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Turn Up the Volume

Turn Up the Volume

Results achieved using non-invasive Radiesse volumizing filler with little to no downtime
Plastic surgeons used to focus on “removing the problem.” Eyelid bagginess? Remove the fat. Jowls on the jaw line? Suck it out and cut away some skin. Droopy brow? Take away a strip of the scalp.
But times change and new philosophies have emerged regarding facial rejuvenation. Retaining the fullness of youth is a new concept that has taken the plastic surgery field by storm. We now recognize that aging carries with it a thinning out of the soft tissues of the face. There is also a “remodeling” of some of the facial bones as we age, a re-absorption that collapses the mid face and flattens the cheeks. This happens to everyone, no matter what your diet, health habits or genetics.
The results can be a hollow, sallow, gaunt look that becomes more and more skeletal over time. This loss of facial volume represents at least half of the problem of aging. Gravity is the other half. So lifting (as in face lift surgery) alone is not the answer. In fact, we have found that restoring facial volume alone adequately treats the changes of facial aging in most patients with a minimum of risk, downtime and expense. This advance is a real advantage for patients today, as the procedures tend to be less expensive and lower risk with a faster recovery.
There are three ways to retain or add facial volume for a youthful look. Let’s take a look at the methods from most to least involved:
Tissue Transfer
With this technique, we surgically move tissue from one area of the face or eyes to another without detaching it from its point of origin. One example: When the soft tissues (fat pads) of the eyes herniated out from the deep layers, a “bag” of fat beneath the eye is formed. Below this bag is a circular indentation we call the Tear Trough. This circle can be dark, deep and very aging. Worse, it makes a youthful, energetic person look tired, as if they missed a night’s sleep. But no one has to live that way.
I perform “septal reset surgery” on this problem. From inside the eye lid (with no external incisions), I relocate the hammock of tissue (the orbital septum) that holds the fat there, transferring some of the fat into the trough and eliminating the dark, indented circle. In this way I transfer some of the fat and septum to fill a defect that made my patient look tired and old and restore a smooth youthful look.
In a similar manner, the soft tissue of a jowl can be relocated to fill in hollow cheeks. And bagginess of the neck can be replaced to the shrinking jaw line and make my patients proud of their neck once again. These procedures require some recovery (one to two weeks) but is well worth it to turn the clock back ten years or more.
Free Fat Transfer
Free grafting is a medical term that refers to the technique of separating tissue from one’s body and relocating it. It differs from tissue transfer, where we leave the tissue attached. Most people have heard of fat transfer by now. We take fat from where it isn’t needed, such as the tummy, the knees or thighs, and purify and condense that fat into a thick paste so that we have as many survivable fat cells per millimeter as possible. Then we insert the fat gently wherever that patient needs it. We can use it to fill the tear troughs and cheek hollows, as described above, but we can do even more! This fat/graft/paste is a wonderful sculpting medium. We sometimes build cheekbones, fill lips and correct the hollow in the temporal area that gets deeper as we age, especially in women. This typically requires about a week of recovery but some people need even less time. The quality of this result depends on how much of the fat “takes.” By that I mean what percentage of fat cells survive the transfer process. In recent years, improvements such as adding PRP (platelet rich plasma) which contains growth factors make this procedure better than ever.
Injectable Fillers
These fillers come in a syringe or a vial from a pharmaceutical company. They can do much of what fat injection can do but in a different way. In some ways they are more versatile and allow more options. You see, fat can only be injected beneath the skin, not within the fiber of the skin itself. That is great for filling in contours and larger volume defects, but it doesn’t do much to help fine lines, wrinkles and crinkles. For those smaller problems, I must inject the material directly into the dermis (layer of skin) itself to plump it up. These fillers can also be used beneath the skin, but I reserve their use for smaller volume defects because they are like a painter’s fine-tipped brush. Fillers like Voluma, Restylane and Juvederm are for minor problems or putting the finishing touches on big problems. These improvements can be made with what I call “same day recovery.” With some of them, my patients go right back to work. If we get a little more involved, returning to normal activity the next day is wise.
Restoration of facial volume is the wave of the future. These three modes of treatment provide all patients with the type of improvement they need at a cost they can afford with a recovery they can manage. And like most surgeons, I enjoy bringing you to the “cutting edge”!
Dr. Chopra is medical director of The Plastic Surgery Institute in Rancho Mirage and can be reached at (760) 568.2211. Please send your ideas and recommended topics for his new column via email to [email protected]

