CosMed Clinic

CosMed Clinic is a Tijuana plastic surgery center and located just 20 minutes south of San Diego. CosMed Clinic’s founder and Chief Surgeon is Dr. Alejandro Quiroz, M.D. who is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and licensed to practice in both the United States and Mexico. The clinic specializes in providing weight loss patients with the most advanced plastic surgery techniques and services. In addition to post-bariatric / after weight loss surgery, CosMed also offers face lifts, liposculpture, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, body lifts and more. More information at


Are you Ready for the Super Hero Makeover?

Is the Super Hero makeover right for you? Contact COSMED Plastic Surgery Center to request a free virtual consultation

According to the latest research from American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more men are investing in their looks. In fact, according to the report, plastic surgery for men has increased 121% over the past 15 years. Men are not only having plastic surgery to look and feel their best, but also to help them advance their careers. (See How the signed of Aging and Weight Gain are affecting your Career)
According to the same report, Liposuction is the #1 procedure requested by men.  With this in mind, plastic surgeon  Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda has taken his patients a step further than basic lipo services, and is offering what he calls the “Superhero Makeover”

“What the super hero makeover involves is high definition liposculpture on the torso, ” explains Dr. Castañeda. “The goal is to enhance or resemble the ridges that the rectus abdominis, oblique and pectoral muscles have in order to achieve a sculpted look.”

“The best candidate for this procedure is men with some muscle mass, poor definition or someone that works out and is finding difficult to reduce their body fat percentage so they can show off their six pack. Recovery time for the abdominal etching alone is around 1 week. For the combination lipo and minitummytuck, around 10 days”

High-Definition Liposculpture, Abdominal Etching, 6-pack Liposculpture, Chiseled Abdomen – theses are  all terms referred to creating an athletic looking abdomen by enhancing the appearance of the rectus abdominis muscles by sculpting them with liposuction or ultrasonic liposuction. To maintain a natural appearance, these procedures are usually preformed on the normal creases of the abdominal musculature. Similar procedures are also performed on the chest areas to make a man’s chest and pecs more defined. Learn more “Abdominal Etching:   Ending the Chase for Chiseled Abs

In this example, Dr. Castaneda performed high definition liposculpture in addition to  a mini tummy tuck  so the skin tightens at the same time. “This is a procedure that men are more willing to undergo in place of a full tummy tuck” he explained. 

“Dr. Castaneda performed my extended abdominoplasty… Finally I have a flat stomach again!” said a patient at COSMED Plastic Surgery center about his experience. After researching  plastic surgery clinics in LA and Beverly Hills areas, he opted for COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

“Excellent surgeon, excellent service, uniquely modern facilities. Joyce and support staff make the entire process from start to end easy. The price was much lower than all of the LA/Beverly Hills plastic surgeons and the support is much better than the LA clinics. I researched four other high-end surgeons and facilities in Los Angeles/Beverly Hills area before deciding to book with Dr. Castaneda and COSMED. Definitely COSMED is a great choice and I am very happy with the result. Also the Recovery Boutique is uniquely fantastic — like a five star hotel with 24/7 nursing care, cook to order meals and since the surgeon’s office is in the same building he follows -up daily during recovery. I strongly recommend Dr. Castaneda, COSMED, and the Recovery Boutique.”   Read More Success Stories

Additional services requested by male patients are:

Hair Restoration (micro follicular hair transplant, hair transplant, single follicular unit hair restoration): This terms refer to taking the patients own hair follicles from the occipital area of the scalp, because this area is not affected by the hormonal stimuli that causes male pattern hair loss, this can be done taking a strip of scalp and separating it into single follicular units and then transplanting them to the bald areas or with a micro punch technique which requires no incisions, just harvesting each follicular unit at a time and transplanting them to the desired areas.

Calf augmentation (calf implants):
For some men calves are noticeably thin even in people that work out a lot,
this is a common procedure to correct hypotrophic musculature on the lower legs and get a more balanced body shape overall.

Gynecomastia (male breast reduction, Gynecomastia reduction, chest liposuction, chest reduction): 
Gynecomastia refers to a condition in which the male breast tissue enlarges usually because of hormonal changes or weight gain. The excess volume is composed of fat and glandular tissue. In cases where fat is the main component, usually liposuction is enough to reduce it. However, when there’s a high gland component, liposuction is first recommended to take as much excess fat as possible and then a small periareolar incision is made to extract the glandular tissue, which may sometime leave a small subtle mark. On extreme cases where excess skin is an issue, a breast lift would be needed.

Male butt augmentation (male fat transfer to buttocks, male Brazilian buttlift, Male butt-lift): 
This can be accomplished through injecting the patient’s own fat into the buttock area to give it more volume, correct asymmetries or enhance the shape and feel of it.

See a complete list of Plastic Surgery Procedures for Men


Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda M.D.Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda, M.D. is  a Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeon experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.  Dr. Castañeda graduated at the top of his class from the University of Baja California and is board certified by the Mexican Council of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery (CMCPER) and is a member of the Mexican Association of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery (AMCPER). Learn more about Dr. Castañeda

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The Lunchtime Lift with the New Thermage CPT – Now available at COSMED


Thermage is a proven, unique radio-frequency treatment that can help tighten sagging or loose skin, naturally giving you a dramatically smoother, sleeker and younger look and feel.

Aging affects us all – the way we act, the way we feel, and definitely the way we look. But with Thermage, you can have a say in the way aging affects your skin – and maybe even get back to the way you looked not so long ago.

Thermage is a proven, unique radio-frequency treatment that can help tighten sagging or loose skin, naturally giving you a dramatically smoother, sleeker and younger look and feel.

Thermage works in just one treatment with no down time and delivers a change that is never drastic-looking.  It’s you, just younger looking and more confident.


Thermage is effective on:

  • The Face– smoothing and tightening sagging skin, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and helping define the jawline and lip. Addresses loose jowls and “turkey neck”.
  • The Body – helping contour loose skin and smooth bulges, and also cellulite.
  • The Eyes – treating upper and lower eyelids to reduce hooding and fine lines as well as lifting of the brow line.

Thermage treatments are all about energy – focusing radio-frequency energy to kick start the body’s own natural renewal process. Like most smart technologies, the process is relatively simple – it’s a combination of heat energy to treat deep tissue, and cooling effects, to protect the skin surface and deliver better patient comfort. And our latest evolution of Thermage includes patented Comfort Pulse Technology (CPT) – gentle vibrations and interspersed cooling that make your Thermage treatment even more comfortable, so more energy and heat can be delivered than the older ThermaCool and NXT models, achieving better results.

Unlike many other procedures, Thermage treatment delivers results in a single treatment for most patients. In fact, when it comes to skin tightening and contouring with little to no downtime, Thermage is one of the only non-invasive treatment procedures on the market. Unlike surgery, there is no pre-procedure preparation such as blood work or fasting. And there is no special care required after treatment, aside from basic skin maintenance and sunscreens as part of a regular skincare regimen. Since the Thermage procedure has no downtime, most patients return to their regular activities immediately following treatment. Some patients exhibit a temporary redness or minor swelling after treatment, but this usually goes away within 24 hours.

Thermage Mexico

When lotions and potions are not enough and surgery is too much, Thermage is a safe, effective solution.

Some people want the dramatic results of surgery. Others want the more subtle, natural, gradual results of a non-invasive treatment with no downtime. This is where Thermage succeeds, delivering improved skin tone, texture and tightness.

When lotions and potions are not enough and surgery is too much, Thermage is a safe, effective solution.

Visible results may be immediate, and they may appear over time in the course of your body’s natural collagen rebuilding process. For most patients, measurable tightening and contouring appear gradually in the two to six months following a single treatment session. Results can last years depending on your skin condition and aging process.

What is the cost of Thermage CPT?

Prices in the US vary per area but on average, you can expect to pay $2300+ for Face & Neck Thermage, $2500+ for Body or Cellulite and $1800 for eyes.  However, at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico, you can save hundreds on the exact same procedure.


This is the right time of the year for your Lunchtime Lift with the Thermage CPT treatment, so you can look amazing and enjoy the results for these holidays and Spring break! At COSMED we want to spoil you, so hurry! Face and neck treatments will start at $1,500 USD and will be good thru 2012 (regular $1,800 USD). Remember that it could also be combined with ThermaFrax on the same day visit. If body or eyes are your main concern, ask about our body and eye treatments. To book your Thermage Appointment visit or call 1-877-235-1968.


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Having Surgery? New Healing and Skin Stimulation Treatments with LED technology

LED Anti-againg

LEDs offer a totally natural, non-ablative method for skin rejuvenation.

Submitted by Dr. de la Fuente, COSMED Dermatologist

While LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are now widely recognized as emerging light sources for general illumination, it turns out that LED lighting can also enable a broad range of life-science-centric applications. The American Academy of Dermatology has identified a number of uses for LED lighting in skin-related therapies. LEDs are significant biologically because they can modify the function of mitochondria within cells. In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into plant tissue, LEDs can trigger natural cellular photobiochemical reactions in the skin.

How do LEDs work?

LEDs offer a totally natural, non-ablative method for skin rejuvenation. The light from medical grade LEDs interacts with cells and stimulates them to produce new collagen and elastin. Studies confirm that the same LED energy can be used to affect collagen formation, which can be helpful in the treatment of scars. By manipulating the wavelengths, cells metabolism can be turned on and off, improving the blood flow, modulating inflammatory factors and proteins necessary to prolong the life of skin cells.

Which skin problems benefit from LED Therapy?

  • Scar prevention: Red/Near-Infrared Light
  • Wound Healing: Red/Near-Infrared/Visible Light
  • Acne: Blue light
  • Rosacea and redness: Red Light
  • Anti-aging/Rejuvenation: Red/Near Infrared Light
  • Photodynamic Therapy for skin precancer and cancer: Blue/Red Light

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments and the treatment times will vary depending on the problem being treated, the amount of surface area treated and the area treated. Treatments may last from 2 to 15 minutes. Since the results are progressive, you will notice more correction with each treatment. As full correction approaches, treatment intervals can be expanded to 3 – 6 month intervals. For scar prevention and healing, treatments are recommended at least 1 day before surgery, and 3 or more consecutive days after.

Will the treatments hurt?

No. The treatment is very relaxing, sometimes with a warm sensation. The delivery of the LED energy to the skin is completely pain free. The energy generated by the LEDs is gentle enough to treat all ethnic skin types.

What will I feel like after my treatment?

Most patients return to normal activities immediately. What patients like is that treatments are fast and they don’t have to miss any activities.

Can I have LED Skin Rejuvenation with other treatments?

Yes. It is highly complementary with other skin treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers, as well as non-ablative, ablative lasers and IPL treatments to improve and accelerate the healing process. Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons worldwide are beginning to choose LEDs as one of their preferred treatments for very fine lines, light brown spots, acceleration of healing due to aesthetic treatments, but ultimately for scar prevention due to surgeries and many other conditions. Recent studies have shown that skin treated with LEDs before and after a cosmetic surgery tends to heal faster, showing amazing results for a better scarring, but also can prevent bad scarring, including hypertrophic scars and keloids. If using topical retinoids, it is necessary to stop them before and during the LED sessions. Before the treatments, you should tell the doctor of all the medications and creams that you are using.

Is LED therapy an option for my next visit to COSMED?

Absolutely, especially if you are having surgery or laser. LEDs will quicken the healing process, and at the same time will prevent/improve the scarring process. It is important to emphasize that for acne, it is not a substitute of conventional treatments, it is a complement and preferably combined with the medical treatments offered by dermatologists. LEDs are FDA cleared for all of the mentioned skin conditions.

Planning your next surgery and want to improve the healing and scarring process? Consider adding LEDs, starting at $150 USD for 4 sessions, especially if you plan to stay for some days or live near Tijuana. For other skin conditions, please contact us at 1-877-235-1968 or visit


Dr. de la Fuente

Dr. de la Fuente

COSMED dermatologist Dr. de la Fuente is experienced in both clinical and cosmetic Dermatology and is Board Certified by the Mexican Council of Dermatology. He has presented and published scientific articles available at PubMed, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatolgy, Skin and Aging, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology and many more. He also serves as a Dermatology Professor at School of Medicine in Tijuana.

To learn more or schedule your appointment, visit

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My Face Lift in Mexico: The Recovery Process at Days 30, 90 & 120.

The following post is PART 5 in a series of blog posts by Sue Teague, a Retired RN and plastic surgery patient who had a brow lift, lower eyelid lift, neck lift & face lift at CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

*Click here to Read Part 1 – How I selected my plastic surgeon
*Click here to Read Part 2 – What to Expect the First Days after a Face Lift
*Click here to Read Part 3 – Week One of the Healing Process after Face Lift
*Click here to Read Part 4 – Unstitched at Last! Weeks 2-3

I am very happy that I still look like ME—only better!    I estimate that my appearance has been improved to how I recall my face looking at age 50.  I am 63 now.  I believe I appear more rested, more relaxed, less tense and angry.  More…and Less!

Facelift Mexico

At  Day 120, I am feeling pretty good about my facelift.   Here is a side-by-side of my Pre-op face and a current close-up under the same conditions i.e. camera, lighting, room etc.  Note that I attempted to assume a neutral expression on both photos.  I think the difference is astonishing!

My facelift has been both More… and Less than expected.  My expectations were modest.   I expected to get an improvement in my facial appearance, but I also was somewhat apprehensive about “overcorrection”.    We have all seen the photos of overly tightened skin of celebrities that completely changed their appearance.  This is what I mean when I say “less”—for my facelift, I hoped for a Less is More result.

30 days after facelift mexico

This is a side-by-side photo which shows my pre-op face and my face at Day 30 after having a face lift in mexico.

Day 30 After Face lift in Mexico

First, let me tell you my experience at 30 days.  This is a side-by-side photo which shows my pre-op face and my face at Day 30. Swelling is gone.  The neck remains very tight and I am aware of constant neck discomfort.  However, the low level headache and accompanying muscular tension is manageable with Tylenol.  The eyes feel “too open” and I have some dryness; again, this is manageable with artificial tears and naps.  The brow and scalp areas are numb.  Sometimes I “explore” my head and it feels like rapping on a cantaloupe, producing an odd echo.   These sensations are all known as parasthesias and are a normal consequence of disturbing the nerves serving the skin.  There is a slight asymmetry in the area underneath my chin, but I realize it is too early to be concerned to the point of complaint or action.  The face needs at least 6 months to settle.

As a result of my surgery, I became very interested in learning about the healing process after a facelift.  An interesting fact that I discovered was that healing was framed in several different contexts by doctors.  It was approached more from a “when will I look (socially) normal” than from “when will my face feel normal?” The answers to these questions are quite different and the feeling aspect to recovery is much more complex and variable.

I opted not to blog at Day 60 since I noted very small changes.

Day 90 After Face lift in Mexico

Here is some candid, non-close up photos at Day 90.  I was on a cruise with 4 girlfriends; all of them up to 8 years younger than I.  They lamented that the oldest among us would look the youngest.  That was to some degree true, upon close observation of faces.  No one is as aware as I am at this time with facial condition!  I found myself mentally mapping out how elements of facelifts would look on each of my girlfriends.   Mostly, I had a blast on the cruise and made sure I stayed well-hydrated.

Day 90 after Facelift

Here are some candid photos on Day 90 while I was on a cruise with my girlfriends.

Around Day 90 I noted that “stuff was happening’” on my scalp as a result of the brow lift.  The brow lift involved a large muscle and skin repositioning and many nerves were disrupted.  Up until this time, I simply had altered sensation, similar to running your hand over a healing incision.  Now, I am having a sensation of prickly movement.  It is not quite an itch, but similar and my impulse is to scratch.  But, scratching is not satisfying.   It is a pseudo-itch that is not relieved by scratching or rubbing.  The good news is that it is a healing sensation; typically low intensity and intermittent and, most of the time, not noticeable.

By Day 90, my eyes feel and look much more normal and I can feel a gradual lessening of the neck tightness, though it is still noticeable and there is still some ridge-y, cord-y feeling right under the chin.  The neck has smoothed out significantly in the last month.

Day 120 After Face lift in Mexico

facelift mexico

120 Days After my Face lift in Mexico

At  Day 120, I am feeling pretty good about my facelift.   Here is a side-by-side of my Pre-op face and a current close-up under the same conditions i.e. camera, lighting, room etc.  Note that I attempted to assume a neutral expression on both photos.  I think the difference is astonishing!

The neck tightness continues to diminish and I would rate it a “3” on an Annoyance Scale (like an ant bite that won’t stop itching).  The neck muscle is still softening and the tightness greatly relaxed.   The scalp creepy crawly feeling is still there.  I understand from my research that it will remain for many months and gradually diminish as nerves regenerate and restore normal sensation.

As you might recall if you have followed the Blog, I told no one at my home in Florida about my facelift.  When I returned and saw all my friends after a 4 month absence, I knew that the positive comments I was getting were attributable to the facelift.  The comments were mostly a variation of:  “Travel/Vacation/Cruising/California (fill in the blank) must really agree with you; you are looking great!”

I am very happy that I still look like ME—only better.    I estimate that my appearance has been improved to how I recall my face looking at age 50.  I am 63 now.  I believe I appear more rested, more relaxed, less tense and angry.  More…and Less!

This will not be my final post.   I sent an email to CosMed a couple days ago inquiring about skin resurfacing.  I got a phone call from Dr. Quiroz this morning, and he was kind enough to explain personally that he would like me to consult with his associate in dermal matters, Dr. de la Fuente.   This will be Part II of my Facelift since a facelift cannot correct deep lines and certain wrinkles.

Heck, I might even have a wee bit of filler in my kisser!

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My Face Lift in Mexico Success Story

The following face lift success story was submitted by a patient of Dr. Carlos Castañeda, plastic surgeon at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

Before and After Facelift Surgery in Mexico

Before and After Face lift Surgery in Mexico

after face lift mexico

Today, after her face lift in Mexico

“At first, I was going to go to Costa Rica to have my face lift. But things happened that made me change my mind.  First, they were very secretive wouldn’t send me pictures over the internet. Also, my aunt was suppose to go with me but she passed away before we left. Then, when I got to the airport, my flight was grounded so instead of making arrangements to get there, I decided to just go home. I lost $500.00 from the place I made arrangements to stay at but I just had a feeling it wasn’t right.

Next, I went and had a consultation with a Doctor in Newport Beach. He wanted $14,000.00 to do a face and neck lift! Well, I couldn’t afford that. So my friend who had a hair transplant suggested I  look in Tijuana.

I got on the internet and found COSMED. I found out how open and honest they were besides affordable for the money I had saved. I sent a message and picture to Dr. Castaneda. Then, I found out they were on Facebook and found Becky. How wonderful she made me feel! It was so much better to talk with her about having this procedure done. What a relief!

Then, Dr. Castaneda called me. I made a appointment for my consult went and saw him.  He made me feel assured about the whole procedure. I went down on a Sunday night. I live an hour and a half away. I  stayed at the Recovery Boutique where they were very helpful and wonderful.

I woke Monday morning and went up to the office where Dr. Castaneda met me. He walked me to another room to take my before pictures. I went back to my room where a nurse asked me to put a pill under my tongue and I did. I was walking to the surgery room when the door flew open and there was Dr. Castaneda with that big beautiful smile that makes you feel safe. I woke up in the surgical facility and  went back down my room at the boutique, watched a movie and  slept.  I wasn’t in any pain and did take pain meds.

I stayed at the Recovery Boutique for 3 days. I talked a lot on the phone out on the balcony from my room. Very good food, nice people, very helpful. I went home and returned to have my stitches out. I am very happy with my results to date. I think Dr. Castaneda is a fabulous surgeon and recommend him. The whole experience was beyond my expectations and would recommend COSMED.”

Click here to read more Facelift Success Stories from COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

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When 60 is the new 50, hand rejuvenation is the finishing touch: The COSMED Hand Rejuvenation Plan

Hand Rejuvenation Plan

There is an old saying, “If you want to know a woman’s age, look at her hands.” Fortunately, the team at COSMED has developed a hand rejuvenation plan to restore a youthful look and feel.

There is an old saying, “If you want to know a woman’s age, look at her hands”. But now, there are new and increasingly popular hand rejuvenation procedures that can protect you from being “outed” in such a manner.

As you get older, your hands lose volume, fat and elasticity. The fatty layer of the hand disappears, so the skin is more translucent and shriveled, and you see underlying structures like bones, tendons and veins. Also, the skin develops discoloration like sun spots/age spots and rough wart like spots as the result of lifelong sun exposure with little to no sunscreen use and aging.

Aging is no longer measured by crow’s feet and saggy jowls (for which corrective procedures are increasingly common), but by the dorsal, or top, part of the hands, where the skin is thinner and tends to crinkle over time. Look at Madonna or Sarah Jessica Parker. They have amazing bodies and skin, but their hands have aged.  Fortunately, the team at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico, has developed a Hand Rejuvenation Plan, led by board certified dermatologist, Dr. de la Fuente.  In this blog post, Dr. de la Fuente answers questions about the new Hand Rejuvenation Plan.

What is the COSMED Hand Rejuvenation Plan?

The Handlift encompasses the combination of light source treatments, like fractional lasers and/or IPL with synthetic fillers or fat injections.

How does each part of the Hand Rejuvenation Plan work?

Fillers or fat are injected under the first layer of the skin to plump it, giving volume to the hands and lessening the appearance of veins and bony structures. At COSMED we strongly favor re-injecting fat from the derriere or thighs into the tops of the hands over all over methods because synthetic fillers could be expensive and not as long- lasting as fat, which has less chance of being rejected. Another reason is that the fat contains stem cells, which may help to improve even more the appearance of your skin. Downtime: none.

hand lift

New Hand Rejuvenation treatments give hands a fuller, younger look.

Fractional lasers like Fraxel helps in removing wrinkling, scars, discoloration, and at a certain point has some skin tightening properties plus the resurfacing effect which smoothes the skin’s surface and stimulates the production of collagen. The tiny microscopic holes that the laser produces help the pigment underneath the skin to get eliminated, especially when it is combined with IPL. Downtime: 2-3 days.

IPL or broadband light emits pulses of light that are only absorbed by broken capillaries and pigment, lessening skin redness and blasting away sun spots or age spots. In our experience, this treatment is the best option for severely pigmented hands with some degree of redness. Hands look younger as sun spots and uneven pigmentation fade. Downtime: none.

What are the secondary effects?

The most common expected reactions depend on the combination of treatments, being the most common local bruising, tenderness, redness, swelling and superficial scabs which usually last no longer than 2 weeks.

If you’re interested in adding a hand rejuvenation procedure to your next aesthetic surgery, or just want to do the final touch up to your figure, ask for the team approach by COSMED’s plastic surgeons and dermatologist to determine which combination of treatments is the most appropriate for your hands.

Remember that in order to prevent the appearance of aging hands, the best options are avoiding excessive sun exposure, the use of a sunscreen with SPF30+ UVA/UVB, plus creams specifically made to treat your hands.

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Breast Augmentation & Breast Cancer: Your Top Questions Answered

breast cancer support

The doctors of COSMED Plastic Surgery Center are proud supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Dr. Castañeda, plastic surgeon at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico, answers the top 3 questions breast augmentation patients ask us concerning breast implants and cancer risk.  If you don’t see your question answered below, feel free to post it on this blog, and one of our board certified plastic surgeons will provide an answer.

1. Do breast implants increase your risk of getting breast cancer?

No. This has been debated for a long time, but breast implants have been found not to be asociated with breast cancer.

2. Can you still have a mammogram if you have breast implants?

Yes.  Mammograms are recommend for women who are 40 or over, or if you are 35 with a family history of breast cancer in a first degree relative. On younger patients, a yearly Ultrasound is enough.

Saline or silicone Implants

At CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico, we have always used the highest quality brands of implants. This includes Mentor, McGhan, and Natrelle by Allergan, a little more expensive but well worth it.

3.  Is it a good idea to replace my old breast implants with newer ones? Are breast implants today safer than the ones I got 5 or 10 years ago?

Currently manufactured implants are superior quality than the ones used 10 years ago. Yearly follow up and routine examination is key in detecting cancer early on. PIP implants have been recently on the spotlight because they where found to be manufactured with industrial grade silicone and they should be replaced right away (see blog post about breast implant safety). If you don´t know what brand of implants you have, contact the Doctor who performed the surgery to find out, if you don´t get a straight answer I would recommend to have them exchanged.

Breast implant exchange is a simple procedure, it is less invasive than the initial surgery when they were put in. Recovery is easy and not as painful as the first time around. Also, if you have ever considered “going bigger” it´s the right time to do it.

Looking for more information on breast implants? See “What’s the Difference between Saline & Silicone” also written by Dr. Castañeda.


Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda M.D.Dr. Carlos E. Castañeda, M.D. is  a Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeon experienced in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.  Dr. Castañeda graduated at the top of his class from the University of Baja California and is board certified by the Mexican Council of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery (CMCPER) and is a member of the Mexican Association of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery (AMCPER). Learn more about Dr. Castañeda

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Weight Loss Tips, Inspiration & Stories of Plastic Surgery in Mexico

Before and After

One way to stay motivated: Keep reminders of your weight loss journey. Put tips on your Fridge, like the “OLD” you pics, and “NEW” you pics. It helps to see where you were before, and how far you have come. Then it reminds you of where you want to be, says Melanie.

In the following interview, Melanie, grand prize winner of our Weight Loss Success Story Contest, shares her personal weight loss tips,  what keeps her motivated and inspired, as well as advice for others considering bariatric and plastic surgery in Mexico.

What advice do you have for others considering Weight Loss Surgeries?

Do your homework. Get involved in websites like or Seeing before and after pictures, asking questions…  No matter what surgery you chose, or where you decide to go…Come to your own conclusions about what is right for you.

Best advice I can give… Surgery is NOT a quick fix. The Lap-Band is a TOOL to help you to achieve the weight loss needed in order to make great changes in your life. If you don’t make the changes in your eating habits, or exercise habits, nothing is going to change for you… you have to WANT this to make it work for you…I can’t say enough about how much love I have for Dr. Gonzalez. He gave my life back to me. He gave me the TOOL that I needed to help me to be where I am today.

What is your favorite way to exercise?

My favorite thing to do now is Yoga. I feel so great & strong afterwards. But, My new passion has become running. I used to tell my hubby that I wish that I could be “one of those people that just RUNS!”  And he would say, YOU CAN BE! Now I am proud to say that I AM!

Do you have any special “Tips” or recommendations to help others “keep the weight off”?

Persistence. Perseverance. Support. These things I cannot stress enough. If you want it bad enough- DO IT!

Put tips on your Fridge, like the “OLD” you pics, and “NEW” you pics. It helps to see where you were before, and how far you have come. Then it reminds you of where you want to be.

Drink lots of water. Often we mistake hunger for thirst. I drink a big glass of water water while I am preparing food, then I wont be so tempted to TASTE everything… also, once you start eating, DON’T drink anything. You will FEEL fuller.

Can you describe your plastic surgery experience in Mexico? Were you scared?

Well, I have been Going to Mexico since 2006. I had my Lap-Band surgery in January 2007, (at CosMed, in Mexico). I was very timid about going. My first surgery, I didn’t tell my family, because I didn’t want them to worry. A few friends knew, but none had discouraged me from going. I think they knew that I needed this. I told everyone afterwards.

For my second surgery I was PROUD to say that I was going! And they all know that my Lower Body Lift will be there as well!!  At first we never drove in always parked, walked across, & took a Taxi, we did all the things we were SUPPOSED to when going to Mexico. Going to a different country is always a bit scary, and with the media portraying all the horror stories, it can be unnerving… but I have not ONCE witnessed ANYTHING that would scare me away from going again. Things happen in the US as well as all over the world!  If we live our lives scared we will never accomplish anything. We now drive into Mexico & stay in the Hotels there, sightsee… it has been so WONDERFUL to see the beauty that Mexico has to offer! AND I can’t wait to wear a BIKINI, while I am lying in the sun on a sandy beach in Mexico (someday soon)!

My Lap-Band surgery was so great. Dr. Gonzalez was THE BEST! I had to go to the restroom, and I asked for a nurse, and he said “we don’t need I nurse when I am right here!” he proceeded to walk me to the bathroom, wait outside, and walk be back to bed & got me settled. Now I have had other surgeries in the U.S., and I have worked with many doctors, but I have NEVER, EVER experienced bed side manors like that from a doctor!  My second surgery at CosMed, was with Dr. Quiroz, and AGAIN, BY FAR the BEST DOCTOR! He took his time to answer any questions that we had, patiently explained everything in “layman terms” so that we felt comfortable with proceeding. After my surgery I had a concern, and Dr. Quiroz HIMSELF called me!! I was FLOORED! I have so much respect & admiration for someone, as busy as a surgeon, who takes the time to call his patients PERSONALLY!

My husband & I have no real desire to go anywhere but Mexico for surgery. The doctors here in the US often dismiss your concerns, or just quickly see you, medicate you, & send you on your way. It is often controlled by insurance, instead of actually caring for the patients.

Before and After Weight Loss Surgery Mexico

Before and After Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico

Who has been your biggest  inspiration or motivator and why?

My husband and my kids have been HUGE in my success. If it weren’t for them always saying YOU CAN DO IT, BABE, or I BELIEVE IN YOU,MOM, or I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, It would have been a lot harder. I would have made it, but it would have taken longer!  Also, More recently, The wonderful friends that I have made thru CosMed (who have become like family to me), have been SUCH a wonderful source of inspiration!  We encourage each other, listen to each other, motivate each other. We need a good support system, whether it is in the form of family, friends, or sometimes strangers… we need them to  keep pushing us.

Do you have  a funny or inspiration story you’d like to share about your transformation? (for example, was there a friend who didn’t recognize you? Or a new activity you started recently that you couldn’t have done before?)

Oh my gosh! I am ALWAYS getting that these days! But most recently I was taking my dog for a run, and as I was walking to warm up, I said HI to my NEIGHBOR  (who I have known since I was in high school & I even BABYSAT HER KIDS!!) she looked at me funny, And I was like, whats wrong? She said OH MY! I didn’t know who you were- YOU LOOK AMAZING!!!!!  lol!

There have been so many times that people don’t recognize me.

But as for inspiration, I was at the gym one day, and a trainer walked up to me, and said, I see you in here almost every day. I thought I would talk to you, but I don’t want to disrupt your workout. I said, Ok, so we talk while I am working out…. He asked me what got me to the gym… I pulled out my phone and showed him the OLD me… he was stunned, to say the least, I proceeded to tell him my story… he said, stay right there… went to get his client that he had been working with, and said to me… show her your picture, & tell her what you told me. The woman started crying, I got off the machine & hugged her… and told her… you can DO this… it is the FIRST STEP to a new you! She said she has a renewed faith that she can do this…

If I can help only one person with my story, then it is WORTH IT!

Most recently I started Running. My new GOAL is to RUN a half MARATHON before I am 40.

I. WILL. MAKE. IT.  Without a doubt in my mind.

before and after

Melanie before and after her weight loss surgeries in Mexico

Is there anything else you’d like to share at this time?

I have overcome many obstacles , if I can do this, so can you!  You’re life is what you make of it. I am going to make mine a success. I invite everyone to join me on my journey. Like I said, If my story helps, even just one person… then it is all worth it!

Make the change that you want to be! Take the first step. Clean out the fridge and start eating clean. Become knowledgeable about nutrition. Exercise…

But MOST IMPORTANTLY,When we are overweight, by far, the hardest lesson that we all have to learn, is to LOVE YOURSELF. And I have learned to do JUST that!  It is ok, if you mess up, every day is a new day. START OVER, don’t beat yourself up over it. Get up, dust yourself off, and start over again!

*Stay tuned as Melanie continues her journey with the help of COSMED Plastic Surgery Center and VIDA Wellness & Beauty Institute.

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Helping to End Childhood Obesity – Building a Healthy Relationship with Food & Exercise from the Start

The following Guest Blog post was written by Amanda,  runner-up in our Weight Loss Success Story competition, in honor of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Amanda struggled with her weight since childhood. She received a full athletic scholarship to play softball in college. Despite all of this, Amanda continued to gain weight. She was teased and berated by her coaches, teammates, and male athletes on campus who called her “Amazon Amanda” and a “glazed ham” when she sweat while working out.

Unfortunately, the percentage of teenage obesity in the United States is on the rise with 20% of children (6-11 years old) and 18% of teens (12-19 years old) being classified as obese as of 2008. These sad numbers are said to be caused by the popularity of fast and processed food along with an apathetic attitude towards exercise. This does not account for those with health issues such as thyroid disease. With foundations and groups throwing money at the problem to encourage healthy eating and exercise, I believe that the causes of teenage obesity are far more complex than just telling kids to get off the couch and eat their daily serving of vegetables. Yes, this definitely helps, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. The foundations and groups are not addressing why children are not eating healthfully or choosing sedentary activities over being active.

In a society that values speed and efficiency, fast food always seems a desirable and, often, a necessary way to handle children’s hunger. With children eating lunch around 11:30 am and getting out of school around 3:00 pm, without a snack in between, children are starving in the time between when they are out of school and when they are being taken to piano lessons, baseball practice, or girl scouts. Parents that are driving from work to pick up their children are not able to always have celery sticks or perfectly-measured out portions of fruit. They take them to McDonald’s on the way to their next engagement. Many people blame the parents. I believe that if school’s revamped their nutritional schedule, offering children healthy snacks at intervals throughout the day and a lunch with sustainable proteins, children would be less likely to “need” that fast food “snack” at 3:00 pm.

Starting this at an early age would promote an affinity towards the healthy option. Because, let’s face it, a Big Mac tastes way better than an apple with almond butter. The trick is to make the Big Mac a treat and the apple the norm.

Forcing the apple on an overweight child causes them to associate the apple with negativity, hunger, and guilty longing for tastier foods. The same can be said for exercise. If a child is only forced to exercise because they are overweight, the child will always regard exercise as something that is not fun. This is a tough feeling to overcome. Ask any ex-overweight friend or someone who is struggling with their weight and they will tell you that it is the hardest thing to learn to “like exercise” especially as the only reason that they are doing it is to lose weight. That kind of exercise is hardly “fun.” It’s slaving away on the elliptical at the gym, after work when you are starving and wishing you were anywhere but there. I believe that if a healthy relationship with exercise is created at a young age, as we grow up we will gravitate more towards working out for pleasure.

Now, don’t get me wrong, being thin is not that easy. I was always a “big” girl compared to my peers. I worked out frequently especially as I aged. I earned a full athletic college scholarship where workouts—from practice to weight lifting and conditioning—were daily. My parents did not buy me fast food frequently and they did not cook fattening food. Yet, I continued to gain weight.

I directly attribute my weight problems with my hatred of “exercise for weight loss” and my portion control. When I was very young, my father told me that I needed to lose weight. So, at 7 I was running laps around our neighborhood—not because I wanted to—but because I was forced to. In fact, I used to go around the corner from my house, sit on a bench, wait the appropriate amount of time and then jog home huffing and puffing like I had really completed my run. One time my dad spied on me. Whoops! These feelings towards exercise made me reluctant to do anything, but the bare minimum to be successful at my sport.

teen obesity

Amanda, today, after losing more than 100 pounds, with the help of bariatric surgery.

During school I remember always feeling hungry and staring at food left on other people’s lunch tray. Not wanting to look like a “pig,” I never asked for their scraps, but I did go home ravenous. I would try to come home and eat a somewhat healthy after-school snack. The problem was that I would eat the healthy snack but while sneaking handfuls of chips or cheese. Then I would feel guilty. The guilt would make me feel bad about myself and then upset at the injustice of the world. How could all of my skinny friends eat more than me, with extra sour cream on their burrito, and they could remain so thin? The anger caused me to feel comfortable in the fact that I ate less than them and, therefore, I was okay. Turns out there’s a little thing called metabolism and I seemed to not have a very fast one.

If I could go back in time, or, better yet, when I raise my own children I will try very hard to instill exercise for fun. That way, my children won’t have to resort to “fun exercise” (think Zumba, piloxing, or stripper workouts) just to lose weight. Being active because it is associated with good feelings rather than negative may be the start of a long term healthy lifestyle.  This practice paired with growing up eating healthfully may allow my children and the children of the world to start off their weight on a better foot than our generations who only workout and eat healthy when our fat backs are up against a wall.

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Favorite “After Weight Loss Surgery” Recipes for Continued Success!

Low Carb

Amanda keep her weight down by cutting carbs. Lettuce burgers are her “Go To”!

At COSMED Plastic Surgery Center, we understand that losing a significant amount of weight, either naturally or through bariatric surgery, is just one part of the journey towards achieving long term weight loss and a renewed self-image.

We all know that eating right is a critical part to keeping the weight off. And what works for one weight loss success patient is not always the same as another. That’s why in today’s blog post, we are sharing favorite foods and recipes from our 3 Weight Loss Success Story Winners.

Are you a weight loss success story too? Feel free to leave your own recipe in the comments section of this blog!


Amanda’s Advice: Cut the Carbs!

“I would say that the biggest impact on my weight loss was cutting down on carbs. I know, typical dieter response that makes everyone cringe! At first it was very hard, but when I stopped eating burritos in tortillas (I just eat the filling), sandwiches with bread (now I use lettuce leaves), or burgers with buns (lettuce burgers are my go to) I began to realize how unnecessary the carbs really are. When I cut out those “unnecessary” carbs, I didn’t feel as guilty if I had chips and salsa when I went out to dinner because to me, chips and salsa is necessary—and amazing.

Following that, here is my favorite weight loss recipe for an amazing dip because weight loss does not always mean steamed fish and vegetables (in fact, for me, it was never this—I have too advanced a palate to sustain on such tasteless food, so I had to hunt for low-cal, high protein options!). “

weight loss

Amanda lost more than 100 pounds after her Lap Band surgery in Mexico. How does she keep the weight off? She looks for creative (and tasty!) low carb, high protein options.

1 avocado, ripe
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
Salt & pepper, to taste
Pickled jalapenos rings (optional, if you like spice!)
Yellow squash, cut into sliced rounds

1.    Mash the avocado flesh in a bowl and add the cottage cheese.
2.    If desired, chopped several jalapenos (how many is up to you) and mix in. You can also add a splash of the jalapeno juice/brine for more flavor.
3.    Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.    Serve immediately with squash rounds as dippers.

Melanie’s Advice: Try new things!

“My favorite recipe has to be Greek Turkey Meatballs. It has great flavors, and very moist!  I have been experimenting with many different foods, fish, turkey, veggies… Many of them I had never tried before, and discovered that I like them- A LOT!  The internet has been great for finding new low carb recipes or veggie recipes. And I love sharing recipes!  One of my go to Web sites has been Her recipes are so good…. I will sometimes tweak recipes to make them healthier if I can, because I love to cook!! and bake… but I GIVE it all away so that it isn’t in my house!! LOL”

Megan’s Advice – Keep it Simple!

As for Megan, her favorite After Weight Loss food is simple -  Frozen Grapes!
“Since the surgery, I have really enjoyed frozen grapes! They are sweet, cold and crisp!”

Do you have as favorite After Weight Loss recipe to share? Please post on this blog, we’d love to hear it!

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