Real Housewife of New Jersey Lauren Manzo recently underwent the lap band procedure to help aid her weight loss after a life long struggle. Now that the weight has begun to fall off, Lauren may be left with some excess skin that could be taken care of with plastic surgery.
Lauren Manzo, daughter of Real Housewife of New Jersey star has opened up about her recent weight loss, crediting the lap band procedure for her success. Commonly after a large weight loss, plastic surgery including a tummy tuck, breast lift and possible arm lift are desired to help tighten up sagging skin that is left as a result.
Dr. Jonathan Hall is one of the top plastic surgeons in Boston, who is know for his natural appearing results. Dr. Hall, who has not treated Lauren Manzo explains, “It is common in my practice for patients to want plastic surgery after they lose a large amount of weight. Although the amount of weight loss after a lap band is not typically as much as after a gastric bypass, the amount of loose skin varies with each person and how they had gained their weight.”
“Probably the most common procedure that we do after weight loss is an extended abdominoplasty, a kind of tummy tuck with a longer scar that wraps around the sides and helps to tighten these areas better. Patients don’t like the “kangaroo pouch” when they sit down, and the crepe paper appearance of skin that has lost it’s elasticity by being overly stretched.”
“I am cautious with breast implants after significant weight loss because the tissues are stretchy and with poor elasticity, and tend to stretch more in unpredictable ways with the additional weight of an implant. More ideal in many patients with significant weight loss is a “spiral mastopexy” where the patient’s own tissues are used to rebuild the breast, including some loose and hanging skin on the sides that is “spiraled” to give more volume to the breast.”
“A brachioplasty or “arm lift” is often done in patients that are troubled by “bat wings” of upper arm skin flapping back and forth and making them uncomfortable wearing a short sleeve shirt. But this procedure leaves a visible scar either on the inside or the back of the arm, depending on the patients and surgeons preference. So a potentially visible scar is being traded for correction of the loose skin. Patients that have a lot of loose skin love it, but in patients with only a little loose skin of the upper arms, the “cure may be worse than the disease.”
“It is best to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that is certified by the American board of plastic surgery and has experience with weight loss patients. Ask to see some photos of other patients that the surgeon has operated on; that have lost a similar amount of weight. As people have lost more and more weight, the results tend to diminish because the skin elasticity decreases, so patients who have lost 100 lbs, won’t look as good as patients who have lost 50 lbs, and patients who have lost 200 lbs won’t look as good as patients who have lost 100 lbs. But even then, patients with realistic expectations are usually thrilled with the improvement.”
Many hope that Lauren’s new look comes with a new positive attitude and only time will tell.
Read the complete celebrity plastic surgery profile of Lauren Manzo on Plasticopedia, the largest celebrity plastic surgery encyclopedia.
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Tags: Abdominoplasty, breast implants, Breast Lift, Lauren Manzo, plastic surgery, Tummy Tuck, weight loss
Actor Jonah Hill is practically half the man he used to be after losing at least 40 pounds for his upcoming role in the 21 Jump Street movie, based on the popular television series. Now that he’s done the hard part and lost the weight, Jonah may want to consider some plastic surgery to tighten up any loose skin.
27-year old Superbad star Jonah Hill is well-known for his plump appearance, which seemed to grown with each film. Now he’s lost at least 40 pounds, with diet and exercise.
“It’s not fun,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I wouldn’t say it’s the most fun endeavor I’ve ever took on in my life — but it’s important. And I’m enjoying it. If I eat something unhealthy now, I kind of feel a little weird and my body hurts.”
TIP OF THE DAY
As Jonah contemplates getting some plastic surgery to tighten up skin, he may want to consider wearing some shapewear garments that can tighten his look further and hold his loose skin in. Here’s some male girdles to consider:
While weight loss for health purposes is commendable, it can also result in some unsightly bags and sags. If Jonah is interested in looking taught and tight he could consider a tummy tuck procedure and arm lift, which are procedures in areas most affected by weight loss. Potential patients like Jonah who may be concerned about tummy tuck recovery can learn about other patients experience in our tummy tuck forum.
Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer says, “Jonah Hill looks fantastic after his recent significant weight loss. Although he must be thrilled at dropping the pounds he’s probably not so thrilled at some possible dropping skin. It is likely that he will have some excess loose skin in his abdomen, arms and leg areas. That can only be corrected by traditional cosmetic surgery such as an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, and brachioplasty or arm lift. There aren’t any noted alternative treatments that will remove excess loose skin besides surgery.”
Jonah looks great and it will be interesting to see whether or not his weight loss lasts.
Read the complete celebrity plastic surgery profile of Jonah Hill on Plasticopedia, the largest celebrity plastic surgery encyclopedia.
Pic Source: Daily Mail
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Tags: abdominoplasty, arm lift, brachioplasty, cosmetic surgery, Jonah Hill, plastic surgery, tummy tuck
Socialite Tinsley Mortimer is “one of the most famous faces of the New York scene,” and Makemeheal.com thinks that plastic surgery is responsible for the fashion entrepreneur’s photogenic stardom.
34-year old socialite turned fashion maven Tinsley Mortimer is an important person in New York society, turning up everywhere from fashion campaigns to television programs like Gossip Girl. Like many high-society women, some of Tinsley’s popularity likely comes from which plastic surgeon she uses, and he is clearly the best.
Tinsley’s aristocratic nose is likely the result of a nose job, which has left her with a perfectly straight and narrow bridge and well-defined tip. Like many women, Tinsley likely fights the never-ending battle with age with Botox in the brow and forehead region and facial fillers like Restylane and Juvederm in the rest of her face.
