Medicare Changes 2018 – Are You Covered?

The new Medicare changes made effective from November 1st, 2018 will have a significant impact on those wishing to undergo plastic& cosmetic surgeries.

Changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) will directly affect rebates and health fund coverage for certain procedures. The following are some popular procedure that is impacted:

Medicare concerning breast surgery

The new Medicare changes that came into effect on November 1st, 2018 are going to have a profound impact on certain surgical procedures. These will effect among others, all breast operations where implants have been used even if the original surgery was many years before.

In the case of breast reduction, Medicare uses the description “… in the context of breast cancer or developmental abnormality of the breast”. However, there is no definition of what a developmental abnormality is.

Wikipedia states “A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth regardless of its cause. Birth defects may result in disabilities that may be physical, intellectual, or developmental. Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments that arise before adulthood.”

So, therefore, Medicare’s use of the term developmental abnormality is broad-based and open to interpretation. What is a physical impairment that arises before adulthood? The new breast reduction item number allows for a reduction if there is a pain but does not allow for the insertion of implants under any circumstance.

Regarding corrective surgery where implants have been used, the surgeon MUST take photographs of the breasts before the implants have been removed, then commence the operation, remove 1 of the implants, take a second photograph of the breast with the implant removed to demonstrate “ …unacceptable deformity “ if the surgeon was to NOT replace the implants.

This practice is either going to require another member of the surgery team taking the photos, or the surgeon will need to “unscrub” take the photos and then re-scrub to continue the surgery.

These practices do not constitute best practice and will increase the amount of time for the operation. Further, the possibility now arises where Medicare might audit a particular surgeons practice to ensure compliance.

Therefore, there may be a situation where Medicare deems that the replacement of the implants was NOT to prevent an unacceptable deformity and even after the surgery, may then say the operation was cosmetic and reverse the ability to claim. As this is new territory, we have no idea whether this is going to be a real situation or not.

Also as of November 1st, a breast reduction that is not a developmental abnormality or related to breast cancer but is for large breasted women with pain, implants cannot be used under any circumstance. Also, with regards to a breast lift, the only time a breast lift operation is not cosmetic is if your youngest child is 1 yr old or older and not more than 7. If you have never had children or your youngest child is older than 7, a breast lift is ALWAYS cosmetic and so you cannot claim.

Summary regarding implants in breast surgery

1. Corrective surgery for complications with new implants is covered if the replacement implants are not bigger than the originals. Bigger implants = breast enlargement = cosmetic surgery.

2. Breast reductions cannot be performed with implants. Implants = cosmetic surgery so you cannot claim.

3. Breast lift (with or without implants) can be claimed for if your youngest child is between the age of 1 and 7. This operation is cosmetic surgery if you have never had children or your youngest child is older than 7.

Medicare concerning abdomen procedures

Regarding tummy tuck and related “body lift” operations, other new Medicare rules apply. The 2 situations here relate to weight loss either diet and exercise, or after gastric sleeve or lap band surgery to name 2. In this situation, the weight loss must be at least 5 BMI units.

Regarding pregnancy and weight loss, the maximum weight AFTER the birth of the baby is used in the BMI calculation so, the weight of the baby is deducted from the maximum pregnant weight to calculate the 5 BMI units.

The difficulty arises where there has been significant skin laxity with or without muscle separation. In this situation, Medicare states that this will be viewed as a cosmetic operation and therefore it will not be possible to claim.

Medicare concerning labiaplasty procedures

For this operation to be non-cosmetic, Medicare states that the surgery is necessary “… for a structural abnormality that is causing significant functional impairment, if the patient’s labium extends more than 8cm below the vaginal Introits (opening) while the patient is in a standing resting position.”

This means the surgeon will have to stand the patient up with legs slightly apart and then actually measure the length of the labia from the opening to the point of maximum length. `This measurement, therefore, is taken from the inner aspect of the vaginal opening.

