Facing difficult job market, baby boomers undergo cosmetic surgery to compete

Robot surgery suites like those made by Alma Lasers are changing the face of dermatology.

I took a call today with Dr. Bruce E. Katz, PC Director at the Juva Skin & Laser Center in midtown Manhattan, because he said a lot of baby boomers (people my age) are now getting procedures to look younger and compete in the job market.

My sainted wife, who has interviewed many people for jobs at her company, agreed this might work. "Human Resources keeps the ages" of applicants, she said. "We never see them." Can't risk being accused of age-ism.

But what Dr. Katz described is a better story, the rise of surgical robots in making possible painless, quick procedures that could not be done when he began practicing dermatology back in the mid-1980s.

Dr. Katz is especially high on Alma Lasers, an Israeli company that makes a line of what it calls "medical aesthetic systems."

Take the Harmony XL unit (above), a great multitasker.  It "supports multiple hand pieces to treat tattoos, sunspots, wrinkles, and stretch marks," he said. "You want to find technologies that are cost effective and efficient."

The Harmony XL was first approved for use in 2008, combining "lasers, pulsed light, near-infrared, LED and UVB technologies with multiple exchangeable handpieces." That's right, it's upgradeable.

Dr. Katz is also a big fan of Alma's Accent 980, a diode laser system for quick liposuction and the treatment of cellulite. He was in Paris recently talking about it.

Which is another point. When Dr. Katz finished his residency at Columbia, "people looked at me like it was silly." In terms of what could be done, maybe it was, he admitted. Dermabrasion. Chemical peels. Topical creams like Retin-A, which today you can buy online.

"Now every doctor wants to do it. There are lots of specialists calling me – orthopedic surgeons, ER doctors – who all want to learn cosmetic procedures and laser procedures."

Robot surgery suites like those made by Alma Lasers are revolutionizing the practice of dermatology. "We can help people look younger non-invasively. Before people would need a face lift or eye lift. You can do this without doing surgery, very quickly." (Say hello to my little friend.)

The Joan Rivers jokes are out, in other words. "We don't try to make people look different. We want them to look like themselves, just younger. We're proud of people looking natural. They look like they've been on vacation, or more relaxed, rather than looking like they've been done."

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com