Dr. Paul S. Nassif, a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Rhinoplasty Specialist in Beverly Hills, California says, “Tinsley Mortimer may have had a rhinoplasty performed at one point, as her bridge appears narrow and her tip is small. She may have also had Botox and facial fillers. ”
On a recent vacation, Tinsley was caught wearing a tiny bikini that may have revealed a mini- tummy tuck scar. Or Tinsley spends enough time in the gym to have gotten very bizarre looking muscle definition on her lower abdomen.
Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer says, “It appears that Tinsley Morimer may have had a mini tummy tuck as revealed by the scar on her abdomen. Her nose has most certainly been worked on as it is extremely narrow and defined. Her smooth skin on her face is most likely a combination of Botox and dermal fillers.”
Tinsley’s living the life and plastic surgery has clearly played at least a small role in her success on and off camera.
Read the complete celebrity plastic surgery profile of the Tinsley Mortimer on Plasticopedia, the largest celebrity plastic surgery encyclopedia.
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Tags: abdominoplasty, Botox, cosmetic surgery, Juvederm, nose job, plastic surgery, Restylane, rhinoplasty, Tinsley Mortimer, tummy tuck
The new season of Dancing with the Stars begins later this month and with the new cast, are new reports of plastic surgery.
Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars begins next week and it is filled with Makemeheal.com plastic surgery alumni and some newbies as well.
Here’s a look at the cast and their possible plastic surgery, in no particular order:
60-year old Cheers star Kirstie Alley has openly struggled with her weight for years. Hopefully her turn on Dancing with the Stars will help her get down to and maintain a healthy weight that can showcase her plastic surgery, which may include an old nose job and possible anti-aging procedures like a browlift, necklift, facelift and fillers like Restylane and Juvederm as well as Botox. If Kirstie does lose weight on the show, she may need a tummy tuck and/or breast lift to take care of any residual sagging loose skin.
Dr. Paul S. Nassif, a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Rhinoplasty Specialist in Beverly Hills, California says, “Kirstie Alley may have had a browlift, facelift, necklift, Botox, and facial fillers. Overall, any work performed was not too overdone, and she would not benefit from any additional work at this time.”
Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer says, “Kirstie Alley has flawless skin most likely from Botox , dermal fillers and chemical peels. Her nose is well defined most likely from a Nose Job or Rhinoplasty procedure. Kirstie Alley’s weight fluctuations may have left her with some loose skin so she may have had a tummy tuck and/or breast lift cosmetic procedure.”
31-year old Radio DJ “Psycho Mike” Catherwood is best known to Angelenos for his voice on L.A.’s KROQ and as the co-host of ‘Loveline.’ The Mark Consuelos doppelganger probably hasn’t had any plastic surgery, although some photos seem to indicate a possible nose job and Botox in his forehead.
Dr. Nassif says, “Psycho Mike Catherwood does not appear to have had any plastic surgery performed to his face. Overall, his look is natural and he would not benefit from any work at this time.”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Psycho Mike Catherwood appears to use Botox to his forehead. He possibly had a nose job, but overall he has a naturally rugged look.”
40-year old former pro wrestler Chris Jericho doesn’t look like he’s had any plastic surgery, despite likely taking several hits to the face during his career.
Dr. Nassif says, “Chris Jericho does not appear to have had any plastic surgery performed to his face. He has a natural look and would not benefit from any plastic surgery at this point in his life. ”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Chris Jericho does not appear to have had any cosmetic surgery. He has a natural rugged look.”
54-year old Sugar Ray Leonard is a boxing legend. Although he has a natural look, he may have had his nose broken and repaired with a nose job at least once in his career.
Dr. Nassif says, “Sugar Ray Leonard does not appear to have had any plastic surgery performed to his face. He has a natural look, and whether or not he chooses to have any procedures performed is a personal preference.”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “I would assume that Sugar Ray Leonard has broken his nose a few times and therefore has a had a Rhinoplasty (nose job) or two.”
49-year old Karate Kid Ralph Macchio isn’t a kid anymore, but you’d hardly know it, thanks to aging gracefully and possibly a touch of Botox in his forehead.
Dr. Nassif says, “Ralph Macchio does not appear to have had any plastic surgery. His look is natural, and he would not benefit from any procedures at this time.”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Ralph Macchio appears to use Botox on his forehead, but that’s about it for cosmetic enhancements.”
21-year old Lil’ Romeo is the youngest cast member and looks to be hitting the floor in shiny outfits, but not plastic surgery.
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Lil’ Romeo is so young and does not appear to have had any plastic surgery and does not appear to need any at this time.”
Dr. Nassif says, “Romeo Miller is very young, and has not had any surgery performed to his face. He would not benefit from any plastic surgery at this time.”
31-year old model Petra Nemcova is a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition model, making her a likely candidate for plastic surgery. Petra’s seemingly natural beauty could be hers, or it could be the result of a good nose job and lip augmentation as well as Botox. To hold up her skimpy dance costumes, Petra may have also had a breast augmentation as well.
Dr. Nassif says, “Petra Nemcova has a very natural look, and she does not appear to have had any plastic surgery performed to her face. She would not currently benefit from having any work.”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Petra Nemcova appears to have had a Rhinoplasty and possibly a breast augmentation. She likely maintains her model look with Botox to her face and possibly dermal fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm to her lips.”
22-year old Chelsea Kane is probably only familiar if you watch the Disney Channel’s Jonas LA. The rising star may get the occasional Botox injection or chemical peel to help her skin look young enough to be a school-age kid.
