NEWS

  • Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd. Becomes a Division of Minnesota Oncology

    March 1, 2017

    Edina, Minn.—Minnesota Oncology and Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd. announced a partnership to facilitate development of a Melanoma Center of Excellence in the Twin Cities. As of March 1st, Plastic Surgery Consultants LTD, led by Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Sam Economou, MD, will become a division of Minnesota Oncology. Dr. Economou is a leading melanoma surgeon in the Twin Cities and is the only Plastic Surgeon in the metropolitan area performing sentinal node biopsy for melanoma. Read More...

    “The physicians at Minnesota Oncology have worked closely with me for many years to provide patients with what amounts to a virtual melanoma program,” said Dr. Economou. “With the advent of immunotherapy, our melanoma patients have more options than ever in the treatment of metastatic disease. This requires an even closer working relationship between providers caring for these patients. This merger will take that program a step further to unify care under one entity.”

    “This partnership will provide more efficiency and lead to an increased ability to further our efforts to provide patients with the option to participate in clinical trials and positively impact our ability to conduct research in melanoma,” said Dean Gesme, MD, president of Minnesota Oncology. “More importantly, we hope this will lead to the future development of a formal Melanoma Center of Excellence in partnership with Allina Health. This all will provide an even higher level of care for our mutual patients.”

    In many ways, this change will be relatively seamless and virtually invisible to patients. Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd. staff will remain unchanged and the daily routine in their office will operate as usual. Dr. Economou will continue to see patients in his present Edina office space at Edinborough Corporate Center East and will continue to operate at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

    Dr. Economou trained at Mayo Clinic and has been annually named a Top Doctor and Top Doctor for Women by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine & Minnesota Monthly Magazine. He will continue to provide a full spectrum of Aesthetic/Reconstructive Surgery options for patients, including cosmetic & breast surgery.

    About Minnesota Oncology

    Minnesota Oncology is a group of more than 70 oncology and hematology specialists dedicated solely to the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers – lung, breast, gynecological, colorectal, prostate and others – as well as many blood disorders.  It has 11 locations across the Twin Cities metropolitan area and is the largest independent oncology practice in the region.  The practice has a history of innovation—bringing a community-based, integrated cancer care model and dedication to continuing advancements in the treatment of cancer. Minnesota Oncology patients have access to specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, Minnesota Oncology’s full circle of care includes access to assistance such as social work and patient advocacy, nutrition therapy, patient financial counselors, educational classes, support groups, nurse navigators, advance care planning, palliative care and a survivorship program.
     

    About Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd.

    For more than 20 years, Dr. Sam Economou, plastic surgeon and president of Plastic Surgery Consultants, has provided his patients with state-of-the-art care in Plastic Surgery. He has been selected as a Top Doctor and Top Doctor for Women multiple times. Trained at Mayo Clinic and Board Certified in Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, he performs a broad range of cosmetic procedures. These include Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, Liposuction, Tummy Tuck, and Facial Cosmetic Surgery. He is the only Plastic Surgeon in Minnesota offering Liposonix, a non-surgical, non-invasive method of fat reduction. Plastic Surgery Consultants provides highly skilled, personal care placing patients needs first. For information, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net .

    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Colleen Schwab, Minnesota Oncology
    Ph. 952-361-5849
    colleen.schwab@usoncology.com

     

  •  Liposonix treatment featured on The Rachel Ray Show this month.

     July 12, 2013

    Liposonix, a non-surgical fat reduction treatment was featured on The Rachel Ray Show this month.  Liposonix is an in office, non-surgical, non-invasive treatment that targets fat around your waistline.   Dr. Sam Economou is the only Plastic Surgeon in Minnesota to offer Liposonix.  Check out the video clip from Rachel's show and see just how easy it can be to fit into your favorite jeans again. Read More...

  • Dr. Sam Economou Voted Top Doctor by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine for 2012

    July 23, 2012

    Mpls/St.Paul Top Doctors: Sam Economou

    Edina, Minnesota – Dr. Sam Economou, M.D., a leading Edina plastic surgeon, has been voted by his peers to Mpls. St. Paul Magazine’s annual list of top doctors as one of the top cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons in the 10-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Read More...

    Less than a year ago, Dr. Economou, who owns Plastic Surgery Consultants Ltd., a leading Edina plastic surgery practice, was voted as one of the top doctors for women by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine.

