Why Smith Cosmetic Surgery: A Focus on the Face

When considering plastic surgery on the face it’s paramount that you find a highly specialized doctor who you are confident can produce natural-looking results so you can move forward with a renewed, more youthful looking you.

Dr. Brent Smith chose the face as a palette for his artistry. Then he achieved double board certification in face, neck, and nose and throat specialties to back up his artistic inspiration with science.photo illustration of facial plastic surgery

The intersection of art and science

Medicine and art run in the Smith family. Dr. Smith’s father was a family practice physician who became a beacon in the small Indiana community where the Smiths raised their children. He helped children with sports physicals and families with all sorts of physical conditions. He was a provider as well as a mentor before Dr. Smith knew what that even meant.

“I was always influenced by my father. He was so respected in the community,” says Dr. Smith. “But also he enjoyed what he did tremendously. And seeing how happy it made him, I wanted the same thing. I wanted to be like my dad.”

But his mother, an accomplished painter, was also an influence. At home both art and music were constant reminders of the beauty and harmony in the world. His sister went on to earn a Ph.D. in religious art at Oxford. “She tells me that we do the same thing, really. Only she does hers with plaster and my art involves skin, cartilage and bones,” he says.

“But imagine an artist painting a tree. It can look like a cartoon or very realistic like a bird could fly right into the canvas. That’s my goal: for everything to fit the face and have someone not look like they’ve had plastic surgery.”

Facial plastic surgery is a natural fit for someone like Dr. Smith. At a young age he was fascinated by finding symmetry in all things. “I was creative. I was always interested in making things. But I wanted things to look right, to have harmony,” he says. “And because the face is out in the open and you can’t cover it with a blouse or slacks, all of my work has to be just right.”

He describes the best plastic surgeons as doctors who compose a face like a song. “If one person is out of key, the whole song is ruined. All of the parts have to fit together.”

To ensure that happens with each and every patient, Dr. Smith always meets one-on-one first. “I try to look at how all of the parts of the face complement one another” he says. “That’s aesthetics. We can’t just be mechanical. We can’t just go through the motions.”

Studying and practicing for the face

Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent SmithGetting it right in facial plastic surgery requires creativity, intelligence, diligence and training. And, Dr. Smith put in the hard work. He went to medical school at the prestigious Indiana University, where his father taught the craft to wide-eyed freshmen.

Dr. Smith, and many other future doctors, took the senior Smith’s advice: “Choose a field you truly enjoy and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.” That’s how Dr. Smith feels and is privileged to do what he does each day.

But to become an expert in the facial plastic surgery niche, Dr. Smith went beyond college and med school — and even beyond the naysayers who suggested he’d never make it in such a narrow segment of plastic surgery. He proved them all wrong.

“A lot of peers would say that the body is the bulk of work in most plastic surgery and that I’d never make it just focusing on the face,” Dr. Smith says. “Now a vast majority of our patients come in because I specialize in the face.”

To make sure he was armed with every tool possible, he secured exclusive fellowships and earned not just one but two board certifications from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck surgery.

“If I’m going to do something, I want it to be the best it can be,” he says. So Dr. Smith also pursued a full year of training in the nuances of plastic surgery on the face. That was a choice, not a requirement. And at the time it was very rare. Only a handful of specialty plastic surgeons were taking their education to that level.

“For me, that extra training under a pioneer doctor in facial plastic surgery was like an apprentice training under someone like da Vinci or Michelangelo,” he says. “It truly refined what I was able to do in my own practice.”

Three decades, thousands of faces later

Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent SmithDr. Smith has honed his skills over nearly 30 years and thousands of unique faces. Often he performs more facial procedures in two weeks than a general plastic surgeon will log in a year. And today, Dr. Brent Smith is considered one of the finest facial plastic surgeons in the country.

But that hasn’t gone to his head. Dr. Smith still meets with every patient personally. “We talk about what concerns them, what they notice when we look in the mirror together and what their wishes are,” he says. “But to be thorough, I show them what I think they could benefit from, sometimes in addition to or instead of what they may have thought was needed.”

Then patients walk through computer imaging scenarios showing a preview of how they could look if they added or subtracted certain aspects of a face, neck and cheek lift procedures. After an honest conversation with Dr. Smith, seeing their future face on screen and learning about Dr. Smith’s vast experience in the sub-specialization of facial plastic surgery, most patients are motivated to book surgery.

It turns out that caring about your craft — and people — still matters. “For traditional artists, their works hang in a gallery,” Dr. Smith says. “My art is alive. My gallery is the faces of the people walking around our community.”

Our Facelift Patient Shares the Real Process

Meet Teri. She’s another satisfied facelift patient of Dr. Brent J. Smith. He’s made many people like Teri shine their brightest during a nearly 30-year career performing facial plastic surgery for people from Denver and around the country.

Teri agreed to share her real story so that others who are considering facial plastic surgery will see that anyone can achieve their dream of looking—and feeling—naturally younger. But it does take courage.

mini facelift after photoIn her early 60s, Teri began to think more seriously about a facelift. Photos were the hardest. They revealed the droop in her jowls and wrinkles in her neck. She found herself straightening up and looking stiffly upward in an effort to stretch those signs of aging that seem to creep up quickly.

BOTOX® vs. Mini Facelift

She’d tried regular BOTOX treatments. But she knew that the regular treatments that kept her facial wrinkles at bay wasn’t powerful enough to address the lower half of her face and neck.

But Teri was a little scared to make the decision to have surgery. She wasn’t intimidated by the operation itself, but rather the result that she might end up with. See, Teri’s friend had a facelift elsewhere. And the outcome wasn’t pretty.

“I thought it looked so tight and unnatural,” she says. “You kind of see what you don’t want to look like.” But was there a doctor out there who could deliver a more natural result, simply a younger version of herself, Teri wondered?

That’s when she got a few plastic surgeon referrals from her dermatologist. She went to see two: a generalist and Dr. Smith, who practices exclusively on faces and is double-board-certified.

The first doctor told Teri that he performed a couple of facelifts each month, but did plastic surgery all over the body. He would also use general aesthesia to put Teri under for her face and neck lift.

