Plastic Surgery in New York City
The Today Show
Topic: Selecting a Plastic Surgeon
Welcome back, everyone. One business that's benefited from the booming economy is plastic surgery, and new treatments with quick recoveries are fueling the demand. Dr. Darrick Antell is a leading New York plastic surgeon, and he's got some advice on what to look for if you're thinking about a nip and tuck. Dr. Antell, good morning. Thanks for joining us.
Dr. DARRICK ANTELL (NEW YORK PLASTIC SURGEON): Good morning.
CANNON: What do you look for if you want to get something done in terms of the plastic surgeon?
Dr. ANTELL: The most critical part of getting a good result from plastic surgery is the surgeon that you choose. Some people spend very little time in picking a doctor. They may spend more time buying a toaster oven. You want to check the credentials of the doctor. You want to look for board certification in plastic surgery.
CANNON: Is that a dangerous thing if you go to someone who's not?
Dr. ANTELL: Well, it may mean that you may have someone performing surgery who is a pulmonologist, a dermatologist, an anesthesiologist, any of a number of specialties that are not board certified specifically in plastic surgery.
CANNON: People are going in and they're getting, what predominantly? The neck? The eyes? The forehead? What?
Dr. ANTELL: Well, in the last two years, you can almost track the number of procedures the same as the stock market. I would say that the numbers — statistics have come out. And the numbers of eyelid operations have gone up about 60 percent in the last two years. The numbers of face-lifts are up almost 40% in the last two years.
CANNON: Do you attribute this to not only the booming economy, but boomers, like myself, are coming — getting to a certain point where they're looking in the mirror and saying, "Need a little nip and tuck?"
Dr. ANTELL: Absolutely. We're seeing people at younger ages having smaller procedures. Some people think of it as maintenance, almost part of good hygiene. They'll come in at an earlier age, have smaller procedures done.
CANNON: Let's go to some photos.
Dr. ANTELL: Yes.
CANNON: And then — so what happens? This is the after. Clearly a big difference in the neck area. It has been lifted, not the sag there. What happens there?
Dr. ANTELL: In that — in that operation, the skin is lifted, but also the underlying tissues are readjusted. I compare it to a carpet and a carpet pad. You need to lift up the carpet pad to get the wrinkle out, some of the fullness along the jawline. The incisions are all hidden around the ear area and in the hair.
CANNON: How long to recover from that kind of...
Dr. ANTELL: Most people look presentable in two weeks. And it takes three weeks before it really settles in. Three months before you forget about it.
CANNON: So if anybody says you're going to heal quicker than that, then they're not telling you the truth.
Dr. ANTELL: That's true. Or they're not doing the full operation.
CANNON: OK. That was a neck lift. What about an eye peel? Let's look at before and after there.
Dr. ANTELL: Sure. Eyelid surgery is one of the most important operations we do at an early age. This lady had surgery on her upper eyelids, as well as her lower eyelids. But men have this procedure very commonly, as well.
CANNON: This gets — gets rid of the crow's feet, and it looks even underneath the eyebrow, also, it, like, straightens out.
Dr. ANTELL: On her upper eyelid she has excess full tissue. It makes her look tired. A little puffiness on the lower eyelid. And she also had a resurfacing of her lower eyelids to smooth out some of the fine wrinkles.
CANNON: So how long does it take to recover from this? You said the neck lift was about three weeks. And for the eyes?
Dr. ANTELL: About two weeks for the eyes. Most people return to work clearly in two weeks, some as often as one week to 10 days.
CANNON: What about lip peels?
Dr. ANTELL: Lip peels are very common, particularly in women. On the upper lip, they'll get vertical lines from smoking or just from puckering their lips. And we treat that with either a peel or a dermabrasion.
CANNON: So we talked about the — all of these look really good. Impressive.
Dr. ANTELL: Thank you.
CANNON: And it doesn't really take that long. Two, three, four weeks and you can go back. How much does it cost, on average, for, say, like a neck/face lift?
Dr. ANTELL: The costs vary depending on the level of expertise of the surgeon. Our fee for a face and neck lift is $15,000. Eyelid surgery is $6000. And those are exclusive of the operating room and anesthesia fees.
CANNON: And the — lip peel would be?
Dr. ANTELL: A lip peel is in the range of $2500.
Dr. ANTELL: To maybe $3500. But this is an important area in life where it's an investment in your future. It's an area in life where it pays to pay retail.
CANNON: All right. Dr. Antell, thank you very much for joining us.
Dr. ANTELL: Thank you.
CANNON: Appreciate it.