Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Changing Appearance of Plastic Surgery: not all face lifts are alike.

Everyone is unique with signature qualities, expressions and an overall “look.” That’s why the beauty and cosmetic industry has placed so much emphasis on personalized skin care and color options. Now individuals can personalize their surgical procedures as well. At the Hollywood office of Dr. Bernard Shuster, customized facelifts are expertly performed with a personal touch.

“For years plastic surgeons would perform pretty much the same procedure for each patient. However, as each person has a unique appearance, we as plastic surgeons need to consider this and individualize the procedure for them,” states Shuster. He adds “today patients and doctors have more options available than ever before.” These include minimally invasive facelifts for patients who are starting earlier or maybe having a secondary procedure to more thorough facial procedures for women who have waited longer. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, last year over 124,000 facelifts were performed in this country. Shuster notes that an increasing percentage of these are women who are undergoing less invasive procedures than those that have been done in the past.

While a facelift can not erase years of sun exposure, stress and the natural progression of aging, it can turn back the clock. Improving the most visible signs can be achieved by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, reducing wrinkles and redraping skin. A facelift, technically known as Rhytidectomy, can be done alone or in conjunction with other procedures. Either way, it offers patients a second or third chance at looking more youthful and vibrant.

Customized facelifts are a popular and highly effective way to lift and rejuvenate while still maintaining a unique appearance. Unlike traditional facelifts that result in a standard look, each facelift should be carefully designed to suit individual needs according to Shuster. For some women, their neck may be the primary concern, while others are sensitive about their jowls. Either way, the procedure of each particular patient can be adjusted to suit their needs.

During an initial consultation, patients should articulate what they feel are their best features and what changes they would like to achieve. They should also inquire about the credentials of their surgeon and ask to see photographs of his or her work. Based on the discussion, the doctor can create a face lift that accentuates their best features and maintains a natural look. Dr. Shuster specializes in tailoring the procedure to address each patient’s attributes and concerns. For example, if someone has always been complimented on their eyes, Shuster maintains that by allowing their eyes to continue to be the focal point.

Facelifts are relatively safe procedures when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. It is surgery and should be treated as such. All doctors will evaluate their patients in a thorough procedure that includes analyzing skin tone and type, relevant medical conditions, benefits and the risks involved. The best candidate is someone whose skin has begun to sag but still has some elasticity as well as strong, well-defined bone structure.

Most facelifts can be performed with local anesthesia and a sedative or with the patient asleep. Initial swelling and bruising is normal and healing time will vary depending on the extent of the procedure and technique. After a week, patients should feel significantly better and can gradually resume normal activities. “Having a face list doesn’t have to mean weeks or months of recovery as it once had” notes Shuster.

While the effects are long-lasting, a facelift does not stop the clock. Patients may want to repeat the procedure or add other minor touch ups as they age further. The best part of a customized facelift though, is that while so many people undergo similar procedures, each individual will have a signature look, all their own.

If you would like more information, visitDr. Shuster's Website

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Body Contouring following Weight Loss

Plastic Surgery following Bariatric Surgery

As a plastic surgeon, the patients who come to consult with me after bariatric surgery have many unique considerations. Each person must receive an individualized analysis based on several factors. The amount of weight loss can create significant challenges, the emotional and physical needs and expectations of the patient and the overall health of the patient all play a part in the evaluation and planning of treatment.

I find, patients with significant weight loss, such as those who have had bariatric surgery, may require several procedures in order to reach their expected result. The age of the patient, their general health, as well as, the amount of redundant skin can affect the treatment plan. Nutritional and metabolic considerations are also important. Bariatric patients often inquire about tummy tucks or lower body lifts, upper arm and thigh lifts as well as breast lifts and possibly facelifts. Remember each patient is unique. Not all patients will require all these procedures. Of course, not all these procedures can be performed at the same time. However, it is often possible to combine more than one procedure per surgery. This is a process.

During a consultation with me each patient has the opportunity to relate medical information regarding the patient’s general health, discuss different procedures, and let the doctor know of your particular expectations and concerns. With this information the Shuster Plastic Surgery Center can recommend a treatment plan for you. There are many variables which will affect this plan. Each treatment plan is individualized to the patient’s needs. In addition to the removal of redundant skin there is muscle tightening and figure restructuring which is concealed by the skin. Liposuction might be incorporated for certain patients. The office staff will work with the patient regarding insurance filing and payment options for cosmetic services.

The bariatric patient has already come so far and achieved so much, it is extremely rewarding to be able to help them achieve the results they desire.

If you would like more information about this, visit my website

Monday, September 11, 2006


Plastic surgery has come a long way in helping women to look better and younger. Recently new attention has been placed on the hands, to achieve a better harmony between the hands and the facial appearance.

