Category Archives: Uncategorized

Did You Ask for Cosmetic Enhancements this Holiday Season?

According to ABC’s website, one of the most sought-after gifts this past holiday season wasn’t jewelry. It wasn’t clothing. It wasn’t a nice trip to a foreign land. Nope. It was cosmetic surgery, which for today’s purposes, includes things like Botox® Cosmetic injections, fillers and other goodies that make us more youthful looking, as well as surgical procedures.

In all the years I’ve been a plastic surgeon in Bakersfield, I can tell you that many people have enjoyed the services we provide here; however, I cannot honestly recall anybody asking for a gift certificate for a breast augmentation or a nose job!

So you tell me–are Bakersfield residents just more practical or has this trend just not come far enough up the coast from LA?

To your health and beauty,

Dr. Vip Dev


Banking For Your Life

Though everyone views their fat as an enemy, fat can actually be very helpful. In fact, fat aids your body in being healthy. However, even those unhealthy amounts of fat could be a friend to us in the near future.

Why could fat be potentially helpful to our health?

Our fat happens to contain an abundance of autologous stem cells. If you aren’t familiar with these unique cells, they have the ability to form “daughter cells” that can either become more stem cells or other cells that the daughter cells are subjected to. Meaning, if stem cells form daughter cells near brain cells those daughter cells can become brain cells too. This can occur with other types of cells too. This being the case, scientists are now studying stem cells to see if they have regenerative aspects. If this is so, stem cells could potentially be used to cure ailments such as kidney disease, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis among others.

Even further, though studies are still inconclusive, stem cells may have a hand in aiding fat transfers. Over the years liposuction techniques have evolved, allowing for more intact fat to be removed. The more intact fat, the more viable stem cells you have. Suddenly, the success rates of fat transfer procedures increased. Scientists believe that the success is due to the increase in stem cells in the fat.

What does this mean?

Considering the ability of stem cells, and the amount of stem cells residing in our fat, it makes sense to take advantage of these aspects. Unfortunately, stem cells age just like we do, meaning they become less viable as the years progress. Some diseases, such as diabetes, can even wipe a stem cell’s special ability out. Therefore, banking our fat after a liposuction procedure, such as the one performed at our California plastic surgery practice, isn’t such a bad idea.

As of right now, Dallas-based BioLife is the only known place to cryogenically preserve fat, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this trend spread. If and when it does, it would be a great option for anyone who undergoes liposuction. Why let the fat go to waste when it could potentially save our life sometime down the road? Bank it now and save your life later.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

Puppy Plastic Surgery

Wanting to look good, wanting to primp, and wanting to feel beautiful are all fairly common and quite natural feelings. To a degree we may even push these views on our pets, especially dog breeds that have long hair. All you have to do is watch a dog show and you’ll see how much pride some owners taken their dog’s appearance, not to mention how they perform in the shows themselves. But I’d have to say that grooming your dog, and shelling out cash on a plastic surgery procedure for your dog, are two very different things.

Firstly, my California plastic surgery practice does not perform puppy plastic surgery. In fact, even if you do own a dog that needs plastic surgery for a medical reason, it is usually done by a q.ualified veterinarian, and maybe a plastic surgeon The truth is not all plastic surgery procedures performed on dogs are unnecessary. In fact, breeds such as Bulldogs and Shar-Peis sometimes have their excessive wrinkles cut away due to high risk of infection down the road. Bulldogs, and other dogs with flatter faces also have a tendency to have breathing problems. These are plausible reasons to have your dog undergo a form of plastic surgery that will suit their medical needs.

However, some dog owners are becoming a little too eccentric when it comes to their lovable pups. In recent news, a 7 year old Bulldog named Munson received testicle implants, because the owner was embarrassed by Munson’s neutered sack hanging out in the open for everyone to see. Like ear cropping and tail docking, this is type of procedure is incredibly unnecessary for the dog.

Interestingly enough, statistics show that it is usually men who want these Neuticals implanted in their dogs. Dogs aren’t aware of what they are lacking, nor do they care. Money for such an unnecessary procedure could easily be donated to shelters and adoption programs that truly need this money.

I can’t help but not be surprised, however. We, ourselves, want to appear put together, beautiful, and youthful, so it may only be natural to try and impress this upon our pets too. However, when it comes down to it, we may be better off attempting to rescue and save dogs instead of placing implants in them so they may appear to be intact. The fact of the matter is, they won’t ever know the difference.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

Link Between Progeria and Normal Aging

In California, plastic surgery is very popular, especially for people who are beginning to look their age. Treatments such as Botox and laser skin resurfacing can easily help with fine lines, wrinkles and minor signs of aging. A face lift, brow lift, or eyelid surgery will turn back the clock even more so, at least physically. However, aging is still a part of life, something we cannot hide from.

It used to be thought that aging occurred because our cells gradually woer out. However, recent studies suggest otherwise. It seems that aging is actually programmed into our cells. It turns out that the toxic protein progerin, which is made in abundant amounts in children with Progeria, is also found in perfectly healthy human beings. This means the same mechanism that causes children with Progeria to age seven times the normal rate seems to play a role in normal aging as well.

Not only does shed some light on aging in general. This new finding also sheds new light on what causes Progeria. Somehow, in some way, something causes the toxic protein to be made in much larger amounts. It can’t simply be blamed on progerin itself any longer.

