No one walks in for their facelift and says, “I just want my results to look mediocre.” Every patient has a picture in their mind of precisely how they want to look, and the entire reason they’ve chosen plastic surgery is to look their best. We’ve discussed quite a bit about helping your recovery process go smoothly, but there’s also plenty you can do before surgery to get the best possible results.
Choose the right surgeon.
It may seem obvious that the surgeon you choose will have a powerful bearing on the quality of your results (and your safety, for that matter), but it’s so crucial that it is worth a reminder. Look for the words “board-certified plastic surgeon,” and pay close attention to whether the surgeon you’re considering is a part of professional organizations like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon and a member of both of these organizations myself, I can attest to the strict requirements they uphold for each surgeon’s knowledge, training, and experience.
Communicate your desired results clearly and from the beginning.
The phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is certainly true, and after more than twenty years in cosmetic surgery specializing in facial procedures, I’ve seen firsthand that each patient has their own idea of how they want to look. Pictures can even be helpful—for instance, a face lift or Band Aid Mini Facelift patient may bring in a picture of themselves from ten years earlier and say, “my goal is to look the way I did in this picture.” Just keep in mind that surgery does have limitations, so in your pre-surgical consultation, I’ll be able to explain what you can realistically expect.
Look through before and after pictures.
While plastic surgeons may have fewer pictures of the results they’ve achieved with a facelift than with, for instance, a tummy tuck (simply because fewer patients are willing to consent to their pictures being used if it’s their face that must be shown, rather than a more “anonymous” area like the abdomen), they should still have some for you to review. Plastic surgery before and after photos are a great way to determine whether you and the surgeon have the same aesthetic vision, and you can also point out to him which results more resemble the way you want to look. While I have several pictures on my website, during your consultation you’ll also have the opportunity to see photos from many more patients who prefer that their pictures are shown in-office only.
Don’t assume, “after this surgery, I won’t have to worry about aging again.”
Face lifts aren’t a cure-all or a “permanent fix.” For most patients, the best way to get natural-looking results is not to try to remove every fine line and wrinkle in surgery, but to address these remaining concerns with injections like Botox® or facial fillers later as aging continues. The alternative of being overly aggressive in surgery can result in the “windblown” look. It’s also important to recognize that plastic surgery cannot stop the aging process (nor can anything in medical science, for that matter), so new wrinkles and skin laxity will appear as you age in the future. Many patients eventually address these concerns with a follow-up surgery or with non-surgical procedures like my Band Aid Laser Skin Resurfacing and Band Aid Skin Tightening.
Make sure your decision is logical, not emotional.
Some people who become depressed believe that plastic surgery will give them the emotional pick-me-up they need. While looking your best can undoubtedly make you feel more positive, optimistic, and confident, keep in mind that a facelift (or any other cosmetic surgery) has a healing period, and some patients get “the blues” during this time due to simply having less energy, being primarily confined to their home for a few days, and not yet being able to see their results immediately. If you’re already depressed going into surgery, this can put a damper on your healing ability. Don’t enter into plastic surgery assuming it will fix all your problems and “make you happy again.” Instead, look at it as a way to address this one specific concern you have: self-consciousness. For many patients, lifting this self-consciousness can give them a more positive outlook on life, but this should be seen as an added perk, rather than your reason for pursuing surgery in the first place.
Achieving optimal results from a facelift or a Band Aid Mini Face Lift is a team effort, requiring you as the patient and me as the board-certified plastic surgeon to develop a shared vision and communicate openly to make this vision a reality. If you’re ready to start discussing your options, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more plastic surgery tips, helpful information, and the latest news, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Excess fat is a problem that nearly all of us have to some extent. In fact, as of 2014, the CDC reported that more than 70% of US adults were overweight. Even people with a healthy weight are often unhappy with the way their body fat is distributed, appearing as “bulges” in specific areas. That’s why liposuction has long been among the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the country. But is it truly the permanent solution many people think it is? Or will the fat return?
To understand how to get liposuction results that last, you first need to understand how your body’s fat cells work. There are exceptions to every rule, but here’s a generalized explanation: you have a certain number of fat cells distributed throughout your body. When you gain or lose weight, your body stores fat by making these same fat cells larger or smaller—not by changing the number of fat cells. What liposuction does, on the other hand, is actually remove some fat cells from a specific “problem area” in order to modify your body’s contours.
Here’s where the question of “is it permanent?” comes in: the fat cells which were removed with liposuction will not grow back. So liposuction is “permanent” in the sense that these cells are gone. However, you will still have some remaining fat cells in the treatment area as well as throughout the rest of your body, and these cells can just as easily enlarge with weight gain as they did before your surgery. So while your post-liposuction shape is expected to be permanent, gaining weight can diminish your results.
The best way to maintain the best possible results from your liposuction is to keep a healthy diet and exercise routine. You should also keep in mind that liposuction isn’t for everyone. It’s ideal for people who don’t necessarily want to lose weight, but who just have one or a few areas of stubborn fat which haven’t responded to diet and exercise. For some patients with a particularly small area of fat to be removed, my Band Aid Liposuction is a minimally invasive option as well. If you want to lose weight, I would advise you to reach your weight loss goal first and then use liposuction to “fine tune” your new contours. It’s also important to note that liposuction solely focuses on fat removal and does not address lax or sagging skin, so if you want firmer skin along with a reduction in fat, a combination of liposuction and my Band Aid Tummy Tuck, Band Aid Arm Lift, or other skin-firming procedure may be the best way to achieve results you’ll be happy with in the long term.
