Top procedures performed before the holidays


What are the top procedures performed before the holidays and what are the recovery timeframes?


Now that the summer is over, people start thinking ahead to the holidays; and who doesn’t want to look their best during the holiday season? A refreshed and rejuvenated appearance makes people feel more youthful and confident but it requires some planning, and now is a good time to begin that process. While some techniques can provide immediate results, most take weeks or months for the full benefits to become apparent.

Below is a list of some of the top procedures that patients choose to undergo:

Liposuction: Plan 2-3 months ahead

Liposuction is one of the most frequently performed procedures for fat removal. At Edina Plastic Surgery our board-certified and board-eligible surgeons can do this procedure as a stand-alone or we can perform it in conjunction with a tummy tuck or even a facelift. It has tremendous potential to shape the body, but there are some limitations based on the skin quality and planned volume retrieval. Typically the liposuction procedure can be done on the neck, arms, back, abdomen, thighs, knees or ankles. Sometimes patients request to have it performed on a combination of areas. Recovery from liposuction varies but a return to normal full activity will occur around four to six weeks.

CLICK HERE to request a free consultation to look your holiday best or call us at 952-925-1765.

Breast augmentation: Plan 2-3 months ahead

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures with patients at Edina Plastic Surgery. All of our surgeons have special expertise in breast augmentation. Because of our expertise our clinic was selected to participate in the FDA’s clinical trials for silicone breast implants. Breast augmentation can increase self-esteem and confidence, improve the fit of clothing and make women look and feel more youthful. Edina Plastic Surgery is the only practice in the Twin cities using the Vectra XT 3D camera which allows patients to see “virtual before and after photos” on their own bodies. Although most women are back to their daily routine in about a week, it takes three to six months for the implants to completely settle into position and for the residual swelling to subside.

Blepharoplasty: Plan 1 month ahead

Your eyes convey so much information and emotion, which is why you don’t want your eyes to appear tired or aged. Eyelid surgery can help patients project a more youthful, rejuvenated and refreshed appearance. A blepharoplasty can help make your eyes your most beautiful accessory for the holiday season and beyond.  An eyelid lift can be conducted on the upper and/or lower eyelids to improve appearance by removing excess fat pads or skin. The swelling and bruising post-surgery generally resolves in one to three weeks.

Botox: Plan 3-4 weeks ahead

Botox is a well-known and popular anti-aging treatment that can provide quick and amazing results to patients who want to diminish wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead. It is so quick it can work within just one treatment so it is a very popular pre-holiday procedure. It targets dynamic facials lines; those caused by repetitive expressions including crows’ feet, forehead creases and frown lines. The treatment takes only a few minutes and requires no down time. The early benefits can be seen within two weeks but many times patients see improvement even after that time period. For best results plan about three weeks before your holiday celebration.

Dermal fillers: Plan 1-2 weeks ahead

There are many well-known fillers that patients request to give them a beauty perk-up before the holidays including Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse and Voluma. Dermal fillers promote hydration of the skin, and they also restore volume to the skin and its underlying foundations. The expert skin injectors at Skin Artisans of Edina Plastic Surgery apply injectable gel under the skin to provide a smooth, natural look and feel. Areas that can benefit from filler treatments include: temples, around the eyes, mid-face, lip rejuvenation and jowl correction. Mild bruising and swelling can sometimes occur after treatments so give yourself a week or two before any holiday events.

CLICK HERE to request a free consultation to look your holiday best or call us at 952-925-1765.

Where else can Botox® be used?


I know that Botox® is very versatile; but besides the forehead where else can it be used?


Botox® can be effective on many areas of the face, neck and even the upper chest.


The jelly roll area which is under some people’s eyelid area is another area where Botox® can be effective. This area is most evident when patients smile really big. When Botox® is injected into the middle of the lower eyelid it makes the eye look more open and youthful.


Botox® can be injected to reduce eyelid hooding to produce some of the benefits of a lateral brow lift.


As some people age the corners of their mouths become downturned, giving them a “crabby look”. We can inject Botox® to relax the muscles and help make the corners more upturned. Patients can achieve a look that is friendlier and more approachable.


To reduce dimpling or “orange peel skin” on the chin, Botox® can be effective. It relaxes the muscle in the chin to help diminish the dimply look.


Botox® is also used in the neck to treat the vertical platysmal bands. These bands may become prominent as we age because the skin progressively loses elasticity and soft tissue support weakens. Botox® injections help to make these bands and lines less pronounced.


We use Botox® in the décollete area to diminish the fine wrinkling.

