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Everything You've Aways Wanted to Know about Botox (But Were Afraid to Ask)



Botox is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United State, however, it continues to inspire fear and confusion. So, how do you know if it is right for you? That depends on your taste, pocketbook, and tolerance for needles. Here is the 411 on all things Botox, then you can decide for yourself.

What is Botox exactly? Botox is highly purified toxins that can temporarily erase or reduce the horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines, and crow's feet. Injections slow muscles that contract hundreds of times a day, that eventually etch lines in the skin, a.k.a. wrinkles.

Can Botox make you look 'frozen" or have a numb feeling? It will not affect the nerves that cause sensation, or make your feel numb. When used correctly, it can lift the brow to give an appealing and sincere look. But, beware, if too much is injected you can look "Spocked". That is why it is so very important to be treated by and experience injector who can judge the size of your muscles and how much Botox you will need.

Pain. Does Botox hurt? Botox is like any other injection with a needle. Yes, it can be slightly painful, especially between the eyebrows. But, luckily some injectors numb the area with topical anesthetic or apply ice before hand.

Side Effects. Every drug has side effects, and Botox is no exception. Luckily, they tend to be minor and short-lived. In one to five percent of cases, there can be a mild droopiness of the eyelid or eyebrow. This usually goes away within two weeks, and if you are taking medications that contain aspirin or NSAIDs can develop pinpoint blue bruising.

$$$. Prices for Botox vary widely, based on the amount you will need, and how much the office is charging. The average cost is $400 per treatment. The toxins come dehydrated and must be reconstituted, so some offices reportedly over-dilute, or simply don't use enough. The quality of the results always depends on who is on the other end of the needle.

What is the ideal age to start using Botox? You don't need it before you have wrinkles to hide. Other than that, a patient can have Botox safely whenever they are bothered by their wrinkles. No issues arise with long term use. Many people who have used Botox repeatedly for over 20 years are without side effects.

How long does Botox last? Good results usually last three to four months, but this varies from person to person.

Will anyone know I have Botox? Yes and no. Good results leave you looking refreshed, more cheerful, and perhaps younger. Badly done Botox has telltale signs. A smooth and shiny forhead, or a forehead and crow's-feet that don't move when you laugh or cry.

The day after. What can you expect? Not much really, results will begin to show in a couple of days and will develop gradually over the course of two weeks.

Well, that is it. I hope I have helped. Botox is a great cosmetic when used properly. If you feel that this is something you would like to try, call our office, we would love to make you feel beautiful too!

Danielle Blevins

Gummy Bear Implants: The Next Breast Thing


They're not even on the market yet in the United States, but the gummy bear breast implants are already being touted by some as the next "wave" in breast augmentation.

In clinical trials in the U.S. for the last decade. The highly cohesive gel, formstable (a.ka. "gummy bear'), breast implants are available just about everywhere else.  They combine the safety of saline breast implants with the natural feel of silicone breast implants.  Silicone is a naturally occurring element found in sand, quartz, and rock that can be manufactured in the form of oils, gels, and solids.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration cleared new Sientra Inc.'s silicone breast implants for use in the U.S. This adds another competitor to versions of the product already offered by Allergan Inc. (AGN) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) unit Mentor Worldwide, LLC.  It is exciting to have another brand of implants available on the market to choose from!  Competition is a good thing.

Invented in the 1990's and widely used throughout the world since 2000, highly cohesive gel implants are manufactured by all three implant companies.  Allergan's 410, Mentor's CPG and Sientra's Nuance and Enhance.  Highly cohesive gel implants take the concept of a silicone implant a step further.  They're manufactured as a solid mass of silicone gel that's created by adding a cross-linker to the liquid gel to produce a tighter molecular bond.  The result is similar in consistency and feels like the small rubbery-textured, gelatin-based gummy bear candies, hence the nickname.  Cut a wedge out of a cohesive gel implant and it will maintain its shape, which is why these devices are described as being more "form stable".

These implants feel soft and supple,  maintain their shape well, display no visible implant line (rippling or folds), will not leak and pose less risk of capsular contracture.  On the down side they are are so form stable they impart their shape on the breast (tear drop shape), it requires a larger incision, if the pocket is too loose it could rotate and make the breast look distorted, and are currently more expensive than other gel or saline implants.

The real test of marketing for a new breast implant is the history.  After the first ten or twenty thousand patients have had them placed and five to ten years have passed.  So new implant products are in a gray zone.

Thousands of women annually choose to have breast augmentation, some saline, some silicone.  Breast implants are the most studied of all medical devices.  Gummy Bear or not, breast augmentation is the number one cosmetic surgery in the United States. The quest continues for the perfect device!

Martha Hahus, Clinical Nurse, Conkright Aesthetics

You Are What You Eat!

Everyone has heard the phrase "You are what you eat". The phrase applies not only to internal health but to our appearance as well.  Dr. Jennifer Walden, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, recently appeared on an Austin, Texas television show to talk about our food choices and how it affects our looks.  Overall, her recommendations are to drink 8 glasses of water a day, eat 2-3 servings of fruit per day, and eat fatty or sugar-filled foods in moderation.  To learn more about how to firm up the collagen in your skin, prevent and/or reduce sun damage of the skin, prevent acne and oily skin, and get an all over youthful look, check out what she said.  Good advice for all of us.

"WILD WEST" Medicine

There is no sheriff in town when it comes to preventing doctors from doing what they are not specifically trained to do.   You wouldn't go to an ER doctor for a tummy tuck? How about letting your family physician perform a breast augmentation? Today many of the non-specialists are looking for ways to cash in on one of the few areas of medicine that continues to see growth, cosmetic surgery.

According to the International Master Course on Aging Skin, the cosmetic industry has grew 10.1% from 2012 to 2011 to between 4.1 to 4.9 billion.  Many expect this number to grow another 11.12% in 2012.  This growth is extremely important since health care declined to a near record rate in 2010 due to unemployment, higher insurance bills, and the lack of disposable income.

So what does it take for an ER doctor or family physician to expand into cosmetic surgery?  Years of training, classes, and certifications?  No, surprisingly it is shockingly easy to branch off into cosmetics despite the complexities and complications associated with these procedures. Unfortunately, there are very few rules that must be followed, and because of this, many doctors are offering services they simply are not qualified to perform.

Doctors untrained is cosmetic surgery is only part of the problemToday, you can't turn on your computer or television without liposuction being offered on a daily deals site alongside a mani and pedicure. This has caused society to treat cosmetic surgery in a dangerously casual manner, and these misconceptions increase the risks of serious complications.

Over the past couple of months plastic surgery has taken a beating in the media.  Starting with the European breast implant scandal to the scary number of "plastic surgery gone bad" stories.  Who can forget the woman who died in November after having cement, super glue and tire sealant injected into her buttocks? Situations like this make it easy to see a connection between untrained professionals performing cosmetic surgery to the number of botched procedures.

What is the best way to choose a plastic surgeon?

Word of mouth is a great way to determine if a doctor is worth visiting. Remember to ask questions during your consultation, look at the surgeon's before and after photos.  The consultation is the key.  The time a doctor spends with you is often directly proportional to the time he or she will take to do your surgery.  If the doctor seems rushed, overly eager, or pressures you to have procedures you don't want, maybe you should consider another doctor.

The final and most important part in making your decision is proper board certification.   A surgeon who is "board certified" is not enough. What are they certified in?  A cosmetic surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Don't be afraid to ask your surgeon about his board certifications, many will be more then happy to explain how this sets them apart from other area surgeons.