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Awaken the Face
Modern Facelift Procedures Offer Options From Subtle Freshening to Total Transformation
Reston, VA So you didn’t wear sunscreen back in the good old days when we didn’t know we should, and now there are the tell-tale wrinkles on your face? Or, just years of smiling, laughing and frowning have left character lines, settling into creases and deep folds? No matter how diligent we may be with sun protection, diet, exercise and skincare regimens, all of us will eventually age. The skin on the face and neck loosens with age and droops. The jaw line softens, the nasolabial folds deepen, the brows and eyelids sag; bags may form under the eyes and the chin may go double. Or, a large weight loss may have left excess skin hanging around the face and neck. Today, there are many facelift options, and they run the gamut from a simple “awakening” or freshening of the face with a minor procedure to the works – a full facelift, browlift and eyelid surgery, incorporating the entire face and neck.
The surgeons at The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery, located in Reston, Virginia, feel that one of the most important functions of cosmetic surgery is to create a harmony or a ‘truth’ between what is seen on the outside and what is felt on the inside. For instance, we are immediately thrown to believe that a tired or unhappy expression means that the person is tired or unhappy. Typically, after surgery patients report they feel happier because they look happier. The Austin-Weston Center performs over 1,000 surgeries per year in a full array of cosmetic procedures, including body contouring, facial rejuvenation and breast augmentation. The three nationally respected surgeons perform over 200 facelifts per year and have pioneered surgical techniques for many procedures. They have published multiple articles and book chapters and teach their techniques at national meetings for plastic surgeons each year. Before and after photographs can be viewed on their website at www.austin-weston.com.A traditional “facelift” doesn’t actually include the entire face. Only the bottom two-third’s of the face, including a portion of the neck is incorporated. Called Rhytidectomy, a facelift can erase from seven to ten years off the face. It can smooth wrinkles, tighten the muscles beneath the face and neck, remove jowls and reduce loose skin along the jaw line. If you pinch the area in front of your ear, you’ll get an idea of the amount of skin that may be removed. A blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes bags and loose skin around the eyes. A browlift smoothes forehead creases, lifts sagging eyebrows and minimizes crowsfeet. A necklift tightens loose muscles around the neck, an area that responds well to surgery and gives dramatic results.
In addition to these procedures, The Austin-Weston Center has developed special cosmetic procedures specifically for the aging mouth. A mouth with turned down edges is a symbol of both aging and unhappiness and can be a matter of only a few millimeters of droop at the corner of the mouth. The Austin-Weston Center is the first surgical center to implement the corner lift, which they describe as their most valuable procedure. The lift takes about half an hour and the doctors perform it along with a face lift. The scars cannot be easily seen as they are hidden in the vermilion of the lips. Because the scars from around the mouth surgery are more difficult to hide, meticulous surgical technique is critical. Other procedures for the mouth include the lip lift, lip augmentation, direct incisions to remove excess tissue, and resurfacing with dermabrasion, lasers, or chemical peels.
Who is a good candidate for surgery? Traditionally, facelift candidates are women ranging in age from 48 to 68 although men often have facelifts too. Patients should understand that their surgeries will enhance their current looks, yet should be realistic about surgical results. Patients should be in good heath, as complications are increased if conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, heart, lung or liver disease exist or certain medications are taken. Smokers must quit at least two months prior to surgery as complications are 1500% higher for them. Recovery time post surgery can range from two to three weeks, with several weeks for the swelling and bruising to completely diminish. Having a good skin tone also helps with healing, as healthy skin will respond better to surgery. In fact, The Austin-Weston Center has a Medical Aesthetique with a medical aesthetician employed to care for patients pre and post surgeries, getting their skin in the best possible condition for optimum results and also helping it to heal afterwards. The Medical Aesthetique can also address many skin conditions that surgeries cannot, such as sun damage and acne scars.
The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery was founded in 1978 and was the first practice in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area that was limited exclusively to cosmetic surgery. It is now the largest free standing facility in the area with three nationally respected surgeons on board, Dr. George Weston, Dr. Byron Poindexter and Dr. Robert Sigal. The Austin-Weston Center invites interested parties to come in for a complimentary consultation on facial rejuvenation or any of their surgical procedures with one of their three surgeons or come for a complimentary skincare consultation at their Aesthetique, the Medical Aesthetique. Call 703-893-6168 or visit their website at: www.austin-weston.com.