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BHP Blog

We’ve been reading a lot lately about severely obese pets who have been put on highly effective diets by more responsible pet owners. The sad truth for us human beings is that defeating even the worst cases of obesity is far easier for pets – thanks to their lack of opposable thumbs to open refrigerator doors with, companion animals only need a responsible human to make sure they eat properly. However, with constant access to cheap calories in the form of appealing junk foods, people in the industrialized world are analogous to pets who have been offered unlimited access to treats. Small wonder then, that obesity has gone out of control.

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The reason weight loss surgery remains the go-to solution for severely overweight patients who want to improve their health and overall quality of life, has everything to do with the fact that the freedom to control one’s own diet can be an extremely mixed blessing. Even casual dieters who only want to lose a few extra pounds typically find the process of reducing their food intake challenging -- and keeping those extra pounds off is usually even harder. This is because when people cut back on their caloric intake, their bodies start manufacturing more of the hormones that cause hungry feelings. Many theorize that this phenomenon evolved to make individuals safer from the famines that were a genuine threat through most of human history. The medical group adds that, if it’s a challenge for a relatively thin person to lose a few pounds, the problem becomes exponentially worse for severely obese individuals,

Weight loss surgery gets to the root cause of obesity by addressing the problem of excessive appetite. A procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy reduces the size of the stomach by as much as 85 percent, which makes overeating uncomfortable. The group notes, however, that that is only part of the benefit. This bariatric procedure also drastically reduces the amount of hunger-inducing hormones produced by the body. The result is that substantial permanent weight loss typically becomes highly achievable, though still challenging. With surgery, most humans may still find weight loss a little bit more difficult than their fur-bearing friends, but they can produce before-and-after results that are every bit as impressive.

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Anyone whose job involves helping people make positive changes knows that the first weeks of the year tend to be among the busiest. New Year’s resolutions are nearly always cited, and that’s just obvious. Yet, some people point out that the calendar is simply a tool for marking time in a relatively arbitrary manner, and there’s actually no reason that people should wait for a new year to make changes. We think those people are kind of missing the point.

At Beverly Hills Physicians, we know that there’s no time like the present to make a change, but if the present happens to be the start of a new year, there’s every reason to use that fact to get you started on whatever personal project you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s finally getting that rhinoplasty (nose job) you’ve always wanted or making a serious commitment to defeating your severe obesity with a weight loss surgery, we human beings are strongly motivated by reminders, arbitrary or not, that we only have so much time on this planet to make the most of things.

There’s every reason in the world to mark the start of 2019 to act on your constructive impulses, and our outstanding BHP health and beauty professionals are ready to help you do that.

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Whether we’re discussing plastic surgery, cosmetic procedures, or anything else relating to medicine, the matter of cost is always going to come up. It’s only natural for patients to be concerned – especially with procedures that are almost never covered by insurance. At Beverly Hills Physicians, we think that patients need to keep a few things in mind.

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    • The money you save getting a cut-rate procedure is likely to be a tiny fraction of the often enormous expense of possible multiple revision surgeries following a botched procedure. In the most serious cases, the damage may be permanent or even life-threatening.
    • Viewed positively, investing a little bit more by getting a procedure from skilled physicians you trust simply makes sense. If you’re not going to end up feeling good about their work, why bother?
    • Many procedures are less expensive than you probably assume, and an increasing number of highly effective injectables are offering outstanding results for less immediate cost. Don’t’ just assume you can’t afford something.
    • Finally, when money is an issue for surgeries, our outstanding consultants here at BHP can sit down with you and work out a payment plan that can make most procedures affordable for the majority of people.

If you’re thinking about a procedure, your health needs to be your first concern. You can shop on cost when you’re buying tube socks. 

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It’s Halloween and there’s candy everywhere. It’s at home ready for trick-or-treaters. If you’ve got kids of your own, they’re likely to bring home a ton of it after trick-or-treating, tempting us to “rescue” our offspring by consuming it all ourselves. Then there’s the promotional candy all kinds of businesses give out and which also turns up in many offices, possibly your own.  Scarier still, you know that this is only the beginning; the year’s biggest food holidays are rapidly on their way in November and December. For a lot of people, that’s way scarier than a masked knife wielding fiend who simply can’t leave poor Jamie Lee Curtis alone.

chocolatebhblog302We know holidays and the foods associated with them are a challenge for just about everyone who’s concerned with their weight and/or their overall health. Here at Beverly Hills Physicians, we’ve worked with countless people who are trying to lose weight – whether it’s the matter of ten or 20 pounds as we try to look our very best, or it’s a life-threatening 75-100+ pounds that need to go. 

When it comes to resisting holiday treats the trick is that there is no trick! We are made to want to eat high-calorie foods and our body wants to stay at its present weight, whatever that is. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try to lose weight, they absolutely should. Appearance aside, losing even a few pounds and keeping them off can make a big impact on our health. Just be realistic about it.

Trying to say goodbye forever to Kit-Kats, frosted cookies, or whatever is not going to work for most people.  It’s better to try to sort of “save up” your treats for specific occasions so you can enjoy them –in reasonable portions of course -- without feeling guilty and super-fat. Finally, never starve yourself. Among many other issues, starvation diets can lead spark seriously unhealthy binges once they’re over.

There is, however, good news for people with severe weight issues – a body mass index of 40 or over or 35 and over with serious related health problems. It’s that surgery really can reduce or in some cases eliminate those nagging cravings for fattening foods. Indeed, some patients really are able to give up candy, deserts and fatty foods forever, but only they no longer really want them after their procedures.

However, for the rest of us who still have the cravings, it’s not a matter of saying it’s okay to give in sometimes, it’s more like an inevitability. Human beings are omnivores made to eat a wide range of foods. For most of us, in most cases, giving up our favorite treats forever is off the table. 

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It’s time to highlight our bra collection drive in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  We are accepting both new and gently used bras for redistribution to women in need at our main locations. Anyone who has bras they would like to donate can do so by dropping them in collection boxes located at our offices in Beverly Hills, Carson, Encino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Thousand Oaks. Donations may be made during regular office hours.

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The drive is part of our ongoing commitment to helping all kinds of people feel comfortable and confident in their appearance. Breast cancer reconstruction surgery has a long track record of success in helping survivors to recover and return to a full and active life. It’s also important for women to know that medical insurers that cover breast cancer treatment are currently legally mandated to also cover reconstructive procedures.

These procedures are among the many treatments provided by plastic surgeons that go against the stereotype of plastic surgeries being strictly for fashion models and starlets. Breast reductions, for example, are sometimes obtained for mostly cosmetic reasons but, more often, there are other motivations. Specifically, many women get them to help deal with back pain caused by having oversize breasts or to be able to fully participate in their favorite sports. Finally, younger women especially may want more standard-size breasts in order to avoid unwanted additional attention, says the medical group.

If you have any questions about breast reconstruction or reductions, or the bra collection drive, feel free to call us at the phone number at the top of the page. 

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Some recent research is indicating that weigh loss procedures are helpful against gout. For those who aren’t sure what gout is, it’s a common and particularly painful form of arthritis that is frequently associated with weight issues and which most often attacks the feet. Sufferers typically suffer excruciating flare-ups that are often triggered by particular foods that are rich in uric acid, the cause of the inflammation behind the condition. However, they do note that flare-ups of gout are a possibility shortly after surgeries. Considering the number of conditions that can be effectively dealt with by eliminating obesity, it’s not surprising that this particular condition can be eliminated or greatly lessened with the help of the procedure.

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To understand just why bariatric surgery is now being frequently recommended by physicians, it’s important to have some idea of how and why a procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy works. Most individuals who are severely obese are highly motivated to lose weight, particularly if serious or painful health problems are an issue. However, while many patients are able to lose impressive amounts early on, over time, the tendency is to regain the weight, often with some additional pounds added. Most weight loss experts now theorize that a primary reason for this well-known phenomenon comes down to hormones. It appears that most people with weight issues produce a higher amount of substances like ghrelin that are associated with feelings of hunger and appetite. Worse, when individuals start to lose weight, the body goes into a kind of pre-starvation mode and production of hunger hormones increases. Thus, defeating obesity is no mere matter of self-control; no matter how well motivated, most people simply can’t ignore the nagging hormonal cravings the body generates.  

