According to Dr. Christopher Johnsson, an experienced plastic surgeon based in Lisbon, face, neck, and eyelid lifts are some of the most sought-after when it comes to cosmetic surgery, because in this world of aesthetics, what people really want "is to look like themselves, but younger".
Born in Brazil, Dr. Christopher Johnsson is an international plastic surgeon who has been living and working in Portugal for 15 years. Before coming to Portugal he studied in his home country with Dr. Ivo Pintanguy, who is known throughout the world. And later trained in the USA, where he learnt amazing techniques with Dr. Bruce Connell and Dr. Daniel Baker.
This is the most sought-after surgery and there are several reasons and complaints that patients seeking these treatments share in common. "Some of them are not satisfied when they look in the mirror, others feel it is useless to wear make-up, but sometimes the droopy eyelid can even cause vision changes.
"This surgery is quite common. I have performed it hundreds of times. Patients begin complaining of an excess of skin on the lateral part of the eye," he said.
There are also cases when people have fat pads on the lower eyelids. Puffy eyes are not only caused by age, but also by hereditary reasons. If this also bothers you, please note that there may be an easy end in sight. "In these surgeries, we don't even need to cut the skin. We make an incision from the mucosa and remove the excess fat. There is no visible scarring afterwards," said the doctor.
Facelift and neck lift
Although with different aims, Dr. Christopher Johnsson told me that facelifts and neck lifts are often done in the same surgery. "It usually involves a neck lift and a facelift. Let's say a 45-year-old patient sometimes has almost no signs of aging on the neck so the correct procedure will be a facelift. But if the patient is a bit older and the skin is sagging, then we choose to do a facelift and neck lift. It's very rare to do just the neck," he said.
Most of the procedures nowadays don’t even require general anesthesia. “When we perform facelifts we use deep sedation with an anaesthetist in the operating theatre, which means the patient is totally asleep, but they are breathing on their own. Deep sedation plus local anesthesia, it’s the one we use on more than 99 percent of procedures. Recovery is very smooth, and we do not observe nausea in patients after this type of sedation”.
After surgery, "recovery is pretty simple, we ask people to stay the first night in the clinic to be looked after, but the next day they are ready to leave”. Once in the hotel or at home, they will be followed up by a therapist who will give gentle massages and care for them.
As soon as possible
In fact, the age of the patient is key when it comes to good results in these treatments. Although it can be done at all ages, the younger the better, because "the quality of the skin has an influence, obviously when you're around 45-50 the results are more natural than when you're 60. When patients are close to 45 or close to 50, obviously it requires a smaller intervention, it's not as extensive as when they are older," he said.
Another reason not to waste any more time is that since the main aim is to rejuvenate and get back to the way it used to be rather than change, "patients usually don't want anyone to notice much, so I think that would be the ideal age between 45 and 50” to avoid a massive change.
In this sense, the doctor often asks patients to bring a picture of themselves when they were 30/35 if they are 45 almost 50 or a picture of when they were 40 if they have around 60, just to see how their eyes were and the contour on the neck and the jawline.
Not a taboo anymore
Nowadays, people are increasingly interested in this type of surgery and there is almost no taboo. "When I arrived here in Portugal it was more like a taboo, people weren't very happy about having surgery just for aesthetic reasons and were worried about what people would say. Nowadays, if there is something that bothers them, they come and tell their friends or their family. There is nothing to be ashamed of. The most important thing is to be happy with ourselves."