Here are a collection of Editorials and Articles published by Dr. Samuel Shatkin Jr. in the field of Plastic Surgery and Wellness.


The Secret to Looking Your Best

August 2016

Board certified plastic surgeons have long been the most talented of experts at turning back the clock through the use of a surgical facelift.  And when skin laxity is the primary issue in one’s aging, a face-lift may be the best solution.  But long before going under the knife, there are non-surgical methods to prepare, condition and beautify the skin.

Patients come to me requesting a facelift to reposition the skin affected by gravity.  But more often than not, patients tell me they want to have pretty looking skin.  Most ask me what are the latest techniques for achieving glowing, youthful skin. 

I recently read an article that commented on the James Bond ‘Girls’, in which the author suggested that through the decades of the 007 movie sensations, the Bond ‘Girls’ who had a face lift with bad skin, just don’t look quite as good as the women who had good skin and never had a face lift.  To optimize the total result, getting your skin in tip top shape with smooth texture and even tone really makes for a more aesthetic and appealing look.

For many years, I have been focusing on the benefits of skin aesthetics, and preparing the skin for surgery.  With professional skin care management, rejuvenation of the skin will not only make the surface appear younger, but will also condition the skin to be more elastic and vital so when a surgical lift is performed, the best end result will be achieved.  Turning back the clock is not just a matter of lifting and pulling.

Skin care products that are distributed by a board certified plastic surgeon, or even better, developed by the doctor himself can assure patients are getting the proper product ingredients and strengths for their particular skin conditions.  A customized approach is necessary and will be laid out during a consultation with the plastic surgeon and his skin care team.

The customized approach usually starts with a thorough analysis of one’s lifestyle and focuses on environmental exposure and sun protection, dietary consumption including food and vitamin supplements, and nutrients for the skin in terms of topical cleansers and creams.

Other things to consider before considering surgical intervention is the use of microneedling, lasers, peels and devices that use alternative ‘cutting edge’ technologies such as ultrasound and radiofrequency and low level light therapy (LLLT) to make the skin healthy and vibrant.

The best way to achieve beautiful skin is with “Combination Rejuvenation” by addressing skin health from inside-out and outside-in.  When wrinkles need management, the use of injectables in the form of Botox and Xeomin for dynamic animation lines or Juvederm and Radiesse for static lines can be used in combination to add volume and reduce worry and stress effects on the skin.

Contrary to surgical procedures, which may have a few to more days of downtime, most of the non-surgical methods can be done with little or no downtime.   It is not uncommon however, for patients to prepare for surgery by conditioning and rejuvenating the skin during a 4-6 week skin care regimen.  These services will start the reversal of the aging process and prolong results of surgical procedures by making the skin healthier and more responsive to surgery. 

The real secret to looking your best is to start early.  Women and men who begin an anti-aging regimen early in life will reap the benefits in the long term by maintaining youthful, elastic and glowing skin.  When a jumpstart is needed, getting the assistance of a board certified plastic surgeon and his team will assure individuals seeking help that they will be the benefactors of an holistic approach. All options necessary to achieve optimal results through the use of nutritional guidance, lifestyle changes, proper skin care management and surgical and non-surgical intervention will be discussed to create the youthful natural result you’re looking for. During the consultation, the board certified plastic surgeon will gladly share his/her “secrets” with you.

Until next month, Be Well Buffalo.



Forever Young Jan. 2015

Turning 50

So you just turned 50 something and you are ready for the facelift, right?  Maybe not!  There have been some interesting trends in the field of plastic surgery, which I have observed over the past 25 years.   In the WNY area, I have seen surgical procedures and techniques change, sometimes due to trendy “in the news” products and skin care devices.  In the 1980’s when I first entered the field of Plastic Surgery, facial procedures were essentially limited to the skin tightening Facelift.  Sure there were skin peels and microdermabrasions to attempt to smooth out the surface irregularities, but pulled skin was a popular option.  Plastic surgery at that time was not as readily accepted as it is now, and no one wanted anyone to know they had anything done because they didn’t want to look “done”.  Patients frequently ask me “At what age does it make sense to begin considering a facelift?”.  Currently, I see the average age for a facelift in my practice is rising, due to a number of factors, among which are advancements in new technologies to offer non-surgical treatment to keep the skin youthful.  To simplify rejuvenating treatments, I breakdown rejuvenation management into 3 areas, Surface, Support and Laxity.

Management of the surface of the skin targets the complexion, namely tones of the skin such as color irregularities such as red and brown pigments, and texture problems on the surface, like fine lines and wrinkles, scarring, and blemishes.  For color irregularities we utilize Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices to reduce the brown and red pigments and spider veins.  Smoothening the textures on the skin can be done with chemical peels and laser resurfacing.  

For support of the skin we target the collagen and elastin fibers, which are situated below the surface of the skin.  Many new methods and devices are available for tightening collagen, such as Radiofrequency, Ultrasound, Microneedling and Fractionated Lasers.  These various devices use a variety of energies to target the collagen, creating a healing environment to firm up the collagen and make it more youthful.  These results can take up to 3 – 6 months to show but essentially are a restructuring of the support structures of the skin.  

When it come to the third area of management for rejuvenation, laxity, plastic surgeons rely on the tried and true surgical procedures that have been available for decades and have withstood the test of time.  When the plastic surgeon has a healthy palate to work with, namely good quality skin, the results are predictable and very satisfying to the surgeon and the patient.  Often, preparation of the skin with treatments to improve the surface as well as support will allow for the optimal result.  

