Health & Fitness

Reveal a New You in the New Year

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Keep the New Year’s spirit alive by maintaining your resolutions. Here’s how our region’s leading practices can help to refresh your look.

Health-NewYou-W16

How’s your New Year’s resolution holding up? You know, the one you made to eat healthy, get in shape and re-work those bothersome parts of your complexion? With spring break and summer vacation looming in the not-so-distant future, now’s a good time to debut a refreshed appearance. Plus, the confidence boost from looking and feeling your best is unequivocally priceless.

Maybe you’re afraid to undergo an expensive, invasive procedure. Maybe you’ve decided to simply live with “the problem.” The truth is, reasonably priced, minimally invasive procedures are at the forefront of today’s healthcare.

In some cases, a new skincare regime or a new brand of cosmetics may lead to the confidence you’ve always desired.

Although true beauty comes from within, doctors and beautician experts from around our region can help you to achieve a new look that you’ve only imagined. Not only are today’s procedures safer, quicker and more effective, but also, the doctors administering care are genuinely concerned with the overall well-being of their patients.

So what are you waiting for? Self-improvement is just around the corner.

Cheers to a brighter, healthier, happier “new you” in 2016.

Dental Dimensions: When It’s Time to Get a New Smile

It wasn’t that Katie Boughton of Belvidere was unhappy with her smile. But ever since Boughton, 50, went to Dental Dimensions to have 11 crowns replaced, she has felt better about herself.

“My smile is so much brighter now,” she says. “A smile is the best thing you can give someone when you meet them.”

Dr. Kris Tumilowicz couldn’t agree more. He’s been in the business of brightening smiles for more than 35 years. And even after all those years, the owner of Dental Dimensions in Rockford is still delighted by the reaction he gets from patients.

“They don’t have to hide their smiles behind their hands anymore,” he says. “They’re able to laugh and smile again.”

One of the most popular procedures to improve one’s smile is tooth whitening. “It’s the most dramatic bang for your buck,” says Tumilowicz.

“People notice their teeth as they become more beige. At the same time, they notice crooked teeth, dark fillings or chipped teeth. They don’t like their look and become more critical of their look. That’s when we do a smile makeover.”

A few years ago, it was primarily women who were interested in cosmetic dentistry. These days, however, more men, especially corporate executives, are looking for way to improve their appearance in a competitive business environment.

“They want to look 20 years younger,” says Tumilowicz.It’s not cheap to look good, however. According to Dr. Tumilowicz, the cost can run between $10,000 and $20,000.

Insurance will pay about $1,000 a year, but the rest is out of pocket. Many dental offices will set up payment plans for their patients. Some patients have a few teeth worked on at a time as they save up money.

“It’s cheaper than buying a convertible, but it’s definitely a car payment,” he says. “Most people say, “Why did I wait so long? I should have done this years ago.”

Dr. Sarah Hagarty: New Mini Facelifts and Tummy Tucks

If you’ve been considering a tummy tuck or facelift, now may be the best time to get it done.

“This is the time of the year people are thinking of spring vacations, taking cruises and planning for summer – the time to plan for bikinis and swimsuits,” says Dr. Sarah Hagarty, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon for OSF Cosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, in Rockford.

In 2014, nearly 16 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the U.S. and nearly 92 percent were performed on women. Among the most common procedures are breast augmentation, body contouring procedures, nasal surgery and eyelid surgery, according to Hagarty.

“The industry has seen many advances in trends and technologies,” she says. “We have more demand for minimally invasive procedures that don’t require a lot of down time. Popular quick fixes for the face can be found with fillers, Botox, peels and other procedures to improve the contour and texture of skin. Also in vogue now is the short scar facelift. A full face lift can mean two or three weeks of bruising, swelling and wearing big sunglasses with a floppy hat. Not anymore.”

The hottest trend in cosmetic surgery is an in-office mini facelift or short scar facelift that requires no fasting or anesthesia. Mini facelifts can improve the most obvious signs of aging in the cheek, jawline and neck, and are especially popular with patients in their 40s and 50s who don’t have a severe amount of excess skin in those areas.

“It’s a shorter procedure that’s intended for patients who are experiencing early sagging in the lower face,” says Hagarty. “It’s a shorter scar and done in a more targeted area. Improvements from a mini face lift can endure 10 years or more.”