Dr. Nassif says, “Chelsea Kane is still very young, and does not appear to have had any plastic surgery performed. Her look is very natural, and she would not benefit from having any procedures performed to her face.”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Chelsea Kane does not appear to have had any cosmetic surgery, but it does look like she has had Botox and chemical peels giving her that beautifully smooth look to her face.”
34-year old Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward may not be the typical twinkle toes, and he doesn’t look like he’s had plastic surgery.
Dr. Nassif says, “Hines Ward has not had any surgery performed to his face. He has a natural look, and would not benefit from having any plastic surgery performed at this time. ”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Hines Ward does not appear to have had any cosmetic work done.”
25-year old former Girl Next Door Kendra Wilkinson has admitted to having a breast augmentation (See Make Me Heal’s story on Kendra Wilikinson’s plastic surgery), and she may have also had a nose job in the past as well. Like many in Hollywood, she may also get Botox injections and fillers like Restylane and Juvederm placed in her lips and cheeks.
Dr. Nassif says, “Kendra Wilkinson appears to have had a conservative rhinoplasty performed. Overall, any changes were subtle and her look is still natural.”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Kendra did have a breast augmentation and I believe she has also had a Rhinoplasty- Nose job. She also appears to have had Botox to her forehead and possibly fillers and chemical peels giving her face a smooth and youthful look.”
46-year old talk show host Wendy Williams and the self-proclaimed “queen of all media,” including hosting The Wendy Williams Show is open about her love of plastic surgery. Wendy has likely had a nose job, breast augmentation as well as facial fillers and Botox injections (See Make Me Heal’s story on Wendy Williams’ Plastic Surgery).
Dr. Nassif says, “Wendy Williams appears to have had Botox, facial fillers, a browlift, and a rhinoplasty. Her bridge is slightly narrower and her nostrils appear less wide than in earlier photos. She would not benefit from any additional work at this time. ”
Dr. Salzhauer says, “Wendy Williams has most likely had a breast enhancement. Her breasts are very large in comparison to her body frame.”
Makemeheal.com looks forward to seeing how Ralph Macchio works in his signature “crane kick” during his time on the dance floor when Dancing with the Stars returns to the small screen.
Read the complete celebrity plastic surgery profile of the Dancing with the Stars cast on Plasticopedia, the largest celebrity plastic surgery encyclopedia.
Tags: Abdominoplasty, botox, botox injections, breast augmentation, Breast Lift, Browlift, Chelsea Kane, chemical peels, Chris Jerico, cosmetic surgery, facelift, facial fillers, fillers, Hines Ward, juvederm, Kendra Wilkinson, Kirstie Alley, Lil Romeo, lip augmentation, Necklift, nose job, Petra Nemcova, plastic surgery, Psycho Mike, Ralph Macchio, restylane, rhinoplasty, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tummy Tuck, Wendy Williams
Although nipping, cutting, and implanting is supposed to make you look better, some celebrities take it a bit too far. It’s time once again to round up Makemeheal.com‘s annual list of the worst and most awful celebrity plastic surgery of the past year. As there are far more surgically enhanced misfortunes than the space of the article allots, we’re breaking up the list into two parts, so stay tuned for Worst Celebrity Plastic Surgery – Part 2 in a couple of days. Also, be sure to check out our story on the Best Celebrity Plastic Surgery of 2010.
Heidi Montag – Everything!
24-year old Heidi Montag underwent an astonishing 10 procedures in one day—and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. They include: nose job revision, chin reduction, mini brow lift, botox in forehead and frown area, fat injections in cheeks, nasolabial folds and lips, neck liposuction, ears pinned back, liposuction on waist, hips and inner and outer thighs, buttock augmentation and breast augmentation revision. Plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn says, “Too much has been said about her already, so we’ll keep it brief: too much, too young.” (See Make Me Heal’s story on Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery)
Octomom Nadya Suleman – Tummy Tuck
34-year old Nadya Suleman, better known as Octomom, has consistently denied plastic surgery, although she has the appearance of Angelina Jolie and the stomach of a woman with a tummy tuck. Plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn says, “Though she has denied it, her bellybutton looks like her surgeon either created it herself or inset it as a vertical slit – in my opinion, this is a telltale sign of a tummy tuck!” (See Make Me Heal’s story on Octomom’s plastic surgery)
Lindsay Lohan – Lip Fillers Galore
24-year old Lindsay Lohan has gotten in trouble with the law and seems to soothe away her problems with excessive lip augmentation. Plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn says, “Too much filler was used in her upper lip, causing it to be larger than her lower lip and violating the natural 1:1.5 ratio (the lower lip should be 1.5 times the width of the upper lip).” (See Make Me Heal’s story on Lindsay Lohan’s lip augmentation).
Sheyla Hershey — Breast Implants to The Max
30-year old Sheyla Hershey has goals: to have the biggest breast implants in the world. But when the supersized funbags gave her an infection that threatened her life, Sheyla decided to have them removed—for a while. On his blog, OcBody plastic surgeon Dr. John Di Saia reports “Really big comes with really big risk with breast implants.” (See Make Me Heal’s story on Sheyla Hershey’s Breast Implants).