An honest, genuine facial surgery specialist

Her second visit was to Smith Cosmetic Surgery. Her husband was unsure about Teri undergoing surgery, so she asked him to come along. It was a free informational session, right? They had nothing to lose. He agreed.

When the couple met with Dr. Smith, who conducts every new-patient consultation, Teri learned that the longtime Denver doctor only did plastic surgery on the face. He was a specialist. In fact, he told her that he performs five to six facelifts a week!

“He answered all my questions, and he was just very warm and genuine,” Teri says. “I felt comfortable immediately.”

Then Dr. Smith told Teri something that put her husband at ease: The whole mini face and neck lift with a fat transfer from her belly could be performed under “twilight” anesthesia, a lighter, less aggressive sedative. That meant she’d never be fully “under.” And that was the selling point for Teri’s husband.

For Teri, it was a combination of things that encouraged her to more forward with the facelift: Dr. Smith’s specialty; practice manager Lorayn Bower’s insight about her own experience of recently having a facelift by Dr. Smith; and compelling before-and-after photos.

“Lorayn created an enhanced picture depicting the future me and once I could see those results, it really sold me,” she says.

The Smith Cosmetic Surgery experience

denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Smith and patient following a mini faceliftTeri signed up for the face and neck lift that she and Dr. Smith agreed would bring out her most natural features. She was 64 and it was June. She had no work to get back to and prepared herself for both the surgery and the recovery process, which she knew could be different for different people.

“Lorayn told me she had her own facelift and that it’s not a piece of cake,” Teri says. “She told me about her journey so I knew what was normal. I appreciated how very honest she was about the process.”

Teri’s sister was another helpful support. A month prior to Teri’s procedure, she had undergone her own successful facelift in Texas. The two compared notes from afar.

Teri’s procedure went exactly as planned. But the recovery process, as Lorayn had prepared her for, was challenging. And everyone responds a little differently, both physically and emotionally, to seeing a swollen face before the beauty shines through.

“My immediate reaction was to the swelling,” she says. She wondered whether she was always going to look like this, even though she knew the truth: that the inflammation was only temporary. It would give way to a more youthful-looking Teri. She’d just have to take it day by day.

Recovery, rest and results

So she did. Teri came in for seven days following her facelift to lay in Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s special hyperbaric chamber, a state-of-the-art oxygenation device proven to speed healing.

smith cosmetic surgery patient mini facelift before and after“Lorayn and the Smith Cosmetic Surgery team always gave me such encouraging words,” she says. Having a support team worked. Recovery, even though it progressed at a perfectly normal pace, wasn’t a piece of cake. Lorayn was right.

“The swelling and bruising was the hardest part,” she says. “But, in the end, everything met my expectations. I was prepared. And I was totally happy with the results.”

Teri just had to be patient. Since she wasn’t in a rush to get back to a job and didn’t feel the need to get out until she was completely healed, Teri gave herself a full five weeks before presenting herself to the world.

And when she did resume normal activities, no one noticed. That might sound ironic, but that’s exactly what Teri wanted. Her results were so natural looking that she simply appeared like a healthy, confident younger version of herself. No taught cheeks. No masked necklines. Nothing fake.

In fact, to this day she’s only told her direct family about the facelift. And that’s how she likes it. In a way, it’s her little secret—and an empowering one at that.

“I didn’t want people to judge me,” she says. “I did it for myself. And that’s all that matters.”

Cheek and Neck Lift: A Personal Journey

The best way to share our knowledge of facial plastic surgery is to tell an inside story. At age 47, Smith Cosmetic Surgery practice manager Lorayn Bowers recently went through her very own cheek and neck lift. Read on about her personal experience.

Why did I decide to have a lower facelift in my late forties? Several reasons. The first is I had watched my face change noticeably over the last year. The youthful fullness that once contoured my upper cheeks had begun to slide, creating fullness across my jaw line.

From heart to square face

facial plastic surgery patient after cheek and neck liftGone was my heart-shaped face. In its place was a square. The face smiling back at me in pictures was not the face I saw in my mind’s eye. True, others weren’t seeing it the way I was: “What, why? I don’t think you need a facelift!” they said.

But I saw the change, and Dr. Smith, when I asked for his honest opinion, agreed. With his stamp of approval and the support of the Smith Cosmetic Surgery staff my decision was made.

In Dr. Brent J. Smith I trust

Second, my trust in Dr. Smith was the catalyst in my decision. Without him I would have done nothing, because I wouldn’t have known what I needed or who I could trust.

I’ve had the absolute honor of watching firsthand someone I believe to be the world’s best facial plastic surgeon craft life-altering results for thousands of women and men in my more than eight years with the practice. To this day I am mesmerized by the way Dr. Smith can take a face that has given way to the inevitable effects of aging and meticulously revert it to the youthful face that the person once knew. Yet never into a face unrecognizable to them or to those who know and love them. And never, ever into a face that looked “plastic.”

A pioneer for our patients

Third, as practice manager for Smith Cosmetic Surgery I feel a responsibility to advocate for what we do. If our patients can see my trust in Dr. Smith through his work on my face then they will trust him as well. I believe that by pioneering this for others I am giving them permission to consider it for themselves.

If you’re shying away from the camera, avoiding mirrors or downplaying your importance because of your changing appearance then through me, and other members of our staff who’ve also had work from Dr. Smith, you will see that you can do something about it. Facial plastic surgery is okay, as long as it’s done right. Shouldn’t we all be able to maintain our faces the way we color our hair or change the shape of our body with diet, exercise and, yes, even plastic surgery?

Prepping and setting expectations for surgery

Having said that, it’s important to understand that facial plastic surgery is just that: surgery. And just like any surgery it requires thought and preparation.

Watching cheek and neck lifts performed on others every day certainly did not make me immune to its challenges, both physical and mental. Like everyone else, I expected to wake up in recovery transformed without that healing phase that goes along with surgery.

Now I feel confident telling patients that if they choose to move forward with Dr. Smith that I can essentially outline what their process will be. I had to walk myself through my own advice during my recovery, and I have done my best to outline those truths for you here—no longer through secondhand experience, but from my own. And guess what? As it turns out it was right on target with what I’ve heard others saying for almost nine years. So let’s begin.

