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BHP Blog

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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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A February 1 article on Medical Express reports on the boom in plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures currently ongoing in Europe, the U.S., Brazil, Japan and numerous other nations. The article states that some 8.6 billion Euros were reportedly spent by European doctors and clinics in 2016, while the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) reported that over $15 billion was spent by U.S. patients in 2016 on such treatments as buttock augmentation using transferred body fat. The article adds that Asia in general, and specifically China and India, are currently the worlds’ fastest growing markets for cosmetic treatments. We think that the increasing popularity of procedures is easy to explain – they consistently provide outcomes that make patients happy.

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While some celebrity gossip writers might still refer to “accusations” of plastic surgery, mean-spirited criticism has mostly given way to a wide acceptance of procedures ranging from rhinoplasty and facelifts to Botox and other non-surgical forms of facial rejuvenation. Given that BHP is based in the entertainment industry‘s “company town” of LA, we naturally have many patients who are involved in the entertainment industry. However, a surprising number of those patients actually work behind the camera and are simply trying to stay relevant in a notoriously youth-obsessed business – like people many in other fields. Moreover, the word is out that these procedures are for women and men from all walks of life, and our clientele includes accountants, office assistants, teachers, construction workers and a great many others whose only involvement in the entertainment industry is watching Netflix.

While some procedures, such as Botox, are developments that arose in recent decades, the majority of plastic surgeries and cosmetic treatments have been widely available to patients since the mid-20th century and some are more than a hundred years old. With each procedure, leading plastic surgeons have been learning how to make treatments safer and more effective, to the point where recovery times have often been significantly reduced. Moreover, a growing number of “lunch time” cosmetic treatments require essentially no down time at all.

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Sometimes there’s a thin line between a mean-spirited dig and a bit of good-natured teasing, but celebrities and others increasingly being able to take a joke about plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures is probably a pretty healthy trend. In this case, we’re thinking of a recent bit of repartee between living legends and stars of the Netflix hit, “Grace and Frankie,” Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
Promoting the show, the new season of which appeared on Netflix on January 19th, Jane Fonda told Today Show host Hota Kotb that the two stars had known each for 50 years. “Before your first facelift,” quipped the acclaimed actress and stand-up comedy great. “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?,” responded Ms. Fonda, referring to a much discussed incident where she refused to answer a plastic surgery question from the former Fox News anchor turned Today Show regular.
Our team here at Beverly Hills Physicians believes strongly that plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are simply another weapon in an individual’s arsenal to look his or her best and nothing to be embarrassed about. On the other hand, it’s also pretty obviously a very personal decision and not something that’s necessarily in the purview of journalists, random strangers, or even friends and family in some cases. There’s obviously a huge difference with a bit of ribbing from a very close friend and a question from a journalist when the subject of the interview is supposed to be an individual’s work. (In the Megyn Kelly incident, the question came during an interview promoting 2017’s “Our Souls at Night,” featuring Ms. Fonda’s equally mature male costar, Robert Redford. When he was interviewed by Kelly, he had no questions regarding measures to improve his appearance.)
Context is everything. In general, we’d say pretty much avoid the subject of someone’s work unless they decide to bring it up. Of course, that’s not what happened with Lily Tomlin’s quip. Then again, most of us aren’t comic geniuses.

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Ask anyone who works at a gym or a weight loss clinic or center, January is perpetually one of the busiest times. We all know why – people make New Year’s resolutions the day after eating and/or drinking themselves into a stupor on December 31st. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with using a milestone like the start of a new year to make a positive change in one’s life, even if most people find themselves skipping days at the gym by early February and forgetting they even had a membership by mid-March. Enough people get enough benefit out of at least making an attempt at improving their fitness and health to make it a worthwhile shot, even if the gyms are often nearly empty by April.

Why Wait?

