Against Plastic Surgery? Read This Now!

Dr. Malcolm Roth is Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, and former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A practicing board certified plastic surgeon for 25 years he is passionate about his profession and one of it’s most articulate spokesmen.

FOF talked to Dr. Roth about changing consumer attitudes towards plastic surgery and about changes in the field itself.

What is most rewarding about being a plastic surgeon?

We restore and enhance lives. We perform procedures in the reconstructive area that make people function better. A woman who has had a mastectomy, for example, can go to the beach looking as she did before. We work on children born with deformities and on cardiac patients who have infected wounds after heart surgery. We make people happier about their appearance and more confident about themselves.


Dr. Rosenblatt Holds An After-Hours Get Together

“He’s a God to me!” gushed Rodi, one of Dr. William Rosenblatt’s FOF patients, at a get-together at his New York office this week. Looking fantastic at 57, Rodi told the gathering of 15 women (and one man) that Dr. R performed a breast reduction on her and removed “three or four chins.” Delighted that she “hasn’t had to wear a bra in two years,” Rodi also is thrilled that her back “no longer hurts” from the heaviness of her breasts. As for some of the fat that Dr. R eliminated from her chin, he injected into her cheeks to give her face more fullness.

Billed as An Evening of Beauty on the email invitation from Dr. Rosenblatt’s office, the program featured a discussion of new plastic surgery trends, including an introduction to Xeomen, which the doctor calls a “new Botulism toxin.” Manufactured by Merz, the same company that brings us the filler, Radiesse, Xeomen, is “15 to 20 percent less expensive than Allergan’s Botox, but has  the same  effect, lasts the same amount of time, and is injected the same way,” Dr. R explained.

Although Xeomen has been around for a while, he told us, it couldn’t be introduced in the United States until some legal issues were resolved. Now Merz is charging doctors less so it can take market share from Allergan, a common tactic among drug companies.

Xeomen is used to paralyze muscles and get rid of the deep lines in the glabella region, the area on the forehead between our eyebrows, where lines develop from frowning repeatedly over the years. It’s often used also to eliminate crow’s feet around our eyes and “bunny lines,” which develop when we wrinkle our noses, Dr. R said. “I sometimes inject it to elevate the eyebrows slightly, but I don’t like to fully paralyze a forehead. It looks terrible when you can’t raise your eyebrows.”

While we sipped wine and enjoyed sushi and raw veggies with hummus, Dr, Rosenblatt covered other techniques and trends.

On Breast Implants

“Silicone breast implants, even on the rare occasions that they might break, don’t explode. They run trucks over these and they do fine, from what I understand. The silicone won’t pour out, even if the implant were to be cut. It would act more like silly putty and blub up.”

“Round silicone gels are the most popular in this country for elective cosmetic breast augmentations. Newer implants on the market, commonly known as ‘Gummy Bear’ implants, are hard, not soft like silicone. They work pretty well for breast reconstruction after mastectomy, but I don’t find that they work well for

routine cosmetic breast augmentations.”

On Breast Lifts

“A breast isn’t lifted only by an implant. To determine the sagginess of your breasts: Put a pencil or finger under the breast. If the nipple is below the line created by the pencil or finger, you need a surgical lift.”

“Just putting a really, really big implant into a sagging breast will create what’s called the ‘Snoopy deformity’: The breast is here and the implant is here,” said Dr. R, pointing to two different spots on his chest. “If you have very large breasts that sag, we do a small reduction and then lift them up. The bigger the breasts are, the more they’re going to sag. If you have smaller breasts, you can lift the skin and put in an implant at the same time.”

“Breasts are held up by just skin. They don’t have ligaments or muscles. They have nothing.”

“Different styles of implants are popular in different parts of the country: Slightly smaller implants in the Northeast. In the Southeast and California, they start where we leave off.”

On Liposuction

“Liposuction is designed for skinny people, in order to remove some lumps and bumps and a little excess fat. It’s not designed for overweight people. Diet is what works with them. The biggest liposuction we do is 12 pounds, which is a drop in the bucket for really heavy people.”

Following a brief Q&A period filled with laughs (another of the doctor’s patients, who had breast augmentation last year, said ‘they’re mine and they’re magnificent,’ recalling the famous line on Seinfeld,) Dr. Rosenblatt did live Botox and Radiesse demos.

{Life Changing Plastic Surgery Stories} The Eyes Have It

“When I was young, I remember walking through the cosmetics section of a department store, where there were so many mirrors, and thinking ‘Jeez, I look pretty good,’” says Kathy H., an FOF from Indiana. “As I got older, and the bags under my eyes started getting worse, I didn’t want to go near those same mirrors.”

