Laser Hair Removal Mythconceptions

There is no such thing as a single “best” laser for hair removal on all patients.  The best laser for laser hair removal for each person really depends on his or her skin colour. Thus, multiple lasers exist for hair removal. Different laser types, which emit distinct wavelengths of light, are better for treating different skin types. There are a number of manufacturers that make these laser types:

  • Alexandrite lasers. These emit laser light at 755 nm. These lasers work best on lighter skin. In my opinion,  it has been the most impressive laser for hair removal for light to olive skin types.
  • Diode Lasers.  These emit light at a wavelength of 810  nm.  Lighter skin types do well with this type of laser, as do some darker skin types.
  • Nd: YAG lasers.  These emit a 1064 nm wavelength.  This laser is best for darker skin types, as the higher wavelength reaches deeper into the skin.  This helps to avoid superficial skin melanin,  which pigments our skin.
  • IPL or  Intense  Pulsed  Light. It has been used for hair removal.  Lasers emit light at one wavelength (like laser pointers in PowerPoint presentations).  IPL machines produce a range of wavelengths  (like the cone of light from a torch one sees in cartoons) and are not lasers.  So,  there  is  no  such  thing  as  an  “IPL  laser”  or  “IPL laser  hair  removal”-  it’s  a  marketing  ploy  for  businesses  that  have  IPL  machines  and  not  hair  removal  lasers (the  only  exception  to  the  rule  are  the  few  machines  out  there  that  have  both  lasers  and  IPL  machines  in them).  Several studies have shown that  IPL is not as effective as dedicated hair removal lasers, and carry a higher risk of burns, blisters, and changes in pigment.

In my experience,  the Alexandrite laser is the most effective laser for removing hair on the lighter skin, whereas the Nd: YAG is the safest and best laser for more darkly pigmented skin.  Remember,  every laser  has  a  “target.”  For hair removal lasers, the goal is to selectively target the pigment (in other words colour) which in this case is called melanin found in hair follicles.  Melanin is the reason why we have black or brown hair or shades in between.  The hair follicles are living cells which make hair below the surface of the skin.  When the melanin is selectively heated, this destroys the hair follicle cells.  The lighter the hair, the less melanin the hair follicles will have in them.  As a result, hair that is blonde, white or grey does not improve with laser hair removal.  In my practice,  I have actually seen some patients notice a decrease in lighter hairs,  but it ’s the exception and not the rule.

Melanin is also present in skin and is the cause for dark skin and suntans.  It is the same target that the hair removal laser is trying to reach in hair follicles.  Hair removal lasers may target the melanin in the skin as well as in the hair follicles which sometimes results in burns,  blisters, and change in skin pigmentation.  As a result,  lower settings and longer laser pulse times must be used for darker skin to avoid damage.  As a consequence, more overall treatment sessions will usually be necessary.

Remember, laser hair removal is a medical procedure and you should always consult with a doctor who has extensive experience in lasers and laser hair removal.  This will maximize your chances of a great result.

Thanks for reading!

Dr.  Tim  –  Sydney  Cosmetic  Plastic  Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

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An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure involves the following steps:

  1. Removing a large amount of lower abdominal skin (and stretch marks)
  2. Removing a large amount of lower abdominal fat
  3. Tightening the rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen
  4. Redistributing the upper abdominal skin over the entire abdomen
  5. Creating a new belly button within the tightened abdominal skin
  6. Tightening the pubic area

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

 

Dangers of Excessive Weight Loss

Many women that I see for body contouring usually have tried exercise and dieting to some extent or other prior to resorting to liposuction or surgery. A minority of women have taken drastic measures like excessive gymming or starvation diets to try and fit into single digit or low teen dress sizes. This can, however, cause irreparable health problems like the following:

  • no menstrual cycle or abnormal menstruation in women.
  • prevent women from becoming pregnant.
  • cause premature delivery, the birth of low-weight babies who are also undernourished.
  • loss of libido due to suppression of Follicle  Stimulating  Hormone (FSH) and other secondary sex hormones in the brain.
  • suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which is responsible for the release of sex hormones
  • anorexia or poor nutrition can lead to osteoporosis.

