6 Questions you MUST ask your Plastic Surgeon before surgery


Plastic surgery is on the rise and so are the number of patients who receive bad results. A lot of time doctors and patients are not on the same page with realistic goals or patients are not educated enough to know what procedure is right for them. Having open communication with your plastic surgeon will help you to achieve the best results and will help you work together to achieve more realistic goals.  Asking these questions are a MUST before you undergo any type of plastic surgery to assistance you in attaining the greatest results possible:

1.       Are you board certified? This is one of the most crucial questions to ask your plastic surgeon. Proof that your surgeon is well qualified is to do your surgery is if they are board certified by either the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Board certified means that they had to undergo five years of training and numerous examinations. You can check to see if your surgeon is certified here: https://www.certificationmatters.org/is-your-doctor-board-certified/search-now.aspx


2.       Am I a good candidate for this procedure? Many patients may want a specific procedure that they think will be a good fit for them, however before running the risk of a procedure not taking or turning out badly the best thing to do is to ask your doctor first. Ask your doctor for more specifics to see if you qualify or what you need to accomplish to be qualified for the operation. There are usually certain qualifications of a good candidate for each operation. Make sure your surgeon knows what those qualifications are before going under the knife.  


3.       How many times have you performed this procedure? The ideal number your surgeon has done a specific procedure should be a hundred or more per year. Saying no to surgeons doing the procedure for the first or even tenth time would be the right decision. You want a surgeon who has become an expert on that procedure so you can relax knowing that your results should be exactly what you are wanting.


4.       Will you show me some before and after pictures of patients that you have previously performed this surgery on? Any true expert physician should have a copy of these pictures at their practice or on their website. Make sure you insist on seeing these photos not only for proof of their expertise but also every surgeon is different. You may not like how one surgeon does a procedure compared to another. Seeing these pictures will help you to decide if this is the type of outcome you are looking for.


5.       Are there any risks and/or complications to this procedure? Knowing the risks or complications to a specific surgery might make it easier for you to find the right fit. There are many procedures out there that have minimal risks or even non-surgical alternatives so be sure to ask your doctor about all your options. There is also no absolute guarantee of any surgery. Be sure to notify your doctor of all medications you are currently taking and any known allergies.


6.       How long of a recovery period should I expect, and what type of help will I need during my recovery time? Preparing for surgery can feel overwhelming and scary if you are unsure as to what to expect. Knowing your recovery time and what type of help you will need will calm your nerves and put you more in control. These factors will also assist you in deciding what is right for you and your body.



* Don’t be intimidated to get a second opinion. The value of ensuring you get the results you want is all in good preparation and ensuring that you’re comfortable with who is doing the work.  A second opinion will help you to compare prices so you know you are getting the best treatment for your dollar and will help if both doctors agree that a certain surgery is right for you.  Sometimes a quick search online for reviews of different surgeons and their patients results can tell you everything you need to know about who you’re letting operate on you. 



EZDOCTOR: Rheumatoid arthritis Q & A with Rheumatologist: Dr. Santiago

Dr. Santiago-Casas joined Drs. Kahn and Riskin’s practice (South Florida Rheumatologist) after serving as an attending physician and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

You can book an appointment with Dr. Santiago-Casas in Hollywood, Florida here: 

What is rheumatoid arthritis? 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that produces pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The specific cause of this condition remains unknown, however genetic, hormonal, infectious and environmental factors have been linked to its development. It a type of autoimmune disease, meaning there is an error in the system that protects us from infections, where the system now attacks the joints. Approximately 1.3 million adults in the United States have RA. This type of arthritis is more common in women. It usually starts around the fourth and six decade of life, however it can occur at any age.

What are the symptoms of RA?

RA usually affects the small joints in the fingers, wrists and feet. It predominantly affects both sides of the body at the same time. Although it usually starts in the small joints of the fingers and toes, it can affect any of the joints. In addition, it may also begin in a single joint such as the knee or the shoulder. The onset of joint symptoms is usually gradually. These symptoms include joint pain, redness, warmth to the touch, and joint swelling. The joint stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and tends to last longer than 1 hour. Other symptoms of RA include tiredness, low grade fevers, loss of appetitive, nodules in the skin, and dryness of eyes. RA affects not only the joints, but other parts of the body as well, such as the eyes, heart, and lungs.

How is RA diagnosed?

The diagnosis of RA is based on a composite of factors including the characteristic signs and symptoms of the condition, the findings on physical examination, the results of the laboratory tests and the imaging results (including x-rays, ultrasound, and MRI). The initial symptoms of the condition may be very subtle making it especially difficult to diagnose in its early stages. 

What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? 