However, we’d like to propose an alternative. One of the many reasons people who want to make changes in their life face is a sort of all-or-nothing approach. People tend to feel like they either have to spend every day eating an ultra-light spa diet and working out for two hours at the gym, or they might as well take up a strictly meat-and-potatoes (and dessert!) routine and binge watch everything on  Netflix.  The way to go is to set realistic expectations for yourself and to find out how you can be healthier while also enjoying your life and not feeling constantly deprived. Going from one extreme to the other has never been the way to go.

Starting your new regime even as the holiday season is still underway is an outstanding way to figure out how you’re going to integrate a healthy lifestyle into your overall life. People who are healthy don’t skip holiday parties because they’re afraid of food and drink, they do their best to manage things – maybe exercising a little more and trying to only enjoy one of two of their absolute favorite treats instead of ransacking the buffet and feeling like a force-fed goose afterwards. The trick is to not set your expectations too high. It’s likely that you won’t lose a great deal of weight over the holidays but, once they’re over and everybody else starts trying to lose their holiday weight, you’ll have a healthy head start.

By the way, BHP offers support for people trying to get in shape in many ways. From liposuction for fit people to get rid of stubborn fat pockets, to weight loss coaches for men and women who are trying to lose some weight, to bariatric procedures for the obese and severely obese, we’re here to help

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Looking at weight loss related news articles can be confounding. The day we wrote this, we saw news stories from reputable journalistic outlets about how some believe that cinnamon can help us to lose weight (at least as long as we’re not getting it from a Cinnabon roll); how some of us may be genetically predisposed towards holding on to the excess fat; and how some people are using selfies and social media to help keep themselves motivated to stick to their weight loss regimens.

The problem is that all of these news stories are confusing, often not so scientific, and are of questionable value because, even when they are accurate they very rarely contain much information we can actually use. The upshot is that we might feel even more helpless than before as we try to control our weight with mixed results, or no results at all. After all, chemistry aside, the only way putting cinnamon on our food is going to help us lose an appreciable amount of weight is if we put it on just in our coffee but also on foods like spaghetti and meatballs. (Yuck.)

The good news is that losing a relatively small amount of weight is highly achievable with a little effort, if we can stay focused on the basics of eating less and exercising more, possibly with the help of a weight loss coach. For those of us with more significant amounts of weight to lose, however, bariatric medicine has been shown to make permanent weight loss a great deal easier to achieve by actually reducing our desire to eat, rather than through some kind of “weird trick.” Such procedures as the gastric sleeve and the Orbera weight loss balloon have proven to be very highly effective.

If you’d like to start next year off by facing your major or minor weight issues face to face, BHP has options available that can address your personal situation. Give us a call or visit our contact page.  

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Can Convenience Go Too Far?

Especially as we enter the holiday season, people here in Southern California are busier and more pressed for time than ever. And so we all try to carve more minutes and hours out of our schedules. We get take-out instead of cooking our own food and, when take-out takes too long, we hit a fast food joint; we adjust our schedules to save time on our commutes; we indefinitely put off reading the latest bestseller or binge watching the new season of our favorite TV show, and we find all sorts of short-cuts on everything from doing our hair to getting the dog washed. However, a news item from last month that we saw at NewBeauty takes things to another level.

The famously plastic surgery savvy nation of South Korea has taken convenience to a whole new level by offering a plastic surgery center inside Seoul’s bustling Incheon International Airport. It’s not clear whether it’s aimed at super-busy travelers who might want to work in a quick Botox treatment before or after a trip, or as a convenience for so-called medical tourists who want to get their procedures Gangnam style but who may not have time to actually visit Gangnam. Regardless, it brings up a serious question for those of us who perform and receive cosmetic procedures as we try to balance convenience with getting the most outstanding results possible.

While time is precious, it’s also true that all procedures need to take a certain amount of time. After all, both the patient’s health and appearance is on the line. Here at Beverly Hills Physicians, we do what we can to make getting a procedure as easy as possible. We also work hard to keep downtimes to a minimum so that patients can get back to their routines more quickly. We also offer locations throughout Southern California so that our clientele doesn’t have to deal with lengthy rides to or from their procedures.

At the same time, of course, cosmetic procedures – even ones as simple as Botox injections – should never be rushed, and they can’t be streamlined the way efficiency experts might redesign a supermarket. Here at BHP, we find ways to be respectful of our patients’ time largely by taking our own time to make sure we get things right the first time. It’s a formula that seems to work.

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Halloween is just about here – and especially parents and folks who live in child-heavy areas have the fear of a really frightening post-holiday weight gain.  The problem is that those of us fighting the battle of the bulge might ordinarily avoid having candy in the house but, as October 31 nears, we stock up on treats to give to neighborhood kids and, suddenly, there’s a lot of candy in the house for us to try and resist. Many of us are able to hold off until the big day, but once the trick or treaters have left, we’re faced with a bunch of left over candy. It’s even worse for parents. While we do our best to try and keep the kids’ candy consumption under control, we often find ourselves over-indulging right along with them.

Avoid a Scary Post-Halloween Weight Gain

Fortunately, there are a few common sense steps to avoid the dietary equivalent of a zombie apocalypse.

  1.     Don’t buy your favorites. If there’s some candy you love so much that you’re extra afraid you won’t be able to control yourself, get something else. You might even consider getting something you actually dislike. If, like some of us, you can’t stand coconut, Mounds Bars will be easy to resist and you won’t have to worry about your house being egged or TP’d for being a Hallo-Scrooge.
  2.  Don’t buy a whole lot. A lot of us have an almost irrational fear of running out on Halloween but, really, what’s the worst that can happen? You can always turn the lights out, watch a scary movie with your headphones on, and just pretend you’re not home.
  3. Spread the “pain” around. If you’re a parent there’s really no perfect answer as you try to keep everyone’s consumption under control without making your kids hate you forever. So, yes, let the kids take the candy to school (if there’s no rule against it, that is), and you always have the option to bring it into work or a social occasion. Your friends and coworkers might think it’s a mixed blessing, but at least you won’t be the only one tempted.

 

Even better, if there’s a local charity that can use the candy productively – your nearest Ronald McDonald House might be a good one – give it to them so they can to give it to kids who could really use a treat. Think of how much better that warm feeling of doing something good for people will feel compared to a bunch of extra pounds.

Of course, these kinds of helpful hints can only go so far. Remember that BHP plays host to an outstanding group of weight loss specialists, including weight loss coaches for people struggling with some extra pounds and bariatric surgery options for those with more serious weight problems. Whatever your situation, we’re here to help! 

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In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BHP is highlighting its bra collection drive. As always, We are requesting donations of both new and lightly used bras from anyone who has old or unwanted bras to donate. The bras will be recycled and then redistributed to women in need. Bra donors are invited to stop by during business hours at any of our nine Southern California locations, which are located in Beverly Hills, Encino, Lancaster, Oxnard, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, and Valencia.

Our Bra Collection Drive for Breast Cancer Awareness

This year, the bra collection drive is also being held in cooperation with the breast reconstruction awareness campaign being sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Plastic Surgery Foundation. BHP has a page devoted to the bra drive on the campaign’s web site and we enthusiastically support the campaign. Its goal is “to inform women of their breast reconstruction options following a mastectomy or lumpectomy.”

It’s worth noting that BHP offers post-breast cancer reconstruction surgery.  Of course, every woman is different and some may not want this type of procedure, while others may not be candidates for one or more health reasons. However, many women may feel a void following a procedure and breast prosthetics are often not sufficient to ensure they look and feel their very best. Therefore, post-surgical reconstructive procedures – which are legally required to be covered by health insurance -- are often the best way to address the situation.

If you are interested in participating in the bra drive, or in obtaining a reconstructive procedure, we’d love to hear from at 800-788-1416. If you’re interested in a procedure, you can also reach virtually and request a consultation.

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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.