News Archives

July 2012

July 24th, 2012

An interesting drawing of aging~

(Source:  ASAPS)

July 23rd, 2012

Questions & Answers with Dr. Burns


I weigh 132lbs., am  5′ 1″ , age 52. I have been trying to lose 5lbs before my TT and Lipo (Flanks and lower back) surgery . Is this weight reasonable for surgery? I really would like to be 122lbs but am having a hard time losing it. Also I wear a size 10 -approximately how many sizes will I go down after surgery, if any?  I am so scared and nervous as this is kind of a taboo in my culture to have cosmetic surgery , so I am not going to be able to tell anyone except hubby and kids. Thank you.


Not to sound too simplistic, but the the ideal weight for any operation is your ideal body weight and there are charts everywhere that can tell you that. However the practical issues are that very few people are actually at their ideal body weight. So you are asking a great question. What is realistic from a real life perspective?

So for any tightening procedures such as tummy tuck, face lift, breast reduction, or breast lift, the closer you are to your ideal weight the the better it is theoretically. Less fat and more skin  excess means simply that you can excise more of the excess skin. If you gain a little weight afterward. then it will only tighten the skin to some degree and not grossly distort the result.

Therefore in your case, you are at a very reasonable weight for your surgery, but I always tell my patients that if you want to lose any amount of weight prior to surgery, then I am all for it, unless the weight loss would go beyond the ideal weight.

The only exception to this rule is for liposuction. For liposuction, I believe patients should be at the weight they can maintain. If you lose weight lower than what you can reasonably maintain long term then when you gain your weight back, it will go to unusual places. This unusual fat redistribution after liposuction causes people concern, but it will NEVER happen if you do not gain weight after liposuction. So enter liposuction at a weight that you can maintain easily.

July 13th, 2012

Have you heard of Sculptra?

It is Celebration Time as we now have a serious game changer when it comes to restoring our aging faces!

Meet Sculptra, an injectable poly-L-lactic acid that has the ability to restore volume globally by growing our own Type 1 collagen, a very strong and mature collagen that can last up to 2 years.

Sculptra is by no means “new” having been used extensively in Europe since 1976, it is now working its way to being everyone’s latest addiction.

Sculptra was first introduced in the US during the 1990’s to treat AIDS patients suffering from facial lipoatrophy and proved itself above and beyond by restoring the look of ‘health’ to immune compromised individuals.

Around the early Millennium, it was approved for all patients.

Sculptra comes to our rescue when it comes to restoring volume. Why do we need volume? Because all of us are losing significant amounts of volume every year starting at the age of 25. Sadly, by the time we reach 40 it is estimated all of us have lost approximately a teacup full of volume! This loss is mainly bone, which we cannot replace and continue to lose at the rate of about a half teaspoon a year in our faces alone.  Women have the unfortunate ‘advantage’ of losing an extra 30% more during the Menopausal phase of our lives.

Before Sculptra’s rapidly growing popularity here in the US, we utilized fillers such a Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane and Radiesse to provide what is now commonly known as “the liquid facelift,” requiring the injection of multiple syringes to replace total volume lost.

While fillers are wonderful they also have some limitations such as increased chances of bruising and swelling. In addition they must be repeated every year or sooner to maintain results. For many, needing to purchase up to 5 plus syringes a year can also become difficult to justify financially.

Sculptra offers the perfect alternative. The average cost of a Sculptra vial ranges from $650 to $700. Patients need approximately one to two vials for 2 to 4 treatment sessions spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart.

Understandably the amount of vials and sessions will vary somewhat from patient to patient depending on age and volume loss, but the advantage is the results grow in naturally over the course of a few months and last up to 2 years. Once a patient completes the amount of sessions required to restore volume lost, they need only return every 15 to 24 months for a vial or two of Sculptra to maintain these results. To use fillers in the same manner would cost on average about $2500 a year.

In the end, the savings are quite impressive, especially when the company offers $50 per vial rebates at certain times of the year.

More good news: Sculptra can be used safely and effectively with other fillers while waiting for the new collagen to grow and, Sculptra can be combined quite successfully post Ulthera, another Home Run procedure offered at EpiCentre, for a  “Mini Facelift- Like” result!

With so much more to share, we encourage everyone to come in for a free consult to learn more about how Sculptra can play a role in your aging process by allowing you to look healthy, youthful and the best part, natural, all at a huge savings!

July 12th, 2012

Questions & Answers with Dr. Burns~

Q: One of my choices for a Plastic Surgeon is not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon yet. Should I go with her anyway?

A: Should board certification be a requirement for choosing a Plastic Surgeon-

You raise a great question. I am Board Certified Plastic Surgeon but my full answer may surprise you. On one hand,  I absolutely believe you should use a Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery(ABPS). On the other hand this does not guarantee you of a great result. It only enhances your odds. Even among ABPS approved surgeons, you should review photos, experience, and recommendations, if possible. This will further enhance your odds of a successful outcome.

Chances are that every surgeon you visit will show you board certification of some type. ER Docs, Neurologists, Ob-Gyn’s, Internists, among others can take weekend courses and get certificates, but only certification by the ABMS is the gold standard in Plastic Surgery. Many surgeons call themselves “plastic surgeons” deceptively.  The gold standard governing body regarding certifying specialties is the American Board of Medical Specialties(ABMS). Ask if their specialty certificate is recognized by the ABMS. Certainly the ABPS is a recognized specialty, which allows you to know that a certain high level of training and testing has been completed successfully.

I find it quite telling that many patients will choose non certified physicians based primarily on cost / cut rate deals. I see many patients in my office who wish they had never had these cut rate “deals”.

With regard to your specific case, you are dealing with a “board eligible” Plastic surgeon instead of Board Certified Plastic surgeon. They have received training but there is not way to tell fund of knowledge until they pass their board. The probably will but you can’t be sure. Also you know for sure that they have had less than 1 to 2 years experience. They may have great bedside manner and ability, but there is just no way to be sure. IF they have great before and after photos and you like them, then that goes a long way to choosing the right surgeon.

There are no guarantees in choosing the right surgeon for you. You can only optimize your chances by keeping in mind the considerations above. The final choice is yours.