That Sneaky Desert Sun

That Sneaky Desert Sun

We love the sun, but the sun doesn’t always love us.
Okay, I will admit it; I am trying to scare you. The big, bad summer is here and with it comes the threat of too much heat, too much sun, and the danger and risk that accompanies both. You might say, “I know, I know. I wear sun block” or “I’ll become prematurely aged and get skin cancer someday.”
If aging and cancer were the only things showing up in my office as the downside of having fun in the sun, it wouldn’t be so bad. But it doesn’t end there, unfortunately.
Overheating can result in prickly heat which usually appears on the clothed regions of the body.
Remember your mother’s warning, “You’ll go blind!” if you did certain things? Well, long-term sun exposure can cause exactly that, with corneal opacities. The cornea of the eye thickens and whitens, creating a cataract. Even though cataract surgery is routine and predictably successful, it’s best to avoid if you can. That means wearing polarized lens sunglasses at all times when the sun is out. I recommend wearing them especially when driving or doing outdoor sports. (A side benefit is less crow’s feet from squinting in the bright sunlight).
One of the acute, sudden effects of summer in the desert is prickly heat, or miliaria. It is caused by overheating of the skin and overexposure to the sun. It usually surfaces on the clothed regions of the body like armpits, back, upper chest, groin or abdomen, which can throw you off, since those are not the primary areas of sun exposure. It can present as tiny blisters spread over the top of the arms, neck and back. Anyone can get it at any age, from infants in incubators to elderly, bedridden patients with high fever and inadequate temperature control. It begins with excessive perspiration, which tends to damage the cells on the surface of the skin. This forms a barrier and traps the sweat beneath the skin, resulting in characteristic bumps. When these bumps burst, sweat is released causing a prickly, stinging, or burning feeling.
Polarized sun glasses are an essential desert accessory.
For desert dwellers, the way to avoid prickly heat is to use sunscreen with a minimum SPF15 (30 is even better) applied at least 20 minutes prior to going out in the sun, and reapplied hourly. Be especially careful in humid environments and avoid strenuous physical activity. Wear loose fitting, breathable cotton or natural fiber clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin against the sun. Drink a lot of water. If you aren’t going to the bathroom every hour or so, you are not drinking enough. And as always, don’t let things go too far before seeking medical help if the symptoms arise.
Another consequence of too much sun and heat is sun allergy. It affects sun sensitive people, and you probably already know who you are if you are one of those at risk. I often see a bright red V-shape or redness on the neck and outer part of the legs in people with sun allergy. I usually see it in visitors to the desert who aren’t used to our intense June, July and August sun. The sun causes changes in the skin to which the body reacts, as if it is foreign material. Then the allergic response begins. Steroids are the usual remedy.
Many foods contain vitamin D, however, supplementation is recommended.
I am not saying all sun is bad. The sun helps your skin form essential vitamin D. But there are other ways to get this important vitamin such as in food rich in vitamin D like salmon and fortified milk. The recommendation for supplemental vitamin D is 600 International Units (IU) daily for all age groups between 1 and 70 years old.
So play outside. I am a big fan of regular exercise, both indoors and out. But definitely watch out for these lesser known dangers of sun and heat.
Dr. Chopra is medical director of The Plastic Surgery Institute in Rancho Mirage and can be reached at (760) 568.2211. Please send your ideas and recommended topics for his column via email to [email protected]

