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Botched Medical Tourism Costing Taxpayers Money

A new study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that patients traveling abroad to the Dominican Republic to undergo discounted plastic surgery procedures reported a higher-than-usual incidence of complications than patients who underwent procedures in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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Prescription Acne Medication May Be Safe for Use With Cosmetic Procedures in Some Patients

For patients treating severe acne or trying to prevent the strain of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma with the medication Isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane), doctors have long advised they discontinue use of the medication at least six months prior to undergoing certain cosmetic procedures, such as laser hair removal and fractional laser treatment. But a new study conducted by the Department of Dermatology at the Institute of Naval Technology in Mumbai, India, has revealed that this may not be necessary after all.

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Saving a Buck on Plastic Surgery Could Cost a Lot More Than Money

With summer vacation just around the corner, many people are starting to think about their bodies - or, more specifically, how those bodies will look in a swimsuit. For some, hitting the gym is the way to go, but for others a visit to the plastic surgeon has its own appeal.

"Some people simply can’t get the results they want from diet and exercise," says San Juan, Puerto Rico, plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Pou. "Maybe you have some excess skin that can’t be toned up. Or maybe no matter how many squats you do, you will never get your butt shaped the way you want it. That’s where plastic surgery can help."

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Snapchat Dysmorphia Is the Latest Concern in Mental Health

With an estimated 158 million users worldwide, social media app Snapchat has easily become a pop-culture phenomenon. The app allows users to send "snaps" (either short videos or photos) of themselves to friends and followers. The images, or "stories" as they are called, then disappear within 24 hours. Users can send everything from short videos to selfies, with the option of sending those images with Snapchat’s famous selfie filters. Some of the filters change daily, allowing users to turn themselves into everything from popular culture characters to creatures like bunnies, pandas and mice.

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Labiaplasty Is the Fastest-Growing Trend in Plastic Surgery

If you ask the average person what a labiaplasty procedure is, you can expect to be met with a few puzzled stares and, more than likely, a few wrong answers. But despite the lack of knowledge about the procedure, it is officially the fastest-growing plastic surgery procedure in the world. Last year alone, 13,266 procedures were performed in the United States, and that number is set to increase in 2018. In countries like Brazil, those numbers are already much higher. In 2016, labiaplasty procedures in Brazil increased by 80 percent to 23,155, a move that is all the more surprising when you consider that Brazil’s economy shrunk by over 7 percent in that same time period. So, what is fueling the increase in these procedures, and what exactly is a labiaplasty, anyway?

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The Surprising Procedure That Could Cure Migraines

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, an estimated 12 percent of Americans suffer from the severe, debilitating headaches known as migraines. About 2 percent of those are considered chronic migraines, which are categorized as migraines that occur more than 15 days per month.

But while some migraine sufferers can find relief with over-the-counter and prescription migraine medications, many, including some who suffer from chronic migraines, cannot. For those patients, there has been historically little that could be done to quell the symptoms of migraine, forcing sufferers to wait out the headache until it goes away on its own. For the infrequent migraine sufferer, this option is an inconvenience, but for chronic sufferers, it can have a devastating impact on the sufferer’s quality of life, interfering with their job, family time and social activities.

Now, a new treatment may be the solution medication-resistant migraine sufferers have been searching for, and it came from an unlikely place.

Imagine you suffer from migraine headaches but you're also interested in keeping a youthful appearance, so you decide the time is right for a forehead lift. Except when you undergo the forehead lift procedure, you get an unintentional side effect: no more migraines. That’s exactly what happened to numerous migraine sufferers who underwent forehead lift and hair transplant procedures. In fact, it happened enough times that the medical community started taking notice and started studying the effects of this type of surgery on migraine sufferers. From this research came the development of a procedure called migraine surgery.

"Sometimes some of the biggest medical breakthroughs are accidental," says Dr. Carlos Pou, a plastic surgeon based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "in this case, a fairly common plastic surgery procedure could improve the quality of life for millions of people."

While the migraine surgery itself is somewhat different from its plastic surgery predecessors (after all, as Pou explains, not everyone who suffers from migraines needs a forehead lift or hair transplants), it works under the same principles: that destroying nerve endings in the scalp can prevent migraines from occurring.

For his part, Pou hopes this breakthrough will help improve the image of plastic surgery.

"Plastic surgery has a reputation as being purely cosmetic and not medically useful, but tell that to the patient who no longer has breathing trouble thanks to rhinoplasty or who is finally able to drive again thanks to a blepharoplasty procedure," he says. "Plastic surgery is about more than just looks. It really can improve your quality of life. And now it can cure your migraines."

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New Uses for Facial Fillers Could Eliminate the Need for Some Surgeries

There are many expenses in life on which it makes sense to cut corners. Plastic surgery isn’t one of them. That’s because when you pay for plastic surgery, you’re not just paying for the procedure, you’re paying for the expertise of your surgeon and surgical staff and the safety and cleanliness of the surgical facilities. But there may soon be some new ways to save money at the plastic surgeon’s office that don’t require you to sacrifice quality to get the results you want.

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Study Links Cosmetic Procedures to Tanning, Tattoos

A recent Baylor University study has uncovered some surprising information about appearance-related behaviors that some would dub "risky." The study followed 395 female college students and found that young women who were willing to engage in unsafe behaviors such as tanning in the sun or in tanning beds were also more likely to engage in other stigmatized appearance-related activities, such as getting tattoos or piercings, trying dangerous diet fads, or getting plastic surgery.

But while the study placed a heavy negative connotation on tanning, some experts, such as San Juan, Puerto Rico-based plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Pou, took issue with some procedures being included in the "risky" category.

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Don't Be Fooled By Impostor Surgeons

Up and down the East Coast of the United States, a rash of impostor plastic surgery clinics have been popping up in hotel rooms, warehouses and dark basements. Run by so-called doctors, these clinics profess to save the patient a lot of money on everything from Botox to lip and buttock fillers. But while these illegal clinics may save patients a lot of money, they could end up costing those patients their lives.

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Get a Nose Fit for a Princess

It may not be possible for most of us to be real-life princesses, but now we can at least look a bit more like one. That’s because plastic surgeons everywhere are noticing a steady incline in the number of patients requesting the nose of soon-to-be princess Meghan Markle. The American actress grew famous in the United States thanks to her role on the USA Network show "Suits," but she has gained far more notoriety recently due to her high-profile romance and engagement to Prince Harry.

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Airport Plastic Surgery Is a Dangerous Idea

According to reports, Seoul, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport is building a plastic surgery clinic – right inside the airport. While this may be seen as a smart move by some - especially jet-setting patients looking for a quick pick-me-up before takeoff - many surgeons are concerned that it could cause more harm than good.

Dr. Carlos Pou is a plastic surgeon in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He believes airport-based surgery clinics are a dangerous idea for many reasons.

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Is Snapchat Giving Plastic Surgeons a Bad Name?

In a time when it’s almost impossible to remove anything from the internet, the app-based social media platform Snapchat seems like a safer alternative to the standard web-based social media sites. The app, which is estimated to have about 150 million active users, is used by everyone from average joes to celebrities, and even some plastic surgeons. But now, a growing number of professional associations and surgeons are speaking out against using the social platform for sharing videos.

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'Real Housewives' Star Raises Questions About Plastic Surgery and Pregnancy

Fans of the popular Bravo reality show The Real Housewives of Dallas were saddened to learn that one of the show’s stars, Brandi Redmond, recently suffered a miscarriage. Redmond revealed the miscarriage on a recent episode, when visiting her OB/GYN. Though miscarriages are quite common (an estimated one in four recognized pregnancies ends in miscarriage), Redmond questioned whether a recent "mommy makeover" package of plastic surgery procedures may be to blame for the loss.

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Social Media Not a Safe Bet When Selecting a Surgeon

Scrolling through your Instagram feed to find post-op images of plastic surgery patients sounds like a smart way to find a surgeon capable of creating the look you want. But looks can be deceiving. According to a new study by Northwestern Medicine, many of the most popular plastic surgery photos on Instagram are posted by providers who are ineligible for membership in the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 

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Plastic Surgery Trend Alert: Dimpleplasties!

Long considered a sign of youthfulness and beauty, dimples are coveted by many but possessed by few. In fact, dimples are so rare, they only occur in about 20 percent of the population. But there’s good news for the other 80 percent of us who always wanted dimples and weren’t born with them. A relatively unknown procedure called dimpleplasty is on the rise, and it can help create those coveted little dents -- for a price.

What sets dimpled people apart from those without dimples is essentially a fluke, according to Dr. Carlos Pou, a plastic surgeon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Woman Nearly Loses Entire Upper Lip Following Discount Fillers

From celebrities to stay-at-home moms, women everywhere are getting lip fillers, and many more likely would if it weren’t for the cost. With average prices ranging from $500 to $2,000, the procedure can put a lot of pressure on the average budget. That’s why when Siobhan Phelan of Essex, England, saw a Facebook ad for a local salon offering greatly discounted lip fillers, she jumped at the chance to save some money. Unfortunately for Phelan, the unlicensed beautician who did her treatment nearly cost Phelan her lips.

It happened when the beautician (whose name and salon have been withheld) accidentally injected the fillers into an artery in Phelan’s lip, causing the lip to swell up to five times its normal size. Phelan’s lip became so enlarged that doctors who treated her at Broomfield Hospital of Chelmsford told her she was within minutes of losing her entire lip. Phelan suffered no permanent damage from the accident, but the outcome could have been far worse.

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Should Plastic Surgeons Be Snapchatting Surgical Procedures?

If you're in-the-know about popular apps and social platforms, you’ve probably heard of Snapchat. Developed in 2011 by three Stanford University grads, the popular photo- and video-sharing app started out as a school project and is now worth an estimated $25 billion. Today’s Snapchat isn’t just for college kids and teens, though. It’s soaring in popularity among users of all ages, and even among certain businesses. From coffee shops to hair salons, many businesses have their own Snapchat account, but one type of business in particular using Snapchat is raising a lot of eyebrows: plastic surgery centers. 

So, what’s the big draw to Snapchatting plastic surgery, and who, if anyone, is watching?

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Should You Be Concerned About Plastic Surgery Apps for Kids?

No matter what your stance on allowing children to play games and videos on phones or tablets, it’s hard to deny that these devices can play a valuable role in teaching young children. From learning shapes and colors to making mini-movies or playing games with friends, tablet apps have revolutionized how kids learn and play.

But along with the myriad benefits of these devices, there are some drawbacks, too. One app in particular is drawing a lot of criticism from parents. Called Princess Plastic Surgery, the game is exclusive to users in the Middle East. The app features colorful cartoon princesses and allows users to give them virtual plastic surgery body makeovers. But, are these apps really that bad for children, or is it all much ado about nothing?

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Gender Confirmation Surgeries Increased in 2016

Gender confirmation surgeries are on the rise in the United States, according to data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons last month.  According to the ASPS figures, this type of surgery soared 19 percent between 2015 and 2016, with 3,250 surgeries completed last year.

Gender confirmation surgeries are defined as any surgery that is performed on a transgender patient to help that person better reflect their gender identity. Gender confirmation is a broad term to describe many different surgical procedures and can be anything from breast augmentation to rhinoplasty, to reducing the Adam’s apple (chondrolaryngoplasty) to gender reassignment and more.

So, what is the reason behind this sharp increase in procedures? Dr. Carlos Pou of San Juan, Puerto Rico believes it is a combination of several factors.

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A New Kind of Plastic Surgery ‘Hack’ Has Patients Worried

When you think of the word ‘hacking’ when it comes to plastic surgery, you probably envision some sort of surgical technique used to remove unwanted features, but that wasn’t the case this past May, when the servers of Lithuanian plastic surgery chain Grozio Chirurgija were hacked by a group calling themselves Tsar Team. Following the hack, many patients were shocked to receive texts and emails blackmailing them for upwards of 2000 euros ($2253 USD), or risk their before and after surgical photos and sensitive information being published online.

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