Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am 76 years old, Can I get a facelift?

A: A facelift is a surgical procedure that improves signs of aging in the face and neck. It helps correct sagging in face, tightens loose skin, and removes excess fatty tissue under the chin and jaw. A facelift usually lasts anywhere from 5-10 years, depending on how well you take care of yourself. Even though you continue to age, you will always look better than if you didn’t go through the procedure.

Age is not as important when getting a facelift as your health. If you are able to safely undergo anesthesia, then why not feel better about how your face and neck appear? Be sure to discuss your concerns with a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon – if you have a lot of wrinkles, you may need laser resurfacing at the same time.

Q: What happens when a browlift or facelift starts to sag again?

A: The results of a browlift and facelift typically last 5-10 years. The length of time primarily depends on your overall state of health and how you take care of yourself. If you smoke, are in the sun a lot, and have many weight fluctuations, then the results will not last as long. In general, you should not look “weird” as time goes by.

The primary goal of a good surgeon would be to keep you looking natural. Certain techniques used during a facelift can help you to look natural as aging continues such as a more vertical pull on the tissues as opposed to a posterior pull. Be sure to find a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon with a lot of experience in facelifting for the best results.

Q: Is a neck lift needed for loose skin?

A: A neck lift is an excellent procedure that can help correct and enhance the neck, which improves loose saggy skin, and gives a more natural look. Unfortunately, anyone who turns their neck in certain directions or turns the chin in may show some loose skin. If your neckline in the normal position looks good, then you probably won’t benefit from surgery. There is no ideal age for neck surgery, and candidates may range from people in their 20’s to the elderly as long as you are a good candidate. To see if you are qualified for this surgery, you should be sure to speak with a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon.

Q: Is a threadlift an alternative to a full facelift?

A: A threadlift and a facelift treat separate areas of the face, so one procedure cannot substitute for another. The threadlift focuses more on the cheek area and nasal folds, giving a subtle lift to the midface. A full facelift primarily lifts the sagging skin in the neck and jawline.

A threadlift is a less invasive procedure that only requires a small incision, a local anesthetic, and a short hour to complete. A full facelift is a more detailed, time consuming procedure that is done under general anesthesia. The results are more dramatic and can last up to ten years where a threadlift can give results lasting up to five years.

The recovery time for a threadlift is minimal, about 7 days, with some slight swelling and bruising. A facelift has a recovery time of about 10 days. If you have minimal sagging along the jawline, a mini facelift may work well for you. Consult a board certified facial plastic surgeon to see what would be the best procedure for your needs.

Q: What brow lift options are just as effective as a face lift to get rid of droopy eyelids?

A: When evaluating droopy eyelids, it is important to determine if the problem is excess skin up the upper eyelids, or a droopy brow or both. If the problem is simply lines on your forehead, I would suggest BOTOX® Cosmetic to give a smooth appearance. For excess skin on the upper lid, a blepharoplasty would freshen the lids nicely while a browlift would be performed for a droopy brow. They can both be performed at the same time if necessary. BOTOX® can give a little lift of the eyebrows, but the surgery gives a better result. A facelift will do nothing for the brow or upper lids. Be sure to discuss your concerns with a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon.

Q: For how long Do I have to ase a sunscreen on my upper eyelid surgery scars?

A: Care is needed with your blepharoplasty incision because it is a very sensitive area. Following a blepharoplasty, sunscreen is very important because the sun can make the incision more red or dark in color, which can take several months to resolve. You should apply it frequently on your upper eye lids for a period of 6 months after surgery.

Q: Is dermabrasion effective for deep acne scars?

A: Dermabrasion for superficial acne scarring can be a very effective method if they are truly surface scars. Other ways to improve acne scarring are by using the Fraxel laser or by excising the scar. The Fraxel laser rejuvenates the skin by stimulating your body’s own collagen forming process. Excising the scar is the other option. The scar is excised and sutures are placed to remove the hole in the skin and replace it with a flat line. Then, dermabrasion can smooth out the line. Consult your plastic surgeon to see which method would be appropriate for your needs.

Q: Cosmetic chin surgery – What are my options?

A: Chin augmentation is an excellent way to balance your facial features. It is an easy procedure that can be done under local anesthesia, while a sliding genioplasty is more involved and slightly more risky. The chin implant should only minimally change your front view unless you are trying to lengthen the vertical height of the chin, which the genioplasty can do a little more effectively. Neither procedure should affect your facial motion. Most people simply need more projection and the implant is definitely my preferred procedure for that.

It is normal to have concerns about implants, but infection is rare and they essentially become part of the body after they become encased in collagen. The implant is placed over your existing bone structure of your lower jaw to increase dimensions and will produce an excellent result. If you are still having concerns about the procedure, please speak with your surgeon, and he/she will help you resolve any questions.

Q: Will a cheeklift or filler in the cheek improve eye hollows?

A: Fat injection is excellent for hollowing around the eyes. It is very simple to go through under local anesthesia and can be very long lasting. Surgery is often performed in combination with fat injection. A cheeklift can lift the cheek tissues which can also improve the appearance of hollowing and usually works great in combination with fat injection. Be sure to see a board certified facial plastic surgeon for a complete evaluation.

Q: Where should a breast implant be placed?

A: Most body building/athletic women tend to have the implants placed under the muscle. This will make the breasts look more natural, rather than having them look fake and/or unusual. However, sometimes when the implant is placed under the muscle, some irregularities may be seen with movement, so it is important not to go too big. Make sure to choose an experienced board certified plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable with in order to achieve the best outcome.

Q: After breast implants are you never again supposed to work out your chest muscles?

A: There is no real contraindication to working out after breast augmentation. The main rule of thumb is do not do anything that hurts. Usually, I would advise to gradually work your way into your regular routine starting 6 weeks post surgery. The contraction of the chest muscles can move the implant while you work out, which may look a little odd, but if you are well healed, then no damage should be done. Be sure to discuss your feelings openly which your plastic surgeon to make sure you guys are on the same page.

Q: What can I do before having breast implant surgery to cut the risks and complications?

A: When having a breast augmentation research about the surgery is very important so you can better understand what exactly is involved with the procedure. The most important things is to find an experienced board certified plastic surgeon with whom you feel comfortable.

Following all of your surgeon’s instructions is also a key to reducing complications. These include stopping smoking 2 weeks before and after surgery, stopping certain medications like blood thinners, vitamins, and herbal products. Finally, do not over exert yourself when performing daily activities after surgery. If followed correctly these points will give you a lesser chance of experiencing complications.

Q: When can I start raising my arms over my head after breast augmentation?

A: Patients typically wait about 1-2 weeks before lifting their arms above their heads after breast augmentation. The main thing to remember is don’t do anything that is uncomfortable or causing pain.

You should be able to return to work in about 1-2 weeks, but lift your arms slowly at first, and return to normal as you continue to feel no discomfort. Do not lift anything at first, but after one week, you can start lifting light things and progress to heavier things as long as it does not hurt. Some tightness may still be present, but that is normal after surgery. If wearing a sports bra is more comfortable for you then you should wear it until you feel your ready to switch back. Make sure to follow up with your surgeon for his opinion on when to advance your activity.

Q: How will breast implants affect exercise in the long run?

A: Following a proper post-op schedule, your exercising should not be affected after breast implants. Certain exercises such as bench press may move the implants in their pocket when the muscle contracts, but this has not been shown to cause contraction. If you choose a large implant then it may be more difficult jogging or performing other weightlifting exercises. If you are a very active person, you may want to avoid a very large size you may be unhappy with the limitations.

Speak with your plastic surgeon and let him know your routine and he will guide you in the right direction. For a free consultation with the dedicated physicians at Associates in Plastic Surgery, please call (732) 548-3200 or contact us online.