October 8, 2002
Giant 70th Anniversary Issue
“Stop-the-Clock Mini Surgeries”
There has been a trend in recent years away from the full face-lift toward smaller, more modified procedures that target a specific area, such as eyelids or chin or cheeks. What’s more, many of these techniques are being done at an earlier age- even before a woman leaves her 30s. Of course, only you and your doctor can determine which will work best for you. And remember, like all surgeries, each has its own risks, so be certain to ask your doctor to be candid about any potential problems involved as well as exactly what to expect during your recovery.
An eye-lift, or upper blepharoplasty, eliminates excess skin from the upper lids. “ It will make you look more wide awake,” says Mark Glasgold, M.D., a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Highland Park, New Jersey. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis. After a numbing injection, an incision is made in the crease beneath the skin to be removed and the skin is cut away; in some cases, fat and muscle might be excised as well. The incision is closed with sutures that can be taken out in about 4 days. Expect to stay home 4 to 7 days. Results are immediate, and the work rarely has to be repeated. Approximate cost: $2,000 to $4,000. Possible Risks If too much skin, fat or muscle is removed, eyes could appear hollowed, even older.
Gravity and a loss of fat in the face over time causes cheeks to droop. A cheek lift, explains Dr. Glasgold, can restore youthful fullness and soften smile lines. A two-inch incision is made in the hairline and temple area, and a minute needle hold is made in the cheek right near the smile line. Then sutures are passed around the slack cheek fat pad and up and out the incision in the temple. The stitches are gently pulled to literally lift the cheek up; finally, the end result is sutured down. The process takes about 45 minutes and is done with a local anesthetic or tranquilizer-induced twilight sleep. You should be able to return to normal activity in 4 to 7 days. Effects last 3-5 years. Approximate cost: $4,000 to $6,000. Possible Risks Minor bruising or swelling can be expected, Dr. Glasgold says, but no significant medical or cosmetic side effects.
For more information, contact: The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 800-332-FACE or visit www.FACEMD.org