Many of those who come in to our Atlanta offices have questions about facial plastic surgery. Some are eager to get the opinion of one of our board certified plastic surgeons about a specific procedure, while others might want to get personal advice about an individual area of concern. However, one concern that virtually every patient has is scarring. This is hardly surprising, since the face is the one area of our bodies that usually cannot be hidden underneath clothing and the one place where most people focus the majority of their attention. Unfortunately, there is really no such thing as a “scar-less surgery.” Any time you make a cut or incision to the skin some form of scar will always be left behind, and in the case of facial plastic surgery procedures, obvious scarring is particularly undesirable. This is the main reason why plastic surgeons put so much time and effort into making sure that those scars as small, as faint, and as inconspicuous as possible. There is a variety of different ways that this can be accomplished.
During surgery, the best way to minimize scarring is by trying to make the smallest incisions possible. Decades ago, a traditional facelift might have required incisions that began in the hairline at the temples, continued around the ear, and ended in the lower scalp, while a forehead or brow lift procedure usually involved a long incision that extended from ear to ear over the top of the skull. Today, however, advanced surgical techniques and endoscopic technology allow us to achieve even more natural looking results using fewer and smaller incisions. For example, a modern mini-facelift procedure, which specifically targets only the mid-region of the face between the cheek bones and jaw line, uses much shorter incisions at the temples and around the ear. Similarly, an endoscopic brow lift can reduce the appearance of forehead creases with only a few small incisions hidden in the hairline. Both of these approaches minimize post-surgical scarring and significantly reduce recovery time.
It is also possible to use non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments to reduce the appearance of scars and improve overall plastic surgery results. Either a chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing procedure can gently remove the dead and damaged cells that make up the outermost layers of the skin while simultaneously stimulating collagen production. This encourages both pre-existing and surgical scars to fade more quickly while giving the entire face a soft and youthful glow. Finally, there are even things that patients can do themselves while they are recovering after a surgical procedure. Keeping your incisions clean, keeping your body well hydrated, and avoiding environmental factors that can impair your ability to heal, like cigarette smoke and harmful ultraviolet light, can all go a long way towards minimizing scar formation.
Plastic surgery is constantly evolving, and new innovations are being made virtually every day, so many patients are surprised when they find out all the amazing things that can be accomplished. If you have questions about facial plastic surgery, or if you would like to learn more about any of the various surgical or non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures that we can perform, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Canton or Cumming offices to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.