    "It's an honor to be recognized by your peers as a top doctor in Minneapolis and St. Paul," said Dr. Economou. "Our state is a magnet for the best doctors in the world. To be honored by your peers – twice – by two separate publications, is a reflection of the quality we deliver each day to our patients."

    Dr. Economou was recognized by Mpls. St. Paul magazine based on a survey of 2,500 physicians and 2,500 registered nurses located in the 10-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. For 2012, the Top Doctors list included 586 physicians in 42 specialty areas, all of whom are board certified and in good standing with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

    Dr. Economou is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with 17 years experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Economou is skilled in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and specializes in breast surgery of all types, body contour surgery and facial aesthetic surgery.

    Earlier this year, Dr. Economou became the first Minnesota provider to offer in-office body contouring utilizing the new Liposonix ultrasonic system, an innovative, non-surgical fat reduction technology that uses high-intensity focused ultrasound to treat and eliminate stubborn fat from areas of the body such as the abdomen, hips and other “problem” areas. The Liposonix treatment offered by Plastic Surgery Consultants can typically be completed in a one-hour session and can eliminate up to an inch of body fat from the treated area. Full results are usually seen in 8 to 12 weeks, although individual results will vary.

    "I believe one of the reasons that our practice has been recognized by both Mpls. St. Paul and Minnesota Monthly is that we are dedicated to clearly understanding the needs of our patients, and offering solutions that bring about transformation," said Dr. Economou. "We are constantly looking for innovative new methods, like Liposonix, to help our patients reach their goals."

    For more information about Dr. Sam Economou and Plastic Surgery Consultants, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net. You can also learn more about our practice and Dr. Economou by reading our featured profile in Mpls/St.Paul Magazine by clicking here.

  • Dr. Sam Economou of Plastic Surgery Consultants Introduces New Liposonix Non-Surgical Ultrasonic Fat Removal

    April 2012

    Plastic Surgery Consultants Ltd., a leading Edina plastic surgery practice, is now offering Liposonix, a new, FDA-approved technology for non-invasive, non-surgical fat reduction.

    Sam Economou M.D. is the first and only Minnesota provider to offer in-office body contouring utilizing the new Liposonix ultrasonic system. Read More...

    Liposonix is a revolutionary new fat reduction technology that uses high-intensity focused ultrasound to treat and eliminate stubborn fat from areas of the body such as the abdomen, hips and other “problem” areas. The Liposonix treatment offered by Plastic Surgery Consultants can typically be completed in a one-hour session and can eliminate up to an inch of body fat from the treated area.  Full results are usually seen in 8 to 12 weeks, although individual results will vary.

    Liposonix represents a unique approach to non-invasive fat reduction that is far better than any other device now on the market.  It achieves results more effectively in a single treatment and at a lower cost in comparison to what older technology tries to achieve in multiple procedures.

    “This is an excellent alternative for people who are already close to their ideal weight,” says Dr. Sam Economou, “but need help eliminating prominent fat in areas where diet and exercise just haven’t worked.”

    During the treatment, the Liposonix head is passed over the skin in the area requiring fat reduction.  High-intensity ultrasonic energy distributed through the device focuses in the targeted body fat, heating and destroying fat cells beneath the surface of the skin.

    The treated fat tissue is eliminated through the body's natural healing and elimination process over the next several weeks, leaving a patient thinner and more contoured in the area treated.  Studies have shown that the procedure has no impact on blood lipid levels.

    According to Dr. Economou, the cost of Liposonix starts at $2,500, much less than the cost of traditional liposuction, and is not covered by health insurance.

    There may be minor bruising and discomfort after treatment, but the procedure leaves no scars because it is completely non-invasive.  It is performed in office with no anesthesia.  During treatment the patient may sense some tingling or a feeling of warmth.  There is no downtime after treatment and no restriction of activities is required.  The procedure is not for persons who require large volume fat removal or those who have loose skin.  Those patients would be best served with more traditional surgical procedures.

    “If you can pinch an inch, this treatment can help eliminate the stubborn fat that is preventing you from wearing the clothes and swimsuits that you really want to wear,” says Dr. Economou.

    About Plastic Surgery Consultants

    Dr. Sam Economou, principal of Plastic Surgery Consultants, is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with more than 15 years experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Economou is skilled in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and specializes in breast surgery of all types, body contour surgery and facial aesthetic surgery. For more information, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net.
     

  • More People Turn To Liposuction To Remove Stubborn Fat Deposits

    January 2012

    EDINA, Minn. (January 24, 2012) -- Every day, across the United States, American women and men are doing the right thing. They're changing their diets. They're exercising. They're reducing their stress levels. And for all of this hard work and determination, they're being rewarded. They look better. They feel better. And they have more energy.

