A Botox Procedure for Poker Face?

Cosmetic procedures for men been on the rise lately, so why not a Botox procedure aimed at the traditionally male-dominated world of poker? That seems to be the reasoning behind a New York doctor offering Pokertox to help poker players retain their solemn expressions during games. However, it seems that even the poker players themselves think that Pokertox is a lousy idea.

How would it work? It’s quite simple. With this procedure, the surgeon would use Botox and facial fillers (like Juvederm) to enhance a gambler’s poker face. To succeed in poker, it is important to be able to hide facial emotions, since unconscious signals known as tells can reveal information about the player’s hand. Botox is a cosmetic treatment that works by inhibiting targeted facial muscles.

While it is normally used to allow other muscles to stretch away the appearance of wrinkles, Dr. Jack Berdy believes that Botox can also be used to reduce the appearance of unconscious tics. Unfortunately for Dr. Berdy, the response from poker players has been less than positive. Josh Hale, who competed on the World Poker Tour, told the Huffington Post that the game has moved on from bluffs, and is more analytical these days. Players might look at physical tells, but they are relying more on betting patterns and bet sizing.

Besides the changing nature of the game, says expert player Jay Melancon, you also have to think of the costs versus returns. You’d have to play in very high-stakes games to make it worth it, and if you have a tell that is that obvious, you shouldn’t be playing in those games. As well, the ubiquitous hoodies and sunglasses at poker tournaments make these subtle tics often impossible to distinguish.

As a marketing gimmick, Pokertox is certainly attention-grabbing. However, as a cosmetic procedure, I wouldn’t bet my money on it.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Pokeravond

“Voice Lift” Surgery, In Most Cases, Not Worth It

new set of nonsurgical procedures known as the “voice lift” is making waves on both sides of the Atlantic  although many doctors feel that it offers too few benefits. A recent post on RealSelf discusses the trend towards adding volume to the vocal cords to boost vocal performance, which is becoming more popular in the US and UK. Human voices naturally age as our vocal cords thin over time. This makes the voice sound crackly and reedy. Plastic surgeons are able to restore some of the natural fullness of the voice by restoring some of this volume to the vocal cords. Some of the same techniques that can be used to and volume and definition to the face are being used for the so-called “voice lift.” One of these approaches is fat grafting. During this procedure, unwanted fat is removed from elsewhere in the body, specially processed, and then grafted onto the vocal folds in the larynx. The other approach is through dermal fillers such as Juvederm. Unlike with fat grafting, injectable fillers do not require an additional surgical procedure to remove fat from elsewhere in the body. However, injectable fillers usually don’t last as long as fat grafts. They are typically absorbed by the body after a few months. Regardless of the method, the voice lift is severely limited in its effectiveness. These procedures only tend to improve the voice over the course of weeks, maybe months, but certainly not years. Some might ask whether there might be a surgical approach to the voice lift. While it is possible, no responsible surgeon would perform that kind of surgery. Unless the voice box is seriously impaired, no cosmetic voice enhancement is worth the risk of complications. Until these injectable techniques become more advanced, and provide longer lasting results, the voice lift is one procedure that is likely more trouble than it’s worth. Photo credit: Dinozauris, Wikimedia Commons

Low-Cost Skin Care Tips from Allure Magazine

Skin care tipsThe April issue of Allure magazine proves that there are plenty of free or low-cost ways to effectively reduce signs of aging on your skin.

Switch up your daily routine:

Daily habits can have a huge impact on your skin. For example, do you stay hydrated by drinking out of a water bottle all day long? This seemingly healthy habit can actually increase and intensify wrinkles around your month. Instead, purchase a reusable bottle that has a spout and squirt the water into your mouth, rather than pursing your lips around the bottle opening when you need a drink. Allure also recommends avoiding gum chewing which can create fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. Opt for a breath mint instead!

Relax during your workouts:

Breaking a sweat on a daily basis in the gym is great for your long term health and is also a great anti-aging tool. For some women, however, daily workouts can show up on the faces. I can pinpoint women who tense the jaw and throat when exercising, because it makes the cords of the neck more prominent and pulls down the face, according a dermatologist interviewed by Allure. Keep up the workouts, but just remember to relax your facial muscles.

Wear sunscreen every day:

Even if you stay indoors all day long, a daily SPF can save your skin in the long term. UVA light is capable of traveling through windows and can not only increase your risk for skin cancer, but can also negatively impact your complexion, causing a grayish undertone. Also, avoid sitting too close to space heaters or fire places, which can increase facial redness and collagen breakdown.