Tom Cruise — Liposuction Gone Uneven
Apparently no one told Tom Cruise that botched liposuction is nothing to be proud of. Shirtless photos of the 48-year old actor on the set of MI-4 reveal a flat stomach, but with the ripples and lumps of liposuction. Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer says, “Tom Cruise is flaunting a very unevenly toned abdomen. It is very possible that he has had some liposuction to his abdomen in the past that has left him with this look.” (See Make Me Heal’s story on Tom Cruise’s plastic surgery)
Carrie Fisher — Facelift, Fillers
54-year old Carrie Fisher is looking less like Princess Leia and more like a characterization of the iconic screen character, thanks to too much plastic surgery, including a facelift and necklift as well as an over zealous eyelift. Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer says, “It does look like Carrie Fisher has had a face, neck and eyelid lift. Her neck and jaw line appear tighter and smoother. Her eye lids are more obvious and appear slightly over done.” (See Make Me Heal’s story on Carrie Fisher’s plastic surgery).
Read the complete plastic surgery profile of the following stars on Plasticopedia the largest celebrity plastic encyclopedia.
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Tags: Abdominoplasty, Blepharoplasty, botox, breast augmentation, breast implants, Browlift, facelift, fillers, lip augmentation, Liposuction, nose job, plastic surgery, rhinoplasty, Tummy Tuck
Hot moms are in these days. Okay, maybe hot moms have always been in. But with the popularity of terms like MILF and cougar (and television shows like The Real Housewives and Cougar Town), the pressure to look good post-baby is stronger than ever.
That’s why plastic surgery for new or seasoned mothers is a growing trend. But what exactly is a ‘mommy plastic surgery makeover’ and why is it any different from a normal cosmetic makeover?
The Mommy Makeover Trifecta
Pregnancy and childbirth are physically traumatic, there’s no denying it. Stretch marks, saggy skin, and weight gain really distort a woman’s hourglass figure. And that’s only the beginning of motherhood. Breast-feeding, habitual lack of sleep, and general stresses associated with becoming a new mom don’t exactly rejuvenate the feminine form.
So what can mothers do to make sure they’ve got MILF status? The quintessential ‘mommy makeover’ involves a trio of procedures: a breast lift and/or breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. These three surgeries are meant to tighten loose skin, reduce stretch marks, and eliminate leftover pregnancy fat.
Since new moms tend to be a teensy bit busy, it can be hard to find time for an intensive exercise routine, and the ‘mommy makeover’ offers a quicker (if not particularly cheap) solution to post-pregnancy body woes. But that’s not the only allure of the ‘mommy job.’ Even a few years after her baby is born, momma can have a hard time working her body back into shape. Stubborn fat deposits, unsightly stretch marks and drooping breasts just don’t disappear with a few Pilates sessions.
According to Dr. Daniel Yamini, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Los Angeles: “The trend for this type of work has steadily increased over the past 5 years. Why? One reason is that the tabloids consistently feature celebrity moms and their seemingly instant body bounce-backs. For example, Heidi Klum, who was back on the runway just 6 weeks after giving birth. Most women don’t have genes like Heidi’s, plus, access to a team of fitness and image experts. A ‘Mommy Makeover’is realistic option for women who have finished having children and want to restore the parts of their bodies that are stretched out, sagging or deflated. It’s a big boost in confidence in a matter of weeks.”
But is the mommy makeover a promising new response to age-old feminine resentment of the post-baby body, or is its popularity the result of a proliferation of the pop-culture stereotype of the hot mom?
Is the Mommy Makeover a Healthy Choice?
Plastic surgeons tout the mom job as a source of empowerment for women, saying that now, instead of hiding her sagging body under oversized tees and an ugly pair of mom jeans, a woman can actually do something to restore her body to its pre-pregnant glory.
However, detractors insist that the makeover promotes an unhealthy image of female perfection. No one disagrees that a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and childbirth, but who’s to say that those changes should be considered negative across the board? Some opponents of the mom job claim that the current model of female beauty (thin, perky, and with decidedly flat tummies) encourages women to dislike their motherly shape instead of embracing it as a new stage of womanhood.
The questions and concerns surrounding the mom plastic surgery job are, at the core, the basic questions surrounding plastic surgery itself. Should women (or men) be willing to allow their bodies to undergo the biological changes that nature intends, or should they opt to improve or maintain their appearance artificially?
For many women, the desire to look good again after pregnancy makes the answer to that question easy: Biology be damned, I want my body back! And that’s a fine answer, if it’s really what a woman wants. The real worry with the propagation of the mommy makeover is that women will begin to feel an increased societal pressure to undergo expensive postpartum surgery. Certainly, viewing the mom job as a way to fix the ‘disfiguration’ of pregnancy is not a healthy attitude. The changes that a woman undergoes are perfectly natural, and shouldn’t be considered unacceptable or even unattractive.
Some women’s bodies don’t even suffer that much from pregnancy. Celebs certainly seem to keep their million dollar figures through the childbirth process. And all women react differently to the nine or so month ordeal. Age and genetics are a huge factor in how a woman’s body ages, whether or not she decides to become a mother. So whether or not the mommy makeover is a good choice for a patient is really an individual matter that should be handled on a case by case instance. If a woman isn’t happy with her postpartum shape, there are options, and that’s important for women to know. It’s also important to realize that aging naturally is still acceptable, if that’s how a woman feels comfortable. The mommy makeover simply offers an alternative to the aging process, as does any cosmetic procedure.
Who Should get the Mommy Makeover?
A lot of people, according to recent statistics. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a rise in plastic surgery among women of child-bearing age (not all of whom are necessarily mothers). In 2009, over 325,000 mommy jobs were performed nationally on women ages 20 to 39.
What does that mean for you? Well, for one thing, if you feel dissatisfied with your postpartum body, you’re not alone. For another thing, if you have an extra $12,000 to $15,000 lying around or can get financing, the full trifecta of mommy procedures is totally within your reach.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have over ten grand readily available. The full mommy makeover doesn’t have to be completed in one fell swoop, nor do any of the procedures mandate any of the others. Women can choose to have a tummy tuck one year, and a breast lift later on. And some women may not even feel that their bodies necessarily need all of the ‘repairs’ that require all three treatments. In which case, perhaps only a little lipo would do the trick.
