7 questions every woman should ask
You’re ready to talk to a facial cosmetic surgeon about how getting older is changing how you look. Whether it’s to address those first signs of lines and wrinkles, or to discuss more severe loose and sagging skin in your face and neck, heavy/droopy eyelids, or sun-damaged skin, you’re ready to learn more about your options to look better and feel better about yourself.
Before you go for your consultation (which, by the way, we feel should be complimentary), take time to organize your thoughts and have your questions ready.
We suggest you talk to several different cosmetic surgeons and ask each of them these seven questions.
(1) How do you determine what is best for me?
An experienced facial cosmetic surgeon will look at you as the unique individual you are. Every person’s face, skin condition, facial symmetry, overall health and lifestyle are different; there’s no one solution that suits everyone. Whatever procedure the surgeon might recommend should be highly personalized to you.
(2) What is your philosophy for improving a woman’s face as she ages?
If you are the type of woman who’s looking for a refreshed, improved “younger-you” appearance, and the surgeon is talking about glamour and Hollywood-style makeovers, you may be in the wrong place. Discuss in detail your idea of beauty and what you find attractive. Go with your gut to find the doctor who’s on the same page with you. You’ll know it when you’re talking to the right surgeon.
(3) How long will I need to take off from work and physical activities after facial cosmetic surgery?
Get specific here. Tell the surgeon exactly what your work, family and other demands are in life so that your procedure can be scheduled to prevent any surprises or disappointment. Demand the surgeon and his or her staff be honest about healing times. Set realistic expectations for yourself. In other words, don’t wait until the last minute –– before a wedding, college reunion, start of a new job, etc. –– to have a surgical procedure. Even though today’s minimally invasive procedures are much faster to heal than in the past, you still need to allow adequate time for recovery and best results.
(4) Will people know I had surgery?
The goal of most women who have had a facial cosmetic procedure is for friends and family to wonder why they look so good, but without knowing for sure they’ve had any “work done”. At Dr. Robert J. Smyth’s office, we tell women who schedule the minimally invasive Timeless Lift™ (lifts and removes excess, sagging skin in the lower face and neck) to give themselves a good week to 10 days to recover. Sutures are removed at eight days post-procedure after which you can pull down a few pieces of hair to hide the very thin incision line in front of the ear. Once the sutures have healed over (at about two weeks post-procedure), you can dot the skinny incision line with makeup to hide the pinkish color which gradually fades away.
(5) How long will the results last?
As the patient, you have a definite role in how long your results last. For the minimally invasive Timeless Lift, results will typically last six to 10 years if you protect your skin from sun abuse, stop smoking, eat a nutritious diet, maintain a fairly consistent weight, and live a healthy lifestyle. Results for laser resurfacing, which is performed to improve the quality of sun-damaged and finely-lined skin, will usually last six to 10 years. Results from an upper or lower eyelid lift can last 10 years or longer.
(6) What kind of anesthesia do you use?
Choice of anesthesia will vary by the surgeon. Dr. Smyth performs all facial cosmetic surgical procedures –– the Timeless Lift, upper and lower eyelid lifts, laser facial resurfacing, brow lifts, and chin implants –– with the patient having only local anesthesia during the procedure combined with some relaxation medicine pre-procedure. Patients are kept entirely comfortable throughout the procedure and are spared the longer recovery, costs and risks associated with general anesthesia. Other surgeons may still use general anesthesia. Ask the surgeon his or her preference and “why” they choose that method.
(7) Can I see photos of “your” work and/or talk to prior patients?
You have every right to want to see the surgeon’s own artistry – not just photos of models. However, remember that the choice to have cosmetic surgery is typically a very personal and private decision. Understandably, the majority of patients do not want their before and after photos shared, especially via the surgeon’s website or social media. That being said, some patients are very happy to share their experience with you by a phone call or email.