Plastic surgeons might interpret the term facelift surgery differently, although the standard technique mainly tightens the jaw line and upper neck; it has no or very little effect on the mid face and forehead area. Also, the procedure can only address signs of aging caused by skin and muscle tissue laxity.
Meanwhile, facial volume loss, fine wrinkles, leathery skin, and pigment-related problems are beyond the scope of facelift surgery, explains celebrity LA plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili.
For a more rejuvenating effect, Dr. Smaili says most patients can benefit from facelift with adjunct procedures, which can be performed at the same time or at a later date.
The list below shows the exact reasons why complementing facelift with other procedures can give you more impressive results.
- Take up to 16 years off your face. A 2008 study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology has suggested that after removing wrinkles from an image, you could be perceived as 10 years younger than you really are. But if your skin is digitally altered to eliminate ugly pigmentation, you could look up to 16 years younger than your actual age.
For this reason, it is not surprising that facelift or any type of facial rejuvenation surgery is typically complemented by chemical grade peels, laser treatments, and other procedures that correct the appearance of dry and leathery skin, sunspots, and other discoloration problems.
- More balanced appearance. Standard facelift only tackles the sagging appearance in the lower third of the face. As a result, your deflated cheeks, forehead creases, and crow’s feet could look more obvious once your jaw line and upper neck have been tightened.
A possible solution is to undergo a full facelift, which is a general term that describes combining standard facelift with brow lift, eyelid lift, mid lift, and/or neck lift—or whatever you really need.
- More natural results. Facelift or any facial rejuvenation that uses skin lift and tissue tightening cannot address loss of volume or fat. In fact, relying too much on pulling and lifting could lead to a perennially surprised or windswept appearance that screams “I have had plastic surgery.”
To avoid the telltale signs of facelift and achieve a more natural result, Dr. Smaili says that loss of facial volume must be addressed at the same time. Dermal fillers injections, fat graft, or sometimes implants, are particularly helpful.
The term 3D facelift often refers to facelift combined with volumizers such as dermal fillers ad fat graft.
Nowadays, you can tap into different financing options if you want to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery but are quite apprehensive to take loans from families or relatives. Examples include bank loans, home equity loans, doctor payment plans, and unsecured medical loans just to name a few.
But in terms of convenience and availability, credit cards might be superior over other financing options. Nevertheless, you should carefully read the fine print to understand the ramifications of using this line of credit to avoid going into debt.
The California Surgical Institute, a leading Los Angeles plastic surgery center, has provided a simple explanation about regular and medical care credit card, and the usual consequences when tapping into this line of credit.
Regular Credit Cards
It is ideal to choose credit cards with zero percent introductory period or a low APR (annual percentage rate), which matters if you go at least one billing cycle without paying your full balance, thereby allowing the lender to charge you with interest immediately.
Assuming that your credit card offers a reasonable interest rate, this could be a good way to pay for your plastic surgery. However, stay away from another large purchase or shopping spree to avoid going into debt or be forced to give up your comfortable lifestyle.
Another good rule of thumb is to avoid credit cards that charge more than 10 percent interest.
Also, take note that doctors could pass along the cost of interchange or transaction fees (demanded by credit cards to their merchants) to customers-patients, which could add 4-5 percent to your surgery’s cost.
Health Care Credit Cards
These cards only cover medical-related expenses, including that of cosmetic plastic surgery. And with today’s cutthroat competition among lenders, many of them offer zero percent promotions, easy payment plans, and/or low interest rates.
However, be extra careful when tapping into this financing option as there has been a spate of complaints about “predatory” and illegal practices and frauds—e.g., some are claiming to have zero interest only to change their policy after the patients have signed up, or lenders applying the interest to the entire balance rather than the remaining balance.
So it all boils down to understanding the fine print and knowing what you are getting into.
Modern hair transplant surgery techniques involve removing a small round piece or strip of hair-bearing scalp from the back of the head. The hair follicles in the area are generally resistant to the effects of DHT hormone, which is responsible for male pattern baldness, even when transferred to another area.
For the right candidates treated by qualified surgeons, the hair transplant scar is so small and well hidden by the surrounding hair, while the recipient site looks natural due to the proper grouping of hair grafts.
The list below shows the general requirements prior to hair transplant surgery, as explained by experts from the California Surgical Institute.
* To achieve predictably good results, it is important that male pattern baldness has stabilized prior to surgery; this typically happens around forties.
Younger men, especially those under 30, are generally bad candidates for hair transplant surgery because their hair loss is still progressing. For this population, Rogaine and other non-surgical treatments are considered to be a better option.
Forcing hair transplant surgery on patients who are too young will only lead to reoperation to correct the progression of male pattern baldness. While revisions are oftentimes possible, those with insufficient donor hair follicles or significant scarring might only see bad results.
