What is Fraxel laser treatment like?

August 20, 2015

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Fraxel lasers are a revolutionary treatment for skin issues such as fine lines and wrinkles, scarring and brown pigmentation with a relatively short down time of just a few days. The laser creates microscopic wounds in the skin that trigger a healing response. Over time, as the skin heals, it produces new collagen at the points of treatment. This collagen remodeling rejuvenates the skin of the face and produces a smoother, more vibrant appearance.

How will I prepare for my treatment?

At The Aesthetic Wellness Center, Fraxel treatments begin with a consultation with Dr. Ahn to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. Patients (especially those with darker skin tones) will pretreat their skin withhydroquinone for about 4 to 6 weeks prior to their laser appointment.  If you are prone to cold sores, please let our staff know so we can prescribe you the proper medication.

What happens on the day of treatment?

On the day of your Fraxel treatment, our provider will apply a topical numbing cream for approximately 45-60 minutes.  This will help to reduce any discomfort you may experience during your treatment. The treatment itself will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the area you are having treated.  We recommend that you plan to be at our office for about 2 hours the day of your Fraxel appointment.   Our patients describe the Fraxel treatment to feel “hot and prickly,” even with the application of the topical numbing cream.  The majority of our patients can tolerate the treatment with just the use of the numbing cream.  However, for those patients who are a little more sensitive, we do offer “Friendly Fraxel” treatments.  These Fraxel treatments are performed under intravenous sedation in our Joint Commission accredited surgical suite.  Please contact our office for more information. 

What is Fraxel recovery like?

Immediately after the treatment, you will experience some slight redness and swelling – you may look like you have been at the beach all day without sunscreen. You may also feel a slight burning sensation, similar to sunburn, which can last for a few hours. Ice and cool compresses will help reduce the swelling and warm sensation.You may take Tylenol if necessary. Patients can wear makeup and be social immediately after the treatment, but we advise patients to wait at least five days before attending an important event.

On day two into day three, the face will continue to appear swollen. During this time, the treated area will bronze and flaking may begin. The flaking typically starts around the mouth and works its way out. Flaking can last until day four when your skin will start to look more radiant with improvements in pigmentation, pore size, texture and skin tone. We recommend using a good moisturizer throughout the flakey period. You can discuss your options with our nurse after your treatment. The wound response continues to remodel collagen for several months after the treatment. This will continue to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scarring.

How should you take care of your skin after treatment?

We advise patients to defend their skin from the sun on a normal basis, but it’s especially important to take measures to protect your skin after Fraxel treatments. When outside, patients should seek shade and wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and a large hat to help shield their skin from the sun’s rays.

Plastic surgery for men. Is it right for you?

August 10, 2015

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In a world that increasingly values youth and vitality, men are seeking plastic surgery at rates we’ve never seen before. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the number of cosmetic procedures for men in the United States has increased by more than 43% in the past five years (since 2010), and a whopping 273% since 1997.

We see men pursue plastic surgery for several reasons including to improve their looks, confidence and even their success at work. It’s a shocking statistic, but economists estimate attractive people earn an average of 3 to 4 percent more than those with below average looks. As a result, many patients seek cosmetic surgery to improve their competitive edge in the workplace.

We see men walk into The Aesthetic Wellness Center for everything from mini facelifts and rhinoplasties to non-invasive procedures like injections of Botox and Juvederm (a type of soft tissue filler). The top surgical and minimally invasive procedures for men in 2014 are as follows:

Top cosmetic surgical procedures for men (2014)*

  1. Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping): 54,680
  2. Eyelid Surgery (upper and lower): 29,402
  3. Breast Reduction: 26,175
  4. Liposuction: 24,327
  5. Facelift: 11,851

 

Minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures for men (2014)*

  1. Botox, Dysport: 410,913
  2. Laser Hair Removal: 190,816
  3. Microdermabrasion: 157,285
  4. Chemical Peel: 98,629
  5. Soft Tissue Filler: 92,949

 

The use of Botox, chiefly used cosmetically to address fine lines and wrinkles on the face, is steeply increasing among men. ASAPS reports an 84% increase in Botox use by men since 2010.   There are clear differences in the outcomes of Botox use on men and women, so it’s important to find a provider experienced in treating men, like The Aesthetic Wellness Center.

