Nip and tuck

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Nip and tuck

Fillers and face lifts and lasers – oh my! With so many anti-ageing facial enhancements available these days, it’s not surprising that most women get a little confused by it all – especially when it comes to cosmetic surgery options.
We chat to Dr Mark Edinburg, Medical Director of the Eden Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, and Dr Susan Austin, spokesperson of the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia, to get the lowdown on the most common cosmetic surgical procedures…

Facelift

What is it?

A facelift (officially known as rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure that’s undergone to restore the shape and volume of facial features, as well as reduce wrinkles in the face, cheeks and neck. The aim is to provide an improvement in the appearance as well as a natural-looking and refreshed look, which is achieved by tightening the underlying facial muscles and tissues and removing or re-draping the excess skin. In addition to a facelift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and a brow lift (forehead lift) can be carried out at the same time.  To complete the rejuvenation process, non-surgical procedures such as medical-grade laser, fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments are used in conjunction with the surgery to enhance the overall appearance.

What’s the downtime?

The downtime for a facelift is approximately two weeks.

What are the risk factors?

All surgery carries risks, including swelling, bruising, infection, irregular scar formation and nerve damage. Your surgeon will address these at your consultation. When choosing a surgeon, ensure they are a fully qualified highly specialised Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon and a member of the Society of Plastic Surgeons in Australia. 

Approximate cost?

Depending on the surgeon and surgery required, a facelift can cost anything from $10,000 to $25,000.

Laser resurfacing

What is it?

While signs of ageing such as fine lines, pigmentation and broken capillaries may appear to be inevitable, it doesn’t mean we have to embrace them with open arms. Advances in laser technology mean that we can slow down the signs of ageing and reverse their visible impact, taking years off a person’s appearance. Laser resurfacing removes the superficial upper layers of the skin, effectively targeting and reducing the signs of ageing, such as fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, broken capillaries and scarring.

Treatments can range from shallow laser treatment (which might be appropriate for eliminating fine lines, sun spots and tired-looking skin), to deep laser treatment (which is often used to improve skin tone/texture and eliminate deep wrinkles, even in difficult areas like upper lip lines and crow’s feet).

For best results, it is important to choose a laser clinic that has years of experience with sound results. The Eden Institute’s MediSpa division with medical-grade Sciton laser is renowned for outstanding results.

What’s the downtime?

The downtime for laser resurfacing is dependent upon the level of treatment required. It can vary from some pinkness in the skin, to several days of redness, dependent on the depth of treatment and the patient’s desired results.

What are the risk factors?

Your clinician will address any risk factors in depth with you at your initial consultation.  These are mostly pigment related but can vary depending upon the depth of the treatment, the patient’s skin colour and condition.

Approximate cost?

Laser resurfacing can cost from $440 to $3,000 per treatment, depending on treatment requirements.

Click here for more information about Dr Edinburg and the Eden Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, or to book an appointment with Dr Edinburg call 02 8814 5800.

Fillers

What is it?

Cosmetic dermal fillers are used to add volume to areas of the face such as the cheeks or lips or smooth out areas such as crow’s feet or laugh lines.”¨There are five main types of fillers available in Australia: hyaluronic acid (HA) preparations (e.g. Juvederm, Esthelis, Restylane); polyacrylamide or Aquamid; calcium hydroxylapatite or Radiesse; poly-L-lactic acid (or Sculptra) and fat transfer. Technically fat transfer is not considered a filler, though it can be used in the same way. Collagen, which was once a popular filler product, is no longer available in Australia.

Fillers are injected into a line or facial groove in order to smooth out or add volume to the area. The doctor will massage the filler on injection to individualise the placement of the filler to achieve the look the patient desires.”¨ ”¨What’s also appealing is that some of the fillers last just three months, or can even be dissolved if you’re not happy with the result. Some individuals are extremely fast processors, which means the same filler will not last as long in their body as someone else’s.”¨ The most popular fillers used in Australia are HA products, which come in a variety of thicknesses and gels. In broad terms, the thicker the gel the longer the filler will last.

What’s the downtime?

If everything goes to plan after getting a dermal filler then there is no reason not to resume your normal program the next day. Many patients return to work immediately.”¨ 

What are the risk factors?

Patients may experience some tenderness, swelling, bruising and redness after treatment.  These features may not appear in all individuals or in the same individual using different fillers. Use of a cannula during the procedure rather than a needle reduces the chance of bruising but these may not be suitable for all patients or all areas of the face. HA fillers have an excellent safety profile and can easily be added to or dissolved if a patient does not like the effect.

Approximate cost?

The cost of a filler varies with the amount used, but can range from $300 to $1,200 for one syringe. Fat transfer is a surgical procedure and is more expensive, as are the longer-lasting or ‘permanent’ fillers.

Botox

What is it?

Botulinum toxin, more commonly known by its brand names, Botox® or Dysport, is a muscle relaxant and can be used to treat ‘dynamic lines’. Dynamic lines are created by the movement of facial muscles, which produce creasing in the skin. By reducing or stopping the action of these muscles, dynamic lines will soften or even disappear. This can be achieved using small, precise injections of Botox or Dysport.

What’s the downtime?

The skin usually looks slightly flushed for some few minutes afterwards. Bruising sometimes occurs after any injection and occasionally some people experience a headache after an injection in the forehead. Another common side effect is slight temporary swelling that can occur at the area of the injection.  ”¨ 

If you are considering the treatment for a special event you should avoid anti-wrinkle injections at least two weeks prior to ensure any swelling or bruising has subsided. However, for first time patients, I recommend treatment six months prior to an important occasion to ensure patients know what to expect.

What are the risk factors?

In the majority of cases, botulinum toxin is safe, however there are circumstances, such as during pregnancy or when breastfeeding, where it should not be prescribed. This is why it’s important to see a doctor who specialises in these procedures – because they will carry out a thorough consultation to establish whether the patient is a suitable candidate, prior to prescribing treatments.

It is also important not to massage the Botox or Dysport for at least two hours after the injection as this could potentially move the product with the possibility of other muscles also relaxing which could produce an undesired effect such as an eyelid or brow droop. Any such effects are temporary but may last for some weeks.

Approximate cost?

The cost varies according to how much Botox or Dysport is used and how many areas are treated. An approximate cost for treatment between the eyebrows could be around $350.

Click here for more information on Dr Susan Austin, the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia or to find a cosmetic surgeon near you.

Have you ever considered having cosmetic surgery? If so, what procedure would you consider having?

If you’ve already had cosmetic surgery, which procedure did you have? Are you happy with the outcome?

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