That’s right! We now have the mother of all lasers that hits specific areas and works on skin issues that we haven’t been able to address with other lasers. Our new laser, which we’ll start using at the end of February, is going to focus on skin tightening and scars, even some stretch marks. And those fine lines around the eyes!

Before now, we’ve never really been able to make a huge difference in the neck without having a full-on face or neck lift. We’ve also never really been able to tackle stretch marks or scars before. Our new laser takes care of those problem areas and much more. Check out the video below as our aesthetician, Marian Urban and I, discuss our new laser:

As you saw in the video, we have these tricky areas on our skin that are harder to reach: the area around the eyes, the upper lip, the neck, stretch marks and scars. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a “one-time will do it” kind of treatment. It will take multiple visits and the amount will depend on how old the scar is, how deep it is, and how much sun it has been exposed to.

Here is part two of the Humanity Behind the Vanity where we discuss pain level of this laser and answer some questions you may have about scarring.

Another thing we mentioned is that the laser won’t interfere at all with Botox or Dysport. Rather, it will support both of those products, especially around the eyes. Give us a call at 505-988-8886 to schedule. For the first 50 people who come in and pay for one laser session, they’ll receive their 2nd one free. Don’t pass up this great opportunity!


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Plastic Surgery up in 2010

February 9, 2011

2009 may have seen a bit of a plunge in plastic surgery procedures, but 2010 saw a serious comeback in a number of different procedures, according to the newest stats published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Here are some of the most popular surgical procedures that rose in 2010:

• Breast augmentation procedures were up 2% in 2010 compared to 2009

• Breast lifts (Mastopexy) went up 3% in 2010 compared to 2009

• Breast reduction in men were up 6% in 2010 compared to the year before

• Buttocks lift (we’ve written about this) were up 5% in 2010

• Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) was up 3% in 2010

Some of the most popular minimally-invasive procedures in 2010 were:

• Botox/Dysport treatments were up 12% in 2010 with over 5.3 million people having this procedure

• Intense Pulse Light treatment was up 7% in 2010

• Laser hair removal was up 5% in 2010

According to ASPS President, Michael McGuire, MD. “The current economic climate will likely not have an impact on long-term growth. The largest contributor to the increase in procedures over the past decade has been the advent of injectable wrinkle fighters and other minimally-invasive procedures.”

“It would seem, as innovations in cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures increase, surgery will continue to decrease,” added Dr. McGuire. “However, as the economy rebounds, more patients and Boomers will continue to seek surgical body contouring procedures (liposuction, tummy tuck), eyelid surgery and breast augmentations. In fact, breast augmentations are up 36 percent since 2000. Silicone implants are now used in 50 percent of all breast augmentations.”

As more and more people continue to get both surgery and injections, the technology and healing time will continue to improve. I’m excited to see the evolution thus far and even more excited to see where we go in the future.

Questions about these procedures or any others? Please let me know!

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Valentine’s Day Specials

January 24, 2011

Once a year, we have that Hallmark holiday that is dedicated to that special “someone” in your life. So, I was thinking about this…not that long-stem roses aren’t wonderful, along with the chocolates and the hundreds that we drop on this evening. These are all great, kind of cliché; So, I was thinking, why not give a gift that lasts a little longer than a week?

Therefore, we’ve got two things going on over at my offices (Santa Fe and Albuquerque) for Valentines Day.

The first one: We’re giving you 15% off ANY service purchased on February 14th or February 17th. We also have gift certificates available. So, if you have something in mind for you or your loved one, we’ll include the 15% off on the gift certificate and make note of it.

The other thing we have going to show some love, and this one lasts a little longer (and they can’t be mixed) is we’re giving you $50 off your Dysport treatment. If you haven’t heard of Dysport (aka the “new” Botox), you can read about it here. This special will begin on February 1st and will run through March 31st.

Perhaps if you’ve overheard your loved one talking about something a gift like this could take care of, they may appreciate it…a lot. Hope this helps! Any questions?

