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Media Appearances / Lectures
In a very short time, Dr. Wigoda has made a name for himself in the Fort Lauderdale community. He is known for the quality of his work and for the care he provides his patients. He is often sought out by the local news media and by producers of television shows for his expertise in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Wigoda is often asked to speak to local groups and has been featured on numerous television shows and newscasts that have been shown locally, nationally, and/or internationally. His media appearances include the following:
Printed Media Articles
Sagging skin has women up in arms
In South Florida — land of sun, surf and bare shoulders — women are going under the knife to clip their “bat wings.”
Those sagging flaps of skin have made upper-arm lifts, or brachioplasty, more popular at a time when consumer confidence in the economy has boosted plastic surgery numbers overall.
“I’m seeing quite a few women coming in asking about brachioplasty,” said Dr. Shashi Kusuma, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Plantation. “They can’t find a top that fits them right, and they feel like they can’t live the lifestyle they want.”
While no one tracks figures by state or region, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that upper-arm lifts soared nearly 4,400 percent in the past 12 years — from 338 in 2000 to 15,457 last year.
Plantation retiree Bonnie Sibner, 57, went to Kusuma for an upper-arm lift to fulfill a lifelong wish to go sleeveless.
“There’s so much sunshine down here and it’s so hot, you want to dress as comfortably as possible, but I was just not comfortable wearing sleeveless,” said Sibner, former owner of Kilwin’s chocolate shop on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
She was also inspired partly by the first lady’s much-talked-about “guns.”
“I’ve always said I wanted Michelle Obama arms,” she said. “That was my goal.”
The president’s wife can’t take all the credit, but the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says Sibner is not far off in her assessment.
Though the organization could not pinpoint one reason for the escalating interest in arm sculpting, its recent poll of 1,219 U.S. women found that they’re paying close attention to the lithe limbs of female celebrities. Obama, actresses Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel and Demi Moore, and TV talk show host Kelly Ripa got the highest praise from survey respondents for their shapely arms.
“There are some prominent figures who are known to have good arms, and the more people who find out that this is a solution, the more they avail themselves of it,” said Dr. David Reath, chairman of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Public Education Committee. “It’s not that in and of itself, but it’s contributed to it.”
Other factors include the strengthening economy and a growing interest in weight loss, Reath said.
The vast majority of women who seek upper-arm lifts have lost a considerable amount of weight, leaving them with excess skin in a number of places, one of the most visible of which is the back of the arms. (Most undergoing the procedure are women. Of the 2012 figures, just 321 were procedures done on men.)
Three-quarters of women who got the procedure last year were older than 40, at an age when the skin doesn’t bounce back like it used to, the plastic surgeon group said.
“You can’t tone skin,” said Dr. Steven Schuster, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Boca Raton.
Once the body has stretched to a certain point, the skin no longer has the elasticity to retract, he said.
Despite dropping 25 pounds through diet and exercise, and keeping it off, Sibner found that no matter how muscular, fit and tone she got, she could do nothing about the excess skin hanging from the backs of her arms.
For some, liposuction can help, but for many like Sibner and Gayle Specht, brachioplasty was their only hope at achieving the shapely arms of their dreams.
“You’re seeing everyone else wearing nice outfits, and you’re envious of someone else with a nice body,” said Specht, 61, a pastor’s assistant in Coral Springs.
She shed 100 pounds years ago by eating right and working out, she said, but still felt the “enormous” amount of skin hanging from the back of her arms made her look heavier than she was.
“This was something I always wanted to do for myself,” she said.
It’s not a painless procedure, though. For about $6,000, upper-arm lifts can sometimes leave a long scar on the inner arm, depending on how much skin is removed, and the recovery time can last anywhere from two to six weeks, experts say.
“It can leave a scar from the armpit to the elbow if there’s a lot of loose skin [removed],” said board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wigoda, whose Fort Lauderdale practice is doing about a couple procedures a month — three or four times what it did a few years ago, despite the risk of scarring. “The economy is getting better, so this is one of the things women aren’t happy with and want to correct.”
More than a year after her daughter treated her to a brachioplasty for her 60th birthday present, Specht said she’s thrilled with the results.
“What a good feeling it is to have had it done,” she said. “I feel so good about myself. I’d recommend it to anyone.”
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