Hagarty recommends patients do their homework before committing to any procedure. For starters, research the doctor’s credentials and talk to other physicians and nurses who know the doctor’s reputation. Hagarty recommends using plastic surgeons who are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.

“You can find information on reputable websites such as The American Society of Plastic Surgery’s plasticsurgery.org that offers educational videos and photos,” she says. “Talk to other people who’ve had similar procedures. There are people who are more than happy to share their experiences.”

Most cosmetic procedures, however, are not covered by insurance.

Hagarty meets with patients to discuss their concerns and goals, and to determine the best options for that individual.

“It’s very important to understand that cosmetic surgery is not one-size-fits-all,” she says. “Everything is tailored individually to that one person’s needs. There are no miracle products out there. Different people have different needs, but there is an optimal approach for each person.”

Northern Illinois Vein Clinic: Treating Varicose Veins Improves Overall Health

For some people, small varicose veins and spider veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For others, they cause significant symptoms which impact quality of life. It’s estimated that more than 40 million Americans suffer from some level of varicose vein disease.

These gnarled, enlarged veins can occur anywhere, but mostly affect the leg veins because standing and walking upright increases pressure in the lower body. Early on, varicose veins don’t cause pain; when they do, people experience an achy or heavy feeling in their legs, possibly accompanied by burning, itching, fatigue, restless leg syndrome, changes in skin coloration or texture, muscle cramping and leg swelling. The feelings can worsen when the person sits for a long time. If untreated, they can lead to more serious conditions such as cellulitis, painful ulcers, or thrombophlebitis (blood clots).

Even small spider veins that appear on the lower legs and ankles can signal vein disease. Pregnancy, family history, trauma or injuries, and the wear and tear of occupational stress are factors that contribute to the development of venous disease.

When patients experience the physical symptoms, or notice that their varicose veins are becoming more pronounced, Dr. Rimas Gilvydis at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, in the Renaissance Pavilion, 1340 Charles St., Rockford, recommends scheduling a free screening to assess varicose veins and determine if treatment is warranted.

Ultrasound is the only sure method of diagnosing venous disease, Gilvydis explains. With ultrasound, a very detailed map of the insufficient veins can be made. When veins are functioning normally, tiny valves open and close, keeping the blood flowing upward back to the heart. When these valves don’t function properly, blood flows backward and pools inside the vein. The malfunction of these tiny valves is what causes venous insufficiency, or “vein disease.” When blood pools in the vein and causes the vein to dilate or bulge, this is what is known as a varicose vein.

Using state-of-the-art ultrasound, Gilvydis evaluates venous function and recommends which minimally invasive treatment would be most appropriate.

“During the free screening, we perform a physical exam of the legs along with a five-minute ultrasound. If varicose vein disease is present, a formal ultrasound exam is performed, and a detailed map of the veins is drawn,” Gilvydis says. “The findings are reviewed with the patients and they are educated on their vein disease and treatment options.”

Gilvydis specializes in the new gold-standard, non-surgical, minimally invasive laser treatment known as EVLA (endovenous laser ablation). Most varicose veins can be treated this way. Once treated, patients instantly benefit from healthier veins and more attractive legs.

“People who have their varicose veins treated enjoy an improved quality of life and tell me they have more energy, especially after working all day,” Gilvydis says. “I view it as preventative medicine, not just because it prevents more serious debilitating conditions but because it gives patients their lives back, allowing them to break free from the daily suffering of achy, tired or swollen legs.

Peak Fitness: Fitness Improves Confidence & Health

Jim Knoll of Rockford faced the sad facts about being out of shape and decided it was time to make some changes. He researched and discovered the benefits of exercise and the importance of working with a personal trainer. His next step was joining Peak Fitness and Sports Club.

That was two years ago and today, at age 58, Knoll has quit smoking, feels great, has gained muscle weight and is stronger than ever, having at least doubled the amount of weight he can lift while doing the dead lift and squats.

“I feel so much better today,” says Knoll. “My posture has improved and the strength I’ve acquired carries over into being able to do more at home and at work. I have more energy, confidence, strength and a better attention span.”

Peak members know what a top-notch, one-of-a-kind facility they have available to them to meet their fitness goals, thanks to founder and president Mark Banz. By putting his personal desires into action, Banz has built two premier fitness facilities – Peak Fitness at 4304 E. State St. and Peak Sports Club at 4401 Peak Dr. Both centers have spacious, open floor plans that flow from one workout area to another, bathed in natural light, with a bright and uplifting color scheme and plenty of equipment in a clean and well-maintained environment.

“The best compliment I get is when members move away from the Rockford area and tell me they can’t find anything like Peak,” Banz says.

That’s because there is nothing like it.

Peak continues to see growth in its membership each year and another building expansion is underway at Peak Sports Club, called PSX Training. It’s scheduled to open in March, with a grand opening in April.

A 5,000 square-foot addition will pave the way for more people to benefit from personal training with equipment and an open area for small and large groups to train together.

“Group training is a growing trend in the industry and it’s a way to make personal training more available and more affordable for more people,” Banz says.

Banz opened Peak Fitness in 1998. Within three years, a renovation took place and the workout space was increased by 25 percent.

Not until he was older, married, and had a family of his own, did Banz start thinking about a more family-friendly center with pools and space for kids to be active.

Then, one day, while driving down Perryville Road, he saw property for sale north of the Riverside and Perryville intersection. He sketched out some plans and could see exactly what he wanted to build in that space. With his father, he bought 18 acres, subdivided it into a development and then secured financing from Alpine Bank.

Peak Sports Club became a reality in 2007, with 85,000 square feet of aerobic, strength-training, and flexibility equipment as well as a full-sized gym, a fitness area for women, tanning beds, numerous classrooms, a lap pool, activity pool, indoor and outdoor waterslide, 28-person hot tub, sauna, steam room, and separate large locker rooms for men, women and families. The outdoor pool, with lounge chairs and a concession stand called Peak Island, were added on one acre of land in 2010. Complete Nutrition, Athletico Physical Therapy and B. Alms Salon and Spa rent space in the building. Thrive Café opened in July.

It all began when Banz felt challenged to better serve himself and the community. When he wasn’t working, he was working out, going from gym to gym, not finding everything he wanted in one place. He took up an interest in bodybuilding to get rid of the “chubby kid” image he’d had in high school.

“I didn’t want to be that kid anymore,” he recalls. “When I started to work out, it was like a light switch went on in my head. I lost weight, shaped up, felt more confident, and it just made my life better all the way around. I wasn’t afraid to try new things and had a more determined ‘can do’ attitude,” he says.

Among other things, fitness helps people to reduce health expenses, he says. “It’s not just about appearance, but about feeling good and confident in all you do.”

Kovak Dermatology & Laser Institute: New Treatments Mean Better Results

The name says it all at Kovak Dermatology & Laser Institute, with locations in Rockford and Oakbrook Terrace: technology is a driving force behind dermatologic treatments.

Tools like the ThermiSmooth and PicoWay are just the start. Kovak is also among the first in the Rockford area to introduce Kybella and CoolSculpt – new techniques for reducing troublesome bulges.

“We do things a little differently than they do in the average office, because we have the opportunity to do it a little differently,” says Dr. Stanley Kovak, clinic founder.

The difference for Kovak, who’s spent 22 years working with cosmetic lasers, begins with a slow-and-steady approach.

“You don’t become a body builder by lifting weights just one time,” he says. “You have to keep doing it. Same with your skin – it needs stimulus, just like your muscles.”
He points to one patient, a teenager who spent five years visiting five separate clinics for treatment of her acne. Kovak’s gradual treatments have finally cleared up her symptoms. Now, new treatments can help to reduce acne scarring using specially developed fillers.

“The filler is more targeted to break up the scar, because those scars are much tighter,” explains Dr. Mona Gandhi, a board-certified dermatologist who joined the clinic in 2015. “This treatment breaks the acne scars apart and fills in pretty nicely.”

The ThermiSmooth is a relatively new, noninvasive treatment that uses radiofrequency to tighten sagging skin and minimize wrinkles, especially around the face. ThermiSmooth and similar Thermi applications manipulate the elastic fibers in our skin.

“These fibers are like rubber bands, and they keep the skin tight,” says Kovak. “After a while, rubber bands stretch out. How do you get them back to shape? You can’t, but this tool can.”

Kovak has used his knowledge of cosmetic lasers to create a custom photofacial that helps to develop younger-looking skin cells. This custom “Tyte & Bryte” helps to clean up sun damage and minimize wrinkles.

“You begin stimulating your cells with light and they start working better, so they produce better protein and collagen,” says Kovak. “And, before you know it, your skin looks better.”

Not only do Kovak and Gandhi introduce the latest cosmetic treatments, but they are, in some cases, recognized trainers of other physicians. “People feel really comfortable that we know what we’re doing,” says Kovak.

InnovaMed Vein Clinic: Getting a Leg Up on Good Health

It’s not unusual for people of all ages to experience aches and pains in their legs after being on their feet all day.

But at some point, the intense continued discomfort that can include heaviness, fatigue, swelling, itching, muscle cramping, restlessness and pigmentation in the legs and ankles, with or without varicose veins, signals to the sufferer that there may be an underlying cause. Nearly 25 percent of Americans suffer from some form of vein disease. It affects both men and women, although it’s three times more common among women. The disease runs in families and is called “chronic venous insufficiency” or “CVI.”

Dr. Tracy Brito MD, Registered Vascular Technologist and specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disorders, provides services to such patients at the InnovaMed Vein Clinic in the Vascular Center at Rockford Health Physicians-Perryville, 3401 N. Perryville Road.

“In the past 10 to 20 years, the public has become more informed and educated about vein disease,” Brito says. “Overall, people are becoming more aware that the discomfort and unexplained swelling in in their legs may be because of underlying vein disease, whether or not they have visible veins.”

Undetected reflux in the internal veins of the legs leads to increased symptoms over time.

At the InnovaMed Vein Clinic on Perryville, Brito and her team provide specialty evaluation of each patient, utilizing ultrasound to determine whether an underlying medical problem is the cause of their symptoms.

“The first line of care for the patient, when CVI is identified as the cause of symptoms, is for the patient to be placed in correctly fitted compression hose with the appropriate strength as ordered by the physician,” Brito explains.

If this fails to control symptoms, or if the disease is significantly advanced, other options are available.

“Fortunately there are advanced, minimally invasive methodologies developed over the past 15 years that have proven effective in treating patients without invasive open surgical stripping procedures,” she says.

The patients are, in most cases, able to return to work right away, with little downtime and minimal pain. These procedures are the preferred option, making open stripping virtually obsolete.

The two most tested of these new methods are Endovenous Laser Ablation and Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (Venefit). Both of these options are offered at the InnovaMed Vein Clinic.

Both of these minimally invasive procedures are performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting, with little downtime. Most patients are able to return to work the next day.

Other newer options include Varithena (foam ablation), Clarivein (mechanical and foam ablation) and the most recently FDA-approved option, VenaSeal, which uses a proprietary adhesive to seal the vein.

Patients often are pleasantly surprised to find that they can find relief from their symptoms and prevent the progression of a treatable condition.

“Thanks to growing public awareness of the dangers of undiagnosed vein disease, as well as the minimally invasive options for treatment, more people are enjoying an improved quality of life and are able to do all the things they love,” says Brito.

“It’s important that people not ignore constant pain, skin changes, swelling and other symptoms,” she adds. “It’s not something they should just decide they need to get used to. It’s always wise to check it out.”

MD Skin Center: On-Site Treatment, Minimally Invasive Methods

Good news … patients can now be treated for such conditions as facial skin cancer and sinusitis, without the need for hospitalization, by using the latest methods.

MD SkinCenter offers patients highly specialized treatments for a wide variety of skin conditions and diseases. The clinic, located within the Cornerstone Building at 1235 N. Mulford Road, Suite 205, Rockford, is equipped to provide the most up-to-date, comprehensive treatments to improve the health and wellbeing of its patients.

Dr. Andrew Jun is a board-certified head and neck surgeon educated and trained at Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Iowa. At the time he attended, the University of Iowa head and neck surgery program ranked second only to the program at Johns Hopkins. As a result of his unique training and experience, Dr. Jun offers two types of treatments exclusive to MD SkinCenter: Mohs surgery and in-office balloon sinuplasty. No other clinic or hospital in the Stateline area offers these services.

Mohs Surgery
“Mohs surgery has proven to be the most effective method to cure skin cancer,” says Dr. Jun. “Traditional techniques typically analyze about 3 percent of the skin cancer, forcing a surgeon to cut widely around the lesion. In other words, without Mohs, a greater amount of healthy tissue is removed, possibly resulting in disfigurement. The final determination as to whether the cancer was completely cleared usually takes one week. This estimated wide-excision method results in higher failure rates than Mohs surgery.”

Dr. Jun explains that Mohs differs from other techniques in that microscopic examination of skin cancer occurs during the surgery. Mohs surgery examines 100 percent of the skin cancer surface area eliminating the need to “estimate’ how far the roots of the skin cancer extend. This allows the Mohs surgeon to remove all the cancer cells while sparing as much normal tissue as possible. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in skin cancer removal, producing the best therapeutic and cosmetic results. Dr. Jun’s cure rates are 99 percent for skin cancer, making him the best Mohs surgeon in the Stateline region.

Balloon Sinusplasty for Chronic Sinusitis
Dr. Jun also performs balloon sinuplasty, the most effective way to treat chronic sinusitis.

Balloon sinuplasty is a type of sinus surgery that relieves chronic sinusitis, a condition in which sinuses are inflamed and do not respond to medication.

“In this procedure, I open sinuses without removing bone, as is done in traditional sinus surgery. Balloon sinuplasty opens sinuses similar to the way in which cardiologists open up blocked arteries with balloons.”

Dr. Jun adds that this procedure is minimally invasive; patients don’t need to be hospitalized or endure nasal packing. Patients tell Dr. Jun they are amazed at the difference these procedures have made in their lives.

When performed in-office, balloon sinuplasty is the most cost-effective surgical treatment option for chronic sinusitis. The average hospital typically charges more than $50,000 for a hospital stay and, after insurance discounts, the hospital will charge the patient an average of $15,700. “Having the procedure performed at MD SkinCenter avoids hospital fees, resulting in significant savings to patients,” says Dr. Jun.

While balloon sinuplasty may be offered in hospitals, Dr. Jun is the only surgeon in the Stateline area performing in-office balloon sinuplasty.

MD SkinCenter is a center of excellence for Mohs surgery and in-office balloon sinuplasty. Dr. Jun and his staff care deeply for their patients and seek to treat each patient as they would their own family members.

Learn more by calling (815) 373-5001 or going to MDSkinRockford.com.

Arch Cosmetics: Now’s the Time to Pamper Dry Skin

About this time of year, with winter slowly winding down, skin care becomes a vital focus. Cold, windy, dry air dulls and roughens skin, which demands some special attention.

And that’s where the hand-picked skin care lines at Arch Cosmetics can help to make a tremendous difference in the face you present to the world.

Arch Cosmetics is a luxury beauty boutique that offers not only 30 top-quality brands in beauty care, but also the revitalizing colors that enhance the healthy glow of hydrated skin. The first Arch studio opened in Rockford at 6876 Spring Creek Road, and subsequent locations in downtown Chicago and Madison have proven equally successful.

“I opened my business as Arch Apothecary about four years ago in Rockford,” says owner and founder Betsy Branca. “Less than a year later, we opened our site in Chicago, adding [hair] blow-out services in addition to our cosmetic lines and signature brow waxing services. Our Madison store opened last year. And we changed the business name to Arch Cosmetics.”

Branca describes Arch as an eclectic mix of hard-to-find brands designed to help clients care for their skin, regardless of what challenges they face.

“The Rockford location offers an express facial service that allows clients to experience our products before investing,” Branca says. “While we cater primarily to women, we welcome men as well and carry a line of men’s shaving products.”

Discovering the appropriate products to treat each individual’s winter-dried, parched skin is Arch’s main concern. Branca says trends for hydrating products are based on light, natural oils that provide the maximum level of care without clogging pores and causing skin to break out.

“These oils are formulated from nature-based oils such as rose hips, vegetables and other wholesome sources,” Branca says. “They help facial skin to recover from the adverse effects of winter and bring it to its warm, natural glow. We recommend oil treatments on an everyday basis. Once the skin is adequately rehydrated and spring approaches, applications every other day help to maintain that beautiful look.”

Today’s make-up trends focus on natural, neutral colors and matte finishes, says Branca.

“The eyes are included in this trend, using muted colors,” she explains. “One standout change for spring, however, is the addition of light green shadow. Another spring trend is highlighting the cheeks.”

In addition to quality products, expert professional advice and artistic applications, Arch welcomes its clients into an atmosphere of warm, pampering care that centers on each person’s unique needs. From everyday eyebrow and lash upkeep to special make-up and skin care applications, men and women alike are discovering the joy and satisfaction of using high quality products that help them to face the world looking and feeling their best.

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