Sunday, April 14, 2024 Apr 14, 2024
78° F Dallas, TX
Advertisement
Publications

HEALTH WHAT PRICE PERFECTION?

|

BABIES BORN TODAY DON’T come with warranties or maintenance manuals. But they probably should, now that life expectancy rates have climbed to seventy-eight-and-a-half years for females, and seventy- one-and-a-half for males. Keeping a body fine-tuned and running for three-quarters of a century is a feat as much of the spirit as of the pocketbook. Modern medicine can help you keep your hair, your teeth-even your posture-in mechanically sound shape for as many years as you keep up the yearly tuneups.

In olher words, don’t think of your body as a temple, think of it as a Chrysler LeBaron with an ex tended-warranty plan.

Keeping your various body parts in top working condition isn’t cheap. Mechanics’ estimates vary, and so do doctors’ fees, but the following guidelines are average, annual figures for upkeep, provided by local health care providers, beauty specialists, and local drugstores.

Hair: $997 for women; $479 for men. Susan Posnick of Surface Salon tells us that if you’re a woman with short hair, you need approximately ten cuts a year, or every four to five weeks, at an average cost of $40 per trip. (Long hair should be cut every six weeks.) Fashionable locks are highlighted every three months at an average of $75 per (rip. Perms are recommended two to three times a year and average $75 a pop. Female hair should have a salon deep-conditioning job four times a year, at $10 each time. At home, you should wash your hair every other day (Nexxus Products are recommended by many hair care specialists). You’ll go through six eight-ounce bottles a year at $4 a bottle. Likewise, you’ll go through three eight-ounce bottles of conditioner a year at $10 a bottle. And don’t forget about hair accessories (combs, bows, headbands, etc.). A well-groomed look can be had for $25 a year. And what about that curling iron or straightening comb ($8) or blow dryer ($20)? On the average, you’ll have to replace them every two years, and we’re assuming that this is the year.

And guys, you need to get your hair cut every three weeks at $25 per trip, and you should wash and condition your hair on the same schedule as women. If a guy really maintains his locks, he can opt for a perm twice a year at $60 a trip and highlight his hair twice a year at $50 per application.

Eyes: $58; $425 (soft contacts); $455 (extended-wear contacts). This represents a yearly checkup at your ophthalmologist’s ($58), in which you would have your refraction (eye power) checked, along with acheck for glaucoma and a thorough retinal examination. Soft contacts average $245; extended-wear contacts, $275. Contact solution costs approximately $15 per month, or $180 per year. Eye experts stress that diabetics need to see their ophthalmologists more frequently and that extended-wear contact lenses should be replaced every nine to ten months. Eye exams are suggested every one to two years. And after age forty, say eye experts, your body will tell you when it’s time to go to the eye doctor. Forty-year-old vision becomes less focused, and many times reading glasses are needed. More than a 100 million Americans wear or would benefit from wearing eyeglasses, and more than 15 million Americans wear contact lenses.

A Ears: $50. It’s a good idea to have your hearing “monitored” once a year, says Dallas audiologist Deborah R. Price, especially if you’re fond of rock concerts, motorcycle riding, hunting, or other loud activities. Even working in a computer room all day can deafen your hearing over the long haul. Ears are sensitive, she says, and noise pollution accumulates over a long period. “It’s like cigarette smoking,” she warns. “It’s going to get you sometime.” Hearing loss can begin in a person’s early thirties but not really become a problem until twenty years later, so it’s a good idea to get a “baseline” hearing screening done. An office visit is $50. Ways to prevent hearing loss, she says, include custom ear plugs ($50 a pair), which are very ,, durable and waterproof (“you can even go swimming in them”) or the $1 a pair disposable kind your mother probably wears because your father probably snores.

Diet supplements: $25 to $99. Most people do not get proper nutrients from diet alone, say nutritionists, and many take dietary supplements. A good, multipurpose vitamin that has “everything in it except the kitchen sink” is Centrum, according to one local physician. Prices vary, but one hundred tablets average about $7. That’s $25.55 for a year’s worth. A local nutritionist recommended MegaDyn multiple vitamin and mineral. Each $16.50 bottle contains sixty tablets, so you would need six bottles for a year’s worth of vitamins- The important thing to remember, says nutritionist Joyce McBeth, is to make sure that whatever vitamin you’re taking is hypoaller-genic if you’re food-sensitive.

Skin: $129.64. All you really need to keep your skin young and healthy looking, says Dr. Denis L. Beaudoing, associate professor of dermatology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, is to wash your face twice a day (morning and night) with a mild soap such as Dove. You’ll probably go through four bars a year (regular size bars, 4.75 ounces, are 89 cents apiece at area Revco drug stores. That’s $3.56). Then, follow that with a moisturizer and sunscreen. Any sunscreen should be at least 15 in sun-blocking strength and should be PABA-free. The watchwords for the Eighties, says Beaudoing, are “non-comedogenic and hypoacnegenic,1” which describe moisturizers and sunscreens (makeup, too) that are less likely to cause acne. A pharmacist at an area Drug Emporium told us that a new brand, Physician’s Formula Sun Shield, mel all of these requirements. It is a moisturizing sunscreen that can also be worn under makeup. Beaudoing stresses that “a little dab will do you” in applying moisturizer and sunscreen. So four bottles (at $4.02 per four ounces) should last out the year. And a tube of zinc oxide ($1.49) is also a good idea for your skin wardrobe. But the really big news in skin care, says Beaudoing, is retinoic acid (commercial name, Retin-A) that “actually helps reverse the aging process by about three or four years by reversing some sun damage,” he says. The wrinkle-fighting formula is available by prescription only (about $35 ajar, although it does come in different strengths and sizes), and you’ll use about two jars per year. The cream is pending FDA approval as a wrinkle-fighting medication, although it’s been used to treat acne for sixteen years. The average cost of a visit to the dermatologist is between $40 and $50. And during that visit, the dermatologist will examine you completely for any skin abnormalities that might be cancerous: 2 percent of all cancer deaths in men are due to skin cancer; 1 percent in women.

Tfeeth: $167. You should spend fifty-seven hours a year brushing and flossing those pearly whites. That’s three times a day at 2.5 minutes per brushing. If you follow this routine, you’ll go through six toothbrushes ($12), approximately 3.65 spools of dental floss ($5), and five tubes of toothpaste ($10). You should only use one gram of tooth- paste per brushing, and you really should use gel, not paste. Then, add in your twice-a-year trips to the dentist ($35 per visit) plus a yearly X-ray ($20) and that yearly cavity ($50). Maintaining this routine, says Dallas dentist Philip Kozlow, will keep down dental bills. The wave of the future in the dentist’s of- fice, says Kozlow, will be in gum disease. “More people will lose their teeth due to gum disease than anything else.” This routine is also especially important as a preventive against oral cancer, which is the cause for 3 percent of all cancer deaths in men and 1 percent in women.

Fingernails, $380; sculptured nails, $675; tips and wraps, $770. Nail artist Star Hollis at Surface Salon recommends bi-monthly manicures ($360) with paraffin wax four times a year ($20) for picture-perfect nails. The price goes up to $740 if you go for a professional manicure every week. Monthly pedicures will run you an additional $390 a year.

Regular checkups, men: $150 to $350. Men account for about 54 percent of all cancer deaths, mostly because they neglect regular physical exams and smoke more than women. Annual checkups for men after the age of forty are vital. A physical exam and medical history should be taken at the first checkup. Initial information should include weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar. The American Cancer Society recommends that these procedures, as part of a cancer-related checkup, be performed at the following intervals: a digital rectal examination every year after forty; a stool blood test every year after fifty; a procto every three to five years after the age of fifty, following two annual examinations with negative results.

Regular checkups, women: $150 to $200. Most cancers in women aren’t difficult to detect, so there is a good chance of early, successful treatment. Women have a better cure rate than men because of more frequent medical care and effective early-diagnosis tests. A woman can have almost everything she needs done at her gynecologist’s. Every woman should get a pap smear once a year and every woman should have a gynecologic examination by at least (he age of eighteen, or sooner if she is sexually active. Women over forty should be screened for colon and rectal cancer every year. The initial evaluation should include, in addition to any medical, surgical, emotional, social, family, or sexual history, a physical examination including height, weight, nutritional status, blood pressure, thyroid, heart, lungs, breasts, abdomen, pelvis (external and internal genitalia), rectum, extremities, lymph nodes. And laboratory work should include a urine screen, hemoglobin, orhematocrit, cervical cytology, and rubella liter.

Mammography: $100 to $150. Generally, women twenty to forty years old should have a breast exam every year and women thirty-five to forty should have a baseline breast X-ray or mammogram. Women forty to forty-nine years old should have a physical examination of the breast by a physician yearly, and mammography should be performed at intervals of one to two years. After age fifty, a woman should have a mammogram once a year.

Feet: $35 to $40. Doctors of podiatric medicine recommend that you have your feet checked over once a year (average office visit is $35), more if you’re an athlete And with the masses of walkers taking to the byways of America, DPMs are seeing more and more patients. Common complaints are heel spurs and cracked bones. Dallas podiatrist Vera Stern says that the correct walking shoe can make all the difference.



OKAY. YOU’VE KEPT UP ON REGU-lar maintenance but your body still has a few nicks and dings in it. and you’d like to hammer them out. That’s where plastic surgery comes in. If it’s perfection you’re after, buyer beware: plastic surgeons emphasize that they can only take what they’re given and do the best they can with it. Unlike a mechanic faced with that rusted door thrown on the top of the junk pile, the surgeon must deal with living tissue that has to continue to function post-op. Rates of healing vary from patient to patient, and the healing process, doctors say, has a direct effect on the final result.

Not all “board-certified” surgeons are qualified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which requires doctors to be trained in an approved plastic surgery resident’s program. To find a qualified surgeon with the necessary years of experience, ask your own doctor for a reference or call the Dallas County Medical Society, the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons, or the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in Chicago (1-800-635-0635).

And a second word of warning: be wary of any surgeon who tries to “sell” you on a particular form of cosmetic surgery. A qualified plastic surgeon should be sensitive to your individual needs and recommend surgery only after a complete medical history is taken and the doctor thinks you’re a suitable candidate for [he surgery. People who are overweight are generally nol suitable candidates for body sculpting. Fat suctioning is not a shortcut to weight reduction. Says Dallas plastic surgeon Dr. Donald R. Klein, “Suction lipectomy changes contours; it doesn’t peel off pounds.” Third, don’t bring in pictures of what you’d like to look like. The doctor will know that you have unrealistic expectations and won’t want to disappoint you with what’s possible. And lastly, don’t smoke. Smoking, in addition to its other evils, inhibits healing.

Here is an estimated rundown of costs, not including operating room fees and anesthesia, provided by Klein and the Plastic Surgery Center of Dallas and based on current Dallas prices.

Hair: $4,000 to $8,000. Hair transplants come in two varieties: the “plug method” at $20 per pencil-eraser-size plug (generally, 200 to 400 plugs are needed): and (he “flap procedure,’ in which strips of hair are moved around the head. S4.000-45.000.

Eyes: $2,500 to $3,000. Although cosmetic surgeons can’t do much for crow’s feet, saggy and baggy eyes can be uplifted (also known as blepharoplasty). which redefines the upper and lower eyelids.

Forehead and eyebrows: $1,200 to $2,500. There are three techniques to erase forehead frown lines and saggy brows: two techniques are reserved for those with either high or low foreheads; the third is a direct brow lift that is, in most instances, reserved for balding men.

Nose: $2,500 to $4,000. Nose jobs, on men or women, might be covered by your insurance, if your doctor can show that you have a nasal airway obstruction. Klein says this operation offers the “best chance for plastic surgeons to express their aesthetic abilities.”

Chin: $500 to $800. Augmentations for receded chins are the most common surgeries performed.

Facelift: $3,000 to $5,000. The face and ; neck go together: you go through one (the face) to get to the other. If you’ve got that i “jowly, meltdown” look, go for a full facelift (rhytidectomy) with eyelid surgery. A full-face chemical peel (chemosurgery) is )”one of our most valued techniques,” says Klein, used lo restore wrinkled, , scarred, or blemished facial skin. Actually, the process has been around for a long time. In the Twenties, it was considered something of a Fountain of Yauth, says Klein. Unfortunately, though, practitioners weren’t well enough trained in the process, and the results weren’t always picture perfect. Today, that has all changed, but he warns that skin type is extremely important in a peel. Dark or olive skin types should not have this done because it might leave their skin blotchy and poorly pigment-ed. $1,500 to $2,500. A partial peel, perhaps just around the mouth to remove laugh lines, is around $500.

Breast augmentation: $2,000 to $2,500. Augmentation mammaplasty remains the surgery of choice for most women. Silicon implants are costing more, thereby pushing the average costs up. Breast reduction: $3,500 to $4,500 for women: $2.500 for men who suffer from gynecomastia, an overdevelopment of male breasts.

Breast mammaplasty is often more than a cosmetic procedure, and some insurance companies will pay for the operation (generally, a half pound, or 200 grams, of tissue removed from each breast is regarded valid for medical claims).

For sagging breasts, you can get a mastopexy, which uplifts and tightens the skin.

Stomach: $3,500 to $4,500. Abdomino-plasty (also known as tummy tucking) runs about $3,500 to $4,500. For women, often not only is fatty tissue removed but the abdominal muscle wall is repaired. So this should be a post-babies operation.

Love handles: $2,000 to $2,500. Male “love handles” can be removed through suction lipectomy.

Hips, thighs, knees: $2,000 to $2,500. The average suction-assisted lipectomy is $750 per area, with a minimum fee of $2,000 to $2,500. You can get a package suction (hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and midriff) for $3,000 to $4,000.



SO THAT’S THE MONEY ANGLE, BUT WHAT about time? Mick Jagger may have time on his side, but the clock’s ticking for the rest of us. How much time should you devote in pursuit of the perfect body? Weil, think of it this way: you could sit down in front of the fire and tackle War and Pence (estimated reading time 1.704 minutestor you could. ..

Take 112 brisk, fifteen-minute walks. Walking is the trendiest way lo stay in shape these days. Since high-impact jogging has sidelined many would-be runners, brisk walking has come into its own, with the health benefits outdistancing those of jogging. Even Jane Fonda has joined the swelling ranks of walkers, and, in true Fonda style, she’s produced a walking tape to make the trek more inspiring. The audio cassette, “Walkout,” includes a variety of feisty music, including the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Overall, there are 54 million exercise walkers (two out of three are women) compared to 23 million joggers and 17 million hikers.

Get rid of your slice. If you think your swing is just as important as your stride, you could play 108 holes of golf (that’s six very healthy rounds). Or take the kids and go fifty-seven rounds of miniature golf.

Work out. Take the lime to work out to “Bunnetics: The Buttocks Workout” eighty-four times. At twenty minutes a session, this program of non-impact aerobics will surely better your buns.

Play 113 games of Wallyball. If you haven’t heard about it yet, now’s the time to find out about Wallyball, rhe latest indoor court sport to get those large muscle groups working. It’s not racquetball or volleyball but something in between. The games are fast-paced, averaging about fifteen minutes apiece. At one game a day, you can wallow in Wallyball until Saint {^trick’s day.

Warm up for a late-winter ski vacation. George Dallam, program director for President’s Health and Racquet Clubs Inc., recommends this pre-conditioning program: “Bicycling is the best exercise in conjunction with skiing because it directly uses the thighs and buttocks, which are the primary muscles used in downhill skiing.” For beginners, he recommends a twenty- to thirty-minute workout on an outside cycling jaunt or ten to fifteen minutes indoors on a lifecycle (keeping your heart rate within 70 percent to 9 percent of its maximumj. At the rate of half-hour a day, you will have approximate! two months to prepare for the slopes, an that’s just about the minimum time you’! need if you don’t want to spend your slop time in the hot tub.

Get in the swim. For burning calories good ol’ swimming is more effective thai cycling, working off 300 to 500 calories ai hour, That means that you could chop off u| to four pounds in the time it takes to reai War and Peace. Dallam recommends tha you work up to thirty to forty-five minutes o; swimming, three to five days a week.



COME TO THINK OF IT, INSTEAD OF READ-ing War And Peace, you might resolve to spend that week in the health spa of the disposable-income set. La Costa Hotel & Spa in Carlsbad, California. A week’s stay at the 1,000-acre luxury resort includes a full American plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), nutrition and skin analysis, daily vitamin and mineral regimens, daily massages, three facials, three herbal wraps, a loufah salt-glow scrub, a private makeup session, hairstyle, pedicure/manicure, and complimentary golf and tennis. Each guest receives a detailed exercise and nutrition regimen worked out by a medical doctor, psychologist, nutritionist, and exercise physiologist. This all will set you back $3,220 ($2,380 if you share your room). And don’t forget the airfare. It will cost about $300 to get there from here, by way of San Diego.

On the other hand, with that same three grand-plus, you could. . .

Ski in Cortina, Italy. Spend two invigorating weeks in the outdoors skiing in “the jewel of the Dolomites,” where there are more than one hundred kilometers of ski slopes with twenty-five lifts and seven cable cars outside the Hotel Cristallo, says Tom Froehlich of Rudi Steele Travel in Preston Center. The Italian vacation costs $1,150 per week, with air around $528. Spend the extra $692 on designer ski clothes.

Set sail on the QFJ Spa. The Golden Door Spa experts have developed a unique spa program on the grand dame of cruise liners, with a schedule that attempts to match guests’ needs to appropriate exercise routines, complete with lectures in relaxation techniques, stress management, and nutrition. The world cruise sets sail January 13. The full cruise is 112 days, but stints as short as two weeks are available from $2,460 per person {based on double occupancy, air included).

Bicycle through the wine countries of France. Now here’s a way to eat and drink guilt-free through the rolling countryside of France. Trips of approximately one week are featured in Burgundy, the Dordogne. and the Lot Valley. Prices start at $1,800.

Enjoy seventy-eight massages at Nei-man-Marcus. At $45 a one-hour pop, cost for this luxury is $3,510.

Buy a Finnish sauna. For about $3,500, you can bake your ills away in a Finnish “Sisu” sauna. It needs no plumbing and minimal carpentry. Call 1-800-FINNLEO for local vendors.

Install a home gym. Put in your own workout gym with all the latest gadgetry, including the commercial version of the Life-cycle, the workout machine used in many health spas. It retails for around $2,695 bul you can find it for around $2,100 at Haden Industries. The folks at Bodyguard want you to be motivated while you exercise, so they’re promoting the 980 Ergocycle with Histogram. The exercise machine has an electronic display that provides immediate feedback of how much effort you’ve put into your workout (mphs, rpms, calories, etc.) It’s around $1,500 at Busy Body or Fit City.

Buy fifty-eight pairs of walking shoes. If walking is the best way to spend your time, it may also be the best way to spend your money. From Reebok to Rockport, the average price for a good pair of walking shoes is $60. For three grand, you can buy fifty-eight pairs of the finest walking shoes on the market, guaranteeing yourself endless “sole” power. Vera Slern, a Dallas podiatrist, gives these guidelines: 1) the shoe should fit your longest foot (everyone has one foot that is longer than the other one). The proper length is a thumb’s width past the longest toe on your largest foot. 2) Make sure that the shoe is wide or narrow enough. 3) Wear white cotton socks. 4) Wear white leather (no other dyes) sneakers. 5) Check for a good, sturdy counter (the hard, plastic piece in the back part of the shoe). 6) Check for several different materials to make up the sole. 7) And don’t wear shoes that are in-flared (toes turned in).

Buy 250.19 pounds of swordfish. Low-fat, low-cholesterol fish has long been linked to mental prowess. Swordfish is the “fitness fish” of choice for Dallas palates, says Jack Baum, owner of Hampton’s Seafood Market. The current market price for the steaklike fish is $12.99 a pound. That means you could stock up on 250.19 pounds, and at halt a pound per serving, you could feast until the middle of April 1989. Penny-pinchers might like to know that striped marlin is also a steaklike fish but. according to Baum, is much tastier. At $8.99 a pound, you could pack your freezer with 361.51 pounds and fuel your brain for two years. Other brainy fish for your consideration are tuna ($10.99 a pound), red snapper ($9.99 a pound), grouper (same as striped marlin), haddock ($6.99), or tilefish, also known as golden sea bass. ($5.99). And we’ll bet you didn’t know that squid is really good for you-and your wallet. At just $2.99 a pound, you have six years to come up with appetizing recipes for the chewy, deep-sea delicacy.

Buy a YMCA membership for six years.That’s right: for the cost of a week at LaCosta, you could be a paid-in-full memberof the Dallas YMCA for six years ($456 peryear, plus $150 initiation fee), plus havearound $400 left over for round trips onDART to get you there.

Related Articles

Image
Publications

Botanical Mix Updates New Downtown Storefront for Spring

Florist Shane Friesenhahn gives a colorful refresh to his shop near Pacific Plaza Park.
Image
Dallas History

D Magazine’s 50 Greatest Stories: The Explosion that Forever Changed West, Texas

Next week marks the 11th anniversary of the fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 in the small town of West. For this week's edition, we revisit our story from June of 2013.
Image
Business

Dude Perfect Receives $100 Million Capital Infusion

Plus: Cariloop raises $20 million, StrikeReady raises $12 million, and more.
Advertisement