Facial Surgery FAQs

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Even if they have done their research about facial sculpting procedures like facelift surgery, many Chicago area patients may still have questions. Below are some of the most common questions Dr. Steinwald is asked.


Can I combine facial plastic surgery procedures?

Yes, patients frequently combine procedures like a brow lift and a face lift in Chicago to achieve their cosmetic goals. Dr. Steinwald has the skill to perform multiple procedures during the same operation, minimizing your downtime after surgery. During your initial consultation, Dr. Steinwald will help you decide if combining procedures is right for you.

What's the difference between a facelift and a mini-facelift?

A mini-facelift is a less extensive form of a facelift that Chicago area women and men with less advanced signs of aging can choose. For those individuals, there are many benefits: mini-facelifts result in shorter scars behind the ears, do not require a chin incision, and require less time to perform. Patients also experience less downtime after surgery with the mini-facelift. Full facelifts are usually more extensive and require a longer recovery period, but are more effective at treating more severe symptoms of aging on the face. Dr. Steinwald will help you decide which type of facelift surgery is appropriate for you.

How can I know whether I would benefit more from a brow lift or eyelid surgery?

The easiest way to tell if you need a brow lift or upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is to see whether you have excess skin on your eyelid or if your brows have dropped lower over the years. Try using your finger to pull up the skin above your brows. If your eyes look more youthful and you do not have excess skin over your lids, then you probably only need a brow lift. If your brows appear to be at a desirable height (generally one cm above the bony prominence in women), but your eyes look heavy or weighed down by skin, then you may want to consider blepharoplasty. Dr. Steinwald can give you specific, individualized recommendations if you come in for a consultation so that he can evaluate your concerns.

Are dermal fillers and BOTOX® Cosmetic alternatives to facelift surgery?

In some cases, using dermal fillers or BOTOX® Cosmetic can rejuvenate your face without surgery. Dr. Steinwald also sometimes combines these options for a more complete enhancement. However, if you have sagging skin on your lower face or neck, you may benefit more with a facelift. In addition, it's important to remember that those non-surgical enhancements are only temporary.

Can children have ear surgery?

Children often experience ridicule from their peers as a result of overly large or protruding ears. However, ear surgery should be performed only on children who are, in most cases, age 5 or older, when the ears are generally about 80-90% of adult size.

Can my earlobes be fixed?

Many patients come to us with torn or "split" earlobes resulting more often from gradual/chronic (heavy) earring trauma, but occasionally from acute accidents. These tears are usually vertical, and are either incomplete (the earlobe margin remains intact), or complete (through the edge), and have reepithelialized (or have skin growth preventing spontaneous reclosure). Although usually not covered by insurance, these "split earlobe" repairs are relatively simple (involving excising either the tract or a wedge under local anesthesia, followed by layered reclosure), and we usually include repiercing (6 to 12 weeks later) in the fee. People with disproportionately large, stretched or asymmetric earlobes can usually be treated by similar methods.

How much time does it take for swelling to dissipate after rhinoplasty?

The majority of swelling and bruising after rhinoplasty begins to subside in 1 to 2 weeks, with most of the swelling dissipating over 4 to 6 weeks. To appreciate the full benefits of your nose surgery (especially if the tip cartilages have been reshaped), it can take up to a year.

How much time will I need to take off work?

How much time you should take off work depends on the procedure being performed. However, for most surgeries, patients can return to work after 2 weeks if they have an office job. If you work from home or feel comfortable with your appearance, you can return to work a few days after surgery. Depending on the type of work you do, you may have to refrain from some work such as heavy lifting or activities that are very strenuous on your body. Dr. Steinwald will discuss the length of your recovery and any special post-surgery restrictions during your consultation.

Should I avoid exercise after surgery?

Dr. Steinwald will recommend how long you should refrain from exercise. Typically, patients should be able to walk within a few days. After 6 weeks, most patients can participate in more strenuous exercise like weight-lifting and jogging.

What are my options for lip augmentation?

Many women (and men) don't realize that one of the earlier signs of aging is thinning lips, especially in the upper lip. Generally, patients seeking lip augmentation in Chicago are best served starting with in-office dermal fillers such as Restylane® or JUVÉDERM®, which can enhance the "vermillion border" (color demarcation) of the lip by "rolling it out" or filling it, especially in the central "cupid's bow area." Generally a ratio of 0.6 to 1:1 of the upper to lower lip is desirable. These agents can also be used in the vertical lines that sometimes show "lipstick bleed," and generally last from 6 to 10 months. Patients seeking a more permanent fix are generally counseled about possible minor surgical manipulations (rather than more permanent fillers), such as a "V-Y advancement" performed internally, to let more of the upper lip show.

Your Next Step

Have more questions? Dr. Steinwald would be happy to answer your specific questions during your initial consultation. To meet with him and discuss your questions, request a consultation online or call the Lake Forest Plastic Surgery office at (847) 234-9464 to schedule your visit.

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