Beauty By Brueck

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Meet Dr. Robert J. Brueck MD FACS

Board Certified in Plastic Surgery Caring & Understanding
33 Years of Excellence in Cosmetic Surgery


  • 3700 Central Ave. Fort Myers, FL 33901
  • 14 Del Prado Blvd. Cape Coral, FL 33909
  • 25097 West Olympia, Suite 101, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

I am intensely interested in all things relating to health, skin, weight management and beauty. From time to time, I discover news or facts about these subjects that don't necessarily fit anywhere else on this web site. I will post them here for you to read.

Medical Tourism - A Warning. Please be careful.

Cosmetic surgery is booming around the world. Vietnam is an example. Many people are traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, the capitol of Vietnam, seeking beautifying cosmetic surgery procedures. The attraction? Seems to be the combination of cheap prices and an exotic location., the Vietnamese news service, reports that women there go to "beauty salons". But only "authentic beauty salons", as defined by local authorities, include a cosmetic surgeon. Hundreds of other "beauty salons" do not have cosmetic surgery licenses.

If you go to Vietnam or anywhere else in the world for cosmetic surgery, be forewarned. A complicated treatment by an unlicensed practitioner may prove far more costly in the long run than any savings from cheap prices.

World-wide, it's still, "buyer beware".

Safer Liposuction in Florida

If you’re a Floridian whose bikini-clad body needs a little tweaking, you will now have a much better chance of undergoing a safe  liposuction procedure. The April 27 Sun-Sentinel  reports that Governor Rick Scott of Florida has signed legislation mandating that, as of January 3, 2013, doctors can no longer perform most liposuction procedures in unregulated offices.

This could drive up prices of some Florida liposuction procedures. I know, however, that the law is warranted and intended to assure patients of safe procedures. Lower fees are a bad trade-off for the risk of death.

In recent years, some doctors and unregulated beauty businesses performed liposuction without administering appropriate anesthesia. Instead, they used sedative pills or creams. After 14 Floridians died as a result of medical distress during liposuction in the last decade, the legislation was filed.

The new law states that when a liposuction procedure removes more than about two pounds of fat it must be performed in a regulated office, staffed with a doctor that has lifesaving training and equipped with lifesaving equipment and procedures. The facility will be required to be inspected by the state or become accredited.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery  (ASAPS)  requires its members to operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities. To ensure your safety, if you undergo surgery, make sure your surgery occurs in such a facility.

Maybe size - when it comes to your head - does matter.  

A study in the  Journal of Neurobiology  found that people with big heads had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimers disease.  

Seems that CT studies of human brains revealed that people with small intracranial volume had an increased risk of Alzheimers.

So, while we often describe people with big egos as having "big heads", we may be giving them the promise of a longer life.

NSAID Use May Lower Skin Cancer Risk

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, may help reduce risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, according to a new study published online in Cancer.

Sigrún Alba Jóhannesdóttir, BSc, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues analyzed medical records from northern Denmark from 1991 through 2009 and identified 1,974 diagnoses of squamous cell carcinoma, 13,316 diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma, and 3,242 diagnoses of malignant melanoma. They compared information, including NSAID prescription data, from these patients with that of 178,655 individuals without skin cancer.

Those individuals who filled more than two prescriptions for NSAIDs had a 15% decreased risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma, and a 13% decreased risk for developing malignant melanoma than those who filled two or fewer NSAID prescriptions, the study showed. The longer participants took the NSAIDS, the lower their risk for these skin cancers.

Exactly how, or even if, NSAIDS affect skin cancer risk is not fully understood, but these drugs target the cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) enzyme, which is also expressed by certain cancers. “We hope that the potential cancer-protective effect of NSAIDs will inspire more research on skin-cancer prevention,” says Jóhannesdóttir, in a press release. “Also, this potential cancer-protective effect should be taken into account when discussing benefits and harms of NSAID use.”


florida fort myersA while ago I posted information on my blog about coffee drinking and health. Now, a new study has been released that says not only is coffee not bad for you, it appears to contribute a longer life.

"One of life’s simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn’t matter. "

400,000 people were e included in the largest study ever done on the question. The study results are comforting for coffee lovers. Apparently starting your day with coffe will not end your life prematurely.

The study was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine


fl fort myersSeveral million people suffer from hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.  It is estimated that 2-3% of population has hyperhidrosis.  People with hyperhidrosis often sweat even when it’s cool outside.  It runs in families and many people choose to live with it since, no permanent effective treatment existed until now.  There are several conditions that can cause excessive sweating such as menopause, hyperthyroidism.  This is termed secondary hyperhidrosis. 

There's more on, this plus news about a successful nonsurgical, permanent solution at or here.

We hear so much about PRP –
What is PRP? May 1, 2012

PRP stands for "Platelet Rich Plasma."

Getting PRP a simple process.  About 60-70 cc’s of the patients’ own blood are drawn.  It then is spun down for several minutes.  This yields the red cells in the bottom of the centrifuge tube and the top half containing plasma, platelets, ie. the platelet rich plasma. 

