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.
The neck is an extension of our face and plays a significant role in our overall facial aesthetics. Similar to the face, aging of the neck results in a loss of skin elasticity. How this translates to what we see in the mirror or photographs is an overabundance of neck skin. This excess neck skin may be accompanied by extra neck fat and banding of the neck muscles. The neck muscle here, called the platysma muscle, is tight and contoured in the youthful neck. Like the skin, the platysma muscle also loses structure with the aging process. What was once a strong jaw line and contoured neck transitions into a less aesthetically ideal look.
Rejuvenating the neck can be done in several ways. During your consultation with Dr. Lee, you will be educated on both the non-surgical and surgical techniques available. Non-surgical means typically have less down-time compared with surgical rejuvenation, however this is not always the case. It is also important for patients to understand that surgery often delivers the more substantial result. Dr. Lee feels strongly that patients should be educated on what options are available and the potential results associated with each option. “We are about helping people achieve their goals. In today’s world there are so many options that it becomes confusing for patients. My goal during the consultation is to provide an expert opinion about their areas of concern.”
Dr. Lee evaluates the face using a holistic approach from the top of the brow down to the bottom of the neck. This is because our face is viewed by others as a whole. The aging process isn’t just limited to one area but in fact has influence on all areas. This includes the brow, eyelids, face, and neck. A neck lift is specific to the neck and does not address the other areas. This is why Dr. Lee takes the time to educate patients on exactly what changes will be made with a neck lift alone.
Finding someone to explain what can be done for your neck both surgically and non-surgically is best accomplished by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Dr. Lee, both a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon has the knowledge to comprehensively evaluate your neck and discuss all possible means of treatment. This is not always the case when seeing physicians who are limited to non-surgical means alone. Dr. Lee can also provide insight into surgical recovery, allowing you to make the most educated decision.
Patients should also search for someone who is highly trained and skillful in the face and neck area. Even among Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, look for someone who has expertise with anatomy in the area you are seeking treatment. Dr. Lee, being double-boarded, provides patients with the comfort that their face and neck are in the best of hands. Not only does Dr. Lee have the training and experience, he has published numerous scientific articles on facial anatomy. “There are no shortcuts in surgery. I want my patients to have the best results possible.” says Dr. Lee
When performing a neck lift, Dr. Lee’s priorities are to restore patients to a natural looking, rejuvenated appearance while making the scars as inconspicuous as possible. “Many patients feel younger on the inside than they look on the outside. They look in the mirror and are frustrated by all the extra neck skin and fullness. It’s not how they want to see themselves. I get great satisfaction from helping them achieve their goals,” states Dr. Lee. Accomplishing these goals while maintaining a natural look is of paramount importance to Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee’s high level of knowledge and proficiency in all aspects of facial surgery place him among the elite in the specialty. His approach is a balance of time tested traditional techniques and the latest advances in both non-surgical and surgical treatments. In terms of surgical rejuvenation, there are several ways Dr. Lee can rejuvenate the neck. Some patients may be candidates for liposuction alone. In these cases, patients may have a double chin or excessive amount of neck fat but their skin possesses good elasticity. Liposuction of the neck usually requires a very small incision through which Dr. Lee uses a series of specialized cannulas to separate and remove fat cells. If there is excess skin with poor elasticity, Dr. Lee must remove this through incisions. Similar to a facelift, a small incision is made underneath the chin. This allows Dr. Lee to repair the loose muscles of the neck. In addition, an incision is made hidden in the shadows of the ear. Through these incisions the supportive structures of the neck are restored to the correct location and the extra skin is removed. The result is a much more contoured and aesthetically pleasing neck.
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.