These types of discoveries can only help us understand the aging process better. And though we may not be able to fix what your cells are doing on the inside, my California plastic surgery practice can help you look your best as you age.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

Plastic Surgery for Teens: On the Increase?

Although we do perform cosmetic surgery on teens here at our Bakersfield plastic surgery practice, they are done to correct a deformity, such as an otoplasty for protuberant ears (although these can be done on kids as young as 5); rhinoplasties (nose jobs) for teens with nose humps or very large noses; breast reductions for teenaged girls who have neck and shoulder pain from overly large breasts, and male breast reduction on teenaged boys whose breasts have excessive tissue. Occasionally I’ll do a breast augmentation on a teen because her breasts are terribly uneven (asymmetric) and she’s embarrassed in a swimsuit or a form-fitting t-shirt.

Many of us have the impression that teens are all over cosmetic surgery, primarily because teen stars such as Bristol Palin, for example, and others on TV and in the movies, are into plastic surgery. The truth is, however, that teen cosmetic surgeries have dropped from over 300,000 ten years ago to only 125,000 last year, according to a report by the American Academy for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Here are the top procedures, according to the study:

  • Laser hair removal (51,000 procedures last year)
  • Skin treatments (including 16,200 chemical peels and 10,400 microdermabrasion treatments)
  • Ear surgery (10,700 procedures)
  • Nose jobs (9,100 procedures)

I’m interested in knowing your “take” on teen plastic surgery: Should anything go or should parents limit the cosmetic surgeries that their teens undergo? What do you think?

To your health & beauty,
Vip Dev, MD 

Study says: Piercings can cause nasty infections!

Most of us assume that piercing our bodies is a safe beauty option. However, ear piercing has recently been studied to show that ear-piercing is linked to bacterial infection. I’m not talking about old-time high school piercing by your best friend with a sterilized needle and some thread, which is an obvious risk. I’m talking about piercing performed in malls using hand-powered piercing guns or in tattoo parlors using sterile needles and a forceps.

The study was carried out at the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCLA-Harbor and involved surveys of 14 businesses that pierce ears on a regular basis. Included in the study were the types of instrument and earrings used (ie, platinum, gold or silver posts), the amount of employee training, the location on the body of the piercings and the preparation and aftercare instructions. Both tattoo parlors and mall stores and kiosks were part of the 14 businesses studied.

The tattoo parlors generally used sterile needles and forceps to pierce ears, while the retail stores and kiosks used piercing guns. All of the 14 businesses offered earrings made of 14 or 24K gold, stainless steel or other metals, and none offered earrings made with nickel. Many people are allergic to nickel, leading to nasty infections just from the material.

The training at the stores and kiosks tended to involve videos and demos of piercing but the tattoo parlors generally had an apprentice program of varying lengths. Both the mall stores/kiosks and tattoo parlors performed lobe and cartilage piercings.

The big difference was in the preparation solution used when the piercings were done. All the cosmetic stores and kiosks used benzalkonium chloride or isopropyl alcohol to prep the area, while the tattoo parlors used iodine-based solutions. At each one of the businesses, aftercare instructions were given, which focused on maintaining piercing hole patency but did not discuss infections, ie, how to identify or avoid them.

The study also showed that the cosmetic shops and earring kiosks patients were more likely to have infections, especially in cartilage piercings. The takeaway is that the increased infections were due to poor training and the use of benzalkonium chloride as a preparation agent instead of iodine. Some of these infections studied were  severe, even to the point of requiring surgery and IV antibiotics to treat a particularly nasty bacterium called Pseudomonas.

I know people love piercings. However, I urge you to think about taking a bit more precautions when piercing your body. Ask the store, kiosk or tattoo parlor what kind of preparation they plan use prior to piercing you, and ask about the training. There’s no harm in knowing what’s going to be used on you and the skill of the person doing it. You might avoid a bad infection later.

To your health and beauty,

Dr. Vip Dev

FDA Issues New Rules for Prescription Drugs w/Acetaminophen

The FDA has long been concerned about the amount of unidentified acetaminophen in prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, Lortab, Fioricet, and Roxicet. According to the FDA reports, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is often found in large amounts in these, and other, prescription pain meds. Although when taken in normal doses Tylenol is very safe but when added to prescription pain pills, consumers can ingest large amounts of acetaminophen, which can lead to emergency room visits, hospitalizations, liver damage and even death. Statistics show that last year over 56,000 hospital ER visits, 26,000 hospital admissions and 458 deaths occurred due to acetaminophen overdose. In fact, it’s the leading cause of acute liver failure here in the US, because it’s so easy to take too much of it.

Within the next three years, the FDA has dictated that:

  • Prescription pain drugs can contain no more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per pill or spoonful. Currently, some of these drugs contain as much as 750 milligrams of acetaminophen.
  • Prescription pain drugs will carry the FDA’s strongest “black box” warning label. That label will warn of the risk of serious liver injury.

Obviously, these changes apply only to prescription drugs.

“When taken as directed, acetaminophen is a very safe product. Our goal is to make it even safer,” Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the FDA’s office of new drugs, said at a news teleconference.

Our advice is to be aware of the acetaminophen in any prescription drug you take, as well as OTC (over-the-counter) medications, as 4,000 mg has been shown to cause liver damage. If you don’t know if there’s acetaminophen in a pain, cold or other preparation, whether OTC or by prescription, ask the pharmacist to explain it to you. Better safe than sorry!

To your health & beauty,

Vip Dev, MD