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Each year, many of us wrap presents for loved ones and put up elaborate decorations in preparation for the Christmas holiday. However, holiday décor isn’t the only important thing we put on display, go ahead and admit it, our own appearance is undeniably important. For some, the holidays provide that extra incentive to undergo a beauty treatment or procedure that has been considered for awhile.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there has been an increase of more than 155 percent in the total number of cosmetic procedures since 1997; surgical procedures increased by more than 71 percent, and nonsurgical procedures increased by 228 percent. From 2009 to 2010, there was a 9 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic surgical procedures, with more than 1.6 million surgical procedures this year.

Even though the countdown to Christmas has begun, there is still time to give one's natural beauty a boost. Because time can be a somewhat limiting factor, let’s examine the possibilities:

Generally speaking, a facelift can provide “party ready” results in just two to three weeks (although bruising and swelling will vary among patients). Modern facelift techniques can produce dramatic improvements to your face and neck and would allow you to attend a holiday social in 10 days to two weeks. Short-incision facelifts can produce results in just seven to 10 days for many patients.

Brow lift

While makeup can improve the appearance of a woman’s face, eye shadow won’t do much if others can’t see it. Often times, eyelid skin can droop as we age, making eyelids appear hidden. Blepharoplasty, or an “eye lift,” can “open” eyes up in as little as two weeks. Modern brow lift techniques will not leave a long, old-fashioned scar across the hairline, and they can lift the brow into a more youthful position with just a couple of very small incisions that are fully hidden in your hair. As with any surgery, individual healing times vary. In most cases, though, bruising and swelling fade within about 10 days, and most people can wear makeup even sooner.

Fillers

Some people lose facial fat volume as they age, and they may benefit from fat grafts (removing fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the face) or fillers. Injectable filler solutions fall into two main categories:

Recovery from injectable fillers varies greatly and is dependent on the amount of substance injected, as well as individual healing. Limited amounts of injectables can offer significantly shorter recovery times — usually up to one week.

While injectables are the ideal solution for some patients, they are not the best solution for the fine lines around the eyes or upper lip. However, laser technology allows clinicians to target the fine lines on the surface of the skin to reveal refreshed, smoother, younger-looking skin. Resurfacing laser procedures usually cause some redness that will fade over the course of a few weeks, but it can easily be covered with makeup after about seven days.

Botox

If you’re like most people, though, you have only a few days to spare before the holidays, which can still be enough time to enhance appearance significantly. Botox injections, for example, can give a more refreshed look in just a few days. Skillfully placed Botox injections can leave you looking refreshed and rested with no down time — all it takes is 10 minutes with your qualified provider. Botox is one of the least-invasive options, and with skilled delivery, you will not look "overdone."

Botox decreases the contraction of facial muscles, which subsequently decreases the amount of skin wrinkling that occurs in certain regions of the face, such as the forehead and the area between the brows. Botox usually begins to take effect within three to four days. Though Botox is popular and widely available, it is not a permanent solution, and it is not risk-free (and therefore should be performed by a trained medical professional who can skillfully inject the Botox without causing distortions in your facial expression).

Venus Freeze

The Venus Freeze device is the latest in advanced non-invasive fat reduction and skin tightening systems and is now offered at the office of Dr. Jennifer Walden. The Venus Freeze system was developed based on clinically proven medical technology for non-invasive skin tightening and modest fat reduction, it uses pulsed magnetic fields and radio frequency to consistently and uniformly heat the skin from the inside out without the threat of laser burns. The collagen fibers heat up resulting in skin tightening to attain very nice results.

Venus Freeze treatments are non-invasive and painless. The treatment is also quick and effortless — only 15 minutes for the face and 40 minutes for the body.

Other new noninvasive technologies — such as fat reduction by external freezing of cells, or cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting™ by Zeltiq™) and skin tightening of the face and neck using sound waves (Ultherapy™) — offer no downtime and are easy ways to get ready for the holiday season!

