Whether you’re considering liposuction or a facelift, getting cosmetic surgery done to your face or body is a decision that requires a lot of research and thinking through beforehand. We’ve rounded up four popular plastic surgery procedures and asked top aesthetic doctors what’s important to know before going under the knife.
We speak to Dr Wong Chin Ho from W Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Why should I opt for a facelift?
A facelift is the most effective procedure for firming and lifting sagging skin of the cheek and jowl, as well as restoring a youthful contour to the jawline and neck.
Are there different types of facelifts?
Different facelifts techniques require different levels of expertise. The more traditional facelifts that only lift skin are still in use for their simplicity. However, to deliver a superior result, tightening of the support layer of the face – also known as the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) – must be done.
What is a composite facelift?
Also known as a deep plane facelift, a composite facelift tightens the SMAS, subcutaneous fat and skin as a single unit. Tightening the SMAS layer directly addresses and reverses the aging changes of the face, while producing a more natural and longer-lasting facial rejuvenation. The result of a composite facelift is also very different from the traditional skin facelifts, as it is natural with no telltale signs of surgery. As tightening is done at a deeper level, the face looks fresh without appearing excessively pulled. The youthful shape of the face is also more effectively restored with this approach.
What about recovery time?
Modern understanding of facial anatomy has enabled the development of new techniques to perform the surgery safely, with less trauma to facial tissues. Recovery is quicker than before, with less bruising and swelling. In general, downtime may be minimised to two to three weeks.
We speak to Dr Myung Jung Oh from Regen Plastic Surgery (Korea), who also recommends the deep plane facelift.
What type of facelift should I go for?
For a natural-looking, undetectable lift, try the deep plane facelift, which is an effective alternative to the popular SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) lift. Compared to the SMAS lift, it involves moving the skin from much deeper within, which often requires much more experience and skill from the surgeon. Targeting noticeable signs of ageing, especially around the cheeks and jawline, the deep plane lift is usually performed through incisions.
Are there risks of going for an SMAS facelift?
The SMAS facelift concentrates on the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, also known as the underlying layer of facial muscles adjacent to the platysma muscle in the neck. While a lift in the area can help to improve sagginess in the lower face and neck, the procedure results in an overly “tight” look since only the skin is separated from the deeper muscles and soft tissue. Another downside is that the SMAS lift only treats the lower one-third of the face and neck area, which can result in artificial-looking results. This is why a deep plane facelift is an excellent alternative.
We speak to Dr David Loh, founder of David Loh Surgery
What are the types of liposuction available?
There is conventional liposuction, and there are power-assisted liposuction methods. The first one involves a surgeon removing the fat via a cannula, through the negative pressure of the suction. Power-assisted liposuction uses “power” in the form of high-frequency sound waves, mechanical vibrations of the cannula, water-jets or lasers to help dislodge the fat before it gets sucked out.
Several steps are involved in liposuction, which is usually performed as a day surgery. First, there is sedation, then tumescent anaesthesia is injected into the treatment areas. This helps to reduce bleeding and post-operative pain. If a power-assisted method is used, this will precede the actual suction. For example, with VASER liposuction, high-frequency sound waves are used to dislodge the fat to prepare for suction. Lastly, suction is applied through a cannula which the surgeon moves within the target areas to remove the fat. After the patient wakes up, a compression garment is applied and the patient goes home.
How long is the downtime?
This may differ according to the extent of the surgery. We normally recommend that they take three to seven days off from work. There will be some swelling and bruises, which usually peak at one week and take anything from four to 12 weeks to completely subside. Compression garments help to minimise the swelling and provide comfort during recovery. The final results are evident immediately after waking up from the surgery before the swelling sets in, otherwise, after several weeks when the swelling has subsided.
David Loh Surgery
#05-16 Wheelock Place
501 Orchard Road
We speak to Dr Andrew Khoo, Specialist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon at Aesthetic & Reconstructive Centre
What is blepharoplasty?
This procedure corrects and modifies the eye region, specifically the eyelid area. There are two types of blepharoplasty, namely upper and lower. Upper blepharoplasty, when done on younger patients, deepens the upper eyelid crease. It can also be used to make the eyelid creases more symmetrical. For older patients, upper blepharoplasty helps to remove excess skin and fat in droopy upper eyelids. Lower blepharoplasty, on the other hand, is mostly requested by older patients to correct excess lower eyelid skin and fat, which often manifest as lower eyebags and deep creases. In addition, this surgery can also be used to tighten the lower eyelids.
How long is the downtime?
For upper blepharoplasty, suture (stiches) or scarless, expect two weeks of swelling. If surgery is done using the open method, it’ll take around three to four weeks before swelling stops. As for lower blepharoplasty, expect two to three weeks of swelling. If eyelid tightening is done as part of the procedure, it’ll take around four to six weeks to subside.
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