The term “facial surgery” encompasses a wide range of procedures intended to correct a problem, improve a certain aspect of one’s appearance, or both. While many of these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, any surgery will still have lasting consequences (and at least minimal risk), and should not be decided on lightly. If you are considering a facial procedure — or if your physician, dentist or oral surgeon says you need one — it’s important to go into the process well-informed. The following patient guide to facial surgery should provide a road map.
Determining the Purpose of the Surgery
Your first order of business is to understand why you need or want a certain procedure. Are you having corrective surgery to remedy a problem, such as corrective jaw surgery or septoplasty to correct a deviated septum and improve breathing? Are you choosing one or more procedures to reclaim a more youthful appearance? Or are you unhappy with a certain feature of your face and want to improve it? All of these are legitimate reasons for having a procedure performed, but there may be some prioritizing involved depending on the reason and the need — especially if there is a pressing problem to be corrected or if you are looking at doing a series of facial cosmetic surgeries.
It’s also important to note the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery because many people mistakenly interchange these terms. For our purposes, plastic surgery refers to something corrective or reconstructive, while cosmetic surgery is an elective (optional) procedure.
Common Types of Facial Surgeries
Once you have a good understanding of why you want or need facial surgery, it’s time to look at which procedure(s) will address that issue. Below are several common types of procedures with links to read more about them:
- Face lift or mini face lift
- Neck lift
- Brow lift
- Eyelid lift (blepharoplasty)
- Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty)
- Ear pinning/reshaping (otoplasty)
- Corrective jaw surgery
Sometimes it may take more than one procedure to achieve the look you desire — for example, cosmetic eye surgery may require both an eyelid lift and an eyebrow lift. Whatever the case, educating yourself about the possibilities and what each procedure entails will help alleviate any mysteries or concerns.
Knowing What to Expect
There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding cosmetic procedures, so it’s important to be aware of what a certain procedure will and will not accomplish. For example, while a good cosmetic surgeon can minimize the risk of scarring, sometimes a little bit of scarring is inevitable. You should also talk to your doctor about things like how to prepare for the procedures, the effects and risks of the anesthesia and what to expect after the procedure. You also need realistic expectations as to long-term effects — for example, whether your neck lift will revert over time and how long it will take to recover after your face lift. Ask your cosmetic surgeon plenty of questions so you can enter the process with your eyes open.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
Finally, choosing the best cosmetic surgeon for your needs is every bit as important as the choice of procedure itself. Before committing to any cosmetic procedure, be sure to ask important questions about the surgeon’s certifications, experience, cost of the procedure, etc.
At Riverside Oral Facial Surgery, our team of experienced surgeons is committed to helping you get the care you need and the look you want through a variety of facial cosmetic surgeries. To discuss your options, call us at (706) 235-5570.