Total Body Lift
Twenty-seven-year-old Amanda weighed a precarious 400 pounds and teetered on the brink of medical crisis. Desperate, she turned to gastric by-pass surgery and lost 180 pounds. However, she was haunted by the physical remnants of her efforts: pounds and pounds of loose flesh hanging from her body. She turned to The Doctors and expert surgeon and pioneer of the Total Body Lift procedure, Dr. Dennis Hurwitz, for help.
The complex surgery required five doctors and lasted eight hours. In the end, they removed 15 pounds of excess fat and skin from five different parts of Amanda’s body: abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs and breasts. Dr. Hurwitz demonstrates the procedure on a mannequin onstage and narrates an animation of the process.
Dr. Ordon scrubbed in on the surgery and noted, “We removed one square yard of skin … It was truly epic stuff.”
Candidates for the procedure must be physically fit to undergo the extensive and expensive (upwards of $50,000) surgery. Recovery takes three to six weeks and patients take painkillers for weeks. They also must wear multiple drains to collect the excess fluid as well as girdles and bandages to prevent swelling. “If we don’t take proper care -- with bandages, elastic support, drains -- then we’re going to have trouble with healing, and that can be a monstrous problem,” Dr. Hurwitz warns.
Amanda debuts her new body and receives an exciting surprise. To celebrate her post-surgery body, The Doctors give Amanda a $1,000 shopping spree for a new wardrobe courtesy of Ann Taylor and … a reunion with a long-lost college friend!
Thrilled with the results, Amanda reflects on her decisions and offers advice to others considering gastric by-pass surgery. “You know, I had gastric by-pass because it’s a way out [of obesity]. I worked extremely hard. I had complications, I worked to run a marathon, I did everything I could, but there is a way out, and it’s not a stigma; it’s a way to a better life.”
“Your strength and determination are an inspiration to everybody,” Dr. Ordon states.
Miracle Acne Treatment?
Dr. Ordon explains the latest in acne treatment, a combination vacuum and laser instrument called Isolaz. Dr. Ordon explains that acne is the No. 1 skin problem in the world. Three out of four people either have acne or bear its scars. A new laser treatment may be the miracle cure for even the most stubborn cases of acne.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kristin has suffered from acne since her teens. She’s tried everything for her acne, but to no avail. Dr. Ordon treated Kristin for five weeks, and brings her onstage to show the amazing results.
Leigh, 40, has suffered from acne since she was 10 years old. Dr. Ordon performs the procedure on Leigh live in the studio and gives a close-up view of exactly how it works on the skin. Could this revolutionary treatment be right for you? Dr. Ordon also gives his acne prevention tips.
Cynthia’s Ultimate Makeover
When Cynthia came to The Doctors, she described a lonely and isolated existence filled with cruel taunting and name-calling. “I always felt ugly,” she sobbed. After the surgeons worked their magic, Cynthia recovered at Serenity Surgery Aftercare Facility.
Cynthia sees her “new self” for the first time and dissolves into tears. “I can’t thank you enough!” she says, stunned.
Beauty is Skin Deep
Michelle was taunted mercilessly for years because of a port-wine stain birthmark, a splotchy blemish, covers her entire body. Dr. Ordon explains that the birthmark is caused by a malformation of veins and capillaries.
Although she wears copious amounts of clothes and makeup to hide the discoloration, Michelle admits that it doesn’t seem to make much difference, and the name-calling continues relentlessly. “I just try to ignore it and pretend that it doesn’t hurt me, but it really does hurt my feelings,” Michelle says quietly.
Michelle’s mother, Marilyn, confides that the teasing her daughter has endured is almost too painful to bear. “There are so many times where I just don’t know how Michelle makes it through the day,” she confides.
“I think some of the worst times are when I get made fun of in front of my mom,” Michelle confesses. “I don’t like her to see that.”
Master Esthetician and CEO of GlyMed Plus skin care, Christine Heathman, applies a tinted photo-age pigment protection skin shield to Michelle’s birthmark. “The makeup acts as a second skin and adheres to the non-porous surfaces of the skin,” Christine explains.
The makeup contains a high titanium dioxide concentration, which acts as a sun block and helps protect against ultraviolet rays, proven accelerators of the skin’s aging process. “It’s like a second skin,” Christine adds.
The heavy makeup is often used to camouflage post-surgical skin, bruises and tattoos. One application will last all day, but Christine recommends that Michelle remove it every night before she goes to bed.
The audience cheers as Michelle walks onstage. Her birthmarks are indistinguishable, and, visibly moved, Michelle wells up with tears. “I love it. I feel just like everyone else right now. Thank you.”
Michelle’s mother beams through her tears. “I think she looks just fabulous,” Marilyn says, her voice cracking. “She’s so beautiful. She always has been, but it’s amazing.”
The nasal septum, a thin wall of cartilage that separates the left and right nasal cavity, should run evenly up the center of the nose. However, if the septum is displaced or deviated -- be it congenital or the result of an injury -- the nasal cavity is compromised and airflow is restricted.
Cherie, 30, has all the classic symptoms of a deviated septum:
• Chronic stuffy nose
• Trouble breathing
• Trouble sleeping
“As I’m getting older, it’s getting worse,” she confides.
Dr. Ordon takes one look up her nose and declares, “You have a deviated septum!” He tells Cherie that she needs corrective surgery and a few days later, he repairs Cherie’s deviated septum.
Saved From Stuttering?
More than 3 million Americans suffer from stuttering, a medical riddle that has puzzled doctors for years. Nineteen-year-old Jenifer is a severe stutterer who has spent most of her life hidden in the shadows. She says that her stutter has left her lonely, ashamed and embarrassed. Her aunt Marilyn explains, “She’s going through life with her brakes on.”
Jenifer says softly, “My greatest hope is that one day somebody comes out with a cure that will help me socialize with people.”
Stuttering specialist Gerald Maguire explains that stuttering is actually a neurological condition, rather than a psychological disorder, as is commonly believed. Stuttering occurs when too much dopamine floods the speech areas of the brain. Treatments include various dopamine-blocker pharmaceuticals, intensive speech therapy and the choral effect, a natural phenomenon that the SpeechEasy device mimics.
The choral effect is when the brain perceives that it is speaking in unison with another person, which radically reduces stuttering. The SpeechEasy device consists of a speaker and microphone which is placed in the patient’s ear and allows the wearer to hear their words replayed with a slight delay, so the brain perceives that it is speaking in unison. In 80 percent of patients, stuttering decreases 50 to 95 percent.
Jenifer’s speech pathologist, Mark Power, joins Jenifer onstage to demonstrate the SpeechEasy device. She reads aloud from a book without the SpeechEasy device in her ear and struggles to get her words out. Mark reads along with her, and she improves. Then, Mark hands Jenifer the SpeechEasy device to try for the first time, and the results are astonishing. The Janus Development Group heard about Jenifer’s story from The Doctors and generously donated a SpeechEasy device for her to take home.
Living with Dystonia
Imagine having constant muscle spasms and not being able to stop your body from shaking uncontrollably. Alex, 27, has lived with this debilitating feeling since she was diagnosed with dystonia in 2007.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. The contractions force the body into repetitive and often twisting movements as well as awkward, irregular postures. Presently, there is no cure, but multiple treatment options exist, including physical, speech and voice therapy, medications, Botox and surgery.
“I am in the worst pain all the time,” Alex says. “I have my bad days, where I wish I was dead.”
Alex is so bothered by people staring at her when she shakes that she rarely leaves her house. “I can’t live like a normal girl,” she says. “I can’t go shopping because I’ll break down in the store. It’s too tiring for me to even attempt to put on makeup or attempt to throw an outfit together. This has just robbed me of everything and it hurts every day.”
“I just don’t want people staring at me like I’m a monster,” she says through tears. “I’m not. You’re looking at me in a dirty way, and it hurts. I just would rather have people have the guts to just come up and, you know, [ask] ‘What’s wrong? Are you having a bad day? Do you need some help?’ I would rather them do that than just stare at me.”
After giving her inspirational advice, Montel takes Alex out in public for the first time in nearly six months. “I felt so comfortable with Montel being by my side,” Alex says. “It made me feel so much better that I had someone who knows what I’m going through.
“I’m in pain 24 hours a day,” he continues. “But guess what. I can wallow in my bed and cry and say, ‘Oh, woe is me,’ or I could realize that OK, Montel, it hurt that way yesterday. It didn’t hurt that way this morning, so if it didn’t hurt that way this morning that means that I can impact this.
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