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Artefill, one of THE most popular fillers, is giving me the chance to give you a significant savings from now through December 7th, 2010. Another cool thing about this besides the potential 40 percent off is that you don’t have to have services rendered on the day of purchase. You can use them whenever you want, or even give Artefill as a Christmas gift!

The cost structure under this special is as follows:

The 1st syringe, which is normally $1200, is now $900.
The 2nd syringe, normally $1000, is now $800.
Each additional syringe is only $700.

The only catch is that the product must be purchased on or by December 7th, and the more you purchase, the more you save. Again, since you don’t have to use them at the time of purchase, you can use them anytime in the future.

Have any questions? Call me or send me an email! Looking forward to seeing you!

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We were having an interesting discussion a couple of weeks ago in the studio about objectifying young girls and teenagers. The topic came up after Betsy read an article in W Magazine, called Melting Barbie. It’s about teens having plastic surgery procedures done when they really aren’t ready for them…Botox, fillers, breast augmentations, things of that nature. Most of these procedures are ones that children and teens just aren’t ready for. There really is no reason for them at that age.

The article talks about how when teens have fillers and Botox injected, it results in them actually looking older. In this media-driven age we live in, teens want to look older. I don’t think it’s a good idea, and I wouldn’t do it. It’s just not developmentally appropriate.

So, how do we go about discussing this when a teen feels it’s absolutely what he/she must do in order to fit in?

Here is the discussion we had, and we’d love your input:

This post isn’t about judging the decisions you’ve made as a parent, it’s more about opening up the lines to discuss what your kids may go through. Being a teenager is not an easy thing. The pressures teens experience today are much more amplified than those we experienced. As a parent, have you experienced this type of pressure from your teens? How have you dealt with it?

Sound off now.

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Botox for headaches

October 20, 2010

That’s right. We’ve written about the benefits of Botox for more than wrinkle treatment. Botox has been used in the balls of the feet to alleviate pain from wearing high heels. It is used for sweaty armpits. Well, Botox has also been used for years on migraine sufferers. The thing is, the manufacturer has never really been able to promote its use in this area until NOW. The FDA has finally approved Botox to treat patients who suffer from a severe form of migraine that lasts for long periods of time.

Here’s the story from Natasha Singer of the New York Times:

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Botox, the anti-wrinkle shot from Allergan, as a treatment to prevent chronic migraines, a little more than a month after the company agreed to pay $600 million to settle allegations that it had illegally marketed the drug for unapproved uses like headaches for years.

The agency’s decision endorses doctors’ use of Botox to treat patients who suffer from a severe form of migraine involving headaches on at least 15 days a month. Britain’s drug agency approved Botox for the same use this summer.

Botox is already approved by the F.D.A. to treat uncontrolled blinking; crossed eyes; certain neck muscle spasms; excessive underarm sweating; and stiffness associated with muscle spasticity in the elbows and hands. It also is approved for cosmetic purposes — to smooth lines between the eyebrows.

Botox had worldwide sales last year of about $1.3 billion, divided equally between medical and cosmetic uses.

But Allergan said sales of Botox for chronic migraine and other medical uses would soon eclipse sales of the drug as a wrinkle smoother. Allergan is also studying the drug for a variety of new medical uses, including overactive bladder, said Dr. Scott M. Whitcup, the company’s executive vice president for research and development.

“For the business, Botox has been an incredible medication. We call it our pipeline in a vial,” Dr. Whitcup said. “People still think about it as a cosmetic product, but the therapeutic indications in the next five years will far surpass its cosmetic use.”

Industry analysts have forecast worldwide sales of the drug for the severe migraine condition at $250 million to more than $1 billion annually by 2015.
Unlike the occasional headache, the chronic migraine condition is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, intense sensitivity to light and noise, and moderate to severe pain.

The audience for Botox headache shots could be significant because some chronic migraine patients do not improve when they take the pills that are now the standard treatment, neurologists said. Treatments include pills like Topamax, taken daily to prevent migraine, and the triptan family of drugs, taken to ease an existing migraine.

Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin, a nerve poison produced by the bacteria that causes botulism. Injections of Botox typically act to temporarily blunt nerve signals to certain muscles or glands. Researchers are still exploring how the drug works on migraines. Dr. Whitcup said one theory was that it blocked pain signals from reaching nerve endings.

A Botox migraine treatment generally involves a total of 31 injections in seven areas — including the forehead, temples, the back of the head, the neck and shoulders. To treat the chronic condition, injections are given about every three months.

Industry analysts estimated that the migraine treatment would cost $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the amount of the drug used and the physician’s fee. Some private insurers are likely to cover the migraine treatment now that it has received F.D.A. approval, analysts said, although patients may have to cover a significant co-payment.

“The cost is prohibitive for some,” Randall Stanicky, a vice president for global research at Goldman Sachs, said in an interview earlier this year. “But given the debilitating challenges of having migraines more than 15 days a month, if Botox can cut down on that, it’s clearly going to be a big opportunity.”

Other analysts have expressed skepticism that doctors and patients would embrace the drug, arguing that Botox has a marginal effect on headaches compared with a placebo.

“The true drug effect is minimal,” Corey Davis, an analyst at Jefferies & Company, said in an interview earlier this year.

Patients in one study financed by Allergan, for example, typically experienced about five fewer headache episodes a month than they had before the study — no matter whether they had injections of Botox or a placebo.

After Allergan reviewed the results of that first study, the company changed the primary end point — the scientific goal post — on a second study so that it would focus on the drug’s effect on the number of headache days rather than the number of headache episodes that a person experienced each month. Dr. Whitcup said it was easier for patients to remember how many headache days as opposed to how many headache episodes they had every month.

The second study reported that patients who received Botox injections typically experienced about 2.3 fewer headache days than the placebo group, a statistically significant difference. But the placebo group also experienced considerable improvement — a common feature in pain studies — raising questions among some doctors about the magnitude of the Botox effect.

Dr. Whitcup said Botox had consistently beaten the placebo at different time points in the study and that patients had reported an improvement in their daily functioning and quality of life.

Although the F.D.A. approved the drug for the chronic condition, the agency said in its statement Friday that Botox had not been shown to work for the occasional headache or migraine.

Common side effects were neck pain and, of all things, headaches. But neurologists point to a more welcome side effect for some — fewer wrinkles.

So, if you’re one who suffers from severe migraines, perhaps Botox is the solution for you.

I’ve used it successfully for the headaches that are triggered by muscle tension. It does not work for other headaches, such as those caused by the common cold, or lack of sleep, or anxiety.

Neurologists are the ones who see most patients with headaches. With proper training for headache treatment, they can perform the injections as well.

What are your thoughts? Have you used Botox to relieve severe headaches?

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Last week, we had our Aesthetician, Marian Urban, on our radio show, The Humanity Behind the Vanity. She talked with us about the importance of skin care, and how far too often, men have a tendency to overlook taking care of their skin (moisturizing, sunscreen, etc). However, men have just as much to be concerned about when it comes to skin issues as women do: skin cancer, pre-mature aging, sun spots . . . all of which can be serious concerns.

Men make up about 30 percent of Marian’s clientele and that number will most likely continue to increase. Most of the men Marian treats are between 50 to 70 years of age, but she sees plenty of teenagers as well.

Her ENVY laser treatment is an individualized program that involves many elements, including

• Laser treatment to remove years of sun damage
• Laser treatment to diminish or erase capillaries and veins
• Serums and lotions to moisturize and regenerate the skin
• Microdermabrasion

Besides facial restoration, another large component of Marian’s practice is hair removal. For men, it is typically on the back and chest. She has a special laser that can treat large areas at once.

Here is Marian Urban to talk more about the importance of taking care of the skin.

As mentioned, our skin is the biggest organ we have. It’s important to take proper care of it . . . especially if we want to look vibrant as we age. If you have any questions concerning any of procedures mentioned above or in the video, give us a call at 505-988-8886.

