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Surgery Combinations, Turning Back The Clock

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Surgery Combinations, Turning Back The Clock
July 27
05:44 2016

Time may be a good healer, but it might not be the best esthetician; and where Mother Nature slows down, plastic surgeons are picking up the pace – allowing you to put your best face forward.

According to Dr. David Ellis, a facial plastic surgeon at the Art of Facial Surgery clinic and a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, at the University of Toronto, there are cosmetic procedures that are beneficial when performed together. S-lift, smart lifting and platysmaplasty are often a perfect combination to give a patient a more comprehensive rejuvenation in one period of downtime.

“Each surgical procedure does something different,” Dr. Ellis explained. “S-lift suspends the jowls, smart lifting heats up the skin to create a shrink effect on the skin, and platysmaplasty improves the cords in the neck.”

S-lift takes its name from the S-shaped incisions that are made in front of the ear. The skin and underlying tissues are then lifted to create a more esthetic look. According to Dr. Ellis, in some cases, S-lift may be a good alternative to a conventional facelift, which is a more invasive surgery with a longer period of downtime.

“So when we start to get into facelift surgery, it’s much more extensive. Lasts longer? Yes. But what happens, we usually do it in older people with a fair amount of sag.”

Dr. Ellis noted that S-lift is mostly effective for women with a moderate level of sagging of the lower face and indistinct jowls, and jaw lines.

“You can think of it as a jowl suspension operation,” Dr. Ellis said. “And we do this in younger people, and we also do this in people that have had previous face lifts and continue to age, and want a little bit of a tuck-up.”

Surgery Combinations, Turning Back The Clock

Surgery Combinations, Turning Back The Clock

S-lift is of additional benefit to the patient when combined with smart lifting. A laser technique that induces collagen by heating up the skin, smart lifting tightens your lower face and neck with minimal invasion.

“One of the aspects of doing smart lifting is the fact that we can elevate the skin off the deeper layers without much bleeding, diminishing the amount of bruising – meaning, they [patients] will recover much faster,”

Dr. Ellis said, mentioning that smart lifting can also be applied to the jowl area to melt fat, pull up the skin and remove residual skin by heating it up. Though smart lifting can be very beneficial to your neck, unfortunately, it cannot hide the muscles of platysma. Platysma muscles, or the two cords going up and down the neck, are becoming more prominent with age, contributing to a much older look.

“So what we do during the surgery, we actually sew these two cords together, and call it the platysmaplasty, and go in behind the ear, go down and pull the back part (that platysma muscle) up to give them a nice neck line,” Dr. Ellis explained. “And that’s really important because that’s basically what they [patients] want.”

According to Dr. Ellis, platysmaplasty can be successfully applied to women of different ages. “We do platysmaplasty any time we see the cords on the front of the neck. That could be in the mid-forties all the way up to seventy.”

Like any surgery, respective S-lift, smart lifting and platysmaplasty procedures may pose a potential risk. For example, if an S-lift is performed incorrectly, there can be complications, ranging from bruising, salivary leaks, to damage to facial nerves.

Patients can also develop a collection of blood under the flap. In this case, a doctor will put a needle in the area to tease out the blood or take the patient to the operating room if the collection is too big. This complication can also occur as a result of platysmaplasty. Platysma muscles can also get lumpy, but this unevenness flattens out shortly. According to Dr. Ellis, the scar from the surgery behind the ear can have some lumps too, however, in four to six weeks, it can be injected with a special solution to even it out. To minimize risk and possible complications, Dr. Ellis always checks his patients’ blood pressure and runs a blood test before doing any surgical procedure.

Surgery Combinations, Turning Back The Clock

Surgery Combinations, Turning Back The Clock

For women over 40, he conducts cardiograms to ensure they are in good health to undergo surgery. Dr. Ellis emphasized it’s very important to know whether the patient is taking any medication.

“We are worried about what sort of medicine they take, especially with over-the-counter medicines like vitamin E, like aspirin, like Ginkgo – those are, perhaps, the three worst ones that make people bruise after a surgery and can get into complications, such as hematoma, which is the collection of blood under the flap.”

Smokers willing to tune up their appearance should also be careful as their microcirculation is different than of those who don’t smoke, and the surgery could lead to necrosis (dead cells of the skin), as well as scarring. Drinking alcohol before the surgery is also a bad idea, as it can lead to bleeding. If all the precautions are taken and no complications occur, a patient won’t experience any major discomfort, except for some tightness in the face and neck for approximately five days following the surgery.

As most swelling usually happens in the first 48 hours after the procedure, the doctor may prescribe Tylenol 3 to help soothe possible pain and discomfort. Dr. Ellis assured that in 90 per cent of his patients who have this type of procedure, 10 days later they can go back to work; and because everything looks natural, nobody can tell they had cosmetic surgery.

“Basically what happens, even though they had jowls and they are gone, people don’t recognize that [the] jowls have disappeared,” Dr. Ellis explained. “If they have a lot of fat under their neck and we have done liposuction, smart lifting and the neck lift, they notice that the neck contour is different.”

Dr. Ellis emphasized that the longevity of the surgery depends on how a patient heals and their genetics. Generally, someone can have successful results for up to eight years before considering doing another procedure. Though plastic surgery can help you come closer to the ideal image of yourself and turn back the hands of time, it is important to have realistic expectations for any cosmetic procedure. Educating yourself on the available options and finding a certified facial plastic surgeon may be your first step towards boosting your self-confidence and bringing a positive change into your life.

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