    For some though, as determined as they are, there are areas of their body that seem to have a mind of their own, a streak of stubbornness.  Fat deposits that just won't go away. Read More...

    For these areas, liposuction is a tool that plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Sam Economou, with Plastic Surgery Consultants in Edina, Minn., use to reduce localized fat deposits that resist exercise and diet.

    "Liposuction is not a weight loss tool," cautions Dr. Economou, who has more that 15 years experience. "But it can help some patients achieve the goals for their body contour they have earned through hard work and persistence."

    According to Dr. Economou, liposuction is ideal for problem areas such as the abdomen, thighs, hips, back and the chin, all of which respond well to the procedure. For liposuction to be it's most effective, candidates should already be close to their goal weight, with minimal loose skin, and good muscle tone. Many believe liposuction is for extremely overweight individuals. In fact, it is not.

    "The success of liposuction as well as many other forms of cosmetic surgery," adds Dr. Economou, "rests on the shoulders of our patients. Our best patients have already made the jump in their minds that they want to lead healthier, more active lifestyles, and they've already made great strides in achieving that goal through regular exercise and healthier eating."

    Liposuction surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours, depending on the areas addressed. Incisions are small and usually concealed within the natural fold of the body. A thin hollow tube, or cannula, is used to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The loose fat is than removed through the cannula using a surgical vacuum.

    Following surgery, most patients wear a compression garment, such as a girdle or abdominal binder, for about two weeks following surgery to help minimize bruising and swelling. Areas of liposuction will have a firm feel that can last several months as the swelling and inflammation resolve. Bruising is normal with liposuction and can last up to three to four weeks depending on the individual. You should plan on taking a week off from work to recover and avoid any strenuous lifting or exercise for about two weeks after liposuction surgery.

    In addition to reshaping specific areas of the body, liposuction can be used to treat gynecomastia, fatty deposits in the breast area in men, which is due to multiple factors rather than just lack of weight control or fitness.

    In some cases, liposuction is used with other types of cosmetic surgery where fat deposits are removed along with excess skin, such as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).

    "We believe in plastic surgery that is transformative," Dr. Economou adds. "If you've already made the commitment to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, liposuction can be an additional step towards your goal."

    About Plastic Surgery Consultants

    Dr. Sam Economou, principal of Plastic Surgery Consultants, is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with more than 15 years experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Economou is skilled in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and specializes in breast surgery of all types, body contour surgery and facial aesthetic surgery. For more information, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net.
     

  • Breast Lift Surgery Restores Breasts to a More Youthful Appearance

    January 2012

    EDINA, Minn. (January 12, 2012) -- Summer may be swimsuit season, but how your breasts look and feel can be a year-round concern for many women. Whether you're headed to the beach, the office, running errands, or out on the town, breasts that sag and droop can affect your clothing options.  Read More...

    Pregnancy, changes in weight, heredity and aging can contribute to the loss of skin elasticity causing breasts to lose their youthful shape and firmness. Well-fitting bras can be a temporary fix, however, for women seeking a more lasting solution, mastopexy, also known as breast lift surgery, may be the right option.

    Once reserved for Hollywood's elite, mastopexy has become more and more common in Minnesota.

    "A breast lift can reverse changes in the breast normally associated with child bearing, changes in weight or aging," says Dr. Sam Economou, a plastic surgeon in Edina, Minnesota. "It's a surgical procedure that can restore the breasts to a more youthful, healthy appearance."

    Mastopexy surgery takes about two to three hours during which the plastic surgeon removes excess, loose skin to create a more youthful looking breast. In some cases a breast implant may be used to help restore lost fullness. After the breasts are reshaped and excess skin in removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed. Some incision lines resulting from breast lifts are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Surgery scars are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time. After a breast lift the breasts sit higher on the chest, are more firm and full and have a centrally located nipple.

    If you're considering a breast lift, Dr. Economou advises his patients that they need to be at their ideal weight before surgery. In addition, breast lift surgery is not for women who are still open to having more children. Changes in weight and pregnancy can have the same negative effect on the breast after surgery as before the surgery.

    "A breast lift is a transformative surgery," Dr. Economou adds. "Many of my patients say the surgery allows them to lead more active, healthy lives. They feel more confident in a swimsuit or they feel more comfortable running or golfing in light-weight sports apparel. It's an investment that can open up new doors for many women."

