"Body image to a great extent affects who we are and how we interact with the world,” says Dr. Steven Bloch. “If you wake up in the morning, look at yourself, and think, ‘I look good, I feel good,’ it sets the tone for the rest of your day. You are more productive and fulfilled in your personal and professional life.”
With more than 30 years experience as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Bloch is as enthusiastic and energetic about his work as he was in the beginning of his career. “I genuinely love what I’m doing,” he says. “The aesthetic pursuit of perfection still intrigues me, and I’m always curious about what’s coming next.”
He’s referring to the constantly evolving new technologies, techniques, and products in the business. “The trend is to get more minimally invasive,” he says. “From an aesthetic standpoint, patients want a more natural look. I’ve always been intrigued by non-invasive techniques. Everyone wants to look better, but not everyone wants to be operated on.”
Dr. Bloch estimates that the current ratio of surgical vs. non-invasive procedures, among face-lifts, breast lifts and augmentation, and liposuction, is about 50/50. One such non-invasive new treatment is Adivive, an alternative to commercially available fillers such as Restylane and Juvéderm. The procedure transfers stem cell fat to the face to restore volume.
“We extract the patient’s own body fat,” explains Dr. Bloch. “And then we spin it down to get the concentrated stem cells and inject them back into the face.” The advantage, compared to other fat transfer techniques, is a much higher survival rate of the grafter fat, approaching 82 percent compared to 20 percent with traditional methods.
“Adivive is preferable for large volume replacement because it looks and feels more natural—a person’s own natural tissue is animating their face.” After using Adivive on 25 patients since January, he says, “I’ve had very gratifying results and no problems. Patients look very natural.”
Dr. Bloch has one of only three Adivive units currently available in the country. “I’ve maintained a fairly high profile and have one of the larger cosmetic practices in the Chicago metropolitan area,” he explains. “Companies with breakthrough technologies approach me early on. If they can get it into this office, it is a major coup for breaking into the Chicago market.”
But Dr. Bloch is selective about what new technologies and procedures he adopts. “It has to be a breakthrough technology that will complement or replace existing technology,” he says. “There have been various technologies for non-invasive skin tightening that we have evaluated, but if I don’t think that they are any better than what we already have, I won’t buy it or recommend it.”
His litmus tests for new products and procedures: “I try them on myself first,” he says.
But whatever the technology, it’s only as good as the surgeon using it, Dr. Bloch says. “There is an intangible artistic skill involved in any of these technologies,” he explains. “The options have increased exponentially, so it comes down to skill, expertise of the surgeon on how to choose and combine available techniques, and technology to get the ideal result.”
Another new treatment called Zeltiq (or Cool Sculpt) has been available for about a year. “It is ingenious breakthrough technology that basically freezes your fat cells to destroy them, he explains. “Then your body absorbs the dead cells non-invasively over a two-month period.”
Zeltiq is excellent for targeting small areas of fat, such as love handles or the lower abdomen, Dr. Bloch says. “It’s the perfect technology for the person who cares about their appearance, is in good shape, and eats right, but still has an area that is difficult to change. Most people over 40 could benefit from this—if you can pinch it, I can freeze it.”
Additional new technologies and techniques have evolved to correct problems with previous breast augmentations. These techniques help eliminate problems with displacement or capsular contractures or hardening of the implants.
“There is something in our DNA that is universal—people want to look attractive,” says Dr. Bloch. “A certain amount of vanity is healthy, but it can be taken to the extreme.” He often tells a lot of patients that they don’t need things, such as more injectibles. “I say ‘no’ for a whole host of reasons,” he explains. “I have to make a risk/reward judgment. For me to perform surgery, I have to envision the end result and agree that the person is going to look better.”
Dr. Steven Bloch is internationally recognized as one of the foremost practitioners of modern plastic surgical techniques. Why trust anyone else?
Dr. Bloch can be reached at his Highland Park office at 847-432-0840. For additional information, visit bodybybloch.com.