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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lunch for breast cancer

The Susan G. Komen Foundation will host a fund-raising lunch today at the Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St. in Bellevue. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. The guest speaker is Ernestine Bradley, a breast cancer survivor and wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley.

Treating menopause

A talk about hormone replacement therapy will be held 7 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Overlake Golf and Country Club. The cost is $25, including refreshments. For information or to register, call 425-688-5259 or go to

Plastic surgery options

A physician at Overlake Medical Center discusses options for the face from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Issaquah Meadow Creek Office Park, 22510 S.E. 64th Place, Suite #120. The cost is $5. For information or to register, call 425-688-5800.

Breast cancer benefit

A reception to view 40 bras decorated by the Art Institute of Seattle to benefit breast cancer research will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Hotel Monaco, 1101 Fourth Ave., Seattle. For information, call 206-621-1770.

Board member needed

The state's Board of Pharmacy is looking for someone to fill a vacant position. Board members receive $50 a day plus travel expenses. For applications, go to .doc. For information, e-mail Doreen Beebe at

Asthma for parents

A class for parents of children with asthma will be held 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18 at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle. The cost is $15 per family. For information, call 206-987-2486. The class will cover asthma medications, triggers and how to work with schools and day care.


Do you have a comment on any of the health stories in the P-I? Contact us at or call us at 206-448-8180.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.

AP Worldstream


Dateline: ST. LOUIS

Surgery arranged by relief workers to correct the severe facial deformity of an Indonesian girl was successful and her prognosis was excellent, one of the surgeons said Thursday.

Eight-year-old Mawarni Zega, whose home was partly destroyed by an earthquake in March, underwent the roughly 12-hour, complication-free surgery Wednesday at St. Louis Children's Hospital, pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey Leonard said.

Leonard and plastic surgeon Dr. Anna Kuang managed to remove her birth defect known as encephalocele _ a facial bulge caused when a gap in the skull allows brain membranes to protrude. Doctors trimmed away excess skin and used a bone graft from the girl's skull to rebuild the bridge of her nose.

"Everything went just fine," said Leonard, a Healing the Children volunteer. "Overall, I think they'll be very happy with what has occurred. Her prognosis is very good."

While the healing may take some time and "minor touchup surgeries" may follow, Leonard said Mawarni's face "will look dramatically different from what it did."

Leonard said Mawarni, perhaps as soon as Friday, would be moved from intensive care to her own room, and her hospital stay was expected to last at least a week. Doctors were monitoring her for any signs of infection and hoped to remove her breathing tube later Thursday, Leonard said.

Within weeks of her hospitalization, the girl faces another surgery, this time to remove a kidney stone that has enlarged her right kidney without affecting the organ's normal function, Leonard said.

Given the breathing tube, Mawarni has not spoken since the surgery, Leonard said. But in the days leading up to the operation, the girl appeared thrilled about the prospect of being rid of the deformity.

"I would not see America if I did not get this surgery," she said.

The earthquake that destroyed Mawarni's home on Nias Island, off the western coast of Indonesia's main island of Sumatra, came three months after the stronger quake that triggered the Dec. 26 tsunami. That disaster killed at least 175,000 people in 11 Indian Ocean nations, including Mawarni's country. The March quake killed about 900 people and left thousands injured and homeless.

Among the relief efforts was the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy, which was anchored off Nias' coast. Doctors traveled by helicopter to the city of Gunung Sitoli to treat the injured. Among them were Mawarni and her mother, Adilia Zega, who were living in a tent.

Although many surgeries are performed on the USNS Mercy, Mawarni's deformity was too complicated, so an effort was made to bring her to the United States for the operation.

Mawarni _ the daughter of a rubber tree farmer _ is the youngest of 10 children from the village of Hilisebua, in the subdistrict of Gido.

A donor paid air fare for Mawarni, her mother and an interpreter to get to St. Louis, and they've been given a free place to stay at a patients' housing facility.

Copyright 2005, AP News All Rights Reserved

Byline: LINA DAS

Braving bad weather and bad-tempered cows, ten spoilt youngsters, from some of the richest and most famous families, herd 200 cattle over 100 miles of mountainous terrain in the U.S.

state of Colorado for a new TV show. They are roughing it in campsites for a month, all in aid of raising money for mentally and physically disabled children. But, far from being judged on their herding performance, it was team work and attitude that counted.

And you can't buy that anywhere.

The Hon ALEXANDER CLIFFORD, 19, son of the 14th Baron Chudleigh, is set to inherit Ugbrooke, the historic family home in Devon and its 3,800-acre estate. He says:

When I first met the others, travelling on the private jet to Colorado, the talk was all of Gucci and Prada. The conversations were littered with phrases such as, 'I think Gucci even has their own cowboy range now.' I've been taught not to judge people, but I didn't need to because the stereotypes were there.

With the odd exception, like Alex [son of the actor Anthony Quinn], I felt they were all superficial and materialistic. I was astounded at how much pocket money they got. One girl was getting more than [pounds sterling]4,000 a month for expenses. She was great fun, but she was a spoilt brat - pretty much all of them were. I was the odd one out, really.

I went to Millfield public school and have been around people with money all my life, but I think it's important to be able to handle it. It does help if you can do that with class.

They just don't have that - they are nouveau riche. They asked me about my allowance - I have one, but not on their scale - and I said that we just don't talk about money in Britain.

It was so ludicrious to hear that Fabian's [a Manhattan It boy] monthly phone bill alone is [pounds sterling]1,600 that you had to laugh. Fabian is the king of complainers. He doesn't accept 'no' for an answer and his rules are never to get hurt, never get dirty and never put himself out.

He flashes around his black American Express card, which is only issued to the super wealthy and which his Daddy obviously pays for - he's money, money, money. He even couriered out tequila, two digital cameras, and one of each of Pizza Hut's pizzas - all on separate deliveries - to the cattle drive, which was in the middle of nowhere. When he couldn't be bothered to wash his dirty underwear, he couriered out 30 pairs of designer boxer shorts and matching T-shirts.

My father brought me up to treat money with respect. We are not ridiculously rich - it's all tied up in land - so I've never had cash flashed in my face like they have. I went shopping with the girls after the show and they spent [pounds sterling]2,000 in one spree. It was crazy. I could never fall for one of those girls - no, no, no. I'd be broke. If I brought someone like them home I'd lose my inheritence.

I was amazed to see one girl bring an entire set of Louis Vuitton luggage with her. I had a wheelie suitcase, which became the laughing stock of the group and was nicknamed 'the Tupperware box'. I didn't mind because I teased the Americans, saying that I have chairs in my house that are older than their country.

I have grown up in a beautiful home designed by Robert Adam with gardens designed by Capability Brown. The dining room table can sit 25. The house is open to the public for a limited season. It is a home, albeit grand. I'm inviting the Cattle Drive group over for a dinner party and they will be able to see another side of the concept of wealth.

A lot of the behaviour was cringeworthy and I felt some of the others looked down on the cattle drive cowboys, who showed us what to do, whereas I got on well with them. Most of us, however, came back humbler - with the exception of Fabian, who became more obnoxious and said that he appreciated room service even more.

COURTENAY SEMEL, 23, is the daughter of Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo! and the former boss of Warner Bros. She is single and lives in West Hollywood. She says:

When I was nine, I had a role in the movie Hudson Hawk as a bratty kid and, when it came to Cattle Drive, I gave the show a brat times ten. I could have been on my family's yacht, but I did this instead. I honestly thought we were going to have a trailer with a hair stylist and a makeup artist. Showering was a nightmare. We had to pour buckets of water over our heads. I could barely lift mine and there was always a brown film at the bottom of the bucket. In the end I gave up on showering, even though I felt disgusting.

I thought that Joshua, the cattle drive boss, was picking on me. I couldn't get on my horse because my jeans were a bit tight and Joshua said that that should teach me not to wear Gucci jeans. But he got it so wrong. Who actually wears Gucci jeans? No one.

Alex Quinn and I hit it off but, when you're in the middle of the wilderness with cow dung on you and you can't shave your legs, then nothing romantic is going to happen.

The first night there I was very unhappy and wanted to go home. I phoned my dad to ask him to get me out, but when I got hysterical, he put the phone down. I kept calling him but he refused to help. He'd taken care of all my messups before - parking tickets, my car getting towed, me not being able to get to classes in New York because it was too cold - and wanted me to take responsibility for a change.

I was born in Beverly Hills and grew up in Bel Air. My dad was head of Warner Bros, so I grew up around film stars. Every summer, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman would join us on vacation. Once, when I was sick in bed, my mum asked me to come downstairs and, when I did, there were Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. They said, 'If you sing for us, we'll sing for you,' and they ended up singing Think Of Me from Phantom Of The Opera.

Michael Jackson came to our house, too. He said to my mum, 'Can you clean the toilet before I use it?' - although I doubt she went in there with a toilet brush. He didn't want to hang out with the adults and so he hung out with us kids in my room and we all told stories to one another.

I've known Paris Hilton ever since nursery school and, as much as people say she's dumb, she's created a formula that works for her and, businesswise, she's done really well. At school, she was wearing makeup and skirts that were too short from the age of 12.

Growing up in Hollywood makes you extra competitive. You never feel pretty or thin enough. I had eating disorders and suffered from depression. There was pressure, even when I was a teenager, to have .

I considered liposuction and, had I really wanted it, I'm sure my mum would have let me. At college I got into drugs and drank and went to rehab, but I'm fine now. My parents give me an allowance of [pounds sterling]4,000 a month, but I want to do something with my life, such as helping kids with drug problems and eating disorders. I hope I can be a role model.

ALEX QUINN, 28, is the son of acting legend Anthony Quinn, who died four years ago.

He is separated from his wife, and lives and works in Los Angeles as an actor. He says: When I was deciding whether to do the show or not, I considered what my father would have thought and was mindful of his legacy.

He was a very outdoorsy, rugged man, and I think he would have encouraged me to do it. He would have loved to have done a cattle drive, but he would never have done a reality television show.

I enjoyed being on the cattle drive. The physical aspect was challenging but not difficult. The hardest part was being around some of the complaining and the negativity of the others. Some of the kids had been a bit spoilt and so, when one of them complained, it tended to escalate from one person to another.

Courtenay came across as bratty, but I think she only acted like that because she knew people expected it of her. I didn't plan on having a romance while I was there, but something just happened between us. I was flattered that the women found me attractive, because, if you'd met me five years ago, you'd have seen me seven stone heavier. Getting attention from women is new to me and, although I've never felt that I had to live up to my father's reputation as a great lover of women, I've always been aware of his reputation.

My father had 13 children and I was born during a seven-year affair he had with my mother, Friedel Dunbar, while he was married to his second wife, Iolanda. My father didn't spend much time with me and my brother while we were growing up in Beverly Hills because Iolanda wouldn't let him. By the time his marriage was ending, I was 16 and we were able to have a wonderful relationship.

Life with my father was never dull. I miss the yachts in Monte Carlo, the private jets, and seeing how happy he made the people he met. But there were sad moments, too: he never came to father-son events at school. I would have to go with someone else's father.

As I got older, I fell in love with acting and he wasn't too pleased. He said, 'Fine, but don't expect me to make any phone calls for you.' At first I was hurt, but then I realised he was doing it for my own good. He wanted me to earn my own successes. He had made it from nothing and he instilled that same work ethic in me. As a result, I've always worked - he paid for my food, housing and school, but that was it.

My mum was also reluctant to give me money. I grew up with friends such as Scott Caan [son of James Caan] and Sage Stallone [son of Sylvester Stallone].

Their parents would give them [pounds sterling]50 spending money, while my mother gave me [pounds sterling]5.

It was quite embarrassing.

HAYLEY GIRALDO, 20, is the daughter of guitarist Neil Giraldo and rock singer Pat Benatar. She lives on her own in Malibu. She says:

When I agreed to do the show, I had no idea we'd be roughing it as much as we had to. We rode six hours a day and it was really hard as I had no previous ranching experience, and we ended up staying in places where there were bears and rattlesnakes. And, when it came to the actual cattle drive, I thought we'd maybe do a little and then the ranchers would do the rest, but they made us do everything they did. We even had to kill, skin and cook a rattlesnake.

Still, we all kept the skins and we're now going to make bracelets out of them.

In the beginning, we all wanted to look cute but, by the end, we gave up. We had been told not to bring really nice clothes as they'd get ruined but, of course, we all wanted to look good on TV. Someone brought five pieces of Louis Vuitton luggage with her and, in the end, all the girls just dipped into her suitcases and wore her stuff. I started out wearing these little tops, but then my straps would fall down and I'd have to keep pulling them up which would make me lose my reins and then Joshua, the cattle boss, would start shouting at me.

My parents love the show because they say I don't act like a brat. I've been touring with my mum ever since I was nine months old and I love to travel. I went to school with the children of people such as Mel Gibson, Michael Landon and Rick Springfield, but it was all very normal. No one went, 'Oh look, there's Mel Gibson.' Sometimes people would be in the house and I wouldn't have a clue who they were and it was only when I got older that I'd think: 'Oh, that was Fleetwood Mac.' And on my birthday, I'd get presents from the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Deborah Harry.

Mum never spoiled me and raised me never to take things for granted so, if I asked for a Range Rover, for example, she wouldn't just give it to me. Now I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I design jewellery and love to cook, sing, dance and act, and I've even been the warm-up on stage for my mum. I learnt a lot from the cattle drive and I think the ranchers learnt a lot from us, too. At least the cowboy, Joshua, learnt never to wear Gucci jeans.

Rich Kids: Cattle Drive is on E! Sky Channel 193 on Fridays at 10pm.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Solo Syndication Limited

Byline: Jodi Mailander Farrell

MIAMI _ Melissa Gonzalez knew her family intended to give her enough money to buy a new car when she turned 18. But she had her heart set on something else: Bigger breasts.

After convincing her mother she was serious, Gonzalez spent about $5,000 augmenting her breasts in April, one month shy of her 18th birthday. She grew from what she calls a "flat-as-a-wall" double-A bra to a small C-cup. She spent the rest of her birthday money on a used 1999 Mercury Cougar.

"At first, everybody was like, `Oh my gosh, I can't believe you're doing this,' " says Gonzalez, a sophomore at Florida International University. She says she "was always super-self-conscious" and had been determined to get implants since she was 14. "I wore a padded bra underneath a sport bra just to give myself a little bump. I didn't have cleavage; I didn't have anything, no matter how much I squished. This is something I did for myself. I just wanted to look like a girl. Girls have boobs and hips, you know what I mean?"

Gonzalez is not alone. In just one year, the number of girls 18 and younger getting breast implants jumped nearly threefold_from 3,872 in 2002 to 11,326 in 2003, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports.


With financing making more accessible than ever, it's not just teenage girls getting implants. The increase in young women undergoing procedures mirrors a larger trend in our Nip `N Tuck nation. Among all age groups, cosmetic implants have skyrocketed in popularity, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Last year, the group reports, about 247,000 women got breast implants, compared with 32,000 in 1992.

By comparison, teens are still a small percentage of those receiving implants, points out Dr. Barry Schwartz, a Weston, Fla., plastic surgeon. Schwartz says about 15 percent to 20 percent of his breast augmentation patients are under 21.

"Young women are more conscious of their bodies in this day and age, especially with South Florida fashions," Schwartz says. "The more you expose, the more you want to look good."

Dr. Jose M. Soler-Baillo, a South Miami plastic surgeon who performed Gonzalez's augmentation, says getting implants has become a "coming-of-age type of thing" for many young women, "especially here in Miami."

"I've definitely seen a steep increase in 18- and even 17-year-olds coming in," says Dr. Lenny Roudner, who is so popular among women seeking implants that his nickname is "Dr. Boobner." The Miami doctor performs an average of five implant surgeries a day.

"These girls are really well-informed," says Roudner, who has worked on some young patients' mothers and grandmothers. `When the mother has had it, she knows what it did for her, so these women are quite fine with their daughters doing it. It's a big boost to some girls' self-esteem. It's becoming quite the graduation gift: It's cheaper than a car and better than a fountain pen."

Critics say the timing couldn't be worse for adolescent girls, who are often unhappy with their looks. They say teenagers are too young and shortsighted to comprehend the long-term affects of surgery, particularly the risks, which include the possibility of rupture or permanent scarring, the need for periodic operations to replace or remove the implants and the potential problems with breast-feeding and mammography. Also, little is known about the implants' long-term safety; no studies have been done on females this young.

"It might feel to a 17-year-old like it's the end of the world to wait a few years, but their bodies are still changing," says Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families. `Those breasts are likely to get larger, especially when they go off to school and gain the `freshman 15,' the pounds girls often put on between ages 18 and 21. Their whole body begins to look more voluptuous."

The nonprofit research and education group is so concerned about the trend that it has created a Web site, The site includes details of surgery risks, graphic FDA photos of women whose procedures have gone awry and an online hotline_info(AT)breastimplantinfo.com_for girls to e-mail questions.

Among the young women featured on the site: Kacey Long, who got D-sized implants three years ago at 19. A few weeks after her surgery, Long says she began experiencing shooting pain in her arms, followed by intense joint pain and crushing fatigue. Last year, her parents took out a $6,400 loan to pay for removal surgery, a procedure documented on MTV's "I Want a Famous Face."

There is no law forbidding implants in patients younger than 18, but the FDA advises against it. In the past 15 years, implants have been the subject of furious controversy over their safety. The FDA has banned silicone-gel implants because of unanswered questions about their safety, but it permits the use of saline-filled implants, which have a silicone shell. Both types are the subject of ongoing FDA studies.


Zuckerman, the mother of two teenagers, says girls should wait until they are 21 to consider breast surgery.

Some local surgeons say they have turned away girls younger than 18, primarily because their bodies were still changing.

"You want to be sure that, physically, they're done growing," says Dr. Tracy Baker, a Harvard-trained Miami plastic surgeon. "It's like building a house on ground that's shifting or settling."

