Archive for September, 2011:

Board Certification-May be a Life or Death Decision

USA Today recently featured a of series of articles on the dangers of non-board certified plastic surgeons performing plastic surgery, sometimes with deadly results.

Although we consistently send out information to our patients about the benefits of making sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon when considering cosmetic surgery, the credentials of some  self-appointed “cosmetic surgeons” can be very deceiving, even to patients who are typically well-informed.  Additionally, consumers often find it hard to fathom that anyone not qualified to perform plastic surgery would even be allowed to perform cosmetic procedures.  Unfortunately, it is truly a case of “buyer beware” in most states when it comes to cosmetic surgery. The reason is that it is perfectly legal in the United States for any doctor with a medical license to practice in any medical field. Only four states; California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas have tough truth-in-advertising measures on the books which require medical providers to be more transparent about their training. The deception is often intentional.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)is the ONLY legitimate medical board in plastic surgery recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Only surgeons certified by the ABPS are truly board certified in plastic surgery. Other official-sounding boards do not compare because entry requires far less education, no training or testing in plastic surgery, with some requiring only a membership payment. There were 9.5 million cosmetic surgery procedures in 2010, an increase of 9%, driven by consumers’ demand for anti-aging remedies.  This opportunity has propelled many non-board certified doctors to expand their practices.

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is NOT an official board of the ABMS, nor does membership require as much training in plastic surgery. In contrast, some of these other physicians may only attend a weekend seminar and buy the equipment to begin offering cosmetic surgery. The doctor performing plastic surgery may actually be a dentist, oral surgeon, dermatologist, family doctor, OB/GYN, or ENT doctor.  The training, experience and oversight are not comparable.

Plastic Surgeons who are board certified by the ABPS, and are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, go through many years of education and training and must maintain their certification with yearly education updates in plastic surgery procedures, safety and testing.  Until more regulation takes place, which may, unfortunately, only come with more patient deaths, it is up to consumers to do their homework when considering plastic surgery and deciding where to place their trust with their face or body.

Dr. Ringler will be discussing this topic with Val Lego on WZZM-13, “Just Ask” segment of   Healthy You on Saturday, October 8 at 7:30pm and  Sunday, October 9th at 11am.

Archive for September, 2011:

Board Certification-May be a Life or Death Decision

Gynecomastia is the term given to over-developed breasts in men. This is a relatively common condition in boys going through puberty and about 90% will outgrow it. However, the remaining 10% oftentimes are left feeling ostracized, alone, even humiliated by the condition.

Gynecomastia can affect men of any age. According to a report published by The Mayo Clinic, it occurs as a result of a hormonal imbalance in which testosterone levels are decreased relative to estrogen levels. Several common causes of this imbalance include: natural hormone changes, certain health conditions, exposure to anabolic steroids or estrogen, side effects of some medications or street drugs, and certain cancer treatments. However, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, in approximately 25 percent of boys and men the exact cause remains unknown. Depending on the cause, gynecomastia often resolves on its own or will resolve after treating any underlying medical conditions or stopping the usage of drugs associated with gynecomastia. At other times, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Male Breast Reduction Surgery can successfully treat Gynecomastia and is a fairly simple procedure. At times, Dr. Ringler will be able to utilize SmartLipo Triplex, laser liposuction to reduce the fatty area. If a surgical procedure is required,  a small incision is made, generally around the lower portion of the aerola, and the extra tissue is removed. In more extreme cases, excess skin may also be excised. The length of the procedure varies depending on the type of treatment required, but satisfaction rates are high.

For more information about gynecomastia treatment (male breast reduction) or to schedule a consultation, please call Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Steven Ringler at 616.328.8800

Archive for September, 2011:

Board Certification-May be a Life or Death Decision

Grand Rapids Ultherapy treatment may be the future of facial rejuvenation. Ultherapy utilizes ultrasound technology which enables Dr. Ringler to see below the surface of the skin down to the soft tissue. Using these ultrasound waves, the selective heating stimulates the body’s natural production of collagen to gradually create a natural looking lift and rejuvenation. The treatment only takes about  45 minutes to an hour and there is no downtime following the procedure.

Ultherapy is a great option for men and women who are not yet ready for a face lift procedure but have some sagging of the brow, crows feet or jowls. The results occur gradually, are very natural and typically last for about one year.

Patients have been extremely receptive and excited about Ultherapy treatments. It’s certainly not a replacement for face lift surgery, but for some patients it can be a way to stay looking younger and refreshed for longer so that there may be no need for a face lift in their future.

For patients who have had a facelift, Ultherapy may help improve or extend the result. If subsequent Ultherapy treatments are performed, the new collagen generated from the initial treatment also  typically provides improved results.  Many patients also benefit from the skin tightening of Ultherapy when used in combination with Botox and facial fillers.

To learn more about Ultherapy, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment and find out if Ultherapy may be right for you.

Archive for September, 2011:

Board Certification-May be a Life or Death Decision

Men and women who have recently undergone a dramatic weight loss, women who’ve had multiple pregnancies, as well as people who have a difficult time losing weight in their mid-section may be good candidates for Abdominoplasty.


Abdominoplasty, also known as Tummy Tuck, is a procedure in which the excess skin and fat in the mid-section is removed and the muscles of the abdomen are tightened. When the muscles of the abdomen become loose or separated, the abdomen sticks out, but once they have been sutured closer together, the abdomen lies flat. The remaining skin is then closed over the newly flattened abdominal muscles to create a more contoured, flattering mid-section.

Sometimes referred to as a Mommy Makeover, an Abdominoplasty may be done in conjunction with other procedures such as Liposuction using SmartLipo Triplex or Body-Jet, Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation or Thigh Lift.  At the Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, we offer the most comprehensive body-contouring options in West Michigan. If you are ready to discuss your options for a more finely contoured waist, contact our office to schedule your complimentary, confidential consultation.

Archive for September, 2011:

Board Certification-May be a Life or Death Decision

This week concluded two days of discussion and testimony about the safety of silicone gel breast implants. An official from the F.D.A., chief scientist, Dr. William Maisel, determined, once again, that silicone gel implants were safe.  The testimony of some women at the meeting regarding negative experiences did not alter the F.D.A’.s conclusion.  Diane Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families group felt that the breast implant manufacturers did an inadequate job of follow-up studies on women with silicone breast implants. The length of the study (27 pages), lack of follow-up by patients, and lack of compensation for patients or doctors has led to non-compliance with the follow-up study guidelines as they currently stand.

Although silicone gel implants are not without risks, they are typically limited to hardening around the area of the implants (known as capsular contracture), scarring, infection, and rupture.  Women should not count on breast implants as lifetime devices.  They should realize that over time, leaking and rupture may occur and that the implants may need to be removed or replaced at some time.

The committee also agreed that patients should no longer be told to seek out magnetic resonance imaging three years after receiving implants and every two years following.  Although MRI’s can detect implant ruptures, they are expensive, and many women opt not to have them.  Additionally, there is little consensus on the best course of action should an implant rupture be detected.  Although the FDA and panel agreed that MRI is still the gold standard for detecting ruptured implants, all concurred that the requirement for ongoing MRI’s should be removed.

Any woman with concerns about silicone gel or saline implants should make an appointment to speak with her own plastic surgeon regarding issues of safety and health

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1151 E Paris Ave SE #200 · Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546 · (616) 328-8800