Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

When The Less Invasive Alternative Means Lower Satisfaction

Online resources for tummy tuck information suffer with a great deal of misconception. Even surgeons may disagree regarding choosing between different tummy tuck operations for a given patient. Reduced cost, pain and extent of surgery tend to push patients toward lesser surgery. These days “less invasive” is a popular selling point. As my practice has progressed, however, I have found the satisfaction rate of mini tummy tuck to be too low to support doing many of them. I do “minis” only in rare circumstances these days.

Mini tummy tuck surgery corrects much less than more involved full versions of the operation. If there is any significant looseness above the belly button, the mini will not address it much. If there is any more than a tiny bit of excess skin, the mini will not touch it much at all. The feeling of having been “under corrected” is common after mini tummy tuck surgery. If patients are unhappy with the results of a mini tummy tuck it is not always possible to Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

FDA Sends Warning Letters To California Surgical Centers For Misleading Advertising Of The Lap-Band

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that it has taken action against eight California surgical centers and the marketing firm 1-800-GET-THIN LLC, for misleading advertising of the Lap-Band, an FDA-approved device used for weight loss in obese adults. The FDA issued Warning Letters to Bakersfield Surgery Institute Inc.; Beverly Hills Surgery Center; Palmdale Ambulatory Center; Valley Surgical Center; Top Surgeons LLC; Valencia Ambulatory Center LLC; Cosmopolitan Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; San Diego Ambulatory Center LLC; and to 1-800-GET-THIN because Lap-Band is a restricted medical device that is misbranded as a result of misleading advertising by these groups. In the letters, the FDA warns that billboards and advertising inserts used by recipients of the Warning Letters to promote the Lap-Band procedure fail to provide required risk information, including warnings, precautions, possible side effects and contraindications. The FDA also is concerned that the font size of information related to risks on the advertising inserts is too small to be read by consumers.


We have blogged on 1-800-Get-Thin and Lap-band surgery in general before. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Study Shows That Most Women Do Not Choose Immediate Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction

Despite the benefits of immediate post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, only a small minority of women, regardless of age, choose this option, a new study indicates. Research has shown that compared with a delayed procedure, immediate post-mastectomy reconstruction improves psychological well-being and quality of life. The new study, headed by Dawn Hershman, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, indicates that only about one-third of women opt for the procedure, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.

Immediate breast reconstruction does lead to better results in patients with early stage breast cancer. That is a pretty much well known fact. This statistic of less than a third of women seeking this type of reconstruction in this light seems kinda sad, but keep reading: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Can Plastic Surgery Repair A Stretched Belly Button Following Childbirth?

Pregnancy, Piercing and Hernia Repair Changed This Belly Button Question:

When I was pregnant, my daughter pushed against my belly button the last couple of months and stretched it out. Then I ended up having two hernias which also stretched it out. Unfortunately I pierced my belly button when I was 15 and the skin above my belly button is now extremely loose. Can you fix this?

I am 26 and had my baby in Sept of 2010. I gained 30 pounds (healthy) and immediately had the two hernias. I think they were a result of the pregnancy or labor. I had them repaired in Jan of 2011. I am planning on having one more child. If it’s not a boy, then we’ll be having another one. Lastly, no I am not a fitness model. I’d like to be!

Belly button plastic surgery is usually referred to as umbilicoplasty. It is a routine part of tummy tuck operations as it becomes necessary when moving the position of the umbilical opening. As you have discovered,

Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

When Are Pain Pumps Useful Following Plastic Surgery?

About ten years ago plastic surgery had a nice little advance- the advent of the disposable pain pump. Breakthroughs in medicine are far fewer than advertising copy would have you believe, but this one is real. Unfortunately some practices use them like a marketing ploy in all cases and really don’t spend the time to make them work well or minimize their risk. Others don’t see the benefit and don’t use them at all.

Pain pumps are quite useful in some cases when used correctly. Plastic surgery is a technical specialty and some surgeons are more adept at making things work than others. There are risks with them and cases in which the benefit is harder to measure.

How Does a Pain Pump Work? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »