Protect Your Data & Patient Privacy

Global technological threats are growing. Privacy is breached knowing that anyone can access your information from your smartphone or computer, without even having grab hold of it. The WannaCry hack is a wake-up call for everybody, which should prompt everyone to raise their security levels.

It is important that physicians should be able to protect their patient’s privacy. Cosmetic and aesthetic physicians should take caution most especially considering the nature of their treatments and procedures.

Imagine the the following scenario; you get an email one morning that all of your patient before and after photos have been stole and if you don't pay $20k in Bitcoins by noon, they'll be posted online.

What do you do? Are you going to pay or wait until noon and see if all of your patient's before photos are posted and...

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Current Known Use of Imaging in Medical Aesthetics

Medical aesthetics continue to welcome technology in practices, allowing physicians and patients to connect further or envision outcomes prior to treatment, giving patients an opportunity a chance to see the possible outcome .

Despite the rising number of using imaging in practices, studies on imaging technology are limited in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery although that is expected to change. As such, there are no reported studies about the efficacy of usage of these technologies prior to treatment. Bummer. It would be interesting to know the future of technology in the aesthetics field, and its effectiveness in bringing expected outcomes. Still, you can imagine what is coming down the pipe in the fairly near future.

Virtual Reality (VR Headsets)

Virtual Reality was first introduced to the gaming scene. Its use has branched out for other fields, which include medicine. VR is usually used via a headgear, introducing one to the “virtual world”. In the field of medical aesthetics, its function might be to help a physician figure out where to inject the fillers or perform the incision. Another possible function is to give the patient an idea about how a certain surgery would work on them or how a celebrity’s eyes, nose, or lips, or even body would fit well with them. Its other function is to lessen the pain during surgery, which has been employed for other fields of medicine. The idea is to have the patient where the headset post-surgery where a simulation will play as the patient recovers.

Augmented Reality

Its most famous use is in Pokémon Go, the game that swept the whole world by catching Pokémon anywhere with the use of one’s smartphone. In the aesthetics field, Illusio is one company that provides Augmented Reality for plastic surgeons. The application acts as a mirror, where it flashes the patient’s body. A physician can adjust the settings via toggles on the app, helping them visualize how an augmentation or reduction would look. Pretty rudimentary right now but continually improving.

Google Glass

Google Glass was used for one study in the operating room. It had the ability to transmit images real time for other observers to see. The device has the potential to become an educational or training tool.

3D Scanning and Printing

In a recent interview by Dr. Yakup Avsar with the International Master Course in Aging Science (IMCAS), he mentions that he uses 3D Scanning and Printing in his practice to visualize his patient’s face when it has aged. He has long used this method, as he emphasizes the need for this in the medical aesthetic field. While this is not a novel idea, more cases have yet to be reported or publicized.

The idea of technology in the field of aesthetic is promising. It will give physicians an opportunity to recognize any areas of concerns, which could be prevented as the patient ages. Its use could help medical aesthetics move forward in adopting more technology as the rest advances.

Cynosure SculpSure

SculpSure is a laser-based non-surgical treatment that apparently melts abdominal fat. The treatment is recently gaining more interest as it claims to be the first system to do such a procedure. It was only in late 2015 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the department approved the use of this treatment for patients.

During the procedure, four flat non-suction applicators and contouring frames are placed in the area where the adipose tissue cells will be burned. According to Cynosure, the company for SculpSure, the wavelength (1060 nm) has an affinity towards the adipose tissue. They use a Proprietary Energy Modulation method elevating subdermal temperature from 45 up to 47 degrees Celsius. Despite the heat, cooling is available making the patient comfortable. They claim that up to 24% of fat is reduced in a span of 25 minutes.

The company has had patients try their procedure before after one to two treatments, showing significant changes in their abdominal area. A weight change may or may not occur; even gain after 6 weeks is possible. No data regarding diet or behavioral habits are revealed which could explain the gain or loss.

Considering the effects after six weeks, a study referenced below investigated a low-laser light treatment (LLLT) done weekly in a span of six weeks. The study’s results proved to have high very satisfactory ratings (54%) for participants. Thus, the study may imply that prospective patients of laser-based fat destruction treatments may consider the effects based on the research’s findings.

Dr. Thornfeldt, Dr. Thaxton, and Dr. Hornfeldt find that:

"subjects undergoing LLLT experience no treatment-related discomfort or other post-treatment adverse effects. In addition, the six week protocol will allow[s] for a more convenient treatment plan, further increasing the likelihood of overall patient satisfaction."

Eventually, it is the patient’s decision whether to try the breakthrough SculpSure or find another one that may suit their needs (and possibly their budget). SculpSure ensures that the procedure is done quickly and after one to two treatments, with results showing after 6 weeks' time.


Thornfeldt et al., 2016

Robot Surgeon Outperforms Humans Performing The Same Procedure

Score another victory for machines: a surgical robot outperformed humans and robot-assisted human operators in a soft-tissue procedure, bringing us one step closer to automated care...

We're not quite at the cosmetic surgery carwash yet, but we're headed in that direction. Could we be a few years away from robotic liposuction?

The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) was designed at the Children's National Medical Center in order to bring some automation into soft-tissue surgery, a field where soft-and-squishy makes it more difficult to apply robotics due to the complexity of spatial relationships.

“As surgeons, we usually do three things,” said lead researcher Peter Kim, of the Sheikh Zayed Institute in a press call, “we use our vision and we use our hands for dexterity and then we use our mind as cognition to make judgment and then carry it out. We improved on all these things.”

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UVLrx Intravenous Light Therapy

New light thereapies are coming to market that are designed to operate inside the bloodstream. Will they find their way into cosmetic medicine?

One example of this is UVLrx Intravenous Light Therapy, a treatment that uses light delivered directly into the bloodstream intravenously. UVLrx is currently being tested for treatments ranging from a myriad of diseases; Lyne desease, Epstien Barr Virus, Hepatitis C, HIV, Dengue Fever, and even pain and general inflammation.

There are of course other light based blood therapies, but many of those involve drawing blood (roughly 5% of blood volume) that is then treated outside the body and injected back in the patient. These new therapies look to treat the full blood volume with less energy delivery. And, since the LED stays inside the peripheral intravascular catheter during the treatment, UVLrx says that they are in a "non-significant risk" status according to FDA guidelines.

Currently, the UVLrx device is not available for sale in the U.S. but according to their website they have already recieved ISO 13485 certification. 

Here's some more from their press release:

After a successful North American debut last month at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) in Las Vegas, UVLrx Therapeutics™ is pleased to announce the official European launch of its intravenous light therapy treatment system, the model UVL1500, at this year’s 14th Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress (AMWC) from March 31st to April 2nd. Under the scientific supervision of the World Society of Interdisciplinary Anti-Aging Medicine (WOSIAM), the conference will attract over 10,000 physicians and researchers from more than 120 countries who are interested in the role of prevention in global aesthetic and anti-aging management. At the Congress, UVLrx Therapeutics™ will highlight the clinically proven benefits of light wavelengths utilized by its UVLrx™ Treatment System* for reducing inflammation, a key issue facing the entire $300 billion global industry today.

“We are especially excited that the theme of the Congress this year is prevention, given the clinically proven ability of the wavelengths utilized by the UVLrx Station™ to immediately reduce inflammation caused by such things as pathogens in the bloodstream, stress and a wide range of aesthetic surgical procedures.”

“Inflammation is a common side effect of all aesthetic procedures, whether they be facial laser treatments, injections or surgery,” said Michael Harter, CEO and president of UVLrx. “By immediately reducing inflammation caused by an aesthetic procedure, our technology will minimize pain and accelerate healing, which in turn will lead to better results and a more satisfied post-op patient.”

“Beyond aesthetic procedures, chronic inflammation can occur due to pathogens in the bloodstream and just everyday stress,” commented Rowland Hanson, chairman of UVLrx. “Left untreated, chronic inflammation accelerates the aging process and has been linked to heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. This is why UVLrx is an essential adjunct therapy for physicians practicing both aesthetic and anti-aging medicine.”

In addition to its exhibitor booth at the Congress, UVLrx has secured an adjacent private salon for physician and distributor on-site demonstrations of its CE-marked UVLrx Station™ Model UVL1500. Moreover, UVLrx Chief Science Officer, Ryan Maloney, has been asked to speak at a special session at noon on Friday, April 1st, about the efficacy of ultraviolet light and UVLrx technology for both anti-aging and aesthetics purposes. To ensure that Congress attendees are aware of UVLrx Therapeutics’ participation at AMWC, the company has secured inside front cover advertising, as well as a two-page promotional article, in the March/April issue of PRIME Journal, which will be distributed to all Congress attendees as well as the publication’s nearly 100,000 additional print and online subscribers.

“We look forward to sharing our technology with the global aesthetics and anti-aging community at AMWC 2016 and demonstrating, in person, how the UVLrx Treatment System will benefit all physicians practicing in this field,” added UVLrx CSO Ryan Maloney. “We are especially excited that the theme of the Congress this year is prevention, given the clinically proven ability of the wavelengths utilized by the UVLrx Station™ to immediately reduce inflammation caused by such things as pathogens in the bloodstream, stress and a wide range of aesthetic surgical procedures.”

Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) has been used for over a century to treat bacterial and viral infections and was awarded a Nobel Prize for treating lupus in 1903. Routinely used in hospitals around the world, this form of light therapy fell out of prominence in the U.S. with the advent of antibiotics in the 1950s. With the recent expansion of drug-resistant infections, blood irradiation offers significant advantages to pharmaceutical therapies. Furthermore, UVLrx’s intravenous system is superior to existing ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) in that it does not require removal of blood from the body.

About UVLrx Therapeutics

Based in Oldsmar, Florida, UVLrx Therapeutics is dedicated to evidence-based medicine in the field of light therapy and offers the first intravenous, concurrent delivery of ultraviolet-A (UVA) and multiple visible light wavelengths for treating a variety of medical indications. In addition to two Nobel Prizes and NASA-backed research, hundreds of international clinical trials have verified the health benefits of UV and other wavelengths of light utilized in the UVLrx™ Treatment System. 

Here's their website:

Finally – A Non-Invasive Machine That Delivers on the Promise

We are all used to the myriad of vendors who scurry up to us at every conference or torment our office staff for a 10 minute appointment to discuss the next GREAT non-invasive cosmetic surgical miracle machine.  Everybody promises everything….and seldom is the technological “punch” anywhere near the nirvana alluded to in the glitzy ad brochures. How many of you have $100,000 dollar machines in a back room with dust covers over them?  They are expensive doorstops!!  So typical of this industry.

As you can surmise, I have a jaundiced view of the whole “gadget” biz in cosmetic medicine. I like using cold steel, but appreciate the demand for non-surgical alternatives in this market. I have NEVER purchased a laser box (the economics just don’t make sense to me).  I dodged the Smart Lipo frenzy………..whew.  So, as a certified Negative Nellie, I have finally crossed over to the other side and am totally thrilled with the results a new minimally invasive technology is delivering.  In my mind, they deliver EXACTLY what was promised  in the hype.

ThermiAesthetics is a relatively new company employing temperature controlled radio frequency technology for multiple applications that really work.  Basically, ThermiRF delivers radiofrequency energy in a multitude of platforms – the common denominator being using thermal energy to safely shrink tissue.

In my mind the ‘home run’ for this technology can be found in two applications: ThermiTight is a minimally invasive procedure where a micro-probe in passed under the skin and withdrawn in a controlled fashion, heating the dermis underneath.  This results in significant skin shrinkage and is best used in the lower face and neck (great for jowls).  It also shrinks skin in the arms, abdomen and above the knees. ThermiVa is a topical application, designed to shrink labia, tighten vaginal mucosa, increase vaginal moisture and sensitivity and even cure mild to moderate stress incontinence. Really!

Ya sure, you may quip…………..but it delivers as promised.  My staff, my wife, my patients are all raving about it.  Easy, cheap and relatively painless.  Who can ask for anything more? Sure, the technology is relatively new and the longevity of the procedures is still being figured out.  But so far, I think this technology is a refreshing home run – delivering as promised – even for a cynic like me. Check them out.

FDA Approved Saline-filled Breast Implants

Ideal Implant Incorporated has recently announced the FDA approval of its Structured Breast Implant for use in the United States and Canada.