Like any plastic surgery, the mommy makeover shouldn’t be an excuse to slack on diet or exercise, and the procedures shouldn’t be considered a ‘quick fix.’ Even with liposuction, a tummy tuck, and a breast lift, a healthy diet and regular physical activity are necessary to maintain an attractive figure and to slow the effects of aging.
Dr. Yamini advises, “To avoid complications, I advise moms to wait at least six months after they’ve finished breast-feeding before considering any type of breast enhancement surgery. If a patient plans to have more children, I advise them to hold off on getting a Mommy Makeover. The vertical muscles in the abdomen can re-separate, which basically un-does the tightening we accomplished with the tummy tuck.”
As for the recovery period, Dr. Yamini states, “In general (and depending on which combination of procedures was done), patients typically go back to work 1-2 weeks after surgery, are driving in about one week, and are ‘swimsuit ready’ in 4-6 weeks.”
It’s hard for women to put themselves back together after a baby is born. Anyone who’s experienced motherhood knows that firsthand. Getting and staying skinny is hard enough before pregnancy, but afterwards it can seem impossible. Even years later, women complain that they’ve never been able to regain their hourglass shape. (Hence, some mothers of children in high school or older are also getting the mommy makeover!) So if the mommy makeover allows you, as a mother, the chance to release your inner MILF, good for you. And, if you don’t want to be called a cougar or have all of your son’s friends checking you out a la Desperate Housewives, that’s good too. The mommy makeover is just one new development in the world of cosmetics.
Tags: Abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, Breast Lift, cosmetic surgery, Liposuction, Mommy Makeover, plastic surgery, Tummy Tuck
By Lois W. Stern, Editor-at-Large MakeMeHeal.com
A 5% excise tax on plastic surgery included in the Senate’s health care reform bill? You must be kidding! Dubbed as Botax, the government’s rationale is an estimated $6 billion in additional revenue over the next decade generated through this proposed tax. Some legislators think this is a clever measure to help close the gap in our nearly trillion dollar budget deficit. But once the veils are all pulled aside, the Bo-tax bill appears to be just another desperate measure to avoid taking a hard look at some of our more blatant health care problems. Isn’t it time for our government to take some fiscally responsible steps toward fixing the mess we are in?
The Bo-tax bill is poised to tax cosmetic surgery procedures that are not necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma or a disfiguring disease. But there is a large gray area that the legislation does not specifically define. What about the woman left with weakened abdominal muscles after birthing her twins? Will her abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) fall under the category of a luxury procedure and be taxed accordingly? Consider the woman whose breasts are intact but asymmetrical in size, or droop so heavily that they need to be uplifted with a heavily wired bra. Should she be taxed for her breast lift, breast reduction or augmentation? Who ultimately decides whether a given procedure is cosmetic or essential? Necessity or luxury? I see a bureaucratic nightmare in the making. Don’t physicians face enough challenges in tending to their patients’ daily needs, supervising staff to modernize and computerize their records, filing bills and insurance claims? Do they really need to be turned into tax-collectors besides?
If we allow our government to adopt this tax, why should they stop at plastic surgery? Think of all the other non-essential services and procedures that could be taxed. With an additional 5% added to other non-essentials in our lives, perhaps our government could tax haircuts, therapeutic massages, yoga classes . . . and raise many times the estimated $6 billion over ten years.
We have heard cries of sex discrimination and given the fact that nearly 90% of elective cosmetic surgeries are performed on women, the female gender does appear to be getting the brunt of these proposed taxes. Why women are the major consumers of cosmetic surgeries is a topic for another day, but suffice it to say that the majority of cosmetic interventions have gone mainstream, performed on middle class women in the workplace or those striving to arrive there. In this incredibly tight job market, looking a few years younger, a bit wider-eyed and perkier can reap dividends. There is little doubt that this proposed tax clearly discriminates against women. But of larger concern is how it fosters a prejudice by undermining and trivializing women’s motivations for cosmetic surgery. The proposed Bo-tax has become a mockery, subtly reviving an atavistic attitude of cosmetic surgery as an idle pastime for women endowed with riches and frivolous focus. Yet according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), about 1/3 of cosmetic surgery is consumed by women making less than $30,000 a year and about 70% by those making less than $60,000 a year.
To be absolutely fair, the government should not stop here. Why not hear it for the boys as well and impose a 5% tax on Viagra, Cialis, and other erectile dysfunction drugs, hair restoration procedures, gym memberships.. Where does it stop? Why not impose a tax on dental procedures as tooth whitening and porcelain veneers? If our legislators set their minds to it, no doubt they can think of dozens more items to include in this proposed Health Care bill to erode our needs and well-being.
Without question our nation is facing severe fiscal challenges. Our Washington lawmakers have their backs firmly pressed against the proverbial wall. But if the Bo-Tax seems a foolish solution to our woes, where do we look for the needed income to support our broken health care system?
We have a persistent problem of illegal immigration with the presence of nearly 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. Without a doubt, many of these illegals are contributing to our society, paying their way and funding their own health care. But all too often their medical care is funded by Emergency Medicaid through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, signed by President Reagan in 1986. Additionally, this medical care, which is written off as bad debt or charity by local hospitals, has unfairly burdening our health care system. Make no mistake about it, each and every hard working USA citizen indirectly pays for those costs through extra hospital fees and insurance premiums.
Consider for a moment the New York Times article dated November 21, 2009: Hospital Falters as Refuge for Illegal Immigrants. Fifteen illegal Mexican immigrants turned to taxpayer supported Grady Hospital, an Atlanta based facility, for their dialysis treatments at a cost of $50,000 per year per patient. Grady lost $3.5 million on their dialysis clinic last year, a situation that clearly was becoming financially hopeless. In an effort to resolve their issues without turning their backs on these illegals, Grady recently entered into a signed agreement with MexCare to pay $18,000 for every patient relocated – ($6750 in travel expenses and escort fees, a $750 administrative fee, and payment for 30 dialysis treatments).
It is difficult to find a just balance between humanitarian care and fiscal responsibility once illegal immigrants are housed within our borders. But immigration reform is clearly needed as an issue of top priority in addressing our own broken health care system. The Bo-tax seems trivial, yes even ridiculous, by comparison!
Next on the list is the waste in our health care system. According to a white paper released on Oct. 26, 2009 from the financial research firm Thomson Reuters, the U.S. health care system wastes some $700 billion a year—one-third of all spending—on inefficient practices and outright fraud. By reining in wasteful spending, the report said, the potential exists to trim health care costs, which continue to take up increasing percentages of the gross domestic product. This firm identified six categories of waste, with unwarranted use topping the list at 40 percent. Unwarranted use included items such as direct patient care that had little to no value (i.e. ordering the prescription of costlier brand-name drugs when less costly generics would suffice, ordering diagnostic tests unwarranted for specific medical condition, etc.). Dangerous, fraudulent use made up the next-largest category of wasteful behavior at 19% (i.e. misbranding of prescription drugs by pharmaceutical companies and the intentional provision of unnecessary, and in some cases inappropriate, diagnostic services). Other sources of healthcare waste included administrative inefficiency (17 percent), provider inefficiency (12 percent), lack of care coordination (6 percent), and the continued growth of preventable conditions as obesity and smoking-related illnesses (6 percent). The real job of our government is to cut the waste and utilize the remainder more effectively and efficiently. Doesn’t the Bo-tax seem frivolous in comparison? The quick fix 5% Bo-tax revenues of an estimated $6 billion over the next 10 years is infinitesimal in comparison to the wastes reported in our broken healthcare system.
The dirtiest words around Washington, Pork Barrel politics, are also know by the euphenism, earmarks. Simply stated, Pork Barrel politics involves spending that is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes
Typically, “pork” involves funding government programs to spread out among all taxpayers funding or services whose benefits are concentrated in a particular area or amongst a particular segment of the population. Although the current administration and the leaders of both congressional parties had promised to cut back on pork funding, the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) tell a very different story in their annual Pig Book, which they refer to as it “the book Washington doesn’t want you to read.” This watchdog group has issued its book each year since 1991, with a list of member projects inserted in annual spending bills. The past year’s 10,160 projects – valued at $19.6 billion in the cost to taxpayers – represent a 14 percent increase over last year’s spending on “pork”. This despite the fact that the number of these pet projects went down 12.5 percent during the same period, and that Congress now requires members to identify their own earmarks, enabling taxpayers to see the name attached to each project. Of the 10,160 projects in this year’s Pig Book, CAGW identified 221 earmarks worth $7.8 billion that were funded in violation of Congress’s own transparency rules – far more than the projected $6 billion that could be gathered over the next10 years by the 5% Bo-tax bill.
Clearly our healthcare system is broken, but the 5% Bo-tax is hardly a reasonable remedy to fix it. Come on Washington, you can do better – much, much better. It’s time to discard your smoke and mirrors and tackle the serious issues that are undermining our current health care system. Take an objective look at the hard issues and underlying causes that have brought us to this precipice. Then work on some sensible solutions –solutions that fix what is wrong rather than imposing a new tax that makes little sense.
If you want to help stop the Cosmetic Tax Bill, take a moment to click here:
Lois W. Stern, Editor-At-Large at Makemeheal.com, is the published author of two books: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery www.sexliesandcosmeticsurgery.com and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock www.ticktockstoptheclock.com/ as well as a number of magazine articles. Her Professional Edition DVD is a popular aid to office staff while interacting with their patients. She and Patty Kovacs are the co-founders of http://coast2coastbeauty.com/CURRENT_NEWS.html. Check it out!
By Lois W. Stern, Editor-at-Large, Makemeheal.com
It seems to me that selecting a plastic surgery procedure today is somewhat like shopping for a box of Wheat Thins. Fifteen years ago I could walk down a supermarket aisle, reach for a box of my favorite crackers, toss it in my shopping cart and be off in two minutes flat. Today all that has changed. While shopping for Wheat Thins, I now am confronted by twenty-two different varieties. Do I reach for the low sodium, parmesan basil, French onion, or one of the nineteen other varieties? I study the box side panels to compare grams of sodium, saturated fat and calories. I evaluate each variety based on nutrition value but also personal preference. Ultimately I’m happy Nabisco gives me some interesting new flavor options, but I wonder if they aren’t making too big a deal of offering so many choices through some of those subtle variations. After all, how different can the taste of Cream Cheese & Chive and Parmesan Basil really be?
It seems to me that selecting the right plastic surgery procedure today is a bit like shopping for a box of Wheat Thins. Years ago, we had our choice of the Original product, Low Sodium or Reduced Fat. Similarly, a generation or two ago, aesthetic plastic surgery consisted of a very short list of options: facelift (rhytidectomy), eyelid lift (blepharoplasty or eyelidplasty), and browlift (aka forehead lift), along with the occasional chemical peel or dermabrasion.
