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New Year-New You

Health, Beauty & Fitness for 1998
By  |

WHETHER YOUR RESOLUTION FOR THE NEW YEAR is to have smaller thighs, whiter teeth, or softer skin, the bottom line is that if we look better, we feel better and if we feel better, we look better. As one of the country’s fastest growing cities and a center for medical research, Dallas offers countless ways to reshape our minds and bodies for better health and beauty. From fitness centers and day spas to options in plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry, the resources are here.

Technology perfected in the last few years makes improving one’s appearance easier and less painful than ever before. The three major scientific advances are in the areas of lasers, light beams used in surgery; improved liposuction, where fat is vacuumed or sucked out of the body by way of a small tube; and endoscopic surgery, in which a camera is inserted under the skin so that the procedure can be seen on a video screen.



Laser Surgery

Costing approximately $150,000 apiece, there are a dozen lasers currently on the market and four more are under review by the FDA. The lasers are used in a variety of procedures ranging from “lunch time” surgeries on eyebrows, veins, lips, and brown spots, to total face rejuvenations, Rhinoplasties (“nose jobs”), and facelifts.

Different types of lasers such as the carbon dioxide (co2) laser, the erbium laser, the ruby laser, and the argon laser are used for particular procedures. Because there is such a large variety of lasers available, doctors are able to treat an equally wide range of skin problems including sun damage, scars, removing tattoos, birth marks, and age spots, as well as skin resurfacing, which is a controlled sanding down of the lines and wrinkles on the face.

“The laser is the only tool you can use surgically, which not only prevents pain but also doesn’t generate it,” says Pat Clark, who is responsible for laser research and development at EpiCentre, the laser treatment facility at the Baylor-Tom Landry Center. Created by six plastic surgeons, the center offers “noninvasive” treatments including removal of hair, age spots, spider veins and tattoos. “If you cut a nerve with cold steel, like a scalpel, that nerve, in the process of dying, sends out a signal which translates into pain. With a laser, you can cut and seal a nerve leaving [it] intact with almost no pain,” adds Clark.

“Laser surgery, with the carbon dioxide laser and the erbium laser, has really added a lot to the dimension of care,” remarks Dr. Forrest Brown, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon who specializes in laser surgery and tumescent liposuction. “We can do a lot of things that classical surgery cannot do, such as [treating] lines around the lips and changing the texture of the skin to give it a softer, younger look.”

Dr. Lynne Roberts, who has five lasers in her practice, says that “lasers have revolutionized dermatology. The surgical aspects have exploded. Plastic surgery used to be reserved lor die elite, wealthy people because it was so expensive. Normal people wouldn’t even look into it because the price was so high and the perception was that it was an indulgent thing to do, Now with health consciousness rising, people want to feel and look young. Lasers allow people to do more to make their skin look as young as they feel. “

Another advantage that lasers have over other procedures is a shortened recovery time. “People used to be pink for three months after a procedure; with the co2 laser, we’ve reduced that to one or two weeks,” remarks Dr. George Wooming of the Liposculpture and Laser Center of Dallas.

According to John Graven Kemper, manager of the Laser Hair Removal Clinic, “Hair is generated from a variety of sources including heredity, hormones, pregnancy changes, and menopause. Removing hair from the underarms usually takes one to two 15-20 minute visits. To do the upper lip or chin takes three to six 15-20 minute visits. I see women and men who are transformed in a very short amount of time thanks to the laser. In dollars it costs about the same as the old procedure, electrolysis; but in terms of time and pain, everything is less with a laser.”

For more complicated procedures, lasers have reduced time, hospitalization, and scarring. “Overnight and day surgery are important developments in cosmetic surgery,” says Dr. Jim Gilmore of Gilmore Associates, who specializes in facial rejuvenation. “Twenty years ago we used to operate on someone’s nose and that person would be in the hospital for three or four days. Now you can get your nose fixed in an hour and a half, and in three hours turnaround time, you can have your nose changed without scars.”



Liposuction



Liposuction removes unwanted fat with a small tube or “canula” and a vacuum, The procedure can be performed in three ways. Saline assisted liposuction (SAL) is what most consider the original liposuction. Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) uses a smaller canula than SAL and involves ultrasound turned to the frequency of fat to break it down before it is sucked out from under the skin. Tumescent liposuction uses epinephrine to make the blood vessels constrict and increase the fluid around the fat before it is removed. candidates,” says Dr. Steve Byrd. “Plastic surgery is not a band-aid for personal or emotional problems. Just having a new look isn’t going to make those other things heal.” If a person is in the middle of an emotional crisis, he or she will probably be told to work on the psychological issues first and then reconsider cosmetic surgery.