Succeeding at Weight Loss

Succeeding at Weight Loss
Lauren Del Sarto

Bohdan T. Olesnicky, MD
With the New Year upon us, many have started their weight loss program with enthusiasm and full intention.  Psychology Today reports that studies show while the first two weeks are usually encouraging, by February people start sliding back in to sedentary habits… and by the following December, most of us are back to where we started.
So what are the secrets to a successful weight loss plan? To answer that question, I sat down with Dr. Dan Olesnicky of Executive Wellness in Indian Wells. He recommends creating an educated game plan, selecting a diet that works for your body and lifestyle, and having an ongoing weight maintenance plan to follow.
The first step is to make sure you are ready to commit. “We won’t start anyone on a program who isn’t ready. There is no quick fix and you must be willing to make serious lifestyle adjustments.”
The next step is to establish an educated game plan that includes knowing where your body is metabolically. He adds that many people will feel ready to start a diet and will faithfully stick to it, but just can’t seem to lose the weight. “If this is the case, chances are that something is out of whack hormonally. By correcting the hormonal imbalance, you can shed the weight by adhering to the diet.”
Olesnicky recommends running blood, hormone and genetic testing to help establish a baseline and determine what is happening with your body metabolically. Are you possibly insulin resistant? Is it hormone growth failure? Are you a man in andropause or a woman in perimenopause? Starting with accurate data will increase your success rate and help you to make choices more wisely. “It’s nice to be able to tell patients who have failed at dieting that it’s not their fault.”
Next, determine the plan that will work for your body and lifestyle. I asked Olesnicky his thoughts on all the new weight loss technology on the market.  “There is no quick fix. The oldest technology – and still the best – is diet and exercise.”
Selecting a diet that fits your lifestyle is the most important element. “We have a dozen different types of diets based on lifestyle and goals. If someone is a meat eater, we may recommend Atkins or Paleo. For fast food junkies, we encourage skipping the bun and french fries and opting for one of the healthier sides now offered.”  Your diet needs to be realistic for you.  A simple first step is moving away from carbs and refined sugar, and towards proteins and low glycemic index foods such as berries.
With exercise, Olesnicky says, don’t forget the ‘thermal advantage.’ One of the best exercises for weight loss is swimming. In addition to the calories burned through exercise, your body is burning calories to maintain your body temperature. He notes that Michael Phelps consumes an average of 12,000 calories a day. And while he may expend 3,000 calories with the act of swimming, the large majority of those calories are expended maintaining his body temp in an 82 degree pool.  “If you swim, reduce the temp of your pool slightly, and you may see weight loss more quickly.”
Olesnicky adds that the best use of the new technology on the market is to further sculpt the body once you get close to a desired weight. “We may use the Zerona (cold laser) or Exilis (radiofrequency heat) to assist in reshaping trouble spots on patients who are close to their desired weight as we find these technologies very effective for such use.”
He recommends that while on a weight loss program, you check in with your doctor or health care practitioner at least once a week, preferably three, as motivation is very important.
Once you have achieved your desired weight (after a minimum of 12 weeks), maintenance is key. If you have chosen a diet that meets your lifestyle, hopefully that way of eating can become your new lifestyle. High quality foods and high quality supplements, even if it’s only a daily multivitamin, will better meet your body’s needs. “Processed foods are so nutritionally void of the nutrients your body is craving, it forces us to overeat. Spending the time and money to cook your own high quality food will save you from weight gain in the long run.”
“Make sure you have a support group or system in place to help keep the ‘new you’ on track.” A well thought out maintenance plan will ensure success tomorrow and in the many healthy years to follow.
Dr. Olesnicky can be reached at Executive Wellness (760) 346-9354.

What Is A Breast MRI?

What Is A Breast MRI?
Provided by Breastlink

Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an extremely helpful, non-invasive imaging tool used to evaluate mammographic abnormalities and identify early breast cancer, especially in women at high risk. An MRI does not involve radiation exposure and does not replace screening mammography. Instead it provides a powerful supplementary tool for detecting and staging breast cancer.
What Are The Clinical Indications For Breast MRI?
 Surveillance of high risk patients: Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that an annual breast MRI can significantly improve the detection of cancer that is otherwise clinically and mammographically hidden in patients with a >20% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Breast MRI may be indicated in the surveillance of women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer (BRCA1, BRCA2) or in patients with a strong family history or history of chest wall radiation for treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
 Determining the extent of disease of a recently diagnosed breast cancer: After a biopsy confirms the presence of a breast cancer, an MRI can be helpful to determine how large the tumor is and if there are other areas involved in the same breast or in the other breast. This is helpful for determining the best surgical option.
 Unkown primary cancer: MRI may be indicated in patients with no mammographic or physical findings of a primary breast carcinoma as MRI may identify the hidden breast cancer. Alternatively, if no MRI evidence is present, it would exclude the breast as the potential site of the primary cancer.
 Assessment of chemotherapy response: Breast MRI may be employed before, during and/or after a course of chemotherapy to evaluate treatment response and the extent of residual disease prior to surgical treatment.
 Silicone implant integrity: Breast MRI is the best test for determining whether silicone implants have ruptured, and to what extent.
 Supplementary problem solving tool: Sometimes an abnormality seen on a mammogram cannot be adequately evaluated by additional mammography and ultrasound alone. In these rare cases, MRI can be used to definitively determine if the abnormality needs biopsy or can be safely left alone. A breast MRI may also be an option for screening high risk women with dense breast tissue in conjunction with a mammogram.
During a breast MRI, the patient lies face down on a platform specifically designed for the procedure. The platform has openings to accommodate the breasts and allow them to be imaged without compression. An intravenous contrast agent is injected, and the images are obtained. The exam takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Once the exam is completed, a board-certified breast radiologist will interpret the images and send a final report to your physician.
A patient should discuss with their physician if they would benefit from a breast MRI. Breast MRI is covered by private health insurance and Medicare for qualified patients. However, it is important for patients to check with their individual insurance plans, as coverage may vary.
The Chrysalis at Breastlink in Rancho Mirage is a comprehensive breast health center providing individualized treatment plans including risk management, imaging, surgery and oncology. 760.324.4466.

The Beauty of the Golden Spice

The Beauty of the Golden Spice
By Dipika Patel

When I say turmeric what comes to mind? Is it ‘one of the main ingredients in Indian Curry Powder’? Yes, turmeric has been known for its culinary uses in Indian for centuries; however, did you know that it has also been used as an effective beauty product for just as long?
Because of its many Ayurvedic (medicinal) properties, turmeric has also been celebrated and applied for millenniums in wedding ceremonies and extensive holy rituals – especially in India. Even today, this tradition takes place all over the world. I remember as a child attending several Indian weddings where turmeric paste is rubbed onto the face, arms and legs of the bride and groom (yes, guys, beauty is important for you as well!). This ritual prepares the couple for their sacred union representing an outer appearance of soft, glowing, and radiant skin. The ritual also represents both the holy and spiritual aspect of purity and connectedness before the marriage ceremony.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and its main active compound is ‘curcumin’ which is antiseptic, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, thus helping to restore the pigmentation, tone, and texture of your skin. You can even heal cuts and bruises by applying a pure paste made of just turmeric and water.
So how can you enjoy this inexpensive beauty secret at home? Tumeric is best applied as a facial mask and although there are several different recipes, I am sharing my own personal favorite which is the particular blend used in Indian wedding ceremonies. This recipe can be used for normal to oily skin and will leave you feeling great after long, hot days here in the desert.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour, 1 tbsp organic yogurt, 1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (according to skin tone)
Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Apply a thin layer on your face. Once it is dry (approximately 15-20 minutes), you can scrub in a circular motion as if you’re exfoliating your skin, and then rinse your face with lukewarm water.
You can change the amount of turmeric in the recipe according to your complexion. For fairer skin, start off by using half the amount (this will help in preventing staining of the skin). For a tan or darker complexion, use the suggested amount as this will bring out the glow in your skin tone. Also keep in mind that turmeric will stain cloth, so a dedicated wash cloth and towel are recommended.
There are many benefits from this particular face/body mask. The yogurt helps to improve your complexion and is soothing and cooling; the garbanzo bean flour effectively removes dead skin cells and will give you a soft look and youthful glow; and the turmeric assists in fighting acne and uneven skin tone.
Turmeric which is also known as “haldi” in most parts of India was derived from the Sanskrit word of “haridra” which means golden colored. In Sanskrit turmeric has more than 53 different names due to its magnificent properties and connections to its natural healing powers.
You can find quality turmeric here in the desert at many places including Savory Spice store on El Paseo, Clark’s Nutrition, World Market and Fil-Ann Oriental Mart in Cathedral City.
Dipika Patel, the “Queen of Nutrition,” is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Intuitive Healer, AromaTouch Therapist, and Chef & Cookery Teacher and can be reached at [email protected] or 760-821-3119.

Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery Shopping Tips

Don’t let grocery shopping get you down. By coming to the store prepared, you are more likely to have a successful trip. Use the tips below to help jump-start your next grocery run:
Stick to the outer parameters of the store. This is where fresh foods like veggies, fruits, and lean meats usually reside. Save the center of the store – where pre-packaged and processed foods reside – for last or avoid it all together.
Arrive prepared. Create your list ahead of time to help guide you as you shop and avoid purchasing less healthy items.
Be flexible with the produce section. Look for produce that’s in season.  TIP: You may be able to tell by looking at the price because food items in season are usually cheaper (and taste better too!) so look around before you start stocking your cart.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Hunger can lead to impulse purchases.
Buy healthier canned fish or lean meat.  Look for items packaged “in water” and not oil, and labeled “no salt added” or low sodium (lean meats are those with less than 10g total fat per 100g serving of meat.)
Buy canned or frozen fruits and veggies.  This helps avoid food spoilage, which can waste money and food.
When buying canned veggies, buy items that are labeled “sodium free” or “no salt added”. Buy frozen veggies without sauces, seasonings or salt. Before cooking or serving canned veggies, rinse them off to get rid of excess sodium. When buying canned fruits, look for items canned in water, “100% pure fruit juice,” “natural juice” or labeled as “no sugar added.”  Buy frozen fruit without added syrups, sweeteners or sugar. Also look for these labels on canned goods: “light,” “salt free,” “high fiber,” “made with lean meat” and “low sodium.”
Focus on the grains. When buying grains and breads, look for items that list “whole grain” in the ingredients instead of “enriched flour” or “multi-grain.”
Divide the snacks. When you get home from the store, portion out your snack foods into individual serving sizes in baggies. This will save you time in the future, help you avoid overeating, and may be cheaper than buying snacks that are already pre-portioned into individual packs.
Use the Apple Test when hunger strikes. Before you reach for a snack ask yourself, “Am I hungry enough that I would eat an apple?”  If you answer yes, then you are probably physically hungry, so grab a healthy snack!  If you answer no, but you would eat a cookie, then you are probably bored or thirsty, so go for a walk and drink a bottle of water.
For more information and healthy tips, visit www.heart.org.

Not Just Another Pretty Face…The Benefits of a Therapeutic Facial

Not Just Another Pretty Face…The Benefits of a Therapeutic Facial

I am not one to pamper myself often. I know that facials are an important cleansing process for the skin, but I tend to spend my time and resources on therapies that improve overall health and well-being. That is why Diana’s “therapeutic skin care” caught my eye.
Diana Hurt is a licensed esthetician with a certification in Lymphatic Facial Massage (LFM) from Soma Therapy Institute in Rancho Mirage. In addition, she has completed two of three levels towards achieving Reiki Master status (Reiki is a form of therapy in which the practitioner is believed to channel energy into the patient in order to encourage healing or restore wellbeing. Dr. Oz’s wife, Lisa, is a Reiki Master). Diana’s combined education and training results in beauty treatments with the added benefits of lymphatic drainage massage and energy work.
What does this mean? The lymphatic system is the body’s garbage can. It includes many tiny lymph nodes throughout your body located just under the skin. These glands store fat and toxins and will continue to store them unless they are drained. In your face, the result can be puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines. Aerobic exercise, yoga and stretching, and most effectively lymphatic massage, can successfully drain your lymph system.
Diana’s therapeutic treatment includes the cleansing, masks and moisturizers you expect in a facial, and is coupled with an hour of very light methodical massage starting in the clavicle area and working up through your face and head.
“The nodes are located just under the skin with little flaps that allow the fluid to pass through,” explains Diana. “If there is blockage, I can sometimes feel pea sized sacs of fluid that will release. We use gentle touch to allow the flaps to open. If too firm, it will cause them to close.”
While these treatments are good for overall health, Diana notes that they can be most beneficial for chronic swelling, puffiness, and for pre- and post-surgery. “Activating the flow before surgery prepares your skin for healing. After surgery, and with your doctor’s recommendation on timing, lymphatic drainage can help speed the healing process significantly.”
LFM can also be a natural remedy for removing bags under the eyes. While this usually takes a series of treatments, Diana teaches her clients how to work on themselves at home in between professional treatments.
You leave Diana’s office feeling the usual pampered way, and you will actually feel the movement and drainage taking place in your face. For me, this “active” feeling continued for about 24 hours. I woke up the next morning and my bright and shiny face was still tingling with movement. After this treatment, the beauty was certainly more than just skin deep.
For more information on the benefits of Lymphatic Facial Massage for general health and recovery, call Diana at 760.275.4479 or visit her website at www.SkinTherapybyDiana.com