Dr. Lawrence Bass, a plastic surgeon with an active NY private practice, Director of Minimally Invasive Plastic Surgery at NYU School of Medicine and active member of the ASAPS, explains further.
“Surgeons used a number of variations on these basic procedures in their individual practices and then adjusted for the specific needs of their patient, but these variations were technical surgical details rarely shared with the patients. When choices were so limited, it was rather easy for patients to focus on which procedure they wanted. The patient of the 1970’s and 1980’s who experienced facial droopiness or extra skin in the cheek, neck or jowl area, came to the surgeon seeking a facelift (rhytidectomy). Similarly, those with puffiness or extra eyelid skin, requested an eyelid lift (eyelidplasty), and those with a sleepy, wrinkled forehead sought a browlift.,” explains Dr. Bass. “These were about the only facial rejuvenation techniques routinely available from a plastic surgeon, with an occasional cheek or chin implant to help enhance the overall aesthetic effect?
Today all that has changed. In the past two decades we have seen an unprecedented level of innovative surgical advances and refinement of surgical techniques.
“One manifestation of these advances has been a simplification of procedures, resulting in a marked decrease in surgical trauma and considerable reduction of total recovery time. Procedures were simplified to a minimum of required steps, including shorter, better-concealed incisions. Endoscopic procedures were introduced, using miniaturized instruments and a video camera attached to a long thin surgical telescope, allowing incisions for some procedures to be reduced in size or nearly eliminated.”
A different type of miniaturization arrived in the form of the mini-facelift. As surgeons began to recognize that not everyone needed a total facelift, the mini-facelift emerged as the popular “new kid on the block”.
“Some women had not aged sufficiently to suggest the need for a full facelift, while others, who had previously undergone a cosmetic procedure, wanted only a touch-up rather than a complete overhaul, To grasp the essence of the mini-facelift technique, understand that it is identical to the full facelift but is merely confined to a more limited region of the face and typically consists of an upper or lower half of the classic facelift. For example, if the cheek is droopy, an upper mini can be performed. If the jowl or neck area is droopy, a lower mini (sometimes referred to as a necklift) can be performed. With possible minor modifications, the procedure is performed similarly to the classic facelift and provides comparable results in terms of degree and durability, while posing fewer risks, less scarring, reduced costs and more rapid recovery time. “
Not simply a technical advance, Dr. Bass explains that the mini-facelift represents a philosophical recognition by surgeons and patients alike that sometimes the best result can be obtained by addressing specific features rather than remaking the entire face. Broad media exposure has further increased public awareness of these technical innovations, resulting in a substantial growth in the overall number of such procedures being performed
In contrast to the mini-facelift, the endoscopic facelift is one which takes a fundamentally different approach than the full or classic facelift:
“Although the endoscopic procedure uses incisions which are significantly shorter and better hidden than those in the classic facelift (resulting in a reduction in the length of visible scars), the release and lift performed internally and the type of fixation for the lifted facial structures are not the same as in the full or classic facelift. The plane or level under the skin in which structures are released is different and the direction of redraping may differ as well.”
Dr. Bass cautions that while a lot of data exists about results with classic procedures even when they are trimmed down to a smaller area, much less is known about results with novel procedures designed to minimize surgery by implementing a totally different method.
The consumer of today is being offered a dizzying array of aesthetic enhancement choices – so many that it can be positively confounding. Which ones are subtle changes from well-established practices? Which ones are breakthroughs that are likely to revolutionize the future of cosmetic surgery? Which ones have simply been renamed and touted as new to attract the attention of the gullible or uninformed? It takes real effort to sort through all the options, to separate those offering decided improvements to past practices from those that represent sound bites of advertorial hype.
Although shopping for Wheat Thins might present us with some thoughtful decision- making options, selecting the right cosmetic surgery procedures is fraught with daunting challenges. Don’t make the mistake of taking a go-it-alone approach. You need the advice of a skilled and ethical surgeon. Think in terms of a partnership between doctor and patient, but know that in order to partner successfully, you need to become an educated consumer. Get solid information from respected resources like www.makemeheal.com to help you communicate intelligently. Then listen with an open mind to the professional recommendations you are offered and engage in honest dialogue. Forget promotional ads and TV hype. More is at stake now than just shopping for crackers!
Look for Dr. Bass’s chapter, Less is More – Until It Stops Working in my about-to-be-published book, Tick Tock, Stop the Clock – Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour.
Lois W. Stern, Editor-At-Large at Makemeheal.com, is a beauty expert and author of Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and Tick Tock Stop the Clock. Lois is also co-founder of Coast to Coast ~ Eye on Beauty.
Tags: Abdominoplasty, Blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, Browlift, Eyelid Surgery, face lift, Liposuction, Lois Stern, Plastic Surgery, Tummy Tuck
See Laura’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
47 year old Laura (membername: laurap931) felt burdened by her large stomach. She wanted to raise her self-confidence by better fitting into clothes that didn’t have to camouflage her stomach. With the help of her loving husband and family, Laura starting researching tummy tucks on Make Me Heal‘s plastic surgery message boards and learning from the knowledgeable members. Laura entrusted her plastic surgeon and is thrilled with her Tummy Tuck results. Laura has also had a breast augmentation to transform her 38B breasts into 36Ds. She also had liposuction to her abdomen, flanks, and back to transform herself into her new slim self. Now, Laura wears a size 4-6 and feels beautiful everyday.
Laura’s advice for anyone contemplating plastic surgery is:
“If you think you want to have a tummy tuck etc., research every doctor you can. Talk to other patients, join makemeheal.com, talk to your family, but most of all follow your heart. If it is something you really want to do, you will find a way to make it happen. I also recommend checking with your state medical licensing board to verify your doctor’s credentials and active license(s). You can also find out if they’ve ever been sued for malpractice. Much of this is public information and it gave me peace of mind knowing my doctor met the highest standards of care.”
Please join us for an interview with Laura:
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
Laura: I had been thinking about getting rid of my tummy for years, especially after the birth of my two daughters. My stomach was not in the best shape before pregnancy so each one made it worse. As I aged, the stomach and breasts headed south. Despite weight loss, I could never get my skin to bounce back nicely. Plus I had stubborn fat deposits that settled into my abdomen. I keep most of my weight in my mid section.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure?
Laura: Physically, I wanted to be able to bend over without a large stomach in the way. Also, I thought it would help alleviate the strain on my lower back. Emotionally, I have noticed an improvement in my level of confidence. I did this for me and me alone. Also, I wanted to feel better in my clothes and to be able to buy clothes that didn’t have to camouflage my large stomach.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Laura: It was very hard to make this decision. It was a huge financial investment for me. Also, I think as women we want everyone else’s needs met before our own so I had to work through some guilt in spending this kind of money on myself. Fortunately, I have a wonderful supportive husband and family. They knew it was something I wanted and were with me all the way.
Make Me Heal: Did your family, friends, and any other people in your close circle give you support, opposition, or did you make this decision without considering them?
Laura: I was very lucky in that most everyone was very supportive. If they were not, they kept it to themselves.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Laura: I joined makemeheal.com a year before my surgery and lurked for awhile. I learned so much for other people’s experiences. It is so informative to be able to talk to other women and men who have been there, done that.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources such as the message boards, pictures library, doctor directory and doctor reviews, and any recovery and preparation products that you used.
Laura: I am addicted to the message boards especially the Tummy Tuck board. I have had such a positive experience. I’ve always said this is the best group of friends that I’ll probably never meet. I ordered and loved the Design Veronique compression bra set. They provided me with the best support after surgery.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Laura: I consulted with two other doctors before choosing the one that I did. His credentials are impeccable; he has a pleasant bedside manner, we communicate well and I felt he really understood what I was trying to achieve. Lastly, his office is close to my home so surgery and subsequent office visits are convenient.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor?
Laura: Honestly, I never questioned his technique, placement etc. so I did not play a role in deciding what technique would be used or what type of implant would be used.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Laura: I bought some comfy sweats, lots of magazines, filled my prescriptions and prepared to recover. My husband took off the first week following surgery. It was a huge help. I will say that I also had an abdominal hysterectomy several years ago and that recovery was harder the tummy tuck, lipo, breast lift and implant surgery combined.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Laura: I was very frightened but resolved to not let fear stop me. I knew deep down I’d be ok, that I was in good hands and that I needed to follow through with this. The biggest regrets of my life have been not doing the things that I was too afraid to do. I did not want to regret NOT having this done. The forums on Make Me Heal were my lifeline. When I was feeling scared or nervous, I’d make a post about it and so many wonderful women would reply. It made me feel cared about and made me feel like I wasn’t alone in how I felt. I had surgery buddies … women who had surgery same day as me. On the morning of my surgery, I envisioned them headed to surgery and how they must be feeling. It helped calm my nerves for some reason.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?
Laura: My recovery was unremarkable. The lipo to my love handles was the hardest to recover from. I had this internal itching that I was not expecting. Breast pain was very minimal and th e tummy tuck was a piece of cake. I wont lie the first few days are hard getting around because you are sore and you are hunched over but you have to get up and walk around as much as possible. This really enabled me to recover quickly.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Laura: I took pain pills for two weeks.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Laura: Follow your doctor’s orders. Dont lose any paperwork the staff gives you. Also ask about his/her revision policy and get it in writing.
Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work? What did you tell your co-workers about taking this time off? Did anyone notice your cosmetic procedures at work and what did you tell them if they asked about it?
Laura: I was off work for 2 weeks. The first few days back were a little tiring but nothing unbearable. A handful of people knew about my surger y. Two of my buddies met me at my desk on the day I returned and told me I looked different and how much my figure had changed. It was so nice to hear that on my first day back.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Laura: Thrilled! When I went in for my first post op appointment, I started to cry a little to myself. It was that emotional. I had never seen myself with a flat stomach. I am so glad I had this experience. I am thrilled. I have one minor issue with my left hip (I feel as though there is more skin there than on the right side) but my ps does not address revisions until nearly a year post op so I have to wait awhile.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Laura: I am a much happier person. Not because of appearances, but because I feel more comfortable with my body now. It has meant the world to me to have this done.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Laura: Yes, I would have had this done ten years ago.
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?
Laura: If you think you want to have a tummy tuck etc., research every doctor you can. Talk to other patients, join makemeheal.com, talk to your family, but most of all follow your heart. If it is something you really want to do, you will find a way to make it happen. I also recommend checking with your state medical licensing board to verify your doctor’s credentials and active license(s). You can also find out if they’ve ever been sued for malpractice. Much of this is public information and it gave me peace of mind knowing my doctor met the highest standards of care.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Laura: Make Me Heal is the reason I was able to go through with my procedures. Honestly, it was so valuable in terms of information and support. I don’t know if I would have had such a positive experience if it were not for the many lovely people on t he message boards. My hats off to them. Now that I am on “the other side” I like being the one offering up the advice of a veteran.
See Laura’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
Tags: Abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, breast implants, cosmetic surgery, Liposuction, plastic surgery, Tummy Tuck