Dr. Niamtu’s Weblog

….on cosmetic facial surgery

Dr. Charles Hard Townes: I Met The Man That Invented LASERS

Dr. Niamtu and Dr. Townes in 2010 

I have had my picture taken with a lot of people, I guess you could say it is sort of a hobby, like some people collect coins, etc.  I have John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Steven Spielberg, a President and a VP as well as many celebrities and sports figures.
One of my proudest handshakes was with Dr. Charles Townes.  This guy pretty much invented the LASER.  That includes the one on your key chain, the ones I treat patients with and the ones on our military aircraft.  Talk about a cosmetic surgery super hero!  When we chatted, he talked about Einstein’s  opinion of his project!  He worked with Einstein, I had goose bumps, I felt like I was standing next to Sir Issac Newton! The following is a shortened biography courtesy  of Wikipedia.  Thanks for all you have done Dr. Townes!  The hundreds of people that I have helped with scars and wrinkles with my lasers have you to thank.
Townes was born in Greenville, South Carolina on July 28, 1915 and in 1964 received the Nobel Prize in Physics with N. G. Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov for contributions to fundamental work in quantum electronics leading to the development of the maser and laser.
Townes completed work for the Master of Arts degree in Physics at Duke University in 1936, and then entered graduate school at the California Institute of Technology, where he received the Ph.D. degree in 1939 with a thesis on isotope separation and nuclear spins.
A member of the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1933 to 1947, Townes worked extensively during World War II in designing radar bombing systems and has a number of patents in related technology. From this he turned his attention to applying the microwave technique of wartime radar research to spectroscopy, which he foresaw as providing a powerful new tool for the study of the structure of atoms and molecules and as a potential new basis for controlling electromagnetic waves.
At Columbia University, where he was appointed to the faculty in 1948, he continued research in microwave physics, particularly studying the interactions between microwaves and molecules, and using microwave spectra for the study of the structure of molecules, atoms, and nuclei. In 1951, Townes conceived the idea of the MASER, and a few months later he and his associates began working on a device using ammonia gas as the active medium. In early 1954, the first amplification and generation of electromagnetic waves by stimulated emission were obtained. Townes and his students coined the word “MASER” for this device, which is an acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In 1958, Townes and his brother-in-law, Dr. Arthur Leonard Schawlow, for some time a professor at Stanford University but now deceased, showed theoretically that MASERS could be made to operate in the optical and infrared region and proposed how this could be accomplished in particular systems. This work resulted in their joint paper on optical and infrared MASER, or LASERS (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). Other research has been in the fields of nonlinear optics, radio astronomy, and infrared astronomy. He and his assistants detected the first complex molecules in the interstellar medium and first measured the mass of the black hole in the center of our galaxy.
In 1961, Townes was appointed Provost and Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T). As Provost he shared with the President responsibility for general supervision of the educational and research programs of the Institute. In 1966, he became Institute Professor at M.I.T., and later in the same year resigned from the position of Provost in order to return to more intensive research, particularly in the fields of quantum electronics and astronomy. He was appointed University Professor at the University of California in 1967. In this position Townes is participating in teaching, research, and other activities on several campuses of the University, although he is located at the Berkeley campus.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Townes has received the Templeton Prize, for contributions to the understanding of religion, and a number of other prizes as well as 27 honorary degrees from various universities.
To find out more about Dr. Joe Niamtu, III Cosmetic Facial Surgery in Richmond Virginia, visit www.lovethatface.com

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia

Advertisements

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery, Laser Resurfacing, New Cosmetic Surgery Technology, Personal, Technology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Festoons: the baggage you don’t need!

Malar Festoons are the baggy pouches that form under the lower eyelids and on the upper cheek. I have been treating them with laser resurfacing for the last 15 years.

Festoons are a result of numerous causes including sun damage to the skin, fat loss of the cheek area, periorbital changes of skin, muscle and fat. They are also caused by a back up of the lymphatic drainage of this area which causes the tissue to become boggy. The net result is crinkly skin or pouches that make us look old and tired. Before the advent of laser technology, festoons were often treated by surgical excision, which of course left a scar. Other treatments that were supposed to improve festoons have been disappointing.

I have used various types of lasers on this region (CO2, Erbium, Nd:YAG, KTP) and have personally had the best results with the CO2 laser. No other laser has been to shown to produce as much skin tightening or new collagen formation as the ultrapulsed CO2 laser. I believe it remains the gold standard in skin tightening. Although other lasers may claim to produce results with less downtime than the CO2, the result is often less or multiple treatments are required. In reality, the way the procedure is performed and the experience of the surgeon are the most important variables in terms of the best result. Experienced laser surgeons know how aggressive they can be with the skin resurfacing and yet not produce scarring. Good results can be obtained using CO2 and Erbium lasers.

 

 

The above patient was treated by Dr. Niamtu with upper and lower blepharoplsty and CO2 laser to the festoons.