For more information on male plastic surgery and the best cosmetic procedures for you, set up a consultation at our plastic surgery center, The Aesthetic Wellness Center.

*2014 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Amy’s Story – Mini Facelift and Neck Lift Recovery One Year Later

July 24, 2015

Amys_blog_1_year-284045-editedOne year since her procedure, Amy video blogs about her mini facelift and neck liftrecovery experience. In her video blogs one week and two weeks after surgery she reports resolving tenderness, swelling and tightness. In the video below, she touches on the emotional and physical affects of the procedures, as well as the mini facelift and neck lift before and after results.

The ideal candidate for a mini facelift and neck lift is a healthy patient between 40 and 65 who would like to correct jawline troubles, such as sagging jowls, and who is unhappy with his or her neck angle. Dr. Ahn’s approach to a mini lift emphasizes short, discrete curved incisions and a natural appearance.  If you’d like to explore a mini facelift and neck lift, sign up for a free consultation with Dr. Ahn at our cosmetic surgery center, The Aesthetic Wellness Center.

Amy’s Story – Mini Facelift and Neck Lift Recovery Week 2

July 16, 2015

Screen_Shot_2015-07-16_at_9.54.19_AM-985785-edited-068823-editedTwo weeks after Amy’s mini facelift and neck lift with Dr. Ahn at The Aesthetic Wellness Center, she continues to video blog about her recovery.

In her video blog one week after surgery, she reported mild tenderness and swelling. This week, she continues to progress. She reports some tightness in the face that she can feel softening. She continues to sleep propped up. Amy has returned to work without a hitch.

A mini lift and neck lift corrects jawline issues, like sagging jowls, and an unflattering neck angle. You’ll go home the same day as your procedure, and return the next day to follow up with Dr. Ahn. In seven days, you will return to the office to have your sutures removed. After 10 days, you will likely feel comfortable in public with makeup.  The overall mini face and neck lift recovery time is about 10 to 14 days, but Dr. Ahn advises that you allow a cushion of three to four weeks of recovery time before a planned special event.
Click here for an update from Amy one year following surgery, including the mini facelift and neck lift before and after reveal. If you’d like to explore a mini facelift and neck lift, sign up below for a consultation with Dr. Ahn at our cosmetic surgery center.

Amy’s Story – Mini Facelift and Neck Lift Recovery Week 1

July 13, 2015

It’s been one week since Amy’s mini faceliftand neck lift with Dr. Ahn at our cosmetic surgery center, The Aesthetic Wellness Center. In the video below, Amy speaks candidly about her experience.

She reports experiencing tenderness behind the ear and a swelling in the lower face. Numbness, swelling and mild discomfort is normal during this phase of recovery.

Patients undergo a combination mini lift or lower facelift and neck lift to address sagging jowls and unflattering neck angles. If you undergo this procedure, you will go home the day of surgery with a light dressing over your face and neck. When you return to the office the following day to see Dr. Ahn, our staff will remove your dressing and wash your hair. Dr. Ahn recommends that you rest at home the following week, and relax with your head elevated.

Watch for more information on recovery, such as mini  facelift and neck lift recovery time. Click here to hear from Amy two weeks after recovery, and sign up below for your own consultation with Dr. Ahn.

Why you should consider Juvéderm dermal fillers with facial surgery

July 7, 2015

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A surgical procedure will do wonders to tighten and lift the skin, but there are a few blemishes even a little nip and tuck can’t quite perfect. Certain areas of the face, especially those affected by volume loss, often benefit from the use of injectables in combination with surgery.