Opt for dermal fillers, but don’t overdo it:

Dermal fillers such as Radiesse, Juvederm and Sculptra are great anti-aging techniques. Just make sure not to overdo it, especially around your eyes, mouth and jawline. If you want a subtle and natural boost in your appearance, Allure interviewed dermatologist suggests filling in the peripheral areas of the face first, such as the temples, the front of the ears and the chin. Filling in the periphery of the face restores softness and balance without making you look done.

Learn more about facial fillers such as Juvederm in Seattle.

Source: Surgery.org

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Society’s Predictions for 2011

2011 plastic surgery predictionsThe American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) came up with a list of predictions for cosmetic plastic surgery in 2011 based on interviews with leading plastic surgeons around the country.

They highlighted several areas where they expect to see growth: facelifts, injectables and body contouring.

As the economy improves, the Society says the demand for facelift surgery will increase, as those who have been putting off the surgery for the past few years will be ready in 2011.

The growth of injectables, already the most popular non-surgical procedure according to ASAPS’s 2009 statistics, will continue to increase in popularity as they evolve and new products enter the market. Botox, Juvederm and Restylane are a few of the many choices available today.

According to ASAPS, body contouring procedures will also be on the rise as more obese people turn to weight loss surgery and then to cosmetic procedures, such as abdominoplasty, lower body lifts and upper arm lifts, after they lose a significant amount of weight.

The Society also predicts that in coming years patients will be seeking more posterior body lifts, buttock lifts, surgical and nonsurgical buttock augmentations to shape and augment their buttocks thanks in part to celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez who have made it a must-have accessory.

One area where they see change ahead is in fat reduction techniques. While liposuction will remain the standard in surgical fat reduction, new non-surgical techniques will continue to be developed, including freezing, zapping and lasering fat, as possible alternatives to surgery.

The Society unfortunately sees consumers looking for bargains on cosmetic procedures, which will lead to an increase in plastic surgery “horror” stories, such as when patients get discount injectables bought overseas and cosmetic procedures performed by untrained practitioners. This can be avoided by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon.

For the full list of predictions, visit surgery.org.

Awake, Alert and Still Looking Tired?

Do your eyes appear swollen morning and night? Do you exhibit under eye bags or dark circles? Perhaps it is time to do something about it. You shouldn’t have to live with such a condition especially one so treatable! Besides, if you don’t seek treatment, it’s possible that symptoms may become more noticeable.

Dr. Jonov is a board certified Seattle cosmetic surgeon who may recommend treatment options like the following:
â?¢ An upper and lower eyelid lift (also called a blepharoplasty)
â?¢ A brow, or forehead lift
â?¢ Injection with Botox cosmetic
â?¢ Injection of a dermal filler to add volume to sunken eye troughs

In some cases, patients need a combination of the above options. Many choose to combine eyelid surgery with a brow lift. Choosing to undergo surgery (or even a non-surgical procedure) is a significant decision, so try to gather as much information as possible. View before and after photos of patients like you and speak to former patients and ask them questions like these:

  1. How was the procedure beneficial for you?
  2. Were you comfortable with your surgeon?
  3. Would you do it again?
  4. Would you do anything differently?

The eyes are one of the first features on the face to which most of us respond. You deserve to have eyes that radiate, eyes that brighten your face and eyes that reflect how young and energetic you truly feel.

If you’re ready to discuss your options, contact our office today.

FDA Discussion Will Focus on Dermal Filler Safety, Efficacy

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration met in November with a group of outside experts to review complications that have been reported in association with cosmetic dermal filler injections.

Over the last six years, there have been roughly 900 reports of wrinkle filler issues. Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse and other new offerings are products that fall under this category. The group will discuss the possibility of labeling changes and the seriousness of the reported issues. Is this a reason to be concerned about dermal filler safety? Yes and No.

It may sound alarming to those outside the surgery profession, but the complications and side effects associated with these products are still extremely rare. Demand for fillers and wrinkle reducers like Botox has risen dramatically, leading many untrained persons to believe that they can administer them in non-medical settings. The majority of industry professionals will attribute most of the reported complications to issues like these.

There are also well known problems that occur on a very infrequent basis, like minor swelling or allergic reactions, with the latter being a subject of greater FDA interest. According to a recent MSNBC news article, Allergan spokeswoman Caroline Van Hove said “no serious problems were seen in clinical trials of Juvederm, and the most common complaint since its approval was swelling in 0.4 percent of patients.”

Also, Food and Drug Administration officials noted that the “reports had several limitations such as failing to say when the problems started.”

Safety and proper training is of the utmost importance when considering any surgical or cosmetic procedure, so we recommend that all patients seek a knowledgeable cosmetic surgeon with the right qualifications.

For more information on the FDA panel discussion, the briefing is located here.

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