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Plastic Surgery To Improve MMA Fighter Performance

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Plastic Surgery To Improve MMA Fighter Performance

Plastic surgery helps MMA fighters bleed less and fight more…

In the high octane world of MMA, losing pints of blood in the cage is a rather common experience for most fighters, but Franks Stile – a plastic surgeon from Las Vegas – is now pioneering a new field of cosmetic surgery that fixes up fighters to bleed less, breathe easier and ultimately fight for longer.

One night in 2007, watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Stile realized the cosmetic surgery techniques could be implemented to help reduce the bleeding the often occurs in and around healed wound where scar tissue has built up.

frank stiles mma plastic surgeon 550x550 Plastic Surgery To Improve MMA Fighter Performance

Franks Stile Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon

Image Source: Wired, 2011.

Coincidentally, one of his guests happened to be Nick Diaz, the current Champion of the Strikeforce Welter Weight division, who had then just lost by stoppage to K.J. Noons. Diaz, knowing the ease with which his wounds reopened, agreed to be Stile’s guinea pig.

When a cut unprofessional sealed, only the epidermis – the outer surface – is stitched. Scar tissue builds up to heal the gaps, but the wound is still only sealed from the outside. Any impact on the same area rips through the thin layer of skin reopening the wound.

As Stile explains in an Wired article, a fighter’s bone structure can also contribute to ease in which the skin can be split, or cut open:

Wherever theres a bony prominence or a sharp ridge on an anatomical area on their skull that creates a sharp edge on the cheek, the orbital rib on the eyebrow, the bridge of the nose youre going to get cut, Stile says. If you notice a guy like Oscar De La Hoya, hes a handsome guy still, but its not because he hasnt been hit…

Its because he doesnt have the predisposition to [get] cut like some of these other guys.

When Diaz went under the knife, Stile also rounded off the sharp contours of his brow bone with a chisel. A Neoform collagen plegent was used to replace the scar tissue, and the incision was stitched layer by layer, from the inside out.

Prior to the surgery Stile hypothesized that the new sutures and collagen filler could make Diaz’s skin as strong as it was before. And he be may correct, in the last 9 fights that Diaz has taken since the surgery, he has hardly bleed, and he has gone on to become the Strikeforce welter weight champion. Other fighters agree, since Diaz, Stile has performed procedures on six other fighters. After Diaz mentioned the surgery to former UFC welterweight Marcus Davis, a fighter known for carrying a lot of scar tissue on his face, he quickly became Stile’s next patient.

And it’s not just scar tissue Stile has been treating. When UFC veteran Phil Baroni visited him for another nose reshaping, Stile also corrected his deviated septum allowing him to breathe easier.

Aside from the obvious benefits of breathing at optimal capacity, being able to breathe properly through the nose is even more essential for fighter. When a fighter can’t take enough air in though the nose, they resort to opening their mouth to increase their air intake. With the jaw dropped, the fighter is more susceptible to a knockout blow to the chin, and a broken jaw. Now with his deviated septum corrected, Baroni is able to train for longer, and has reduced risk of being knocked out.

Phil Baroni (UFC) Deviated Septum Surgery

With cosmetic plastic surgery becoming increasing in popular in many walks of life, it probably won’t be long before other techniques are modified, or developed specifically for increasing an athlete’s performance. But where does one draw the line? That question is still highly up for debate.


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