Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Silicone sisters run for the border

German police are hunting a quartet of surgically-enhanced women who legged it without paying for their treatment, the German newspaper Bild reports.

To help them in their search, Cologne-based plastic surgeon Michael Koenig has provided law enforcement officials with post-operative pics of the four - including 26-year-old "Tanya's" splendid new €8,000 implants taken before their proud owners "went out for fresh air" and never came back.

Koenig explained: "The women registered under fake names. After the operations, which lasted about an hour, they just ran away."

The other perps are listed as "Sabine" (boob job, €9,500); "Silke" (nose job, €7,000); and "Beate" (nose job, €7,000).

Koening says he now intends to ask for payment in advance

This story is so ridiculous that I've not decided whether this was a joke article or not. I have this surreal image in my head of a scene a la Fox's Prison Break with these women on the lam trying to run being tracked by dogs like in classic prison escapes.

As an aside, along this storyline and related to my previous expose on the history of bras, a kind of strange flash simulation from a British sports-bra maker exists, the "Bounce-o-meter" (I'm sure a guy thought that tacky name up) where you can visually simulate the effect of different exercise/activity on different breast sizes using some interesting flash animation.

I presume the names these women gave are the German equivalents of Stripper aliases (Sierra, Chastity, etc...) :)


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Leave it to Cleavage: Candidate for Alabama Governor Campaigns on Boobs

Meet Loretta Nall, a Libertarian write-in candidate for governor from down her in Alabama. Ms. Nall is rapidly gaining minor celebrity status for her "unorthodox" political platform and wonderful anecdotes like the one where she and her mother were denied visitation rights to her bother in prision because they weren't weraing panties (click to read).

Her campaign is offering T-shirts and marijuana stash boxes adorned with a photo (see right) of her with a plunging neckline and the words: “More of these boobs.” Below that are pictures of other candidates for governor — including Republican incumbent Bob Riley and Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley _ and the words: “And less of these boobs.”

Here's some funny stuff on this from the Men's News Daily blog on this:
Here’s Nall’s official campaign website, where you can learn other tidbits such as her stand on border security, why she doesn’t wear panties, why “not being in jail is cool,” and how much dope you have to smoke before Pauly Shore is funny (it’s a trick question: there isn’t enough on the planet).

The possibilities for additional campaign slogans are endless…

“Alabama’s cups runneth over”

“For a hands-on governor, not just another titular head”

“Tippecanoe and titties too”

“Are you better off than you were two boobs ago?”

“Trick or teat”

“Thanks for the mammaries”

“Give me a trampoline and a push-up bra, or give me death”

“Turn the udder cheek"

Friday, October 27, 2006

A story sure to be seen on a future CSI or "Nip/Tuck"

You really can't make up stories up like this.

A nurse anesthetist, Sally Jordan Hill, in Charlotte,NC is accused of killing a patient (one Sandra Joyner)after a cosmetic surgery procedure in 2001 with a deliberate overdose of narcotics. That's bad enough, but the hook here is that apparently the motive police are investigating has to do with the fact Mrs. Joyner stole Mrs. Hill's boyfriend some 30 years prior to this.

You can bet some variation of this is furiously being written into a 'CSI' or 'Nip/Tuck' episode.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Could the fate of silicone breast implants in America depend upon the midterm elections?

Besides philosophic differences between Republicans & Democrats on Iraq, Social Security, the Economy, abortion rights, and other issues, there is a chance that breast implants (of all things) could be caught up in partisanship.

There's a real interesting drama playing out about the expected FDA approval of silicone breast implants for unrestricted cosmetic surgery indications. By all indications we have expected approval with some strings attached re. long-term surveillance. The approval last week by Health Canada has made this seem even yet more imminent and has the Siliconistas firing up their PR machine.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia Snowe (Republican in name only-Maine) have now joined the fray in trying to intimidate the FDA into delaying action on their own advisory committee's report from 2005 which recommended approval for major manufacturers, Inamed & Mentor Corp.

Earlier this month Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn)took an aggressive posture on this issue, siding with activists intent on stopping silicone implants by any means necessary. Mrs. DeLauro is the ranking Democratic member of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, a committee which controls in large part the purse strings of the FDA.

Which brings us to this $64,000 question:

With the midterm congressional elections in 2 weeks, does the fate of silicone implants hang on whether Democrats recapture the house and turn Rosa DeLauro overnight into Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee? It is conceivable that she could an end run around international scientific & medical consensus and tie this up indefinitely if she assumes the leadership position.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Canada removes all restrictions on silicone breast implants

On Friday, Health Canada (the Canadian FDA equivalent) finally weighed in on silicone Breast Implants, removing all restrictions on their use in Canada. Prior to this, the implants were available (and widely used) but required a case by case paperwork application.

"I think it's safe to say that these medical devices are the most intensively studied medical devices in medical history," said Supriya Sharma, associate director-general of the therapeutic products directorate for Health Canada. "Health Canada's licensing of a medical device does not mean the device is risk-free. Rather, it means the device has the potential to provide benefits, and the risks have been reduced as much as possible."

Hopefully, this foreshadows what should be a straight forward adoption of the 2005 FDA advisory panel recommendation that the US adopt a similar position. The US now stands alone in countries restricting access to the devices.

