Having been a board certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) practicing facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery for over 25 years, I have seen plastic surgery technology and techniques evolve a great deal. Often, patients have misconceptions about cosmetic plastic surgery procedures based on outdated information. Here are a few of the questions I am most commonly asked along with answers to clear up some of the confusion.
What is the difference between a brow lift, an upper facelift, and a blepharoplasty?
All three of these procedures target the upper third of the face, from the area around your eyes to your hair line, so it can be easy to get them confused. However each of them addresses different, highly specific concerns. A blepharoplasty is the least invasive of the three but is designed only to remove excess skin and fat deposits from the eyelids, giving them a wider, more rested look. Sometimes however, the eyes seem hooded not because of the eyelids, but because the entire brow has begun to sag. These cases require the somewhat more extensive brow lift, which tightens the connecting muscles and tissue that have generally become slack over time. But while a brow lift may alleviate the appearance of frown lines that can occur between the eyebrows and above the nose, it does nothing to address larger forehead furrows. For this, an upper or even full facelift may be required.
Is a double chin better treated with facial liposuction or chin augmentation?
Every patient is different and the individual idiosyncrasies of facial architecture usually determine which course would be more advantageous. If the angles of the profile indicate that the chin is set too far back, a chin implant may be able to provide a better forward displacement. However, in these cases, I often prefer to use the patient’s own natural cartilage or fat in lieu of an artificial implant to alter the angle between the neck and the chin and create a more sharply defined profile. On the other hand, weight gain or the inevitable sagging of facial tissue can sometimes create the illusion of a small, ill-defined chin when this is actually not the case. In these instances, liposuction of the neck can often create much the same effect without the need for chin surgery, or genioplasty. I have also found that the most dramatic results can often be achieved by combining these two procedures during a single surgical operation.
I have heard that nose surgery, or rhinoplasty, has a particularly long and painful recovery period because the nose often needs to be broken. Is this the case?
While this may have been the case years ago, advancements in surgical techniques have made rhinoplasty a far more delicate and subtle procedure. The breaking of the nasal bones, known as a lateral osteotomy, is now only performed in order to close the large gap that can be left when a sizable dorsal hump is removed or to significantly narrow the nasal base. For these ostemtomies, I prefer to use an intranasal approach with a tiny (2mm) osteotome, which allows me to achieve very precise and stable results. In many cases, however, smaller humps can be gradually shaved down without the need to break the nose and, of course, even if breaking the nose is necessary, sedation and anesthesia would allow you to sleep through the entire procedure. During recovery, the temporary discomfort from the breaking of the bones is similar to a very mild headache. Typically, the initial swelling after a rhinoplasty procedure subsides within a few weeks, however individual recovery times can vary depending on the physiology and natural healing rates of individual patients.
If you are interested in a plastic surgery procedure I perform, please contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, today. Additionally, some reconstructive procedures may be covered by insurance, and Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. provides a variety of options for financing, including Care CreditSM, in order to assist you. Be sure to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.