Surgeries like the gastric sleeve get at the root of obesity by working in two different ways. Removing a large portion of the stomach and leaving a sleeve-like pouch makes overeating difficult and unpleasant, as you would expect. However, since hunger hormones appear to be produced in certain areas of the stomach, surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach can also greatly reduce the production of hunger hormones. Thus, patients are able to focus on changing their dietary habits without the constant sensations that are indistinguishable from actual hunger and that make life extremely difficult for people who are trying to significantly reduce their caloric intake.

Readers who are interested in finding out more about weight loss surgery should call BHP at the phone number above.

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There’s been no shortage of journalistic speculation lately about the ongoing increase in plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures being obtained by men. Honestly, however, figuring out why more modern males are willing to go the extra mile for their appearance is no mystery. Just turn on a television set, go to the movies, or take your electronic device to any pop culture website. Beautiful men are everywhere.

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During the mid-20th century, male stars could get away with having faces like Humphrey Bogart and bodies that, by modern standards, were nothing to write home about. Exemplars of classic-era Hollywood male beauty like Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Gary Cooper in their prime looked almost sickly next to your typical under-50 leading man of today when it was time for a shirtless scene. While some writers are speculating about the current popularity of movie superheroes raising the bar for contemporary men, it’s important to note that, on midcentury American TV, Adam West’s Batman and George Reeves’ Superman were, to put it bluntly, a bit paunchy.

By the late 1970s, things were changing rapidly and Christopher Reeves’s Superman was in appropriate super-shape while, much more recently, Christian Bale’s Dark Knight was a model of male perfection. Generally speaking, today’s young prospective leading men are expected to be about as perfect looking as the women they work opposite. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that all of this is concurrent with the rise of feminism. Even in an age where women in media are continuing the battle against objectification, men in media are becoming more aware that people watching television and movies enjoy looking at attractive people of all genders.

While we still have a long way to go, it really does look like a leveling of the playing field is closer than ever. When it comes to appearance, what’s good for the goose really may soon be good for the appearance-conscious gander. We’re certainly seeing more male patients BHP who are trying to keep up in an increasingly competitive atmosphere for men in their careers and personal lives. Are you or your significant other next?

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A few weeks back online gossips was hyping groundless speculation that country music superstar Carrie Underwood had faked a wrist accident in order to divert attention from a plastic surgery. The wrist injury, which Ms. Underwood described as “gruesome” and which she says required some forty to fifty stitches, generated enough nastiness to trouble the singer’s mother, Ms. Underwood told reporters. The speculation finally ended when the singer released x-rays of the injury. It’s all a typical example of the all-too familiar mean-spirited online speculation that treats plastic surgery as somehow shameful.

Of course, if the singer had decided to get plastic surgery, it really wasn’t anybody else’s business. The good news is that, slowly but surely, plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are becoming more generally accepted as a means of allowing people to improve their appearance and feel more comfortable and self-confident. At the same time, however, many people act as if obtaining a procedure is some kind of a betrayal of a person’s individuality. Hardly anyone criticizes people who wear elaborate hairstyles or pay close attention to their choice of clothing, but somehow people improving their appearance with liposuction, body contouring, or even a rhinoplasty (aka nose job) is still seen by a few as morally questionable.

Part of the issue is that online commenters in particular tend to stereotype people who receive plastic surgeries as motivated only by vanity. The reality is that many patients are career people of all genders struggling to stay relevant in youth-oriented business through facial rejuvenation; others are women who obtain breast reductions to deal with physical issues and/or unwanted attention related to having unusually large breasts. Indeed, while some procedures may be obtained mostly by very good looking people seeking to fix particular perceived flaws in their appearance in order become even more impressive, procedures like breast reductions for women, but also for men, are simply an effort to avoid getting too much of the wrong kind of attention. These people are not helped by online commenters who seem to relish making hurtful, faux-moralistic comments.

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There is an increasingly small minority of invariably thin people who ignore the research, and the experiences of just about every person who has struggled with their weight, who state that obesity would cease to be a problem if obese and overweight people simply learned a little self-control. The rest of us know that weight loss is hard and, as we’re learning, the more weight most people tend to lose, the more difficult it becomes to keep it off. One of the primary reasons that the weight loss surgeries we perform here at Beverly Hills Physicians for severely obese patients seems to work is that, aside from making it uncomfortable to eat, sleeve gastrectomy reduces the production of hormones that are associated with the urges to eat that make, weight loss difficult even for people trying to lose ten or twenty pounds and next to impossible for most people with severe obesity.

