From PRIME, a special edition of City & Shore Magazine
By Deborah Wilker
If you’ve ever thought about a full-fledged face-lift but then quickly cut short your makeover fantasies, wondering where you would ever get the money, several weeks and even the courage, fear not.
There are many less invasive, less expensive tweaks one can do at the plastic-surgeon’s office that will have you looking refreshed and back at work in no time.
From prescription skin-care products to injections and injectable fillers that start at just a few hundred dollars to laser treatments and liposuction, we asked top South Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Russell Sassani to discuss some of the most effective ways to lift your look while making every penny – and hour – count.
• In the $300-$700 range, Sassani’s recommendations include the eyelash enhancer Latisse – a drug that not only adds lashes but also makes them darker and more lush. Also in this range, he likes Obaji and SkinMedica pharmaceutical-grade skin-care products, which continually rejuvenate skin and smooth fine lines.
• Then there’s the crow’s feet-killer Botox, that when injected around the eyes and on the forehead temporarily paralyzes the muscles, wiping out most wrinkles until it wears off in a few months. Cost is about $275 per area treated. For another $500-$600, patients can fill all kinds of cracks and crevices on the lower part of the face with injectables such as Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Radiesse and Sculptra. This process also needs to be repeated, though not as often.
• Between $1,000 and $1,500 lie all manner of facial peels that rejuvenate skin, remove dark spots and erase fine and deeper lines, done at varying intensities, either chemically or with laser.
• At $2,500 a “C02” laser treatment “has the most dramatic effect on the skin,” Sassani says, resurfacing skin, eradicating deepest lines and wrinkles and correcting pigment changes. The effects can last from 10 to 15 years. Not bad for just seven to 10 days of downtime.
How do you know when you need a face-lift or whether a peel or laser will do?
“The analogy I make is sometimes you have a garment that is too big, and it’s also wrinkled,” Sassani says. “So the garment needs tightening up, but it also needs to be ironed. Everyone ages differently.”
• For about $2,200 you can venture into one area of liposuction, firming up your “mid-section.” You can erase fatty pockets and under-eye droop with what’s known as a “lower blepharoplasty,” for around $2,000.
• For about $5,000 you could take care of both upper and lower lids, and if your upper eyelids are creating a condition called “hooding,” in which they droop so much as to impair vision, this could be covered by your health insurance.
Most important says the doctor, “You always want to go to someone who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, “someone who has trained extensively – not someone who has simply taken a weekend course.”
Sassani adds that simple things like an old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendation is crucial, as is a website with great before-and-after photos.
“It’s a very good indicator. If someone doesn’t have good results, why go to them?”