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.

Beyond Aesthetics: Cosmetic Surgery, Your Health and Self-Esteem

Last year a fascinating report showed that many smokers who stopped puffing pre-cosmetic surgery smoked less in the future—or quit altogether. It’s just one of plastic surgery’s potentially positive impacts on health, wellness and self-esteem.

In this particular case, surgeons asked smokers to cease their habit two weeks prior to having a scheduled plastic surgery procedure. It’s a general protocol that ensures the safest operation possible. Researchers then tracked smoker patients in a long-term follow-up study to see if a mental and physical boost from plastic surgery might impact their ability to quit a harmful addiction.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, reported the study’s results. Lead author Aaron C. Van Slyke, MD, MSc, of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, confirmed that indeed data indicated an association between cosmetic surgery and smoking cessation.

In fact, the conclusion was that patients who are told to temporarily stop smoking by a plastic surgeon will quit, or at least smoke less, in the years after cosmetic surgery.

A facelift lifts more than cheeks

Happy mature woman
“When you look better, you feel better,” says Dr. Smith, “and that can lead to meaningful lifestyle changes.”

It’s not surprising, says Dr. Brent J. Smith, who has noted such occurrences over nearly 30 years in facial plastic surgery practice. Patients often report things like a renewed spirit. It’s especially common after facial plastic surgery, in which a prominent part of the body is permanently enhanced. And it’s usually related to a boost in confidence and energy from the aesthetic upgrade that leads to patients adopting healthier lifestyles.

“It makes sense. When you look better, you feel better, and that can lead to meaningful lifestyle changes,” Dr. Smith says. “Often new patients think, wow, it’s fun to feel this way, so they do things like put themselves out there physically and socially.”

One recent email from a Smith Cosmetic Surgery client sums this thinking up perfectly:

“I was just getting ready this morning, but wanted to stop and send this! I look awesome! I am not happy … thrilled is more the word I would use! I feel like I was in a time machine. I probably was … that Michael Jackson thing you all put me in and came out in the 80s minus the big hair! My face gets better every day, even though it was spectacular in a month! … Off to horse show … hat and sunscreen in tow!”

The tone of this communication is undeniable. This patient is confident in her new look; she’s seeing positives; she’s embracing an active lifestyle; and she’s taking precautions to protect her new look—and new life.

By the way, the “time machine” she refers to is a hyperbaric chamber patients use to speed healing after surgery. It’s all part of Dr. Smith’s Rapid Recovery program, which is designed to get facial plastic surgery patients back to their lives as soon as possible.

Plastic surgery and long-term lifestyle changes

At our Denver practice, we see and hear stories of healthy lifestyle shifts following facelifts all the time. “When how you look finally matches the energy you knew you had inside, it can give folks a renewed sense of self,” Dr. Smith says. “When they have this new energy, they tend to put it to good, whether that’s by taking better care of themselves or other people in their lives.”

The Smith Cosmetic Surgery staff regularly hears words like “unburdened” to describe the feeling patients have after committing to a cosmetic surgery procedure. It’s often because they’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and finally had the courage to go through with it. Often they say a weight is being lifted from their shoulders. And it’s that kind of freedom—to be whoever you want to be and do whatever you can—that leads to great things.

With a new focus on well-being, many patients become proactive in how they take care of their skin and new look. Sometimes we call it getting the skin “in shape,” just like you would your body. When people pay more attention to skincare it can also lead to a new awareness about what’s underneath.

In fact, sometimes before or after a treatment, Dr. Smith will notice a potentially pre-cancerous concern. That’s something that many times he can treat right in the office with an advanced laser procedure, which gently removes basal cells or other issues that could lead to more serious issues in the future.

Applying a healthy mindset to all parts of life

In that way, the whole Smith Cosmetic Surgery team becomes an advocate for the patient’s well-being. Embracing a renewed sense of appreciation for the face, skin and general health, the patient and the plastic surgery team work together to support good health for a lifetime.

Likewise, since a majority of facelift patients are middle-age and above (although the trend is certainly skewing younger each year), often we see women and men who benefit from facial plastic surgery on a whole other level.

For example, patients in their 50s or 60s can find themselves single due to divorce, death or other circumstances. The shock can take a toll. It can feel like starting all over again in the dating scene, which can be a scary for people who were previously in long-term relationships.

