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With facial issues needing work done and skin tightening, will I have a natural look after the surgery?

Q:

My face seems to have fallen into deep lines on both sides of my mouth creating a sag.  I have a "gaddle"under my chin.  There seems to be a muscle that runs from the center of my lower front teeth down to my voice box (I have had this all of my life).  It seems like the top of my face does not match the bottom.  Can these issues be fixed without having that horrid obvious "done" look?  In other words, will I have a natural look after the surgery?

A:

The problems you mention are typical results of lower facial and neck aging. They are easily corrected by someone skilled in facial rejuvenation. I prefer the newer MACS like facelifts that retain all the fat in the mid face and pulls more straight up instead of back like older facelifts. Other surgeons modify the SMAS facelift and add fat to the face. Either way, you can achieve a natural post operative appearance. See TodaysFacelift.com for examples.

R.T. Buchanan, MD

A:

You correctly point out that aging of the face involves muscles and changes other than skin laxity, so facelift techniques have evolved to address these issues for a more natural look. We think of facelifts as a 3-dimensional operation, which is one of the keys to avoiding the pulled or done look. You should feel comfortable asking specifically about your concerns and expectations when you consult with a plastic surgeon.

R.A. Baxter, MD

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

You can definitely achieve a natural look after facelift/necklift surgery. Discuss your aesthetic concerns with your plastic surgeon and be realistic and you should be able to achieve your goals.

Adrian Lo, MD

A:

Natural Look in Facelifts:

The key element in having a natural look in facelifts is to perform the procedure correctly the first time and that is based on pre-operative analysis and the facelift to do of the deep layers of the facial fat compartments as it has been described.

R.J. Rohrich, MD

A:

Yes, you can have a natural look after well done facial aesthetic surgery, such as face and neck lift.

The features you describe are common among patients having facelifts.  Your question is just the beginning of the process of successful results.  I would advise you formulate additional questions, research experienced local plastic surgeons (through professional and acquaintances), have in-person consultations, review each surgeons photographs.  All this can give you a good idea of the results to anticipate and the surgeon to trust with your procedures.

Many surgeons, myself included, have ample before and after photographs on their websites.  This can be helpful, but personal consultation is best. 

A:

You can most certainly get a natural look with a well performed face lift by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. Your description of yourself is characteristic of the changes seen in facial aging. The deepening of the nasolabial folds and the formation of jowls with banding in the neck are managed very well with the face lifting techniques we use today.

Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon with significant experience in facial aesthetics and go for a consultation. Ask the questions that concern you and look at before and after photos. Make sure the photos you see match the look you like as different surgeons will use differing techniques.

Good luck and I hope this was helpful.

A:

A.: Your concern about looking natural after surgery is shared by almost all of the patients that come for facial rejuvenation. Most patients want to look fresher, not different. The facial changes that you described are typical in aging of the face. It is certainly possible to have a refreshed, yet very natural appearance after well performed facial surgery. The combination of tightening deeper sagging tissue, removing excess skin, contouring bulging fat, and adding appropriate fullness in deficient areas usually produces the nicest cosmetic results. The procedure should be customized for your individual anatomy. The best way to achieve a natural result is to have the procedure performed by an artistic experienced surgeon.

I would suggest that you see a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

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