Day of: You won’t like it, but you will survive

When you get home from surgery your head will be wrapped tightly. You won’t like this, but you will survive it. Eat something once you are settled into your healing position and take a pain pill.

This is not the time to count calories or to be stubborn about taking pain medication. Eat whatever you can tolerate and will fit into your mouth, which at this point isn’t opening as far as you’re used to. For me it was instant mashed potatoes and oatmeal. Consistency is the most important at this point. You need solid, but soft food. Chewing regular food again will come, so be patient.

Ice the exposed skin of your face and neck, which will bring you comfort. Aside from that, try to relax and sleep, getting up only to use the bathroom. And don’t be stalwart: Rely on your caregiver.

Days 1 & 2: The wrap is off, but feels like it’s still on

 

You tackled the first night and you get the head wrap off—hallelujah! But don’t be fooled. This is the beginning, not the end. It’s time to hunker down for the next few days and heal. You will be surprised that when the head wrap is removed you will have the sensation of still wearing it. Frankly this was shocking to me. It felt tight from my temple down to the base of my neck. This will cause you some anxiety, but trust me it will soften over the next 48 hours.

I’m still on soft, bland foods and brushing my teeth with a children’s toothbrush. I’m icing constantly and still taking my pain medication to help me relax. These first days are when positive reinforcement from yourself, friends and family, and our office is the most important.

At this point my goal is getting to day 3, when I get to wash my hair. Over the years I’ve always recognized this time to be a turning point in our patients’ recovery. I even begged Dr. Smith to let me wash it before day 3 but he said no. No special treatment—just follow your surgery booklet. It will guide you. Continue icing constantly at this point; it brings great comfort.

Day 3: A complete attitude change today

True to form, this is the turning point. I’m beginning to feel human again. My hair is clean and my appetite is returning. I can feel the tightness in my neck and around my ears beginning to soften. I have my first coffee since the day before surgery and I’m brushing my teeth with an adult toothbrush again.

I’m not chewing solid food yet, but I’m off the pain meds and taking Tylenol only at bedtime. It’s a complete attitude change. I’m still icing consistently. Typically at this point we’ll begin to see what kind of bruiser you are. Remember, everyone is different in this regard.

Days 4-6: Continued progress is comforting

I had my first latte—simple pleasures! I’m able to turn my head more each day. The swelling has gone down some, although in its place is a yellowish bruising on the sides of my face and neck.

I’m still icing, especially at night after using the muscles during the day. Sleeping at an angle is a bit of a challenge, but I understand the need and it keeps me from rolling over on my ears. At this point my energy level has improved, too, but I remind myself to take it easy to avoid any setbacks. It’s not an easy feat for someone who can’t sit still.

At this point I’m concentrating on cleaning my sutures and surgical clips. I know I have a ways to go, but I already love the shape that my face and neck are taking. 

Day 7: Stitches are out!

one week post-op Facelift

Voila! Stitches are out and half of the surgical clips have been removed from in front of and behind my ears. It didn’t hurt a bit and I cannot believe the progress in one short week!  I’ll look forward to the remaining surgical clips being removed in three more days.

2 weeks post op: Out to dinner

We tell our patients that they can be “go out to dinner ready” just two weeks after a facelift. Two weeks for me happened to fall on my husband’s birthday and sure enough we went out to dinner. At this point I am still aware of my healing—tightness at the jaw line and in the neck, numbness and soreness around my ears, but even though I’m slightly more swollen than I eventually will be, I look great!  Definitely not like someone who had a lower facelift two weeks ago. 

3 weeks later: Thinking about exercising again

I’m still sleeping elevated. My ears are tender and I don’t feel like I can put weight on them at night if I should happen to roll on to my side. This isn’t all bad. I should be sleeping on my back anyway. They say this will help with aging of the skin.

My swelling has subsided greatly and I absolutely love the shape of my jaw line. Added bonus: Dr. Smith gave me the cutest earlobes—the best they’ve ever looked!

We say that patients can begin working out again at three weeks, but honestly I can understand not wanting to start up again for another week or possibly two. I’ve needed to do some work around the office such as moving computers around. I notice that my neck and jaw line become tight as I exert myself. I am going to use my elliptical next week, but I’ll definitely be starting out slow.

Next up: having my grays covered and wearing earrings again, which is allowed one month following surgery.

My friends, I hope you find this insight into the healing process after a facelift helpful. I hope it gives you confidence to move forward. Because in the end, the sacrifices I made to feel more like myself than ever before were overwhelmingly worth it.

The Facts on Facelifts for Women Over 50

While there’s no “right” age for a facelift, women age 50 and above tend to consider facial plastic surgery more often than those who are younger. Several things often align to cause aging adults to move forward with the life-changing procedure.

rose header image for facelift contentPeople passing middle age may start to notice that physical changes become more prominent.  Once-tiny wrinkles may now stop them in their tracks each time they look in the mirror. Perhaps you’ve heard the jingle, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall. I am my mother after all.”

It may elicit both a laugh and a cry. If that’s the case, it’s probably time to start considering a more permanent solution, according to Dr. Brent J. Smith who has treated thousands of women over the course of his career in Denver. Not surprisingly, the most common age for a facelift is around 58 or 59, with that age increasingly skewing younger.

Why Women 50-Plus Turn to Cosmetic Surgery

For women, the 50s can be an especially tricky time of life. With so many changes underway related to dropping estrogen levels and menopause, it’s hard to know what each new day will bring. And emotional and physical changes seem to speed up during this time.

In fact, at Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we often hear the phrase, “I feel like I aged overnight.” This, too, can be an impetus for finding a more long-term solution to the sometimes sudden and startling effects of aging.

before and after photo of woman who had faceliftMiddle-aged women may also start to notice friends who are having successful plastic surgery work. Seeing others’ natural results can be an inspiration. And sometimes discussing the plastic surgery process, expectations, and results with a close confidant can give you a confidence boost to move forward with a facelift as well.

Additionally, women who marry later or have postponed having children until later in life may experience emotional issues around aging each day at their children’s schools. Being a 50-year-old mother around other mothers of elementary-age children could mean confronting a youthful 27-year-old mom daily. And that can be a challenging reminder of age—and also an incentive for a facelift.

