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Latest Posts

Awesome Hydrocolloid Bandages Reduce Scarring After Mole Removal

I’m a dermatologist’s dream – a fair-skinned, freckly person with lots of small moles. The perfect candidate for a lifetime of 6-month skin checks!

Luckily for me, none of my moles have ever been cancerous. To be honest (please look the other way, dermatologist friends) I have sometimes put off skin checks for fear of being invited to undergo yet another biopsy. I’ve had about 9 procedures so far, and I have the scars to prove it. But this time around, I found a product that really reduced my healing time and scarring. I’m so excited about the results that I don’t care if I need a total-body shave biopsy next year. Bring it on! No one will be able to tell.

It is a little surprising that hydrocolloid gel technology hasn’t been on the consumer market for all that long (I wasn’t able to figure out when this product was launched in retail stores but it seems to me that I’ve only seen it around for the last few years or so). Hydrocolloid dressings are a staple in wound healing in the hospital setting, and I’ve seen marvelous results with pressure ulcer repair in the hands of experienced wound care nurses. The gel essentially creates a moist scaffold for skin cells to fill in defects and divots. The gel absorbs moisture from the skin and wound “oozing” while creating a sterile barrier against dirt and germs. The scab-less healing creates minimal scar tissue and the bandage is hypo-allergenic and incredibly flexible.

The product I used is called ActivFlex premium adhesive bandages (a Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid brand). I’ve seen generic knock-offs on store shelves but haven’t tried them. All I can say is that the experience has been terrific, and it’s such a relief to know that I don’t need to worry about scars from small cuts, burns, or mole biopsies any more. This is a fantastic invention – and I’d love to hear from others (be they dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or regular users of the product) to find out if they’ve had the same luck!

No need to fear skin checks anymore, my fair-skinned friends. You can recover nicely from procedures with a little hydrocolloid help from your local grocery store or pharmacy.

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,

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

Can Major Scarring Be Avoided With Breast Lift Surgery?

Breast Lift surgery (Mastopexy) is obviously surgery to lift the breast. There are variations of this operation – quite a few variations. Breast lift operations are usually discussed relative to the “full breast lift” which has also been called the anchor lift. This operation leaves scars around the areola, under the breast and vertically between the two. The shape of the scar configuration resembles an anchor, hence the name. The potential for scars is one of the major concerns potential patients have with the surgery. This version of the operation also has the greatest potential to change the shape of the breast.

Reduced scar breast lifts came into creation to limit the potential for scarring. The important compromise, however, is that these modified breast lifts “lift” less. Reduced scar lifts can involve any portion of the full lift scar pattern. The modified lift with an incision above the areola only is called a “Crescent lift.” It provides only Read more »

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

Professional Singers Continue To Damage Their Vocal Cords

On Sept 16, 2011, the Stone Temple Pilots had to cancel their tour because their lead singer Scott Weiland was placed on voice rest due to damaged vocal cords at risk for permanent damage. Specifically, the doctors at University of Cincinnati Voice Health Center determined that he had scarring on his left vocal cord and a tremendously inflamed right vocal cord.

The left vocal cord scarring is likely from past vocal trauma that did not heal properly and is now permanently damaged whereas the right vocal cord is at risk of also becoming permanently damaged if not aggressively managed. The picture shown here is an example with inflammation involving both vocal cords. Compare this with Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

Short Scar Techniques For Arm Lifts Are More Risky Than They Are Worth

*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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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