The TriActive System Shows Positive Results

Cellulite affects 90% of the female population (and some men) regardless of their weight. A new treatment for cellulite, The TriActive System, guarantees positive outcomes, with a limited number of sessions at a low cost and no side effects.

In one study, 10 patients were compared who used the TriActive System to treat localized cellulite on their buttocks and thighs. Each patient underwent 10 treatment sessions lasting 20 minutes each.

“Treatment was well-tolerated by all study patients,” says Nicola Zerbinati, MD, a dermatologist from Varese, Italy, and lead author of the study. “At the end of 10 sessions, we observed a clinically evident reduction in the cellulite on the hips and thighs, a reduction in the area circumferences and the plicometry, and an increase in skin elasticity.”

According to Zerbinati, by massaging and stimulating the connective and adipose tissues, the biological waste-elimination mechanisms may be reactivated, and the tissues may be oxygenated, improving the skin’s elasticity and firmness.

“Cellulite affects almost all females,” says Zerbinati. “These patients are always searching for new, noninvasive treatments. The TriActive System is truly innovative and fits in extremely well with today’s frenetic lifestyle. Sessions are relatively short, and the beneficial effects can be observed after the first few sessions.”

Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures Increase in Popularity

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 3 million people underwent minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, such as Botulinum Toxin Type A, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, and collagen in 2003.

Cosmetic surgeons across the country were asked about the proliferation of nonsurgical treatment and how they have incorporated minimally invasive procedures into their practices. Most surgeons agreed they offer these procedures, but prefer to do surgery.

Kansas City-based Gary D. Hall, MD, who specializes in body contouring, says he doesn’t market the noninvasive procedures performed in his practice.

“It’s just something that we offer patients,” says Hall. “Some people call and ask about them, and we tell them that we offer them. Other patients come in, and we inform them that noninvasive therapies are more in line with what they need rather than the surgical procedure for which they may not be psychologically or physiologically ready.”

Thomas A. Hagerty, MD, director of surgery at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, NY, says noninvasive procedural duties at his practice are passed on to his ancillary personnel.

“Microdermabrasion? We have an aesthetician who specializes in that,” says Hagerty. “I am more interested in the surgical procedures, just because that is more the bread and butter of what I do.”

According to Hagerty, people don’t opt for minimally invasive procedures rather than actual surgery.

“They’re totally different procedures, and they offer different results,” says Hagerty. “Resurfacing does one thing; a face-lift does something else. These are adjunctive therapies.”

Breast Implants May Increase the
Risk of Suicide

Research carried out by Dutch scientists has found that women asking for breast implants should be screened for subtle signs of mental problems and low self-esteem before surgery, which in some cases has triggered suicide attempts.

According to Joseph K. McLaughlin, president of the International Epidemiology Institute, a Maryland-based research center founded by scientists from the National Cancer Center, there is a small subset of breast implant patients who are at risk of suicide.

“The suicide risk among women with breast implants seem to be a solid finding,” says McLaughlin. “With all the research that has looked into the possible links between breast implants and serious illness, the only risk that has consistently emerged is the risk of suicide. It’s unexplained for now.”

McLaughlin’s study included nearly 2,800 Danish women who underwent cosmetic breast implant surgery between 1973 and 1995 as well as more than 7,000 women who had breast reduction and 1,700-plus women who had other types of cosmetic surgery within the same period. McLaughlin and his colleagues found 14 women with breast implants committed suicide. In addition, 8% of the women with breast implants were more likely to have had a psychiatric hospital admission. According to the researchers, although that number is small, it is three-times higher than the norm.

“We think that some of the women who ask for cosmetic surgery, for instance breast implants, actually do have another problem, and if you operate, it won’t help them” Veronica Koot, MD, leader of a study at University Medical Centre, in Utrecht, told BBC News Online, “These women should first seek help for their psychological problems before seeking cosmetic surgery.”

According to McLaughlin, although research strengthens the link between breast implants and suicide, more study is needed to understand the association.

Men Approve of Plastic Surgery

According to an online survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, almost 75% of male respondents have a positive attitude toward cosmetic plastic surgery.

ASPS statistics show that more than 311,000 men had cosmetic surgical procedures in 2003, a 14% increase from 2002. In addition, more than 922,000 men had minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in 2003, (including Botulinum Toxin Type A, chemical peel, laser hair removal, and microdermabrasion), a 51% increase from 2002.

“As the numbers suggest, most men consider plastic surgery a reasonable option today,” says ASPS President Scott Spear, MD. “Taking care of yourself and paying attention to physical appearance is increasingly important to men. Helped along by popular television shows and stories in the media, cosmetic plastic surgery is definitely becoming more mainstream for men.”

When asked what cosmetic surgery procedure they prefer, 25% of ASPS survey respondents said they would choose liposuction. Laser hair removal was the main interest of 22%, and 12% opted for rhinoplasty.

Syneron and American Laser Centers Combine Forces

Syneron Medical and Syneron North America, manufacturers of medical aesthetic devices using electro-optical synergy (elos) technology, has announced that American Laser Centers (ALC) has purchased $1.5 million worth of their elos aesthetic devices, including Aurora and Comet systems.