Hands are one of the first parts of the body to show signs of aging because they receive so much exposure to the elements. Sunlight and the natural aging process all contribute to the development of darkened spots and a loss of soft tissue. This may betray an otherwise youthful appearance.

As recently as 5 or 6 years ago, reliable techniques had not been developed for cosmetic surgery of the hand. At that time, skillful procedures had not yet been improved. The demand, however, for younger looking hands is evidenced by the increasing number of rejuvenating hand creams at the cosmetic counters. This demand spurred the development of more refined procedures that have become increasingly popular and relatively straight forward to perform.

While much of plastic surgery continues to focus on the face and body, plastic surgeons are realizing the importance of bringing the hands into harmony with the face. Unlike other areas of the body where there maybe too much fat, the back of the hands tend to lose fat during the aging process, making them thin and drawn-looking. As an aesthetic plastic surgeon, I was confident that a fairly simple procedure to make the hands match a youthful face would be developed.

The restoration of soft tissue to the back of the hands is one of the most effective means of rejuvenating their appearance. Structural fat grafting is an improved technique that can reverse the loss of volume to the hands to make them look plumper and more youthful.

The relatively new procedure is not particularly painful, only takes about an hour and a half, and may be performed without the need for anesthesia. After the procedure, there is usually some swelling and bruising that can be minimized by keeping the hands elevated and applying ice compresses for 48 hours.

At the same time, dark spots that develop from sun exposure can also be treated with a light chemical peel. This combination of restoring the lost volume and improving the quality and texture of the skin provides a very effective rejuvenation for the hands.

For more information visit Dr Shuster's Website

Friday, September 08, 2006

Liposculpture - taking liposuction to a new level.

Liposculpture, also known as precision, selective, fine or micro liposuction, refers to the removal of smaller amounts of fat (often 1-3 ounces) than in traditional liposuction procedures. A growing trend, liposculpture is performed to sharpen, enhance, or accentuate features on persons who are usually fit or normal weight. Liposculpture procedures are often performed on areas that were previously considered off-limits for safe and aesthetically pleasing fat removal. These areas include the neck, face, spine or upper back, ankles, upper arms, calves, and knees. Because many of these locations are less fatty than those targeted using traditional liposuction, and because some are located near major nerves and important blood vessels, liposculpture can be more technically and cosmetically challenging than liposuction that is performed on larger, fattier areas. Newer, more refined techniques of fat removal are allowing plastic surgeons to target these smaller and more delicate areas of the body.

Dr. Shuster is a specialist in all areas of liposuction and liposculpture.
If you would like addidtional information, visit his Liposuction Page

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Natural Breast Lifts: creating fuller more youthful breasts.

A woman’s breast may be her most sensual and personal feature. So it’s not surprising that requests for breast enhancement are among the most common in plastic surgery practices. Particularly popular are requests for younger, perkier breasts. This desire for full, youthful breasts has even stimulated the lingerie industry to develop and promote a whole line of “Wonder” brassieres. While these brassieres can do wonders for how a woman looks in clothing, they do not do much once they come off. New techniques in plastic surgery for lifting the breasts are producing better results than ever before and helping women keep their breasts up even after their bras come off.

Recent developments in plastic surgery of the breast make it possible to perform breast lifts, technically know as mastopexy, with shorter scars. These minimal incision techniques avoid the longer incisions which used to be necessary in the past. Such a minimally invasive approach is in large part what has lead to the increased popularity of procedures for rejuvenating the breasts. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, over the past five years the number of breast lift procedures has increased over 210%.

These new techniques often make it possible to create fuller, perkier breasts for women even without the use of implants. By combining methods that have been developed in Europe and Brazil, it is possible to create fuller more youthful breasts for many women using their own breast tissue. For women whose breasts have sagged, the breast tissue is rearranged internally and supported in a higher position. This restoration of breast tissue higher on the chest can actually create the appearance of a fuller beast, something which in the past could only be accomplished with the use of implants. It essentially fashions an internal natural brassier and augments the breasts with a woman’s own tissue.

For some women, who may not have sufficient breast tissue for this internal breast suspension, an implant may be an appropriate choice. Continued improvements in breast implant technology are making breast implants safer than ever. While the majority of implants used today are saline filled implants, silicone gel implants are available as part of an ongoing FDA study for appropriate candidates. Last year 240,000 women underwent breast augmentation, either alone or in conjunction with a breast lift.

Today, thanks to continued advances in the field of plastic surgery, women have more choices and are achieving better results than ever before. This is particularly true with rejuvenation of the breasts where shorter incisions are available with natural and longer lasting results.

For more information about breast lifts, visit Dr Shuster's Breast Lift Page