ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Winter Is Tough on Feet
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Week of Historic Senate Hearings on Integrative Medicine May Open New Doors
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Add your Article

Bye, Bye Back Fat?

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For many women, unsightly bumps and bulges above and below the back of their bra can make wearing body-hugging fashions a nightmare.

Now, a plastic surgeon in North Carolina has designed a procedure that lifts and smoothes the upper and middle back.

In a one-hour procedure, with the patient under general anesthesia, Dr. Joseph P. Hunstad makes an incision across the back, at the level of the bra line. "We strongly gather up every bit of 'tissue laxity,' which can be 8 to 10 inches of excess skin, and remove it," he said.

The area is stitched closed, leaving a fine line scar that is typically hidden under the bra or a swimsuit, he said.

Hunstad reported on the new procedure in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

He details the case histories of seven women who had the procedure. The average age was 54, and six of seven patients were not overweight. Only one had undergone gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. "This procedure eliminates all the laxity there, and the contour of their whole body becomes taut and smooth," he said. While he uses a short-acting general anesthesia, he said the procedure could be done under a local anesthesia in some patients.

"If we have a heavy patient, which is unusual, we can do liposuction at the same time," he said.

So-called back fat can occur with age or after substantial weight loss, he said.

Patients are advised to avoid vigorous activity, heavy lifting, raising their arms above their head or submerging the surgical site under water after the procedure. They can shower after 24 hours, return to normal activity in three or four days, and can walk for exercise within 48 hours of surgery, Hunstad said.

During the follow-up, on average almost two years, complications were minimal, he said, with no infections or tissue death. Two of the seven women underwent scar revision surgery, but Hunstad said their scars weren't much different than those on the other five patients. It's important, he wrote in the report, to discuss the scar with the patient before the surgery, so expectations are realistic.

The new technique "will catch on," said Dr. Renato Calabria, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon familiar with the procedure. "It's a great operation and works well, and the scar is hidden [under the bra], but there is still a scar," he noted.

"For years, doctors have used liposuction to take care of back fat," Calabria said. Now, the new procedure might be used in combination with liposuction, he added.

Not everyone will go for it, , however, Calabria said. "Here in Beverly Hills, there are not a lot of patients who want to walk around with that kind of scar," he explained.

Elsewhere, however, Calabria predicted the procedure will catch on. It might be appreciated especially by patients who have lost a substantial amount of weight and have sagging skin on their back.

The cost is about $7,500 to $10,000, Hunstad said, noting the fees vary from region to region. In large metropolitan areas, patients can expect to pay up to $20,000 for it, Calabria said.

-Kathleen Doheny

More information

To learn more about body contouring, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.



SOURCES: Joseph P. Hunstad, M.D., plastic surgeon, Charlotte, N.C.; former professor, Duke University, Durham, N.C., and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Renato Calabria, M.D., plastic surgeon, Beverly Hills, Calif., and instructor, University of Southern California Department of Plastic Surgery; October 2008, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Last Updated: Sept. 12, 2008

Copyright 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com