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Steven J. Pearlman, MD, FACS Dual Board Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery

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Getting a Facelift? What You Should Know

Facelifts, or rhytidectomies, are popular cosmetic procedures that remove wrinkles, sagging and a general tired look from the face. Performed by a skillful cosmetic surgeon, While a facelift won’t make you look like your own daughter, if performed by a skilled surgeon, you’ll look years younger.

Steps to Getting a Perfect Facelift

Consult local cosmetic surgeons who have performed numerous facelift procedures. Make sure your surgeon speicalizes in cosmetic surgery for the face. A good plastic surgeon will explain the procedure, preparation, recovery, and potential complications. He will also discuss payment options with you and determine if you’re a good candidate for surgery. If you are, he’ll take your photograph and schedule surgery.

There’s some preparation on your part that you will need to make to have the best facelift experience.

Do you smoke? Time to quit. If you take blood thinning medications or supplements that could interfere with the healing process, you will need to stop taking them, but only under your doctor’s supervision. Discuss all medications and supplements with you plastic surgeon and family doctor before going in for any surgical procedure.

During surgery, your surgeon will comb back your hair and hold it back with a rubber band. Depending on what you and your plastic surgeon decide, you will go under a sedative and local anesthesia (applied to the areas where the incisions will be made) or under general anesthesia (most plastic surgeons prefer this method).

Your surgeons will make small incisions around your temples, ears and lower part of your scalp in an irregular fashion to reduce scarring. He will then create a skin flap and remove or move around fat and tissue under the skin. Your facial muscles will be raised and the skin will be fitted over your newly sculpted face. He will then remove the excess skin and close the incisions using glue or sutures.

Performed by a skilled surgeon, scarring will be minimal and well hidden; they may even appear to be natural lines around the face.

After your facelift procedure, your surgeon will remind you of how to perform self-care during recovery, including pain management, caring for surgical incisions, and when you can return to your normal routine. You will also schedule follow-up appointments to check on progress, manage any post-surgical complications that may arise, and take more photographs for comparison.

Though it might be a while before you see the amazing results of your facelift, like the great majority of patients, you will enjoy your more youthful face and smile when people assume you’re your daughter’s older sister.


Copyright 2012. As licensed to Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery. All rights reserved

Skin care, Botox, Facial Plastic Surgery in New York

Whats your New Years’ Resolution? Love Your Face

It’s the New Year and we are all filled with resolutions about how we will eat better, drink more fluids, exercise and take better care of our bodies. Unfortunately, even if that takes place, nothing will firm up your face or prevent the effects of gravity. Of course using sunblock daily, eating well and avoiding smoking will help but nothing can reverse facial aging. As I tell my patients, gravity sucks.

The face ages in 5 ways, we each go through it. Treatment choices depend on your priorities, tolerance and financial means.                           

Facial Aging Treatment
  • Skin changes: red and brown spots, wrinkles
  • Lasers, peels, skin care
  • Loss of volume
  • Fillers
  • Dynamic lines
  • Relax muscles: Botox, Dysport
  • Loss of Elasticity
  • Surgery
  • Gravity
  • Surgery

You can start small with good home skin care and light office peels. My patients love the myBody myPROBIOTIC PEELTM peel that our office nurse Christine Ross does.

If you “Like” my page on Facebook you may qualify to win a complementary peel.

Other minimally invasive treatments that can be done right in the office chair are fillers and Botox or Dysport. In 20 minutes you can knock off three of the 5 causes of aging. There is really no such thing as a “non-surgical” facelift but many patients can look great with peels Botox and fillers.

Surgery is the next step and can be read about on my website. 

Tip of the week: Exercise, hydration and good nutrition can make your body look younger but doesn’t help your face.

Facelifts in NYC

Facelifts, what works best: more highlights from the Multi-Speciality Foundation for Facial Plastic Surgery 6th Annual Meeting

New York, NY, There were so many world authorities at this meeting that my head was spinning. One of the more interesting panels and set of presentations was on facelift surgery. Just when you think that most people agree on something there is a panel of recognized experts with a vast array of differing opinions on facelifts. The most senior was Dr. Bruce Connell, who taught or at least influenced many of the most accomplished facelift surgeons and teachers with his bi-plane, bi-directional  extended SMAS facelift. He was supported by one of his former students and now a superior teacher in his own right, Dr. Timothy Marten. Other facelift ideas were presented by the inventor of the MACS facelift, Dr. Patrick Tonnard from Belgium, Dr. William Little with totally new ideas on vertical SMAS lifting and Dr. Gaylon McCullough with an excellent perspective from his many years performing and teaching facial plastic surgery.  The outstanding statement of the meeting came from Dr. Little; when asked about his SMAS technique as a departure from the rest, he prefaced his answer by stating that he needed to watch what he said since he shared the podium with the “SMAS mafia.”

What did I take from this panel? There are many ways to perform a facelift. Most agreed that the SMAS needs to be addressed in all patients. For most, the more aggressive surgeons get with the SMAS, such as deeper plane facelifts may last longer but are technically more difficult to perform. Facelifts also need to be individualized.

As with noses, there isn’t one facelift operation that fits all. A simple short scar facelift with a few sutures in the SMAS may be easy, fast and can be done under local anesthesia and even mass marketed by national companies under catchy names, but doesn’t last for patients with more advanced facial sagging. I find myself in discussions with other plastic and facial plastic surgeons, who state, “Wow, you really do a deep plane facelift?” It takes longer and patient recovery is longer but the results are superior and the results last longer

In summary: there are a number of ways to perform a facelift. A more comprehensive the procedure such as the deep plane facelift may take longer to perform and take longer to heal from, but the results last longer. Steven J. Pearlman, M.D.,F.A.C.S.

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