A Night Out for a Cause: The Artists for Peace and Justice Gala

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On Sunday night I had the great opportunity of attending The Artists for Peace and Justice Festival Gala held at Casa Loma in Toronto – a fundraising event in support of community development in Haiti. This great organization was started by the screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who, is not only an Oscar-winner, but is actually the only person to have ever won two Best Film Oscars back-to-back (first for Million Dollar Baby and second for Crash). In addition to being a very big Hollywood deal, he’s Canadian, and an amazing advocate, fundraiser, and champion for development in Haiti. The organization he started, the Artists for Peace and Justice, is truly remarkable. Not only does it rally the support of some pretty serious Hollywood heavy hitters (Ben Stiller, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Penelope Cruz, Pierce Brosnan and Nicole Kidman to name a few) it also ensures that 100% of all public donations go directly to Haiti. Not all charities are able to boast a fact like that.

Being invited to this event was a huge honour as Haiti is a country very close to my heart. In February of 2010, two weeks after the country was hit by that catastrophic earthquake, I went there with 5 members of my staff to perform emergency reconstructive plastic surgery on the victims in need. To say it was a life changing experience would be an egregious understatement.

imageAbout a week before the event was to be held, I got an e-mail from one of the organizers looking for more volunteers. I immediately forwarded the message to my entire staff, knowing that many would jump at the opportunity. Not only could they support a great cause they were already connected to, but they could also meet some pretty big celebrities in attendance: Madeleine Stowe, George Stroumboulopoulos (who was the evening’s MC), Ben & Jessica Mulroney, and of course, Paul Haggis, were all in attendance. Sue and Lori volunteered – two nurses who came with me on our surgical relief mission in 2010, plus Tanya, Sue’s husband Rob, Clarissa, Nikki and Cindy. I was so proud to see them in their AJP t-shirts helping out and doing their thing, and the organizing team was enormously grateful for their efforts.

It was a seriously amazing night. We raised $1.5 million that will go primarily towards education in Haiti’s poorest communities. I was lucky enough to meet Madeleine Stowe, who is more personable, beautiful, and gracious than you could ever imagine, and Paul Haggis, a man whose courage and brilliance is unmistakable. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little star-struck. There were performances by The National, Stacey Kay and the Arkells who were all awesome. If you’d like to know more about AJP or want to get involved, check out their site: http://www.apjnow.org/the-need/

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by Dr. Frank Lista, MD, FRCSC


What is a Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure?

Dr. Frank Lista, MD, FRCSC

mini abdominoplastySome of the biggest changes we experience effectively become personal milestones we carry with us for the rest of our lives. But for some people, the way the body literally carries those achievements can affect self-esteem and confidence. After weight loss, pregnancy, or even quite simply with aging, many people find that they have loose or excess skin around the tummy. It’s pretty much impossible to treat alone since loose skin doesn’t respond to exercise or diet, and the more we age the more skin elasticity we lose. That’s why a lot of people opt to have a tummy tuck, to remove this loose skin and repair the underlying muscle. For some patients who have loose skin around the midsection, however, a full tummy tuck isn’t completely necessary. For those patients I’d recommend a mini tummy tuck procedure instead.

You might be wondering, what is a mini tummy tuck procedure? For one reason or another, it’s not as well known as the more extensive and more invasive original procedure. A mini tummy tuck is an ideal procedure for achieving a flat, smooth stomach for patients who require a smaller amount of contouring where muscle repair is not required. If the problem area is mostly limited to the lower abdomen (as in the loose skin is exclusively below the belly button) then a mini tummy tuck can create a really excellent result. Everyone’s body is different and so everyone’s body reacts differently to changes. Some women find that the loose skin produced by pregnancy is more limited and only located below the belly button. Other people who lose weight might find the same type of result, and these are the body types that make for ideal mini tummy tuck candidate.

The procedure requires a shorter, horizontal incision in on the lower abdomen and the scar you end up with is similar to what you might see with a C-section. To put it another way, in terms of length it’s about half of the distance between both hipbones and like a regular tummy tuck the scar is hidden from view beneath underwear and even under a bikini. Unlike with a full tummy tuck, the navel is left intact so only one incision is needed. A mini tummy tuck is less invasive, so it requires a shorter surgery and has a shorter recovery time, making it a really attractive option for a lot of people.

But that being said, a mini tummy tuck is never going to be a substitute for a full tummy tuck. If you have loose skin above the belly button, a mini tummy tuck just doesn’t have the ability to address that concern. Similarly, women who have had multiple pregnancies quite often find that the muscles of the abdominal wall have been affected, and this can’t be repaired by a mini tummy tuck alone. While the incision used in a full tummy tuck is considerable, it’s also responsible for creating a considerable outcome. Tummy tuck results are often pretty incredible, and unfortunately the trade off is the required incision.


Our Free Educational Session: Rhinoplasty Open House

Your nose is an important feature that helps define your face and the way you present yourself to the world. If you want to change the shape of your nose to correct a nasal birth defect or later injury, to relieve breathing problems, or simply to make it look more like you want it to, you probably have a lot of questions about what rhinoplasty can do for you.

The Plastic Surgery Clinic is proud to be home to one of Canada’s most respected plastic surgeons, Dr. Jamil Ahmad, MD, FRCSC. Not only is he the Director of Research and Education at the Clinic, he is also known for delivering beautiful, natural looking results and is sought after for his expertise in rhinoplasty. He has published more than 80 articles and book chapters on plastic surgery and most recently edited what is widely considered the definitive treatise on rhinoplasty – Dallas Rhinoplasty: Nasal Surgery by the Masters, 3rd Edition. He is frequently invited to speak at conferences and events around the world to share his expertise. And let’s face it, it’s a real pleasure to work with him, too!

 

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We’re really excited to be able to pass on his considerable knowledge to those who are curious about rhinoplasty surgery in our upcoming Rhinoplasty Open House event. Join us on Thursday, September 11th from 6-8 and receive a firsthand education session all about the procedure from one of Canada’s top surgeons in the field. You’ll also enjoy complimentary canapés and sparkling beverages, a $300 gift card that can be used toward any non-surgical treatment, two deluxe Miracle 10 skincare samples at no cost, skincare consultations and make up touch-ups, a behind the scenes tour of our state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery facility, and complimentary parking. All of this can be yours, and it’s absolutely free!

Because this is such an in-demand event, unfortunately only limited space is available. You can guarantee your spot with an RSVP before August 27th. Simply give us a call at 1-866-803-6415 and let us know that you’d like to enjoy all these amazing goodies, or send us an email at info@theplasticsurgeryclinic.com and we’ll add you to the list.

“Dr. Ahmad knows the precise techniques required to deliver natural results for every unique patient. It’s why he’s one of only two Canadian surgeons who are members of the prestigious worldwide Rhinoplasty Society.” -Dr. Frank Lista, Founder & Medical Director of The Plastic Surgery Clinic

 

Rhinoplasty Open House
When: Thursday, September 11th – 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: The Plastic Surgery Clinic - 1421 Hurontario Street, Mississauga
RSVP Now! Before August 27th.


The Most Common Gynecomastia Symptoms

Dr. Frank Lista, MD, FRCSC

male breast reduction

The condition known as gynecomastia is more common than you might expect. In fact, between 40 and 60 percent of men will encounter male breast enlargement at some point in their lives. That’s a significant number, and yet it’s still not something that’s often talked about. It might be because it’s a sensitive and embarrassing topic for those who suffer from it, especially those who experienced gynecomastia symptoms earlier in life when locker room commentary was all too common. But the more we talk about it, the better understanding we can have. It’s really important to me that men who have spent years of their lives wearing loose-fitting clothing or avoiding situations where their bare chest will be visible understand that there are options available to them.