Dr. Goldman believes this to be highly inappropriate, degrading and totally unnecessary, however, this has been determined by “the government” and is now an absolute Medicare requirement in order to satisfy Medicare that the surgery in question is NOT cosmetic.

A further requirement is a detailed clinical history outlining the structural abnormality and the medical need for surgery of the vulva and/or labia must be included in patient notes, as this may be subject to audit. In other words, the opinion of a specialist is not sufficient and your medical information can be called for by Medicare to verify that the surgery was indeed medically necessary and not cosmetic.

This then opens up the possibility that the original decision can be reversed and that Medicare can after the surgery has been performed deem your operation to be cosmetic and not medically necessary and then potentially make you liable to “pay back” any funds that have been paid out on your behalf.

From Dr. Robert Goldman

Disclaimer: The following are the views and opinions of Dr. Robert Goldman and his alone. This does not represent views of organisations, government agencies, medical professionals, other groups or individuals.

What has happened now is that Medicare is attempting to redefine what constitutes a cosmetic operation versus what is not cosmetic and previously would have been medically indicated and necessary. The outcome is that Medicare and the healthcare system will be paying out less and you, the patient, will be paying out more.

With the new changes to Medicare, many more operations are now cosmetic and you cannot claim anything from your private health insurance as this is dependent on the new Medicare changes.

This opens up the whole issue of the usefulness and value of private health insurance as young fit people make more use of their private health insurance for these operations than operations for a significant illness.

It may be worthwhile considering dropping private health insurance and depositing the funds that you would have paid for your private insurance premium into your own superannuation fund, for example, and then use your superannuation fund through SuperCare as your own personal health insurance scheme.

See our FAQ section to learn more about what Dr. Goldman can do for you regarding finances

Laser Tattoo Removal: An introductory Guide

Laser Tattoo Removal: There IS hope after the ink has dried

Tattoos lose novelty for their owner for many reasons.  Our laser tattoo removal, Perth based clinic serves a range of clients.  Some feel their tattoo was a bad idea to begin with, for others their taste simply changed.  Then there are those who penned the name of their sweetheart permanently to their person – and well, times change and sweethearts change too!

Whether it’s the name of an ex-girlfriend, a quote or image that’s no longer ‘you’ – the good news is, you can have your tattoo removed and happily move forward without it.

This said the guidelines, methods and costs of tattoo removal are poorly understood.  This guide will get you started.  By the end, you’ll know which steps to take – and which treatments to avoid.

If you’re in the market for a tattoo, then read this first to understand the implications if you ever change your mind after being inked!

How laser tattoo removal works

The removal of your tattoo is a process rather than a one-off visit.  It’s also more expensive than getting your tattoo was.  Even when using the best available technology to remove your tattoos, there is sadly no guarantee your skin will bounce right back to its pre-tattoo condition.  Depending on your skin type, skin colour, and the inks used – it’s possible for traces of past tattoos to remain.

Be aware too, if you’d like a tattoo removed, the earliest you can do so is after 12 months of having it done because the ink takes about a year to settle into your skin.  Only then can you have it removed.

When it comes to colour, tattoos comprising multi-colours can be trickier to remove than those of pure black ink.

The table below lists tattoo colours according to ease of removal:

Easy to remove Difficult to remove
Black Purple
Red Brown
Green Light orange
Dark Blue Light blue

The ink colours listed in the “Difficult to remove” column can potentially become darker with laser treatment.  For this reason, your doctor will likely do a spot test before scheduling a full tattoo removal treatment.

Woman with stages of laser tattoo removal

How laser tattoo removal works

Q-switched lasers are most effective in contemporary tattoo removal. We use this technology at our tattoo removal Perth practice. The custom tattoo removal laser is set to a specific wavelength, depending on a patient’s skin type, as well as the colour and location of the tattoo.

Again, with respect to removing specific ink colours, different lasers are required for removing different colours. While one particular type of laser will be effective at removing black and green ink, another will work at removing red and blue.

Either way, the manner in which lasers work is they release a pulse of light energy. This light-laser is absorbed by tattoo ink which has settled into the deep second layer of your skin. With this process, the tattoo ink fragments into tiny particles which the body then absorbs and clears away. In older tattoos, the ink fragments more easily and these are generally easier to remove.

The treatments required to remove your tattoo(s) will depend on a number of factors. These include the size and colours of the tattoo, its location and the nature of the ink originally used. The shade of your skin and the speed at which it’s able to heal also play a role.  Generally speaking, a treatment schedule spaced at 4-6 week intervals, gives the best results.

Side effects (Scarring & Pain)

Tattoo removal is a delicate process.  It’s extremely important that removal treatments are carried out by an experienced and competent professional who knows what they are doing.  Take care to this end, and your risk of scarring will be minimal.  Whilst it’s absolutely possible to not scar at all, scarring does happen.  This is so for various reasons – and even with the help of expert professionals, scarring is not always avoidable.

Now, on the delicate matter of pain – laser tattoo removal is a bit like a trip to the dentist.  It’s not without its discomfort.  However, your doctor will help you by numbing the area with a local anaesthetic, in either cream or injectable form.

Mild discomfort or itching is also common following treatment.  If it is particularly persistent, your doctor can prescribe cortisone cream to help you manage whilst your skin journeys through its natural healing process.

laser tattoo removal

Safety + effectiveness

The recovery period associated with tattoo removal is relatively fast and your life can continue as usual without too much fuss.

In respect of our tattoo removal Perth clients who enjoy being out in the Western Australian sun we advise keeping treated areas well covered whilst skin is healing.  Sunburn on treated skin will cause unnecessary pain and discomfort.  Be cautious and allow your skin to heal safely and effectively by keeping with your doctor’s care instructions following your tattoo removal treatment.

Other tattoo removal options

While Q-switched laser is not the only way of removing tattoos, it is highly effective, safe – and works on tattoos of all ages and colours.

If you’re curious about other options, keep in mind they’re often not effective.  They’re often a safety risk and more likely to scar your skin.  For example:

Home-made dermal scrubs:  These may work for surface-tattoos where the ink is not set all that deep, however results are ineffective at best.

Creams and topical treatments:  Whilst these can sound like an easy and cost-effective option, such products sourced from countries outside of Australian regulatory controls, work only on the surface of your skin to offer tattoo fading – with repeated use.  What’s more, these products very possibly contain harmful acids and other chemicals unfit for use on your skin.

Injections:  acid injections offered as a mechanism to remove tattoos can be extremely unsafe and result in unsightly marks and scars.

Cost of laser tattoo removal

A best-case scenario, safe and effective tattoo removal experience will typically mean at least 5 treatments costing between $200 – $500 per tattoo removal treatment.  This will depend on the nature of your personal “ink removal project”.

Since you’ve read this far, you’re suitably equipped to take a more informed approach in looking to remove your unwanted tattoos.

Please don’t risk methods of tattoo removal which threaten your health or safety.  It’s simply not worth it.  You honestly don’t want to regret yet another tattoo related decision!

Instead, get started on the right foot by formulating a plan with our team of tattoo removal Perth professionals at Dr Goldman’s surgery.  We have your best interests (and results) at heart.

If you’d like a confidential chat about your tattoo removal needs, then get in touch with us at 1300 453 307.  We’re here to help you get the very best result!

4-Minute Guide to Laser Skin Rejuvenation

There is often some confusion about skin rejuvenation, and a lot is due to the multiple names used for the procedure; it is often referred to as laser skin resurfacing, a skin peel, or Laser360.

Despite the numerous terminologies, they achieve the same result: younger, tighter, and softer skin that is free from wrinkles, age spots, and acne scarring.

Usually, skin rejuvenation is an intrusive cosmetic procedure that requires extended recovery time. The procedure is also not appropriate for many skin types or skin conditions.

