OSF HealthCare - ENT Surgical Associates of Central Illinois

What Is A Facial Plastic Surgeon?

What is a facial plastic surgeon?Appearance plays a big role in the lives of most people. We begin the day looking in the mirror-washing our face, brushing teeth, combing hair, shaving, putting on make-up. For some, the reflection can cause displeasure due to accidents, birth defects, or other signs such as premature aging. Many of these conditions can be improved surgically and many people choose to put their faces in the hands of a facial plastic surgeon. A facial plastic surgeon specializes in performing cosmetic and reconstructive surgery on the face, head, and neck region.

A facial plastic surgeon is typically board certified in otolaryngology, the specialty addressing surgery of the head and neck. These surgeons perform the majority of elective facial plastic surgery procedures in the United States. The facial plastic surgeon has spent five to six years in postgraduate surgical training. Training includes one year of postgraduate training in general surgery and at least four additional years of specialty training in head and neck surgery and facial plastic surgery. Concentrating on the complex anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, and bacteriology of all the organs and structures of the head and neck, provides the facial plastic surgeon a strong focus on the anatomical region being treated.

When Do You Need A Facial Plastic Surgeon?
The reasons for facial plastic surgery are varied. Some patients suffer from birth disfigurements such as birthmarks, cleft palates, and congenital facial deformities. Others are victims of accidents, burns, diseases, and the treatment required for such diseases. Many choose to change some of the signs of premature aging or the shape or size of a facial feature that has bothered them for years.

One aspect of facial plastic surgery that cannot be ignored is the patient's mental and emotional attitudes. Facial surgery can help you increase self-confidence because, for most people, when they look better, then generally feel better.

Facial Plastic Surgeons may perform any or all of the following:

Surgery of the nose where cartilage and bone are reshaped and reconstructed; excess bone or cartilage may be removed. Recovery time is approximately one week. Results: Permanent.

Surgery of the eyelids where fat and excess skin, bags, pouches, wrinkles in the eye area are removed. Recovery time is approximately one week. Results: Lower lids, permanent; upper lids, ten years.

In facelift surgery, excess skin is removed and muscles are tightened. Recovery time is approximately two weeks. Results: From five to 10 years, depending on the patient.

Forehead Lift
Surgery to minimize forehead lines and wrinkles, and elevate brows to reduce lid drooping. Recovery time is about 10 days. Results: 10 years.

Submental Lipectomy
Surgery beneath the chin to eliminate "double" chin; excess fat is removed. Results: Generally permanent.

Surgery of the chin where a receding chin is augmented with bone or an implant or a too prominent chin is reduced. Recovery time is about one week. Results: Permanent.

Surgery of the ear where ears can be "pinned back" by reshaping the cartilage. Recovery time is about one week. Results: Permanent.

Laser Skin Resurfacing
Removal of the upper layer skin using a laser, resulting in smoother and less wrinkled skin. Recovery time is about 10 days. Results: Generally permanent.

Chemical Peel
Controlled removal of the outer layer of skin with specific chemicals. Recovery time, depending on the nature of the chemical, is from one to three weeks. Results: Generally, permanent.

Abrasion of the skin with either a wire brush or diamond fraise to remove the upper layer of the skin resulting in smoother, less wrinkled skin. Recovery time is about 10 days. Results: Generally permanent.

Facial Reconstruction
Surgery to repair or reconstruct facial features. This includes scar revision, fracture repair, laceration repair, vascular birth marks, cleft lip and palate, craniofacial deformitites, orthognathic surgery, free flaps, and other cancer reconstruction.