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FAQs with Dr. Jason Cooper

Facelift

Yes, it is very common to address all areas of the face at the same time. Patients often decide to have their eyes, brows, and fat injections for overall volume in the face improved at the same time. Doing multiple procedures on the same day will not significantly lengthen your recovery time, and it will allow you to heal all at once and have a really nice, complete result.

There are several different types of facelifts, ranging from mini to full face which can affect your healing time. The most common standard facelift takes approximately 2 weeks to get back to a relatively normal routine. During your first week, you will be recovering from most of your physical healing including, but not limited to, drain removal, mild bruising, swelling, and some redness at the incision sites. By the second week, you will see real progress and be able to drive, attend social events, and look very presentable. You may start light exercise at approximately 3 weeks and the rest of your healing may consist of some residual numbness/tingling/fading or redness which is very mild and doesn’t bother most patients. Again, these healing times are dependent upon the type of facelift you are having and your age, health etc.

After your facelift, you will have a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance. A facelift will remove excess skin and add nice definition to your face and neck. If you need volume it is a good idea to add fat injections during your facelift surgery. Fat grafting into the temples, mid-face, and areas around your mouth can greatly decrease the likelihood for future injections. Although your current age, facial structure, skin elasticity, and budget may determine if you will need future injectables. A facelift combined with fat augmentation in specific areas will significantly enhance your appearance. Over time, individual facial maintenance may include neuromodulators, filler augmentation, and laser skin resurfacing.

There is minimal discomfort following a facelift. You will be prescribed medication to control any pain you may have, but most patients take them for only a few days and are relatively comfortable after 4-5 days. As you begin to heal you may experience itchiness, swelling, and some tightness which is completely normal, and for most, subsides within the first few weeks. I typically make the neck skin tight, as a significant amount of improvement is often needed in the neck. By comparison, I do not make the face skin tight, as that is not natural and can appear unfavorable.

In general, facelift incisions heal very nicely. Techniques are used to minimize the scar as much as possible with meticulous care to placement and closing of the incision site, the result being the scar should be very hard to detect once fully healed. You can expect small incision lines that border the front and behind the ears, ending at the margin of the hairline. You may also have a small inconspicuous incision under your chin if extension neck improvement is needed.

Liposuction

General anesthesia, or at a minimum some amount of sedation, is recommended for liposuction procedures for the safety and comfort of patients. Liposuction involves inserting a probe into the treatment area and sucking the excess fat out, and even with local anesthetic the treatment would be at a minimum uncomfortable and possibly intolerable for an awake patient. An awake patient would be aware of the poking and prodding of the probes and cannulas and also would hear the noises of the monitors and suction machine, all of which could cause anxiety and be very difficult to bear awake.

Additionally, the patient needs to be very still during the procedure, which could last for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the number of treatment areas, and it is very difficult for an awake patient not to move no matter how hard they may try to stay still. Awake liposuction also requires significantly more fluid to be infused into the treatment area, and this additional fluid distorts the treatment area, making it more difficult for the surgeon to get precise results.

Liposuction requires fine tuning to get the best results and having the patient in a still, sedated state makes it significantly safer and easier for the surgeon to get the best possible results.

No, fat freezing techniques, also known as Cryolipolysis, is a different technique than liposuction. Cryolipolysis is a non-surgical procedure that uses controlled cooling to freeze fat cells. The frozen fat cells then become crystallized and are naturally eliminated from your body over time, gradually resulting in the diminishment of fat in the area treated. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat from the body using a cannula, or small tube, to suck the fat out of areas of your body that have excess fat. Liposuction allows for more aggressive and complete fat reduction, better contouring more immediate results, and the possibility of simultaneous surgical procedures, such as abdominoplasty or tummy tuck to address the area more completely.

Fat Freezing techniques have less dramatic results compared with liposuction, require many visits, each potentially lasting several hours depending on the number of treatment areas, can result in surface irregularities, and the treatable body part areas is limited by fit of application head and whether bulges are pinchable enough to fit into a cup.

Depending on the number of treatment areas, the cost of treating excess fat with Cryolipolysis can be the same as undergoing Liposuction surgery. Both procedures also have limits if the patient has loose skin, in which case a tummy tuck may be the most beneficial procedure.

The cost of liposuction varies widely from patient to patient depending on the number of treatment areas and amount of fat to be removed. Generally, the cost ranges from $3500 to $7500.

The most frequently treated areas for women are the abdomen, back, flanks (love handles), hips, thighs, and neck. In men, the most commonly treated areas include the chin and neck area, abdomen, flanks (love handles), and breasts.

Deciding between liposuction and a tummy tuck typically comes down to the amount of loose skin you have on the abdominal region.When comparing liposuction with a tummy tuck, it is important to realize that liposuction just removes fat from the area; it does nothing to tighten loose skin. A tummy tuck will remove both the excess fat and excess skin.

Additionally, with liposuction, the scars will be very small, and in most cases, they will quickly fade up the point where they are almost completely invisible.

With a tummy tuck, you will be left with a long, thin scar which can be hidden in the pubic area below the panty line. You should consult a board certified plastic surgeon to determine what procedure or combination of procedures is best for you.

Rhinoplasty

Read our complete rhinoplasty FAQs here