The breast implant was designed by a plastic surgeon and it is the first to provide women with the feel of silicone gel-filled implants combined with the safety of only saline inside. The natural feel of the breast implant is attributed to its patented unique design and internal structure which was a product of more than 10 years of research and clinical studies.

As to its design, the company's website provides the following:

Years of research and testing led to this innovative design, with a series of implant shells nested together and two separate chambers, which hold the saline filler. The internal structure controls movement of the saline, and is designed to reduce folding and wrinkling, thought to be the main cause of implant rupture and deflation. On the outside, the edges have been lowered for better contouring to the chest wall.

According to Robert Hamas, MD, a Dallas plastic surgeon:

Now, for the first time, women can have a breast implant that offers them a natural feel without silicone gel. It has only saline inside for their safety and peace of mind. Unlike silicone gel implants that have a high incidence of silent rupture that requires an MRI scan for detection, with the Ideal Implant, a women can look in the mirror each day and have the confidence of knowing her implants are intact.

In a study, patient satisfaction for those who received their first breast implants were at 94.3% while those who had replacements for their previous implants was at 90.6%. The high satisfaction rating among women were attributed to the natural feel of the implants coupled with ease of mind because of its saline-filled components. The surgeon satisfaction was also high at 95.9% for primary implants and 91.7% for replacements.


For more info,

you may visit

or contact Adeena Fried, 917-633-4380,

Make Sure Your Medspa Staff Meet Their Sales Goals

Technological advancement is all around us. It would be advantageous to make use of all the available online applications and technological trends to reach your clincs sales goals, rather than unduly stress yourself out by not utilizing the available tools at your fingertips.


Using electronic notebooks such as the Evernote suite may come in handy when you do some scheduling, note-taking, and even have effective meetings by presenting your work as it evolves. This app has also a voice recognition feature and even allows you to sketch a whiteboard type image to facilitate communication with your prospective client.

According to Evernote developers, this application allows you to bring your life's work together in one workspace. It also allows you to collaborate with your colleagues and create more opportunities for your team. Also, it has a function which allows you to keep track of tasks, and write notes without the need of the conventional pen and paper.

A comparable application to Evernote is Microsoft's OneNote which allows you to sync and open your notes while using a your computers, tablets and phones. There is also Springpad, an app which is designed to automatically guess what you have clipped from the web or uploaded to your notebooks and then organize it without your help.


When you would need to generate more leads and reach out to your potential customers, here are some tools that will help you reach your sales quotas: There are tools that allow you to monitor when your brand is mentioned on social networks, blogs, or forums.

The app Mention allows you to monitor your brand presence and even monitor keywords that you want to keep track of. If you have your own Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google account, Buffer is a social media tool that sends your updates to the your social networking sites. It also tells you when is the best time to make updates based on your updates.

Collaboration with your team can also be done so your accounts are up to date. Other tools include Feedly for content discovery, Twitter Counter for tracking the progress of your tweets, and Bottlenose which displays information based on its order of importance.

A provider of marketing intelligence service such as InsideView and may help you in making decisions about your sale territory because these provide your with valuable marketing data useful in accelerating your sales.

Using these available and easy-to-use technologies may greatly improve your business' performance. With these apps, ease of communication and coordination among you and your members is facilitated, making it easier for your to achieve your sales targets.

miraDry: FDA Approved Treatment for Unwanted Underarm Hair and Sweat


Good news for armpits or another player competing in the same space?

The US Food and Drugs Administration has recently approved miraDry - the only FDA cleared technology for the treatment of unwanted underarm hair of all colors and permanent reduction of underarm sweat.

How does miraDry work?

According to its manufacturer Miramar Labs, the miraDry System delivers precisely controlled microwave energy non-invasively to the region where the sweat glands reside resulting in thermolysis of the sweat glands.

At the same time, a continuous hydro-ceramic cooling system protects the superficial dermis and keeps heat at the level of the sweat glands. Because sweat glands do not regenerate after treatment, the results are significant and lasting with most patients reporting an average of 82% sweat reduction.

CEO and President of Miramar Labs, Mr. Michael Kleine says that

We believe the potential for microwave energy in aesthetics is exceptional. Miramar was the first company to receive clearance for axillary sweat reduction and we are now the only company with FDA clearance for permanent reduction of axillary hair of all colors. These are both tremendous market making opportunities in aesthetics.

The miraDry System, which came out as a result of more than 6 years of study and clinical research provides a range of energy settings, hydro-ceramic cooling system to protect dermis and a vacuum to stabilize tissue. It also comes with a custom software that guides the procedure.

Is anyone using this system and willing to share thoughts?

Read more on:

Aesthetic Show 2015: We are Invited!

On July 9-12, 2015, the Aesthetic Show will bring together new procedures and breakthrough products related to running a Medical Spa.  This will be held at The Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is a sales-oriented show that is an avenue for medical professionals, buyers and potentials partners to meet. Continuing education credits are provided for attendees.

This is great opportunity to learn about marketing strategies, discover new products and meet other Medical Spa practitioners.

According to its website, the show presents Advanced Techniques for Practice Success courses which are helpful in building, growing and marketing an aesthetic business. Some of the lecture topics include Internet and digital marketing, expanding practice and profitability, analysis of one's business model, mastering patient consultations, improving staff management skills, and real world success examples.

There will also be discussions about emerging procedures and techniques, use of energy-based treatments for skin resurfacing and tightening, and updates about injections techniques and tips from experts among others.

You may visit the Aesthetic Show website for more information: or call +1 (949) 830-5409. 

Getting Naked on the Internet: What does the law say?


Telemedicine and Cyber Security

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of your personal health information (PHI). HIPAA includes several rules and provisions that set guidelines and requirements for the administration and enforcement of HIPAA. The relevant ones for the exchange of PHI in the digital cyberspace are the Privacy Rule1, the Security Rule2, and the aptly named Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act3.

Telemedicine is a burgeoning field of medicine that incorporates digital technology such as electronic health records (EHR), information sharing, and videoconferencing to enhance the interaction between physicians and their patients, and ultimately, improve the delivery of healthcare. Having been a plastic surgeon for several years now, I’m all too familiar with meeting people at social events, and immediately getting bombarded with intrusive and unusual questions and requests as soon as my chosen profession is ousted. Sure, it’s unlikely that a woman will disrobe and expose herself in front of me and my wife at a friend’s dinner party, but get us into an online “private” videoconference call, and who knows what body parts will make an abrupt entrance into the conversation. Physicians must approach with caution, says American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) President Stephen S. Park, M.D. in a recent article4. But, for me and most physicians I know, I feel like the cat is already out of the bag. Considering the amount of texts, emails, online chats, phone conversations over internet and satellite lines, and selfies of both pre- and post-op patients I’ve been privy to, I’m sure I’ve already broken too many laws, and completely disregarded the good doctor’s advice. The truth is, though, that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

Telemedicine may involve the electronic exchange of PHI which is protected under HIPAA law. Security considerations with telemedicine involve making sure unauthorized third parties cannot eavesdrop on or record a videoconferencing session where sensitive PHI is transmitted seamlessly, and unfortunately, innocently. Recently, a monumental data breach at one of the nation’s largest insurance providers has spurred a bipartisan political effort to reexamine HIPAA as it relates to telemedicine, possibly adding costly and cumbersome requirements to encrypt EHR data5. Additionally, a recent report done by BitSight Technologies, a cyber security risk analysis and management firm, found that healthcare and pharmaceutical companies ranked the lowest among the four industry categories studied6. Suffice it to say, people are taking heed of this emerging new threat.

The aforementioned laws, rules, and regulations guide the generation, maintenance, and implementation of telemedicine HIPAA compliance. We must be cautioned, though, that HIPAA compliance does not necessarily equate to actual cyber security, and that simply meeting standards set forth in these regulations may not be enough. As more public attention and scrutiny rise to the forefront of media exposure, look for the healthcare industry to take the cyber security threat much more seriously.

Daniel Kaufman, MD
Discreet Plastic Surgery


Telemedicine Startups: TruClinic

TruClinic is delivering on the promise that telemedicine can finally get to work in health care.

I've mentioned TruClinic before and my guess is that you'll be hearing more about them since they look like they're starting to gain traction with larger providers who need to become more efficient in delivering care without lowering their standards or running afoul of compliance issues. TruClinic lets them do that by taking many patient interactions onine.