Recently, there was a new development which allows us to get super concentrated platelet rich plasma.  After the initial spinning down – we draw off the plasma – minus the red cells. It then is spun down a second time for several minutes yeilding more concentrated PRP, which then is mixed with the patients own fat and stem cells.  It is this combination that is injected into the patients face to augment it.  This would be in lieu of say Juvederm, Restylane or Sculptra.  The best part is it is cheaper – lasts longer and it is your own tissue.

What makes platelets so special?

Platelets have a prominent role in healing wounds.  Part of the reason is because they containg x-granules; small packets contained within the platelets that have several growth factors, ie. protein with growth factors that are released when the platelets are activated.  This increases the growth of blood vessels, new collagen and a whole host of other cellular functions to rejuvenate our skin.  The proteins contained in these granules influence many aspects of wound healing. 

What’s on the horizon?

People want simple – easy – procedures to enhance their facial appearance, with no downtime.  That helps to explain the growth in Botox and fillers.  Millions of these procedures are done year and year out. Their popularity is growing.  People want something easy – quick with no downtime.

This may be the "miracle" they are hoping for.

April 7, 2012

A drug many of us use each day may be a key drug in preventing cancer and keeping it in check.

New studies shows that common aspirin may be the key to warding off cancer. Studies done at Oxford University to test aspirin’s effects on the heart, showed that not only were these people less likely to have heart attacks but also 23% less likely to develop cancer over a 3 year period versus those who took NO aspirin.

Over a five year period they had a 37% lower risk of dying from cancer.

A study of people with cancer found that those who took an aspirin a day had a lower rate of metastasis. Study author, Peter Rothwell said “no drug has been shown before to prevent distant metastasis.”

FINANCING PLASTIC SURGERY - No one expects you to pay "cash" for everthing. Somethings qualify for financing with low monthly payments. CareCredit makes the possible for plastic surgery. If you are interested in how much financing you qualify for, use the confidential form from CareCredit to find out.

FLORIDA LIPOSUCTION BAN FACTS -A bill to outlaw liposuction from being performed in licensed surgery centers died in the house.  The Senate passed a bill to limit where liposuction can be performed.  There have been 14 deaths from medical distress  post liposuction here in Florida over the last 10 years.  Where or when it will come up again is anyone’s guess but again, BUYER beware.  Make sure your doctor is a  board certified plastic surgeon and performs it in a fully accredited surgery center.

VITAMIN A & MELANOMA - A recent study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that vitamin A derivatives may stave off melanoma. The study was done at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and consisted of 69,635 study patients. Of these, 566 developed melanoma and those individuals who took vitamin A supplements were 40% less likely to develop melanoma. There are no magic wands. But a small step here and a small step there can make a difference.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT PLASTIC SURGERY? - The way patients get information on plastic surgery is undergoing evolution. Years ago, it was by word of mouth or by a referral from your family doctor. Then advertising hit the air. Now we have the internet.

In a recent survey, the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons showed 42% of prospective patients get their information from social media sites such as Facebook.

It is amazing to me, as a Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon, the power and popularity that social media are experiencing. I have patients who spend 1 to 2 hours per day on sites like Facebook.

My suggestion? Don’t rely of this ALONE to make your decision on who to go to for your cosmetic surgery.

That said, if Facebook is your thing, you'll find me at ttp:// You can "like" me there and receive my informative, and occasionally amusing message on your newsfeed.

GLAUCOMA AND GEOGRAPHY - What could this vision problem have in common with geography? As a plastic surgeon concerned with physical beauty, I am intrigued by news about vision problems. Well, they both begin wiht G (just kidding). It appears however, that people who live south of 41dwgrees north latitdue (the line passing through hicago) have a significantly lower risk of developing exfoliaition glaucoma, which causes protein deposits in the eye, which can lead to vision loss. And here, we thought people were moving south to Florida for the weather.

ANTI-AGING PROCEDURES BY AGE OF PATIENT - Common sense would tell us the “older” generation or baby boomers would be undergoing the most procedures to head off aging.  But surprisingly, a study by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, of which I am a member, found that people aged 31-45 actually led the way with 43% of the 10+ billion spent on cosmetic procedures in 2010.  The baby boomers, of which I’m also a "member" accounted for 28% of the total spent.  There were a total of 13.1 million cosmetic procedures done and of this total 11.6 million were non-surgical.

YOU EAT WHAT YOU ARE? - It seems we are always finding connections between two entities; cause and effect. When you eat too much of a food you are more likely to get or suffer from something related to that food.

Now, research links personality to body weight.

A growing body (no pun intended) of research suggests that the part of our brain that controls our emotions and stress also controls our appetite or hunger center.

People who were “impulsive” were more apt to be overweight. People who were not overly agreeable tended to put on more weight over the years.

It's a connection between emotions and weight that begins early in life.

Kids who had low emotional relationships with their mothers tended to be more obese by the age of 15.

“Food for thought” is not far from the truth.

Fish Oils? - Fish oil is important in our diet. I take fish oil everyday. Unfortunately, fish oil and face-lifting don’t go hand in hand.

