Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Should My Plastic Surgeon Be Board Certified?

There's good reason to check whether your plastic surgeon is Board Certified. Too often, news emerges with stories of patients who elect to go to providers who may not have the qualifications to perform cosmetic procedures or surgeries. With the popularity of cosmetic plastic surgery, it can attract unqualified (and sometimes unscrupulous) people who are lured by what they see as quick profit.

In some cases, the service provider may not even be a legitimate doctor. There have been several stories this past year about people posing as doctors and performing non-surgical procedures as well as actual surgeries in hotel rooms or back offices. There have been cases of people being injected with non-medical ingredients such as cement or silicone directly into the breasts, buttocks and even the face. These are highly toxic and can be extremely caustic, causing burns, infection, serious wounds and even disfigurement. Botox® and facial fillers are being used by people who have no training in facial nerve structure or the underlying muscles of the face, and mis-use of these products can result in droopy eyes, temporary paralysis, and even nerve damage.

In other cases, it may be a doctor who does not have sufficient training in this specialized field. They may be a generalist, gynecologist or other physician who has no formal training or experience in plastic surgery. They may have simply taken a weekend course in breast augmentation or liposuction and may have little experience with surgery. Generally people undergoing any type of surgery want someone with specialized training and competence.

Some are turning to the trend in "awake" surgeries. Procedures performed while the patient is "awake" can be risky if they do not have the equipment necessary to monitor a patient, do not have emergency equipment necessary to resuscitate a patient should there be a complication or if a licensed anesthesiologist is not in attendance during the surgical procedure. Even though the patient may be "awake", it does not decrease the risk associated with the sedation medications that patients are given. It is still surgery!

Tourist or vacation plastic surgery is also seeing an increase as those who want cosmetic surgery but don't want to or cannot pay the going rate seek alternatives. We've seen women who have flown to a foreign country such as Mexico, Asia or South America to receive a $2,000 tummy tuck and now have complications such as severe infection or a poor outcome that could cost many more thousands to try to correct. It is rare to receive appropriate pre-operative and post-operative care at foreign facilities, with patients eager to get on with the vacation end of their trip, or in getting back home, putting themselves at even greater risk of complications. It is usually recommended that you do not fly for at least 2 weeks or more following any type of surgery, and cosmetic plastic surgery is no exception.

So what is the difference between an internist and a plastic surgeon?

Obtaining a medical license to diagnose and treat patients means a physician meets a minimum level of competency requirements to become a doctor, but it is not specific to any one specialty. Board Certification demonstrates a level of expertise in a specialty and is considered the "Gold Standard". Board Certification by the ABPS ensures that the surgeon has had at least six years of surgical training, years of surgical experience, has passed both oral and written exams and has had surgical cases reviewed by the Board in order to demonstrate proficiency within the field of plastic surgery. They certify that they only operate in accredited medical facilities such as hospitals and accredited outpatient surgery centers. They are licensed physicians who have made a choice to make plastic surgery their primary focus as a medical professional.

Robert N. Young, founder of Aesthetic Enhancement Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center, is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with over 30 years experience. He has been trained and has extensive experience both as a reconstructive plastic surgeon and a cosmetic plastic surgeon. As a leading breast augmentation specialist in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Young is a member of the following professional organizations:

• ABPS Diplomate - Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)

• Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)

• Member, American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

• Fellow, American College of Surgeons

• Member, Texas Medical Society (TMS)

• Member, San Antonio International Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (SAISPRS)

• Bexar County Medical Society (BCMS)

• Accreditation by the American Association for Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF)

Dr. Robert N. Young encourages patients to take the time to check the credentials of anyone you're considering for cosmetic surgery procedures. The two major societies, the ASAPS and ASPS are good resources for more information about plastic surgery and Board Certified Plastic Surgeons around the country.

Herald Tribune - Plastic Surgeons Warn of Trade's Dark Side
Locate A Doc - Cosmetic Surgeon Imposter Jailed for Practicing Without a License
The Baltimore Sun - Health Officials Alarmed Over Silicone Injections For Fuller Buttocks
The Smoking Gun - Silicone Sister Busted For Butt, Hip Injections
USA Today - Lack Of Training Can Be Deadly In Cosmetic Surgery

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Bra Shows Promise In Helping To Detect Early Breast Cancers

News came out this week about a new form of breast cancer detection that is creating quite a bit of optimism and hope for the advancement of early detection. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're excited to bring you news of a new bra that can be used to help detect breast cancer. It is reported that it has been able to detect breast cancers in very early stages which would not normally be detected by conventional methods now in use.

Currently in the trial stage, the bra's developer, Lifeline Biotechnologies, has already performed three trials which have demonstrated that the bra detects abnormalities with at least 90% accuracy in women of all ages. The bra, called First Warning Systems, is easy to use, and is said to look and feel like a sports bra. A woman wears the bra for a set period of time during which the sensors which are encased throughout the bra, detect and record small changes in temperature in breast tissue. After collection, the data is transmitted via the Internet, analyzed and the results are then sent to the woman's personal device.

According to the company's website, "As tissues transition from normal to hyperplasia, to atypical hyperplasia, to cancer in-situ to, to invasive cancer they develop their own distinct thermal finger print and can be compared with normal tissue temperature." They claim that they produce far fewer false positives, which with other detection methods can be as high as 50-60%.  The reliability of mammograms has come into question because of their high rate of false positives. This can be traumatic, and costly, to women. If trials work out well, early detection may be as simple as wearing a bra in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

We will continue to monitor the results of the continued testing, and will update this promising technology. In the meantime, Dr. Robert Young urges women to follow current recommendations for routine office visits, self breast exams, and mammography.

Monday, October 15, 2012

L'Oreal Receives Warning From FDA

Last month, the FDA sent a warning to cosmetic giant L'Oreal to stop advertising skin care products with language that makes the products sound like they are providing the same benefit as prescription products (drugs). A September 11, 2012 Reuters article detailed several L'Oreal products which have come under scrutiny including: Genifique Repair Youth Activating Night Cream and Absolute Eye Precious Cells Advancing Regenerating and Reconstructing Eye Cream.

Lancome's Genifique Repair
The FDA will go so far as to seize products and issue injunctions against manufacturers and distributors when claims are made that products act as drugs.

Lancome USA, a L'Oreal subsidiary, reportedly crossed the line with advertising on it's website. One actual on-line ad read, "You sleep. Genes don't. Wake up to smooth, fresh, visibly repaired skin. During the night, the speed of cell regeneration doubles. By screening over 4,000 genes, LancĂ´me's laboratories identified the genes responsible for making this activity happen and used their discoveries to create nighttime skincare that boosts the activity of genes². Night after night, skin is appears younger and more rested, as if you had slept at least two extra hours.¹"
(¹Based on consumer evaluations, ²Based on in-vitro tests on genes.)

This type of advertising violates FDA rules.

Other claims on products have included skin creams which could "boost the activity of genes" or "stimulate cell regeneration" to reduce signs of aging. According to the FDA, "any product that is intended to affect the structure or function of the human body is classified as a drug." The product must undergo testing and approval from the FDA before these types of claims can be made. The process is rigorous and involved.

Many of the products we sell at our Medical Day Spa are prescription products that have been cleared by the FDA for sale as medical grade products. Yet we notice products all the time in magazines, non-physician offices, stores, and on-line that imply that products offered are as effective as prescription skin care products. It is difficult for most consumers to know the difference. In many women's magazines, you can see prescription items reviewed right next to products that have ingredients with far less effectiveness. Many consumers do not know the differences between Retin A and retinoid complexes for example. The names sound similar, and implies the same type of benefit, but they are not equivalent in effectiveness. It is also important to note that prescription-strength products cannot legally be sold on-line without a prescription.

Dr. Robert Young recommends a consultation with a skin care professional who is trained to match products with the specific skin care issues you are facing. When a skin care professional works under the guidance and supervision of a physician you have access to products which have been approved both in effectiveness and safety by the FDA.

