Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reflections of a Patient - Dr Brueck Plastic Surgeon

For years I have been the doctor and have given advice, opinions and operations to thousands of patients over my last 30 years in practice. But recently there was a role reversal.

I now was the patient and had to undergo surgery and follow-up and hopefully the role of being a good patient. Back in the fall of 2008 I noticed an aching and pain in my lower legs.

For a long time my diagnosis was “getting old” and exercising maybe a tad too much. It would wax and wane over many months before I finally said enough is enough and sought the advice of a good friend and colleague and well respected orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ron Gardner. I got x-rays and exam and some lower back exercises were prescribed to me to perform which I did diligently almost every day in the gym.

My back pain went away but the pain in my legs and thighs continued. I said that maybe the problem was not my muscles but my spinal canal. So when things did not progress to my satisfaction I went off to get the magical new MRI and it truly is a remarkable machine, part of American medical ingenuity. It revealed that I had severe arthritic changes in my left ankle but some significant pathology was also found in my lower back in the L3 to L5 area including a small tumor. I was found to have spinal canal stenosis and stenosis of the foramena or the openings where the nerves exit the spinal cord.

I was then off to see the neurosurgeon Dr. Eskioglu. He was fantastic and the good Lord let me there. I had the narrowing as mentioned which was causing some problems in my thighs with numbness and weakness in my muscles and pain that was almost constant.

Going up and down the stairs is something that we all take for granted and certainly I was at the top of the list but as I began to experience this pain in my legs it progressively got worse. Just walking and going up and down the stairs became more of chore than ever before. He mentioned that perhaps I could get a series of blocks but how long it would last and effective it would be would be unknown.

So the more I thought about it, I felt that the most appropriate thing would be bite the bullet, get the surgery, forgo the blocks and move on to what I know eventually was going to be my fate.

So, on July 15th I underwent a 3+ hours operation. I am happy to report “all is well”. My pain is gone but I now have to be a good compliant patient. What that translates into is no excessive walking, no exercising, no driving, no showering or hot tubs or anything of that sort for awhile. As the day of reckoning approached I started thinking more about my choice and possible outcomes.

Normally, composed and in control of my emotions I noticed a small wave of anxiety coming on the horizon. I couldn't back out now, and as the day approached and came closer, my anxiety grew as well. I held off telling my kids until I had the resolve to say what could well have been my last goodbye to them. As I thought about this tears began to well up in my eyes. Linda was by my side and as always giving me hope and support. All at once the uncertainties of life were staring me in the face.

The night before my surgery I went to bed early (what else is new?) because I had to be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. I pity those people, including my patients, who are not early birds. I got there at 5:30 and my close friend Vic was there to greet us.

We waited a short time before I was taken away upstairs to the main operating holding area. Up there they “prepped me”, got me in my hospital gown, so fashionable, (I think they are wonderful) and my little paper booties as well.

Connie, my admitting nurse came in and we hit it off. She started my I.V. and gave me some medication and we had a special conversation. She left to attend other patients so in my quiet alone moment I said a silent prayer. The anxiety relief was instant.

As I opened my eyes, in came a familiar face from the past, Wayne Levy. I worked with Wayne 12 or so years ago to get the homeless center started with the Salvation Army. We chatted and we reminisced and as he was getting ready to leave he said “do you want to pray?” So we did.

Shortly thereafter I was in the OR and all I remember was that they asked me to take some slow deep breaths in and out and after 3 breaths it was all over.

Hours later I woke up in a deep London fog machine blowing humidity up my face. The mister and humidifier created a blurred vision to me as I did not have my glasses. All my toes were working and I heard the reassuring words from the recovery room nurse saying that "your operation is over, all went well."

I share this with you because I now can understand perhaps from a patient’s perspective a little better what you may experience in terms of anxiety before going under the knife. My empathy has grown, my understanding has grown. I have been blessed beyond my wildest imagination to have the greatest job or calling in the world and part of what makes that calling so special are “you my patients”.

Editor's Note: When Dr. Brueck shared this with me, I decide it shoiuld be shared with you. If you would like to more about Dr. Brueck, visit his website at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reuters reports Plastic Surgery still popular

Reuters news service reports that most women under 50 continue to be interested in cosmetic beauty enhancement, ie. plastic surgery and cosmetic non-surgical procedures, despite economic conditions.

Of one thousand women in a poll conducted this month by E-Poll Market Research, 63% in the 18-34 group and 73% in the 35-49 group continue think positively about age-defying procedures that will make then look younger - or at least, hold off the appearance of aging.

44% of the younger group considered Botox-like injections for wrinkle mitigation to be a "routine" procedure for them. Similar numbers from the American Societyof Plastic Surgeons support these findings.

So, how about you? Are you holding back because of some unknown fear of what "might" happen with the economy? If you have the personal income
now to devote to how you look, why let someone else steal a march on you simply because they have more confidence?

This a great time to invest in your future
through a simple procedure that will keep you looking more youthful. Think of it as job insurance - or simply as an affordable boost to your confidence. By the way, we also have financing, with no interest, available for those who qualify.

Pick up the phone. Call
239-939-5233 and ask for Judy. She will set up a no-obligation appointment for you to speak with me about your options, from procedures to how to pay for them.

We'll start off right by making the consultation
free. It costs you nothing, whether you go ahead or decide not to. The number again is 239-939-5233 Thank you. Dr. Brueck

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jane Iredale Cosmetics at plastic surgeon, Dr. Brueck's practice

They are new cosmetics to us but not really new on the market.

We are pleased to announce that we have a complete line of Jane Iredale skincare make-up available to all of our patients. These are outstanding products and patients really enjoy the affects that they have had on their skin.

It’s not just a refinement of normal make-up it’s a whole new technology. The products include Pure Pressed Base SPF 18. It’s a quick simple affective way to apply base. You will apply a foundation of powder, concealer and sunscreen in one stroke.

Apply with Jane Iredale handy brush on clean skin after moisturizer has been absorbed. Brush on a thin layer extending with downward strokes. Apply sparingly and layer it. You can always add more.

The second is Amazing Base with an SPF of 20. All the benefits of pressed powder with more glow. Lightly dip the Chisel powder brush into the powder, tap off any excess and use the lid to work the minerals into the brush. The more evenly distributed it is on the brush the more evenly it will go onto your skin.

There is also a product called Circle/Delete an under eye concealer and conditioner. You can mix the perfect shade from three duo’s; yellow, peach and dark gold/brown. This is applied with the camouflage brush. It contains vitamin K and natural lightener. Apply under or over the minerals. It can be used to help cover bruising, hyperpigmentation and light scars.

The fourth is enlightening concealer, Enlighten. This is specifically designed to help cover hyperpigmentation. Its peach orange color will counteract the tendency for an ashy bleed through. It contains Arbutin, a state of the art natural lightener that inhibits the formation of melanin pigment by inhibiting tyrosine ACE activity. This is what gives people those unsightly brown spots.

The last one is Disappear. It is a heavily pigmented formula that will even cover black tattoos. Use it to cover skin conditions such as acne, port wine stains, scars, etc. This Liposome-based formula contains green tea extracts to help clear blemishes. It also contains other botanicals that are beneficial to the skin. The patented applicator allows you to apply this with or without a brush.

So if you are interested, feel free to give our girls in the office a call, either Judy or Eileen (239-939-5233). They can discuss this more with you and show you the product line. The comments and reaction to it have been outstanding.