Q and A with Dr. Kenkel: 3 Patient Questions Answered!
It is a treat to write about pertinent topics monthly for our blog. Many of the topics we use for our blog are actually stimulated by discussions I have with my patients every day. We thought it might be fun to take 3 questions I received from patients this week and share them with you. Enjoy and let us know if we can provide you with any additional information. Check out drkenkel.com It is constantly being updated with new content and patient photos!
1) How much pain should I expect after my facelift?
The short answer is: NOT MUCH AT ALL! When I tell our patients this, I can see the look on their face of disbelief. How could it NOT hurt? Very seldom do patients following a facelift require narcotic pain relief due to our Rapid Recovery Program. They describe a couple of things:
- Patients can sense of tightness across their neck and lower face. We perform a High SMAS technique putting tension on the deeper layers to allow for the tissues to be reshaped and suspended resulting in no tension on the skin or distortion in the facial appearance of our patients. It is not a suffocating tightness but there is an awareness of its presence and a tightness across the lower face prohibiting big bites of anything for several weeks. It does not prevent you from eating foods, except for perhaps a large hamburger!
- Some patients describe ear sensitivity for a few weeks. It is not surprising as we have a number of nerves that help with sensation in and around the ear and they get irritated with surgery. This gets better pretty quickly within a week or two for most.
- There may be numbness for a little while. Anywhere we perform surgery, there can be accompanying numbness from irritation to the nerves that provide sensation to the face. In some cases, it can take 3-6 months to resolve.
2) When can I go in public after my facelift?
Many patients can go out for a walk or even do some grocery shopping between 10-14 days, and back to work 2-3 weeks. Most patients do not experience much bruising. A small amount of concealing makeup helps and certainly wearing your hair down helps cover the incisions. That changes a bit when we had surgery to the eyes. The area around your eyes are much more sensitive to swelling and bruising and may take 2-3 weeks to resolve to the point to allow one to feel comfortable out into public.
One of my friends put it best: By two weeks you should be able to go to your THIRD favorite restaurant and by three to four weeks, go to your FAVORITE restaurant! (to celebrate the new YOU!)
We all see individuals that have undergone facial surgery and look distorted or even funny. We make sure your result will reflect your facial appearance, just a few years younger. It is why I ask you to bring those photos from 10-20 years ago. We can look at the photos and try to match the shape and volume of your face back then to ensure your appearance does not change. This is a critical step towards achieving our patient’s desired result.
Below are real patients that submitted their photos to show how they achieved their youthful look!
3) I am considering breast augmentation; How will I know what size is right for me?
This is a great question and one that is asked every time we see patients seeking breast enhancement. Most of my patients are looking for a modest change that will allow them to have better shapes and curves, but still be proportionate to their body frames and not look top heavy.
The important thing to understand that we have had incredible advancements in breast implants. We can now much more easily match an implant with the width of the patient’s breast and their ideal projection to allow them to reach the size they are looking for. Now, that being said, we typically talk about cup sizes when referring to breast size. The challenge that we all know, is that cup sizes are extremely variable from manufacturers and designers depending on the goals. For example, Victoria Secret chooses a larger cup size to describe their product than most department stores. This inconsistency makes it very challenging to discuss changes in a patient’s breast size objectively so that both I and the patient understand what we are each talking about.
We are lucky to have a three-dimensional imaging system in our clinics that allows us to simulate in 3D, what each patient may look like with a breast augmentation. While not perfect, it is extremely educational and most importantly allows the patients to visualize what their breasts would like once augmented.
Below you will see a real patient with 3 D Imaging (before and after) and then the ACTUAL real (before and after) photos. You will see that the 3 D Imaging is very realistic!
3 D Imaging allows both the patient and me to feel more comfortable with our implant choices and to be more concrete with our surgical plan when the time comes for the procedure.
When you are planning to see me or any board-certified plastic surgeon, write your questions down. It ensures that you have answers to all of your questions, and you leave with the proper information to allow you to make the best possible decision for you. I love it when patients pull their list out. It shows me they have really thought things through and have a strong desire to learn more, so they understand what their options are and whether those options fit their specific goals. It is cliché but true: There are no such things as bad questions. The more the better!
What questions do you have about plastic surgery? Contact us at drkenkel.com/contact to learn about cosmetic procedures of the face, breast, and body. We detail both surgical and non-surgical options that fit your needs and goals.