Michelangelo, one of the most famous and respected of the Renaissance artists, was quoted as saying, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
In much the same way, an expert plastic surgeon must be guided not only by time-honored aesthetic and medical principals, but by the unique beauty of his patients. Rather than forcing the same look or shape on every nose, face, or body, a plastic surgeon should consider each patient's anatomy, ethnicity and personality – and sculpt a new look to enhance, rather than mask, their uniqueness.
They Don't Teach Art in Medical School
Sadly, though, most plastic surgeons do not receive the aesthetic training they need to transcend the merely capable and go beyond creating good results for their patients to transforming them into beautiful works of art.
Julio Garcia, MD, a plastic surgeon Las Vegas based in Henderson, NV not only is a double-board-certified plastic surgeon with a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he was also awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University, with a double major in Biology and Art History. Dr. Garcia brings the training he received as an art historian and artist to every patient he treats.
Sometimes, You Don't Need Surgery
Because Dr. Garcia is driven by making the right medical and aesthetic choice for a patient, he often advises against plastic surgery – even when the patient clearly desires it. A perfect example is breast augmentation. Many women may believe that they need larger breasts so they can reclaim their desirability and to go back to the figure they had before they aged and/or gave birth and nursed. In most cases, however, Dr. Garcia knows that all they really need is a beautifully performed breast lift, not an augmentation. That is why he will never perform a lift and enlargement simultaneously. Instead, he asks that his breast lift patients wait at least six months before moving on to receiving silicone or saline implants. In a majority of cases, the expertise of his breast lift is enough to make them feel rejuvenated and beautiful, thus saving the expense, trauma and recovery time of further surgery.
“I spend time getting to know my patients and educating them about the procedures that are available to them,” says Dr. Garcia. “I make my recommendations based not just on what they think they need, but on what I believe will look best on them and will benefit them most in the long term.
“An educated patient is the best kind of patient a physician can have. By engaging patients in in-depth discussions about how to achieve their goals, they are able to make more informed decisions that allow them to feel confident about their procedures and happy with their results.”
Sometimes it takes more than one procedure to get the patients the results they want in a way that is medically correct and aesthetically pleasing. And almost any cosmetic procedure takes maintenance – which may include diet and exercise, sun avoidance, medical-grade skin care, and touch ups. Dr. Garcia is available every step of the way to answer questions, discuss new or changing goals, make recommendations, and help you be the best you possible – for the rest of your life.
Liposuction was the first widely accepted body contouring technique and has been safely used to remove stubborn, exercise-resistant fat for decades. The procedure has advanced considerably since its advent. Smaller cannulas (the straws that suction away the fat) allow an aesthetician like Dr. Garcia to create smooth and uniform results and even to detail around the muscles in some cases to create an athletic look.
Standard liposuction procedures are now either tumescent liposuction – which uses a special fluid to control bleeding, minimize pain and break up the fat for easy removal, laser liposuction or ultrasound liposuction – which use laser or ultrasound energy to liquify the fat before the cannulas are inserted. These developments make liposuction easier to tolerate than ever, obviate the need for general anesthesia, and create more beautiful results.
For patients with a small amount of loose skin, ThermiSmooth or ThermiTight can be combined with liposuction to heat up the collagen layer in the dermis with radiofrequency (RF) energy. Over time, the collagen shrinks, which tightens the skin. ThermiTight can also be set to melt fat for patients who have just a small amount of extra fat – such as under the chin – but do not want liposuction.
When Dr. Garcia notices a large amount of loose abdominal skin and/or lax abdominal muscles, he may recommend an abdominoplasty, also known as a “tummy tuck.” A tummy tuck will not only remove the excess fat, but tighten the underlying muscles and tighten and remove excess skin. A tummy tuck is often part of a Mommy Makeover procedure, which may include a breast lift and other rejuvenating treatments.
When you are looking to make changes to your figure and reclaim your pre-baby or pre-weight gain physique, Dr. Garcia will take time during your consultation to make careful measurements of your body. He will also examine your skeletal structure and musculature. Taking into account your overall shape and weight distribution, he will make recommendations about where to remove fat, where to define muscles (if appropriate), and where, if at all, fat could be repositioned. These recommendations will be based on your unique shape.
The most well-known facial rejuvenation technique is still the facelift, otherwise known as a rhytidectomy. As with liposuction, facelifts have come a long way from their early days. Rather than just lifting, stretching and removing excess skin, a beautifully done facelift now includes lifting and tightening the underlying muscles, known as the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system). Not only does this look more natural, it lasts longer because the muscles no longer droop and pull downward on the skin. By grafting fat onto your midface to replace lost volume, Dr. Garcia can make your face not just lifted and tighter but plumper and more youthful. He will also recommend ultrasound massage after your surgery to aid in healing and improve results.
Although a facelift is the most beautifully dramatic rejuvenation for the face, it is not appropriate for everyone, nor is it always sufficient. During your consultation for facial rejuvenation with Dr. Garcia, he will note the anatomy of your skull, the tightness and placement of your facial muscles, the degree of skin laxity, and the quality of your skin. Based on your unique bone, muscle and skin structure, he will work with you to recommend the procedures that will be most beneficial and flattering to you.
Facelifts, for instance, are most successful in people who have strong bone structure that can support the lifted skin and muscle over the long term. If you have flat cheekbones, Dr. Garcia may recommend cheekbone implants to create a more elegant look and help support your facelift.
Other procedures that may benefit you could be a brow lift to raise a drooping forehead, upper and/or lower blepharoplasty to resolve eyelid sagging and eye bags, and a neck lift with platysmaplasty to tighten the neck muscles, remove submental fat, and tighten and remove excess skin to eliminate or minimize turkey neck, platysmal bands, double chin and crepey skin.
For those with early aging, a facelift may be too drastic a procedure. In those cases, Dr. Garcia may recommend a lower face lift to remove jowls. A neck lift could also be included in this procedure, based on need.
If you want to avoid surgery, or are still in your 30s but desire a more youthful visage, Dr. Garcia can custom design a liquid facelift with neuromodulators (Botox or Dysport) to smooth out wrinkles; dermal fillers (Sculptra, Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, Artefill, Radiesse, Voluma) to add volume to the face and fill out deep creases, plus stimulate the production of new collagen; and Kybella to remove a double chin.
If you have fine lines, hyperpigmentation, crepeiness, shallow scars, and/or wrinkles, Dr. Garcia may recommend therapy with a MedLite laser to not only resurface your skin but also cause it to produce new collagen. Lasers rejuvenate the skin both on the exterior (epidermis) and at the collagen layer (dermis) to create stronger, more elastic and more youthful skin that can last up to a year.
One of the most complicated plastic surgery procedures is rhinoplasty (aka a nose job). The nose sits directly in the middle of the face and if it is not aesthetically pleasing, it will detract from your other more appealing features. When you consult with Dr. Garcia, he will not only discuss with you the kind of nose you would like to have, but also the size and shape that would harmonize most with your features. In addition, Dr. Garcia is an expert in ethnic rhinoplasty so you can be sure that your new nose respects your ethnicity and allows you to still look like yourself – only better.
If you have previously had rhinoplastic surgery and have been unhappy with the results, Dr. Garcia would be happy to help you decide if a revision rhinoplasty would be beneficial.
Choose an Artist for Your Surgeon
You are already an amazing work of art – unique and irreplaceable. When considering cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery, be sure to find a surgeon who is not only a medical professional but who has a true artist's eye and can appreciate, and then enhance, your natural beauty. Working together, the two of you can use an ever-increasing array of effective tools and procedures to create the vision of yourself that you know you are meant to be.