By Stephen D. Keefe, MD, Advanced ENT & Allergy
Facial cosmetic surgery has traditionally been perceived as an effective but expensive option to combat the effects of aging undertaken by those whose vanity gets the best of them. However, over the past 10 years, there has been a perceptible shift in social attitudes toward surgical and minimally invasive procedures applied to the face and neck. More and more patients are choosing to improve their appearance for a variety of reasons.
Jump-starting a patient’s decision to embark on the journey of facial rejuvenation can be directly tied to one of three reasons:
Crisis of life event: This does not necessarily mean a traumatic event such as a death or divorce, but can also include an event such as an upcoming reunion or wedding.
Competition: People are in the work force longer by either choice or circumstance. In a youth-oriented culture, ageism is an undeniable attitude in the workplace. Savvy professionals are taking advantage of the many options available to “youthenize” their appearance.
Confidence: Some patients are disheartened by their aging appearance. This can be due to sun damage or the overall loss of elasticity causing a permanent “angry face” or even projecting a loss of vitality or fatigue that is not emotionally felt. A trusted hair stylist and spa can be the best weapon against graying hair. Head to a qualified, board-certified medical professional for help to combat aged and loosening skin.
For many, the incubation period of thinking about having an anti-aging-aesthetic intervention to actually pulling the trigger is approximately two years. That means over time a patient will talk with friends, read reviews and articles and notice what they like and what they don’t like about the results they notice in others. Add a couple of different consultations with medically qualified professionals to find the right fit and approach and it all adds up.
I encourage patients to ask themselves these major questions before their consultation with their doctor:
Convalescence: Do you have two weeks or more for recovery? Or only a week or less? Bring your calendar with you to your appointment.
Cost: Do you have a budget in mind? Are there financing options available from the practice?
There are now, more than ever, ranges of options in the field of aesthetics to help you meet your goals to improve your overall appearance from short-term refreshment to longer lasting rejuvenation. These can take the form of partial correction (“The only thing that bothers me, doctor, are these pesky forehead lines!”) to a goal of full correction, which may consist of a customized multi-month/year plan to address various issues. Having an idea of your answers ahead of time will help you when you meet with your medical professional and patient care coordinator.
My ultimate goal is to help patients realistically achieve what their particular goals are with natural looking results. When a patient comes in and asks me, “Dr. Keefe, what do you think I need?” I turn the question around. “What is it that is bothering you the most?” Everyone can have “something” done and will have different opinions about what that “something” is. The most important person in the room is my patient. This is why finding a medical professional who you can trust, who will listen to you and who gives you the time to express what your desires and goals are, is so important.
Stephen D. Keefe, MD, is Board Certified Otolaryngologist-Facial Plastic Surgeon at Advanced ENT & Allergy, Newport News, VA. He has received Our Health Magazine’s “Gold Best Bedside Manner Award,” 2014 – 2019. He can be reached at 757-873-0338.