Honoring Sacrifice and Service: A Reflection on Veterans Day
By Dr. Juris Bunkis
Veterans Day, observed annually on November 11th, is a solemn occasion dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Originally established as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I, it was later renamed Veterans Day to encompass the contributions of all military veterans. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who have donned the uniform, defending the values and freedoms that form the bedrock of the nation.
The roots of Veterans Day trace back to the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany on November 11, 1918, marking the end of World War I. In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday in the United States, honoring the veterans of the “war to end all wars.” However, after the conclusion of World War II and the Korean War, the need to recognize the service of veterans from all eras became evident. In 1954, the holiday was officially renamed Veterans Day by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Veterans Day is not merely a day off from work or school; it is a day of reflection and gratitude. It provides an opportunity for citizens to acknowledge and express appreciation for the bravery, sacrifice, and selflessness demonstrated by veterans throughout history. It is a moment to recognize the toll of war on individuals, families, and communities and to stand united in support of those who have borne the burden of defending the nation.
As we commemorate Veterans Day, it is crucial to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Many veterans have paid the price with their lives, and their memory lives on in the hearts of a grateful nation. Equally important is honoring the living veterans, who carry the physical and emotional scars of their service. Veterans Day serves as a reminder to offer support, understanding, and resources to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life.
Over the years, Veterans Day has evolved beyond solemn ceremonies at war memorials. Parades, educational events, and community activities have become integral to the observance. Schools play a vital role in educating the younger generation about the significance of this day, ensuring that the legacy of sacrifice and service endures.
In essence, Veterans Day is a time to pause and acknowledge the debt of gratitude owed to the men and women who have stood on the front lines to protect and preserve the ideals that define the United States. It is a day to express gratitude not only through words but through actions that support and uplift the veterans who have given so much for their country. As we honor their service, let us commit ourselves to fostering a society that values and cares for those who have dedicated their lives to safeguarding our freedom.
Weight Loss vs Liposuction
By Dr. Juris Bunkis
Weight loss and liposuction may be frequently grouped together when discussing improvements in our shape. The two processes obviously have their differences. Even when you’re at your lowest weight, there are likely still one or two areas you might wish had a little less fat. Genetics, hormones and aging cause our fat to be distributed in various ways, so some people carry their fat differently than others. From apple-shaped bodies to rectangles or pear shapes, it’s perfectly normal for there to be differences.
However, many patients wish they could change their physique by removing some of the fat from stubborn, isolated spots, so they turn to liposuction. Liposuction is not designed to be a weight loss tool, and it won’t convey the health benefits of a good exercise routine and diet, but it does have numerous benefits.
Despite what is commonly believed, you don’t have to be “big” to have liposuction. Patients who have this treatment are mostly individuals who maintain a stable, normal body weight but who also have some specific, problematic areas of fat, such as love handles, below-the-skin belly fat, a double chin or batwings on the upper arms.
These are the people who are considered to be ideal candidates. In fact, plastic surgeons prefer that patients are close to their ideal weight and are in a good state of health before having this surgery. Here’s how normal weight loss differs from liposuction.
Weight loss works differently- We all have a set number of fat cells by the time we reach adulthood, and this number doesn’t change much throughout the rest of our lifetime. Unfortunately, our fat isn’t always distributed the way we want it to be. Even after we lose weight from all over the rest of the body through exercise, it doesn’t guarantee that we’ll be able to lose fat from specific areas.
Studies have shown that spot-reducing fat doesn’t actually work. Traditionally, a healthy lifestyle has been the way of losing weight and maintaining your weight loss.
When patients shed a few pounds by eating healthy or exercising – the fat itself doesn’t actually burn off. Instead, the fat cells simply shrink in size as some of their lipid contents are used up. These cells can become larger again if you put on weight in the future. Becuase you don’t actually lose these fat cells, it’s more likely for you to gain weight again after.
Normal weight-loss methods are also the only way of reducing visceral fat – the hard, protruding fat in the abdominal area that surrounds the internal abdominal organs. Visceral fat is more dangerous to our health than subcutaneous fat when we have an excess of it. Liposuction cannot remove this fat, as liposuction only works on soft, subcutaneous fat that accumulates just under the skin on various areas of the body.
As noted above, liposuction isn’t a substitute for avoiding unhealthy foods and keeping active, but when other methods haven’t worked for toning up some areas of your body, you might be a suitable candidate for body contouring surgery.
When you have liposuction, fat cells below the surface of the skin are eliminated permanently once they have been removed from the body. You’ll still be able to gain weight, but it’s more likely to go to other areas of the body that have not had liposuction. Liposuction is the ideal technique for dislodging and removing fat in isolated spots that are resistant to diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
The majority of lipo patients only lose between two to five pounds, so you won’t see any extreme weight loss from this surgery. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle after you’ve had liposuction will help you to get better results from surgery, have a smoother recovery and maintain the physique you want in the long term.
Why can’t we remove more than 5 Liters at a time during liposuction?
The limitation on the amount of fat that can be safely removed during liposuction, often set around 5 liters, is solely based on concerns for patient safety. Removing larger volumes of fat in a single session can increase the risk of complications. The main reasons are blood loss, fluid shifts, cardiovascular strain and the post-operative recovery
While liposuction is generally considered a low-bleeding procedure, removing excessive amounts of fat can increase the risk of bleeding. This is especially true if larger blood vessels are inadvertently damaged during the procedure. A liposuction surgery may be stopped prior to reaching the 5 liter mark if too much bleeding is encountered.
Liposuction involves injecting a solution (tumescent fluid) into the targeted area before fat removal. This solution contains saline (saltwater), anesthetic, and epinephrine (a drug that constricts blood vessels). Large volumes of this solution can be absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially leading to fluid shifts that may impact the cardiovascular system.
Anesthetic Considerations can also play a role: The amount of tumescent fluid used in liposuction contains local anesthetics. Administering too much local anesthetic, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream, may have systemic effects, affecting the central nervous system and potentially leading to complications.
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Strain can occur by removing a large volume of fat in a single session. This is particularly important for the safety of the patient during and after the procedure- especially since the majority of liposuction cases are performed as “out-patient” surgeries.
Finally, recovering from liposuction involves managing the body’s response to the surgery including inflammation and fluid shifts. Limiting the amount of fat removed helps ensure a smoother and safer recovery process.
It’s important to note that the 5-liter limit is a general guideline, and the actual safe limit can vary based on factors such as the patient’s overall health, the specific areas being treated, and the surgeon’s judgment. Patients considering liposuction should consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can assess their individual case and provide guidance tailored to their health and specific needs.
The pictures below are of a 25-year-old female in otherwise good health who underwent 5 liters of liposuction.