Hollywood… Plastic Surgery… the Academy Awards… perfect together! But just how do those actors get ready for all the action (and close-ups) of Oscar night?
Every New Year, plastic surgeons’ offices in and around Hollywood are literally flooded with last minute, jammed in, special appointments for celebrities “freaking out” about how they’ll look on the big red carpet day.
Pretend for just a moment that you are one of those celebrities anxiously seeing me in private consultation. You want to know what I can do to help you look your best, quickly, imperceptibly, and with minimal down time or risk. The pressure is on. The Academy Awards are around the corner and we don’t have much time. Try to relax. Don’t worry. I think I’ll be able to get you through this, looking great, and with little drama. Now let’s create a plan…
First, let’s concentrate on the overall look of your skin. To insure that it’s “camera ready” we need a focused regimen designed to enhance your skin’s radiance and youthful appearance. The skin should look healthy and smooth and “blemish free”. To do this justice, even with skin already in pretty good shape, we need about 4 weeks of lead time. This is how long the average regimen takes to get the skin properly up to speed while also allowing adequate time for the resolution of any irritations or reactions or other temporary side effects of our treatments. Between a series of office treatments (such as cosmetic facials, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels) and a customized home care plan (including proper cleanser, resurfacing products, moisturizing agents, and acne control) we should be able to soften some wrinkles, even out the skin tone, improve the brilliance of the skin and eliminate blotchiness. The bottom line – a complete evaluation and treatment plan as designed by a qualified medical expert in cosmetic skin care that you know and trust – and you’ll likely have this important first step (and foundation) well in hand within a month.
What about those rejuvenating, skin tightening/smoothing laser treatments you see advertised all over the place? Many of these are excellent choices, but not everyone is a good or proper candidate. And there may be potentially significant recovery issues and “social” down time that can’t be afforded if we are getting too far well within that 4 week window. Most of the so-called “fractional” laser treatments are quite good and rarely need more than a few days before one would be Oscar-ready. But some lasers and full face chemical peels could leave you with significant redness for 4 weeks or more. Once we’ve established that a laser treatment is actually a good idea for you, we’ll have to anticipate what type of reaction your skin is likely to have for a given laser technique and plan accordingly. That might cause us to add in some pre-procedure skin prepping – which also adds in some additional time factor. Interestingly, a totally camera-ready appearance after a mini-facelift, little eye-tuck or neck lift might only be week or so. Surprised? These are typically minimal discomfort, rapid recovery and quickly socially-ready type of procedures. And there are others….
Looking for a fresher, more open, more awake, more rested look to the eyes? Do we need that “brow lift” ASAP? Maybe not. And a brow lift might mean a little bit more down time than we’ve got. What – it’s only a couple of weeks away now?! No worries – we can do this, and more, with Botox®! Yes, just some good old Botox®. With sophisticated and subtle application of Botox® to specific zones, we can eliminate asymmetries of eyebrow position, and improve their arch, and shape. We can also elevate the eyebrows so that a more “open”, rested and less stressed look results within days. If we simultaneously erase the forehead creases, the frown lines and the “eleven” between the eyebrows, it will all look even better. And we if we knock out those crow’s feet at the same time, the cumulative effect is going to be a very natural appearing brighter, softer and relaxed look to the face. Not “paralyzed”. You will look pleasant, inviting, and not “overdone” or “plastic”. More youthful, energetic and confident but without any downtime. All this within a day or two of our ten minute Botox® session together. The effects should last some 3 to 6 months as well. So, as the paparazzi follow you around for a few weeks after you win your award, you’ll still be looking great!
What next? Do we have some lines making a shadowy fold or crease extending from the nose down to the corners of the mouth (the nasolabial folds)? Or are we dealing with some frown lines which are turning the corners of the mouth into a sort of “scowl”, flowing right into a little bit of jowling (the “marionette lines”)? Or perhaps the lips themselves have lost some definition, some fullness and look “old”? Many people do not realize that the mouth area carries a tremendous degree of significance in terms of how others perceive our age, our sensuality, even our friendliness and approachability. Some of these lines and shadows in association with thinning lips often create a harsh or almost angry look. And the jowling of the jawline will make anyone look older than they would like. But “wrinkle filler” therapy can virtually instantaneously reverse all these changes; beautifully softening out all the shadows, restoring lip fullness and shape, eliminating folds, hiding jowls, all the while creating a more youthful, more sensual, and more friendly look! How does this magic happen? The “fillers” are biologically compatible synthetic substances that plastic surgeons use just like sculpture under the skin. A little injection here, a little plumping there and after just a few minutes, the “art work” is done. The effects (with a slight amount of very temporary swelling) are immediate and will typically last 6 – 9 months or even longer in some cases, depending on the type of filler used. Again, no worries. Ready for action within a day or two, and in the months following the awards, you will still look simply marvelous. In all of your follow-up interviews in the weeks and months thereafter, as you promote your new upcoming film, you will look and feel just as good as you did on that special night!
So if you can give me a few minutes of your time, and about a month lead, I can help you out a lot and get you as ready as you need or want to be. But even if you have less time, all is not lost, because I still have some tricks up my sleeve that should be able to work wonders fairly quickly. But please, please…don’t call me a day or two before. That’s not enough time for even my most gentle of little office procedures and will only leave you with the creative use of make-up as your last option!
Dr. Lyle Back is originally from New York City, receiving his medical and surgical training at Rutgers Medical School, Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, and Ohio State. He is Board Certified in General Surgery (ABS) and Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), and a longstanding member of the premier American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He served as a Professor of Plastic Surgery at Temple University and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and performed reconstructive surgery with “Operation Smile” in Vietnam. He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art facial cosmetic surgery procedures and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.