“People are identifying new insecurities when they see their faces on Zoom,” says New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD. “But now that they have figured out they can recover at home without having to take time off from work or school, I’m getting patients running into my office requesting surgery for tomorrow!”
Along with his wife, New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD, Dr. Elie Levine is noticing a common thread among the eager wave of patients: they’re seeking the same handful of procedures. Below, the doctors walk us through the top procedures of today’s trying times and how they pool their expertise to create the ultimate aesthetic and contour for each patient.
Laser Photo Rejuvenation
“Over time, pigment [created] from the sun begins to dramatically age people because it makes the skin look incredibly dull,” says Dr. Jody Levine. But, if you can eliminate that pigment, your skin will have no choice but to shine. “Reducing this pigment allows light to reflect off the skin of your face, as if you were a child again,” she says.
“The pigment that is found in your skin is layered at different depths, so I prefer to use a combination of lasers to get the best results.” Her favorites? PicoSure, which she uses on the whole face to take care of brown pigments, and BBL (BroadBand Light), which has different filters she can use to target the light and dark brown, as well as red, pigment. “The two lasers work synergistically, with results that surpass the results of one alone,” says Dr. Jody Levine. As a bonus, there are often zero side effects from using these lasers, aside from some mild, temporary darkening of sun damage.
“These days you can work from home without missing a beat,” says Dr. Elie Levine. “I’m getting patients who—for years—have been trying to find time for a rhinoplasty, and now they can do it without anyone knowing.” But, when the nose gets some adjusting, other parts of the face may look best with some optional adjustments. There are a few procedures that you can get alongside a rhinoplasty that make the end result look better, and Dr. Levine says he’s been doing a lot of them.
“One is a chin augmentation, because there is a unique relationship between the chin and the nose. If a patient has a small chin, adding a very small implant can make the nose look that much better—and we can tend to both areas in one surgery.”
Another common add-on is liposuction in the chin and neck area. “Having extra fat on the neck can affect what the chin looks like and, therefore, the outcome of your rhinoplasty,” he notes. “Using liposuction along with a radiofrequency device allows patients to come out of surgery with a much better aesthetic.”
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
“PRP has been used in dermatology to counter hair loss, but I have also been using it more and more to improve the quality of skin,” Dr. Jody Levine says. She explains, “PRP is filled with growth factors. If injected into the scalp, these growth factors can help promote growth of scalp hair. If injected into the skin of the face, these growth factors can help remodel and rejuvenate the skin.” As an example, Dr. Levine points to the crinkly skin around the eyes. She injects Botox and filler to help with wrinkles and volume loss but is also injecting PRP to improve skin quality. “PRP also helps skin heal much faster after a procedure, gives the skin a beautiful glow and promotes skin remodeling.”
How can the same plasma that helps to grow hair also help to smooth skin? Dr. Levine explains that growth factors can help different parts of the body in various ways. “PRP injection has become one of my favorite procedures for facial rejuvenation without any downtime,” she says.
“Women who have yearned for a mommy makeover are able to have the surgery now because they have other family members at home to take care of the kids—it makes such a huge difference,” notes Dr. Elie Levine.
The first aspect of the surgery looks at the breasts: “Some women benefit from a breast augmentation, or a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction; it really depends on their genetics and how they look after pregnancy.” Then, surgeons move into the belly area. “Some patients are more eligible for a tummy tuck whereas others might do better with liposuction. Generally, when I’m performing liposuction, I also use a radiofrequency device to tighten the skin,” says Dr. Elie Levine. There’s also full-body radiofrequency tightening which can be used on the thighs, arms or butt.
Injectables and Fillers
“I use fillers to lift rather than solely to fill,” says Dr. Jody Levine. “If you use them correctly, fillers can fill depleted areas of the face and soften the facial contours—my favorite place to fill is the temples.” Filling the temples can give a soft curve going around the eyes, which she says delivers a much younger and smoother look.
“The way I fill a depleted-looking face is by starting at the top of the temples and making my way down. Then, I go along the sides of the face and up into the sideburns, which lifts the cheeks and affects the whole shape of the face. Following the border of the face can really give a lift without any of the fake-looking swelling in the mid-face,” she adds.
She also enjoys using neurotoxins (such as Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin and Dysport) for under-the-radar uses, such as treating a “gummy smile,” for example, or lifting the tip of the nose “I inject the Botox on either side of the nose for the gummy smile, or the underside of the nose to lift the tip. It’s important to know the anatomy of the facial muscles and then there is so much you can do,” she says.
“If someone has a small amount of excess skin on his or her eyelids, I can remove it with a blepharoplasty, which is a great procedure, but I can also use a radio-frequency hand piece to tighten up that skin,” says Dr. Elie Levine.
“This can be done awake with a bit of local [anesthesia] in about half an hour’s time and really doesn’t create a lot of swelling or bruising —there is no downtime for this at all,” he says. A blepharoplasty, whether surgical or nonsurgical, opens up the patient’s eyes and makes the patient look and feel more awake, vibrant and young.
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