Plastic surgery has a unique way of giving people confidence they didn’t even realize was inside. We can’t even count the positive patient stories following a beautifully natural facelift with Dr. Smith. Often our patients go on to uncover exciting and powerful new relationships with others.

But it all comes back to a renewed sense of self-esteem and fresh focus on healthy living. And if facial plastic surgery is the choice that puts people on a new trajectory to healthier, happier, longer lives, we couldn’t be in a better, more rewarding business.

Maybe it’s time to take the next step toward finding the right procedure for where you are in life. Give Smith Cosmetic Surgery a call today at 303-741-2211 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Popular Facial Plastic Surgery Procedures for Men

Facial plastic surgery is no longer perceived as women’s topic. As enhancements and elective procedures designed to elevate the human face—and condition—have become more common worldwide, men are coming along for the ride.

Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent J. SmithBOTOX® and facelifts are now a routine part of American culture, the subject of everyday conversation. Increasingly that means men are also considering plastic surgery and nonsurgical procedures, whether a significant other or friends who have already undergone life-changing facial procedures encourage them.

“Plastic surgery used to be something for the rich. Twenty-five years ago it would have been taboo to talk about among men and it would have been done behind closed doors,” says Dr. Brent J. Smith, who founded Smith Cosmetic Surgery over 30 years ago. “Now men realize other guys have the same concerns. They’re asking what was it like and admitting they’ve been thinking about it too. Now that plastic surgery is more accepted in society, they’re more curious.”

While facelifts have always been available to people of varied ages, backgrounds and sexes, more men than ever are finally exploring what the fuss is all about. That couldn’t make Dr. Smith more excited about his bustling Denver facial plastic surgery practice. After all, having a male performing surgery is always a helpful way to make male patients feel more comfortable, particularly with their first procedure.

Maintaining a fresh, more youthful appearance is especially important to middle-aged men, who may be competing against younger applicants during a mid-career job shift or possible promotion. This is quite common in the modern workplace because professionals tend to move to different companies and opportunities much more readily than in the past.

Appearance and related self-confidence also become important aspects as men re-enter the dating scene after a divorce later in life. Additionally, where even just a few years ago a more rugged, “Marlboro man” look was considered attractive, a smoother look, featuring more youthful skin, is now more popular and sought after.

What plastic surgery procedures are men choosing?

man asks what facial plastic surgery procedures other men considerSo what plastic surgery procedures are men having done these days? Eyelids are the most common area of concern for male patients coming in for consultations at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Smith explains why this area of the face is so important: “When we look at someone, the first thing we do is make eye contact, and when we see hooding around the eyes it automatically makes people look older.”

That’s not an expression most men or women want to showcase. But while women tend to see and be more concerned with subtleties in the face, Dr. Smith says most male patients tend to look at the big picture. They typically want to know what procedure will enhance their overall look to appear less aged.

Noses are also very important to men’s appearances. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s annual survey, rhinoplasty remains the top procedure overall for men, followed by nonsurgical BOTOX®.

The reason many men choose to have their noses done in conjunction with a facelift has to do with the way the human nose expands as it ages. Nose cartilage, the wiggly part that makes up the bottom half of the nose, actually grows as we age. Additionally, tissues designed to hold noses up and in place, get more lax over time, which can make the nose droop. An existing hump may become more prominent as well.

This is acutely concerning among men who may have started life with a larger nose. Maybe they’ve been bothered by the size of their nose since they were a child or teen, and that concern only grows as the nose does with age.

In addition to mini facelifts and procedures that minimize the eyelids and nose, men are also choosing popular nonsurgical options like BOTOX® for fine lines and wrinkles, as well as laser-guided procedures and peels to smooth the skin. These outpatient procedures are especially attractive to working professionals who don’t think they can schedule the required downtime following a facial cosmetic procedure.

Tips for first-time male facial cosmetic surgery patients

Men who do commit to realizing the long-term results of a more permanent facelift or rhinoplasty often struggle with what it means to be a patient. While societal norms are slowly changing, American cultural has traditionally favored the “macho man.”

tips for first-time male facial cosmetic surgery patientsThat means males in the U.S. are often under pressure, whether conscious or subconscious, to live up to a model that places value on independence, efficiency and toughness. And those traits don’t always make for the best facial plastic surgery patients.

