Beware: Plastic Surgery and Injectables Can Age You
More and more of us are turning to plastic surgery and injectables to reverse the clock. We want to look younger and more vibrant and we want to remain competitive in an increasingly ageist marketplace. Likewise, our plastic surgeon’s office can often feel akin to the mythical fountain of youth.
But… are we going too far? Clearly, some of us might be enjoying too much of a very good thing and suffering the consequences. Instead of looking like the well-rested, rejuvenated, revamped version of ourselves, we might look like the polar opposite. It can range from excess filler in the lips giving that fish-faced look, or just too much Botox, which can create that dreaded frozen-faced look that nobody is buying. It’s also possible to remove too much fat, especially in the face, which can create a gaunt or hollowed-out look, which inevitably makes someone look much older than their years. (Yes, fat can be your friend).
“Unfortunately this has been all too common a trend in the US, particularly in the last few years, as more powerful and longer lasting injectables and other procedures have grown in popularity and access has also increased,” says New Jersey-based plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Glatt.
In general, “going too far” is an aesthetic judgment on the part of both the plastic surgeon and the patient, says Dr. Glatt. “I believe this is easily recognized when seen; if someone doesn’t resemble their “old” self any longer – that’s a telltale sign.” Injectables should enhance how one looks and not change how one looks too dramatically. The difference should be subtle and you should appear more refreshed and vibrant afterwards but you shouldn’t look just ‘done.’
“Unfortunately, many people wind up looking very clearly ‘done’ which is the opposite of what anyone wants and why anyone seeking aesthetic improvement should find a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon to handle both surgical and nonsurgical beauty-related enhancements.”
Overused and overdone
“If surgical blepharoplasty is overdone and too much tissue removed, the periorbital region (the area around the eye) can be hollowed out leading to a more aged look. This is one of the most common scenario when someone winds up looking “older” after plastic surgery,” says Dr. Glatt. “In addition, if Botox is not injected properly or if placed into a poor candidate, then the eyebrows may droop resulting in a heavy and tired appearance.”
Other problem scenarios: Too much filler in the lips so it doesn't match the face creating an imbalanced look; raising the eyebrows up too high, which just looks unnatural and sometimes, creepy; too much Botox, (again, frozen face is not a youthful aesthetic), over-plumping the cheeks causing facial imbalance and removing too much fat from the neck, cheek, eye areas etc. since facial volume is an indicator of youth. These are all examples of treatments that are overdone or overused and end up having negative effects, Dr. Glatt says.
“I tend to see many patients in referral for revisionary treatments that have been performed by someone else. As such, I see examples of too much of everything – both surgical and nonsurgical. In the case of too much Botox, if nothing moves at all, this is very unnatural. If too much dermal filler is injected, the result might be way beyond what would be considered normal anatomy, particularly in the lips and/or cheeks,” says Dr. Glatt. (Think Meg Ryan recently or Madonna several years ago.)
So, if you get too much Botox or filler, is it possible to remove the extra and keep enough to have the results you desired? This is not possible with Botox says Dr. Glatt. “Once it is in the body and working, there is no way to reverse its action. One must wait it out until the effects of the Botox resolve over the course of three to four months. Most injectable fillers however, can be removed or melted away by an antidote, particularly the hyaluronic acid-based injectable filler treatments such as Juvederm and Restylane products” he notes.
With major plastic surgery that requires revisions, the general rule is to wait a full year prior to undergoing the revisionary procedure. This allows the body enough time to completely heal and ensure that the results of the initial surgery are the final results.
The best nip and tuck is the one that results in a natural-looking refreshed version of you. To achieve that, consult with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery.