Archive for February, 2011:

Film Critic Ebert Gains New Prosthetic Jaw

After battling thyroid cancer, film critic Roger Ebert who had cancerous cells removed and the cancer finally necessitated the removal of his right jaw—Ebert lost his ability to speak. However, with the use of a prosthetic, which he wrote about for the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert has been able to recreate the lower part of his face and uses the prosthetic for some shots of his new television show.

The silicone prosthetic, which was created specifically for Ebert by a team of doctors from the Milwaukee area is composed of silicone and is similar to prosthetics used to recreate limbs for children.

Ebert acknowledges that many know his condition and that the prosthetic won’t fool too many people, but says, “Symbolically, it’s as if my illness never happened and, hey, here I still am, on the show with these new kids.”

Archive for February, 2011:

Film Critic Ebert Gains New Prosthetic Jaw

Though President Ronald Reagan is often credited with ending the Cold War and having a hand in bringing down the Berlin Wall, in her book American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection, author Laurie Essig asserts that The Gipper’s trickle down economic theories have made plastic surgery more readily available to lower-income Americans.

Essig claims that after the implementation of trickle down economics, a theory she sees as less-than-successful, many Americans were put at an economic disadvantage and later began to see plastic surgery as a remedy to their financial troubles, though it could put them into deeper debt. Some saw plastic surgeries increasingly as a way to further their careers (or simply hold onto them), and less as just elective procedures to look more thin or beautiful, according to a 2.5 star review of the book for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Most of the 140 patients Essig interviewed for American Plastic saw plastic surgery as somewhat of a necessity in an ever-growing (and increasingly younger) job market. To that effect, one woman told Essig, “it’s about how you look, not what you do. I do believe that nine times out of 10, women with the hot bodies get the best jobs.”

More than just tummy tucks and liposuction leading the industry, Essig sees Botox with its dropping prices and ease of availability driving middle and lower income consumers into their plastic surgeon’s office and as they seek increased confidence in an uncertain economy.

Archive for February, 2011:

Film Critic Ebert Gains New Prosthetic Jaw

Archive for February, 2011:

Film Critic Ebert Gains New Prosthetic Jaw

Steven Ringler, MD

If you have saline or silicone breast implants or are considering breast augmentation, you may have heard the news recently about a possible link between breast implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). This is an extremely rare form of cancer, and the FDA is aware of approximately 34 cases of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide since 1989. Statistics indicate that approximately 10 million women worldwide have breast implants.

While lymphomas can appear anywhere in the body, this condition appears in the scar tissues that forms around breast implants. It is encouraging that when this condition occurs in the presence of breast implants, the patients have responded to a variety of treatments, including simple removal of the implant and surrounding scar capsule.

The FDA, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons remain confident that breast implants are safe and effective. They are the most studied medical devices in the world. The FDA is not recommending that women with breast implants have them removed. However, if a woman experiences pain or swelling around the implant, they should see their plastic surgeon for evaluation.

The FDA and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are establishing a registry of ALCL patients who have breast implants to better understand the association of breast implants and ALCL.

For more information concerning breast implants and ALCL, visit:

Archive for February, 2011:

Film Critic Ebert Gains New Prosthetic Jaw

An alarming new trend in cosmetic procedures is taking hold and respected surgeons in the plastic surgery field want to warn patients about the dangers of some procedures marketed as “Awake cosmetic surgery.”

Awake surgeries are now being noticed not for the beautiful results they yield (they often do not), but rather the unsafe conditions and unprofessional manner in which they are conducted. According to an article on, patients who have undergone Awake procedures, such as extensive liposuction and breast augmentations, are now raising their voices against the doctors who performed the procedures with little training that left them in great pain and with poor results.

These patients’ stories stress the importance of looking into your plastic surgeon’s background and making sure he/she is board certified to perform the procedure you wish to undergo.

Awake patients are given an unknown mixture of drugs without an anesthesiologist present. Aside from a cheaper cost, the main selling point of Awake procedures is that the patient remains somewhat conscious during the procedure and can evaluate the result before completion of the surgery, however, with an unknown amount of drugs coursing through their system, it’s unclear how lucid these patients truly are.

Local anesthetics are not all bad, and Grand Rapids plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Ringler explains, “It is possible to do many operations under local anesthesia, but what is important is keeping within the safe dosage of the required medication.”

Ringler adds, however, that, “Patient safety and comfort are paramount,” and says, “one needs the resources to use monitored sedation or general anesthesia in a safe and controlled environment,” as necessary.

The final chilling fact about Awake procedures is that for a doctor to perform Awake procedures (as approved by a nebulous “academy” located in Arizona), he/she only needs to undergo two days of training, whereas a board certified plastic surgeon has undergone years of training and a residency program.

To avoid the pain, both physical and emotional, and the poor surgical outcome, it is important to keep a few things in mind when looking into a cosmetic procedure.

  • Research your surgeon and verify that he/she is board-certified to perform the procedure
  • Insist on an open dialogue with your surgeon and learn about the techniques he/she uses
  • Ask to see before and after photos from the surgeon’s previous patients and read patient testimonials, if available

We encourage you to learn more about how Grand Rapids plastic surgeon Dr. Ringler safely performs liposuction and breast augmentation procedures with beautiful results.

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