The truth is that the statistics on defeating obesity without a weight loss surgery are dismal and, while it’s not a magic wand, bariatric procedures improve the odds drastically simply because eating less becomes less of a struggle without the nagging feelings of hunger that seem to only get stronger over time, as well as the physical issues associated with trying to fit too much food in a much smaller stomach.

Still, in our celebrity culture, we hear stories not only of people like gastric sleeve patients like Rosie O’Donnell, but of severely obese celebrities who appear to have been able to lose very large amounts of weight without surgery. A few years back, magician/comedian/actor Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller managed to drop 100 pounds off his 6’7” frame simply, it appears, by switching to a diet dominated by stewed potatoes and other vegetables. More recently, Jillette was thanked for his recent book on his weight loss by the formerly very obese and famously profane filmmaker/comedian/podcaster Kevin Smith, who has lost a very dramatic amount of weight since February.

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So, does that mean people considering a weight loss surgery, who have already tried and failed to lose weight multiple times, should blame themselves for not having the same kind of resolve as Jillette and Smith. The easy answer is “No.” First of all, while we definitely wish them the very best, both of these gentlemen’s weight loss is still fairly recent. Also, it’s notable that both men were motivated by very serious health scares. In Smith’s case, it was a sudden heart attack that, but for a well-timed hospital visit, would likely have killed him. Few incentives are as strong as wanting to avoid death, and that’s amplified by the fact that both men are fathers who’d like to be around for as much of their offspring’s lives as possible. It also certainly doesn’t hurt that famous people are usually wealthy enough to hire personal nutritionists and chefs to ease their way.

The fact of the matter is that none of us should wait until a doctor warns us that another six months of obesity will likely be our last. For most of us, the most serious health harms related to being very overweight are mainly abstract concepts, while impossible to ignore hungry feelings are very much in the here and now. If you’re severely obese and concerned about your health, the fact of the matter is that trying to will yourself thin is a risky concept. Sometimes, the healthiest and smartest solution to a problem is the one that makes things just a little easier. There are no extra points for difficulty in weight loss.

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A recent StyleCaster argues that there is an ongoing trend among rhinoplasty patients of asking for noses that look like the beautifully proportioned facial appendage sported by reigning pop/R&B goddess Rihanna. The article adds that the Rihanna trend follows a recent vogue one for women making similar requests regarding US actress-turned-UK royal Meghan Markle.  The article goes on to warn that noses need to fit the rest of a patient’s face. That’s quite true, as far as it goes. It’s important to realized, however, that the delicate task of determining just what shape a nose should be to best flatter a patient’s overall appearance requires a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon.

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A rhinoplasty (aka nose job) should never be a “cookie-cutter” sort of procedure. Noses that might look perfect on one person would very often look odd or out of place on someone else. It takes a skilled and sensitive plastic surgeon to listen to patients' needs and hopes, and then translate that into a procedure that make a patient look like the best possible version of herself – not an awkward replica of someone else. Moreover, countless studies have shown that, the clearer and more realistic the idea patients have about the likely outcome of a procedure, the happier with they are likely to be with their procedure.

All of our BHP plastic surgeons are highly respected members of the medical profession with a strong aesthetic sense and an ability to communicate clearly with patients so they understand what‘s realistic to expect in their particular case. In some cases, it may very well be possible to accommodate a patient’s interest in having a nose or another feature that may be similar to a particular celebrity, but whether or not it is practical will depend on a host of variables. The fact of the matter is that no two noses are exactly alike, and the same applies to the faces they are on.  The ultimate goal is to craft a nose that will flatter a patient. So, if a nose that’s similar to Rihanna’s really would improve a patient’s appearance and would not present a physical problem, then there’s no reason to ignore the inspiration. 

