Vol. 3, No. 2 – February 2004

Welcome to our February email Update.

This months Newsletter features articles by two of our staff member. The first by our Patient Coordinator, Dena Purvis talks about wants and needs in cosmetic surgery. Dena has been at the Center longer than either of us want to admit. She has a tremendous feel for cosmetic surgery and has been a valuable resource to so many of our patients over the years. The second article is by our current Cosmetic Surgical Fellow, Dr. Steve Peterson, who writes about some of the claims for Botox like effect in cosmetic creams. I hope you enjoy the newsletter,

For our Lubbock, TX patients, we are in the process of changing our consultation schedule. Due to the closing of the Barcelona Court , we have been looking for a replacement. We think we have found a great alternative which we hope to be announcing soon. In the meantime, please be sure to contact the Clinic for our upcoming schedule as it may be different from the schedule posted on the web.


Recently, I was invited to write an article of correcting the unsatisfactory rhinoplasty (“nose job”). The article appeared in the magazine, Plastic Surgery Products . We have added it to our web site in PDF format. If you are interested, here’s a link to the article. It may take a bit to download if you are on a slow connection, but I hope that some of you will find it worthwhile.


Howard Tobin, M.D.

Help WantedDena Purvis, Patient Coordinator

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. Patients come in on a daily basis asking me what they “need”. I just tell them the same thing I have heard Dr. Tobin tell patients for years “We don’t deal in need we deal in want “.

Cosmetic Surgery is elective and should be based on what you want and not what someone else thinks you need.

Patients will sometimes come in because they are prompted by a comment from a friend, family member, or a co-worker. They may be having problems with self-esteem from a failing relationship or feeling like their job is threatened and one small comment can be blown out of proportion and cause them to seek cosmetic surgery for all of the wrong reasons.

Cosmetic surgery can make a big difference in the way you feel about yourself and it can also give you a boost in your confidence. However, it’s probably not going to “change your entire life”.

The decision to have this type of surgery should be based only on an in-depth consultation with your Cosmetic Surgeon during which you will review the benefits and risks of the procedure that interests YOU. For example: If you go into a consultation interested in facial rejuvenation and by the time you leave you are being talked into having liposuction, tummy tuck or breast augmentation, you are probably in the wrong place. Whether the doctor feels like you “need” it or not is irrelevant. If it is facial aging that you are concerned with, that is what you should discuss. If you ask for suggestions, be prepared. Some doctors might see this as an open-invitation for an “extreme makeover”.

At the Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Surgical Center, we pride ourselves in treating our patients with the utmost respect and we value their opinions. At the same time, we realize that we are viewed as the “experts” and our professional opinions are what patients are here for. We will make suggestion only if asked, and, even then, they are just suggestions. Cosmetic surgery should not be taken lightly. As with any surgery, there are always risks involved.

Only one person should have the final say involving your cosmetic surgery: YOU Once you have determined whether the benefits outweigh the risks, and if the proposed outcome of the surgery is something that you consider being a positive change, you should feel comfortable with your decision.

Dr. Steve Peterson, Cosmetic Surgical Fellow

DogMany new over-the-counter topical creams claim to rejuvenate the skin. You may even have seen ads stating “Better Than Botox?” But are all the claims true? So far, there really is no evidence that they are. The first clinical trial by Kenneth Beer, M.D., a board certified cosmetic dermatologist, will compare Botox to the following topical treatments available-over-the counter: StriVectin-SD , HydroDerm and WrinkleRelax .

“The Frownline Challenge Trial” will enroll 75 patients with moderate-to-severe frown lines. Those who will be enlisted will be women between 18-65 years of age and to not have had Botox within 6 months. Patients will be randomized to apply one of the OTC creams as advertised or receive a single treatment of Botox Cosmetic. Patients will be followed for 4 months to assess effectiveness and satisfaction with the treatment. After 4 months the patients who received the topical cream treatment will be offered Botox Cosmetic in order to re-challenge the effects of the topical cream. Results will be documented with digital photography.

The goal of this study is to establish a clinical comparison and define what each product does. We sincerely doubt that these creams will have any significant effect, but we certainly approve of testing them out. We are interested in the findings and will update our newsletter with the results.

That’s it for this month. We appreciate your interest and welcome your suggestions.
That’s it for this month. As always, we appreciate your feed back.


Howard A. Tobin, M.D., F. A. C. S.

For general information: askdena@newlook.org or n41gt@newlook.org