So now that you turned 50 something, is it time for plastic surgery?  I would have to say sure!  If the mirror does not reflect on the outside, how you feel on the inside, then it is time to do something about it!  That does not mean that the only choice in plastic surgery is surgery. If you see something that bothers you, be proactive and seek out the services of a plastic surgeon and his team.  They can provide you with treatments directed to your personal wants and needs, from surface correction to lifting up relaxed skin and everything in between.  They will help answer your questions with all aspects of rejuvenation with their wealth of experience in both surgical and non-surgical areas.


Forever Young (Great Aging Column-Dr. Sam Shatkin Jr.)

Forever Young May 2012

Quest for Great Aging


In the quest for great aging, we often focus on what we see in the mirror.   Not that appearance is a bad thing, particularly from my vantage point as a plastic surgeon where the aesthetic appearance is a large part of my practice.  Working out at the gym to tone the muscles, proper diet to trim the waist, advanced skin treatments to make our skin glow round out our goals for great aging, right?


Well, there is one part of our body that we cannot forget about in our quest for great aging, the brain.  Here are a few interesting facts.  Apparently when god created us, he did not spare any effort in creating our brain.  Did you know that the brain receives 25% of the blood that is pumped from the heart with every beat? That is significant when you consider that the brain, which weighs in at an average of 3 pounds, is less than 2% of the total body weight for an average human (or even less for some).  Why so much?  Perhaps it is because the brain plays a role in most body functions including basal controls like heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and sleeping as well as higher brain functions, including emotions, reasoning, analysis and flight or fight response in emergencies, all of which require good brain health to get the tasks done.  


So when we are looking at our life cycle and our hopes for a long healthy productive life, we need to focus on brain health first and foremost, not only to enjoy life but also to fend off dementia, which can surely put a damper on our later years.  Loss of cognitive abilities can make those 'golden years' not so golden!


If you are still reading this column, then I have to assume I have piqued your interests and stimulated your cerebral cortex to learn more.  Because our brain is affected by the type of environmental stimuli we are exposed to, there are things we know that we can and must do for great brain health.  So here are 5 ways to save you brain and maintain good brain function.


Physical activity- keeping your body active will help the circulation of blood flow to the brain.  Studies show that regular walking can reduce the risk of dementia.  Get yourself a pedometer to measure your steps during the day.  Aim daily for 9000 steps.  Find physical activities you can enjoy besides traditional exercise, such as working in the garden, dancing, hiking or biking.


Mental activity- crossword puzzles can keep the mind alert, but try activities that involve many senses, such as playing musical instruments, or travelling.  Exposure to unique environments with travel to get you out of your routine will not only keep the mind alert, but will help grow the mind with new and unique experiences.


Social interaction- staying in touch with family and friends and meeting on a daily basis will stimulate the mind.  Early retirement can lead to early dementia.  Stay active with fun hobbies and working with community groups and volunteering to keep involved.


Spirituality- Make sure your day includes some downtime to relax, reflect, pray or meditate. Attending regular worship services will help promote your spiritual health and keep you socially active.  Stretching, yoga classes and sleep can improve your mind and quality of life.


Nutrition- excuse the pun, but here is some 'Food for Thought'.  Make sure your diet includes some of the healthy 'brain food'.  Make sure your plate is filled with lots of colorful foods.  Fruits and vegetables with color contain antioxidants, which are good for the entire body, especially the brain.  Take in Omega fatty acids, in the form of fish and unsalted nuts several times per week.  Supplements containing Omega fish oil can also be used.  Try to cut back on the amount of food you eat as well as the amount of processed foods and red meat.  Caloric restriction has been shown to increase longevity, so portion control is a must. 


Taking the time to learn more about longevity and brain health will in itself be part of the process of warding off dementia.  Go to the bookstores, surf the Internet, read books and magazines and share what you have learned with your loved ones during a brisk walk or at the gym.  And of course, don't stop reading this column while I continue to share ideas on health and wellness in our quest for great aging.

Be well buffalo!



June 2012

Quest for Great Aging

Forever Young 


It is the beginning of the month of May, and I contemplate on what to include for the June issue of my column.  In addition to springtime and flowers, I conjure up thoughts of Mother’s Day, and my fond memories of my own mom (may she rest in peace), and her dedication to her family and children.  I also am reminded about the reason that many women come for a consultation in the office.  They often remark, “Well…if it wasn’t for the kids, I wouldn’t look this way!”  Let’s not jump to conclusions. Those that make that statement are usually quick to comment that it was all worth it, but needless to say, they would like to regain their youthful appearance, or at least turn the clock back. 


Mae West once said, “You’re never too old to grow younger”.  Of course, Mae West was never a mother, but why wouldn’t we all like to look young forever! It sounds simple, right?  Well. Let’s just say it takes some work.  Once the changes from age, gravity, sun damage, childbirth, parenting etc. occur, what can be done to grow younger?  A somewhat universal term that leaves little to interpretation is ‘Mommy Makeover’. 

The term usually refers to surgical procedures in plastic surgery to reshape the body with liposuction or tummy tuck, rejuvenate the face with facelift and eyelift, or firm up, lift up or perk up the breasts.   There are many non-surgical procedures as well.  Non-Surgical ‘Liquid Facelifts” can provide dramatic improvements in facial appearance, with nearly no downtime.  Botox tm, and fillers like Juvederm tm and Radiesse tm, along with the use of laser skin rejuvenation, can maximize the end results without any cutting! As Plastic Surgeons, we can’t stop the hands of time, but we can certainly turn the clock back.


One patient told me, “Wrinkled was not what I wanted to be when I grew up”.  No one ever said you have to look wrinkled!  Just because you look in the mirror and see things you don’t like, doesn’t mean you have to accept them. In the quest for great aging, take the time to learn about the many safe, tried and true options available to you to help you look better and feel better about yourself.


Seek out the advice of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon about surgical and non-surgical ways to look younger and find out what Mae West was talking about.  You’ll be glad you did!







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