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Facelifts take on a more modern approach

This weeks article was written by Angela O’Mara, author and owner of “The Professional Image” in Newport Beach, CA. This article was written after an interview she conducted with Dr. Bunkis. We invite you to call Dr. Bunkis at 949-888-9700, or email your questions to [email protected]. Enjoy!

FACELIFTS TAKE ON A MORE MODERN APPROACH

By Angela O'Mara of The Professional Image in Newport Beach (Author of “Lights! Camera! Action! The Power of PR” and “Lipstick. Laptops. Life.”)

Boosted by baby boomers doing all they can to maintain their youth, cosmetic surgery is growing in popularity at a rapid pace. Statistics report that over the past five years, cosmetic surgery procedures have grown by almost 300%.

Due to new technology and expert techniques, the desired concepts of beauty are constantly changing. According to facelift surgeon, Juris Bunkis, M.D., F.A.C.S. of Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, California and Dublin, California, the tight, pulled “wind tunnel” look was the signature of a facelift in the 1970's, as was a scooped nose with a pinched nasal tip, and unnaturally round, hard breasts following breast augmentation surgery. These “obvious” signs of surgery are no longer considered desirable by most people, and are increasingly shunned by patients who wish to turn back the clock in a more natural way and without tell tales signs of surgery.

“Facial surgery is not about looking thirty at age seventy five! No amount of skin and muscle tightening can achieve such an unrealistic goal,” stated Dr. Bunkis. “It’s about looking the best you can, at any age.”

Other factors play a role in relaying a patient’s age such as the quality of the skin, sparkling eyes and the sound of a voice. Facial rejuvenation’s goal today is to create as youthful a result as possible while maintaining a balanced and natural, unoperated look. Traditional facelift surgery is still necessary to tighten a neck and to remove jowls. Dr. Bunkis explained that the newer enhancements to facial surgery are primarily aimed at the mid facial region. The relatively new midface lift specifically addresses the central facial hollowness that naturally occurs as many people age. By suspending tissue back to its original place, the aging face can then be sculpted tension free to recreate the soft and graceful curves of youth.

“It is absolutely necessary to achieve this balance to arrive at a pleasing surgical result, explained Dr. Bunkis. “My techniques have changed over the last thirty years, and the concept of a pleasing result continues to evolve.”

Compared to the mid 1970's, when Dr. Bunkis began doing surgery, techniques today utilize shorter and less visible facelift incisions and a greater emphasis has been placed on midface lifts and other techniques which elevate the fallen tissues in a more natural way. Today’s techniques do not raise the sideburn, distort the hairline behind the ears, or leave patients with a horizontal, pulled back look that was so common in years past. A key reason for these advances has been a better understanding by plastic surgeons of the nature of the aging process, and the development of techniques that address aging skin tissue. Nevertheless, technical advances still do not guarantee a perfect result. Patients have to start by choosing the right surgeon - one who not only understands their concerns, but one who also has the ability to focus on what the surgery will achieve, as well as the artistic talent to achieve the desired result. With his years of experience and artistic touch, Dr Bunkis brings to his patients a knowledge and expertise in aesthetic surgery that makes him a leader in his field.

Dr. Bunkis’ main objective is to achieve a natural look for each patient, and to allow each patient to look as good as they can for their given age. He evaluates each patient’s concerns, decides how best he can help them, and offers a solution to their problems. This frequently requires a discussion of areas or procedures that the patient may not have previously considered.

“For example, if someone comes in with a complaint about a droopy neck, but does not mention their severely sun damaged skin, I feel it my duty to discuss laser skin resurfacing for completeness sake”, said Dr. Bunkis. He believes that a layperson may not realize that tightening droopy muscles and skin will not affect the skin’s quality. Such a person may wake up after a face lift with a gorgeous jaw line and face contours, but be disappointed because the skin is still blotchy and sun damaged. Not approaching the face as a whole may create an unnatural result and deprive the patient of full benefit of the doctor’s talents. The ideal facial rejuvenation procedure leaves the patient with a jaw line that matches the rest of the face including eyes, forehead and skin texture.

This process, Dr. Bunkis explains, begins with a through consultation.

So what are the consultations like and what suggestions may be made? This depends on each patient’s concerns, desires, and present condition. Dr. Bunkis begins each facial consultation with an explanation of the aging process and discusses generalized skin care, as well as general anti-aging treatments, which may be applicable. Normal facial aging is a two prong process. The first prong is genetically determined, such as the formation of the jowls, drooping of the neck or brows, bagginess of the eyes, the degree of chin prominence, or the size of the nose. These features are not under the patient’s control and cannot be changed without surgery. The second prong of the aging process includes skin texture and the general health of our skin, as well as the amount of fat in our necks, and the impact of sun exposure, obesity, smoking and excessive use of alcohol. This latter group is obviously under a patient’s control. Dr. Bunkis will attempt to help each patient develop a healthier lifestyle and, along with his staff, discuss sun protection and long term skin care options.

Dr. Bunkis gave examples of different approaches that might be offered to patients of various ages, who have various degrees of aging. “With a patient in her thirties with a slight neck fullness, a liposculpting procedure or a series of nonsurgical SculpSure treatments may be all that is required to give her a youthful jaw line, as the skin will usually have sufficient elasticity to snap into place. This same approach would not be appropriate for a patient in her forties, as skin and muscle laxity would be expected to persist if the issue is not addressed.

For such a patient, however, a traditional facelift may not be required yet; quite possibly an excellent result could be expected combining the liposuction with a short incision under the chin to tighten the neck muscles. Or we may add to this a midface lift, which can be achieved with a small stab wound in the fold between the cheek and the upper lid and a short incision behind the side burn, avoiding incisions around the ears. In an older patient, not only would a full facelift be indicated, but also brow lifts, lip enhancements, or skin resurfacing may be added to achieve the optimal result.”

Whatever approach is suggested, Dr. Bunkis explains the expected outcome to each patient thoroughly. “I can do this by placing the patient in front of a mirror and lifting their skin, or by using computer imaging. During the consultation, I always relay my philosophy and give each patient a realistic idea of what they can expect to achieve with surgery. This is an art form and the patient deserves to know my vision before we embark on the surgical voyage,” concludes Dr. Bunkis.

Dr. Bunkis is an expert facelift surgeon who practices in South Orange County and in the San Francisco East Bay. A double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face and body, Dr. Bunkis has years of unsurpassed surgical expertise. Below are examples of actual patients of Dr. Bunkis that illustrate the various options for facial rejuvenation. Dr. Bunkis can be reached by calling (949) 888-9700 or you can write to him at [email protected]. You may see more examples of Dr. Bunkis’s work at www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com

Example-1

35 year old anesthesiologist with a full neck, before and after a neck liposculpture, chin implant and rhinoplasty. This same neck contour and sagging could not be corrected as effectively with an isolated liposuction procedure in someone a decade or two older because of the loss of skin elasticity and muscle laxity.

Example-2

48 year old, weathered female, who looked significantly older than her stated age, before and at age 50, two years after full-face CO2 laser resurfacing, an endoscopic brow lift, facelift, upper and lower eyelid procedures – to address all the signs of aging she displayed. The neck was liposuctioned as a part of the facelift but a neck liposuction alone would only have left her with a thinner but saggier neck and not addressed the unusual laxity and sun damage she had.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.