Our pick is the laser 360 treatment, which is a new way to regain younger, tighter skin without extended recovery time or pain. As it is still a cosmetic procedure, it is essential you learn about the treatment so you fully understand the process and if it will benefit you before scheduling.

What Is Laser 360 Skin Rejuvenation?

Laser 360 Skin Rejuvenation is a cosmetic procedure that treats problem areas such as discolouration, fine lines, and wrinkles from within to perfect the appearance of the skin.

By combining three technologies – AFT pulsing light, Accent ultra-radio frequency and iPixel – Laser360 can rejuvenate your skin in multiple pain-free, timely treatment sessions with your cosmetic surgeon.

  • AFT pulsing light evens out discolouration within the skin through the reduction of blood vessels within the area. The light corrects the appearance of blemishes, discolouration and redness.
  • Accent ultra-radio is used to tighten the skin within the area, which is beneficial for the treating and removal of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • iPixel focuses on the tones and texture of your skin. Collagen improves the texture of our skin and smooths out lines and wrinkles that appear as we age. The iPixel stimulates the formation and growth of collagen.

These technologies are combined to create a laser that is tailored to your specific needs and skin type to correct problem areas. The handheld laser is placed against the skin to rebuild and rejuvenate your skin, generating perfection from the inside out.

Why Laser360?

Almalasers Laser360

Source: AlmaLasers

Unlike other skin rejuvenating treatments, the Laser360 is non-invasive.  Rather than damaging the surface layers of skin cells to create a youthful complexion, Laser360’s purpose is to fix the issue from the inside out.  Laser technology tightens the skin and promotes the growth of collagen, without damaging layers of skin cells.

Laser 360 treatment is available in multiple areas; it is designed to be used on the delicate and sensitive skin on our faces, neck, and chest. Treatable areas include:

  • Forehead
  • Under eyes
  • Cheeks
  • Around the mouth
  • Upper Lip
  • Neck
  • Chest

The final results of the treatment, including younger-looking skin, can be seen within 6o days from the start of the treatment process, with no required recovery time.

How it Compares to Other Methods

Laser 360 Skin Rejuvenation

Other Skin Rejuvenation Procedures

Procedure: Multiple sessions of laser treatment according to your customised plan Procedure: One treatment lasting from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on areas being treated. Removal of layers of skin stimulates the growth of new skin cells
Risks:  Slight redness Risks: Burns, scarring, change in skin’s pigmentation, discolouration, infections, scabbing, swelling, blistering, mild sunburn-like feeling, itching, increased sensitivity to the sun. Can also cause acne and cold sores to reappear.
Candidates: Anyone Candidates: Have fine wrinkles, elastic&non-oily skin. Candidates must also not be on medication or prone to scarring. Only suitable for specific skin tones, due to risk of discolouration.
Recovery Time: No recovery time; you can go back to work immediately after your session. Recovery Time: Between 10-21 days; recommended 1-2 weeks off work. Can take 3 months until redness fades.
Recovery Process: None Recovery Process: Bandages to be worn for 24hrs. Ointment to be applied five times a day to prevent scarring. Ice packs can be used for swelling and pain. Certain medications and smoking prolong recovery time.

 Is Laser 360 Right for You?

Laser 360 skin rejuvenation treatments are great for those who need more than makeup and oils to fix those problem areas and want to enhance their skin’s appearance without the pain of invasive cosmetic surgery.

Laser 360 is tailored to suit your needs and fix the areas that you feel need a touch-up. After a consultation session with a cosmetic surgeon, you will be able to identify how many sessions you will need to have a younger, glowing complexion.

It is important that you are open and honest with your cosmetic surgeon to gain the best results and to avoid any risks. Any medical conditions or medications should be discussed in the consultation session. Achieving a young, soft, wrinkle-free complexion no longer has to be a long and painful process.

If you are in any way unsure as to which laser skin rejuvenation procedure or technology is best suited for your, Dr Goldman will assist you at your consultation in defining the best solution.

How to Look Younger Without Surgery

If you find that you’re constantly battling the tell-tale signs of aging, rest assured that you’re not alone.

