The Plastic Surgerista
Issue #10: December 31, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
We made it through another crazy year. No matter your hurdles in 2012, do not allow anything to make 2013 less than the best year yet. Resolve to fine-tune the small things in your life and not set impossible goals.
Every New Year we all try to do better than the last year. Allow 2013 be the year you enjoy yourself and focus on the positive things in life. Smile, pass along your cheer, and help others!
My resolution is to help make people happy every day. There is no better feeling than when you pass along a smile. Keep in mind we are all going through something and no one’s life is perfect. Adjusting yourself on the inside a little everyday may just be the only makeover you need!
And remember: keep it simple. Whatever “IT” may be.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Why Botox Is Not Enough
Issue #9: November 30, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
A big part of my job is educating patients on how to make the most of their visits to our office. By far, our most popular non-surgical procedures are Botox and dermal fillers. As we all know at this point, one can achieve great results with these quick miracles of science. However, optimal results may not be gained 100% of the time without incorporating several anti-aging options.
The reason optimal results are not always obtained with Botox and dermal fillers is that one’s skin health may be in poor form. I cannot stress enough to patients how important a healthy skin care routine is to restoring a youthful, healthy glow. It is absolutely possible, with the proper skin care routine, enhanced with Botox and fillers to have a flawless complexion. Please do not think this comes easy. As with anything in life worth having, whether it is a toned physique, clean house, or perfectly manicured fingers, everything comes with goals and a price. When a medical-grade skin care routine is started, there are steps that you must take. Considering a physician’s practice is usually treating the skin, rather than “masking” the damage, patients need to follow protocol as prescribed during their skin health consult. Using prescription topical creams and any type of step-by-step system requires dedication. This may add an extra five to ten minutes a day to your morning and evening routines, but it is worth it!
Botox treats the muscle by relaxing it so that it stops (for a short period) creating the lines in the skin. Once we have the muscle relaxed, we like to target the skin’s issues. Most of the time a patient’s concerns are easy enough to understand, and we can start a targeted skin care routine the same day. I know I have mentioned in previous articles that SPF is imperative, and it is! Without constant protection from the sun’s damaging rays, major symptoms of photo-aging occur. For example: spider veins on the face and neck, wrinkle formations, discoloration, dark spots, the list goes on. Since even the slightest bits of exposure add up quickly, it’s important to stay protected.
Incorporating a skin health system that is effective in combating the signs of aging: crepey skin, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, deep folds, dry patches, etc., and combining that with Botox to relax the muscles, as well as dermal fillers to restore lost volume, will make an amazing difference! This is all non-invasive work that is done in a short office visit. The best part of your skin health system is that YOU are in charge of how good you look. The more you maintain and use the products as prescribed, the more radiant the outcome.
I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” ~ Coco Chanel
Top Left: Brigitte Bardot in the 1970’s Top Right: Brigitte Bardot in the 2000’s
Bottom Left: Raquel Welch in the 1970’s Bottom Right: Raquel Welch in the 2000’s
The power of Anti-Aging Procedures!
Could Your Hands Be Hinting At Your Real Age?
Issue # 8: October 31, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
Think of all the time and money women spend on creams, laser treatments, injections, peels, masks, facials, etc. to keep their faces looking fresh and young… only to have their hands hint at their real age. Lately I have noticed a number of patients inquiring about hand rejuvenation. This has always been a hot topic with the uber pro-active patient; however it’s nice to see more women taking notice.
Our hands, like any other constantly visible part of our body, are consistently berated with solar damage and are irritated by weather conditions. Unlike our faces, our hands are usually partaking in some sort of manual labor as well. So why do we ignore the obvious? We must take care of our hands just as we care for our faces. This means wearing SPF or gloves to protect the skin from all elements. I know it sounds a little over the top, but wearing gloves can really help prevent unnecessary solar damage. Think of all the driving that goes on during a normal day and notice that hands are always front and center of the solar rays through the windshield. This unintentional damage will eventually lead to dark or “age” spots on the backs of the hands. Wearing driving gloves can help diminish this damage significantly. There are several types of light weight driving gloves available to help protect against the UV rays.
A few other easy secrets to keep your hands fresh are the obvious hand creams and dermal fillers. Yes, women are having injections in their hands to help restore the soft volume of non-venous, silky smooth skin. Sometimes you have to think outside the box when it comes to maintaining beauty. Moisturizers are only the beginning….treating the early onset of aging hands by using topical RX creams along with fillers can help reverse some of those nasty age indicators.
Should one want to walk on the wild side of treatments, look into laser resurfacing. The Total FX laser treatment helps to smooth the skin and tighten wrinkles, as well as help with scar improvement. One may notice immediate skin tightening while collagen continues to be stimulated over time. One of the most added benefits of Total FX laser resurfacing is, of course, fading skin discoloration.
Always remember, our skin covers more than just our face, and it all ages differently. The best way to age gracefully is to be proactive along the way. As one of my favorite quotes states, “We didn’t age overnight, so how can we anti-age overnight?”
Jet Set Surgery – Asia
Issue # 7: September 27, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
My sister-in -law recently moved to Singapore and has been filling me in about the beauty industry in Asia. Some interesting things she recently noted is that women carry parasols to shield their skin from the sun, and bleaching ingredients are in most sun blocks available at local drug stores. I never really thought of plastic surgery as being on top of their priority list, so I began researching Asian aesthetics. It turns out that the plastic surgery industry may be bigger in Asia than anywhere in the world!
This, of course, got my attention, so I had to discover even more about plastic surgery abroad. As I Google searched, Plastic Surgery Asia, many articles came up referencing Seoul, Korea. In one of the first articles I read, “Plastic Surgery Boom as Asians Seek ‘Western’ Look,” By Kyung Lah-CNN, the reporter discusses a 12 year old Korean girl who wants her eyes surgically enhanced. What made me raise a brow was that the young girl hadn’t requested this, her mother had, yet the girl agreed that the surgery would make her “prettier.” (The cosmetic purpose of the surgery is to make her eyes look larger.) The surgeon in the interview, Dr. Kim Byung-gun, is the head of BK DongYang, Seoul’s biggest plastic surgery clinic. He states that his clinic performs about 100 surgeries a day, focusing on facial reconstruction. He also notes that about 30% of his patients are international.
Intriguing – as the U.S. has some of the most skilled surgeons in the world, one would assume the U.S. should have a higher percentage of international patients. We may have a broad international base; however, we aren’t dubbed the “mecca” of cosmetic surgical procedures. Although I believe that 12 is too young to consider cosmetic surgery, as the body is still growing and maturing, it is clear that Korean women strive, from a young age, to be more attractive. Their goal is to not only become extremely smart, but smart and beautiful.
The next article I read was “Welcome to the plastic surgery capital of the world;
Why the Korean plastic surgery tourism boom is only going to get bigger,” by Violet Kim. This was an equally interesting read. As I delved into the contents I started to envision a surgical center in Korea and what it would be like to be a patient. They really pay attention to detail! The article details specifics about the cosmetic surgi-centers and why it’s so convenient for out-of-town patients. Dubbed as “hospital-hotels,” these centers are equipped with everything from room service to international translators. They want their patients to feel comfortable and pampered. Patients get the quality and safety of a hospital, but in beautiful suites with excellent service. Even hotels, such as the Ritz-Carlton Seoul, have teamed with hospitals offering their guests cosmetic procedure packages during their stay.
“Korea is gaining a reputation as a plastic surgery mecca, a place where doctors are highly skilled, citizens are more than willing and the technology is top-notch. People from all over the world come to have their noses tweaked, chins thinned and fat removed and occasionally grafted onto another part of their face. It’s not just a female thing — males make up at least 30 percent of JK Plastic Surgery Clinic’s patients,” says Violet Kim in her article.
I admit, I’m a little envious of the Korean’s enthusiasm for plastic surgery. They are accepting and excited about this healthy frontier. I only hope more people around the U.S. start to accept that maintaining the face you had at 20 is not such a bad thing. Asian society honors beauty and brains, whereas American society has somehow discouraged the idea that if one is attractive, they could also be very intelligent. In my opinion, this viewpoint has caused the practice of plastic surgery to be looked down upon. Why should people be embarrassed about having a nip or a tuck? Even having a little Botox or filler here and there to maintain a healthy appearance is still taboo. I would like to see our society adopt the montage that one can have brains, as well as achieve immense beauty.
