Even though you can’t stop aging, it is possible to weight the scale in your favor. In our Denver clinic, a truly unique approach has been implemented for our patients. After we maximize life style, genetic and health related factors, a comprehensive treatment plan, or beauty ‘pro forma’ is created. This is a road map to attaining natural beauty. It ensures the best results and establishes real goals for treatment. Technology is stressed and surgical intervention is the last option in a long line of treatments. Everything is fully integrated into our Aesthetic Wellness program.
When surgery is necessary, all forms of face and necklift procedures should be considered. These are the most common type of procedure I perform on a weekly basis and involve every aspect of plastic surgery that I enjoy: anatomy, technique, artistry and technology. The newer techniques that I use have little relationship with the procedures of the past. The days of windblown, pulled and unnatural results have been replaced by procedures that balance and truly enhance one’s beauty. Therefore, our outcomes are natural and tailored to each patient’s specific facial features. There is an emphasis on restoration and less invasive approaches. Volume losses are addressed and combination treatments with lasers are now the norm. Overall, the results give a subtle rejuvenating effect to the face that is unparalleled by any other treatment or procedure. With the addition techniques like Smartlifts, technology is now front and center. It is a great time to one of these rejuvenating procedures and turn back the hand of time.
Click below to read a more detailed breakdown of my patients by groups to make it easier for anyone interested to better categorize themselves. The 3 groups are listed below:
A patient with complaints of mild jowling, loose neck skin and fine wrinkles is an excellent candidate for a short incision (mini) facelift. These patients are generally 40 to 60 years old, active and desire a pre-emptive rejuvenating procedure.
A few key points are listed below that are important understand about this procedure.
This group of patients has complaints of moderate jowling, loose skin in all areas and wrinkles. These patients are generally 50 to 70 years old, active and desire a natural, age appropriate improvement.
The patients in this group are in general 60 to 70 years old or in select cases, younger and with a history of weight loss. Due to the amount of wrinkles and hanging skin, these patients are rarely candidates for short incision (mini) face and necklifts. They often require simultaneous eyelid rejuvenation and autologous fat grafting to areas of the face deficient in volume. Overall, these cases have the most transformative results of all the patients I treat for facial aging.
The field of aesthetic facial surgery has progressed immensely in the past decade. This progression is in part due to improvements in technology and an increase emphasis on minimally invasive procedures. The most obvious improvement is a trend toward shorter incisions and less traumatic surgery. This is largely made possible by the combination of these procedures with full face fractionated laser treatment and autologous fat grafting. Although some surgeons understandably stick to the “tried and true” surgeries of the past, the paradigm has clearly shifted. Patients now actively seek out less invasive procedures with the added benefits of combination treatments. In my practice, 90% of my facelift procedures utilize shorter incisions and/or combination treatments. As we are now pushing the envelope with the addition of techniques like Smartlifts, the future should be very interesting.
In general, total recovery time is on average 14 days and is lessened when a shorter incision procedures is utilized. Swelling and bruising is in most cases minimal by post-operative day #10. Therefore, work duties and social activities are usually resumed at that time. If eyelid rejuvenation or fat grafting is included, swelling and bruising may persist for up to 14 days. For most patients, there is not much pain associated with this procedure. The swelling can cause some discomfort but this is short lived (3 to 5 days). Most of my patients are surprised how little pain they have through the recovery period and often return to normal activities sooner than they had planned.
Operative drains are placed on a case by case basis and I often complete short incision facelifts without operative drains. If drains are placed, they will be removed within 12 to 48 hours. Furthermore, the addition of a long acting local anesthetic around the drain site, minimizes any discomfort that may occur. Drains are useful in some cases to avoid unwanted fluid collections in the operative site that can negatively impact the final results of the surgery.
One of the biggest concerns for patients who are considering a facelift surgery is the potential for post-operative scar formation. This is a reasonable concern as I often see patients for a second opinion who are unhappy with their scars after a facelift with another physician. If a patient chooses a reputable surgeon who has a primary focus of facial aesthetic surgery then undesirable scar formation will be extremely rare. Techniques during surgery and strategic placement of the incisions around the ear and hairline can make the scars nearly imperceptible after complete healing has occurred. Activities after surgery like smoking and sun exposure can wreak havoc on scar maturation. If the recommendations are followed and the surgeries are completed competently then the potential for unwanted scar formation is negated.
If a facelift surgery is done correctly, patients do not look ‘different’ after the procedure. In its basic form, this surgery is meant for rejuvenation. Therefore, these procedures should restore the facial characteristics that were desirable during the younger years while not drastically changing ones appearance. This is essential for any successful facial aesthetic procedure and is the primary emphasis for my practice. Successful facial aesthetic procedures should stay true to a patient’s historical appearance. It should build upon the basic foundation (bones and muscles) of a patients face and add volume only where volume is needed. Surgeries that deviate from this tenant will be unsuccessful, causing an abnormal appearance. For a patient considering these procedures, education regarding these surgeries is imperative. When choosing a surgeon, the surgical plan should be clearly outlined, before and after pictures should be thoroughly examined and other patients who chose that surgeon for the procedure should be contacted about their experience. This is critical as the results are not just dependent on a surgeon’s technical abilities but they are equally dependent on a surgeon’s judgment. This is a very important decision and a patient must feel comfortable that their surgeon will understand their expectations and maintain a natural aesthetic. A majority of my consults regarding facial rejuvenation are spent discussing expectations, self-perceptions, life stressors, relationships and a host of other non surgical issues. This allows me to understand a patient’s motivations thus ensuring that we are a good fit. As I tell my patients, “In my hands, the surgery is the easy part. The hard part is making sure everyone is on the same page.”
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