Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wrinkles Beware

As part of my responsibility as a cosmetic surgeon in Southwest Florida, I browse through many related  magazines. Increasingly, my eye comes across a new anti-aging, anti-wrinkle cream.  They’re almost as common as 7-11 stores.  

The FDA recently warned Avon products about their marketing of “anti-wrinkle” cream.  Just last month the FDA warned L’Oreal about some claims it made on their “anti-wrinkle” cream.  

The Avon skin care line is called “Anew.” One of Anew’s claims  is, “A new Clinical Therma firm Face Lifting Cream"  According to the FDA this is a “drug” and can’t be marketed as such.

 I guess it’s their version of Face lift in a bottle.  I’m sure they’re not cheap but in the end I feel disappointment reigns.  In our quest for a more youthful appearance, less is not necessarily more.

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As a Florida plastic and cosmetic surgeon, I have written several blogs on the benefits of high doses of vitamin D.  Now another study, done in Sweden, shows people with HIGH levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis.  

People with high levels of Vitamin D had 61% less chance of developing MS.  

It's hard to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from food alone. Researchers speculate that not only are you at an increase risk of multiple sclerosis but other chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.  

Dr. Solomon, who did the study, recommends his patients take 2-4000 units a day.

Of course, this information, like information published here, is one doctor's view of current medical news and is not medical advice. Check with your physician for advice that may be right specifically for you.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Will you store my data in your DNA?

Even as an educated man with advance degrees in medicine, and board certification in Florida as a cosmetic surgeon, I really get excited when I read something  remarkable – unbelievable – life changing – unique – something with a “wow” factor. 

We all realize we live in an age of information.  We are adding to our store of knowledge, facts and figures at an unbelievable pace.  But with that growth come the problems of organizing information and, of course, “storage”.  Data can be stored on hard disks but that is expensive and requires constant electricity to hold the information. Data also can be stored on magnetic media, but they can deteriorate over the years.

Scientists now are looking at storing mountains of data on of all things, DNA molecules!  

That’s right – DNA molecules – the same molecules that hold the key to human life.  Scientists just recently were able to store text as well as audio files on fragments of DNA.  The audio files had almost perfect fidelity or sound.  

The euroded data and audiophiler were retrieved with 99.99% accuracy – in my book, that is beyond amazing. Just think of the volumes of data that needs storage – books, music, records from large multinational corporations, data on health records - the list is endless.

DNA is stable, durable, dense, and because it is not “living” it can sit in dry storage indefinitely.  Scientists estimate a “cup” of DNA could store, get this, 100 million hours of high definition video.  That is amazing!  Unbelievable!  As exciting as this is, commercial use of DNA for storage is some time off but the direction of research and new discoveries is exciting and amazing.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ask your doctor - what is DRD4-7R?"

If you ask 1,000 people, "what is DRD4-TR?" You probably would get a variety of different answers, from the a Starwars robot to a lubricant. 

When I read about it, as a Florida plastic surgeon, I had to scratch my head in bewilderment.  

Well, ponder no more, this is a gene variant that links personality and longevity all in one full swoop.  

The research was conducted at Brookhaven Labs in New York and the University of California, Irvine.  This gene is found more commonly in older Americans – hence, it’s association with longevity.  

Also, people with this gene are usually physically more active and less likely to suffer form dementia.  

So when wandering down the aisle of your favorite vitamin store, if you see “Dr. B’s DRD4-7R youth potion", you may want to pause and take home a bottle.  You never know.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Looking for a better "you"? Here's what others search. is an online community of people searching for answers to their questions about cosmetic surgery. Below is a list of  the top 10 subjects out of 52 million searches on RealSelf last year.

Obviously, each local geographic area has its own specific profile. But this list is roughly the same as what I see locally as a cosmetic surgeon in Fort Myers, Florida

  1. Tummy tuck
  2. Breast implants
  3. Breast augmentations
  4. Rhinoplasty
  5. Brazilian Butt Lift
  6. Botox
  7. CoolSculpting
  8. Breast reduction
  9. Cellulaze
  10. Liposuction
Conclusion? If you are considering any of the above procedures, you are in a large cohort of similar interest. 

