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Archive for the ‘Mohs surgery’ Category

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Are you wearing your hat these days? And the Two Degrees of Dr. Richard Bennett and Elisabeth Shim

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Kudos to Dominic Purcell for showing how it is done:
This is how it's done

A little over a year ago, Dr. Bennett was mentioned twice in the international news, the Daily Mail UK, for his work with two actors on network TV. They wanted to show everyone how skin cancer is so common. Today I found out I took care of a teacher at our daughters’ school over a decade ago. How’s that for Back to School Night? I even found a basal cell cancer on Santa Claus! (OK I can’t tell you the details on this one, but trust me, it’s true!) Everyone in LA is 1 or 2 steps removed from our office, I think. It’s better than Kevin Bacon! But Kevin can win this contest if we all make better use of our hats, zinc oxide-based sunscreens and our local dermatologist to screen us for precancers before they need us.

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Posted in Comedy, Entertainment, Mohs surgery, Skin Cancer, sunscreen | No Comments »

Back from Utah!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Thank you for allowing me to take a week off! It was fun, though not very relaxing (taking care of 6.5 year old twins all by myself for 6 days-am I crazy?)

The weather was perfect. 40-50 degrees and it snowed every day. We secured a fabulous convenient condo two blocks to Deer Valley and I hope to stay there again-let me know if you want the referral. One of my daughters wanted to try snowboarding, so we went to Park City Resort-had not been in 21 years since I was an intern in Seattle when I took a trip by myself around April (and remember the slush). Taken over by Vail Resorts, the prices are steep and the service and facilities did not match up. It took an hour to get skis compared to no wait at DV, so definitely consider renting from one of the many shops on site in the mall or use one of the ski butler services. However, the ski conditions were great and the ski school for kids was also good.

However, nothing compares to Deer Valley when it came to service. I must say they have some of the KINDEST employees on the planet. Maybe it is their age/maturity, but these elderly sweethearts went the extra mile to carry all of our skis up to storage, to look for my kid’s gloves when she forgot them at school, and took the trouble to find us downstairs eating yogurt. They have a true love for the sport, the resort, and just want you to have a good time (and they take pity on moms who are by themselves schlepping all the equipment around!). The soup and salads are great at Empire Canyon Lodge as well. For the non-skiers, it’s just behind the Montage and can be reached by car.

I had an amusing time with all the powder this year. I’m a horrible powder skier and got a little too confident after making it down a run I had trouble with last year. For the record, double blue, such as Orion, at DV can mean super steep moguls. I could be wrong, but in Colorado those are always black. I know my limitations and took off my skis and had a peaceful, though exhausting walk through the trees back to Supreme-I had fantasies of some guy coming to my rescue and carrying my skis! (This actually happened once in a back bowl at Vail). I need to either take lessons or just keep being a groomer girl. You can weigh in next time you see me, but given what I do for a living, please talk me out of my inherent drive to go down difficult runs!

The trip was capped off by a new kiddie snowmobiling feature at Gorgoza Park, the best children’s book and clothing store I’ve ever been to (Children’s Hour in SLC-absolutely a must for moms and grandmas-unique stuff from Europe), and the fabulous young guy who works at Pei Wei at the airport who made my month by telling me “You’re very pretty!” when I was just meaning to order some beef with broccoli kiddie meals. OK, before you think he was trying to hit on me-he’s gay and that makes it all the more lovely. I would’ve liked to have stolen him for a personal assistant/yes man at that very moment had I had the option!

I have a new look-been rocking my glasses a lot lately, cut my hair and continue to maintain my skin with my own products. So exhausted lately, not wearing eye makeup, and somehow everyone says I look like a kid (?!). I take a lot of inspiration from some of my patients, who are 77-92 years young-these amazing women have wonderful energy, are funny and have great fashion sense. You know who you are-my heroes!

