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July 11, 2011

Like most plastic surgeons, Dr. Barry M Weintraub treats many patients with Botox injections. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, it is the most frequently performed non-invasive cosmetic procedure: in 2009, nearly 2.5 million treatments were administered to women. Men were in on the trend, too: they received more than 300,000 injections, making it the most frequently performed procedure for them as well.

But unlike most plastic surgeons, Dr. Weintraub administers Botox injections while his patients are lying nearly flat on their backs. In what’s known as the Trendelenburg position, the patient lays almost completely flat, except that their feet are elevated slightly higher than the rest of their body. This position encourages blood flow to the injection site, allowing Dr. Weintraub to see his patients’ veins and avoid them every time.

The result is that Dr. Weintraub’s patients very rarely, if ever, experience bruising after Botox injections.

There’s more. Dr. Weintraub’s signature “Upside Down Botox” also includes the use of specially ordered needles, which are replaced multiple times during one treatment, and customized numbing cream.

  • Dr. Weintraub special-orders his needles from Japan. The finer, more precise gauge (#32) further reduces the chance of bruising and injection-site irritation.
  • The numbing cream he uses is also on special order: it’s a combination of Benzocaine, Lidocaine and Tetracaine made for Dr. Weintraub in California and is known to take effect much more quickly than the thirty-plus minutes other creams can take.
  • Finally, Dr. Weintraub routinely changes needles in a single treatment. The reason for this is that after a few injections, the needle dulls, leading to the crunching sound many Botox-devotees find unpleasant.

All of which makes for better Botox.

July 11, 2011

“A truly beautiful life isn’t just outward beauty,” says Dr. Weintraub sitting outside his plastic-surgery office in East Hampton, overlooking the plants and flowers of his garden. “It is important to have the elements of beauty within us as well, and to be grateful for, and appreciate, these things.”

He practices in New York City and in East Hampton, where he created a medical office adjacent to his house for consultations and non-invasive treatments (he performs understated plastic surgeries in the city). “What originally attracted me to East Hampton was its natural beauty, with the ponds, trees, ducks, beach, and its history,” he said on a sunny summer afternoon. “Every day, I consider myself lucky to have the ability to bring beauty to people – to make a difference in their lives – and to do so in such magnificent locations.”

Natural beauty is something Dr. Weintraub appreciates not only in landscape: it is, in fact, the hallmark of his aesthetic. “Nobody should ever look artificial. As soon as they do, you no longer see the person, but the work that they have had done.”

Tennis is one of his passions, as is gardening. His garden is in full bloom with an immense hedge of rhododendrons forming a pink wall behind him. “Gardening makes us look at time differently. With the natural aging of our faces and bodies, people can become upset watching the changes that are taking place in the mirror – but with gardening, the passage of time is something exciting, something to look forward to.”

One needn’t worry about looking in the mirror too much, though, with Dr. Weintraub’s bag of tricks to help erase the signs of ageing. In his East Hampton office, he performs non-invasive treatments that are perfect for the summer months. These include the most popular treatment of the season: The Liquid Face Lift. “Especially in the summer, many people don’t want to undergo involved surgeries because they’re not willing to spend five to seven days of post-op recovery during the high season. But with liquid facial rejuvenation, you can come in on a Friday afternoon and be ready to go out that same night. Wrinkles can be erased and the face can be revolumized and beautified with no down time.”

He also offers Cellulite Smoothing, which he performs by injecting fillers and/or your own fat into particularly noticeable divots and corrugations to produce a smoother appearance. “Nobody should be embarrassed to put on a bathing suit in this day and age,” he says. “There are too many effective treatments to help flatten stomachs, lift and enhance breasts, shrink waistlines, trim thighs, reduce wrinkles, and generally keep us looking our best. And when we look our best, we tend to feel our best.”

According to Dr. Weintraub, when we feel our best, we are more able to open our eyes and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us – whether it be the natural beauty of the Hamptons on a warm summer night, the beauty of spending time with friends and family, or — as he tells me while preparing to see another patient — the beauty of doing what we love the most.

July 11, 2011

In June of 1994, Dr. Barry M. Weintraub was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the issue of mothers inappropriately encouraging their teen daughters to have plastic surgery. Much has changed since that episode aired: not only has the field of plastic surgery undergone a number of “facelifts” itself, the public also learned that 2011 will mark the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

But the one thing that hasn’t changed is that many patients continue to seek plastic surgery for the wrong reasons. “Pressure to have plastic surgery is just as serious a problem today as it was in 1994,” says Dr. Weintraub. “In fact, it has actually escalated.”

