Richard Green, MD, FACS, was recently in Australia to speak about the new Cutera Enlighten laser. In the video, he explains how the new laser decreases the number of treatments for tattoo removal and how the laser is used for other conditions, including pigmentation, sunspots, dark crusty lesions, melasma, and more.
My wife, Nancy, and I traveled to Australia at the beginning of June where I had the opportunity to present some of my recent laser results at a plastic surgery symposium. We found the Australians to be extraordinarily friendly people who smile, drink and swear with regularity.
Prior to the conference, we visited a Koala sanctuary (they don’t do much) and made friends with a Kangaroo gang. I can also report that Australians are both interested in and mystified by our presidential election politics. Their election season for prime minister lasts all of two months. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Australians have by far the world’s highest rate of melanoma skin cancer. I saw an interesting sign by Manly Beach near Sydney reminding everyone to reapply sunscreen every hour when they hear the “sun sound.” I never actually heard the sound (as it is now winter down under), but I thought it was an excellent message to pass along here at home. Don’t forget to reapply that sunscreen this summer while you enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
Salmon Creek Plastic Surgery has demonstrated its commitment to patient safety by gaining accreditation from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).
AAAASF just celebrated its 35th year of promoting the highest quality patient safety in the ambulatory surgery setting (office-based or outpatient), as well as rehabilitation and outpatient therapy agencies and rural health clinics.
AAAASF requires 100 percent compliance with all accreditation standards and does not offer partial accreditation. If a facility fails to meet any standard, it must correct the deficiency or risk denial or loss of accreditation.
To earn its accreditation, Salmon Creek Plastic Surgery passed inspection on hundreds of important criteria concerning patient safety. AAAASF facility inspectors are board certified medical specialists trained to perform a thorough and complete facility inspection. AAAASF facility inspectors follow a regimented procedure to inspect an outpatient surgery facility in the following categories:
- General Environment
- Operating Room Environment, Policy and Procedures
- Recovery Room Environment, Policy and Procedures
- General Safety in the Facility
- Blood and Medications
- Medical Records
- Quality Assessment and Quality Improvement
About the AAAASF
The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) was established in 1980 to standardize and improve the quality of medical and surgical care in outpatient facilities and assure the public that patient safety is top priority in an accredited facility. More than 2,400 outpatient facilities are accredited by AAAASF, one of the largest not-for-profit accrediting organizations in the United States.
Surgeons, legislators, state and national health agencies and patients acknowledge that AAAASF sets the “gold standard” for quality patient care.
AAAASF programs include surgical, procedural, oral maxillofacial, international surgical and dental. AAAASF is also approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to accredit ambulatory surgery centers, rehabilitation and outpatient physical therapy agencies, as well as rural health clinics. For more information, visit the AAAASF website.
Have you ever heard of melasma? Most people have not, even if they happen to have it on their face.
Melasma is a chronic skin condition in which people (usually women) have abnormal dark brown or tan blotchy pigmentation on the face.
This can develop during pregnancy (the so-called “mask of pregnancy”) because of hormonal swings in the body. Unfortunately, it often fails to resolve after delivery and becomes a cosmetic nuisance.
Most patients will have large blotches on the cheeks or forehead, but occasionally thinner patches of pigmentation will show over the eyebrows or upper lip.
Melasma can be a real bugaboo to treat, and most of the time we manage rather than cure it. We instruct patients to diligently use sunscreen every day, even in the winter. Unprotected sun exposure causes the abnormal pigmentation to darken significantly. A topical skin lightening medication called hydroquinone can help in fading the blotches. We like the Obagi Medical skin care system for this purpose.
New Advances in Laser Treatment
We have experienced varying degrees of success in using laser to treat melasma over the years. Laser applications which treat superficial pigmentation due to sun damage tend not to work as well when the pigment is deeper as in melasma.
Recently though, we have begun using our new tattoo removal laser (Enlighten) to go after this very stubborn pigmentation. This laser has the ability to deliver energy pulses very quickly (750 trillionths of a second) which allows it to break down very fine pigmentation so that the body can absorb it. We use this to our advantage in tattoo removal, but it seems to help in this challenging situation as well.
Please give us a call at (360) 823-0860 if you would like us to evaluate your skin and give you some treatment options!
Salmon Creek Plastic Surgery is extremely grateful for our patients’ generosity towards Clark County Rotary Clubs. Dr. Green and Dr. Huang are longtime supporters of this wonderful organization, and we have made it easier for you to contribute to this favorite local charity.
In March, you can donate to the Rotary Roses fundraiser by contributing directly to Rotary on their website. With a $30 donation you will receive one dozen beautiful , long-stemmed roses. If you bring your receipt to our office, we will give you a coupon for 50 percent off of a Rejuvenating Facial. One coupon per person.
Instructions and a link for getting the roses and your coupon are below.
- Go the Rotary Rose Sales website and click the big red button.
2. Once you are on the sales page, add “huang” to the search box.
3. Click “search”.
4. Click the “Buy” button under Dr. Huang so you will qualify to get your SCPS coupon for 50% off a Rejuvenating Facial.
The site is at: www.RotaryRoseSales.org
What can I do to look younger?
If I had a nickel for every time I hear that question in the office I would have well over $42.35 by now (which is a lot of nickels). I have found during my 20 years in practice that looking younger generally equates to looking healthier. One of the quickest ways to achieve this healthy look is by focusing on the color and tone of your skin.
Many of us “forgot” to use sunscreen regularly in our youth, and we now find ourselves with blotchy pigmentation on our face, upper chest and hands. At SCPS, we use a laser treatment called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to correct both red and brown discoloration in these areas.
Our IPL, the LimeLight laser, evens out skin tone and color to restore a very healthy (and therefore youthful) look to the skin. As the treatment works most effectively on skin without any tan, Winter is the perfect time to get started with LimeLight!