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MEDICAL CREDIT – ARE YOUR RESOURCES PROTECTED?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

          A medical credit card (dedicated solely to health purchases) can be a handy item in our wallets.   Like most existing lines of credit, it allows us to obtain the services we want, when we want them, and separates an inconvenient outlay of cash into smaller payments made over time.  Unlike procedure-specific (one time) medical financing, once this line of credit has been established, as the debt is repaid, the line of credit is available to you for reuse according to your needs and desires.

Maybe you’ve been considering a procedure with Dr. Castillo, such as facelift, tummy tuck, breast augmentation or liposuction; or perhaps you’ve been waiting for the “sun season” to end and want to schedule the laser resurfacing skin rejuvenation that you’ve dreamed of.  Sometimes patients request financing options or want to take advantage of an interest-free credit offer.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, Illinois Plastic Surgeon, G. D. Castillo, MD, investigated all the revolving medical credit card possibilities before choosing Care Credit as the only dedicated-medical-use card that we process.  Of prime consideration in this decision was the level of financial security for our patients built into their system.  How secure is your Care Credit purchase at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, you ask?  Extremely secure, we answer!

You’ve probably become accustomed to the cavalier acceptance of credit/debit cards and bank checks that has become commonplace.  Have you wondered why your bank check is given back to you at the time of purchase from some larger merchants?  It’s because using a check at these establishments is similar to utilizing a debit card.  The tendered amount is electronically confirmed as available at the register, and deducted from your account at the time of purchase.  The advent of immediate electronic fund transfers has all but made ID checking obsolete.  This may protect the merchant during the exchange, but how does it protect you?  When was the last time a cashier asked you for identification when you handed over your bank check or credit card for payment?  In my personal experience, it’s been rare for a very long time and that’s not a good thing.   I make it a point to say “thank you” when a cashier takes the time to look at my credit card signature or ask for additional ID.

When it comes to personal finances, purchasing convenience (although important) is not my first concern.  What is most important to me is:

 

  1. Security
  2. More Security
  3. ADDITIONAL SECURITY

Did you know that every Care Credit transaction must be done in person by an authorized cardholder and requires two additional forms of identification to be presented at the time of purchase?  Did you know that the person processing the transaction has to record the IDs utilized during this step and that the cardholder has to acknowledge via signature that this additional security step has been taken.  This process is required for each and every transaction, regardless of how familiar the cardholder is to the processor.

For these reasons, if done correctly, you should never experience over-the-phone Care Credit transactions and you should never hear “that’s okay, your information is on file.”

I know that this may sound inconvenient to some in our fast-paced, “I want it yesterday” society, but when it comes to personal finances, security trumps convenience every time – our patient’s investment in themselves both deserves and demands our protection of their financial resources.

So, when you call in a mail order and are told that we no longer have access to the credit card number you utilized yesterday, or you see me glance at the front and back of your card before processing payment, please understand that your security is our prime concern.

 

 

 

VITALIZE PEEL POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Proper maintenance of your skin after a peel will facilitate and enhance our rejuvenation process. It is important that you follow a few easy steps to achieve the maximum benefit from your peel.  For the first few days, your skin will look normal with some possible redness similar to a sunburn. In approximately 48 hours, your skin may feel tight and will begin to flake or peel.  Some patients will peel mildly while others will peel more dramatically.

POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS: 

At the time of your peel, you will receive a skincare kit with all of the products you will need for the first week after your peel. It is important to let the peeling process occur naturally.  DO NOT PICK OR PEEL at your skin.

A.M.  Regimen for the first 48 hours (or until you begin to peel):

  1. Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Apply the selected light moisturizer provided and re-apply liberally as needed to maintain well hydrated skin.
  3. Apply medical grade sunscreen liberally and avoid sun exposure.

P.M.  Regimen for the first 48 hours (or until you begin to peel):

  1. Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and Pat dry.
  2. Apply Eucerin Cream or TNS Ceramide Cream as provided. Re-apply as needed to maintain well hydrated skin.

A.M Regimen days 3-7 (or until peeling has deceased)

  1. Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Apply Eucerin Cream or TNS Ceramide Cream as provided.
  3. Apply medical grade sunscreen liberally and avoid sun exposure.

P.M Regimen days 3-7 (or until peeling has deceased)

1.  Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry.

  1. Apply Eucerin Cream or TNS Ceramide Cream as provided. Re-apply as needed to maintain well hydrated skin.

To maintain your beautiful results, I recommend beginning a medical grade skincare program that will be designed specifically for your skin needs.

