Dr. Stephen Mulholland's Plastic Surgery Blog

FotoFacials Get Your Skin Camera-Ready

September 2nd, 2014

Liza Fromer visits SpaMedica four times a year for FotoFacials.

Being in front of bright lights and cameras every morning requires TV hosts to look their best, even if they’re super tired. For Liza Fromer, a co-host of Global’s The Morning Show, she says she wakes up at 4 a.m. every morning and leaves her home by 4:40 a.m. Alongside living an active and healthy lifestyle, Liza strives to take good care of her skin by getting skin treatments and using Dermatologica products. She also says she’s been visiting SpaMedica to get FotoFacials four times a year for the past decade. “The treatment gets rid of sunspots and age spots, and evens out my skin tone,” Liza says in a recent article in Best Health Magazine.

How FotoFacials Work

The FotoFacial involves the use of intense pulsed light, infrared, laser or radiofrequency all in one pulse. The treatment targets a lot of things such as skin irregularities, sun spots, wrinkles and fine lines on the face and neck. During FotoFacials, pulses of high energy reach below the skin surface to stimulate the skin’s collagen production. It also targets and destroys melanin which causes age spots. After a series of five treatments, patients will see a noticeable change in their skin; it will look smoother and younger.

Celebrities Love FotoFacials

The original FotoFacial procedure was co-developed by Dr. Mulholland. He and his colleague, Dr. Patrick Bitter Jr., wanted to bring the best of dermatologic skin care and cosmetic plastic surgery into one non-invasive procedure. The procedure became very popular and today it’s now one of the most performed cosmetic procedures in North America. In fact, media professionals like Liza Fromer aren’t the only ones who swear by FotoFacials to keep their skin looking great—Hollywood celebrities rave about them too. For many news anchors and hosts in Toronto, they visit Dr. Mulholland’s at SpaMedica regularly to keep their skin looking camera-ready.

As well as FotoFacials, SpaMedica offers many non-surgical treatments that correct skin issues. Blue light therapy is one of the popular treatments which address freckles, acne, spider veins and rosacea. During this procedure, a series of intense blue lights target the problem area. Whatever is being treated is then evaporated or absorbed by the heating light. The blue light penetrates all layers of the skin unlike laser treatment.

Read more on how Liza leads a healthy life in this article.

Bushy Eyebrows: Why They’re In & How To Get Them

August 28th, 2014

Cara Delevingne is known for her strong, bushy eyebrows

Bushy eyebrows are in. Celebrities and models, such as Lily Collins and Cara Delevingne, are known and adored for their dark, thick brows. Bushy brows are sought out now because they do a great job in framing a person’s face and opening up their eyes. A pair of thick eyebrows actually makes a person look younger, too. Meanwhile, over-plucked and pencil-thin brows can age a person’s face. But to be fair, lots of women who have over-plucked their eyebrows for years can have troubles for growing and filling in their hair. It can take months to properly regain a full brow, and even then, there could be gaps of missing hair. It takes a lot of work.

Eyebrow transplants

The coveted brow trend and the difficulties of naturally getting the look have sparked popularity in eyebrow transplants. Women are flocking to clinics to get eyebrow transplants for a fuller, bushier brow. In these procedures, surgeons would carefully pluck hair from the back of a patient’s neck or their scalp with the NeoGraft machine. Typically, 150-250 grafts are needed for each brow. Once the hair follicles are implanted, the hair starts growing three to four months after the procedure—but remember to groom them, because they will grow out like the hair on your scalp (that would be a little too bushy).


Not quite ready to get eyebrow transplants? Makeup is the answer to creating a thick brow. Makeup artists say that brow gel, a pencil or powder are the best tools to create a strong brow.  It’s suggested to use an angled brush to apply the brow powder on and around the brows. Don’t go overboard by going too far from your natural hair line. For patches of missing hair, use an eyebrow pencil and apply thin strokes to fill them in.

Natural growth

If you’re simply trying to grow out your eyebrows, put down the tweezers. The hairs can take up to six to eight weeks to grow back, so you don’t want to thwart your efforts by making the easy mistake of over-plucking your hair. Common products that could be found in your home like olive oil and petroleum jelly can help in the growth of thicker eyebrows. Apply the oil or jelly once in the morning and again at night to enhance growth. Castor oil is also another good alternative.

There’s lots of natural ways to get strong brows. It just takes some research and a lot of patience. That’s why makeup helps a great deal in creating the illusion of eye-popping brows, and for those willing to go all the way, eyebrow transplants provide long-term results.

6 Tips to Treat and Prevent Spider Veins

August 27th, 2014

Spider veins are very commonly seen in women.

Spider veins aren’t only a problem for older adults. Those tiny tangled, blue or red veins are increasingly seen in people in their late twenties or early thirties. We answer frequently asked questions about this common condition below.

Why do I have spider veins on my legs?

Spider veins are caused by increased pressure in the veins. For people who tend to stand for long periods of times, they’re more prone to developing spider veins because of the increased pressure in their veins. Genes also play a big role in spider veins; they’re usually hereditary. Pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss are also other factors. While spider veins are very commonly seen in adults over age 50, younger people can still have them.

How do I avoid getting spider veins?

Spider veins aren’t always preventable, but there are several things you can do to lessen the chances of having them form.

  • Exercising and taking breaks to go for walks is a good way to relieve pressure on your legs. It’s ideal for people who work jobs that require them to sit for long periods of time to walk around the office or outdoors on their breaks.
  • Go for runs or walks regularly to ensure the blood keeps flowing in your legs.
  • Reduce your sodium intake and make sure to get lots of fibre in your diet. Salt causes water retention which increases pressure on veins.
  • Try not to cross your legs. When you cross legs for long periods of time, this interrupts the blood flow from your heart to legs. Spider veins can eventually appear because the vein walls have been weakened.
  • For people with fair skin, be sure to wear sunscreen to minimize any damage from the sun. Sun exposure can cause spider veins.
  • Get laser treatment to minimize or eliminate the spider veins. Treatments are short and patients can return to regular activities immediately after their appointment.

What happens during a laser treatment?

A physician will use a laser to target the spider veins and treat it until it disappears. At SpaMedica, sclerotherapy injections and multiple wavelength lasers are used to fade away the spider veins. For some lucky people, they need only one session to see complete removal of spider veins. Other people might need two or three treatments in six week intervals to see good results. A treatment usually takes 15 to 30 minutes to complete, depending on how many spider veins there are.

Spider veins aren’t dangerous or life-threatening. But if you are fed up with the appearance of them, thankfully there are a few methods to lessen the chances of getting them and to remove them altogether.

Always Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

August 25th, 2014

Doctor ties on mask before surgeryThere has been an unfortunately high amount of cases where people have gotten botched surgeries by so-called surgeons around the states. Most recently, the media has reported people getting butt injections consisting of botched or crude material like super glue and cement by unlicensed and untrained individuals. Some people may see results they’re happy with for a few months or even years before experiencing the aftermath of having poisonous material injected in their bodies. Some people have even died within hours of their injections.

That’s why choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step a person must consider when looking into their cosmetic surgery options. It ensures that the surgeon has had extensive years of training and education. It also means that the surgeon must follow guidelines set by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The College monitors and maintains their practice and investigates complaints about doctors on the public’s behalf.

In Canada, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada sets national standards for medical education and professional development. The Royal College is an authority that ensures the training and evaluation of those practicing medicine. To become certified, physicians have to pass Royal College examinations. To take these examinations, a person would have to complete a Royal College-accredited residency program at a Canadian university.

After choosing a board-certified surgeon, a wise idea would be to ask the surgeon to see the before and after photos of patients. It gives you a sense of what kind of results the surgeon is capable of. You can also see if you can speak to their past patients to ask about their experiences with the doctor. Another option is to check if there are any patient reviews of the surgeon on RealSelf, an online plastic surgery community.

Plastic surgeons have to meet strict education and training requirements. On top of that, they are expected to follow ethical codes and standards. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon would certainly be more expensive than a non-doctor performing surgeries at a cheaper price. But is paying less money for surgery really worth it when it could put your safety and life at risk?

5 Enviable Celebrity Lips

August 21st, 2014

Lips are one of the most sensual body parts we have. Almost any words that come out of a pair of lips can sound great if they’re pouty, full and kissable like these celebrities’ lips. While they already possess talent and good looks that should be unfair, some of Hollywood’s hottest stars also have envy-worthy lips. This shouldn’t be a shocker to see Angelina Jolie included in this list; her pouty lips are part of her popularity. They’re so desirable that many women have gotten lip augmentation to emulate Jolie’s famous looks. Though she’s one of the first people we’d think of when talking about the best celebrity lips, there’s a few more celebs out there that can rival her title.

Scarlett Johansson lipsScarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson is one of Hollywood’s leading ladies and beauties today. Known for her distinct husky voice and curves, she also has great lips that don’t surprise us why Bill Murray’s was Lost In Translation

Ian Somerhalder LipsIan Somerhalder
Even as a blood-sucking vampire, the ladies go crazy for Ian Somerhalder. This Vampire Diaries star with smoldering trademark eyes is blessed with equally as beautiful lips.

Angelina Jolie lipsAngelina Jolie
This list would be incomplete if Angelina Jolie wasn’t included. As well as her acting and philanthropy work, she’s known for her numerous tattoos and full lips.

Jessica Alba LipsJessica Alba
Sin City just got hotter with Jessica Alba in town. Not only does she have the beauty and gorgeous lips to show, she also has business chops as she founded The Honest Company, an eco-friendly product company.

Tom Hardy lipsTom Hardy
This English actor has been in major films like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. He has some serious acting chops as well as a great set of lips.

Slow Down The Signs Of Wrinkles

August 19th, 2014

Slow down the signs of wrinkles

Getting wrinkles is an inevitable, natural process. Though we can’t stop it, there are plenty of ways to slow down the process of getting wrinkles. As a person gets older, their skin loses elasticity and tautness since there’s reduced levels of collagen. Once a woman is in her late 20s, a woman breaks down collagen faster than she makes it. This process gets faster once she hits her 30s and beyond.

For quick fixes to maintain their appearance and youth, some people choose to have dermal fillers and injectables like Juvederm or Botox. Meanwhile, others prefer to avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking excessively to keep their looks and bodies in good shape. In addition to cutting out certain habits, there are a few more ways someone can halt the signs of wrinkles on a daily basis:

  1. Don’t soak up the sun too much: overexposure to the sun accelerates the aging process. When the skin has signs of wrinkles, blotches, roughness, and loss of skin tone, it’s mostly from severe sun damage. UV rays are known to dry out skin and damage its underlying structure (elastin and collagen) which causes premature sagging, bags and wrinkles.
  2. Use sunscreen year-round. This is key to prevent your skin from additional damage. Apply it on all exposed areas, even behind your ears and neck.
  3. Don’t stretch your skin when applying makeup. This habit can lead to wrinkles, so avoid pulling your eyes when you apply eyeliner.
  4. Drinking alcohol dehydrates the skin. It also negatively impacts vitamin A levels, an important antioxidant for the skin. Vitamin A is also important in the production of collagen, so when there are lower levels of collagen, the skin loses elasticity. Limit your drinking to avoid speeding up the ageing process.
  5. Always remove make-up before bed. The dirt, pollutants and makeup builds up throughout the day and seep into pores, which breaks down collagen and elastin. Skipping out on cleansing your face before bed leads to wrinkles.

Being mindful of alcohol intake and getting into the habit of protecting your skin will pay off as the years roll by. You’ll keep your youthful looks and your skin will appreciate it too.

Answering The Most Common Questions About Breasts

August 15th, 2014

Answers to the most common questions about breasts

There’s a lot of questions and myths when it comes to breasts. Do you think you know the answers to most of these questions? See what the most common questions about breasts are and find out what the real deal is.

What is the average bra size in the U.S?
A survey by a lingerie retailer in 2013 revealed that the average bra size is now 34DD compared to 34B 20 years ago. Factors such as weight gain, breast implants and choosing the right bra size contributes to this big change.

When do breasts stop growing?
This isn’t true for all women. Breasts can continue to grow into a woman’s early 20s. Also, life events such as pregnancy and weight gain contribute to larger breasts.

Do breasts sag if I don’t wear a bra?
There’s no large-scale research that proves not wearing a bra causes sagginess of breasts. Breasts sag or droop because it’s a natural process that happens to many women at some point in their lives, whether they’re in their 20s or 40s. Since breasts have ligaments and connective tissues and not muscles in them, breasts are prone to gravity’s effects and can droop naturally.

Can women breastfeed if they have breast implants?
Most women with breast implants can breastfeed babies, depending on the approach in which the implants were placed. Usually with incisions that are made through the armpit or under the breast fold, women can breastfeed just fine. However, an incision around the areola increases chances of breastfeeding problems.

Do women get breast implants just to attract men?
This is a generalization. Women choose to get breast implants for different reasons, and wanting to feel attractive for themselves and for others can be a part of their decision. However, some women may have tumors on their breasts or breast cancer that results in the removal of tissue or one or both breasts. Getting breast implants allows them to restore what they once had to give them whatever sense of happiness and confidence they want. Breast augmentation isn’t solely about attracting the opposite sex.

Why Men Have Laser Hair Removal

August 14th, 2014

Men get laser hair removal for smoother chests and backs.

While facial hair transplants to get a full, scruffy beard is totally in right now, there are plenty of men who undergo laser hair removal on their bodies. For men who have excessive body hair, this is often caused by excessive levels of testosterone. It can also be a hereditary condition, so if a man’s father or brother has a lot of body hair, his chances excessive hair growth increases.

It all comes down to preference and confidence when it comes to body hair. Some men enjoy having hair on their chests as it’s a sign of “manliness” while others (like celebrity heartthrob Ryan Gosling) prefer a smooth, bare chest. However, for the men who detest the excessive hair on their arms, back and chest, their confidence suffers and stops them from participating in social activities and dating life. While shaving and waxing the hair removes the hair, it’s only for a short-term and the timely process must be repeated. That’s why laser hair removal has become increasingly sought out by men because it simplifies their grooming process and gets rid of unwanted hair for good.

Dr. Mulholland, a Toronto cosmetic surgeon, discusses the effective technology available today when it comes to laser hair removal. He explains how the Vectus laser quickly removes body hair. “We can do a woman’s entire body or a man’s chest and back in about 20 minutes,” says Dr. Mulholland. Patients should come in for four or five sessions which results in permanently eliminating 80% of the hair. “If there’s some resistant hair, we’ll switch to another machine which has another wavelength,” he says. Another great thing about laser hair removal is that it now offers quick and effective results with little pain.

Dr. Mulholland sees more men in his clinic for laser hair removal. He says they usually book appointments to remove hair on their back and chests. “For most men, if they have a lot of hair on the chest and back, they’ll go through a lot of dress shirts. It can sometimes be socially embarrassing,” says Dr. Mulholland. Once a patient completes their treatments, they should drop by the clinic a few times a year to maintain their results. After that, patients don’t have to worry about picking up a razor again.

Selfies Sparks Increase in Cosmetic Surgery

August 12th, 2014

Surgeons have seen a spike in cosmetic surgery because of selfies

With the cultural trend of selfies, there is an increased awareness of how we are presenting ourselves and our physical appearance to the online world. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery revealed that one in three plastic surgeons saw an increase in young people wanting facial procedures so they could look better online.

Over half of the surveyed doctors saw an increase in patients in their 20s who want injections like Botox and cosmetic procedures such as rhinoplasty.

More people are heading to clinics to fix their perceived flaws such as large noses, wrinkles and their hands. Surgeons can see people younger than 18 requesting cosmetic surgery, but when this is the case, many surgeons turn them down due to their young age and developing bodies.

So why is there a boom in cosmetic surgery among young people now? Sifting through friends’ and celebrities’ social media accounts opens the door to comparisons and sometimes envy. It’s too common and easy to compare how your looks measure up to another person’s. People also seek cosmetic surgery to look their best on social networks to attract potential romantic interests, employers and friends. Image-based social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat push people to look closely at their own appearances whether that means loving or criticizing it.

It’s not only surgeries to the face that have been increasing—Brazilian butt lifts are becoming more popular. “Belfies”, which are photos of women’s butts provocatively shown in tight pants or panties, have sparked interest in procedures to enhance butts. There were nearly 10,000 Brazilian butt lifts performed in the U.S in 2013 which is a 16% increase from 2012.  Some surgeons say the increase mainly stems from the desire to resemble the bodies of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Beyonce.

Patients don’t want to look totally done or completely different—they want to look like themselves, just “better”. From these findings, it seems like people really want to put their best faces forward online. Or in some cases, it’s their butts they’re concerned about.

5 Celebrities With Breast Implants

August 12th, 2014

Breast augmentation is consistently one of the most commonly performed procedures for women year after year. Even though it’s such a normal procedure, some women would rather keep quiet instead of being open about getting breast implants. They worry they will be judged and criticized by friends and family for having surgery done, so instead of telling them, they keep it a secret. Many women have been able to get away without having their new body noticed—they say it’s because they chose modest sized implants or they always wore padded, push-up bras which helped them look bigger breasted.

When it comes to celebrities, however, getting breast implants without getting noticed is much more difficult. They’re always in the spotlight and getting photographed at all angles. Some celebrities have openly expressed they had some work done such as Pamela Anderson while others avoid the subject. Here’s 5 celebrities who got breast implants that made their bodies even curvier:

Before and after photo of Christina Aguilera with breast augmentation

Christina Aguilera

Before and after photo of Hayden Panettiere with breast augmentation

Hayden Panettiere

Before and after photo of Kelly Rowland with breast augmentation

Kelly Rowland

Before and after photo of Nicole Kidman with breast augmentation

Nicole Kidman

Before and after photo of Victoria Beckham with breast augmentation

Victoria Beckham