At Cooper, we have numerous physicians who have completed specialized training in plastic and reconstructive surgery. A facial plastic surgeon is a surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery devoted to the head and neck. To be certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), a physician must complete five years of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery training after completing medical school, and one year of fellowship training through the AAFPRS.
Aesthetic facial plastic surgery aims to improve one’s appearance. In general, one of the most common things that people state when motivated to pursue cosmetic procedures is that they want their appearance to match how they are feeling on the inside. This is an extremely common goal in patients seeking facial rejuvenation through such procedures as eye and face lifts and dermatologic procedures such as dermabrasion and the use of fillers and other injectables.
Younger patients often have different goals. Rhinoplasty and chin augmentation may be sought out once the facial skeleton has reached maturity and those structures, the nose or chin, are disharmonious with the rest of the face.
Cooper Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgeons are skilled in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and procedures.
- Eye Lift (blepharoplasty) – A blepharoplasty gives the eyes a more youthful appearance by lifting and removing sagging skin. Both the upper and lower eyelids can be addressed, simultaneously, when appropriate. In extreme cases of excessive upper eyelid skin, the skin can actually block a person’s vision – like a sun visor. In some cases like this, an eyelid lift may be covered by medical insurance. While this is not the case for every patient, we will work with you and your insurance company to see if it can be a covered procedure. Patients considering eye rejuvenation should be evaluated for a brow lift as well as lid lifts. Most people return to normal activities fairly soon after blepharoplasty.
- Face Lift (rhytidectomy) – A face lift is a great way to improve the appearance of an aging face. A facelift generally involves well-camouflaged incisions made around the ears that allow the surgeon to lift and tighten the tissues yielding a more youthful appearance. The goal should never be a “pulled” or “tight” appearance. The aim is to look refreshed. The downtime from a facelift is generally a matter of a couple weeks, but the results will leave you looking younger for years.
- Neck Lift (often part of a face lift) – A neck lift is designed to address the sagginess that often develops in the neck. This is often done when unsightly vertical bands develop in the front of the neck.
- Brow Lift (often part of a face lift) – As with the neck lift, this often accompanies a facelift to give the best possible result. It can be done as a stand-alone procedure or with a blepharoplasty.
A rhinoplasty is often referred to as a “nose job.” With rhinoplasty some minor refinements can help balance the symmetry of the face. This can be as basic as removing a hump from the nose to elevating a nasal tip. In addition to serving a cosmetic purpose rhinoplasty can also resolve nasal trauma, congenital defects or respiratory impediments. Recovery from rhinoplasty is usually just over a week, but the nose continues to slowly refine itself over many months, and the final outcome is not apparent for some time.
An otoplasty is a procedure to improve the appearance of one’s ears. Oftentimes the ears appear prominent or “stick out.” When this is the case, setting the ears back to a more favorable position can be accomplished through an outpatient surgery. This is most commonly performed in children but it is also a procedure that adults can benefit from as well.
Facial implants can bring balance and better proportion to the structural appearance of your face. If you are bothered by a small chin, weak jaw or lack of facial contour, plastic surgery with facial implants may benefit you.
Chin – Chin implants are useful in both men and women who have a chin that is thrust back or small. This can be useful in achieving facial harmony with a rhinoplasty in select patients.
Cheek – As with the chin implant, cheek implants are helpful in giving a fuller, more youthful appearance or to give fullness that was initially not present. Also, there is often bone loss that occurs with aging, and cheek implants can be a useful adjunct to a facelift in this patient population.
Lipocontouring is often thought of as reserved for the tummy or thighs. However, this procedure is often used in conjunction with a face and neck lift. It can serve as a stand-alone procedure, to eliminate fatty deposits below the chin in select patients. Downtime following most lipocontouring procedures is minimal.