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There are all kinds of reasons that adults get plastic surgeries. Increased self-confidence, feeling more comfortable physically or psychologically, or to help improve their odds on the career or dating marketplace. Still, for many children and young people preventing or reducing bullying is often one of the primary motivations. While some adults tend to minimize the importance of bullying as just “kids being kids,” anyone who’s been continually bullied at any age can tell you that the humiliation can stay with a person the rest of their life. And, in the cases of the far too many young people lost to suicide every year, it really can end a life.

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Of course, most cases are far milder than that, but it’s easy to see why parents often want to invest in procedures like ear pinning so that their offspring wont’ be made fun of for “bat ears.” Of course, it’s an individual choice. Former President Barack Obama’s rather far-from-the-head ears certainly don’t seem to have harmed his ability to be happy or successful. On the other hand, countless children and teens can find themselves marked for bullying by what might seem like very minor imperfections to grown-ups. If parents decide that a plastic surgery can prevent the issue, there’s no reason to second guess them.

Of course, in a better world, young people wouldn’t bully each other, and neither would adults. Nevertheless, children and their parents have to deal with the world as it is. Childhood can be difficult to get through even without having a physical issue that sets us apart in a negative way. Here at Beverly Hills Physicians, we’re happy to help our younger patients make things a little easier for themselves. 

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A recent Daily Mail article discusses the journey of Brazilian blogger Jessica Valittuto after undergoing bariatric surgery. The article goes on to discuss how Ms. Valittuto maintained a healthy diet and active lifestyle that helped her keep the weight off. The Brazilian blogger went on to say that bariatric surgery was not a quick fix, but instead was a procedure that enabled her to make the necessary health and lifestyle changes to continue her new healthier and happier life.

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Here at Beverly Hills Physicians we know that, while bariatric surgery is indeed a life changing procedure for severely obese individuals, it is by no means is a shortcut. It’s crucial for those undergoing the surgery to make the necessary changes in their lives in order to lose the weight and keep it off throughout their lifetime.

With a variety of weight loss options available to severely obese individuals, it is important to discuss the best route to take with an experienced weight loss specialist. As one of the most popular weight loss procedures, sleeve gastrectomy has helped countless people from all walks of life change their lives for the better. The minimally invasive procedure removes about 75 to 85 percent of the patient’s stomach in order to decrease feelings of hunger that make weight loss next to impossible for most individuals.

While the procedure helps patients take control of their appetite, more changes need to be made to see dramatic and permanent results. Along with surgery, individuals require medical support after undergoing the procedure to track their progress and make the transition into a healthier lifestyle more feasible. Our BHP roster includes registered dieticians and counselors as well as leading weight loss specialists.

Bariatric surgery really can be a life changing procedure for severely obese individuals who are serious about weight loss. With the help of highly experienced medical professionals, men and women really can enjoy healthier and happier lives if they take charge of their health and happiness.

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A recent article on Allure discusses speculation that actor Sandra Bullock had gotten facial fillers as a result of her facial appearance at this year’s Academy Awards show.  It turns out, however, that her slightly fuller look was the result of minor puffiness caused by some extremely common health issues. “This past Oscars I was sick and had allergies,” Ms. Bullock reportedly said, “but I was like, 'I’m just going to go. It’s part of my job, and I’m happy to be there.’” It’s unfortunate that Ms. Bullock’s adherence to the ancient entertainment tradition that, “the show must go on!” should result in somewhat mean-spirited rumors and clickbait articles in the gossip press. If Ms. Bullock had shown any sign of aging, she no doubt would have been criticized for not living up to her superstar image.

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In fact, men and women from all walks of life are taking advantage of facial fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, which can deal with such matters as volume loss associated with aging and illness as well as wrinkling. The clinic notes that these are just two of the many non-surgical treatments which can help adults look and feel their very best. It adds that while such very popular treatments as Botox and collagen injections can delight patients with their rejuvenating impact, their effects only last if the treatments are continued on a regular basis. The firm adds that surgical facelifts and blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts) remain very popular, with a more involved but also “one and done” approach that many patients prefer.

Regardless, it’s important for patients to remember that obtaining procedures is their own business and no one else’s, says Beverly Hills Physicians. The point of these treatments is to help patients feel better about the way they look, which can help in ways that go much further than skin deep. Of course, most people prefer the appearance of smooth, unwrinkled skin but, just as important, patients’ increased confidence can produce psychological dividends that can help patients to make all kinds of improvements in their lives.

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A recent essay on Shape relates a young woman’s ultimately successful fight to lose a stunning 175 pounds, going from 275 to 100 pounds while becoming a social media celebrity. The weight loss was challenging in that the woman initially lost 60 pounds in the aftermath of her gastric sleeve procedure but then, even with a much smaller stomach that couldn’t hold more than a few ounces at a time, she was able to find high calorie low volume foods that she could still consume, the result being that she regained a discouraging 45 pounds. It took the help of a trainer, counseling, and a lot of soul searching before she was able to get back on track and lose such a stunning amount of weight. While relatively few patients have as hard a struggle, her story does reflect that reality that bariatric surgery makes weight loss more possible for patients, but they still have a lot of their own work to do.

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It’s important for people to understand the nature of obesity if they are to grasp the importance of weight loss surgery. While obesity is likely preventable in most cases, the reality is that, once we become a certain weight, the human body is set-up to keep us at that weight. People who are overweight or obese often have higher levels of hunger inducing hormones than others; when they begin to lose weight, the body starts to actually produce even more. Thus, a tendency that might have been beneficial in past times when food was often scarce and starvation a real possibility, has become a genuine menace. The nagging and sometimes overwhelming desire for food caused by hormones going into overdrive likely sabotages the large majority of serious weight loss efforts.

It appears, however, that procedures such as a sleeve gastrectomy work in two ways. First, it removes roughly 70-85% of the stomach so that eating more than a small amount of food at one time will become uncomfortable. In addition, it turns out that the part of the stomach removed is also largely responsible for the production of the hunger hormones. Therefore patients not only find it impossible to eat a large volume of food at once, they also often have a great deal less desire to overeat in the first place. However, since every patient is different, the operation’s impact will manifest itself in different ways and some may adjust more rapidly than others. The important thing, says Beverly Hills Physicians, is for patients to realize that, while their procedure makes defeating obesity once and for all a great deal more achievable, they still have plenty of work to do. 

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Not surprisingly, as the weather warms up, our team at Beverly Hills Physicians starts to hear more from prospective patients about procedures impacting how they look wearing swimsuits. The reasons are obvious. Societal norms dictate that, ever here in sunny Los Angeles, most of us spend most of our time more or less fully clothed. Even gyms routinely demand that customers wear shirts in the workout area. However, when the warm weather arrives, beach and pool season begins and we as a culture not only allow people to be much more scantily clad than elsewhere, in many cases there is at least some social pressure for women and, increasingly, men, to show off a bit. Since few of us arrive at an ideal beach body naturally, especially once we’re past a particular age, this leads to nervousness and additional interest around such procedures as liposuction, tummy tucks, breast augmentations, breast reductions for women and men, buttock augmentation, arm lifts, and mores.

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It’s only natural to want to look one’s best in any situation and a lot of people feel pretty exposed when wearing swimming clothes. Whether it’s a skimpy bikini, a modest but skin-tight one-piece or standard swim trunks for men, most of us are not used to showing that much of ourselves. While men have traditionally been under less pressure to look like models, they too are vulnerable to self-consciousness if they feel their appearance is south of the norm, or even if they just feel their physique could be improved. Somewhat more seriously, the condition called gynecomastia, which results in unusually large male breasts, has always caused some amount of humiliation for younger men (often caused by other young men). However, in an era when male physical beauty is increasingly expected, swimming-related social activities can be extremely difficulty men with this condition. It’s no wonder that male breast reduction procedures have become particularly popular.

Whatever treatments people get to improve their beach bodies, or if they don’t do anything at all, it’s important to be realistic and to keep things in perspective. For surgeries in particular, getting a surgery and the recovery takes time and it might not be possible to get the full benefit of a procedure this summer, because of the time required for recovery from many procedures. Nevertheless, there really is a great deal that can be done to improve most patients’ beach bodies. 

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As a kid, were you more of a rule follower or a rule breaker? Regardless of how we start out, most of us learn to become people who more or less do what we’re supposed to do, because there are real benefits to following rules and real costs to ignoring them. Still, in the game of life, following the rules for success will help get you part of the way but, unfairly or not, circumstances have a way of intervening and sometimes the incorrigible rule-breakers get ahead while rule followers can find themselves on the sidelines. At Beverly Hills Physicians we know that, while the game of life general isn’t always as fair as it should be, obesity is just a plain old cheater.

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The reason we’re thinking of this was yet another new article, this time in PopSugar, in which a weight loss expert offers four common sense rules for eating sensibly and, presumably, dropping pounds. However, we suspect our expert knows that her rules are outstanding suggestions for people who are trying to eat in a healthy manner, and following them to the letter might lower the risk of a weight gain, but they won’t do much to help heavy people become slender.

The problem is that obesity is extremely sneaky. The moment we begin to lose weight, our body starts to manufacture more hunger hormones. The result is that, though we might intellectually know we’re eating enough, our body keeps generating cravings to eat more than we should, and most people find excuses to flout the rules. It’s not because they’re weak or lacking character, it’s just that few of us can ignore those nagging hungry feelings and it’s much easier simply to eat more. So, maybe we’ll follow a terrific rule for party and buffet dining – never eat more than we can fit on one plate – but we’ll load that plate high with the most fattening selections possible. Or we will mess with the entirely sound idea of always following an unhealthy meal with a healthy one by eating way too much of otherwise healthy food.

Bariatric surgeries like the gastric sleeve make it easier to resist cravings by reducing the size of the stomach. Naturally, that makes overeating uncomfortable because there’s less room, but it also turns out that the amount of hunger hormones the body manufactures can be drastically lower after surgery.  That makes it a lot easier to simply do what most of us already know we should. With the help of a procedure, just for once following the rules might actually get us someplace.

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A March 28 article on Allure discusses new data from ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) showing that, despite the increasing popularity of injectables and other non-surgical treatments, actual plastic surgery still accounts for 77 percent of all aesthetic procedures. Among the facts mentioned, it appears that Botox has not diluted the popularity of traditional facelifts. In fact, United States procedures rose by nearly 22 percent in 2017. We agree with Allure that one very important reason for the ongoing popularity of plastic surgeries in the face of the newer alternatives is that their impacts typically last far longer. In some cases, such as rhinoplasty (nose jobs), a surgery’s impact can last as long as the patient.

Botox, for example, is a powerful temporary antidote to wrinkling – some believe it may even help prevent it – and facial fillers such as Juvederm can do a great deal to improve someone’s appearance. However, for the impact to last more than a matter of months, injectable treatments need to be repeated on a regular basis. That’s why a great many patients still opt for a face lift to deal with wrinkling and sagging. 

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Moreover, there are other plastic surgeries that simply can’t be treated in any other way. ASAPS stated that eyelid lifts, known medically as blepharoplasty, can deal with sagging and dark circles far more powerfully than such currently available cosmetic fixes as make-up, cucumbers, and Preparation H. Of course, blepharoplasty can also be used to alter the shape of the eye. Of course, this type of surgery is not always strictly a cosmetic matter. Sagging eyelids can actually obstruct clear vision and blepharoplasty may, on occasion, be covered by medical insurance when that is the case.

For procedures impacting the body, of course, the only nonsurgical options are proper diet and exercise and special lingerie such as push-up bras and girdles. While both tactics are obviously tried and true, they are also limited. Lingerie, of course, only works while you’re wearing it; even diet and exercise has several limitations. Procedures such as breast lifts, liposuction, and tummy tucks can make a truly dramatic difference that will probably never be fixable with anything that comes out of a syringe. 

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According to a February 7 article on the BBC News website, a major plastic surgeons’ organization is saying that UK women are substituting apps that allow users to improve selfies and other online images over facial plastic surgery. The startling claim comes alongside the continuing growth of procedures on the body, such as breast augmentation and tummy tucks. The belief seems to be that, since an app can improve your features online but can’t do much for your body, people are now focusing more on bodily alterations than on facial improvements.

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We’re not at all sure this is actually true. If it is, however, it seems to us that it’s a classic case of an old warning from a wise Zen master: “Never mistake the finger pointing at the moon, for the moon.” What that actually refers to is the human tendency to mistakes symbols or representations of things for the actual thing. It’s a little bit like eating a picture of food or adjusting your scale to show you’ve lost weight instead of dieting.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using an app to apply a small boost to your online appearance. On the other hand, if the goal is genuine self-confidence, ask yourself this: whose perception of your appearance is more important – the people who see you online or the people you meet in IRL? After all, if only the online realm was important, you could just put someone else’s picture up instead of your own. If no one ever saw us in person, nobody would be the wiser and we could all look like supermodels.

Here at BHP, we think facial procedures from facelifts and Botox to eyelid lifts aren’t going anywhere. After all, we don’t actually live in a virtual world, at least not yet; non-virtual actual reality is still where it’s at. 

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A recent article on Refinery 29 by cast member Tamra Judge of the Bravo network’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County” describes her motivations for getting a lower facelift shortly before turning 50, and how the procedure turned out successfully for her. Here at BHP, we think that her attitude towards the procedure indicates the growing reality that plastic surgery has become simply another weapon in a beauty-conscious person’s arsenal that can be used at any age.

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Facelifts and other types of facial rejuvenation procedures are becoming increasingly common at all ages. Middle-aged and older people increasingly may suddenly find themselves in the dating pool or trying to stay relevant in their careers, so procedures that make them appear more rested and youthful can often improve a patient’s outlook significantly. At the other end of the spectrum, more and more people in their late 20s and early 30s are taking a proactive approach in terms of using such injectables as Botox to try and stop wrinkles before they become a problem. Still, the middle years remain the time when a great many women – and a rapidly increasing number of men – start looking into ways to maintain their appearance. 

 

Beverly Hills Physicians adds that, as with Tamra Judge, patients are often men and women who have taken superb care of themselves and who, even in middle age, may not seem to need any work. However, beauty savvy people know that the impacts of aging can be lessened by an approach that doesn’t wait for appearance issues to become obvious.

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A recent article on Live Science reports on a Norwegian study looking at 34 severely obese people with an average weight of 275 pounds. These individuals participated in an intense, medically supervised program of low calorie diet and exercise while a control group received a less vigorous weight loss program. On average, members of the more active group were able to lose an average of 24 pounds. Unusually, the study’s participants were successful in keeping the weight off for a two year period. Unfortunately, however, increased levels of hunger hormones persisted and so did a higher level of feelings of hunger. Moreover, after the weight loss, participants’ bodies actually slowed the speed at which they burned calories, making it even more challenging for them to remain at their present weight. Thus, while it was possible to lose a relatively modest number of pounds for an extensive period, the study’s participants will either have to struggle against their hungry feelings indefinitely or regain their lost weight. While the study concluded correctly that weight loss is a chronic problem requiring lifelong attention, it didn’t discuss the reality that a bariatric procedure can make defeating severe obesity much more achievable by getting at the root of the problem: hungry feelings that are out of proportion to the body’s actual need for food.

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The most prevalent weight loss operation, a gastric sleeve procedure, works in two ways. First, it reduces the stomach’s size by at least three quarters. As you might expect, this makes overeating uncomfortable, creating an unpleasant association with overeating. In addition, the procedure removes the upper part of the stomach, called the fundus. This appears to be the seat of most of the body’s production of the hormone chiefly responsible for feelings of appetite. Beverly Hills Physicians notes that overweight people tend to produce more of the hormone and, to make matters worse, production of ghrelin actually appears to increase after individuals lose weight. Fortunately, removing the fundus largely removes the problem by drastically reducing the body’s production of the hormone. The result is that people are able to focus on changing their eating habits without being driven to distraction by constant pangs of appetite that are essentially indistinguishable from genuine feelings of hunger.

The participants in the Norwegian study, while severely overweight, will have to struggle indefinitely in order to maintain what appears to be a relatively modest, though certainly beneficial, weight loss. While bariatric patients also have to exert some effort, they are typically able to lose significantly more weight and keep it off, mostly because  their reduced feelings of appetite means that they are able to focus on developing a healthier lifestyle without being constantly distracted

If you’re interested in learning more about a weight loss surgery here at BHP, give us a call at the phone number above or request a consultation online.

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Disclaimer: Results vary, patients may achieve different cosmetic and weight loss results depending on body type, medical history, selected procedure and a variety of other factors. One patient’s success as shown by before and after pictures in no way guarantees similar results for other prospective patients.