By Dr. Jennifer Woerner
With surgical and dental backgrounds, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are considered the experts in face, mouth, teeth, and jaw surgery. Since these surgeons spend a majority of their residency training performing surgical procedures only on the head, neck, and face, this expertise makes them uniquely qualified to perform facial cosmetic procedures that bring harmony to facial appearance and function.There are several types of facial cosmetic surgeries offered by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, including the following common procedures:
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons also offer a wide array of in-office, non-invasive procedures for facial rejuvenation. With the development of advanced medical devices and biomaterials, many facial cosmetic procedures are minimally invasive and can be performed in an office setting using local and/or intravenous anesthesia. Common in-office facial procedures include:
So who is a good candidate for facial cosmetic surgery? Most facial cosmetic surgery patients are forty and above, but now younger patients are seeking numerous office-based procedures to prevent the signs of aging. Patients seeking facial cosmetic surgery must understand that these procedures may refine, enhance, and/or rejuvenate your existing features. You must work closely with your doctor to ensure that there is a clear understanding of both your desires as a patient and what is a likely surgical outcome. Patient expectations are not always possible to achieve, and communication between the patient and doctor is key. Please remember, these cosmetic procedures will not give you a new face or a new life, and patients suffering from depressive disorders or body dysmorphism are not good surgical candidates.
There are other factors that affect cosmetic outcomes. Age, health, skin texture, bone structure, healing capacity and personal habits are all factors that may affect the results of your surgery. Use of tobacco products causes constriction of the blood vessels, limits blood supply, accelerates the aging process, and impairs wound healing. Alcohol consumption and/or recreational drug use may also affect recovery and healing following surgery. It is important to be forthcoming with your doctor about the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs so that proper counseling can be performed and any risks can be mitigated.
All the procedures listed above possess a reasonable recovery time that must be considered. Although, many of the office-based procedures, carry a very low risk and short recovery compared to the more invasive surgical procedures. It is common to experience some swelling, bruising, and/or discomfort. Risk of infection is generally low. When meeting with your doctor preoperatively, each procedure will be explained in detail, along with what is expected during the postoperative course. Any wound care necessary will also be described in detail. If you or anyone you know is interested in facial cosmetic surgery, please seek a board-certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
Dr. Jennifer Woerner is an Assistant Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at LSU Health Shreveport. She is originally from Florida but has called Louisiana her home since 2006.