Any time an incision is made deep enough into the skin, a scar results. It is the plastic surgeon’s job to help make those scars as imperceptible as possible. The primary goal of scar revision is to take an unsightly scar and make it less noticeable. While the majority of scar revision can be considered cosmetic, there are times when scar revision is absolutely necessary to restore function to the face (e.g., a lower eyelid that is pulled downward, preventing normal tear function). Minor scar revision can involve using resurfacing techniques. In general, the more significant the scar, the more involved the procedure to gain an improved outcome.
- Resurfacing – Resurfacing procedures give the skin a smoother, tighter, and rejuvenated appearance. The techniques below can be used for a number of reasons: wrinkles, pigment changes, scarring (e.g., acne, traumatic, surgical), and even precancerous lesions. In some instances, a combination of procedures may work best. The deeper the level of resurfacing (the level of penetration into the skin), the more dramatic the effect with the most potential for long-term gains. However, a deeper level of resurfacing also incurs the most downtime and the greatest risks (e.g., pigment changes, infection and scarring). Therefore, a well-considered balance between the benefits and risks must be decided prior to the procedure. Each procedure aims to create a new layer of skin that is inherently smoother, tighter and less damaged in appearance.
- Chemical Peels – Chemical peels can be divided into three main categories depending on the level of penetration and effect: superficial, medium and deep. Medium and deep peels are done by a physician and local anesthesia and sedation are considered.
- Lasers - Lasers can be helpful in many realms of dermatologic surgery and procedures. In resurfacing, the laser acts by using a specific wavelength of energy to selectively heat tissue. This damage results in new collagen formation.
- Dermabrasion - Dermabrasion is a mechanical means through which the skin is selectively removed to the desired level. It is a technique that has been around since World War I. It is particularly useful for scars from acne, injuries and surgery.
- Injectables – These treatments are often useful in the younger population who may not need or want a more aggressive approach to more youthful appearance (lifts or implants). Risks and side effects are uncommon and the pleasing results drive many younger patients to seek these types of treatments.
- Neuromodulators – One of the most commonly known neuromodulators is Botox. Botox and other similar injectables are useful in treating dynamic wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that we see when a muscle is contracted (e.g., horizontal lines across the forehead or crow’s feet). These medications are not as helpful for lines and wrinkles that are present at rest. A resurfacing procedure is more likely to be beneficial.
- Fillers – Several different compounds exist to help restore volume to the face. Fillers, such as hyaluronic acid (a natural substance found in the body), can be used to lessen lines in the face or plump the lips.
Reconstructive facial plastic surgery restores both function and appearance to injured or weakened areas head and neck. Many conditions, from cancer to burns to traumatic injuries, may be greatly improved with reconstructive techniques. Reconstructive surgery also includes the repair of congenital problems such deformed ears or a cleft lip/palate. While reconstructive surgery strives for the best possible aesthetic outcome, function of the head and neck always takes priority.
Traumatic injuries of the head and neck can range from a simple laceration or broken nose to a gunshot wound or worse. Cooper University Health Care is a level-one trauma center and has expertise in all areas of trauma care. Repair of these injuries may involve suturing (stitches), plates and screws, or even transferring tissue from other regions of the body to the injured site.
Cancer of the head and neck can be as simple as closing a small defect where a small skin cancer was, or as complex as rebuilding a tongue that was removed for cancer.
- Skin cancer - Many patients with skin cancer are initially treated by a specialized dermatologist trained in Mohs surgery. When t Mohs surgery is situated on the head and neck, the facial plastic surgeon is often called upon to repair the wound and make all attempts to return the form and function to the surgical site.
- Head and neck cancer - Otolaryngologists are the first line when dealing with head and neck cancers. Unfortunately, the majority of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, which are typically caused by tobacco, alcohol and the human papilloma virus (HPV). Cooper’s Head and Neck Cancer specialists have expertise in the surgical removal of head and neck cancers as well as reconstruction following removal. Some head and neck cancers cases require surgeons to transfer tissue, even bone, from a distant region of the body to repair the wound and reconstruct the area for both aesthetics and function.