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LA Plastic Surgery: Extreme Treatments Are Becoming The Norm

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This story comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter and first appeared in the August 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

By Merle Ginsberg

Joan Rivers once quipped, "Hell is living in L.A. with a bad body." For once, she wasn't kidding. But she left this part out: If one doesn't also have a young, good-looking visage in Hollywood, one might as well take up permanent residence in the underworld.

Botox, Restylane, lasers, fat transfers -- these are as routine as vitamins, quotidian antidotes to aging as a lifestyle-threatening disease. So old school. Beauty and health -- considered the same in show business -- has reached a new phase: Call it Frankenbeauty. While these far-flung treatments might sound scary, even Tim Burton-like, they're very possibly the next wave of beauty maintenance standards. Fifty as the new 30 is just not good enough -- ageless forever is the new 30. And when a few people are pulling it off, suddenly everyone's in.

Some of these treatments even have horror-movie names -- for instance, the Vampire Face-Lift and its less-intense variation, Vampire Needling. Explains plastic surgeon Paul Nassif: "You take a tube of the patient's blood, extracting platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, from it. It's yellow in color, but it does all kinds of good things for the body: It speeds up healing, fills out the face. I spray it into wounds and use it in rhinoplasty." PRP is mixed with a filler like Restylane and injected under the lower eyes and into the cheeks for a "liquid face-lift," producing long-term filling and smaller pores for $2,800. For $1,500, select areas can be filled in and poofed out using a dermapen, "which makes tiny holes in the skin and injects PRP into the top level of the dermis," says Nassif. PRP seems to be catching on: New York dermatologist David Colbert also is starting to use it in procedures. "People are having it shot into their hands for smoothing," he says. "All the models are doing it."

Mummylike body wraps to lose inches have been popular night-before-awards rituals, even though they're as effective as horoscopes. But major actresses and actors are devoted to the wraps at L.A. SlimWrap salon. For $135, you're tied up in Ace bandages (good for S&M types), soaked in minerals like potassium, then you bounce on a trampoline for 50 minutes -- still in the wrap. The salon claims you can lose six to eight inches off your body, but how soon does it come back? "Other wraps pull water from the body," explains owner Afsi Naim. "Ours pulls toxins. It helps with skin-tightening, and the effects can last up to a month. It actually does do cellulite reduction." Ellen DeGeneres, Tyra Banks and Minnie Driver are shown on the salon's website. We'd love to catch sight of them on that trampoline.

How does having a big blade like that of Sweeney Todd whisk off several layers of your face sound? If you're flinching, you're not alone. Beverly Hills facialist Ronit Falevitch is one of the few who performs dermaplaning "because everyone's afraid of it," she admits. "You have to have good hands to literally just shave the skin off. It removes the dead cells and is less abrasive than microdermabrasion -- and faster." Luckily, she's much gentler than the demon barber of Fleet Street. The result? Baby's-butt perfection for $125, but only $50 if you add it to a full facial.

And horror of horrors, placenta is the new Prozac. Sara Pereira of Mommy Feel Good Placenta Preparation Services is the foremost Hollywood progenitor of turning a mother's placenta into a capsule, administered mostly for postpartum depression and to make "everybody look brighter and the skin clearer." She explains: "A woman has three times the amount of normal hormones in the third trimester. In Chinese medicine -- which has been practicing this for thousands of years -- the placenta is filled with jing, or life force. I've done close to 500 of these now. Ione Skye didn't take it with her first daughter then did with her second. She said she had much more energy. You can't take anti-depressants if you're breastfeeding, so this is a good alternative. Clients also report it helps them with their skin." January Jones has partaken after giving birth, and we hear Kate Hudson and Isla Fisher have too ($275 in L.A., $325 in Malibu).

To continue reading this article, be sure to click over to The Hollywood Reporter.

THR SLIDESHOW: Check out 8 stars who are trying to halt the aging process here.

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