Vero Beach, FL plastic surgeon Jimmy Chim, MD says of all the procedures he performs, head to toe, the three that he’s seen change the most lives are facelifts with necklifts, functional rhinoplasties, and facial gender-affirming surgeries. “What they all have in common is that they’re doing more than changing the aesthetics of a patient, but they’re also changing how the body functions and improving their overall wellness,” he shares.
Dr. Chim has developed a “form and function” approach to these procedures, taken from his background in reconstructive surgery, which he says achieves two sets of goals for his patients:
“One is to restore normality for those in need of reconstruction and the other is to exceed normality in how things appear aesthetically.” From a cosmetic standpoint, he notes that the goal is to improve the form of a structure or region; from a reconstructive perspective, function is of the utmost importance. “The procedures that allow me to do both for my patient are the ones that I find the most rewarding,” adds the surgeon.
Longer-Lasting Facelifts and Necklifts
Incorporating new technologies to advance current facelift and necklift surgeries has led to a new level of effectiveness and longevity, says Dr. Chim “Although the current techniques are extremely powerful when done well, not much has changed in the last 20 years. “We hope to be able to contribute with our research using a biological mesh as a natural ‘internal bra’ for re-suspension of the lower face.” This surgical mesh acts like scaffolding or a foundation that helps to fortify the tension created with the patient’s own tissue. It’s also customizable and able to be tightened based on what the person needs. “For facelift and necklift patients, we can make them look about 10-15 years younger and the results will last more than a decade,” he explains. “While you’re still aging, you will always look 10-15 years younger.”
Breathing Repair & Nasal Reshaping
“In our practice, functional rhinoplasty is performed to improve airway abnormalities of the nose in addition to improving the aesthetics,” shares Dr. Chim. “We pay careful attention to structural abnormalities that may impede nasal breathing during a rhinoplasty exam.” With advanced techniques and a deep understanding of the nose, he is able to not only improve the way a patient looks, but the way they breathe as well. “Functional rhinoplasty helps improve the aesthetics of the nose and address nasal airway breathing issues as well. This is an exemplary example of how we can improve form and function for a patient with a single operation,” he notes. “We deconstruct the nose and renovate it much like a house, reinforcing areas of collapse and weakness. We can also improve the external appearance at the same time. This is all done with internal specialized cartilage grafts and suture techniques.”
Life-Changing Facial Gender-Affirming Surgeries
Facial gender surgery is a combination of surgical and nonsurgical facial procedures that allows a patient to have a more gender-affirming appearance. “I perform mostly facial and thoracic feminization or masculinization procedures,” says the surgeon. “This surgery allows me to give a patient something that they have literally wanted almost their entire lives. They’ve had to live with the fact that their body is not their own, betraying their self-image to the outside world.” When he can affirm a patient’s gender with a surgical procedure, Dr. Chim says he’s helping them to face the world as the person they were meant to be. “It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to help improve the lives of these extremely grateful patients.”