If you are interested in targeting troublesome areas of your body (rather than your face), you will have an easier time concealing bruising and swelling under your party clothes. For example, breast augmentation and moderate liposuction procedures only require several days of recovery (allowing you to return to normal, not rigorous, activity). Larger volume liposuction procedures, breast reductions, breast lifts and abdominoplasty procedures (“tummy tucks”) require around two weeks to recover.

So there you have it... the skinny on the treatments and procedures that can be done on the final countdown to 2013. Here's to a "picture perfect" you!

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To learn more about these or any of the other cosmetic procedures Dr. Jennifer Walden offers, please visit her places page or call the Austin plastic surgery office at (512) 328-4100 to schedule your complimentary holiday consultation.


A pleasant skin tightening fix at last

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The demand for non-invasive aesthetic treatments has increased dramatically in the past few years. In 2009, over 10 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. alone, accounting for 88% of the total cosmetic procedures performed that year.

A comprehensive solution

The Venus Freeze device is the latest in advanced non-invasive fat reduction and skin tightening systems and is now offered at the office of Dr. Jennifer Walden.

The Venus Freeze system was developed based on clinically proven medical technology for non-invasive skin tightening and modest fat reduction.

Venus Freeze treatments use pulsed magnetic fields and radio frequency to consistently and uniformly heat the skin from the inside out without the threat of laser burns. The collagen fibers heat up resulting in skin tightening to attain very nice results.

Venus Freeze treatments are non-invasive and painless. The treatment is also quick and effortless — only 15 minutes for the face and 40 minutes for the body.

Venus Freeze is a versatile device that offers a dare I say “pleasant” solution for face and body treatments. Its unique ergonomic and painless application of radio frequency waves enables fast and homogeneous heating of the skin with maximum safety and comfort for patients who wish to have noninvasive skin tightening and fat reduction.

Experience the benefits of Venus Freeze non-invasive aesthetic treatments:
• Satisfaction: Visible clinical results with enjoyable, pain-free treatments. “It feels like a relaxing hot stone massage!,” one patient told us.
• Safety: (MP)² is an extremely low risk radio frequency technology that does not damage the skin. The homogenous heat dispersion effectively reduces temperature spikes and spares the use of a cooling aid.

Who Are The Treatments For?

The Venus Freeze treatments are for anyone who feels that their appearance could be slightly improved by skin tightening. Venus Freeze works exceptionally well for mothers looking to eradicate saggy skin post-pregnancy.

Skin Tightening

A variety of factors including sun exposure, smoking, genetics, lifestyle and time all cause skin to look aged. Lax, saggy skin with loss of elasticity is one of the most visible signs of aging. Several biological processes play a role in causing skin laxity: increased collagen breakdown in the skin, a decrease in the number of fibroblasts — the cells that produce collagen fibers, and progressive reduction in the number of capillary loops, resulting in a diminished nutrient supply to the skin.

The Venus Freeze solution offered at the office of Dr. Jennifer Walden is an effective aesthetic intervention that can reverse and correct these processes, leading to healthier, more flexible and attractive skin.

Venus Concept (Toronto, ON) has developed (MP)2, an innovative technology for non-invasive treatments with proven clinical results. This patented technology combines a matrix of bipolar radio frequency (RF) along with magnetic pulses that work in synergy and reverse the effects of skin aging.

The magnetic pulse component of (MP)2 induces the release of growth factors required for the sprouting of new blood vessels, as well as for proliferation of dermal fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the cells in our body that make collagen in the skin and make it look younger and firmer. Simultaneously, the RF component induces collagen and elastin synthesis by causing controlled thermal (heat) damage in the dermis, which triggers the self-repair mechanism of skin tissue. The result is a marked improvement in skin tightness and elasticity, and in overall skin condition. This usually requires 6 to 8 treatments for maximum effect, with each treatment spaced a week apart.

Wrinkle Reduction

Wrinkles are typically associated with aging, which brings about multiple biological changes in the layers of the skin. Increased collagen breakdwon, a decline in the number of dermal fibroblasts that produce collagen, and reduced dermal circulation lessen the skin’s elasticity and cause the formation of wrinkles.

The Venus Freeze solution offered at the office of Dr. Jennifer Walden is a noninvasive treatment will promote the production of collagen and elastic fibers and improve blood flow, and thus restore elasticity and help revitalize the skin.

(MP)², is an advanced technology for non-invasive treatments with proven clinical results. This patented technology combines multi polar radio frequency (RF) with magnetic pulses that work in synergy to effectively diminish wrinkles and improve skin texture.

Two mechanisms work synergistically to reverse the biological processes responsible for wrinkles. The magnetic pulse component of (MP)² induces the release of growth factors required for the sprouting of new blood vessels, as well as for proliferation of skin cells. The RF component induces collagen and elastin production by creating controlled damage and triggering the skin’s healing process. The result is a more vital, toned and healthy looking skin with improved elasticity and texture.

Fat Reduction

Many women and men are displeased with their body’s silhouette, whether it is caused by excess fat, cellulite, or lax skin. Since diet and exercise don’t always do the trick, patients often seek other solutions for circumference reduction and body contouring. An effective circumference reduction treatment will act on multiple levels — improving skin tone, reducing small fat pockets, and increasing skin blood flow to produce a noticeable decrease in measurements.

The Venus Freeze Solution offered at the office of Dr. Jennifer Walden is a non-invasive, clinically proven technology that comprises multi-polar radio frequency (RF) and magnetic pulses — two components that work in synergy to deliver substantial circumference fat reduction over time.

The efficacy of circumference reduction treatments depends upon the successful management of the underlying causes — lax skin, cellulite and excess fat.

The magnetic pulse component of (MP)2 increases the release of growth factors required for proliferation of fibroblasts and formation of new blood vessels. Concurrently, the radio frequency component increases collagen and elastin formation in the skin via a controlled thermal damage mechanism. These processes tighten skin, decrease subcutaneous fat and stimulate blood circulation, usually resulting in a notable circumference reduction of those isolated and stubborn fat deposits after multiple short (6-8) treatments.

Is Venus Freeze right for you?

Dr. Walden and her aesthetician who is also a registered nurse will go over whether Venus Freeze will be right for you. In the meantime you can ask yourself some preliminary questions to consider getting the treatments done.

  • Do you want to improve the look, feel and shape of resistant areas that do not respond to traditional exercise and diets?
  • Would you like to decreases wrinkles and obtain a fresh youthful look without the use of painful needles or complicated surgery?
  • Have you considered improving your appearance by tightening skin, circumferential reduction and decreasing the appearance of wrinkles?
  • Are you looking for a non-invasive and pain-free approach?

Venus Freeze treatments succeed at tightening skin in the face, neck and entire body. Many patients experience firmer skin, softening of wrinkles and a more youthful appearance. Body treatments may even show a reduced appearance of stretch marks and cellulite as shown in recent studies, and a more contoured figure.

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If you wish to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Walden, please visit her places page here, or call the office at (512) 328- 4100 to schedule your consultation for Venus Freeze, traditional liposuction, or other body contouring procedure .

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About face: Options for those pesky wrinkles and sags

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What’s in a face at 50, 60 or 70?

As time marches on, we see wrinkles, loss of facial fat, and sagging of the skin with deepening of the nasolabial folds (laugh lines), tired eyes, thinning lips and jowls.

As the New York Times points out, the loss of fat in the cheeks is part of a reshaping of the face over time. As soft tissue slides down over the cheekbone, producing laugh lines and making the cheekbones look a little flatter, the jaw line seems to widen because of the jowls.

Options

This is enough to make many consider rejuvenative facial surgery, or cosmetic surgery, but what are the options available?

As people grow older, the skin of the face begins to wrinkle and sag with the help of gravity and time. Exposure to the sun, genetic influences and other factors such as smoking also contribute to the effects of aging.

A facelift can correct these conditions and give people a more youthful appearance.

This procedure involves the tightening of facial and neck skin and muscles, as well as the removal of excess skin. Facelift incisions are placed in areas where they are minimally visible. The objective is to elevate the underlying structures and redrape the skin on the face in order to give a more youthful and rested appearance.