People ranging in age from 30-60 are consistently on the hunt to find the solutions to remedy their aging skin, teeth, and bodies. For some, this means going under the knife for plastic surgery procedures to nip a little here, lift a little there, and plump things up. In Australia alone, people spend $1 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to SBS.

Many of those people, using an increasing number of technologies and procedures wished to correct facial aging (specifically around the eyes), as well as to improve facial aging issues like sagging necks, deep wrinkles, and jowl formations.

But why go under the knife when there are plenty of non-surgical solutions right in front of you? Not sure what they are? We’ve laid out a few of our favourite lifestyle choices, tips, and tricks for looking younger without undergoing the stress, expense, and recovery that go hand-in-hand with surgery.

Exercise and Diet

exercise

These two things are going to be the most important factor when it comes to keeping your appearance youthful. When it comes to exercise, you’re not just keeping your body limber and young, you’re also circulating more nutrients and oxygen to your skin to make you appear radiant.

Exercising essentially kickstarts the collagen production process of building younger skin, which tends to automatically slow down as you age. It also can get rid of grey hairs, reduce puffy eyes, and prevent free radical damage.

Diet, too, is an important factor. Avoid too much sugar and focus on unprocessed foods with healthy fats, antioxidants, and a heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

Skincare and Lifestyle

When you think about your lifestyle, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • Do I take proper care of my skin?
  • Am I avoiding substances (like alcohol and tobacco) and cortisol levels that could age me prematurely?

If not, you’ve got some work to do. When it comes to skincare, ensuring that your face and body are getting the right amount of moisturization and attention are going to be key in maintaining a youthful look.

In order to maintain youthful, healthy skin, a regular regimen is important. You should apply a moisturizer every day, wear sunscreen consistently, and wash your face at least once a day, especially after sweating. Additionally, avoiding alcohol and smoking can do wonders for you and your skin – smoking speeds up how quickly your skin ages, and alcohol can dehydrate and damage your skin as well.

Non-Invasive Procedures

Skin Procedure

If you’re looking for more than what a great diet and a life full of exercise can do, there are non-invasive, non-surgical procedures you can turn toward to get you and your appearance to where you want to be.

When it comes to combating symptoms of aging, one of the least invasive procedures is laser skin rejuvenation. Using four powerful technologies, this specialised method can help improve the appearance of your skin in as little as sixty days.

This skin rejuvenation process uses erbium lasers for skin resurfacing and rejuvenation to help remodel your collagen and tighten up your skin. After this treatment, your fine lines, wrinkles, and discolorations – even those that you think are permanently nestled into your skin – will disappear, giving you a new, revitalized, and youthful look.

Conclusion

To fight back against the symptoms of aging, you’ll probably need to implement a number of different lifestyle changes and choices to get the best results. A great diet, a healthy and regular exercise regimen, ensuring you’re getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding all substances like tobacco and alcohol are going to be absolutely vital to maintaining your youthful appearance.

When that’s not enough though, simple procedures that are non-surgical and non-invasive can be helpful! Consider looking into laser rejuvenation and resurfacing when you’re thinking about how to regain your youthful appearance.

Have questions about your skin rejuvenation options? Want to find out if laser skin rejuvenation is right for you? Get in touch with our helpful team today!

Body Lift Surgery After Massive Weight Loss

Massive weight loss is a huge change that brings with it feelings of accomplishment and celebration. But many people also find themselves frustrated by side effects of their success.

In particular, they wonder how to handle excess skin after losing a large amount of weight in a short period. Thankfully, there are a few cosmetic surgery procedures that offer dramatic post-weight loss results. Body lifts and tummy tucks are options to help augment your weight loss. If you are considering body lift surgery, here are a few considerations that should help you determine if it is right for you.

What is a Body Lift?

A body lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat deposits left behind after massive weight loss. The human body is a remarkable thing, but often it struggles to keep up with our fitness achievements. Once the skin has been over-stretched by the initial weight gain and then lost, the skin can not tighten and hence all the loose skin.