Plastic surgery for people over 50?


Is plastic surgery becoming more of an accepted practice for people over 50 years of age?


Seniors are turning to plastic surgery in record numbers. It may be a current trend for the “more mature” to let their hair color go to a natural silver, but those same seniors are clamoring to have plastic surgeons erase other marks of aging like sagging breasts, wrinkles and droopy eyelids.

No matter how hard they look, these men and women know that there are no creams, potions or drugstore remedies that can completely erase the effects of aging. There is no such thing as an over-the-counter miracle cure. The former head of Revlon, Charles Revson was quoted as saying “I am selling hope in a jar.” Today older Americans are often finding that hope is in the hands of plastic surgeons.

A record number of senior citizens are electing to undergo plastic surgery. In 2014, women and men from the ages of 51 – 64 accounted for 25% of the surgical and 32.9 percent of the non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The total of those procedures for the year was more than 10 million. Add to that the number of people 65 and over who made up 8% of the total of yearly surgeries and 11% of the non-surgical procedures and you have got some very significant numbers of people over the age of 50 opting for cosmetic procedures. And the numbers are increasing every year, so the trend is clearly growing.

It’s not that hard to answer the question “Why are cosmetic procedures becoming more popular for people 50 and older?” Medical technologies are ever-advancing. This means that people are living longer and living more healthy lifestyles. They feel good and they want to look just as good as they feel.

If they are still in the work environment these patients often feel the pressures of the work environment and want to “continue to fit in”. Many have returned to the dating world and want to look their best to meet new people.

When asked about this trend, Dr. Robert Wilke, a plastic surgeon board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery said, “Every year we see more patients that are over 50, and the over-65 patient base is growing as well. My partners and I perform procedures that make people look and feel more youthful, but in a very natural way. Most people want a natural looking result. They still want to look like themselves, just a more refreshed and rejuvenated version of themselves.” The surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are experts in performing these procedures, as evidenced by all three of them being named as Top Doctors.

Seniors are asking for all types of surgeries and cosmetic procedures, but the most commonly requested surgeries are: facelifts, eyelid lifts, breast lift, tummy tucks and liposuction. These are followed in popularity by breast augmentation, breast reduction, lower body lifts and forehead lifts.

Do the risks increase as the age does?

“Many people are under the impression that advanced age automatically increases the surgical risk for patients,” says Dr. Wilke, “but that is not necessarily the case. Age does not have to be a limitation, but any co-morbidities and extenuating medical conditions that the patients are experiencing can play a part as to whether they are a good candidate for plastic surgery. Every patient needs a full medical evaluation preoperatively, and we, along with their primary physician, need to assess their surgical risk to determine if elective surgery is appropriate for them.”

Dr. Wilke goes on to say, “Because of advances in medical technology and techniques, plastic surgery is not only safer than ever, the results are better than ever as well. With our refinements in surgical techniques, as well as better and safer anesthesia, it all adds up to make it easier for these more mature patients to enjoy the benefits of plastic surgery.”

And with social mores and opinions on plastic surgery becoming more accepting, the social stigma of having “something done” has been all but erased. Surgeries are no longer considered a mark of vanity and they are no longer limited to Hollywood divas and jet-setting executives. The vast majority of people electing to have procedures are middle class wage earners who have saved up to get plastic surgery because it is important to them.

Looking more youthful with non-surgical alternatives.

For the maturing population who want to avoid or postpone a surgical option, the non-surgical alternatives are also very popular. Seniors are flocking to the offices of plastic surgeons and to skin clinics for all kinds of treatments including Botox® to erase wrinkles and facial fillers to plump up hands and face. They are also trying skin rejuvenation in record numbers. These include chemical peels, dermabrasion, skin-tightening lasers and laser skin resurfacing.

“At Edina Plastic Surgery we have a great skin clinic,” says Dr. Wilke. “So our patients have the option of any type of surgical or non-surgical procedure in their pursuit of looking more youthful. As people go through life transitions they want to look good; and no matter what avenue they choose we are there to help them reach their goals.”

What is KYBELLA?


I have a double chin that I’d like to get taken care of. I’ve heard that there is a new injectable called Kybella® that melts away that type of fat. How does it work?


The single biggest breakthrough in treating double chins has been approved by the FDA and is now available at Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery.

Kybella is a non-surgical injectable for reducing moderate to severe fat on the upper neck, otherwise known as a “double chin.” The injection contains a naturally occurring molecule which eats away at fat. In short, Kybella is billed as a double-chin eraser that comes in a syringe.

