Archive for category: Blog

Goodbye Sun Damage, Hello Glowing Skin – Learn How With Dr. Killion!

Thanks to Dr. Killion, one of Monarch’s plastic surgeons, for sharing some tips about how to bring back a bright glow to your skin! ✨ In her presentation, she walks you through how the sun’s rays actually damage your skin and what you can try to rejuvenate it if your skin has been dulled from years of sun exposure!

Get tips to glowing skin by downloading the presentation:

Photoaging & How to Counteract The Damage

What Sun Exposure Can Do To Your Skin 

First, let’s explain what photoaging is — According to the Dermatology Association, “Photoaging is premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), primarily from the sun but also from artificial UV sources. Photoaging differs from chronological aging; the damaging effects of UV rays – from the sun or artificial tanning sources – alter normal skin structures.”

UV radiation we receive from the sun’s rays is the cause of photoaging, aka skin damage. Photoaged skin cells will have few cell layers, smaller cells, clusters of large melanocytes and hyperkeratosis. Melanocytes are what cause hyperpigmentation spots, or dark spots, on your skin while hyperkeratosis is responsible for dulling your once-glowing skin.

Vitamin A — A Key Player In Helping Your Skin 

One of the main ways to counteract the aging of your skin from sun exposure is vitamin A! It is a great option for a skincare topical treatment. If you’re looking for products that contain vitamin A, but you can’t find anything that says “vitamin A” specifically, skincare treatments also refer to it as retinol or tretinoin, so try searching for those names.

Vitamin A controls all the different phrases of our skin cells’ life spans, including growth, differentiation and maturation. When your skin is exposed to sun rays the ultraviolet radiation starts to strip vitamin A away.

When you add tretinoin in your skincare routine it can help to revise photoaging damage by 50-80%! What to learn more?

Tretinoin helps to increase the epidermal thickness (Type 1 collagen) and granular cell layers, which both help to decrease fine lines. It also decreases hyperpigmentation, which helps to get rid of dark spots. Last but not least, it compacts the stratum corneum (the outer layer of your skin), which will help brighten your complexion and give you glowing skin!

When To Use Retinoids?

The best time to get your skin routine refined? Quarantine! This is a great time to try out different serums while also letting your skin have time to become used to different products that will help it in the long run.  

When you first start using retinoids your skin will become irritated, but the reason behind this is very interesting. When you put retinoids on babies’ skin nothing will happen – this is because they do not have sun damage. But, when adults start using a retinoid, their skin often has a noticeable reaction. The greater your reaction, the more sun damage your skin has endured, which means you actually need a retinoid in your skin routine more.

If you have more questions about photoaging and what products would be ideal for you, visit our Instagram page and click the email button to contact our plastic surgeons. Don’t have an Instagram account? No worries! You can pop onto our Facebook page and send us a direct message with all your questions!

LED Therapy For Your Skin

Light up your skin with LED therapy — Dermatologists and doctors have been using this non-invasive treatment for 20 years! Find out how it could help you say goodbye to your acne, give your skin an extra glow and improve your skin with other benefits.

What You Need To Know 

LED Therapy uses energy to trigger your natural process of skin rejuvenation and repair. The treatment is recommended to help with acne, but also sun damage, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other inflammatory conditions, including wound healing, scarring or irritation. When you come in for multiple treatments, LED therapy is able to penetrate your skin at different depths, which causes various reactions in your skin, like fighting acne-causing bacteria, plumping skin and reducing wrinkles! LED therapy is great for all skin types and causes no pain.

Using LED Therapy To Treat Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, and can affect up to 50 million people each year. At least 85% of Americans experience acne between the ages of 12 and 24 years. When excess oil blocks your pores, it can cause a build-up that leads to a pimple. Bacteria called propionibacterium acne are usually what causes these pimples to form. It is not just teens who suffer from breakouts, but life changes such as these can also affect your skin:

  • Moving to a new environment
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormonal changes
  • Lifestyle changes

Our LED therapy is a great treatment for acne, whether it’s something you deal with on a regular basis or only from time-to-time. The therapy increases your natural hydration levels, which will help shrink the appearance of your pores, regulate oil production and improve circulation.

