Friday, December 30, 2011

Keeping Kids on their toes


A report in Acta Pediatrician revealed that kids who walk on their toes for the fun of it were much more likely to be Left handed. Toe walking occurs in 7-24% of kids but most stop by the age of 2.

As we stand on the cusp of 2012, it is my wish that your New Year be bright, sparkly and filled with joy.

Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD FACs, Fort Myers FL Plastic Surgeon


The answer to this is pretty easy. WE DO! How can we not, with the likes of Beverly Hills and Miami Beach? Link

It may also be true that plastic surgery's popularity is related to the standard of living. Countries with large populations of poor are not going to see much elective cosmetic surgery. Or so it seems to me as a Fort Myers Florida Plastic Surgeon.

What is interesting is that there are new names on the list of top 10 countries for cosmetic surgery? The list was compiled by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The list, in decreasing order, is U.S., Brazil, China, Japan, India, Mexico, Italy, South Korea, France and, at # 10, is Colombia.

Liposplasty again remains the number 1 surgical procedure, followed by Breast Aug, then Blepharoplasty or eyelid lift. The total number of board certified plastic surgeons is 33,000 world wide.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


A lot of concerned was expressed recently when the French government announced it would pay to have all Gel implants in French women removed.

Concerned patients should know that only implants manufactured by PIP (Poly Implant Prosthesis) were to be removed. Apparently, from what research I have done, the gel used in PIP implants was INDUSTRIAL grade NOT MEDICAL grade.

As a Fort Myers plastic surgeon, I only use MENTOR implants, which are medical grade silicone.

I guess it’s like buying steak-you can have choice or top-of-the-line prime. I’m sure there are many European women with PIP implants. PIP used industrial grade silicone because it simply was CHEAPER.

Years and years ago, I took care of several patients who had “industrial” grade silicone actually injected into their breasts. No implants. Just industrial grade material placed into syringes and then injected into their breasts. The results were terrible. These women developed severe inflammations and multiple nodules. Mammograms became more difficult to perform. Many of these women required simple mastectomies and reconstruction.

The company, PIP, went bankrupt in 2010 and shut its doors. Their president/founder is M. Jean-Claude Mas. He is 72 and in poor health. As always this will be played out in the courtroom…many years later. Till then, rest assured, unless you received a PIP implant, most likely in Europe, all is well.

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Friday, December 23, 2011


As a Fort Myers Florida Cosmetic Surgeon, I am keenly aware of Thomas Edison, a local winter resident when he was living*, and one of the greatest inventors of all time. would be of interest to study his archives to see what “diet or diets” he may have invented. Dieting is universal – in fact, most of us, I included, have been on more than one diet.

One thing has always dumbfounded me – if evolution is so, why haven’t our bodies' metabolism “evolved” to burn up more calories? Our bodies have been bombarded with caloric overload – pizza, ice cream, beer, snack foods, fried foods – the list goes on and on. Oh well, just a thought.

There are truly some unique diets out there – some are way out there. One is the HCG or human growth hormone diet. To be effective you need to inject HCG and limit your calories to 500 or so per day. This is NOT an FDA approved use of HCG. HCG is approved for treating dwarfism where young people fail to grow properly due a deficiency of growth hormones.

Now if you are into housekeeping, try the new – maybe it’s not so new – “MASTER CLEANSE”. This one really got my taste buds salivating. This is a 4-14 day cleansing process. What is in the cleanser? You take 6 or more servings of a drink containing lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. This has been around since the 1950’s and you can lose 4-20 pounds depending on how long you “cleanse”. Somehow ipecac sounds better. This diet is popular among Hollywood elite.

Lets not forget the “baby food” diet. Remember to use a bib if you want it to be really effective. This diet consists of eating 14 jars of baby food per day. Supposedly this a controlled portion diet. Somehow as a kid baby food was ok, but not too appealing as an adult.

There you have it – just in time for the holidays, when diets tend to be disregarded, and New Year's when they are resolved to be reinstated.