Plastic surgery is a team effort between me—your board-certified plastic surgeon—and you, the patient. For the safest and most successful results, it’s important that we communicate candidly throughout the process; that I do my part to perform your procedure well; and that you do your part to help your body heal and to keep your results looking their best. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a consultation at my office. Or, for more plastic surgery tips and special offers, follow me, Dr. John L. LeRoy, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
There’s no doubt that plastic surgery, in the right context, can do wonderful things for a patient. But this decision should not be taken lightly. As cosmetic as it may be, it’s still a true medical surgery. Complications are rare, but they’re far more likely if the surgeon does not have the right qualifications. That’s why “doing your homework” and educating yourself is so crucial. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Look for the words “board-certified plastic surgeon.” The sad fact is that there are people who perform procedures they aren’t qualified to perform and who try to mislead patients into thinking they are Anyone can call themselves a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon (and there are even physicians who have education and experience in plastic surgery but haven’t received board certification), so look specifically for someone who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Some doctors actually hold multiple board certifications, which can mean they have additional knowledge and expertise. For instance, I am board-certified in both plastic surgery and general surgery. Keep in mind, however, that some surgeons may say they are “board certified in cosmetic surgery,” but only “plastic surgery” is officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, so a cosmetic surgery board certification does not require the same degree of experience and testing.
Ask about the credentials of the other providers, too. While finding the right plastic surgeon is important, you’ll probably be relying on other medical personnel too, like nurses, assistants, or anesthesiologists, depending on the extensiveness of your surgery. Be sure to find out who will be involved in your procedure and what their qualifications are.
Find out about hospital privileges. In order for a physician to operate at a specific hospital, that hospital must review the doctor’s credentials and choose to grant them “privileges” to their facility. Even if you’re seeking a minimally invasive surgery like my Band Aid Mini Facelift, it’s important for your surgeon to have privileges at a nearby hospital so that they can get proper treatment for you if complications arise. It should also be a bit of a red flag if a surgeon has not been granted privileges at any hospitals, because this may mean they don’t have the credentials they need for you to be sure they can treat you safely and effectively.
Look for membership of professional organizations. Even among board-certified plastic surgeons, some physicians are more skilled and experienced than others. Look for a surgeon who is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and/or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Both of these organizations require a surgeon to uphold strict standards in terms of their experience, their success and contributions to the field, and their continuing education to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advancements. A surgeon who has been granted membership into one or both of these organizations is likely to be more highly qualified than a surgeon who is not.
Use the internet as a resource, but exercise caution. Certain websites can be a great way to learn about the procedure(s) you’re considering, but there’s a lot of misleading information online as well. Primarily, stick with the ASAPS and ASPS websites. If you’ve found a reputable board-certified plastic surgeon, they may have helpful information on their site as well, and it’s also a good idea to check out any before and after photos and patient testimonials they have posted.
Take your consultation seriously. Your pre-surgical consultation is a vital step in finding both the right surgeon and the right procedure to fit your needs. It can be a good idea to meet with several different plastic surgeons to discuss what approach they would take to your procedure and to determine who you feel most comfortable with, because it’s important to be comfortable enough with your surgeon that you can communicate openly and honestly with them (and they with you). Regardless of how many consultations you complete, be sure to prepare before each one by compiling a list of specific questions to ask.
Being knowledgeable about your procedure can be a helpful way to know what to expect, but at a certain point, you must also be able to trust your surgeon as well as their recommendations and instructions. Knowing how to thoroughly evaluate your plastic surgeon’s background and the work they do enables you to feel confident about your choice and helps you build this crucial trust. If you’re ready to get started on your journey toward a more confident and beautiful you, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more cosmetic surgery tips, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
As a double board-certified plastic surgeon who has been specializing primarily in facial rejuvenation for over twenty years, I have developed both a comprehensive understanding of the aging process and a keen eye for how to address each patient’s unique concerns. Thanks to genetics, lifestyle habits, and other factors, everyone ages in their own way, which means that despite the common misconception, facelifts aren’t a one-size-fits-all way to turn back the clock. For many patients, getting the best results means combining either a face lift or my minimally invasive Band Aid Mini Facelift with other procedures, like eyelid surgery, facial liposuction, or a brow lift. In the case of my Band Aid Facelift, even a combination of surgeries may be able to be performed in-office using gentle numbing. My video below offers a more detailed explanation of these options.
The technique of performing multiple plastic surgeries in one operation is sometimes misunderstood as being less safe. But the truth is that as long as you’re under the care of an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, you’ve completed all of the necessary health screenings and other pre-surgical preparations, and you’re committed to your post-surgical care, these procedures can be an effective and manageable way to maximize your cosmetic surgery results. To discuss how I can help you be your most confident and beautiful self, schedule a pre-surgical consultation. Or, for more plastic surgery tips and helpful information, follow me, Dr. John L. L.eRoy, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.