“Plastic surgery is best used by vigorous people who may look a little older than they feel and want to look better. [But] if they are seeking perfection, this isn’t the answer,” says Dr. Jay Burns, a plastic surgeon and professor at Southwestern Medical School. “People want to look the way they feel about their age,” McBride adds. “They want to feel healthy. Getting old is not a bad thing. But looking tired and worn out is not good or necessary.”

and UAL. “There are some pockets of fat that diet and exercise will not remove. I see people who work out every day, and still cannot get certain pockets of fat off their bodies. In one hour UAL can do what you couldn’t do yourself in 10 years.” According to Tebbetts, the best candidates for liposuction are no more than 15 pounds over their ideal body weight. “We tell every patient no form of fat removal is a substitute for diet and exercise. Liposuction is nothing more than a contouring procedure. No one should mistake liposuction for weight loss.”

“We can vacuum out the fat for the overweight person, but if they don’t change their lifestyle, it will come back,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Ben Tittle. “The look of the skin after the procedure varies,” adds Tittle. “After liposuction, skin rebounds differently depending upon the age and skin cone of the person. For a person who is 20, the skin will fall back into place. For a person over 40, I tell them, ’LiposucCosmetic Dentistry



Teeth are an another important factor in self image. For dentistry, technology has not only helped brighten and whiten teeth and transformed fillings from silver to ivory but is on the verge of making ear-pearcing, smelly drills obsolete. Ritchie Beougher, a cosmetic dentist in Piano, uses an argon laser to bleach teeth and bond fillings. Soon, he will get a diode laser that can cut gum tissue. “Two thing patients hate,” he says, “are the shot and the drill, and we’re going to replace both of them.” Future innovations include a process called “air (or micro) abrasion,” which operates like an air-pressure sandblaster to replace the drill. An anesthesia device delivers the numbing substance by pressure into the side of the gum.

Cosmetic dentist Jim Reisman, past president of the Dallas County Dental Society and a nominee for Dentist of the Year for the state of Texas, entered cosmetic dentistry because he thought he had an artistic talent, and he wanted to go beyond standard dentistry, “I know that part of what 1 do makes people feel better about themselves. Self esteem is so important to success. And the technology broadens the possibilities. “

Reisman uses video imaging to help patients envision their new smiles. Bleaching and light curing is achieved with the Yag laser. “I think we will have a usable hard tissue laser for teeth in five years. There are ones on the market today, but because they cannot be used on children or on silver fillings, they are severely limited,” adds Reisman.



Mind and Body

Dr. Rudy Rivera was an anesthesiologist at Southwestern when he decided to leave the hectic schedule in order to spend more time with his 8-year-old daughter. At 245 pounds and frustrated by his weight, he lost 45 pounds using medication. Rivera then took a battery of “bariatric,” or food allergy tests and found he was sensitive to a long list of “healthy” foods including carrots, broccoli, candidates,” says Dr. Steve Byrd. “Plastic surgery is not a band-aid for personal or emotional problems. Just having a new look isn’t going to make those other things heal.” If a person is in the middle of an emotional crisis, he or she will probably be told to work on the psychological issues first and then reconsider cosmetic surgery.

“Plastic surgery is best used by vigorous people who may look a little older than they feel and want to look better. [But] if they are seeking perfection, this isn’t the answer,” says Dr. Jay Burns, a plastic surgeon and professor at Southwestern Medical School. “People want to look the way they feel about their age,” McBride adds. “They want to feel healthy. Getting old is not a bad thing. But looking tired and worn out is not good or necessary.”

“When people come to me and say ’I feel young inside, and I just want to look the way I feel,’ I know I am going to be a real success for them,” says Byrd, “because I can give them exactly that-a visualization of their attitude.” Having pioneered the mid-face lift, involving the eyes, cheeks, and browline, Byrd’s specialties are facial rejuvenation and endoscopic surgery. “Most people are pretty realistic and have realistic expectations. It is rare that a person comes in hoping for a whole new life.”

The results for most people are very positive. Not only does it improve an individuals quality of life, but according to many doctors, it affects his or her outlook about the world. “It can make you feel better, and then you want to maintain it,” says Brown. “The changes that cosmetic surgery brings encourage people to initiate and maintain exercise and diet. The improvement they’ve made gives them the encouragement to continue to look better.” Miles adds, “Women who’ve never felt they looked pretty, but always wanted to, finally have it. The surgery gives them a marvelous new lift. It’s like a butterfly in metamorphosis. “

In Dallas, a city renowned for putting a premium on looks, the primary market for cosmetic surgery has been baby boomers. “They are trying to achieve a look that reflects their ambitions,” says Byrd. “The changing technology is directly correlated with their higher standard of expectations.” Tittle notes, “Baby boomers want to appear and feel younger in order to compete in the workplace.”