    About Plastic Surgery Consultants

    Dr. Sam Economou, principal of Plastic Surgery Consultants, is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with more than 15 years experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Economou is skilled in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and specializes in breast surgery of all types, body contour surgery and facial aesthetic surgery. For more information, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net.
     

  • Spring Swimsuit Season: Wear Your Bikini Again with Tummy Tuck Surgery

    November 2011

    EDINA, MN (November 29, 2011) -- Do you dream of strolling down a sun-drenched beach in Florida, The Caribbean or Mexico next spring in a bikini? Perhaps you think of showing off a flat tummy that draws the lingering glances of others lounging on the beach? You are not alone.  Read More...

    Winter may have arrived, but spring is only a few short months away. And if you've resolved that you're not going to go another summer with a sagging tummy, now is the time to put "tummy tuck" at the top of your list of New Year's resolutions.

    Once reserved for Hollywood's elite and America's wealthy, the tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to which people of all walks of life are turning to for tightening the abdomen and the removal of excessive skin and fat.

    According to Dr. Sam Economou, an Edina, Minn. plastic surgeon, a tummy tuck works best for people who are close to their ideal weight, but cannot shed the loose skin that has developed in their abdominal area because of pregnancy, weight loss and age. The typical patient is a female whose abdominal wall has been stretched due to pregnancy. It's also a procedure designed for men and women who have lost a large amount of weight as a result of exercise and a more healthy diet.

    Variations of the full tummy tuck, such as a mini-tummy tuck (which depends upon how much skin laxity is present and where it is located), are also a possibility. The result of tummy tuck surgery is a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate to a person's body type and weight.

    "Pregnancy and excessive weight can stretch the skin of the abdomen many times its normal state," says Dr. Economou, the principle surgeon of Plastic Surgery Consultants. "That's where a tummy tuck can really help -- in tightening and flattening that area of your body."

    The most common form of tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision near the pubic hairline, so swimwear or undergarments can hide the resulting scar. If there is excess skin above the navel, an incision around the navel may be required. Sometimes, the surgery involves liposuction to remove pockets of excess fat from specific areas of the body. To reduce scar tissue and increase the speed of healing, Dr. Economou may utilize an Ethicon harmonic scalpel that uses ultrasonic energy to perform parts of the tummy tuck surgery.

    Diastasis is a term used to describe the separation of the two-paired abdominal muscles that make up the front of the abdomen, which is often caused by multiple pregnancies. Sutures are used to tighten up the abdominal wall, resulting in a flatter stomach. Stronger, tighter abdomen muscles may also help reduce lower back pain.

    While a tummy tuck is not a shortcut to weight loss, it can be a powerfully transforming surgery and complements the impact that weight loss has on the abdominal profile.

    "Many of my patients say they feel liberated after having a tummy tuck," Dr. Economou says. "They can wear a bikini again, or not wear a shirt or a top to cover up their loose stomach. They feel good about being outdoors running, swimming and golfing. It does a lot to boost a person's confidence in their bodies and for many of my patients, it's an incentive to maintain a healthy appearance for the rest of their lives."

    Wondering if you're a candidate for a tummy tuck? Here are some tips from Dr. Economou to consider:

     

    #1 Consultation.

    To find out if you're really a good candidate to have a tummy tuck procedure, schedule an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon. There are various types of abdominoplasty, including mini-tummy tucks and full tucks with liposuction. Only a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon can tell you what's right for you.

    #2 Children.

    Child bearing can cause unwanted tummy laxity. If you're done having children, then it's okay to pursue a tummy tuck, but if there's any doubt, then you should wait.

    #3 Massive weight loss.

    With TV programs such as Biggest Loser, there are many men and women who have pursued their own weight loss program to shed 100 or more pounds. Plastic surgeons will advise putting off a tummy tuck until the patient has maintained their ideal new weight over an extended period of time. Continued weight loss or weight gain can quickly undo the results of a tummy tuck.

    #4 Exercise.

    Before considering a tummy tuck, it's critical to develop a healthy lifestyle involving regular exercise and good dietary habits. If you haven't done so already, you should start. It's always a good idea to consult with your family physician before starting a regular exercise regimen.

    #5 Insurance.

    A tummy tuck is considered elective surgery, and is typically not covered by health insurance. According to Plasticsurgeryportal.com the average cost for a tummy tuck ranges between $4,500 and $6,000, but will vary depending upon where you live (Hollywood vs. Minnesota), the extent of the surgery, who performs the surgery, and other factors.

    #6 Time to Recover.

    Full recovery from tummy tuck surgery takes about four to six weeks depending upon the extent of the surgery. During this time you might have to wear a compression garment. Following the surgery, you can expect swelling, mild bruising, and inflammation until healing runs its full course. During this time, you should not perform any strenuous activities (such as lifting a toddler) until you are completely healed.

    #7 Swimsuits.

    After a tummy tuck, an extremely skimpy bikini, thong or string suit may be too revealing to hide a tummy tuck scar. Instead, you'll want to wear a swimsuit that shows off your flattened abs but hides the scar from the tummy tuck surgery, such as a one-piece tank suit, two-piece hipster, a tankini or monokini.

    About Plastic Surgery Consultants

    Dr. Sam Economou, principal of Plastic Surgery Consultants, is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with more than 15 years experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Economou is skilled in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and specializes in breast surgery of all types, body contour surgery and facial aesthetic surgery. For more information, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net.
     

  • Best Doctors for Women 2011: Dr. Sam Economou, M.D.

    October 2011

    2011 Best Docotrs for Women, MN Monthly

    Each year, Minnesota Monthly Magazine compiles a list of medical professionals for its Best Doctor's for Women List. And this year, Plastic Surgery Consultants is proud to have been named to this list.  Read More...

    October's issue of Minnesota Monthly Magazine featured the Best Doctors for Women 2011. 418 Twin Cities physicians named in Minnesota Monthly's Best Doctors for Women poll were chosen by their peers not just for professional expertise. Respondents were also asked to nominate professionals who were “attuned to the specific needs of female patients.” We're proud of Sam Economou, M.D. and Plastic Surgery Consultants for being featured on this list. To see the complete list or read the full article, please click here.

  • Minnesota Physician: Plastic Surgery Update with Dr. Sam Economou, M.D.

    September 2011

    In this issue of Minnesota Physician, our very own Sam Economou, M.D. talks updates in the plastic and cosmetic surgery industry, from new technology to extreme weight loss to melanoma fuel trends.  Read More...

    Thanks to TV shows like "Biggest Loser," more overweight Americans, especially those who are severely overweight, are getting off the couch and starting to walk, run and bike, resulting in significant weight loss. Inspired and motivated by their dramatic weight loss, they're turning to plastic and reconstructive surgeons to help them complete their journey to life after weight loss.

    This is just one of the trends I've observed over the past several years in my practice. And it is one of the most inspiring aspects of my practice. These patients truly experience a transformation before your eyes, both internally and externally.

    To download or read the full article, please click here.
     

  • Plastic Surgery 10 Questions & Answers with Sam Economou, M.D.

    July/August 2011

    Why do they call it plastic surgery?  What are the risks and complications of plastic surgery? What are the latest advances in plastic surgery? If you've ever wondered about these questions, Sam Economou, M.D. from Plastic Surgery Consultants provides answers to these and more in a recent article featured in Minnesota Health Care News.  Read More...

    1. Why do they call it plastic surgery?

    Plastic surgery derives its name from the Greek word plastikos, which means an object that can be molded or changed. It is an appropriate root as we change the form of the human body with so many of the procedures we perform. Many think it is called plastic surgery because we use plastic in our procedures, which is not true.

    2. What are the risks and complications of plastic surgery?

    The risks involved with cosmetic and reconstructive procedures are not much different than any other surgical procedure. There is a small risk of infection, bleeding, unfavorable scar formation, delayed healing and fluid collections associated with many of our procedures. Various procedures carry specific individual risks that we discuss with the patient at the time of the consultation.


    3. What special considerations must be taken into account with regard to reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients?

    It is important that the type and location of the cancer is known. In addition, the plan for surgery by the general surgeon treating the cancer must be determined so that options for reconstructive surgery can be discussed with the patient. The patient's breast size, position and body proportions must be factored into any reconstructive options we consider. Also, any other treatments such as potential chemotherapy and radiation therapy can impact the reconstructive plan. Finally, patient preference plays a major role in determining which form of reconstruction is performed.

    4. What criteria should a prospective patient use to select a plastic surgeon?

    Selecting a plastic surgeon should be done very carefully. I would suggest that patients research the surgeon's training and background and confirm certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Unfortunately, some physicians calling themselves "cosmetic surgeons" do not have the same training and Board Certification that plastic surgeons do. The caveat of "buyer beware" applies here. Beyond that, I would suggest having consultations with multiple plastic surgeons to investigate their personal experience, approach, area of expertise and personality. In the end, your goals should match with the surgical plan. You should feel at ease with the proposed surgery and the surgeon doing it.