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Dysport: The New Botox

September 29, 2010

You may have heard of it…I know I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, so now it’s time to talk about it. Dysport, Botox’s new competitor, is now being introduced heavily into the American market. Dysport has the same molecules as Botox but it’s packaged in a different way, so the delivery is a little bit different. As I talk about in the video, the word on the street is that it acts faster and lasts longer than Botox. This has not yet been proven in a scientific study.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Something interesting that’s been found on the Botox side is that, in some people, the body can build up antibodies to it, making it less effective. Dysport, on the other hand, seems to have no antibody development in patients that used it. Again, this is based on weak scientific data.

Another difference that may have been found is the “droopy brow syndrome.” Dysport seems to have a lower percentage of patients who develop a droopy brow after treating the wrinkles in between the eyebrows (and for those of you who have never had either of these products, the “droop” DOES go away). Although no actual studies have been done directly comparing Botox and Dysport, I’m sure that we’ll be seeing some come up.

Here is a bit more on the subject:

If you have any questions at all, please let me know. We’ll keep you posted on Betsy’s experience with Dysport and we’ll see which one she prefers.

Have you tried Dysport yet? If so, what did you think? Did you like it better than Botox? Looking forward to your comments.

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The Los Angeles Times covered a story this past week on stem cell face-lifts, saying that the procedure is on unproven ground. I thought this would be a good topic to share and give my thoughts on for those of you who may have missed the article. Here’s the beginning:

Demand is booming for the cosmetic procedure that uses a person’s own stem cells. Though surgeons claim their patients note younger skin, scientists say there’s no evidence of any such thing.

When doctors, researchers and celebrity lobbyists talk about the amazing potential of stem cell therapy, their discussions usually center on big-ticket items such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer and spinal cord injuries. They don’t, as a rule, talk about wrinkles and crow’s feet.

But could stem cells be the next frontier in anti-aging medicine? Though most stem cell therapies are still in their infancy, a small number of plastic surgeons across the country are already offering so-called stem cell face-lifts, cosmetic procedures that use a person’s own stem cells to supposedly bring new life to aging, sagging skin.

Stem cell face-lifts: A Sept. 13 Health section story assessing stem cell face-lifts offered by two Beverly Hills doctors said that Dr. Nathan Newman charges between $5,500 and $9,500 for the procedure and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen charges $15,000 to $25,000. The story should have noted that Ellenbogen often performs a surgical face-lift along with his injection of stem cells. —

Read the rest of the story here.

So . . . here are a few thoughts in stem cells and using them for facelifts:

I really think they’re being used before we can prove that they work. Not to mention claims of their long-term effects. There are so many different kinds of stem cells and I believe it’s safe to say that we don’t know which are best for which applications. Stem cells are very, very delicate, and we don’t even know if they’ll survive in the applications we’re starting to use them for.

The upside about using stem cells and what’s okay about this process is that they’re safe to use, even if they are not fully studied. Stem cells aren’t like a new drug that has to have extensive studies to test its safety. My biggest issue is what we can “claim” about them, if anything.

HOWEVER, I do see an enormous potential, mostly in the reconstruction field. Honestly, everyone is throwing stem cells into products and procedures with no studies to show they work. Heck…I do it too! At the end of the day…ask questions. Nothing is really proven but it does take experimentation. Just be aware of “false” advertising and be sure you’re working with a surgeon who is legitimate – who does not try to sell you on a procedure simply because stem cells are involved.

Any thoughts?

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Last week, on The Humanity Behind the Vanity, my wife, Betsy wanted to talk about a procedure I find myself doing more and more of: Buccal fat pad removal. Now, there are a lot of people who’ve never heard of this procedure, so I’ll give an introduction and let you hear our chat.

Buccal fat is the fat just under the cheekbone. If you’ve ever seen anyone with “chipmunk” looking cheeks or very round cheeks, that’s the buccal fat. So, many models back in the early 90’s would have a bit of the buccal fat removed for more enhanced and pronounced cheekbones.

Again, there aren’t many side effects besides a bit of swelling, which DOES go down after a few days. And there are alternatives to enhance the cheekbones as well, as Betsy describes. It’s all a matter of personal preference. If you’d like to know more or have any questions, send me an email or call my office at 505-988-8886…or let’s talk about it right here.

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