Now 65, Kathy decided to finally do something about her bothersome bags 10 years ago. Impressed after her initial consult with Dr. Gus Galante, she booked her procedure on the spot. A month later, he performed his magic.

So pleased with the results, Kathy returned to Dr. Galante three years later for a lower facelift. Today, she sees him for Botox injections.

“It changed my life,” says Kathy, who once thought only “movie stars and important people” got plastic surgery. “I’m happy to look in the mirror again.” Here, she chats with FOF:

Eye surgery performed by Dr. Galante.

What bothered you about your eyes?

I had bags and my upper lids were droopy. I had no crease. It always bothered me but got worse as I got older. I tried everything on the market–nothing would take them away.

How important are your looks to you?

Very–I used to be in real estate and worked with the public. Now, I work at the local humane society but still want to look good, for myself.

How did you find Dr. Galante?

A couple of people I knew had been to him. I live in Indiana, near Chicago, and there are a lot of surgeons in the city. Turns out Dr Galante was in my own backyard (Schererville, Indiana). I called and spoke to his receptionist, Marcie. When I told her what I wanted done, she made it sound so simple and told me she had it done herself. So, I went for a complimentary consultation.

Were you nervous?

Yes. I grew up in a blue collar town. I thought of plastic surgery as something only wealthy people do. Not anymore. When I went to Dr. Galante’s office, I expected to see all these beautiful, 30-year-old women. But, there were normal people like myself. And, after I spoke with Dr. Galante, my apprehensions completely went away. I knew it was going to work out well. I ended up booking a treatment for the following month.

What did you like about Dr. Galante?

He is very trustworthy and would never talk you into doing something you don’t need.

Tell us about the eye bag removal procedure.

I went in at 6:30 in the morning on a Friday and was out by noon. I had twilight anesthesia so I wasn’t completely out. My stitches were removed on Monday. I iced my eyes the way I was told.  They were very swollen. Marcie told me this was normal and, in fact, I looked better than most people. Within a week, I was back at work with just slight bruising near my cheekbone. I could see the full effect after about a month, and was very happy.

What did your friends and family think?

They all loved it and thought I looked younger. I didn’t necessarily do it to look younger, I just didn’t want to look tired anymore.

Are you married? Was your husband supportive?

My husband died three years ago, but he was supportive at the time.

Do you date?

I’m dating someone now. He’s older than I am. We met in high school and his wife died a couple years before my husband died.

Do you want to get married again?

No. I like being independent.

Why did you decide to have a lower facelift, three years later?

My jowls started bothering me. I put my makeup on in front of a magnifying mirror and I thought, ‘This has got to go!’

Describe the treatment.

I went into surgery about 6:30 a.m and was home at about 2 p.m. I was out completely, under general anesthesia. I had to return the following day to have a drain removed. Healing is slower than for the eye surgery.  It took about five to six months before I could see the full results.

What did you and your friends and family think?

They thought it wasn’t as noticeable as my eyes, but that it looked great. It was certainly noticeable to me.

Did you have anything else done since the lower facelift?

I go to Dr. Galante for Botox about two to three times a year.

You are pretty open about your procedures. Did you ever think about hiding the fact that you had plastic surgery?

No. It’s just the personality I have. There’s no reason to hide it.

How do you think it has changed your life?

It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself and I wish I had done it earlier. Women over 50 have done things for others all their lives. Now, they should do something for themselves. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you can’t feel good about anything or for anyone.

A note from Dr. Galante:

I think Kathy’s statement about wanting to look less tired, not necessarily younger, represents the typical expectation of the patient who seeks facial rejuvenation. Her “after” photos demonstrate just that…a clean, refreshed look. Kathy initially presented with concerns about baggy upper eyelids and puffy lower lids. The upper lid problem is excessive skin which can mask the lid and sometimes even block the peripheral field of vision. My treatment for this was the removal of the skin and a slim strip of muscle to better define the crease. The lower lid problem is the bulging outward of fat which normally sits in the eye socket to cushion the globe.  I made a small incision just under the lashes to gain access to the protruding fat, and then removed it. A small amount of skin was also taken to keep the area smooth.

Kathy went on to have a facelift and most recently a few Botox injections to keep her appearance fresh. Again, the end result in these patients is to look better, not necessarily look younger. Looking good makes one feel good, and feeling good after fifty should be an attainable goal for anyone who wishes for it. The recipe to this feeling includes a healthy diet, exercise, engaging social relationships, optimizing emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being, using the most favorable cosmetic, hair, and clothing styles, and a plastic surgery procedure, if desired.

{Life Changing Plastic Surgery Stories} Dr. LoTempio made this woman “whole again.”

Lauren Cahn, a yoga instructor from Westchester, N.Y., was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Little did she know, it was just the beginning of a nightmare that would last almost eight years.

Lauren opted for implants immediately after her mastectomy but a botched implant job left her breasts looking “hard as rocks” and “square.” To add insult to injury, one ruptured just a year later.

Take two: Lauren got new and improved implants but soon after, suffered a fourth-degree burn to one from a heating pad. Disgusted, disheartened and traumatized by the whole experience, Lauren was ready to call it quits and accept spending the rest of her life completely flat chested.

A doctor recommended she meet with one more surgeon, Dr. Maria LoTempio, one of the only doctors in the world performing breast reconstruction using autologous (the patient’s own) tissue. Hesitant, Lauren sent off a few pictures to Dr. LoTempio and when she was deemed an ideal candidate, she underwent her third breast reconstruction surgery.

Lauren, who now has two of the “most beautiful, perky” breasts and a “bonus” butt lift says it was one the best decisions of her life.

When you were first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, what were your options?
There were no options besides implants. The only kind of body tissue breast reconstruction they were doing at that time was through the stomach and I really didn’t have enough fat there to create one, let alone, two breasts.

Did you get implants at the time of your mastectomy?
Yes, the cancer doctor finished her surgery and the plastic surgeon went right in. They used implants that were also the expanders. It was a terrible disaster.

How so?
Before the surgery, I had been a 32C, sometimes a 32D. I thought after surgery, I was going to look exactly the way I did before. My breasts ended up being as hard as rocks and square because there was a lot of scar tissue around them. Less than a year later, one of them ruptured and had to be replaced. I was very unhappy.

Left: Lauren in 2000 before breast cancer.  Right: Lauren after breast reconstruction #1.

At what point did you get them redone?
I kept them for three years, until I heard about another doctor who was doing silicone implants with aloederm over them for softness. I had the old implants removed and replaced with new ones by this doctor. The implants were much smaller. At first, it looked really good, but then, within a year I started sprouting more scar tissue. Everything started hardening up and looking square again. I didn’t fit into any bras.

At that point you had two breast reconstruction surgeries that you were unhappy with. Were you considering a third?
For the next four years, little by little I began looking into any other options. I read about a procedure where they take flesh from the buttocks but my understanding was I wouldn’t be able to sit or exercise for months. As a yoga instructor, this was disheartening. I don’t want to be told I can’t do something.

What happened next?
In the fall of 2009 I suffered a burn to my right breast from a heating pad. It never fully healed and by January of the next year, I was developing a Staph infection. Doctors in the hospital told me it was a fourth degree burn and that they could see my implant through my skin. I had the implant removed which was very sad to me because the whole point of having the double mastectomy was to look symmetrical. Now, I wasn’t. After a week in the hospital, 60 days of hyperbaric treatment that didn’t work, two surgeries and wearing a wound vac for two months, I had given up. I went to my plastic surgeon to tell them that I wanted to have the other implant removed and would spend the rest of my life completely flat chested. I was 43 at the time.

What did the doctor tell you when you told him you decided to be flat chested?
He said ‘You must not make that decision. You can’t give up.’ and referred me to Dr. Maria LoTempio, who he said does a surgery where they make a breast of flesh from your buttocks. I said ‘Oh no, I heard about that and it sounds really debilitating.’ He said what I heard wasn’t true.

How soon after that did you meet with Dr. LoTempio?
I spoke to her that day. I sent pictures to her because she was in South Carolina at the time. Through the photos she was able to tell me that I was a candidate for this and she could definitely make two small breasts. She sent me for an MRI to have my arteries looked at to make sure there was a good harvestable blood supply. I went to South Carolina for the surgery. I had to have it the week my youngest son was graduating from elementary school which was challenging. He was angry.

Why did you have the surgery in South Carolina?
At the time they didn’t offer it in New York. The care involved is so intense. It felt like I was the only patient in the whole hospital. This type of surgery requires a lot of watching and waiting. I was on a lot of painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety pills to relax me. Basically, for five days I was sedated.

How long were you in the hospital?
Seven days because they were extra careful. I was in South Carolina for another three days after that, because Dr. LoTempio didn’t want me to leave until ten days had passed. She has it down to a science. She knows exactly how many days it takes for your cells to regenerate and your blood supply to be made permanent. After that, I flew home and recovered there. I was able to sit, walk, and eventually, run and drive. I was able to do yoga within three months of the surgery.

Left: After breast reconstruction #2.  Right: 2 months post-surgery with Dr. Lotempio.

And we hear you also got an extra “bonus”?
I had a butt lift! The tissue for my breast was grafted from there. I had a little more junk in the trunk before. Now, its a little flatter on the top but I still have a nice round bottom. There’s no cellulite. It’s very tight. I wear True Religion jeans which is a brand I wouldn’t be able to wear otherwise!
And since two or three years passed, everything is still okay?
Everything is great!

Join us for an exclusive winter pampering event

Join us for cool, beautiful and worthwhile experiences that will do you a world of good on a cold winter night. All on the house!

Where: New York Ear and Eye Infirmary, 77 Worth St. NYC, Ground Floor

When: Thursday, Jan. 24, 5-9 p.m.

? One-on-one consult with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Olivia Hutchinson
? Complimentary glycolic peel
? Complimentary breast exam with Dr. Rachel B. Wellner
? Skin analysis with a licensed esthetician
? Hair analysis by Elline Surianello of LeMetric Hair and Beauty Center
? 20% off Vivité and IS Clinical skincare products
$99 photo facials booked that evening. (Regular price: $400)
? $100 off Juvaderm, $200 off Botox and Juvaderm combo booked that evening
?  20% off treatments booked at The Mezzanine Spa that evening?  20% off treatments booked at The Mezzanine Spa that evening
 Meet and greet with Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of Best of Everything After 50
? And even more

Space is limited so hop to it and RSVP by:
By calling Geri at 917.846.9359 OR by entering your name, phone and e-mail below.
(Your information will be kept private.)






The skinny on VASER shape: a non-invasive fat melting procedure

VASER Shape before and after.

New York – Dr. Sharon Giese recently appeared on Dr. Oz to promote VASER shape, a “cutting-edge,” non-surgical treatment using ultrasound and lymphatic drainage to smooth and shape the body. She also performed the procedure on air. The treatment, which can take as few as five minutes, uses an ultrasound device that glides over the targeted area, warms it and treats the fatty tissue. A second device stimulates the lymphatic system, draining away excess toxins and fats.

“It’s different than liposuction because it’s totally non-invasive and involves no downtime or recovery time. However it doesn’t melt away as much fat as lipo,” says Dr. Giese. “I have patients who tell me it feels like a hot stone massage.” Results can be immediately visible after one treatment and treatments start at $450 per session. According to Dr. Giese the procedure works best on the abdomen, muffin top, love handles, back and upper arms. Dr. Giese’s  patients typically have one to three treatments. “You are a good candidate if you have ½-inch to four inches of fat you want to eliminate,” she says. “If you are a good candidate I’d rank this an 8 or 9 out of 10 as far as non-invasive fat removing procedures go.”

For more information about VASER shape call Dr. Giese at 212.421.3400

image source:

Don’t Let Its Advertising Fool You

New York – Dr. William Rosenblatt turns cynical when he talks about the “Lifestyle Lift,” more cynical than usual.  After practicing plastic surgery in New York City for decades, he thinks the field has taken a decidedly “scuzzy” direction now that dermatologists are performing liposuctions; gynecologists are performing tummy tucks and general surgeons are doing breast augmentations.  He is especially skeptical of the methods used by the company that has catapulted “Lifestyle Lift” into the public consciousness. “Patients have told me that you meet with someone on the staff when you visit their offices. The doctor doesn’t appear until the day of the surgery. You give them a credit card with a down payment and if you decide to cancel your appointment, you lose the deposit,” Dr. Rosenblatt related.

Anyone considering facelift surgery must consult with the doctor who will perform the surgery, in order to cover concerns and the recommended a treatment plan.  No one but a surgeon should recommend the course of treatment, Dr. Rosenblatt emphasizes.

The “Lifestyle Lift” procedure costs about $5,000 and the doctors get $1,000. Many of these are doctors who don’t have thriving practices, Dr. Rosenblatt says. He also says the pseudo facelift would never be effective “with a neck like yours,” referring to the lose skin I love so much. Funny, I wasn’t insulted and he wasn’t trying to insult me. He was trying to make a point, in a pointed way.  I got the point.

Dr. Rosenblatt sent me a magazine article from one of the medical trade publications, which talks about misleading LSL advertising, inadequate follow-up care, and sales pressure. The company promotes a one-hour procedure, for instance, but shows examples of procedures that take longer. It also shows examples of procedures performed by doctors who are no longer working with the company. Sometimes, a patient can’t even reach the surgeon after the surgery is performed. One LSL surgeon, who didn’t have hospital privileges, couldn’t visit a patient in an ER who developed an acute post-operative surgical wound and breathing problems.

LSL gone wrong

Dr. Rosenblatt has also decided to steer clear of the new machines that reportedly zap cellulite and tighten collagen without surgery. “They cost over $100,000 and then you have to spend more to promote that you have them.  I don’t think they work well, anyway.” He doesn’t understand why a woman would have two or three procedures on her face, each costing thousands of dollars and lasting only a couple of years when she could have a facelift that lasts for many years more.

I liked the doctor’s straight talk.

Geri Brin, founder,