Keeping It Natural – “I Don’t Want to Look Like Joan Rivers”

When contemplating elective cosmetic surgery, one is expected to be anxious. I spend considerable time with my patients before surgery to put them at ease. Though I reassure patients that the procedures are extremely safe, most patients are more worried about looking “unnatural.” They are nervous that they will not look like themselves, that they will have an artificial look. Their fears are not unreasonable. If you Google “Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery,” you’ll see galleries full of scary results. Celebrities are notorious for getting bad plastic surgery.

Giving patients a natural look is an important principle of rejuvenation surgery that I follow, but unfortunately many surgeons don’t. I show prospective patients before and after photos of our patients to reassure them that they will have a natural look, whether they choose a face-lift, neck-lift, or any other procedure. A natural looking result is not a random occurrence. Specific steps are taken to insure a natural look. I’ve had patients ask me,

Please don’t do too much. I want to look natural.”

Actually, the surgeon must do more work, not less, to ensure a natural result. Take the face-lift/neck-lift as an example. This is the most common operation that I do. The goal is to smooth the neck and give patients back their chin/neckline, as well as contour the jawline taking away jowls. Traditionally this was done by tightening the skin alone. In attempting to achieve the goals, the skin was many times pulled unnaturally tight, and pulled in unnatural directions. This could result in the Joan Rivers/Kenny Rogers look.

To ensure a natural look we leave behind the traditional operation to do the “modern” face-lift/neck-lift. This is also known as the deep plane or layered approach. In this operation the underlying muscles of the neck and face are tightened and repositioned to produce the desired contour. The overlying skin can then be re-draped in its natural position without tension to achieve a more natural, less artificial look. Thus, it requires more work rather than less to give patients the natural results that they desire.

Similarly, for the eyelids, brows, and upper face, the same plastic surgery principles are followed. Attention is paid to the different layers, and tissue is re-draped in a natural manner. No “deer in the headlights” look.

Facial rejuvenation operations done by experienced board-certified plastic surgeons are common and safe. Find a surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation surgery and ask to see before and after photos of typical patients. The plastic surgery operations, such as face-lift or neck-lift, are performed in a comfortable outpatient setting usually using sedation and local anesthesia to provide a peaceful anxiety free experience. Recuperation is quick, and pain during recovery is not an issue. Patients are happy.

Don’t let that image of Joan Rivers keep you from exploring the options of facial rejuvenation. There are experienced board-certified plastic surgeons out there who can give you the pleasing natural results that you desire.

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