Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lipodissolve: All the rage, but all right for you?

If you have fat deposits anywhere on your body or face and they do not respond to diet and exercise, you may be a candidate for lipodissolve, also known as lipolosys, which can reduce local fat deposits that can affect the shape, proportion and contour of your body. The results can lead to improve self-image and sense of greater confidence in how you look and present yourself.

According to Dr. Brueck, in some cases, lipodissolve alone may be the procedure that can achieve the contouring results you want. In other cases, procedures such as a tummy tuck, breast reduction (male or female) and a face lift may be indicated. In any case, lipodissolve is not a substitute treatment for obesity instead of exercise and proper diet. It also will not work to eliminate or reduce cellulite.

If you are an adult of any age who is within 30% of your ideal weight and your skin is firm and elastic and you have good muscle tone, Dr. Brueck believes you may be a good candidate for lipodissolve. You should also be a non-smoker and not have a life threatening disease or a medical condition that could hinder your ability to heal. A positive life outlook and specific body contouring goals in mind is helpful.


Q: What is lipodissolve or lipolysis?
A: Lipodissolve is a technique wherein we inject normally occurring substances into the subcutaneous tissue layers of various parts of the body. The active ingredients are Phosphatidyl Choline and sometimes deoxycholate. These are both substances produced by our bodies. The tissue we inject is the fatty tissue layer between our skin and our muscle layer.

Q: Is this the same as mesotherapy ?
A: No. They are uniquely different techniques. Mesotherapy is a technique developed by a French physician, Dr. Pistor, back in the 1950s. He used various pharmaceutical agents that he injected into the mesoderm or fatty tissue layer to treat a variety of ailments such as sprains, soft tissue injuries, baldness and a variety of other ailments. Lipo dissolve has as its sole purpose to shrink the fatty tissue layer of our bodies.

Q: What areas can be treated?

A: Anywhere there is an abnormal or overabundant fatty tissue layer can be treated. The areas commonly treated are the abdomen, flanks, thighs, saddle bages, chest, face and the like. It is not recommended in areas where the soft tissue layer is thin, such as the lower extremities or calf areas.

Q: Is this useful in obese people?

A: If someone is massively obese, then lipodissolve is NOT indicated. This is NOT a substitute for gastric bypass, or diet and exercise.

Q: How is the procedure performed?
A: The procedure is performed as an outpatient and takes 15 to 20 minutes depending on the number of areas treated. The area to be treated is marked out by the doctor and then a 1/2cc is injected about 1.5cms apart into the area.The injections are done about 8 weeks apart and usually a person will need 1 to 4 injection sessions.

Q: Is it painful ?
A: There is some discomfort associated with injections: it is more like a tender bruise.

Q: What can I expect?
A: After the injections, you may experience some soreness and bruising. The area injected may feel warm and be red. There may be some hyper sensitivity to the area as well. Because there is some swelling to the area injected, the area may be larger until the swelling goes down. After a week or so, the areas injected may have some lumps that you can feel. This is normal and will subside over the ensuing weeks. Usually, I tell patients to relax the day of injections. They can shower the same day and resume normal activities the next day.

Q: Is it safe?
A: There have been some recent publications based on a large number of treatments. A British study documented more than 10,000 treatments with no serious problems noted. A similar study done in America involved more than 56,000 treatments with only a few complications. There was one abcess, 2 areas of of skin necrosis in areas of scar tissue and 2 areas of sensory nerve damage, due to injections done that did not follow the normal protocol.

Q: Does it work?
A: I guess I am prime example number 1; I have had great results after undergoing 7 or so treatments and I am firmly convinced it does work. Perhaps 80% or so of patients are satisfied with their treatments.

Q: Are there contraindications?
A: Yes. Minors, pregnant mothers, certain autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Dermatomyositis and Scleroderma, and severe liver disease are contra indicated. Some relative contraindications are: renal disease, acute infection, blood coagulation problems, and some connective diseases such as Polymyositis.

Q: Is there anything I can do to improve my results?
A: To improve your results you should drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet. Doing some exercise such as simply walking will enhance the effects.

Q: Who should do lipodissolve?
A: I think it is important to go to a board certified plastic surgeon. Only a board certified plastic surgeon can discuss ALL of your options. It is important to know that lipodissolve does NOT remove loose skin so you may need to have abdominoplasty. You may need formal liposuction versus lipodissolve and ONLY a board certified plastic surgeon can address all of these alternatives.

Q: Can lipo dissolve help cellulite?
A: Many people believe cellulite is excess fatty tissue. In reality, it is the dimpling and cottage cheese appearance of the skin. It has multiple courses, usually occurs in women, and involves the thighs and buttocks area. There are some new and exciting procedures combining lipodissolve and vela smooth. The vela smooth is a machine that combines massage, infrared and radio frequency in the same treatment head. Call us to find out more about it.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Sunscreens. What's new? What's best?

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What is the best sunscreen?”

There is NO best but there are some basic principles to keep in mind when buying a sunscreen. To put it simply, buy one that is broad spectrum, has an SPF of 30-35 and is waterproof.

There is NO question that all types of skin cancer are related to the sun - the more sun, the greater risk. When we talk about the sun and its harmful rays, it is important to understand that the sun is composed of UVA, UVB and infrared rays. UVB is the one that causes the skin to get red and burn. When we talk about a sunscreen’s SPF factor we are talking about its protection provided to the skin for UVB rays.

These are the rays associated with sunburn. The SPF factor tells us nothing about UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper into skin and can cause significant damage to the cells in the dermis. That is why it is important to get a broad spectrum sunscreen so you will get protection from the deeper penetrating sun rays.

Recent research seems to indicate that UVA can cause more damage to the cellular DNA which in turn can lead to more skin cancers. The problem right now is that there is no consensus on how rate sunscreens for UVA protection. UVA damage can result in the formation of free radicals and peroxides.

Solar rays are little bundles of energy called 'photons'. These photons are absorbed by the sunscreen. Once the photons are absorbed by the sunscreen, a reaction can take place where new secondary substances can be formed which themselves can cause redness, irritation and the like.

That is one of the reasons that many of the newer sunscreens on the market include anti-oxidants in their formulation. The jury is still out on their effectiveness.

Research is ongoing. I am going to throw some new names – medical terms for new chemicals or ingredients that can offer GREATER protection against damaging effects of UVA. Beware – some of these chemicals are a mouthful and you don’t have to learn how to spell them – just know they exist and the next time you but a sun block you may want to see if these new substances are in your sun block.

One of these new substances was helioplex. One of the new UVA absorbers approved by the FDA is Mexoryl. Neutragena did some studies on helioplex and found that it effectively absorbed sun rays between 290 nm – 400 nm, which are UVA. There are two new organic compounds that claim to be broad spectrum and photostable UV protection. Are you ready? Here we go – terephtralylidene dicomphor sulfonic acid and bis-ethyl hexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine. Wow! What a mouthful!

There are three trends in sunblock :

  1. To promote physical blocks to the suns rays. There are inert substances such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. I’m sure you all have been tot the beach and seen someone walking the beach with a ‘white’ nose. This is usually zinc oxide ointment. Looking great! Through new micro-technology, they can put it in sunscreens that are transparent.
  2. Another new trend is to add antioxidants to sunscreen.
  3. The other trend is to develop sunscreens that go on easier. These new products are dry feel, not sticky, oily-film like.

In short, select a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, has SPF of 30-35 and is waterproof. Go for it!

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