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I’m in my fifties and I often ask myself: Where would I go for “My Face lift”  ? It should not have been a difficult question to answer. There are many qualified plastic surgeons around, especially in Beverly Hills, that are specialized in facial rejuvenation. You would think that for a plastic surgeon, it would be easier to pick the best one around. Who better then a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon would know who is the best in town? As a plastic surgeon, we know what is going on behind closed doors. We know what to look for.Like for celebrities, you would assume that a famous movie star would know where to go. Why, though, there are so many major movie stars that look “done”? have they not used ” the best in town”? Why it has been so difficult for me? who should I go to? Is the most expensive plastic surgeon in town the best? Hard to tell, he does not even have a website to show his results. Is the one all over the Internet on the first page of google, the best? I don’t thing so, it’s only means that he is very astute with marketing. Are about the one who has been featured on the reality show? Well, maybe  it is just good PR! And the professor of a big university center? Does he really operate a lot or he is around the world giving lectures? Are about the good looking one, he is very popular! Well, let’s face it, some is the success is due to “his look”, can I really trust him?! There is the other one who is really affable and he has good manners! Yes, but is he a good surgeon?

I really don’t have an answer about all these questions. Maybe I know too much! So I started acting like I was a regular patient , got on the Internet and started searching. What I was looking for? Definitely pre-operative and post- operative pictures! It may sounds a bit snobbish but I was disappointed about my search. Even the most well known plastic surgeons did not show very impressive results, and considering that what we put on the website should be our best work, I was not impressed at all.  Yes, their credentials were fantastic with  absolutely incredible media exposure and great information about the procedure along with really positive feed backs from previous patients, but the before and after? so, so.

So where will I go for my face lift? I don’t know yet. In the mean time, for all the reasons I mentioned before, I was flattered when another plastic surgeon in town had chosen me to do her face lift: I like to think she has done her home work!

PS: the only other option that would have not hurt my ego is that she had picked me for “The look”!

Less is more: the latest trend in plastic surgery in Beverly Hills among celebrities is to do less but at an earlier age. Celebrities can not afford to look “different” and that is the reason why they tend to do smaller, less invasive  procedures as earlier as mid or late thirties. One of the favor of celebrities plastic surgery is a newer face lift technique that can be done under local anesthesia. Face lift under local anesthesia has instantly become a hit among celebrities for two reasons: one is because the recuperation time is shorter and there are less risks involved because there is no general anesthesia . Second, and most important for celebrities, there are in control of the degree of rejuvenation. How? Because the face lift is under local anesthesia and the patient is awake, it is possible for celebrities to check on the mirror at the time of the operation how pulled or tight the skin is and decide accordingly. Like celebrities are actively involved in photo shopping their images for the press, similarly they like to get involved in their face lift surgery. Too many times carriers have been ruined by bad or too tight surgery and in this fashion, celebrities feel they have their own destiny in their hands. It is very important that the plastic surgeon is familiar with this time of technique because it is more time consuming and requires experience in dealing very delicately with tissues in order to minimize bruising and swelling which is so vital for celebrities. I use this technique much more often then before and I find it an essential tool to minimize down time and meet celebrity’s expectations. Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable to be able to do an extensive face and neck procedure under local and to this time most of the procedures done under local are minilift where the undermining of the skin is minimal. In my opinion, patients are under the wrong impression that the less you do it the more natural is going to look. Nothing further from truth: if the face lift has an horizontal vector no matter how minimal  the face lift  is , it is always going to look  “pulled”!  it is the vertical vector the key of delivering a natural result! A few years ago I could not deliver the same result under local anesthesia, now with the recent development of this technique I can. I would say that I have to thank my celebrities patients that have pushed me into doing the unimaginable but still under safer conditions then before

Questions that I get asked frequently is ” How long a face lift last?”  and ” How many times would I have to repeat it?” Also “Can a person  have too many face lift?” and most importantly ” How Can I avoid that ” pulled” or “done” look? and ” Do I need a face lift?”.

Let’s start saying that nobody “needs” a face lift. Paraphrasing an old Harvard Professor, ” Does anybody need Beethoven?”. We do not need to listen to Beethoven music but some of us enjoy doing just  that.  So the “need” of  a face lift is a personal choice, something that should come from inside yourself and it should not be an “imposed” decision. It is true that there are a myriad of reasons why patients like to look younger from being more competitive at work to restart a fresh life with a new companion etc.. and there are all valid, but again you should do it for yourself, not to pleased somebody else.

Traditionally a well “done” face lift should set back the clock about 10-15 years, but the clock does not stop clicking so you will continue to age differently according to your genetic background, your diet, your habits ( smoking-drinking,excercise, etc) etc.. but the most important thing to remember is that you are going to keep that age gap you acquired by doing a face  lift for the rest of your life. So, for example, at fifty-five you are going to look in your early forty, etc.etc.. So you will continue to look younger that your age even if you will  not  do any other surgical procedure ever.

“Can I have too many face lift’s?” the answer is :”you can have too many bad face lift’s! ” and” Even  one is too much if is not done well! “I can not underscore the importance of delivering a natural result in the first effort. Most face lift have an horizontal vector of pull and no volume replacement versus the vertical vector implemented in my technique along with a “volumization” of the deeper layers that gives a more youthful look. Now, in face lift revisions or second time face lifts the volume and vector are even more important in order to  avoid or correct the previous pitfalls and errors. A separate issue are the old scars that needs to be revised to avoid  the “tell tell”signs of previous surgery.

Facelift surgery is a blend of art ,cutting-edge techniques ,state of the art technologies  and a personal sense of beauty: all the factors are equally important in the ever challenging equation of  “beauty making”.