much fat is taken during the procedure.  

In the second step, the fat is then injected into another area of the body. Again, the anesthesia and recovery will depend on where the fat is grafted to. For patients using it as facial fillers, they may not require as much downtime as someone who is getting their fat grafted to the breasts or buttocks. Furthermore, because fat is a natural substance and thus less predictable than a synthetic like Botox or Juvederm, it is considered less stable

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Red Hot Trend Alert: Venus Dimples

Red Hot Trend Alert: Venus Dimples

You could have them already- those two little dents where your lower back meets your buttocks, commonly known as ‘Venus dimples.’ But while many people probably have never given them more than a passing glance, Venus dimples are on track to be the number one new trend in plastic surgery for 2017, thanks to their increasing popularity from bikini shots of models and Instagram-celebrities like the Hadid sisters, Kylie Jenner and Miranda Kerr. We spoke to Henderson, Nevada plastic surgeon Dr. Ryan Mitchell about this popular new procedure.

Venus dimples get their name from the Roman Goddess of Beauty. When naturally occurring, Venus dimples are two sagittally symmetrical indentations on the lower back that appear at the site of the two sacroiliac joints, where the sacrum and ilium of the pelvis connect. Venus dimples contain a channel of veins that is often used as a guide in spinal surgery- specifically in procedures to place sacral pedicle screws in the spine. They are also said to increase blood circulation in the pelvic area and are believed to enhance sexual pleasure in those who possess them.

But now there’s good news for women who don’t have Venus dimples, but would like to have them- there’s a trendy new plastic surgery procedure called the "V-spot treatment" that can create the look of these trendy dents- and women are paying up to $5,000 for it!  Named for the diamond-shaped area of the lower back, the v-spot procedure uses a cannula to break up the fat on the lower back and basically carve the ‘v’ shape, and two indentations into the body, explains Mitchell. The broken-up body fat is then suctioned up by the cannula, and after about two weeks of minor pain and discomfort, even patients who weren’t born with Venus dimples can look like they were. According to Mitchell, recovery from the v-spot procedure is relatively easy.

"Patients who undergo v-spot surgery can expect some minor discomfort for the first few days following the surgery, and may find relief in wearing a compression garment during the first few weeks of recovery, but most pain generally subsides within a few days," Mitchell said. 

The good news, and perhaps, for some, the bad news, is that Venus dimples are genetic- you either have them, or you don’t. For those who have them, they’re present no matter what shape you’re in- though carrying extra weight may make them harder to see. For those patients, a v-spot procedure can still help to make the Venus dimples more defined, so just because you already have them doesn’t mean you can’t make them deeper. For those looking to improve the appearance of their entire lower back area, according to Mitchell, v-spot surgery can be done at the time of other procedures, such as liposuction or the recent favorite, the Brazilian butt-lift.

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