The gift of cosmetic surgery

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As we approach Valentine’s Day 2012, nothing says “I LOVE you” like the gift of cosmetic surgery ( in my very loving opinion ).

For two reasons, One being such a PERSONAL Gift the “giver” must truly know not only the recipient but ALSO the surgeon AND procedure … This takes dedication, for-thought and commitment and second because ONLY someone who really LOVES you can make such an intimate suggestion.

Today’s facelift is a far cry from the from the procedure developed over a century ago seeing many advanced changes and refinements. The facelift of the last generation is simply not the same as today’s techniques. A generation ago a facelift required a hospital stay of 3-4 days, whereas today most are performed as an outpatient procedure with patients home the same day.

Another difference in today’s facelift patients is the age in which they undergo treatment. In the past patients waited until their sixth decade to have a “big operation” that involved an extended recovery. Today’s patients do not wait until they look old to have cosmetic surgery, they want to stay younger looking throughout their life. With today’s more sophisticated procedures along the way they avoid ever looking aged.

There are many different procedures to consider depending on your age, desires and doctors expertise. My FAV plastic surgeon here in Beverly Hills is Dr. Chiu, he consistently offers a natural beauty that seamlessly repairs the signs of Father Time.

To learn more about the procedures offered at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc. please visit  www.beverlyhillsplasticsurgeryinc.com or ask Dr. Chiu at concierge@bhpsinc.com

Facelift (rhytidectomy) Face

The Procedure

Facelift, technically known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck such as: sagging in the midface, deep creases below the lower eyelids, deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth, fallen or displaced fat, loss of muscle tone in the lower face resulting in jowls, loose skin, and excessive fatty deposits under the chin and jaw.

Often times, other procedures can be performed in conjunction to a facelift, to enhance the overall outcome. For example, a facelift is frequently combined with a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, or skin treatments such as chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser resurfacing. Other popular procedures include: facial implants, soft tissue augmentation to re-contour the facial structure, resurfacing techniques to improve the tone and texture of facial skin, and injections to reduce wrinkles.

In evaluating a patient for rhytidectomy, Dr. Chiu will assess the thickness, texture and elasticity of the patient’s skin, as well as the severity of wrinkles and folds. The hairline will be examined to determine where incisions can be discreetly placed. All of these factors, including bone structure and underlying tissues are important considerations in developing an individual surgical plan.

Depending on the patient’s desired degree of change and his assessment, Dr. Chiu may recommend a traditional facelift, limited incision facelift, or a neck lift.

The Method(s)

Traditionally, the incision is placed in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear, and continues around the lobe, circling the ear before returning to the point of origin in the scalp. (A neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp). The skin is raised outward before Dr. Chiu repositions and tightens the underlying muscle and connective tissue. Some fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck; excess skin may also be removed. For men, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. In all cases, the incision is placed where it will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage.

After trimming the excess skin, Dr. Chiu will close the incisions with fine sutures, which permit surgery without shaving hair from the incision site. Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.

Ideal Candidates

Those interested in a facelift procedure should be physically healthy, a non-smoker, and have specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement desired. Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for a facelift: (1) a deep line or fold, running from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth (2) jowls, or loss of a well-defined jawline (3) deep wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging of the “highlight” areas of the cheekbones (4) loose skin, wrinkles, vertical “cords” or excess fatty tissue in the neck.

A facelift can improve all of the problems listed above. It cannot, however, correct conditions such as sagging eyebrows, excess skin and fatty deposits in the upper and lower eyelids, or wrinkles around the mouth. Dr. Chiu and staff can provide further information about treatments to address these other issues.

Surgery and Anesthesia

Rhytidectomy, or facelift, can be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, or office-based surgical suite. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the procedure can take from two to four hours. When the procedure is performed with a combination of mild sedatives, local anesthesia, or a mild intravenous anesthesia, the patient will experience little discomfort. Following the surgery, Dr. Chiu will apply a dressing to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made.

Recovery

When the procedure is completed, a bandage could gently be placed around the face to minimize swelling and bruising. A thin tube may be present to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin. Even though most patients experience very little pain after the surgery, medication may still be prescribed. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and Dr. Chiu may instruct patients to use cold compresses to keep swelling to a minimum. If dressing has been applied, it will be removed within one to two days. The facelift patient will also be instructed to keep his head elevated when lying down, to avoid as much activity as possible, and to report any undue discomfort.

If a drainage tube was inserted during surgery, it will be removed on the first or second day after surgery. All sutures and staples are usually removed within five to ten days following the surgery. Dr. Chiu generally recommends that patients avoid vigorous activity following this procedure. Straining, bending, and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. Patients will also be instructed to temporarily avoid exposure to direct sunlight and for the long-term, to be conscientious about the use of a sun block to protect the skin. It is recommended that patients prearrange for post-surgery support from family and friends.

Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, though many patients go back to work in two weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or in persistent cases, by makeup until total healing has occurred. Bear in mind that the aging process continues after surgery and that some relaxation of tissues will occur over the first few weeks.

Risks

Though there are few risks in facelift surgery and thousands are performed every year, some risk exists in any surgery. Potential complications include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection and reactions to anesthesia.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of Dr. Chiu, both before and after surgery.

Your New Look

The results of your facelift may be dramatic or subtle, depending on how you looked before the surgery as well as the specific goals that you and Dr. Chiu have established. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several weeks for an accurate picture of your “new look.” Additional minor changes, or settling, may occur over several months.

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James MacLean

About James MacLean

Inspirational, accomplished and passionate. Those are just a few words to describe luxury marketing guru James MacLean, who has transformed the celebrity product placement industry through events such as GRAMMY’S /Latin Grammy's, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, American Country Music Awards, Golden Globes, Spike TV Video Game Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Sundance Film Festival and Grand Prix Monaco. He continues to set the pace and raise the bar in only the most glamorous settings around the globe.