Reza Nabavian MD: Plastic Surgeon Santa Monica California

Things to do in Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica California

When you are traveling through the picturesque town of Santa Monica CA you might be wondering what types of things there are to do. If splashing around in the water is your thing then you might want to take the time to visit Santa Monica State Beach. Just west of downtown Los Angeles, it boasts 3.5 miles of beautifully soft and maintained sand, making it the perfect spot to kick back, relax and catch some rays. Afterwards, you can kick things up a notch by visiting the Santa Monica Pier, which is chock-full of activities that the whole family can enjoy. Perhaps the most famous part of the pier is the amusement park that is located directly on the pier. It features several thrilling rides, including the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, an arcade with over 200 games and a plethora of restaurants to satisfy any hunger. If the beach scene is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other things to do to keep you busy.

If shopping is at the top of your list, visiting downtown Santa Monica is guaranteed to delight. One area, aptly named, “Third Street Promenade” is a shopper’s dream, with the shops ranging from the eclectic style to high fashion and everything in between. As an added bonus, the promenade is filled with a superabundance of street performers that will captivate you with their talents. If you head south on the Third Street Promenade, you will end up at Santa Monica Place, an outdoor mall featuring a full three-levels filled with 100 retail shops and restaurants. Be sure to make use of the mall’s same-day delivery so that you don’t have to carry your purchases from store to store. In addition, the mall is pet-friendly so feel free to bring your four-legged kid with you.

Perhaps you would like to avoid the beach and shopping. If this is the case, why not visit the Santa Monica History Museum? Featuring six galleries and over one million historical items, you will walk away knowing everything you need to know about Santa Monica CA. An absolute must-see during your visit is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Featuring hands-on activities, educational programs, and over 100 species on exhibit, including graceful seahorses, mesmerizing moon jellies, adorable moray eels, and a whole lot more. This aquarium is sure to gratify the whole family.

This is a very short list of things you might want to do during your visit. Santa Monica is flooded with all kinds of hidden gems, just waiting for you to find them. As a matter of fact, you can start your day by visiting the Santa Monica Visitors Center, located at 2427 Main Street, Santa Monica CA and they will provide you with a guide to all the things you can see and do during your visit. There are so many options, you might want to plan your itinerary for two or three days! Happy Site Seeing!

Q: Thermage Hands – Will It Tighten Skin?

I have loose skin on the backs of my hands and would like it tightened. Would Thermage work for this?

A. Thermage has limited efficacy for hand skin…

Thermage can help tighten hand skin when there is mild to moderate looseness. If there is significant loss of elasticity, it is unlikely that Thermage can make a significant difference.

Contact a LA County Plastic Surgeon

Q: Fat Transfer Using Inner Knee?

Does taking fat from the inner knee and injecting it into the face mean the fat survives better that fat taken from the abdomen?

A. Generally, Fat Survival Is Mostly Related To The Technique.

Small studies suggested that fat from different body sites might have a different survival pattern.  I do not think we know enough to make a substantial claim.  I like the inner knees as donor site; most women like the contouring effect.


Q: Natural Look After Mid Face Lift And Fat Transfer Swelling?

I have had Cheek implants for 4 years and I have been happy with these. My eyes looked very hollow though and a fat transfer was performed 25 days ago to remedy this. I also had A mid-face lift at the same time.

Right now my cheeks are massive. I am really frightened that they are still so huge after 25 days and I’m beginning to doubt if the result will be natural/normal.

My plastic surgeon has said that the result will be normal but I would really appreciate some other input. Can I expect to look natural in 6-8 weeks?

A. You Would Expect Significant Swelling After The Procedure.

Combination of midface lift and fat transfer can result in the expected post-operative swelling. With previous cheek implant surgery, drainage patterns may be affected and the resulting swelling may take longer to clear.

Your surgeon should be able to determine whether there is any localized fluid collection that is contributing to the swelling. You may also ask your surgeon whether gentle lymphatic massage could help clear the swelling. If there are no unexpected complications, you can expect to see significant reduction in the swelling by week 6.


Q: Liposculpture Vs Liposuction?

How does liposculpture compare to liposuction?

A. No. Liposculpture is the same as liposuction

Liposculpture is just another term for liposuction. It might imply that there will be attention to details but technically, it is the same.

Important factors to achieve a great liposuction results are:

1) Good patient selection. Patients with excess fat deposits and good overlying skin quality are good candidates.