The course of RA is variable. In the majority of the people the symptoms fluctuate for weeks or months. However, it is generally impossible to predict the course of RA or how it will affect a particular individual. Studies have shown however that the treatment of this type of arthritis must be initiated early in its course as to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, improve the quality of life, preserve physical function, and prevent joint damage.

The treatment in general of this condition involves three classes of medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or ‘NSAIDs’), steroids, and disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (or ‘DMARDs’). The specific type of medications depends on the patient’s individual characteristics and their side effect profile. However, once the diagnosis of RA is made the patient must start therapy with a DMARD promptly. DMARDs include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, and the biologic agents. Response to treatment usually requires several weeks, depending on the medication used. 

The biologic agents include etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, certolizumab pegol, golimumab, abatacept, tocilizumab, rituximab, and the newer agent tofacitinib. In contrast to non-biologic DMARDs, the biologic agents begin to work rapidly within 2 weeks for some medications and four to six weeks for others. Biologics are usually used in combination with methotrexate; however some of them may also be used alone. 

Of note, studies have shown that patients with RA have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, thus starting appropriate therapy for this type of arthritis is crucial not only for the joints, but for the rest of body.

Lifestyle changes are also important including eating a healthy diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also it is very important to stay active. However, during the episodes of flares of the arthritis, rest is advised and active exercises are avoided because symptoms might worsen. During these periods, mostly stretching and range of motion exercises are maintained. Evaluation by a physical therapist might be warranted to tailor a specific exercise program.

Several studies have shown that smoking is a risk factor for RA and that quitting smoking can actually improve the symptoms of this condition.  People with RA who smoke need to quit doing so promptly.

Surgery might necessary in patients with long term RA who do not exhibit ongoing inflammation, but rather present joint damage. In these cases where pain originates from joint damage and long term effects of arthritis, surgery might be indicated to replace the damaged joint.

The rheumatologists are the specialists best suited to diagnose this condition, especially in the early stages of the condition where it can mimic other diseases, and offer the best therapy available.

The structure of the normal joint is shown on the left. On the right side is the joint with rheumatoid arthritis. RA causes pain and swelling of the synovium (the tissue that lines the joint). This can make cartilage (the tissue that cushions between joints) and bone wear away (erosion).

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the wrist and the small joints of the hand, including the knuckles and the middle joints of the fingers.

Be sure to visit her website: http://www.southfloridarheumatology.com/

This blog was taken by granted request from: http://www.southfloridarheumatology.com/blogs

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and How You Can Help

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Show Your Support:

-Run for the Cause

Susan G Komen's Race for the Cure is dedicated to finding a cure. Find a race in your state and show your support here: 

-Buy Anything "Pink"

Products that are helping support research and have the authentic ribbon are giving back usually 20 percent or more.

Find Jewelry, Beauty, and Fashion items that support Breast Cancer Research Here:

-Donate Directly

By donating directly to the National Breast Cancer Month Foundation 100 percent of your donation is used for research.

Donate Here: National Breast Cancer Month : http://www.nbcam.org/

Hope totes- Buy Business Merchandise 

Your business can even help by buying directly from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month's website, which can be personalized with your businesses' logo. (in bulk starting at 50)

(Photo: Hope Totes) 
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Chocolate Lovers Rejoice. The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Chocolate Lovers Rejoice: It's National Chocolate Day!

Although chocolate can be high in fat and sugar, which isn't really a great choice for your health, Dark Chocolate provides a healthy alternative that can actually be beneficial to you in the long run.

To get the full benefits you must...

Pick The Right Dark Chocolate:

70% or higher cocoa (the higher cocoa content, the higher the antioxidant levels)

Choose Organic (processed dark chocolate gets stripped of most of their antioxidants and vitamins)

Dark Chocolate Benefits:

1. Can Help Lower Blood Pressure:

Dark Chocolate helps to regulate and improve blood flow to the heart, which helps keep blood pressure low. It also helps control blood sugar and fight off Type 2 Diabetes.

2. Good For Your Brain:

Dark Chocolate not only improves blood flow to the heart but also to the brain, which helps reduces the risk of a stroke. Phenylethylamine (PEA) chemical is released and sent to the brain, much like the feeling of falling in love, dark chocolate helps to make you happier and lighten your mood.

3. Chock Full of Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are proven to help free your body of free radicals that can cause damage to your cells. Dark Chocolate proved to have more antioxidants than most fruit, even blueberries. These same antioxidants help to fight off UV rays and in turn help with wrinkles, sun spots, skin hydration, and even help with your overall complexion.

4. Stress Reliever:

The cocoa in dark chocolate helps reduce stress hormones that cause collagen breakdown in the skin. Thus meaning a calmer day with fewer wrinkles.

So indulge yourself today, but keep in mind that to receive these health benefits stick to no more than one ounce a day.  Makes for the perfect midday or evening treat!