BODY TALK

IN­CREAS­INGLY SO­PHIS­TI­CATED TECH­NOL­OGY IS MAK­ING IT EAS­IER THAN EVER TO GET THE BODY YOU’VE AL­WAYS DREAMED OF—WITH LESS RISK, PAIN, AND SCAR­RING.

Capitol File - - CON­TENTS - BY LES­LIE QUAN­DER WOOLDRIDGE

In­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy is mak­ing it eas­ier than ever to get the body you’ve al­ways dreamed of.

As the tech­nol­ogy used by den­tists and cos­metic sur­geons im­proves, the re­sults seen by pa­tients can grow ever more im­pres­sive. Here’s a peek at some of the most re­cent DC break­throughs.

Scar Re­duc­tion Takes Off There were 1.7 mil­lion cos­metic sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures performed in 2015, re­ports the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons, and un­doubt­edly many pa­tients were con­cerned about scar­ring.

That’s why board-cer­ti­fied plas­tic sur­geon Kirit Bhatt, MD, of Re­juve Plas­tic Surgery (6801 Whit­tier Ave., Ste. 301, McLean, 703-832-4000; re­ju­ve­plas­tic­surgery.com), helped de­velop Em­brace, a scar ther­apy tech­nol­ogy, while a clin­i­cal fel­low at Stan­ford Univer­sity in 2009. “Em­brace is an ad­vanced dress­ing that sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the ap­pear­ance of scars af­ter surgery,” he says. Now avail­able com­mer­cially, the treat­ment “can be used on any in­ci­sion on the body af­ter cos­metic surgery [and] works by re­liev­ing the pulling on sur­gi­cal in­ci­sions.”

Bhatt also takes steps in the op­er­at­ing room to min­i­mize ten­sion and in­flam­ma­tion around in­ci­sions, and he points out that pa­tients with darker skin tones— for whom scar­ring can be a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem—have also

“WE’RE TRY­ING TO ACHIEVE SCAR­LESS HEAL­ING AS OUR UL­TI­MATE GOAL.” —KIRIT BHATT, MD

seen im­prove­ment with Em­brace. “We’re try­ing to achieve scar­less heal­ing as our ul­ti­mate goal,” says Bhatt. “We still have some ways to go but are mak­ing progress.”

3-D Goes Be­yond Teeth Den­tists use 3-D imag­ing for every­thing from plan­ning den­tal im­plants to vi­su­al­iz­ing teeth for ex­trac­tion. Now, conebeam com­put­er­ized to­mog­ra­phy can pro­vide them with a 3-D view of not only teeth, but also bone and even soft tis­sue.

“It gives a wealth of in­for­ma­tion,” says Lawrence D. Singer, DMD, who is an as­sis­tant clin­i­cal pro­fes­sor of surgery at Ge­orge Washington Univer­sity Hospi­tal, and the founder and man­ag­ing partner of DC Smiles (809 Cameron St., Alexan­dria, 703-2994614; dc­smiles.com). He ex­plains that the tech­nol­ogy can help den­tists de­tect tem­poro­mandibu­lar joint (TMJ) dis­or­ders (which can cause pain in the jaw) and nar­rowed air­ways (a risk fac­tor for sleep ap­nea). “A lot of peo­ple think they have mi­graine headaches, but re­ally they have TMJ,” he says, adding that a den­tist can re­fer pa­tients with signs of over­lap­ping med­i­cal is­sues to other spe­cial­ists for di­ag­no­sis and fur­ther treat­ment.

Cos­metic Ad­vances Breast aug­men­ta­tion was the num­ber-one form of cos­metic surgery in 2015, with 279,000

“THE PLACE WHERE AD­VANCES HAP­PEN DAILY IS IN THE NON­IN­VA­SIVE MAR­KET.” —DR. CHRISTO­PHER KNOTTS

pro­ce­dures, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons.

Now, a new struc­tured breast im­plant, the Ideal Im­plant, gives pa­tients seek­ing aug­men­ta­tion an ad­di­tional op­tion, says board-cer­ti­fied plas­tic sur­geon A. Dean Jabs, MD, PhD, of Cos­metic Surgery Associates

(1515 Chain Bridge Road, #310, McLean, 703-5060683; cos­met­ic­plas­tics .com). This struc­tured im­plant is filled with saline, which can be ab­sorbed by the body in case of rup­ture, as op­posed to sil­i­cone, which can’t. “It looks and feels as if it’s a gel im­plant,” Jabs adds. Of course, as with any surgery, you should al­ways discuss the ben­e­fits and risks with your board­cer­ti­fied plas­tic sur­geon.

Li­po­suc­tion—the sec­ond most pop­u­lar cos­metic sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure of 2015—is still the gold stan­dard for re­shap­ing spe­cific body ar­eas by re­mov­ing ex­cess fat, says Christo­pher D. Knotts, MD, a board-cer­ti­fied plas­tic sur­geon who works along­side Drs. Ge­orge We­ston, Robert Si­gal, and By­ron Poin­dex­ter at Austin-We­ston, the Cen­ter for Cos­metic Surgery (1825 Sa­muel Morse Dr., Re­ston, 703893-6168; austin-we­ston .com). In­no­va­tions in the tech­nique in­clude ul­tra­sound en­ergy and laser heat­ing, but “ma­jor tech­nol­ogy ad­vances are re­ally in non­in­va­sive cos­metic treat­ments,” he ex­plains. “In the last five years or so, the mar­ket has proven that fat re­moval can work us­ing cool­ing or heat­ing tech­nol­ogy.”

One such op­tion is CoolSculpt­ing, a treat­ment that uses a suc­tion cup that draws in skin and fat; the fat is then cooled, and over time those chilled fat cells die off and are ab­sorbed by the body. “The treat­ment takes an hour,” Knotts says, “and it does get sore af­ter­ward, but it’s the kind of pain a good work­out gives you.” Another new non­in­va­sive op­tion, he adds, is called SculpSure. It uses laser en­ergy to heat fat, which the body dis­solves over time.

Th­ese non­in­va­sive pro­ce­dures aren’t for ev­ery­one and can pro­duce just a frac­tion of the fat re­duc­tion pos­si­ble with li­po­suc­tion, Knotts says. But for those who want only mild sculpt­ing, they’re per­haps some­thing to discuss with your plas­tic sur­geon—in ad­di­tion to dis­cussing the risks (side ef­fects can in­clude swelling and bruis­ing) and, of course, how to main­tain a healthy lifestyle.

Some­thing to smile about: Some den­tal prac­tices, such as DC Smiles, of­fer in-of­fice imag­ing to aid in di­ag­noses and treat­ment plans.

Con­sul­ta­tions with a plas­tic sur­geon are key. For ex­am­ple, a very thin and con­toured look may re­quire two dozen non­in­va­sive treat­ments, ac­cord­ing to Re­ston-based doc­tor Christo­pher Knotts, while li­po­suc­tion may ac­tu­ally be cheaper in the long run.

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