Find out why Dr. Rodriguez, a Yale trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, thinks fat grafting is a better technique for facial rejuvenation than laser resurfacing. Fat grafts have a population of naturally occurring adult stem cells which rejuvenate the ageing face.
The primary goal of a Facelift is to achieve a natural, refreshed appearance, not a ‘done’ look. Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Yale trained board certified plastic surgeon, explains more about achieving a great face lift and his unique approach.
Some of you may have read my posts on why I like to do Breast augmentation under IV sedation. I also do IV sedation for all major and combined procedures. Naturally, some patients are anxious because they don’t want to feel anything, but they are attracted to the idea of not undergoing general anesthesia. There is also some confusion as to what exactly is IV sedation. This is understandable because there are many levels of sedation. I will explain the different levels so you can make a more informed decision when discussing this with your surgeon or anesthesiologist. In cosmetic surgery, we often refer to the three distinct choices: local, IV or General anesthesia.
Plastic Surgeons have been harvesting stem cells for years. Your own unwanted fat is loaded with precious adult stem cells. Dr. Rodriguez talks about fat injections and your own fountain of youth.
Most patients seeking facelifts say that coworkers or family members tell them “they look tired” all the time. They then proceed to pull upward on their neck or lower cheeks mimicking the effect they want from surgery. To make a point, I sometimes cover my face and ask what color my eyes are. They always get it right (my eyes are brown). I then ask whether I have bands in my neck (I have one). Invariably they say they didn’t notice. So, what’s the point I’m trying to make? People make judgments about how old your face looks from your eyes, not your neck or jowls. There is a famous study where the picture of a woman was put on a screen. A subject looks at the picture. Behind the screen there is a camera that tracks the eye movements of the subject looking at the picture of the woman…
In all other branches of medicine, a treating doctor assumes that the patient has some kind of medical problem that the doctor has to fix or make better. If the patient experiences some pain, gets a big scar, or has some side effects, it’s an acceptable trade off because it’s for the patient’s benefit to attain…
The Liquid facelift. I first heard about it from Heidi Rebuck, a Juvederm and Botox rep from Allergan. “The Liquid facelift” is basically what I did with my male patient, using a filler with Botox, but I think these pictures of “The Liquid facelift” are worth a thousand words. Basically, the patient in the photo (courtesy of Allergan) had Botox to forehead and “crow’s feet” wrinkles around the eyes, with tissue fillers to the lips, nasolabial folds (folds that go from side of nostrils towards the corners of the mouth), and possibly under the eyes. The change is dramatic and substantial.
Patients are asking for specific procedures because they have been reached by the marketing efforts of Plastic Surgeons. Since surgeons are trained to do procedures, they market procedures as their product. In order to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, they come up with these catchy names to create a “unique” presence for themselves in the marketplace. Alternately, if there is a particular buzzword or catchphrase that is getting media attention, the surgeon will use it in his marketing pitch, to benefit from the attention generated by that particular “product-lift”.
Since the advent of thread lifts over the last couple of years, I keep hearing from patients wanting to know if they need a Thread lift or a face lift. A few years ago the question used to be whether they needed a laser treatment or a Facelift. The answer to either question is: It depends on what your goal is.
Collagen, fascian, Restylane, etc., are wonderful options for tissue fillers, but their effect seems to be measured in months. If a patient repeats the procedure enough, the costs soon approach those of surgery. I found myself suggesting to more and more patients that they should just have surgery and make the result more permanent. Fat injections in the facial area do provide a longer lasting result than most fillers. However, fat injections are more of a surgical procedure rather than a quick injection. With fat injections, I use the patient’s own fat as a filler. The results can be dramatic and long lasting. Fat injections can be used in areas besides the face. I use a special type of fat injection is to fill out areas we never thought could benefit from large volume injections, such as the butt. I love doing fat injections, but there are a certain amount of pre and post op issues associated with it. So I look upon fat injections as a surgical procedure with a recovery time.
Most patients who come to my office don’t come in asking for a full facelift. Most come asking for a specific face procedure to “make them look younger”. If they are relatively young, they focus on the nasolabial folds the lines that go from the side of the nose to the corners of the lips). Or they may mention the lips, how they are getting thinner. If they are somewhat older, they will focus on the jawline and neck. I listen to them, because that is what they are concerned about, but then I have to ask: Do you want to look better to yourself or to others?
Today I got a very nice letter from a patient who had consulted with me about Eyelid surgery. I had recommended a Brow lift with a mid Facelift. She thanked me for a very thorough and knowledgeable consult, but decided to go ahead and get just her eyelids done by an ophthalmologist who does Plastic surgery. This is an issue I encounter often, and I thought I would write my thoughts down in case anybody can benefit from this. First of all…