In those cases, we recommend the use of Juvederm, a popular brand of hyaluronic acid dermal filler, or Botox to supplement the improvements made by surgical procedures.

For example:

  • Nasolabial folds (laugh lines): The lines between the corners of the mouth and nose become more pronounced with age. A facelift improves the appearance of nasaolabial folds, but we often recommend the use of Juvederm to restore volume and further smooth out these laugh lines.  Juvederm to the nasolabial fold area can occur at the time of your surgical procedure or at one of your follow up appointments. (See Juvederm before and after: nasolabial folds)
  • Tear Troughs: Eyelid surgery removes excess skin from the upper or lower eye, but this procedure will not address the hollowing that can sometimes occur in the area under the eye, also known as the tear troughs. This hollowing can cause a shadowing effect that can give you the appearance of under eye circles. Patients often choose to have injections of Juvederm under eye fillers to restore volume to the lower eyelid area as a complement to surgery or as a solo procedure. (See Juvederm before and after: eyes)
  • Lips: For those patients who are looking to add volume to their lips or improve the appearance of their lip lines, Juvederm is an effective solution.  Many of our patients have Juvederm lip treatments at the time of their surgical procedure. (See Juvederm before and after: lips)
  • Fine lines: The Aesthetic Wellness Center uses Botox to treat the fine lines caused by facial expressions like frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet.  Since there is hardly any down time with Botox, these treatments can occur at one of your follow up appointments. (See Botox before and after)

If you are having a surgical procedure, talk to Dr. Ahn to see if you are a candidate to receive filler injections during or after surgery. Sign up for a consultation at our cosmetic surgery center to learn which options are most appropriate for you.

Benefits of banking your Botox injections

June 29, 2015

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Doctors have been using Botox Cosmetic for years to successfully treat wrinkles and facial creases. It’s a predictable and effective option for addressing irritating facial imperfections.

Here at The AWC we use Botox to treat these common complaints of aging:

  • Horizontal forehead lines
  • Crow’s feet
  • Frown lines (the dreaded 11’s)
  • Dimpling of the chin
  • Neck bands (vertical “turkey bands”)
  • Mild cases of drooping brows

How does it work?

Botox is an FDA-approved, safe, and highly regulated medication. It’s made of a purified protein produced by the botulinum toxin.  Providers administer Botox at a therapeutic dose far below the dose that would cause toxicity, meaning it’s very safe. The injection works by blocking signals from the nerves to the chosen facial muscles, preventing the muscle from contracting. By relaxing the muscles that created the wrinkles, it can cause the wrinkle to soften and sometimes fade away with time.  This can give you smoother looking skin.

Botox injections take only a few minutes, making it a true “lunchtime procedure.” The medication is injected into specific muscles with a very fine needle, causing only minor discomfort. You will not notice an immediate difference in your face, but over five to seven days (and in some cases up to two weeks) your skin will appear smoother and your lines and wrinkles will fade.

How long does Botox last?

These effects will last about three to four months. As muscle action gradually returns at the site of the injection, wrinkles will begin to reappear. That means it’s time for the next treatment. These Botox treatments are needed approximately three or four times a year. After repeated injections, your lines and wrinkles will often appear less severe.

Financing your Botox

To help make repeat Botox treatments affordable we offer a yearly promotion called “Bank your Botox.” Patients at The Aesthetic Wellness Center can pre-purchase a year’s worth of Botox treatments at significant savings.  We deposit the savings into your Aesthetic Wellness Center account, which you can use for future Botox purchases.

What differentiates The Aesthetic Wellness Center?

One of only a few Diamond Level Botox providers in the country, The AWC is in the top two percent of providers nationwide. Dr. Ahn has performed thousands of Botox treatments in the past 15 years. He is considered an expert in Botox treatments, serving as the primary author of the first publication studying theBotox Eyebrow Lift. Rebecca Hoffey RN, BSN, CNOR, RNFA, who has been working with Dr. Ahn for more than 14 years, has been personally trained by Dr. Ahn on the best way to perform Botox treatments.