If you want something done fast without missing much work and you expect to take recovery into your own hands, those are unrealistic expectations for any surgery. So how can men learn to be better patients and give their investment the respect it deserves and the time it needs to pay off?

One key is scheduling real downtime. Just like vacation, you can take it if you really want it. Don’t try to wing a facelift or other surgical procedure and expect to walk back in the office a whole new you the same week. Give yourself permission to rest and recover properly. If you let Smith Cosmetic Surgery help, we promise you will be amazed by our advanced healing techniques like hyperbaric oxygen. “For guys it never feels like a good time to take down time with work,” Dr. Smith says. “So identify a specific date for surgery and really start to work your schedule around that.”

Another very important piece of advice for male patients is to follow directions. Yep, just like your spouse or significant other wants you to do in the car. If you do what Dr. Smith and his expert team asks during pre-op and post-op you will be much happier with your experience and outcome in the long run. Dr. Smith reminds, “When we give pre-operative instructions, for example, it’s not being done willy-nilly. If you prepare, you will get better results and a better recovery.”

Need more advice on making the facelift you’ve been considering a reality? Come in for a consultation with Dr. Smith. His 30-year medical knowledge of the face, combined with the highly professional process at Smith Cosmetic Surgery, may give you answers to medical and emotional questions you didn’t even know you had.  We welcome the opportunity to help you through the process.

To request your personal consultation, call us at 888-219-1161 or contact us online.

Mini Facelift, Big Results: Facial Plastic Surgery That Works for All

We will be the first to point out that word “mini” can be misconstrued when paired with “facelift.” There’s plenty of confusion in the marketplace about modern facial plastic surgery procedures like the mini facelift.

  • Does it mean the procedure itself is “mini,” or less invasive than full facelifts of the past?
  • Does the term imply that only a “mini” part of the face will undergo surgery?
  • Can I request a mini lift for minimal results and downtime or a maxi lift for more serious signs of aging?

Dr. Brent J. Smith, a nationally renowned, board-certified, fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon, and his exceptional team at Smith Cosmetic Surgery are here to clear up these misconceptions—and put prospective patients at ease. There’s no doubt that the phrase “mini facelift” means different things to different people and is used in a variety of ways by surgical practices and patients.

What’s most important for those considering a facelift of any kind is to understand how your chosen surgeon defines and executes the mini lift. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we use the term more generally to describe how Dr. Smith’s artistic eye and microscopic incisions lead to more youthful-looking results with less downtime than a traditional full facelift.

The problems with full facelifts of the past

The problem with earlier, full facelift procedures is they were more rudimentary and less customizable to each face. This less-refined procedure often came with more swelling and a longer healing process.

It also meant that patients could end up with more pulled- and taught-looking results, because the surgery addressed signs of aging through tissues ranging from the neck to the forehead. Because the whole facial tissue structure was lifted upward rather than sculpted and contoured around muscles for your individual features, you could end up with a “look” similar to your neighbor’s.

But times have changed. Technology has advanced. And reputable plastic surgeons like Dr. Smith are using top-of-the-line skills that allow for professional sculpting and address only what a patient needs to look like his or her most natural self.

Mini facelifts address only what you need

mini facelift patient closeup at Smith Cosmetic Surgery in DenverA mini facelift at Smith Cosmetic Surgery means fewer and tinier incisions yet more natural, long-term results. The easiest way to think about a mini lift is as a “minimally invasive” facelift, because to achieve outstanding results Dr. Smith typically only needs to address the cheek and neck areas.

Because the muscles in these areas are so crucial to facial structure, manipulating complementary cheeks and neck can have a profound impact on the entire appearance of the face. Rather than elevating only the skin, as many people think a facelift does, a modern mini facelift works through the underlying support of the face: the muscles.

“Skin doesn’t like to be under tension, and if we only addressed the skin you wouldn’t be happy with your results 6 or 12 months down the line,” explains Dr. Smith. “Instead we need to elevate the muscles in the cheeks, which are continuous with the neck area, to achieve the kind of long-lasting results that people tell their friends about.”

Why just the lower half of the face?

Gravity plays a big part. As we age, our muscles, tissues and overlying skin begin to sag downward with gravitational pull—and time. We also lose volume, which leaves the face looking sunken or hollow. The mini facelift is ideal because everyone can improve the lower features of the face. No one is immune to gravity, and surgery is the only way to address its aging effects.

That said, just like the full facelifts of the past didn’t provide a universal fix, neither will a mini facelift if we don’t consult about each patient’s special needs and concerns. That’s why Dr. Smith speaks with every prospective patient before booking a mini facelift or other facial plastic surgery. “We have to listen to their concerns and counsel them on what’s going to give them the best result,” he says.

During a consultation, people often ask if they are the right age for a mini facelift. Our answer to that common question is always the same: There is no “right” age for plastic surgery, because people age differently based on their heredity, backgrounds, lifestyles and environmental exposure.

“There’s nothing magical about waiting until you are, say, 65,” Dr. Smith says. “We have performed mini facelifts on people ranging in age from 28 to 88 at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. The right time for a facelift is when you start to focus on something specific, like the squaring off of your face or the bands in your neck, every time you look in the mirror in the morning.”

However, even when a patient has made the decision to move forward with a facelift consultation, there’s one concern that stands out the most: Will I still look like myself?

mini facelift patient of Smith Cosmetic Surgery in DenverDr. Smith puts that fear to rest daily. “A lot of these fears stem from TV and Hollywood, where people have been ‘overdone’ with plastic surgery,” Dr. Smith says. “Our philosophy is we’d rather err on being conservative. I want to complement the nice features you already have.”

If you are curious about how you’d look after a mini facelift, please call us to request a complimentary consultation at 888-218-4479 or contact us online.

During your consultation, Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s individual computer imaging will give you a preview of your personal surgical results.

What You Need to Know about Trends in Facial Plastic Surgery

Just like other industries, plastic surgery has its own innovations and cultural shifts. Some are good; some are not so good.

But identifying these trends is critical. Knowing what’s happening in the marketplace will only make consumers more knowledgeable and better able to make the smartest decisions for health and well-being.

So what are this year’s biggest facial plastic surgery trends?

Social media drives discussions, decisions

photo illustration of attractive woman representing trends in facial plastic surgery
Nonsurgical procedures, including injectables, continue to increase in popularity.

We’ve already talked a lot about the selfie. These glamour shots are certainly here to stay and seem to be driving a lot of new plastic surgery inquiries—and even decision-making, for better or worse.

In last year’s annual survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the world’s largest association of facial plastic surgeons, more than half of doctors saw patients who admitted to wanting to look better in selfies.

But beyond just showing off a new facelift, it seems people are taking to the selfie on Instagram, Facebook and other social media forums to find a sense of solidarity. Prospective patients might surf for a flattering facelift that they’d like to replicate or to find other people who have undergone a procedure they’re considering.

So while it shows up in a variety of ways, the selfie trend is an important one to keep an eye on.

Injectables are on the rise

Nonsurgical procedures continue to explode across the nation. In fact, the average number of procedures that AAFPRS members now perform increased 25 percent in the last five years, and over four-fifths of treatments last year were categorized as cosmetic nonsurgical procedures.

Patients interested in noninvasive treatments are also skewing younger. Last year, 56 percent of AAFPRS members saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectables with patients under age 30.

This trend may point in part to the fact that plastic surgery is no longer a taboo topic. People talk about BOTOX over lunch. Millennials with disposable income are increasingly tempted by temporary beauty boosts through injectables, fillers, laser resurfacing and peels.

While nonsurgical procedures are certainly more popular than ever before, this trend doesn’t mean that the technology behind these “lunchtime” procedures has advanced to the point of replacing facial plastic surgery. A medical surgery like the popular mini facelift, which can be customized to each individual face, remains the only reliable way to achieve effective long-term results.

The new face of a promotion

Today’s competitive work environment also seems to be an important driver for those considering plastic surgery. Professionals seeking that big promotion may feel they need a leg (or face) up on others applying for the position. In fact, nearly 60 percent of facial plastic surgeons recently reported that their patients’ need to stay relevant in professional life was a major reason for seeking cosmetic treatments.

And for good reason: Newer noninvasive treatments let both men and women uncover a refreshed face with little to no downtime, meaning they can return to a demanding office environment the next day—without missing a beat. Not surprisingly, eyelid procedures are a particularly hot procedure right now. This quick fix can create an instantly less tired look.

Nose jobs are still the standard

While BOTOX remains the most popular minimally invasive procedure for women, followed by fillers and skin treatments, rhinoplasty continues to be the No. 1 ranked procedure in the surgical category. In fact, nose-correction surgery is the top cosmetic procedure overall among men, followed by BOTOX injections.

Some 97 percent of surgeons make major nose corrections each year for patients who feel that a change in this prominent feature could make a significant enhancement to their appearance—and self-esteem.

Just behind rhinoplasty is blepharoplasty, the reconstruction or lifting of the eyelids, which is no surprise given the rising popularity of nonsurgical eyelid treatments among Americans.

The third most popular facial plastic surgery procedure is the facelift. In fact, the mini facelift—a quicker healing, more advanced technique than traditional surgery—is such a common sight and discussion topic on social media that facial plastic surgeries like these are no longer something to hide, but rather something to showcase.

Choose your surgeon wisely

While plastic surgery trends can be empowering for those considering cosmetic facial procedures, it’s important that you don’t allow these cultural shifts to cloud good judgment. With the proliferation of unlicensed injectable centers, it’s more important than ever to choose a reputable surgeon for your facial plastic surgery or non-surgical procedure.

“Trendy is not a good thing when it comes to choosing the right person or procedure,” says Dr. Brent J. Smith, who has worked exclusively on over 30,000 faces for 30 years at his Denver practice. “With so many things advertised to ‘tighten’ and ‘melt,’ we have to remind people that it’s always buyer beware.”

Smith Cosmetic Surgery sees a lot of new patients after they’ve spent far too much money on alternatives that just don’t work. It’s important that prospective facial plastic surgery patients get educated and investigate a practice’s licensure, background and actual patient surgical results, when trying to find the best fit.

For example, there are medical spas popping up all over, especially in states like Colorado where laws are looser around who can perform these procedures. Many don’t even require a medical director and may employ practitioners that are not properly or fully trained or licensed. Remember, just because treatments are more readily available doesn’t mean they are safe or effective.

In fact, a quarter of all AAFPRS members are concerned about an increase in nonmedical staff doing procedures resulting in poor results. Dr. Smith is equally concerned for the future well-being of patients.

A quality, board-certified facial plastic surgeon is your safest bet for achieving the best results in both surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Start by researching the most trained and respected surgeons in your area, schedule a free consultation to ask more questions and don’t forget to check out each practice’s before-and-after patient pictures.

Wondering more about trends and treatments in facial plastic surgery? Smith Cosmetic Surgery has three decades of experience working with people just like you. Contact us to schedule your consultation, and we’ll address every question you have and guide you in your decision-making about facelifts, injectables and other facial cosmetic surgery options.

Facial Plastic Surgery and Your Self(ie)-Worth

Let’s face it: Selfie photos are just a part of modern-day life. They’re not going away anytime soon, and people of every age—from tweens to grandparents—are taking these headshots every day. The question is how does this cultural phenomenon apply to facial plastic surgery—and self-worth?

facial plastic surgery candidate takes selfie
An increasing number of facial plastic surgery patients say they want to look better in selfies and other photos.

There’s certainly an uptick in people who reference the ubiquitous selfie when booking plastic surgery consultations. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery, recognized and called out this tendency several years ago.

Statistics have only trended upward since then. In fact, in 2017, some 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing patients who wanted to look better in selfies. That finding was up a significant 13 percent from the year prior.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Brent J. Smith handles similar desires at his Denver practice. Some requests are directly related to a patient’s appearance in selfie portraits, especially those who use social media or image-driven apps regularly for dating or even marketing an independent business.

However, it’s important to note that smartphone cameras have a way of distorting reality. Flipping the camera on your face brings all the focus to the center of the screen, making anything in the middle look larger and distorting reality in the process. Selfies are not a productive way to judge yourself.

Ironically, using technology for increased amounts of time and posing for selfies has added another layer of concern for people considering plastic surgery on their face. Social media mavens are starting to see the effects of “tech neck”—a premature wrinkling and loosening of the skin around the neck area. For example, Smith Cosmetic Surgery recently worked with a patient who first noticed her tech neck as an unsightly daily reflection in her iPhone and iPad.

Making statements and showing off

That said, social media, selfies and the sharing economy have also created a new sense of solidarity, for better or worse. In many cases, A-list celebrities and everyday Joes are using face photos in two different ways. The first is posting images without makeup on—those “just woke up” images—to make a statement about natural beauty and sometimes the empowerment of women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

Alternately, people from all over the world are posting freely about surgical work that they have had and are proud to show off. From lip injections to cheek implants to mini facelifts, nothing is off limits anymore, and there may be value in that honest approach as well.

Happy or unhappy with your appearance?

Either way, “selfie”-awareness is only becoming more prominent and raises some interesting questions about why people choose to have plastic surgery in the first place.

Several past studies have shown that plastic surgery can work effectively to boost self-confidence for patients of all ages. One of the most comprehensive followed 98 women and two men for a couple of years after plastic surgery.

Nearly 90 percent of participants reported being either “somewhat satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with their procedure each time they filled out the researchers’ questionnaires. Even after two years, 93 percent said that they would have the surgery again.

That may have measured post-surgical feelings about overall appearance, but what about overall happiness related to having plastic surgery?

A large 2012 study found that at least among younger patients surgery did not improve overall self-worth.

Of 1,500 young women in the study, which followed prospective patients over 13 years, 78 of the girls who followed through with plastic surgery procedures tended to have a history of poorer mental health to begin with, and having cosmetic surgery did not make them happier.

How to draw the line

mother and daughter take selfie
Growing ‘selfie’-awareness raises important questions to ask yourself if you’re considering facial plastic surgery.

These contrasting findings seem to show that patients need to draw an important line when making the life-changing decision to have facial plastic surgery.

For those with solid self-esteem and healthy lifestyle habits, facial plastic surgery could be that choice that takes life to the next level. For those concerned only with boosting their online status or who already suffer from signs of waning self-esteem, it may not be the smartest choice, at least at a younger age.

It’s important to ask yourself questions like these:

  • Is improving your online profile or social media status playing a significant part in your choice to enhance your facial features?
  • Were you considering a facelift before you became more involved in image-driven social media such as Instagram or Facebook?
  • Do you have deeper concerns about your self-worth that could be related to personal issues such as history, relationships and destructive behavior?

Only you can make that decision, but a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Smith can become a helpful ally in making the most informed choice possible.

With 30 years in the business of restoring natural beauty to the face, Dr. Smith has had every conversation imaginable with prospective patients. He and his staff are well versed in guiding people of all ages and backgrounds into both surgical and non-surgical enhancements that are the right fit for each individual.

Are you considering facial plastic surgery? Schedule a complimentary consultation with the exceptional and trusted team at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. We are here to support you in making the decision that is best for you.

Facial Treatments and Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

“Old Man Winter” is here again, affording the perfect time to pamper your skin. It happens every year: cuticles crack and peel, hands turn to leather, and our cheeks take on the consistency of sandpaper. These are some of the telltale signs that it’s time to give your skin the attention it deserves during the long, cold season ahead.

To tackle that, Colorado’s Smith Cosmetic Surgery encourages patients to approach winter skin care with the most effective triad we know: prevention, exfoliation and hydration through physician-directed products. So let’s take a look at some of the ways you can start to use these tools during your daily routine and plan ahead to care for your skin this winter.

Facial treatments and tips for healthy winter skin graphic with attractive woman
Maintaining healthy skin in the winter hinges on three keys: prevention, exfoliation and hydration.

Prevention

If we can do more to protect our skin in the first place, it may never escalate to epically dry and cracked conditions. Prevention methods work from inside and outside the body, and it’s important to consider both. What can you be doing to protect your skin from winter’s amplified elements? How can you fuel your body to nourish it from the inside out?

First, the elements: It’s cold, it’s windy and, in Colorado at least, it’s also still sunny. While many people spend more time indoors, away from harsh elements, that’s not always the case for active people. If you participate in winter recreation such as skiing, your skin is getting walloped with extreme and prolonged exposure to sun reflecting off snow, coupled with chilly temperatures and whipping wind.

Sunscreen is an absolute must, even on those cloudy days. Applying protection to the face, neck and hands (don’t forget those!) is critical even in the winter. People who commute by car, for example, tend to get sunburned on one side of their face, as the rising sun blasts through the window. Constant reflection will also scorch hands resting on the steering wheel. An easy way to counteract this problem is to keep a quality sunscreen in the console and slather on all your exposed parts. Yes, even your hands. Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Smith sees many patients whose hands have aged well beyond their faces.

