Dr. Menachof, MD, FACS has performed thousands of facial plastic surgery procedures in over 20 years of experience. He has been recognized as a Fellow by multiple academies, named one of America’s Top Facial Plastic Surgeons continually since 2003 and is featured in multiple national publications.
Several factors go into determining whether a facial procedure is right for you, and deciding which one will give you the results you’re looking for. Take the time to consider your motivations for plastic surgery, and be sure to discuss your options with a trusted facial surgeon. They will be able to determine whether a facial plastic surgery procedure is the best decision for you.
Why Do You Want Plastic Surgery?
Before you begin researching experienced surgeons and gathering questions to ask during your initial consultations, reflect on why you are thinking about the procedure in the first place. Below are the top three reasons why people consider plastic surgery – do you relate to any of these items?
- To boost self-esteem.
Almost everyone in their lifetime feels insecure about their facial features – whether as a result of genetics, trauma, or aging. Low self-esteem can be tied to cosmetic issues, and this lack of confidence can affect your emotional state, relationships, and professional and social life. Having a body that you are proud of can boost confidence – your goal is to be comfortable in your own skin.
- To reverse the signs of aging.
We cannot control or stop our physical aging process, and the cosmetic side effects that come along with it – wrinkles, age spots, skin sagging, etc. Many patients are seeking to preserve their youth and unify their inward vitality with their outward appearance.
- Fixing a physical and comfort issue.
Patients often look to plastic surgery to restore the proper functioning of an area of the body, such as blocked breathing through the nose or damage to the facial structure.
It may be obvious to you why you want plastic surgery, but it’s important to consider where this insecurity is stemming from. Have you always wanted your nose to look differently or is someone in your life influencing you to make a change? Did you recently experience a difficult life event and are looking for a way to feel better about yourself? If this reasoning sounds familiar, you may want to give yourself more time before moving forward with any facial procedures. While plastic surgery can improve your confidence, it always brings the best results and highest satisfaction when done for the right reasons. The procedure should be for you, not for anyone else, and should only happen once you’re prepared. Younger patients may have additional considerations before plastic surgery.
If you have considered surgery for a long time, it can be beneficial to look into non-surgical options as well. They can be just as effective and involve less risks. An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to discuss non-surgical solutions for you, along with surgical, and help determine what next steps are right for you to accomplish your goals.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Your Initial Consultation
Before you meet with your facial plastic surgeon, ask yourself the following questions to get a better picture of your desires and expectations :
- What’s bothering me?
Once you have established your main concerns, your surgeon will be able to suggest specific procedures that will address these particular areas. It’s important that you prioritize and decide what matters most to you. Your surgeon can suggest a number of issues to address, but if it isn’t the thing that bothers you the most, you won’t be happy with the results.
- What do I want to look like after surgery?
Your expectations determine which procedure will work. If you are seeking a perfect appearance or dramatic alterations, then multiple surgeries will probably be needed to accomplish your complete vision. However, if you’re looking for specific improvement in particular areas, there are less invasive (and less expensive) ways to accomplish this.
- How much recovery time do I have?
Recovery time after surgery depends on the procedure performed. Minimal recovery after a facelift is often about 2 weeks, but healing time after a rhinoplasty can often take several months before it is considered healed and the appearance is final. You may need more time if complications arise, so it’s good to consider your window.
- What can I afford? Who is around to help me recover?
While you may want a full facelift, you may not have the time or the resources required. If you don’t have the time or resources to get surgery right away, there are many non-surgical options that can help improve your appearance and postpone surgery.
The answers to these questions will help you determine whether or not plastic surgery is the right choice, as well as which procedures would benefit you the most.
Plastic Surgery Alternatives – Non-Surgical Options with Big Results
While surgery often sounds like the fastest or easiest option, it is not right for everyone. Consider all of your options with an experienced surgeon.
Injectables add volume and postpone surgery. Injectables have come a long way. In the past, injectables were primarily used to fill lines, but they didn’t actually produce a more youthful appearance. An aging appearance is caused by both a lack of volume, and by the pull of sagging tissues shifting the remaining volume into the wrong places. Adding the right kind of volume into the proper areas of the face creates a youthful contour and fullness, making the face appear younger and revitalized. With injectables, one can achieve a more youthful appearance without surgery. These injectable procedures can even postpone surgery for 5-10 years, and sometimes forever.
Some things to keep in mind as you’re searching for someone to perform an injectable procedure:
- Focus on the results this person is able to achieve. While there are many products on the market, your injector’s ability to inject the right amount of the right product in the right place is the most important factor.
- Injections are not about filling lines. This is an outdated approach and results in a face that looks very unnatural. Look at the results of your chosen provider to determine if you like their work.
- Injections that are done well recreate youthful facial proportions by adding volume in appropriate places. This technique will enhance your most attractive facial features.
Lasers can take years off your appearance. Studies show that, trans-culturally, one of the main things viewed as indicators of youth and attractiveness is the evenness of one’s skin tone. Lasers are able to tighten facial skin, soften the texture, even skin tone, and improve overall skin quality with little or no down time and a smaller cost. This procedure is performed in-office and may be able to give you the rejuvenated look you’re searching for without any surgery.
What to look for when choosing a laser treatment provider:
- Most laser centers have lasers that treat the entire body. Total body lasers are not as effective on the delicate skin of the face and neck. Seek a provider that has lasers designed specifically for the face and neck.
- The ability of the person operating the laser is much more important than the laser itself. Use a center with providers who have experience and a proven history of achieving great results.
- Look at before and after pictures to see if you like the results you see. Talk with current patients to see what their experience was like.
Skin Care Products
Skin care products prevent and treat aging. Topical skincare solutions are another less expensive and simple option to help improve skin quality and tone. With the right skin care product, you can prevent or improve sun damage and aging in your face and neck.
When purchasing skincare products, you should:
- Buy from someone you know and trust will help you find the right solution, from start to finish.
- Buy products that have data showing that the product will actually change your skin.
- Buy products that you know you will use on a regular basis.
Sometimes, Surgery is the Answer
Realistically, there are some things that cannot be accomplished with anything but surgery. Whether or not you need a surgical procedure will depend on the degree of improvement desired, what your expectations are, and what specific area you are concerned about. Scheduling a consultation with your facial plastic surgeon and preparing before your consultation will help you gain a clearer understanding of your options.
Choose a Surgeon You Trust
It is very important to find a surgeon you trust to help you determine exactly what options will work for you. Find a surgeon that will listen and talk with you, someone who will offer you various options and show you various results. Ask to see before and after pictures and make sure you like the results you see and that you trust your surgeon’s ability to take care of the issues that concern you.
Download our step-by-step guide to navigating facial surgery.
This blog was originally published in December 2018 and has been reposted in 2021 with updated information.