    5. Please tell us about the ways you work with other kinds of physicians.

    Many of our patients are referred to us by their primary physician, who is familiar with our work. We also work with many other specialists in coordinating care of our cancer patients, who often see physicians in multiple specialties. In addition, we work directly with general surgeons in performing breast reconstructions. We also often perform tummy tucks at the same time a gynecologist performs a hysterectomy.

    6. How are your services covered by health insurance?

    Any medically necessary procedure is covered by insurance but would be subject to co-pays and deductibles. That would include cancer care, breast reconstruction, breast reduction and biopsy of any suspicious lesion. Cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance, but patients are provided with an all-inclusive estimate at the time of their consultation so they know up front the cost of their surgery.

    7. What is the most common misperception about plastic surgery?

    Cosmetic surgery is perceived to be the realm of the rich and famous. The reality is that most cosmetic surgery is performed for the average person. Sometimes, because of the portrayal of plastic surgeons on TV, we are viewed as doing cosmetic surgery only. Contrary to that, most plastic surgeons do a combination of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Our training is very broad based and includes a wide range of procedures. Another misconception is that we perform "scarless" surgery. We try to strategically place a scar and use techniques to minimize them, but all surgeries produce a scar of some sort.

    8. What are some common procedures you perform that most people don’t know about?

    In my practice we perform a large number of melanoma surgeries. Many patients are surprised that a plastic surgeon is performing the operation, but often reconstruction is needed as part of the operation. We are able to provide that. Another surprise is the large number of breast reductions done both here in Minnesota and nationally. It is usually an insurance-covered procedure and gives relief to back pain. Another procedure done frequently that many are unaware of is post-gastric bypass body contouring. Many of these patients have dramatic weight loss that results in significant laxity of the skin (loose skin) throughout the body. We offer multiple procedures to address this problem.

    9. What are the latest advances in plastic surgery?

    Surgical procedures haven't changed dramatically, but we are trying to alter them to allow for a more rapid return to work and activities. Some of the noninvasive means of body contouring such as cryotherapy and ultrasound show some promise, but are not at a point that they can reproduce the results of conventional liposuction. There is great promise in fat transfer in reconstruction and augmentation of the breast. Early results have been promising. Stem cells may someday play a role in both reconstruction and rejuvenation of the skin. Ongoing studies will reveal more information in the future.

    10. What would you tell someone who is considering plastic surgery?

    I would advise the patient to become an informed consumer. Knowledge is power. Educate yourself on the procedure being considered so that you can ask good questions. Use credible websites to gather information. Use the suggestions above to select a surgeon. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You should be as comfortable having surgery as the surgeon is performing it. Define your area of interest so that the consultation can appropriately focus on your concerns. Write down concerns or questions so you don’t forget them. Above all, it is important to set realistic expectations of surgery with your surgeon so you can anticipate the outcome appropriately.

    ABOUT DR. SAM ECONOMOU, MD

    Dr. Economou is a principal in Plastic Surgery Consultants. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. With more than 15 years experience, Dr. Economou is skilled in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery with a special interest in breast surgery of all types, body contour surgery and facial aesthetic surgery. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. His post-graduate general surgery training included one year at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago and five years at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. He also completed two years of training in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. To learn more about Dr. Economou, visit www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net.

    This article was featured in Minnesota Health Care News.
     

  • Midwest Golfing Magazine: Skin Cancer Prevention Tips for Golfers

    July 2011

    If you love golfing and want to enjoy it well into your senior years protect yourself from the sun. That's the advice for America's 26 million golfers from a leading plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has treated thousands of patients over the course of his 15-year career for skin cancer and melanoma. Read More...

    Midwest Golf Magazine, a leading golf publication, featured a blog post sharing Dr. Sam Economou's skin tips for reducing the risk of melanoma skin cancer while swinging the club out on the golf course. To read the full article, please click here.

  • Road Bike Review: Skin Cancer Prevention Tips for Cyclists

    July 11, 2011

    You wear a helmet to protect your head. You wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from dust and dirt. You ride defensively to avoid careless drivers, kids, and dogs. But more often than not, you, like many who enjoy bicycling, forget to put on your sunblock before you hit the roads and trails. Read More...

    Road Bike Review, a popular online biking and cycling hub, recently featured Dr. Sam Economou's nine skin tips for cyclists to reduce the risk of melanoma skin cancer. To read the full article, please click here.

