Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yemen Smile Miracle charity helps thousands in Arabia Felix with US smile partner

The mission of the Yemen Smile miracle smile charity was focused primarily on cleft lip and palate children ,who would otherwise never have a chance to smile again. In 2010,after many years of success, it was invited to partner with the Smile Train, a non profit,non governmental charity that helps over 87 countries with free cleft surgeries.

Grammy Award winner TRAIN  performed for Smile Train "one million smiles celeb" in NYC this April

The work of the cleft charity goes on despite obstacles,threats of terrorism,wars and difficult terrains in some countries.
There are over ten million cleft children worldwide.

                                                  41 Madison Avenue,New York City

Number of  Yemeni Arab cleft lip and palate children sponsored for surgery by the US Smile Train from January 2010- 2015.. till the war in March 2015
Last updated —Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:53:26 PM, New York
This is a HUGE miracle because the surgeries and smiles were made under the shadow of the gun during the clashes in Arabia. We almost got killed on several occasions. I am just glad to be alive and that the kids got a second chance at life from the US Smile Train programmes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Something beautiful,something good

pic: busker on 42nd Street subway, NYC

Music is a powerful source of healing. All my work as an aesthetic med and plastic surgeon is related to my music .As a trained guitar fingerstyle player from Guitar College CA, I use my musical ideas to design newer aesthetic procedures.A lot of folks ask me if I am a professional musician.I am not.I play because it is a part of my everyday life .Not as a profession,but something that is in my heart and soul.All my spare time is spent interpreting musical scores,writing newer scores and practising guitar fingerstyle solos of Joe Pass and others.
 I like to study different genres ,ranging from the classical scores of Bach to blues,jazz,country,rock and other popular styles. For composition, I use the user friendly Finale software as well as cakewalk and band in a box 2011.
For instance,my innovations in aesthetic cleft lip surgery are mostly from Variations on a theme of Mozart by Fernando Sor. Thousands of patients were helped with some of the aesthetic innovations over the years.I am thankful to be able to interpret music scores in my plastic surgery progressions.
Here is Ana Vidovic of Croatia playing the fabulous score.Enjoy et bon chance!

Guitar Missions LA ..going through changes

A lot of my friends are involved in missions in their own home countries, as well as overseas .Here I am in 2013 with a great guy,Norman Harris of Normans Rare Guitars,  Tarzana LA(you tube: Normans Rare Guitars) who helps homeless folks in LA through his concerts in LA.
There was an all star line up at  Musicians Institute, Hollywood for this incredible show and  the proceeds would go towards the homeless in LA.
Nice to know that wherever you are,there lots of good folks who want to share what they have.
It was a great experience for me meeting these folks in LA and really nice of some folks to ask me to play some impromptu guitar concerts for homeless folks ,which i gladly did in Topanga  Canyon, LA.

I really like it and have been so privileged to talk to Norman before the concert in Hollywood.

Downtime options in facial aesthetics

pic1: laser peel before and after two weeks

pic 2: Lactic acid peel before and after 5 days

Laser peeling causes significant discomfort and redness which can persist upto three weeks .This client from Seattle wanted me to do a laser peel after her face lift .She did well post op but had significant peeling and redness.However the long term results are good with laser peeling. Some are willing to pay this high price for a better long term result.

Pic 2 shows my before and after pics ;there is hardly any discomfort or downtime with lactic acid 10% peeling. The results are obvious in the after picture. Lactic acid is my choice of peeling for many reasons,primarily the ease of treatment and good results for clients of all skin types.

Welcome to Guitar Clinic LA

Welcome to Guitar Clinic LA
all about feeling good and looking good with lactic acid in the mini home spa


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Is skin conditioning necessary?

Just back from a trip where I met some clients who ask whether or not skin conditioning is really needed before a peel or laser.
pic: Type One Fitzpatrick skin type,( eyed,white) does not burn or tan-the best candidate for peels and lasers

I looked at some of their post laser/IPL results and noticed that those who did not condition their skin before the procedure showed poor results.All of them had post treatment hyperpigmentation.The patients were Type 4 Fitzpatricks who rarely burn in the sun but tan easily.Asia and the Middle East is made up of mostly this  skin type. Even the fairer type 3 can be deceptive here.
My Caucasian type 1,2 clients do not have much problems with peeling or lasers but even in these cases I prefer some skin conditioning to improve results.

Skin conditioning for at least six weeks  can help you avoid post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scars.Your healing time will also be quicker.

What I like to use for conditioning before any deep acid peel or laser-
exfoliants like apha hydroxy acids,
kojic acid
retinoic acid 0.025%,lots of sunblock
antioxidants vit C,E,K ,retinol
the post treatment maintenance lasts for about 2-3 weeks

Her Majesty's Ambassadors of SMILES : Beautiful Dreamers making dreams come true

The six month old baby girl  in the centre (pasted on a pic of smile kids) is baby Qabasi from Yarim village, Yemen.

The folks who started most of  what we see today in this blogsite have since moved on to other countries. None of us can ever forget  that night in 2003 June when Her Majesty's Ambassador Frances Guy arranged a fundraiser at the Brit Embassy pub and a few of us played the rustic blues to start all this. It changed the face of Yemen forever.So many have passed through our doors since.Thanks for the smiles.Today, the US Smile Train sponsors all these cleft children in Yemen,

                                  My favorite improviser (teacher of online Guitar College CA teacher)  
      Joe Pass in concert(you tube)... when you wish upon a star

                                            HMA Frances Guy Brit Embassy Club 2003
HMA Mike and Trish UK Embassy residence with Total France and DNO Yemen AS Norway

Ashish Sabharwal of  Smile Train USA 2010

Anita Culazzo Italian Embassy Sana 2003

Trish Gifford UK Residence  pioneering a smile unit Aden

Thank you all for the smiles..and the visits! :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

News: Biodigital Smiles @ TEDMED

News: July 2014

 Smile Train has been selected to participate in the prestigious health and medicine event TEDMED, The Hive 2014.  TEDMED is a global community dedicated to unlocking imagination in service of health and medicine and The Hive is focused on powering transformation and innovation towards a healthier future.  Some of you may be familiar with TED Talks - - which are part of the TED family and have been viewed more than one billion times worldwide.

From September 10-12, Smile Train and our technology partner, BioDigital, will showcase the Smile Train Virtual Surgery Simulator alongside other leading global health innovators in Washington, D.C.  The Simulator is the first free, open-access, web-based, interactive surgical teaching tool for cleft lip and palate.  It is a training resource we specifically designed for our partners around the world and highlights one of the exciting ways Smile Train is using technology to empower surgeons and increase access to high-quality cleft care.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up and explore the Simulator for free at: Please also share with your friends and medical colleagues who may be interested in this innovative teaching tool. For additional information about Smile Train’s participation at The Hive please visit: More information about this exciting announcement is available here:

Thank you for your partnership to help change the lives of children with cleft in your communities.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gastrocnemius Malady

Large calf muscles are quite common in some races ,and can cause psychological problems.The large gastrocnemius muscles cause an unattractive addition to the rest of the body.This condition is also referred to as piano legs.
The treatment is with botox injections into the medial head of the gastrocnemius(calf muscles) which lead to about 20% reduction in three months time and the effects last for about six months.
The end result will be a tapering of the leg.

Pic: problem of large calf muscles

pic: the desired result is a slimmer and tapered look

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Forever Aesthetic Smiles

Designing an aesthetic cleft surgery procedure is such an important aspect of smile surgery because it can change the life of a patient forever.

Large volume smile surgeries are mostly functional surgeries which enable the cleft child to eat and drink better.The secondary surgery is usually done after 6 months to a year during which fine aesthetic adjustments are made. In order to standardize fine aesthetic smile surgeries,the plastic surgeon needs to do at least several dozen similar procedures .Each cleft defect is unique and different and the operator needs to have adequate experience in such procedures.
The use of biological skin glue,steristrips and very fine absorbable sutures improve the overall cosmetic outcome. This is not always possible for those of us who are involved in mega smileathons in poor countries because of the costs involved and the poor hygienic conditions.
Thankfully,most of our patients have done well post operatively but some require several procedures before a satisfactory result is achieved.

Music of a smile..crazy enough to think they can change the world?

Running a guitar clinic in Arabia Felix since 2003 June
No one imagined that when we played at the Brit Embassy Pub, a plastic surgery charity would be launched for a nation's cleft children and thousands of aesthetic plastic patients across Yemen , East Africa and Asia

The years have been long for me and I do not do what I did in the past,traveling  across the country to help plastic surgery patients
But how thankful I am that my mom and a few friends believed in this vision and as a result thousands have been helped across Arabia Felix

Guitar Clinic :-)  well,it actually worked for thousands of patients! And I have not stopped playing across the borders.

Clinical Trials of Mini Home Spa

Clinical Trials of Mini Home Spa this season

Several aesthetic clients were invited to try out my innovative mini home spa treatment for facial rejuvenation hyperpigmentation and fine scar management.
1. Sana'a Yemen for facial rejuvenation,fine wrinkles,fine acne scars and pigmentation
2.New Delhi- pigmentation of type 4 FP skin and fine wrinkles
3. Nagaland- fine wrinkles, pigmentation,melesma
4.New York Queens- fine wrinkles and pigmentation
5.London- facial rejuvenation,pigment and acne

The results are seen in about 1-2 weeks for fine wrinkles ,face rejuvenation(plumping of the face due to GAGstimulation)
All clients noticed that the skin looked younger and clearer in a week's time.
The face glows as a result of microcrystal abrasion and lactic acid application every ten days
Pigments become fainter in a few weeks of use
Melesma requires longer periods of treatment over 6 weeks but significant changes occur after 6-8 months

The study will continue for a year before a major product launch for a wider audience.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Facial Rejuvenation non invasive

Many aesthetic clients prefer non invasive methods of facial rejuvenation. This is mainly because of the lower costs and minimal downtime. Moreover,most folks start aesthetic treatments at a much earlier age,sometimes as early as the late teens.
The benefits are obvious and clients are usually happier with regular non invasive methods of treatment.

In the ongoing clinical trials of my innovative combo treatment called Smooth Operator ,using microcrystal aluminium oxide palmabrasion and 10% lactic acid with SPF 30 sunblock,several volunteers in Asia and the west,including myself have been using this regime over the last six months.There is significant improvement in skin appearance and texture.The study will continue for the next year and the main product launched for a wider audience.
The main changes noted so far are correction of fine wrinkles,age and sun spots,hyperpigmented areas and melesma,reduced acne scars and a younger and healthier skin.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Palatoplasty Task Force USA report 2014

International Confederation for Cleft Lip and Palate and Related Craniofacial
Anomalies Task Force Report: Palatoplasty in the Speaking Individual With
Unrepaired Cleft Palate

 The membership of the task force reflected the
countries where most older patients present with
unrepaired palates but included some other members
who, it was felt, could add useful advice. It included
surgeons and speech pathologists. Initial membership
was suggested by the Scientific Committee of the
Congress, and additions were made after discussion
within the membership and approval by the task force
The final task force included members from Brazil,
Canada, China, India (three), Israel, Taiwan (two), the
U.K. (two), the United States, and Yemen. There were
10 surgeons and three speech pathologists

 The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal 00(00) pp. 000–000 Month 2014
Copyright 2014 American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association

Task Force Participants
David E. Leshem (Israel)
Nivaldo Alonso (Brazil)
David M. Fisher (Canada)
Savitha Hariharan (India)
Lun-Jou Lo (Taiwan)
Bona S. Lotha (Yemen)
Mukunda Reddy (India
Partha Sadhu (India)
Debbie Sell (U.K.)
Brian C. Sommerlad, chair (U.K.)
Guomin Wang (China)
Ruby Wang (Taiwan)
Andrew Wexler (U.S.A.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Life of PHI and all that jazz

No one has quite reached PHI yet -that perfect 7th of facial aesthetic beauty.Not even Marilyn Monroe.And so the quest goes on and on for the special look which is meant to ensure a lifetime of oomph and happiness.It all sounds like fantasy to most of us aspirants .The age busters, ghost busters of  AGEING demons,age erasers are all out in full force today selling their wares to convince clients they can turn back the miracle clock NOW!
moral: you gotta learn to ride that bicycle first before you look anything like this!

In all my years as an aesthetic medicine consultant and plastic surgeon, I must admit that the promises made about anti ageing are not very different from internet scams where one always tries to put one's best foot forward but inevitably ends up putting the foot in it,literally. I meet aesthetic clients clients,both men and women from all walks of life ,from across the universe and often listen to tales of woe and longings.The ageless question is often,"Hey doc, how do I get that oomphy look?You know what I mean."
My answer, don't age (and wrinkle)thinking about it,just go for it NOW. But it will take time and effort.You wont be what you dream to be,but you will not be what you used to be. Study the scores well, and see the miracle happening over the years.
But if one expects miracle REACTIONS,forget it.Better for such a perfectionist  to watch the grass grow under one's pretty toes.
So,if you really really like it and want to look good and feel good,start working on it.Do not expect things to happen. The score sheet is out for you to read, memorize and apply.'

Facial aesthetics is not like a boob job where one can transform molehills into mountains overnight. The ageing face is like a balloon which is deflating slowly;it  is much more difficult to treat an ageing face for long term benefits.But as one reaches the wrinkly thirties and beyond,the timely intervention of different anti ageing treatments can reverse the age clock by several years.
Goal: where you should be in some years

Reality: where you are now..

Using whatsapp for online aesthetic consultations

Sometimes I do online aesthetic consultations using my whatsapp contact .
This is quite a useful and effective way for clinical consults and also for follow up after treatment.
It is an easy way of answering some queries even when one is busy .

My whatsapp details
For  aesthetic consultations please use:
ID:Docbona Lotha +967-739438482

I will try answer some questions through this new approach.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ongoing Clinical Trials of Smooth Operator

Twenty patients were chosen for the clinical trial of smooth operator mini home spa this season from Sana Yemen, New Delhi and Nagaland ,London,New York . 
The reason why I chose different locations and people of different colour ,from dark to fairer skin is because my treatment kit is meant for all races and people of all skin types and colour.
Each was treated with the aluminium oxide microcrystal abrasion followed by  10% lactic acid and sunblock.The treatment was to be repeated every 10 days for a few months .
The first batch of ten patients are being closely monitored for changes in facial tone,colour and appearance.Significant improvement was seen in the patients(including the author) after a week,
With continued use of lactic acid, fine wrinkles become fainter and pigments fade over a short period of a few weeks,The skin looks younger and fresher and maintains the after glow for a  long period.(pic)

Continued treatment leads to further improvement.
There are no side effects with my treatment regime and this smooth operator mini home spa is a cheap,cost effective way of looking good and feeling good.
Further evaluations are needed for it's efficacy in melesma and fine scars.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Realistic Expectations in aesthetic treatments

Aesthetic improvements do not take place overnight;when a patient enquiries about facial aesthetic treatment,an honest aesthetic medicine provider explains to the clients that realistic expectations lead to better outcomes for the prospective client.
Folks who look for "exciting overnight reactions" or extreme happiness are often the ones who do poorly,and leave disappointed with what they later see as a prolonged process.
Some businesses try to attract more clients by offering overnight,or immediate miracles using multipolar radiofrequency,vampire facelifts,or some newer modalities of treatment .
The truth is,none of the latest advances in aesthetic medicine can provide immediate or overnight effects.
One of the misleading adverts of med spas is the new multipolar radiofrequency(venus freeze) which promises immediate tightening and benefits. This is not correct,because there are no studies to show that the effects are the same after 2weeks to 4 weeks.Sure,one does see tightening after 10 -15 minutes with RF but that does not mean the effect is long lasting.
Honesty is always the best approach.As an aesthetic medicine and plastic surgery consultant I prefer to be downright honest with all my clients and enquirers.I might lose out some in the process,but the long term benefits are obvious.As people understand what I am driving at in my blogs and frequent consults and talks,the number of satisfied clients also increases over the years. Nearly a quarter of a million viewers now read my aesthetic and smile blogs across the universe.
I am glad I can be just me,honest and direct in presenting facts,minus unhelpful ramblings.I have never regretted being an honest and direct person to clients and others.