Kybella is identical to the deoxycholic acid that is produced in the body. Deoxycholic acid produced in the body helps the body absorb fats. Kybella is a cytolytic drug, which when injected into tissue physically destroys the cell membrane. When properly injected into submental fat, the drug destroys fat cells occurring below the chin.

And unlike most of the injectable procedures offered, because it is so unique, this new fat-dissolving injection treatment is as popular with men as it is with women. Some plastic surgeons across the country are reporting that 40% of their Kybella patients are men.

How does it work?

Basically what Kybella does is that it disrupts the fat cell membrane. As soon as it hits, it causes lysis—or destroys the cell membrane. After that, the fat cell releases its fatty contents and the body metabolizes the fatty contents as normal.

How many rounds of treatment do you need, and what results should you expect?

In general, patients will need a series of 12-20 injections per visit. Patients may need two to three total visits, spaced a month apart. Each treatment takes about 15 minutes.

Some people may get up to 50 injections in a single treatment, with up to six single treatments no less than a month apart. Many people saw results in two to four treatments, according to Kybella’s manufacturer, Kythera®.

Before approving the drug, the FDA looked at the results of two U.S. trials that included more than 1,000 people. Those who got the drug more often saw less fat under the chin. More than 80% of those getting the drug said they noticed some improvement in their chin fat.

How long do the results last?

Depending on the patient, the results may last several years.

Could the drug help destroy fat cells in other areas of the body?

Currently the drug is only approved for injection below the chin. Kybella works best on small areas so it is not appropriate for areas like love handles.

What will it cost? And will insurance cover it?

The cost of Kybella varies from patient to patient but the costs will be similar to other dermal fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane. Kybella requires more than one treatment. Because it is a cosmetic procedure insurers will not cover the costs.

Is everyone a candidate for Kybella?

Almost everyone is a candidate for Kybella, except for patients under the age of 18. It is recommended that doctors screen patients carefully to make sure that their submental fullness is indeed fat and not the result of something else, such as thyromegaly (enlargement of the thyroid) or cervical lymphadenopathy (enlargement of cervical lymph nodes in the neck).

What are the potential side effects?

The most common side effects are bruising, swelling, pain, numbness, and small, firm areas around the injection sites. There can also be a bit of numbness at the site which resolves over time.

A possible serious side effect is an injury to the marginal mandibular nerve, which helps control facial expressions, causing an off-balance smile. This likely happens when shots are given too close to this nerve.

In trials including more than 5,000 people, this side effect happened in 4% of patients, according to a report from the FDA advisory panel. It eventually went away in all of them.

Loose and Sagging Skin?


After having gastric bypass surgery I have lost a great deal of weight and have a large amount of loose and sagging skin. Can you tell me what options plastic surgery can give me?


Dramatic weight loss has many benefits. But after weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss achieved naturally, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.

Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging fat and skin while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a more normal appearance with smoother contours. These procedures below are also very effective in improving appearance in patients experiencing normal aging or a small amount of weight loss.

Body contouring procedures may include:

  • Facelift: sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
  • Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
  • Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
  • Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
  • Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid-thigh
  • Arm lift: sagging of the upper arms

If you are considering body-contouring surgery, here is what the surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery suggest you should do first:

  • Choose a surgeon who is board-certified in plastic surgery — not just a board-certified doctor. Three surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and one is board-eligible.
  • Stabilize your weight — at your goal — for at least three months, and be sure to correct all nutritional deficiencies (which are common after weight loss surgery).
  • Establish a reliable support network of family and friends to help you during recovery.
  • Make sure you can get enough time off from work to recover.
  • Prior to surgery, stop smoking. This is a must to speed healing and reduce complications.

My Hands Look So Old


My hands are full of veins and look so old. What procedures are available to help make them look younger?


Radiesse® recently received FDA approval as an injectable to rejuvenate aging hands.

The hands don’t lie. Even with a more youthful appearance of the face, your age can easily be given away by the appearance of your hands. In early June, Merz North America, the maker of Radiesse®, announced that they have received regulatory approval to sell the nation’s first injectable “filler” to improve the appearance of bony, aging hands and to correct volume loss in the dorsum of the hands. The nurse injectors at The Skin Clinic at Edina Plastic surgery are experts in these injections and have helped many patients achieve smoother, younger-looking hands.

Radiesse® is the first and only FDA-approved product for hand augmentation to correct volume loss in the hands and reduce the prominence of tendons and veins in the hands. This filler restores volume to the hands while providing smooth, natural-looking results that can be seen immediately and can last up to 1 year.

