studies have shown that cosmetic surgery produces positive
psychological benefits by improving patientsí perception of
well-being. But a growing number of cosmetic procedures also can
improve certain physical problems that detract from the quality of a
Eyes Have It
One of the first areas of the face to show age is the eyes, making
the rest of the face appear older and tired looking. And, when eyelids
droop, they can sometimes block the gaze and make vision difficult,
according to Dr. Philip Sonderman of Greater Milwaukee Plastic
Surgeons in Brookfield. "As people get older and their skin sags,
the eyelids can hang down and make it difficult to keep the eyes open
wide. We can correct that sagginess with blepharoplasty, which removes
excess skin and pockets of fat from the upper and lower eyelids,"
he says. "Depending on the patient, this surgery may be covered
Oftentimes, patients will combine blepharoplasty with a brow lift.
Also known as a forehead lift, a brow lift can minimize the creases
that develop across the forehead or those that occur high on the
bridge of the nose. It improves what are commonly referred to as frown
lines and repositions a sagging brow.
Dr. Andrew Campbell of Quintessa Medical Spa in Mequon is one of a
handful of cosmetic surgeons in the United States who has been using a
new technique called Ultherapy to perform brow lifts. "Ultherapy
is the only noninvasive, nonsurgical device that has ever been given
the FDAís approval for brow lifting. It uses focused ultrasound
energy, much like the ultrasound waves used for other ultrasound
procedures," he says.
"Ultherapy heats up the tissue and triggers the bodyís
natural healing response, which results in new and improved collagen
support and gradual firming and actual lifting of skin tissue over
time, creating a more open look around the eyes and a more refreshed
look overall," Campbell says. "There is no down time, no
surgery and eight of 10 patients get a positive response after about
Kinder, Gentler Lipo
"As we get into our middle years ó the 40s and beyond ó
the metabolism slows down, and no matter how hard we exercise or push
ourselves, certain parts of our bodies just wonít respond the way
they once did. A lot of people get discouraged and perhaps stop doing
things they might otherwise do," says Dr. Anthony Krausen of The
Skin Center in Milwaukee.
To help people get rid of this otherwise immovable flab, Krausen
uses a new liposuction technique called body jet liposuction. Itís
different from conventional liposuction procedures because of the way
the fat is suctioned out of the body. "The openings used for
suctioning are about the size of half a grain of rice. We use a very
small canula and small amounts of water," he explains.
The fatty deposits are broken down quickly and efficiently. The
process causes much less swelling and discomfort and can be performed
under local anesthetic. "It is a much gentler procedure. The
results are significant and few patients have extensive bruising or
discomfort immediately after the procedure," Krausen says.
"We can really sculpt and refine body parts, and there is only
about 48 hours of downtime."
Neck, shoulder and back discomfort can be the result of very large
breasts. And it may create self-esteem issues and affect a womanís
ability to participate in physical activities, says Dr. James White of
Brookfield. "Very large breasts can cause major imbalance,
grooving in the shoulders from the constant pull of bra straps, as
well as skin irritation under the breasts," according to White,
who recently retired after 30 years in practice as a plastic and
"Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty,
can be done to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts to
achieve a breast size in proportion to a personís height and
weight," White says. "Women who have breast reduction
surgery are some of the happiest patients because they experience such
positive results," he says.
Closing the Gap
By performing procedures that give people a new or renewed sense of
self-confidence, cosmetic surgeons have the opportunity to help
provide patients with a better quality of life, says Dr. N. John
Yousif of Asthetic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates in Mequon.
"One surgery that often yields a big change in peoplesí lives
is facial rejuvenation. I am always surprised at how a patientís
attitude improves," he says, noting that the face must look
"People tend to act the way they look. I have often said that
when the inner self remains young and strong and the outer surface
begins to age, that disparity can lead some people to seek correction.
We as plastic surgeons seek to close that discrepancy between the
surface and the soul. That is what we are hoping to do," he says.