Syneron’s patented technology, elos, permanently reduces unwanted hair while simultaneously treating wrinkles, acne, Rosacea, and leg veins; and rejuvenates the appearance of aging and sun-damaged skin. It combines Bi-Polar Radio Frequency and Light energies for maximum comfort, safety, and efficacy.

“ALC chose Syneron elos technology as the core for all treatments at its centers nationwide,” says Rich Morgan, ALC president. “Offering the ability to treat darker skin tones and light hair colors, which are traditionally more difficult to treat, elos technology allows us to reach an untapped patient population. We are confident in our selection of elos technology.”

Baby Boomers Seek Plastic Surgery

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the number of tummy tuck surgeries performed on women aged 35 to 50 increased 73% from 2001 to 2003.

“More women are having children at older ages and are opting for plastic surgery as a direct result of physical changes brought about by pregnancy,” says New Jersey-based surgeon and ASPS board member Richard A. D’Amico, MD.

The average age for a first childbirth has risen from 21 to 25 since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older women may have less-resilient bodies and may not have as much time to devote to exercise.

Surgeons say it is important to give patients enough time to recuperate from their pregnancies before undergoing post-pregnancy procedures. According to James M. Nachbar, MD, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based surgeon, tummy tucks are a waste of time for women who intend to have more than one child.

“Surgery should always come after a patient has gotten into a sound exercise and dieting routine,” says D’Amico. “It’s part of an effective regimen to combat the effects of pregnancy, but not a total solution.”

PRS Names
New Editor

Rod Rohrich, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), has been named editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS) journal.

“PRS is the hallmark of quality in peer-review academic journals,” says Rohrich. “PRS reaches 13 million readers and is the most referenced plastic surgery journal in the world. I am excited to take on this challenging position and look forward to continuing the journal’s tradition of excellence.”

Rohrich has served on the editorial staff of PRS since 1992, where he launched the online version of PRS and helped develop the cosmetic and continuing education (CME) sections of the journal.

Rohrich’s goals as editor are to increase readership, expand physicians’ use of the online version, and make the online version of PRS easier to navigate. He also plans to provide CME programs to refine plastic surgery skills and recertification.

“As depictions of plastic surgery on reality TV programs in­crease, it is becoming more difficult to separate fact from fiction in plastic surgery,” says Rohrich. “The scientific studies presented in PRS are shining examples of real innovations in plastic surgery being put through the appropriate peer-review process, and provide tools for plastic surgeons to hone their skills and learn new techniques to better serve patients.”

Rohrich will serve as editor of PRS for a minimum of 6 years. He replaces Robert Goldwyn, MD, who retired from the position.

FDA Approves Specialty Syringes

Avanca Medical Devices, Albuquerque, NM, has announced FDA approval to market its Procedur™-10 and Procedure™-SF specialty procedure syringes.

The syringes, invented by Wilmer L. Sibbitt, Jr, MD, professor of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, allow health care providers to inject and aspirate with one hand while maintaining needle stability. They also offer reciprocal technology, allowing simultaneous injection and withdrawal of fluids.

“The total number of procedures that can benefit from the Procedur devices in interventional radiology, gynecology, prenatal diagnosis, anesthesiology, and surgery is enormous and indicates great market potential,” says Sibbitt. “We are currently introducing our new interventional devices into these specialized clinical markets.”

Clinical trials using Procedur syringes have shown a decrease in pain and a reduction in procedure time.

ASPS Sets Up Tsunami Relief Fund

The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) has pledged $25,000 in matching dollars through the Plastic Surgery Medical Relief Fund to fund medical missions to the victims of the recent tsunami in Southeast Asia.

“Many plastic surgeons have contacted the ASPS to see how they can help make a difference,” says ASPS President Scott Spear, MD. “The society and its educational arm, the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (PSEF), made this commitment to help financially as well as develop a clearinghouse of service opportunities for members who may want to volunteer their skills.”

PSEF, working through Volunteers in Plastic Surgery (VIPS), will develop a database of potential volunteer needs, which will be communicated to ASPSmembers.

Reduce Unwanted Hair with Aurora

The US Food & Drug Administration has granted the expanded marketing clearance for Syneron Inc’s Aurora Medical Aesthetic System to now include permanent hair reduction.

Aurora uses Bi-Polar Radio Frequency and Broad Band Light energy to reduce hair, and features a built-in technology that measures the temperature of the skin after each pulse of light is delivered. A cooling system serves as an additional safety feature to avoid burning.

Aurora is effective for patients with all skin types and hair colors, and uses 60% less light energy to provide a safe and comfortable experience.

Laser-Cosmetic Skin Care Market Expands

Pacific Cosmetic Surgeons and Sciton have joined forces to offer the Profile Expandable Laser™, a multi-laser that offers a broad range of applications, including Micro­LaserPeel™, weekend peel, high-speed hair removal, vascular treatments, and photo rejuvenation therapy.

Sciton’s goal is to provide one laser that will effectively and efficiently treat all skin types and hair colors painlessly.

“Providing such pain-free procedures that can be performed quickly is essential,” says Chris Zachary, MD, FRCP.

According to Dale Koop, PhD, general manager at Sciton, there is an increasing number of requests for procedures that provide deeper and lasting results with minimal downtime.

“As laser treatments become more accepted, it is up to the industry to produce more versatile and economical solutions,” Koop says.