Despite a seemingly endless supply of ads for new skin care products and procedures, there haven’t been many Dr. Jeffrey Popp would call “breakthroughs.”
Here are the top two and a half breakthroughs of his more than 30 years in cosmetic surgery:
- Tumescent anesthesia:
Developed by Dr. Jeff Klein, a dermatologist, who was the first to apply its use to liposuction.
“The idea was to do liposuction under local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia,” Dr. Popp said. “So Klein devised the concept of tumescent liposuction.”
“Tumescent” means to make hard. In effect, Klein’s idea was to pump local anesthetic solution into the area he targeted for liposuction.
Dr. Popp said there were three important results: It caused profound anesthesia, eliminated bleeding and kept the area numb for a day or more after the procedure.
“So we use that type of anesthesia for breast augmentations, breast reductions, face lifts and more. It helps with any type of surgery you can think of because it improves post operative comfort and reduces bleeding,” Dr. Popp said.
“It’s probably one of the greatest advances in my lifetime.
“Some of the lasers now available are incredible. There are vascular lasers specifically used to treat birthmarks, blood vessel abnormalities, wrinkles and tattoo removal,” Dr. Popp said.
He said each laser is applied to one particular problem. For example, to remove a tattoo, you need a specific wavelength of light to remove a specific color of ink.
“There are settings specifically for blue, ink, red and yellow pigments,” Dr. Popp said. “They’ve refined lasers to the point that the light emitted is specific to the problem you want to fix.”
That also means you can’t use a laser meant for birthmarks with one designed for wrinkles.
“Light therapy, specifically lasers, has been, at least in my world, the second most important breakthrough in the last 30 years,” he said.
2.5 Non-invasive treatments:
Dr. Popp said a distant third, “or maybe two and a half,” would be the non-invasive treatments used for cosmetic problems.
This includes Cryolipolysis or freezing fat, as well as radio frequency waves and ultrasonic waves, both of which tighten the skin and melt fat.
“Non-surgical devices developed in the last 10 to 15 years offer small degrees of improvement, but they don’t have the risks typically involved with surgery, which can include cutting and sewing,” Dr. Popp said.
Have a question for Dr. Popp? Set up your consult today at 402-391-4558.