November 25th, 2013

How young is “too young” for a facelift?

This a very common question that I get asked by patients, friends and the merely curious all the time.

The standardized answer I always give is “It’s the not age of the patient but the size of the jowls” that determines who is a good facelift candidate. I say it half jokingly in that usually this question gets asked while out at dinner or at a social function – a nice short answer will often steer the conversation onto non-work related topics.

That being said, it is actually a very succint answer to how we as surgeons approach the consultation process with a patient regarding their desire to have a facelift. Certainly a patient should be of an appropriate age to make the decision that they want surgery. While legally this age is 18, the reality is that most facelift patients are between their early 40’s and mid 60’s. There are rare patients in their 30’s who may have noticeable jowls and a mini facelift can be done to give them natural results without going through drastic surgery at such a young age.

The most important factor is the patient’s anatomy. Some people may develop signifcant jowling in their early 40’s while others may not show any jowls until they are well into their 60’s. This is why age can be irrelevant. Since facelift surgery directly affects anatomy and not a patient’s actual age it is a good physical exam that will determine when a patient is an appropriate candidate and not their date of birth.

With the increasing popularity of minimally invasive procedures with quicker recovery times, facelift patients are getting younger and younger. This has been a postive thing in that less drastic surgeries with more natural results are becoming the trend.

November 25th, 2013

Mini Lifts are so misunderstood

Over the last several years the demand for minimally invasive procedures with natural results has greatly increased. This has been spurred on by a group of patients in their late 30’s to early 50’s who lead active lives and don’t have the time for long recovery or the desire to look artificial or strange.

While a wide range of nonsurgical options like botox and fillers has been available, sometimes they just don’t do enough and a traditional full facelift will do too much.

This is where Mini Lifs are so helpful and effective. They fill a middle ground for these patients and offer them quicker recovery with natural and long lasting results.

Unfortunately due to the misadventures of corporate outfits like Lifestyle Lift, and heated competition between plastic surgeons, the Mini Lift has come to be greatly misunderstood.

The fact is that when a Mini Lift is done properly it is equally as effective as any other facelift technique and far more appropriate for patients whose needs are subtle and want only natural results. The reality is that many surgeons are not proficient at doing Mini Lifts and frankly there are some who scoff at the fact that they need to charge less for them (sadly there are greedy surgeons who put money first).

As time goes on, Mini Lifts will gain the true respect they deserve and as a result there will be a whole new generation of happy patients out there.

The following video shows the basic surgical steps of a Mini Lift and just how much they can accomplish.

November 25th, 2013

The Newer and Gentler approach to Botox

I have been using cosmetic Botox for my patients for over 10 years now and it has been interesting to see that while the medication itself has stayed the same our techniques as physicians and attitudes as patients has drastically changed.

Previously the idea was to inject wide areas of the forehead and between the eyebrows with large amounts of Botox. We keep track of the amounts by calling them units and back in 2003 I would iject anywhere from 50 to 80 units across the forehead. This resulted in super smooth and super “tight feeling” foreheads. Patients loved it and it felt good to see a small series of injections have such a dramatic effect.

As time has gone on however and Botox has increased in popularity and familiarity (there were 6.1 million treatments in 2012) there has been an increasing demand from patients for a more natural and softer Botox result.

As a physician who focuses on natural results this couldn’t make me happier. By injecting varying amounts of Botox across the forehead (I now use anywhere from 20 to 60 units) I can achieve much more natural and effective results.

Case in point would be to look at TV news anchors and television hosts over the last decade. They have moved away from the “frozen face” look to a refreshed softer and gentler look. For example, when you see them talking you will notice that while the middle of their forehead is very smooth, there are still some movement wrinkles at the top of the forehead and at the sides – for many lay people the assumption is that they have had no Botox at all, when in fact they have but in a better way.

Patients have started to really appreciate this new way of doing Botox as well – they can still enjoy their treatment and keep it as their little secret.

Granted I still have some patient who want the super smooth look and love the tight feeling they get so as long as their is no medical harm we always aim to please!

By Dr. Kamran Jafri