Plastic Surgery Risks

The medical community devotes significant time and energy to ensuring that patients are well-informed of the risks of plastic surgery. For instance, they are advised to never go against their doctor’s advice, which is referred to simply as Against Medical Advice (AMA). Dr. Weintraub has created his own set of guidelines to help patients and their friends and family understand when their plans or expectations for plastic surgery might be “against medical advice.”

“When we went on The Oprah Winfrey Show it was to discuss the issues that arise with teen surgeries, specifically when a mother feels her daughter should have surgery against the daughter’s will,” Dr. Weintraub explains, adding that plastic surgery under pressure isn’t confined to mothers and teen daughters: pushy husbands and boyfriends, overbearing bosses, and even friends and family members can put undue pressure on a patient to have plastic surgery. “There is only one right reason to have plastic surgery and that is because the patient herself wants it. I regularly see patients blossom following a well thought-out procedure and as a result, they find the confidence to pursue more active dating lives, career goals and more, but those patients were all self-motivated to have surgery. Plastic surgery should be for you and you alone.”

Popular culture today is awash with stories about drastic surgical makeovers and competitive surgery as seen in the case of Heidi Montag and the television show “Bridalplasty,” which can distort patients’ perspectives and draw attention away from the seriousness of plastic surgery, leading to some risky behavior.

  • Risk #1 Patients who don’t understand plastic surgery is a want, not a need: Plastic surgery is an elective procedure with a number of positive side effects: patients often feel a renewed sense of confidence that can lead them to pursue loftier career goals and take more pleasure in their social lives. However, Dr. Weintraub advises patients to remember plastic surgery, in most cases, is a want, not a need and those who believe otherwise are often at heightened risk for body-dysmorphic disorder. “In the plastic-surgery community, we are hyper aware of the reality of body-dysmorphic disorder, which is characterized by patients continually seeking plastic-surgery procedures without feeling any satisfaction.”
    • The Doctor’s Advice: “When a patient presents with symptoms alluding to body-dysmorphic disorder, it’s important to treat the situation delicately. We encourage such patients to consult with professionals who can work with them to overcome it,” Dr. Weintraub says. “I always tell my patients that plastic surgery is like a beautiful paint job on a great car. But it’s what’s inside that counts: a paint job won’t correct a troubled motor. Likewise, plastic surgery can make someone look as good as they feel, but not always feel as good as they look.”
  • Risk #2 Plastic surgery to keep up with the Joneses, or the Kardashians, or any other celebrity: Thanks to today’s celeb-obsessed culture and the ever-growing interest in reality television, Dr. Weintraub says that more than ever, patients are citing specific celebrities as their plastic-surgery inspiration.
    • The Doctor’s Advice: Plastic surgeons are trained to recognize the impact any change to a person’s face or body will have on the rest of their appearance, and patients who have their heart set on Jessica Alba’s nose, Scarlett Johansson’s lips, Charlize Theron’s breasts or Kim Kardashian’s buttocks don’t always acknowledge the parameters of their own bodies. Instead, Dr. Weintraub encourages patients to bring in pictures of celebrities whose appearances his patients admire. “Pictures are very helpful in communicating patients’ objectives to the surgeon, but they are most appropriately used as guidelines,” he explains. “I suggest patients bring in multiple pictures, as we usually find that a particular aesthetic appeals to the patient, not necessarily the appearance of a single celebrity.”
  • Risk #3 The cost of saving money on plastic surgery is high: Money is tight for everyone these days, but Dr. Weintraub cautions against seeking bargain-basement plastic surgery procedures or traveling to foreign countries to have operations at discounted prices.
    • The Doctor’s Advice: Skip the “lunchtime” variety of facelifts, nose jobs, etc., which are usually inferior to those they claim to replace. “Over sixty percent of my practice is comprised of redos from other offices, and my revision patients repeatedly tell me that they learned the hard way about the true price of saving money on plastic surgery,” says Dr. Weintraub. He also explains why traveling to a foreign country for plastic surgery is on his “AMA” list. “Patients who travel to another country for their surgery have none of the protections provided by the United States. For example, if complications arise or an adjustment is needed once the patient is home, that patient has no recourse aside from incurring the cost of another long-distance trip. Ours is the safest, most thoroughly regulated medical community in the world and those who travel outside of the US for their surgery sacrifice that safety net.”
  • Risk #4 Patients with a need for speed: Life-changing events have always been a catalyst for people to have plastic surgery. Weddings, landmark birthdays and even painful occasions like divorces and job losses are all known to inspire people to want to look their best. The problem arises, says Dr. Weintraub, when emotions triggered by these events lead people to make hasty decisions. “Haste should never be a factor in a plastic surgery procedure and when it is, it is the role of a good surgeon to help the patient gain perspective. As we discussed on the Oprah Show, I have refused inappropriate patient requests many times.”
    • The Doctor’s Advice: Do not rush a plastic surgery procedure. Patients do not only risk a dissatisfying outcome, but they also jeopardize their safety. Says Dr. Weintraub, “It takes time for patients to do their homework, and when they feel rushed they’re less likely to do it. Sometimes, we can help patients find short-term options to meet their immediate needs in order to guide them through the plastic-surgery process carefully.” Dr. Weintraub advises that patients choose a board-certified surgeon who is trained to view the patient as a whole, and who can offer alternatives for patients who might want to rush into a procedure.
    • He identifies four important qualities that surgeons should possess. They should
      • Be board-certified in the field in which they’re operating
      • Have appointments at well-respected hospital(s)
      • Have recommendations from other doctors in the community and a good reputation
      • Provide references for new patients to speak with and ideally, meet in person

Plastic surgery is a valuable resource for those who have healthy reasons, which according to Dr. Weintraub, are all rooted within that person – never as a result of pressure they feel from anyone (or anything) else. “Qualified patients are those who have given a lot of thought to why they want a procedure, and who have arrived at a single answer: the surgery is a gift to themselves,” explains Dr. Weintraub. “Happy patients tell me that their surgery – whether it is natural nasal sculpting, understated facelifts, or beautiful body contouring – enhanced their lives by giving them confidence and pride in their appearance, a satisfaction entirely their own. Plastic surgery should be for you and you alone.”

About Barry M. Weintraub, MD, FACS

Dr. Weintraub is a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon whose “less is more” philosophy has earned him the respect of the medical community and the admiration of his patients. He specializes in high-quality cosmetic surgery of the face and body, which he performs with skill and precision. With more than two decades of experience, Dr. Weintraub is in his surgical prime with the quiet calm of success. He is mature in his aesthetic judgment and technically seasoned with a commitment to remaining at the cutting-edge of the field to ensure his patients a beautiful result.

He received his medical degree from New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center (now Weill Cornell Medical Center) after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University. Following medical school, he served as Chief Resident at Cornell Medical Center and its burn unit, Chief Resident of the Cleft Lip and Palate Center of North Shore University Hospital, and in the Reconstructive Cancer Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Dr. Weintraub also completed his plastic surgical fellowship at Cornell Medical Center and he has privileges at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, as well as the The Center for Specialty Care.

Dr. Weintraub maintains membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Los Angeles Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also recognized as a national spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and has appeared on many national television shows includingThe Oprah Winfrey Show.

Dr. Weintraub has offices in New York City and in East Hampton.

May 4, 2011

There are thousands of plastic surgeons and doctors scattered across the 50 states. While a majority of them are board certified for plastic surgery, that doesn’t mean everyone is equal.

While a number of excellent surgeons are located in other states and cities, these top three cities offer the widest range of surgeons, techniques and services to the greatest number of people.

Miami, Florida

Bright, sunny Florida is one of the states that have a high ratio of plastic surgeons to the city’s population. There are over 200 plastic surgeons in Miami, Florida alone.

New York, New York

About 600 plastic surgeons are located in the Manhattan area and serve the city population as well as the surrounding suburbs. A number of qualified and exceptional surgeons, such as Dr. Weintraub offer a host of cosmetic treatment and surgeries.

Los Angeles, California

With notable surgeons like Dr. 90210, or Robert Ray, Los Angeles is packed with doctors who can perform every sort of cosmetic procedure to give you that Hollywood look you’ve always wanted.

These cities have some of the best cosmetic surgeons, and are home to cutting-edge technology used in cosmetic procedures.

May 4, 2011

It’s never wise to get involved in something without having some prior knowledge of what will happen ahead of time. The same is true of cosmetic surgeries and procedures.

You should ask questions about four main topics.

Education and experience

Is this medical professional board certified in plastic surgery? How much experience has he or she had in the past? Has this medical professional ever had his or her medical license revoked or suspended? Asking all or select questions like this can help you find out how qualified this medical professional really is, and whether he or she is capable of correctly performing the procedures you’d like.

Finding out the professional’s education is also important because if he or she studied in another country, the standards could be different. If he did not study in the U.S. at a medical school, then it may be time to look into his or her background a little more. You should ask for references or other medical professionals who can back up this professional’s skills, experience and knowledge. If you don’t you could be walking into a danger zone where a botched procedure may be the result.

Success rates, and previous clients

How successful are your procedures? How many clients have you had over the years? Can I see a portfolio of your work? Have you had any dissatisfied clients? These questions can really help you see if this professional is in fact a match for you. If you aren’t impressed with his or her success rates, portfolio, or stories about previous clients, go elsewhere to find a better, possibly more qualified cosmetic medical professional.

If the medical professional who you talk to appears to have answers for all your questions, then you’re probably in good shape to continue. However, before you go ahead with any cosmetic procedures, it’s a good idea to check on the Internet for the doctor who will be treating you. Doing a quick search of the doctor and his credentials can make a world of difference.

The Internet is the ultimate test because the doctor or medical professional cannot sensor other information about him or her from records, previous clients and more.

May 3, 2011

There are a lot of places to get plastic surgery done. While the U.S. is host to thousands of reputable plastic surgeons, there are websites that advertise plastic surgery for cheap abroad.

It’s relatively easy to find a website that offers an exotic plastic surgery vacation in a lush foreign land for an affordable price. While this sounds great, as with most things, it may be too good to be true.

When you’re in a foreign country, you have to remember that not all countries have the same standards as the U.S. There are a number of instances where there are red flags for illegitimate operations and doctors. Be aware of the following:

1). No international safe guards

When considering surgery abroad, think about what sorts of products are used in procedures. What chemicals, fillers and other instruments are used in that Botox injection, breast augmentation or face lift? It’s very possible that whoever the doctor is that will perform the procedures is, may either name non-FDA approved products and substances, or could lie. You’ll never really know for sure.

When thinking of getting a cosmetic procedure done, it’s always important to find out what the surgeon or doctor’s knowledge, experience and skill are and include. This is no different for doctors abroad. If the doctor who is supposed to perform the procedure doesn’t have the correct degree, licenses, or lacks in education about his profession, this is a red flag.

Doctor’s generally do not make promises. This is true in any country. However, when you think of going outside of the U.S. for the procedure you’re interested in having done, you should find out if the doctor has produced favorable results on similar patients. If the doctor in the country of your choice does not have any records of his results or patients, or can tell you what sort of results to expect after the surgery, this is a reason for not continuing with any cosmetic procedure.

While safe guards seem silly or unnecessary, they are there for a reason: to protect you.

2. No pre or post care & instructions

When there are no pre-procedure instructions given or medical history taken, then this is a major no-go for any sort of cosmetic surgery. Any well-educated, thorough and legitimate doctor will ask for your medical history to ensure there will be no complications. He or she will also tell you what you should expect from the procedure after it is completed.

If you are rushed into either deciding or actually going under the knife almost immediately, then something is absolutely wrong. Legitimate doctors need lead time to correctly prep for any sort of surgery. If you’re rushed into doing surgery, you should immediately stop and leave. This is a sure-fire way to know something is awry.

Another way of knowing whether your medical professional, is in fact a profession is whether you are given a set of instructions for post-op care, especially if you will not be close to a doctor or medical professional right after a surgery. If there are none, then don’t do it.

3. No prior discussion with a doctor

If you don’t get to speak with a doctor prior to any procedure or surgery, then something isn’t right. You should always speak with a medical professional first.

If you are having a surgery, then the doctor should have a look at your body prior to any medical procedure, and state his opinion on how it should and can be corrected. If this vital step doesn’t occur, then how can you or the doctor be sure the procedure will go as planned? He or she cannot. Communication between the doctor and patient is absolutely necessary before any sort of cosmetic procedure is performed in any instance.

Other signs of plastic surgery scams include doctors asking for cash only, try to get you to do a number of procedures you don’t want or need, or have a dirty, unofficial location. These things all indicate that something may be very wrong with the services you want and the legitimacy of the entire business. By keeping your eyes and ears open, you can avoid either a scam or a botched surgery or procedure.

While there are many other ways to tell if an plastic surgery vacation is really just a scam, there are some legitimate places to have cosmetic procedures done. Do your research and get recommendations from U.S. doctors if you do want to go abroad.