My advice is that no weight loss or fitness program should be undertaken without the direct supervision of your doctor.  Whether you should lose weight, how much you should lose and how you should lose it are decisions that should be made by a medical professional, who may need to refer you to a nutritionist or endocrinologist for further work-up and counseling.  If you want to lose weight and keep it off, your doctor must be part of the equation.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Tim  –  Sydney Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

Brazilian butt lift surgery task force set up after alarming death rate

A DANGEROUS butt procedure has a higher death rate than any other and Aussie women are being warned to think carefully before committing to it.

A NOTORIOUS surgical procedure, known as the Brazilian Butt Lift, is now considered so dangerous that a specialist Aussie task force has been set up to warn women of its risks.

Inspired by “bootylicious” celebrities and social media stars such as the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce, the risky operation has raised alarms after a number of complications and number of deaths.

BBL is the colloquial term for buttock fat grafting, an elective cosmetic procedure which can cost up to $14,000 and involves removing fat from one part of the body via liposuction and transplanting it via injection into the butt for a fuller, perkier effect.

According to the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the mortality rate for BBLs is estimated to be one in every 3000 operations — meaning it has a higher rate of death than any other cosmetic procedure.

THE BOOTYLICIOUS EFFECT

The BBL’s popularity has increased over the last few years, with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery tracking a 26 percent jump from 2016 to 2017, making it the surgical procedure that saw the second most significant increase performed year over year.

However, its complications have thrust it into the medical spotlight and plastic surgeons across the world have expressed deep concerns over its increasing popularity.

ASAPS has now backed a new “patient safety task force” to investigate the risks and improve patient safety of the increasingly popular procedure in Australia.

“In short, the butt is becoming the new breast,” Dr Tim Papadopoulos, specialist plastic surgeon and past president of ASAPS said.

Kim Kardashian has always denied having a BBL procedure. Picture: Mega Agency
Kim Kardashian has always denied having a BBL procedure. Picture: Mega Agency Source: Mega
‘Bootylicious’ singer Beyonce is an inspiration for many young women. Picture: Mega Agency
‘Bootylicious’ singer Beyonce is an inspiration for many young women. Picture: Mega Agency Source: Mega

Five of the world’s leading plastic and cosmetic surgery-related organisations have banded together to form an “Inter-Society Buttock Fat Grafting Task Force” to research complications and deaths associated with BBL.

“Action must be taken now in order to prevent further tragedies from occurring,” Dr Papadopoulos said.

“The task force is concerned with the high mortality rate of this operation and is aggressively investigating ways to make this procedure safer.

“This new warning emphasises the continued risk that is being encountered with this procedure. Patient safety is the highest priority for plastic surgeons and this multi-society task force is an important and unprecedented collaboration.”

He said the procedure had resulted in an “alarming rate of mortality”.

“This rate of death is far greater than any other cosmetic surgery,” he said. “Having said that, there has been no reported case of a death from BBL in Australasia.”

He this may be due to the cultural and ethnic differences and perceptions of beauty regarding bums.

“Although social media has had a huge influence in promoting BBL, especially with celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, the volumes of buttock fat transfer overseas don’t necessarily translate to what’s going on here in Australia,” Dr Papadopoulos said.

The surgery can cost up to $14,000. Picture: Supplied/ Cosmos Clinic website
The surgery can cost up to $14,000. Picture: Supplied/ Cosmos Clinic website Source: Supplied

“In the USA, the large African-American and Hispanic populations have generally dictated their beauty norms which promote larger backsides and smaller breasts.

“This is not the case in Australia where women generally prefer larger breasts and smaller backsides.”

WHAT THE TASK FORCE WILL DO

The task force will examine the causes behind complications and deaths to try to prevent them from occurring through a variety of doctor and patient safety education measures, including unprecedented research.

Once those results are finalised, a comprehensive set of guidelines for the procedure will be submitted for publication in major clinical journals.

“Interestingly, while this procedure has been done for decades, it wasn’t recognised as risky until recently,” Dr Papadopoulos said.

The alarm bells started to ring for some surgeons after a 2015 study which looked at 19 BBL-related deaths in Colombia and Mexico over a 15-year period.

A 2017 report also noted at least 25 fatalities in the United States in the preceding five years.

WHY IS THE BBL SO DANGEROUS?

Dr Papadopoulos says every BBL-related death is caused by bits of fat (or “emboli-globules”) which enter the blood stream and clog up the patient’s heart.

“The cause of death is emboli-globules of fat that inadvertently enter the gluteal veins and swiftly make their way up to the heart and lungs, causing patients to arrest and die usually in the operating room during the procedure or in the recovery room shortly after,” Dr Papadopoulos said.

Tim Papadopoulos said women should research the procedure carefully.
Tim Papadopoulos said women should research the procedure carefully. Source: News Corp Australia

“These emboli are unique to the buttock area, as fat injections in the breast, face and thighs don’t produce this same phenomenon.

“The gluteal veins’ distinctive anatomy makes them especially vulnerable because they’re very big and thin, and only one tributary away from the inferior vena cava, which is the major vein in the body running from the pelvis to the heart.

“If a surgeon nicks one of these gluteal veins or they tear because of traction from pooling of fat beneath the muscle, it’ll act like a siphon, sucking in fat around it, and ultimately sending fat up into the heart.”

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WANT A BBL

Dr Papadopoulos said any patients interested in the procedure should research and trust only FRACS-qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons at accredited and licensed facilities or hospitals. “You should ask to see before-and-after photos and ask for patient references,” he said.

“You, too, should stay informed on the issue, and when consulting with doctors, don’t hesitate to question their approach.”

To find a suitable surgeon search through the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Member Database.

– Ben Graham 

Article Source: news.com.au

Brachioplasty (aka Arm Lift) for “Bingo Arms”

Brachioplasty (or Arm Lift) removes loose skin and fat from the upper arm. It ranks high on the wish list for many plastic surgery patients who have lost large amounts of weight or who have heavy upper arms due to simple genetic factors. Loose skin hanging from the arms tends to make patients self-conscious, limits clothing options and can even cause people to avoid certain activities, like swimming or playing tennis. Good candidates for brachioplasty are often weight loss patients who shed many kilograms, resulting in excess skin and stray fat deposits. Furthermore, post-bariatric patients should be near their desired weight and well nourished. Men or women with loose upper arms due to heredity and ageing may also be interested in brachioplasty. It’s best not to smoke for proper wound healing.

Techniques

There are a variety of techniques to chose from, so choosing the best approach for each patient’s particular needs is the no. 1 priority of the plastic surgeon. Each patient is unique in terms of skin laxity and other factors. Patients may benefit from one or a combination of the following techniques:

  1. ELBOW TO ARMPIT: An incision from the fold of the elbow to the axilla, or armpit, yields dramatic improvement. This approach is frequently combined with liposuction to eliminate stubborn fat pockets and loose skin. Most brachioplasty candidates choose this method.
  2. LIPOSUCTION ONLY: Patients with some skin elasticity remaining may opt for liposuction only. An advantage to this approach is that scarring is minimal. The right candidate can expect significant improvement, but not as dramatic as when skin is removed as well.
  3. MINI-ARM LIFTS: A mini-arm lift is an option for patients with excess skin in the uppermost portion of the arm, and for those concerned about scarring. In this case, I make an incision in the armpit, sometimes extending a 6-8 cms down the arm.
  4. ARM AND ARMPIT LIFTS: Upper arm skin is thin and sags over time. Some people lose so much elasticity that skin hangs down from their armpits as well, causing embarrassment and difficulty with clothing. These patients are candidates for a combination arm/armpit lift with incisions on the upper arm and in the armpit.
  5. ELBOW LIFT: A smaller group of patients have loose skin above and below the elbow. These men and women benefit from an arm and elbow lift. Great care needs to be taken with the incision across the elbow to remove excess skin while preserving range of motion.

