Why You Should Know the Difference Between Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery

Many people use the words “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” interchangeably; which has led most to believe that they are the same. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it may not seem like a big deal, for those looking to get one of these procedures done, the last thing needed is confusion.

Cosmetic surgery is recognized by the AMA (American Medical Association) as a separate and distinct specialty from plastic surgery. It is a unique discipline of medicine focused on enhancing appearance through surgical and medical techniques, and can be performed on all areas of the head, neck and body.

On the other hand, plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is reconstructive in nature. Plastic surgeons (like many other surgical specialists, including but not limited to, Otolaryngologists/ENT, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists) do learn cosmetic procedures during their residency. However, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) only recommends that residents in plastic surgery perform 55 cosmetic procedures to be considered adequately trained. These include ten breast augmentations, seven face lifts, eight blepharoplasties, six rhinoplasties; five abdominoplasties, ten liposuctions, and nine “other” cosmetic procedures.

I do not believe that number of procedures is enough to truly become efficient in the full scope of cosmetic surgery and in fact, most plastic surgery educators agree with me. This is exemplified in a 2008 article published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, where a survey of cosmetic surgery training in plastic surgery program directors encouraged their residents to pursue some type of postgraduate cosmetic fellowship. There is no doubt that the residency experience pales in comparison to formal fellowship training in cosmetic/aesthetic surgery.

The Difference Between “Cosmetic” and “Plastic” Surgery

  • Cosmetic surgery procedures enhance a person’s appearance toward some aesthetic ideal.
  • Cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields including dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons, general surgeons, gynaecologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, as well as doctors from other fields.
  • Unlike cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery focuses on repairing and reconstructing abnormal structures of the body caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease.

How to Find a Qualified Cosmetic Surgeon

To find the most qualified doctor for a cosmetic procedure, it is recommended that you compare a doctors’ overall (residency and post-residency) training, experience and proven competence with respect to that specific cosmetic procedure.

Keep in mind that the residency training required to become board certified in plastic surgery may not include training to many common cosmetic procedures. Therefore the title “board certified plastic surgeon” may indicate certain training and experience in plastic surgery, however, it does not necessarily indicate the same training and experience in cosmetic surgery.

Natural Image OC is based on the premise that cosmetic surgery doesn’t have to leave you looking as if you had surgery. Old school surgical techniques often create over-tightened, flat, wind-swept appearances. Dr. Sikorski’s early training in Fine Arts gave her plenty of background in understanding how to create – and recreate – natural facial contours through surgery. For 15 years she perfected artistic talents through drawing, painting and sculpting as a primary educational pursuit. Transitioning into Cosmetic Surgery put those finely honed skills and training to work right away.

If you or someone you know is considering a cosmetic or dermatological procedure please contact us today for a free consultation: 949.448.0487

How CoolSculpting Can Make You Look Hot This Summer

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Did summer creep up on you this year? Are you dreading putting on a bathing suit because of stubborn fat or a problem area?  Summer can be a very stressful time, especially when you look one way and yearn to look another. And let’s face it; many of us are constantly on the go and live busy lives. So what is the easiest, fastest and safest way to get your beach body in shape in no time? One word: CoolSculpting

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Other procedures that use laser, sonic waves and even surgery to remove fat can actually destroy other tissue in the process by burning, shattering or extracting non-fat cells. This requires downtime for your body to heal. Totally “uncool”.

Fortunately, CoolSculpting doesn’t burn, shatter or extract any cells. Developed by Harvard scientists, Natural Image OC’s unique, FDA-cleared, patented procedure uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. Only fat cells are frozen. Your healthy skin cells remain, well, healthy. No knives. No suction hoses. No needles. No scars. Once crystallized, the fat cells die and are naturally eliminated from your body. In a few months, boom: say hello to a new you.

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Stay on the go and still lose weight

Unlike a lot of other procedures, CoolSculpting takes very little time and is pretty simple to fit into your daily life. After your CoolSculpting treatment you can typically get right back to your busy day. Each treatment lasts one hour – the same time you might spend at the gym. So you can easily fit your appointment into a lunch break.

After one visit, you’ll typically see a noticeable reduction of fat. It takes a few months to fully realize the effects, mainly because it takes that long for your body to naturally dispose of the fat cells. And yes, you can lose even more with additional appointments if you and your doctor deem it necessary.

So after a few months, your clothes will fit better and you will look better. What’s more, there are no pills or supplements. And as long as you maintain your normal diet and exercise, your long-term results should remain stable. Hello, you again. How cool is that?

Natural Image OC is based on the premise that cosmetic surgery doesn’t have to leave you looking as if you had surgery. Old school surgical techniques often create over-tightened, flat, wind-swept appearances. If you or someone you know is considering a cosmetic or dermatological procedure please contact us today for a free consultation: 949.448.0487

5 Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

It’s not really summer until you’ve soaked up the sun at the beach, poolside or during some other outdoor activity. However, no matter what time of year it is, it’s important to protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. Exposure to UV radiation is the number-one cause of skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Fortunately, most types of skin cancer can be prevented or successfully treated if they are found early.

Because most skin cancer is caused by excessive and unprotected exposure to UV radiation, here are a few simple steps you can take to help protect you and your family:

1.) Clothing: Studies have shown that clothing is the most important protector against the sun. The more skin you cover, the better. Unfortunately, at the beach or pool, this isn’t always such a great option. However, there are great surf shirts, rash guards and other clothes which are equivalent to SPF 50 and look great.

  • Surf shirts: Long sleeves are better than short sleeves. But also make sure they are SPF sun protective. These are especially a great option for young children that are difficult to apply sunscreen to.
  • Hats: The wider the brim the better, but even a baseball cap at least covers the top of your head and nose.
  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes. Don’t forget about UV damage to them too! If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you are likely to experience an effect called photokeratitis. Like a “sunburn of the eye”, photokeratitis may be painful and include symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.

2.) Be Aware of Light Reflection: Always keep in mind that water, snow and sand can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s rays.

3.) Time of Day: 10-4 pm is the worst time to be in the sun. But if you have no other choices then try to stand in the shade. Standing in the shade works like an SPF because it prevents you from getting full sun exposure.

4.) Sunscreen: 

  • Use an SPF 30 or above with both UVA and UVB protection. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours when in the sun, or every 45 minutes if you’re in water.
  • Replace your sunscreen every week to retain effectiveness.
  • For more tips on sunscreen use, refer to my blog “Why Sunscreen Should be Part of your Daily Beauty Regiment

5.) Medications: Watch out for medications that increase sun sensitivity, such as - NSAID (motrin, ibuprofen, naproxen), Retin A, some Birth control pills, some Antidepressants and some Antibiotics

Early detection

Examining your skin regularly can help you find skin cancer early. Perform an examination in front of a full-length mirror in a brightly lit room. It helps to have another person check the scalp and back of the neck. With melanoma, the first sign is often a change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole. It also may appear as a new or abnormal-looking mole. Most moles are not cancerous, but if you notice a mole that is changing, have it checked by a dermatologist.

There is some good news, however. If you have noticed signs of premature aging or sun damage on your skin, Natural Image OC can help. Procedures such as dermabrasion, laser and light therapy, chemical peels, soft-tissue fillers, among others, can easily and non-invasively rejuvenate skin and take years off your appearance. Have you noticed signs of sun-damaged skin? Contact Natural Image OC today: 949-448-0487

June Beauty Day 2014

Stay Cool in June – Sunscreen Special

Being located in sunny California, Natural Image OC understands just how much fun it is to be in the sun. But we also understand the damage that can come along with it. Protect your skin by taking advantage of our Sunscreen Sale for the month of June. Lather up, stay cool and enjoy :)

Why Sunscreen should be a Part of your Daily Beauty Regimen

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Every day I treat patients for various skin and appearance concerns, and there’s one thing that nearly all of them have in common: they need to wear sunscreen more often. Its time to throw out the idea that sunscreen is something you only wear when you go to the beach or pool. Sunscreen is an essential step that needs to be added to your daily beauty regimen. If you’re not going to wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, then at least wear it to keep your skin looking youthful and wrinkle-free.

Who should use Sunscreen

Anyone over the age of six months should use a sunscreen on a daily basis. Even those who work inside are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day, especially if they work near windows, which generally filter out UVB but not UVA rays.

If you’re struggling to include sunscreen in your daily beauty regimen, then keep it right next to your usual moisturizer, and keep a reminder that tells you that wearing sunscreen will help to keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free. While this advice may seem superficial, it must be noted that a new study shows that patients are more likely to wear sunscreen when they’re motivated by their fear of aging rather than their fear of skin cancer.

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Choosing a Sunscreen

“Nine out of 10 skin cancers are related to exposure to the sun,” said Timothy C. Flynn, M.D., President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. “The fact is sunscreen can save your life for whatever reason you decide to use it.” If you have been forgetting to apply sunscreen daily, then take into consideration that there are many ways that too much sun exposure can damage your skin, making it age prematurely. UV radiation increases wrinkles and moles, creates discolored spots or patches and can produce an uneven skin tone and leathery texture.

Buy a high-quality product with an SPF of 15 or higher; check its ingredients to make sure it offers broad-spectrum protection; and decide whether it works better for everyday incidental use or extended outdoor use. Finally, take a look at Natural Image OC’s sunscreen selection. We have a variety of sunscreens for every skin type, and right now all sunscreens are 15% off! So stock up for summer!

There is some good news, however. If you have noticed signs of premature aging or sun damage on your skin, Natural Image OC can help. Procedures such as dermabrasion, laser and light therapy, chemical peels, soft-tissue fillers, among others, can easily and non-invasively rejuvenate skin and take years off your appearance. Have you noticed signs of sun-damaged skin? Contact Natural Image OC today: 949-448-0487

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