Please contact me at 239-939-5422 and request a free, confidential, private consultation. There is no obligation. But I can guarantee that you will become wiser about your options.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This disease complex is well known to many people.  It is a highlighted by severe fatigue, muscle pain and can affect a person's cognitive abilities such as memory.  

It is also known as myalgic encephalo myelitis and it affects over one million people.  The exact cause is still unknown but viruses may play a role. 

A drug company called Hemispherex Biopharma developed a drug called Ampligen to help treat this condition.  

It has been in development for 2 decades!  Is it any wonder drugs are so expensive.  

They will re-review their data and re-submit it.  Part of the problem for funding effective treatments is simply trying to define the cause.  

Ampligen increases the immune system and helps the body fight viruses.  An antiviral drug from Roche called Valcyte showed that some patients with CFS benefited from it.

As a plastic surgeon in Fort Myers, I eagerly await the introduction of new medicines that can ease public suffering. Thank yoiu.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wait... You CAN be too thin?

Here we go again.  As a Fort Myers cosmetic surgeon and avid observer of the changing health scene, I am bemused by the new evidence research studies turn up.

A recent analysis of over 100 studies dealing with obesity found that people who’s body mass index (BMI) qualified them as overweight were 6% less likely to die than people considered normal in weight.  

BMI may not be the best barometer for obesity since it only takes into account height and weight.  What researchers now believe is that having a little extra fat may not be bad, but where that extra fat is may be more telling and dangerous.  The bad fat is the fat inside your abdomen or belly. 

What may well be more important in your overall health is maintaining good cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure and maybe being a little active rather than sedentary.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Diets, Diet Plans and More Diets

As readers of this blog, you know that I am a board certified plastic surgeon in Fort Myers, Florida, but also someone who has a great curiosity about all things related to health. One of the biggest news items of late is the alarming rate of obesity in America

As a young medical student the only information we had was a small monograph on vitamins.  How things have changed.  I saw some statistics on obesity in America.  It was frightening to see how America has walked the plank from around 1970 until today.  Check it out. (See previous posting.)

As I grow older, I realize more than ever that we are what we eat.  Getting one’s weight under control produces so many benefits for your overall health – perhaps lower blood pressure – better control of your diabetes – more energy – less strain on your joints.  The list goes on.

I also realize that one size does not fit all so we are offering 3 diet plans and hopefully one will be just right for you.  Success in dieting requires two things in my opinion.  One – you must be committed.  If not you are wasting your money.  Secondly, I think success depends on some form of exercise.  No, you don’t need to run a marathon but after dinner walk around the block a few times – swim a few laps in the pool or if your office is on the 3rd or 4th floor – walk –don’t take the elevator.

Here are three plans I am engaged with. Read on and, if you want to go forward with one of these plans, call my office at 239-939-5233

Diet One:          PhenTabz Rx

This is the easiest of our diet plans.  I’ve tried it and lost about 15 pounds but I went away for awhile – got off of it and put it back on.  Basically you take one PhenTabz Rx about 30 minutes before breakfast and lunch with a glass of water.  You don’t take any at dinner.  These tablets will cut down on your craving for snacks.  It is an aid to help control your cravings for food.  What I liked about PhenTabz Rx
is that you DO NOT feel nervous or jittery.  Again, motivation is the key and some aerobic exercise will go along way to help you achieve your weight loss.  Once your weight has stabilized you may want to only take one a day.  Simple, easy and effective in a well motivated patient.

Diet Two:         Weight Loss by Design

This second diet is called the “Metabolic Miracle” or Weight Loss by Design.  This diet was developed by a biochemist, Dr. Cindy Ferraro.  During her studies she came to realize that individuals had a biochemical makeup that is unique to them.  She also realized that foods have biochemical fingerprints as well.  So the natural question to be asked is what would happen if we matched peoples unique biochemical makeup to certain foods that matched their makeup.  She created a biochemical metabolic profile and provided foods that matched that profile.  The results were remarkable.  People eating biochemically matched foods 6 days per week with a “treat day” lost weight.  These are foods that you prepare for yourself.  No pre-packaged / pre-prepared foods.  She also recommends light exercise.

After offering her diet services for thousands of individuals she launched “The Metabolic Miracle”.  The results revealed over 90% of people completed the program.  Patients were remarkably  compliant because as they put it, they ate real food!  Obesity is an epidemic for sure with over 400,000 people dying every year because of obesity or its side effects.

Why does “The Metabolic Miracle” work?

This program makes available to the patient daily counseling, e-mail and/or phone support.  Some individuals need more hand holding and support.

The counselors will work with you on stress levels and how to decrease them.

They will offer strategies to cope with stress.

They also offer suggestions on exercise programs.

They provide you with daily menus – no daily weighing of food or portions – no pre-packaged foods and you can still eat out at restaurants.  Also there is an added bonus in that one day a week you can cheat.  Indulge in a little pizza or maybe a little ice cream.

This is a great diet because it is customized to your needs – your unique biochemical makeup.  You also have access to counselors daily via phone or e-mail.

Again – motivation is big and exercise is a big plus.

Diet Three:       Physicians Health and Diet Program

This is a program directed by physicians, that has been in place for well over 14 years.  Thousands of physicians around the country have used this successfully with their patients.  The products are produced by a company called WIN (Wellness International Network, LTD).  Their products are listed in the PDR or Physicians Desk Reference.  Their products are manufactured from the finest ingredients using the most advanced manufacturing technique.  Each product is formulated to provide great quality and outstanding performance.  Their products are used by the whole spectrum of people from professional athletes/Olympians to the infamous weekend warrior.

The Physician Weight Loss program involves the use of 5 non-prescription diet aids.

1.      Biolean – This is an ephedra free formulation to help curb your appetite and speed up the fat burning process.

2.      Biolean Free – This allows your body to convert proteins, fat and carbohydrates into heat energy.  This helps restore your bodies energy level.

3.      Accelerator – This product extends the heat generating activities of Biolean and Biolean Free.

4.      Lipotrim  - This helps potentiate weight loss effects of Biolean and Biolean Free.

5.      Satiete’ – This helps curb your craving for sweets, stabilizes moods and enhances sleep quality.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Obesity marches on

I am truly getting more excited about our new diet plans.  

Obesity is or soon will be the number one health issue facing Americans.  My cosmetic surgery practice is in Southwest Florida, where I saw a recent newspaper article.  It was a front page article titled, “Weight problem burgeons in Florida”.  Two non-profit foundations made some predictions about obesity, if Americans continue to gain weight at the rate they have over the past several years.  

ALL 50 states will have obesity rates of 44% or more by 2030!  Florida weighs in – no pun intended – at 58.6% up from 26.6% in 2011!  Wow!  That is downright scary!

As a result of this extra baggage healthcare costs will rise enormously.  Obesity increases risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and many cancers are linked to obesity.  Obese people also have sleep apnea and it's myriad of consequences.

Stay tuned to this bog for more information.

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The evidence is everywhere.  

America is rapidly becoming The Land of the Obese.  

More and more patients have having bariatric procedures done to lose weight, and I mean a lot of weight, ie, 80, 90 or 100 pounds and more.  More than 200,000 bariatric or weight loss surgeries are performed every year. 

With such massive weight loss, body contouring becomes a top priority and, in some cases, a necessity due to skin rashes and body odor from perspiration trapped under the folds of skin.  As a result, a standard tummy tuck (that is,  an incision across the lower abdomen) may not be enough.  

So one may do a “fleur-de-lis technique.”  This is the same, but it also includes a vertical incision to help get at excess skin vertically as well as horizontally.  The procedure is done, after the bariatric surgery, as an outpatient.

If you would like to know more about Tummy Tucks, call my office and ask for Dr. Brueck at 239-939-5233. I'll be happy to set-up a private, confidential, no-charge consultation. 

Fat is a terrible thing to waist. 

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Social Media - giving a shot in the arm to cosmetic surgery

In an unexpected twist that a plastic surgeon can love, the growing popularity of social media may be giving an underlying boost to cosmetic procedures.  

