Facial plastic surgery by Dr. Gallo includes invasive and minimally invasive procedures such as rhinoplasty, facelift, blepharoplasty, otoplasty and more. Read the guide below on facial plastic surgery to learn more.
Our faces are our calling cards to the world. If there’s something that bothers you every time you look in the mirror, you probably feel like it bothers everyone you meet. Wanting to improve our looks and delay the onset of aging is a part of being human, so why not indulge those impulses? Facial plastic surgery is one of the most effective and long-lasting ways to do just that.
Facial plastic surgery refers to any cosmetic surgery performed on the areas of the face or neck. It encompasses an incredibly broad range of procedures that can be as minor as a short round of liposuction, as major as a full facelift and everything in between. If you’re thinking about enhancing your looks this way, you should start looking into different medical practices to see which one might be right for you. While generally plastic surgeons have gained training in facial plastic surgery in addition to other areas of the body, there are surgeons who specialize and are solely trained in facial procedures and have dedicated their entire careers to it.
If this is something you’re seriously considering, below you’ll find a list of some of the most common facial plastic surgery procedures currently practiced. Each section offers details not only on the surgery itself, but what patients can expect before, during and after the operation.
Nose Job (Rhinoplasty)
The goal of a rhinoplasty is to reshape or reconstruct the nose. There are numerous benefits to this procedure, both cosmetic and medical, so patients may opt to undergo it for a variety of different reasons. Rhinoplasty can help reconstruct nasal passages after trauma, enabling the patient to regain functionality. They are also commonly used to smooth out unsightly bumps or other imperfections a patient may want to correct.
Deviated septums remain one of the most common motivating factors resulting in the decision to undergo rhinoplasty, and is usually evidenced externally by a bump on the bridge of the nose. The nasal septum is comprised of the bone and cartilage that serve to separate the airway passages in the nasal cavity, and when it is misaligned, it can cause breathing difficulty and other problems. Rhinoplasty reconstructs the septum to correct this issue so the patient can breathe normally and avoid future issues like sinus problems, snoring and allergies.
While every rhinoplasty is different according to each patient’s needs and desires, they are typically outpatient procedures lasting one to two hours and employ either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Most patients experience full recovery in a matter of weeks with swelling and bruising dissipating within 10-14 days barring complications.
A traditional facelift is used to combat the aging process during which our skin loses elasticity and starts to sag. Premature aging can be caused by a variety of factors like sun exposure, smoking, extreme weight loss and even pregnancy. While there are less invasive, preventative measures one can take to stave off the effects of aging, a surgical facelift is the only procedure in which the facial muscles and tissues are permanently tightened and reshaped to restore a bright, youthful appearance.
The surgery most commonly involves an incision at the hairline near the temples down to the lower part of the scalp, after which the surgeon will typically get rid of extra fat, tighten muscles and relocate facial tissues to get rid of the deflated, saggy appearance that can come with age.
Surgery times for patients who opt for traditional facelifts will vary depending on each individual’s needs, and general anesthesia is required. In recovery, patients can expect some routine discomfort, swelling and bruising for several days, all of which are a completely normal part of the process and are, of course, temporary. As the healing progresses, the swelling and bruising will dissipate revealing your new, revitalized face.
A mini facelift achieves similar results as a traditional facelift, but is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time. It involves deeper sutures to reposition facial tissue, which typically results in a longer-lasting lift. Because of the positioning of the incisions, scarring becomes extremely difficult to spot. Plus, recovery time is drastically shortened, so patients can often resume normal work and social activities within as little as a week after surgery.
Brow Lift (Browplasty)
Similar to an eye lift, the brow lift (or forehead lift) is designed to alleviate the effect of saggy skin around the brows and forehead that cause lines on the forehead and deep furrows between the brows. During the aging process, the cells that produce collagen dissipate and the skin sags without its natural support.
A common type of brow lift is the endoscopic brow lift, and it’s not terribly invasive. It involves the surgeon making several small incisions behind the hairline, and then severing the muscles between the brows that cause the furrowed expression. The endoscope is used to guide the surgeon as he adjusts the muscles and tissue underneath the forehead. With the visibility provided by the scope, the surgeon can complete the procedure without having to create a full incision along the hairline as was done in the past.
Brow lifts typically take about one to two hours to complete and involve either IV sedation or general anesthesia. Full recovery takes about two weeks and can include minor swelling and bruising. However, results of the surgery can be seen almost immediately with unsightly forehead lines and brow furrows disappearing instantly after surgery.
Some patients find a full facelift to be too extreme for their needs. In this case, the less-invasive Silhouette Lift is oftentimes a better option. The goal of a facelift is to re-contour facial structure for a more youthful appearance. Silhouette lifts achieve this effect by lifting deeper layers of skin on the face and neck and also promoting additional collagen production.
The procedure itself involves strategically placed sutures that contain bi-directional cones. The function of these cone is to lift and suspend the skin of the face. They work in concert with the sutures, which are made of a Polyglycolide/L-lactide compound and are absorbed into the body. This compound (PGLA) is what eventually stimulates additional collagen production that adds to the youthful, refreshed look of the lift itself and provides longer-lasting results.
