Do I Really Need Facial Plastic Surgery?

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Before and After facelift and neck lift by Dr. Brian Machida

Millions of people want to look younger.  Facial plastic surgery, including facelift, brow lift, neck lift and blepharoplasty procedures, is common in Inland Empire, metro Los Angeles California where I practice.  Every year, hundreds of thousands in the U.S. have facial plastic surgery procedures.  Many more have nonsurgical procedures like Botox, fillers, laser resurfacing, Renuvion, RF treatments and chemical peels.  If you’d like to improve your appearance, you might well wonder:  “Could a nonsurgical treatment work for me?  Or do I really need facial plastic surgery?

Editor’s Note:  Dr. Brian Machida is a highly experienced facial plastic surgeon. In his career he has performed some 4,000 facial plastic surgery procedures, including facelift, neck lift, blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty procedures in Inland Empire and Beverly Hills, California. Today he practices as STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, CA

In the next article we’ll discuss nonsurgical options in detail.  We’ll also talk about what might make you a candidate for one or more of them.  But first, we’ll talk about how to know if a surgical solution makes the most sense for you.

Age and Skin Health are key factors 

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Pinched skin that won’t snap back may indicate low elastin levels

Nonsurgical treatments often rely in some way on your skin’s natural production of two key proteins:  collagen and elastin.  Collagen provides the key building blocks for healthy, younger-looking skin.  Elastin helps prevent skin from sagging.  It makes it hug your face’s natural curves and snap back when stretched.

As we age, our production of collagen and elastin decline every year.  At a certain point, your skin won’t be able to firm itself enough to make a real difference.  At that point, you’ll probably need surgery to tighten and redrape your skin.

So, if you’re in your 30s and 40s you may be a candidate for Botox, fillers or skin-tightening treatments, especially if you don’t smoke.

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Before and After Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida

However, if you’re a nonsmoker in your 50s, 60s 70s or even your 80s, facial plastic surgery can give you great results.  It could be a much better option for you.

Where your loose skin is located makes a real difference in this.  If you have too much skin in your upper eyelids, eyelid surgery – an upper blepharoplasty – is what you need.  That’s also true if you have a sagging brow.  There’s no nonsurgical treatment that works for this.  You’ll need a browlift.  The same can be said of substantial jowls.  A lower facelift can work wonders to improve your jawline, and there is no real nonsurgical option at this time.

Carrying or losing too much fat is a factor

The CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that 71.6% of all Americans are overweight, including nearly 40% considered obese.  If you’re one of the majority of Americans carrying too much fat, this could make you a candidate for facial plastic surgery rather than a nonsurgical procedure.

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Excess fullness cannot be eliminated with nonsurgical treatments

Nonsurgical treatments to reduce face and neck fat, like Warm Sculpting, CoolSculpting, and Kybella, are limited in how much fat they can eliminate.  That is also true for minimally invasive methods like SmartLipo.  So, if you have too much fullness in your face and neck, facial plastic surgery might be your best – or only – option.

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Too much loose skin can only be effectively tightened with facial plastic surgery


On the other hand, you may have done a great job in reducing fat through diet and exercise.  If so, you deserve to be congratulated.  If you’ve lost a lot of weight, though, you may have more loose, hanging skin that can be tightened with nonsurgical methods like Renuvion or RF devices.  In that case you would need facial plastic surgery.

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Muscle tone matters in determining whether you need facial plastic surgery

If your facial muscles are in good shape, jowls and wrinkles may primarily be caused by loose skin.  In some cases, nonsurgical treatments could work for you.  But if your face and neck muscles are sagging, they could be major contributors to your facial aging.  That is often the case as people get older.

If your face and neck muscles have atrophied and started sagging, facial plastic surgery might be your best or only option.  A good surgeon can tighten up sagging muscles and help you look years younger.  But no nonsurgical method can tighten muscles that sag too much.

Should you choose facial plastic surgery?

If you want to look years younger, a facial plastic surgery procedure should be at or near the top of your list of options.  Facelift and neck lift procedures are among the safest surgeries you could have.  That is particularly true if your facial plastic surgeon uses local anesthesia plus oral sedation, which one expert called the “safest method” now available.  We offer it here at STC Plastic Surgery in Inland Empire California.

Facial plastic surgery results usually look great as soon as you heal, which can be in a relatively short period of time.  Some nonsurgical methods, in contrast, may take months to provide the results you want.  So, while many people prefer to go the nonsurgical route, there are some real benefits to getting a surgical procedure.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans get one.  If you’d like to consider your options, why not see a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in your area.  If you’re in Inland Empire California, I’ll be glad to provide a free consultation at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.

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About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

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