Twenty years ago, plastic surgery had a reputation for expensive, recovery time-intensive procedures that were likely to make you look as artificial as Joan Rivers. Today, however, the hallmarks of great plastic surgery are natural, often imperceptible changes that aim to make you look just like yourself, only better.
So what’s changed?
Where surgeons once nipped and tucked wrinkled skin, today the goal is to revolumize the cheeks and midface thereby softening lines, not simply pulling them tight. But, cautions Dr. Julius Few, you don’t want to simply add volume where a surgical lift may be necessary. Overfilling the face creates just as an unnatural look as overpulling.
Finding the Sweet Spot
According to Dr. Few, there are three variables of the aging process, which determine the nature and extent of the cosmetic procedures:
- Skin changes (wrinkles, age spots)
- Volume loss (flattened cheek area)
- Facial sagging, or ptosis (skin that literally hangs, eg, jowls)
Dr. Few’s approach to each face centers around his surgical and nonsurgical "blending" concept, which essentially limits surgery or the extent of surgery by addressing variables 1 and 2 with nonsurgical solutions. (Less surgery with better results? Now that's sweet!)
Surgery out of the question?
If you’re opposed to surgery or simply don’t have time for it, and you’re willing to accept limited results, then Dr. Few advises using hyaluronic acid (HA) as a bridge to surgery. Not only will an HA filler provide a roadmap for permanent results if and when you decide surgery is part of the solution, but it’s also reversible if you don’t like your results. (The proverbial cherry on top!)