A big part of social media is photo sharing.  How many times have we seen photos of ourselves taken at a wedding or a family reunion and our response was, “I never thought I looked that bad!” 

Mindshare, a global media network, studied 36,000 people in 36 countries and found that “photo sharing” among young people caused many to become concerned about their appearance.  

For example, according to Mindshare, chin implants increased by 71% in the U.S. last year.


In 2011 there were 316,848 breast augmentations performed.  This dramatic increase is due to increased use of silicone.

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There is no product that can't be made cheaper..

... and less effective... or more dangerous

There’s an irresistible urge that draws us a scent  of a ‘bargain’. Everyone wants to save money. But hold on just  minute. Some of those irresistible bargains just might include serious repercussions, particularly the “deals” related to maintaining your youthful appearance.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) warns that “deals” on Botox injections and filler products, might not be such a good idea.

According to a recent TV news segment, some med spas in the United States are promoting some non-approved "Botox" and filler products, that cost less than the real thing. These are being offered via online “deal” sites.

According to the reports, "Most commonly, the med spas dilute the injected product” making it “less than optimal for what you are paying for." In other words, the injections may not work as well, or could even cause more trouble than the so-called savings.

In fact, many plastic surgeons and dermatologists say that they end up having to “fix” the results of the faulty products. But, with so many phony products out there, how do you protect yourself from diluted or faulty versions of a filler?

Simply.ask to see the box. Make certain it's an FDA approved product like “Botox,” “Dysport” or “Juvederm.”

These are specific FDA-approved brands. Which means they have been tested for efficacy and safety


Yes. There  is one other precaution you can take - Use a board certified cosmetic surgeon.  After all, you are having a foreign substance injected into your system. Doesn't it make sense to have a properly trained and qualified surgeon on board? 
Instead of saving a few bucks, you could be saving your health.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Spices of Life

Some people like their food bland and some like to “spice it up.”  Interesting findings were uncovered by a team of researchers at Penn State University.  

They prepared high-fat meals for 2 groups.  In one group they added a bunch of spices including rosemary, cinnamon and oregano.  What they found was the group that “spiced it up” had a lower triglyceride level by 31% and lower insulin level by 21%.  

So, maybe spice is the spice of life!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Yes, but what kind of a life is it?

We have all heard about the powerful fountain of youth. 

More exercise, more supplements – a better diet.  

We are all looking for the secret.  

I read something very interesting.  Young boys chosen to serve in the palace of the Chosun Dynasty between the 14th and 20th centuries were castrated. It was found they live an average of 19 years longer than their peers.  

They were more than 130 times more likely to reach the ripe old age of 100 than people in more developed countries.  It appears male hormones, ie, testosterone, will decrease a male's longevity.  

They believe testosterone weakens the immune system.

PS: As a plastic surgeon in Fort Myers Florida, I am not called upon to perform this procedure.

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Haven't won the Lotto? You could do worse.

As a student of human nature, which I see plenty of in my plastic surgery practice, I am interested in the effects of wealth on people. 

We read about how mega-lottery winners end up penniless or near penniless years later.  We all conjure up images - if we were to win the big jackpot - it would be different.  

But being rich also affects our other activities.  

A series of experiments on individuals with incomes ranging from $16,000 to $150,000 per year brought up some interesting findings.  People making the most money were more likely to cheat to win a $50 cash prize or take candy from a child or pocket extra change given to them by a store clerk's mistake.  

Somehow, when someone is “wealthy” it sort of insulates you from the world and reality.  You don’t seem to understand the impact of your behavior.  Maybe we should stay home and not play the mega-lottery.

But I still wish you a prosperous 2013.

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You can run. But you can't hide

We live in an exercise conscious environment.  I try to exercise 4 – 5 times per week and at a pretty good pace.  As an active plastic surgeon, my running days are over but my good friend is getting into marathons.  

Studies have shown that running daily can lower your heart attack risk by nearly 20% over not running at all.  

Hold on, however, running more than 20 miles per week NEGATES – that benefit.  A slow pace jog is good but running an 8 minute mile per mile can actually put extra stress on your heart. 

Again, the old adage – everything in moderation.

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