The latest news in body shaping, plus fitness suggestions you can use.
Fat to the Forefront
"The most exciting thing happening in plastic surgery right now is the use of fat grafting as a viable concept in face and body shaping—as well as reconstruction," says Dr. Alissa Shulman of Sarasota's Sovereign Plastic Surgery.
In fact, fat grafting has existed in one form or another for more than a century, but recent advancements have unlocked its potential as a highly effective and predictable technique for sculpting your appearance. The basic idea is that fat is removed from one part of your body, like the thigh or buttocks, and then injected or otherwise incorporated into another part of the body, like the face or breast, to create the desired appearance. Not all procedures are appropriate for all patients or circumstances, but when indicated, fat grafting has "vast reconstructive and cosmetic potential," according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Among other cosmetic benefits, fat grafting can help replace volume lost to aging, which is a primary cause of wrinkles.
The key, says Shulman, has been to treat each drop of fat as a "tiny tissue graft," so that detailed adjustments can be made in skin volume, precisely where needed. Recent studies have shown that fat grafting is even effective for nose reshaping, making it, in some cases, a less invasive alternative to traditional rhinoplasty.
"Of course, there is always the added benefit of the 'donor site,'" Shulman adds, "which has been treated with liposuction to 'harvest' the fat."
The Stem Cell Advancement
The magic of fat grafting is still developing. Researchers are now exploring the use of supplemental stem cells to "supercharge" fat before it's grafted. Not only does this help "increase the quality and longevity of the graft," according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, but the stem cells can play a vital role in regenerative medicine, too, further helping those whose skin is affected by radiation therapies, chronic wounds and more. In fact, says Shulman, a traditional fat graft alone already contains some mature stem cells, "which can help explain its benefits."
What: A resistance-training device designed by Sarasota's Matt Zoltak, a former professional baseball player and pitching coach. During his college career, Zoltak suffered from elbow pain that was ultimately linked to a weak core, which led him to realize that his pitching motion resulted in a body-wide series of coordinated movements that began at his feet.
How: Unlike strength exercises that are performed close to the core, the ExcelCord's heel-based resistance requires a coordinated effort from muscles throughout the body.
Sample exercise: Lunge flex. Start in a push-up position, with the ExcelCord attached to a point directly behind you.
Keeping your core tight and hips low, bring the heel of your right foot straight up to the outside of your right hand, then switch.
Go to excelcord.com for more information.
Care to kick it up a notch? Step into TurboKick, a group fitness class that blends hip-hop and kickboxing with high-intensity choreography that can burn more than 600 calories an hour. Like Zumba, its ubiquitous fitness cousin, TurboKick uses two can't-miss motivators—energizing music and a party-like group atmosphere—to turn an intense workout into something to look forward to. Find out more at turbokick.com, or check out regular classes at the Evalyn Sadlier Jones YMCA branch.
January is National Blood Donor Month
Suncoast Communities Blood Bank supplies 100 percent of the blood products and services for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Bayflite 2 and many more Florida medical services, including the only Level III neonatal intensive care nursery in the region. Visit scbb.org for more information.
Blood Donation Facts
Blood donors can give a single unit every 56 days; platelet donors can give every two weeks.
Your donated blood will be used locally in a matter of days.
Platelets are only viable for five days; keeping hospitals stocked requires constant effort.
1 pint of blood can save up to three lives.