Inspiration Begins at The Spa Esmeralda

Inspiration Begins at The Spa Esmeralda

A Desert Health® Review
Living in the Desert, we tend to forget that we are surrounded by world-class resorts with award-winning services and amenities. Summer is an ideal time to take advantage of the special offers from these top notch properties.
Such is the case with the Spa Esmeralda at The Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells. The Spa Esmeralda takes elegance and pampering to a whole new level. Although visiting a spa is often considered a luxury, summer specials make it easy on your health care budget. If you were inspired by Mickie Riley’s story (Health Is A Choice, pg. 1) or embarking on a new health regime, the Spa Esmeralda is a great place to start.
I had the pleasure of experiencing a 90 minute Compression Wrap Therapy at the Spa Esmeralda and found it to be an amazingly uplifting therapy. I left feeling completely happy and genuinely good to the core. I honestly wanted to dance out the front door!
There are a few specific elements which contributed to this exuberance. First of all, the treatment is multi-faceted including 8 different therapies designed to remove water weight, cleanse your blood and detox the largest organ, your skin. It takes place outside in the open Desert air under a curtained cabana (weather permitting). The natural heat aids the process and feels magical.
Secondly, the products used are all natural and made from Chinese herbs and minerals. The product line, Jadience, was developed by Anna Ragaz, M.D. from actual Jade stone which is said to contain natural infrared properties that cleanse and heal. The Jadience ingredients include such healing herbs as Burdock Root, Mulberry Bark, Goji Berry and Ginseng.
Last but certainly not least was my therapist, Jessica. She is one of those special souls who may possibly know more about you than you know about yourself. She was trained at Soma Therapy Institute here in the Desert and her physiological knowledge is an asset to her trade.
The Compression Wrap begins with a soft, full body scrub on a water therapy table followed by a soak in a spa tub sprinkled with fragrant rose pedals. You are treated to alkaline water as you relax under the clear desert sky.
After your soak, you are painted with a serum of herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine to cleanse the blood. You are then lightly wrapped and placed in a soft cocoon of coverings. Now, I’ve had wraps before and didn’t care for the tight claustrophobic feeling I experienced then. This was nothing like that. The unimposing wraps felt as if you were tucked in a soft sleeping bag. The head, neck and shoulder massage that takes place for the 20 minutes you are bundled, certainly makes the time fly as well.
The wrap is followed by an application of a cellulite reducing serum (in places you need it most) and then stimulated with jade stone rollers bringing the natural infrared effect to skin cells. You finish with a light, full body massage using Jade and Ginseng body lotion and a shot of Jadience Total Body Detox drink.
Did I mention that at the beginning and end of your treatment, your measurements are taken? I was selecting this treatment more for the detox properties than weight loss, but was pleasantly surprised at the combined total of 5 inches lost throughout my legs, waist and arms.
I highly recommend a visit to the Spa Esmeralda this summer. Through July (and maybe August) they are offering the 90 minute Compression Wrap for $145 and 60 minute Detox and Slimming Wraps at $109. If you are inspired to begin a new health regime or need a refresher, a detox therapy at the Spa Esmeralda is a great place to start!
For current specials and more information visit www.SpaEsmeralda.com or call 760-836-1265.

