Browlift, Facelift, or Eyelid Surgery: Which One Works For You?

facial cosmetic surgeriesForehead lifts, Blepharoplasty and Rhytidectomy might be a Google search for those facing the aging reality and weighing the potential benefits of plastic surgery. Some of the most visible signs of aging first appear on the face. Perhaps you’ve heard someone say “you look tired” one too many times. Or maybe what you see in the mirror doesn’t reflect your age or youthfulness. Whatever the reason, you know when it’s time to bypass those miracle creams and get serious about the facial rejuvenation results you want.

The key with any facial cosmetic surgery procedure is that the person maintain their appearance, but look refreshed or younger. The goal is not to change the persons “look.” In addition, it should look natural, such that a stranger would have no idea the person ever had surgery.

Brow lift? Facelift? Eyelid surgery? Which facial procedures an individual should undergo will depend on analyzing each area and determining if the area can be improved and if the improvement is worth the cost, downtime, and risks. I have many patients that I could do the surgery on, but the improvement does not justify the cost, recovery, etc. so I tell them to wait a few more years. But, if you think you may be ready for a facial rejuvenation procedure, schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon to discuss which surgery will work for you to meet your goals.

Read on to learn the differences between these three procedures, who is a good candidate for each, and view before and after photos.

Facelift: Rhytidectomy

67 year old face and neck lift

67 year old with before and after a face and neck lift

Skin loses elasticity as one ages and can cause loose skin and wrinkles to appear on the face and neck. The facelift procedure smoothes that loose skin, tightens underlying tissues and removes excess fat to make your face appear firmer and fresher. In some cases, the deeper tissues may also be repositioned to restore a more youthful contour to your face.

For best results, surgeons have begun to look past the skin and at the fat, muscle, and bone instead. They use more complex procedures as it affects the deep structures as well, which results in a more natural (less pulled) look which lasts longer than the traditional “skin-only” facelift. Your options range from a very simple skin tightening to more complex procedures depending on your case and your plastic surgeon’s preferences.

Patients that may be qualified for a facelift typically begin requesting one beginning in their 40s up to their 80s. You may be a good candidate for a facelift if you have any of the following types of conditions:

  • A deep line that runs from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth
  • Loss of a well-defined jawline
  • Deep wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging skin near the cheekbones
  • Loose skin, wrinkles or excess fatty tissue in the neck

Note that patients with significant medical problems, a rare skin disorder, or who smoke should discuss their options with their surgeon before committing to a facelift as it could lead to extreme complications.

Forehead Lift: Browlift

dr wigoda forehead lift

Before and after a forehead lift.

If your facial expression does not reflect how you feel, often the forehead is the main culprit. The lowering of the brow with age has a tremendous effect on the “total” look of the person and a drooping brow can create the appearance of someone looking tired, sad, bored, or angry when they are not. Raising the brow “opens” the entire eye up . As a result the person looks more refreshed, awake, and happy.

During a browlift, the surgeon modifies or removes parts of the muscles that cause wrinkling and frown lines, removes excess skin and lifts your eyebrows to a more pleasing level. In addition to elevating the brow, the plastic surgeon may address the other primary sign of aging on the forehead, namely, wrinkles.

Most commonly, a browlift is performed for patients who are over the age of 40. You may be a good candidate for forehead lift if you have any of the following types of conditions:

  • Sagging or low position of the eyebrows
  • Deep horizontal creases across the forehead
  • Frown lines, or furrows, between the eyebrows and sometimes across the top of the nose

As with a facelift, patients with significant health problems or those who are smokers and are unwilling to quit should not have this procedure.

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery: Blepharoplasty

dr. wigoda eyelid surgery

Before and after eyelid surgery.

Bright, alert eyes can make you appear energized, well-rested, youthful, and in control. However, lower-eyelid puffiness, dark circles or drooping upper lids, may give off the impression that you are fatigued, angry or unhappy when you are not.

With eyelid surgery, you can enhance features on your upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Depending on the procedure, excess skin, fatty tissue, and/or muscle are removed. You may also make special adjustments like redistributing the fat beneath the eye to eliminate puffiness or bulges.

You may be a good candidate for eyelid surgery if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Excess skin that hides the natural fold of the upper lids
  • Loose skin that hangs down from the upper eyelids
  • Puffiness in the upper eyelids that creates a tired look
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelids
  • Puffy “bags” and, in some cases dark circles under the eyes

If you’re asking whether one of these three procedures will work for you, or if you’re even ready to consider one, schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Wigoda to learn more!

Dr. Wigoda Reviews Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cosmetic Surgery Secrets

Gwyneth Paltrow Cosmetic SurgeryDr. Wigoda has many patients with the same profile as Gwyneth Paltrow. The 40-something mother of  two, recently divorced and looking for the most innovative ways to fight off the signs of aging.  Paltrow swears by Thermage treatments, but Dr. Paul Wigoda thinks otherwise.

Instead he favors Botox, facelifts and brow lifts. More details below.

Paltrow has been making headlines since early August after announcing her secret skincare regimen: Thermage laser treatment. She claims this treatment works but apparently suffers for her beauty and described the procedure to Elle Magazine as “non-invasive but quite painful, like having your face smacked with a rubber band that has an electric shock in it.”

Dr. Wigoda is not as impressed with Paltrow’s cosmetic surgery using the Thermage procedure and shares three age-reversing skin and beauty alternatives that may be better for you.

Thermage Treatments: Too Good to Be True?

Thermage laser treatment, also known as the ‘face ironing treatment’ claims to boost the levels of collagen in the lower layers of the skin to tighten and smooth the top layer. Thermage does this by producing radio frequency energy that actually damages the collagen in the lower layers making it recoil, tighten and then repair, causing it to plump and create the tightening effect seen on the upper layers.  

“This explanation may seem logical but I am not a big believer in Thermage,” said Wigoda. “I am usually skeptical of plastic surgery procedures that claim to increase collagen production over time to achieve their result and think it may work temporarily by causing swelling of the area treated.”

“Procedures that claim to transfer some sort of energy through the skin to act on a deeper layer, like this or coolsculpting, that claims to freeze fat, make me wonder if they are really doing much of anything. I think the doctor and/or the patient sometimes convince themselves there is a difference when an unbiased person would not see a difference,” notes Wigoda.

In any case, if it does work, the results don’t tend to be very impressive, especially for the cost of the procedure and the pain it can cause. One Thermage treatment can range anywhere from $1,000–5,000 and the patient will have to repeat the process to keep up with appearances. Although many claim that you can achieve great results with less frequent treatments, to achieve Paltrow’s look, one would have to repeat the treatments every few weeks and go for what she call “the works” which we can assume leans toward the more expensive side of the spectrum.

The process also has some potential side effects to be concerned about. Thermage works in a similar way to a microwave oven and can create issues that range from facial burns to scarring so if you choose to use this procedure, remember to be a smart plastic surgery patient and research your doctor.

Dr. Wigoda recommends sticking to procedures where the result is obvious either immediately, like with surgery or fillers, or within a few days, like Botox or xeomin.

Proven Alternatives to Thermage

Botox®

Botox can typically be repeated indefinitely if the patient has no reaction. You can usually see the effects of Botox within three days and will see the maximum benefit within one to two weeks and lasts three to six months. Some worry that they may not be happy with their Botox results like  Paltrow and Cameron Diaz, but in many cases the dissatisfaction may lie in the quality of their plastic surgeon, rather than the procedure itself.

Botox can be used to reduce the signs of aging by improving the appearance of worry lines, frown lines, Crow’s feet, lip lines, descent of the eyebrows, and neck muscle bands.

Facelift: Rhytidectomy

Facelifts work by smoothing loose skin and deep wrinkles and lessening sagging skin and removing excess fat in the face and neck. Facelifts result in a fresher and firmer appearance and the procedure can be varied to create the best results for your features and needs. Benefits of a facelift include immediate results and not having to repeat the procedure often, if at all. After many years, some may choose to repeat the procedure although this is not a necessity.

Browlifts and Forehead Lifts

Similar to a facelift, the browlift procedure does not need to be done again unless the patient chooses that they would like to repeat the results years later. If your brow is lowering, it can have a great effect on your complete look and make you appear angry, bored, or tired when you are not. Raising the brow “opens” the entire eye up. As a result the person looks more refreshed, awake, and happy. In addition to elevating the brow, while doing a brow lift, the plastic surgeon may address the other primary sign of aging on the forehead, namely, wrinkles.

So there you have it, Dr. Wigoda’s opinion on Thermage laser treatments and alternative age-reducing cosmetic surgery procedures. If you feel that your features do not accurately represent your current age contact Dr. Wigoda today for a free consultation to discuss how we can achieve the results you’re looking for.

Image Credit: ©iStock.com/EdStock

Dr. Paul Wigoda Reports Silicone Breast Implants Grow 72% in 2012

Faces are lifting, silicone breast implants are IN, skin is smoothing, Botox is booming and tummy tucking is far from flat, growing 70% in the last 12 years. The biggest bump Dr. Paul Wigoda noticed was the fact that 72% of breast implant surgeries in the United States used silicone implants; 28% used saline or sterile salt water implants.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has just released their 2012 annual statistics reporting the number and variety of plastic surgery procedures that were performed last year. The report, a virtual “state of the union” for plastic surgery profession, provides us with several interesting insights into trends in plastic surgery for the year.

“The fact that total U.S. cosmetic procedures were up last year is not surprising given that the economy is beginning to bounce back and these procedures are high on many people’s list of things to do with the extra income they are seeing.” says Dr. Paul Wigoda. Check the infographic below for increases in cosmetic procedures in relation to other important economic indicators, also on the rise.


Overall, cosmetic procedures in total were up a whopping 5%! The most popular procedures by volume were breast augmentation with 286,274 performed in 2012, followed by nose reshaping (242,684), eyelid surgery (204,015), liposuction (202,128), facelift (126,320) and tummy tuck (106,628).

Faces Lifting!

The biggest bump last year came in the form of facial rejuvenation procedures.

Here are some highlights:

 

  • Facelifts up by 6% from 2011

  • Eyelid Surgery up 4%

  • Microdermabrasion up 8% with 973,556 performed

  • Soft Tissue Fillers up by 5% with 1,988,767 performed

  • Botox and Dysport up 8% with 6,134,631 performed

Why so much focus on the face? The ASPS suggests “one has to assume that economic recovery and consumer confidence plays an important role… Another factor is people entering or re-entering the workforce at an older age, needing to compete with younger applicants. Having our appearance look as good as our experience and resumes… is a strong motivation.”

Other Notable Performers Include:

  • Breast Augmentation, up 35% from 2000

  • Calf Augmentation up 8% from 2011

  • Pectoral Implants up 6%

  • Upper Arm Lift up 3%

  • Tummy Tuck up 70% from 2000

Male Surgeries on the Rise

A clear indicator of the increase in male surgeries is in the treatment of male breast development or gynecomastia with an increase of 5% over last year. Says Dr. Paul Wigoda, “We have seen a marked increase in male procedures over the past several years, especially last year. Not just for gynecomastia but for facelift, eyelid lifts, pectoral augmentation, dermabrasion and nose reshaping. Plastic surgery is definitely no longer just for women.”

All in all, the ASPS reports prove that the state of the plastic surgery profession is very promising with further increases projected for next year. So, if you’ve been waiting for an economic turnaround to plan a cosmetic procedure, the time to schedule it is officially now. Come in for a free consultation with Dr. Wigoda and celebrate our improved economy!



Dr. Wigoda Shares Plastic Surgery Pricing Report

Plastic surgery pricing can be deceiving.” says Dr. Paul Wigoda. The cheapest plastic surgery is never the best and the most expensive plastic surgery might not be worth it. When it comes to picking a qualified plastic surgeon, Dr. Wigoda recommends not focusing solely on price. Do your research to make sure your provider has an outstanding safety record and that former patients have had positive experiences and outcomes at your chosen clinic. “Patients who make the mistake of choosing solely based on price, have found out the hard way that they may have to either live with a lousy result, or end up spending significantly more to get fixed. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to get as good a result the second time around compared to doing it right the first time. In addition, the patient has to deal with another recovery period and more time off of work, which means more money lost. One other thing to consider, is that with a quick recovery such as with my painless breast implant procedure, getting back to work sooner is a way of saving more money and should be considered when comparing prices”.

