Constantly Innovating

Plastic surgery is a field that is replete with novel procedures and innovative techniques. What makes you and your practice stand out? What techniques bear your signature?

It’s probably not an understatement to say that plastic surgery is constantly changing. Surgeons are innovating as a staggering pace, and it can be difficult for patients and even for other medical professionals to keep up. Yet, innovation is the lifeblood of plastic surgery. Innovation is what keeps pushing the boundaries of the possible, helping patients get better results or less down time.

But sometimes, innovation can get lost in translation, especially for patients. That’s why we’re offering cosmetic and plastic surgeons the ability to talk directly to patients and plastic surgery enthusiasts. If you’ve got a rhinoplasty technique that you prefer for one reason or another, this is the space for it! You can explain your technique (and why it gets great results) directly to patients.

Of course, this isn’t a peer reviewed process, and Modern Plastic Surgeon is not designed to supplant formal, peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Instead, Modern Plastic Surgeon is designed to help surgeons connect directly with patients, explain what their procedures and techniques entail, and then build on the conversation.

In other words, if you’re a surgeon and you want to share what makes you unique, this is the place! If you’re a patient and you want to know something about plastic surgery techniques, this is also the place! To join the discussion, contact us at Modern Plastic Surgeon!

Innovation

Almost all innovations will be described by actual surgeons. But any conversation needs an ice breaker, so we’re going to get things rolling by talking about two procedures that represent pretty big innovations in the world of cosmetic and plastic surgery. We won’t get into the nitty gritty, but we’ll give an overview of how these procedures have changed and challenged things while providing a service for patients. Any surgeons with expertise in rhinoplasty or cosmetic and plastic surgery can contact us to stay engaged!

Non Surgical Revision Rhinoplasty Innovation

A nose job is typically a surgical procedure that changes the size or shape of the nose. In the early 2000s, the Non Surgical Nose Job arrived on the scene and offered patients a non invasive way to achieve subtle changes in the nose–obviously without surgery.

One of the innovations here is the Non Surgical Revision Rhinoplasty. Traditional, surgical revision rhinoplasty procedures require a second surgical procedure in order to achieve the final desired results. But patients who undergo a Non Surgical Revision Rhinoplasty can get some results without necessarily needing surgery.

With a few injections of dermal fillers, cosmetic surgeons can change the shape of the nose. The drawbacks here are that the results tend to be temporary (if you want to keep those results you can schedule maintenance injections) and you can only add volume. If the problem with your nose is that it’s too big already, a non surgical approach won’t necessarily work.

However, a Non Surgical Revision Rhinoplasty does give patients who were not considering surgery (or who were not a good fit for surgery) another option, so they can see the results they’ve always wanted.

Rhinoplasty Innovations

Surgical Innovation in Rhinoplasty and Facial Plastic Surgery by Howard D. Stupak, MD
Surgical innovation in my practice is probably not what you think. Most people assume innovation means a brand new type of Laser, or implant, or radiofrequency device that shrinks or lifts tissue or removes bumps without surgery. Unfortunately, most of these types of things are eventually shown to be not helpful, and in many cases actually harmful, despite lots of hype from device companies, practitioners, afternoon TV shows, and even the Venture Capitalists that finance these rapid profit devices. In our high tech economy, we assume that more complex and flashy things must be better! The problem is, we are usually wrong. The FDA has a different process to approve devices than is required for drugs/pharmaceuticals. The device makers only have to do a small study or no study to demonstrate no harm, or equivalence to existing therapies. This is not expensive or difficult to do in many cases so this is an attractive market for entrepreneurs to market their unproven products to doctors and patients. Most are not aware that claims made by some of these companies are not extensively vetted and either perform or undergo procedures that may not be as safe or effective as they assume.

In contrast, evolutionary innovation is real. This is a process that happens in tiny bits every single day, and only makes big changes over years and decades. This is the process of making small changes to existing paradigms, listening to patients concerns, and evolving procedures by challenging and changing the process one step at a time. For example, I have been doing rhinoplasty research, including publishing my findings in major journals since 2003. The rhinoplasty I did then is radically different than the one I do today, and these changes didn’t happen overnight. They are based on constant learning and research, collaboration, and constantly challenging the status quo. Want specifics? In 2003, the main rhinoplasty maneuver was grafts via an open rhinoplasty approach. Now, I avoid the costly and riskier open rhinoplasty and grafts whenever possible, replacing the old procedures with a cartilage resizing and repositioning procedure over a 15 year period of revising every step of every procedure to tailor the procedure better to the needs of patients and reducing side effects and promoting better efficacy. The root of this came from first understanding what CAUSED nasal deformity in the first place, questioning why we as humans developed larger externals noses than other apes, and evaluating better ways to apply this new knowledge. The result was understanding that nasal deformities are largely due to a mismatch between the facial bony structure and the nasal septal cartilage size. This created a new treatment paradigm that allowed us to modify existing procedures into a quilt-work of improved techniques. This same prinicpal of understanding how the facial skeleton interacts with aging soft tissue creates the problems we see of aging face, like jowling and hanging-neck. Similarly, through evolution of necklift and application of fillers to restore cheek bone volume, the aging face procedures in my practice have evolved substantially over 15 years through daily innovation, thoughtfulness, observation, and being fortunate to conduct research in Facial Plastic Surgery as an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Stupak.