Merry Christmas to one and all, and the richest of God’s blessings in the New Year.

* The Edison Ford Winter Estates are well worth a visit when you are in or near Fort Myers, FL

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Sunday, December 18, 2011


The French are different from you and me. Here's my report as a Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon:

I recently read an article by a French plastic surgeon by the name of Bernard Mole. I thought I’d share some of his insights as to what he sees as the difference between French patients and American patients.

Procedures performed are very similar i.e. Facelifts, Blephs, Augs, Liposuction
French patients want more subtle changes

A typical Aug in France may be 300cc

The French philosophy is that “less is more.”

Also in France, prospective cosmetic surgery patients must complete a psychology profiling BEFORE undergoing a cosmetic procedure. Patients must wait a minimum of 15 days before a cosmetic procedure (i.e no last minute shopping)

Botulism injections can only be done by a physician belonging to one of 5 Specialty societies.

To get fillers- again only a physician AND 15 day waiting time period.

Socialism breeds more and more governmental control of one’s life.

I guess we should all take a deep sigh and have another glass of wine. Sante'

Saturday, December 17, 2011


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there were 13,100,000 cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States last year (2010). It will be interesting to see what this year brings as we close it out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all

Dr. Robert Brueck MD, Fort Myers Cosmetic Surgeon

Friday, December 16, 2011


It seems, no matter where we go – a squirt here, a squirt there – we bath our hands in “hand sanitizer”. Several years ago they were non-existent, and now they’re everywhere – gyms, restaurants, stores. You name it, they have it.

There are some risks, however

1. They cut down on the exposure of our immune system. Our immune system pours out antibodies (like antibiotics) in response to contact to germs; no germs – no exercise.

2. They are NO replacement for the time-honored use of good ole' soap and water.

3. They have high concentrations of alcohol which removes skin oils from our skin.

4. They can give you a false sense of security.

I can tell you, after three decades as a practicing Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon, your best protection is a vigorous hand washing with soap and water.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011


Dr. Robert Brueck MD, Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon, is concerned with all matters of health, which he blogs about here.

It seems, whenever we pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV, we hear about childhood obesity, and I do believe it is a problem.

Now, we have another reason to be alarmed.

Researchers in Israel followed 1.1 million Israeli boys age 16-19. The study period was 1967-2005. About 12.5% were overweight or 138,741. During 40 years of follow-up these obese teens had a 50% increased risk of developing colo-rectal cancers.

One caveat, family histories were not available.


How many times have I heard – “that’s outrageous!” - when talking about the price of a particular medicine?

My brother, Bill. takes a pill every day that costs upwards of $25.00. That’s pricey. But in the end, it all comes down to the cost to develop the drug, the cost to manufacture and the size of the potential market.

Drug research is $100 billion a year endeavor.

I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal that prompted this little article. Two years ago, some researchers in Boston showed how they could kill cancer cells by targeting a protein in the cells called STK33 – don’t ask me what it stands for.

Amgen, the well known biotech pharmaceutical company, jumped all over it. They put together a team of scientists/researchers totaling 24 to see if they could duplicate this. If they could, this could prove to be a pathway to create new drugs to fight cancer. After 6 intensive (and expensive) months – all their efforts had failed.

One of the cornerstones of original research is reproduceability. In other words, if one lab does research, say, in Chicago, can that research AND results be duplicated in a lab in Miami or Paris? That is crucial.

Bayer, the big pharmaceutical company, has halted nearly two-thirds of phase 2 trials in drug research. Phase 2 involves reproducing results from other labs.

The bottom line is that those FAILED attempts cost money – cost real dollars. Bayer is not alone in failed attempts. In that list are companies like Amgen, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and many others. Drug research is not cheap. This helps explain in part the rising cost of prescription drugs.

Obviously, as a Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon, I wish with you that drugs could be developed at lower cost. But researchers must be paid, facilities must be built and maintained and gambles are taken that the research will produce a life-saving or life-enhancing drug. When it doesn't, that cost drops to the bottom line of the drug companies.

When it does, the bottom line for all of us is a priceless advance in our health, quality of life and longevity.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Among the interests of Dr. Robert Brueck MD, a Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon, are a medical mission and schools in the Dominican Republic. This blog post is about his visit in the DR this Christmas season.

It has been a while since Linda and I were in the Dominican Republic. This year we were fortunate to fly down and celebrate Christmas with the kids at the various schools. First, there was one and now there are three.

We got down there Sunday night with the usual 2 hour delay going out of Miami to Santiago. Monday I played Santa at the Genesis school and Lutherana. This was so much fun. I was probably the most teary eyed Santa ever. Being German and trying to be a Spanish Santa took some doing. The inside of my Santa suit was lined with nylon which means I was dripping wet with the outside temperature in excess of 80 degrees. Being able to give presents to these kids was so special and heartwarming because for many of these kids, this may be the only present they receive. I will post some photos shortly and some will be on my Facebook page. Linda had so much fun taking photos and various videos. She had to buy more memory for her phone to do it. As I was walking up and down the atrium belting out Ho! Ho! Ho! And sprinkling it with a few Feliz Navidad’s I was concerned my white wig and whiskers would come off but I never lost them once – came close a few times as I hugged the kids.

The school in Palma Ariba has over 120 children and the number is growing. I learned that of 138 or so countries worldwide, the Dominican Republic ranks about 134th. So there is a great need for improving education. The schools curriculum is being based on the Concordia Lutheran curriculum. It’s a good one. After the holidays, Pastor Krey said they plan to begin cultivating some of their extra acreage to grow fruits and vegetables to feed the kids and any excess will be sold to raise extra funds for the school. They are also putting the finishing touches on an internet café to provide additional funding for the kids. They need to raise $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 to build a playground and basketball court with a roof over it so when it rains the kids will still be able to enjoy the playground.

Wednesday night was the Christmas pageant – in Spanish. Even though my Spanish is limited to Taco Bell – you felt the warmth, joy and serenity of the Christmas season as we celebrate our Savior’s birth. It was truly a magical moment. It will make our Christmas extra special this year.

If any of you are interested in sponsoring a child please contact me or Harry Ryan who is the director of our mission board. I would be happy to send you a brochure on Project Genesis. Our website is The cost to sponsor a child is $420.00 per year and ALL the money goes to the school.

Have a blessed Christmas and the richest of God’s blessings to all in the New Year.

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Friday, December 9, 2011


Remember the old Beach Boys song. “Good vibrations”? Well, they may have been ahead of their time.

There is now a new piece of exercise equipment aptly named the “Power Plate.” It is a vibrating platform that you stand on and the vibratory forces transmitted throughout your body cause your muscles to reflexively contract thousands of times. The company recommends you have a training person or two before you jump aboard.

It's always something, as Dr. Brueck reveals on his Fort Myers Plastic Surgery web site

PS: This message is just a report, not medical advice.


I guess when we talk about chewing we could be talking about a lot of things, food, tobacco and something we all have chewed, gum.

Well some researchers just completed a study on gum chewing. They found that a group of university students (about 80 in number) performed better on tests when they chewed gum before taking the test compared to a control group who did not chew. This effect lasted through the first ½ hour of the exam. By the way some gum chewers got regular gum … some got sugar free. Oh well – when you are done chewing don’t put the gum under your desk or chair.

Dr. Brueck's Fort Myers plastic surgery web site has tons of interesting information to chew on. (ta-dum)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Dr. Robert Brueck MD, feels it is important to keep his patient informed about health subjects, such as skin cancer, especially since his Fort Myers Plastic Surgery practice is in a "hotbed" (pun intended) of sunshine activities.
For years, we have been taught that sun exposure is bad for us– particularly excessive sun exposure. The rates of melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer are surely on the rise. From 1991-2004 the rate per 100,000 people has risen from 9.39% to 13.91%.

The $64,000 question is why? Some feel as we become more aware of this disease pathologists are calling more and more pigmented lesions early melanoma. Wih something as potentially deadly as skin cancer, it surely is better to err on the side of over diagnosis.

The big question is, "Is the sun also the culprit"? There is some research which says melanomas DECREASE with sun exposure and can INCREASE with sunscreen. What is interesting is the rate of melanomas in people who work indoors has been increasing since 1940.

UV light has sun damaging UVA and vitamin D producing UVB. Both can produce tanning and burning. The theory is that office workers get sun through the windows which blocks UVB, hence lower vitamin D levels in skin. Vitamin D is a very strong anti-oxidant. In fact, it is one of nature's most potent anti-cancer agents.

Basically if you get NO sun your body is not producing Vitamin D in your skin with the net result being more skin cancer ie. melanoma. You can take Vitamin D supplements but sunlight producing vitamin D in your skin is a better choice.

Interesting. But, in the end, I think moderation is prudent and wise.

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If there is one thing 70%, 80% or 90% of Americans have done, it’s gone on a diet.

Americans are obsessed with weight loss-dieting. The real problem is that there are way too many good tasting, tempting foods. Why couldn’t cauliflower be a chocolate Sunday and brussel sprouts a banana cream pie. It just never really made sense to me.

Well, our never-ending frustration may soon be over.

Researchers of MD Anderson Hospital in Hourton have found a drug that kills a type of fat cell by destroying its blood supply. This new potential miracle drug is called ADIPOTIPE!

The initial studies were done in Monkeys now they are waiting to do some early human trials. These studies will help identify side effects as well as proper dose.

Sit tight-help may be on the way. But then again they would need to get FDA approval. Unfortunately that could take a Lifetime. Oh well, it’s still encouraging.

I care about weight and dieting because they influence how you look as well as how you feel. That is a combination that is essential in my Fort Myers Florida Plastic Surgeon's practice.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reverse Aging

Remember the name “Inserm”!

An arm of the French Health Ministry recently rejuvenated cells from an elderly donor, 100 or so years old. The
old cells were re-programmed by the researchers, which turned the old cells into what are called I.P.S.C. or induced (genetically engineered} pluti-potent stem cells.

According to Dr. LeMaitre, one of the principal investigators, signs of aging were reversed. The stem cells that were produced could differentiate into various cell lives ie: bone cells or cartilage cells.

The research is exciting!

I like to follow these developments as they relate to my Fort Myers plastic surgery practice. Let me know if you find them interesting, please.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Many surgeons are concerned with the increasing trend among women to request removal of their other “normal” breast after undergoing a mastectomy.

Many women voice concerns about developing cancer in the “other” normal breast. Why is this?

There are several reasons. One – fear of recurrence. Two – new technology such as MRI can pick up miniscule lesions not seen on normal mammograms. Third – many women are getting genetic testing to see if they carry BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, genes associated with an increased cancer risk.

Even after a “double mastectomy” the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 90% - NOT 100%. Tumors can still grow back in scar tissue or under the arm where extra breast tissue may be located.

Careful planning with your surgeon trumps decision making out of fear. Dr. Brueck offers general guidance on his Fort Myers Plastic surgeon web site. You are invited to visit.

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Complications, i.e. infections, following breast reduction surgery are more common in women older than 50.

Women over 50 also had more wound healing problems (remember SMOKING greatly increases wound healing problems). These increased rates of infection/wound healing may be due to declining hormone levels.

My experience with breast reduction shows very low levels of infection. For more information, check my Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon website at

When I was a young resident, patients spent DAYS in the hospital. Now they come in around 7 am and are home for lunch. My how things have changed.

Monday, December 5, 2011


The FDA recently approved a new soft tissue filler.

The name of the new kid on the block is Belotero. It is a hyaluronic acid cohesive gel filler.

The injection is done in the dermis to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles.

Yet another tough choice to make. If you would like some advice, check out my Fort Myers plastic surgeon website pages concerning fillers.

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Today marks a milestone in the drug industry. The top-selling drug Lipitor will now be pushed aside by new generics as Pfizer’s patents run out.

Lipitor has been a mega blockbuster. Last year, Pfizer sold over $10 billion of the drugs to millions of patients all over the world to lower their cholesterol.

The sales of Lipitor in dollars over the years were 100 billion.

As new generics come on line the price of Lipitor will of necessity come down. Generics are rapidly taking over the drug industry. It was estimated about 8 out of 10 prescriptions today are generic.

This is good news for all those patients now taking Lipitor.

The status of drugs, new and old, is something I monitor closely, as it relates to my Fort Myers plastic surgery practice.

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Dr. Robert Brueck MD, Fort Myers Aesthetic Plastic surgeon, reports ona study by the Aesthetic Society of Cosmetic Surgeons.

Recent statistics released by the Aesthetic Society of Cosmetic Surgeons reveal that demand for cosmetic surgery procedures is driven by a new age group.

Baby boomers (51-64 years of age) accounted for only 28% of cosmetic procedures.

Generation X (31-45 years of age) accounted for 43% of procedures.

Logic tells us this will lead to a shift from facial cosmetic surgery, a primary concern for aging "boomers", to more body contouring procedures, ie: tummy tucks, liposuction etc., that are more important to a younger cohort for whom the shape and tone of one's body is major concern.

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We often hear of new ways to diet and one thing many people stress is portion control.

Now we can add a new wrinkle to that. A new study published in Consumer Research says the size of the portion we eat may be influenced by the colors of the dinner ware and table cloth.

When the contrast between the plate and the table cloth was high, i.e. white plate on a black table cloth, the individuals served themselves portions that were 10% larger.

Just some “food” for thought with the holiday’s upon us.

If you have any questions about weight control, dieting, health or plastic surgery, visit my Fort Myers plastic surgeon web site. You may find them answered on my FAQ pages.

Thank you.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011


Breast cancer is a major concern for every woman and everyone who cares for and about them. Dr. Brueck MD, Fort Myers plastic surgeon, comments on findings about breast cancer and breast implants.

A new study done at the University of Southern California reviewed the medical records of 5005 breast cancer patients.

They found that in 36% of women with breast implants, mammograms failed to reveal an existing abnormality.

What does this mean?

Women with implants should do self examinations, have a yearly examination by the doctor and perhaps, if indicated do an MRI to supplement the mammogram. Prevention is the word.

Friday, December 2, 2011


In this blog post, Dr. Robert Brueck MD, Fort Myers cosmetic surgeon, rants about ill-spent tax collections.

It seems the news headlines are about a budget deal to reduce our deficit spending by 1.2 trillion dollars over 10 years.

After all, our families must live within their budgets. Why not expect our federal government to do likewise? The bigger the government becomes the more waste, fraud and irresponsibility creeps into the system. Have you ever seen an increase in government revenue that did not lead to an equal or greater increase in spending?

I recently read an article about the government paying or spending $363 million for obesity surgery on military families over the last 10 years. Taxpayers are on the hook for this expense through Tricare.

Okay. One can argue this is preventative, ie: losing weight can lead to fewer medical problems long term. But, during an investigation, it was found the government, that is, you and I, paid for tummy tucks, brow lifts, breast augmentations, etc. This is elective cosmetic surgery.

So in a time of runaway spending is this what taxpayers should be spending their dollars on?

Yes, it is a small item, but I think it speaks about the culture of runaway, irresponsible spending and who’s on the hook?

That’s right. You and I.


Thursday, December 1, 2011


This is another message from Dr. Robert Brueck MD, Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon, about what is happening in plastic surgery

We long suspected it. No it has been confirmed.

A recent article in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal found complication rates were 12 times more likely following breast surgery in obese patients.

The study analyzed insurance claims for 8000 women who underwent breast surgery. The number of women who filed a claim for compensation after breast surgery was 12 times greater.

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