Face procedures articles

Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez discusses plastic surgery for the face and related topics.

  • Lip lift pre-op markings

    Pre-op lip lift markings on a patient's face.

    This patient is being prepped for an upper lip lift today and after completing the surgical plan markings, she graciously allowed me to take this quick video to explain the pre-op markings I make for lip lift patients.

  • Why Laser resurfacing can cause facial fat loss

    An illustration of skin layers epidermis.

    Laser resurfacing is a procedure which is aimed at rejuvenating the face. It works by evaporating the top layers, the epidermis, of your skin causing a regeneration of new skin. While it is an effective method for prompting fresher, more youthful facial glow, there is a great alternative to consider if you are seeking a younger looking face. In fact, I am using laser resurfacing less and less in favor of fat grafting for facial rejuvenation. Why? Because with laser, regeneration of the skin is prompted by destruction and that destruction can also cause fat volume loss whereas with fat grafting, regeneration of the skin is prompted by adipose stem cells which reside in the fat that is injected and there is no additional facial fat loss. Here is why some people experience facial fat loss after laser resurfacing.

  • Fat graft success starts with Liposuction

    An illustrating showing the reasons why small particles are better for fat grafting.

    Patients routinely get fat grafts to the face, breast, and buttocks. However, some patients do not get the result they wanted because the fat graft did not ‘take.’  So, what happened? Why do fat grafts sometimes die or fail to take? In this post, I will explain one of the most important factors in creating a long-lasting fat graft. When the recipient tissue is normal, there really should be no need for a touch-up, or revision. Plastic surgeons have all of the tools they need to create a good fat graft on the first try!

  • 10 Questions to ask your surgeon about Fat grafting

    fat cell syringes

    Patients interested in having a procedure involving fat grafting should be familiar enough with the process to ask questions above and beyond the usual questions they might ask when consulting with plastic surgeons. The success of fat grafting is highly dependent on the skill and technique of the surgeon as well as the patient’s attention to detail and instructions during post-op. Here are 10 questions to arm yourself with prior to a consultation for any plastic surgery involving a fat transfer.

  • Smile surgery to help permanent frowns

    An illustration showing a smile surgery.

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted a Korean Plastic Surgeon who is popularizing the so called Smile Surgery. MSN News also recently featured an article about smile surgery, called a “smile lipt,” – a combination of the words “lip” and “lift.” While this procedure may sound odd, there are definitely some patients who are good candidates for this procedure. I have performed it in my practice in Baltimore. Some people have a distinct permanent frown type expression and Smile Surgery can help them because it lifts the corners of the mouth. It helps change the permanent sad or angry look to a more pleasant expression. This technique is different than a traditional lip lift procedure, as that technique focuses solely on the long space between the upper lip and the base of your nose.

  • Lip lift technique: Lifting skin only vs muscle

    An illustration showing the nerves around the upper lip.

    Patients today are doing a lot of research about the upper Lip lift,. One of the most frequent questions I get is if the surgery involves the muscle of the upper lip. Patients want to know if my technique involves only the skin, or if I lift the muscle in any way. My Lip lift technique involves lifting the skin only, and I do not involve the muscle. It seems one of the biggest proponents of technique incorporating the muscle is Dr. Randall Heyworth in California. In 2008, he and I met on a trip to China representing the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and I enjoyed his company. But I have a different approach to the upper lip lift and I will explain why.

  • Getting rid of those Real Housewives Duck lips!

    duck lips comparison

    We so often see photographs of celebrities that have duck lips. If you don’t know what I am referring to, please tune into the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and take a look at most of the women. You know the story–the lips protrude out like duck bills because too much filler is put into the lips. While Taylor wins the prize, Kyle is catching up to her. It does look terrible. So, how can YOU have fuller lips without getting duck lips?

  • Groupon daily deals for Botox – Violation of state regulations?

    A newspaper article about groupon and state laws about plastic surgery.

    Nearly everyone has heard of Groupon, the coupon site for daily deals. If you are on the receiving end as a consumer, it can be a great way to get some great deals. For over a year we have been seeing other plastic surgeons and dermatologists sell Botox® at huge discounts. Not wanting to be outdone by our competitors, we decided to explore our options for selling facial injectables such as Botox, Restylane, Juvederm and Sculptra via Groupon. Find out why we won’t be offering Botox discounts via Groupon.

  • Lip lift – A technical description of the procedure

    Upper lip length 1.1 cm.

    Lately, my patients have been quite educated about the various techniques that surgeons use for the Lip Lift procedure. Recently a patient asked me if my technique would cut muscle or nerves. This is a good question and I would like readers to know that my technique does NOT cut muscle or nerves! In summary, this is a description of the Lip lift technique that I have been using for many years:

    1. An incision is made at the base of the nose in the natural ridge between lip skin and nasal skin.
    2. Skin is elevated only to the level where preoperative markings were made, leaving the muscle intact.
    3. We spread muscle fibers at 5 points to reach the membrane covering the septum and nasal bones. Three tunnels are made centrally: one through the septum and the other two on either side of i, corresponding to the middle and ridges of the philrum in the upper lip. One tunnel at the outer border of the nostrils.
    4. The sutures are tied to the underside of the lip skin. The sutures do not tie muscle, and do not tie nerves. There is no cutting of any structure once we cut skin.
  • Fat injections to the face

    A side view photo of a female face with illustrations showing where the fat-injections will be applied.

    Fat grafts to the face are a great way to rejuvenate your face. As you age, your dermis thins, and your face will sag.You may lose volume in your cheeks and under your eyes. These areas appear to be hollow or not as defined as they were when you were younger. Additionally, some people have areas of their face lacking volume no matter what their age. Fat grafts will naturally fill those areas to restore your youthful appearance. Additionally, your own adipose fat contains adults stem cells. Adult stem cells have regenerative properties that can increase blood supply to your tissue and skin to make you look younger.

  • Cosmetic surgery trends for 2010 – Fat is phat!

    A glowing crystal ball between 2 hands.

    The year 2010 ushers in a new decade where science , beauty, and your own fat make a marriage that promises to deliver one of the most disruptive medical technologies of the century. Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Yale trained Plastic Surgeon believes that stem cells from your own fat will lead the cosmetic surgery trends.