* Sufficient donor hair follicles. For most patients, the hair follicles from the back and side of their head are the best “grafts” because they retain their bald-resistant trait even when transferred to the recipient site. But for this to be feasible, there should be enough donor hair.
* Physically fit. There should be no healing problem or other conditions that could lead to excessive hair transplant scar, infection, and other complications. But since one’s physical appearance is a poor indicator of health, prudent surgeons require medical exams and lab work prior to surgery.
* Realistic motives. A good candidate should understand that aside from his surgeon’s technical and artistic skills, the quality of hair grafts, condition of scalp, amount of correction needed, and appearance of recipient site also determine the results.
* Non-smokers. Studies have suggested that smoking can be detrimental to the outcome of hair transplant or any type of elective plastic surgery. This “effect” is attributed to the nicotine’s ability to decrease the blood flow to the surgical site, thus constricting blood vessels and leading to poor wound healing.
And with significant reduction of blood supply, hair transplant patients are at risk of developing infection, poor hair growth (or low survival rate of grafts), and “unnecessary” scars.
Rhinoplasty, or nose-reshaping surgery, is a highly technical cosmetic plastic surgery since the amount of improvement must be always based on the anatomical limits—i.e., skin thickness, structural integrity of the nose, and quality/quantity of the nasal cartilage and bone. Another important variable is the patients’ motives and expectations, which are not always in line with what the procedure can realistically accomplish.
Despite the best efforts, sometimes revision rhinoplasty is needed due to unexpected changes in the nose or some residual asymmetry. Poor communications between a doctor and his patient could also lead to low satisfaction rate, resulting in a desire to have a corrective surgery.
One of the most common reasons for revision rhinoplasty is to correct the over-rotated nasal tip. This is particularly problematic in men because it can destroy the masculine feature of their face; and even in women this leads to more nostril showing and/or a nose that looks too upturned and too short.
If there is a desire to have a revision rhinoplasty, the general rule of thumb is to wait for all the residual swelling and bruising to subside, which could take nine months to one year. The “idea” is to make sure the final shape of the nose is fully stable to have an accurate analysis and achieve more predictable results.
There are several ways to “lower” the nasal tip such as the use of sutures in an attempt to fix the area down, placement of cartilage grafts (which can be harvested from the septum or wall between the nostrils, back/cup of the ear, etc.), weakening the support ligaments to create some “dropping” effect, and trimming of the columella.
The ideal angle of nasal tip is determined by several factors, although one’s gender plays a very crucial role. According to a study published in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery journal, a slightly upturned nose makes a woman appear more feminine, with 106 degrees considered to be the most ideal.
The findings reflect previous studies showing that the ideal angle of nasal tip for women is between 104 and 108 degrees.
For a male nose, meanwhile, the “best” angle between the upper lip and the nose is usually around 90 degrees, leading to a straighter appearance. A slight “downward deviation” or minimal droop might be also favorable because it creates a more masculine look, especially when a small hump in the bridge is maintained.
Many plastic surgeons will postpone or reschedule the surgery of their patients who are sick—e.g., common colds, flu, urinary tract infection, and even minor cough. This “guideline” is particularly true if symptoms such as fever, productive cough, and breathing difficulty are present.
Because plastic surgery procedures are commonly performed under general anesthesia, any sign of breathing difficulty is a reason enough to delay surgery until the patient is better.
However, some surgeons feel that patients with just a minor cough or cold can safely proceed with an elective surgery.
But when it comes to breast augmentation in which artificial prosthetics are used, it is not uncommon for surgeons to be extra conservative, meaning that even a minor cough might be enough to postpone the surgery because of the perceived increased risk of implant infection and capsular contracture.
The theory is that a “suppressed” immune system could predispose the patient to higher risk of implant contamination or infection, which could lead to capsular contracture, or a thick scar tissue that forms around an artificial prosthetic, causing the breasts to look and feel different.
In late stages of capsular contracture, the breast is painful and has a distorted appearance—symptoms that can be only treated by a revision surgery in which the thickened scar tissue and implants are removed. If there is plan to use new prostheses, most experts suggest waiting for a couple of months so the infection will clear up, thus minimizing the risk of recurrence.
Plastic surgeons are also extra conservative when the surgery involves the mid section—e.g., tummy tuck and extensive abdominal liposuction—since any amount of coughing could put tension on the incisions and lead to wound healing problems and “unnecessary” discomfort.
Because it is ideal to be in one’s optimal health prior to an elective surgery, LA plastic surgeons typically recommend frequent washing of hands to prevent cold and flu, sticking to superb nutrition, and avoiding strenuous exercise that could lead to injuries at least a week prior to surgery.