What to know about lip injections

Our friends at Byrdie nicely summarized the important things about lip injections – what to know before you try. “we all want to say that we #wokeuplikethis, even if our dirty little secret is that we got a little outside help. Ideally, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”  So true!  Natural is what we like – “my lips but better.”

Trying to achieve ‘facial equality’

  Ariel Henley writes movingly about her experience here with Crouzon syndrome, a congenital craniofacial anomaly.  In craniofacial surgery, the goal is to create more normal appearance, that doesn’t trigger comments in passing and most important, harmonizes how “normal” the patient feels inside, with their outer appearance.  It’s hard work and tremendously rewarding.

“Pretty girls are supposed to smile”

Effy Redman penned a lovely essay about her experience with Mobius syndrome.  In this congenital deformity, the nerves that supply the muscles in the face don’t develop properly, so children have little to no expression.  A “social smile” develops by around 6 weeks of age, so very quickly there can be a disconnect from the baby’s feelings, and what others perceive, limiting and changing communication. Currently we have to wait for children to be big enough to have microsurgery, to transplant a muscle and connect its supplying nerve to one of the functioning muscles used for chewing, to create a smile; and it takes two surgeries, one for each side.  Depending on the child’s size, this can be around 5-7 years of age. We often talk about restoring smiles with cleft lip repair (“Operation Smile”, “Smile Train”) but this is a rarer and more challenging condition to treat, though it is similarly rewarding!

Breast augmentation – what to consider

Over at Refinery29, they collected great advice about how to plan for a breast augmentation.  See the best (which we agree with!) below: First things first: Do a little homework. While an indiscriminate Google search on boob jobs, lifts, or reductions will probably take you down a rabbit hole of overwhelming (and sometimes dubious) information, focused initial research is crucial. The two most comprehensive and, more importantly, plastic-surgeon vetted and recommended sites are the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Both these resources break down the different types of breast surgeries available and procedure details, provide info on FDA-approved implants, explain the costs, and give crucial updates on the latest related news and technologies. Shop around: Find the right doctor. Selecting the right surgeon is the most important part of this process. First, you need to make sure your doctor is legit, i.e. certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, as Dr. Yee is. Don’t be confused by a certification from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, which, is not plastic surgery.  Plastic surgeons are specifically educated, trained, and certified to perform both cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries of the entire face and body. […]

Having a breast reduction and never looking back

Over at Byrdie, one woman has written her account of having breast reduction surgery: “I felt like I finally recognized the person looking back at me. I was confident in a way I hadn’t ever been before. It didn’t have as much to do with the way I looked, but more about the way I felt from minute to minute. I didn’t have back pain or annoying marks from my bra straps. I didn’t feel like I had to cover up my body—which was something I had gotten very good at during the years prior.” Plastic surgeons generally agree that their breast reduction patients are their happiest!  If you’re having back pain and have large breasts, talk to your primary care doctor about a referral.  

Correcting ear anomalies with the EarWell device

We carry the EarWell ear molding device, and it was just profiled on NPR! Between one-fifth and one-third of infants are born with prominent or misfolded ears.  Immediately after birth, the cartilage is very flexible, thanks to circulating estrogen left over from pregnancy. The ears are especially malleable. Some misfolded ears unfold on their own shortly after the child is born, but if the issue does not resolve itself within a week, early intervention is advisable. There is a very specific window of time in which treatment with the EarWell device is appropriate: before the child is one month of age. If you miss this window, ear correction will have to wait until the child is old enough to undergo surgery (around age 5 or 6 ). Having surgery is a much more invasive option, with issues of recovery, cost and potential discomfort to consider. What is the EarWell Infant Ear Correction System? The EarWell is a custom-fit plastic molding device. It resembles a “cradle” that adheres around the ear, with retractors that shape the ear’s structure. A special shell fits over the ear and holds all of the components in place. The EarWell device should be worn for six […]

Beware butt injections

Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez have made fuller derrieres more popular and mainstream – Beware injections offered with silicone, rather than your own fat harvested and injected in an operating room. This CNN story describes the death and injuries of several women who received buttocks injections with silicone.  Silicone is safe in an implant, but is not meant to be injected directly into tissues, where it can become infected, migrate, cause hard scarring, or block blood vessels.  It’s not always worthwhile to save money; please see a trained plastic surgeon!

The mood in the operating room

Why Surgeons Listen to Music in the Operating Room I was reminded of this article after a patient stopped me today to say, “I want to give you a compliment.”  We haven’t unveiled the final result, so to speak, so I was curious what he would say. “When I went into the operating room, I was pretty anxious.  But hearing the music, you guys were rocking out and joking around, and I felt more relaxed.” I’m glad our mood helped him relax!  I do like to listen to music in the OR, and also keep the mood light when possible.  I have been through many tense and intense moments while operating, so when we can be professional and at ease, it is nice – so there is some reserve when you have to ramp up!  (Fortunately in plastic surgery, that doesn’t happen too often.  Or at least, that’s how I like to proceed.)  Also, I think having a positive relationship helps when you do have to demand more from the team. And it’s such a lovely treat when patients give positive feedback – because I don’t expect it, I’m there to care for and encourage them.

Fillers vs. Botox . . .

Sometimes patients come in and know they want some kind of non-surgical rejuvenation, and they have heard of Botox, but they are not really sure what it does.  Here are some details on Botox and fillers: Fillers target lines, wrinkles, and volume loss by filling in the areas, unlike Botox, which works by relaxing muscles.  Botox cannot fill in any lines or wrinkles, or areas of volume loss. Botox works by relaxing the muscles that pull on skin and cause lines and wrinkle to form. In general, the areas that respond the best to Botox are located in the upper one third of the face—this includes the lines around the eyes, the lines between the eyebrows, and the lines on the forehead. Fillers work best for areas in the middle and lower third of the face. What are some signs that you’re a candidate for fillers? -a noticeable deepending of the nasolabial folds (these are the deep lines that form next to your mouth, aka marionette lines). – If you notice your once-prominent cheekbones deflating, especially when you look at your face at an angle, fillers can help. Or, if you’re young/lucky/both and don’t have deepening lines or a deflating cheekbones, […]

How NOT to repair a facial fracture

This story came out of the UK recently – and I would like to make clear that punching a patient is not an appropriate or effective approach to fixing a cheekbone fracture! Surgeon who punched patient is fired Of course most patients sustain these injuries through some kind of trauma, but reproducing that impact doesn’t fix the fracture or help anyone.  Some of my patients joke (I think?!) that they imagine that I have to hit them again to put the bones back in place, but I promise that is not what happens.  There is more swelling again after the repair, but that’s from my gaining access to the fractures, not from repeat trauma! Stay safe this Cinco de Mayo!