I tell all my patients to avoid fish oil a couple of weeks before surgery.

That aside, there is good reason to eat fish: a recent study of people in their 70’s found that a diet of fish once a week for over 10 years their brains were bigger. The brain's area linked to memory and learning seemed to be the most affected. Some people think Omega 3 acids reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the brain.

But if you eat fish, bake it or broil it. - NO fish frys.

Implants are safe - Recently the French government announced it would pay to have all Gel implants in French women removed. This gnerated considerable concern. Why? What's the problem? Are you at risk here in the US?

You should know that only implants manufactured by a French company, PIP (Poly Implant Prosthesis) were to be removed. From what research I have done, it appears that the gel used in PIP implants was INDUSTRIAL grade NOT MEDICAL grade.

As a Fort Myers plastic surgeon, I only use MENTOR implants, which are medical grade silicone.

I guess it’s like buying a steak. You can order choice or you can order prime. There appear to be many European women with PIP implants. Unfortunately, PIP used industrial grade silicone because it simply was CHEAPER.

Several years ago, I took care of several patients who had “industrial” grade silicone actually injected into their breasts. No implants. Just industrial grade material placed into syringes and then injected into their breasts.

The results were terrible. These women developed severe inflammations and multiple nodules. Mammograms became more difficult to perform. Many of these women required simple mastectomies and reconstruction.

The European company, PIP, went bankrupt in 2010 and shut its doors. Their president/founder, M. Jean-Claude Mas, is 72 and in poor health. As all this will be resolved in the courtroom…many years later. Till then, rest assured, unless you received a PIP implant, most likely in Europe, all is well.

Testimonials - Most doctors receive "thank you " notes. Trust me, they are greatly appreciated. I maintain a page dedicated to such notes from happy patients. In a way they are 'testimonials'. Since I feel it is helpful for prospective patients to know about experiences of women who have undergone cosmetic procedures, I like to share what tyhey have to say. Most recently, I received one referring to a breast augmentation. Interestingly, this patient entered into the process with her fiance sitting in on the consultation. After the surgery and recovery, she was married and commented on how good she looked in her wedding dress. Notes like these are very gratifying.

Hand Sanitizers - It seems, no matter where we go, we bath our hands in “hand sanitizer”. Several years ago they were non-existent, and now they’re everywhere – gyms, restaurants, stores. You name it, they have it.

There are some risks, however:

1. They cut down on the exposure of our immune system. Our immune system pours out antibodies (like antibiotics) in response to contact with germs; no germs – no exercise .
2. They are NO replacement for the time-honored use of good ole' soap and water.
3. They have high concentrations of alcohol which removes skin oils from our skin.
4. They can give you a false sense of security.

I can tell you, after three decades as a practicing plastic surgeon, your best protection is a vigorous hand washing with soap and water.

A Whole Lot of Beauty - According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there were 13,100,000 cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States last year (2010). It will be interesting to see what this year brings as we close it out. More or less? Feel free to comment.

Why Do Drugs Cost So Much? How many times have I heard – “that’s outrageous!” - when talking about the price of a particular medicine?

My brother, Bill. takes a pill every day that costs upwards of $25.00. That’s pricey. But in the end, it all comes down to the cost to develop the drug, the cost to manufacture and the size of the potential market.

Drug research is $100 billion a year endeavor. Two years ago, some researchers in Boston showed how they could kill cancer cells by targeting a protein in the cells called STK33 – don’t ask me what it stands for.

Amgen, the well known biotech pharmaceutical company, jumped all over it. They put together a team of scientists/researchers totaling 24 to see if they could duplicate this. If they could, this could prove to be a pathway to create new drugs to fight cancer. After 6 intensive (and expensive) months – all their efforts had failed.

One of the cornerstones of original research is reproduceability. In other words, if one lab does research, say, in Chicago, can that research AND results be duplicated in a lab in Miami or Paris? That is crucial. These Phase 2 trials involve reproducing results from other labs.

The bottom line is that those FAILED attempts cost money – cost real dollars. This helps explain in part the rising cost of prescription drugs.

Obviously, we all wish that drugs could be developed at lower cost. But researchers must be paid, facilities must be maintained and gambles are taken that the research will produce a life-saving or life-enhancing drug. When it doesn't, that cost drops to the bottom line of the drug companies.

Dr. Brueck is associated with professional medical societies, including:

  • Florida Medical Association
  • Lee County Medical Society
  • Southern Medical Association
  • American Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons
  • American Association of Laser Medicine & Surgery
  • Aesthetic Surgery Association
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

dr robert brueck fort myersContact Dr. Brueck at 239-939-5233, through email or through his Aesthetic Co-ordinator, Judy. (Please understand that email, even encrypted email, is not secure since your written message may be seen by unauthorized people after it is received in our office.)

Would you like to see before-and-after photos of Dr. Brueck's cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery results? We understand and are proud to present them. Simply click here. We are careful to treat them privately; they contain images that some people may find offensive. If you are offended by nudity or are under 18 years old, please do not view these pages.

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