The second sneaky feature of winter is the damage skin sustains even while we’re indoors. As the heaters kick on, they further dry out the air and add dust and other particles to our homes. Meanwhile the sun may still be baking and reflecting through windows, while a skin-sabotaging fire roars in the background. It may feel cozy, but your skin is screaming for a little TLC.

Especially in the winter, skin needs a sustainable way to replace the water it’s losing through environmental exposure. The most effective way to hydrate your skin is through the fluids and foods you take in each day. That means drinking more water, which can be a struggle for many people.

Consider this your winter challenge. Think of new ways to add variety to your water intake. Heat it up and add lemon. Keep a replenishing bottle of water with cut-up cucumbers in the fridge. Add a dash of a vitamin C packet once a day if you need to.

The foods you eat in winter also affect the health of your skin. While most people are drawn to warming comfort foods during cold snaps, don’t neglect those fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods are packed with the natural nutrients and fluids your body and skin are craving in the winter.

Exfoliation

This may sound like the ultimate contradiction, but there’s nothing more important than stripping away old skin during the dryer months. It’s counterintuitive because most people think adding more moisturizer to the face will hydrate it best. But the opposite is actually true.

When you pile on lotion to try to smooth the papery look of your cheeks, it does very little good because you’re adding salve to dead skin that can’t absorb all its goodies. Exfoliating is really the only way to remove the layers of skin that you don’t need so you can expose the ones that help you glow. When you get to the newest, freshest layer of skin anything you apply will be more effective, reaching further into the epidermis.

So what are your exfoliation options? There are lots of manual over-the-counter products, such as an electric exfoliation facial brush or scrubs with micro-beads that help remove old skin. These may be moderately effective with regular—but not over—use.

However, the optimal solutions are doctor-directed treatments, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser procedures. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, the secret is out. Winter is absolutely our busiest time, as patients want that summer glow for holiday parties or a mood-booster to get them through the winter doldrums. A youthful appearance in the middle of winter has a magical way of lifting the spirits.

A popular wintertime treatment with virtually no downtime is microdermabrasion, a speedy in-office procedure that uses a custom copper wand with a gently suctioning tip to smooth and remove layers of skin. Counter to popular belief, microdermabrasion is not a laser-based treatment. The tool used during this minimally invasive technique is a highly efficient technology all its own.

A chemical peel can also be a smart complement to microdermabrasion. The naturally occurring acids in today’s modern chemical peels penetrate deep into newly exposed skin to bring a superior level of healing and replenishment to deeper layers of the skin. Combining these two treatments can give you that glowy look for a longer period of time.

Of course, for those patients who want something a little stronger to reverse the signs of aging, winter can be a great time to schedule a full facial CO2 laser treatment. In fact, Dr. Smith jokes that “the laser is never off” in Colorado’s driest months. With a little more flexibility to recover during winter’s downtime, patients regularly book our CO2 laser. An advanced laser’s ability to penetrate far into the dermis provides that added boost of anti-aging and collagen regeneration that patients love.

Beautiful, young and smiling girl. She wearing a scarf and cap.
Winter is a great time to consider physician-directed exfoliation services and skin-care products.

Physician-Directed Products

Last but certainly not least are the products you apply to winter-weary skin. Remember, nothing will work on top of dead skin and anything will work better on exfoliated skin. But what you use to enhance and prolong the look of more youthful skin is of the utmost importance.

We hate to be the first to break it to you, but even the most expensive over-the-counter skin-care products might be a waste of your money. The most effective applications for skin care are those products trialed, tested and directed by doctors.

Smith Cosmetic Surgery has found one of the most successful lines on the market—a treat that we share with all of our patients. Our physician-facilitated SkinMedica line leverages a hyaluronic acid called HA5. The maker describes it best: “Hyaluronic acid is a natural, ‘water-loving’ substance found in the skin—acting as your body’s natural hydrator.” HA works by retaining that vital moisture, which can make the skin look healthier and more supple. By age 50, most humans have lost half of their naturally hydrating HA, so a product that can replenish what time has taken away is an ever-popular product in our office.

Interested in showing winter whose boss with a healthier, HA-boosted new you? Ask us about our SkinMedica products, microdermabrasion procedures and prevention tips. We’re ready for the season. Are you?

Contact us online or call us at 888-219-1161 to learn more about our hydrating products and procedures that can help you—and your skin—flourish this winter season.