An abdominal lift after weight loss is appropriate for men and women who put in the hard work and lifestyle changes and want their appearance to reflect it. Body lift surgery removes large skin folds and fat from the hips, outer upper thighs, lower abdomen, and upper buttocks and sculpts the body’s size and shape to achieve desired results.

What You Need to Know

Body lift surgery is a surgical procedure that involves general anaesthesia and multiple incisions. It also requires you to have a consistent BMI for months leading up to and after the surgery.

There is a focused recovery period, with the first few days being especially critical for proper health and recovery. This includes exercise and activity restrictions that are gradually reduced as the body heals. The general timeline is two weeks before returning to work, four weeks before resuming most life activities, and eight weeks before a full return to physical exertion like exercise.

Procedures Involved

An abdominal lift involves general anaesthesia and multiple incisions; even though success rates are extraordinarily high, you must be a good candidate for a surgical procedure and work closely with your doctor to ensure the best results.

Surgeon Drawing Correction Lines On Woman's Stomach

The surgery is a combination of tightening skin and removing skin and fat to achieve a more youthful and slim appearance. Selective incisions can provide a natural and tailored appearance that even the most successful weight loss surgery and exercise regimen cannot match.

When seeking a body lift surgery in Perth, the skilled care of Dr. Goldman’s team will help you achieve the overall body results you envisioned when embarking on your weight loss journey.

Insurance Options/Coverage

Body lift surgery is costly, though it is a life-changing investment in your health and appearance. The duration of each procedure is measured in hours, from 3-4 up to 8 or more. Some private insurance plans assist with operations, while others have accessed their accumulated superannuation funds to assist with payment.

Your selected surgeon’s office will provide you with a consultation that explores payment options and pricing, depending on the types of procedures and potential coverages. A more detailed price quote will explain the difference between fees and parties receiving payment, which can help you understand out-of-pocket expenses. 

Cost

As an involved inpatient surgery, the overall cost can sound intimidating. However, compared to the potential complications and life-changing transformations, the cost can easily be perceived as a lifelong investment instead of a one-time elective sticker shock.

Further, there are different methods and payment assistance plans to enable you to start living the life you dream of today without worrying about paying all of it upfront.

Next Steps

If you have achieved massive weight loss recently, first of all, congratulate yourself. But if you have been disappointed with aspects of your appearance in spite of a massive change at the scales, you may be a prime candidate for body lift surgery. While the primary considerations of the tummy tuck procedure and body lifts are cosmetic, there are many measurable health effects caused by excess skin and fat deposits, including:

  • Difficulty in walking and exercising
  • Poor posture
  • Aching of the back and shoulders
  • Chronic rashes and infections in the folds
  • Personal hygiene issues due to the accumulation of sweat and problems without thorough cleaning of affected areas
  • Low or poor self-esteem

All of these reasons should only encourage candidates that their desire for the surgery is valid to help them envision a life free from complications associated with an otherwise positive experience.

Are you ready to take the next step to get your dream body?  Get in touch with Dr Goldman and request a consultation now!

Notice To Patients with Private Health Insurance – April 2018

BUPA Australia & HBF Announcement

The current publicity surrounding the announcements by both BUPA Australia and HBF regarding the (potential) exclusions from your policy for the following categories of surgery: Hip and knee replacements, cataracts, pregnancy and IVF treatment, obesity and “some” plastic surgery has caused an outcry from patients, doctors, hospitals and the minister for health.

Initially, BUPA announced this was for everyone, but this was subsequently revised to include all policyholders with levels of cover except their “top table cover” policies. HBF has followed suit.

In addition, BUPA further announced that your policy would only be covered if your surgery was performed in a hospital nominated by them. This means that if your surgeon does not work in one of BUPA’s nominated hospitals, then you would either need to find a different surgeon or have your surgery but not be covered by BUPA.

This is an unacceptable situation, and hopefully, these decisions will be reversed. However, it does appear that the Australian Private Health Insurers are attempting to reduce what they pay out for, while at the same time, increasing their premiums. Dr Goldman believes that this is inevitable.

Dr Goldman’s recommendations are:

  1. Make sure you have “top cover”. Whatever health insurance fund you are with, unless you have “top cover” you will not receive benefits or will receive reduced benefits. In other words, either you will not be able to claim at all, or if you can, the amount you will receive back from your health fund will be very reduced.
  2. Change from BUPA to another health fund. If you are a fully paid-up member of 1 fund, you will be able to change to the same level of cover with another fund WITHOUT a waiting period. YOU MUST CHECK THIS WITH THE NEW FUND. BUPA is, without doubt, the most frustrating and challenging health fund to deal with and always attempt to pay out the minimum.
  3. Assume that your surgery may not be claimable on you private health policy if you do not have top cover. In this situation, you will need to pay for the surgery, anaesthetic and hospital costs in full up front and then claim afterwards. If you do get anything back from your private health insurance as well, this is a bonus.

This information is Dr Goldman’s opinion and advice based on the recent publicity and trends within the private health industry as well as his practice’s dealing with private health funds over the years.

How a Tummy Tuck May Be an Answer to Chronic Back Pain

If you’ve long been a sufferer of back pain, then you’re fully aware of the adverse effect it can have on your everyday life.

Reduced mobility and near constant pain can make even the most trivial of tasks a chore. Long-term medication use means recurring trips to the doctor and pharmacy and potentially living life through a haze. An inability to rest or sleep makes you sluggish and unresponsive at times when you should or need to be at your most alert.

Irritability and lost capacity to handle stress have put a strain on not just you, but your relationships. These are just a few of the daily challenges you might face. As time goes on, with little in the way of relief, these and other side effects of your back pain are only going to increase.

The prospect of continued misery can be overwhelming. What if there was a way to ease the constant suffering and never-ending doses of ineffective medicines? What if that remedy was a commonly performed procedure better known for its cosmetic benefits instead of medical advantages?

What if that procedure was a tummy tuck?

An Internal Back Brace

Abdominoplasty surgery, better known as a tummy tuck, has long been used to remove excess skin and fat from a patient’s abdomen. The operation also helps to reestablish weak or separated muscles caused by pregnancy, aging, and other factors.

The procedure is predominately used to repair the abdominal wall in women who were once pregnant, often as part of so-called “mommy makeovers.” The surgery is frequently cited as a confidence booster from the improved physical appearance of the patient’s mid-section.

Picture showing young woman waking up in the morning with pain

Other individuals that have benefited from the surgery include people who’ve experienced significant weight loss or have had previous surgery. Aging and heredity factors, though less common, can also weaken muscles and draw patients to the tummy tuck procedure.

What is often lesser known is that, in tightening the connective tissues in and around your abdomen, your spine becomes more stable. This effectively tightens your core and helps to correct poor posture and solidify your upper body.

Can a Tummy Tuck Really Improve Back Pain?

A study done in 2011 cites that the abdominal procedure can be effective at reducing back pain. The study followed eight female patients with chronic lower back pain and loose abdominal muscle tissue. After undergoing the tummy tuck procedure, each one reported immediate improvement of their back pain.

A more recent study of 208 female patients, completed in Australia in 2016, showed a significant number of female patients experienced reduced pain in their backs and considerable improvement in urinary incontinence.

Although both studies represent a small sample, they do give real hope to long time back pain sufferers that alternatives do exist. It is important though to understand who can benefit most by having this procedure.

Not All Back Pain is Created Equal

There are many different types of back pain. A tummy tuck and the tightening of your core is not a guaranteed method in curing all forms.

Nerve problems, disc complication, or even more severe spinal damage, will be unaffected by the abdominal surgery with pain potentially increasing. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with your physician to fully determine the source of pain.

More traditional methods, including ones that do not involve surgery, may be available to better treat your back.