Finally, middle age can be a time when working professionals have reached the height of their careers and may finally have strong earning potential. Kids may be out of college. Retirement is on the horizon. And finances may have grown or stabilized. It may be the first time that it feels acceptable to spend some discretionary income on self-care. And a facelift may become an investment in the second half of life.

Younger is Better for Recovery and Results

Whatever causes a patient to choose Smith Cosmetic Surgery for a facelift or other facial plastic surgery procedure, we are always happy to welcome new patients at younger ages. The reason is simple: Younger bodies recover faster and retain a more youthful look after surgical enhancement.

If someone comes in at age 60 or 70, that’s an additional decade of sun, toxins, and depleted collagen that Dr. Smith must erase on the face. It’s natural, but there are a greater number of physical setbacks that come with the aging process. And that means there are greater challenges to facial plastic surgery.

That said, as an exclusive expert in plastic surgery on the face, Dr. Smith has nearly three decades of performing facelifts on people of all ages. In fact, he enjoys the challenge of operating on even the most senior patients. It’s all part of his craft—and art.

But it’s a fact that surgery is simply easier at a younger age. With the facelift in particular, the more healthy fat, collagen, and muscle Dr. Smith has to work with the better. While all facial plastic surgery addresses the underlying structure of the face, it’s helpful to have more tone to work with in the first place.

For example, as young as 35, humans begin to lose important fat deposits in the face, which can leave the underlying muscle prone to aging through gravity. Dr. Smith manipulates the musculature underneath the skin’s surface with each and every facelift. And that becomes a tougher prospect the older you are. Heavily aged skin doesn’t have the support structure to “bounce back” as quickly from any form of trauma, whether that’s an accident or a planned procedure.

Getting it Right the First Time

before and after photos of woman who had faceliftThe good news is 50 is an ideal time to stop nature in its tracks and not lose another day of youth. And women have more options than ever before with the modern-day mini facelift.

But it’s critical to make sure you get it right the first time. Smith Cosmetic Surgery patients consistently look 10 to 15 years younger following Dr. Smith’s signature natural-looking facelift.

A properly done facelift in the 50s, followed by a state-of-the-art healing formula like Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s Rapid Recovery, will extend the results of your facelift. You will be able to get touch-ups as you deem necessary throughout the natural aging process. But your first facelift at Smith Cosmetic Surgery can truly be your one and only.

Unfortunately many people aren’t educated about the amazing long-term results a natural-looking facelift can produce. Advertising often tricks us into thinking that the latest quick fix could hold the answer. Women are especially targeted by the marketing of procedures and products touted to take away wrinkles or lift a sagging neck and jaw line in an instant.

“Far too often women come to us after they have exhausted their options trying what they saw on an infomercial or TV commercial and spent their budget on these procedures,” explains Dr. Smith.

But, remember, we know this happens all the time. And we promise, there’s no judgment at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. We are here to give you the cosmetic surgery solution you’ve dreamed of.  Ready to see what that looks like? Give us a call today at 888-218-4479 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation and digital imaging of the new you.

See Your Results Before Your Facial Plastic Surgery

At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, previewing a picture of the “new you” is just part of our process and the service we afford each patient. Every new facial plastic surgery patient is entitled to a complimentary consultation. And one of the most exciting parts of that meeting is creating a computer image that closely approximates your actual outcome.

It all starts with a one-on-one session with Dr. Brent J. Smith. Not all plastic surgeons meet their patients exclusively prior to surgery. We can’t stress enough how rare and special it is to talk directly with Dr. Smith, a highly respected Denver doctor and veteran in the facial plastic surgery world.

graphic illustration showing how digital imaging allows people to preview facial plastic surgery resultsOur nationally renowned, board-certified, fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon is in a class of one! Dr. Smith knows that crafting beautiful, individualized, natural-looking results starts with getting to know each patient’s goals and desires.

In fact, the consultation with photo imaging has become such an important part of what we do at Smith Cosmetic Surgery that we can’t imagine why a practice wouldn’t take this critical first step. Since Dr. Smith is performing the work, getting the right input from the beginning helps direct the very best possible surgical result in the end.

It’s all part of the Smith Cosmetic Surgery philosophy. And we put it into practice during a free three-step consultation that includes:

  • An in-depth, in-person interview and evaluation with Dr. Smith
  • Review of Smith Cosmetic Surgery patients’ before-and-after photos
  • Advanced computer imaging with a simulated preview of your personal surgical results

How Computer Imaging Works

Seeing is believing. One of the most exciting parts of the consultation is our advanced computer imaging. Smith Cosmetic Surgery is one of the only practices in town with such sophisticated future-casting technology. And we feel strongly that every new patient receive this special service prior to surgery.

Through the imaging program prospective patients see what they will look like after healing from a face lift, nose surgery, eyelid lift, or other common facial plastic surgery procedure. And, this visual aid also helps put people at greater ease.

We’ve found that many fears patients might have about surgery are quickly put to rest after seeing an image of their rejuvenated face on the screen and then leaving the Smith Cosmetic Surgery office with a printout for further consideration.

Being able to “predict” what the future will bring is both exciting and relieving for patients. After going through this important step, patients typically come to their scheduled day of surgery more relaxed and inspired.

Additionally, the continued technological advancements in computer-aided visualization programming make our jobs easier and more fun each year. By entering increasingly custom variables, we can now nearly replicate Dr. Smith’s outstanding natural-looking plastic surgery outcomes on the screen.

In fact, when we send patients home with a free printed copy of their surgical outcome, we find they can’t help but peek continuously at what the future holds.

Your Fresh Face: Step By Step

graphic illustration of facial plastic surgery digital imaging previewDuring the computer imaging part of the complimentary in-office consultation, you’ll meet with our practice manager, Lorayn. She’s an expert at using photo imaging, which has become a powerful educational tool at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. It’s no surprise that she loves doing what she does each day.

“Computer-aided photo imaging really helps our patients see and understand why Dr. Smith is suggesting certain things,” Lorayn says. “It also gives them a comfort level, an appreciation of the work, and assurance that they will still look like themselves, only a better version, after the procedure.”

First, Lorayn starts by taking a photo of your face and discussing the areas of improvement recommended by Dr. Smith. Second, using industry-specific software she carefully manipulates the “before” photo into a very realistic, holistic image combining one or more of Dr. Smith’s suggestions.

