Monday, February 28, 2011


The holy grail for women is cellulite and stretch marks, and for us men it's baldness or hairloss. There have been advances made on all fronts to be sure but more work needs to be done. Some promissing new research was reported by scientist at UCLA. Researchers there were doing work on stress hormones on mice that normally are bald head to toe. The compound the researcheres wanted to study was astressin-B, if it would block the effects of stress on the colon. When the drug was given to the "bald-hairless" mice, after 5 days or so they no longer were bald. WOW! They next took this magical compound and injected it into baby mice before they went bald and low and behold those mice did not lose their hair. More studies-research are planned. There may be hope for us old grey balding men.


Thursday, February 24, 2011


I guess its hard to note an operation that is subjective. When we say beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess with facelifts that is true. A plastic surgeon in Leawood, Kansas wanted to measure the outcome of patients undergoing facelift surgery. Dr. Eric Swanson studied 82 women and 11 men with an average age was 57. Many patients also underwent additional procedures such as eyelid lifts, brow lifts and the like. Interviews were conducted about 7 months after their surgery.

A whopping 97% said the results meet their expectations. Expected outcomes are hard to gage. One reason I may elect NOT to do surgery on a patient is if I believe their expectations exceed what I can deliver. Dr. Swanson also tried to "quantify" in years how much younger his patients looked, and the magic number was... 12 years. That's great! The end result in facelift surgeries depends on the degree of deformity and also the quality of the skin and underlying soft tissue. Someone with significant sun damage may have a "wow" dramatic result but may NOT have a lot of longevity because the skin has lost so much elasticity. None the less, almost 90% of Dr. Swanson's patients experienced "positive reactions" to their surgery. More than 80% had experienced an improvement in their self esteem and, 70% had an increase in their quality of life. Only 2% of patients were unhappy with their scars. In the end all that matters to me is that you my patients are happy.

To view before and after photos of facelifts performed by Dr. Robert J. Brueck M.D. FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon located in Fort Myers, Florida please visit his website at



I was reading "The Week" and came across an interesting comparison and one I thought was relevant to what is going on, in the world today. It seems we are reading more and more about China and the U.S. and comparing our military and economy to theirs.

The land mass of China is roughly the same as that of the United States. Their population is 1.3 billion so for OUR population to equal theirs, we would have to invite into our country the entire population of Central America, South America, Canada, Japan and Nigeria. That's a whole lot of people. Food for thought!!!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WE ARE WHAT WE EAT- Thoughts on Nutrition from Dr. Brueck MD

Another in a series of insightful blog messages from Fort Myers Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Robert. J Brueck MD FACS


Today, we are faced with a constant barrage about what to eat.

We have people tout this supplement/these organic fruits and vegetables/antibiotics free chicken and the new miracle vitamin drink or potion. There are things that we consume and things that we apply/all the new skin creams guarantee to remove our wrinkles, our age spots, our fine lines.

You get my point. I was never one for supplements but now I take several every day. Do I look 40-years-old again, no. Do I feel 30, no. But I think it can help our overall well-being in ways that we cannot feel or be able to quantify.

I was fortunate to read an article recently that talked about five simple supplements to aid longevity. I guess it’s our never ending quest for the fountain of youth like Ponce De Leon. These five supplements supposedly help you live to 100, maybe even more, who knows? Only the good Lord knows the answer to that.

They can only aid and benefit your body.

These five supplements have been shown to have a beneficial effect on your body. They are usually consumed with a daily meal and over a long period of time. I would suggest that you might call your primary care physician to get his or her approval before embarking on this journey. You never know if these may interfere with a medication you are taking for high blood pressure or the like.

ACETYL-L-CARNITINE: This is an amino acid that has a key role in cellular metabolism. This substance helps brain function as well. It can also protect the heart and liver. Sometimes this substance is used to treat diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling that many diabetics feel in their extremities. Usually the dose is 500-2000 mg a day.

FOLIC ACID: This is a synthetic form of Folate as a member of the vitamin B family. This is often found in green leafy vegetables (love my spinach!)

