BEAUTIFUL – BOTH INSIDE AND OUT - A STRONGER, MORE YOUTHFUL YOU
By Marla Santos
In recent years, both men and women have realized the many benefits of cosmetic procedures. They can look younger, feel more confident, and be more competitive in today’s tough job market by maintaining a more youthful and healthy appearance.
The image we want to present to the world is far different than it was back a couple of generations ago. With today’s reality television shows, like ABC’s hit show, “Extreme Makeover”, along with the movies, magazines and advertisements all showing us how we can look and feel younger, it’s no wonder the health and beauty trend is so strong. When we look in the mirror, we want to flash a gorgeous, healthy smile, have a radiant and ageless face, a smooth and hairless body. Today’s generation wants to spring out of bed feeling our very best, supplementing our lifestyles with vitamins, diet and exercise.
We sought out some of the finest Physicians and Cosmetic Dentists here in Las Vegas – each one highly accredited, brilliant, and burning their own innovative path in their field of expertise. We chose to interview them specifically because of their credentials and Board Certification. (Board Certification requires extensive training and a rigorous review of a doctor’s knowledge, experience and skill in a medical specialty.)
It’s very important to educate yourself about any procedure that you may be interested in and to have consultations with different doctors, so that you can choose the best doctor to alter your face, body or smile. To choose a Doctor or Dentist that is best for you, take time to research their credentials and expertise to verify that they have the necessary training, skills and experience to provide healthcare within their specialty. Confirm that the Doctor or Dentist is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that they have no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. Checking and reading what other people have to say about a Doctor can provide insight into a patient’s satisfaction about their experience with scheduling appointments, wait times, office environment, and the friendliness of the staff. Patient’s reviews and referrals can also reveal if the doctor takes the time to answer their questions, and whether they would recommend them to their friends and families. Look for a Doctor that you are comfortable talking to. Studies show that, when patients really connect with a Doctor, they’re more likely to follow the Doctor’s advice and have a successful healthcare outcome. Consider the cost, too, because many “beautification” procedures are considered “elective” and are not usually covered by most health insurance plans, which means you’ll be paying out-of-pocket.
To have a beautiful exterior that you are confident about is very important, but a healthy body and mouth is even more so. These Doctors and Dentists are very concerned about both, and will help guide you to, not just looking, but feeling your very best – a healthier and more youthful you.
The interviews of these incredible Physicians will be eye-opening for some, and will provide detailed information about the different procedures they perform. Remember, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and keep in mind, when looking in the mirror, that you are who you are, and no amount of physical change will make you beautiful in your heart.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson
DR. JOHN J. PIERCE D.O.
“Our mission at Ageless Forever is to slow down and reverse the manifestations of the aging process.”
Physical deterioration is not an inevitable consequence of growing older! Dr. John Pierce has been providing reliable medical therapy to slow down the progression of the aging process at his Ageless Forever practice located in Las Vegas for over the past 16 years. Using vitamins, hormone therapy, and nutrition, Dr. Pierce balances out the body to achieve optimal health, wellness and youthfulness. Dr. Pierce specializes in state-of-the-art therapy, which includes the supplementation of DHEA, testosterone replacement therapy (low T), pregnenolone, estrogen progesterone, melatonin, thyroid and others. He explains that hormones are not drugs, but natural substances, which function as messengers to stimulate cells to heal, reproduce and rejuvenate. As hormone levels decline, disease and symptoms of aging occur. Natural hormone supplementation can stop much of the undesirable aspects, symptoms, and diseases associated with aging. After a complete physical examination and lab work, Dr. Pierce will evaluate, prescribe and monitor the optimal hormone levels just for you. Under Dr. Pierce’s care, patients experience optimized energy, stamina and sexual capacity, younger skin quality and physique, enhanced memory and cognitive capacity, increased bone strength, and improved moods. Ageless Forever also treats patients for their cosmetic anti-aging needs with Botox, Xeomin and Dysport.
Dr. Pierce is Board Certified in both Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, as well as in the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians. He is an exercise enthusiast and has had a lifetime of involvement as a competitive athlete, with special focus in weight training and nutrition. He also serves as a Tactical Physician with the Las Vegas SWAT team.
SMARTY: Tell me a little about your background.
