Look As Good As You Feel by Dennis K. Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS

I so often hear from patients that their face doesn’t look like they feel. They feel so much better and younger than they look! With the constant reminder by friends, co-workers and family of how tired they look, it’s easy for one to become discouraged. Similarly, I am often asked, “What is the one best single thing I can do to improve my appearance?” Given most of us have limited downtime we can afford to take and are always looking to get the most bang for our bucks, what is the one procedure to do?

Believe it or not, there is a fairly straightforward answer in my opinion: eyelid surgery! Also known as a blepharoplasty, this procedure of the upper and lower eyelids is easy and safe, with minimal down time and a dramatic impact on your appearance. All of us have some degree of loose skin around the eyes. The degree of laxity is what will greatly influence the tired appearance we often see in others or ourselves. In addition, the puffiness or swollen appearance around the eyes also can be problematic and addressed with this procedure.

As far as procedures go, this is a great one, and it can be done under local anesthetic or with IV sedation. The excess skin and fat pads are removed, as needed, based on your individual case and the addition of supplemental procedures can make the results even more dramatic. Such additional procedures as nano or micro fat grafting, fillers and lasering of the skin can further improve the results. On average, patients have sutures for four to five days with swelling present for roughly the same amount of time. This procedure is great for men or women and can have a profound impact at virtually any age.

Make 2019 the year you look as good as you feel and say good bye to that tired look we all hate so much.

Dennis K. Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To learn more about his private practice, procedures and locations, you can visit www.sweetgrassplasticsurgery.com. His book, Finding Beauty, is published by Advantage Media Group and is now available on Amazon and all major online retailers.

 

The Yelp Effect on Healthcare by Dennis K. Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS

The Yelp effect…. On healthcare.

While technology has advanced and continues to improve patient experiences and outcomes, one area technology has greatly added confusion for the healthcare industry, is the world of social media.  The effect of a one-star rating increase from Yelp has been shown to have as much as a 9% increase in that businesses gross revenue. In addition, it has been shown that, after a physician’s specialty, reviews are the second most important factor for prospective patients.  While the concept of reviews from previous patients makes perfect sense, I don’t believe anyone was prepared for the confusion and chaos that has ensued for both the practitioners as well as the potential patient consumer. There are so many review platforms out there today leading to a large volume of information.  But, not necessarily legitimate, helpful or useful information.

In my practice I have had patients purposefully lie or misrepresent their experience or outcome on social media.  I even had an 80 + year old woman, tell me that although she knew it was wrong, if I didn’t give her what she wanted she would go to every social media review platform possible and misrepresent her experience.  The part which makes it very difficult for medical practices to defend themselves is we are unable to divulge critical healthcare information which would help explain or add insight to a given patients review and experience do to HIPAA regulations, which protect health information.  

I had become so frustrated with the existing review platforms that in 2016 I began to develop an alternative review platform for the healthcare industry.  This platform should be available on a larger scale later this year. This process has given me an up close and personal view of the review world.

Many of the sites today don’t even verify if the reviewer was a real patient.  Therefore a past disgruntled employee, a competitor or an adversary can leave a review.  The reviews today offer no useful data but rather tend to be emotional rants with no purpose other than to convey an emotion.  Finally many of the sites sell positioning of reviews or allow practices to buy favorable reviews or even pay to have negative reviews removed.  This greatly dilutes out the amount of quality information on these various sites.

Please gather reviews and gain as much insight as you can to a provider and their practice prior to visiting them.  However, I recommend the following:

  1. Be wary of any business which has only 5 star reviews.  Every business has unhappy or disappointed patients and consumers.  It is more important to know how the business handled the patient’s negative experience and how the business rectified or improved the experience.

  2. If a negative review worries you, contact the provider or business and ask them to give you some insight into what happened and how the problem was resolved.

  3. Ask the practice to provide contact information for patients who have been to the practice.  These will be favorable views, but by asking questions to someone with firsthand knowledge and experience, I believe you can gain great insight into the practice and provider.

  4. Visit more than one practice and ultimately go with your gut instinct.  How you feel and connect with both a provider as well as the practice is paramount to your overall experience.

Ultimately everyone is different.  Ten women undergoing the exact same procedure will have ten different outcomes and experience.  This experience is driven by the patient, provider, practice dynamics and interactions. Feedback for a business is crucial to its evolution and development, but the ability to review and critique in the public forum comes with a responsibility as a reviewer to be accurate, fair and honest.  Otherwise the whole process becomes ineffective and no one benefits.

 I feel great now, but I look….?? by Dennis K. Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS

 

I feel great now, but I look….??

While you will almost never hear someone say they are exercising too much or eating too well, there can be some unexpected down sides to getting healthy, more specifically of losing weight. While it is very easy to go down that slippery slope of eating unhealthy and gaining weight, the opposite is of course not easy.  To get in shape and lose weight takes discipline and can be hard work. The rewards are tremendous, but there may be a couple unexpected consequences that are not so great.

“I feel great, the best I’ve felt in years, but look so much older now.”

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t hear a statement like that from a patient, who has successfully lost weight either through exercise and diet or weight loss surgery.  Unfortunately as a person loses weight, the fat cells undergo atrophy or reduction in size which makes us “smaller” but also deflates the overlying skin. This deflation is what leads to deeper wrinkles and hanging loose skin.  The face is especially susceptible; due to the fact that natural facial aging involves elongation of the face with loss of volume. The underlying bone structures as well as the subcutaneous fat of the face greatly diminishes with age naturally, this is amplified when the aging person also has significant weight loss.  In addition, aging leads to changes in collagen ratios as well as decreases in elastin within the skin. There is no amount of exercising or types of exercises that can be done to help a person tighten their skin. Thankfully there are a few options to help combat this unexpected result of getting healthy and attempt to restore the round full face appearance of youth.

  1. Restoration of facial volume using fillers and or fat grafting from other areas of the body to the face.

  2. Thermal based noninvasive or minimally invasive techniques (radio frequency, heat, laser)

  3. Surgical intervention (eyelid, forehead, neck and facelift or body contouring)

“If or when the fat comes back will it just go somewhere else?”

All of us have a fixed number of fat cells.  This number of cells does not change based on a person’s weight, but rather the cells we have get bigger or smaller based on caloric totals over time.  Eat better, burn more and the cells get smaller due to a caloric deficit. Treatments that can be performed such as Coolsculpting, Ultra/Vela Shape, Smartlipo and surgical body contouring permanently destroy fat cells.  As a result, the areas that have been treated have a far less number of fat cells compared to areas of the body that have not been treated. If a patient begins to gain weight the areas with more fat cells will get bigger quicker therefore it may appear the fat “went" to other areas.  The reality is fat is not smart and doesn’t pick where it goes. If patients stay within 10% of their weight at the time of the treatment, they will maintain their results and will be happy with their results.

While exercising, dieting and getting healthy can have a negative impact on your appearance at times, the long term benefits to better health greatly outweighs these problems.  Plus, the world of cosmetic plastic surgery continues to strive to deliver aesthetic options which make healthy patients look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside.