Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | June 20, 2012

Putting Your Best Face Forward

Putting Your Best Face Forward

Surgical and nonsurgical options for the aging face

By Dr. Chip Woodard

Plenty of celebrities (and others less famous) give aesthetic surgery a bad name.

We’re a youth-obsessed culture, and we can all reel off actors and others who have pushed the envelope and wound up with an unnatural appearance after too much plastic surgery.

When patients come to me, I work with them, before anything else, to set realistic goals. If someone in his (yes – plenty of men want an enhanced appearance) or her 50s says to me, “I want to look 21 again,” I’m going to – gently – suggest that’s not possible and shouldn’t even be the goal. It’s not just the skin that ages, as there are also changes in the underlying soft tissue and bony structures that occur.

And aesthetic surgery isn’t always the answer. There are many nonsurgical treatments that work quite well. In many cases, it makes sense to go the minimally invasive route first.

Injections and fillers are a good first step for a patient new to facial rejuvenation. Those nonsurgical procedures are among the hottest areas in my field right now. And with good reason. They’re effective, and patients have a fraction of the downtime associated with traditional face lifts. (With traditional facelifts, patients can expect some swelling and bruising for about two weeks, and then, within about a month, they should see amazing results). With some of the newer, less invasive procedures, patients can return to work or other normal activities almost immediately.

My goal is always for the patient to have a refreshed and balanced appearance. The majority of patients who come to me have that same goal. Most of them say, “I don’t want to look like I’ve had work done.” I don’t want them to, either.

That’s part of why I love working at Duke Raleigh, we’re interested in the best options for the patient. Part of my job during a consultation is to discuss what the patient wants and discuss realistic goals and how to reach them.

Ideally, someone who’s had a nonsurgical or surgical aesthetic procedure should look well-rested and rejuvenated. Many of my patients report that’s exactly what friends tell them. The results should never be drastic.

Aesthetic balance is the hallmark of a successful procedure. The goal of any facial procedure is to match the patient’s expectations with the surgeon’s goals. If those don’t mesh, the patient may be chasing something unattainable. The right surgeon and right expectations can yield very pleasing results.

Find out more about Duke Otolaryngology of Raleigh and the services offered!

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