The ABCD’s of Breast Augmentation
Issue #6: August 13, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
Pamela Anderson is usually the first name that comes to mind when people think of big breast implants. She became famous because of her voluptuous figure, often noting, “My breasts have a career. I’m just tagging along.” Pam Anderson, Esquire, Jan. 2005. I want to make it clear that she is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to breast implants. While a patient can always request the “Pam Anderson look,” most surgeons go for a more natural-looking approach.
The final cup size depends on many factors and achieving one’s goal of the perfect cup size varies on the individual’s perspective of beauty. I’d like to explain how having breast augmentation could change your life in an amazing way.
Size is by far the biggest question when it comes to breast implant choices. Most women ask for a “C” cup during their consultation. However, what most of us don’t realize is that a “C” cup on one woman may in fact be a “B” or “D” cup on another. That is why spending some time and talking with your surgeon about size is so important.
Let’s explore a few scenarios for instance. If a woman is 5’10” and weighs 150 lbs. she can very well carry a larger cc implant. Looking at sizers in the 450-500 cc range would not be far fetched. Whereas a woman who is 5’ 3” weighing 115 lbs. may benefit from a smaller 300-350cc implant, yet will still get full volume.
If we were to gauge implant sizers on a flat scale, ranging from smallest to largest, we get approximately:
200cc= about a B
300cc = a small C
350-400cc = about a larger C
450-500cc= about a D
550cc + = DD and larger.
When consulting with plastic surgeons, it helps to try on breast sizers. Sizers are created from the implant manufacturer to help the patient get an idea of what she may look like with fuller breasts. By trying on breast sizers at her appointment, the patient leaves with a sense of relief, having just seen what her new physique will look like. It also gives the patient a first hand look at different sizes, so she can see the full range from small to large. All the patients I have worked with say the breast implant sizing method made a positive difference in their final decision. Remember, every woman has her own opinion of beauty and what she wants her body to look like. Whether it’s a conservative B/C cup or a voluptuous D/DD every woman has the right to see what her options are.
In my experience over the years, the confidence gained by women, from simply enhancing their breast size, is fierce. Women seem to embrace their feminism and become empowered after breast augmentation. If you have been flirting with the idea of enhancing your breasts, come see us for a consultation and a fun “breast fitting!” It’s like trying on shoes, but better!
To Bleach or Not To Bleach?
Issue # 5: July 17, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
While having my teeth cleaned recently, I was drifting off into a quick nap, and had thoughts of dental hygiene and aesthetics go through my mind. I was thinking about time consuming appointments that we make and realized we actually spend little time on ourselves.
It seems I can never turn off my thoughts when it comes to aesthetics and the daily grind. I know we all think of these appointments and procedures as too much effort, but in hindsight they take up very little of our time, yet gain big results. And yes, my hygienist is so good; I can actually fall asleep during my appointment.
After my cleaning, I saw my dentist and decided to engage him in conversation about oral aesthetics. He mentioned that he has a big demographic of patients who need or want facial fillers. As we indulged in our conversation regarding aesthetics and dentistry, it got me thinking about our patients. I have had several inquiries lately about finishing off the final touches after facial injectables or surgery, most notably lip enhancement, and I always stress skincare is most important. However, we should not overlook our teeth. What a huge difference straight, white teeth make to your appearance. Have you seen the movie HOUSEGUEST, starring Sinbad? There is a scene where this man’s beautiful wife walks in, and everyone takes a second glance… then she smiles, and BAM- bad oral care! It totally changes the mood of the scene, and she quickly closes her mouth. Obviously this movie is a comedy, so the scene is meant to be funny, but in real life, we don’t want that reaction.
We often scrutinize over our slight imperfections, and sometimes those imperfections actually make us more attractive! Not everyone has to be a “Hollywood Glamazon,” but we can all strive to practice basic hygiene techniques. Taking 20-30 minutes, 2-3 days a week, to whiten your teeth can pleasantly increase your mood and smile! Believe me, when you’re constantly smiling to show off your pearly whites, you will notice that you are in a better mood. I’d like to reiterate that small steps like this enhance the work you have done with your cosmetic surgeon. When you come in and spend thousands of dollars to sculpt your face and body, why not finish off with small changes you can do at home?
There may be a few downsides to bleaching your teeth, or you may not be a candidate. I recommend asking your dentist about options that are safe and beneficial for you. And remember, once you have your new pouty lips lacquered with your favorite Glo Minerals lip gloss, and your bright whites ready for a close up, SMILE! It’s the best way to make someone else’s day!
Are You Skinny Fat?
Issue #4: June 27, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
Have you ever known a person, male or female, who could eat whatever they wanted and never get fat? I have. I always thought those people must have fast metabolisms or awesome genetics! Who knew they could possibly be “skinny fat?” If this is the first time you are hearing of “skinny fat” allow me to explain it. Skinny Fat is when a person appears thin, or in good shape, but they have a high amount of visceral fat. This means they may not appear to be overweight, however, if they aren’t maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise and diet, they could have a high amount of visceral fat. Visceral fat is located deeper within the midsection, closer to organs such as the liver, heart and lungs. Subcutaneous fat, the kind that qualifies people as ‘fat’ is located beneath the skin in problem areas like the abdomen, thighs and hips. While subcutaneous fat is easier to see from the outside, the visceral fat may in fact be more damaging physically. Obviously, we all want to strive for health, therefore understanding the differences of fat is important. I recently became really interested in the difference of fat when I was working out with my trainer. He mentioned how I needed to step up my cardio to target the “skinny fat.” This had me thinking about all the options to get rid of fat in general.
In the plastic surgery profession, we focus a lot on the outward appearance. One solution to help you jump start your workout routine is liposuction. Liposuction can help either at the beginning or end of a goal, as it removes the fatty pockets of tissue from the areas we mostly want flat and smooth. Most plastic surgeons recommend that patients get as close to their target weight as possible before undergoing liposuction. This does make the most sense, as once you lose weight, we get a better idea of what to chisel and sculpt. While liposuction does offer a number of benefits, it’s important to understand the two types of fat – the kind you can see, and the kind you can’t. Even though liposuction can help remove the stubborn pockets of fat that are visible on the waist, stomach, legs and buttocks, it’s the “invisible” fat that is responsible for health issues related to excess weight, according to U.S. News and World Report. When discussing the removal of fat via liposuction, patients need to understand that even though liposuction may help to remove the subcutaneous fat, it does not necessarily eliminate their risk of obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. This is why developing healthy habits is so important. It may not be the fat that we see harming our health, but the fat we cannot see! Please note the diagram below to see the different fats.
Jessica Stevenson, Patient Care Coordinator
Plastic Surgery Is An Art
Issue #3: May 28, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
I once spoke to a plastic surgeon that was an art major and he described how integrating knowledge of symmetry with an artistic eye helped him achieve beautiful results. I agree with this concept, as plastic surgery is an art in its own realm. Recently, I read an article by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery about just this! There is a University in the United Kingdom where a professor has come together with plastic surgery residents and created an art class where soon to be docs sculpt and draw various scenarios of the human face, neck, and breasts. The supplementing of their medical expertise with a course that involves drawing and sculpting gives students the opportunity to look at their surgical work from an artist’s perspective. I feel this is an outstanding quality for all plastic surgeons, as they must have a meticulous eye for beauty and detail.
One of the beautiful aspects of this industry is watching our patients transform into the person they have always envisioned themselves to be. Our psyches can have a huge impact on how we see ourselves. It is important to maintain realistic expectations of what can actually be achieved and understand that our psyche may be stronger than we presume. As time creeps up on us, we look in the mirror and say, “Where did THIS come from?!” Whether it is a new roll, flab, wrinkle, depression, or fold, these imperfections can become the focal point of looking in the mirror. I fall prey to this almost every day. It is hard to believe just how much one’s body changes over the course of a year, even just a month. Though we strive to manage and defy gravity and the environment with its harmful elements, we realize there are outcomes beyond our control. I am a strong advocate for working out and eating right, but as we all know, that does not cure every ill. When patients come in to have the ‘last mile stretch’ corrected, (whether it be with filler, Botox, or surgery), their hope is restored. Regardless if it’s a small area of fat that just won’t go away, or the extra skin around one’s neck that won’t seem to stop sagging; patients realize that all their working out and eating right is not in vain. Having guidance from a plastic surgeon to manage their perception on how they should look is okay.
Our industry is only getting bigger, with statistics showing an increase of cosmetic procedures every year, despite the recession. According to ASAPS in an article published on April 4, 2011, almost 9.5 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2010. The most frequently performed surgical procedure was breast augmentation and the most popular nonsurgical procedure was injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A (including Botox and Dysport). In knowing this, it is very important for plastic surgeons to maintain a high level of vision that goes beyond pretty, to beautiful. I hope the intersection of art and plastic surgery continues to grow, and that everyone has an opportunity to work with amazing board certified plastic surgeons in all their endeavors. Cheers!
Defying Signs Of Age Is Possible
Issue #2: May 10, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
In a world where a day goes by like an hour, it seems like we are aging much faster. Yet, there are many women in their 50’s and older who look amazing, with virtually no solar damage, porcelain complexions, and almost wrinkle free skin.
As much as they would like you to believe it is genetics keeping them looking youthful, it is most likely their plastic surgeon along with proper care and maintenance of their skin. When you maintain your skin early on, effects of the environment, solar rays and genetics are pushed back.
Gradual maintenance overtime will slowly enhance your appearance and keep the aging signs at bay. This is also the perfect way to keep all your beauty secrets, a secret! You will notice your friends and family commenting on your lovely appearance, but they won’t know why. Many of my friends and family are afraid to start prescribed skin care routines because they think it requires too much time. I want to express how easy it is to incorporate good skin care and keep your schedule in balance.
Proper use of medical grade products and using the appropriate fillers and Botox can airbrush your appearance in a real way. I can never express enough how important sunscreen is to our patients. I know when it’s overcast or snowing patients say they don’t need it, but I wear it daily, no matter the lack of sun.
My routine is simple and effective. I use The Adams Center’s cleanser, toner, Vitamin C serum and sunscreen. It takes me about 10 minutes in the morning and I’m set with my skin care. I mirror the same protocol at night, subbing a moisturizer in place of the Vitamin C and sunscreen.
Along with my product use I have our medical aesthetician, Cathy, microderm my face and neck. Microdermabrasion is an excellent way to exfoliate your skin and refresh your glow. I also actively maintain my appearance with Botox and dermal fillers. Being proactive with my injectables helps me maintain my overall appearance and defy the aging elements. These are all very easy ways to maintain and put your best face forward!
Please contact me directly if you have any questions regarding any skin health procedures!
Your Plastic Surgerista,
Plastic Surgery: Misconceptions
Issue #1: May 1, 2012
By: Jessica Stevenson
Welcome to my column about all things plastic surgery!
If you are new to the scene of plastic surgery, you may find my articles helpful on what is involved in everyday life dealing first hand with plastic/cosmetic surgery patients, surgeons and all things aesthetic.
I began working in the plastic surgery industry in 2005 and broke ground in my profession in Houston, Texas; (home to the first breast augmentation in 1962). I have been in love with what I do ever since. Currently, I am the Patient Care Coordinator at The Adams Center in Boston, working directly with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. William P. Adams. Every day is a new episode of excitement and I look forward to sharing all my experiences with you!
Most recently my patients have been noting the “Real Housewife” look, and how they want to avoid that altogether. I want to help my readers understand not to look up to overdone celebrities or movie stars as the proper image. Many surgeons are focused on achieving natural results and the majority of people who have work done will tell you, no one is the wiser. There are many working moms, career women, CEO’s, soccer dads, and stay-at-home moms, maintaining their health by having a few nips and tucks. Cosmetic care is no longer the taboo it was a decade ago. Taking care of one’s self and maintaining a healthy appearance is always in good habit; I look forward to bringing you into my world of tasteful preservation via plastic surgery!
Please stay tuned for upcoming articles, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments!
Your Plastic Surgerista,