All treatments are performed under direct physician supervision in a Joint Commission accredited medical office. Our reputation truly speaks for itself. Read some of our reviews here:

Special considerations

The most common side effects of Botox are minimal bruising or a mild headache. Eyelid drooping (ptosis) is uncommon with Botox treatment, but it is temporary (usually lasting less than three weeks).

Botox should not be used in pregnant or breastfeeding women or those who have had previous allergic reactions to the drug or any of its ingredients. Those who have a neurological disease should also not use Botox. You should also stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications one week before treatment to reduce bruising.

Get in touch

To learn whether Botox is an effective option for you, please reach out to schedule a free consultation at our cosmetic surgery center.

What you need to know about plastic surgery financing

June 13, 2015

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Most of life’s big purchases have prescribed financing options: buy a home, get a mortgage; send a kid to college, save in a 529 plan; need a new car, take out a car loan. But how do you finance plastic surgery, fillers and other procedures?

Here at the Aesthetic Wellness Center, we support the CareCredit healthcare credit card. It is a credit card you can use to cover your health, wellness and beauty expenses – subject to credit approval. It’s a flexible option for paying your healthcare bills at your convenience, and you can use it multiple times at healthcare providers who accept it near you. Through CareCredit card, The AWC offers 0% financing for 6 months or 14.9% financing for 24, 36 or 48 months.

What you need to know about cosmetic surgery financing through healthcare credit cards:

  1. The promotional period – On the front of your bill, there is a date that signifies the end of the interest-free promotional period. You must pay off your balance by that date or start paying interest each month. If you aren’t sure when your promotional period ends, call CareCredit directly.
  1. Avoid paying interest – Keep your costs down by making on-time payments each month and paying off your balance by the end of the interest-free promotional period. Think about paying more than the minimum amount each month, as the minimum amount is usually not enough to pay the entire balance by the end of the promotional period.
  1. Using the card for other healthcare purchases – Check with the credit card company to see if you have a “grace period” and review how it works before you use the card again. Without a grace period, you’ll pay interest on new purchases from the date you make them.
  1. Details matter – To make sure small mistakes don’t lead to large interest and penalty charges, keep track of minimum payments and payment addresses.

Some other payment methods to explore:

  •        Regular credit cards
  •        Bank loans
  •        Cash savings
  •        Loans from family and friends
  •        Gifts

Whether you are considering financing for plastic surgery or other non-invasive procedures like Juvederm and Juvederm Voluma dermal fillers, our advice is as follows:

  • Consider what you can reasonably afford.  CareCredit offers a calculator to help you figure out your monthly payment.
  • Do your research to find the best surgeon to perform your surgery.  You do not want to compromise your results by looking for the lowest price.
  • Read the fine print of any contracts you sign.

What to expect from facial plastic surgery. Your questions answered!

May 25, 2015

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When considering facial cosmetic surgery there’s nothing more important than educating yourself.

You might ask: What are the safety precautions? What’s the downtime? How will I look after surgery?

Sometimes sitting down with an experienced physician can calm those nerves. Dr. Ahn held a free seminar in April where he covered your questions on everything from lower face-lifts to fillers. Here’s what we learned:

 

How does The AWC manage patient safety?

  • Safety is a top priority to Dr. Ahn. Per regulations set by The Joint Commission, we have a separate anesthesia provider to monitor patients. We use twilight/IV sedation so you will be sleeping and breathing on your own. We do not use general anesthesia. Our anesthesia is safer; it leads to a faster recovery than general anesthesia and produces less nausea for our patient.

What should I expect during and after eyelid surgery?

  • Dr. Ahn begins surgery by making surgical markings to produce natural-looking results, and prevent a “surprised” appearance post-healing.
  • During eyelid surgery, your extra skin will be removed. The crepey skin effect is improved, but the texture of your skin is unchanged.
  • Recovery is typically 8-10 days.
  • What’s the result? Eyelid surgery will make you appear fresher and brighter.

