Of the many patients that come to Dr. Swartout for consultation, some have had prior nose surgery by other physicians and are unhappy with the results. During the early postoperative period the results may have been favorable, but over time certain changes can occur. Bumps or irregularities can develop, the nose can pinch, and sometimes the nose can become more crooked. Frequently the breathing will worsen as well.
Reconstructive facial surgery is performed to correct injuries following facial trauma and to correct defects created with the removal of cancer. The goal of this surgery is to restore a natural appearance of the involved area involved and to restore function.
Our eyes can reveal our true feelings, our state of mind, and even our overall health. When we are tired, our eyes can appear baggy. As we age, smile lines can become permanently etched into the facial skin. With advancing age, the brow become heavier and descends. The eyebrow lowers, and loose skin can roll up and lie on the upper eyelid.
With age, certain characteristic changes begin to occur in the face. The skin begins to lose its elasticity and can droop. Areas of youthful fat begin to descend and hollow areas develop where there was once fullness. As the skin and soft tissue drop, new rolls and creases develop and can impart an old, tired appearance. When these changes are mild, Botox and dermal fillers may bring a satisfactory improvement. As these changes progress, however, surgery may be required to sufficiently correct these problems.
When the ears are large, protruding (lop ears), or asymmetric, it can distract from the overall appearance of the face. In school aged children it can also lead to embarrassment and significant ridicule by peers. There are minimally invasive otoplasty techniques available to improve the contours of the ear using sutures (stitches) buried under the skin. These permanent stitches create long lasting improvement in shape and symmetry.
As the face ages, the skin can reveal the damage created by the sun exposure of childhood. Dark spots and wrinkles appear. In the appropriate patient, a chemical peel can improve pigmentation problems, tighten the skin, and give an overall healthy glow to the face. There are different peel options, and many can be done in the office.
Facial scars can be unsightly when they are wide, long, and straight. They can also be particularly noticeable when they change the shape of the eyelid, nose or lip. Sometimes, as a scar heals it creates a pulling force on the surrounding structures, interfering with facial symmetry. Other times a scar can create an unnatural dimpling with facial movement. Scar appearance can be improved by reducing its texture, lightening the color, and changing the shape and orientation. There are many options to improve scars and the treatments offered will be tailored to each individual patient.
Earrings can damage the earlobes over time, especially when large or heavy earrings are used, creating stretched, elongated lobes. The ear lobes can also be torn if an earring is pulled through, leaving an unsightly cleft in the lobule. These can be reconstructed in the office with numbing medicine applied to the skin. The procedure takes about an hour and the stitches come out in a week.
How long does it take to recover from a chemical peel?
That depends on the type of peel. We have a superficial peel that can be done in the office without any anesthesia or sedation. It causes the skin to peel for about two to two and a half days. If you want to avoid peeling during the work week, we can apply the peel on a Wednesday and it will begin peeling Friday night. It should be finished by Monday. This peel is very effective at tightening the skin and evening out some skin discoloration.
Do I need anesthesia for a scar revision?
That depends both on the extent of the surgery and on patient preference. All patients will get local anesthesia which means some numbing cream followed by numbing medicine injected into the skin. Some patients may be more comfortable with some sedation, or may even require deep sedation or even general anesthesia. When sedation is required, I will normally use an Anesthesiologist and perform the reconstruction in the operating room.