FDA - Buying Medicines and Medical Products Online
Mayo Clinic - Buying Prescription Drugs Online: The Do's and Don'ts
Medicine Net - Information on how to safely buy prescription drugs online

Friday, October 12, 2012

Men Are Becoming More Open To Male Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

We've noticed an increase in the number of men who are coming in for consultations with Dr. Young. Liposuction, Eyelid Surgery, Breast Reduction, Calf Implants, Tummy Tuck and even Face Lift are more in demand than ever before. While Dr. Young has always had men desiring rhinoplasty (nose job) and liposuction, the increase in these other procedures has noticeably grown over the past several years.

Why the increase? An article just published by Dr. Robert T. Grant in Medscape News, a publication for physicians, points out that, "Although men do not face the same hormonal changes with aging that women do, the male biological clock still ticks, and over time changes in a man's appearance can lead to a negative self-image, which can take a toll on mental and physical health. Today, men are turning to cosmetic surgery in an effort to help break the cycle of interaction between appearance and negative self-image." In other words, men are caring more about their appearance and have realized that cosmetic surgery procedures can make you feel better about yourself. Something women have known for years!

In an ideal world, we'd be able to slow the aging process down if we achieve a good balance diet, exercise, home life, family life, work life, recreation, management of stress, and our health. But for most of us, this is is a difficult if not impossible task to master throughout the course of life. So instead, we strive to create a balance in our aging with use of diet and exercise when we're in our twenties, skin care products in our thirties, use of wrinkle reducers and facial fillers in our forties, more invasive procedures such as skin tightening, fraxel and laser resurfacing in our fifties, and face lifts in our sixties. While women battle with sagging breasts and flabby tummies, men have to deal with receding hairlines, baggy eyes, excessive love handles and man boobs. Face it, aging is not always easy.

Dr. Robert Young encourages a sensible approach to planning a cosmetic surgery procedure, and understands that men can be a bit intimidated by worries over what others will think, finding a qualified surgeon, and whether it will work for them. Men haven't been as exposed to the experience of cosmetic surgery and don't always have the resources for getting information that women seem to do effortlessly. Most women simply have to ask a friend or co-worker and they're well on their way to getting the names of doctors, websites,  and all the "free advice" they can handle!  Dr. Young encourages men to do their research by checking quality websites for sound information.

Many men are also frightened of "plastic surgery" when they see public figures like Burt Reynolds, Kenny Rogers and Bruce Jenner undergo cosmetic surgery with results that drastically change the person's appearance. Most people feel these are too aggressive and prefer to have a more subtle, natural result. Good communication with your surgeon, realistic expectations, and listening to the advice you receive from your surgeon helps to ensure that you'll receive the results you're looking for.

Cosmetic surgery procedures for men can be a positive, enriching experience. Dr. Robert N. Young of San Antonio is pleased to consult with men about their unique cosmetic surgery wishes. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with 30 years experience, he has helped many men feel better about their changing physical appearance.


American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery - Procedure Information
American Society of Plastic Surgeons - Official Website


Dr. Robert N. Young, the founder of Aesthetic Enhancement Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, has been in private practice for over 20 years. Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Young has developed an outstanding reputation for excellence in South Central Texas. Dr. Young is one of the most recognized plastic surgeons in San Antonio.

A native of San Antonio, Dr. Young earned his undergraduate degree from the esteemed United States Military Academy at West Point. He served as Platoon Leader, Nike Hercules Missile Site at Homestead AFB, Florida until 1971. Dr. Young completed his medical degree at Tulane Medical School in 1975. Following Internship at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, he completed his general surgery residency in 1980 and his fellowship in plastic surgery at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss  in 1982. He then returned to Fort Sam Houston to serve as a plastic surgeon and consultant to the Burn Unit at Brooke Army Medical Center. There, Dr. Young went on to become the Chief of Plastic Surgery, where he performed all types of major reconstructive procedures, until he retired from the military in 1990. At that time, Dr. Young began his private practice in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Young's surgical procedures are performed in his own state-of-the-art Surgical Center, which has been accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). The center provides cost effectiveness for the patient, while allowing total discretion and comfort.