So let’s talk about an important question for those wondering about male breast reduction: what are the most common gynecomastia symptoms? First of all, it’s helpful to understand that it can affect one or both breasts. It’s actually not unusual to see asymmetrical breast enlargement where both breasts are enlarged but disproportionately to one another. One of the first things many men notice is that their nipples take on a somewhat “puffy” look, so you should look out for swollen tissue in and around the nipples and swelling and tenderness throughout the breast tissue. It isn’t common to experience severe pain, but one of the gynecomastia symptoms I look for is mild tenderness or slight discomfort when the breast and nipple are touched. The breast growth might feel rubbery or firm and you might also notice that the skin around the nipples is darker or redder than usual.

While these are the physical gynecomastia symptoms, there are psychological indicators that are common to many of my patients as well. Many men feel self-conscious or embarrassed about the proportion of their chests compared to the rest of their body. They avoid activities like swimming where they might have to go shirtless and experience higher levels of anxiety when it comes to expressing intimacy with their partners for the same reason. They don’t feel comfortable dressing in clothes that might accentuate the condition so they tend to wear baggy or loose-fitting shirts to try to camouflage the imbalance. Many are frustrated and quite simply tired of living with discomfort, embarrassment and anxiety – they just want to get back to feeling confident and comfortable in their own skin.

male breast reductionIf you have experienced any of these gynecomastia symptoms and you’re wondering what options are available to improve your quality of life, a good first step could be to come in for a free consultation. You can see some of our amazing gynecomastia before and after photos online and even more will be available when you come in to see us. We can work together to figure out the underlying cause of your gynecomastia and from there we can find the best treatment plan that will work for you. Sometimes a simple lifestyle adjustment can improve gynecomastia symptoms, although most men are ideal male breast reduction surgery candidates and find that surgery is necessary in order to eliminate it. If you’ve been looking for a solution, this just might be it. Let’s get rid of the shame and embarrassment and start talking about it.


No-Drain Tummy Tuck for Best Recovery

Dr. Frank Lista, MD, FRCSC

no drain abdominoplastyWhen patients come in for consultations about tummy tuck procedures, one of the main concerns they have is the recovery process following a tummy tuck. It makes sense: we see dramatic results with a tummy tuck, but one of the tradeoffs is the incision. It’s longer than what we see with other procedures and so of course it affects the amount of work the body has to do to heal itself. Since our philosophy at The Plastic Surgery Clinic includes providing the absolute highest level of care possible, Dr. Ahmad and I have made it our priority to pioneer a new method of performing tummy tuck surgery to help our patients have the safest, most comfortable recovery possible.

After repositioning and tightening the skin during traditional abdominoplasty surgery, it used to be the case that a space between the skin and muscle would be left open and unattached. This space can lead to something known as a seroma, which is a pocket of fluid that collects in the body after surgery. We don’t like to see any kind of unnecessary fluid buildup because it slows down healing and creates swelling and discomfort. Plastic surgeons found a solution for this problem by inserting small tubes or drains to remove the excess fluid. It meant that patients would have to live for several days or even weeks with the drains, an experience that can prove to be both uncomfortable and inconvenient. We had to wonder – was there something we could do to eliminate the need for them altogether?

We did extensive research so that we could develop a new technique to make sure our patients didn’t have to live with drains. Our no-drain tummy tuck surgery uses a method known as Progressive Tension Abdominoplasty to seal the space between the skin and muscle, leaving no room for fluid to accumulate. We use a special kind of internal stitch called a Quill suture to lock the tissues in place and prevent fluid from building up beneath the skin. It’s a revolutionary approach and we’re thrilled that our patients can heal faster and have a more comfortable and safe recovery period.

You might be wondering at this point why all plastic surgeons don’t use the no-drain tummy tuck technique if it’s available. First, it’s an advanced technique that requires a lot of skill and experience. Second of all, it takes more time in the operating room. For whatever reason, some surgeons are unwilling to take that extra time and decide that drains are a more suitable solution. From our perspective, if we can improve your recovery process and potentially decrease the risk of complications, we don’t really mind if we have to do a bit of extra work and take a little more time. It’s that little extra time in the operating room that’s going to significantly shorten your recovery time.