Faces age in many different ways and at varying rates. Today, there are a myriad of facial rejuvenation paths available to you, both surgical and non-surgical. Beautiful, natural looking results have replaced the tight, expressionless, “overdone” looks of years’ past. Sometimes a combination of procedures is necessary to achieve the results you desire. The time you spend in consultation with Dr. Lee will be very important in determining which procedures you might consider to meet your expectations.
“Facial rejuvenation is highly individualized and must be addressed holistically. It’s all about balance and harmony. I am eager to hear each patient’s focus of concern and determine the best way to improve what bothers them. Patients are very interested when I explain how the overall pattern of aging is specifically affecting them. Sometimes non-invasive treatments are all that is necessary. Other times we talk about how interrelated rejuvenation really is…for example, you have to be aware how performing a face lift will influence the lower eyelids. Doing isolated procedures can sometimes make other areas look out of proportion or obviously “older.” This is why our discussion in consultation is so important. I want what is best for each patient. If I can accomplish their goals and make them happy, then I am satisfied. They need to know I am going to take care of them throughout the whole process.” — Michael Lee, M.D.
Among the most noticeable signs of facial aging are the changes that occur around the eyes. This area is subjected to many years of sun exposure not to mention the expressive movement that occurs with long-standing facial animation. The changes that occur can be quite problematic as they create a look of tiredness and fatigue. The upper eyelid develops excess skin laxity that may extend beyond the lash line. In severe cases this skin may even cause visual obstruction. This excess skin of the upper eyelid may also be influenced by the position of the overlying brow. A heavy brow can push the upper eyelid skin down. Surgical correction of the upper eyelid may be as simple as removing excess skin and fat, a procedure known as a blepharoplasty. If the brow requires reposition for the best result, a concurrent browlift may be suggested.
The lower eyelid, also significantly influenced by aging, can be corrected with a lower blepharoplasty. Where the lower eyelid meets the cheek is an area of particular importance and is termed the ‘lid-cheek junction.” A youthful look is the result of a smooth transition from the lower eyelid to the cheek. As aging occurs this area becomes much more demarcated and noticeable. The result is a tired, unrested look. Multiple things are occurring to create this more conspicuous lid-cheek junction. The loss of underlying bone and overlying soft tissue happens with age. This is very evident in the midface or cheek area. Not only does this area lose volume, it is also influenced by gravitation forces. What this means is that the cheek volume that does remain descends lower on the face creating those less-desirable facial folds. As that cheek volume drops on the face, the lid-cheek junction displays a more aged look.
Both non-surgical and surgical procedures can be used to reverse the changes of aging that occur around the eyes. In fact, Dr. Lee finds that many patients benefit from a combine approach of both treatments. “I tailor the treatment to the individual patient. While some patients only need skin care, others can only achieve their desired result with surgery. The majority of patients I see get the most aesthetic result with a combination of surgery and skin care.”
As with other operations in plastic surgery, understanding the patient’s lifestyle, age, medical conditions, and tolerance for downtime are key factors to determining the best way to proceed. During consultation patients are able to learn about the benefits of each treatment option and choose the course most comfortable for them.
Patients are encouraged to spend time researching any surgeon they are considering to perform their blepharoplasty. Consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon means that the patient can be educated on both non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Finding someone who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, while important, should be complemented by someone with extensive training and knowledge regarding the face and neck.
Dr. Lee is board certified by both the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For patients this means he is among the most qualified of surgeons to perform aesthetic procedures of the face and neck. He understands the relevant anatomy on an expert level and uses this knowledge to deliver the desired aesthetic ideal.
Most patients want to look better while maintaining their identity. In today’s world there are plenty of examples of poorly treated eyelids. Prior to his years in practice, Dr. Lee completed eight years of extensive training in Plastic Surgery of the face and neck. Why did Dr. Lee undergo such long and rigorous training at the top program in the country? When asked he responds, “Performing surgery on the face not only requires meticulous technique but that technique is based on a comprehensive knowledge of the anatomy. I considered it my due diligence to make sure I was as well trained as I could be.”
Consultation with Dr. Lee begins with him listening to each patient’s concerns. He believes that communication between the patient and their plastic surgeon is essential to a successful result. Each area of concern is then discussed. Dr. Lee explains the reasons behind each area of facial aging and how that relates to that particular patient. Only then can treatment options be fairly discussed. The benefits of each potential treatment option is covered as well as any limitations. The treatment plan decided is the product of discussion and agreement between Dr. Lee and the patient after thorough conversation on the surgical goal. “My goal is a happy patient and this means communication is essential. I want patients to look naturally beautiful while avoiding the “overdone” look. We have to agree on that before surgery,” states Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee’s high level of knowledge and expertise in all aspects of facial rejuvenation place him among the elite in the specialty. His approach is a blend of time tested traditional techniques and the latest advances in non-surgical and surgical treatments. Performing the upper eyelid blepharoplasty means usually straightforward if the brow is in good position. Correcting the lower eyelid is a more complex procedure but offers dramatic improvements in many patients. Dr. Lee was mentored and adopted the time-tested techniques of Dr. Fritz Barton. Dr. Barton is largely regarded by plastic surgeons world-wide as a pioneer of advanced facial aesthetic surgery. Dr. Lee blends this expert technique with modern day innovation to deliver the absolute best care for his patients.
How faces age and what we can do to fight facial aging
There has been a paradigm shift in the mainstream acceptance of methods and products promising to help us stay ahead of the clock. Younger people even in their teens and 20’s are countering the aging process beginning with sunscreen and smart skincare. As men and women get into their 30s they see the signs of aging take place. Botox has become a preventative medicine against wrinkles, offering a cumulative effect in minimizing lines of expression. They are a bit harder to treat if we wait until we are 50 trying to temper lines created over five decades. Small doses of fillers can make a difference in 30-somethings. But by 40’s and 50’s obvious changes are happening despite our best efforts. Volume loss and volume descent can be camouflaged non-surgically, but they cannot be reversed. Rebuilding and restoring collagen in the face is important, so chemical peels and laser treatments are popular at this stage. Once skin begins to noticeably sag, it is time to consider a facelift and possible fat grafting for the most natural outcome.
Skincare, injectables, surgery–when each are appropriate
Good skin is the hallmark of beauty regardless of age. Everyone should practice good skincare because no amount of filler or surgery can improve skin’s quality. The sun is skin’s biggest enemy. Once the damage is done, lasers and chemical peels can help improve the texture and tone for a more youthful appearance. Fillers fight volume loss by plumping up areas where fat has shifted or atrophied. A facelift will lift sagging cheeks and jowls by re-draping the skin over repositioned layers of muscle. Keep in mind that skincare, fillers and surgery work in concert. One cannot substitute for another, yet when used together, properly, there is tremendous synergy. Skincare cannot address volume any more than fillers can correct banding in the neck. Using more and more fillers thinking you are postponing surgery often leads to a distorted, obvious look. It’s important to respect the boundaries and distinct benefits of each of these modalities.
A big misconception is that there is much less recovery and smaller scars with a mini facelift. In fact, any facelift that is going to provide substantial results requires similar incisions and downtime. Lifts that only tighten the skin or only use small incisions often lead to short term results with inadequate skin removal. In these cases, “mini” facelifts often lead to “mini” results. Likewise, the “lunchtime” procedures that are advertised as delivering astonishing results are poor simulations of a facelift. There are no short cuts. Would you fix just a part of the foundation of your house? No, because it would give you an incomplete outcome. It’s the same logic with your face.
The truth about “noninvasive, no scarring, no downtime, no discomfort” procedures is that often you are not getting value for your money. It’s important to recognize that there are no miracles and magic wands. No one should expect dramatic results without respecting the process it takes to make a real, long lasting change in appearance.
Why obvious, overdone results are on display everywhere–even amongst celebrities
The rich and famous are just as capable of making bad decisions as the rest of us. In Hollywood particularly there are lots of non-certified surgeons doing cosmetic surgery. It’s a hotbed for unsubstantiated marketing hype. Celebrities are constantly in the public eye so it is easy to identify when a dramatic change happens–for better or worse. But remember–all we see are the bad results–and unfortunate outcomes don’t discriminate. For every Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith and Priscilla Presley, there are lots of average people that keep programs like “Botched” alive. The point is, do your homework. Another way to look at this is how many patients are out there who have had brilliant “work done”? They look great for their age, but you can’t quite figure out what they did. That is the signature of a great surgeon–whether the procedure was surgical or non-surgical.
Quite frequently the cause of some looking distorted is over use of filler products. This happens in cases where the patient is not consulting with a plastic surgeon. If all the practitioner uses is filler, they may compensate for what they don’t have by just using more filler. Then, the patient looks odd and different instead of better. One of the biggest benefits to seeing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon–whether you need surgery or not, is to get the proper diagnoses from someone who has all the tools at his disposal.
Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Lee. This is the next step to determine which Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery procedure is the best option, giving you the desired outcome after surgery. Dr. Michael Lee will spend time with you to learn about your medical history and your expected outcome for surgery, as well as explaining the procedure in detail and answering all of your questions.