Last, the computer image is printed so you can take home a personal reminder of what’s in store. This often acts as a helpful conversation starter, especially when first introducing the concept of facial plastic surgery to a significant other.

If necessary, photo imaging can also help patients on a budget prioritize certain procedures. But whether patients can have every recommended procedure they desire now, or must save something for another time, everyone can appreciate the self-confidence that photo imaging instills.

But while we get compliments on our computer-assisted imaging process all the time, it never replaces the real art created by Dr. Smith.

“I always tell patients following a computer imaging session that they’re going to like Dr. Smith’s work better than mine,” Lorayn says of her photo replicas. “Dr. Smith sets the precedent for consistency — and for providing the most spectacular results I’ve ever seen.”

We promise, at Smith Cosmetic Surgery you’ll always like your “real” work better. We can’t capture that radiance you feel after surgery in an image. But seeing a new version of yourself is a very inspiring part of the process.

Ready to schedule your free consultation with computer imaging? Let’s get started. Call us today at 888-218-4622 or contact us online to request your personal consultation.

Tired of Looking Tired? Consider a Brow or Eyelid Lift

The eyes are one of the first places that age shows up most dramatically. This facial feature is also the one that conveys the most about our thoughts, feelings and personalities. So the thought of losing the natural, youthful look of the eyes—our “windows to the soul”—can be disheartening.

Not surprisingly, middle-age people and seniors are especially concerned about preserving this prominent, meaningful physical asset. We know those stubborn wrinkles or creases at the corner of the eyes as “crow’s feet.” But the skin at the brow line can also furrow with age. And eyelids can begin to droop low enough to impair vision, in addition to changing the appearance of the eyes.

Many facial features work to frame our eyes. And when one area is especially saggy, it can cause our expression to look angry or sad when we’re neither of these things. It can be frustrating to portray a feeling outwardly that you don’t want to.

For example, the brows, which set well above the eye, can appear heavy. Or the eyelids, which directly inform the look and function of the eye, can start to cover the natural color or that special “sparkle” in our eyes.

What’s Wrong with My Eyes?

graphic representation of brow and eyelid liftPeople often call or come in to Smith Cosmetic Surgery wondering what they can do about the look of their eyes. Many complain of wrinkles around the eye, puffiness under the eye, dark circles, “hooding” of the eye and loose skin.

While they’re uncomfortable about the way their eyes look in the mirror or how they appear to others, most prospective patients don’t fully grasp whether they need work on the eyelids, brow line or both.

Luckily, Dr. Brent J. Smith has nearly 30 years of experience performing plastic surgery on all the facial features that play into the form and function of the eyes. He is an expert at determining the greatest area of need and helping patients decide what needs to be fixed first or in combination.

At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, our first role is to consult with each patient to customize a solution for each individual face. We look in the mirror together; review the options for addressing the brow, lid, cheek and neck; review before-and-after photos of previous patients; and work up a personalized computer model of what a brow lift or eyelid procedure at Smith Cosmetic Surgery can achieve.

Understanding Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

The most common eye-related facial procedure that Dr. Smith performs is eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty. The name comes from the combination of the Greek word for eyelid, blepharon, and plassein, which means “to form.”

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects defects, deformities and disfigurations, both age and non-age related, in the upper and lower portions of the eyelid.

Eyelid surgery patients most commonly struggle with weakening support structures around the eye. At the lower lid, a natural fat pad protects the eyeball. When this membrane deteriorates over time, it spreads out, allowing fat to protrude and creating unsightly bags under the eyes. At the upper lid, skin can loosen with the natural aging process and start to droop or sag over the eyeball. Blepharoplasty can address both parts of the eyelid.

The results of eyelid surgery can be quite dramatic. For example, as the eyelid is safely drawn up and away from the pupil there is a new space between the brow and the lash line. This can make the eye look more awake, expressive and intense. In fact, blepharoplasty patients look almost instantly happier. For this reason, we find that eyelid surgery patients are some of the most excited devotees of Dr. Smith’s work.

Brow Lift — With or Without Eyelid Surgery

graphic representation of a brow liftSometimes Dr. Smith will determine that instead of or in addition to blepharoplasty, the brow needs to be addressed during the facial plastic surgery. In the case of a deeply outset, furrowed, sagging or funneled brow line, a slightly different procedure is required—the brow lift.

During a brow lift, Dr. Smith carefully places a few tiny incisions. Through these access points he can gently manipulate the tissues and muscles underneath.

The surgery can be customized for each individual brow. For example, if a patient’s brows are literally touching the eyelashes, Dr. Smith’s manipulations can lift the brow to maximize or expose the natural upper lid. If the brow already sets above or below the brow bone, Dr. Smith can correct that alignment to ensure the brow can sit where it should naturally.

During decades of performing facial plastic surgery, Dr. Smith has crafted his own special way of enhancing the brow. This modern surgical procedure uses a more conservative approach than brow surgeries of the past, yet yields outstanding results.

Rather than a taut, pulled-up brow that creates a “startled” look, a refreshed brow from Smith Cosmetic Surgery looks healthy and at rest.

Eyelid or Brow Lift: Which is for You?

The beauty of working with Smith Cosmetic Surgery is you don’t have to know which procedure is right for you. Dr. Smith will help you pinpoint the perfect procedure or custom mix of techniques to address your individual eye issues. In some cases, he will combine an eyelid or brow lift with a cheek and neck lift.

Every brow or eyelid surgery candidate is invited to come in for a one-on-one meeting. Looking at the face as a complete, complex structure, Dr. Smith will show you exactly which enhancements will make the most impact. And thanks to state-of-the-art computer imaging, you will even get to see a preview of what your eyelids or brow line will look like after surgery.

Remember, you don’t have to sign up for anything until you are completely satisfied with the results you can expect. We’re here to discuss and show you everything you need to feel comfortable with your cosmetic eye surgery at Smith Cosmetic Surgery.

Have more questions about eyelid or brow lifts? Smith Cosmetic Surgery has the answers.

Call us today at 888-218-7109 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.

On the Nose: What’s the Difference Between Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty?