2) Good judgment. Removing the correct amount from the correct area obviously works the best. Overzealous suction, especially in the superficial planes can lead to significant deformity. Doctor must be able to correlate the findings while the patients are standing vs when they are lying down during surgery

3) Good technique. Gentle technique with smaller cannula allows better contouring. It may take a bit longer for the surgeon, but certainly worth it for the patient.

For more information contact Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon Reza Nabavian

Q: Would It Be Safe To Have Four Cosmetic Procedures Done At Once?

I’m considering getting Rhinoplasty (just tip work), Breast implants, an inner thigh lift and Liposuction to the flanks/mid-section. I’d like to save cost and do them all at once. Is this safe and/or possible? I’m a young, healthy woman in my mid 20’s. I have lost weight in the past and have flabby skin on my thighs and deflated breasts that can’t be remedied through exercise.

A. Length of surgery and the type of cases to be combined need to be considered.

In your case, the thigh lift has the highest morbidity in relation to DVT. Combination with liposuction slightly increases that risk. Nose surgery adds to the time. My guess is the entire case would take near 5 hours.

My advice would be to take one of the procedures off the table for now. Maybe do the liposuction another time. If you decide to combine, you will need to stay in a nursing overnight recovery center.


Health Care Reform in the United States

Health Care Reform in the United States        By Dr. Reza Nabavian

Via The Huffington Post

The discourse on the responsibility for health care delivery centers on this question: is access to health care an individual “right” or is it a “privilege”? What is not clarified in this question is from whose perspective is it being asked! In typical fashion, the pundits divide along the liberal vs. conservative way of interpreting any complex problem in our society. Instead of simplifying this issue into another hot topic like social security, abortion, gay marriage or gun rights, I suggest we break it down and analyze it from a higher resolution perspective.

From the point of view of a physician, it is in fact a “privilege” to care for another human being. If you read every single “personal statement” by every student who has ever applied to medical school, the pervasive theme is that of an individual who is intensely motivated to care for fellow human beings. I believe that this is a genuine feeling that helps a student put in the long hours of hard work over the many long years that it takes to become a practicing physician. Why else would these bright individuals enter such difficult and demanding line of work? Their cohorts studying business, law, finance, marketing, management, etc., seem to have found a much smoother and easier path to join the “1%”. So from the standpoint of the health care provider, we have a work force that is smart, motivated and for the most part dedicated to the well being of others.

As a patient, I believe it is also a “privilege” to be cared for by a highly trained and caring physician. So if the “economics” were surgically removed from the equation, these two positions of privilege seem highly cohesive! This synergy is very evident in the dynamics of medical “relief” work. I can speak from my own experience working in Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. But the reality does involve economics and that bring us to the question of “right” to health care.

We may agree or disagree on whether “free market” is the answer to everything. The fact is some services such as “responding to fire emergency” may not have an intuitive supply-and-demand solution. So is the right to health care similar to the right to “fire intervention” or is it more along the lines of a right to housing, food or transportation. From the perspective of a physician, is there a right to free market competition when it involves the health of an individual? Does a patient have a right to the best medical care despite the ability to pay? It is the question of “right” that provokes strong emotions and reverts the issue back to the fundamental principles of capitalism vs. socialism.

With health care costs around 17% of GDP in the United States, it is time to seriously question the wisdom of “for-profit” insurance system. An insurance company has a conflict of interest with both the patient and the physician. It is time to eliminate it. This is not a question of personal “right” to income, care or choice. It is a question of the structure that mediates the patient-doctor interaction. While the government may be too inefficient to manage the country’s health care system, a non-profit health care administration system may be the solution. There is a successful model for this in Kaiser Permanente health care system. While Kaiser is not the government, it is also not mandated to turn in a profit. It just needs to maximize its efficiency. The efficiency comes from having the highest number of members and participants. Imagine if the entire health care apparatus of the country was a united system operated by health care professionals to deliver the best care with maximum efficiency. The patients would have choice. The providers and the supporting industries would be adequately compensated. The system would be inherently efficient because there would be no impetus to take resources (profit) out of the system.

This is both our “right” and our “privilege.”

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Dr. Nabavian in SecondAct, “Stop the Clock: Lift and Tighten Without the Knife”

“Stop the Clock: Lift and Tighten Without the Knife”

By Melinda Fulmer

Forget the facelift. In the last five years, a flurry of new noninvasive cosmetic procedures have come along, promising to turn back the clock on aging skin without as much risk and recovery time as surgery.

From fillers to lasers, 83 percent of all cosmetic procedures performed in the offices of cosmetic plastic surgeons in 2010 were nonsurgical, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Of course, not all of the wrinkle-busting, skin-tightening treatments out there are worth the time and money. And because most require refreshing every few months or years — or look better used in combination with each other — they can be as expensive as surgery in the long run.

Unlike surgical lifts that simply pull the skin or muscles tight, however, these no-scalpel treatments increase the collagen and elastin in the skin, making it feel younger. “Some of these devices are changing the quality of the skin,” says New York City dermatologist Neil Sadick.

SecondAct enlisted the help of Sadick and two of the country’s top plastic surgeons to discuss which nonsurgical procedures are most effective at treating the most common aging-skin complaints.

Here are their picks:

Skin Tightening

While wrinkles get most of the attention when the topic of aging comes up, the lack of elasticity in aging skin is also a big issue. This is where the new crop of radiofrequency (RF) treatments comes in.

Thermage, Titan and Pelleve treatments use hand-held radio frequency energy devices to heat the underlying layers of loose skin, tightening the existing web of collagen and stimulating new growth while keeping the surface cool and intact so there’s no peeling or time off work needed — although the skin may appear a bit red or flushed. These treatments can be performed on the face, abdomen, backs of the hands, and even the knees.

Some improvement is immediately visible as the collagen contracts and will build over the next six months as more is created. The effect can last up to several years, says Dr. Reza Nabavian, clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Southern California Division of Plastic Surgery.

While this treatment can’t provide the same dramatic results as a facelift, it can take up some of the slack and improve skin texture. Indeed, some facelift patients use it after surgery to tone and tighten the skin.

There may be a bit of pain involved as the device zaps the energy into your skin. The amount of that discomfort varies with the treatment and method. Some procedures such as Thermage only require one visit and may be more painful, while others such as Titan or Pelleve require three visits using less power and more passes over the area.

New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Barry DiBernardo even uses Pelleve to do a nonsurgical eyelift, tightening droopy skin on the upper and lower lids.

A similar treatment that is relatively new, Ulthera, uses ultrasound to heat and tighten the underlying layers of the skin and stimulate new collagen growth. The difference with this treatment is that the device has a screen allowing doctors to see underneath the skin to the places where they should deliver the sound waves.

“If you don’t want a facelift, but need some tightening of the tissue under the jaw line, cheeks or brow,” this could be the treatment for you, DiBernardo says.

There haven’t been a lot of head-to-head studies to identify which of these treatments are the most effective, says Sadick, and different doctors favor different methods and machines. However, most are effective for mild cases of sagging, the doctors say.

Cost: $1,800 to $35,000, depending on the area

Wrinkle Fillers

These injectable substances — some natural, some synthetic — pad the age-related hollowing under the eyes, fill in marionette lines around the mouth, and plump up thinning lips, forehead creases and acne scars.

The most commonly used fillers (Restylane and Juvéderm) are made from a natural protein called hyaluronic acid that lasts for about 6 to 9 months.

“It is perhaps the biggest bang for the buck,” Nabavian says, and provides an immediate effect, unlike some other treatments.

Radiesse, made of calcium-based micro-spheres, is a bit denser and may last longer, Sadick says. It is used mostly to plump up cheeks or in the deeper creases along the mouth. There is a chance of bruising and swelling around the injection site, and in some rare cases patients have developed small bumps or infections under the skin.

Cost: $500 to $600 per syringe

Wrinkle Relaxers

Botox, Dysport and the newly approved Xeomin temporarily reduce wrinkles or expression lines on the forehead, near the eyes and between the eyebrows when injected around these areas.

The effects of these Botulinum Type A toxins usually last for about three to six months, after which time additional injections are necessary to maintain the results. Side effects are rare but could include swelling, bruising, allergic reactions and weak or drooping muscles near the injection site. A topical Botox-like gel is still awaiting FDA approval.

Cost: $400 or more per area

Sun Spot Slayers

Laser treatments are good for patients with excess pigmentation and coarse, leathery skin from decades of unprotected days outdoors. Fractionated or ablative lasers remove the outermost surface of the skin with light energy, allowing brighter, less-pigmented skin to come through.

Some of the most dramatic results come from the more aggressive carbon dioxide lasers such as Fraxel re:pair that vaporize small columns deep within the skin to resurface and tighten skin.

Unlike radiofrequency treatments, fractionated or ablative laser treatments (or ones that destroy the top layer of skin) do require more care and up to a week of downtime as the old skin peels and flakes off to reveal new, more even-toned skin. There is more risk of blistering, hyper-pigmentation or scarring with major treatments such as Fraxel re:pair, but the results are more definitive.

Not all fractionated lasers are as aggressive. A new at-home fractionated laser, Palovia, was rolled out last year to big chains such as Bloomingdale’s. The $500 device claims to zap fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes in 30 days of nightly treatments and should provide a small degree of tightening, Sadick says.

Conversely, nonablative lasers such as Laser Genesis, have no downtime because the skin is not burned, but mainly treat milder complaints such as uneven skin texture, redness and fine wrinkles. These treatments can be done on a lunch hour and require four to six sessions.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatments (often called photofacials) also diminish excess pigmentation, tighten pores and stimulate new collagen growth. However, the effects of these treatments are more subtle than with peels or ablative laser treatments, and they happen over time. Nabavian says this should be done three to six times a year, with at least three weeks in between treatments for maximum results.

Cost: $250 to $400 for each IPL or Laser Genesis treatment; $3,000 to $5,000 for Fraxel re:pair

SecondAct contributor Melinda Fulmer writes regularly about issues of health and wealth for publications such as the Los Angeles Times and web portal MSN.


Q: Micro-Liposuction of Jowl Fat?

How does this work? Is the liposuction performed from the inside of the cheek? Also, under what conditions can this procedure be used?

A. Jowl lipoplasty can be performed in conjunction with submental lipo or during a facelift.

Liposuction anywhere above the jaw line must be done only in select cases. If there is a distinct jowl pad with good quality skin over it, then liposuction with small cannula can be done. If the skin has poor quality, then the liposuction can make things worse.

During a facelift or facial fat grafting, the jowl can be also addressed by filling the depressions around the jowl, thereby improving the contour.


Dr. Reza Nabavian in Vanity Fair Video: Healing In Haiti

Healing in Haiti

Rebuilding Haiti by Vanity Fair

Episode 4: Rehabilitation, Click The Link Above To Watch

This month marks the two-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 300,000 people and left more than 1,000,000 homeless. Last year, filmmakers Jacques del Conte and Chandra Ratner, along with model Lee Greene, traveled to the ravaged island nation to witness the devastation firsthand, and document the heroic day-to-day efforts of volunteers from Artists for Peace and Justice and others as they fight to help rebuild Haiti.

Q: Fat Transfer For Compound Fracture Scar?

I have a compound fracture scar to the inner part of my lower right leg from an accident that occurred when I was 11 (I am 28 years old). I’ve been able to see a plastic surgeon who advised me that he could take some fat from my stomach and put this into the indented area of the scar. However, he said that there was a risk that the fat could seep through the scar tissue and cause an ulcer (20% chance). I wonder what your views are on this and whether you have performed this procedure yourself and its success rate.

A. Fat grafting may be a good option to correct your scar deformity

The scar deformity has two components:

1-The loss of volume from the area after orthopedic procedures.

2-Scar bands that form in the deep plane and tether the skin.

To properly correct the deformity, it may be necessary to release the tethering and then add the fat grafts. It may take more than one attempt to get good results. Knowing that one can add more fat later, will remove the impetus to put too much fat and risk ulcerations, etc


Q: How to Achieve Cleavage After Breast Feeding and Implants?

I’ve had Breast implants for two years now but I recently had a baby. I only breast fed for one month, so my breasts don’t need a lift. I’m just a little concerned that now they actually don’t look that full anymore. They are not sagging, just not as full as they used to be. And what really bothers me is the separation I have now which makes me look like I don’t have a cleavage, I want an opinion on what are my options to have a cleavage?

A. May be possible to move implants more towards the center of your chest.

Either due to initial placement or changes to capsule or the overlying skin, you may have implants that are placed too lateral on your chest. It may be possible to release and allow more fullness at cleavage.


Q: Pain Level For Breast Augmentation And Tummy Tuck?

Will a tummy tuck and breast augmentation be too much pain to handle?

A. Mostly well tolerated with appropriate pain management.

I would recommend using a pain pump, adequate ongoing and as-needed pain medications. May need assistance with getting in and out of bed for 3-5 days. If you have young children, you will not be able to hold them tight or pick them up for at least 2-4 weeks.


Q: Fat Stored After Liposuction Not Good Anymore?

I had an abdomen Liposuction done a few years ago. The doctor gave me my fat to freeze and I have had it since then in my freezer. The problem is that my lights went out for 2-3 days. I would to like know, is the fat is not good anymore? I want to use it for fat grafting to my buttocks.

A. Say no to stored fat!

First of all, if biologic material such as fat, is to be stored for re-use in the body, it must be maintained with the standards of blood banks. So physicians’ offices or patients’ own would not qualify.

Secondly, intuitively and scientifically, fat that is harvested, traumatized, then stored, is likely not going to be a quality product. Not very difficult to harvest fresh fat at the time of injection.