More Than Just Pain Relief

Tummy Tucks

 

Tummy Tucks are quickly becoming a popular cosmetic procedure in Australia.

Even with its growing popularity, a tummy tuck is still an invasive surgery that may not be for everyone. It is understandable though, if you can no longer bear the daily stresses that come with your chronic back pain, to seek an alternative.

If, after extensive consultation with a specialist and a cosmetic surgeon, it’s determined you are a viable candidate for surgery, a tummy tuck could potentially be your solution to a pain-free life.

Year-Round Skin Care

Nothing brings out your natural beauty quite like clear, glowing skin.

To get bright, healthy, youthful looking skin, you must take care of it every day which means diligently sticking to a proper skin care routine. Products that worked great for you in the summer, however, may not deliver the same results when the weather turns cold, and vice versa.

A great skincare regimen depends upon customising your regimen and product arsenal throughout the year. This article outlines what you need to know about taking care of your skin throughout the year for the best possible results.

Exfoliate often

exfoliant

Exfoliating your skin is essential year-round, but you may find that you need it more in the winter time. Exfoliating 1-2 times per week will slough off dead skin cells and allow your moisturising products, like face oils, serums and moisturisers, to penetrate the skin more deeply.

Two types of exfoliating products exist: chemical and physical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants use chemicals like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and fruit acids and enzymes to exfoliate the skin. Physical exfoliants are products which rely on physical means, like small grains, beads, or bristles to exfoliate.

Be sure to follow up with a rich, nourishing face oil or skin cream to protect your skin and prevent it from losing excess moisture.

In the summer, your skin will naturally be more hydrated, but you should still exfoliate when needed to ensure your skin can optimally absorb moisturisers. It’s best to avoid products with rough, scratchy ingredients like large fruit pits and shells, as these can cause micro-tears in and irritation to the skin.

Cleanse daily

skin care routine

Use the best facial wash for your skin type. Many mistakenly think they must scrub with a strong cleanser to clean properly but, in reality, using harsh products may cause irritation, dryness, and peeling which are problematic in the drier winter months.

Switch to a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin which can add moisture to your skin and will soothe any dryness. If you have problematic skin or experience irritation, stick to a fragrance-free cleanser with minimal irritants.

In the summer, you may be able to choose a lighter cleanser so you continue to have gorgeous, glowing skin.

Target concerns with skin treatment products

After cleansing, it’s time to apply specific products designed for your skin type; you may find that you need to use more moisturising ingredients to hydrate the skin during the dry, cold winter months.

During the hot summer months, many people find their skin can tolerate less moisture, and lighter products are appropriate.

Use sun protection

moisturising cream

Sun protection should be an essential step of your year-round skincare routine, as the sun’s rays are damaging even on cloudy days. Suncare is a must if you want to have youthful skin and prevent wrinkles, premature aging, and skin cancer. Apply SPF to clean, dry skin after cleansing or moisturising.

Today’s sunscreens will meld into your skin and work well under makeup. In the winter, you may opt for a combination moisturiser and sunscreen that delivers hydration and protection.

For the beach and swimming in the summer, choose a water-resistant formula with a minimum of SPF 30 and re-apply at least every two hours generously. Using a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher will also protect your lips.

Apply an eye treatment

If your eye area tends to get dry in the winter, use an eye cream or concealer with a moisturising formula designed specifically for the eye area.

In the summer, you may find that a lighter gel-based or oil-free cream during the day will offer enough moisture for the skin around your delicate eye area.

What’s next?

By understanding your skin care needs throughout the year’s seasonal changes, you can excellent results from your skin and enjoy the healthy complexion you deserve.

Want to learn more about getting younger looking skin? Dr Robert Goldman offers a variety of products and procedures to keep your skin looking radiant and youthful. From skin care products, to facial rejuvenation, to cosmetic injectables, Dr Goldman has everything you need for beautiful skin.

Contact us today for a quote and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Robert Goldman.

Contact us today for a quote and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Robert Goldman.