Why your diet is NOT working…and probably NEVER will.
January is National Dieting Month, and just about everyone has made some sort of post-holiday resolution to lose weight by cutting calories. Every year brings a new diet and a new hope that this just might be ‘the one’ to restore our health and youthful contours. But no matter how many celebrity-sponsored diets and enticing marketing claims are made, the results are almost always short-lived and disappointing.
Let’s look at what science has proven so that we find some realistic options that can truly benefit our overall health and well-being.
- Diets don’t work! They never will because calorie restriction is difficult to maintain long-term, and our bodies ‘learn’ to adjust and often rebound with later weight again.
- Weight loss alone doesn’t necessarily make you healthier. Although you may lose weight temporarily by restricting calories and starving yourself, your overall health requires regular exercise, reduced stress, adequate sleep and emotional well-being for you to be truly healthy.
- Focusing on dieting will distract your focus from the more important fundamentals of a sustainable, healthy and balanced lifestyle. As always, it’s the big picture that matters!
- Severe Calorie Restriction can lead to mood disorders and binge eating. More importantly, significant calorie reduction can rarely be maintained.
So what can we overweight and frustrated adults do?
Clinical research and nutritional research studies reveal that the real secret to healthy and long-term weight loss lies is in making a sustainable and comprehensive lifestyle change, not in the passing fads of calorie counting.
There are no effective, magic potions, celebrity ‘secrets’ or newly discovered gimmicks that will provide safe and healthy weight loss. What really CAN work is making a personal commitment to a balanced and healthy lifestyle, emphasize a nutritious more plant-based diet, control portion sizes, learn to manage your stress, prioritize adequate sleep and do more of what makes you happy!
At evolv Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics, we believe in long-term and comprehensive aesthetic programs that improve quality of life and happiness. We care about all of our patients’ overall health. We hope to inspire everyone to make healthier choices and improve their lifestyle and well-being through education, research and by providing safe and proven products, services and treatment.
So we invite and encourage everyone to focus on wellness, not weight. Remember ‘weight’ is just a number, like ‘age,’ and not really as important as overall wellness and emotional well-being. By learning and embracing better habits and lifestyle, respecting yourself and cultivating an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude, life can be a lot more fun as well as healthy. After all, life is just too short to drink bad wine!
Dr. Frank Barone M.D., FACS
Many people are surprised to learn that there are more new cancers of skin cancer each year than all the combined cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and other internal cancers. The statistics are alarming and sobering. One person in the U.S. dies every 54 minutes from skin cancer, primarily melanoma, and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
Why is Skin Cancer Prevention Important?
With skin cancer increasing at alarming rates each year, how can we prevent this from adversely affecting our lives and the well-being of our families? Prevention is the most effective form of treatment, so here is a summary of research-proven concepts and new findings in skin cancer prevention. These methods can be used by any patient to reduce their risk as well as improve the health and youthfulness of the skin.
Choosing the Correct Sunscreen
One of the most important things to focus on is choosing a sunscreen that is of medical-grade quality. Why? Because in a recent study, over 75 percent of over-the-counter sunscreens tested did not have the level of protection that was advertised. Medical-grade sunscreens are generally certified by an independent agency to be sure that the level of protection is accurate and consistent with the way it is labeled. More importantly, medical-grade sunscreen does not break down in sunlight which has been a significant problem with some sunscreens.
Antioxidants & Sunscreen
Recent studies have proven that the use of an effective antioxidant underneath a sunscreen can theoretically reduce the ultraviolet induced damages that may cause pre-cancerous and eventually cancerous cells. Antioxidants are naturally derived compounds that reduce free radicals, which are molecules that damage the cell wall, cell nucleus and lead to changes that may result in cancer. Since antioxidants are fragile and technically difficult to formulate it’s important to speak with a professional skin care expert to ensure you’re using an antioxidant that has been certified and tested.
