Aesthetic Medicine -Is It For You?

I recently attended an aesthetic medicine conference. I was impressed with what I saw and amazed at the amount of money people, primarily women, are willing to spend in order to remove fat and to fill in wrinkles.

Well I must have been under a rock because Aesthetic Medicine is booming globally. It's primary purpose is to improve the physical appearance of patients using either non-invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. These procedures are totally elective and performed on people who are usually in good to excellent health. These are not sick people rather these are individuals who want to manage (reverse) the effects of aging.

The procedures are not covered by insurance, so the patients are paying cash. Plus once a patient, she usually has to come back again and again in order to maintain her looks. And as doctors, we love this. Perpetual, healthy, cash paying patients for simple in-office procedures - Bonanza!

The use of laser has propelled aesthetic medicine. Lasers which are focused light beams have been used successfully in dermatology and ophthalmology for decades. Currently, the US market value of lasers for purely cosmetic purposes is in the billions of dollars.

So why was I at the conference? Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa is a laser for women who are experiencing vaginal dryness and/or the other numerous symptoms related to the genitourinary changes of menopause. We gynecologist have typically prescribed estrogen for this inevitable condition. However, there are many women who can't or don't want to use estrogen hormone therapy. So instead, they suffer, become sexless and ascribed it all to "getting older'.

The preliminary results with Mona Lisa have been very good. It's simple, painless and seemingly very effective. Sex becomes less painful. There's more lubrication.Yes! After all, what fifty year old women wants to look 20 but have a vagina that feels 80?

Mona Lisa could potentially be a game changer for many, many women. And while I am impressed with Mona Lisa, I have mixed feelings about aesthetic medicine. I am all for women looking and feeling good about themselves. My concern is that it preys on our insecurities about our physical appearance. And now as a woman who has lived and loved, given birth, raised a family and now has the wrinkles to show for it, I'm beautiful. And so are you.

Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD

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We are all recovering from the impact of the Coronavirus. One thing that should be clear to us all, is that nothing else matters when one's health is on the line. If you are struggling with a GYN issue, don't let lack of funds keep you from getting help.