Yours Truly¸

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

 

 

 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

 

 

 

Vitalize Peel Pre-Treatment Instructions:

Monday, August 19th, 2013

If you are considering Vitalize Peels for the treatment of acne, dyschromia, melasma, hyperpigmentation, or aging, then you are likely wondering how to best care for your skin in the days prior to your treatments. Vitalize Peels are a sizeable step toward a healthier, more luminous complexion.  It is important that you follow the pre-peel instructions provided by Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center and that you avoid sun exposure before and after each peel.

PRE-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS:

One week prior to treatment you should avoid the following:

  • Electrolysis        
  • Depilatory Creams
  • Waxing
  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Alpha-Hydroxy Acids
  • Any product that dries or irritates your skin

3 days before prior to treatment you should avoid the following:

  • Retin –A
  • Renova
  • Differen
  • Any product containing Retinol, Benzyl Peroxide
  • Any exfoliating products

The day of your peel treatment:

  • Do Not Shave
  • Arrive with clean skin free of all skincare and cosmetics and your hair pulled back

 

Yours Truly,

———————————————————————-

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY   https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

Peeling Your Way to Perfection

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Chances are if you are exposed to any type of media and who isn’t, then you’ve noticed that chemical peels are getting a little more media attention these days.  In today’s world of cosmetic medicine there are many options when it comes to improving the skin’s surface and complexion.

  • CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing
  • Intense Pulse Light
  • Medical Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels

While CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing typically makes more sense when treating acne scarring, heavier forms unwanted pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles in lighter skinned patients, effective chemical peels are an excellent option for those with active acne and darker skinned patients who are not good laser candidates.  Chemical peels can offer a nice value for the savings conscious consumer.  They are multi-function tools that provide solutions for acne, sun damage, fine lines, poor texture and dyschromia.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Dr. G. D. Castillo offers several  Chemical Peel options. For most skin issues the Vitalize Peel is my preferred peel of choice followed by its more aggressive counter-part, the Rejuvenize Peel.  I favor the Vitalize Peel because our patient’s do not have to suffer through a harsh recovery of irritated, weeping or scabbing skin as with many of the peel formulas that are being utilized. This peel is self-regulating which means it does not require a neutralizing agent to stop the peeling action, creating a safe, consistent result.

You will notice smoother, clearer skin and a softening of lines and wrinkles and will have little downtime.   The Vitalize Peel is a quick 20 minute treatment and is often referred to as a “lunchtime” peel. You can cover with mineral make-up immediately and return to work.  Because Retinoic Acid is used in conjunction with this peel, you will begin to peel within about 48 hours and will need to discontinue cosmetics until the peeling has deceased.  You will see improvements after your first peel and those improvements will continue to increase throughout the treatment series until a new radiant, clear skin is revealed.

While the Vitalize Peel is an excellent choice for those with acne, those who do not wish to undergo laser procedures, and those with darker skin types, not all patients are candidates for chemical peels. Those with active warts, Herpes Simplex or cold sores in the treatment area should not have this chemical peel as it could cause spreading of those conditions.  Patients with allergies to any of the ingredients such as salicylates (aspirin), those who have used Accutane, had chemotherapy or radiation within the last year as not candidates for the Vitalize Peel.

Schedule a consultation if you would like more information about the chemical peel options available at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center.

Yours Truly,

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

VITALIZE PEEL POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

VITALIZE PEEL POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS

Proper maintenance of your skin after a peel will facilitate and enhance our rejuvenation process. It is important that you follow a few easy steps to achieve the maximum benefit from your peel.  For the first few days, your skin will look normal with some possible redness similar to a sunburn. In approximately 48 hours, your skin may feel tight and will begin to flake or peel.  Some patients will peel mildly while others will peel more dramatically.

POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS:

At the time of your peel, you will receive a skincare kit with all of the products you will need for the first week after your peel. It is important to let the peeling process occur naturally.  DO NOT PICK OR PEEL at your skin.

A.M.  Regimen for the first 48 hours (or until you begin to peel):

  1. Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Apply the selected light moisturizer provided and re-apply liberally as needed to maintain well hydrated skin.
  3. Apply medical grade sunscreen liberally and avoid sun exposure.

