Norman Leaf MD FACS

From the Blog

An Exciting New Concept…Natural Hair Restoration


OK, hair restoration is not really new…but the techniques to quickly and comfortably restore really natural hair patterns are new. And it's new to my practice. Until recently, I had no interest in it; if you know me at all, you'll know that I have more hair on my face than I do on my head, which is to say, not so much. So why now?

Here's why I'm so excited about it: everything has changed for the better!

Using the old techniques, a large strip of scalp was resected from the back of the head, where the hair is thicker and denser than the sparser areas in front . That strip was then sliced and diced by a technician into smaller units of one, two or three follicles. The area where the strip was removed from was then sutured together, leaving a fairly long scar that would not be that noticeable under the hair. The follicular units were then placed carefully in a designated pattern.shutterstock_69580000

The newer technique employs a tiny spinning punch which is applied directly to the donor site on the scalp to obtain the tiny follicular units; removing a large swath of scalp is no longer required. This makes for much less pain/discomfort and a speedier recovery.

For those who desire a more naturally dense, fuller head of hair, and especially for women who are unhappy with creeping hair loss at the temples or simply thinning on the top, this technique is made to order. Some men or women who have had facelifts would like restoration of their sideburn areas or coverage of bald scars, and this can be done beautifully. Even eyebrows can be expertly reconstructed.

-Dr. Norman Leaf

*For information, please call Caroline Alexander at 310 274 8001. Saturday appointments are often available.

Feb 13 2013

What's in a name?

Welcome to the first entry on my blog. Writing is indeed a pleasure for me and I hope you enjoy reading these pieces as much as I enjoyed writing them.

What's in a Name?

Romance poets have always been fascinated by food metaphors when describing female beauty:

Your creamy skin
your hair gold as wheat,
your lips like cherries,
your breasts like…Gummy Bears?!?

There has to be a better descriptor for the new cohesive gel breast implants than "Gummy Bears." Where are the sexual undertones, the female mystique, the romance in that title?

Try as I might, I cannot think of a more appropriate name than that…I'm afraid it makes a stronger tactile and visual impact than "Cohesive Gel." But whatever we call them, they are the latest advance and by far the safest and most natural implants I've ever used…and during my long career, I've used them absolutely every one of them.

Breast implants have been around since the mid-60's . At first they were available in three sizes, designated as Small, Medium, and Large, but soon it became apparent that "Small" was too large for some women, and "Large" was not adequate for others. The term "Petite" was a reasonable effort for a smaller size, (soon to be followed by "Mini") but for larger sizes, terms were more difficult to find. Names like "Jumbo" or "Maxi" didn't come across as being remotely aspirational to most women. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, the titles were dropped and implants became designated by their volume in cc's.

The first implants were made of a silicone gel…saline-filled implants began shortly afterward, but the majority of implants inserted world-wide are still made of a similar silicone gel. The latest iteration is now made of a heavily cross-linked silicone gel matrix, which renders the implant semi-solid, like a cube of jello. This means that if an implant is actually cut in half, the silicone will not ooze out like so much too-warm brie. This is a safety feature, theoretically reducing the incidence of a ruptured implant giving out globules of silicone into the breast or the adjacent lymph nodes.

The new implants are made by Sientra, have been fully cleared for use by the FDA, and the company is having a hard time keeping up with the demand. The costs are competitive with the other brands. I am very impressed with them, and have been using them almost exclusively for months now. I don't particularly like the name Gummy Bear, but the technology is a superb addition to the practice of plastic surgery…and a game-changer in breast augmentation.