Cosmetic Dentistry



Teeth are an another important factor in self image. For dentistry, technology has not only helped brighten and whiten teeth and transformed fillings from silver to ivory but is on the verge of making ear-pearcing, smelly drills obsolete. Ritchie Beougher, a cosmetic dentist in Piano, uses an argon laser to bleach teeth and bond fillings. Soon, he will get a diode laser that can cut gum tissue. “Two thing patients hate,” he says, “are the shot and the drill, and we’re going to replace both of them.” Future innovations include a process called “air (or micro) abrasion,” which operates like an air-pressure sandblaster to replace the drill. An anesthesia device delivers the numbing substance by pressure into the side of the gum.

Cosmetic dentist Jim Reisman, past president of the Dallas County Dental Society and a nominee for Dentist of the Year for the state of Texas, entered cosmetic dentistry because he thought he had an artistic talent, and he wanted to go beyond standard dentistry, “I know that part of what 1 do makes people feel better about themselves. Self esteem is so important to success. And the technology broadens the possibilities. “

Reisman uses video imaging to help patients envision their new smiles. Bleaching and light curing is achieved with the Yag laser. “I think we will have a usable hard tissue laser for teeth in five years. There are ones on the market today, but because they cannot be used on children or on silver fillings, they are severely limited,” adds Reisman.



Mind and Body

Dr. Rudy Rivera was an anesthesiologist at Southwestern when he decided to leave the hectic schedule in order to spend more time with his 8-year-old daughter. At 245 pounds and frustrated by his weight, he lost 45 pounds using medication. Rivera then took a battery of “bariatric,” or food allergy tests and found he was sensitive to a long list of “healthy” foods including carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and turkey.

Today Rivera has lost 25 more pounds, is a doctor of bariatric medicine, and helps others deal with health and weight issues by studying food allergies and sensitivities. “Stress is killing us,” Rivera says. “We encourage it because in our society, we think we are not worthwhile unless we are worried about something. Overeating is a common response to stress in our society and obesity is rampant. With more than 30 percent of the population 20 percent over their ideal weight, obesity is at crisis levels.”

According to Rivera, by finding out which foods a person is allergic to, one can eliminate certain cravings. Sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, as well as obesity, have been alleviated by the tests’ revelations. “Food is a drug, and our emotions are a direct result of chemical changes in our bodies.”

For many, it is not the shape or weight of their bodies that they want to tackle, but feelings they may have in their head or heart. Marilyn Lummus, a therapist who focuses on grief, loss, trauma, sexual abuse, and depression, works with individuals, couples, and families. “I see therapy, with adults or adolescents, a;, lite enhancing-something you use periodically during your life. Some things, like sexual abuse, may require a longer time, but for many people, situations or issues come up and a therapist can help in the shorter term. I see it as a very natural way to cope with a variety of feelings and situations that happen to all of us.”

A drawback for a lot of people considering therapy is the cost. In Dallas, 50 minute sessions run. between $75 and $125. “What I hope will happen is that we’ll see more employers providing mental health benefits for their employees, because it’s a win-win situation. A lot of dollars are lost by businesses because employees are either unproductive on the job or they miss work because their emotional difficulties are as devastating as a physical illness,” says Lummus.

Appearance

In addition to therapy, dentistry, and cosmetic surgery, there are other ways for people to improve their self image. One way is through non-surgical hair replacement. Vastly improved over the old toupee or hair piece, today’s “hair integration” is virtually indistinguishable from natural hair, according to Don Dennis, manager of Addhair Dallas. “The stigma of the old toupee is no longer valid.” Because full and partial hair replacements are very realistic and made of natural hair, their clients, many of whom have suffered from stress, genetics, or male patterned baldness, truly forget about them, says Dennis.

Many people change their appearance with new glasses or contact lenses. “Glasses and contact lenses can make an enormous difference to one’s appearance and confidence,” says Dr. Lisa Calaway-Batky, whose office and optical dispensary. The Vision Clinic, is located on Lovers Lane near the Toll-way.

“With the improvements in lenses, a lot of people who could not wear contacts years ago, now can. We have bifocal and disposable lenses now, which has been a big help, particularly for teenagers who tend not to take care of their lenses. Now they can take them out and throw them away every two weeks,” adds Calaway-Batky. “And glasses, which no one wanted just a few years ago, have become more popular because they are a fashion statement. Even children, who could be tough customers, are liking glasses more. They know what they want and I encourage parents to let them have the frames they choose.”