If you’ve tried to research plastic surgery pricing information you know it can be challenging Google reports that of the millions of searches regarding plastic surgery each year more than 10% seek pricing and cost information. Many physician’s website’s can be deceiving and not contain all the facts. Calling a plastic surgeon’s office is generally not much more helpful.  Without a live consultation, many doctors refuse to disclose even ballpark estimates.

“It is our goal is to offer the best service available and give our patients the best value in South Florida,” says Dr. Wigoda. “Although our prices are very competitive, we do not try to compete with plastic surgery “factories” that advertise deceptively low prices and offer gimmicks to lure innocent patients into their centers. Our intent is not to be the cheapest. Our priority is first and foremost patient safety, followed by the best possible cosmetic result and the patient experience including using revolutionary techniques to minimize pain and discomfort.”

Dr. Wigoda shares pricing averages for common plastic surgery procedures, region by region, and for the U.S. as a whole. All procedure prices were determined using data published by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. The below infographic and spreadsheet contain the most accurate data released on plastic surgery procedure pricing to date.

In 2012 the top eleven plastic surgery procedures reported included:

1 Facelift $8409
2 Breast Augmentation (Silicone) $6500
3 Tummy Tuck $7187
4 Botulinum Injection (forehead) $305
5 Botulinum Injection (eyebrows) $298
6 Nose Reshaping $5981
7 Neck Lift $5916
8 Neck Liposuction $3176
9 Breast Reduction $7040
10 Thigh Liposuction $4697
11 Arm Lift $5657

Complete information on pricing by procedure and region is detailed in the infographic above and chart below.

 

West Midwest South Northeast U.S. Average
Botulinum injection – Forehead $330 $239 $378 $305
Brow Lift $4,478 $4,733 $4,644
Botulinum injection – Between Eyebrows $241 $450 $298
Upper Lid Lift $2,892 $3,700 $2,944 $3,344 $3,083
Botulinum injection – Around Eyes $235 $416 $286
Lower Lid Lift $3,400 $3,742 $3,104 $4,594 $3,601
Eyelash Growth $124 $116 $118
Nose Reshaping $5,229 $5,590 $6,226 $6,764 $5,981
Correction of Both Protruding Ears $4,134 $4,623 $5,775 $4,742
Correction of Both Split Earlobes $725 $734 $916 $816
Correction of Split Earlobe $400 $478 $574 $499
Facelift $8,530 $8,081 $8,169 $8,906 $8,409
Neck Lift $5,686 $6,155 $5,640 $5,916
Neck Liposuction $2,603 $3,086 $3,176
Arm Lift $5,659 $5,496 $5,657
Removal of Excess Breast Tissue $4,548 $4,939 $4,971
Arm Liposuction $3,815 $4,007 $4,030 $3,954
Breast Reduction $7,203 $6,854 $7,040
Breast Lift without Implants $5,661 $5,575 $5,821 $7,607 $6,040
Breast Enlargement (Silicone Implants) $6,140 $6,760 $6,006 $7,577 $6,443
Breast Enlargment (Saline Implants) $4,959 $4,910 $6,753 $5,390
Breast Lift and Enlargement (Silicone Implants) $8,702 $8,156 $9,916 $8,813
Breast Lift and Enlargement (Saline Implants) $7,508 $7,180 $7,615
Tummy Tuck – Traditional $6,911 $6,740 $8,550 $7,187
Tummy Tuck – Mini $5,521 $5,056 $5,536 $5,344
Liposuction of Abdominal Flank $4,142 $4,091 $4,482 $4,240
Fat Injections to Buttocks $8,330 $6,090 $6,562
Labiaplasty $3,417 $3,751 $3,450
Liposuction to Inner and Outer Thighs $4,735 $4,697 $4,697
Thigh Lift $5,944 $6,932 $6,833

This information was provided by BuildMyBod.com, of which Dr. Wigoda is a subscribing physician. You can see Dr. Wigoda’s BuildMyBod page with pricing information here.

Interested in financing your surgery?

Dr. Wigoda works with Care Credit, MedChoice Financial, Advance Care, Capital One, and Chase. You may apply online with any of these companies prior to your consultation to see what amount you qualify for.

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visit: www.carecredit.com
or call 1-800-365-8295

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visit: www.medicalfinancing.com

Dr. Wigoda’s Opinion: Suzanne Somers’ Stem Cell Face Lift

Suzanne Somers brings stem cells to the big screen with her recent appearance on the Dr. Oz show where she unveiled her recent stem cell breast surgery and discussed the stem cell face lift.

Suzanne traveled to Japan to take part in an experimental procedure to preserve her breasts after a mastectomy. The doctors removed fat, blood and stem cells via a small needle from Ms. Somers’ navel and put it through a centrifuge to separate the blood from the other needed “by-products.”  The surgeons then injected the stem cells along with the fat to create a new symmetrical breast for Suzanne.  In her own words, “It is me!” This method is a natural form of reconstruction without the use of implants or foreign materials that the body may reject.

In Breaking Through, Suzanne’s talk show, she recently discussed the opportunity for stem cell facelifts, stating that she recently banked her own stem cells for future use. “As we age, we age in the lower 3rd first and we are able to inject your own stem cells to rejuvenate your own skin. This is the future and so much better than ‘that look.’”

A joint task force of the two leading plastic surgery associations, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) both hold their stance that there is great potential for stem cells in aesthetic surgery but at this point in time, more research and actual data are required before they should be used in every day procedures. They are quoted as saying “…the scientific evidence and other data are very limited in terms of assessing the safety or efficacy of stem cell therapies in aesthetic medicine.”

The task force is led by J. Peter Rubin, MD, plastic surgeon and noted expert on fat-derived stem cells who stated:

“There are encouraging data from laboratory and clinical studies to suggest that the use of adult stem cells is a very promising field,” said Dr. Rubin, “but as our comprehensive review of the current scientific literature shows, the data available today do not substantiate the marketing claims being made to patients seeking aesthetic surgery and aesthetic medical treatments.”

Injecting fat into the face is nothing new.” says Dr. Paul Wigoda, “If the procedure is done correctly, about 50% of the fat will usually survive.”  As we age, portions of the face deflate partially due to fat loss, therefore, facial fat injections will assist with rejuvenation. It is important to note that should the individual gain weight, the fat will expand.

Stem cell research has been going on for a few years in hopes of being able to treat a variety of diseases and that will occur but not until 5-10 years from now.  According to Dr. Wigoda,

  • “There is absolutely no proof at this time that injecting stem cells anywhere is of any use for cosmetic enhancement. In my opinion, this is a gimmick as “stem cells” is the latest buzz word, similar to what “laser” was a few years ago.
  • You could add the word “laser” to any procedure, and people would think it was a magical procedure. To market this as the latest and best thing out there is deceptive in my opinion.
  • It seems to me that surgeons are constantly looking for gimmicks to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
  • Patients should always be wary of anything that is labeled as the “new best thing out there. The hype often precedes the research which, unfortunately in many cases, shows that the treatment did not have nearly the benefit that was claimed.”

Men’s Plastic Surgery Rate Rises, Dr. Wigoda Reports

Real men get plastic surgery and it is socially acceptable, experts say. Dr. Wigoda previously reported about the rise of plastic surgery in 2010 and the predicted uptick continuing through 2011. Now it appears that men are helping the trend, according to new data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Men underwent more than 1.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2010, accounting for 9.9% of all cosmetic procedures, or a 2% increase from 2009. The most commonly performed procedures? Facelifts, up 14% and nose jobs, 64,000 total, saw the biggest gains.

Other top male cosmetic procedures include eyelid surgery, liposuction, breast reductions and hair transplants.

Experts attribute the increase in male plastic surgery to a few different factors; namely, the lagging job market and the increase of celebrity culture.

“Men have a new attitude toward cosmetic surgery than what we’ve seen historically,” Dr. Phil Haeck, ASPS president and a board-certified plastic surgeon, told AOL’s WalletPop. “Many stashed away some cash during the recession so they could come out of it with a younger look, ready to attack the job market.”

“In our culture, younger is better,” says Ann McMahon, a clinical psychologist based in New York City. “The ‘man’s man’ is also seeing celebrities undergo various procedures, so it’s become more socially acceptable.”