Sunday, August 15th, 2010
We are living longer and are healthier than our parents and grandparents. Problems arise when we get to the age where we considered them old. We begin to look like them, and we see “old” in spite of not feeling so. Fortunately, Plastic Surgery has kept up with our needs to look the way we feel. New procedure and treatments have kept pace with our busy lifestyles and the frantic economy.
Facial features are what generally reveal our age. Therefore, this is what we have concentrated on rejuvenating. For years, the main method of facial rejuvenation was a face, neck, eye and brow lift (generally combined into what most people called a “complete facelift”). As we became more discerning, we desired procedures that left us looking more natural with less recovery. New developments took two directions. First was to reduce or eliminate down time. Second was development of procedures leaving us looking like ourselves, only younger and more rested. The results are two basic, though complementary methods of rejuvenation.
The first is surgery, the traditional method. Only there is nothing traditional with what we are doing now. My own practice is a perfect example. After moving to Highlands, I began seeing many people who had already had a traditional facelift. I, thus, started looking carefully at what we had accepted as “good results.” The problems I, and others, discovered were accentuated by repeat procedures. These abnormalities included elevated sideburns, descending earlobes, hollow cheeks and a “windswept look.” To avoid producing these problems, I began to modify my facelift method. I then discovered, met and learned from two Belgium Plastic Surgeons doing a similar procedure. This method reduces the amount of surgery and the length of the scar, replaces the tissues from where they came, and eliminates the problems of the older methods. It also speeds recovery to frequently less than a week. As I, and others around the world, have used and modified this method, we have found it additionally extends the longevity of results. Though originally conceived as a facelift for younger individuals with no scar behind the ear, we have customized it now for use on anyone.
We have also modified our other surgical procedures similarly. I replace fat to its normal position in eyelifts and suspend the lids to solid anchors for longer lasting results. I adapted my present method of lower blepharoplasty from a mid-face lift, so it also gives some lift to the cheek. We do browlifts with an endoscope through small incisions with almost immediate recovery.
Vitamins and other drugs that speed healing and reduce bruising or speed its resolution have also aided recovery. Since recovery is now faster than resolution of what bruising remains, make-up techniques have allowed return to normal activities almost immediately after surgery.
The second change has been development of nonsurgical procedures. These can frequently mimic surgery and are significantly less expensive. Some can even do things that surgery cannot do. For example, Latisse®, a topical drug, can make your eyelashes longer, fuller and darker. Botox® can reduce facial wrinkles with a simple injection. Injectable fillers, some lasting for 1 ½ years or longer, can erase those age lines and disguise many of the other signs of aging. New lasers and skin care products can also eliminate other signs of aging and sun damage.
In short, we now have multiple means of turning back the clock, from simpler surgery with faster recovery and more natural results to injections and lasers that have no down time at all. There is something for everyone, no matter what you need or what your budget.