Rhinoplasty and septoplasty are both plastic surgery procedures involving the nose. Rhinoplasty prioritizes the outside, or aesthetic appearance of the nose, while septoplasty deals with structural issues inside the nose, such as issues with breathing. Often, the two types of surgeries are combined and completed together to optimize both the form and function of the nose for the future.

“Because form and function come together on the nose more than other areas of the face, it’s not like any other procedure we do,” says Dr. Brent J. Smith, who has operated on more than 3,000 noses during his nearly 30-year career. “If the nose looks nice but you can’t breathe well, there’s just no point.”

Luckily, Dr. Smith’s double board certification has allowed him to become an expert in rhinoplasty and septoplasty. In fact, he calls them his favorite procedures because of the subtleties and challenge involved. Perhaps not surprisingly, up to 40 percent of Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s rhinoplasty patients are referred as revisions of other doctors’ work.

It’s just that complicated.

Form and Function: Why Noses Need Both

closeup image of women highlighting plastic surgery of the nose
Rhinoplasty and septoplasty procedures complement one another by providing renewed form and function.

Rhinoplasty is commonly referred to as a “nose job.” This surgical procedure works to enhance the outward look of the nose, or its external aesthetics. That often involves reshaping a “crooked” nose or bringing a large nose into better proportion with the rest of the face.

The tip, bridge and rotation of the nose may all come into play when mapping out the best rhinoplasty solution. Rhinoplasty can also address changes that naturally occur in the nose during the aging process. These include shifts in cartilage that actually make the nose “grow” over time.

During nose surgery, Dr. Smith uses tiny incisions to raise the nasal tissue and access the underlying bones and cartilage. Then he painstakingly manipulates the bone structure, cartilage and skin tissue to reshape the nose and achieve facial symmetry.

On the other hand, septoplasty is a form of surgery for the inside of the nose. It’s most commonly performed to correct structural defects such as a deviated septum. The septum is the section of bone and cartilage that divides the nostrils. When the septum is not aligned it can make it harder to breathe properly. Septoplasty is used to straighten or reposition the nasal septum to make the nose function as it’s meant to.

In the world of plastic surgery, the two procedures — rhinoplasty and septoplasty —typically overlap in two ways: 1) A patient opting for rhinoplasty already has a septum issue, which can be corrected at the same time as the external enhancement, or 2) The custom nature of rhinoplasty may require manipulating the size or shape of the nose in such a way that the septum could become an issue later on. In this case, it’s wise to improve form and function all at once.

Education and Experience Critical in Nose Surgery

Not every doctor can perform cosmetic nose surgery with precision. And very few can do both rhinoplasty and septoplasty because they require two different and extensive certifications.

Dr. Smith has both. He is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery. That means he’s highly educated in both the form (outside) and function (inside) of the nose.

And this renowned expertise is also why patients, other surgeons and the plastic surgery community have come to rely on Dr. Smith’s exceptional results. “A lot of doctors shy away from noses because it’s very delicate and very challenging work. Someone probably needs to do 250 noses before they can even start to understand the complexities of the results,” says Dr. Smith.

He explains, “Everyone’s nose is a little different and little subtitles with the nose can shift the result.” Because they are not cookie-cutter or standard procedures, cosmetic nose surgeries require having a lot of tools in the toolbox to achieve a good result, according to Dr. Smith.

But at Smith Cosmetic Surgery a great result is the ultimate reward for doing good work.

A Healthy New Nose at Smith Cosmetic Surgery

Averaging at least one nose surgery a week, Smith Cosmetic Surgery is well versed in the preparation and post-operation procedures necessary for a successful rhinoplasty and septoplasty, if both are required.

Each cosmetic nose surgery patient starts with a one-on-one appointment with Dr. Smith. The meeting addresses each person’s unique facial features and cosmetic goals, as well as predictive and realistic solutions for both the form and, if necessary, function of each individual nose.

Remember, we know the nose is one of the most prominent features of the face and can bring some emotional intensity with it. When you’re ready to make a big change that you may have been thinking about for a long time, we’re here to help.

Dr. Smith has cultivated a compassionate staff that understands that these are weighty decisions. And we don’t take them lightly. Let us answer the questions on your mind. With three decades of experience, the Smith Cosmetic Surgery team is ready and willing to take on the challenge of making your nose — and life — as balanced as possible.

Call us today at 888-218-7109 or contact us online to request your complimentary consultation.

Laser Focus: Experience the Leading Edge of Facial Skin Care

Autumn is an opportune time to consider a laser treatment at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. Whether you want to tune-up a recent facial plastic surgery procedure or experience a noninvasive way to refresh your face for fall, you won’t be disappointed with Fractional CO2 laser results.

photo illustration of woman after receiving facial laser treatmentWhile Dr. Brent J. Smith doesn’t subscribe to quick-fix treatments in the cosmetic surgery world, laser rejuvenation is a big exception to the rule. In this case, technology has mastered the quick fix. In fact, it’s often said that a one-hour laser treatment can subtract 10 years from your face.

The beauty of modern-day laser-led fractional procedures is that they are safe and effective for all skin types. The noninvasive treatment is ideal for smoothing specific problem areas and refreshing skin for a more youthful appearance.

How does a laser facial treatment differ from surgery?

The most important thing for prospective patients to understand about lasers for the face is that they are nonsurgical treatments. As opposed to making any micro-incisions, a trained professional gently guides a super-concentrated laser light beam over the face at the appropriate level of intensity for each patient’s skin type and issue.

This is extremely effective for exposing fresh layers of skin at the surface and stimulating collagen under the skin to do its natural work. For example, Dr. Smith can use lasers as a full-face anti-aging application or to pinpoint acne and even spider veins.

As powerful as they are, laser treatments are not intended to replace facial plastic surgery. A medical procedure such as surgery is designed to go much deeper, lifting musculature beneath the skin and refining the entire structure of the face. Remember, only plastic surgery can fix the look of loose skin and permanently address the effects of gravity as we age.

Lasers are also an excellent complement to most surgical procedures on the face and can actually be performed at the same time if desired. A high-level laser can quickly add a youthful glow to a recently completed mini lift, but it should not be used to replace the work of a professional plastic surgeon.