P.M.  Regimen for the first 48 hours (or until you begin to peel):

  1. Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and Pat dry.
  2. Apply Eucerin Cream or TNS Ceramide Cream as provided. Re-apply as needed to maintain well hydrated skin.

A.M Regimen days 3-7 (or until peeling has deceased)

  1. Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Apply Eucerin Cream or TNS Ceramide Cream as provided.
  3. Apply medical grade sunscreen liberally and avoid sun exposure.

P.M Regimen days 3-7 (or until peeling has deceased)

1.  Apply the Gentle Cleanser using a sponge to cleanse in a circular motion. Rinse and pat dry.

Apply Eucerin Cream or TNS Ceramide Cream as provided. Re-apply as needed to maintain well hydrated skin.

To maintain your beautiful results, I recommend beginning a medical grade skincare program that will be designed specifically for your skin needs.

Yours Truly¸

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

 

 

Prevention Through Education

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Now that summer sun is in full swing and the kids are out of school it’s time to make sure we as parents and caregivers are doing everything we can to protect them from the sun’s damaging rays while allowing them to still enjoy the great outdoors. 

I know that my kid’s summers were always jam-packed with activities from swim club to day camps and softball games.  We could hardly catch a breath.  Daycare providers, coaches and camp counselors do their best to ensure the safety of our children and that includes applying sunscreen. But with all the commotion that goes on with a group of rambunctious kids, it’s easy to see how remembering to re-apply at the proper time could get over-looked.

 

That is why I like the recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.skincancer.org/Search?q=sun+protective+clothing which says you should use sun protective clothing as the first line of defense. This is a good suggestion as sunscreens break down every two hours and must to be re-applied. Even the best sunscreens like the ones we carry here at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery will eventually break down, even more quickly if your child is sweating, spending time in a pool or other water source this summer. Now this doesn’t mean it is safe to skip the use of sunscreens. You definitely need both forms of protection. Purchase UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing with a UPF + 50 rating. Garments with a UPF + 50 rating will block about 98% of both UVA & UVB rays. http://www.coolibar.com

Sunglasses and hats will give additional protection as well.  When shopping for sunglasses, there are two important factors.  First, choose a pair that not only wraps tightly around the face so that harmful UV rays do not burn your child’s eyes and peri-ocular skin. Second, sunglasses with a protective UV rating of 400 will block approximately 99% of the sun’s ever harmful rays.  Remember baseball caps only provide coverage for one side of the head / neck. This leaves your child’s ears, neck, chest, shoulders and the sides of his or her face exposed.  To provide good protection look for a wide-brim hat with a brim that is 3inches or more.

Trying to choose the sunscreen that will best protect your child is where it gets a little tricky. It can feel like you need a Ph.D. in “sunscreenology.” There are so many choices that most parents just simply look for the one with the highest SPF on the label.  Unfortunately that can be misleading.  We like to share with our patients that the most important qualifier is choosing a good sunscreen is to look for two ”physical sunscreen” ingredients; titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Once you have the right sunscreen, apply it liberally! And then re-apply it – liberally!

Don’t be afraid to talk with your coaches, camp staff and daycare providers about your sun exposure concerns, and ways they can help protect your child. It is important to recognize that sun damage is cumulative.  What does that mean for an unprotected child?  Well the amount of UV radiation they a child is exposed to from the day they are born until present impacts his or her risk of developing a skin cancer and pre-mature aging.  Both of which are preventable with education and the proper development of sun protection habits.

 

 

Yours Truly,

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

THE PAPER TRAIL – INSURANCE AND MEDICAL NECESSITY

Friday, June 28th, 2013

In Illinois Plastic Surgeon, G. D. Castillo, MD’s  practice, we do help patients whose cases qualify as medically necessary procedures; i.e., upper blepharoplasty https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/eyelid-surgery.cfm for vision constriction (excess skin obscuring vision),  or septoplasty https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/rhinoplasty.cfm  to correct a nasal obstruction that interferes with proper breathing and causes recurring sinus-type ailments  or breast reduction https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/breast-reduction.cfm to correct gigantomastia (overly-large breasts) resulting in postural changes causing neck and back pain, mastodynia (breast pain), dermatitis (skin irritation) and difficulty with movement.

When submitting a predetermination of medical benefits for these patients, insurance companies do ask for proof of medical necessity.  What does this mean for our patients?

What insurance companies are looking for is proof (a written medical record and/or diagnostic tests) that the patient will not obtain relief from their symptoms via conventional (non surgical) treatment such as medications, physical therapy and/or life-style changes.  Let’s take two hypothetical cases and examine the process and possible outcomes.

