When is plastic surgery appropriate for teenagers?
There are plastic surgery operations that are appropriate for patients at any age of life, be it young or old. In fact, certain procedures are indicated or best done if the patient is younger rather than older. Some of this helps avoid emotional scars from teasing by classmates and friends at an early age. An example of this is the ear tuck (otoplasty). A child with prominent ears usually is very aware that the ears are unusual. A parent can be sure that by the time the child mentions it they have already felt some of the criticism just mentioned. It is currently normal to perform the ear tuck operation before a child starts full-time in school, but is old enough to cooperate in the recovery period.
Another example would be a rhinoplasty (nose surgery). Many teenagers have their nose operation after they have finished their growth. This then allows them to finish high school and enter college feeling very good about themselves and confident in their appearance. Just as a person would not let his/her vision go uncorrected, or their dental work untreated, there are certain operations in plastic surgery that are best done for the young person. However, there are other procedures that are really best delayed until an older age unless circumstances are just right. These differences can best be explained by a consultation visit and a discussion with Dr. Lipton.
What Is Ear Tuck (Otoplasty)?
The operation is done in the operation room with the patient asleep. It generally takes several hours. There is a bandage after surgery to protect and pad the ears. This will be worn for a week. To prepare for the surgery and get ready for the recovery period, the patient should obtain several headbands that will cover the ears for protection after the surgical dressing is removed. These can be the type that is used for winter sports such as skiing or the type that ladies wear for fashion accessories. The ears will be protected for approximately 6 weeks after surgery to prevent an accidental brush coming from behind and tugging the ears forward.
Hearing is not affected by this surgery. For adults considering otoplasty, more flexibility is possible. Often the surgery can be done under local anesthesia in the office. This helps keep the cost down because otoplasty is considered cosmetic surgery if done for an adult. Also, bandaging is not as extensive for adults as they are less vigorous than children.
What kind of results can I expect and how long will they last?
A deformed, crooked nose cannot be made straight but can be made much straighter. Every person who has surgery should realize that their surgical results will be a marvelous improvement and also that all people are a little different from one side of the body to the other so that no result can be absolutely perfect. In case you are interested, start looking at the faces in magazines, or even better some of their candid shots, and it will be surprising how many of these supposedly perfect images carry flaws when closely examined. The permanence of results varies with surgery performed and the patient. A person who has his/her nose corrected would expect the results to be permanent. Of course, if they have an injury, all of this could change.
Eyelid surgery will keep the puffiness from returning, but every now and then a few fine wrinkles or “crow’s feet” will show up many years down the road. These can often be corrected with a much smaller surgery. In fact, that pretty much sums up the nature of what a patient can expect. By initially reshaping and optimizing the foundations, any touch-ups that are needed, either early or years later, are simpler, less extensive and less costly.
If a man is planning liposuction around the middle, the operation can take just as long as it does for a lady but recovery can be shorter. Usually, there is less swelling if the area for treatment is limited to the middle and does not include the hips, thighs or knees. Since men have not had the muscle stretch associated with children, the tummy tuck for a man requires removal of loose, hanging skin and not muscle reconstruction. Most men having this have had large weight gain and weight loss so there usually is a lot of tissue for removal and recovery for this is just as long or longer than for the ladies.
Is Plastic Surgery Different For Men?
Around the eyes, men are trying to get rid of lower eyelid puffiness and upper eyelid drooping. Again cosmetics are not their goal. The men want to look rested and healthy. As a note of caution, many men have a less well-developed idea of just exactly what they want from surgery. This has led many plastic surgeons to be extremely cautious when dealing with the male patient.
In our practice, the solution to this seems simple. Have the necessary consultation, use several preliminary visits to really define the goals and then avoid the over operated look. While plastic surgery is no guarantee that a man will get that big promotion, it can help leave a person looking young and physically fit. No doubt the first impression is very much made by a person’s appearance.
How long until I can get back to work?
If intense pain is experienced, this indicates the need to see the doctor for evaluation. It can signal the start of an infection or the presence of bleeding. More than pain, it takes a bit longer for the patient to get used to the change in his/her appearance of body image and become comfortable with that change. Patients will often protect or guard this area for much longer than the pain exists until a change is incorporated into their everyday lives.
How long will it take?
First, and most important, is the preparation for any type of surgery. It is imperative that the surgeon knows the patient well, including the patient’s likes and dislikes. A person’s medical history is very important, even in plastic surgery. For example, a person taking just one aspirin a day for the health of his/her heart can have an increased chance of bruising or difficult bleeding after surgery.
As for the time actually spent operating, many people are surprised to learn that the plastic surgery procedures typically take hours, rather than minutes of the surgeon’s time. When patients stop to think about that, they are usually reassured after they discover just how many steps of surgery will be hidden beneath a fine line of surgical scarring.
Despite the hours in surgery, many patients can go home the same day. If the surgery will be long or the recovery a bit difficult, we urge the patient to stay overnight. This isn’t routine or available everywhere. The surgical recovery, while initially rapid and allowing the person to return to work, really takes months to develop and refine the final result. Bruising and swelling are usually gone between one and two weeks. Depending on the type of job a person has, this will allow them to return to work quickly. There is seldom severely restrictive recovery preventing a person’s return to usual employment. No doubt most people take much longer than this to incorporate the surgical result and its care into their routine lifestyle. A person is justifiably cautious in this early period to protect their good result. I, for one, am certainly glad about that! The swelling will usually be gone in a few weeks. However, refinement in procedures like liposuction and nose surgery will take months to finally show themselves.
How much surgery should I have at once?
What can plastic surgery do for me?
Many patients say that children have asked them if they feel sad or angry before surgery. We intend to eliminate those comments. Be aware that friends may not realize that surgery has been done. No doubt they will suspect some change, but may initially ask if a patient has had a new hairstyle or a change in makeup. Some people will ask if the patient has lost weight. This may even happen if the surgery has involved the face and neck area. Think of it as a little change on the outside that can lead to a big change on the inside.
No doubt what is on the inside is really most important. But we also know what is on the outside can have a direct impact on how a person feels about themselves, and how other people will react to a person. Your surgery should improve your appearance without drawing attention to itself. Remember, the idea is not to create the new nose, but rather to improve or enhance the one you have and want to have.
Is there “plastic” in plastic surgery?
What does Dr. Lipton actually do?
Patients are always evaluated completely, both medically and surgically. It is determined if the surgery will actually help the patient or is unnecessary. Is the patient a good candidate because he/she is medically health? Should the patient change or improve anything before surgery: weight, smoking, hair or teeth? The surgery always involves a cut in the skin to allow for trimming or shaping. This means there will always be a scare somewhere. The scars are planned to be hidden after healing is complete. They are camouflage with makeup or hair.
Despite what you hear from the cosmetic industry, there is no potion, cream or medicine that can shrink the skin back to its youthful contour. Psychology Today magazine did a study which showed that a lot of people feel that Mother Nature could have done a better job. People approach this just as they would any other physical problem that they might be born with: like crooked teeth, lousy eyesight or poor hearing. Can you imagine a nearsighted person refusing to get glasses because they are “unnatural” Have you ever heard of someone boast that their crooked teeth give them “character?” Do you have any friends who tell you that their hearing problem is part of their “personality?”
What about my spouse?
It is best if the spouse knows in advance, because they WILL know eventually! Remember, it is difficult to achieve balance as a spouse. Think of these conversations.
Me: “How about cosmetic surgery, dear?” Spouse: “Excellent idea, I have been meaning to suggest it. I can’t wait.” (trying to be supportive) Thought: He doesn’t like me as I am.
Now consider that conversation versus this one.
Me: “How about plastic surgery, dear?” Spouse: “Oh no! I love you the way you are.” (Trying to be supportive) Thought: He won’t let me be all I can be.
Am I too young or too old for plastic surgery?
Young (age 7) – Ear Tuck (Otoplasty) is the correction of protruding ears typically done around the first grade before the child is subject to criticism from his/her classmates.
Teenage (14-18) – Rhinoplasty, the correction of a nasal deformity, is often done in the teenage years, once the growth is completed and the patient’s appearance will be maximally improved. For some people this is about the time their braces come off their teeth.
Early Adult (30s – 40s) – Tummy tucks are often done after the family is completed and there are no more children expected. Liposuction is also popular.
Middle Aged (40s) – Eyelids (Blepharoplasty) are corrected just as the baggy tissue begins to form around the eyelids. This is usually when it becomes difficult to apply makeup.
The 50’s – The average age for a facelift (Rhytidectomy) has changed to the early 50’s. This way the early results are most noticeable and later touch ups are small.
Why have plastic surgery in this area?
Here are five good reasons to have plastic surgery in the area.
- Quality: Fully accredited operating room (“not office”). Highly trained medical staff in all phases of surgery and recovery.
- Friendly: names and faces you know or can easily find out about. Easily available when you need them.
- Convenient: Not just the day of surgery, but the night or weekend after. For example, what if immediate attention is needed. Office appointments suit the working schedule as well.
- Cost Effective: Our surgery center has lower prices for cosmetic surgery because of lower overhead. A major consideration is the patient’s own valuable time, especially travel for follow-up visits. We intend to be lower in price than in larger cities. If we are not, tell us. There must be a reason.
- Discrete: If you wish or need even if the surgery is done close to home.