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Brighten up your face—have a good laugh

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“Summer time, and the livin’ is easy.  Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high.

Your daddy’s rich, and your momma’s good lookin…” Those George Gershwin lyrics from Porgy and Bess are 8 decades old, but still easy to relate to, especially as the days get shorter, the shadows get longer, and we savor the last days of our soft, short summer in Boston.

When we think of summer, we think of vacations. When my daughters were little ones, we would keep a special diary for each summer family vacation.   Everyone was encouraged to make a daily entry.  Everything was fair game.

Today, my daughters are successful and beautiful women.  And as the summer draws to a labor day close, and the academic world comes to life, we found ourselves sitting around the dinner table this past Sunday and reliving past summer holidays.   Somehow, as if by magic, those decades old vacation diaries appeared on the table, as we savored our apple pie.  The memories, dimmed by the background noise of life, seemed to jump off the pages, yellowed and wrinkled by the passage of time.   So there we sat for hours, reading our commentaries on vacations from years past. So hilarious, we laughed and laughed till our sides hurt!

I could not remember laughing so much in a long, long time. And when my eyes closed to a wonderful night, I marveled at how good I felt … invigorated, refreshed and uplifted.  How good it was to laugh

As a physician, and a surgeon, I know how important it is for our health and well-being to nourish our five senses.   Our Sunday dinner reminded me of how important it is to exercise the sixth sense— our sense of humor!

Every day we find ourselves facing difficult and trying situations. But when we laugh, somehow we are reminded that there is more than one way to look a situation.  Laughter shifts our perspectives.  It opens our minds to new possibilities

The scientific literature is replete with evidence documenting the importance of laughter in many aspects of health.  Laughter reduces the body production of numerous stress hormones.  Laughter boosts the body immune system.  Laughter increases our pain tolerance and enhances our creativity.  Humor has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and lessen depression. It makes us more likeable.  It’s fun. And guess what…it keeps us young!

As world-renowned associate professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. David Simon has said “discussing laughter is like talking about making love or talking about  a good meal.  The real value is not in the description but in the experience.  Let yourself get carried away with laughter”

The Changing Face of Plastic Surgery- Part One—The Millennial Factor

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America’s appetite for plastic surgery continues to grow, rising by a staggering 115% since the new millennium.  It seems, however, that some of the popular “menu items” are different. The types of procedures that patients are choosing is changing, as more specialized treatments become available.  There are several reasons for both the continued growth and the shift in trends.

We are seeing a new group of consumers entering the market place. According to a report released in April 2016 by the Pew Research Center and The United States Census Bureau, Millennial (born 1981-1997) have surpassed Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) as America’s largest generation.   This generation came of age in the most technologically advanced time in the world, with plastic surgery as a household word. Their growing presence has helped to advance the market place in the direction of less invasive, more proactive and   more sophisticated procedures to “stay young”.

According to David H Song MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, “Patients have more options that ever before, and working closely with their surgeon, they’re able to focus on specific target areas of the body to achieve the look their desire.”

Over 1.7 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2015. The top 5 procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and tummy tuck.  For the first time since the year 2000, facelift surgery is not in the top 5.  Also of note is the fact that liposuction is down 37% since 2000, eyelid surgery is down 38 % since 2000.  This reflects the move toward new non- invasive or minimally invasive applications (e.g., lasers, light based procedures, ultrasonic fat reduction procedure) .

A closer look at the 15.9 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United

States in 2015 reveals that 14.2 million were minimally invasive.  Botox heads the list of the most common non-invasive procedures, up 759% since 2000.  Soft tissue fillers (e.g. Restylane, Juvederm) are the second most common procedure, up 274% since 2000.  Also on the list are non-invasive facial rejuvenation (lasers, peels etc.) and laser hair removal.  Less invasive procedures can be more affordable and appear to a broader range of patients.

Male patients now comprise about half of the cosmetic surgery market.  What is more dramatic than that number is the fact that men also account for more than 40 percent of aesthetic breast reduction surgeries.  A total of 27,465 procedures were performed on men in 2015 for reduction of male pattern breast tissue (gynecomastia) reflecting a 35% increase since 2000.

Statistics also show that 2015 was ‘the year of the rear’ with buttock implants being the most rapidly growing type of cosmetic surgery.  On average there was a buttock procedure performed every 30 minutes of every day?

The incontrovertible fact is that none of us will ever be any younger that we are this minute.  And the numbers clearly demonstrate that while the demographics may be changing, America’s love for plastic surgery remains a passionate affair.

LIGHT-YEARS. 7 Things you need to know when choosing lasers and light energy to help you look years younger!  

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Laser resurfacing is a proven way of enhancing the appearance of your skin. It not only reduces wrinkles, age spots, acne scars, and unwanted hair, it will also tighten the skin and improve tone.

Because lasers can do so much, and there are so many competing products and promises on the market place, it can be difficult to choose the best treatment.  It is very important to be informed, but it is also easy to be overwhelmed.

So, before you get lost on the Google information highway, lets step back from the hype and confusion and focus on some important things that you need to know when considering facial rejuvenation.

  • Don’t get hung up on brand names, new gadgets, great deals, groupons, the latest article in Cosmo, or the newest “med spa” in your mall. The cosmetic world is full of ‘great new ideas’ that ended up with bad results and unhappy patients.  I love a great deal as much as anyone. But your face is not the place to go with the lowest cost option.  First, focus on your goals; what problems you want to address and what are the results you can reasonably expect to achieve.  Second, find a plastic surgeon you trust and respect to help you to tailor the best treatment options for your skin type.
  • Who performs your laser treatments will have a profound effect on your results. In the hands of a highly trained plastic surgeon, lasers are a safe and easy way to improve your appearance.  But in the hands of a poorly trained practitioner, laser treatments can be dangerous, lead to bad outcomes, or simply waste your time and money. Choose the person to perform you procedure based upon experience, training, qualifications and trust.
  • Different lasers are optimal for different treatments. If you aren’t being treated with the best laser for your skin and goals, you won’t get the best results. A professional with a long track record of success and access to numerous devices can choose the correct tools and treatment for you specific needs. Remember, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Your plastic surgeon will have different lasers available and work with you to pick the right one for you
  • Having dark skin tones is no longer a contraindication to laser treatments. While it is true that darker skin tones can experience pigment changes, there are now lasers that can safely treat darker skin types including Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and African American without affecting tone.  It is critical, however, to be certain that the correct device is used for those skin types. Your plastic surgeon will know what treatment is appropriate and safe for you.
  • Plan on having multiple treatments. While a single treatment will address patient needs in some cases, multiple procedures will often be part of the treatment plan to achieve the best results.  This trade-off comes with no down time and excellent long-term results.  Treatments should be custom designed for each patient.
  • Depending upon the procedure you choose, you may have some down time. Some treatments may require you to make adjust your social and work schedule for a few days. It is important to have a discussion with your Plastic Surgeon regarding the timing of your procedure and your tolerance for down time.  Our office offers evening and weekend hours to help you heal on your own time and get back to work and play quickly.
  • Certain medications and underlying medical conditions will affect the way your skin reacts to laser treatments. Your Plastic Surgeon will always take a detailed medical history, including any medications or medical supplements that might affect your recovery. Some acne medications can lead to poor healing or scaring following laser treatments.  Over the counter medications including aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can lead to bleeding. If you are prone to cold sores, laser treatments may lead to an outbreak.  Your physician will want you to take medications before and after your treatment to help prevent post treatment cold sores and the problems associated with them.  Cigarette smoking, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions can also delay healing and adversely impact outcomes.  Your plastic surgeon will have a detailed discussion with you before your procedure and chose the best treatment for you.

 

Laser and light-based treatments can be a very safe, easy and effective way to maintain youthful appearance, healthy skin, and rejuvenate the aging face.  Our team has been an international center of excellence in facial rejuvenation for over two decades.

Please contact our offices at The Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge Massachusetts or The Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Milton Massachusetts (www.rochmanmd.com) or WorldPath Health (www.worldpathmedicine.com) and schedule a consultation to learn what options are best for you