Facial Surgery in Fredericksburg, VA
Dr. R. Shane Palmer offers facial surgery for men and women in Washington DC, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Richmond, Charlottesville, and the nearby communities in Virginia. Facial surgery and facial rejuvenation help with common problems related to aging, anatomy, and other concerns.
What is Facial Surgery?
Facial surgery includes procedures that improve the features of the face, as well as facial rejuvenation for age-related problems, such as sagging skin, wrinkles, and lines.
Why Is Facial Surgery Better Than the Traditional Approach?
New techniques and advanced research have shown that the antiquated “skin-only” approach to facial rejuvenation is severely flawed. In this older paradigm, facial aging was viewed simply as sagging skin and muscle and was almost always treated with a facelift.
Unfortunately, a facelift only addresses the loose skin and muscle overlooking the greater source of aging—volume loss. Ignoring volume loss leaves many facelift patients with a gaunt, overstretched appearance, as well as obvious signs of having “gone under the knife.” In addition, the tight appearance of the skin is short-lived; sagging skin can return in only a few short years following the procedure.
The Solution: Recognizing Volume Loss
In retrospect, it is surprising that it has taken cosmetic surgeons so long to recognize the importance of volume loss in facial rejuvenation. Volume loss arguably contributes more to an aged look than the loss of skin and muscle tone. Repositioning fat to compensate for volume loss has been attempted with variable results. However, fat transfer to the face from another part of the body has proved to be the most successful in restoring volume loss.
This process, known as fat grafting, can result in an astounding transformation when performed correctly. In fact, when the volume is replaced in the face, we often see that skin no longer sags and a facelift may be avoided altogether. Consider how a sack, such as a balloon, distends when filled. In a similar manner, wrinkles on the face are erased as the skin is filled by the additional volume. Another potential benefit of fat grafting to the face is the direct rejuvenating effects awarded to the skin from the cells present in the fat.
If significant skin laxity is present despite fat grafting, then a more conservative facelift can augment the volume replacement. Mild skin laxity can often be addressed with minimally invasive procedures, such as ThermiTight® or non-invasive procedures like ThermiSmooth®. These are radio-frequency devices that use heat to produce contraction, which leads to skin tightening.
To complete the facial rejuvenation treatment, laser skin resurfacing may be added to help remove damaged skin and to efface lines around the eyes and mouth. At Surgical Arts of Virginia, Dr. Palmer prefers the CO2 laser for resurfacing the face because of its versatility and unparalleled efficacy. Other related procedures can be added as needed, such as eyelid lifting and neck rejuvenation. These are considered on an individual basis.
Why Do We Need Facial Surgery?
There are two factors at play when it comes to an aging appearance: volume loss and skin sagging. Unfortunately, both are natural parts of the aging process that can only be mitigated for so long. Our skin is largely made of proteins, namely collagen and elastin, that help it remain taut and youthful throughout our lives. The production of collagen, however, begins to decrease by an estimated 1% every year after the age of 20. Elastin and other essentials also become less numerous.
Similarly, the products in our faces that make them appear full and healthy also begin to degrade. When this occurs, facial sagging and wrinkling are exacerbated. We need facial surgery because very few other remedies exist that can provide comparable drastic and reliable improvement.
Am I a Candidate for Facial Surgery?
If you are looking to improve the appearance of your face by erasing signs of the aging process, then you are likely going to be a candidate for this set of procedures. While there are some cases in which rare diseases may prevent you from being able to undergo surgery, most patients are able to safely have the treatment performed without additional risks.
Facial surgery is an option for most people, but certain lifestyle factors can affect how well the results will be or how safe it is for you to undergo surgery. One of the biggest aspects is your weight and activity levels. A higher BMI can pose additional risks to having invasive surgery performed, and a sedentary lifestyle could indicate poor cardiovascular health. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and unprescribed medication or drug usage could also increase the likelihood that you will experience a complication during the surgery.
We always tell our patients they should maintain a healthy, optimistic, yet realistic view of what can be achieved through facial surgery. Otherwise, you will find yourself disappointed by what might otherwise be considered a successful procedure.
How Should I Prepare for Facial Surgery?
Facial surgery can include many different types of procedures, so you will need to make sure you are well-rested and mentally prepared on the morning of your surgery. Luckily, there is no long preparation routine you need to worry about, but some patients may need to make some adjustments to their medications to ensure a safe procedure.
You should always quit smoking as early as possible before your facial surgery. Smoking has been proven to have negative impacts on your procedure safety and the quality of your final results (the chemicals inhibit the body’s ability to heal properly).
What is the Cost of Facial Surgery in Fredericksburg, VA?
The cost of facial surgery at Surgical Arts of Virginia is based on the specific procedure, individual anatomy, aesthetic goals, and other considerations. We discuss your pricing after the consultation with Dr. Palmer. Because your facial surgery can include many different procedures, it is important to have an idea of the costs of each individual treatment. Here is a quick list to reference for some of the most popular options:
- Facial Fat Transfer starting at $3,300
- Eyelid (Blepharoplasty) Surgery starting at $2,772 for upper eyelids and $3,696 for lower eyelids
- Facelift starting at $5,280
- Neck Lift starting at $4,510
- Ear Surgery (Earlobe Repair) starting at $500 per ear
Payment can be made by cash, personal check, money order, or credit card. We also work with financing through CareCredit®, United Medical Credit and Prosper™ Healthcare Lending.
What Is the Difference Between Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is performed because a patient wants to improve their appearance, while reconstructive surgery is performed to correct trauma or malformation. The goals and approaches are often similar, but they are performed under different circumstances.
For example, a patient who broke their nose in a car accident or lacerated their face would be looking to have reconstructive surgery performed. But someone who just wanted to get rid of excess skin on their face or shorten the bridge of their nose is looking for cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is often more controlled since trauma is not present and there are fewer external variables.
What Should I Expect from the Facial Surgery Recovery?
The details of your recovery will be unique to your specific procedure and bodily reaction. There are some general principles that you can expect, however, including:
- The worst recovery days will be directly after your procedure. Swelling, bruising, pain, discomfort, soreness and redness are all standard side effects that patients have some combination of. These can typically be managed with over-the-counter medication, but prescription medication may be available when necessary.
- By the end of the first week, you should be able to deal with the minor pain and discomfort without the need for medication, but over-the-counter options may still be useful if some residual side effects exist.
- You should avoid strenuous activity until cleared by your surgeon. Exerting your body too much could have negative repercussions on your results and healing process. Slowly, your usual routines will become normal again and you will be back to your typical life within four or six weeks.
- As the post-surgical swelling, redness and bruising fades, the final results will begin to become much more clear. While this falls between four and six weeks for the standard patient, it could go a little longer if your body is more resilient to the healing process.
What Results Does Facial Surgery Provide?
Facial surgery can drastically improve the appearance of an aged face through a wide combination of procedures. The results that are achieved through surgery are permanent. They will never fade, but that does not mean that future aging will not occur. Eventually, after many years of aging, you may find that you need touch-up treatments to once again maintain optimal results. With that being said, your appearance will always appear more youthful and lively than it would if you never had the procedure performed.
Scarring is a big concern for many people looking to have facial surgery. There is only good news: the scarring that is made is easily concealed within hairlines or natural folds on the face, creating drastic improvement without the trade-off of a large imposing scar on the face.
If you are considering facial surgery or facial rejuvenation, entrust your care to Dr. Palmer and the staff of Surgical Arts of Virginia. We serve residents of Washington DC, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Richmond, Charlottesville and the nearby communities in Virginia, as well as out-of-town patients. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.