TruClinic has just been awarded a $50,000 prize as a "health venture with business solutions to challenges faced by patients and healthcare systems".

Here's the press release.

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TruClinc Finally Brings A Real Telemedicine Solution For Concierge & Cosmetic Clinics

Telemedicine for small (cosmetic and concierge clinics) is finally getting off of the ground with TruClinic.

Very different from the doc-in-a-box model of other telemedicine players, TruClinic is the first truly embedded technology that closely fits how providers already work, and increases the ability of both physicians and physician-extenders to see more patients.

TruClinic has been built into a full telemedicine platform with a knack for tackling hard integrations, bottom-up user growth, and jaw-dropping uses. TruClinic’s cloud-based portal gives providders and patients access to each other from anywhere. All they need is a computing device, Internet connection, and a webcam, smart phone or tablet. From remotely wiring every home on the Goshute Reservation to facilitating interactions between a mother and her newborn child in an ICU to hosting surgical followup appointments, the uses of an always on, instantly connected telemedicine platform are only starting to be realized.

TruClinic is already being used actively by both small individual physician clinics, and larger hospital and clinic chains like the University of Utah Health Care that serves 5 surroundings states in a referral area encompassing more than 10 percent of the continental US and where TruClinc helps the U to reach their clients better, particularly in fields that mostly require communication, like mental health or post-surgery follow-up.

The University of Utah Health Care System is a thought leader in telemedicine. Here's a video:

One of the places that this is likely to be addopted first by individual physicians is around concierge or cosmetic medicine, where a very high-touch interaction at a distance can really have an effect on an ability to scale and interact with more patients in the same amount of time drives real revenue.

You can request a demo of TruClinic here.

Making Your Medical Spas Homepage Succeed

Have you ever found anything similar with the fastest growing companies in the world today? (Hint: It's not overwhelming choice.)

For the fastest growing companies today, there seem to be some common denominators. I'm not sure if they got around together and discussed how they should make their homepages but it seems they stumbled into something important. Perhaps I could share some observations that you may be able to apply to your medical spas site, or pricing, or something.

First, you can't access their content without any signup. There are a lot of startup companies that make a mistake of giving people free access to their site whether it's apartment bookings or making schedules. Often times this is a bad idea. As much as we would like it to be, if your visitor can interact with a lot of things before signing up, then he will most likely not sign up.

Secondly, there is an absence of many links and in many cases just a single option. For many years, many internet marketers developed this "Squeeze Page" with minimal content and a single "call-to-action". They figured out that adding more information could distract a visitor and could cause them to click away to different websites. If you notice in the snapshots of these websites, there are not many links.

Third, focus on a single and clear value proposition. Often times, your products value is drilled down into one clear statement. It's some sort of slogan which clearly states what your product is about. Most people never read past the first sentence and it's important to get your thoughts across with just one statement or sentence. You could also consider this as your testing ground. Just change one sentence and see which one works.

Fourth, people are selfish. Contrary to popular belief, people don't share as much as everyone hopes. Most startups start thinking that people will use their product because it helps them share things more easily. Unfortunately, even people who share don't share things all of the time.

Fifth, they have big images. A picture paints a thousand words. So does a big image.

Lastly, they have embedded signup forms. Make your signup process available from the homepage so people don't have to navigate through a lot of links just to sign up. Generally speaking, the more clicks you have in your signup process, the more likely people will drop off halfway. If you notice, most of them have the signup forms in the upper right hand corner of the homepage, above the fold. Most of them rarely ask more than your name, email and password.

Whenever I tell people about these things, they say, "Everyone's already on facebook or Twitter, so I don't really have to explain what my products are about."

You're wrong.

Maybe everyone we're connected to are already familiar with Twitter and Facebook. However, we're not trying to connect to just me and you. You're trying to market your medspa or clinic to all of people who use the internet (in your area at least) and believe me when I say that not all of them have heard of Twitter or Facebook. Those are the people that these homepages are trying to sign up.

There's a lot that your medical spa can learn as a business and taking to heart what some of the fastest growing businesses in the world are doing will be time well spent. Take a look at your home page and ask yourself what your goals really are.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine - Ready for Prime Time?

The future looks promising for stem cell therapies in aesthetic medicine.

The arguments for and against the use of stem cells for research and medical therapeutic applications have existed for decades and will no doubt increase in volume and intensity for some time to come. Vast amounts of public and private money are currently pouring into the research for these polarizing fields and a Google search on these topics will populate dozens of new articles not only domestically but also globally on a daily basis. The hopes of uncountable patients and their family and friends are intricately entwined on unlocking possible therapeutic applications to cure a myriad of maladies from spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and heart failure to rare genetic disorders that claim the lives of children daily. In short, stem cell research and regenerative medicine are in the early explosion phase of discovery, application, and no doubt ongoing controversy.

Initial shockwaves of fear and objection arose partly from the need for using embryonic stem cells for this research.  Fortunately, it is looking more promising that we can use easily obtainable cells from existing and abundant adult tissues and engineer highly selected cells from these tissues to become culturable and guidable stem cells. Ideally, this would negate the use of embryonic stem cells and eliminate at least this one-of-many passionately debated aspects of controversy (there are many!). To date, cells from bone marrow, skin, and adipose amongst others are being used to isolate adult stem cells, and from these it is hoped that we can “reverse engineer” them into pluripotent cells that can be used to generate selected tissue types for clinical use. How many of us don’t have an extra area or two of excess fat that could potentially be used to save our life at some point in the future?  While we don’t have proven reliable human applications as yet, the future does look promising. I am seeing more and more presentations at our plastic surgery meetings on stem cell research and regenerative medicine and the buzz and excitement are palpable. It is important to note that all involved seem to share a sense of cautious optimism and emphasize the need for careful control over the research and applications.  The FDA is very involved with all aspects of clinical use of stem cells as the field evolves and becomes more complex.

The future is exciting for stem cells and regenerative medicine. I fully agree with careful oversight and deliberate planning and control as research progresses. I follow the fields closely and am hopeful that in the near future we can offer hope to those patients with difficult illnesses and medical conditions that are currently not largely treatable. And all the better if we can obtain easily available and harvestable tissues to affect the research and clinical applications. Now I invite a lively and constructive discussion from the readers!

Carboxytherapy- the CDT Evolution System

After performing Carbon Dioxide Therapy CDT for a long time with different technologies, I discovered that there are huge technology-dependent differences in the treatment itself. Since I tried out a new machine recently, I wanted to share my thoughts on one of them here.

Carboxytherapy is a treatment that takes its origins from 'spa medicine' in the 1920s. In 1932 injections of medical CO2 were put into practice and the studies demonstrated a good effect on patients suffering from arterial problems. Collateral signs of improving cutaneous aspects during the treatment encouraged the University of Siena, Faculty of Medicine to develop specific research. It has been possible to verify Carboxytherapy effectiveness in subcutaneous application with an adequate methodology and medical system for the improvement of local blood flow, the reduction of local adiposity, the increase of the dermis thickness, elasticity and quality as well as the reduction of skin irregularities (such as associated with liposuction and other body contouring techniques).

Carbon Dioxide Therapy (CDT) consists of injection into the sub-cutaneous tissue of medical carbonic CO2 with a small 30 G needle. The CO2 injection system with a needle linked to a tube is single use and the gas is medical and sterile. Even thought this method does not need any anaesthesia and is minimally invasive, the treatment must be realized by a medical practitioner who can follow up the patient. The treatment is secure and non– toxic. CO2 is naturally produced by cells as a by-product of metabolism. It is transported in the blood and exhaled through the lungs.  (Medical CO2 gas is used for laparoscopy surgical procedures.) Using a certified medical systems (such as CDT Evolution) there are no risks of air embolism, even if the CO2 gas is injected directly into a blood vessel.

The technology I worked with most recently is the CDT Evolution system (Carbossitherapia), an Italian system approved in the European Union (Law 93/42 CE0051 classeIIb). It is equipped with a mechanism pain control for the most sensitive patients who sometimes feel an annoying sensation during the injection of CO2 in the tissues. This pain control is what amazes me and my patients very much comparing this system to others: I can concentrate on my work rather than on pain management...

Read more about the CDT Evolution System here: