Posts tagged with "surgery"

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Women Surgeons Earn NIH Funding

Women are underrepresented in the field of academic surgery, but women surgeons are earning a disproportionate share of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, a new study has found.

Women make up 19% of surgery faculty at academic health systems but held 26.4% of prestigious “R01” grants in place at surgery departments as of October 2018, the researchers found.

“Female surgeon-scientists are underrepresented within academic surgery, but hold a greater than anticipated proportion of NIH funding,” said researcher Shayna L. Showalter, MD, a breast surgical oncologist at UVA Health and the UVA Cancer Center. “This means that female surgeon-scientists are a crucial component of future surgical research.”

Women in Surgery

Showalter and colleagues queried the number of grants from surgery departments throughout the country to determine the percentage of R01 grants held by women. They identified 212 grants held by 159 principal investigators. Of those 159 investigators, 42 were women, holding a total of 49 R01 grants. “Female surgeon scientists are doing impressive work and have been able to succeed in a very competitive research environment,” Showalter said.

Diving deeper, the researchers determined that women were more likely than men to be first-time grant recipients. More than 73% of women were first-time recipients, compared with 54.8% of men. “Within the research community, we are potentially moving away from the tradition of awarding funding to longstanding, proven researchers,” Showalter said. “Females in this study were twice as likely to be first-time grant recipients. I hope that the focus continues to be on awarding funding to a diverse group of surgeon-scientists.”

Women who held R01 grants were more likely to be part of a department with a female chair or that is more than 30 percent female, the researchers determined. They also found that women had fewer research articles published in scientific journals than did their male colleagues. “This finding may be related to the number of first-time grants and is consistent with previous studies that have demonstrated that women in academic surgery have fewer publication in general than men,” Showalter said.

The researchers encouraged surgery departments to nurture and promote female faculty, and to advocate for women in leadership positions. Strong mentorship programs are important, Showalter said.

“Currently, there are a number of accomplished female surgeon-scientists, and I am confident that many more will play crucial roles in the future of surgical research,” she said. “As a community within academia, we need to support and promote a diverse faculty.”

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The research team consisted of Elizabeth D. Krebs, Adishesh K. Narahari, Ian O. Cook-Armstrong, Anirudha S. Chandrabhatla, J. Hunter Mehaffey, Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr. and Showalter.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog here.

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5 Myths About Varicose Veins and Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them

In case you have been diagnosed with varicose veins, it could be troublesome to distinguish facts and fiction about the condition. Most victims tend to feel that the entire society has an opinion and possible solutions for the situation. Let’s look at a few misconceptions about varicose veins and the reasons why we should not trust them. 

Women are the Only People Affected by Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are prevalent among women, although men can also get affected by the medical condition. Some studies have revealed that both genders are equally affected by the disease. Based on a survey conducted by the American Society for Vascular Surgery, an excess of 15 million Americans are affected by the disease. Varicose veins run in the family; therefore, family history is a significant determinant in the development of varicosities and not gender. It is, however, unfortunate that a majority of men and women go untreated. 

Surgery is Vital for the Removal of Varicose Veins

Back in the day, varicose veins symptoms were managed through weight reduction, leg elevation, dietary salt reduction, daily exercises, and using the compression hose. However, with the advancement in technology and the advancement of the disease, modern treatment involves the control of venous pressure by removing the affected veins. According to the experts at MyVivaa, the procedure could be performed in an outpatient facility using anesthesia. The surgical process could be a stringent procedure; therefore, it would be advisable for anyone seeking a procedure to pick a facility that doesn’t have financial, race, religion, or national origin bias. After a procedure, the patient can return to their routine life.

Besides, the other misconception running in society is that surgery is the only solution for varicose veins. Well, in case one of your relatives suffered from the disease and underwent surgery, probably that was the right treatment for them.

Currently, there are minimally invasive treatment options available for varicose veins patients. Surgery remains to be one of the treatment options, but there are other suitable options that you should enquire from your doctor. Micro phlebectomy is one of the procedures that involve making several incisions on the skin to remove the veins. Sclerotherapy is another solution for the superficial veins, and it consists of mixing a scarring agent with air, then it is injected in the affected veins.

