Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! My goal here is to get more personal – and simply share stuff with my friends, family, and patients!  You can expect some posts on the latest advances in cosmetic surgery (although it seems like there’ll be a fair amount of music-related posts – they’re too much fun to make!) I also expect that we’ll have more contests and free stuff, special events and even very special guests!


The Latest Mask Information

January 21, 2021

What’s the current science on masks and which type should I be using?  Even though there is cause for optimism with hospitalizations and ICU admissions starting to decline in Orange County, we can’t afford to let down our guard now.  Mask wearing and social distancing remain the most effective ways to control the pandemic until widespread vaccinations are available for everyone and we can determine if those who have been vaccinated can still be contagious, and also if the vaccines are effective against new variants of the virus.  Below I will summarize some facts about masks that have been published just in the last week. The face mask that could end the pandemic Here’s the face mask that could end the coronavirus pandemic. Read in CNN: https://apple.news/A-N5L2p8xRY6bc4p6JIrZ3g They are talking about N95 masks in the headline, but the headline is somewhat misleading because there is still a dire shortage of N95 masks for even medical personnel. “Studies have shown that masks significantly decrease the chances of transmitting or contracting the coronavirus. But not all masks provide equal protection. Depending on the fabric and number of layers, homemade and simple cloth masks have a range of effectiveness that can be as low […]

Vaccine Signup for 65+

January 13, 2021

This information was just received from Hoag Hospital in Orange County, CA.  Please check for similar information in your county (I just registered my mom in Pennsylvania last night.) The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has now approved vaccinations for people aged 65+, which is an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19. Hoag is one of a number of sites in the County that will be offering vaccinations for seniors and high-risk patients. Please note that the actual vaccines have not yet been received, but preparations are being made for distribution for the general public aged 65+. See below for links to more information and registration. To learn more about the OCHCA’s vaccine distribution plan, please refer to their website: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/phased-approach-vaccine-distribution. The County is encouraging residents to register for notifications about the vaccine with an app they plan to use called Othena. You can go to www.othena.com/individuals.php to register. Hoag is not involved with the Othena app, so any further questions should be directed to the County. General questions COVID hotline: 714-834-2000. This massive vaccination effort will take time and require patience.  In the meantime and as always, this bears repeating: please continue wearing masks, staying home, washing hands and […]

Unnecessary Dangers of Cosmetic Procedures During a Pandemic

January 11, 2021

An Avoidable Tragedy As you may know, my practice has been on hold since March.  One of the main reasons has been because of the unnecessary dangers posed to patients and surgeons performing elective postponable procedures during this crisis. Here is one of the tragic consequences of not taking this pandemic seriously enough. It is a verbatim copy from a TMZ article from this morning. “BEV HILLS PLASTIC SURGEON DIES FROM COVID …
AFTER PATIENT COUGHS ON HIM     1/10/2021 11:11 AM PT A plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills has died from COVID-19 … and it appears to be entirely because he was able to keep working on patients during a pandemic. Dr. Payman Simoni — who’s been featured on “The Doctors” show — passed away while hospitalized in L.A. — this after he contracted the virus while performing a cosmetic procedure on a patient who turned out to be COVID positive … so say family sources. We’re told Dr. Simoni was doing a lip injection on a woman last month … obviously an elective procedure. She was temperature checked and filled out a COVID questionnaire. She was not tested. While the doc was hovering over the maskless woman, our sources say […]

Hoag Vaccines and Testing

December 30, 2020

To my family of friends and patients, Here is some information from Hoag Hospital that may be of interest to you. (For those outside of Orange County, I’m sure similar things may be happening in your own communities.). Included below is the latest COVID vaccine distribution update and the current COVID testing protocols and quarantine recommendations. Think of how these facts might apply to your own home and workplace situations.  Also included is a warning on an emerging multi-drug resistant yeast infection that can live on hard surfaces for months! Yet another reason to practice safety protocols including frequent hand washing (as if we needed another reason!) Vaccine news After just 14 days after receiving the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine: 77% of Hoag medical staff have gotten first shot of Pfizer vaccine, as of December 30 (only 4% have declined for now). More than 3000 Tier 1 high and moderate risk Hoag employees and medical personnel have also gotten their first dose No frontline, high-risk physician was left exposed, which was the result running more than 30 vaccine clinics in eight (8) days. The clinics were organized, sanitized, socially distanced, and extremely efficient. Covid Exposures and Testing protocols […]

OC and Hoag surgery and vaccine information

December 15, 2020

To my friends and family of patients: As most of you know, I’ve been closely following the Covid-19 pandemic and the local situation in Orange County, particularly at Hoag Hospital.  Here is some of the latest information that I thought you should know about Hoag, our regional hospital. It’s easy to look outside and see the sun shining, go for a walk or bike ride, and wonder why we should be so concerned. My hope is that this factual information will put things in perspective, make it easier to see that we are in a worsening crisis that is affecting all of our medical care, and help us make informed decisions about our behavior going forward. 1 – Hoag surgeries: all Non-Emergency Surgeries cancelled Because of an immediate need for the reallocation of clinical staff for patient care due to the increasing inpatient Covid surge, “all Priority 3 and 4 surgeries and procedures and all non- emergent Priority 2 surgeries and procedures will be cancelled effective tomorrow, December 16, 2020 and until further notice.” This includes ALL procedural areas – the operating suites, cardiac cath lab, interventional radiology and the GI lab. All elective cases requiring post-surgery or post-procedure admissions […]

Seat belts matter. So do masks!

Seat Belts Matter. So Do Masks. Wear one! (published in OC Register)

August 10, 2020

According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 US lives in 2017.  This would not have been possible without laws proscribing their use. Yet, as apposed to the visceral responses we have seen against mask-wearing mandates, none of the more than 221 million licensed drivers in the U.S. are out in the streets or carrying guns to state legislatures protesting ‘buckling up for safety’! As of now in the US, there have been over 150,000 Covid-related deaths. The CDC predicted today that there will be another 44,000 deaths this month alone. Another respected and historically accurate study predicts that if we continue on our current course, by November 1 (in 3 months), there will be an additional 82,000 deaths nationwide – but 32,000 can be prevented with a national mask mandate.  That is about twice the number of lives saved every year by seat belt laws. I’ve been performing surgery for over 30 years on thousands of people and have worn a mask every time.  I have never seen a surgeon who refuses to wear a mask because it infringes on his or her personal freedom, and I wonder if any patients [...]
What are hospital crisis standards?

What Are Hospital Crisis Standards?

July 3, 2020

Agenda What are “Crisis Standards”? Current Covid-19 status at Hoag Hospital. (Newport Beach, CA) Insights learned from Hoag’s experience New and current Hoag hospital recommendations Based on detailed notes from Hoag telephone conference update to medical staff and employees, July 1, 2020 Featuring summary of comments from: Michael Hurwitz – Chief of Medical Staff Phil Robinson – Director of Infection Prevention Melissa Garcia – Manager of Infection Prevention Grace Levinsky – Surge Planning
Is cataract surgery safe during the pandemic?

Is Cataract Surgery Safe During the Pandemic?

June 13, 2020

Agenda Review and analysis of this week’s OC coronavirus stats What is a cataract and is it safe to get cataract surgery during the pandemic? Interview with Gene Rhodes – President of Newport Center Medical Plaza New policies to make our medical buildings safer! Interview with Bryan Doonan, MD – head of Newport Center Urgent Care Availability of coronavirus testing – does insurance cover it? Breaking news: new rapid COVID-19 testing now available! New Orleans music, including songs by Jelly Roll Morton and Tom Waits Timestamps: 16:28 – Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans 19:08 – Presentation and intro 23:14 – Cataracts in the pandemic 27:28 – Analysis of today’s coronavirus stats 37:06 – Dr. Doonan interview 50:14 – Gene Rhodes interview 1:04:41 – New Orleans piano music