The procedure is outpatient and can last as little as 45 minutes. The recovery is minimal with most patients reporting no signs of swelling or bruising, and results are immediate and long-lasting.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Commonly known as an “eye lift,” eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is used to combat droopy upper and lower eyelids, along with excess skin above or below the lid. Not only can these symptoms affect a patient’s ability to see if they are severe enough, on a cosmetic level, eyes are the most noticeable thing about a person. Patients can look constantly exhausted, and when age contributes to skin stretching around the eye, fat can gather under and over the lids resulting in a prematurely aged look.
Candidates for blepharoplasty may opt to undergo surgery on their upper or lower lids, but many opt for both if it will result in a more balanced look. The upper blepharoplasty procedure involves an incision made in the crease of the eye and can extend to the crow’s feet or laugh lines. After the skin is peeled back, the surgeon will remove any excess fat and trim the drooping muscle and skin to tightness and vitality. During a lower blepharoplasty, the incision is located near the outer lashes and once made, the skin is then lifted up and out to restore tension and any excess skin is cut away. In both cases incisions are closed with tiny sutures that result in minimal scarring.
Typically blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure requiring local anesthesia around the eyes and IV medication to make sure the patient stays relaxed and sedated. The procedure takes about one to two hours, and the recovery period involves bruising around the eye, blurred vision, swelling and some discomfort. However, as the months go by and the sutures heal, patients discover their eyes have been given new life.
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Patients with oversized, asymmetrical or oddly positioned ears no doubt have experienced some form of ridicule or teasing because of them in the past. Any facial feature that looks disproportionate in relation to the others has the capacity to negatively affect one’s self-confidence. By reshaping and repositioning the ears, an otoplasty can greatly improve it.
Depending on the desired result, there are different specific techniques a surgeon may choose to employ. However, nearly all otoplasties involve the surgeon making an incision behind the ear and manipulating the cartilage to achieve a desired shape or position. The procedures are typically very simple and results are visible immediately and carry with them a brief recovery time of a few days.
Facial liposuction is the removal of unwanted fat from the face and neck. Since fat in these locations can be very difficult to remove or reduce naturally, liposuction is a great option for those who desire to dispose of it. Getting rid of fat around the face and neck can allow a patient’s natural face structure to shine through.
Typically facial liposuction is done on the cheeks, the jowls or the submental chin (the area below the jaw down to the front part of the neck). The procedure itself is similar to traditional liposuction, but obviously done with much smaller instruments. A tube called a cannula is inserted and moved back and forth to take apart fatty tissue, which is then removed. The procedure takes about an hour and usually requires no more than local anesthesia with sedation.
After the procedure, patients can expect some bruising and swelling, but both usually dissipate after about one week. While it will be difficult to see results until the swelling goes down, once it does, patients notice an immediate difference.
Chin Implants (Mentoplasty)
Patients typically opt for chin implants in order to improve their facial balance. A weak chin may be out of proportion with the rest of a patient’s features or it may simply need to be enlarged to achieve balance with a new rhinoplasty. It’s a cosmetic surgery that can drastically improve one’s confidence and appearance considering how much social importance can be placed on facial proportions and strong chins.
Typical chin implant surgeries use one of two incision methods. The surgeon may choose to insert the implant via an incision in the patient’s mouth at the meeting point between the gum and the lower lip, or they may choose to make an incision under the chin. The appropriate method will be determined by you and your doctor before the surgery, though it’s worth noting that there is virtually no visible scaring when the incision is placed inside the patient’s mouth. Once the incision is made, the surgeon will take tissue from inside the chin and use it to form a pocket in which the implant will be inserted, after which the incision is closed.
The surgery itself can take about one to three hours, and since the affected area is your mouth, part of the immediate recovery will involve eating soft foods and liquids until the discomfort subsides.
For those wishing to improve their bone structure, cheek augmentation with the use of implants is one of the best ways to restore a youthful look. They can create more balanced facial proportions and enhance facial structure. Cheek augmentation can be achieved by fat transfer or the use of physical implant.
In the case of fat transfer, fat from another part of the body is inserted into the cheeks by injection. The results tend to be more subtle than those achieved by the use of implants, but they also tend to be more natural looking. If a patient chooses to use an artificial implant instead, the surgeon will make an incision either through the lower eyelid or from inside the mouth where the patient’s gum meets the cheek toward the rear.
Recovery times vary considering cheek implants are often combined with other facial procedures. But on its own, recovery usually lasts about one week. Patients typically experience soreness, mild swelling and tightness over the implants since the cheek has been stretched to accommodate them.
Facial fat transfer is the opposite of facial liposuction. It involves taking fat from other areas of the body, most often the thigh or abdomen, and injecting it into a patient’s face. This procedure can restore lost facial volume and vitality for a youthful look. The procedure takes less than 45 minutes, and the patient will walk away with a subtle and natural plumpness. Many patients choose to undergo this procedure along with a facelift because it complements the contours added by the other surgery.