Exfoliation is Important
Regular exfoliation of the skin removes the outermost layers, which contain the most pre-cancerous and aged cells. As we get older, the natural exfoliation that we enjoy in youth significantly diminishes meaning we tend to retain older and sun-damaged skin cells, which may lead to invasive skin cancers. It has been proven that regular exfoliation can decrease your risk of skin cancer. Exfoliation is as simple as getting an oscillating skin cleansing brush, such as the Clarisonic, along with natural fruit acids, facial cleanser containing alpha and beta-hydroxy acid and enzymes that are in many of the high-grade medical skin care companies’ products.
Deep Exfoliation is Key
Deeper exfoliation with a medical chemical peel or laser resurfacing may help prevent skin cancer. How is that possible? Studies at Indiana University show that in older patients who have higher cancer risk a laser or deep chemical peel increases the natural production of a protective protein called IGF-1, which can kill pre-cancerous cells naturally. IGF-1 levels are higher in younger adults, decreasing over time. So stimulation of the skin can restore normal IGF-1 levels, and give you a level of natural protection from Mother Nature. This has a huge benefit in preventing skin cancer, while simultaneously restoring youthful skin.
Finding a Skin Care Professional
Finding a skin care professional who can recommend a personalized medical skin care program for you is ideal for skin cancer prevention. Specifically, the regimen should involve Vitamin A derivatives such as retinoic acid or retinol. It has been shown that natural exfoliation can improve with the use of retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A but these are very powerful compounds and should be supervised by a medical professional. Regular exfoliation and stimulation of our skin not only reduces potential skin cancer risk, but restores youthful and attractive qualities to your complexion.
Advanced Concepts in Skin Protection
Traditional concepts of sun care and protection are changing. While it’s always important to wear sunscreen daily, it will not change pre-existing ultraviolet radiation damage which may lead to skin cancers. The above fundamental concepts are important to keep in mind if you would like to significantly lower your risk of skin cancer and maintain the youthful quality of your skin.
Finally, it’s important to see a licensed aesthetician or an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to have a proper skin evaluation. This helps them create an individualized skin care program that fully enhances your skin health and protects it from harmful sun rays.
Visit evolv Plastic Surgery & Medical Aesthetics today to receive your skin analysis by one of our licensed aestheticians.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, so let’s look at the latest statistics on skin cancer in the USA.
- One person dies every 54 minutes from skin cancer (usually melanoma)
- An estimated 10,000 people in the US will die this year from skin cancer
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime
- There are over 60 million Americans living with pre-cancerous skin disease
- It is estimated that more than 90% of skin cancer is preventable
These numbers are sobering and alarming, as is the increase incidence and rate of skin cancer, while many other cancers are decreasing in number.
It doesn’t have to be this way, particularly when the vast majority of skin cancer is preventable.
The good news, research, and technology in bioengineering have given us new opportunities and options in topical products, as well as services that can dramatically lower cancer risk and restore healthy, more youthful skin. But in most cases, it is not enough to use only sunscreen to lower skin cancer risk because of pre-existing ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure needs to be addressed in order to make a difference.
At evolv Plastic Surgery & Medical Aesthetics, we are passionate about using proven technology and products to prevent skin cancer, reduce pre-existing sun damage and pre-cancerous disease, and restore skin to optimal health and vitality.
“Evolv’s Top 10” suggestions for patients and anyone at risk:
- Be sure to select a proven or certified medical grade sunscreen; a recent study revealed that up to 75% of over-the-counter sunscreens (1,400 were tested) did not have the level of protection that was advertised. Some sunscreen actually broke down and became ineffective in sunlight.
- Sunscreen should be applied in all seasons, not just the summer months, due to UVA rays that are not affected by the time of year or seasons.
- The use of an effective topical antioxidant under your sunscreen may not only lower cancer risk but also reduce UV light-induced damage that can prematurely age the skin. Our favorite antioxidant is the Daily Power Defense by ZO® Skin Health.
- Exfoliating regularly, especially for patients over the age of 40, will not only improve skin quality and health but also reduces skin cancer risk by removing outer layer pre-cancerous cells, while simultaneously encouraging the production of new, undamaged cells to replace them. At evolv, we prefer the oscillating Clarisonic Brush with a ZO Skin Health facial cleanser.
- Please inform your family members, especially younger adults, that ALL tanning beds contain cancer-causing UV radiation. More than 420,000 causes of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor tanning.
- For the many people with pre-existing pre-cancerous skin lesions, there are new and more effective treatment options that can significantly reduce cancer risk. Be sure to consult with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist with experience in advanced medical skin care.
- Deeper skin resurfacing with chemical peels or medical lasers cannot only rejuvenate younger, healthier skin, but reduces cancer risk as well. Research from the Indiana University Department of Dermatology reveals that deeper resurfacing also stimulates the production of natural cancer preventing proteins in the skin.
- Consult with an experienced skin care professional to learn more about the exciting new options for skin rejuvenation that offer the possibility of reduced aging and lowering your skin cancer risk.
- Educate yourself and your family about inherited risk for skin cancer based on family history and the level of skin pigmentation. Education is your best defense to protect yourself and your family.
- Finally, be sure to have your skin completely examined at least once a year, and even twice a year for high-risk individuals, by your physician or an experienced skin care professional. Prevention and early detection are your best protection in fighting skin cancer.
Options of Skin Protection & Restoration
For May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, evolv is offering many options to protect and restore your skin. With the purchase of ZO’s Daily Power Defense, our most effective multiple antioxidant, a deluxe Mini-Radical Night Repair (our most stimulating retinol product) will be provided at no charge. Other options in products and services will be available to provide protection, lower cancer risk and premature aging, and ultimately, restoring healthy, youthful skin.
As we prepare for summer, we hope everyone will make an effort to learn more about these new and exciting options in skin cancer prevention and optimal skin health. And by doing so, we can win the war against skin cancer while improving the quality of life for all of our patients and families.
Dr. Frank Barone, MD, FACS
ImmuCore™ is designed to provide a multiple mechanistic approach to support immune system health through enhancing functions of macrophages, natural killer cells, and T cell subsets. This formula features Ultra Potent-C®—developed for enhanced cellular uptake of C—combined with zinc, vitamin D, and a concentrated blend of mushroom extracts.
Offers a three-pronged approach to wellness with Ultra Potent-C® combined with zinc and a concentrated blend of mushroom extracts.
1. Vitamin C supports healthy immune function by helping promote natural killer cell and white blood cell activity – this particular blend by Metagenics is shown to have 18% to 25% higher uptake in WBCs than plain vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
2. Also contains Zinc and Vitamin D help with long-term immune health building
3. Short-term immune boost is provided by a blend of 7 different mushrooms that help to aid a stressed immune system
Directions: Take 1 tablet daily as a boost to immune health/prevention. In “emergency” situations when you feel something coming on you can take up to 2 tabs twice daily (4 per day).
Call to receive your complimentary nutritional screening and let us help you reach each of your personal health goals! 419.720.2008
By Frank Barone, MD, FACS
The statistics are hard to believe. An estimated 15.6 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2014 and continues to increase. Nearly 56 billion (yes…billion!) dollars were spent in this country last year on beauty products and cosmetics. These staggering numbers reveal the dramatically increasing demand in our society where we all will be living and working longer as well as the human desire to feel attractive and look our best.
But who is performing these aesthetic services and procedures? Have they been appropriately trained and certified? Do you really know what exactly is in the bottle of cosmetics, skin care or health supplement product that you will be using? An alarming number of reports of complications from cosmetic surgery and aesthetic procedures or treatments along with numerous studies implicating misleading labeling, fraudulent ingredients and unsupported claims in health and skin care products are serious cause for concern.
No one can deny that clever marketing and advertising, especially with the huge impact of social media, has been an extremely powerful and effective motivator of human behavior. But is it truthful and can we trust the message and the source? Is their potential bias or conflicts of interest?
Consider the example of mass marketing in aesthetic (cosmetic) plastic surgery and aesthetic services. Lifestyle Lift, a national chain of cosmetic surgery centers headquartered in Detroit Michigan, last month closed all of its 50 cosmetic surgery centers laying off all employees. As recently as 2013, Lifestyle Lift surgeons were performing nearly 20% of all facelifts done in the U.S. Founded in Troy, Michigan in 2001 by a physician board certified in otolaryngology (ENT), Lifestyle Lift grew to nearly 80 surgery centers nationwide by spending up to $1 million per week on advertising and promotion of a ‘less expensive and less invasive’ facelift perfumed under local anesthesia. But the surprising facts are that the ‘Lifestyle Lift’ was a marketing term and not an accepted or recognized procedure in the plastic surgery literature. Lifestyle Lift ‘board certified’ surgeons were hired physicians and not board certified in plastic surgery but in other specialties and most had never completed accredited residency training in facelift and aesthetic procedures. Unfortunately most Lifestyle Lift patients never had a clue about these misleading claims. Not surprisingly a high number of complications and law suits have resulted.
These misleading marketing and unsubstantiated claims are also prevalent in the medical skin care, cosmetics and health supplement industry. In February the New York Times reported that the New York State attorney general’s office had accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous supplements. They had investigated GNC, Target, Walgreen’s and Walmart and had found that four out of five products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels and some had cheap fillers or other non-useful ingredients.
Many people do not realize that the FDA does not regulate or control the ingredients in cosmetics and supplements so there is no guarantee on product purity unless it is certified by a separate regulatory agency.
How much do you really know about the ingredients, safety or effectiveness of your sunscreen or skin care product? The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit health research organization, recently tested 1400 over-the -counter sunscreens. Their findings? Surprisingly only 25% if the 1400 sunscreens tested actually performed or functioned to the level of sun protection claimed. Some sun screen ingredients ironically were found to be unstable in sunlight! This is an especially important report considering the epidemic increase in sun related skin cancers, particularly in young people.
What is clear is that there is a concerning and growing erosion of trust between the patient consumer and the service providers and products in the aesthetics profession. This has resulted from the increasing demand for aesthetic services and products along with the lack of appropriately trained professionals and research proven products. The highly motivated consumer is often ‘manipulated’ by misleading and unsubstantiated claims and marketing of cosmetic procedures/products promising results that are not realistic nor proven by credible research or clinical studies. Correcting unfavorable outcomes or complications, when even possible, can be expensive and disappointing for many patients.
Trust is the critical factor behind the doctor- patient relationship. Trust must be earned by consistent and clear communication, authenticity and honesty. This requires a professional and ethical responsibility to patients to only offer services that are within the scope of professional certification and training and to recommend and utilize aesthetic products that have proven efficacy and safety.
The demand for safe and effective aesthetic services and products is likely to continue to increase. At evolv Medical Aesthetics and Frank Barone MD Plastic Surgery, we believe in and have experienced the power of properly done aesthetic surgery and services as well as the use of advanced medical skin care products and treatments to improve skin health, reduce the signs of aging and ultimately to improve quality of life for many patients. We would like to encourage any patient considering cosmetic services or products to carefully check the training and qualifications of their potential service provider. Please be sure that the products that you consider purchasing and using have been proven to be effective and are made by a reputable and trusted company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions…obtaining a safe and natural appearing result these days requires that you do your homework.
Restoring and optimizing skin health is a passion of ours at evolv Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics. We believe in and have experienced the power of improving skin health and appearance to significantly benefit the quality of life for patients. That is why science-based and personalized medical skin care is a fundamental component of all of our aesthetic programs.
New science and research in skin physiology have created exciting opportunities and hope for the care of acne-prone patients. Acne is a complex and multi-factorial disease that requires thorough evaluation by a professional and, consequently, may require comprehensive treatment.
Light Therapy – Light emitting diodes (LED) have been FDA approved for directly reducing acne-causing bacteria in the skin as well as reducing the disturbing redness and inflammation associated with acne pimples and infections. LED light treatment for acne is extremely effective, painless and without any significant side effects.
Medical Skin Care – ZO Skin Health leads the industry in innovative, evidence-based skin care. Their unique product formulations for acne prevention and reduction work through the fundamentals of skin cleansing, reducing oil production and inflammation, and actually result in healthier skin. Proper skin peels are also an essential benefit for acne prone skin and are incorporated in treatment protocols.
Nutrition/Supplements – Acne is an inflammatory disease, as are the majority of skin and health problems. Focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet is fundamental to skin health. In addition, novel skin health supplements have been developed, combining specific vitamins with plant-based phytonutrients (Skin Accumax), that can significantly reduce acne outbreaks and supplement the diet.
Acne Scar Treatment – Although the majority of acne scars are permanent, they can be significantly improved by new technology utilizing laser energy, collagen induction therapy with micropen procedures like the Eclipse, non-surgical radiofrequency such as Infini, injectables, fat grafting and other exciting, research-based services.
We encourage you to explore these safe and effective options with our professional staff.
By Frank Barone, MD, FACS
First the good news. You are likely to live longer, much longer than any human generation ever.
Recent advances in technology, medicine and science have resulted in adding over 20 years to your lifespan compared to those born in the U.S. less than 100 years ago. Longevity scientists are now predicting that babies born in countries with modern healthcare in this decade may potentially live to be 130 to 140 years of age…..incredible to consider!
But how well are you prepared for your new longer life? Living and working longer than ever before brings some significant challenges along with the exciting opportunities. Living and working longer will present some considerable physical, mental, social and financial considerations. Will you be ready?
Medical science and technology many keep us alive much longer, but will your body and mind be healthy enough to really allow you to fully enjoy those extra years?
Research and new science are clearly revealing some consistent fundamentals for healthy aging and they all involve lifestyle. The message from the leaders in nutrition is clear and constant: diets, or the concept of a ‘short-term’ fix for unwanted weight, just don’t work. What does work? Long-term lifestyle modification. Eat less meat and sugar, reduce your portions and calories significantly, and have a higher percentage of fruits, vegetables, nuts and natural fats (especially olive oil). Keep moving and have some form of exercise at least 5-6 days a week, and it should be vigorous and intense at times. Regular exercise and movement are the most important factors proven to reduce the signs and symptoms of aging and there is no way to escape that fundamental law of nature. WE don’t think you should shuffle off into the sunset on your walker…..we want you to run!
Many of our organ systems have been shown to exhibit deterioration in function long before the visible signs of aging are apparent. This change begins at the cellular level and at first is unnoticeable. The skin is actually the first organ system to show deterioration which begins with the consistent loss of collagen and elastin in our teen years. This continues at 1% per year but is mostly preventable with new technologies in medical skin care and sunscreens. Skin cancers may begin with sunburns and UV exposure in children and teens; again preventable with effective sunscreens and avoidance. Skin cancers are by far the most frequent human cancers and are increasing at an alarming rate despite the availability of sun protection and sun awareness education. These are critically important considerations in preparing for our longer lives, not only for ourselves but also for our children and families.
Fascinating studies in longevity are identifying the powerful effect of our minds and our moods on our body and overall health. The mind and body really are connected and we should think of them as one entity for optimal wellness and well-being. Just like the title of the famous text ‘Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer’ implies, reducing and controlling chronic stress is essential to a healthy life. Research has proven the effect of mood, optimism, social connection and mental engagement in healthy aging and longevity. Scientists are now revealing that the mind may not only be able to heal the body but also rejuvenate it. Meditation, yoga, commitment and purpose along with stress reduction really do make a difference at any age but especially the later years!
There is an exciting movement in healthcare involving lifestyle changes as an effective method to reduce disease and improve quality of life. This so-called ‘lifestyle medicine’ is the most compelling trend in healthcare and, most importantly, is supported by clinical research. When we consider our new aging population and the economic challenges of traditional healthcare, the importance of this movement is undeniable. Consider that currently over 85% of the 13 trillion dollars that we spend on health care is for chronic disease that can be effectively prevented or reduced by lower cost lifestyle modification. This philosophy is not just about how long we live, but also how well.
We have seen our patients at evolv and our medical practice improve their happiness and overall quality of life by incorporating these principles and enhancing their quality of life in the process. So we hope that we can stimulate you to consider these exciting health options so that you can be truly functionally younger and fully enjoy your ‘bonus’ years! We believe in improving health and happiness and we hope these principles will help and inspire you as much as they do us!
As we say at evolv……….LIVE LONGER. BETTER
By Frank Barone MD, FACS
The ‘SAD’ (seasonal affective disorder) season is upon us – less light, less activity, more colds and illness, no more football! I have always struggled with the many challenges of the January thru March winter days for all of the above reasons.
