The Changing Appearance of Plastic Surgery: Not All Facelifts are Alike
Dr. Bernard A. Shuster | September 20, 2006
Everyone is unique with signature qualities, expressions and an overall “look.” That’s why the beauty and cosmetic industry has placed so much emphasis on personalized skin care and color options. Now individuals can personalize their surgical procedures as well. At the Hollywood office of Dr. Bernard Shuster, customized facelifts are expertly performed with a personal touch.
“For years plastic surgeons would perform pretty much the same procedure for each patient. However, as each person has a unique appearance, we as plastic surgeons need to consider this and individualize the procedure for them,” states Shuster. He adds “today patients and doctors have more options available than ever before.” These include minimally invasive facelifts for patients who are starting earlier or maybe having a secondary procedure to more thorough facial procedures for women who have waited longer. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, last year over 124,000 facelifts were performed in this country. Shuster notes that an increasing percentage of these are women who are undergoing less invasive procedures than those that have been done in the past.
While a facelift can not erase years of sun exposure, stress and the natural progression of aging, it can turn back the clock. Improving the most visible signs can be achieved by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, reducing wrinkles and redraping skin. A facelift, technically known as Rhytidectomy, can be done alone or in conjunction with other procedures. Either way, it offers patients a second or third chance at looking more youthful and vibrant.
Customized facelifts are a popular and highly effective way to lift and rejuvenate while still maintaining a unique appearance. Unlike traditional facelifts that result in a standard look, each facelift should be carefully designed to suit individual needs according to Shuster. For some women, their neck may be the primary concern, while others are sensitive about their jowls. Either way, the procedure of each particular patient can be adjusted to suit their needs.
During an initial consultation, patients should articulate what they feel are their best features and what changes they would like to achieve. They should also inquire about the credentials of their surgeon and ask to see photographs of his or her work. Based on the discussion, the doctor can create a face lift that accentuates their best features and maintains a natural look. Dr. Shuster specializes in tailoring the procedure to address each patient’s attributes and concerns. For example, if someone has always been complimented on their eyes, Shuster maintains that by allowing their eyes to continue to be the focal point.
Facelifts are relatively safe procedures when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. It is surgery and should be treated as such. All doctors will evaluate their patients in a thorough procedure that includes analyzing skin tone and type, relevant medical conditions, benefits and the risks involved. The best candidate is someone whose skin has begun to sag but still has some elasticity as well as strong, well-defined bone structure.
Most facelifts can be performed with local anesthesia and a sedative or with the patient asleep. Initial swelling and bruising is normal and healing time will vary depending on the extent of the procedure and technique. After a week, patients should feel significantly better and can gradually resume normal activities. “Having a face list doesn’t have to mean weeks or months of recovery as it once had” notes Shuster.
While the effects are long-lasting, a facelift does not stop the clock. Patients may want to repeat the procedure or add other minor touch ups as they age further. The best part of a customized facelift though, is that while so many people undergo similar procedures, each individual will have a signature look, all their own.