The Condition is Only Cosmetic

There is a cosmetic aspect in varicose veins and most of the time; it can be viewed on the affected person’s legs, making it uncomfortable for them to wear skirts or shorts. Spider veins are a common phenomenon among varicose veins victims, and it is considered to be the smaller version of the condition and that it is purely cosmetic. Varicose veins could have a significant impact on how much you enjoy life and your health status. The condition could cause intense bleeding whenever a victim is injured, increase the chances of a blood clot, cause changes in skin color, or make the skin thicker, cause swellings or cause pain and discomfort.

Varicose Veins Have no Treatment

Lack of treatment is a great myth meant to demoralize varicose veins victims. The fact is that numerous treatment options include slightly invasive non-surgical options and revising someone’s eating habits.

There are other innumerable activities that you could indulge starting now to reduce the varicose veins symptoms such as regular physical activities that would result in muscular movement, thus improving blood flow. In case you are overweight, consider losing some weight that will significantly benefit your legs and your overall health. Besides, try elevating your legs to your heart level four times a day for at least 30 minutes that will reduce pressure on the veins.

Women Should Wait till They are Done with Having Children to Seek Treatment

This is not correct! Even for those women who are in their family planning stage, they can also seek treatment during pregnancy. But it’s also important to discuss with your physician to ensure prescribed drugs are not dangerous to your present or future pregnancy. Some of these drugs can also be excreted via breast milk. 

Having debunked these varicose veins myths, you stand a better chance of dealing with the superficial veins at an early stage, given the numerous treatment options available in your local hospital. In case you suspect that you have varicose veins but haven’t spoken to your physician or you thought that some of these myths applied, its high time you made an appointment. For those who have been diagnosed with the condition and experience pain and they are interested in better means to relieve the pain, ensure you make an appointment with an interventional radiologist who will offer you great solutions for your problem.

hbo sports, 360 MAGAZINE, BRYANT GUMBEL

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL

returns TUESDAY, NOV. 26 at a special time (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) exclusively on HBO

Excerpts from the Real Sports segment “Sidelined” HERE.

Emily Gervais of Weymouth Mass., is part of a trend -– kids pushing themselves harder and harder in the hyper competitive world of youth sports – picking a single sport at a very young age – then playing it hours a day, virtually every day of the year – until their body simply gives out. 

Dr. Min Kocher at Boston Children’s hospital had seen so many kids just like Emily Gervais (a teenage soccer player now retired after twice tearing the ACL) that he wanted to find out if the same thing was happening in the rest of the country.

So he gathered data from hospitals all over the US … and what he found was remarkable. The number of ACL reconstruction on children and adolescents had spiked nearly five times in just a decade. 

It’s all part of a trend Real Sports has been reporting on for the last three years … the professionalization of youth sports … a $19 billion dollar industry … fueled by kids and their parents pursuing athletic achievement at seemingly any cost.

Less well known are the physical costs as young people determined to keep up with the competition are picking a single sport at a very young age then playing it several hours a day, virtually every day of the year.  Until their body simply gives out.

Dr. Nirav Pandya is a surgeon at the University of California/San Francisco. He says that the number of surgeries he does on child athletes has doubled in just the last five years… but he doesn’t sound happy about all the extra business.

The question is: What will it take to change an American youth sports system that produces so many sad outcomes – major injuries that impact and sideline so many young athletes?

Dr. Neeru Jayanthi at Emory University in Atlanta  says that it’s time for parents and sports administrators to act.  That this is a public health crisis.  And that he’s got the numbers to prove it.

DR. NEERU JAYANTHI: “We have data that’s quite clear that you’re more than twice as likely not only to just get injured, but to get a serious overuse injury if you specialize in sports.”

HBO’s JON FRANKEL: “That seems to be a pretty clear and easy data point to explain to somebody. That if you let your kid specialize in one sport and play season after season, you’re more than twice as likely to get an overuse injury.”

DR. NEERU JAYANTHI : “Yes. Why do we wear seatbelts? Why do we stop smoking? We have data. We now have data on this.”

Dr. Jayanthi presented his research this month at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, stating that the sad truth is that elite-level youth sports is not something that improves your health today.

*Youth Sports Injuries. The professionalization of youth sports pushes more kids than ever before to train year-round in a single sport. And with that pressure has ignited an epidemic across the country – a spike in overuse injuries and orthopedic surgeries performed on children as young as eight. Correspondent Jon Frankel reports on the uptick, such as ACL tears and stress fractures, and how they are hampering children’s future health at an early age.

Producer: Nick Dolin.

Back and Better, 360 MAGAZINE, Ross F. Hoffman

CALIFORNIA AUTHOR WRITES FIRST BOOK OF SIMPLE RECOVERY EXERCISES DESIGNED TO BE PERFORMED IN BED

Available now is Back And Better, a one-of-a-kind guide to 37 easy exercises designed to help the bedridden, as well as other people seeking better muscle tone, improved strength, flexibility and more restful sleep.

Written by California author and life-long athlete Ross F. Hoffman (former UCLA baseball star), the author developed these exercises for himself to perform in bed to speed his recovery after two separate accidents requiring surgery. Ross said his doctors were amazed at his rapid progress after both surgeries.

“I decided to take a completely different direction to be more proactive in my own recovery,” Ross said. “Now I’m sharing these quick fix exercises I developed that helped me get better.”

Back And Better was the number one trending category bestseller on Kindle upon its launch.

Among the compelling testimonials on the website BackNBetter.com is this statement from a training professional: “Ross’ book gives anyone the tools to retain their strength and return to an active life after being bedridden in the shortest possible time,” said Dale Collins, Master of Science, Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Exercise Physiologist.

Ross said: “In addition to the bedridden, these exercises helped me recover from injury, reduce my pain, improve sleep and get stronger. This book illustrates an easy and effective exercise program that helped me recover faster and more completely than the doctor or physical therapist ever expected.”

Sample content can be viewed at BackNBetter.com, where you can buy the book directly from the author or through a link to Amazon.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Here’s How You Could Restore Your Hairline Without Surgery

Of all the types of hair transplant available today, follicular unit extraction, or “FUE,” is the most popular. Much of FUE’s popularity comes from the fact it promises quality results with minimally invasive surgery. This makes it a great alternative to its predecessor, follicular unit transplantation (FUT). FUT is still available, but requires extensive surgery. Those who don’t want the pain and long recovery time associated with FUT generally opt for the minimally invasive FUE. Of course, if you would rather avoid going the surgical route altogether, there is an alternative to both FUT and FUE. That alternative is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. We’ll be discussing PRP therapy in this article to help you decide if it’s the best type of hair transplant for you.

What Is PRP Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has applications far beyond the realm of hair restoration. It is often used as a means of combating joint pain and sports injuries without surgery. By flooding an affected area with concentrated platelets, tissue damage may be repaired, inflammation may be reduced, and yes, hair follicles may be stimulated.

How Does It Work?

The PRP therapy process begins with the extraction of blood from the patient. This blood is then separated into three parts, namely red blood cells, platelet-poor plasma, and platelet-rich plasma. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma can contain as much as ten times more platelets than regular blood. Once it has been treated, the blood is injected into the part of the patient’s body which requires attention. In the case of hair loss, the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the patient’s scalp. This may sound a little unpleasant, but it is really quite painless.

How Much Does It Cost?

As well as being a non-surgical alternative to FUE and FUT, PRP therapy boasts the advantage of being one of the most affordable types of hair transplant available. PRP therapy costs begin at about $500 per session in the United States. They can reach as high as $2000 per session, which is still significantly less than FUE treatment in the USA. If you were to travel to Turkey for your hair transplant, as an increasing number of follicly-challenged Americans do, you would be able to secure PRP therapy for even less than it costs in the United States.

But Does It Really Work?

While there are some people who swear by PRP therapy, there is ongoing debate as to its effectiveness, especially when it comes to tackling hair loss. According to this article, there is no clear evidence that PRP therapy can reverse the effects of hair loss. For this reason, you may want to consider resigning yourself to surgery and going with FUE or FUT treatment instead. If the high price of such procedures is a primary factor in your decision to pursue PRP therapy instead, we encourage you to explore the option of traveling to Turkey for your hair transplant. As mentioned above, Turkish hair restoration clinics offer PRP therapy for a fraction of the cost of their Western counterparts. These low prices extend to other methods of hair restoration, including FUE and FUT. In fact, a medical tourist in Turkey can expect to pay up to 50% less than they would have had they undergone FUE in their home country.

Face Transplant Surgery: A New Case Study

A new case study out of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Developmentfinds that face transplant surgery in patients who have experienced severe facial trauma can improve speech production.

Face transplantation is one of the most extensive facial reconstructive procedures available. The procedure involves the partial or total replacement of nerves, muscles and skeletal structures of the face, head, and neck using donor tissues. With only 41 facial transplant procedures performed worldwide to date, this case study adds to the very limited literature documenting speech production outcomes post-facial transplant. The surgery – which was the first in New York State – was performed by experts at NYU Langone Health’s Face Transplant Program, led by Eduardo Rodriguez, MD, DDS, the Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery.

“Our findings provide a window into the complex recovery process following major facial reconstruction and serve as an important foundation from which we can begin to understand how facial transplant can improve speech production preoperatively to postoperatively,” said Maria I. Grigos, the study’s lead author and associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt. “Among the many remarkable patterns observed, we found that the patient displayed more flexible control of facial movement as he adapted to the transplanted structures.”

Research Method

Using optical tracking, a form of motion tracking technology, Grigos and her team were able to examine first-hand how the facial transplant procedure alters movement of the face and contributes to improved speech production. Researchers compared data from the case study patient – a male victim who suffered third- and fourth-degree burns and major soft tissue loss in a fire – against four adult males who had not experienced severe facial trauma.

The patient’s speech production and facial movements were examined once before the procedure and four times in the 13 months following the procedure. Movements of the patient’s lips and jaw, as well as the intelligibility of his speech, were compared pre- to post-tranplant and then tracked across the recovery period.

“The remarkable changes that we captured in this patient reflect the multiple processes involved in the reintegration of neuromuscular control and in the learning of new strategies over the recovery period. Such adaptability is a positive indicator that treatment to improve speech production can be effective post–facial transplant surgery,” continued Grigos.

In addition to Grigos, the study’s co-authors include Eduardo D. Rodriguez, Étoile LeBlanc, J. Rodrigo Diaz-Siso and Natalie Plana of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, as well as Christina Hagedorn of the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

NYU and its affiliated medical center, NYU Langone Health, continue to be pioneers in face transplant surgery and research.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School’s mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

Dallas Stars Acquire Jamie Oleksiak From Penguins

By Reid Urban

The Dallas Stars have decided to bring back a familiar name.

The Stars have reacquired Jamie Oleksiak from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick. This news also comes with the latest announcement from the Stars that Marc Methot will undergo season-ending left knee surgery, so Oleksiak is likely to take Methot’s place in the lineup

What’s interesting about this trade is that the fourth-round pick Dallas is sending back was the same one that Pittsburgh sent to Dallas to acquire Oleksiak last season.

It seems certain that Oleksiak will be in the lineup for the Stars on Wednesday when they play the Buffalo Sabres.

END MEDICAL DEBT

RIP Medical Debt (RIPmedicaldebt.org) first gained public attention in 2016 when John Oliver on HBO made television history by announcing forgiveness of $15 million in medical debt by RIP. This news event blossomed into a tremendous outpouring of support for the charity. In the May 2018 issue of Town and Country magazine, RIP Medical Debt was listed as #38 among the top philanthropists in America. RIP Medical Debt most recently announced a single campaign abolishing a quarter-billion dollars ($250 million) of medical debt in all 50 states, including $50 million for abolishing veterans’ medical debt. Overall, by the end of 2018, RIP will have forgiven more than a half-billion dollars of unpayable medical debt since the charity was founded four years ago.

