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Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To

By October 24, 2022No Comments

2019 book by David Sinclair, PhD
by Juris Bunkis, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Drs. Compoginis, Ekstrom and I have dedicated this period of our lives to helping our patients look more youthful. The main aim of plastic surgery is to restore function and appearance, to boost confidence and live in harmony with an appearance that reflects who you really are.

After pregnancy or weight loss, patients may choose a more contoured figure. Options chosen are to lift drooping breasts, remove stubborn fatty deposits, tighten abdominal muscles, remove damaged or thinned excess skin and stretch marks. I personally had a facelift, brow lift and blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck) years ago because the person staring back at me from the mirror looked older than I felt.

Other methods for not only reversing aging as regards to appearance, but also extending healthy life years, are coming to light.

With better medical care, lifespan has been slowly improving around the globe but there seems to be an upper limit as to what age we can hope to reach, a sort of “biological limit”.

We have all heard that Benjamin Franklin lived to the “ripe old age of 84” and George Washington to age 67, but the average lifespan of an American in 1776 was only 35 years of age! Today, the United States has surprisingly only the 46th best longevity rates in the world, in spite of spending more than anyone else on healthcare. Interestingly most European countries, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Israel, etc. all have higher longevity rates than the United States. Average longevity in the United States today is 82 years of age for females and 77 years for males (this might seem a long time in the distance for someone 25 years of age but is just around the corner for those of us Dr. Ekstrom’s or my age).

David Sinclair, PhD, a Harvard researcher summarized his longevity research in his 2019 book, “Lifespan”. Dr. Sinclair changes the way we look at the hallmarks of aging and demonstrates how we can slow down, or even reverse, biological aging effects. He reviews the latest research showing how technology, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, including intermittent fasting, have the potential to enhance human longevity. Dr. Sinclair shows that one of the main hallmarks of aging is genomic instability caused by DNA damage and discusses alterations to the epigenome that control our gene expression and how we can remove the limits to the aging process. He suggests that we should change the way we think about most diseases, to think of them as the consequence of an upstream disease called Aging Disease, a consequence of an un-repaired and frayed genome that sends increasingly garbled messages.

He does recommend a few specific supplements as well as alterations in our diet and exercise regimens along with specific practices. But he makes it clear that one hundred years of age is not a fixed upper limit and that the results of human trials on increasing longevity will soon be made public. This book is definitely worth a read.

On another note, and to add to the concepts in Dr. Sinclair’s book, one of hallmarks of “normal aging” is a decrease of hormone levels, starting in our 30’s and 40’s. If someone my age had their hormone levels tested, most family practice and internal medicine doctors would tell the patient that their hormone levels are “normal for your age”. But I want the energy, strength, balance, and vitality I had when I was in my 30’s and 40’s. As our Massachusetts PA, Makayla Porter, describes in the article below, we do not have to accept suboptimal hormone levels. Part of my anti-aging regimen for the last 7 or 8 years has been optimizing my hormone levels with bio-identical hormone levels – and I can vouch for the beneficial effects.

This was BioTe weekend in SoCal and our new staff took the BioTe training course – so feel free to quiz them during your next visit to our office! Optimize your hormone levels, read Dr. Sinclair’s book, take steps to extend your longevity, and enjoy every day of your life!

Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – Hormone Optimization & Breast Cancer
By Makayla Porter, PA-C

“I’m menopausal and can’t handle my symptoms with creams and do not want to take pills every day, what are my options?” SH, Springfield, MA.

The BioTE method uses bio-identical estradiol (estrogen) and testosterone pellets to optimize hormone levels. The pellets are small and resemble a Tic-Tac. (The benefit to using bio-identical hormones is that they are the exact molecular structure of the hormones our bodies naturally produce, derived from soy and yams versus synthetic molecules that are often derived from animal parts or urine). The pellets are placed in the fatty tissue of the upper buttock, and in females are inserted every 3-4 months using a 5-minute, painless procedure.

Many of our patient’s enjoy using pellets rather than other hormone therapies because it is a “set it and forget it method” and once the pellets are placed, they release steady amounts of hormones into the bloodstream every day. The pellet dose is also individualized for each patient, which helps to optimize hormone levels while decreasing risk of potential side effects. When we check labs before pellets are placed, we also ensure that the thyroid and other function and vitamin levels in the body are in the optimal range. Our goal is to have all our patients feeling their absolute best for health, vigor, and youthful vitality.

I am also often asked if bio-identical hormones cause breast cancer, and the short answer is no. While hormone replacement with estrogen is typically contraindicated in breast cancer survivors, testosterone replacement can positively impact quality of life in these patients.

As most females reach menopausal age, testosterone (along with estrogen) begins to plummet. In fact, by age 40, most women have lost about one-half of their testosterone production. Replacing this vital hormone can increase energy levels, decrease hot flashes and night sweats, improve libido, balance mood, and increase ability to build and maintain muscle mass.
Bio-identical testosterone therapy also decreases risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis related fractures, diabetes, and muscle wasting…… and there are studies that show that bio-identical testosterone can potentially decrease risk of future breast cancer.

If you or someone you know is a breast cancer survivor dealing with menopausal symptoms, there are still options out there for hormone optimization. Call us today to learn more about the BioTE method, and to set up a complimentary consultation (including phone consultations) at Salisbury Plastic Surgery (508)-755-4825 or Orange County Plastic Surgery (949)-888-9700.
-Makayla Porter, PA-C.

“The procedure was easy as pie! I feel so good now. I’m finally sleeping again and no more hot flashes. Thank you Makayla and BioTE!” – KL (age 56) Upton, MA.

Makayla Porter, PA-C, pelleting a patient at Salisbury Plastic Surgery

If you want to see if you can have any part of your body improved, contact us for a consultation:

For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit
Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit
You can write to
Dr. Compoginis at
Dr. Bunkis at
or Dr. Ekstrom at