More Details 

LED therapy can also be used to help with inflammation and to stimulate collagen production — sounds like a win, win to us! Each treatment session is only 25 minutes long, and treatments are scheduled about once a week. Unlike other topical treatments, blue light therapy has been shown to have minimal adverse side effects or patient discomfort following the treatment.

Trigger Finger…Monarch Surgeon Dr. Bene Explains What It Is

Have you been experiencing pain and tenderness in one of your fingers, maybe even to the point that it feels like it’s constantly catching and popping? You may have a condition called “trigger finger.” Read on to learn more about the condition and how we can help you!

What Is Trigger Finger? 

Trigger finger is a type of tenosynovitis that happens in your fingers and causes pain, stiffness and sensations of locking or catching when you bend and straighten your finger. The condition commonly occurs in your ring finger or your thumb (then called trigger thumb) but can happen in any of your fingers. In severe cases, your finger locks and becomes stuck in a bent position and you have to use your other hand to straighten it.


Though the exact causes are unclear, trigger finger is more common in women and people who have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. If you frequently participate in forceful hand activities, such as gripping and squeezing, you are also more likely to notice symptoms.

How We Can Help 

If you are worried you might have trigger fingers, our doctors are here to help! We’ll first set up a consultation to discuss your symptoms and answer any questions you have. If needed, we can also schedule a simple in-office procedure that will help you get back to using your fingers without any pain. Check out the video above to hear more from Dr. Bene, one of our surgeons, about how we can help.

To set up a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons, simply call 913-663-3838 (Leawood) or 816-436-3262 (North KC). Learn more about our hand surgery procedure here.

Behind-the-Scenes Video Interview with Dr. Bene & Dr. Hodge – 25 Year Anniversary Celebration!


This year marks our 25th anniversary, and we are excited to celebrate with you! Please join us on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 5 – 7:30 p.m. at our Leawood location. Mingle with doctors and staff; ask our skincare representatives questions about the latest trending new products; take advantage of incredible skincare promotions; and enjoy champagne,  hors d’ouevres and music!

RSVP by calling skincare at 913-317-9386 or online here.

Our History

Our practice started with a dream of a better work environment — we wanted a thriving culture that would entice other talented surgeons to join us and one that would be welcoming to new patients. One of our founding surgeons, Dr. Bene, explains how he and the other founding partners had a vision of opening a plastic surgery center where patients felt comfortable and safe and where the whole staff felt accepted and equal. In 1995, they did just that! From the beginning, the people were always their main priority.

Today, Monarch still fosters that same culture of equality, which has led to some amazing collaborations that allowed the practice to focus on what is most important, you.

Why We Love Monarch

Dr. Hodge says it best, “There is nothing better than putting a smile on someone’s face.” We love being able to help people in all different stages of their lives — be it after they have beaten breast cancer, recovered from an injury or finally feel like they look the way they’ve always imagined. We find it extremely important that we are all able to give our patients the highest quality of service. We are always learning and training to ensure we are able to do what we love, making sure you’re happy after a service or procedure!

25 Years – Time To Celebrate!

Thank you to all of our patients who have grown the practice with us and our fellow co-workers, past and present, who have shared the same passion for patient care with us!

What’s A Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon VS. Cosmetic Surgeon?

If you’re considering a plastic surgery procedure ✨, it’s important to do your homework first — research doctors, procedures, read reviews and more. One question you should ask is whether or not the doctor is a cosmetic surgeon or board certified. At Monarch, all of our surgeons are board-certified. In this blog, we will walk you through the differences between a cosmetic surgeon versus a board-certified surgeon, and why it’s important to know the difference!

Cosmetic Surgeon 

“Cosmetic surgeon” sounds exactly what a plastic surgeon would call themselves, right? Well, actually, out of the two, they have had less specialty training within the field of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgeons are still technically doctors but they never completed a residency in the plastic surgery realm.

So What Exactly Does This Mean  

Cosmetic surgeons attended medical school, but plastic surgery was not the area of specialty they pursued after earning their degree. They can still call themselves plastic or cosmetic surgeons because states do not have laws that dictate which surgeries a doctor can perform or regulate how they advertise themselves. Therefore, any licensed doctor can legally call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, regardless of their training or education.

Board-Certified Surgeon 

Board-certified surgeons have completed a full-time residence that consists of working over 3,000 hours a year under the direct training and supervision of a more senior and fully-qualified plastic surgeon. During this time, they learn how to plan different procedures, perform surgery and then how to follow up with their patients. They have practiced and perfected procedures such as rhinoplasties, facelifts, breast augmentations, breast reconstructions, tummy tucks and accident reconstructions.

Our Practice 

At Monarch, all of our surgeons are board-certified and ready to help you with any of your plastic or reconstructive needs. It is important to us that you feel comfortable, safe and at ease when you decide you want a procedure, which is why we are only staffed with qualified, personable surgeons!

Call 913-663-3838 (Leawood) or  816-436-3262 (North KC), or schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons today!

Today’s Top Injectables Trends: Botox & Dermal Fillers

Zapping fresh energy and youth into your appearance may sound like magic — really, it’s technology. Yet with amazing results, little downtime and no surgery, it’s no small wonder that injectables are one of the hottest plastic surgery trends today. Botox and dermal fillers are at the top of the list and are rapidly becoming the most common aesthetic procedures worldwide. When it comes to injectables trends and preferences in the U.S., it turns out there are notable differences between the East and West Coast. That said, there are a few trends everyone should keep on their radars.

Injectables as the plastic surgery of the day

First of all, injectables are taking off at rocket speed. Seventy-three percent of consumers say they’re planning on getting physician-administered aesthetic treatment, such as injectables, in the next year, according to Allergan’s 360° Aesthetics Report. A few key factors play into this trend, per a study on the worldwide facial injectables market. Modern society is increasingly moving toward a beauty consciousness and focus on facial appearance, fueling the beauty market — case in point: women spend an average of $300-500 billion per year on beauty products. In addition, minimally invasive and non-surgical is the name of the game for plastic surgery these days, and advances in technology mean injectable techniques and materials are safer, simpler and more affordable than ever.

Subtle tweaks over exaggerated results

Gone are the days of extreme treatments and overstated features. Today, more patients are looking for subtle tweaks that preserve yet perfect their own unique facial traits.

“Now, people want to look more like their own filtered photos or a Photoshop version of themselves,” says New York City plastic surgeon Lara Devgan.

This is one area where the coasts differ, Allergan’s survey discovered. The West coast, especially LA, tends to gear more toward volume and a “bombshell” look — more units of filler, plumper lips, extra volume in the cheekbones — inspired by a standardized celebrity model (think Kim Kardashian and Olivia Culpo), while New Yorkers favor a more natural look. Still, the popularity of injectables as a minimally invasive and preventative measure, and the experience of many cosmetic surgeons, suggests that overall a more understated look is de rigueur these days.

“The most common comment that I hear is, ‘I want to look like myself, but better,’” says plastic surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft. “The ideal East Coast aesthetic is looking like you have never had anything done.”

Unorthodox use of fillers

Fillers are no longer only for the face. Increasingly, injectables are being used in a variety of areas and for specific goals. This may mean a shot to resolve saggy skin around the knees, under the superficial layers of the skin for a “boost” or even in the buttocks for an extra lift. According to celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, 50 percent of injectables practice is in use in “nontraditional” ways and locations.

The rise of preventative treatments

Though fillers may be thought of as a procedure to restore a youthful look, the treatments are increasingly sought after at a younger age — not to cure aging but to prevent it. In fact, 72 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported an increase in cosmetic surgery and injectables in those under 30, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery annual survey. Many are turning to more regular and less drastic treatments starting at a younger age in order to maintain and protect youthful skin, rather than waiting for more invasive processes later.

If you’re interested in trying injectables for yourself, there are several great options. Botox, a purified protein toxin, relaxes facial muscles to help smooth and eliminate wrinkles and lines. Another possibility is Juvéderm, an injectable gel containing hyaluronic acid that restores skin to replenish volume and reduce wrinkles. If volume is your main focus, Voluma XC, also a hyaluronic acid filler, adds volume to the cheek area to smooth skin and revive a youthful look.

To learn more or start your own injectables treatment, schedule a consultation with us today by calling (913) 663-3838 (Leawood) or (816) 436-3262 (North KC) or submitting a consultation request form.

Renuvion — The Answer to Tightening Skin

Say goodbye to loose skin with Renuvion! This innovative technology — new to Monarch Plastic Surgery — allows our clients to tighten skin in those areas that need a little love. Read on to learn about how Renuvion can deliver proven results and give you the skin you’ve always wanted. Watch the video with Dr. Keith Hodge as he explains the benefits of this new technology.

How Does it Work?

The Renuvion technology combines the unique properties of helium plasma with radiofrequency (RF) energy to create heat underneath the skin. This provides a Dual Thermal Effect on the tissue — providing a gentle yet effective result. The Dual Thermal Effect uses a waveform to convert the helium gas into a cold plasma. This is possible because helium can convert into plasma using minimal energy. The heat from the radiofrequency tightens the skin while the helium gas cools it.

Is it Safe?

The Renuvion treatment has been proven to be safe during the numerous surgical procedures already performed. This procedure is minimally-invasive, but provides a surgical impact on the tissue. With little downtime and risk, this treatment is a great alternative to invasive surgery.

Am I a Good Candidate?

Both men and women who are frustrated with loose skin could benefit from this new treatment. With Renuvion being minimally-invasive, this procedure is a great alternative to invasive surgery. This gives patients the opportunity to still get the results of an invasive procedure, but avoid the downtime and scarring.

This procedure is successful on multiple parts of the body such as the neck, arms, legs, back, abdomen and more. Have questions for our surgeons? Schedule a consultation with us today by calling 913-663-3838 (Leawood) or 816-436-3262 (North KC), or submitting a consultation request form.

What You Need to Know About Laser Hair Reduction

Now that summer is winding down, it’s the perfect time to think about receiving laser hair reduction! Shaving, waxing, tweezing and depilatory creams are typically the methods people use to get rid of unwanted hair — but these are temporary solutions. Laser hair reduction is a safe, noninvasive treatment that can permanently reduce hair growth in a specific area. If you’re tired of constantly having to remove unwanted hair on your arms, back, legs, upper lip, underarm or elsewhere, laser hair reduction may be the right option for you! Read on to discover how our laser treatment can help you achieve long-lasting results.

How Does it Work?

The laser generates a beam of light, which then gets absorbed by the pigment of the hair. As the light is absorbed, the energy transfers to the hair follicle — causing permanent damage. Each light pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat multiple hairs at a time. Since hair grows in cycles, multiple treatments will often be needed to ensure permanent hair reduction. Hair color must be dark in color — not red, gray or blonde.

How Should I Prepare?

Properly preparing for this treatment is essential to your health, safety and success of the procedure. Before the treatment, make sure you do not wax, tweeze or do electrolysis. This method of removing hair temporarily removes the hair’s root, which is what the laser is targeting during laser hair reduction.

Another necessary preparation is to avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and after the procedure. Sun exposure can cause the treatment to be less effective as well as making complications likely.

Recovery and Downtime

Typically, there is no downtime after undergoing this procedure. You may experience irritated and swollen hair follicles on the treated area; however, this is only temporary. Most patients can return to their everyday activities right away.

You will likely see results immediately after treatment. Depending on the type of hair, as everyone’s hair is different, you can expect a 10% to 25% reduction after the first session. To completely remove unwanted hair, patients typically need to complete an average of six sessions. After the necessary amount of sessions, the patient will likely need touch-up treatments over time.

Book a complimentary consult or schedule an appointment by calling (913) 317-9386 (Leawood) or (816) 436-3262 (North KC), or submitting a request form online.

Video Interview With Dr. Killion: Tips to Rejuvenate Your Hands

Did you know your hands are one of the first spots to reveal your age? As much as we pamper our face and neck, our hands deserve some love, too! By recognizing how sun exposure plays a role in skin damage is the first step to keeping your hands looking young. If your skin is showing signs of aging caused by sun exposure, we provide plenty of treatment options to restore youthful skin. According to Dr. Elizabeth Killion, a Monarch plastic surgeon, “They used to say that you can tell a person’s true age by looking at their hands, and fortunately that’s just not true anymore.” Watch as she notes the signs of aging in your skin as well as how to manage it with some simple hand rejuvenation treatments.

Signs your hands are aging 

There are two key signs that your hands are aging: dark spots and loss of volume. Darks spots are also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, which are caused by sun exposure. They vary in size and usually appear on the back of hands as well as the face, arms and shoulders. Dark spots can affect people of all ages and skin types, however, they are most common in people over 50 and those who have lighter skin.

Loss of volume in the hands causes the veins to be more apparent on the back of the hand. When we get older, the skin goes through morphological changes and becomes thinner. These changes may appear earlier and more pronounced when exposed to sunlight and UV rays. However, there are ways to treat this.

Treatment options

The first method to treat dark spots would be to try and prevent it initially. Sunscreen is the best method to protect your skin from sun exposure. As Dr. Killion mentions, try keeping sunscreen in your car, and apply it to your hands while you’re waiting at a red light. Another way to treat dark spots is the BroadBand Light (BBL). This treatment only takes around five minutes and works wonderfully at getting rid of those dark spots.

There are two different options when it comes to treating the loss of volume in the hands. For those who are interested, but aren’t sure what to expect, a filler would be a great option. Fillers last 12 to 18 months, giving you a temporary option. This plumps up the volume in the hands and decreases visible veins. A more permanent option would be fat grafting. Fat grafting is when fat from either the abdomen or thighs is harvested and injected through small incisions into your hands. Since it’s your own tissue, this would be a permanent result.

Have questions for our surgeons? Schedule a consultation with us today by calling 913-663-3838 (Leawood) or 816-436-3262 (North KC) or request a consultation online.

EMSELLA® Treatments — What You Need to Know

Monarch Plastic Surgery and Skin Rejuvenation Center has the technology to improve the lives of both men and women struggling with incontinence. The FDA-approved EMSELLA technology from BTL Aesthetics is revolutionizing women’s
intimate health and wellness and strengthening the pelvic floor to improve bladder control. Watch as Dr. Killion explains this revolutionary treatment!

EMSELLA is a type of chair you sit in — providing a noninvasive method that strengthens the pelvic floor. While staying fully clothed, this electromagnetic technology sends signals to the pelvic muscle causing it to contract — equivalent to 11,000 kegel exercises in over just 28 minutes.

What benefits do Kegels provide?

Performing Kegel exercises often can help to improve those that struggle with incontinence. The EMSELLA chair makes this simple, providing thousands of contractions in your pelvic muscle per second. The magnetic technology stimulates the targeted tissues of the pelvic floor, building up muscle strength to restore the support needed for the pelvic organs. This type of exercise tightens the vaginal wall, strengthens the pelvic floor, decreases stress and urge incontinence, increases sexual satisfaction and gives you the confidence you’ve been missing.

Who is a good candidate for EMSELLA?

Both men and women suffer from urge and stress incontinence. This happens when physical activity, such as laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising, puts pressure on your bladder. Those who suffer from these symptoms may feel embarrassed, isolate themselves or avoid social and work life. While this places negative stress on the wellness of the individual, EMSELLA can help you feel confident again.

Is EMSELLA painful?

The EMSELLA treatment is completely painless. It is a noninvasive procedure that sends electromagnetic signals to the pelvic floor muscle. The EMSELLA technology is designed as a chair — a simple procedure where all you have to do is sit and relax. While remaining fully clothed, the technology stimulates the muscle with thousands of contractions per second.

Ready to improve your quality of life? Monarch Plastic Surgery and Skin Rejuvenation Center provides the FDA approved EMSELLA technology. Call 913-317-9386 (Leawood) or 816-436-3262 (North Kansas City) or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation.