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Summer Survival Kit Tips

Summer Survival Kit

Heat Wave

Summer is a time of  fun in the sun, popsicles, pools, and tan lines.  That is if you live almost anywhere other than Scottsdale, Arizona!  Here in Arizona we are experiencing record heat waves with temperatures reaching 120 degrees. Most people in Arizona are hiding inside air conditioned spaces. (Read my article on summer seasonal facial plastic surgery in Arizona). Hello summer!  So, if you are like most Scottsdale residents, you are packing up and heading to the beach or the mountains.  Whether you are staying in town or getting out of Dodge,  here are a few Summer Survival Kit reminders from your Facial Plastic Surgeon.

Summer Survival Kit Priority 1:  Sunscreen

Sunscreen is so important for the your health, but also a key factor in the appearance of your skin.  This survival kit item is priority one.  Sunscreen in the morning ladies as part of your make up routine, please.  Use a product with a minimum of 25 SPF.  And gentlemen, you should apply sunscreen each morning as well.

If you are planning on spending time outside, playing sports, or in the water, reapply regularly.  Remember to apply every where, especially those forgotten spots like your ears and guys, don’t forget the tops of your heads.

Stock up on a variety of sunscreen products.  Water and sports sunscreens with higher SPF’s are key for those beach and pool times, tennis and golf.  They are designed to last longer and resist washing off with water and perspiration.  Keep lip balm with sunscreen in your sports bags and purses. Pack extra sunscreen in your beach and sports bags, so it is always on hand.  Train your kids early to get in the sunscreen habit.

Even if you are in the city working through the hot summer days, keep sunscreen application a part of your daily routine.  The left side of your face and arms are exposed to significant sun while driving.  That exposure adds up.

Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, along with UV protective long sleeve clothing will make a difference in how your skin looks now and as you age.

Summer Survival Kit Item #2 – Protective Gear

When we suggest protective gear, we aren’t referring to knee pads and hard hats.  Wearing hats, sunglasses and light long sleeve shirts helps protect your skin.

Check out some of the sportswear  that is made with UV protection and is light to wear, vented, and very attractive.  Tennis players, golfers, and equestrians who spend most of their day in the sun have learned this clothing is crucial to protecting their health and skin.

Hats and visors are a must to include in your summer survival kit.  This will do a lot to protect your face, keep you from squinting, and shields your eyes from the summer sun glare.

Summer Survival Kit Item #3 – Water!

Hydrate!  We should all drink water throughout the day.  The daily recommended water intake for a woman is 2.7 liters and 3.7 liters for men.  If you are an athlete participating in vigorous exercise, you are probably losing 1.5 to 2.0 liters of water through sweating.  So, as you calculate your water intake, include replenishing what you have sweated out in exercise or high heat conditions.

Not only is water important for our body’s health, but it is an important factor in keeping our skin fresh, hydrated, and looking its best.

Summer Survival Tip #4 – Head to the Spa for Skincare

Summer is a great time to visit your local skin care aesthetician for facials, laser hair removal, and other treatments to look and feel your best.

Your everyday cleansers and scrubs can only do so much to combat the sweat, dirt, and air pollution that are determined to stick in your pores. So, what can you do detoxify, rejuvenate, and protect your skin? Consider trying a HydraFacial.

HydraFacials are the newest game changer in the world of skin health. This treatment is designed to cleanse, exfoliate, extract, hydrate, and protect your skin all in just one session! It is non-invasive and has zero downtime. Results can be seen immediately after your treatment, leaving you looking radiant and refined. This and other skincare treatments will not only improve the look of your skin, but with frequent treatments, it will help your skin health!

Summer Survival Tip #5 – Relax!

Summer is the time for relaxation.  It is important for our mental health.  Summer Survival Kit reminder:  it is okay to put down the cell phone, to spend time relaxing and hanging out with the people you enjoy, or read a good book.  Down time is important for our minds to relax and recover, but it can also improve our appearance.  Get the sleep and rest you need to look your best.

Your Summer Survival Kit  includes a reminder to enjoy the abundant fresh, local fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, wear your sunscreen, and relax.  It will make a difference in your looks and you will feel terrific!


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Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery

Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery

You have been wanting facial plastic surgery for some time now.  We feel young.  We feel great!  But a quick glimpse of our reflection shows us we are beginning to look older than we feel.  When you have made the decision to have a face lift, or any other facial cosmetic procedure, you will want a few tips to help with preparing for your plastic surgery.

Your research is complete.  You have had your consultation, and selected your surgeon.  Soon the day for your surgery will arrive.  What can you do to prepare for optimum results prior to your procedure?  Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your facial plastic surgery.

Preparing for your Plastic Surgery Mentally

All surgeries come with risks of complications.  While plastic surgery techniques have advanced to reduce swelling and bruising, you will still need to prepare yourself mentally for the procedure, potential complications, and the recovery process.  Do your homework prior to your procedure to prepare and educate yourself. This helps you understand what to expect in terms of results, your appearance immediately after the surgery and the healing process.

Prior to your procedure, it is helpful to focus on keeping your stress levels minimized.  Anxiety makes our bodies less efficient, and it can compromise our immune system.  Tension restricts blood flow to your capillaries, leading to less healthy cells  and potentially an increased risk for infection.

There are many wonderful techniques to reduce your stress levels.  These include practicing yoga, meditation, and even relaxing hobbies or sports.  Pamper yourself before your surgery and replace your anxiety with excitement and confidence.

Surgery Preparation Weeks Ahead

For a few weeks to your procedure, preparing for your plastic surgery includes preparing your body in general.  You will want to support your body in its healing and recovery process after your procedure.  The healthier you are beforehand, the faster you will heal after the procedure.  Take these steps in the weeks and days preceding your facial plastic surgery.

  • Stop Smoking.  Smoking makes your capillaries constrict, which reduces blood flow and weakens your immune system.  Stop smoking weeks before your surgery, and don’t start again until your doctor clears you.
  • Stop Drinking.  Alcohol increases bleeding, and it also interferes with your immune system, which can lead to complications.
  • Tell your plastic surgeon about all the medications (prescribed, over the counter, and narcotic use), so that he or she can prepare for potential complications.  Your surgeon may ask you to stop using certain medications until you have healed from your surgery.
  • Eat fresh, healthy foods, and drink plenty of water.  Avoid packaged foods.  Instead choose fruits, vegetables, and whole foods which boost the immune system and generally make your body work better.  Avoid salt and carbohydrates, but do eat lots of plant based foods and protein.
  • Do not eat salicylates in the weeks prior to your procedure.  They contribute to bruising.  To minimize dark bruises after your surgery, avoid eating almonds, berries, cherries, citrus fruit, peaches (and similar fruits), grapes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
  • Take a multi-vitamin every day leading up to the surgery, but take it easy on the vitamin E.  Focus instead on vitamin A, C and Bromelain.

In addition to preparing your body from the inside, consider your outer appearance.  Do you get that haircut in advance?  You might want to wait on a haircut until after you heal from your surgery.  Longer hair will help hid any bruising. But, you will want to color your hair in advance, as your scalp may be sensitive for awhile after your procedure. Manicure and pedicure appointments prior to your procedure might be a nice treat, so that you look your best as you recover.

Preparing Your Environment

It is a good idea to prepare your home, your family, and your place of work for this interruption in your schedule as well.

Your Home

You will definitely want a comfortable recovery area after your plastic surgery procedure.  You will likely feel pain or wooziness afterward, so you should prepare your home in advance.  Have the house cleaned, stock the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, and prepare meals in advance or arrange for a friend or family member to do it for you. Create a comfortable place to rest with your favorite pillows and blankets, (extra pillows to prop your head up and maybe some for under your knees), and make sure you have plenty of entertainment on hand, whether you prefer books, movies or your tablet.

Another important tip, make sure you have a large stash of ice packs too.  These will keep the swelling down, ease some of the pain, and prevent some bruising. Some other supplies you may want to have on hand:  pads to protect your mattress from oozes; gauze and peroxide for cleaning wounds; Bacitracin, Neosporin or other antibiotic ointments; water and other drinks at your bedside;  your surgeon and pharmacy telephone numbers handy; and stool softeners or laxatives.

Preparing Your Family to Help Out After Your Surgery

Immediately after your surgery, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home, but also consider that you will need assistance or help with your normal driving obligations.  Make advance arrangements for someone to run errands, take the dog to the groomer, or pick up groceries and prescriptions.  Someone to help with household chores is need as well.

Preparing for Work Absence After Your Plastic Surgery

You should take time off from work after your plastic surgery in order to allow yourself to heal. Talk with your surgeon about expected recovery periods and any limitations you might expect.

Days Before Your Surgery

When your plastic surgery procedure is less than a week away, follow these steps to help prepare your body.

  • Wash the area gently, but firmly at least once every day.  You may get better results with once in the morning and once in the evening.  If you are having a face lift, be sure to wash behind your ears.
  • Continue taking your vitamins as directed.
  • Your surgeon may ask that you don’t eat anything 24 hours prior to your procedure.  If he or she gives you this instruction, be sure to follow it.

Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery Hours Before

On the day of your surgery, eat a light meal, unless your surgeon instructed you not to do so.

  • Attend to your hygiene as usual, but don’t apply makeup, chew gum, or take breath mints.
  • Don’t wear contacts, tight clothes, or jewelry.  Make yourself as comfortable as possible by wearing loose clothing and glasses.
  • You may want a scarf and dark glasses to wear afterward.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the procedure.
  • Show up on time for your pre-surgery sedation.

Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery Success

Keep in mind, you are in charge of your body’s wellness and recovery.  Preparing for your plastic surgery procedure can have a big impact on your healing and recovery.  Always ask your surgeon questions and share your concerns, so that you feel educated and prepared for the procedure.

Plan ahead to allow yourself the time to relax and heal.  And, before you know it, you will be enjoying your new appearance confidently.


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Your Nose Job – What to Expect

Choosing a Rhinoplasty (Nose Job) Procedure

Everyone that elects to have a nose job has different motivations for choosing to have a rhinoplasty procedure.  Here is  you can expect from your nose job procedure.  Some of us are born with a nose that doesn’t fit with our face, or one that we would like to improve a bit. Other people undergo rhinoplasty (nose job) procedures for health or medical reasons.  We see many patients that have suffered a sports injury, and while correcting their medical issues, they choose to make a few alterations to the appearance of their nose as well.

A rhinoplasty procedure is one of the more complex facial plastic surgery procedures. This procedure requires a skilled surgeon with an aesthetic eye to create a balanced, pleasing, natural looking result.  It is important to trust the health and appearance of your nose to a facial plastic surgeon specialist.

Understanding Your Nose

Our noses are not only front and center on our faces, they perform critical functions for our well being and health (like breathing), and they can have a profound effect on how we feel about our appearance.  Our nose is a very complex appendage.  Learn more about the individual components that make up the nose.

What Changes will a Nose Job Make for my Appearance?

Some people feel self conscious with the appearance of their nose.  They desire a change or improvement in the balance of their face.  This is a very personal decision.  Feeling confident in one’s appearance usually changes how we interact act with others and how we feel about ourselves.

If you desire a change in your appearance, here are a few of the aesthetic issues a nose job can accomplish:

  • Make the nose more in line with the proportions of the face
  • Correct nostrils that are not uniform in size and shape
  • Lengthen or shorten the nose
  • Correct issues or reshape the tip of the nose
  • Remove defects such as lumps or depressions

Health or Injury Issues

If health or medical issues are involved, a rhinoplasty (nose job) may create greater comfort and increased ease of breathing.  Depending on your circumstances, a nose job may help:

  • Alleviate sinus pressure and make it easier to breathe properly
  • Correct nose structure so that the nasal passages are less susceptible to inflammation
  • Restore structure to a nose that was damaged in an accident
  • Correct the defects that resulted from a prior rhinoplasty procedure

Evaluating Your Nose

Surgical procedures are tailored to each individual nose and patient’s needs.

Your surgeon will evaluate your nose as a whole by examining each of its parts, determining how they interrelate with one another and with the rest of the face and body type. Careful consideration is given to the final appearance the patient desires.  At Woods Facial Plastic Surgery the goal is to provide a natural appearance, one that is in harmony with the individual’s face and body.

Recovering After Nose  Job Surgery

It is important to remember that everyone heals differently.  Here are a few general guidelines on what to expect after your surgery.

Post surgery a small splint will be placed on your nose. This will protect the nose and keep it stable for approximately 3 – 5 days.  Your surgeon may use nasal packing to reduce swelling and help with the bleeding. This packing is placed in your nose during the surgery and removed the next morning.

Mild to moderate discomfort is to be expected after the surgery, and this is typically alleviated with prescribed painkillers.  Typically, patients are able to stop taking the medication 48 hours after the surgery.  Bruising and swelling from the surgery also are common, and you may even develop two black eyes from the surgery.

You will need to keep your head elevated for a period of time as prescribed by your surgeon after the surgery. It also is important to sleep on your back for a few weeks after the surgery to avoid putting pressure on your nose.

Be Careful – Your New Nose Will  Be Sensitive

Avoid trauma to your nose after your nose job.  This means no contact sports, and being careful in general situations where you might get bumped in the nose (children and pets are common culprits).  If you wear glasses, you should not wear them for a few weeks after your surgery, but contacts are okay.  Also, be gentle washing your face.  The skin on your nose is sun sensitive for a few weeks, so be sure to apply sunscreen (once your surgeon gives the okay).

When Does My Nose Look Normal Again?

Typically, most of the swelling diminishes within two weeks post rhinoplasty surgery.  Within a month the remaining swelling should be gone.  Everyone heals and responds differently, so the key is to be patient.  Allow your body to heal and recover fully.

Talk with Your Doctor

Selecting a surgeon to perform your rhinoplasty is an important choice.  I strongly encourage you to select a facial plastic surgeon.  Do your research, and meet with your list of potential surgeons.  Almost all surgeons charge a consultation fee, consider this a worthwhile investment in the overall process to determine the best surgeon for you.  Talk with each of them.  Look at their results portfolio. Ask questions. Review their credentials and ask about their experience.

During your consultation, be honest about what you like or dislike about your appearance and your nose and what you expect or desire regarding your results.  It is also important to discuss any medical, health, or injuries related to your nose.

Renewing Confidence

Nose re-shaping can refine the appearance of the nose and enhance the unique natural beauty of the patient, and in some cases, improve your well being and alleviate medical conditions.  If you have struggled with self confidence in your appearance because of your nose, a nose job can enhance your self confidence.

You can learn more at  Woods Facial Plastic Surgery and participate in Ask the Doctor Forums on


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Facial Plastic Surgery Terms Cheat Sheet

Facial Plastic Surgery Terms Cheat Sheet

Your Facial Plastic Surgery Terms Cheat Sheet

So, you are thinking about facial plastic surgery. Facial plastic surgery is becoming increasingly common.  But as with any surgical procedure, you will want to do your research on procedure options, surgeons, recovery, and expected outcomes.  Facial plastic surgery is a highly specialized field, which requires precise and often minute adjustments to make the desired changes.  Here is a basic facial plastic surgery terms cheat sheet.  These are good basic terms to know when you go in for your initial consultation.

And, a reminder for during your consultation, ask questions! If you don’t understand, express that and ask for further explanation.  It is frustrating for a patient, and for the doctor as well, when a patient leaves the visit, and feels they didn’t gain a clearer understanding of the procedure, options, considerations, and expected outcomes.

Types of Facial Surgery

There is a wide variety of facial plastic surgeries – from cheek implants to lip augmentation, but below are the four most common categories.

Blepharoplasty  (Eyelid Lift)

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty removes wrinkled or drooping skin above the eye.  This procedure gives the eyes a wider, more youthful appearance.

Blepharoplasty also refers to the process of reducing the fat deposits that cause bags under the eyes.  Surgeons make incisions in the natural folds of the eyelids or interior lining to hide any possible scarring.  You can read a more detailed description of the evaluation process, procedure options, and recovery #blepharoplasty.

Brow Lift

A brow lift reduces wrinkles and expression lines in the forehead and around the eyes.  Surgeons conduct the procedure through incisions in the front hairline or above the ears.  A brow lift can rejuvenate a person’s expression by creating a more youthful contour to the upper part of the face.  It helps you appear more refreshed, your eyes appear brighter and often you look less tired and have a more welcoming facial appearance.

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)

Rhinoplasty changes the shape and size of the nose.  Surgeons use small incisions inside the nose or in the skin between the nostrils to access and alter bone and cartilage.  Surgeons may remove or add small portions of skin, bone, or cartilage to reshape the nose structure.  When a surgeon builds up a portion of the nose, they may use a filler substance as well.

Is your nose misshapen as a result of trauma or an injury? Do you have other medical or breathing issues? Be sure to discuss these factors with your surgeon as well.

In discussing your rhinoplasty procedure, you will want to have an honest discussion with your surgeon about your expected outcomes.

Rhytidectomy (Face lift)

Natural aging of our faces may cause us to appear older than we are and change our facial expression to one of fatigue or scowling.  A face lift can rejuvenate your appearance and restore a more youthful, vibrant expression.  A face lift repositions the fatty deposits in the face and removes excess and sagging skin.  Surgeons make their incisions in the hairline or behind the ear to obscure any scars.

There are a variety of face lift procedure options.  So, it will be important to candidly discuss with the surgeon your desired outcomes and options.

You can get most types of plastic surgeries in varying degrees, particularly those performed on the face.  For example, a full face lift corrects signs of aging in the forehead, cheeks, jaw, and neck.  But many patients opt for a mini face lift, which lifts the cheeks but not the neck or brow.  The mini procedure is less invasive and requires less recovery time.  Talk to your doctor about the best options for your individual aging process.

Types of Scarring

Your surgeon will conceal and prevent much of the scarring associated with any kind of surgery.  The most common types of scarring are:


These scars are darker than a patient’s natural skin.


This type of scar tissue is at the site of a wound or incision.  Hypertrophic scars occur in thick clusters.


Hypopigmented scars are scars that are lighter than a patient’s natural skin.


Keloid scars itch or are painful, even after recovery. Keloids are most likely to develop where there is little fatty tissue under the skin.  This type of scarring was more common many years ago, but occurs less frequently with today’s improved technique and procedures.

Any incision has a chance of scarring. Surgeons make most incisions in inconspicuous places to decrease the chance of unattractive, visible scars.

Types of Surgeons

Many people confuse and don’t understand the difference between a facial plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon or plastic surgeon.  There is an important differentiation that you should understand and take into consideration for facial plastic surgery.

Facial Plastic Surgeon Training & Board Certifications

The American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery discusses the qualifications, training, and education related to facial plastic surgery. Many Facial Plastic Surgeons are ENT’s (Ear, Nose & Throat specialists).

The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery discusses the lengthy training involved in specifically studying the head and neck:

An otolaryngologist can receive up to 15 years of college and post-graduate training in plastic surgery, concentrating on procedures that reconstruct the elements of the face.

Post-graduate training includes a year of general surgery, four years of residency in otolaryngology (disorders of the ears, nose, and throat), and may also include one to two years in a fellowship dedicated to facial plastic surgery.

After passing a rigorous set of exams given by the American Board of Otolaryngology, otolaryngologists may become board-certified in the specialty of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. Because they study the complex anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the entire head and neck, these specialists (sometimes called ENTs) are uniquely qualified to perform the procedures that affect the whole face.


Plastic Surgeons

After medical school, plastic surgeons complete 5-6 years of residency training, during which they split their years between general surgery and plastic surgery. Typically, the first three years of surgery training is in general surgery and the final 2-3 years are in plastic surgery, not specifically related to the head and neck area.

Surgical Methods

No Facial Plastic Surgery Terms Cheat Sheet would be complete without discussing a few surgical methods.

Facial plastic surgeons use a range of techniques to provide the most effective results.  Some of the most common methods used include:


Plastic surgeons use a small viewing instrument, called an endoscope, inserted beneath the skin.  The endoscope is only used for viewing.  Surgeons use a scalpel, scissors, or forceps to complete the actual surgery.  Endoscopic surgery requires smaller incisions than traditional surgery does, which can translate to less recovery time.  Brow lifts are the most common type of facial plastic surgery performed with an endoscope.


The removal of a section of skin or fatty tissue beneath the skin.


A cannula is a hollow tube attached to a vacuuming device used in liposuction procedures.

You may decide to combine facial liposuction with a face lift or brow lift for more defined contouring.

Your surgeon likely uses certain methods more frequently than others, depending on his or her training, tools, and preferences.  Consult with your surgeon about the most effective methods for achieving your desired facial changes.

Use Your Facial Plastic Surgery Terms Cheat Sheet

Hopefully, your facial plastic surgery terms cheat sheet will help you understand some of the basic terminology, initiate some questions, and introduce options available to you in selecting a surgeon, discussing procedures best suited for you, and being an informed self advocate.

A partnership with a facial plastic surgeon can help you look younger and feel more confident.  Here’s to informed and awesome!


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Facial Plastic Surgery Myths

Facial Plastic Surgery Myths

 Common Facial Plastic Surgery Myths

Facial Plastic Surgery as we know it has existed since the late 1800’s.  Experts make new advancements in techniques, materials, and options each year.  But in spite of its prevalence and progress, there remain many common myths about facial plastic surgery.  Exaggerated celebrity representations or outdated information may fuel these misconceptions.  Don’t fall prey into believing these 12 common facial plastic surgery myths.

Myth 1:  It’s Too Expensive

There was a time when this misconception was true, but plastic surgery is no longer limited to the wealthy elite.  In fact, many procedures have decreased in price within the last decade.  And, often plastic surgeons offer limited time discounts on minimally invasive procedures.

Myth 2:  It Results in Painful, Unattractive Scars

All surgeries with incisions come with the chance of permanent scarring.  Today’s surgeons minimize incision size and scarring to avoid large scars and keloids.  Surgeons  make incisions to carefully conceal scars from facial procedures in the hairline, behind ears, or other natural crease areas to make them as invisible as possible.

Myth 3:  People Who Have Plastic Surgery Are Vain

Plastic surgery is primarily used to change appearance.  This is a fact.  However,  studies show that 88% of patients go into the procedure with a realistic expectation of the outcome.  We all care about our appearance, and given the choice, we want to look our best.  Plastic surgery helps the average patient feel healthier, more confident, and helps bring their appearance in alignment with how youthful they feel on the inside. Plastic surgery has become more common for the average person who simply wants to look their best and feel confident.

Myth 4:  It’s Permanent

Nothing lasts forever, not even plastic surgery.  But most facial procedures last for many years before needing a touch up.  A facelift for example, last 7 to 10 years on average, while a blepharoplasty (eyelid reconstruction) procedure can last for 15 years.

Myth 5:  Cosmetic Surgery is the Same as Plastic Surgery

The American Board of Plastic Surgery certifies plastic surgeons.  Certification requires 5 years of training, including 2 years dedicated just to plastic surgery.  All plastic surgeons qualify as cosmetic surgeons. But a cosmetic surgeon does not have the same specialized training as a plastic surgeon.

Myth 6:  You Shouldn’t Get Plastic Surgery Before You’re 60

The belief that facial surgery is best done at a certain age is one of many common facial plastic surgery myths.  There isn’t a prescribed age for plastic surgery procedures.  Statistically most plastic surgeries are performed on people 45-60 years old. Each patient and their circumstances are unique, and each case should be considered individually.

Myth 7:  It Takes A Long Time to Recover

As with any surgery, you will need some recovery time after a facial procedure. However, recovery usually takes 2 to 6 weeks.  For many patients swelling disappears within two weeks.

Myth 8:  Healthy lifestyles Can Have the Same Results as Surgery

Nutrition and exercise are an important part of keeping your body healthy and beautiful.  In fact, it is a good idea to implement a health plan before seeking plastic surgery.  An active lifestyle can help prolong the lifespan of plastic surgery procedures.

Facial plastic surgery addresses wrinkles, loose skin, and other signs of aging that healthy choices alone cannot reverse.  If these types of conditions are affecting your self-esteem or sense of beauty, facial plastic surgery is the best corrective option.

Myth 9: Plastic Surgery is Dangerous

No surgery is without risk.  But surgeries undertaken by a skilled surgeon on a healthy patient have a low risk of complications.  Surgeons perform over 13 million procedures each year, and most patients only experience expected minor bruising, swelling, and discomfort.

Myth 10:  It Looks Unnatural

Improper or extreme surgery can have unnatural looking results.  Most of this misconception comes from use of the term “plastic”.  This use of plastic derives from the Greek word plastikos which means “capable of being shaped or molded” – not from the results appearing synthetic or unnatural.  Seek out a surgeon whose results are in keeping with a desired natural appearance.

Myth 11:  It’s Extremely Painful

Movement or addition of bone, cartilage, tissue, or skin can cause pain.  Surgeons use anesthetics to decrease the discomfort of the procedure itself.  An experienced surgeon disturbs the smallest amount of tissue possible to minimize post-procedure pain.  A common facial plastic surgery myth is that it is extremely painful, when in reality, less than 5% of patients complain about pain during or following a procedure.

Myth 12: It’s Disrespectuful to Ask Your Surgeon Questions

Actually, it is a great idea and important to ask your surgeon any questions you have, especially those pertaining to his or her training and experience.  This is an important undertaking, and you should feel comfortable with and confident in your surgeon’s abilities.

Many uninformed opinions and facial plastic surgery myths still exist today.  Take the time to learn about the many options and procedures available today, what is involved with each one, and what is best for you. Have a candid discussion with your surgeon and be willing to listen to his or her input regarding your desired outcomes and best procedures for your situation.

Learn more about the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgeons.


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Blepharoplasty for Men & Women

Tired of Looking Tired? Consider Blepharoplasty

Are you tired of looking tired?  Does it seem that no matter how much relaxation, rest and sleep you get, people still seem to ask with concern, “How are you doing? You look tired.”

Stop Looking Tired

For some of us, as we age, we develop darker circles beneath our eyes, puffiness, or even drooping, sagging eyelids – sometimes both top and bottom lids.  We look tired, maybe even sad or angry despite getting plenty of rest. Seriously drooping eyelids often interfere with our vision.  In this case, your insurance company may pay for the corrective surgery.

One of the biggest facial plastic surgery trends of the year is a Blepharoplasty or eyelid lift. It is the second most popular facial plastic surgery procedure, behind rhinoplasty (nose surgery).  A blepharoplasty  (Eyelid surgery) restores a more youthful, open appearance to the eye area, and in the case of extreme eyelid droopiness, it results in improved vision.

Look Years Younger & Rejuvenated

Blepharoplasty surgery takes years off your looks.  With sagging, puffy, or droopy eyelids repaired, the eye area appears rejuvenated and refreshed, so if you are ‘Tired of Looking Tired’, consider this surgery.  Our eyes communicate how we are feeling to the world. The eyelid lift procedure is unique to each patient, and your surgeon should address your specific concerns, needs, and expectations.  We strongly recommend utilizing a facial plastic surgery specialist.

The Procedure to End Looking Tired

An upper eyelid blepharoplasty alone often is performed as an in office procedure with a local
anesthetic and oral sedation, if desired. There is very little discomfort with the
numbing process when it is administered slowly.

The proposed amount of skin to be removed is marked in a manner that will result in
an inconspicuous scar that lies in the skin crease above the lashes and into a wrinkle
of a crow’s foot.

The excess skin is removed along with a sliver of underlying muscle, and then the
exposed fat is removed or contoured as needed depending on patients’ individual
needs and anatomy.  Any bleeding is controlled, and the incision is closed with fine, dissolving stitches
which are usually gone in a week.

Blepharoplasty Recovery

Recovery is primarily dependent on the amount of bruising and swelling there is in the
first two to three days. This varies, of course, from one patient to the next. But there
are many things that are done to help minimize this and expedite the healing process.
Typically, most patients are quite presentable in one week. Any persistent bruising
can be disguised after this point.

Noninvasive Procedures

Do you still feel that perhaps you aren’t ready for a surgical solution?  There are noninvasive procedures that minimize that tired look as well.  Botox injections minimize lines around the eyes and raise the brow area.  And, there are other dermal fillers that add volume.  The down side to these options is that repeat treatments are required a few times a year.

Looking Refreshed

Hey, we all like compliments, but there is more to looking rested and rejuvenated than compliments alone.  Let’s face it…In today’s competitive workplace world and constant social media pic snapping, how we look is showing up a lot and work place studies on salaries and promotions demonstrate our appearances are a factor. 

Looking and feeling our best affects our self confidence and self satisfaction.  Our eyes communicate how we feel to the world, but also reflect how we feel about ourselves.  So, bring on the compliments!  Let them begin asking instead…”Wow! You are looking great – what’s your secret?”.

Learn more about Blepharoplasty and Other Non Surgical Options.


Read Our Plastic Surgery Planning tips

Non Surgical Solutions to Sagging Eyelids


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Plastic Surgeon Selection Cheat Sheet

Body or Facial Plastic Surgery?

You have decided to take the next step toward the plastic surgery you have been considering and begin interviewing surgeons. Here is a cheat sheet from a doctor’s perspective to use when choosing a plastic surgeon.  We offer a few insider tips that will help you make an educated decision in choosing a plastic surgeon.

Very few of us would select our orthopedic surgeon to remove our child’s tonsils, so we all appreciate that utilizing a specialist is important.  A one stop, “fix it all from the neck down” series of procedures, while seemingly convenient, may not be the most prudent choice.  Medical training, expertise, and experience vary by specialty.  While there are many skilled and excellent general cosmetic surgeons,  we  strongly recommend a board certified facial plastic surgeon, if you are planning facial plastic surgery.

Education & Training for Plastic Surgeons

What does it take to become a plastic surgeon? First, you must successfully complete the four years of medical school (MD or DO school). After two years of basic science and one year of clinical science, you decide you want to be a surgeon, maybe even a plastic surgeon, and apply for a residency. There are any number of surgical specialties which include facial plastic surgery in their curriculum. General Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Oromaxillofacial Surgery, and Dermatology are the most common.

A General Plastic Surgeon, is required to take 3-4 years of General Surgery and then two years of Plastic Surgery focusing on all aspects of this field which include burn surgery, reconstructive surgery of all parts of the body, hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, and finally cosmetic surgery to include breast, body, and face. That is a lot of knowledge and skill to acquire in two years. This is why most surgeons go on to do a fellowship in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to gain the required skill, experience, and knowledge in this more specific field. A fellowship provides 1-2 additional years of specialty experience.

An Otolaryngology resident undergoes one year of general surgery  training and 4-5 years of head and neck surgical training, 25%  of which includes facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.  Most surgeons desiring to practice facial plastic surgery take an additional fellowship year to focus specifically on this field.

Look at your prospective surgeon’s educational credentials and  ask questions.  Yes, post education experience is an important factor, but specific educational training provides critical technical expertise.

Consider the Plastic Surgeon’s Credentials

Is your surgeon board certified?  If you are considering facial plastic surgery, be sure they are a board certified facial plastic surgeon.  To locate a board certified facial plastic surgeon in your area, visit

Does your surgeon have hospital privileges?  Where?

Did the surgeon complete a fellowship in cosmetic surgery?

Safety & the Operating Facility of the Plastic Surgeon

Your safety and health are the most important factor.

Is the surgical facility AAAASF, AAAHC, JCAHO OR IMQ accredited?

If you are undergoing general anesthesia, who will be administering it?  A Board Certified Anesthesiologist or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthestist?

Post surgery, will there be an RN or MD available on call 24/7?

Experience of the Plastic Surgeon

Ask the surgeon about his experience in the procedure(s) you are considering. Specifically ask the number of these procedures he has completed.

Does the surgeon stay current with advanced techniques?

Does the surgeon have generally positive patient testimonials and reviews?

Aesthetics & Artistry of the Plastic Surgeon

While facial plastic surgery is a medical skill requiring extensive training and expertise, it is also an art form.  Aesthetic sensibility and artistry are critical in this field.  Be sure the surgeon’s results in this area appeal to you.

Are the surgeon’s results consistent from patient to patient?

Does the surgeon discuss general aesthetics of your facial features, build etc. relative to the considered procedure and desired outcome?

Connection with the Plastic Surgeon

Can you trust this surgeon to be honest with you and frankly communicate realistic outcomes as well as what is safe and right for you vs what you want to hear?

Do you feel comfortable asking questions?

Are you comfortable disclosing your full medical history with this surgeon?

Is the staff friendly and helpful?

Will you receive helpful materials that fully prepare you for the risks and realities of the surgery and the recovery?

Discuss post-operative instructions.  Will they be written out?

Ask if the follow-up care after the surgery is included in the price.

Facial plastic surgeries are very common with successful results today.  There are inherent risks in any surgical procedure, and  you should place careful consideration based on facts, the prospective surgeon’s experience, expertise and artistry in order to achieve your desired outcomes, health, and safety.

Be well and know you are important.

Dr. Woods


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Men Choosing Plastic Surgery

We shouldn’t be surprised that men choosing plastic surgery is on the rise.  Just like their female counterparts, more and more men are seeking renewed youthfulness or improved looks through plastic surgery.  The number of men electing plastic surgery has doubled in the past twenty years.  Cosmetic surgery is now more socially acceptable and common thanks to media publicity, television shows, and social media.

Why the Increase in Men Choosing Plastic Surgery?

First and foremost, men care about their appearance and staying youthful, just as women do.  Other societal factors increasingly draw men to choose plastic surgery as well.

Vitality and youth are highly valued in today’s work place in all professions. The career marketplace is very competitive, and studies show that your perceived attractiveness does impact your success in your career (watch for our upcoming blog Your Appearance Affects Your Success). Professional men in their 40’s to 60’s are eager to look younger and keep that competitive edge.  We often see male patients wanting to remove frown lines or eliminate droopy lids or puffy eyes. These can add to a tired appearance or a permanent scowl. A blepharoplasty procedure can take five to ten years off a person’s appearance, and in many cases it improves your vision too. Men also will ask for removal of excess fat from their neck area to create a stronger jawline appearance. And, increasingly, we see men asking for complete face lifts.

Men Choosing Plastic Surgery Want Minimal Down Time

Procedure costs and recovery times both have gone down, and this plays a role in men choosing plastic surgery.  Another priority for many men is the desire for a short recovery time.  They want to quickly resume their regular lifestyle.  I often hear, “how long until I am back on the golf course?”.  A blepharoplasty procedure lets patients shampoo their hair the day after surgery, and sutures come out in about five days.  Many patients face the challenge of working this into a demanding professional schedule or recreational demands.

The Difference Between  Women and Men Choosing Plastic Surgery

There are a few differences between the women and men choosing plastic surgery in the patients I see.  Women often need more discussion and time in their decision making process, while most male patients often have made up their mind before the visit.  The guys want a few facts confirmed or some questions answered, and they quickly move forward with scheduling the surgery.

There also are a few uniquely differentiating factors in addressing surgical circumstances for men vs women.  Men’s skin has beard growth,  which of course isn’t the same for women.  And, the incision placement and potential scar exposure is more a factor for men.  Makeup or longer hair styles as scar camouflage techniques typically are not preferable options for men choosing plastic surgery.

It’s also worth mentioning, that many younger men choosing facial plastic surgery often want to change the shape of their nose, remove extreme acne scaring with laser treatments, or seek reconstructive surgery after sports injuries.

Men Choosing Plastic Surgery Care About Their Appearance

The importance of good looks and youthfulness in competitive career fields, second chance relationships, and a very image and health conscious society are what men choosing plastic surgery mention most frequently as their reasons for electing cosmetic facial procedures.  These are essentially the same desires that most women list.  We all want to feel good about ourselves and feel confident in public settings both at work and at play.  Looking and feeling our best is a universal desire.

Learn more about blepharoplasty



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Wrinkles: Genetics vs Habits?

Wrinkles:  Genetics vs Habits & Lifestyle?

Wrinkles: genetics vs habits and lifestyle?  Which is it? Patients often ask, “Why do some of my 50+ year old friends have great, wrinkle free complexions?” Their beautiful complexion may be a result of surgical or non-surgical treatments, or their complexions may look great due to lifestyle, habits and even genetics.

There are basic habits and lifestyle choices that greatly affect our skin and the appearance of wrinkles.  When we ask the question wrinkles:  are they due to genetics or habits and lifestyle?  The answer is, all three.   Genetics, habits and lifestyle each play key roles in the appearance of wrinkles and a person’s skin condition.

Before you write off the ability to look great as you age as available to only the few from the lucky gene pool, you should know that in the “Wrinkles: Genetics vs Habits and Lifestyle” question:  lifestyle and skincare habits are an even greater factor than one’s genes when it comes to keeping skin looking great and wrinkles minimized. Read on and see if you can make some fairly simple lifestyle changes to help prevent and minimize wrinkles.

Your Genetics and Wrinkling

First, we need to understand the genetic factor in aging.  Genetics determine  our ability to generate collagen and elastin (the parts of the skin that give us elasticity and resistance to wrinkles).  Genetics also obviously determine our skin color.

Darker skin tones contain more melanin.  This natural, darker pigment affects our ability to tan, and it helps block the penetration of UV light.  UV light is the natural radiation that causes skin to look crepey, wrinkled and become thin.  The more melanin in our skin, the less likely we are to develop early wrinkles.

While genetics play a role in wrinkling, we should not resign ourselves to a fate of early wrinkles or more wrinkles because of our ancestry.  Start active prevention work now. Everyone can adopt skincare and lifestyle habits that will help prevent wrinkles.

So when we ask Wrinkles:  genetics vs habits and lifestyle?  Take heart. Anyone can adopt these healthy lifestyle habits and avoid the sneaky bad habits that are a factor in wrinkle formation.

Good Lifestyle Habits & Skincare Prevents Wrinkles

Drink Lots of Water

Hydration! Hydration!  Staying hydrating helps skin appear healthier and more youthful.  Beyond that water is very good for our general health.  Drink lots of water, every day, and often!

Hydration for beautiful skin

Use Sunscreen Always

90% of skin aging is due to sun exposure.  Always wear 30+ SPF every day and be sure to re-apply when outdoors, at the pool, beach, or while participating in sports.  Sunscreen minimizes incidental sun exposure.  Have you noticed more wrinkles on the left side of your face vs the right? This is due to the regular sun exposure we have while driving. In addition to applying sunscreen daily, be sure to wear hats, or visors, and sunglasses that protect against UV rays.  This helps reduce habitual squinting and lessens additional exposure to the sun.

Skincare Routine

Develop a good skincare routine. It is never too late or too early to practice good skincare habits.  Make it a nightly practice to gently remove makeup before going to bed. Skipping makeup removal at night increases the aging process by trapping pollutants from both makeup and the environment.  These trapped pollutants affect skin’s collagen and elastin.

Put Down the Donut

Eating junk food high in sugar  packs a double negative punch to our health.  Sugar rich foods can cause weight gain, but did you realize, junk food can help create wrinkles too?  Eating foods with excessive sugar and high-glycemic foods can cause the healthy proteins in the skin to stiffen and malform.  So, go lightly on the white bread, baked goodies and donuts.  Make sure your diet is full of foods high in vitamin C and E and antioxidents.  These foods help protect our skin. Good nutrition results in better skin.

avoid junk food to prevent wrinkles

Frowning and Squinting

Frowning and squinting habitually can be a result of poor vision, unhappiness, or poor sun protection for our eyes.   Habits like furrowing our brow while in thought can create wrinkles.  Facial movements such as squinting, raising our eyebrows, and furrowing our brow contracts those muscles, which make the skin wrinkle.  If we do this repeatedly over time, the muscles get stronger and the wrinkles become deeper and fixed.

Our facial expressions are part of who we are, but a little awareness and mindfulness will help reduce the formation of habit lines.  Be sure to stay current with vision check ups to prevent squinting from poor vision. And, wear protective sunglasses and hats while outdoors in the bright sun.  These steps will reduce some of the squinting and furrowed brows and help to slow those habit wrinkles.

Sleeping Positions

Are you a stomach sleeper?  Side sleeper?  Back sleeper? It makes a difference in the wrinkle prevention campaign. Sleeping on our stomach or on our side can cause wrinkles, much the same way as repeated frowning or squinting. The best sleeping position is on our back,  if we want to avoid increasing wrinkle development.

Lack of Exercise

Exercise makes stronger, healthier bodies.  We all know that.  Exercise helps with wrinkle prevention also.  Too much “relaxing” on the couch can disrupt the circulation needed to keep skin healthy and looking its best.  Exercise for at least 30 minutes, twice a week, as part of a beautiful skin and anti-aging program.  A regular exercise program keeps our complexion looking great, and as a bonus, it helps keep the extra pounds away!  Find a program that works for you and your lifestyle, and start today.

exercise helps prevent wrinkles


It’s no secret that smoking negatively affects our health.  Wrinkles: genetics vs habits and lifestyle? When it comes to smoking this definitely is a habit that will affect skin health and the appearance of wrinkles.  Smoking contributes significantly to wrinkles, poor skin tone and poor skin appearance.  The increased wrinkling caused by numerous negative effects of smoking begins with the repetitive facial movements of smoking (habit wrinkles).  Smoking also restricts blood flow and circulation to the skin.  This reduces the health and vibrancy of  skin.  The most visible affects of smoking on our faces are saggy upper eyelids, baggy lower eyelids, facial wrinkles, a saggy chin, and wrinkling above and below the lips.  The nicotene in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in skin, which restricts the flow of oxygen and other nutrients that keep our skin looking healthy and its best.  Cigarette smoke contains 4,000 chemicals.  These chemicals damage skin’s elastin and collagen.  The desire for beautiful skin is another very good reason to give up smoking now.

Beautiful Skin

Wrinkles:  genetics vs habits and lifestyle? We may not be able to change our genes, but we can easily begin with habits and a lifestyle that reduce wrinkling, increase skin health, and improve its appearance.

Good skincare habits are easy to incorporate into anyone’s daily routine.  Simple changes practiced regularly will have a big impact over time.

Some of the suggestions might require a bigger commitment or lifestyle change, but ultimately you will feel better, enjoy improved health, and your skin will reflect these healthy changes with fewer wrinkles and improved appearance.

Here’s to healthy living and looking great!

Learn more about the skin treatments we offer at About Face Scottsdale| Woods Facial Plastic Surgery:  laser re-surfacing and surgical options for wrinkle reduction.

Also, check out our valued partner Zona Med Spa with current offers on skincare procedures to rejuvenate and refresh the appearance of your skin.

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Plastic Surgery Planning Tips

Plastic Surgery Planning Tips

There are many important considerations in planning your facial plastic surgery.  The following plastic surgery planning tips will help you decide on the best time of year, timing, preparation and recovery considerations for your surgery plans.

When Is the Best Time of Year for Your Facial Plastic Surgery?

When is the best time of year for your facial plastic surgery procedures: eye lift, brow lift, neck lift, nose re-shaping, or a face lift?  That decision is as personal and unique as each beautiful face.  There is no “one perfect time of year fits all” answer, but there are seasonal trends in face lifts.  Across the United States, plastic surgeries increase in the fall and again after the winter holidays.  For most parts of the country, summer is filled with an outdoor lifestyle and socializing. Things quiet down for a while and then the winter holiday social season begins.  Fall and winter holidays also provide additional time off from work due to holidays. This helps to minimize time away from a job for surgery and recovery.

Arizona Seasonal Trends

Facial plastic surgery seasonal trends are the opposite in Arizona vs the rest of the country, as seen from a Scottsdale based facial plastic surgery practice. Summers in the southwestern U.S. are hot. Many people leave town for the dog days of summer in July and August. For those that decide to stay in town, it is a very quiet time with many people away for the summer.  Those still around stay indoors to avoid the high temperatures.   The mild Arizona winter climate creates a busy winter social season and is the most comfortable time to enjoy Arizona’s active, outdoor lifestyle.

Summer proves to be good time to schedule a facial plastic surgery procedure in the southwest.  After a summer procedure, patients can enjoy quiet time recuperating in the air conditioned indoors without feeling that they are missing much. Specifically, recovery from facial plastic surgery and laser resurfacing requires staying out of the sun and in cooler temperatures for approximately six weeks.  It is typically too hot to be outdoors much in Arizona during the summer, so this creates the perfect time to relax indoors and recover.

Arizona Social Season & Surgery Planning

The prime social season in Arizona is September through March. Winter visitors begin returning, and major events are scheduled in these cooler, yet still pleasant temperatures. They include the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, the Arabian Horse Show, baseball’s Spring Training, charity events and parties, to list a few. The beautiful outdoor lifestyle of Arizona is in full swing in the fall, winter and early spring. For this reason, many Arizona clients elect to have their facial plastic surgery procedure in the summer.  Patients are healed and rejuvenated by the time the fall and winter social season ramps up.

Concierge Surgery Services

We also see some winter visitors taking advantage of a visit to Arizona to schedule a “concierge” facial plastic surgery procedure. Their procedure is performed safely by a board accredited surgeon specializing in their procedure, in an accredited surgical facility, after which they return to a local resort for their recovery. The Concierge Service provided by their surgical practice provides trained attendants to monitor their recovery and assist with special needs. This service allows patients to undergo their procedure safely and comfortably away from nosy family and friends.  After the appropriate recovery period, they are able to enjoy their getaway and their new appearance.

Are You thinking of Scheduling Facial Plastic Surgery before a Special Occasion?

Many people want to complete their facial plastic surgery procedure in preparation for a special event, such as a reunion, a wedding or other important occasion. They want to look their best and feel confident and enjoy improved self-esteem.  There are important considerations to factor into the timeline for your procedure in order to look your best and feel fully recovered for a specific event.  Most importantly, speak with your surgeon to ensure you have a clear understanding of the following:

  • Ideal preparation time and considerations prior to the surgery
  • The recovery and associated limitations immediately after the surgery
  • The anticipated time for swelling to diminish and scars and wounds to heal
  • The time for your body to recuperate post-surgery

Preparing for Your Surgery

Your health should be at its best prior to your surgery for the best outcomes and recovery.  Consider these steps in preparation for your  procedure.

  • Complete any planned weight loss and dieting before surgery for best results. Weight loss can change the laxity of the skin. It is best to reach your ideal weight prior to facial surgery.
  • Are you a smoker? Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin and can impede the skin’s ability to recover optimally. Smoking should be discontinued for two months prior to surgery.
  • Make a healthy diet and lifestyle a priority. Both contribute to healthier skin and improved blood flow…this means improved recovery and results.

Will You Tell or Keep Your Facial Plastic Surgery A Secret?

Patients choose facial plastic surgery to look younger, rejuvenated, and have a balanced, appealing facial appearance.  They want to look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside.  Will you share openly your plastic surgery?  Some patients are very open, and others wish to keep it private.  Below are tips on deflecting attention away from the primary reason for your new look after surgery:

  • Complete your weight loss and exercise plan prior to surgery
  • Get a new hair style and/or color
  • A change of make up, even slight adjustments or updates, can have an impact
  • Add a new style element to your usual look

Not only will these factors add to the fabulous new appearance you will be enjoying, but they will distract people’s attention from the real reason for your new, rejuvenated look.

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