Patients Jane and Jenny Doe present for consultation with complaints of large breasts that are causing increasing discomfort .

Examination by Dr. Castillo discloses gigantomastia resulting in postural changes causing shoulder strapping (deep bra strap grooves from the weight of the breasts), neck pain, and back pain https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/patient-stories/.  They have difficulty with everyday movement and exercise.  They have painful, aching breasts (mastodynia) and suffer chronic dermatitis from breasts chafing against the chest wall.  Their body mass index (BMI) is within the normal range and both will require the insurance standard of 400+ grams of tissue to be removed from each breast.

Jane has suffered in silence for years.  She has not sought professional medical attention for her symptoms in the past and has treated her conditions (dermatitis, neck/back pain, etc.) with over-the-counter remedies – none of which have offered her the long-term relief she desires because they do not address the underlying source of her discomfort – gigantomastia.

Jenny, on the other hand, has been proactive in seeking professional assistance with the goal of long-term relief.  She has sought advice from her primary physician and has undergone treatment with both physical therapy (exercise to strengthen her musculature) and medications, all of which are documented in her medical history.  Upon determination that conventional treatment will not alleviate her problems, her physician has made a recommendation for breast reduction surgery and referred her for consultation with Dr. Castillo.

Our office submits a predetermination of medical benefits request to each of their respective insurance companies.  Jenny’s insurance company replies that the procedure of breast reduction surgery qualifies for benefits according to the limits/levels of her individual policy.  Jane’s insurance company replies that they require additional proof of medical necessity (unsatisfactory response to conventional therapy) and attaches a list of their requirements prior to breast reduction approval.

Both women have the exact same medical situation but Jenny’s efforts have resulted in a positive reply from her insurance company and she is able to schedule her surgery right away.  Jane is faced with the prospect of enduring her symptoms while she begins the medical documentation process or absorbing the financial responsibility alone.

I wish I could say that we’ve never experienced these scenarios, but we have.  It’s important to not ignore your medical symptoms and to seek professional advice from your physician.  The “paper trail” of medical necessity can be the difference between obtaining relief versus continuing on the spinning wheel of discomfort.  Arming yourself with the documentation you need for medical insurance coverage just makes good sense while suffering in silence is counter productive.

Do you have questions regarding insurance coverage or medical necessity?  If so, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-252-7123.  We are strong advocates for our patients and are happy to help.

 

Ask Our Expert –

Monday, September 24th, 2012

BALANCING BEAUTY

QUESTION:  When I read anti-aging articles, they often refer to facial balance.  Can you explain what that means?

ANSWER:  I belive what they are referring to is a “basic formula” used to describe a well-balanced face, proportionately speaking.  This balance is seen when the face’s prominent features, meaning the brows, eyes, cheeks and lips are proportionate to each other.   The eyebrows should be aligned with eachother with a slight arch toward the outer or lateral portion of the brow.  When looking at the eyes, there should be a 1/2″ between the upper lid and and the eyebrow.  The lateral or outer corner of the eye should angle up just a touch.  Prominent cheekbones are a sign of beauty.  They should be full and high set.  An oval shape that tapers itself back as you follow then back toward the ears is most desirable.  Last but not least are the lips.  The lower lip should be 2/3 larger than the upper lip.

Create balance with dermal fillers.
Lasts upto 18 months.

In the hands of an expert injector and Cosmetic Surgeon such as Dr. Castillo (not your neighborhood spa), Botox Cosmetic® and dermal fillers such as Juvederm®, Radisse® or Perlane® can be a quick, effective way to improve the lack of proportion in the face.  Botox Cosmetic® or Dysport® can be used to improve the arch of the lateral brow.  This technique can also add some distance between the brow and upper lid helping to restore or create that missing balance.  Dermal fillers or fat transplantation can be used to give fullness the cheeks, creating a more prominent and defined cheekbone. Dermal filler or fat transplantation can also be used to plump up the lips, and to give better definition.

Though all these facial features can be improved by the above mentioned techniques, it is important to remember the goal; proprotional balance. It is the the key to looking natural and maintaining a youthful appearance.  If too much focus is placed on one of these prominent facial features, you will once again be out of proportion often resulting in an “over-done” less youthful appearance.

Balance is the key to life…and apparently to physical beauty as well!

 

Yours Truly,

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington