With a little imagination, and a little poetic license- we can say these are 5 questions you’ll never have to ask. How can we be so sure? Because we’re going to give you the answers right here.
As a San Jose Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, in practice for more than two decades, I’ve seen literally thousands of patients. Each one has a story, and a unique personality and set of problems, wants, or needs. I spend a lot of time with my patients, and come to view them as extensions of my family in a way. I sincerely care for each one of them.
Over the years, I’ve noticed, some patient-generated questions seem to recur. The following, are just a few. They are asked (and answered) in all seriousness. Even if it may strike some as silly- people really want to know.
They ask in a serious fashion, and I give them my best answer.
“IF I GET A RHINOPLASTY, WILL MY FUTURE CHILDREN HAVE MY NEW NOSE SHAPE?”
The short answer is “no.” A Rhinoplasty in San Jose, or anywhere (nose job, nasal surgery), will alter the appearance of your own, fully developed nose. It may correct an injury, or change the nasal features you inherited. The surgery will not affect genetics, and in itself, will have no effect on the appearance of any feature your offspring may inherit. (Remember, the genetic information of your partner will be just as much a factor in your child’s inherited features.)
“DO BREAST IMPLANTS HAVE TO BE CHANGED EVERY 10 YEARS?”
There is no expiration date on breast implants. But – any breast implant can be subject to problems associated with wear, or breakage.
With saline implants (silicone shell filled with salt water solution), the incidence of deflation, or rupture, is about 3 to 4% over a five to ten year period.
With silicone implants (silicone shell filled with silicone gel), the risk of rupture is approximately 1% over the same period; five to ten years.
There is no average lifespan. Implants may remain problem-free and stable for decades, or, they may experience one of the issues just mentioned, within months of placement.
“I’M INTERESTED IN A FACELIFT – THAT WILL REMOVE ALL MY WRINKLES FOREVER, RIGHT?”
This one takes some explaining. First, let’s break down the beginning of the question. A “Facelift” can describe more than one procedure. We usually separate facial surgery into at least 4 zones:
• Do you want a “Mid-Facelift”? This surgery addresses sagging and wrinkling in the cheeks and jawline.
• Are you talking about a “Brow Lift”? This procedure raises the forehead, addressing deep wrinkling, and lifts the browline (above the eyes).
• Do you need an “Eyelid Lift”? This procedure, also known as Blepharoplasty, removes excess skin and fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids, and tightens the skin and muscle in these areas.
• Is it a “Neck Lift” you’re seeking? A neck lift is designed to tighten the loose skin in that area, eliminating the so-called ‘turkey neck’ appearance, and adds definition to the chin and jawline.
Any one of these surgical procedures will give you improvement in the specific areas described. It is possible to combine several surgical procedures, and we do it often. If it’s advisable, based on your health, and your cosmetic goals, you may have a combination of these procedures within the same, single surgical session.
And, as to the other part of the question: “Will my wrinkles be gone forever?” Your most noticeable wrinkles will be gone, perhaps for years. Surgery may eliminate the look of years, but does not prevent your skin from continuing to age and change.
Fine wrinkles or lines may remain, as well as discoloration, or sun damage. For these problems, patients often elect to use fillers, Botox, skin resurfacing through laser or chemical peel, and use of skin creams. These are additional remedies you may explore.
“WITH THE RIGHT EXERCISE PROGRAM (AND DIET), CAN I TIGHTEN THE LOOSE SKIN ON MY FACE AND BODY?”
A good diet and exercise program will give you great health benefits, and will help tone and yes, tighten up different areas of your body. BUT, (and, as you can see, that’s a big ‘but’) once skin tone is lost, there is really no good treatment for appreciable tightening, short of surgery.
Skin elasticity and muscle tone. We wish we could bottle them. Lots of people claim they have. But, you need to examine the degree of their effectiveness. Creams, lotions, concentrated workouts- all have their place, and some effects, like a smoother skin surface, smaller pores, diminished look of fine lines – or, more pronounced muscle appearance in your tummy, thighs, etc.
Unfortunately, sometimes your abdominal muscles won’t “tighten up” after pregnancy, no matter how many sit-ups you do. And, if you have noticeable jowls, or draping skin hanging from your neck, creams and exercises won’t make them snap back. Various procedures, including tummy tuck, neck or facelift, and even chin and jawline implants could be warranted for improvement in these cases.
“I THINK IT’S TIME TO HAVE SOME PLASTIC SURGERY. SHOULD I ‘DIP MY TOES’ OR, JUST ‘DIVE IN’”?
People asking this question want to know if it’s advisable to address all of their concerns, with multiple procedures, and preferably in one surgery session, or, is it better to start small, and tackle one thing at a time?
There’s really no right or wrong answer for this question. It truly does depend on the situation. If you want to have multiple procedures, and are comfortable with the risks and the costs, you may combine several different procedures into one surgical session. (Tummy Tuck & Lipo, Face & Neck lift with Eyelid Lift, etc.)
The necessary factors for this choice include being in good health, getting an opinion from your regular medical doctor in addition to your plastic surgeon, and also understanding that there are limits as to how much can be done at one time.
If you are more cautious, and want to proceed conservatively, you certainly may choose one procedure at a time. Beginning with a non-surgical treatment (injectables, Zerona,etc.), may be a good first step.
As I mentioned at the start, all questions are good ones. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with considerable experience, has probably heard a question very much like yours before- whatever it is! Hearing how it’s answered, should be one of your factors in deciding which doctor is right for you.
[Dr. Vincent Lepore and his experienced staff, are happy to answer all of your Cosmetic procedure-related questions. Call 408-356-4241, to schedule your free Cosmetic Consultation.]