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Monday, May 3, 2021

Clinic-Based Beauty Procedures

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Smaller procedures can give a boost of confidence

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “I could just use a little nip or tuck” but aren’t ready to take the big dive into a significant surgical procedure like a facelift or neck lift? Well, there are several smaller nips that can be done in the clinic without any sedation at all. Over time the loss of collagen and elastin, dehydration, sun damage and gravity take hold of every inch of our bodies – even the smallest ones.

Luckily, smaller procedures can give you a little boost of selfconfidence for even the smallest insecurities.

Clinic-based procedures, while still considered small surgeries or procedures, require little downtime, little risk and lots of reward.

As we get older, we tend to lose volume in our faces. This includes the lips. Injectable fillers can temporarily plump the lips to increase volume. But in a face that has also started to sag, fillers create a heavy, “horselike” mouth. This is because the distance between the upper lip and the nose increases as we age. As the lip elongates, the red lip starts to curl in and become hidden. Fillers will simply add weight to the upper lip, making it look even longer. For some people with the right anatomy, a surgical lip lift is a perfect way to rejuvenate the mouth. This can easily be done in a clinic without any anesthesia. For those who do have an element of anxiety, however, it can also be done with some sedation.

What the procedure entails is shortening of the “cutaneous upper lip” – which is the skin between the nose and the red part of the upper lip. A cleverly placed incision just below the nose is easily camouflaged in a groove so that when it is fully healed, it is hidden. It is carefully designed to follow the curves of the lower nose resembling a “bullhorn,” hence the name ”the bull horn lip lift.” This allows a strip of skin to be delicately removed, which elevates the red part of the lip. It also allows the lip to curl outwards giving a permanent plump.

In many people, the bull horn lip lift eliminates the need for fillers in the future, which is a huge money saver. The ideal distance between the nose and the upper lip is 11-15 millimeters. As we age, it can get up to 25 millimeters. The decision to perform a lip lift isn’t based on measurements alone. As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, I consider the length and shape of your entire facial skeleton and the size of your teeth to ensure this is the right procedure for you.

Do your ears hang low? Another simple and cost-effective clinic-based tuck is an ear lobe lift. Years of wearing earrings can cause our ear lobes to become frighteningly long. Even a lovely set of earrings can unfortunately draw attention to the stretched ear lobes. An earlobe lift is a very simple way to tighten up a long ear lobe.

A wedge is carefully drawn out on the front and back of the earlobe and precisely removed. If your earring holes have become stretched out, leading to droopy earrings, this can be incorporated into the wedge to remove the stretched-out hole. Once the “wedge” is removed from the earlobe, it is precisely stitched back together. And then, “voila’!” in under 30 minutes you have a new set of cute and petite earlobes, which are perfect to show off a lovely pair of dangly earrings.

We have all heard that the “eyes have it.” But, as we age, the skin of the upper eyelids can lengthen and become saggy. I have had patients tell me, “It feels like I am wearing a visor,” or “My eyes get tired when I read because my eyelids are so heavy.” This, to me, is a perfect example of who benefits greatly from an eyelid lift. An incision is carefully designed in the crease of the upper eyelid, and the eyelid skin is measured to determine how much can be safely removed. In certain candidates, this procedure can easily be done in a clinic with a little numbing shot. Stitches are placed under the skin and are removed after one week.

Paige E. Bundrick, MD, is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and an assistant professor of otolaryngology at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, La.

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