  • Illinois Outdoors: Fishing and the Sun - Reduce Risk to Skin Cancer

    May 9, 2011

    From Illinois Outdoors, "This is serious. Anglers should use caution when in the sun too long." Read More...

    Illinois Outdoors, part of the larger Chicago Now blogosphere, published Dr. Sam Economou's tips for reducing the risk of melanoma skin cancer while casting your reel on the open water. To read the full article, please click here.

  • Fishing and the Sun: How to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer

    April 21, 2011

    If you love fishing and want to enjoy it into your senior years, then don't mess around with the sun. That's the advice of a leading plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has treated several thousand patients over the course of his 15-year career for skin cancer and melanoma. Read More...

    "As the days grow longer and warmer, and the sun intensifies in it's strength, anglers need to take precautions against the sun's harmful rays," says Dr. Sam Economou, who leads Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd. (www.plasticsurgeryconsultants.net), a plastic and reconstructive surgery practice located in Edina, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis.

    The reason is simple. Skin cancer is on the rise. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, more than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and of these, about 68,000 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, are diagnosed. While more people are detecting cancer earlier, increasing their chances of survival, cancer rates are actually rising, especially among young people who use tanning booths and do not use sunblock when outside.

    "Fishing is about spending time outdoors. And more often than not, most people enjoy fishing when the weather is nice and the sun is at its strongest. That puts many of America's 50 million anglers at risk for skin cancer," says Dr. Economou. "The more time you spend outdoors fishing, the greater risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and sunburns."

    Here are some tips for anglers from Dr. Economou about how to reduce your risk to skin cancer without giving up your favorite sport.

    Apply Sunblock

    When you're on the water you want to catch fish, not get skin cancer. Always apply sunblock lotion at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun, before you start to perspire, allowing the sunblock to soak into your skin. Apply sunblock lotion frequently throughout the day. Use a sunblock with a SPF rating of at least 30 an arms, legs, face and neck and a water-resistant SPF of 50+ on your nose and the top of your ears.

    Wear a Hat.

    The most susceptible place on your body for skin cancer is your head and face. Believe me, reconstructive surgery on the nose and ears is challenging. Whether it's sunny or cloudy out, at the very least, wear a cap with a front bill. Ideally wear a cap with both a front bill and a back bill to cover up the back of your neck. Cover your head, too. You can get skin cancer on your scalp even if you have a full head of hair. Always cover your ears, nose and back of your neck with sunblock.

    Polarized UV Blocking Sunglasses.

    Wear sunglasses to protect your retinas from harmful UV rays. Sunglasses that wrap around your face offer the best protection. Polarized lenses help cut the glare, help you see more fish and protect your eyes from flying fishing lures. This is one piece of equipment that every angler should invest in. It's just as important as buying a high quality rod and reel.

    Wear Protective Clothing.

    If you have a high risk or history of skin cancer you should look into protective clothing. Saltwater flats guides who spend their days in the sun in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California know a thing or two about skin cancer. That's why they cover up. Even on the hottest days, they wear long but lightweight, light-colored pants, long-sleeve shirts, caps, gloves, and lightweight shoes. Saltwater guides also rely upon light-weight face and head masks or what downhill skiers call gators, which they can pull up over the nose, just under their sunglasses and over their ears. Wear shirts and pants that are specially made to block the sun, and wick away moisture to keep you cool while out on the water. Look for shirts and pants that offer a UPF rating of at least 30+, as recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays. Remember, UV rays are present even on cloudy days.

    Avoid Sunburns.

    Repeated sunburns over time can cause significant damage to your skin. That's why it's important to avoid them. Take extra care to prevent your kids from getting sunburned. Severe sunburns as a child are a leading risk factor in developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns happen though, despite our best intentions. If you do receive a severe sunburn, treat the sunburned area with an aloe-based lotion, take cool showers, and if you're experiencing headaches, take a pain reliever.

    Stay Hydrated.

    To maintain healthy skin, don't forget to stay hydrated while fishing by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and avoiding wind burn. When your skin dries out or is not hydrated properly, it's more susceptible to sunburn and long term skin damage.

    Conduct Skin Cancer Self-examinations.