No single facelift technique is appropriate for all patients, and I use the approach that is best for each patient’s anatomy. In every patient I reposition the underlying foundation, which consists of fascia, called the SMAS, fat and muscle to restore tissues to their original position without stretching the overlying skin.

I trained with world-renowned surgeons in New York City who were among first surgeons to use the SMAS/platysma technique (the platysma muscle is along the lower cheek, jawline and neck). At the initial consultation I will tell you which of the procedures will give you the best and most natural result for your face and necklift.

Many people lose facial fat volume as part of the aging process, but people in their early 40s and 50s usually need volume redistribution rather than volume addition. When one has lost tissue volume in their face, I will add fat, which is taken from another part of the body.

What's in a facelift

A facelift incision begins in the temporal area above the ear, follows the contour of the cartilage of the ear, curves around the earlobe and continues up the back of the ear into the hair in a way that is not seen. I maintain the hairline in the front and back of the ear, and the temporal and sideburn area, in their original positions.

For some patients, a short scar facelift is possible in which the incision begins in the temporal area above the ear, follows the contour of the cartilage of the ear and then curves around the earlobe and stops. A short scar facelift works for an individual who does not have significant sagging of the neck.

Some current media articles and advertisements compare non-invasive and minimally invasive facelift procedures to surgical facial rejuvenation. It is important to take into account that the results obtained with non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures do not compare to the initial nor the long-term results that can be achieved with surgery. There definitely is a place for filler substances and Botox in the face, although these products cannot lift and restore sagging tissues.

Patients frequently ask "at what age should I have a facelift?" A patient, regardless of age, should not have a facelift until they have seen changes in the face that are a result of the aging process that they wish to have corrected.

The primary causes linked to the aging process are genetics, lifestyle - including factors such as sun damage — smoking , and weight gain or loss.

What about those tired eyes?

Blepharoplasty is a procedure to remove fat, along with excess skin, from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and the puffy bags under the eyes — features that make you look older and more weary than you feel.

The effect is to give the eyes a more rested, youthful look with a brighter appearance. Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids, or both and is often performed in conjunction with other facial procedures.

The forehead

A forehead lift or "browlift" is a procedure that restores a more youthful and refreshed look to the forehead, eye brows and upper eyelid areas.

By removing excess skin and muscle, the procedure corrects drooping brows, improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make you look angry, sad or tired, and tightening the skin of the upper eyelid. The incisions are typically well hidden along the frontal hairline or in the hair, and with the use of an endoscope (a small camera that allows the procedure to be performed with minimal incisions), the incisions are more difficult to see. The particular type of incision to be used is dependent on your goals and specific anatomy.

Also, a forehead lift is often performed in conjunction with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or a facelift to provide a smoother, overall balanced look to the eyes and face.

What if surgery is not needed yet or not an option?

Today, fillers and Botox can help rejuvenate without the downtime of cosmetic surgical procedures. Here are several popular ones:

Botox Cosmetic is a purified protein in an injectable liquid form. It is a non-surgical, physician administered treatment that can temporarily reduce moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in patients. During treatment, very low doses of Botox® Cosmetic are administered via a few tiny injections directly into the muscles that cause those stubborn lines between the brows.

Botox Cosmetic works by blocking nerve impulses, which reduces the movement of these muscles. With less movement, the skin surface gradually smooths out, and the moderate to severe frown lines between your brows begin to fade. Often the brow can be raised a small amount with Botox for those who do not need or desire a surgical browlift yet.

Soft tissue fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are viscoelastic gels made of hyaluronic acid that allow quick and noticeable corrections without the need of a skin test. They are injected just under the skin's surface at intervals along the wrinkle until the right amount is achieved.

Soft tissue fillers can be used to "fill" and smooth out deep facial furrows, acne scars, and smile lines. They can also be used to enhance the border of the lips for those who desire a fuller look. Treatments take less than half an hour, and may require a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Radiesse™ is a synthetic injectable filler that reduces wrinkles, creases and scars by augmenting the body's natural collagen supply. Composed of microspheres in a biocompatible gel, Radiesse is made from the same minerals found in our bones, so it carries little risk of allergic reaction. Radiesse can be used on many areas of the body, including the lips, nasolabial folds, peri-oral lines, depressed scars and oral commissures.

