Off-The-Shelf Facial Aesthetics
16 December 2021 onur
“It appears everyone has the same face. I don’t want to look like that.”
Facial rejuvenation candidates present with such a concern. Most of the time, they express it in this same word order.
In fact, no two faces in the nature are the same.
So how come artificial facial features, which can be spotted at first glance even by untrained eyes, appear so commonly all around us?
There are two main reasons to that.
First: Medical procedures are commoditized
Second: Procedure fanaticism
Before we elaborate on the causes, let’s review one of the basic principles, not just in surgery but in life in general.
You don’t have to do something just because you can.
Those who follow my blog will know that I am against assigning commercial names to medical applications to “commoditize” them.
A non-exhaustive list includes Hollywood cheek, French lift, Russian lips, almond-shaped eye aesthetics, babyface, starface and newface.
The productization of medical procedures is something unique to consumption societies.
It creates an “I want this product, too” reflex in consumers.
However, when it comes to human health, it is not possible to refer to a “consumer”.
This mentality only consumes people’s health, beauty, psychology and material resources.
In medicine, there is no motivation such as “She has it and I want it, too.”
The motive of a 30-year-old woman who thinks, “All my friends have had lip augmentation. I should have it as well,” has the same basis as the motive of an adolescent who thinks “All my friends have a pair of Nike Air and I want them, too.”
I do not buy things for my children just because others have those things, and I do not recommend my patients to have a procedure just because their friends have had it done.
My clinic is not a store where people can buy aesthetic procedures.
If there is a deformity that will benefit the procedures we perform, we give that procedure. Otherwise, we do not. And it is me to decide whether there is a deformity or not. It may sound slightly despotic, but as a physician, this is my role in this relationship and this is my ethical responsibility to my patients.
If there is a hyperactive mimic deformity, we can perform Botox injections.
If the lips are very thin compared to the other structures of the face and the average age, we can perform lip augmentation.
If there is a lack of volume in the chin contour that really disrupts the aesthetic continuity, we can inject chin fillers.
If the cheek fat pad is excessively large and herniated, we can perform bichectomy.
If the outer part of the eyebrows is lower than the inner part and the outer angle of the eye, we can perform a temporal lift.
If the plane between the inner and outer angles of the eye has turned negative, we can perform canthoplasty (the medical term for what is called almond-shaped eyes).
Other examples are also available. The main idea is that I do not perform any procedure just because the patient wants it or because they see it on someone else’s face and like it. “Indication” is essential in all medical procedures. The patient’s desire for plastic surgery is not an indication on its own.
You remember what I said previously? Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it.
When we start performing commoditized medical procedures on anyone who requests them – just because we can, we begin to see people with the same faces, just as we see people wearing the same things.
The goal in facial aesthetics should be to restore only one deformity to its normal, natural level.
When you work under the guidance of this goal, even if you perform ten different procedures on a patient’s face, no one will understand that person has had anything performed on their face.
Another reason why we see off-the-shelf faces is “procedure fanaticism”.
It’s somehow related to the surgeon’s ego.
You know the saying, ‘different strokes for different folks’.
Plastic surgeons should not be narcissistic folk.
If a plastic surgeon goes narcissist, thinks “This is my technique, and this is how I do it” and gives each patient the same treatment irrespective of their individual differences, what they will end up in will be off-the-shelf results. We observe procedure fanaticism very often in rhinoplasty. Surgeons usually have only one single technique to which they are fanatically devoted.
You know, almost every patient has the same nose, regardless of their unique facial structure.
You ask the surgeon about it, and the surgeon says “This is my trademark. This is my signature. Whoever wants this should come to me.”
I think this is an invalid argument, but I’ll just leave it to you.
A similar case applies to facial rejuvenation surgeries.
A midface lift, an endoscopic forehead lift, a deep plane facelift, fat injections, a canthopexy, a temporal lift or a lip lift is not good for every patient.
Personalized planning is essential in facial aesthetics.
Perform the same procedure on 10 patients, and you will get good results in 4, average results in 4 and poor results in 2.
Finally, I will talk about clinics and aesthetic factories offering off-the-shelf procedures.
I strongly recommend that you stay away from such off-the-shelf service clinics where patients swarm, doctors jump from one room to another with a syringe in their hands, you can get an appointment for any procedure you want over the phone and have it done as soon as you go.
You should know that you will only have an average result at best when you are having a procedure at an “aesthetic surgery factory” where 5-6 nose surgeries are performed in a day, 3-4 facial rejuvenation surgeries are delivered side by side and the price is very reasonable. Facial rejuvenation surgery is a boutique craft by nature and rigorously requires detailed planning, practical due diligence and fine workmanship.
If you are interested in facial aesthetic procedures, I recommend you consider the concepts I have tried to explain in this article. Do not act on a consumer motive, do not come up as a wannabe, and stay away from off-the-shelf procedures.
Take good care…
… of yourself and your beauty.