This is important because it helps regulate gene expressions for the prevention of heart disease and some forms of cancer and certain neurological disorders. The recommended dose is 800 mcg [micrograms, not milligrams; important difference - When I was in medical school I read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a Chili recipe that was oh-so-good that inmates at a prison in Texas actually wanted to extend their stay in prison. They did this only because they wanted to continue the chefs magically, wonderful, special chili. Boy, I thought this has to be something awesome. I couldn’t get the pots and pans out quick enough. The recipe was lengthy which told me it was indeed “special”. assembled all the ingredients and the masterpiece was finished and consumed that night by myself, my roommate and some of my Episcopalian priest friends who were living at the Bishop-Anderson Foundation, where I lived during my second year of medical school. Needless to say we all enjoyed the unique taste of this miracle chili. The next day we got together and we were having a cup of coffee and we all seemed to relate to some type of nocturnal GI complaints. As I listened to their comments I wondered why and I reviewed the recipe in a contemplative way trying to figure out what could have gone wrong. All of a sudden my eyes fixated on 5 cloves of garlic. I paused, thought back to my day of preparation and remembered how I painstakingly prepped, peeled and squashed five balls of garlic. So, micrograms is not milligrams. Just beware.

CO-ENZYME Q-10: Found in high concentrations in the mitochondria of the cells. The mitochondria produce the energy for our cells to function. Having sufficient levels of this substance helps to protect our mitochondria from the effects of age Co Q-10 diminishes. This is important for maintaining normal heart function, treating certain types of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

LIPOIC ACID: To many this is the ultimate antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals that attack and injure normal cells. Sun damage, for example, produces free radicals to cause our skin to become wrinkled, dry, leathery, cracked, thin and the like. The usual dose of Lipoic Acid is 150 mg per day but when used to treat heart disease and diabetes one may need up to 600 mg a day.

DHEA: These letters stand for Dehydroepiandrosterone. As we age, levels decrease significantly. A lack of this hormone causes us to have dry skin, thinning hair, muscle weakness, diminished libido and many other malady’s that effect us. The dosage that we normally start at is 10 mg.

When I look back over the years of practicing plastic surgery and medicine in general I am amazed at how far we have come in the science of nutrition. As a medical student at the University of Illinois I remember receiving a small monograph from Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company on vitamins. That was then and what we have now is far more advanced, more meaningful and more substantive in improving the quality of our lives. As they say we have come a long way. Maybe there is more to the saying – We Are What We Eat.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dr. Brueck, Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon TV syndication schedule

Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD FACS is a Fort Myers-based Board Certified plastic surgeon who blogs at this address.

Since not everyone who follows this blog lives in the signal range of Fort Myers WINK-TV, I'd like to let you know about the scheduled showings in other markets of my appearances on American Health Journal.

So here are the dates, times, markets and stations


For the week of Monday, February 21st through Sunday, February 27th
  • My Network 13 – San Diego, CA Station: KHOU / Inde D2 Houston, TX - Day & Time: Sunday @ 11:00 AM Day & Time: M-Th @ 7-8 AM

  • CBS 6 – Beaumont, TX Station: WNBW / NBC – Gainesville, FL - Day & Time: Sunday @ 11:05 PM Day & Time: Saturday @ 12:00 PM

  • 10 News 2 – Knoxville, TN Station: My Network – Gainesville, FL -Day & Time: Saturday @ 4:30 PM Day & Time: Sunday @ 9:00 AM

  • CBS – Salt Lake City, UT Station: CW 5 – Alexandria, LA - Day & Time: Sunday @ 7:30 AM Day & Time: Sunday, @ 9:00 AM

  • CBS 2 – Palm Springs, CA Station: ThisTV – Lafayette, LA - Day & Time: Saturday @ 3:30 PM Day & Time: Saturday @ 9:00 AM Sunday @ 5:30 AM Sunday @ 9:00 AM
If you missed previous telecasts, this is a chance to catch up.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plastic Surgery Questions from BizyMoms.

Dr. Robert J. Brueck, Board Certified Fort Myers plastic surgeon, has been asked by the web site,, to answer questions from their guests about cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures. In this instance, the questions were about breast reduction surgery.

What (precisely) is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is trying to take a large pendulous breast and make it smaller. This will relieve some of the neck, back and shoulder pain that many women suffer from.

What should one expect after breast reduction surgery?

The biggest thing will be perkier, smaller, less painful breasts. Most women enjoy the greater degree of freedom they possess to exercise and do their normal daily activities.

What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?

The biggest benefit is that a patient can resume a more normal life style and be more active without having to deal with large, cumbersome breasts. It really becomes a quality of life issue.

What does breast reduction surgery involve?

This (breast reduction surgery) is done as an out-patient procedure and takes about 2-3 hours. The patient goes to recovery for an hour or two and goes home. The first 4 days I tell my patients to take it easy. After that they can let comfort be their guide. Real hard physical activity can be resumed in 3-4 weeks.

How many techniques are there for breast reduction surgery?

There are several techniques too numerous to mention. Some surgeons will vary their technique based on the volume of tissue to be removed. Some surgeons will only perform liposuction but this in my opinion is not a good choice.

What are the risks involved of breast reduction surgery?

There are always the risks of anesthesia. But, more specifically, the risks include bruising, swelling, scarring, possible infection, loss of a nipple or both, asymmetry. This operation is particularly more risky in a smoker. I ask my patients to quit (smoking) 2 weeks before to help minimize wound healing problems.

Who is a good candidate for a breast reduction?

Obviously a patient must be in good physical health. The operation is done as an out-patient and usually takes about 2-3 hours. A person who has persistent neck, back and shoulder pain is a good candidate. Also, some women will have persistent rashes under their breasts which makes reduction a welcome relief.

How much does a breast reduction cost?

The cost for a breast reduction is $5-7,000 plus the cost of anesthesia, the operating room and a pathological analysis of the breast tissue.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Back from Miami - Dr. Brueck on new plastic surgery procedures

I'm back from weekend attendance at a symposium at Mercy Hospital in Miami. The faculty and expert participants discussed and we learned about a number of new procedures for facial rejuvenation and breast augmentation. I'm in the process of digesting all the new knowledge while I catch up with being away.

Shortly, I will post some interesting findings from the symposium. Come back later to learn.

Or check in at my web site for the latest in face lifts and breast surgery.

Thank you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

CAN'T REMEMBER THE LIST? Dr. Brueck on memory retention.

Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD FACS likes to write about all matters of health and medicine, which he does regularly at this blog. As a Fort Myers Board Certified plastic surgeon his practice is largely limited to Southwest Florida, but his interests know no limits.

As my friends enter the twilight of their lives, I have become more cognizant of "senior" moments. I can remember, I think, even when I was much younger those moments of "what's-his-name-again" ineptitude. To forestall what I hope is not the inevitable, I now take three tablets a day of Neuro-PS Gold to help maintain my upstairs functioning.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal referred to a "new" substance to help restore memory.

The original article appeared in the Journal Nature. This secret ingredient is known as IGF-II and it is a protein. When this substance was blocked from the brain in mice they couldn't remember what they learned. So when this substance is present declarative memory is improved.

Declarative memory centers around remembering facts, faces, places and things like that.

This memory is affected in Alzheimer disease.

One advantage of this protein molecule is that it can cross the blood brain barrier so it could be administered by vapor, maybe by pill or intravenously. So now more research will follow.

The next question is, if IGF-II is administered throughout the body and not just the brain how will it affect other organ systems. It's exciting and it's cutting edge and it's hope for many.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011


Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD FACS, a Ft. Myers Board Certified Plastic Surgeon frequently blogs about matters of health and beauty, and you can visit his website (linked above) at

I guess you might say let's inject a few lines or a few wrinkles and while we're at it in my nose. The push over the past several years has been toward non-surgical procedures such as fillers and Botox. Sometimes nose reshaping can occur with an injectable such as Radiesse. The downside is it doesn't last and over time the cost can be prohibitive.

Basically you take some cartilage from you septum, dice it up, and then inject it into the defect. This defect maybe a hump that needs to be softened or a depression that needs to be built up.

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Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD FACS, a Fort Myers plastic surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, periodically uses this blog to discuss issues of health, medicine and plastic surgery. Dr. Brueck also comments on plastic surgery procedures at his web site at, click on the link above.

On January 26th, the FDA made a post and held a press conference to discuss RARE reports of ALCL (anaplastic large cell Lymphoma) occurring in women with and without implants.

This condition is extremely rare. To show how rare this is, over the past 15 years there have been only 34 cases reported in the literature in a estimated 5-10 million women with breast implants.


This is NOT breast cancer but a form of lymphoma. Every woman with a breast implant gets a capsule or scar tissue. This tumor of lymph cells occurs between the implant and the capsule or scar tissue. Since the risk is remote and extremely rare the FDA is NOT taking implants off the market but setting up a registry or data bank to gather more information.

What should I look for?

If you have developed unexplained pain or localized swelling, or a lump go see your plastic surgeon. It may also present as asymmetry.

Characteristic of 34 cases:

Age: 28-87 (median 51)

Type Implant: 24- Silicone
7- Saline
3- not specified

Time from Implant: 8 years

Reason for Implant: 11- reconstruction
19- Augmentation
4- not specified

Again this is extremely rare. If you have any concern I would be happy to see you.

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to visit my website at

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