Study Shows Increase in Plastic Surgery for Hispanics

According to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), cosmetic surgery procedures performed on Hispanics comprised 6% of the 9.2 million cosmetic surgery procedures performed in 2004.

“This tremendous growth shows that Hispanics have adopted and adapted to many US cultural norms,” says James Wells, MD, ASPS past president. “Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in America, and body image is increasingly important to them as they move up the socio-economic ladder.”

According to the statistics, the most commonly requested surgical cosmetic procedures for Hispanics in 2004 were breast augmentation, nose reshaping, and liposuction. The most commonly requested minimally invasive cosmetic procedures for Hispanics were Botulinum Toxin Type A, microdermabrasion, injectable wrinkle fillers, and chemical peels.

Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons President Onelio Garcia, MD, who estimates that 50% of his patients are Hispanic, says Hispanics are getting more exposure to cosmetic surgery through television programming shown in South America, Central America, and the United States.

“These shows are helping Hispanic patients become more comfortable with cosmetic surgery by discussing procedural options and showing Hispanic patients and plastic surgeons,” says Garcia.

Is the Boom In Plastic Surgery Linked to the Aging Post-WWII Generation?

According to cosmetic surgeons, business is booming and the future of plastic surgery has never looked brighter. The reason? The aging of the baby boom generation. The millions of people born after World War II who have influenced fashion, the economy, and cultural mores are also making their mark in the cosmetic surgery industry.

“The next 10 to 15 years is going to be the zenith for cosmetic surgery,” says V. Leroy Young, MD, a St Louis surgeon who tracks emerging trends for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Boomers are ripe to be candidates for facial plastic surgery, in particular, and to a lesser extent, body contouring.”

Young adds that baby boomers are not only the first generation to approach cosmetic surgery with money to spend, but they also have the freedom from the plastic surgery stigma of past generations.

According to Jerome Lamb, MD, of the Plastic Surgery Technology Center in Independence, MO, the latest surge of cosmetic surgery has been fueled by reality television shows that document alterations by cosmetic surgeons.

Noninvasive Skin Treatment Shows Promise

A study published in Dermatologic Surgery, a medical journal of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), has found that preparations of a natural human enzyme might be an alternative to some invasive procedures.

According to Howard Fein, MD, a dermatologic surgeon, the ideal treatment for removing diseased skin or unwanted growths is one that destroys damaged tissue without harming healthy skin. He reports that natural human enzymes (proteolytic enzymes) are proven to selectively separate the epidermis from the dermis to remove damaged skin.

“The advantages of topical protease therapy (TPT) over existing tissue-destruction methods include the avoidance of thermal damage, noxious chemicals, and costly machinery,” says Fein. “Further, the inherent safety of TPT is evidenced by the presence of these enzymes in fruit and their commercial use in over-the-counter digestion remedies, meat tenderizers, and laundry detergents.”

Fein adds that more research is needed to identify ideal enzyme formulations, concentrations, and delivery vehicles, as well as to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of TPT.

Plastic Surgery Societies Launch Breast-Implant Web Site

To help potential patients become fully informed about breast implants and their safety and effectiveness, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) have launched an informational Web site,

“The goal of the site is to give women a reliable resource as they investigate the vast, often confusing, and sometimes inaccurate information available online about breast implants,” says Peter Fodor, ASAPS president.

In addition to offering objective and medically grounded information for women on breast-implant procedures, the Web site presents the pros and cons of the devices currently approved for all uses by the US Food and Drug Administration. It also provides information on saline implants, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of silicone implants.

“Deciding to have plastic surgery takes careful consideration,” says Scott Spear, MD, ASPS president. “With, we want to give women the most accurate information so they can be empowered to make the best decision.”

Plastic Surgeons Aid Tsunami Victims

Two plastic surgeons—Paul W. Wallace, MD, and Munish (MK) Batra, MD, FACS—recently traveled to southern Asia to aid tsunami victims. Their expertise in the field of reconstructive surgery helped identify corpses by recreating their facial images. They also treated survivors who had received cuts, abrasions, and lacerations from the debris in the water.

Wallace traveled to Thailand where he, with the help of two other physicians, digitally reconstructed nearly 140 victims’ faces to help survivors identify family members. Once a body was recognized, DNA testing was conducted for definite identification.

“Our first order of business was to determine whether a corpse was an Asian or not,” says Wallace. “After making that decision, we removed a rib for DNA purposes, and we had a dental team that examined victims’ teeth for any dental repair that had been done.”
Wallace says he plans to return to Thailand until all corpses’ faces have been digitally reconstructed. “The country is pretty much scarred for life,” Wallace says.

Similarly, the Indian government received a great deal of help from Batra, senior partner with San Diego-based Coastal Plastic Surgeons. While there, Batra worked along the coast of Chennai, one of India’s hardest-hit cities, where he performed reconstructive surgeries and amputations.

“There really isn’t a huge need for dermatology there,” says Batra. “The biggest need was for internists and infectious-disease specialists, and secondarily, reconstructive surgeons.”

Batra urges physicians interested in doing such work to link up with NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) or hospitals serving in afflicted areas.

“The work is available, and they need the help,” says Batra. “The only reason it’s come to light recently is because of the tsunami. But those parts of the world always need help.”

Weight Loss Patients Drive the Growth in Body-Contouring Surgeries

According to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 106,000 body-contouring procedures were performed in 2004, a 77% increase over the last 5 years.

“There has been an explosion in the demand for body-contouring surgery, and I think this can be explained by the rapidly increasing numbers of patients who have dramatic weight loss,” says Scott Spear, MD, ASPS president. “At the same time, this new group of patients has served as a catalyst for surgeons to create surgical techniques that can now be transferred to other patients where there are only average needs from mild weight loss, pregnancy, or aging.”

Plastic surgeons have noticed that although patients are turning to noninvasive options for facial procedures, they are choosing invasive procedures like thigh lifts and lower-body lifts rather than liposuction when dealing with lower-body contouring.

“We have gone from being less invasive to more aggressive for body contouring,” says Jeffrey Kenkel, MD, ASPS/ASAPS postbariatric surgery task force chair. “I know I can get a more dramatic change in the waist with a lower-body lift than I can with liposuction alone.”

Doe Run Peru Sponsors Children’s Clinic

Doe Run Peru, a subsidiary of the Doe Run Company (a privately held natural resource company focused on environmentally sound mineral production, recycling, and metals fabrication) will sponsor a “Smile in the Andes” campaign in La Oroya, Peru, to treat children with facial deformities.

“The operations are entirely free,” says Rosa Benel Calderon, Doe Run Peru spokesperson. “The company will pick up all of the expenses from transporting the child, the operation, and the recovery period, as well as the expenses for the family member that accompanies the minor.”

During the 4-month project, a team of 30 experienced plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, dentists, and nurses from Rotaplast International (a community service organization established by participating Rotary Clubs) will travel to La Oroya to perform free surgeries for children age 3 months to 18 years with cleft lips or palate, and other facial, ear, or hand deformities.

“The kindness and generosity of the Doe Run Peru employees and management will change the lives of these children and their families forever,” says Daniel Bronson, Rotaplast International’s mission director and special ambassador for Peru. “New smiles will be created, and with those will come self-images and new opportunities in life. However, we will also team together to search for the cause and prevention of these deformities through the investigative work of our researchers.”

The reconstructive surgeries are scheduled from June 25 to July 1.

Artes Medical Inc
Appoints VP

Adelbert L. Stagg, PhD, formerly responsible for managing Botulinum Toxin Type A and Botulinum Toxin Type A Cosmetic approvals at Allergan (a pharmaceutical company in Irvine, Calif) has been appointed vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at Artes Medical Inc (San Diego). He will oversee the regulatory and licensing processes of ArteFill™, a permanent injectable wrinkle filler for the treatment of facial wrinkles and scars, as well as future Artes Medical products.

“With both his vast experience in medical device and pharmaceutical development, aesthetic medical product registration on a global basis, and his outstanding relationship with the FDA, Stagg is a tremendous asset to our company,” says Stefan Lemperle, president and CEO of Artes Medical. “We are looking forward to his leadership during the upcoming FDA inspection of the ArteFill manufacturing process at our new facility and the marketing approval of our first product.”

Stagg has more than 25 years of experience in medical products, having successfully licensed medical, pharmaceutical, and biological products with the US Food and Drug Administration and other agencies around the world. He also has doctoral degrees in physiology and pharmacology from Duke University, Durham, NC.