Ever feel younger than you look in the mirror? You’re not alone. Women, in particular, in our hyper-competitive business and ultra-political culture can be their worst critics. Maybe it’s that skin starting to hang over your jawline, those pouches around the mouth, age lines or bags around the eyes or an encroaching double chin. Whatever the issue, if you’d like a professional evaluation of how you look, the Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery is a great place to start.
Although Dr. Michael J. Brown is the Center’s award-winning, 5-star-rated, board-certified plastic surgeon, he will be the first to tell you that it’s not as bad as you may think. Everyone has a personal aesthetic: the way they see themselves, or as they’d like to be, regardless of what the mirror tells us. His practice concentrates on creating a “natural aesthetic” that helps patients realize the image they have of themselves with the most minimally invasive procedure(s) possible.
“We don’t go for the ‘wind-tunnel’ look, or the way some women in Beverly Hills appear to have walnuts in their cheeks! There are all too many people that will happily sell you a syringe, but I don’t like people to look like they’re blown up with filler,” he says. “You want to look like you, only younger, or without that issue that’s been bothering you, sometimes for years.”
This frank critique of the “beauty business” is only your first surprise. Despite having built a state-of-the art surgical facility, he is happy to treat patients without using surgery. The non-surgical procedures can address problem areas in as little as 45 minutes and have patients resuming their normal schedule within hours instead of days.
The team goes so far as to say that the new procedures they’re using represent truly “breakthrough technology” so advanced that they’re the only team certified in the area to use it and will actually serve as a regional training center for other practitioners. Collectively the suite of procedures use radio frequency (RF) to work its magic. The minimally invasive tools, each using only a small incision such as at the belly button or under the chin, come in three attachment sizes: one for smaller, more delicate areas like the eyes and neck called AccuTite, one for face contouring called FaceTite, and one for advanced body contouring and refinement procedures called BodyTitePRO that may be used alone or in combination with liposuction. The RF assists primarily with heating the tissues just beneath the skin and on top of the skin to promote tightening, collagen building and also with breaking up the fat
Dr. Brown displays the tools with near awe saying, “They all attach to the same machine. We’ve waited years for tools like these that are so precise, safe and effective that we do the procedures while you’re awake, without anesthesia.” All you may feel is a little warm.
Amber Papas, RN, may be the first person you see at the consultation. She runs the operating room and assists with consultations to help determine what each patient may be feeling. “Setting expectations is often the most important conversation we have,” she explains. “That’s my job, to see where everyone is at and help set a plan for treatment.”
As Amanda Hopeck, the Center’s Medical Aesthetician, puts it, “What do you want to look and feel like? Dr. Brown doesn’t look at you and say, ‘I can make you beautiful.’ He looks at you and tells you what he sees, both pros and cons and how he can help you look and feel better.”
The most common question is, “How long will this last?” She explains, “We will tighten your skin and remove stubborn fat, but if you smoke cigarettes every day or are eating doughnuts for breakfast, it’s not going to last. That’s where we work together to help you change your lifestyle. Dr. Brown and I can make you look great but if you don’t follow a healthy lifestyle your results will suffer. That’s true with anything.”
“That’s also what sets us apart that we want to help you be the best possible you,” she adds.
Amanda says that if you do have stubborn fat that you want removed, Dr. Brown can remove as little as 150 ccs or as much as 1,000 ccs, allowing your body to reveal its natural contours.
Yet another procedure is external; Morpheus8 uses fractionated RF energy to reduce wrinkles and rebuild collagen. The technique uses a single, squarish tip placed on the skin’s surface with a matrix of tiny pins to renew deeper layers of the skin with almost no patient discomfort. At a recent open house, we videoed Amanda performing the procedure on a in about 45 minutes. The patient emerged with only a touch of visible redness. (See http://bit.ly/LeesburgLifestyleVideo for an edited version.)
Results can be demonstrable in just a few hours, but the treatment actually improves the skin’s own ability to rebuild elasticity and a youthful appearance. Most commonly treated areas include the face and neck, but any place that exhibits wrinkles, discoloration or acne scarring can be treated quickly using only a skin-numbing topical gel.
His clients are so diverse that Dr. Brown has difficulty describing his “average” patient. In general, “They are seeking some improvement in their lives; they want to portray themselves as how they feel inside but are not seeing in the mirror. It could be a career change. We see a lot of military who have done their 20 or they are 25 and now they want to go into the private sector but they feel like they look older than they are! I deal with more men in that category, who typically feel like they’re not going to be able to get in front of a contractor and land a job or a bid without some type of freshening up.”
So yes, Virginia, men do it too!