PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Dr. Hugh Hetherington
performs a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures to help patients achieve their desired look. Some are looking for more extensive changes, while others are satisfied with more minor improvements. A recent article
in The New York Times reveals the results of a study that show that cosmetic surgery may have limited effectiveness at making people appear younger and more attractive.
While attractiveness is something that is difficult to quantify, a recent study published online in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, attempted to do just that. The study found that after undergoing a face lift, brow-lift, or eyelid surgery, patients only looked an average of three years younger. These results may surprise the more than 120,000 Americans who got face lifts last year. Some claim that this procedure can make an individual look up to 10 years younger.
The study asked 50 people to look at pictures of 49 different patients between the ages of 42 and 73 who had undergone plastic surgery. They either saw a pre-operative picture or a post-operative picture of a patient, but not both. They were then asked to estimate each patient's age. On pre-operative photos they estimated the person was approximately 2.1 years younger, and on post-operative photos, they estimated approximately 5.2 years younger. This averaged out to an overall difference of 3.1 years. They also reported minimal changes in attractiveness. Dr. A. Joshua Zimm, lead author of the study and a facial plastic surgeon, notes that the study included not just people who had gotten a face lift, but also those who had only gotten an eye lift or a brow lift.
Dr. Zimm said that "60 percent of raters scored patients between 4 and 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most comely, so there was not much variation in overall attractiveness scores." His sample size was relatively small, however, and he points out that future research utilizing more people may show a greater difference. According to Nancy Etcoff, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, people's perceptions on what they consider "old" also played a part. None of the patients had undergone any other cosmetic surgery such as laser resurfacing or fat injections, so participants were only looking at surgical results. The fact that some faces appeared younger in some ways and older in others may have had an impact on results.
Dr. James M. Stuzin, a Miami plastic surgeon who specializes in face-lifts, believes that there is limited generalizability to the study. He notes, "We don't know what technique was utilized. Definitely technique and a surgeon's skill level influences results."
Plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Hugh Hetherington agrees and makes the following comments: "This study used a small sample size and there was no attempt to control for the procedure used. Also,patients will receive different results depending on the technique the surgeon used and how skilled they are at the procedure. The best results are usually obtained when procedures are combined. Furthermore, there is a big difference between looking at photographs and seeing the patient in person. Also, one must keep in mind that facial rejuvenation surgery is aimed at correcting the most obvious stigmata of facial aging. Rather than making the patient look younger, which it usually does, the more appropriate goal is to make them look good for their age." he says. "In the end, what really matters is how the patient feels about themselves. If they are happy with their new look and it boosts their self-esteem, then that is what matters most, not what other people guess their age or attractiveness to be." Dr. Hugh Hetherington works with patients to determine which procedures can help them to meet their needs and goals.
Dr. Hugh Hetherington
is an experienced surgeon who is double board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He practices at Bozeman Deaconess Ear, Nose & Throat and Bozeman Deaconess Big Sky Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetics, providing patients with high quality service and care to meet their medical and aesthetic needs. He is actively involved in many professional organizations, allowing him to stay up-to-date on trends and developments within the industry.