But it’s not just older women who want in: Young women are getting hand rejuvenation so they can take engagement ring selfies without shame, the Daily News reported in August. Women who’ve recently added “rocks” to their left ring fingers are getting Radiesse® injections to beef up the appearance of their hands for the engagement ring photos.

In clinical trials, 75 percent of evaluators said Radiesse® improved hand appearance three months after injection, Merz said. The evaluators didn’t know which patients had received Radiesse® and which ones were injected with a placebo.

Here is a quote from a patient who had her hands rejuvenated using Radiesse®:

“I wasn’t happy with the way my hands were looking — the veins were showing and the skin didn’t have its youthful vibrancy,” says Margareta C., 66, who had the procedure. “It filled in all those pockets and the veins are not noticeable now.”

Plastic Surgery in the Cold Months


Friends have said that the cold weather months are great for having plastic surgery procedures; why is that?


Just like there are good seasons for sporting activities there are seasons that can greatly benefit patients considering plastic surgery procedures. The cold months of winter/early spring can have their benefits

The months from February through April can be the ideal time to undergo just about any type of cosmetic surgery from facelifts to breast augmentations to tummy tucks and liposuction.

  • There is less direct sunlight during these months which is advantageous when having any facial cosmetic surgery or laser treatments.
  • Turtlenecks, scarves and hats can help hide the temporary bruising/discoloration from a facelift, laser resurfacing or brow/eyelid lift.
  • The cooler weather allows patients to conceal any temporary swelling/bruising or bandages with seasonally appropriate bulky clothing such as heavy sweaters and winter weight slacks.
  • Many patients find it easier to “take it easy” after a surgery during the colder months when most everyone tends to be less active.
  • Usually the months immediately after the holidays are simply “less social” so there are fewer events to be missed with post-surgery downtime.

Which procedure is the most popular?


Are plastic surgery procedures still on the rise and which procedure is the most popular?



Dr. Nathan Leigh, Dr. Robert Wilke and Dr. Michael Philbin are all members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This group, which is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world, published their annual results on plastic surgery procedures in the U.S. The report shows that 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013, a 3% increase from the previous year.

Some of the findings were not surprising. Breast implants, for instance, remain the top cosmetic surgical procedure. The top minimally invasive procedure was once again Botox®. Facelifts and eye surgeries were both up 6% from the year before.

Interestingly, two procedures that are gaining a great deal of popularity among American patients are buttock augmentation and neck lifts.


NanoLaser Peel


Are there any lasers that do a good job resurfacing the skin but require little to no downtime?


Patients often ask about solutions that require no downtime, especially when they want to schedule treatments before parties and special events.

The NanoLaser Peel is a fast, comfortable laser resurfacing treatment with the shortest downtime. If your skin looks old and tired you may be a great candidate for the NanoLaser peel. This procedure uses laser energy to instantly remove the top layer of the skin at a depth that stimulates the skin’s own renewal process while activating special messenger cells. Only the NanoLaser from Sciton has the precision to work at just the right depth to treat fine lines, scars, sun damage and more to create beautifully smooth, luminous skin. All these benefits with little to no downtime.

Price for a full face resurfacing is $200.

What is Photorejuvenation?


What type of laser can help with sun damaged skin?


Photorejuvenation is a procedure that is very effective in restoring clear, even skin tone.

The results of a Stanford study that evaluated patients treated with our Forever Young Broad Band Light System (FYBBL) over nine years reveals:

* Patients appear not to have aged over the study period (9 years)

* Patients look 10 years younger than their actual age

Our Sciton FYBBL is an innovative technology that sets new standards for sun conditions associated with aging, active life-styles, and sun damage. The light energy heats the upper layer of the skin. This stimulates your skin cells to regenerate new collagen. Photothermal energy will eliminate fine vessels that cause redness and reduce unwanted melanin that produce brown spots. This process restores your skin to its natural beauty, making it smoother, vibrant, and younger looking.

With regular FYBBL treatments, patients’ skin looks clear, smooth and much younger.

Patients see immediate results for multiple conditions:

  • Brown spots
  • Rosacea, redness, red vessels
  • Smoother skin
  • Skin tightening
  • Acne

Forever Young BBL Benefits:

  • Zero downtime; patients resume normal activities immediately
  • Long lasting results; studies include patients treated 10+ years ago
  • Fast treatment; average treatment time of 15-30 minutes for a full face
  • Effective on all body areas: face, neck, chest, arms, and hands

We offer free consultations so you can learn more about Forever Young BBL. Our laser technician will discuss a treatment plan for you. (Full face treatments start at $300)