Injectable treatments typically take 15 or so minutes and require only local anesthetic. Side effects such as swelling or bruising are minimal and should fade within a few days. Results are visible immediately after the injection and can last for months or years, although the procedure can be repeated as often as you wish.

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To learn more about these or any of the other cosmetic procedures Dr. Jennifer Walden offers, don't hesitate to visit our place page or call our Austin plastic surgery office at (512) 328-4100 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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  • Dr. Jennifer Walden interviews with KVUE-TV

What’s to know about the nose?

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While the shape of your nose is usually the result of heredity, the appearance may have been altered in an injury or during prior surgery.

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It can reshape, reduce or augment a person's nose to achieve facial harmony and boost self-confidence. It may be performed as a reconstructive procedure to correct a birth defect or an injury such as a broken nose.

Rhinoplasty may be performed for functional rather than cosmetic reasons as well. Combining nose reshaping with septoplasty or endoscopic sinus surgery can effectively treat certain breathing problems, such as those caused by a deviated septum.

What can rhinoplasty do for me?

Rhinoplasty is an excellent procedure for achieving the following:

• Balance the size of the nose with the other facial features
• Modify the width of the nose at the bridge
• Improve the nasal profile, including removing humps or depressions
• Contour a nasal tip that is too large, "boxy," drooping or upturned
• Change the angle between the nose and the mouth
• Narrow and reshape the nostrils
• Correct asymmetry or deviation

Am I a good candidate for rhinoplasty?

The best candidates for rhinoplasty:

• Are at least 13 years old
• Have finished facial growth
• Are generally healthy
• Do not smoke
• Are seeking rhinoplasty for personal reasons, not pressure from others
• Have realistic goals for the procedure

How is the procedure performed?

Rhinoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure performed under I.V. sedation or general anesthesia.

Dr. Walden uses one of two techniques when performing nose surgery. In a closed rhinoplasty, incisions are made within the nostrils. In an open rhinoplasty, the incision is made across the columella, the tissue between the nostrils. With both methods, the surgeon gently lifts the soft tissues covering the nose. She then sculpts the bone and cartilage to the desired shape. Any additional cartilage needed to augment the nose can often be taken from the septum.

If the patient has a deviated septum, the surgeon will adjust the septum and the inner structures of the nose to improve breathing. Then the tissues are re-draped and stitched closed. If the patient desires nostril reshaping, this is done as the final stage of rhinoplasty.

The entire procedure generally lasts one to two hours.

What is the recovery from nose surgery like?

For a short time after surgery, patients may experience puffiness, nose ache or a dull headache, some swelling and bruising and bleeding or stuffiness. Most patients feel like themselves within two days and return to work in about a week

The results of rhinoplasty become gradually apparent as the days pass after surgery and swelling recedes. Swelling may reappear from time to time in the first year after the procedure. It is typically more noticeable in the morning and fades during the day.

Contact lenses can be worn immediately, but glasses may need to be taped to your forehead or propped on your cheeks for up to seven weeks.

Will I like the results of my nose surgery?

Patients with realistic goals for rhinoplasty are generally very happy with the new shape of their nose. The exact results depend on the patient's nasal bone and cartilage structure, facial shape, skin thickness and age.

What is revision rhinoplasty?

Revision or secondary rhinoplasty corrects deformities caused by a previous operation on the nose. It is a more difficult procedure to perform than primary rhinoplasty because there is less cartilage to work with and there may be scarring or tissue contracture (tightening).

You can find out more about rhinoplasty surgery in Austin and Dr. Jennifer Walden is offering 10% off Vectra 3D imaging.

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Dr. Jennifer Walden is an Austin, Texas-based cosmetic plastic surgeon, formerly of New York City, with an office located at 5656 Bee Caves Road, Suite E201 in Westlake Medical Center. She specializes in cosmetic surgery of the breast, face, and body and also offers minimally invasive beauty treatments such as Botox and soft tissue fillers. For more information, visit DrJenniferWalden.com, call (512) 328-4100 or visit her map detail page here.

