Voted one of the region’s top plastic surgeons for eight consecutive years
By Matthew Link
Technology is advancing medicine as quickly as it is bringing us smarter phones, smaller devices, and “anywhere” connectivity. In plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancement, technology can change the way we think about ourselves and our lives. Now, it is easier, faster, and more affordable for all of us to look and feel beautiful.
The source for discussing technology trends in plastic surgery is Dr. Mark V. Sofonio, one of the country’s pre-eminent plastic surgeons. Dr. Sofonio is double board certifi ed in plastic and cosmetic surgery by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He was Section Chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Eisenhower Medical Center for nearly a decade, and he has been named a “Top Doctor” by Palm Springs Life magazine for eight years in a row.
Dr. Sofonio is a tireless educator and has been a contributing expert to many plastic surgery publications and books, authorizing chapters aimed at plastic surgeons and patients alike. Dr. Sofonio also off ers a seminar series to the public discussing what’s new in plastic surgery. The following are some of his thoughts on the latest trends in plastic surgery.
SKIN REJUVENATION AND WRINKLE REMOVAL
Dr. Sofonio points to the latest breakthroughs in numerous anti-aging procedures where the leading technological advances are occurring in skin care and skin rejuvenation. While Retin-A used to be the main prescription for a younger complexion, antioxidants are now being used to revive age-worn skin. Many of the newer products help regenerate skin tissue and boost collagen production, infusing new vitality.
In the desert, sun protection is a big concern, and Dr. Sofonio notes that as the FDA is revising the current SPF system, new sunblock products are evolving. He advises everyone, especially those on a physician-prescribed skincare regimen, to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is formulated specifically for their skin type.
A common request for plastic surgeons is wrinkle erasure. “I continue to see neuromuscular blockers such as Botox and Dysport as excellent options for eliminating expression lines,” observes Dr. Sofonio. He adds that the FDA is reviewing an injection-free delivery system for Botox that would be applied topically, with the same great results. “In the past decade, we have also seen volumizers emerge, including Restylane and Juvederm. These products are very eff ective and inexpensive,” Dr. Sofonio explains. “They are especially useful around the corners of the mouth, the lips, and in the nasolabial folds.”
Another product Dr. Sofonio likes is Radiance. Made from crushed coral, Radiance usually lasts between one and two years. It is not recommended for use in the lips due to its thicker consistency. FDA-approved Sculptra is another popular filler that stimulates the skin’s collagen production and is an ideal total-face volumizer.
INNOVATIONS IN ULTRASOUND FOR THE FACE AND BODY
Dr. Sofonio is the desert’s only plastic surgeon to offer the innovative Ulthera ultrasound treatment. Ulthera harnesses and focuses ultrasound technology to target the same muscle tissue that is tightened during face-lift surgery. This lifts tissue like a face lift. Yet with Ulthera, no surgery is required. FDA-approved Ulthera is an office procedure taking between 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the area(s) treated. Dr. Sofonio is achieving excellent results and positive feedback from patients who have benefited from Ulthera.
Ultrasound is now being used to change the way fat removal is performed. Liposonix uses ultrasound to liquefy fat. It requires no surgery, no downtime, and virtually no recovery. One treatment typically takes one hour and leaves you one size smaller.
Beyond ultrasound, skin-specific lasers are available. Dr. Sofonio’s state-of-the-art practice has access to every type of device, including what is considered to be the gold standard — fractionated CO2 laser. Intense Pulse Light is another treatment preferred by Dr. Sofonio. IPL eff ectively eliminates sun damage, brown spots, enlarged pores, and other cosmetic concerns. IPL can be used to treat the entire body, with no downtime.
A MODERN LOOK AT FACE LIFTS
Dr. Sofonio’s artistic eye and advanced training in face-lift surgery bring special “natural-looking” results to his patients. Dr. Sofonio does not like the pulled look of the traditional facelift.
“A one-hour face lift will not give you the same result as a deep face lift that involves moving muscle and underlying tissue,” he says. “Your structure, heredity, and skin texture also play a role in your outcome. Patients should ask a lot of questions and do their homework before undergoing any procedure.”
According to Dr. Sofonio, the fi eld of plastic surgery is constantly evolving. In the past decade alone, improvements in endoscopic procedures, mid-face lifts, and brow lifts have resulted in longer-lasting, more natural results.
Patients seeking to improve their appearance through cosmetic enhancement have a number of new options – options that are less invasive and more accessible.
“We have a whole new arsenal of procedures for people who want to turn back time,” says Dr. Sofonio. “Just 10 years ago, the emphasis was on operative procedures. Today we have minimally invasive, zero-down-time options that can dramatically improve one’s appearance and boost self-esteem.”
ABOUT DR. SOFONIO
Dr. Sofonio grew up right in the Coachella Valley. He graduated from the U.C.L.A. School of Medicine with magna cum laude honors. His general surgery training was performed at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, and he completed his plastic surgery residency training at the Medical College of Ohio. Dr. Sofonio then ran a Burn Unit/Wound Care Center at the Medical College of New York. He also received cosmetic surgery training from some of the world’s foremost aesthetic surgeons at the Connell Aesthetic Surgery Institute.
Dr. Sofonio utilizes his own on-site, state-of-the-art surgical center, approved by the State of California Institute for Medical Quality, and only employs board-certified M.D. anesthesiologists for surgical procedures.
Dr. Sofonio was honored in 2008 with the 306th star on the Palm Springs Walk of the Stars, a tribute to his exemplary career, as well as his tireless philanthropic eff orts. Dr. Sofonio donates to more than 100 local charities and considers any local charity organization asking for support
Mark V. Sofonio, M.D., F.A.C.S. Eisenhower Medical Center 39000 Bob Hope Drive, Kiewit Building, Suite 407, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 760-341-5555 www.DrSofonio.com
Office Affiliation: The Plastic Surgery and Laser Center of the Desert
Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor in:: 2012
Back from left: Janice Seiden, Lora Galipo, Sonja Fitzpatrick, Mary Jane Dante, Kyle James, Dr. Mark V. Sofonio, Candance Lee, Cindy McElwain, Yolanda Garcia, Sheila Celaya, Heather Bigger. Front from left: Dianna Labib, William Sofonio, Caroline Sofonio, Vincent Sofonio, and Maria Lilly. Not pictured: John Graciano, Jon Poling, and Patti Owens. Photo by Taylor Sherrill
Dr. Sofonio has been named a “Top Doctor” by Palm Springs Life magazine for eight years in a row.