The Today Show
Topic: Twins Get Mini Facelifts
HEADLINE: Dr. Darrick Antell, plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital, discuss how identical twins age differently; Twins model surgeries
ANCHORS: CAMPBELL BROWN
CAMPBELL BROWN, co-host: Have you ever wondered why some people look older than their years, while others seem to have found the fountain of youth? Well, some of it is genetics, but it all depends on your lifestyle, how much stress you endure, how much time you spend in the sun. And studies on identical twins prove that that's true by showing one twin aging differently from the other. And New York plastic surgeon Dr. Derek Antell has performed more facelifts on identical twins than anyone else in the world. And he's here, along with three sets of identical twins: Gay Block and Gwyn Sirota, Marjorie Mel and Jane Wharton, June Benedict and Joan Buckley.
And good morning to everybody. Welcome.
Ms. GAY BLOCK: Good morning.
Ms. GWYN SIROTA: Good morning.
Ms. MARJORIE MEL: Good morning.
Ms. JANE WHARTON: Good morning.
Ms. JUNE BENEDICT: Good morning.
Ms. JOAN BUCKLEY: Good morning.
BROWN: Good to have you all here. Dr. Antell...
Dr. DARRICK ANTELL: Yes.
BROWN: ...I think what is so fascinating about this is, we hear about the effects of the environment, but here you really do see it. you have almost identical DNA...
Dr. ANTELL: Mm-hmm.
BROWN: ...and yet they are aging differently because of individual factors--stress, smoking, cancer, whatever that they've experienced in their lives, right?
Dr. ANTELL: Exactly. And this really gets at the heart of the nature vs. nurture controversy, and it shows that you can control the rate at which you age. Now we're all going to get older, but if you do all the things that mom always told you to do...
Dr. ANTELL: ...avoid excess sun, avoid smoking and limit stress--you can help slow the aging process.
BROWN: And this is--we've got before pictures of Gay and Gwyn, who are also joining us here.
Dr. ANTELL: Uh-huh.
BROWN: And explain to us their differences, because I know Gay--and Gay you can tell us about this, experienced more stress in her life; also with--lived in Hawaii, so spent a lot more time in the sun.
Dr. ANTELL: Yes.
BROWN: And you can see the deeper lines in here than...
Dr. ANTELL: Well, Gay had also lived in Southeast Asia, she was a big sun worshipper. The wrinkle pattern is similar between both she and her sister, but they're just deeper, the skin is coarser. And look at the upper eyelid skin, there's just a significant amount more on Gay than there is on Gwyn. And she's lost some elasticity to her skin.
BROWN: And so over here we've got the after pictures of what you did.
Dr. ANTELL: Yes.
BROWN: And you're trying to bring them back into alignment as twins, right?
Dr. ANTELL: Exactly. Well, all plastic surgery today, we try to do minimal procedures, things like Botox and other things that are less invasive. And what we studied with Gay and Gwyn were different face-lift techniques to bring them back in balance. And what we were able to conclude is that some of the more straightforward, less invasive operations were equally as successful.
BROWN: I have to check in with them.
Ms. BLOCK: Good morning.
Ms. SIROTA: Good morning.
BROWN: Are you happy?
Ms. SIROTA: Oh, yes.
BROWN: Is it true? And this is Gay, right? I don't--let me double check.
Ms. SIROTA: Absolutely.
BROWN: Your lifestyle, do you--did you notice it when you looked at each other when you were together?
Ms. BLOCK: No, I honestly thought that--thought I looked younger. I did.
BROWN: But are you happy with the result?
Ms. BLOCK: Yes, very.
BROWN: What was your goal? Trying to be, sort of--have that similar appearance again?
Ms. BLOCK: Just to have an adventure.
BROWN: Yeah, that's the right goal. Thank you both for being here.
And let's move over to our next set of twins, Marjorie and Jane, or--yeah. And here again we have the before of each and then the after of each.
Dr. ANTELL: Yes, exactly.
Let me start over here. This is Marjorie's before and after and let me draw your attention to the neck. You'll notice how much cleaner it is afterwards.
BROWN: And they both have essentially the same issue here.
Dr. ANTELL: Exactly. Yeah, they have the same issue, Campbell. Their neck is a little bit loose. But I've always thought plastic surgery should whisper and not scream. And I think if you look at their after result they look cleaner, they look better, but it doesn't look done.
And how do you guys feel?
Ms. MEL: Oh, we've loved it.
Ms. MEL: Yes, its amazing.
BROWN: And when--this surgery was done a while ago, right?
Dr. ANTELL: Their surgery was approximately seven or eight years ago at this point.
Ms. MEL: Yeah, it was.
BROWN: And how--how do you--I, can I ask you--this might be a little bit rude.
Ms. MEL: Certainly. Whatever.
BROWN: How old--how old you all are?
Ms. MEL: We're...
Ms. WHARTON: I knew you would ask that.
Ms. MEL: We're two--we're two months away from 70.
BROWN: You look fantastic. You look fantastic.
Ms. MEL: Well, thank you. Thank you.
BROWN: You look fantastic.
And show us--OK, this sort of brings it all home for--for us...
Dr. ANTELL: Yep, uh-huh.
BROWN: ...what you did with our last two, Joan and June.
Dr. ANTELL: Exactly. Now Joan and June also have loose skin in their neck, they have some jowl formation. But what we're studying now--and we have an ongoing study on identical twins--is doing the short scar technique. If we look at this diagram over here...
Dr. ANTELL: ...you'll see that the shorter incision only goes up in here, and it avoids the hair completely. So it doesn't disturb the hair, vs. the traditional incision which goes behind the ear. And one of the biggest advantages is the short incision is very-ponytail friendly. It doesn't invade the hair. It's done mostly under local anesthesia with a shorter recovery and fewer complications.
BROWN: And, Joan, hi, how are you guys?
Ms. BUCKLEY: Hi.
Ms. BENEDICT: HI.
BROWN: Joan, you experienced a shorter procedure, right?
Ms. BUCKLEY: I had the shorter one, yes.
BROWN: And have you experienced different effects? Sort of the after-effects from the recovery time, because you all had your surgery pretty recently, right?
Ms. BUCKLEY: Yes. My--mine was shorter recovery time also.
BROWN: And yours was?
Ms. BENEDICT: It took a little longer.
BROWN: A little longer to get through the experience.
Ms. BENEDICT: A little longer.
BROWN: And Dr. Antell, are we going to be seeing more of this? I was reading that it takes a more experienced surgeon to do the shorter procedure, right?
Dr. ANTELL: Well, it--it requires more dexterity, Campbell, to do the shorter incision because you're working through a smaller incision. So it's like building a ship in a bottle. You can still do all the work you need to do to the deeper layers, but it's a shorter incision and a shorter recovery. It's also particularly useful on people that have had previous work done where they just want to bring it back in balance. You don't need to necessarily open the whole incision again.
BROWN: Right. Well, Dr. Antell, it's very interesting.
Dr. ANTELL: Thank you.
BROWN: And thank you all for coming in and being so open and sharing all this. We appreciate it.