Cosmetic Surgery Update

Battle of the Sexes

Every doctor recommends preventative measures. Lather up the sunscreen. Stop smoking. Eat well. Exercise regularly. But, even with the utmost care, time will eventually take its toll. Here are a few cosmetic procedures available on the First Coast to combat signs of aging.

Perioral Lines and Crow’s Feet: After the age of 25, skin’s natural regenerative process begins to slow. Many women incur small wrinkles around the corner of the eye and lines around the mouth and lips. For these issues, Dr. Vaishali B. Dooblabh of Contemporary Plastic Surgery recommends a chemical peel or a laser skin resurfacing procedure. Peels cost between $300 and $900, while the average price for laser treatment is $2,200. Recovery time varies and depends on the strength of the procedure.

Forehead/Between the eyes: After age 45, skin starts to thin due to hormonal changes, and it loses much of its strength and elasticity. Dr. Jason Meier of Meier Plastic Surgery recommends a rhytidectomy, or facelift, to treat wrinkles in the forehead and between the eyes. “Surgery pulls and improves laxity,” he says. The procedure costs around $6,000 with two to three weeks of recovery time.

Breast Lift: Dr. Daniel Calloway of  Dr. Calloway’s Center for Plastic Surgery says many of his female patients wait until their 50s to address cosmetic needs. “They all have one regret,” he says. “They wish they had done it sooner.” Waiting for a breast lift or reduction can result in shoulder grooving, chronic back problems, skin breakdown, skin irritation and neck and shoulder pain. Breast lifts start around $4,400. Recovery time is three to five days.

Neck: Contrary to popular belief, fat isn’t always the culprit in creating thick necks as men age. “Muscle tone decreases as we age,” says Dr. Ankit Desai of Desai Plastic Surgery. A cervicoplasty, or neck lift, tightens the smas muscles (the muscle under the skin) and removes any excess skin. The procedure costs around $6,000 to $10,000 and requires one to two weeks of recovery time.

LIPOSUCTION OF THE ARMS: “Liposuction in the arm is always judiciously looked at because the results are largely dependant on the skin,” says Dr. Scioscia of Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery. The procedure can last from 30 minutes up to four hours, with a price of $2,900 per hour. For individuals with loose skin, an alternative procedure called brachioplasty removes flabby skin under the arms for a toned, tight result at $4,000-$6,000.

Breast Reduction: Gynecomastia (the abnormal development of breast tissue in men) has several causes including prescription drugs, hormonal imbalances, weight gain and the deposition of fat in the chest area. A breast lift can surgically remove the fat and tighten skin for about $4,400 and three to five days recovery time. However, Dr. William A. Wallace of the Coastal Cosmetic Center says that at least 50 percent of patients can get away with liposuction for about $3,000 with a shorter recovery time.

After-Baby problem areas: “Once you have kids, breast tissue and stomachs stretch out, skin is loosened and there are stretch marks in the tummy,” says Dr. Hollie Hickman of TrüYou Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Jacksonville. Post-partum changes affect the contour of the abdomen and leave muscles weakened. TrüYou offers the “Mommy Make Over” package, which includes a breast lift, a tummy tuck and liposuction. The procedure costs between $10,000 and $13,000 and requires about two weeks of recovery time.

Lovehandles: Dr. Lewis J. Obi offers LifeSculpt powered by SlimLipo, a laser device that reportedly melts fats and tightens skin as an alternative to liposuction. The LifeSculpt system requires no incisions or stitches (therefore, no scars) and comes with a quick recovery time. “About 70 percent of patients who need tummy tucks can get by with LifeSculpt,” Obi says. The procedure costs roughly $5,000 with less than a week of recovery time.

Lower Body Lift: Metabolism slows with age, and many women experience weight gain in the thighs and buttocks. “The metabolism deposits fat in those areas,” says Dr. Michael Duffy of the Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Center. A lower body lift is a surgical procedure that tightens sagging skin in the buttocks, thighs and hips. If the $10,000 to $13,000 price tag seems daunting, patients can elect for individual surgery on the buttocks or thigh areas for approximately $4,000. Recovery time for the full lower body lift takes about three weeks.