  • VECTRA 3D image

Picture a new you: Austin's first 3D imaging for plastic surgery

Picture perfect

If you are one of the tens of thousands of people each year considering a cosmetic procedure, Dr. Jennifer Walden has some good news for you. In September, the board-certified plastic surgeon, became the first physician in Austin and surrounding areas to use the new VECTRA® 3D camera and Sculptor software. This innovative technology allows prospective patients to preview what they will look like after having breast augmentation, rhinoplasty (nasal reshaping) and other cosmetic procedures before undergoing surgery.

“Patients can see how they will look before the first incision is even made.”

The VECTRA® 3D photography system produces a three-dimensional (3D) photograph of the patient using multiple cameras, taking a number of pictures simultaneously from several different points of view. The 3D image is then processed by the Sculptor software to display a virtual model on a computer monitor, allowing the surgeon to simulate the expected results of a variety of cosmetic procedures.

“My patients absolutely love this technology,” Dr. Walden said. “For the first time, they can see a 3D picture of how they will look after breast augmentation or any facial procedure. Because it is 3D, I can rotate their images to any viewpoint, and they can really examine their desired result, which can help in decision making for breast implant size, nasal shape or even the subtleties in face-lifting.”

This type of preoperative technology can also have a significant and positive impact on patient expectations and satisfaction with their outcome.

“Patients can see how they will look before the first incision is even made,” Dr. Walden said.

The VECTRA® 3D photography system and Sculptor software were developed by Canfield Imaging Systems, the world’s leading provider of medical photography systems.

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Dr. Jennifer Walden is an Austin, Texas-based cosmetic plastic surgeon, formerly of New York City, with an office located at 5656 Bee Caves Road, Suite E201 in Westlake Medical Center. She specializes in cosmetic surgery of the breast, face, and body and also offers minimally invasive beauty treatments such as Botox and soft tissue fillers. For more information, visit DrJenniferWalden.com, call (512) 328-4100 or visit her map detail page here.


The Liposuction promise: Getting the skinny on fat

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Let’s face it, we Americans tend to obsess over our weight and our figure, or to put it bluntly, fat.

Since making its debut in North America 30 years ago, liposuction has promised to permanently remove excess fat from stubborn areas (unless one experienced a major weight gain).

New research reveals liposuction lives up to its promise: According to a recent study published in The Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, fat cells neither return to treated areas nor get redistributed to untreated areas of the body after liposuction.

The new study refutes a report published in 2011 in the journal Obesity, which said that fat often returns to untreated areas of the body, especially the abdomen, shoulders, and arms within one year after liposuction.

Its value is in permanently reducing the number of fat cells in problem areas for individuals who are at or near their ideal body weight but have trouble getting rid of stubborn isolated pockets of fat despite a thousand crunches.

In a follow-up article, the New York Times featured a caricature of a distorted woman, looking trim in the lower body but looking like the Incredible Hulk in the upper body. The cartoon was widely publicized on the web, but is an inaccurate rendition of what one may look like after liposuction and subsequent weight gain.

It is important to know that liposuction does not work miracles, does not change your ability to gain or lose weight and that diet and exercise are recommended after the procedure to keep the fat off.

Its value is in permanently reducing the number of fat cells in problem areas for individuals who are at or near their ideal body weight but have trouble getting rid of stubborn isolated pockets of fat despite a thousand crunches. It is nice to know that for any given weight you may be in the future, your proportions will be better after liposuction, barring major fluctuations in weight.

According to statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction has been among the top five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures since 1992; last year, nearly 205,000 liposuction procedures were performed.

What about the relatively new laser liposuction procedures that have gained traction within that past few years? With laser-assisted liposuction, a laser probe is inserted into the target area through a small incision, which the surgeon aims at fatty tissue, rupturing the fat cells. The laser is then directed toward the skin layer to stimulate these cells in order to achieve a purported “tightening” of the skin; fat and disrupted tissue is then liposuctioned out using the traditional technique.