How do fractional lasers work on the face?

photo illustration of woman after laser facial treatmentFirst, there are many types of lasers on the market, and they don’t all provide the same level of customization—or results. At Smith Cosmetic surgery we only use the industry-leading Cynosure suite of lasers.

The painless “micro-ablative” fractional laser technology works like two treatments in one to resurface and rejuvenate skin. Lasers can be used to soften wrinkles, reduce the look of pores and smooth uneven pigmentation.

There are three types of lasers in the Cynosure suite. The SmartSkin CO2 laser works well on brown spots and wrinkles while simultaneously boosting the body’s natural collagen stores.

The Cynosure Elite is a powerful laser treatment for hyperpigmentation. It can effectively treat sun and age spots or freckles on the face, chest, shoulders and arms, even skin densely covered with freckles. It can also be tailored to take care of redness and facial veins, including fine red lines, spider veins, rosacea, birthmarks, leg veins and cherry angiomas.

The Cynosure Affirm works well for mild pigmentation disorders, vascular lesions and general skin-renewal resurfacing procedures.

What can I expect from my first laser treatment?

Because they are noninvasive, lasers are often one of the first facial skin care treatments people try. The best candidates for laser work are men and women who are starting to see their first real surface signs of aging.

Often these signs show up in our 40s. Seemingly out of nowhere we start to see brown and sunspots appear on our faces. And while they may seem like new issues, the damage likely started decades ago when we unintentionally harmed our skin through extended exposure to the sun. For women, skin can change even more dramatically through hormonal changes that take place starting in mid-life and after.

before and after photos of female patient who received laser facial treatmentIf you are suffering from any of these issues, laser treatments are a great place to start to give your face a refresh. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we recommend that all of our cutting-edge fractional laser procedures occur in a series. Having a set of three treatments approximately six weeks apart is the industry standard and will give patients optimal results.

Each one of these mini treatments requires minimal downtime. That’s another plus for working professionals, parents and others who can’t currently spare the recovery time for a surgical procedure for the face.

After a laser treatment patients should expect about four to five days of downtime, with a couple more days of redness and sloughing of the skin. During the second half of that recovery period patients regularly return to work and normal life.

Lasers are also a wonderful entry-level option for those on a budget who still want to see stellar results. A complete laser treatment series at Smith Cosmetic Surgery costs approximately $5,000.

And we promise it is money well spent. In fact, when you return to work and your friends keep asking you how you got your glow, it might quickly become one of the best investments of your life.

Give Smith Cosmetic Surgery a call at 303-741-2211 or contact us online to learn more about our facial laser services or to schedule a laser treatment.

The Double Chin: Genetics, Aging and Plastic Surgery

Quick: What’s the first thing you do when you snap a selfie? Besides turning to the side and smiling wide, it’s probably disguising your chin. As a society, we can’t stand to see loose skin framing the lower half of our faces.

At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we regularly get requests about how to tackle this vexing area of the face. It’s not surprising. We all want to get rid of unsightly skin along the chin because it can create an imbalanced look or cause the rest of the face to appear more aged than it really is.

While unwanted fat or sagging skin is one of the most pronounced emblems of mature skin, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Genetics, lifestyle and aging can all affect the chin and neck areas in different ways. Dr. Brent J. Smith works extra hard to educate patients of all ages about the chin—and surgical options to improve its appearance.

Double chins and weak chins defined

photo illustration of plastic surgery to resolve a double chinFirst, let’s define two very common hereditary chin issues: the double chin and the “weak” chin. The appearance of a “double chin” is one of the most common concerns among aging adults, but it’s also a bit of a misnomer. The double chin is certainly not a second rigid chin; it’s actually an extra layer of submental fat under the natural chin.

While weight gain or obesity may come into play, often a double chin is hereditary and may have nothing to do with how healthy you are. While this condition may not be as apparent at a young age, the natural aging process can make a genetic double chin especially pronounced, usually starting in the 40s and occasionally earlier.

A great example of this is our good friend Bethany. At age 32, she came to Dr. Smith about her double chin. She was young and fit, so she wondered why she had a layer of fat at her chin that didn’t appear anywhere else on her body.

before and after of plastic surgery to resolve a double chin
Bethany: Before and after her procedure to address a double chin.

Dr. Smith explained that it wasn’t her fault. It was most likely a condition she was born with that became more obvious as she got older. He used liposuction to remove the unnecessarily plump part as well as a small chin implant to expose the beauty of Bethany’s real chin.

At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, liposuction is commonly combined with a cheek and neck mini lift. Dr. Smith uses the same tiny incisions to achieve both a reduction in fat and a natural-looking lift of the musculature in the lower half of the face.

Another common chin concern is the “weak” or receding chin. This is usually related to a hereditary condition called retrogenia, when the chin naturally projects slightly backward toward the neck. However, sometimes this recession can mimic the look of a double chin.

Luckily there’s a highly effective surgical solution for a weak chin. Dr. Smith adds a bone-like implant at the chin area, often in combination with liposuction and a mini lift. Additionally, after a chin and neck lift the Smith Cosmetic Surgery team can apply a non-surgical laser treatment to bring out the best in the skin and help highlight the new results.

Entirely different from hereditary issues like the double or weak chin, are changes in the chin and neck area as we age. People often confuse a combination of accumulated fat and fullness over time, along with natural muscle dissention and skin accumulation, with a double chin. In many ways they appear the same. It can be confusing.

That’s where Dr. Smith’s expertise comes in. He can help patients distinguish between hereditary and aging chin issues and plan the right treatment for the right chin.

Why plastic surgery alternatives may not work

photo illustration of woman's chin after cosmetic surgery to resolve a double chinSadly, many nonsurgical quick fixes are sold as solutions for an unattractive double chin, and patients are often coerced in to believing these alternatives are a long-term fix. But most simply do not work for the condition being presented.

We know this because Dr. Smith regularly works with patients who have tried other tempting remedies. For example, three widely marketed alternatives claim to do the following: “destroy fat cells” through an injection under the skin; use ultrasound to “lift” skin; and “freeze” fat cells to achieve a desired look.

As trained professionals led by an expert in the field of facial plastic surgery, we can tell you that we’ve rarely seen or heard of these procedures producing satisfactory, extended results. The goal of Dr. Smith and his staff is to help educate patients to the fact that facial plastic surgery, sometimes in combination with liposuction or an implant, is a viable, long-lasting solution for a double chin and most major signs of aging at the chin.

Remember, a double, weak, or sagging chin doesn’t have to limit the life you live. It’s time to hold your head a little higher. Contact Smith Cosmetic Surgery to see what we can do for you.

Choosing a Doctor Who Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

Choice can be a wonderful thing. We have so many options to make our lives what we want them to be. We can get exactly the products and services that work for our lifestyles—and our bodies. We can, in effect, customize our lives.

But when it comes to plastic surgery, and especially plastic surgery for the face, choice can be overwhelming. The problem is, there are lots of people and practices that tout plastic surgery services, but not all of them are trustworthy.

“Bad surgeons and bad results scare everyone,” says Denver-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent J. Smith. “Every patient wants (and deserves) a doctor with credentials and compassion.”

Plastic surgery can be a life-changing decision. And it’s a particularly powerful procedure when performed on a prominent part of the body: the face. But it should also be an exciting, rewarding time—a period to build new self-confidence and relationships. No patient should have to second-guess whether his or her surgeon is going to do an adequate job. Before moving forward, you should feel great about your facial plastic surgery decision.

But in a marketplace filled with mixed messages from advertising and social media, for example, it’s hard for consumers to decipher what—and who—they are really getting when they decide to move forward with plastic surgery. So let’s get a few important warnings out of the way right away, so you can move on to selecting the facial plastic surgeon that’s right for you.

Here are some of the most critical questions that you should consider when choosing a cosmetic plastic surgeon:

What credentials does the surgeon have?

Denver plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Smith who specializes in facial plastic surgeryThis is always a safe topic to start your line of questioning to determine the right fit for your cosmetic surgery procedure. Why? Because education and information about a plastic surgeon’s background, credentials and training is less susceptible to being skewed or misrepresented by advertising or opinions.

  • Did or didn’t the doctor earn an applicable medical degree?
  • Where was the surgeon’s residency program?
  • How many years of hands-on training did the surgeon have before opening the practice?
  • What kind of technology or surgical techniques does he or she apply?
  • How does the plastic surgeon keep credentials up to date with continuing education?

These are very important questions. A good way to judge the validity of a plastic surgeon is by how transparent he or she is about discussing this kind of information. Is it listed prominently on their website? Is the practice willing to openly discuss these credentials? At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, our lead surgeon’s background is available for all to see and review.

“Honesty about education is important because more people with credentials helps everyone—patients and the plastic surgery community—because it makes the procedures not seem so risky,” says Dr. Smith.

He is proud of all the hard work he put in to become one of the most respected facial plastic surgeons in Colorado, if not the country. If patients have any questions about credentials and what they represent, they can simply visit the Meet Dr. Smith section of our website to learn about how he practices with integrity.

“I have 10 years of training alone—four years of medical school, plus six more years of residency and hands-on training,” says Dr. Smith.

But that’s not always the case. “There are emergency room doctors and dermatologists who can take a weekend course in plastic surgery and set up shop. Some practices have estheticians doing laser treatments. You just don’t know what you’re going to get,” explains Dr. Smith. “There is big money in plastic surgery, and they all want a piece of the pie. But you can learn how to do a procedure, buy a laser, and do significant harm.”

What area of the body does the surgeon specialize in?

If you want a facelift, it’s wise to choose a surgeon who specializes in that area of the body. “You don’t want a jack-of-all-trades,” Dr. Smith notes. “If you complete that famous phrase, the ending is ‘master of none.’ That’s not what you want in a facial plastic surgeon.”

Beautiful mid adult woman
Knowing that your plastic surgeon understands the intricacy of the face is essential to feeling good about a facelift or other facial procedure.

Knowing that your cosmetic surgeon understands the intricacy of the face is essential to feeling good about your decision. The complexity of facial plastic surgery can’t be overstated. “The anatomy of the head and neck is the most complicated in the whole body,” says Dr. Smith. “There are more blood vessels, more nerves, and smaller muscles here than anywhere else.”

Dr. Smith learned the art of facial plastic surgery through decades of education, training and experience. He is double-board certified in the most important medical factions related to the face: the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

This specialized certification and practice has given Dr. Smith a vast understanding of the physiology of the face, and how bone and muscular makeup affect aesthetics. The two must play well together to create a spectacular result.

“Being certified in both areas means I can look at both the aesthetic and functional forms of the face. The union is key,” Dr. Smith says. “For example, if you get rhinoplasty to fix your nose, the aesthetics of a beautiful nose go out the window if you can’t breathe properly after surgery.”

But education and certification are just the start of pinpointing your facial plastic surgeon’s expertise in the intricate medical skills required to produce exceptional outcomes for the face. Ask more questions before deciding on a facelift expert:

  • How many procedures has the surgeon performed?
  • Are there before-and-after photos of results?
  • Is he or she certified to use certain lasers for follow-up work?

What other gimmicks or advertising tricks should I watch out for?

As we mentioned, it can be hard for patients to wade through the barrage of messages they receive about plastic surgery. So keep an eye out for these:

Undercutting pricing. Sometimes new or less experienced plastic surgeons lure in unsuspecting clients with low-ball pricing. Facial plastic surgery is not something to buy on price alone. An honest, quality surgeon will work with you on a pricing plan to fit your budget, should that be your No. 1 concern.

Selling something else. Make sure that what you’re signing up for is indeed a facelift, not something like it. In the past, alternatives such as the “threadless” procedure undermined the value of plastic surgery. For the record, “threadless” or similarly marketed procedures only address the top fatty layer under the skin. That means results fade quickly, leaving patients wondering what they got into.

Giving you the runaround. We’ve said it before, but transparency is one of the best tests of a highly skilled facial plastic surgeon. If the medical professional you are interviewing for your facelift is not willing to share information about education, training, certifications, patient outcomes, testimonials, before-and-after pictures, recovery procedures and follow-up care that’s a big red flag.

If you’re considering facial plastic surgery and would like to learn more about your options, please call Smith Cosmetic Surgery today at 303-741-2211 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation. We welcome patients from the greater Denver area and across the United States.