…and Lower eyelid surgery (fat transfer)?

  • A common concern from our patients is a hollowing (loss of volume) along the rim of the eye socket. Dr. Ahn will carefully add fat to this area to make you appear well-rested.
  • Recovery is 8-10 days, and there is some swelling.
  • A fat transfer will last for years.

What can be done about droopy brows?

  • Droopy brows often create hooding in the upper eyelid.
  • If the brow is lifted too high it can create an artificial, “surprised” look. Dr. Ahn does not lift the entire brow and therefore avoids the “surprised” look.
  • Dr. Ahn takes care in lifting the tail of the brows to improve this area and calls it a “Temporal Brow Lift.” This procedure provides the best aesthetic outcome; it gives you a nice arch and makes the eyes look more open.

What are the benefits of a lower face and neck lift?

  • One of the most common complaints we hear from our patients is their dissatisfaction with jowls and neckbands. Patients choose a lower face and neck lift because they want to look younger, fresher and natural.
  • The results generally last 8 -10 years.
  • After recovery, patients say they look 10-15 years younger.

What is recovery like for lower face and neck lift surgery?

  • Post-op you may experience tightness in front of the neck and around the ears.
  • After one week you can begin easing into regular daily activities.
  • It’s generally 10-14 days before you will feel presentable in public.

Why would I consider fillers after surgery?

  • Dr. Ahn may recommend that you try fillers after surgery to improve the nasolabial folds, better known as “laugh lines.”
  • Botox is also an effective option to treat the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet around your eyes.

Have more questions about any facial surgical procedures or cosmetic fillers? Contact our office to speak to one of our AWC professionals and schedule a consultation. Please ask to join our mailing list, so you can catch our next seminar on cosmetic surgery in the Boston area.

Post Facelift; why your doctor wants to see you long after your surgery is over.

April 28, 2015

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Follow-up examinations are a very important part of your facelift surgery and facelift recovery. The timing and frequency of your follow-up examinations will vary, depending on if you’ve had a facelift or minilift, and the decisions made by your facial plastic surgeon.

Typically, patients are seen 24 to 48 hours after surgery, and at the time of suture removal. Weekly and then monthly visits are scheduled as they are determined by your particular needs. Dr. Ahn prefers to see his patients quite regularly so he can continue to monitor and evaluate your post-operative results.

It’s not unusual for the final results of your facelift to manifest themselves up to 12 months following surgery. However, if you should experience any unusual symptoms or have concern about your recover, we urge you to contact your doctor.

Here is an example of the follow-up schedule at The AWC.

1 day after surgery

  • To remove all of the dressings applied after surgery
  • To make sure you are feeling well and all is going well post-op
  • To wash your hair

1 week after surgery

  • All stitches are removed
  • A close check to make sure things are healing as they should be
  • To show you how to hide any bruising and/or swelling with makeup
  • To offer moral support if you need it

3 weeks after surgery

  • A check to monitor overall healing
  • To address any issues or concerns you may have
  • To offer moral support when necessary
  • To offer reminders on what activities can be resumed
  • Information is shared to help you returning to work/life

5 weeks after surgery

  • We start assessing the overall aesthetic improvement
  • A brief check on overall healing
  • An overall survey of any ongoing issues (numbness, last bit of swelling, redness of suture lines etc.)

8-10 weeks after surgery

  • Brief exam
  • Review of how things are progressing

4-5 months after surgery, and again at 9 months after surgery

  • Brief exam
  • Discussion on overall aesthetic improvement
  • Discussion of any concerns

12 months after surgery

  • Brief exam
  • Discussion on overall aesthetic improvement
  • Discussion of any concerns
  • Final pictures, set up side by side with pre-op photos that are emailed to the patient.

As you can see, it’s important to work with a board certified facial plastic surgeon that is interested in every step of your recovery – and it’s equally important for you to keep all of your follow-up appointments. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact our office and speak to a member of our profession staff.