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Selfies Spurring More Cosmetic Procedures

Ann Thompson
This parking spot is outside Advanced Cosmetic and Laser Center of Cincinnati.

Cosmetic procedures are becoming more mainstream thanks in part to the increasing urge to take "digitally enhanced" selfies. In 2018, Americans spent $16.5 billion on such procedures, out of pocket, with no insurance.

To learn more about the latest technology that people are turning to to improve how they look and feel, we headed to Advanced Cosmetic and Laser Center of Cincinnati. While we aren't endorsing these procedures, we found the range of options is vast.

Making Muscles Visible

For example, EMSculpt can get at muscles patients can't seem to tone in the gym. Electromagnetic energy causes contractions and mimics doing 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes. This machine promises to increase muscle mass while killing fat cells.


Increase Hair Growth

We were also taken to a different room that focuses on hair transplants. The SmartGraft enables doctors and nurses to work on a microscopic level, extracting single hair follicles and placing them into targeted regions. A laser cap, worn at home, helps the hair grow in, six to eight months later.


This is different than the old way when doctors had to remove a whole strip and transplant it.


The Instagram face is in and Dr. Mendelsohn says for older people that can require fillers, like Botox. He says he is seeing more patients in their 20s coming in for these injections. Nurse Practitioner Hope Merz says a little can go a long way.

"The fillers over the years have really improved in the longevity that we can get out of them," she says. "So we see fillers that can last two, three years, in certain areas of the face, which is great." 

Tattoo Removal

Statistics show 21% of Americans have at least one tattoo. The Picosure machine uses aesthetic lasers to remove those you don't want anymore. It stays cool while delivering energy in trillionths of a second. "So that speed translates into a mechanical breakdown of the ink, rather than a thermal breakdown," says Physician Assistant Karen Whitney. "So there is less pain and no bleeding." 

Most tattoos require seven to 10 treatments.

Bladder Leakage

EMSella is a chair that uses electrical stimulation to treat urinary incontinence. According to Mendelsohn, "this is like 11,000 kegel maneuvers."

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Dr. Mendelsohn says ultrasounds demonstrate a thickening of the pelvic floor after patients have used EMSella.


Another machine, miraDry, corrects excessive sweating. Here's Whitney talking about it.


Not suprisingly, January is reportedly the busiest month of the year for cosmetic procedures.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Cosmetic procedures are becoming so popular, Dr. Mendelsohn and his staff, including Nurse Practitioner Hope Merz, host a podcast about it.

All these treatments are approved by the FDA.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology