How to Make Sure You Never Look “Done” After an Elective Cosmetic Procedure
No one wants a face that looks like they’ve just been through a wind tunnel or are in the midst of an allergic reaction. Here’s how you avoid the pinched or puffy look for the most natural-looking results after elective maintenance or surgical procedures.
When the words “plastic surgery” or even certain minimally invasive procedures – like Botox® or Juvéderm® – come to mind, some often picture results that look fake and unnatural, like something akin to Jim Henson’s Janice, the heavy-lidded, big-lipped, blond-haired Muppet character.
While that’s likely attributed to celebrities who have been botched or been known to go overboard with their cosmetic procedures in the past, there’s no denying how advanced surgical techniques and technologies have become in recent years, many considered to be the best cosmetic procedures for face and allowing for the most natural-looking end results. So why do we still sometimes see these Muppet-esque outcomes? And how do you ensure it never happens to you? Founder of AW Plastic Surgery, a board-certified plastic surgeon, and a recognized specialist in both minimally invasive and surgical procedures, Dr. Anthony Wilson lifts the curtain on what you can do to make sure you always look “great” and never “done.”
Be Realistic: Maintenance or Corrective?
Here’s the short of it: Botox® doesn’t equal a facelift – that is, if you have excessive sagging of the skin and underlying muscles from the cheeks to the jawline, a minimally-invasive treatment isn’t going to transform you the way surgery would. Similarly, if you just want to tighten and tone at the first signs of a pre-jowl, you are not going to want to opt for a facelift (and if there’s a surgeon that is telling you to do so, then they’re not a very good surgeon).
“There are people in their 30s that – because of diet and lifestyle – would see better results from a corrective surgery rather than something less invasive,” notes Dr. Wilson. “And, similarly, there are people in their 40s and 50s who don’t need surgery at all, but something more minimally invasive to maintain what they have.” Moral of the story: The key to achieving the most natural-looking results is to undergo the appropriate procedure for your unique condition. But you’re obviously not an expert, so how do you determine what’s best for you? That leads us to our next point…
A Well-Rounded Practice with all the Right Tools
Med-spas are great – that’s why they have popped up all across the country in the last few years. But they are limited to what they can offer their patients – that being just the minimally invasive options, like facials, chemical peels, microneedling, fillers, laser hair removal, etc. Nothing surgical.
Whereas, a plastic surgeon, like AW Plastic Surgery, is going to be experts in all of the above, plus the more invasive corrective surgical options – essentially giving you the best of both worlds. That means, they aren’t going to push you on certain procedures if they really aren’t the best fix – i.e. telling you that you need fillers when, really, to receive the best, most-natural results, you may need a facelift. And better yet, a practice like AW is going to be able to treat you at all stages of your life, therefore create that history and establish an aesthetic plan for the long-haul that helps you age gracefully. A med-spa can’t do that.
You Can Go Too Far with Fillers
There’s a common assumption that opting for only minimally invasive treatments will always provide the most natural-looking results. But some of the most unnatural-looking results for the face that Dr. Wilson has seen are, in fact, a result of receiving too much filler over time. “Dermal fillers are an ‘in-between’ option for someone who is not yet a good candidate for surgery, a way to restore lost volume in the face,” he says. “But it is not an actual substitute for collagen. It can’t physically lift your face if you need more of a lifting effect.”
But the mistake that people make is that they think it will, when, rather than lifting, it creates more of a “bumping out” effect that makes you look puffy, rigid, and unnatural. “If you’re getting filler done around the eyes and cheekbones, it can make your eyes look smaller and create a very unnatural shelf,” he says. “When being injected into the region in the lower face, it can make your jawline look very unnaturally square.”
Being Patient (Within Reason) After Surgery
Practices clearly communicate expected downtime associated with procedures for a reason – they want you to know that results are not immediate but gradual. After all, it takes time for incisions to fade and skin to relax. So yeah, you might look a little unnatural for a bit, but that’s expected.
For facial surgery, the expectation that AW gives its patients is that you’ll be fully functional at two weeks, but the window of six weeks to three months is where you’ll really start to see full results – the kind that still look like you but a younger version.
Preservation of the Plastic Surgery
“I get this question all the time in regards to plastic surgery: ‘Will I ever have to do anything else?’” says Dr. Wilson. “Yes, you do, because you need to protect the investment.” Think of it like buying a shiny new car – it’s going to need maintenance if you want to keep it looking pretty. In the case of facial surgery, that doesn’t necessarily mean having to undergo surgery again anytime soon, but simply keeping everything lifted and tight with the help of such minimally-invasive treatments like Morpheus8 (microneedling with radio-frequency) and HALO (a laser treatment that resurfaces and tightens the skin). And that’s the key to keeping your results looking natural and for as long as possible, too.