Canada's acknowledgment that there is general consensus of no causal relationship to auto-immune disease or cancer has predictably driven the American anti-implant activists beserk & stimulated a flurry of hysterical press releases on what they believe to be a pending "silicone holocaust". Funny thing though, you certainly see nothing on the ground in Asia, Europe, S. America, & Canada (and the US as well for that matter) to support their concerns.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ivivi technologies IPO today

Ivivi Technologies had their IPO today.

Wayyyyyyyy back in December 2005 I wrote a little blurb on Ivivi. The "widget" this company sells is related to pulsing magnetic fields used for wound care, pain, and stimulating blood vessel growth. Apparently (and the physics and math behind this are formidable) pulsing magnetic fields at specific frequencies can have profound effects on the signals cells give to each other. This manipulation clinically results in rapid proliferation of healing tissues and down-regulating inflammation.

I've been impressed with the pain-control qualities of the technology for some of my post breast cancer reconstruction patients. Any effect there may be on blood-flow to the skin is just a bonus in that respect for me. However, this potential for non-invasive stimulation of blood vessel generation/healing + reducing inflammation addresses part of the exact scenario induce by heart attacks and blunt spinal cord injuries. If research pans out in those areas this kind of technology could really become widely used which would bode well for a company like Ivivi or others making similar devices.

While I'm somewhat ignorant of the market forces & accounting that would make a companies stock like Ivivi worth owning, it seems that could be a lot of upside. I've decided to put my money where my mouth is and buy a small position today. wish me luck!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New human-sourced medical products spawns modern day grave robbers

There has been a rapidly growing scandal in biomedical products which are sourced from human donor elements. There are dozens of products used in a variety of procedures (including Plastic & Reconstructive, Orthopedics, Urology, and Neurosurgery) and the "competition" for bits of skin, cartilage, bone, & other biomaterials has made this a lucrative market.

Reported here is the indictments against a number of funeral home directors for harvesting (without consent) human tissue from "clients" for reselling to brokers who go on to deliver these to manufacturers for processing.

In Plastic Surgery, Alloderm, a product made from the back skin of organ donors, has literally exploded in indications both reconstructive and cosmetic. In fact, I'm going Friday to a Washington D.C. meeting devoted to the utility of Alloderm for use with breast reconstruction procedures. It is also found a niche in rhinoplasty procedures and abdominal wall hernia repairs.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Free cancer journal subscription

Never let it be said I never gave my loyal audience nothing. The excellent quarterly cancer journal Cure is available for free to US residents. Follow this link to a form to fill out and fax back to start your subscription. Cure has excellent overview articles both for laypeople and Physicians. Particularly provocative is the article in the month's issue discussing the evolving treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Breast cancer Barbie

Along the lines of "Boobiethon 2006", (where there comes a point where the commercialization of breast cancer goes above & beyond what's appropriate) I give you

Breast Cancer Barbie
"Wearing a pink gown with a signature pink ribbon pinned to her shoulder, Pink Ribbon Barbie® doll can help open a dialogue with those affected by breast cancer, while supporting this worthy cause!"

The dolls cost about $24.95 in retail stores like Target and Wal-Mart, and Mattel plans to donate $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

There was an excellent article in Harper's Magazine "Welcome to Cancer Land." written by a breast cancer survivor's reaction on the "Cult of Pink Kitsch" that has cropped up around the business of breast cancer.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Boobie-Thon 2006

From October 1-7, bloggers from across the globe can submit pictures of their bare and covered breasts to raise money for breast cancer causes at Boobie-Thon .

The "sampler" menu can be seen here. Full access to the "pay-per-boobie" content can be purchased for $50, whose proceeds are to be donated to a number of breast cancer related charities.

I'm not a prude, but this fund-raising campaign bothers me because I think it trivializes breast cancer and I'm not sure whether sexualizing this really empowers either women or breast cancer survivors.

I saw reference to this on the delightful Feministing blog, a blog about as far politically from me as you can get, but whose author is both clever and witty enough to keep me coming back.

I don't like the implication that certain parts of women's bodies are "worth saving" because they're sexy. Boobiethon is sending a message that breast cancer should be stopped because it claims beautiful breasts as its victims-- not because it's a horrible disease that's killing women. I'd almost prefer a website that featured women naked from the belly button up, and showed their faces. Because at least then you can see that this disease affects real women, not just disembodied breasts.

From the comments section on Feministing for her blog post which hits the absurdity of this on the head(despite the campaigns good intentions):

"On, come on. If they were raising money to fight testicular cancer, would they be approaching male bloggers for ball-shots?"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Implants save another life!

Another woman's life saved by her implants in Bulgaria. Kind of the companion piece to the Israeli woman who survived the mortar blast in August (see here)

I can see the marketing now touting the health benefits: "Breast Implants- the new red wine" :)

From today's newswire:

Forget airbags, silicone breasts will do. A Bulgarian newspaper reports a woman in the town of Ruse survived a car crash thanks to her silicone breasts, which acted as an airbag.

The 24-year-old ran through a red light and crashed her car into another vehicle at a busy crossroad in the middle of town Saturday over the weekend.

"The two cars were crumpled past recognition in the crash but the woman's silicone breasts acted as airbags and saved her life", the report said, citing eyewitnesses.

But survival came at a price as the woman burst her silicone implants in the crash. A police expert explained that the 40DD silicone implants "absorbed the impact of the crash".
He added: "They worked just like airbags - protecting the victim's ribs and vital organs from damage.However they are not as safe as the real thing because they exploded, which airbags are not supposed to do."