Baker says he considers the age a girl started menstruating and whether or not her shoe size, height and weight have remained constant. Soler-Baillo, the South Miami surgeon, draws the line at age 17 in most cases, although he recently performed surgery on a 16-year-old because she had one undeveloped breast.

"The key thing is to have the parents involved and have a mature young person," Soler-Baillo says. "I spend at least an hour interviewing and asking questions like `Why are you doing it?' If somebody says, `My boyfriend likes big boobs,' that's not the right answer. But if they say they can't find clothes that fit, that they don't feel comfortable, it means they're not doing it for somebody else, it's to make themselves feel better."

Soler-Baillo and other surgeons say they warn young women about the pain of surgery and the possible complications.

"If an 18-year-old girl comes in with a beautiful B-cup, I'm probably not going to operate on that girl, but if there's a girl going off to college or entering the dating world and she's mature and really has no breast development, that is a problem for that young woman," Baker says. "It affects her self-esteem, her clothes, her dates."

Melissa, who asked that her last name not be used, underwent surgery after graduating from high school earlier this year because her left breast was a B-cup size and her right was an A-cup. Now she's a 34B in both.

"I'm so happy now, I'm proportional," says the 18-year-old.

Luly Martinez, a legal assistant in Miami, says she is waiting for her daughter Alexa to stop growing before she agrees to implants, probably sometime after the 17-year-old graduates from high school _ and after Mom gets hers done next year.

"I'll get mine first, then we'll get hers," Martinez, 36, says. "She's dying for them. To me, I think she's perfect, but she wants them bigger. When she starts working, she can pitch in."

Alexa, who says she wears a 34-A bra, wants to be a "full B or C cup." The 5-foot-2-inch teenager weighs about 110 pounds.

"I just want to be bigger so I can wear nicer shirts and things can fit," she says. "I want it for myself so when I go out, I'll look better in what I'm wearing."

Nicole, another Miami implant patient who asked that her last name not be used, says she underwent surgery at age 19 as a reward to herself for losing 35 pounds. She went from a 36AA to a 36C.

"I got into bodybuilding and got very muscular and I didn't have anything," says Nicole, now 20. "I just felt very insecure about my body."

Nicole's parents weren't happy with her decision, but they eventually accompanied her on a pre-surgery office visit and gave their blessing, in part because Nicole paid for the procedure. Using money she had saved since she was 15, she made a down payment of $2,850 and financed the last $1,500. She researched the issue and doctors on the Internet, concerned because her family has a history of breast cancer.

"I chose to pay for it so I can never blame anyone for it if something happens," Nicole says. "If things do happen, I will have to suffer the consequences for something I decided to do."

Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, says he advises against implants for teenagers primarily because they will have to be redone.

"Saline tends to lose shape, shift a little, they get pushed around a bit so they have to be replaced," Caplan says. "The younger you get them, the more you're going to have to go back and replace them.

"I'm not trying to argue this is something we should ban or outlaw," he says. "What I'd like to see is young people thinking a little bit more about what really matters to them. It's all about giving yourself a chance to get comfortable with your body and what message you want to send to others. But do I think I have a snowball's chance in hell of changing things with this advice? No."

Melissa Gonzalez, eight months into her new breasts and happy to be wearing V-neck shirts, says the procedure was worth it despite the potential for future problems.

"Some things just happen, one could pop, I know," she says. "But it's like life: Whatever happens happens. At least I have them at a time when I can enjoy them."


(c) 2004, The Miami Herald.

Visit The Miami Herald Web edition on the World Wide Web at

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.


PHOTOS (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099):

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COPYRIGHT 2004 The Miami Herald

Lunch for breast cancer

The Susan G. Komen Foundation will host a fund-raising lunch today at the Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St. in Bellevue. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. The guest speaker is Ernestine Bradley, a breast cancer survivor and wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley.

Treating menopause

A talk about hormone replacement therapy will be held 7 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Overlake Golf and Country Club. The cost is $25, including refreshments. For information or to register, call 425-688-5259 or go to

Plastic surgery options

A physician at Overlake Medical Center discusses options for the face from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Issaquah Meadow Creek Office Park, 22510 S.E. 64th Place, Suite #120. The cost is $5. For information or to register, call 425-688-5800.

Breast cancer benefit

A reception to view 40 bras decorated by the Art Institute of Seattle to benefit breast cancer research will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Hotel Monaco, 1101 Fourth Ave., Seattle. For information, call 206-621-1770.

Board member needed

The state's Board of Pharmacy is looking for someone to fill a vacant position. Board members receive $50 a day plus travel expenses. For applications, go to .doc. For information, e-mail Doreen Beebe at

Asthma for parents

A class for parents of children with asthma will be held 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18 at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle. The cost is $15 per family. For information, call 206-987-2486. The class will cover asthma medications, triggers and how to work with schools and day care.


Do you have a comment on any of the health stories in the P-I? Contact us at or call us at 206-448-8180.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.

DALLAS -- Dallas-based Charles A. Wallace, M.D. F.A.C.S. is one of the few plastic surgeons in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to offer the new revolutionary "Thread Lift" facelift, which uses the FDA-approved Contour Threads(TM). The Thread Lift procedure is a minimally invasive non-surgical alternative to the traditional surgical facelift, using specially designed sutures to gently shift sagging facial tissues in an upward direction without major incisions, general anesthesia, or a long recovery time. Contour Threads were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2005, and Dr. Wallace was the first plastic surgeon in Dallas to receive training and conduct the procedure.

"This new procedure works even better than I originally expected. Although it is not a replacement for a full surgical facelift, the results can be fairly dramatic," said Dr. Wallace, who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). "It's the perfect alternative for patients who have a fear of surgery or general anesthesia, or do not want to undergo the longer recovery period required of a surgical face lift." The procedure takes a little over an hour, and is done in Dr. Wallace's in-office surgery center, which is AAAHC(a) accredited. No hospital stay is required.

The F.D.A.-approved Contour Thread Lift is currently used by about 300 U.S. surgeons, according to the manufacturer Surgical Specialties Corp. "Since there has been a large amount of hype regarding Thread Lifts, potential patients should take caution to ensure they achieve the safest, optimal results," Dr. Wallace said. "First, only Contour Threads have been approved by the FDA for this usage. There are many doctors around the U.S. and in Dallas -- including plastic surgeons --using other types of sutures that have not been approved by the FDA.

"Secondly, many doctors outside the field of are accessing training to do this procedure, such as practitioners in Ob/Gyn or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Just as you wouldn't normally go to a neurosurgeon to have knee surgery, one should be cautioned in going to anyone other than a legitimate plastic surgeon to have your facial tissues manipulated for facial rejuvenation. Although it is a relatively simple procedure, under less-experienced care there are always risks that include threads popping out of the skin, infection, and malposition. Therefore, if I were a patient considering the Thread Lift, I would only go to a board-certified plastic surgeon with many years experience working with facial tissues."

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported almost seven million minimally invasive procedures in 2004, a 43 percent rise over 2003. The Contour Thread Lift is the latest development in a long line of implantable, specially designed surgical threads used to lift sagging skin on the face, forehead, brows and neck. Dr. Wallace admits the operation is not for everybody nor is it intended to replace full surgical facelifts in which sagging skin, along with some underlying muscle, is trimmed, stretched tighter and stitched back into place. However, the Thread Lift's fast recovery period should bring a wider potential patient base, including more men. "Recovery is faster with much less swelling and bruising than a surgical facelift because the outer layers of skin are not disconnected," Dr. Wallace commented. "This is the perfect procedure for the '40 to 50-something' female or male corporate executive that wants to improve their looks, with minimal to no downtime or any telltale signs of surgery such as swelling, bruising or bandages."

The patented Contour Threads are specially designed sutures that are created from clear polypropylene, a material that has been safely used in the body for many years in other medical products. The Contour Threads have tiny barbs or cogs that when inserted under the skin with a needle, are fixated in an umbrella-like fashion and with slight tension gently lifts tissues of the brow and face. Due to the unique design of the Contour Threads, the surrounding tissues act to hold the threads in place without visible scarring. Once in position, the body generates new collagen bundles that surround each thread to maintain the lifting effect. Typically only one procedure is needed, and the effects can last as long as five years. Cost of the procedure starts at approximately $1,600 and up, depending upon the areas of the face that are treated, and the number of threads applied.

Prospective patients should contact Dr. Wallace's office at 972-380-7090 for a consultation, or email:

From his offices in Dallas on the North Dallas Tollway near Keller Springs Road, Dr. Charles A. Wallace's private practice ( offers the full range of plastic and reconstructive surgery, focusing on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and breast, liposuction, and hand surgery. In practice for more than 15 years, Dr. Wallace is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, has been elected to Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons, and is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. For press interviews with Dr. Wallace, media are encouraged to contact Karin Wacaser at 214-215-8605, or email

Editors Note: Before and after sample photos are available on request.

Contour Threads is a trademark of Surgical Specialties Corporation.

(a)Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care

COPYRIGHT 2005 Business Wire

Byline: Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News

PHOENIX -- Just a hunch, but the problems between players and fans are only getting started. One of the nice things about the new ballparks is their intimacy. One of the bad things about the new ballparks is their intimacy. The closer the fans are to the action, the closer baseball is going to be to ugly confrontations like the one that happened Monday night in Oakland, Calif., where Texas reliever Frank Francisco threw a plastic chair into the stands and opened up a legal nightmare for himself, the Rangers and the Oakland Athletics. Jennifer Bueno, whose husband admits to having heckled the players sitting in the Rangers bullpen, wound up with a broken nose, heavy medical bills and more legal advice than she can ever imagine. There is absolutely, positively no excuse for Francisco's actions. And he's going to pay for his transgressions in this litigation-happy world. The truth, however, is that it's surprising there aren't more serious confrontations between fans and players. The Network Associates Coliseum is far from one of the new-look ballparks, but over the years the stands around the visiting bullpen in Oakland have developed a vile reputation. Maybe they are Raiders renegades who couldn't find their way out of the park, but they are known for their obscenities, for hitting players with various objects and for pouring cups of urine on visiting relief pitchers. "In Milwaukee, you'd go down the line to get a ball and you would know a cup of beer was coming at you," Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "In Oakland . . . well, it wasn't beer." In 1976, when Kansas City was battling Oakland for the American League West title in the final week of the season, things got so ugly around the Royals bullpen that Kansas City players charged from the dugout. The next morning, the photo on the front of the Kansas City Times sports section featured Royals designated hitter Hal McRae in the stands, swinging an umbrella. And, last season, outfielder Carl Everett, then with Texas, was hit in the head by a cell phone thrown from the stands in Oakland. But the problem isn't Oakland's alone. In 2000, on the north side of Chicago, Los Angeles Dodgers players got into a brawl with fans after one reached over the wall, hit Dodgers catcher Chad Kreuter in the head and stole his cap. Frank Robinson, baseball's discipline czar at the time, initially handed down a record-setting 84 games of suspensions for 19 Dodgers players and coaches, although by the time the appeals were over, five players and two coaches missed games. Ty Cobb was suspended in 1912 for hitting a fan who, according to newspaper accounts, couldn't fight back because he had only one hand - and there were only two fingers on the hand. A year ago, four fans jumped out of the stands at U.S. Cellular Park in Chicago, with one attacking umpire Laz Diaz. The incident occurred one year after Kansas City first-base coach Tom Gamboa was attacked during a game in the same stadium. And one of the two most famous fan frenzies in history happened at old Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979. The White Sox, looking for a promotion to pump up attendance, decided to stage Disco Demolition Night. Between games of a doubleheader with Detroit, White Sox personnel blew up disco records that fans had presented to gain admission for 98 cents. The next thing anyone knew, fans from the sellout crowd were flooding the field and tearing down fences, and it took a half-hour for riot police to get things back in order. Fans don't always need an enticement like Disco Demolition or 10-Cent Beer Night, which forced a forfeiture in Cleveland in 1974, but they had better be aware whom they're attacking. In September 1995, Cubs reliever Randy Myers gave up a two-run, pinch-hit home run to Houston's James Mouton that gave the Astros a 9-7 lead at Wrigley Field. While Mouton circled the bases, John Murray, a 27-year-old-fan, jumped out of the stands and headed toward the mound, where Myers, well versed in martial arts, was waiting. "I felt the look in his eyes, that he wanted to hurt me," Myers said at the time. "He reached for his pocket and I thought it could be for a knife or a gun, so I dropped him with a forearm. I tried to defend myself and my teammates." INFOBOX 1 Game over There have been at least eight forfeits in Major League Baseball history because of fan involvement: Year Team Reason 1995 Dodgers Dodgers fans throw souvenir baseballs onto the field three times during a game with St. Louis. The Dodgers trailed 2-1 in the ninth inning. 1979 White Sox Disco Demolition Night sparks a riot between games of a doubleheader, forcing Chicago to forfeit the second game to Detroit. 1974 Indians 10-Cent Beer Night turns ugly, prompting Cleveland to forfeit to Texas with the score tied 5-5 in the ninth inning. 1971 Senators Fans swarm the field with two out in the ninth inning of the final game in Washington as the Senators lead the Yankees 7-5. 1949 Phillies Fans riot over an umpire's call in a game against the Giants. 1913 Phillies Fans waving handkerchiefs in center field are considered a distraction, resulting in the Phillies' ninth-inning forfeit of a game in which they led the Giants 8-6. 1907 Giants Fans throwing snowballs lead to a forfeit of an Opening Day shutout to the Phillies. 1901 Reds Fans come on the field, forcing a forfeit to the Giants of a game the Reds were trailing 25-13. INFOBOX 2 On second thought... Looks like Twins are planning ahead Even amid his team's battle for a postseason spot, Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan must take time to look at the future. And, so far, Ryan has shown the ability to get a good glimpse. The Twins are on the verge of clinching a third consecutive title in the American League Central, and already Ryan has made a major move for 2005: He traded first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, a popular figure but a growing financial concern who was expendable because Justin Morneau had proved his worth in the minors. And once the postseason comes to an end, Ryan will have other major decisions to make in an attempt to maintain a contending team with a payroll that barely is above $50 million. The left side of the Twins infield - third baseman Corey Kos- kie and shortstop Cristian Guzman - has free-agent potential. The Twins wouldn't mind keeping Guzman, but not at his $5.75 million option. And there is concern about whether the budget can accommodate two players eligible for arbitration, second baseman Luis Rivas and outfielder Jacque Jones. The potential loss of so many critical players would create consternation for most teams. But for the Twins, it's business as usual. They have been able to cope with such circumstances the past couple of years because Ryan and his staff, without much attention, have put together a farm system rich in talent to supply replacement parts. Think about last winter. Closer Eddie Guardado and his primary setup man, LaTroy Hawkins, were free agents, and left-handed starter Eric Milton's guaranteed salary of $9.3 million exceeded the reality of the Twins' financial situation. So Ryan traded catcher A.J. Pierzynski, whose $3.5 million price had exceeded his value to the Twins, to San Francisco for a couple of young pitchers, including Joe Nathan. Ryan shipped Milton to Philadelphia for unproven right-hander Carlos Silva. The general manager promoted catcher Joe Mauer, the No. 1 pick in the draft three years ago, then filled in by signing veteran free agents Henry Blanco (to back up Mauer) and Terry Mulholland, a left-handed swingman to fill bullpen and rotation needs. Get the picture? Ryan unloaded $18.3 million of salary in Guardado, Hawkins, Pierzynski and Milton; the replacement parts were paid $2.43 million. Despite all their moves, the Twins are preparing for the postseason, even if their Opening Day payroll of $53,585,000 ranked 19th - about $6 million less than Oakland, the only other contender in the same financial neighborhood as the Twins. INFOBOX 3 American League Anaheim has new ownership, which doesn't have the long-term loyalty to retain homegrown players such as third baseman Troy Glaus and right-handed closer Troy Percival. Baltimore has to regroup after failing to add any quality arms during its free-agent shopping spree in the winter. The Orioles will free up some money by unloading the contracts of designated hitters/first basemen Rafael Palmeiro and David Segui and left-hander Omar Daal. But they do figure to retain outfielder B.J. Surhoff, who has family reasons to remain in Baltimore - unless he decides to retire. Boston feels an urgency to re-sign catcher Jason Varitek, who has become a stabilizing influence on the roster, but it's going to be a challenge because of the presence of agent Scott Boras. The Red Sox are making sounds about keeping right-hander Pedro Martinez, but that could be more of a publicity stunt than reality in light of the heat Martinez has taken this season concerning his desire to be the highest-paid pitcher in the game. Chicago's four-year, $16 million offer to outfielder Magglio Ordonez was rejected, but it's not out of the question he'll re-sign with the White Sox on a one-year deal. His value has been affected by a season-ending injury to his left knee and the development of bone marrow edema. Cleveland is debating what to do about right-hander Scott Elarton, whose in-season improvement provides reason to believe he finally has overcome the injury problems that led to his release in Colorado. The Indians want a veteran presence in the rotation, but they also believe they have young starters waiting for an opportunity, so it could come down to how much money Elarton wants. Detroit made its free-agent move last off-season, signing outfielder Rondell White, catcher Ivan Rodriguez and right-hander Ugueth Urbina. The Tigers don't have any major decisions to make this off-season: Right-handers Esteban Yan and Al Levine are their only potential free agents, as long as the team exercises a $4 million option on Urbina. Kansas City made its major off-season move this week, re-signing outfielder Matt Stairs to a $1.2 million deal for 2005 that carries $500,000 in incentives. The Royals also would like to retain left-hander Dennys Reyes and infielder Desi Relaford, though Relaford wants to start, and Kansas City likes him in a utility role. Minnesota right-hander Brad Radke has indicated a desire to stay and has admitted he is not going to get a deal similar to the four-year, $36 million contract he is playing out this season. The Twins also would like to keep third baseman Corey Koskie, but he'll have to settle for less than $3 million or the job will go to Michael Cuddyer. New York is faced with a challenge to re-sign right-hander Orlando Hernandez. The Yankees, who have looked for ways to unload the Cuban defector, have a new-found appreciation for Hernandez, who has been responsible for the Yankees' ability to stay atop the East this season while Mike Mussina struggles and Kevin Brown fights injuries. Hernandez has gone 8-0 and the Yankees have won 11 of his 12 starts. There also is interest in keeping outfielder Ruben Sierra, but the price will have to be right. Oakland wants to get the price down but would like to keep its free agents - catcher Damian Miller, right-hander Chad Bradford and outfielder Jermaine Dye. After the Athletics deal with Dye's $1 million buyout on a $13 million option, they'll start to talk with him about 2005. Seattle is ready for Miguel Olivo to become the No. 1 catcher. But, in a bid to keep some continuity, the Mariners will make an effort to retain Dan Wilson, who, with Edgar Martinez's decision to retire, will become the senior member of the team in terms of continuous service. Tampa Bay is back to cost-cutting mode, which means limited free-agent action. It also adds to speculation the Devil Rays will hold out for a solid prospect in return for allowing the Mets to hire manager Lou Piniella. But, in reality, they'll be happy to get Piniella's $3 million-plus salary off the books. Texas has nine potential free agents, and the only ones the Rangers have shown interest in retaining are Eric Young and Dave Dellucci, both backups. Owner Tom Hicks does have to make that $7 million annual payment to Alex Rodriguez so he can play for the Yankees. Toronto already re-signed outfielder Frank Catalanotto but doesn't have another free agent it figures to make a strong run at keeping. INFOBOX 4 National League Arizona faces a major challenge in attempting to re-sign potential free agent Richie Sexson, who was limited to 23 games because of season-ending shoulder surgery. The first baseman said he doesn't want to be in a rebuilding situation, which will add to the Diamondbacks' challenge. But if Sexson doesn't return, left-handed pitcher Randy Johnson could force a trade for himself. Atlanta wants to keep outfielder J.D. Drew but realizes agent Scott Boras isn't into giving home-state discounts. The Braves also will need to focus financial efforts on right-hander Russ Ortiz, who is going to seek the best offer. Chicago faces a major decision with shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, whose history of injuries makes him a risk to sign if he wants anything close to the four-year, $60 million deal he turned down from Boston. He wants to go to Southern California, but with Khalil Greene in San Diego and Cesar Izturis in Los Angeles, Anaheim becomes Garciaparra's only option. Ramon Martinez and Tom Goodwin are favorites of manager Dusty Baker who have played well enough to probably return. Cincinnati declined to pursue right-hander Paul Wilson during the season, which will cost the Reds. He finally showed signs he could be a dependable big-league pitcher but says that, once he is on the open market, the best bid will get his interest. Colorado seems likely to retain third baseman Vinny Castilla, but the Rockies are iffy about outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who declined a $3 million mutual option. Burnitz's agent countered with a two-year, $13 million deal that would have eliminated the cost savings the Rockies realized after trading Larry Walker, which supposedly was done so the Rockies could keep not only Burnitz but Castilla, Jason Jennings, Shawn Chacon and Joe Kennedy. Florida faces more than $20 million in losses for the second year in a row, even though the Marlins won the World Series last year and are battling this season to return to the playoffs. The Marlins' finances make it less likely they will try to keep any of their free agents, except right-hander Carl Pavano, who picked the perfect time to have a breakout season. Houston owner Drayton McLane has been excited about the efforts of right-hander Roger Clemens, whom McLane helped talk out of retirement. And the key to getting McLane to write checks is getting him to believe he has a personal stake in the issue. Los Angeles has made keeping third baseman Adrian Beltre a "top priority." It won't be easy. He's only 25 and as a starting point, Boras, his agent, will use the deals signed by Oakland's Eric Chavez (six years, $66 million) and St. Louis' Scott Rolen (eight years, $90 million). Milwaukee wants to keep shortstop Craig Counsell, but the Brewers will pay the $250,000 buyout on his $4.25 million option, then try to work out a better price. Montreal won't know what it can do until it knows where it's going to play and who is going to be the owner. But even with an open checkbook, there's no reason to go overboard for shortstop Alex Gonzalez, third baseman Tony Batista and catcher Einar Diaz. New York made in-season deals for right-hander Kris Benson and outfielder Richard Hidalgo, and given the Mets' struggle in the standings, it doesn't make sense to bid those players adieu after less than a year. Philadelphia has invested enough money already - with no results - that it doesn't believe it can afford to back off. The Phillies will make a strong push to retain left- hander Eric Milton in hopes they can reduce his $9 million salary. Pittsburgh is planning to hold its payroll to about $35 million next season, which doesn't leave room for keeping closer Jose Mesa. St. Louis needs to find a way to re-sign shortstop Edgar Renteria, but it's not going to be easy. The Cardinals' payroll is pretty well maxed out, although the farther the Cardinals go in the postseason, the more likely ownership will get caught up in the emotions and open the checkbook. San Diego got a bargain with left-hander David Wells ($1.25 million) during the off-season. But the newness of pitching near home doesn't exist any more, and Wells is sure to want a salary increase after the season he has had. San Francisco figures to keep first baseman J.T. Snow, who has a $2 million option, and will try to re-sign right-hander Dustin Hermanson, whose star quality and ability to close underscore his value.


Photo (2)

Rangers reliever Frank Francisco hurls a chair into the Network Associates Coliseum stands Monday in response to persistent heckling. The ballpark - home to the Athletics and the NFL's Raiders - has a long history of hostile confrontations between spectators and athletes. D. ROSS CAMERON / ASSOCIATED PRESS CAPTION: Joe Crede

COPYRIGHT 2004 Rocky Mountain News. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.

Fair Disclosure Wire


OPERATOR: Thank you for standing by, welcome to the Symbion Inc.

second-quarter 2005 conference call. During the presentations all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (OPERATOR INSTRUCTIONS) As a reminder this conference is being recorded Thursday, July 28, 2005. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Richard Francis, Chief Executive Officer of Symbion Inc.

RICHARD FRANCIS, CEO, SYMBION, INC.: Welcome to today's conference call to discuss Symbion's second-quarter 2005 results. Thank all of you for your participation today whether by telephone or webcast.

With me today is Ken Mitchell CFO, and Cliff Adlerz our President and COO. Now I would like for Ken to read the disclaimer about forward-looking statements.

KEN MITCHELL, CFO, SYMBION, INC.: I would like to remind everyone that certain statements made on this conference call may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 21 E. of the securities act of 1933 and section 27 A. of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements generally may be identified by use of words such as expect, believe, anticipate, intend, will, should and plan. We caution that actual results could differ materially from those that are indicated in these forward-looking statements due to a variety of risk and other factors. Information about certain of these factors can be found in our earnings release and in our recent filings with the SEC.

Also on this conference call we may discuss certain non GAAP financial measures such as EBITDA and EBITDA less minority interests, in talking about Symbion's performance during the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2005. You can find a reconciliation of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures on the Company's website

Now we will turn the call back over to Richard.

RICHARD FRANCIS: This is the Company's sixth quarter as a public company and we are extremely pleased with our results. Net revenue for the quarter ended June 30, 2005 increased 23%, 64.7 million compared to 52.7 million for the same quarter 2004. This increase was driven by same-store growth of 6% of net revenue over same quarter last year resulting in a 7% increase in cases. Now being driven by a 7% increase in cases and a decline of 1% in revenue per case. This 1% decline in revenue per case was a result of a planned out-of-network to in network payor contracted strategy in two centers and a specialty mix change in two centers all contributing positively to our margins in same-store growth for the second quarter.

EBITDA less minority interest increased 28% to 11.9 million for the second quarter 2005 as compared with 9.3 million for the same quarter in 2004. Net income for the second quarter of 2005 increased 36% to 4.9 million or $0.22 per diluted share compared with 3.6 million or $0.17 per diluted share in the second quarter 2004. Moving on to six months ending June 30, 2005 revenues increased 21% to 126.8 million compared to 104.7 million for the first half of 2004. EBITDA less minority interest increased 23% to 23.2 million for the first half of 2005 compared to 18.8 million for the same period in 2004. Net income for the first half of 2005 increased 50% to 9.3 million compared with 6.2 million for the first half of 2004.

Earnings per diluted share for the six months ended June 30, 2005 increased 31% to $0.42 compared to $0.32 for the same period last year. Cash flow from operations was 8.9 million for the second quarter of 2005 as compared to 9.1 million for the same period in 2004. The second quarter 2005 cash flow from operations numbers include federal tax deposits of $4.5 million. CapEx for the second quarter 2005 was 2.5 million and as year-to-date 4.2 million.

Cash flow from operations for the year ending December 31, 2005 is projected to be 35 to 40 million and CapEx for the year is projected to be approximately 15 million. The Company continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet with indebtedness of approximately 67.7 million with a ratio of debt to total capital of 21%. In March 2005 the Company completed an amended credit facility raising its borrowing commitment from 110 million to 150 million providing for approximately 90 million of debt capacity at this time.

From a margin perspective for the second quarter and for the first six months of 2005 the Company experienced an operating income margin of 22.7% compared to 19.2 for the quarter ending June 30, 2004. And 19.4% for the six months ended June 30, 2004. Minority interest is 5.9 million for the second quarter 2005 as compared to 3.5 million for the same period last year. This increase was driven primarily by two components, increased profitability out of our existing centers and recent acquisitions.

Moving onto development we are very pleased to announce the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire an interest in specialty surgery centers, five surgery centers in Southern California. We expect this transaction to close during the next 30 days. The Company will acquire a majority interest in three surgery centers. They are Specialty Surgical Center of Beverly Hills/Brighton Way, 3 OR, 1 minor procedure multi-specialty center located in Beverly Hills.

Number two, Specialty Surgery Center of Beverly Hills/Wilshire Boulevard, a 4 OR, 2 minor procedure room, multi-specialty center located in Beverly Hills also. And the last one would be Specialty Surgery Center in Encino, a 4 operating room, 2 minor procedure room multi-specialty center located in Encino. We will also acquire minority interest in two recently opened de novo centers, Specialty Surgical Center of Irvine, a 5 operating room, 1 minor procedure room multi-specialty center located in Irvine which opened in July 2004.

And a Specialty Center of Arcadia, a 3 operating room, 1 minor procedure room multi-specialty center located in Arcadia which opened in October 2004.

Lastly as part of this transaction, we would also acquire a minority interest in Specialty Surgical Center of Thousand Oaks which is expected to be a 4 operating room, 2 minor procedure room multi-specialty center located in Thousand Oaks which is scheduled to open in mid 2006. The Company will have the right to acquire a majority interest in each center at the end of two years of operation. We are extremely excited about this transaction and that the scope enables the Company to establish a meaningful position in the California market which positions us well for future growth.

In addition, we are pleased to partner with such outstanding physicians, clinical associates and management professionals, all of which we look forward to working to ensure a smooth integration of facilities over the next few months. We also completed the sale during the quarter of our ownership in our area (ph) Pennsylvania imaging center to Touchtone Medical Imaging, a 49% minority partner and manager of the facility. The Company recorded a onetime charge on the sale of $725,000. In addition the Company recorded a gain of approximately $782,000 related to individual facility syndication activities.

Given the transaction in California the Company now has acquired 6 centers year-to-date exceeding our guidance of 3 to 4 centers for the year. Also with the inclusion of the de novo project in Thousand Oaks we have now announced 3 de novo projects for this year, in line with our 2005 guidance of 3 to 4. Overall our current development pipeline remains quite strong providing the Company with high confidence for continued successful development activity for the remainder of the year.

In summary we are very pleased with the Company's performance both second quarter and the first half of this year. We ended the last half with much momentum supported by a very favorable balance sheet and highly confident regarding our results for 2005. With is in mind we are raising our previous 2005 guidance of 245 to 249 million in revenue and $0.78 to $0.80 included earnings per share to a range of 260 to 266 million in revenues and $0.84 to $0.86 in diluted earnings per share. This guidance assumes the completion of the California transaction and does not include any impact from additional future acquisitions.

With that, operator, we will be happy to entertain caller questions.


JUSTIN LAKE, ANALYST, UBS: Just a few questions here. First, looking at the same-store revenue growth of 5.8% you talked a little bit about the pricing, the negative pricing in the quarter or the negative revenue per procedure being down about 1% because of the mix shift and then some in network or out of network to in network strategy to the three centers. Can you give us a little more color on what those out of network strategies entailed as far as -- what was the change in pricing when you went out of network to in network?

KEN MITCHELL: As we had planned for this year and budgeted there were a couple of centers and we talked before about our strategy of trying to go in network as much as possible in our centers. So we had a strategy of moving a couple of contracts out of network to in network to two of our centers and the strategy there is to build additional volume but it is going to be at a lower revenue per case. So in the two centers that we moved the business we did reduce our revenue per case for those payors but we also built revenue in volume in those centers. We had a successful conversion from out of network to in network and that premium, depending on the contract can be anywhere from 20% to 50% premium over the in network pricing. That really varies by contract and by market, but in general we feel like where possible we want to be in network in these two centers we had planned to move those in network as part of modeling our guidance.

JUSTIN LAKE: As far as your existing group of centers can you give us an idea of how many others you have that might need to go and your looking to transition from out of network to in network?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: We didn't have any others with a set strategy to do that. We are generally in network in our markets.

There is always going to be selective markets where you do have some out of network business as all of the companies do. And you don't necessarily in a market always need to convert that, but we felt in these markets that we needed to and that is why we said that these were planned.

JUSTIN LAKE: Two quick follow-ups on this. One, when you made the decision that you needed to go out of network to in network was that because of pressure by the payors? We hear a lot on managed care calls from managed care companies that they are looking to move their outpatient from percentage of charges to fee schedules that is a really big focus. Can you give us an idea of -- was that something where the managed care payors were initiating that and putting pressure on you or putting pressure on the doctors?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: (indiscernible) it was primarily a market assessment that we felt we could build volume and attract more physicians if we had a couple of payor contracts in in markets.

So we made just an assessment of the markets to make that move. In this case, no, it was not due to that.

JUSTIN LAKE: And you are not seeing any of that out there right now?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: There are general trends yes, of payers evaluating that and again, that is why we talked about that in the past that we want to generally try to be in network, so that trend is there. In these two cases that was not why we went in network. We were trying to build more business in centers now and in the future. But yes, there is a definite trend of payors looking at out of network business. They are not enamored with it in every market and, again it is market by market and area of the country by area of the country depending on which payors you're working with.

But I think the payors are aware of it. In certain markets where there is a lot of competition not happy with it, and there are some strategies there. So we are very aware of that and that is why in general we are trying to move things in network. But in these two cases that was not part of that trend.

JUSTIN LAKE: Last on that question, can you give us an idea what your percentage of your case mix is out of network?


JUSTIN LAKE: How is that trended?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: That is trending down a couple of points.

JUSTIN LAKE: Great, I will jump back in the queue.

OPERATOR: David Supros (ph), Merrill Lynch.

DAVID SUPROS, ANALYST, MERRILL LYNCH: I would just guess from the additives of the centers that you intend to acquire that you may realize higher revenue per case than your corporate average, so I want to find out about the case mix in these facilities.

RICHARD FRANCIS: You mean case mix?

DAVID SUPROS: The types of procedures in these facilities being done right now.

RICHARD FRANCIS: It is a pretty standard mix, similar to what we have seen in our other facilities, a little less orthopedics and a little more specialized ENT, other surgeries. But in general it is going to be a pretty standard case mix multispecialty center. So I would think it is going to mirror our overall Company case mix.

DAVID SUPROS: Then related to that, is the payor mix pretty standard too or is there more private pay versus Medicare or?

RICHARD FRANCIS: Pretty standard payor mix; Blue Cross is a big payor, and it is really pretty standard payor mix.

DAVID SUPROS: Finally, before your acquisition were these facilities 100% owned by the physicians or was there another corporate entity that you're acquiring them from?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: We are acquiring them from specialty service centers company based in Los Angeles.

DAVID SUPROS: Okay. That is it. Thanks.

OPERATOR: Art Henderson, Jefferies & Co.

ART HENDERSON, ANALYST, JEFFERIES & CO: Just looking at how you have raised your guidance; it looks like about 15 million of incremental revenue that kicked in. Is that pretty much those acquisitions that you have done, those three majority-owned pieces, is that what bridges that gap there?

RICHARD FRANCIS: We haven't broken those down for TheStreet and we have wrapped up everything in that. But (indiscernible) a significant portion of it would be.

ART HENDERSON: Looking forward at your pipeline you have mentioned that it kind of looks healthy, are there certain areas that you are looking at geographically that you think you might be able to do more this year? Obviously we're midway through the year, you have already met your guidance. Can you give us some parameters around kind of what you think you might end up doing by the end of the year?

RICHARD FRANCIS: We are optimistic that we will continue to be successful in our development work here and we have a track record of doing that and we are optimistic about the rest of the year and we will have to see where it ends up.

ART HENDERSON: Sounds good. Thank you.

OPERATOR: Jeffrey (inaudible) Bank of America Securities.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: A couple questions related to the acquisitions.

There has been talk recently about increased competition for some of these acquisitions. I know you guys didn't disclose numbers but were the multiples a little bit higher than average or are you seeing roughly the same multiples?

RICHARD FRANCIS: Our average multiple post California has not changed.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: So roughly the same. Next, on the majority interest are these generally 51% or did you take any higher stakes on any of them?

RICHARD FRANCIS: That will all come out in the disclosure but the majorities are majorities.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I know there was some concern the last quarter, there was one minority stake you guys took was about 10%. Are these minority stakes that low?

RICHARD FRANCIS: No, no. The one you're referring to last quarter was in Fort Myers where we already had a center there and the synergies and the management contracts for both those centers was a unique situation there. But these minority physicians are roughly 18% on the operating centers, and we have the ability to buy majority position in two years from the close of the transaction.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: You would take that to that 51 or?

RICHARD FRANCIS: A minimum of that number, yes.

OPERATOR: Eric Percher, Thomas Weisel Partners.

ERIC PERCHER, ANALYST, THOMAS WEISEL PARTNERS: One question left on the out of network, or in network, have you done out of network by intention at all on any payor relationships over the last year?