Exercise

Despite so many innovations in technology, there is no pill or procedure to replace exercise. It remains an essential element of fitness. “The importance of fitness cannot be underestimated,” says Angie Arnold, director of marketing and membership for the Downtown YMCA. “People say they don’t have time, but exercise is right up there with not smoking and reducing stress in terms of extending the length of your life.” An individual who joins the “Y” for $125 with a $52 monthly fee, has access to a pool, basketball courts, running track, exercise rooms, and a weight training facility. For parents, there is a $2 per hour day care facility for members’ children.

“Exercise has to be exhilarating in order to keep people interested,” notes Michel Kolling, mature market director of the Cooper Fitness Center in North Dallas. Three years ago the center formalized a program targeted at the center’s members over the age of 55. With the emphasis on fitness, education, and social activity, the group exercises to swing music of the Big Band era, hears speakers on subjects like nutrition, aging, and travel) and participates in outdoor and cultural excursions. “We focus our exercises on flexibility and strengthening,1’ adds Kolling. “Pilates and tai chi are two ways we are helping our members gain more range of motion.”



Pampering to Perfection

I In addition to being physically fit, most women want to look and feel beautiful. This often begins with relaxation and pampering. Dallas has seen significant growth in the spa business recently, but instead of the traditional, expensive spas where one spends several days and dollars, today’s day spas offer many of the same services at a more affordable rate.

Bernardo’s Salon and Day Spa in Piano, offers a long and varied menu of facials and massages, including the Watsu or Shiatsu water massage, performed in a small pool heated to 94-98 degrees. In addition to mud, seaweed, and herbal wraps, the spa also offers paraffin, salt glow, and cellulite treatments. “We want to offer women in Piano a one-stop shopping experience to make them feel relaxed and beautiful,” says owner Eunice Bernardo. For those who aren’t ready for surgery, Bernardo suggests a Hydradermie Facial, the spas “non-surgical face lift.”

Ciao Bella, a hair salon and day spa in Piano, provides a wide range of services from massages, facials, and peels to hair cutting, coloring, and styling. “We try to combine all the aspects of beauty and comfort,” says Pamelia Rost, owner of the 11-year-old spa. “We know that part of our job is to pamper and part is to educate. That’s why we try to introduce exciting new products from France, Italy, and Sweden, We also bring in visiting stylists from Europe to introduce new styles and techniques. “

For those closer to Dallas, the Riviera Spa opened in November. Modeled on the Ritz Carlton in Cancun, the colors of the spa are designed to be soothing and relaxing, says owner Abe Haddad. “Taupe, peach, and green surround our clients as they enjoy a full line of services including facials, waxing, and massage therapy in an elegant environment. Our goal is comfort and luxury.”

Another option for those who want to avoid surgery is a new line of topical Vitamin-C products called Skin Ceuti-cals.? When used regularly, the full line of products is guaranteed to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Developed largely on the research of Duke University professor of dermatology, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, the products’ success is based on the development of a stable L-ascorb:c acid with a low pH. “We’ve known for a long time that L-ascorbic acid is essential for production of collagen, the major structural protein of the skin, and that vitamin-C is an excellent anti-oxidant. Our goal was to find a way to target additional vitamin-C directly to the skin-something cosmetic companies have tried unsuccessfully to do for decades. ’

Whether one uses lotions, physical fitness routines, or cosmetic surgery, the consensus among experts is that physical and mental health are catalysts for contentment and a productive life. As Kolling says, “If your feeling of self worth is at its optimum, your ability is at its optimum. To get there, the emotional and physical have to be on the same level. Many people worry about age, but aging is a privilege. It’s getting old that is our choice.”

How to find the right doctor or dentist

If you are considering surgery-plastic, cosmetic, or dental-it is important to find the doctor and procedure best suited to your needs. Doctors in the Dallas area offer the following advice:

Ask friends who have had the kind of surgery you’re considering for referrals.

Ask your internist or family doctor for their suggestions.

Check the Internet-many doctors have websites,

Once you identify a list of possible doctors, call their offices and make appointments for consultations.

During the initial consultations, ask the doctor where he/she was trained, how many times he/she has done the procedure, and what complications could occur. Look at pictures of patients who have had the same procedure done and ask for referrals,

Take into account the doctor’s personality, technical expertise, and office environment. The staffs knowledge and willingness to answer questions can be very important in post-surgical care.

■Note: If a doctor doesn’t spend enough time with you before the surgery to answer all your questions, then you probably have the wrong doctor.

For day surgeries, if your doctor has his/her own outpatient facility and operating room, ask him/her if it has been accredited by the American Accreditation Association of Health Care Facilities or by the joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH).

Check with the Dallas County Medical Society for Board Certifications, Ask your doctor which boards have certified him/her and call them for a referral. In cosmetic and plastic surgery, some of the key boards are:

American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS)

American Board of Medical Specialty (AHMS)

American Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS)