Darrick E. Antell M.D. 850 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10075

How Lifestyle Choices Affect Your Look

POSTED ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 AT 6:19 PM  by Dr. Darrick Antell

A number of years back I worked with Dan Rather on a piece for the CBS Evening News on plastic surgery.

In the clip we talk about what patients can reasonably expect from a procedure.

I’m mentioning the story now because it addresses one of the major motivations I had for starting my blog.  After meeting with patients for more than 23 years it is clear that there are some misconceptions surrounding reconstructive & cosmetic surgery.  People often think I have a magic wand that I use to make them look like whatever they want, but I don’t.  I believe that if patients are well informed of what we can achieve, not only can we find the best treatment for them, but they will be happier with their results.

Today, I’d like to talk about what kind of results you can expect from a surgery or minimally invasive procedure.  For instance, almost every week I do a consultation with a patient that wants to look younger, and there are a number of things I can do for them.  A facelift is great for taking up excess skin, Botoxand fillers can smooth wrinkles and folds, and a blepharoplastycan remove the ‘tired’ look from baggy eyes.  We are, however, limited by the natural composition of their skin and face.  Let’s look at some before and after photos.

Identical twins before plastic surgery in 1999

Identical twins 10 years after plastic surgery in 2009

The left column contains ‘Before’ photos and the right the ‘After’ photos of twins I’ve operated on who led very different lifestyles.  They both look ten years younger after their surgery and have great results, but one will always look older because years of smoking, stress and sunbathing have taken their toll.  No procedure that I know of can totally reverse these effects to make her skin quality that of her sisters.  Taking another look at the bottom twin, though, we see that she does have far fewer wrinkles around the mouth and neck and several damaging effects have been reversed. 

Similarly, there are several patients naturally thick in the abdomen interested in liposuction.  We can make their clothes fit better, we can shape their silhouette and reduce love handles, but we cannot turn them into a twig.

The dissatisfied patients that I see are the ones looking for a revision of a primary surgery done at another office because they did not get what they expected.  It is a shame because many of them have decent results, but there is a specific quality that they are looking to have revised that was not addressed.  That is why when I meet with any patient, most of the consultation is spent learning what exactly it is they would like to correct.  That way, I can tell them how a particular procedure will address their concern and we can decide together if, and how they can be accommodated.

If you have questions regarding what can be done for you, don’t hesitate to comment here, or on facebook and twitter.

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