Category Archives: Facial plastic surgery

Rejuvenating Your Face – What are the Options? Surgical and nonsurgical solutions

When you go to your high school reunion, do you want your classmates to squint at your name tag in confusion? No! Instead, you want them to instantly recognize you and think that you look well-rested and “good” for your age. Formerly there was only one way to resurrect your face: it took a scalpel, several weeks off from work and a nice chunk of change. But now, new nonsurgical options that promise to turn back the clock are proliferating at a rate that can make you dizzy.

It would be overwhelming to consider so many options on your own. Instead, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Genter, who is experienced in traditional approaches, but also equipped with the latest and greatest nonsurgical innovations. Face-to-face a doctor can recommend to you procedures that offer the results you want. Both surgical and nonsurgical options definitely yield improvements but, as you may expect, the level of improvement will not be the same and the surgical option will result in more significant and longer lasting changes.

So you don’t go to your consultation totally “green,” here are, from hairline to the base of the neck, some of the surgical and nonsurgical approaches to the common facial problems that occur with aging:

 

Drooping Forehead

Surgical: A forehead lift involves hidden incisions in the hair-bearing scalp to rejuvenate the upper third of the face through lifting and weakening frown muscles.

Nonsurgical: Botox is injected into the forehead to soften frown lines. Botox and fillers may be injected together around brows to lift and add fullness.

 

Dark Circles, Eye Bags, Hooding of the Upper Eyelid

Surgical: Blepharoplasty removes fat deposits and tightens the skin and muscle of the eyelids to improve the appearance of the eyes.

Nonsurgical: Frown lines can be softened and crow’s feet minimized with injections of Botox; three times a year in both areas will do the trick. When injected above the eyebrows, Botox may also give a ten-degree lift to the arch and a slight lift to the tail. To get rid of bags under the eyes, a plastic surgeon can inject your own fat, which will last 2 years or more, or hyaluronic acid, which will last up to a year.

 

Sagging Cheeks

Surgical: With age, the distance between the eyes and cheeks increases. In the midface lift, the malar fat pad in the upper cheek is lifted to its former youthful position with either sutures or an absorbable implant, restoring your youthful, heart shaped face.

Nonsurgical: A doctor can restore high, full youthful cheeks using injectables such as Radiesse, Juvederm or other fillers. Injected over the cheekbones or in depressions, these fillers can add fullness to sunken or sagging cheeks for many months.

 

Droopy Nose

Surgical: With age, the tip of the nose may drop down and inwards towards the face. The drooping nasal tip may cause a slight hump on the bridge and appear to cover part of the upper lip, especially when you smile. A rhinoplasty procedure rejuvenates the nasal tip, which is re-supported with cartilage grafts. An added bonus is that re-elevation of the tip can improve nasal air flow and breathing.

Nonsurgical: If Botox is injected into the base of the nose by a skilled injector, slight nasal tip elevation may be achieved, resulting in a nose that turns upwards, rather than droops—even with big smiles. If your nose droops when your face is static, Botox will not help. Injections with fillers such as Radiesse or Juvederm may be used for nose shaping/augmenting purposes in a nonsurgical rhinoplasty.

 

Thinning upper lip and droopy mouth

Surgical: With age, the upper lip lengthens, sags and thins. An upper lip lift shortens the lip by removing a small ellipse of skin under the nose-lip junction, creating fuller mucosal show. The corner lift, removing a small triangle of skin above the corners of the mouth, elevates a downturned mouth, making you appear happier. 

Nonsurgical: Volumizers, such as Juvederm Ultra Plus, injected in the lips, can restore the ideal volume ratio of upper to lower lip, creating fuller plumped lips. “Smoker’s” or “lipstick bleed” lines can be treated every six months with Botox to soften them and micro droplets of fillers to plump them.  Lips may also be injected with collagen or your own fat harvested from another site. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed, so repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results.

 

Sagging jawline, redundant neck, prominent neck cords

Surgical: There are many different varieties of facelift approaches to smooth the face and neck skin, tighten the underlying loose tissues and muscle and remove excess skin.

Nonsurgical: To camouflage a sagging jawline, Juvederm or Radiesse may be injected, lasting up to 18 months. Botox and injections with fillers can be used to reduce the appearance of neck cords. Botox and fillers can smooth a pebbly chin. Fillers can be injected to reduce smile lines between the nose and mouth corners. Botox injections can make neck cords recede. Neckline appearance can be softened with mini doses of Juvederm combined with Botox.

 

Fine Facial Lines

Surgical: Fine facial lines can be treated surgically with dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, or deep chemical peels.  Although a facelift is useful for tightening the facial skin and deeper structures, it will not smooth fine facial lines on the skin’s surface.

Nonsurgical: New injection techniques have been developed to treat fine facial lines around the mouth, on the cheeks, etc. Dilute Juvederm is injected with very thin needles into these facial lines to smooth them, producing very successful results. Botox can supplement the effect. It is believed that new collagen growth in the skin is stimulated from these injections. 

 

Final advice: Get the best results by finding a plastic surgeon with the appropriate board certification. Wherever you go for treatment, be sure to ask how long and how often this doctor has been doing the procedure you desire. Dr. Genter is very experienced with these techniques.  In a tough economy, nonsurgical facial rejuvenation may seem to offer a cost-effective alternative for looking good. But, does it really? Ask your doctor how frequently you will need to repeat the nonsurgical procedure. Then consider your age and do the math. You may discover that a surgical procedure will be more economical in the long run…or you may not. Some investigators believe that fillers help skin regenerate natural collagen and neurotoxins like Botox can help retrain your muscles so the face creases less.

Be sure to schedule your surgical or nonsurgical procedure far enough in advance of an important event so you are healed and look your very best. 

New Plastic Surgery Tax Stresses UK Plastic Surgeons

plastic surgery taxPlastic surgeons in the UK worry that a review of tax codes may mean new taxes for cosmetic surgeries, according to WebMD.

Currently in the UK, a plastic surgery tax only exists on non-surgical treatments like Botox, fillers and laser treatments, a fact that plastic surgeons take no issue with. (In the UK, a VAT tax  or “Value Added Tax” is somewhat similar to sales tax in the US in that consumers must pay it on top of the price for a good or elective service.)

Lawmakers in the UK, though, may soon examining whether a plastic surgery tax should apply to elective cosmetic surgeries, like breast augmentation. In the US, patients already pay sales tax on elective plastic surgeries, but not medically-necessary procedures, which are often billed through insurance.

Some plastic surgeons in the UK are beginning to speak out against a possible review in the application of VAT, which may cause patients to have to pay a plastic surgery tax when they previously did not need to.

Current laws regarding VAT tax stipulate that procedures are tax exempt when the “protection, maintenance or restoration” of health is the main goal. A handful of plastic surgeons argue that changing any of these tax laws could put many patient’s surgical desires in a gray area.

Former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. Douglas McGeorge says the common image of plastic surgery is mega-celebrities casually undergoing elective procedures. Rather, he argues, it is members of the general public who choose plastic surgery to improve small aspects of themselves for a positive result.

McGeorge uses the image of an older worker undergoing facial rejuvenation to help make themselves more competitive in the workplace. He sees the difficulty in distinguishing between what is a functional improvement and what is purely cosmetic.

In response to the worry of some plastic surgeons regarding a new plastic surgery tax, the UK government says they currently have no plans to revise the VAT for cosmetic surgeries.

“Medical treatment for purely aesthetic reasons has been, and continues to be, liable to VAT at the standard rate,” it said in a statement.

To learn more about options for financing your plastic surgery in Philadelphia, please contact plastic surgeon Dr. Genter.

Functional Blepharoplasty Improves Vision and Aesthetics for Some Patients

fuctional blepharoplastyChoosing the right cosmetic procedure could help you glean some functional improvements, as well, according to TampaBay.com.

When 74-year-old Mary Lou began experiencing vision issues from droopy eyelids, her daughter suggested seeing a plastic surgeon for a functional blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a facial procedure in which excess skin is removed from around the eyes to open them up. While it can be cosmetic, for patients like Mary Lou who experience vision issues, it can also improve function.

When she first thought about plastic surgery, Mary Lou was apprehensive about any procedure. She says she always thought she would age gracefully. But after some gentle encouragement from her daughter, she realized the benefits she would gain from functional blepharoplasty were too great to pass up.

In her consultation with her plastic surgeon, Mary Lou learned that the cost of her functional blepharoplasty would be covered by Medicare since it was deemed medically necessary. During her consultation, Mary Lou also decided to undergo a laser procedure to improve the look of puffiness under her eyes. This procedure is considered cosmetic, so Mary Lou paid out of pocket.

After her successful functional blepharoplasty and laser eye treatment, people say Mary Lou looks 10 and sometimes 20 years younger, she shares. Mary Lou says this sort of procedure can help women look better and feel better about themselves.

Mary Lou is not alone in choosing plastic surgery later in life. According to the ASPS, nearly 85,000 plastic surgery procedures were performed on patients over 65 in 2010, a number that continues to grow.

And though some may worry that being older puts a patient at a higher risk for complications from surgery, research shows this to not be true. A report published last spring in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found patients over 65 were at no higher risk than younger patients.

We encourage you to learn more about how plastic surgery options can improve your function, self-confidence and way of life. Please join the mailing list of Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. Genter.