THIRD QUARTER 2005, VOLUME 19, NO 3

Ask the Surgeon | What’s New | Health Tip

IN THIS ISSUE

Relax. Enjoy the sun without wrinkling and skin cancer worries

Your eyes tell it all; ethnicity plays a part … explore your surgical options

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Trends in 2004 show facial plastic surgery on the rise

Ask the Surgeon

My teenager would like to get her eyebrow and nose pierced. Can you tell us the risks involved?

The most serious risks are infection, allergic reaction, bleeding, and nerve damage. You can lower your risk of infection by making sure the person who pierces your skin washes his or her hands, wears gloves, and uses sterile equipment. Also, if you keep the area clean and follow post-piercing instructions you have a better chance of it healing properly. The wrong kind of jewelry (size, weight, thickness) can also cause problems. Depending on the area pierced, you may lose feeling due to nerve damage or have noticeable keloids (thick scarring) at the piercing site. Facial plastic surgeons do not recommend facial piercing and have performed enough reconstructive surgery to tell patients it is not worth it. Encourage your daughter to express her uniqueness in other ways.

Whats New
Barbed sutures are being used in procedures at an increasing rate.

Barbed sutures are a synthetic thread with little cuts in the side of the suture that allow the barb to catch when it is passed through tissue. The surgeon can pull on the suture once it is in place to tighten and anchor the surrounding tissue. The result is a quicker facial procedure with smaller incisions and decreased downtime for the patient. An additional advantage is that the patient can return several years later when new wrinkles appear and have the sutures readjusted with little surgical effort. Patented barbed sutures are still seeking FDA approval.

*This is a new procedure that is still being developed. There are currently no long term studies demonstrating results.

Health Tip
Are you or your children playing sports this summer season? The physical benefits of athletics include reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions; the social advantages include enhancing social skills and teaching group cooperation to accomplish a common goal.

If an injury to the face should occur, apply an ice pack immediately and keep the head elevated. Symptoms of a fracture include swelling, bruising, pain or numbness, double or blurred vision, nosebleeds, and difficulty breathing through the nose. You will need to get x-rays to confirm any fractures. If the jaw or lower face is injured, there may be changes in teeth structure or the ability to close the mouth properly. If there is loss of consciousness, obvious deformity, persistent bleeding, or deep skin cuts, seek medical attention immediately.

Keep in mind the following tips to avoid injuries:

Choose age appropriate activities Be aware of potential hazards
Wear protective gear Warm up and cool down
Learn proper techniques of this sport Stay hydrated
Know and follow the rules of the game Set up an emergency plan with the coach