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All Posts in Category: Lifestyle

Face Lifts, Mini Lifts, Facial Plastic Surgery, Top Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Face Lifts: Top Questions Answered

Your Questions about Face Lifts Answered

As a facial plastic surgeon, I talk with patients that are considering a face lift all the time.  Many of them have similar concerns and questions, so here are answers to the 7 most common questions patients ask about face lifts.

Is Now the Best Time for Me?

When is a “good” or “best” time to get a face lift?

The answer:  it varies!  Visible signs of aging will be different for each person because our skin, health, lifestyles, and genes are different.  Typically though patients begin to consider a face lift when they are 40 to 70 years of age.  Forty is definitely on the young side, and often times other facial procedures can be done to create a more youthful appearance before a face lift is necessary.

Here are a few indicators that suggest a face lift might be a good option for you.

  • Skin Elasticity – A good candidate has skin that retains some of its natural flexibility and suppleness.
  • Strong Bone Structure – a well defined underlying bone structure provides support and contributes to optimal results.
  • Realistic Expectations – this is where your consultation with your surgeon is very important to discuss your particular circumstances and considerations.  Expect your surgeon to explain what the face lift procedure can accomplish, but also the limitations of face lifts.
  • Good Overall Health –  a good candidate is generally healthy.  It is important to tell your surgeon of any medical conditions, if you are a smoker, and your prescriptions. Face lifts are an invasive procedure and require significant healing and recovery.
  • Loose Skin on the Face or Neck – Face lift candidates generally desire to remove or tighten excess, sagging skin from the face and neck area.

How Do People Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Face Lifts?

After deciding that you are interested in a face lift, choosing your surgeon will be your next most important task.   Read our complete blog on Choosing  A Facial Plastic Surgeon for a detailed list of considerations.  Here are a few key factors:

  • Choose a Plastic Surgeon that is a Facial Specialist.  This is your face.  Trust it to someone that has extensive training and experience in the structure and intricacies of the face.
  • Investigate your surgeon’s experience, number of procedures completed, and results.
  • Select a surgeon that utilizes a credentialed surgical facility.
  • Read our blog on making the most of your Consultation to evaluate and select the best facial plastic surgeon for your face lift.

What Are Important Health Considerations to Discuss Before My Facial Plastic Surgery?

Honesty is Not Only the Best Policy – It’s Critical

During your facial plastic surgery consultation be forthright and honest about your medical history, past surgeries, current drug or narcotic use, if you smoke, recent or planned weight loss, vitamins you’re taking, and any other medical concerns.  These all affect your healthcare, the surgical plan, even potential outcomes of your facial plastic surgery. This is not the time to keep secrets.

Of course, your surgeon and the medical staff will make every effort to minimize discomfort and facilitate your recovery. But be realistic and know that every surgery has discomfort, risks, and recovery time.

What Face Lift Procedure Is Best for Me?

There are different types of face lifts. Your circumstances, aging, and desired outcomes plays a big role in determining which is the best face lift for you. Your facial plastic surgeon is an expert in this area.  Go to your consultation with an open mind. Have a candid discussion regarding realistic outcomes and options best suited to your unique circumstances.  What worked best for your friend or the movie star in the magazine, may not be best for you.  For greater details on specific procedures visit our website.

Preparing for Face Lifts

Use our detailed list of how to prepare for your plastic surgery.  It discusses everything from your mental preparation, weight loss ahead of the surgery, vitamins, smoking, and getting the house ready as well as what to have on hand after your face lift.

How Soon Can I Be Back to Normal?

1 – 2 Weeks After Your Procedure

In the second week any residual swelling and bruising will start fading away. At the one week mark, most patients are quite presentable and can
manage any persistent bruising, swelling, and incision redness with make-up and hair styling.

You need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for two weeks.  After two weeks, you can return to a normal routine.  Avoid rapid head motion from side to side for 4-6 weeks to allow the neck tissues to firmly heal.

Of course, it is important for you to closely follow your surgeon’s instructions given for your specific circumstances.

How Long Do Face Lifts Last?

Each patient is different.  We each have different skin color, tones, and lifestyles.  Each of these are factors in how long you can expect your face lift results to last. Longevity of results range from 2- 15 years. In most cases a more general length of maintaining improved results would be 5-10 years.   A long term follow up study published in 2014 found that after an average of 12.6 years that almost 69% of face lift patients rated their current degree of improvement as very good or beyond expectations.  An equal number of patients felt that 10 or more years had been added to their youthful appearance.

The most important recommendations are that you have a realistic expectation of potential results for you; you are selective in choosing an experienced facial specialist for your face lift procedure, and that you closely follow your doctor’s instructions regarding surgery preparation and healing.

American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

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Eyelid Surgery Tips for Prep and Recovery

Eyelid Surgery Prep Tips

Eyelid Surgery Pre Surgery & Recovery Tips

Blepharoplasty, commonly referred to as eyelid surgery, rejuvenates your eye area by removing wrinkles, puffiness, bags and sagging skin around both your upper and lower eyelids.  Our eyes communicate how we feel to the world.  Eyelid surgery restores a more youthful, open appearance to the eye area.  Eyelid surgery is performed on either the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, depending on your needs and desired outcomes.

Upper eyelid surgery often is  performed comfortably as an office procedure. Patients are given a local anesthetic and oral sedation. There is very little discomfort with the numbing process, when it is administered slowly.  Many patients choose this in office option and find the procedure comfortable and uncomplicated with a short recovery time.

Other surgeries require out patient surgical facilities and have a longer healing and recovery time.

Pre Surgery Prep for Eyelid Surgery

You have gone through the consultation process with your surgeon, and now you are wondering how best to prepare for your surgery.  Here are simple steps to follow before and after your surgery to increase healing and recovery.

Discuss Your Medications, Vitamins etc. with Your Surgeon

Be sure that you have discussed all prescription, over the counter medications, and any vitamins that you are taking with your doctor.  Your surgeon will advise you, if your medications effect  your surgery and recovery.

Healthy Diet

Before your surgery, (well actually always– but especially now)  is the time to focus on a healthy diet that is low in salt and filled with healthy, water and nutrient rich, fresh foods.  Great choices are strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, and celery for snacks.  Avoid sodium heavy sodas.  Instead, drink lots of fresh water.  Read Dr. Woods’ Blog on healthy foods for your skin.  High nutrient, whole foods help your body heal.

No Smoking

Stop smoking prior to your surgery.  Smoking restricts blood flow and inhibits your skin’s ability to heal.

Get Organized

While some eyelid procedures are relatively uncomplicated, they are a surgical procedure.  Make your healing and recovery a priority. You will relax better, if your house and affairs are in order prior to the surgery, then you can comfortably rest and focus on healing. Get those groceries, have the house clean, and maybe even stock up on some audio books – eyes closed entertainment is best.

Arrange  A Surgery Buddy

Arrange for a spouse or close friend to take you home from your procedure, help you get comfortably situated, and fill your prescriptions.

Surgery Day

On your surgery day, have your reliable surgery buddy scheduled to arrive in plenty of time to drive you to either the doctor’s office or surgical center.  Come with a freshly washed face., and do not wear any make up.  Do not take any blood thinners.  This includes aspirin, vitamin E or motrin.  Take a Valium or tranquilizer prescribed by your surgeon.

Arrive to your surgical center on time.

Post Eyelid Surgery Recovery Tips

Ice Compresses

You will apply ice compresses to your eyes for the first 24 hours.  Packages of frozen peas serve as  handy ice compresses, and they are more comfortable on your sensitive eye area than a bag of ice chips.

Keep Your Head Elevated

Have extra pillows on hand so that your head remains elevated while resting and sleeping.  Keep your head elevated during the day also.  Avoid bending over, and do not lift heavy objects.  Keeping your head elevated minimizes  fluid from collecting around your eyes.

Rest Your Eyes

Try to find restful entertainment that doesn’t involve eye movement. That means no TV, computer screens, and reading.  Enjoy your recovery time listening to audiobooks or podcasts, allowing your eyes to rest.

Physical Activity Limitations

No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 1 week.  After your one week visit with your surgeon, you can discuss any further limitations depending on how you are healing.

Vitamin E Oil Aids Eyelid Surgery Healing

Apply vitamin e oil to the incision 4x a day for one week.  You will meet with your surgeon again after a week, and then additional recommendations or limitations will be made.

Protect Your Eyes Outdoors

Wear your UV protection sunglasses outdoors or in bright lights. Protecting your eyes from bright sunlight ensures better lasting results.  Even after you are healed, always protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and sunscreen.

Time To Heal After Eyelid Surgery

The healing process depends on your individual circumstances and the type of eyelid procedure performed.  You can expect to see swelling and bruising, as your eye area is sensitive.  Be patient with your recovery and healing process.  Support your body by following your surgeon’s instructions.  Learn More about Dr. Woods’ Blepharoplasty techniques and evaluation considerations.

Dr. Robert H. Woods is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon with 20+ years of experience as an ENT and Facial Plastic Surgeon.  He is head of the ENT Department of Honor Health, Shea Hospital.  Read more about Dr. Woods.

American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

American Board of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery

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Financing Plastic Surgery

Financing Options for Your Plastic Surgery

Financing Your Plastic Surgery

Believe it or not, cosmetic surgery has become more affordable, relatively speaking.  Plastic surgery is no longer a luxury available only to the very wealthy.  More and more people undergo plastic surgery than ever before, in fact, in 2016 Americans spent a record breaking $15.44 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.  This is a significant number, especially when you consider, cosmetic surgery procedures are very rarely covered by insurance. Insurance coverage exceptions include reconstructive surgery after an accident or when the procedure relates to a medical condition. While these costs have been decreasing, it is still a significant expense.  Patients often explore creative financing solutions for their plastic surgery procedures.

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Woods Facial Plastic Surgery Summer Newsletter

About Face Summer Newsletter

Summer Sun & Fun

Check out the About Face | Woods Facial Plastic Surgery Summer Newsletter with Dr. Woods’ picks for sunscreen, recommendations on the best protection from your sunglasses, and even delicious infused water recipes to enjoy while you stay hydrated.  Skincare and protection from the sun are always important in Arizona with the intense heat and 211 days of sunshine.

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Sunglasses Prevent Wrinkles

Choosing Sunglasses for Wrinkle Prevention

Tips for Choosing the Best Sunglasses

The weather forecast this summer – sunny and hot.  Surprise!  Actually, it is no surprise that this summer, just about wherever you go, will be warm and sunny.  One easy way to protect your eyes from the strong summer sun AND prevent wrinkles is choosing the best sunglasses, so you can stop squinting.

Repetitive facial positions eventually lead to lines and wrinkles.  Check out our blog Wrinkles – Genetics or Habits for more info on this. An easy, quick, and even affordable solution is to select the best sunglasses to protect your eyes and stop wrinkle producing squinting.

You can find sunglasses designed for every summer and winter activity.  There are glasses for  water sports, tennis, golf, driving, etc., as well as those that are designed purely for style.  If you are like most of us, you own many pairs for different purposes.  Be sure to pick those that meet your needs, but also only select sunglasses that protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays.  UV rays cause short and long-term eye damage according to the American Academy of Opthamology.

Six Easy Tips for Selecting Your Next Sunglasses

Sunglasses with 100% UV Protection

Only buy sunglasses that say 100% UV Protection.  This is the most important thing to look for when selecting sunglasses.  This sticker should be right on the lens.  Be sure to look for it.

Big Means Less Squinting & Better Wrinkle Prevention

Size does matter.  The more coverage offered by the sunglasses the less sun damage to your eyes.  But, larger lenses also prevent squinting.  This is where over-sized glasses or the wrap around sport styles are handy.  Another key tip – wear 100% UV Protection sunglasses and a hat.  Hats do a tremendous job eliminating glare to your eyes and sun on your skin.

Darker Lenses Don’t Mean Better Protection

While dark lenses may be stylish, they do not necessarily offer greater UV protection to your eyes, but you may find they block more light in general and do a better job at preventing wrinkle producing squinting.

Color Doesn’t Matter for UV Protection

Lenses come in a myriad of colors.  Today’s glasses come in amber, green or gray lense colors.  These shades do not block more sun, but they can sometimes increase the visual contrast.  Many athletes find this visual contrast helpful.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses are designed to reduce glare from reflective surfaces, such as snow, pavement, or water.  While this does not offer more protection from the damaging UV rays, it can reduce squinting and make you more comfortable enjoying outdoor activities.  If you prefer polarized lenses, be sure they also provide 100% UV protection.

Protection Does Not Mean Pricey

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get the proper protection from your sunglasses.  Less expensive glasses that say 100% UV protection can be just as effective as more expensive brands.  And, for those fashion focused friends, be sure your designer label glasses provide 100% UV protection, so you can be both stylish and smart.

Enjoy your summer and time in the great outdoors and be smart about your eyes and skin protection.  Get the proper sunglasses, wear 25++ SPF sunscreen always and everywhere, and wear a hat!

 

 

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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.

Realself.com

 

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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 RealSelf.com

 

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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  http:www.aafprs.org.

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.

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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

Smoking

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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