Dr. Karimi and Dr. Berman discuss how they manage the balance of celebrity and aesthetic medicine, and what it takes for one doctor to trust another when it comes to cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Berman why did you choose to go public on national TV with your own cosmetic surgery journey?
I’m a trained Urologist with a private medical practice in Los Angeles and work daily with all aspects of female sexual function. Early in my career, I found that there was very little information available to women to educate them about sexual health or sexual attitude, and I decided to make it my mission to use my knowledge and expertise to help change how the medical community viewed female sexuality, and to help empower women in general. Going public with my personal cosmetic surgery journey is just another step in helping people understand what is available to them medically, and what they can do to rejuvenate themselves and make a difference in their own life.
How do you balance being a mom, running a busy medical practice and being a TV doctor?
I think that whether you are on TV or not, balancing work, career, children and a relationship is something that is challenging to most women (and men) and, unfortunately, is something that does not come with a handbook. My mother was a stay-at-home mom so I didn’t have a role model, like many women I know. Balance is something I strive for daily. I focus on stress reduction techniques, and things that I can do to take care of myself emotionally, so that I can take better care of my children, provide great care to my patients and use my TV platform for education. One of my favorite stress reducers is horse-back riding. I find this allows me a few moments alone which is important for my sanity. I also like to cycle and enjoy many other forms of fitness and exercise. Nutrition is also very important to me as I need to have abundant natural energy to keep up with my busy life.
Why did you choose Dr. Kian Karimi to perform your facial plastic surgery?
As mentioned earlier, I work on the CBS TV Show The Doctors which brings forth new ideas, techniques and medical procedures to its viewers daily. They interview many different leading medical experts and doctors from different specialties and one day they happened to high light a new procedure that was performed by Dr. Kian Karimi. I happened to be co-hosting that day and I watched as he performed several different types of minimally invasive in office procedures for different women. Well, as I was watching the show, I started to realize that I had many of those same concerns – lax skin, sagging eyes, neck and jowls and everything else. As I watched how he genuinely cared for the patients and delicately managed their issues on-set in the TV studio, I became very impressed with him. Then, when I saw their transformation in the matter of an hour literally before my eyes on the show, I knew he had to become my doctor and perform my surgery(s). After the show I told the producer what I wanted to do and asked her if she could locate him. By this time he was halfway across the Paramount lot about to get into his car and leave when she asked if he would come back and see me, which he did. After my surgery, I was so happy with the results that the next natural step was for me to showcase it on The Doctors for other women to see what is new is plastic surgery and what options are available to them. So, why did I choose him? I would say it was a combination of his approach and demeanor with his patients, and his level of expertise at gaining the results I expect from an expert doctor.
What cosmetic procedures did you have with Dr. Karimi?
One of the procedures I had watched him perform and the one I wanted was a PDO Thread procedure which works to lift the tissues of the face. I did have the NovaThreads® procedure right there in studio that first day and it really helped lift my loose skin tremendously. Sometime later I decided I wanted more of a lift and a defined jawline, as well as an improved complexion and some eye work, so I opted for a micro-neck lift, upper lid blepharoplasty and skin resurfacing. The combination really helped make a difference to my overall appearance.
Prior To meeting Dr. Karimi What Did You Do To Hide Your Facial Aging On TV?
As mentioned, my real concern was loose skin and jowling, as well as deep sun damage as I was a sun worshipper in my younger years. Fortunately for me the show has amazing on-set make-up artists that were able to completely hide and cover the skin damage and brown spots that I had all over my face. Then they would apply tape to pull up the loose skin on my neck. It’s an old Hollywood trick which Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in the old classic movie Sunset Boulevard revealed and then stars like Carol Burnett, Barbara Streisand and Cher made popular among people who live their lives on camera. The tapes were originally developed by a make-up artist. They look almost like clear Scotch Tape attached to a stretchy connector which basically pulls the neck back. The tapes are placed on either side of the head and neck and can be pulled almost like an elastic band so that the neck and lower face look taught. It’s an amazingly quick way to look instantly younger. However, after the show, I would go back to having a saggy neck and lower face again so I decided it was time to reverse that problem completely.
Dr. Karimi – were you surprised that Dr. Berman chose you as her facial plastic surgeon?
Yes. I was really taken by surprise as I was literally about to get into my car when the producer found me and said that Dr. Berman wants to undergo a NovaThreads® procedure. I gave the producer my card and said to have Dr. Berman contact me. Then she politely asked if Dr. Berman could have the procedure done right then. Luckily I had brought extra supplies with me and so we did it. We did actually achieve a good result, but as Dr. Berman mentioned her skin was exceptionally loose and the lift from the threads alone was not quite enough.
Who is the ideal candidate for a NovaThread® Lift?
The ideal candidate is someone with mild decent of their midface and/or of their cheeks, or someone with mild or early jowling. The neck area is very challenging to treat with just threads alone because there is no place to put that extra skin.
When were NovaThreads® introduced?
The threads I use are dissolvable and are called Nova threads® and are new in aesthetic medicine. There were some threads on the market a decade ago that were not dissolvable and became problematic. These new threads are making a very strong reemergence in the American market because they are safer and more effective than threads of the past. They are simply placed under the skin. There are no deep knots or fixation or anything of that nature and are one hundred percent dissolvable. In fact, as they dissolve, they improve the quality of the skin and the muscle beneath it by building collagen.
Dr. Karimi – please explain the Micro-Neck Lift you performed on Dr. Berman.
The Micro-Neck Lift worked well for Dr. Berman as she did not need a facelift and didn’t have that kind of descent or aging of the upper part of her face. She really just wanted to improve her neck. So, we focused the procedure on just the neck which is part of the reason her recovery was so quick, compared to a traditional face lifting procedure. To explain though, the Micro-Neck Lift is really targeted at the platysma muscle which in Dr. Berman’s case had become weak and could not hold up the tissue. Using an endoscope to go underneath that muscle I was able to neatly and bloodlessly dissect those areas to lift the tissue and then trim any extra skin. The neck is one of the biggest complaint areas I see as the skin on the neck is different than the skin on the face and can age out of proportion to the rest of the face. Many women and men feel that a facelift is their only option and are scared or hesitant to go through a facelift procedure because they have seen or heard that it comes with a significant recovery and downtime. For many people a Micro-Neck Lift is actually all they need.
Dr.Karimi – are combined therapy treaments the new trend for 2017?
Yes. Combination therapy is really the future of aesthetics and the future of plastic surgery. What I mean by combination therapy is that as doctors we are addressing multiple components of aging in an effort to make a patient look as refreshed as possible. With Dr. Berman for example, we addressed the muscle, the extra skin with the Micro-Neck Lift, we addressed a slight amount of the extra skin of the upper eyelids and of equal importance was to address the sun damage of the skin itself with the Halo resurfacing laser which we are able to perform simultaneously. So, now we’ve addressed from the muscle, to the skin and the sun damage and that is what has really yielded this incredible result. In other instances we may do a NovaThreads® Lift combined with fillers and Botox®, as another example.
Dr. Berman – how do you feel now?
I feel great. Literally one week after surgery I was able to travel to New York and go out in public to give a talk. The results were immediate and there was hardly any bruising or swelling. Then at two weeks I was able to get back to exercising, with caution of course. Overall my experience was fantastic, and I am very happy with my look. I’m also really happy to wear less make up and not need to wear those Hollywood tapes anymore!
Interview by Aesthetic Insider™
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