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


Thyroid Surgery Doesn’t Have To Be Ugly

A thyroidectomy is not a procedure I do, however, my California plastic surgery practice does see many patients that have undergone the procedure who want to fix their post-op scarring on their necks. In California, laser skin resurfacing is a great way of treating those scars. Interestingly enough, due to the high amount of thyroidectomy patients coming to plastic surgeons afterwards, otolaryngologists are now using a few plastic surgeon techniques to cut back the intensity of thyroidectomy scars.

One of the techniques being used is marking the incision sites while the patient is sitting up. By doing this the incision site falls in a more natural area compared to if the site was marked after the patient was lying down and gravity was pulling at the skin in a different direction. These surgeons are also working on trimming any traumatized skin edges to minimize scarring, as well as using surgical glue instead of sutures to close up. Of course, the main focus is to take care of the thyroid, so you cannot expect an extravagant plastic surgeon touch. Otolaryngologists are not specifically trained in plastic surgery, let alone facial plastic surgery, after all.

I, on the other hand, am a highly regarded facial plastic surgeon. I am highly qualified to work on those scars that you’d love to get rid of. Not only that, I can perform a facelift and get rid of your scars at the same time, giving you an overall better appearance after your thyroidectomy.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

How Young Will A Facelift Make You Look?

A number of my clients that come into my California Plastic Surgery office wonder just how young a facelift will make a person look. The truth is that the specific answer is highly subjective, and in reality, is in the eye of the patient. However, a new study may be able to finally shed some light on this subject.

Eric Swanson, M.D., recently published a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He studied 82 women and 11 men, all relatively the same age, who had undergone facelift procedures between 2002 and 2007. Facelift surgical satisfaction results were comparable to prior results in which patients reported improved self-esteem, higher quality of life, and positive reactions to their new appearance.

When these same patients were asked how young they thought they appeared, the average answer was 12 years, while some patients went as far to claim they looked up to 27 years younger. It was reported that at least one patient did not think they appeared any younger.

It should be kept in mind that not all patients only received facelifts. Some received brow lifts and/or eyelid surgeries, meaning this could have caused a spike in an even younger appearance. The general consensus, however, is that facelifts do in fact cause you to appear younger, up to about twelve years, but also depends on how the patients perceive themselves.

Have you gotten a facelift? How young do you think it made you look?

To your health & beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

Finding A Bra That Fits After A Breast Procedure

Finding a bra that fits is hard enough, but finding a well fitted bra after a breast augmentation can easily become a nightmare. Many of my previous patients in my California Plastic Surgery office have cited the same qualms. But now, with a few tips, you can find yourself a sexy and/or lacy bra that fits perfectly. It doesn’t matter what type of breast augmentation you’ve had done, whether it be a breast lift, breast implants, breast reduction, or even breast reconstruction, everyone deserves a comfortable and fitted bra.

The first thing to know what indicates a poorly fitted bra:

  • The bra band rides up your back.
  • You are tightening your straps to lift your breasts.
  • Your breasts don’t stay in the cup when you bend over.
  • The bra bags around the nipple area.

The next thing to remember is that, like jeans, sizes may vary from brand to brand. A Victoria Secret 36B may not be the same as a Lily of France 36B.

Your band size is the next step into finding the perfect bra. Measuring in inches, in the US, wrap a tailor’s measuring tape tightly around your ribcage, making sure it’s directly under your breasts. With that number in hand, add four if it is an even number or five if it’s an odd number, ie. 28 becomes 32 and 29 becomes 34. Luckily enough, your band size will always stay the same number after an augmentation.

So how do you measure your cup size? This time, making sure the measuring tape is horizontally level around your back, measure around the widest part of your breasts. Now simply find your number on the chart below!

Bust Size Minus Band Size (inches) Cup Size
0 to ½ AA cup
½ to 1 A cup
1 to 2½ B cup
2½ to 3½ C cup
3½ to 4½ D cup
4½ to 6 DD (or E cup for some bra makers)
6 to 7 DDD (or F cup for some bra makers)
7 to 8 G cup
8 to 9 GG cup
9 to 10 H cup
10 to 11 HH cup
11 to 12 J cup
12 to 13 JJ cup

Finally, make sure your bra straps fit comfortably. They should never be digging into your shoulders, nor should they be irritating your skin.

Finding the perfect bra can take time, effort, and plenty of trial and error, however, it will be rewarding in the end when you can stop pulling at your too-snug bra or too-loose bra. But don’t forget to take good care of your bra once you find the perfect fit. Using a lingerie bag in the washing machine and line drying will definitely make your bras last longer.

And never forget, bra shopping should always be fun, especially after a breast augmentation!

To your health & 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 

Is There a “best time” for a Mommy Makeover?

Lots of women come into my Bakersfield Plastic Surgery practice because their breasts are sagging due to age, weight loss/gain cycles and/or pregnancy and breastfeeding. Also, many women come in because their tummies are sagging for the same reasons, plus stretch marks that they absolutely hate. Here in Bakersfield, I do hundreds of breast augmentations in the course of a year, as well as breast lifts and breast reductions. As well, we do hundreds of tummy tucks and liposuction, too. What we also do is a combination procedure called a “Mommy Makeover.”

What I mean by the phrase “combination procedure,” is that it’s a breast enhancement plus a tummy tuck and, often, a bit of liposuction as well. The goal of a Mommy Makeover is to return my patient’s body to its younger state, when the breasts were firm and high and the tummy was flat and firm, with most, if not all, of the stretch marks gone for good!

Some women wonder when it’s the best time to have a Mommy Makeover. If you’re completed your family and don’t plan any more pregnancies, you can have a Mommy Makeover anytime after you have recovered from childbearing. I suggest my moms wait until they are finished breastfeeding, because having a baby on the breast just after a breast enhancement can be really uncomfortable, as well as the pressure of the baby’s weight on a tummy that’s recovering from a tummy tuck. But so long as you’re otherwise healthy, you can benefit from a Mommy Makeover whether your youngest is 1 or 50! And, you don’t need to have been a mom to have a Mommy Makeover.  Losing weight and growing older are two perfect reasons to enjoy a more youthful figure–I really see, in my happy patients, that when their bodies are tight and trim, they feel younger! And feeling younger makes them feel happier, more sexy, more alive.

Further, I often do a bit of body sculpting with liposuction during a Mommy Makeover, just to eliminate stubborn areas of fat that don’t go away with diet and exercise. It really finishes up the picture in a wonderful way. As an added bonus, the fat that’s removed during liposuction can be used to plump up areas of the body that need a bit more fat, such as the lips, the face, the back of the hands or the buttocks.

My patients often tell me that their “new figure” has awakened their interest in shopping for clothes and paying more attention to diet and exercise, not to mention the “rev up” they’re enjoying in their sex lives at home, thanks to their “new body”!

If you’ve had some thoughts about your body and they aren’t pleasant ones, come in and see me. In no time at all, you’ll be able to look in the mirror–whether you have clothes on or not–and smile back at your renewed figure!

To your health & beauty,

Vip Dev, MD

Taxpayers Paid for Boob Jobs, Health Spas, and Viagra!

The European Parliament

Recently, documents have come to light that expose 763 members of the European Parliament and their families as benefitting unduly from their health plan, which apparently reimburses them for procedures like massage, face lifts, breast enhancements, and other “luxury” treatments. In some cases,  taxpayers have foot the entire bill for a Spa Day or Massage! Men whose wives or mothers are part of the European Parliament receive free Viagra for impotence, reportedly as long as the impotence is a direct result of serious injury. The cost of this generous healthcare plan for politicians is almost £3 million, up 36% over last year, at a time when the average European citizen has suffered from cuts in health care due to the financial problems plaguing Europe.

The Practical Guide to the Reimbursement of Medical Expenses is responsible for leaking the information.

In a similar vein, here in the United States, servicemen and women were once able to undergo certain cosmetic procedures in order for military plastic surgeons to build skills necessary to treat patients with more serious problems. That disappeared after CNN did a story that criticized the practice, arguing that taxpayers should not pay for procedures that are purely cosmetic. Military men and women now pay a lower price for cosmetic surgery at military hospitals as a result of CNN’s expose, but no longer receive free treatment for elective procedures.  Military plastic surgeons, however, state that this has greatly diminished the number of procedures performed and as such, has left younger military surgeons with too little experience with healthy patients, making it more difficult for them to learn procedures that would be benefit them when reconstructing faces and bodies that are casualties of war.

What about this? Do you think people in the military should get free cosmetic surgery because (A) they put themselves at risk for us and/or (B) because the military surgeons need to “practice” on healthy patients to enable them to do better work on badly injured veterans? Or do you believe there’s no reason to give away cosmetic work by the military to its own and their reasons are a bit contrived?  Please share your thoughts!

To your health & beauty,

Dr. Vip Dev