It’s been very busy in the office. Surprising since it’s April and if you look at the restaurants in LA lately, they are pretty darn empty. I’ll be taking about a week a month off every month until the end of the year (except maybe September), so please call and plan ahead so you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks also to the kind patients who have lifted me up into the Top 10 Santa Monica dermatologists on Yelp. I think Yelp is an awful concept for professional services, but I will take it!

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Posted in Juvederm, Mohs surgery, Restylane, Skin Cancer, laser | No Comments »

Celebs are not immune to cancer either!

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

HE MUST BE REALLY SECURE WITH HIMSELF....REALLY!!

EVEN COWBOYS GET THE BLUES

CLICK HERE FOR DOMINIC PURCELL\'S STORY

CLICK HERE FOR JESSE TYLER FERGUSON\'S STORY

It’s been a big week here at Bennett Surgery Center. It is always a pleasure to be appreciated, but to be appreciated for your work in a public way is very gratifying. Kudos to Dr. Bennett for being recognized for his dedication to quality care by not only one, but two, celebrities last week in the national and international news. Both stories went, as they say, viral once both gentleman spoke of their stories on Instagram. Skin cancer should be news because it is so common.

We have taken care of a number of celebrities and public figures in our office. Of course, many choose to stay anonymous which is understandable, but to have the bravery to reveal their problems, to assure many others who have the same problem that everything will be OK, and to raise awareness for many others who might not even know yet that they have the same health issues, is tremendous. Dominic Purcell even reminded everyone in his Instagram post that his friend Hugh Jackman also had skin cancer treated with Mohs surgery.

Thank you so much to both Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Dominic Purcell for their courage to come forward with their own experiences with skin cancer-the cancer that 1 out of 5 Americans will probably face sometime in their lifetime! Who only knows how many more skin cancers will be found because of their coming forward.

And, by the way, we do give out 3M Micropore brown paper tape to our new patients, so your bandage doesn’t have to scream “Hi There!!” as much! Mr. Ferguson demonstrates the pressure dressing that you will go home with for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling and prevent postoperative bleeding, while Mr. Purcell shows how a single layer bandage can be used the next day….We even had someone go on Good Morning America with a bandage on their cheek. So own it, work it, like these two! #healthyego #selfconfidence

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Posted in Comedy, Mohs surgery, News, Skin Cancer, sunscreen | No Comments »

Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 4th, 2015

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Posted in Botox, Juvederm, Mohs surgery, Restylane, Skin Cancer, laser | No Comments »

Sorry for the absence!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Sorry for not posting a blog for months. It started with my girls’ bday party planning, and somewhere it morphed into the elementary school search.

A lot of you have been asking when Verdure sunscreen will be available again. We are really sure it will be March/April 2015. Thanks for your patience.

I hope you will enjoy getting to know my new assistants Rosa and Tracy. Once again, I have made the USC and UCLA crowds happy.

Mistakenly, I was omitted by Pasadena Magazine as a Top Doctor in Dermatology this year when the issue was published. Their editors were notified of this error. Once again, you will see my name in Los Angeles magazine as a SuperDoctor this January. Thanks again to my colleagues who have bestowed Dr. Bennett and me with this honor.

A friendly reminder that I will be out of the office as usual Thanksgiving week and between Xmas and New Years. Cosmetic treatments and appointments are very popular around this time of year so plan accordingly. The Mohs surgery schedule is also filling up, so if you decide to postpone your surgery until after the holidays (not recommended for SCC or melanoma), please make careful note of the exact location of your biopsy site and take multiple pictures with your cell phone or ask your referring dermatologist to take a picture and consider a diagram.

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Posted in Botox, Juvederm, Laser Hair Removal, Mohs surgery, Restylane, Skin Cancer, acne scar treatment, acne scars, fractionated laser, fraxel laser, laser | No Comments »

Restylane, Juvederm really do last

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

How do I know? Our practice has the largest series to date of incidental hyaluronic acid filler found during Mohs surgery years after placement. This study was presented at the recent Annual Meeting of the American College of Mohs Surgery in Phoenix last weekend. One of my patients had filler put in her lips five years prior!

That being said, patients are often afraid of looking crazy after filler. After the Oscars, which I usually do not watch, I kept hearing about Kim Novak. OK, don’t know who she is, but I later caught a clip of her on TV. Oy! It reminded me of the movie Mask. I can assure you that I keep patients looking like themselves. The best cosmetic doctors have patients who do not look done. Unfortunately in LA there tends to be a strangely unnatural aesthetic which I don’t subscribe to. Most patients only need 1-4 syringes of filler, the younger you are, the less you need. I allow the patient to see themselves as we go along to make sure we are on the same page.

I get it though. Mid-life crises, anti-aging procedures and relationships were the dominant topic of conversation in Phoenix (I reassure you, I also did learn a lot about cutaneous oncology, but that might bore you). The best part of going to the meeting was the traditional slumber party with my 2 good friends. No Wedding Planner movie in the background-this time the Golf Channel. I diagnosed more orthopedic injuries from Cipro, saved my friend’s husband’s vision, played marriage counselor, and got helpful golf tips. I am putting Korean LPGA women to shame, I am just learning now, but at least I can make contact with the ball most of the time and drive it about 90 feet. Mini golf, anyone? I rock at that…

Saving people from blindness? This blog spans more than dermatology. If you know anyone with high myopia (translate into “blind as a bat”) they are at high risk for a spontaneous retinal detachment and should be examined annually by a general ophthalmologist or retinal specialist. Sudden floaters or flashing of lights are an eye emergency. Otherwise you face placing your head down in a special chair for 6 weeks, no plane rides, and possible permanent vision loss. Fortunately, I had mine caught early on a routine exam. My friend’s husband was trying to play his own doctor, and was given the advice to come back in 3 months. I prodded him to see a retina specialist. Luckily, I met him a long time ago and he is more apt to listen to me than his own wife (hence the counseling).

I watched more TV than I had in months. CNN is still talking about the downed plane, Fox News is still talking about Benghazi. I guess I’m not missing anything? Just kidding. Our news channels are embarrassing at times. I was just happy to get away from watching shows about aliens on H2. Sadly, there may be more substance there!

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Posted in Juvederm, Miscellaneous possibly useless knowledge, Mohs surgery, Restylane, Skin Cancer, Uncategorized | No Comments »

The amazing human spirit

Friday, April 4th, 2014

One day on Facebook, I caught wind of a page for a high school classmate of mine called “Cure Eric.” He was in all my classes. I remember a quiet, but always smiling guy who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. I learned he had become a recording engineer, had metastatic colon cancer, and had been suffering for 2 years. Watching his posts was just awe inspiring. While other people are posting pictures about food and their kids, Eric is posting about how he just found out he had new lung or brain mets, and was going to go to the doctor. He never felt sorry for himself, he just talked about how he was looking forward to learning more about what the doctors would do for him. He never failed to keep up his spirits in these posts, and thanked his doctors constantly. Every time we heard about another bout of lung mets, or brain surgery, my medical mind would say, “that was it” but Eric’s courage and positive spirit were truly amazing. He survived through some bouts of illness that defy logic, and I am convinced his fighting, upbeat attitude, even towards the end helped him survive longer and better. Sadly, he was hospitalized for pneumonia recently and passed.

I also recently made a home visit to my patient who was diagnosed with ALS a couple years ago. The last time I saw her she was lying down in a gurney in my office and she was having problems getting nutrition. She hugged me and I thought she was saying goodbye to me. That must have been nearly 8 months ago. The next thing you know, she is sitting up comfortably at home and has a sophisticated computer device set up to converse with me. She is still doing well, although she cannot walk or talk anymore. Life is mysterious and beautiful!

Speaking of mysterious, I had a weird run of 3 melanoma diagnoses in one week. Even the pathologist was surprised. Then there were 2 incidental basal cell carcinomas this week, I just happened to find them even though the patients came in for other reasons. Please don’t hesitate to get yourself checked out!

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Posted in Mohs surgery, Skin Cancer | No Comments »

Hello from Colorado!

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

CLICK HERE TO SEE BEAVER CREEK HEAVEN
Thank you for letting me go on vacation! I have my happy place and it is called skiing. My family enjoyed a great trip to Beaver Creek in Colorado. My first day started off with some altitude sickness. I threw up 4 times, then I felt great! I had a similar experience in Macchu Picchu. I’ve been to this area many years ago but I stayed at a lower elevation. All I can say is thankfully all I had was water that morning.

I had conversations with a lot of interesting people here from all over the world on the chairlifts: a bunch of lawyers (including a medical malpractice lawyer-defense side), Midwesterners like me, including an African American ski group, Texans, locals, and I heard accents and languages from all over. I equate skiing with what Burning Man is like, or so I hear. People are happy, civilized, generous and caring. We all can get along, can’t we?

Luckily, I came back in one piece, despite the fact that I challenged myself on a couple black diamonds. I’ve only tried one extremely short one before at Northstar. I think I can say “been there, done that.” It’s like running a marathon (which I’ve never done). It’s nice to say that you’ve done it, but it wasn’t fun and a couple is enough! Sweaty palms and the fight or flight mode are not exactly worth it for me. The lawyer was talking about how it would be a bad idea to go down a black diamond alone. That was after I had already done it, and I did it again. One of them asked, “Do you do surgeries?”

My blog has been a popular resource for intermediate skiers for Deer Valley, so here are my recommendations for Beaver Creek. Supposedly, the runs in Bachelor Gulch are simpler, but have more crowded lift lines. None of the blues on the main mountain are easy blues in my opinion. The greens up high are better to warm up on than the bunny hill, which was quite icy. Blues that are high intermediate include Latigo, Gold Dust and Larkspur Bowl. They are quite steep in places and not all that relaxing, but they are all great in parts. The easy black diamonds (easy because I survived) were Helmut’s and Centennial. The blues beneath the Centennial chair which include Centennial and 1876, are also quite steep, as is Redtail. You can only get to Larkspur Bowl via Redtail, so you kind of have to get up the courage to get down there to the lift. The nice thing is that this resort is so groomed, that it makes it more manageable. I would get acquainted with how to ski in powder, because that came up in Larkspur Bowl and Paintbrush. I quickly You Tubed a one minute tip from a Steamboat instructor which reminded to make big C’s rather than S’s and weight your feet equally. That definitely helped. I have a video below which you can click on of what I think is a tamer part of the Centennial run. So beautiful. The trails are so wide you have lots of room for yourself which is not common at so many resorts.

Vail Resorts has an interesting app to keep track of your entire families accomplishments. It is pretty cute. I apparently skied the equivalent of Mt Everest. I actually covered much more elevation than that because they only scanned my badge at certain lifts. It also keeps all the pics that they took of your family with the opportunity to download them for a small fee.

Another nice thing about this resort is it is geared for families and kids. They give out really good chocolate chip cookies to everyone, including adults, at 3 PM, free hot cocoa in the morning, free postcards to send anywhere in the world, not bad! Of course, you pay for this in the end. it is probably one of the most expensive resorts in North America ($136 a lift ticket), but for an extra $30 a day, I will take it! if you buy the lift tix ahead you can get a much better deal. People aren’t showy and flashy here, which I love. My kids built their first snowman (which was about 12 inches tall because the snow was not good for packing) and saw their first creek. Dinner reservations or going early is a must. There are few restaurants here in proportion to how many people ski here.

I used one our last Verdure sunscreens on my family, and we didn’t get burned although we only applied once. A lot of you have asked when it will be available again. We are hoping for late summer. Thanks for your patience!

Also, don’t forget to protect those lips! One of my chairlift riders had already burned hers the day before! BTW, Dr. B has a Bowen’s Disease (Squamous cell carcinoma in-situ) on his temple. We are not immune! He is the worst patient. Listening to us during the biopsy last week was like a Marx brothers episode. He also ran into a colleague of ours in the hallway of our hotel! Small world!

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Posted in Mohs surgery, Skin Cancer | No Comments »

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