All About The Face

It takes a person’s subconcious just 13 milliseconds to make inferences about personality and other characteristics from another’s face. What’s more, studies have shown these inferences are accurate up to 70 percent of the time, proving that while we can overcome our initial impressions, we aren’t likely to ignore them.

Eyebrows, forehead, chin, and lips can “say” a lot about a person. For some people, as those features start to shift or sag with age, procedures that bring back markers of health and youth become more appealing. Thanks to significant advances in minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation procedures, more and more northern Michiganders are turning to plastic surgeons to put their best face forward.

Better Procedures = More Patients

According to Matt Smith, M.D. of Great Lakes Plastic Surgery Center in Traverse City, today’s office procedures have more reliable results and can rebuild skin, reform eyelids, plump lips, or erase fine lines and wrinkles without the operating room. Minimally-invasive procedures offer less risk and and greater convenience, allowing a wider spectrum of patients to take advantage of them, Smith said.

As reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), these convenient, less intrusive procedures have experienced an increase of 144 percent since 2000.

But while the general perception of “getting work done” typically centers on corrective procedures for middle-aged patients, millenials are beginning to focus on preventative care with Botox and soft tissue fillers – and the results are contributing to an increase in business at Traverse City cosmetic centers.

“They’ve [new patients] seen their friends’ work and know they’ll be in good hands,” said Steven Thomas, M.D. of the Center for Plastic Surgery at Copper Ridge in Traverse City.

The TCBN contacted a few local offices to learn about the most popular procedures people are seeking:

In 1998, around 4,000 doses of Botox were administered across the country. In 2013, that number sky rocketed to 6.3 million. According to Dr. Smith, while there are other botulinum toxin products, Botox “has the lion’s share” of the market. Botox prevents repeated muscle contractions that develop into creases in skin, making it the front line approach for preventative care. With regular injections muscles begin to maintain the relaxed position so that some of Smith’s patients return only once a year for their desired results.

Soft Tissue Fillers
Fillers entered the market with collagen and offer a way to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, plump lips, or fill out the hollow of the eyes. Each addition to the filler market has reduced allergic response, decreased recovery time and increased the length of results. The ASPS reports 2.2 million soft tissue fillers were administered in 2013 – 11 percent of which were for women in their thirties.

The most recent innovation to fillers, Smith explained, are fat transfers. In this process, fat is harvested from elsewhere on the body, subjected to a centrifuge and filter process, and injected at the desired site. Ideally, fat cells integrate into the new area, developing a blood supply and remaining indefinitely.

Chemical Peels
Chemical peels penetrate below the skin surface to increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles and remove skin damage. An effective treatment for all ages, peels can vary from superficial to deep tissue treatments.

Eyelid Lift

A procedure typically performed on women 40 years and up, eye lid ifts remove drooping eyelids, puffy bags, crepey eye skin (saggy and crinkly, like crepe paper) and dark circles. The procedure is outpatient, taking just two to four hours.

Mini Facelift
A relatively new technique, also called the “weekend facelift,” that focuses on specific areas of a face. Particularly popular with women between 30 and 40 years of age, the quick lift can reduce sagging and drooping around the jowls and neck.

Forehead Lift
Another less invasive alternative to a facelift, a forehead lift can elevate the brows back into a more appropriate position. Popular among patients 40 years and older, forehead lift incisions are behind the hair line and usually leave no visible scarring. Often patients turn to this procedure after Botox or fillers fail to achieve desired results.