Recovery

Most arm lift patients take a week or two off work after surgery. Most of the swelling subsides after 3-5 days and the wound takes about 10-14 days to heal. You will be encouraged to walk as soon as possible, gradually adding light activities over a few days and resuming full workouts and lifting within 6 weeks.

Risks

Complications of brachioplasty have been rare in my experience. These uncommon risks include infection, slow wound healing, bleeding, seroma and venous blood clots. Even if a complication were to occur, diligent post-operative care would still likely lead to a nice result.

 

To learn more about your arm lift options and whether or not you are a candidate, email us at info@drtim.com.au or call our clinic at 13000DRTIM .

 

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Body lifts can be performed in two different ways, to treat either the upper or the lower body:

  • Lower body lift: The lower body lift is the most common type of body lift in my practice. It typically includes a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), thigh lift and buttocks lift performed at the same time. The incision is concealed around the waistline so that it’s not visible when wearing underwear or a bikini.
  • Upper body lift: For patients with severe skin laxity of the upper torso, an upper body lift may be the appropriate treatment. This typically includes a bra line back lift and upper abdominoplasty. The procedure is individualised for the particular patient.

To learn more about body lifts, request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

Supplements and Cosmetic Surgery

Herbal supplements and vitamins are known to have a significant and measurable effect on promoting wound healing, reducing bruising,  enhancing immunity, and reducing oxidation caused by both surgery and anaesthetic drugs. However, these supplements are still drugs that could cause dangerous side effects during cosmetic surgery. About 50% of cosmetic surgery patients take supplements (usually more than one), but often do not tell their surgeons because they assume they are safe.  Some  of  the  most  popular  herbal  supplements  taken  are  chondroitin,  echinacea, and  glucosamine:

  • Chondroitin is often used to treat osteoarthritis.  People using chondroitin may suffer from bleeding complications during surgery, particularly when used in combination with doctor-prescribed blood-thinning medications (like warfarin).
  • Echinacea is often used for the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as chronic wounds, ulcers, and arthritis.  However, it can trigger immunosuppression, causing poor wound healing and infection.
  • Glucosamine, often offered in conjunction with chondroitin, contains chemical elements that mimic human insulin, and may artificially cause low blood sugars during surgery.

Other common supplements taken by patients that may cause thinning of the blood are the “4  Gs”  (gingko biloba, garlicginseng, and ginger), fish oils and Vitamin E.

Cosmetic surgery should be viewed with the same care and concern as heart or brain surgery. Everything we do is important for our patients, so every precaution and safety should be taken to minimise complications from surgery and anaesthesia. Remember, we need your help and cooperation at all times.  Advise us of every drug you take, prescribed and non-prescribed and cease taking any blood thinning agents 2 weeks prior to surgery unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Tim  –  Sydney  Cosmetic  Plastic  Surgeon

www.cosmeticculture.com.au
www.drtim.com.au

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Candidates for body lifts typically have lost large amounts of weight. They should be healthy and well nourished without vitamin or mineral deficiencies. They should not smoke, as smoking increases the risk of complications.

To learn more about body lifts, request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks (also known as striae). Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That’s why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover” and as a bonus the Caesarian scar can be removed at the same time.

Although abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can achieve dramatic improvements, it’s important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had.

To learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au 

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Patients usually take at least 3-4 weeks off from work following a body lift. I encourage patients to ambulate shortly after surgery. They may resume full exercise approximately 6 weeks following surgery.

To learn more about body lifts, request a consultation by contacting us at 13000DRTIM or emailing us at info@drtim.com.au