Personal happiness can seem complex as well as simple. Our moods, feelings and even our overall health are most visible thru our eyes – the ‘windows of the soul,’ where the signs of aging are first and most apparent. So during this dark, chilly month of February, evolv and Frank Barone MD would like to focus our attention on the exciting area of eyelid aesthetics and the positive impact of improving skin health and reducing the premature signs of aging around the eyes. We believe and have experienced how balanced and personalized aesthetic programs can result in an improved sense of well-being, and happiness for our patients.
Fascinating new research in neuropsychiatry reveals that a measurable improvement in mood, confidence and personal happiness can be quantified in patients who have experienced successful and natural appearing outcomes in aesthetic procedures. This is especially noted in eyelid and upper facial techniques (blepharoplasty, brow lift, laser and chemical peels). These observed positive changes in mood are thought to be due to increases in the ‘feel good’ brain messengers serotonin and dopamine. These are the same natural compounds that increase with exercise and in patients taking anti-depressant medication.
Two recent independent studies presented at the World Congress if Psychiatry indicate that the same Botox (botulinum toxin A) injections used to reduce forehead ‘scowl’ furrows and eyelid ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles may also help patients reduce moderate to severe depression. In the largest study to date, more than half of the patients with confirmed diagnosed depression scored more than a 50% decrease in their depression scale 6 weeks after a single Botox injection. This study was published in the Journal if Psychiatric Research. How is this possible? The investigators suggested two explanations. First, patients who frown less and look more pleasant may have more positive social interactions which can improve long term mood. Second, a facial ‘biofeedback’ theory postulates that there may be a biochemical effect on the brain from physical expression and positive emotion.
Considering the more than 350 million people worldwide (with the highest percentage in the USA) suffering from depression, these findings have generated considerable excitement as well as controversy. Certainly more research is needed as depression is a complex condition. When performed properly by an appropriately trained professional, Botox treatments gave a long history of safety and effectiveness with very few side effects. This neuro-modulator, along with similar medications Xeomin and Dysport, may offer a new hope for patients not helped by traditional therapy or drugs with potential unwanted side effects.
Finally, the overall appearance and premature signs of aging of the eyelid areas can also be significantly improved by aesthetic surgery, medical skin care products and services (ZO SkinHealth), non-invasive treatments (Exilis Elite) and enhanced eyelash and eyebrow aesthetics (Latisse, Ossential® Lash Enhancing Serum, permanent eyeliner). We encourage you to learn about these new and exciting options from any of our professional staff.
In this winter season, the importance of healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and social commitment are still the most fundamental and time tested methods to improve our overall happiness and mood.
The health, quality and appearance of the eyelids and the tissues around the eyes have
a major impact on how our overall aging, mood and happiness are perceived by others as well as ourselves. For appropriate patients, the proven and effective options combining balanced medical and surgical aesthetics consistently result in a naturally appearing outcomes that have been shown to improve self-confidence, social well-being and personal happiness. This is something we believe in and get quite excited about at our practice.
In any event, the ‘eyes’ have it!
By Frank Barone, MD, FACS
Most of us start each New Year with resolutions. Most of those resolutions involve our physical and emotional health; lose weight, exercise regularly, stop smoking, reduce stress. Unfortunately, studies confirm that less than 8% of us are successful in achieving and completing those well meaning and important resolutions…less than 8%! This year we would like to challenge you to ‘think different’ in order to help you succeed in your goals and become the best ‘you’ you can be. We are convinced that if you truly believe in the ‘why’ of your resolutions it can lead to long lasting and effective change and improve your quality of life.
The evidence is overwhelming and compelling. A recent Canadian study on 4,000 subjects over an 8 year period revealed that just being significantly overweight alone can take up to 8 years off our lives. Adding related diabetes and cardiovascular disease can result in as much as 20 or more years of life lost. Scary stuff.
What would you give to protect another 20 or 10 or even 1 more year of life for yourself and your family? Most of us know what to do and many of us understand how to do it. But very few truly believe and feel the why of this behavioral modification and lifestyle change.
I have been fascinated by the new science involving what drives and controls our actions and feelings. If I may simplify, it turns out that just knowing something and understanding the logic and reason, even if they make perfect sense, are often not enough to change behavior…we have to feel and believe it. Our choices and actions may be influenced by our analytical ‘thinking’ brain (the ‘outer’ neocortex), but what really drives most of our behavior and choices comes from our emotional ‘feeling’ brain (the ‘ inner’ limbic system) – all of which is affected by what we believe.
In my own profession of plastic and aesthetic surgery and medicine, many people assume (in some cases rightfully so!) that it is mostly about vanity, self absorption and money. But that is not the true mission or purpose of the specialty. The drive to want to look naturally more attractive and healthy is not mere vanity or a gender phenomenon but a human condition that is hard wired into the biology of our mammalian brains…being more attractive and desirable improves our survival advantages.
My staff and I have experienced first hand the power of a properly done and naturally appearing aesthetic or reconstructive procedure or program in improving a patient’s lifestyle and health by increasing self-esteem, confidence and personal satisfaction. That is the ‘why’ for us. Happy and confident people are more motivated and successful, especially in making and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices.
Helping improve someone’s quality of life and potentially their physical and emotional well being thru your profession is a wonderful and powerful experience. My patients have taught me a great deal, especially about thankfulness and gratitude. I believe in what we do and why we do it.
So this year as you approach your New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself the why. What’s your cause, what’s your purpose, what’s your belief? Find out what you truly feel and why you believe it. Be open to and aware of why it makes you happy. If you can discover those answers, I believe you just may experience more happiness and success with your life and health.
Happy New Year from all of us at Frank Barone MD and evolv Medical Aesthetics……..Live longer, better
Significant weight loss and aging often results in considerable skin and tissue laxity of the upper arms, breasts or chest, abdomen, trunk, buttocks and thighs. This can be extremely frustrating to many patients and is not noticeably improved with exercise or diet.
Body contouring surgery is often an option for some patients to correct sagging and loose tissues and restore a youthful and balanced shape to the body. New techniques and improved technology allows this to be done safely, on an outpatient basis and with minimal discomfort and less recovery time than in the past.
This is an extremely personal decision and we are here to help each patient with a specific and long-term plan. When Dr. Barone is making recommendations for weight loss patients, we typically review certain fundamentals for each patient to consider:
- Is your weight stable?
This is an important question for a number of reasons. 1) It tells us how committed you are to maintaining your weight, especially if you will be making the investment to have these procedures, we want you to keep the weight off! 2) If you had weight loss surgery, we like to see that you’ve kept your weight stable for at least 6 months at or near your goal. Also, we need to be sure that your nutrition is stable, and important factor for recovery.
- Are other medical issues resolved or controlled?
Issues like diabetes or heart disease must be well controlled or resolved before having body contouring surgery for a number of reasons. Depending on your medical history it may be necessary to obtain clearance from other medical professionals before you may have an elective procedure. This is for your safety and also something we watch when considering your recovery.
- Do you smoke?
Smoking can dramatically impact the body’s ability to heal and increases the risk of complications after surgery. So much so that we suggest that ALL of our surgery patients attempt to quit smoking, or at the very least quit for a period of time before surgery until most healing is complete.
- Are you committed to your new lifestyle?
You have worked hard to lose weight and change your life, congratulations! As mentioned earlier, body contouring surgery is often an investment of not only financial factors but involves time off work, recovery time and is an emotional journey as well. When considering going through these procedures, which can sometimes mean several surgeries, we urge our patients to renew the commitment they’ve made to themselves and the new lifestyle that got them where they are today. Keep up with the diet and exercise, and ask us for help if you need resources – we would be happy to point you in the right direction.
- Do you have realistic expectations?
The results of body contouring procedures can be dramatic, but it is important to realize that there are of course limitations to what we can do. There will also be scars, and Dr. Barone and our nursing staff do the best they can to prepare our patients for where they will be and what can be expected as far as recovery time. We take every opportunity to prepare you as best we can for your surgery, but being mentally tough is important as healing can be quite a process!
We are dedicated to help all of our patients improve their lives through healthier eating, exercise and resiliency, and honored when a patient chooses us to be part of their journey!