Laser liposuction has received significant media attention as a popular “fat-melting” treatment with a celebrity following. However, initial data shows this procedure is no better than traditional liposuction. So if you are considering a new type of liposuction procedure, be sure and ask about long-term results and possible complications and look at how long that technology or device has been on the market in the United States.

Looking for a quick fix without having to go under the knife? The demand for non-invasive aesthetic treatments has increased dramatically in the past few years. In 2011, over 12 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were performed in the USA alone, accounting for the majority of procedures performed.

Let’s take a look at a few non-invasive fat reducing procedures that are making us all consider, ahem, a few more visits to the doctor this year:

Cellulite is mainly caused by genetic factors outside of our own control. Many believe it’s a fat problem, which can be addressed through diet and exercise, but that isn’t necessarily so.

The Venus Freeze® is a patented technology that combines multi-polar radiofrequency (RF) with pulsed magnetic fields. These two types of energy work in synergy to effect skin tightening and moderate fat reduction. The results for this pain-free noninvasive technology are promising and this machine has been used successfully outside the United States for years.

A relatively new fat freezing procedure (otherwise known as cryolipolysis) is called CoolSculpting® by Zeltiq. This technique freezes fat cells by the application of a noninvasive device to your skin. It is known to be a bit painful, so brace yourself, but can also be effective after multiple treatments.

Ultrasound fat reduction techniques such Liposonix® and UltraShape® are both in development and Liposonix® is the only one currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are ultrasound-based body sculpting devices that may offer some patients a non-surgical alternative to traditional suction-based liposuction. In both techniques, ultrasound is administered via an external device. The excess fat targeted by the ultrasound is destroyed and then naturally absorbed and removed by the body.

Data from studies on these devices has shown that this ultrasonic technology produces measurable reductions in the circumference of treatment areas, no serious adverse events and high patient satisfaction with minimal to no pain or discomfort. This technique is still being refined and improved for more consistent results.

Ultrasound, fat freezing, and radio-frequency devices may provide convenience for patients who don't want surgery or invasive treatment for contouring of the abdomen, flanks and thighs. But these procedures do have limitations in the amount of fat reduction and body contouring that can be achieved; traditional liposuction is still considered the gold standard for a permanent and relatively quick means of fat removal all other things being considered.

In general, the success of any body contouring technique requires selecting the right treatment for the right patient and making sure the patient has realistic expectations.

So what about that pesky problem called cellulite? Cellulite is mainly caused by genetic factors outside of our own control. Many believe it’s a fat problem, which can be addressed through diet and exercise, but that isn’t necessarily so. Cellulite is a structural problem below the skin caused by the way the dermis, or undersurface of the skin, attaches to underlying structures with fat in between the fibers causing dimpling. A popular new treatment Cellulaze® is currently the only treatment that attacks the structural problems beneath the skin that cause cellulite.

A minimally invasive, laser-assisted procedure, Cellulaze® is a new anti-cellulite treatment that aims to increase the skin's natural thickness and disrupt the fibers and fat causing dimples for a smoother look that lasts. Preliminary studies are promising for this new technology; we’ll know more about it’s long term effectiveness as time goes on.
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If you are interesting in a consultation for liposuction or body contouring with Dr. Jennifer Walden, visit her Map Details page here.

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Affluent Austin suburb boasts one of the biggest holiday budgets, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Affluent Austin suburb cashes in with one of the biggest holiday budgets in the U.S. Cedar Park boasts a jolly big holiday budget of $2,855 per person this year — the 14th highest in the U.S.


2. Acclaimed Hill Country winery pours onto list of the world's 100 best for 2022. The celebrated vineyard near Fredericksburg just uncorked a coveted spot on an exclusive list.

3. Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta acquires award-winning California resort. The Billion Dollar Buyer scooped up one of only six hotels in the U.S. with the Forbes Triple Five-Star rating.

4. 100-plus comedians set to make Austin laugh in Moontower's 2023 festival lineup. Trevor Noah is one of Moontower's exciting 2023 headliners.

5. Renovated UT Austin museum set to reopen in 2023 with exciting new exhibits. The Texas Memorial Museum will reopen in fall 2023 with new exhibits.

New self-guided tour showcases iconic Fort Worth Stockyards' many Hollywood ties

Tinseltown in Cowtown

A new self-guided tour showcasing the Fort Worth Stockyards’ many star-studded appearances in cinema throughout the years recently debuted in time for the 16th annual Lone Star Film Festival, which took place earlier this month in the Stockyards for the first time.

Called Stars of the Stockyards, the eight-stop, go-at-your-own pace walking tour guides folks to famous film sites where celebrities have stepped foot in front of Hollywood cameras. Visitors to the Stockyards can access the PDF tour map on their smart phones via QR codes (no app required) posted throughout the district, namely at hotels and tour kiosks.

"The Stockyards is a historic and celebrated destination for many reasons, but one that may be lesser known is its popularity as a filming location for some of our favorite movies and TV series," said Ethan Cartwright, VP of marketing for Stockyards Heritage Development Co.

The tour and corresponding QR codes are a permanent addition to the district, he said.

Stops on the map include the iconic White Elephant Saloon, a hotbed for Hollywood performances including several by legendary actor and martial artist Chuck Norris in the longtime TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger when the watering hole was portrayed as the fictional CD Bar. The White Elephant was also graced by country music superstar Tim McGraw and Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton for their appearances in Paramount Plus’ hit series 1883.

Also in 1883 and featured on the tour is Hookers Grill, hidden in the less flashy West side of Exchange Ave. The burger shack transformed into a gambling den in the show called The Texas House of Liquor & Sport. It’s the only building in the Stockyards that preserved the façade constructed by 1883’s production team. During operating hours, customers can order at the outdoor burger window and dine at patio tables within the two-story structure.

Cowtown Coliseum is marked on the map for its appearances in the 1983 film Tough Enough, where actor Dennis Quaid played an amateur boxer. It’s also the home of the final rodeo scene in the 1992 movie Pure Country starring country music legend George Strait.

Billy Bob’s Texas, the Stockyards Hotel, and even unassuming historic cattle pens also make the list on the tour, along with notations for the Texas Trail of Fame, which features more than 240 bronze markers honoring contributors for preserving and perpetuating the Western way of life.

Veteran actors Sam Elliot and Robert Duvall, both stars in the megahit TV series Yellowstone, are among the most recent Texas Trail of Fame inductees.

For more information and to get started on the tour, go here.

Favorite Austin burger chain joins local music nonprofit for $50,000 grant campaign

Musical Tastes

In Austin, the bell of the ball is the rockstar. Black Fret, a nonprofit that creates gigs and organizes funding for local musicians, makes sure these rock stars get their spotlight at the annual Black Fret Ball, now in its ninth year, and this time with some unexpected help from a burger bar.

Staff at Hopdoddy Burger Bar (a local favorite for lovers of toppings) got to nominate their favorite artists from across the country for a total of $50,000 in grants, an initiative called “Tuned In.” The restaurant asked guests to vote on favorites and landed on a group of nine final artists, including one from Austin.

Bonnie Whitmore, an Austinite, a singer, and a bassist, makes nostalgic country and Americana with bold, feminist themes. Although her candid tone matches that of the pop stars taking over the industry from their bedrooms, she’s been an active member of the music industry for more than 20 years.

Other Texas musicians made the final nine: Gold Fighter, from Dallas, leans back into the good old days of pop punk; Piñata Protest, from San Antonio, also plays pop punk while moving the needle more into Tejano traditions; and Will Van Horn, from Houston, makes the pedal steel languidly cool and a little psychedelic. (Listeners may recognize Van Horn’s work in records by the unique and popular Houston trio Khruangbin.)

The Black Fret Ball is returning for its first in-person year since 2019, on Saturday, December 3 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The fundraiser will distribute grants totaling $250,000 to 20 local artists, with performances from all but two. The 2022 class of musicians includes Whitmore, rap duo Blackillac, blues guitarist Buffalo Nichols, R&B singer Mélat, and one of Austin’s most frequently booked and buzzed about bands, Quentin and the Past Lives.

Black Fret members ($750 annually) are invited to join the ball at 6 pm. See the local lineup at hopdoddy.com.