Cosmetic Surgery Serving Washington, DC - Dr. Roger J. Oldham Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Jun 10 2009

Despite using 45 SPF sunscreen, sometimes I still get red after being in the sun. Do I need a stronger sunscreen?

How sunscreen is used is as important as is the SPF (Sun Protective Factor). First, sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes before exposure to the sun since it is not effective for the first one-half hour.  Secondly, apply sunscreen generously.  Thirdly, reapply every two hours or more frequently, especially if you perspire heavily or go into the water.

Apr 27 2009

I have had a mole on my face for several years which I have always disliked. However, in the past few months, it has gotten larger and darker. It is very unattractive. Would my insurance consider the removal cosmetic and not pay for it?

A skin lesion which becomes larger and darker should definitely be removed.  It is very unusual for insurance companies to deny coverage for removal of skin lesions, and this is especially true if there has been any change in the appearance.

Mar 06 2009

I know that breast implants, both silicone and saline, can leak. Is there a warranty or money back guarantee on breast implants?

Different implant manufacturers have different policies.  One of the two major companies has the following replacement policy: An implant is replaced free of charge for the patent's lifetime if there is a confirmed leakage of the implant, and this applies to either silicone or saline implant.  For up to ten years after the surgery, the implant company will also provide up to $1,200 of financial assistance for the operating room, anesthesia, and surgical charges not covered by insurance.  Upon the surgeon's request, the opposite implant, which may still be intact, will also be replaced free of charge. For a $100 enrollment fee within 45 days of the surgery, the company will provide up to $2,400 of financial assistance with the same conditions as noted above.

Feb 26 2009

Sun Exposure

Research performed on rats may revolutionize the world of self-tanning creams.  The tanning creams available today are typically dyes, offering no protection from the dangers of sun exposure.  The new cream developed in the rat lab actually reduces the incidence of skin cancer by turning the skin a golden bronze, without sun exposure.  The pigment of the skin is changed in much the same way as occurs with a sun tan.  The cream has only been tested in mice, so the safety in humans is completely unknown. This may be the next generation of skin tanners; but for the present, continue to get color from a bottle, not the sun.

Feb 13 2009

Eyelash enhancement is here!

An exciting new treatment for lengthening and thickening eyelashes has just been approved by the FDA.  This medication, marketed as Latisse, was initially used as eye drops for glaucoma.  Patients who were using the eyedrops began developing longer, thicker and darker eyelashes.  After the lengthy process of clinical trials, the FDA approved Latisse to be applied to the skin around the eyelashes for aesthetic purposes.  Latisse is manufactured by Allergan, the make of Botox Cosmetic, and is available with a doctor's prescription.

Feb 06 2009

Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?

Insurance companies vary greatly in their policies and practices about providing insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery.  Insurance companies generally examine the facts and circumstances of each case in an effort to distinguish a breast reduction procedure performed for cosmetic reasons from a breast reduction procedure which is done because of associated medical conditions caused by the breast size.

All insurance companies require that the breast tissue excised be weighed and all companies have a minimum requirement for the amount removed in order to qualify for coverage. 


Jan 30 2009

I understand insurance companies will sometimes pay for a blepharoplasty. Under what circumstances will they cover this surgery?

It is unusual for an insurance company to pay for blepharoplasty surgery.  However, if the procedure is necessary for normal vision, it may be covered.  For example, if there is sufficient amount of upper eyelid skin which hangs over the eyelid margin and obstructs vision, there is a chance for insurance coverage.  On the other hand, lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is always considered cosmetic, since excess skin there does not obstruct vsion.

Jan 16 2009

What is the best age to have a facelift?

The best age for a facelift is highly variable, depending on a person's history of sun exposure, facial bone structure and many hereditary factors.  The aging feature which is usually the first to appear is generalized skin laxity in the lower cheeks, adjacent to the corners of the mouth.  This laxity often appears first in the forties. The next aging change to develop is jowl formation, characterized by loose skin bulges along the jaw line.  Skin laxity in the neck occurs at various ages and to different degrees with skin textural changes, wrinkles and visible looseness.  Each of these aging features can be addressed by plastic surgery and results are typically very rejuvenating.

Jan 09 2009

I have had breast implants for ten years and I am concerned that they could be ruptured. How would I know?

If you have saline implants, the saline leaks out of the ruptured implant and is harmlessly absorbed by your body.  Eventually, all of the saline leaks out and your breast returns to the same size it was before the surgery.  If you have silicone implants, the silicone is not absorbed so the size of the breast remains the same.  Usually a mammogram or, more likely, a MRI would need to be performed to determine if your implant is ruptured.

Dec 26 2008

How long does a facelift last?

The longevity of a facelift depends upon many factors, including facial bone structure, skin thickness and elasticity, the extent of environmental damage and heredity.  Some patients will begin to demonstrate some further aging features 7-10 years after an initial facelift, but these can be readily improved with a repeat procedure.  For other patients, those changes may not be noted until 12-15 years after the initial facelift.  Most importantly, however, after any facelift procedure, the face still looks better, even after 25-30 years, than it would have looked without the facelift surgery.

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