Although festoons can be treated as a sole procedure, most patients that are having this area treated also benefit from upper and lower eyelid surgery as well. My most common combination of procedures to rejuvenate this region is transconjunctival blepharoplasty on the lower lids. This procedure does not involve a visible scar and is also safer in terms of not pulling down the lower lids. Instead of cutting skin off of the lower eyelids, the wrinkled skin is treated with the laser and the results are immediate. You can actually see the wrinkles disappearing as the laser contacts the skin. I prefer to treat the lower lids when I treat festoons as the aging process actually represents this entire area. More so, I encourage most patients to perform the laser treatment on their entire face if they desire more comprehensive rejuvenation. By treating the entire face, the patient does not have to worry about the festoon skin being a different color or texture if that is the only area treated.

As most patients that have festoons need their lower lids treated, the same can be said about their upper lids. It is very common to rejuvenate all four lids and the festoons at the same procedure.

In addition to improving malar festoons, the CO2 laser also revolutionized cosmetic blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck) as the surgery can be performed in much less time with no bleeding. That is not a misprint, there is literally no bleeding. During the procedure of operating of 4 eyelids, the total blood loss can be measured in a single Q Tip. Less bleeding means faster healing, less bruising and less pain. Those surgeons who have been using lasers for blepharoplasty can affirm these statements.

This patient was treated by Dr. Niamtu with upper and lower laser assisted blepharoplasty and laser to the lower lid and facial skin

Dr. Niamtu has performed over 5,000 eyelid surgeries with the CO2 laser since 1996 including festoon treatment and full face laser skin resurfacing. In addition, he has written numerous articles and text book chapters on laser treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This patient was treated by Dr. Niamtu with lower transconjunctival blepharoplasty and lower periorbital laser resurfacing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This patient was treated by Dr. Niamtu with lower transconjunctival blepharoplasty and lower periorbital laser resurfacing.

 

For more information about Dr. Joe Niamtu, III, cosmetic facial surgery in Richmond, Virginia visit www.lovethatface.com. Joe Niamtu, III DMD Cosmetic Facial Surgery Richmond, Virginia

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, Eyelid Surgery, Laser Resurfacing | , , , , | 8 Comments

Laser Treatment of Burn Scars on the Today Show: Miracle or Not?

todayshowtrips

On May 28th the Today Show ran a very interesting segment about a very touching story of very pretty triplets that were badly burned in infancy and were treated with a new laser treatment to improve their burn scars.  The laser was the Lumenis Encore laser and the Deep FX laser, also made by Lumenis.

I have received many phone calls from excited patients who have burn scars or have relatives with burn scars, requesting the “new miracle laser that cures burn scars on the face and body”.  I want to say that I have the very laser that was featured and I am a huge fan of Lumenis lasers.  I also want to say that I am a bit disappointed that the general public may have come away from this feature with the idea that a huge breakthrough in burn treatment has been discovered.  I truly hope that it will advance the treatment of burn scars because that would truly be a huge advancement for humanity and the people that suffer from burn scars.  As a father of two severely disabled young sons, I personally know a parents heartache of seeing a disfigured child.

One problem of the media taking hold of a “new” treatment is that it is frequently presented as a huge worldwide breakthrough in medical advancements.  Sometimes it may be, but most frequently, these stories sensationalize these treatments and put the cart before the horse.  The problem is that viewers get the idea that this is world changing technology.  If a treatment is available that could truly and radically improve burn scars, it would be Noble Prize worthy, not just Today Show worthy.  We have seen the Today Show (and Oprah and other shows) present such “huge surgical advances” as the Thread Lift, The Fraxel laser, the Liquid Facelift and many other procedures that sounded sensational, but proved to be almost useless, let alone a breakthrough.  The key phrase with so many of these treatments is that “the results exceed the expectations”.

Dr. Jill Weibel is a friend of mine and she is one of the nicest and most compassionate doctors I have met and a leader in laser technology.  I believe this type of laser treatment for burns is in the really early stages of usage and that much more long term follow up must be done.  A study by a university burn center with long term follow up would be news worthy.  Single treatments with admittedly minor improvement (the video I saw showed one of the triplets stating that she thinks that she and her boyfriend can see a little improvement is not testimony for a medical breakthrough.  I say this realizing that she has only had a single treatment and perhaps more improvement will be observable with additional treatments.  I hope this is the case because Lumenis is a credible company that would love to be part of such a break through.  I do think, however, that the “miracle” hype on this story is premature and has been presented in too much of a sensational way.  The only bad thing about this is that it can lead the tens of thousands of burn patients to think that something has arrived to change their life.  I wish it were true, but I personally don’t think it is.  I really want it to be true.

Too often the media sensationalizes medical treatments and the public gets misled.  I am not expecting this treatment to be as sensational as presented and it is my fear that like the numerous patients that have contacted me that thousands of others around the country may be given false hope.  My phone rand many times after this story ran and I too have used the Deep FX technology on scars.  The thought of improvement with the new is exciting but it is too early to brand it as a “miracle”.  As academic surgeons like Dr. Weibel and others continue to blaze new trails with this type of fractional laser, the cosmetic treatment of burn scars may become a reality.

To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery visit www.lovethatface.com

 

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virgina

May 31, 2009 Posted by | Can Cosmetic Facial Surgery Change Your Life?, Facial Scar Treatments, Laser Resurfacing, New Cosmetic Surgery Technology, Technology | , , , | Leave a comment