DR. PIERCE: I grew up in Syracuse, New York. I moved out here to Las Vegas in October of 1990 with little more than a trunk, a duffle bag, and $700 in my pocket. One of my friends from the military and I (when we were stationed in Panama together) used to chat on the weekends about our future. One of those things was coming to Las Vegas, and I was going to be a bartender and he was going to deal cards, and that was our fantasy as 19 and 20-year-old young men. His dad lived in Vegas, so he moved here, and a year later, when I got out of the military, I came here, too. I got a job within the first month and started working in the nightclub industry doing security, bartending and then managing some places. I realized I didn’t want to be in my forties doing this, so I looked at education to get me someplace else. As I went to school at UNLV, I had some professors influencing me to push my limits, and it was motivating, and brought me to where I am today. I am exactly where I need to be, and I wouldn’t change this and what I do for anything else. You could offer me a million different jobs, but this is what I love to do!
SMARTY: You also learned and practiced emergency medicine.
DR. PIERCE: I loved emergency medicine! I did that for a few years. One of the reasons I left was that there were too many politics in it. Patient care was secondary to patient satisfaction. You can be a poor doctor and patients can love you because of your demeanor, and you can get away with poor medicine. You can be a phenomenal physician, and if you have a drier demeanor and someone complains, you’re looked at poorly. It doesn’t make sense. People would come in with a cold and I would say: “We don’t have a cure for the common cold, but let me help you with your symptoms.” They have a belief, because they watched an episode of “ER” on television, that you should get an antibiotic for a cold. I would try to educate them and say: “Antibiotics are not for viruses, but are used for bacterial infections.” Then they’d say, that another doctor would give the antibiotic to them. Then I’d say: “Well, you have a poor doctor.” People don’t like to hear that, so now you’re the bad guy. 80% of the people that show up at the emergency room are not real emergencies. They could be seen by urgent care or their family physician, but they don’t want to wait. That’s one of the reasons that the cost of medicine has gone so high.
SMARTY: Tell me about being a tactical physician with the Las Vegas Swat Team.
DR. PIERCE: It’s a blast! I always feel that you have to give back to your community – and I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it weren’t for this community. It’s afforded me so many opportunities, because of being able to work in a nightclub industry. It’s a 24-hour town, so you can work all night and go to school all day. You have to manage your time, but it can be done, and you can make a good living working as a security guy or valet, or whatever the case may be, and still move up the ladder if you so desire. I appreciate this town for that, and so I give back to the community by volunteering with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. There are about a dozen of us doctors that volunteer our time and we go through courses and training in tactical medicine, which basically means: if you’re out there and something happens, you can do something on the spot. If somebody gets shot, you can start to render high level emergency care right there and take them into the hospital, and that improves the chance of survival markedly. That’s not only for the officers, but also for the public that is affected by it, and even for the potential perpetrator. If they get shot, we’re there to render first aid to them, right on the spot. We’ve gone into residences where the son is living with the parents and we come in, and it’s a shocking thing when the Swat Team comes into your home! The parents get upset and some of them start to develop chest pain, and we’re there to render medical care for them if they need it.
SMARTY: You go out on the Swat Team missions with them?
DR. PIERCE: Absolutely! Every mission the Swat Team goes out on, for the most part, they have a medic and a physician with them.
SMARTY: How often do you train with them?
DR. PIERCE: We train once a month and then we make ourselves available for about six, 12-hour shifts in a month.
SMARTY: Have you ever felt like your life was threatened or in danger?
DR. PIERCE: No. Those officers value our presence and they treat us like fragile little eggs. They make sure we’re safe in the back and that we are nowhere near any danger. We are only brought into a situation when it is completely secure – or if it’s not secure, they will bring the injured party back to us. You get to work with a phenomenal group of individuals.
SMARTY: In Vegas, there are dancers, acrobats, and performers that are all in top shape. What is the most important thing you can offer, to help them keep in shape?
DR. PIERCE: I get them as they start to age, and they start to notice they’re losing their stuff. In the majority of those cases, they eat very well, and they exercise. For the majority of the general public, that’s the problem…lack of exercise and poor diet. These performers can’t afford that, because their career demands so much of them. However, they may not be supplementing with nutritional supplements, and when we do their lab work, we can see that they may be lacking in certain areas. The biggest part and the crux of it is, as they hit a certain age, their hormone levels start to drop. Whether it’s estrogen in women or testosterone in men, thyroid in either one – those are the areas that we try to optimize, and bring those levels to more youthful levels, and their issues seem to disappear overnight.
SMARTY: About what age do the hormones really start to change?
DR. PIERCE: Everybody’s different. We start to see declines around age 35 to age 50. There’s a 15-year window and certain hormones drop sooner than others. A lot of it has to do with activity levels and genetics. There are many, many factors. When people come in to see me, the typical story I’ll hear is: “Hey Doc, I’m eating better than I’ve ever eaten. I’m working out harder than I’ve ever worked out before and I’m getting fewer results. It seems like I’m going backwards.” That screams to me to look at their hormones and make sure everything is where it needs to be. Inevitably, I’ll find something that needs to be improved.
SMARTY: If well-balanced hormones are important for your immune system, how important is it when someone has cancer or a serious illness?
DR. PIERCE: The data isn’t out there yet to support the benefits of hormone therapy when there’s a cancer or something like that. However, when you start to look through the data and you find that you’re not creating an increase in problems, you’re actually helping the overall health of the system, then you tend to believe that that’s going to help improve some of the situations. For example, if a gentleman has prostate cancer, we’re a little hesitant to put them on testosterone while they have an active prostate cancer, because that may feed the cancer. But, once the cancer is taken care of, and they’re cancer-free for 6 months or so, if they were low in testosterone, I would feel very comfortable starting them on testosterone therapy and monitoring their prostate very closely. Traditional medicine will allow these men to feel terrible for the rest of their remaining life, by scaring them and telling them: “Well, if you go on testosterone, your prostate cancer will come back.” The data does not support that theory. It supports the exact opposite. The same thing with a woman who has breast cancer, you don’t want to start her on estrogen while she has cancer, but afterwards, it can be done to maintain and improve the quality of life. It comes down to quantity versus quality and most people want a better quality of life. I don’t want to live longer if I feel terrible, so if I can feel good, that’s how I want to go. There’s nothing that I can do to promise anybody an extra day on this planet, because none of us have expiration dates written on us.
SMARTY: Is CoolSculpting the new liposuction?
DR. PIERCE: CoolSculpting is neat because it’s non-invasive. There are no needles, there’s no incision, there’s no downtime and it’s relatively pain-free. They try to promote it as being painless, but you’re going to be sore afterwards. Some people find it painful during the procedure, but everyone’s perception of pain is different. I’ve actually had patients tell me that this is the most painful experience they’d ever had in their life. I’ve done the CoolSculpting (myself), and I went to sleep.
SMARTY: Is liposuction painful?
DR. PIERCE: Absolutely. It’s a very invasive process. CoolSculpting is not invasive, and the idea behind it is really simple. Anytime a cell in your body freezes, it will die. It goes through something called apoptosis, which is programmed cell death. If an ice crystal forms in the cell, it will no longer survive. We see this in frostbite. Fingers, toes, tips of the nose, those things will die and have to be surgically removed, and they don’t grow back. Doctors at Boston and Harvard University looked at children sucking on popsicles and noticed that their cheeks would sink in after sucking for a while. The inside and outside of the cheeks were not damaged, but it was the fat in the cheeks that was affected and those cells froze and then died. Once they figured that out, they knew we could target just the fat cells. CoolSculpting actually takes an area where you have a little bulge that you can’t get rid of by exercising, and it focuses the cold right on that area. The cells will die in about 6-12 weeks, and once they’re dead, they’re dead and gone. If you continue to exercise and eat well, that area will stay “gone.” They had a representative from the company do one of his love handles and not the other one. Two years later, when he had gained 10-20 pounds, you can look at the pictures, and you can see that the side that was treated was still flat, while the other side is bigger, and so is his midsection. It works very, very well on about 85% of the patients.
SMARTY: Is that percentage also true with the liposuction patients?
DR. PIERCE: The same doctor can do 50 people, and the results will be different from person to person.
SMARTY: What is the largest part of your practice?
DR. PIERCE: The wellness and hormone balancing. Once we get things under control, then we can keep them under control, and minimize any of those hormonal changes that you would otherwise experience. If I start a 45-year-old man on testosterone therapy because his levels are low, he can maintain testosterone therapy for the rest of his life. He can keep those benefits of improved lean muscle mass, improved body composition, decrease in body fat, strength, endurance, bone density, and also have a lower risk factor for heart disease or stroke. When you look at the conglomeration of data out there with testosterone replacement therapy, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. The negatives are associated with having too much or too little. In the hormone world, I use the analogy of “The Three Bears”: Not too much, not to little… but just right.
DR. JOHN J. PIERCE D.O.
6020 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite C Las Vegas, NV 89118
702-838-1994 • AgelessForever.net