Just as recent as fifteen years ago, the menu available in the facial rejuvenation arena was limited, and the “face-lift” or “combined forehead and face-lift” surgery through a wide open incision technique was often the best or the only option. However in this era of definitely proven “targeted” surgical methods as well as “non-surgical” methods for facial rejuvenation, some of which have even received the golden seal of “FDA” approval , the patients have so much choices in terms of how much improvement is desired over which specific area, over how long of a recovery period, over what budget. But what is clearly important is that the patients no longer wish to transform their face into someone they never were from their cosmetic rejuvenation procedure; they simply wish to look their best and more youthful and well-rested, while maintaining their self-image. No matter how extensive the rejuvenation process, Dr. Kang will always attempt to achieve this “natural look” simply because this has always been his philosophy of performing cosmetic rejuvenation procedures.
When a patient comes in for a consultation for rejuvenation procedure, many still feel that a face-lift surgery is the “panacea” procedure to making everyone looking ten years younger. In many instances, this may not be the case. The traditional face and neck lift surgery has been mainly designed to improve the jowling along the jaw-line and improve the aging appearance of the neck. It is ideal for a patient who has classic oval facial shape where the lower face bony features are not too wide and who still retain adequate soft tissue volume of the cheeks. For patients who experience early deflation of the cheeks due to volume loss, lipo-transfer or dermal filler needs to be considered at the time of face lift surgery. Quite often, patients can look great with just lipo-transfer or dermal filler procedure alone if their jaw-line and neck is still youthful in appearance. In those patients who experience mid-facial sagging, mid-face lift alone or mid-face lift along with face-lift may be a better option. Finally, for many patients who have relatively wide lower facial bony features and thicker skin, as many patients of Asian descent do, it has been Dr. Kang’s observation that while the neck lift is beneficial, the face lift provides minimal aesthetic gain other than going through the motion of surgery. Even worse, sometimes the posterior sweep behind the ear, as part of multi-directional pull during facelift, can render them appearing awkward due to gaining a “wind-swept” look.
In order to evaluate how and what rejuvenation surgery can be beneficial for the patient, first a comprehensive consultation should be done to see which and to what degrees, the three main problems of aging process have set in. These are the:
- sagging of forehead (upper 1/3), mid-face (middle 1/3), and jaw-line and neck (lower 1/3)
- deflation of the facial volume from loss of collagen and fat; and, finally
- aging and sun-exposure changes of skin.The degree of aging changes in these three respective areas can truly vary from individual to individual; and, depends on multiple reasons, some of which include your genetical pre-disposition to facial aging pattern, your ethnic make-up, your bony foundation and thickness of skin, and finally based on how well you have taken care of yourself in terms of avoiding excessive sun exposure, vices and stresses in life, as well as nutritionally.
For patients who are looking for long-term surgical improvements, the appropriate surgical option(s), usually using minimal invasive techniques, are recommended, sometimes, combined with non-surgical procedures, to provide the most natural “non-surgerized” look with recovery time usually no more than a week to ten days, no matter how extensive the surgery proposed. Quite often, especially for patients who have only a weekend to recover or for patients visiting from out of state, “Weekend Makeover” is offered which addresses all three areas of sagging, volume loss, and wrinkling all on the same day, in matter of hours. (Please refer to the Non-Surgical Procedure section for more information). Very often, these patients can go out to dinner on the same night without any hesitations whatsoever, and perhaps even receive a complement or two on their improved appearance.
At the time of consultation, Dr. Kang will carefully evaluate your facial aging pattern, and depending on what your goals are, advise you the most appropriate and best combination of procedures tailored to your needs.