Dr. Niamtu’s Weblog

….on cosmetic facial surgery

On NOT Being a Vegan

Although 99% of my blog entries involve cosmetic surgery, I occasionally write about more personal issues.  About a year ago, I wrote a blog about being a vegan.  I had just read “The China Study” by Colin Campbell at the recommendation of about every cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon I know.

I was impressed by the medical evidence in favor of a plant based diet so my wife and I decided to take the vegan plunge for 365 days to fully evaluate the benefits.  The good news is that my cholesterol dropped a whopping 50 points, which is pretty amazing.  My doc still recommended my staying on a statin for beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.

I have never been a junk food person and have always eaten pretty healthy, low carb and low fat, but did eat lean meats and fish.  Going vegan meant no animal products, no meat, no dairy or cheese, no fish.  Pretty much sounds like a prison sentence for the average American.

The switch over was pretty seamless as we shopped at health food stores and substituted much of our previous diet with soy alternatives.  Actually it was sometimes hard to tell a difference.  The main problem with the vegan diet is the difficulty of keeping carbs low and protein high; the opposite of my diet for the last 3 decades.  I, unlike many people, actually gained a little weight which I attribute to the increased carbohydrates.  Did I feel any better?  The answer is somewhat disappointing no.  I never felt bad before the diet and did not feel better on the diet.  Having said that, you cannot feel “prevention” so it was not like I expected some huge boost.

There is no doubt that the biggest problems with a vegan diet were boredom and inconvenience.  If you grew up with a typically omnivorous diet, it is tough to totally eliminate animal products for the rest of your life.  If you were raised on a plant based diet it would be much easier.  Also, variety is important in any diet and the options are much decreased with the vegan diet.  I missed sushi, fish and turkey, but never craved it and never cheated for a full year.  The inconvenience is probably the biggest issue.  First of all, shopping is difficult because not all stores carry vegan items.  They are also much more expensive and much to my surprise very heavy laden with sodium.  Perhaps the worst inconvenience is eating out.  This is twofold.  One problem is finding vegan items on typical restaurant menus.  Many have them, most will do something special and some ask what is a “vegan”?  Akin to this is the fact that the “veganites” become the center of attention which inevitably slows down the ordering and service and creates a hassle factor, as the server has to leave the table and speak to the chef, etc.  Secondarily is the kidding and harassment from your friends.  People are always willing to bash those whom are different and this is a great opportunity!  My carnivorous pals would whip me unmercifully about being “veggie boy” and the usual diatribe inspired by meat eating hedonism.  Gotta’ have thick skin to be an out of the closet vegan.

In any event, I gave it an entire year, 365 days.  I eased back into (as Jimmy Buffett would say) my carnivorous habits.  I did maintain some vegan vestiges such as soy or almond milk and vegan chili but added back fish and white meat poultry.  I missed it, but did not crave it.

So………….bottom line, being a vegan is rigid and difficult and I applaud those who are able to do it permanently.  I gave it a good go and really did not notice any outward differences, but appreciated the cholesterol improvement. We all realize the benefits of a plant based diet and I feel that it is important to lean that way but I also believe that lean meat and fish also have benefits and using moderation is perhaps more important that severely limiting diets.

To learn more about cosmetic facial surgery by Dr. Joe Niamtu in Richmond, Virginia visit www.lovethatface.com


Joe Niamtu, III DMD

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Boomer Magazine Interview with Joe & April Niamtu 10-2011

Click here to view PDF of interview

October 6, 2011 Posted by | People with disabilities, Personal | , , , | Leave a comment

Style Weekly Magazine Names Dr. Niamtu “Best Cosmetic Surgeon in Richmond”

It was a great honor to have been selected by Style Weekly Magazine in Richmond, Virginia as “The Best Cosmetic Surgeon in Richmond.”  Cosmetic facial surgery is my passion and I love making people look and feel better.  I also love helping the less fortunate by doing volunteer work.  I am one of those very lucky people that love going to work and my job is also my hobby.  On Sunday evenings, I am excited about being able to perform cosmetic facial surgery on Monday!  I am very lucky.

Over the past 28 years I have been so fortunate to work on thousands of Richmond’s and live in such a great city.  I have also enjoyed building my cosmetic surgery practice to a world-class facility with the greatest staff on the planet.  We really try to treat patients different.  Concierge care is a new buzz word in medicine and surgery, but we have been doing it from day one.  Treating our patients special is our pleasure and our honor.  Thank you Richmond

Dr. joe


To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery by Dr. Joe Niamtu, III in Richmond, Virginia visit www.lovethatface.com

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Non Cosmetic Surgery Related, Personal | , , | Leave a comment

Savor Every Moment: How Father’s Day is Different for Parents of Disabled Children

The following is an essay I was invited to write for the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper.

Click on the image below to view the article in PDF form

The Niamtu Family June 2010

June 24, 2010 Posted by | People with disabilities, Personal | , , | Leave a comment