Breast Augmentation: Decisions for Surgeon and Patient

Breast Augmentation: Decisions for Surgeon and Patient

Dr. Mo Zakhireh
It’s an honor to take part in educating the residents of the Desert by contributing to Desert Health®. My name is Mo Zakhireh (zak-a-RI-ah) and I am a local board certified plastic surgeon in Palm Desert. I have been in the desert for seven years and was formerly on staff at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Today I’d like to discuss breast augmentation. My friends joke that I have an easy job – putting in a pair of implants and the patients go away happy! That’s not quite the scenario. As the surgeon, I have five to seven layers of decisions to make correctly. Furthermore, the combination of the decisions will have a cumulative effect on the surgery.
During the consultation, patients first get sized with sizers in a special bra. Then I educate them on the concept of body flow and symmetry. Our job is to balance the shoulders into the hips, using the breasts. If I do my job well then the patients look slender with an accentuated waistline due to symmetry. So size IS important!
The next question is ‘saline versus silicone.’ The shells on saline implants get dried out. The salt water leeches the moisture out of the shell and this leads to rippling and a harder feeling implant. The newer silicone gel implants are designed for the Silicone Jello to release 1 to 2 drops of oil into the shell each day so the shell is lubricated. This leads to a much softer shell which is stretchable and that does not ripple. The newer silicone Gel implants no longer leak because the silicone is in Jello form, in contrast to the older implants where the silicone was oil based and would ooze into the body. However, I’d like to clarify that the information about silicone causing cancer was false. Unfortunately, the media promoted that rumor. Think of it this way… our beautiful desert environment is made of silicone (sand), so according to this misinformation, we should all be suffering from cancer due to silicone exposure.
The surgical approach is also very important. Surgery is very traumatic to the body so the surgeon has to pick the shortest route to achieve the task at hand. The breast crease approach avoids all the vital structures of the breast (milk ducts, nerves, and blood vessels) and does not affect breast feeding. Also it is the place where a surgeon can anatomically get under the pectoral muscle without cutting, tearing, or irritating the muscle. In my opinion, it’s important to put the implant under the muscle for better breast cancer detection (radiologist can read the mammogram better). Also, the muscle will keep the implant softer and give natural, long term results.
If you’re considering breast augmentation, please educate yourself and choose your surgeon carefully. Cheers to your health!
Dr. Mo Zakhireh is a board certified Plastic Surgeon based at The Cosmetic Surgery Institute of Palm Desert. His practice focus is cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, breasts and abdominal region. 760-837-0364  www.csipd.com

Why Not Natural…When It’s Effective & Affordable?

Why Not Natural…When It’s Effective & Affordable?

A Desert Health® Review
A healthy diet shows in your skin… fruits and vegetables literally nourish your body inside and out. So why don’t we pay more attention to the products we use on our skin?
I’ve long wondered if natural skin care products are as effective as the much-hyped “miracle brands.” So when I heard that The LiveWell Clinic was offering skin care treatments featuring an all natural product line, I had to give it a try. The treatment was invigorating, and I walked away with a complete product kit for $29!
LiveWell’s certified esthetician, Jadranka, has eleven years of luxury resort experience and extensive skin care knowledge. The clinic chose the Juice Beauty Certified Organic product line to ensure they are offering clients and employees the safest products and services.
“Your skin is the largest organ of you body. What you apply to it should be safe enough to eat since you will absorb it into your system, just like food. If you are using chemical based (non-organic) make-up, peels, lotions, and sunscreens you are adding chemicals to your body on a consistent basis. In some individuals this can lead to rashes, chemical sensitivity and/or stress on your liver and detox system,” states LiveWell’s Dr. Nicole Ortiz.
Jadranka used Juice Beauty’s anti-aging products on me with ingredients like apple, lemon, and grapes along with “age-defying” peptides, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin antioxidants. I could feel the active ingredients (natural enzymes) in the pumpkin and green apple which created a tingling feeling when heated. The smells were mouth-watering.
My hour treatment included exfoliation, extraction, hydration, massage and misting. And with Jadranka’s guidance, I was sold on the idea of using natural skin care products. When finished, my smiling face truly felt like a shiny green apple.
I took home the Juice Beauty ‘Organics to Go’ package which included a 30 day supply of cleansing milk, green apple peel, antioxidant serum, nutrient moisturizer and hydrating mist spray….all for $29. I couldn’t believe the prices for FDA certified organic products… and I love them!
If you are looking for a natural skin care option, I strongly recommend a facial with Jadranka to try the Juice Beauty products. There are several lines for different skin types that range in price from $29 to $65. (www.JuiceBeauty.com) Jadranka offers a variety of facials starting at $60.
For more information or to book your appointment, call the LiveWell Clinic at 760.771.5970.