Facial plastic surgeon, P. Daniel Ward, MD, based in Salt Lake City, notes that his facial rejuvenation patients are trending younger. “The shift we have seen in my practice and around the country has been in patients seeking rejuvenation at a younger age. These patients do not want to look younger; they simply want to look refreshed or have their persistent double chin or round face addressed. They realize they don’t need to go through life feeling insecure about these issues and what we have found is that by adjusting the muscles and soft tissue of the face and neck, we enhance the patient’s naturally beautiful features.”
“Gone are the days of facial surgery that leaves an obviously pulled look,” says Dr. Ward. Now, the cosmetic-savvy patient opts to make tweaks that give them an overall more attractive aesthetic rather than a full-on lift. “All too often, we have made the error of believing the answer to making someone look younger or better involves stretching or tightening the skin, which leaves an unnatural, odd look,” he says. “Instead, what I do is reposition the muscle and reduce fat in certain key areas, which give a beautiful, elegant look. We are changing the proportions of the face to make it better fit that individual and to better showcase their natural beauty.”
An In-Depth Facial Analysis
Dr. Ward starts with an in-person evaluation that, in addition to the full examination, includes 3D facial photography and CT scans to assess a patient’s skin and tissues. He looks at this process as an architect looking at the next project site. “This evaluation allows me to assess their skin quality, soft tissue, and any concerns with the bone underneath,” says the surgeon. “By looking at the 3D photos and correlating them with the findings we unearth with the CT scan of the face, which shows the underlying bone, muscle and tissue, we are able to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.”
“Patients love the fact that we can show them the structures of the face and use this information to determine the exact treatment needed—before we go to the operating room,” he says. “They are often shocked to see how the thing they don’t like about their face might be caused, in part, by elements of their face they cannot see on the surface. Issues like small cheek bones or a small chin can lead to a dramatic effect on what we see on the outside.”
A Customized Approach
As a facial expert, Dr. Ward says his number-one goal is to bring balance and harmony to the face in the most natural-looking way possible. “I’ve had a patient come to me and say they’re bothered by their nose, but after careful analysis, we find that it’s actually an undersized chin that’s contributing to the poor facial harmony. For someone with fullness under the face, the issue might be with the deep neck tissue and the answer might be a chin augmentation with a deep neck lift and surgical facial contouring to remove some of the facial fat and reposition the muscles.” These structural changes, rather than just addressing the specific issue bothering the patient, allow the full “architecture” of the face to be addressed to truly address the patient’s concerns.
Whether it be a male or female patient, Dr. Ward notes that the best tool he possesses is his artistic sense and the technical ability to translate this artistry to enhance and highlight the natural beauty of his patients: “My aim is not to change the patient’s identity—I want to enhance it. Our faces are directly correlated to our own unique identities. Someone might come in and say they don’t like the hump on their nose, and they are unhappy about it. My job is to first recognize the aspects of everyone’s face that makes them beautiful, such as their striking eyes or beautiful smile. I then use my aesthetic sense and technical expertise to enhance those beautiful features and address the other facial features that are stealing attention from the eyes, lips, or other focal points. By doing this, we can fulfill our mission of “Improving Lives by Inspiring Confidence.”