    If you have a fair complexion, multiple freckles and moles, and experienced severe sunburns as a child, you have some of the leading risk factors for skin cancer. Take this seriously, especially if you spend a fair amount of time outside working or playing (like fishing). At least once a month, before you get into or just out of the shower, look at your skin. Look at moles and freckles to see if you notice and changes in their shape, size, color or asymmetry. Make an appointment once a year with your doctor or a dermatologist to look at your skin as part of an annual exam. Especially watch moles and freckles on high risk areas of your body, the face, nose, ears, the back of your hands and your calves.

  • Tips for Happier and Healthy Skin

    May 12, 2011

    As we age, most of us become more interested in keeping our youthful appearance. And one of the first things we think about is our skin, our largest and most visible organ. Read More...

    "Keeping skin youthful is part of our overall health maintenance," says Dr. Sam Economou, M.D., a surgeon with Plastic Surgery Consultants, an Edina, Minn. practice specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery. "Our skin is an indicator of each person's overall health. Healthy, radiant skin is smooth and supple and reflects a person's healthy lifestyle choices."

    Even patients who have undergone cosmetic facial procedures need to practice smart skin care. This only serves to enhance and prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery. "Our patients want to look great in and out of their clothes," Dr. Economou adds. "To obtain lasting results, we urge our patients to adopt healthy practices before and after their surgery to increase the success of their procedure."

    Here are some additional tips offered by Dr. Economou on how to achieve healthy, glowing skin:

    Avoid harmful UV rays.

    Exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun or by tanning booths, pose the greatest threat to skin health. It's critical to avoid getting sunburned, which can increase a person's chance of developing skin cancers. This includes basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Melanoma incidence is increasing with time - it is the most serious and aggressive form of skin cancer. Prolonged UV ray exposure also leads to wrinkling, brown spots and the weathering of the skin.

    Wear sunscreen.

    No matter what time of the year it is, apply sunscreen when you are outside. Make it part of your daily morning routine. Outdoor activities in the winter can lead to sunburn just as easily as enjoying the summer sun. Applying sunscreen is essential to preventing skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. Always apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposure with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. Remember to reapply sunscreen when in the water or exerting yourself. Make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum, protecting against both UVA/UVB rays. In addition to sunscreen, consider UV blocking clothing. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your ears if exposed.

    Don't Smoke.

    Smoking contributes to creased, rough skin, says Dr. Economou. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to the skin's health. Smoking can damage collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. It also eventually leads to thinning of the skin. Best advice: stop smoking.

    Don't use tanning beds.

    Many Minnesotans heading South for spring break mistakenly believe that they can get a safe start on their tan by heading to the nearest tanning booth. What they may not know is that tanning booths emit damaging UVA/UVB rays - the same rays that can lead to skin cancers.

    Get your beauty sleep.

    Most adults need six to eight hours of sleep each night. This is one of the fastest ways to rejuvenate your skin. Lack of sleep can lead to dark bags under your eyes, and skin that appears dull. Avoid caffeinated products in the late afternoon and evening to establish a better pattern of sleep.

    Maintain a balanced diet.

    The food we eat can dramatically affect our skin. Some foods have been proven to be advantageous for healthy, glowing skin. Eating foods that contain a high percentage of Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, along with antioxidant rich foods can lead to healthier skin. Omega-3 fatty acids also contribute to soft skin. Drinking anywhere between six- to eight glasses of water each day will ensure your skin and body stay properly hydrated.

    Exercise every day.

    Exercise is essential to maintaining healthy skin. By increasing blood flow during exercise, more oxygen is delivered to the skin allowing for increased delivery of nutrients to skin cells. These nutrients are essential to maintaining healthy skin. Exercise also is helpful in decreasing stress, which can affect your appearance.

    Clean your skin every day.

    It's important to keep your skin clean - removing substances ranging from cosmetics to oil and grease. Soap can actually dry out your skin and in some cases irritate it. Consider using a non-soap skin cleanser as an alternative that is more gentle on your skin.

    Moisturize.

    It's crucial to find a moisturizer that benefits your skin, rather than irritating it. By applying moisturizer immediately after showering, you will help lock moisture into your skin. Avoid towel drying your skin in the dry winter months. This can lead to further drying of the skin. Instead, wrap yourself in a thick robe and let your skin dry naturally.

    Prevent/treat wrinkles.

    There are a large number of products available over the counter, by prescription and through physician's offices that can reverse some sun-related skin damage. Many active ingredients have been shown to be effective in treating and preventing wrinkling. Among these are retinoids, retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids, Vitamin C, kinetin, anti-oxidants and copper-derived products. Prescription strength products have a higher concentration of active ingredients, giving more dramatic and longer lasting results.




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