Spring Sunshine and Your Skin

As I compose this latest newsletter, I can’t help but notice the 10cm of fresh snow that we have just received. Spring certainly seems a long way off. With the eternal optimism that defines Albertans, I am confident that we will soon be enjoying Alberta’s long sunshine-filled days as we pursue our favorite outdoor activities.

Albertans annually receive some of the most hours of sunshine in the entire world, despite our snowy winters. While this is great for honing our cycling or golfing skills, it also puts us at risk of developing skin cancers, such as basal or squamous cell carcinoma as well as malignant melanoma.

While my practice is not focused on skin cancers, every year I detect several early facial skin cancers, including melanomas on patients that come to see me for other problems. Fortunately, most facial skin cancers are slow growing and when detected and treated early, cure rates most favorable.

These skin cancers are caused by solar (sun) radiation and many factors increase our chances of developing skin cancers. These include occupation, genetics, skin type, pigmentation, time of day exposure and believe it or not, elevation. In general, someone such as myself, a Fitzpatrick type I skin – very white with little pigment, always burns - is at a high risk for skin cancer. Between 10:00am and 3:00pm, solar intensity is at its highest, and consequentially, the risk is greatest. There is a 4% increase in sunlight intensity for every 1000 foot rise in altitude above sea level. Generally speaking, our best defense is the liberal use of sunscreen with an SPF above 30 and to always wear a hat. It is also important to remember that prolonged sun exposure causes photoaging in which the skin loses elasticity causing a dry, wrinkled leathery appearance that is cosmetically unappealing and very difficult to correct. In other words, the best treatment is ALWAYS prevention.

With spring on the horizon, we also see a significant increase in interest in cosmetic interventions both surgical and non surgical. I suppose as the days grow longer and the sun starts to shine, our focus often shifts to maximizing how attractive we want to look and feel. In my practice, I see an increase in surgical consultations and procedures between April and September. Some of this is related to vacation time and school schedules. However, some of it due to our brains awakening after the long dark winter.

As always, we advise patients to plan well ahead when contemplating surgery. While we strive to do our best, there are occasions when we cannot accommodate the last minute request.

Have a great spring – remember lots of sunscreen and wear a hat!

Dr. John Keohane

Renewed, Recharged and Refocused...

In early December, I attended a three day course in exciting New York City—“The Cutting Edge 2012". This was an international interdisciplinary rhinoplasty symposium highlighting advances in rhinoplasty and facial cosmetic surgery. This course was co-sponsored by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Academy of Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.  There was great participation from surgeons from all over the world.

The universal theme of this meeting was the integration of rhinoplasty, fillers, Botox and other therapies to achieve a harmonious, natural result that is in balance with the rest of the face. Since rhinoplasty surgery is as much artistic in nature as it is scientific, often nonsurgical modalities, such as radiofrequency therapies like the eMatrix, judicious use of injectable fillers or steroids are used to modify results for those patients who have difficult-to-treat skin types. 

The use of high-volume fillers like Juvederm Voluma accentuate a good rhinoplasty result. Botox placed in the frown lines above the nose will soften the face, highlight the surgical result and provide a pleasing, harmonious result.  It was also reassuring to learn that our standard of care and good quality results are more than comparable with those of international experts from all over the world. 

These international scientific seminars are a wonderful way to recharge and refocus on our practice.  Maintenance of competence and continuing education is something that I take very seriously.  I attend 3 or 4 scientific surgical meetings each year and register and record these events with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  I believe this process makes me a better physician and ultimately, the beneficiary is you, my patient.

Whether your 2013 wish list includes younger looking skin or facial rejuvenation through surgical techniques, our team provides safe, effective, natural-looking treatments tailored to your unique needs. On behalf of the Centre, I wish you a beautiful New Year. Hope to see you soon.

Dr. John Keohane

The Season of Transformation

I hope you have been enjoying the change in seasons as much as I have. While summer brings much to the table, the crispness and flawless colour of fall on the prairies is also magical — and fleeting! It seems that we've hit winter already....

I have just returned from the American Academy of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery Annual Meeting in beautiful Washington, DC. This type of event is an amazing learning venue as it brings together a great collection of interesting speakers, including leading experts from all over the world. Many new techniques were discussed - here are some highlights:

  • “Fat grafting” in conjunction with facelift surgery is growing in popularity. You can learn more about this technique here.
  • High volume, high viscosity facial fillers, such as Juvederm Voluma for very deep facial valleys around the mouth and nose.
  • New and advanced Botox injection strategies for reducing fine and deep wrinkles as well as masseteric fullness in Oriental patients.
  • As always, new and interesting concepts for achieving lasting results in primary and revision cosmetic nose and eyelid surgery.

On that note, this has been our busiest year ever for cosmetic rhinoplasties (nasal surgeries). We have been averaging one to two difficult revision cases per week as well as three to four primary cosmetic rhinoplasties. These transformative procedures restore self-esteem to patients. We are privileged to have patients coming to see us from British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and of course all over beautiful Alberta. I am touched by these patients’ trust in our efforts, facility and staff. If you would like to learn more about a procedure or a specific surgery, please contact us.

Enjoy the beauty the season(s) and be well!

Dr. John Keohane

Facial Surgery Shift: More Men Treated

In recent years, women have been trending toward minimally invasive cosmetic treatments such as Botox and Restalyne, however, the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures for men are surgical. For men, liposuction tops the list of most common cosmetic surgical procedures, followed by rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, male breast reduction and face-lifts. A combination of medical, technological, economic and societal factors is thought to be contributing to the increase. The largest driver of the trend is really the fact that a large portion of the male population is aging.

We have seen more and more men coming in for treatments. If you are interested in learning about treatment options for men, please contact us to book a consultation.