RICHARD FRANCIS: These two transactions we're talking about are basically de novos, that were opened in the last three to five years; in fact two to four years. Natural evolution is a growth of that. Our strategy is definitely to go in network when we can, but if we are in a situation whereby we deem because of belligerence or whatever you want to call it with a payor then we might elect to have a strategy in an isolated location to go out of network. But that is not our plan, nor our desire.

ERIC PERCHER: You might elect to do but is that a no comment on whether you have done it in the past year?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: We have not intentionally gone out of network.

ERIC PERCHER: Thanks for that. And then quickly on the centers where you're taking a minority interest it seems like that may open up some new opportunities for you if you are willing to do that in multiple, for other transactions. What does that do to the economics of the deal from the physician side when they sign on for that?

RICHARD FRANCIS: They will own more at the outset than owning a minority position obviously from the outset, so therefore they participate greater in the initial value creation which is what is driving this notion. We are entertaining more of those and may very well continue to do those where we have an option to acquire a majority position down the road.

ERIC PERCHER: When that is finally paid out it ends up looking like the average multiple amount?

RICHARD FRANCIS: That is generally negotiated up front on that option. And most of the time it is within the ballpark of the original multiple you paid, sometimes it might be tagged to a market value at that point in time.

ERIC PERCHER: Thank you very much.

OPERATOR: Pito Chickering Deutsche Bank.

PITO CHICKERING, ANALYST, DEUTSCHE BANK SECURITIES: What does it take on the Medicare payment refunded (ph) for surgery centers? What do you think is the going rate (indiscernible) timetables?

RICHARD FRANCIS: That is a good question. We are optimistic that there will be some legislation put on the table within the next sixty days. That will be widely supported by the ASC industry which is a first for our industry. We have had I think a lot of dialogue among ourselves and I think that the legislation that will be put on the table will be one that will be fair for the industry and we are trying to create a situation that would be fair for the payor, CMS at this point in time going forward. We do not expect from our efforts to see anything happen within the next year to 18 months at all. And so we think what we gather and what our intelligence is that as far as the Medicare reimbursement it is going to be stable for at least that period of time. As you well know we are frozen through 2009 as it is. Any legislation we're trying to move would be to try to open that up a little bit sooner. We also are encouraged by the Medicare procedure list that it is going to be loosened up to allow us to do more procedures going forward. From a Medicare perspective we think we have got more positive winds behind us than we have had in quite a while.

PITO CHICKERING: Can you discuss in a little more detail what your new credit facility looks like? Specifically what is the pricing on it, and are there any new covenants that we should be aware of?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: We filed that document; it is a public document so you can see some of the covenants from the different debt covenants we have got on that. We increased our facility from 110 million to 150 million. We improved our pricing, it is a matrix, a performance pricing matrix that currently our spread over LIBOR is about 150 basis points and that changes and increases as our leverage ratio goes up.

PITO CHICKERING: The last one is two housekeeping questions on the P&L, there is a slight downward trend in the supply cost relative to revenue in the past two quarters, is this level maintainable or do you think you'll bump up to historical levels?

KEN MITCHELL: I think to some degree it is a little bit to do with our mix there has something to do with that. But we have had a very favorable operating results there and our expense management there in that area has been very favorable. We think that can continue.

PITO CHICKERING: Do you have any guidance on where the salaries and benefits will go for the remainder of the year?

RICHARD FRANCIS: We don't anticipate anything materially change out of those.

OPERATOR: John Ransom, Raymond James.

JOHN RANSOM, ANALYST, RAYMOND JAMES: Your big cousin in Nashville, obviously HCA, is getting more aggressive and buying up surgery centers. I think they talked about buying 25 on the call this week.

Do you see in any markets are they trying to take a bigger role in your business to the extent of trying to muscle the managed care companies into trying to keep more of that outpatient surgery business by themselves to their kind of big marketshare profile? Are you seeing any of that in any of your markets yet?

RICHARD FRANCIS: I have not seen anything unusual in the last year.

They have continued to operate the way they have always operated, very aggressively. We have been competing with them in certain markets since we started the Company. We haven't seen anything in a material nature different as it relates to that. Any big competitor walks a fine line trying to leverage inpatient business relative to outpatient business. There are some legal issues associated with that and HCA has been very reasonable in terms of that. We don't see a whole lot there and lastly I would say, I am going to take issue to being related to HCA, I am not a cousin. Used to work there but not related to them.

JOHN RANSOM: I thought we were all related somehow in the South. The other question I had was obviously the technology has allowed orthopedic is probably the best example of the type of procedure category that has been moving out of the hospital, and you guys have obviously done a good job taking advantage of that. As you look over the horizon over the next two or three years is there another big procedure class that you see might be right for the picking? Because as we look at it I would say optomology and G.I. are getting fairly mature, orthopedic obviously has a nice growth profile. Is there anything else out there that we're not thinking about as a category where the technology can continue to move it along? Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: We are seeing a couple of things. The whole neuro area and doing more back work, the technology there is improving and they are starting to consider doing more laminectomies and those types of things on an outpatient basis. An area that we are starting to revisit that traditionally was outpatient, and we haven't talked a lot about but plastics and is an area where we think there is a lot of opportunity, a lot of plastic surgeons disfranchised from hospital ORs and that type of thing. So several in our group are starting to look at plastics again and they are doing obviously -- the area has developed. They are more and more procedures and they are doing more complex procedures and multiple procedures which requires more of an OR setting than an office setting which is where many of them have gone. We are starting to look at plastics as an area. Those are two areas that we are starting to see quite a bit of activity lately and starting to pay attention to the trends.

JOHN RANSOM: Is there any opportunity with refractive surgery and some of the new technologies in refractives such as the implantable lenses and maybe some of the things opening up for presbyopia. Is that a market that you have thought about revisiting?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: Yes, I mean optomology just keeps finding new things and sometimes we kind of forget about that one. But obviously our centers have paid a lot of attention to it, and that business held very steady for us and as one area that is kind of declines, in optomology another area picks up in the business and general stays pretty steady as a trend. Definitely one that we continue to pay attention to as a good part of our mix, and so I would say it is a solid specialty for outpatient surgery centers.

JOHN RANSOM: But nothing new and dramatic there, just more steady?


JOHN RANSOM: And what about ENT? ENT on paper looks like a big opportunity that the industry has not necessarily embraced to any great degree. Do you see anything there?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: That is a good comment. All of the endoscopy procedures that are coming along for ENT and we have got several centers that are doing more ENT business right now, so I think that is a good comment. They are getting more and more used to the endoscopy's scopes and those type of things now. As that develops, I think it is going to be a good area.

JOHN RANSOM: Thank you very much.

OPERATOR: William Bonello, Wachovia securities.

WILLIAM BONELLO, ANALYST, WACHOVIA SECURITIES: I apologize if you discussed this already, I don't think you did. Operating cash flow was down just a little bit year-over-year, is that timing of cash flows or --?

KEN MITCHELL: Yes, in the second quarter of this year in '05 second quarter, we had about $4.5 million of federal tax deposits that we made. As you remember we were using our net operating loss carryforwards from prior, in 2004, so we were not making a federal tax deposit. That is the main difference. Without that on a comparable basis we would have had an increase in cash flow.

WILLIAM BONELLO: Can you explain when we talked about acquiring interest in a de novo center does that imply that the physicians or the company was already building that center, construction was already underway and that is what you mean by acquiring a de novo?

RICHARD FRANCIS: The de novo (technical difficulty) is being developed as we speak. Syndications, land, construction so on and so forth on the very early stages. We bought into that legal entity that is creating that in Thousand Oaks.

WILLIAM BONELLO: Is that kind of unique just because you are dealing with a company that already operates multiple centers?

RICHARD FRANCIS: It might be from that perspective, but a lot of times de novos is just one off de novos, the physicians are already -- have already started the concept themselves and they bring companies in in the early stages. The notion of a company coming in from a de novo that is already germinated is nothing unusual. In fact the matter is it is quite common. From this standpoint we had a company developing with a group of doctors, and then we bought interest within the company and so we stepped in the shoes on that too.

WILLIAM BONELLO: Would the economics on that kind of de novo be similar to the economics on the de novo if you were involved from day one?

RICHARD FRANCIS: On this one in particular yes, because it is such an early stage.

WILLIAM BONELLO: Okay, great. The last question was just on management fees, are those still on the acquired centers are those still consistent with what they --?


WILLIAM BONELLO: Okay, great. Thank you.


NANCY WEAVER, ANALYST, STEPHENS, INC.: Give me the update on workers comp in California; I know we had cuts last year assuming that probably these centers -- I don't know how much of their business is workers comp -- can you just give me how the outlook looks like the next couple years, I assume all the bad new is behind us (multiple speakers).

RICHARD FRANCIS: All the bad news is behind. In fact the matter is they swallowed that pill about a little over a year ago. The overall workers compensation in these acquisitions are less than 5%, somewhere in that neighborhood. Second of all workers comp in California is based off a percent of HOPD Medicare rates, not ASC Medicare rates. The percentage I believe was 120% of Medicare but that is Medicare, HOPD, Nancy, not Medicare ASC rates.

NANCY WEAVER: Cliff, are they doing a lot of plastics in that Beverly Hills Center?

CLIFF ADLERZ, COO, SYMBION, INC.: No, not a lot. They are down the street though.

NANCY WEAVER: There seems to be a couple other packages out there right now in terms of again some kind of three and four sets of centers; I assume your continuing to look at all those?

RICHARD FRANCIS: They seem to cross our desk from time to time and we will take a look at them.

NANCY WEAVER: Congratulations.

OPERATOR: Justin Lake, UBS.

JUSTIN LAKE: Just kind of a follow-up to what Bill Bonello was asking regarding the de novo pipeline. Just wanted to try and get your thoughts on how you think about the economics on those de novos that you purchase, as far as obviously -- particularly the way I kind of think about it is you make mid teens returns on an acquisition but you could make 30, 40 even better returns on a pure de novo. What do you pay to get into those de novo projects? I would assume it is the multiple that is somewhere - a prospective multiple of an EBITDA run rate down the road?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: It depends upon what time and one joint comes into a de novo. The two de novos that we acquired in Southern California were open, one open for a year and one open for 6, 8 months. Within that perspective you look at a pro forma early on and it is a negotiation at that point in time. It is not something that is -- if you have a range of what you would pay on pro forma it is generally in the lower end of the range. While we look on those at a higher rate of return, okay. We look for mid-20s on a pure acquisition return, five-year return, IRRs. On a pure de novo we start out from scratch, we look in the high 40s. These that you buy in some time in after they are begun, you are probably in the mid 30 range somewhere in that neighborhood, expectation to turns which then drives your net present values and your multiples. We are somewhere in that middle on the ones that have begun. Again, there is a different valuation for the one that has been in process for a year than the one that has been in process for six months. Now the ones that haven't even started yet, it is not all that difference in the valuation of buying on those.

JUSTIN LAKE: That is actually what I was referring to is the one that hasn't even started yet.

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: Not a lot of difference in the buying on those, fact of the matter is it is almost like you bring your money to the table just like everybody else.

JUSTIN LAKE: So you are not paying any -- you are basically paying exactly your portion of whatever the startup costs are? There is no incremental value (multiple speakers).

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: I wouldn't say exactly but it is not going to be that materially different.

JUSTIN LAKE: Okay, great. Thank you.

OPERATOR: John Ransom, Raymond James.

JOHN RANSOM: Following this acquisition this quarter, how many centers total would you have a minority stake in and how many would be consolidated into your financial sources, what would show up in just a minority interest line?

UNIDENTIFIED COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE: We currently got 6 nonconsolidated centers. And this will add another 2 nonconsolidated.

JOHN RANSOM: So 8 nonconsolidated. How many centers do you have where you own less than 50% but you do consolidate those centers?

KEN MITCHELL: We have probably about maybe 4 or 5 of those that we have less than 50% that we still consolidate.

JOHN RANSOM: What is the accounting rule on that where you can own less than a majority but you still get to consolidate?

KEN MITCHELL: It is based on controls, it is the real factor that you assess, determine if you have enough control rights to consolidate the center. You look at voting rights but you also look at day to day management controls, you are in charge of the budget. There is no review process or no approval by the other investors as far as budgeting, payor contracting, capital expenditures, debt, all those things. If we control those then we have a chance to consolidate the center.

JOHN RANSOM: Is there an ownership threshold where it gets absurd to consolidate it even if you do control those things, I mean would you think about some (indiscernible) number of ownership? I would assume you could not own 1% of a center, but control all those things and get to consolidate.

KEN MITCHELL: Under the new accounting rules you could have -- if you are a primary beneficiary of an entity you may not have any ownership. But determine that you are the primary beneficiary so you would have to consolidate it. For instance, in our New York surgery center the actual surgery center we have no ownership in but it is consolidated into our operating company which we own 56% of. There is a lot of factors yet to go through there but typically we are not going to have an ownership less than 30 to 40% and still consolidate that.

JOHN RANSOM: Thank you very much.

OPERATOR: There are no further questions at this time. I will now turn call back to you.

RICHARD FRANCIS: Thank you very much, we want to thank everyone for the time you spent on the call this morning. We are excited about the quarter and the year year-to-date. And look forward to a very successful 2005. Keep in touch and thank you very much.

OPERATOR: That does conclude your conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.

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Agence France Presse English


Plastic surgeons at workPlastic surgeons at work. Americans underwent close to 12 million surgical

Plastic surgeons at work

Plastic surgeons at work. Americans underwent close to 12 million surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2004, a rise of 44 percent from the previous year, according to the American Societ for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Americans underwent close to 12 million surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2004, a rise of 44 percent from the previous year, with liposuction and botox treatment leading the surge.

In its annual report published Thursday, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) said 90 percent of the procedures were performed on women.

ASAPS president Peter Fodor attributed the jump in cosmetic treatment to increased media attention.

"People have had many more opportunities to see, first hand, what is like and what it can do for others," Fodor said. "That can be a strong incentive for them to seek the same benefits by having cosmetic procedures themselves."

The annual report found that 11.9 million procedures were carried out last year.

Surgical procedures were up 17 percent on 2003, with liposuction leading the treatment table with more than 478,000 operations.

Breast augmentation was the second most popular, followed by eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and facelifts.

While breast enlargements among women in general were up 19 percent at more than 334,000, they plunged 63 percent among teenagers to 4,211.

On the non-surgical side, procedures were up 51 percent, with more than 2.8 million people opting for anti-wrinkling botox injections and 1.4 million going in for some laser hair removal.

Although men accounted for only 1.2 million, or 10 percent, of the overall number of procedures, ASAPS said the figure represented an increase of more than 300 percent from 1997.

An ASAPS survey of 1,000 Americans found that 21 percent of men interviewed said they would consider cosmetic surgery -- an increase of 50 percent from 2003.

© Copyright Agence France Presse

TORRANCE, Calif. -- Eye Dynamics, Inc. (OTCBB:EYDY), a leading provider of health and safety products, today announced the signing by both parties of a definitive Merger Agreement with Superior, Colorado-based OrthoNetx, Inc., a leading provider of medical devices for osteo. Pursuant to the plan of merger approved by Boards of Directors of both companies, the merger will occur as a stock exchange transaction whereby OrthoNetx shares will be exchanged for Eye Dynamics shares. Thereafter, it is intended that Eye Dynamics, the surviving entity, will be renamed AcuNetx, Inc. Completion of the merger is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Terry R. Knapp, President and CEO of OrthoNetx, will assume the position of CEO and a Director of the new, merged company. Stephen D. Moses, Vice Chairman of MP Biomedicals, Inc., Vice Chairman of Galen Capital Group, LLC and currently a member of the OrthoNetx Board of Directors will serve as Chairman of the Board of the combined companies. Other Directors will include Ron Waldorf, co-founder and current CEO of Eye Dynamics; Charles Phillips, co-founder and former CEO of Eye Dynamics; Randolph Robinson, MD, DDS, founder and current Chairman of OrthoNetx; Robert Corrigan, a current Director of OrthoNetx; and William P. Danielczyk, a current Director of OrthoNetx and Chairman of Galen Capital Group, LLC.

The new company expects to emerge as a premier provider of medical devices in the healthcare field with innovative product lines, synergies that expand offerings and the ability to enhance medical sales opportunities and fuel continued expansion.

"The merger of OrthoNetx and Eye Dynamics brings significant opportunities for growth and innovation," said both Knapp and Waldorf. "The strength of the management team, breadth of product offering and vision for the future, solidly positions the combined company to bring exciting developments to market."

About Eye Dynamics, Inc.

Eye Dynamics is in the business of producing and marketing patented proprietary products and other services for the institutional, medical and government markets. The company is a leader in the Video ENG medical product market, having invented the Video ENG system and brought it to market in 1994. SafetyScope, the company's latest product, is designed for the "fitness-for-duty" screening of workers. SafetyScope is simple to use, takes only 90 seconds and does not require any bodily fluids like urine-based drug testing. It automates the manual methods of evaluating eye responses of an individual to detect neurological signs of impairment used by law enforcement throughout the United States. To find out more about Eye Dynamics, Inc. visit:

About OrthoNetx, Inc.

OrthoNetx, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and markets patented, FDA-approved medical devices and systems for osteoplastic surgery and distraction osteogenesis -- the practice of generating, forming and molding bone. Physician customers include plastic surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, otolaryngologists, and orthopedic surgeons who correct deformities and deficiencies of the skeleton caused by errors of birth, trauma, infections and tumors. Osteo is applicable to all areas of the skeleton, including the skull and face, jaws, long bones of the upper and lower extremities, hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and the spine. The privately-held company is headquartered in Superior, CO. For more information visit:

Safe Harbor for Forward Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these statements are made to convey to the public the company's progress, business opportunities and growth prospects, readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements represent management's opinion. Whereas management believes such representations to be true and accurate based on information and data available to the company at this time, actual results may differ materially from those described. The company's operations and business prospects are always subject to risk and uncertainties. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ are set forth in the company's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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