END MEDICAL DEBT by the founders of the charity, RIP Medial Debt, is the first book exposing the widely overlooked reality that Americans struggle with $1 trillion in unpayable medical debt. We hear a lot of talk about healthcare gaps and medical costs, but the media have largely been ignoring how medical debt imposes a devastating burden on people’s lives!

End Medical Debt’ confronts an important, sad truth: no one asks to be sick. It’s hard enough being poor; it’s hard enough being sick. But being poor and sick becomes a death sentence for some, and a life sentence to indentured servitude for others.

The authors — Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff, and Craig Antico — are debt industry insiders who lay bare the inner workings of our healthcare system, how it produces medical bills that people cannot ever pay, including insured middle-class people who think they are covered. Voicing decades of experience in debt collections, debt buying and healthcare management, the authors offer pragmatic yet differing views on such solutions as cost controls, insurance reform and “Medicare-for all.” All three agree on the interim solution of buying and forgiving medical debt.

On Veterans Day, RIP announced the forgiveness of $50 million in unpaid and unpayable medical debt as a part of a major donation by a single donor couple. We compute that this amount of medical debt for veterans will impact close to 29,000 individuals and families.

It may be hard to believe, but veteran medical debt really exists. It is almost a common understanding that medical costs for our armed forces and their families, both during and after enlistment, are paid by the government in return for their service to our country.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. One visit to the emergency room or treatment for a serious illness outside (and even inside) the VA can devastate a vet’s savings and credit ratings.

How To Care For Your Loved One After A Big Surgery

Fighting cancer is a huge challenge. From radiation to chemotherapy, to target therapy, stem cell transplants – there are many different ways to fight it. Trying to target the cancer this way, however, will never be quite as effective as removing it from its source. Surgery does not always mean amputations, either. You can get cryosurgery in order to freeze and kill the cancer with liquid nitrogen. Or you can kill it with lasers, or even hyperthermia. Most people who have cancer opt for surgery, because if successful it can completely or at least partially remove or kill off the cancer cells, thus stopping, halting, or slowing down their cancer’s growth.

That does not make it easy, however, to recover. In some cases, patients might not be able to move at home by themselves with comfort or ease. That is why you, as their loved one, need to follow this guide on how to care for them after their big surgery:

Prepare for them to be Bed-Ridden

Depending on the surgery, they might need plenty of rest time to heal correctly. If they are completely bed-ridden, then you need to prepare adequately. Though it can be absolutely beneficial for your loved one to heal at home, rather than in a hospital, it means you need to prepare. Aside from specific medical equipment prescribed by your doctor, you will also need a stockpile of items like dry-touch adult diapers with tabs for nighttime, and in case you need to leave the house, sponge-bath equipment, as well as items like a bed tray to make their recovery easier and more comfortable. Even if they are only bed-ridden for a few days, these items can ease the time and make it more comfortable for them.

Make Healthy, Nutrient-Rich Meals

Healthy eating is a key part to healthy living, and that is especially true when you are battling cancer. This is more so true when you are healing after surgery. The only thing to remember is that you cannot give your body “extra doses” of vitamins, because that is not how it works. Instead, focus on providing your loved one a healthy and balanced diet as per the doctor’s instructions. The body needs to be at its best to heal as quickly as possible, and getting those nutrients it needs from food is a great way to go.

Hire an At-Home Nurse

If the at-home care is a bit beyond simply redressing the wound and cleaning them if they are completely bed-ridden, then it could be wise to hire an at-home nurse or getting the training yourself. It will depend, of course, on what your options are based on your health insurance and state. You could even be paid to care for your loved one, depending on your circumstances.

Having cancer is a terrifying battle, for both the patient and their family. Going through surgery can either remove it entirely or significantly reduce the size of it, thus improving their chances. It is your love and compassion, however, that will really help them, because no medicine will compare to the company of a loved one.

Cosmetic Surgery

In 2009, then Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Donda West Plastic Surgery Law, requiring health checks be conducted prior to all major plastic surgery procedures in the state. This was following the death of rapper Kanye West’s mother. It was later determined that her heart attack was spawned by a combination of numerous postoperative complications and pre-existing coronary artery disease. Today, women especially peruse Instagram and covet a perfect pout, perky derriere and firm breasts seen on Insta models. Just because you may desire cosmetic surgery does not mean you are physically or mentally fit for it NOW. Dr. Stanley Poulos is a board certified San Francisco area plastic surgeon who takes steps to ensure the health and safety of his patients during surgery and post- operatively. Here are some indicators Dr. Poulos looks for to assess patients for surgery.

Dr. Poulos stresses that it is essential for a surgeon to take a good medical history and exam of the patient. Current and past illnesses, especially cardiac or pulmonary problems, surgeries, and medications should all be discussed. Lab tests may be required on a case by case basis depending on patient history and planned procedures.

Urinalysis

When it comes to preparation for a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure, a urinalysis can inform the doctor if you have certain types of infections, like a urinary tract (UTI), bladder, or kidney infection. Urine tests are also effective in detecting high blood pressure and diabetes.

Blood Count Test

Also known as a complete blood count (CBC), this blood test literally counts your blood. It takes note of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This tells physicians if you’re anemic (red blood cell deficiency) or have a blood clotting disorder like hemophilia. CBC tests also detect infectious bloodborne diseases like HIV or hepatitis.

Heart function

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

Essentially, the ECG is a medical test that tells if your heart is in good condition through detecting any heart abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity of the heart when it contracts. Cosmetic surgery basically causes tremendous stress on the body, with the heart being one of the most important organs when it comes to stress response. That is why it is crucial for the doctor to assess whether your heart can endure the trauma during the operation.

Chest X-Ray

The Chest X-Ray is also one of the tests that may be required for your procedure. This is usually carried out to check the condition of your lungs and see whether you have breathing difficulties when you are put in anesthesia. This test is especially requested if you are a smoker or have a history of smoking. Signs of pneumonia or any breathing disorder may result to the postponement or cancellation of your surgery.

Smoking Use and History

Mixing nicotine with plastic surgery can result in problems:

Loss of cheek skin, nipples or tummy skin after a facelift, breast lift, breast reduction, or tummy tuck surgery

  • Infections
  • Death of fat cells (fat necrosis), causing hard lumps
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Thick, wide scars
  • Blood clots, which can be fatal
  • Increased pain
  • Permanent small vessel damage adding risk even if you quit
  • Loss of breast implants
  • Life-threatening complications like stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and pneumonia.

Mammogram

The mammogram is typically required for women who want to get breast augmentation or breast lift done. This is to help detect signs of breast cancer.

Psychological Screening

Although there is no formal psych test to assess a patient’s readiness and motives for cosmetic surgery, Dr. Poulos takes time with his patients to learn their reasons for desiring cosmetic change. Immediate red flags include, having surgery to try to keep a wayward spouse, an exaggerated concern over a minor problem, someone who seems addicted to cosmetic surgery, or a patient with body dysmorphic disorder. This syndrome is most appropriately treated by psychological treatment not surgical intervention.

Alcohol Habits

It is important not to drink alcohol before undergoing plastic surgery – or any type of surgery for that matter – as it can cause unforeseen complications and seriously impact final results and the way you heal. Alcohol, especially when consumed to excess, can dry out your skin, which can then result in cracks appearing. If you’re having a plastic surgery procedure where skin is stretched (facelift, breast augmentation or abdominoplasty for example) then dry, cracked skin will make it harder for the surgeon to staple or stich the skin together, resulting in a less than optimum result and possibly scar.

Body Weight

Sometimes patients will enter a plastic surgeon’s office excited about a decision to finally move forward with breast or body contouring surgery, but then afterwards emerge having found out they are not currently a candidate because of excess body fat. This scenario is not only disappointing, but it can be an emotionally deflating and potentially embarrassing experience for patients. Dr. Poulos sympathizes with the emotional pain that such patients feel, and he wants to help them realize their goals. However, there are several specific reasons that your plastic surgeon might recommend weight loss prior to undergoing a procedure. In addition, the results that you can achieve are likely to be much better if your weight is in a better range. Consider an overweight woman who wants breast reduction surgery. Even when the breasts become smaller and more uplifted, it is extremely difficult for us to deal with the fullness lateral to the breasts (the “bra roll”), which significantly compromises the aesthetic result. In addition, it is much harder to get a beautiful transition between the breast and the abdomen due to the excess weight. On the other hand, let’s consider the patient that is overweight and wants a tummy tuck or liposuction. In this instance, the surgeon will not be able to remove all the excess fat in these areas, as it is technically challenging and can look odd as it is out of proportion to the surrounding fatty deposits. Even large volume liposuction cannot fully solve this problem. Body contouring surgery is great for shaping your body, but it is not a method or substitute for weight loss or weight control. At Dr. Poulos’ clinic there is a full-time wellness/weight loss coordinator who helps patients achieve a healthy body composition ( body fat percentage and lean muscle mass balance) prior to undergoing body contour procedures.

What is an option for those who need to lose weight to be a better candidate for cosmetic surgery?

There is an FDA approved “Gastric Balloon” procedure that Dr. Poulos performs. It is appropriate for patients with a BMI of 30 to 40 that have not had previous weight loss surgery. Patients diagnosed with bulimia, binge eating, compulsive overeating, high liquid calorie intake habits or similar eating related psychological disorders are not good candidates. Dr. Poulos has now treated numerous patients who have successfully lost up to 20% of their body weight with the balloon procedures and have gone on to aesthetic body contouring with much improved results.

How does the balloon method work?

This non-surgical outpatient procedure begins with a diagnostic endoscopy to ensure that there are no contraindications and that it is safe to perform. Once the patient is mildly sedated and comfortable, the procedure can begin. The deflated gastric balloon is inserted through the esophagus and into the stomach. A syringe is then used to fill the balloon with a sterile saline solution. Once the weight loss balloon has been filled with saline, it expands to approximately the size of a grapefruit. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes. Patients can usually return home after the placement or removal procedures within 30 minutes. Over the last 20 years this procedure has helped over 277,000 people. The gastric balloon encourages portion control while patients make healthy changes to diet and lifestyle.

How long does the balloon stay in place?

The balloon remains in the stomach for the first six months after the procedure. With the stomach balloon and Dr. Poulos’ support team, patients usually see the most drastic results in the first six months. It is very important to use this time to develop healthy habits that will continue for not only the 12-month weight loss program, but for the rest of one’s life.

What to expect after the balloon placement

Over the first 14 days after placement, patients may experience nausea or vomiting. Dr. Poulos recommends a liquid diet for his patients during the first week to help manage these symptoms. Also prescribed are effective anti-nausea drugs to help the patient through the initial stage.

How is the balloon removed?

Once the stomach balloon has been in place for six months the balloon is removed. The simple and non-surgical procedure is very similar to the placement process. Once the gastric balloon has been removed, it is very important to continue working closely with Dr. Poulos’ team and coaches to follow the personal diet and exercise plan provided. This will help to keep you in a positive and healthy mindset while achieving your weight loss goals.

About Dr. Stanley Poulos

Dr. Poulos specializes in cosmetic breast surgery and body contouring procedures. He helped pioneer the quick lift facial rejuvenation surgery in California and is recognized as one of the leading plastic surgeons in Marin County and the entire San Francisco Bay area. Dr. Poulos and Plastic Surgery Specialists have extensive experience in body contour procedures. A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, Dr. Poulos completed his internship and residency at UC San Francisco. He completed a plastic surgery fellowship at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. www.psspecialists.com