The face lift is one surgical option, but Dr. Gillum only recommends this procedure for those individuals experiencing jowling (bunching of skin along the jaw line), and folding of skin around the neck. A neck lift, which is usually done in conjunction with the face lift, is an effective means of correcting these problems. When properly performed, face and neck lifts become a unified operation that produces a more youthfull re-draping of muscle and skin.
In fact, a good face lift should result in the patient looking between seven to ten years younger. When performing a face lift, Dr. Gillum takes great care to create a natural look that doesn’t distort or constrain facial expression. The procedure, which usually takes from two to three hours, involves making an incision along the hairline that stretches from the temple, inside the ears, down around the lobes, and to the back of the neck. Excess skin is removed, and the underlying muscles are re-draped to restore a more youthful face. Dr. Gillum believes that the most fundamental elements of a face lift are preserving the hairline as well as hair, and ensuring that scars are well-concealed.
For those who don’t require a full face lift, contouring of the upper or lower eyelids is an effective approach. Droopy upper lids are among the first signs of aging. Excess skin and fat can be surgically removed through an incision well-hidden in the upper lid crease, creating a scar free, revitalized appearance.
The sutures used in eyelid surgery are removed in less than a week. Any bruising and swelling, which can be covered with makeup, will gradually subside. Once completely healed, patients will look refreshed, alert and more youthful. Dr. Gillum points out that there is absolutely no advantage to making this incision with a laser. In some instances, eyelid surgery also might involve a forehead or endobrow lift procedures that work to smooth wrinkles and raise sagging brows.
For those patients with baggy lower lids, Dr. Gillum offers a procedure in which excess fat is removed through tiny incisions made inside the lower lids. In the past, lower lid tucks were performed, but this procedure is no longer considered safe. For lines under the eyes, Dr. Gillum recommends eye and lip line corrector that can be used at home. Office procedures include occasional acid washes and mild laser treatment. For lines on th esides of the eyes, commonly referred to as ‘crows feet’, he suggests Botox injections (For more on Botox, visit Botox Section above).
Individuals with weak chins also can benefit from facial contouring. As Dr. Gillum points out, a weak chin tends to pull all features downward, creating an appearance of overall droopiness. Fortunately, Dr. Gillum can correct this through chin augmentation.
Chin augmentation is a procedure in which an implant is used to enhance undrersized chins. An extremely small incision is made under the chin, with the implant being anchored securely in a small, tailor made pocket that’s created above the chin bone. Frequently, chin enhancement also works to smooth pre-jowl indents, thereby preventing or delaying the need for a cleft. For patients with double chins, extremely effective results can be achieved in a least traumatic way through micro liposuction. Many rhinoplasty patients, particularly those who have significant projection to their nose, can also benefit significantly from having a chin implant placed. the 2 procedures done together can greatly improve a person’s profile in many cases. Chin procedures generally take only a half hour to complete. the results, however, last a lifetime.
For those people whose cheeks are overly round, Dr. Gillum offers buccal fat extraction. In this procedure, cheek fat is surgically removed from inside the mouth, resulting in a more sculpted look. There is no bruising, and most patients can return to work the next day.
If the problem is a lack of cheek prominence, Dr. Gillum can provide cheek implants. Often, these two procedures can be combined. In such instances, the buccal fat pad is placed over the implant to camouflage its edges and enhance augmentation.
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
For patients with large or prominent ears, Dr. Gillum surgically reshapes them by working through an incision behind the ear. The procedure is known as otoplasty, and when done in experienced hands like Dr. Gillum’s, the patient can benefit from a more natural and aesthetically positioned ear. Ear surgery usually takes two to three hours, some surgeries may take longer depending on the case. Generally, the patient is left with a very faint line that is practically invisible over time. As is the case with many other surgical procedures, ear surgery is best suited for patients seeking improvement, not perfection. Even ears unoperated on are generally assymetrical, therefore a patient should expect ears to look similar but no to be perfectly symmetrical following otoplasty. After discussing the procedure, and your realistic expectations with Dr. Gillum, you should be very happy with the results.