It’s the early morning, and Dr. Bethany Cataldi has just completed another cosmetic surgery - a mini facelift - on one of her patients.
“Thank you. I feel younger already,” the patient said to Dr. Cataldi.
“You’re welcome. I’ll see you next week for your follow-up,” replied the doctor.
The patient clearly leaves Dr. Cataldi’s office with not only the skin of her face lifted, but her spirit and self-confidence lifted as well.
The following week, the patient returns to Dr. Cataldi’s office for her follow-up visit and is visibly glowing about the results of her procedure.
“I look and feel 10 years younger. I have to admit that I was scared at first about getting a facelift, but you know, Dr. Cataldi really made me feel at ease, and she really listened to my request that I look as natural as possible. I’m so happy.”
Established by Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic surgeon Bethany Cataldi, D.O., the Center for Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery, located in Munster, has provided Dr. Cataldi with the opportunity to treat prospective facial cosmetic surgery patients with a distinctly unique level of surgical care and skill.
Q: What sets your cosmetic surgery practice apart from the other plastic surgeons in the Northwest Indiana area?
A: I suppose that my practice is rather distinct from others in two important ways.
First of all, I decided when I opened my practice that I would generally limit my cosmetic procedures to the neck, head and face. Being that my medical residency was in the specialty of Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery, I have the advantage of having undergone a higher degree of training in the anatomy and surgical procedures of the face, head and neck - far more than a general cosmetic surgeon.
The face, head and neck are critical areas, and I feel that a patient should have the opportunity to be treated by a plastic surgeon whose training specifically meets their needs.
The other important way in which my practice is distinct from other plastic surgeons is the fact that I am the only female surgeon in the area specializing in facial plastic surgery exclusively. I believe that a female surgeon will have a different perspective about cosmetic surgery that she can impart to her patients - a perspective that is genuinely “feminine and natural.”
For example, during the consultation and preparation phase prior to performing a cosmetic procedure, I spend considerable time in assessing criteria such as a patient’s skin texture and how she might wear her hair and makeup. I will address the features that a patient should highlight or minimize from a woman’s point of view.
I have noticed that other plastic surgeons performed similar procedures but the results are quite unnatural to the degree of altering a woman’s appearance too radically.
As a female facial plastic surgeon, I understand that most patients want to still look like themselves, but only better. One of the most important things about any cosmetic procedure is that the surgeon performing the procedure should understand that natural-looking, nuanced results are everything. As a female plastic surgeon, I am confident that I can provide my patients with a uniquely feminine surgical perspective that provides the most natural-looking results.
Q: What cosmetic surgical procedures do you perform?
A: I provide my patients with natural-looking mini face-lifts, full face-lifts and neck lifts - surgical procedures that can be performed to tighten the musculature of the face.
Mini face-lifts are quite popular now and many cosmetic surgeons are performing them. The procedure has many different names used for marketing purposes such as “lunchtime lift,” “weekend lift” and “lifestyle lift.” All of these names are essentially describing the same procedure - a mini or minimally evasive face-lift whereby the superficial outer layer of skin is lifted, trimmed and tightened by way of an incision around and behind the ear. However, it’s important that prospective patients understand that because this procedure involves an incision, that stitches are required and are typically in place for seven to 10 days to ensure optimal results, and it may take longer than a weekend for complete healing.
I have been performing this procedure for many years, and I’m still always amazed by the years that a mini-lift can take away. The recovery time is rather minimal following the procedure and the results can be breathtaking.
I also frequently perform blepharoplasty, a surgical procedure that entails the tightening of the upper or lower eyelid skin - another procedure that may help make a patient look younger - as well as rhinoplasty, (refinement of the nasal skeleton), otoplasty (a cosmetic surgery procedure to change the appearance of a patient’s external ears) and skin cancer and skin lesion surgery.
Q: Are there instances when you recommend to a patient that they not have a cosmetic procedure performed?
A: Absolutely. It’s very important for prospective candidates for facial cosmetic procedures to understand that there may be any number of issues they face that might not necessarily be best resolved through the medical procedures I can provide.
For example, I’ve often had patients who have insisted that they want a facelift when I strongly believe that they could go many years without surgery. In addition, there are patients whose medical histories preclude them from invasive procedures. Consequently, I might recommend a viable non-surgical option.
Q: So what are some nonsurgical procedures you would recommend in place of cosmetic surgery?
A: Well, one of the most effective treatments to relax the muscles of the upper face thus creating a smoother more naturally youthful appearance is Botox®. However, not every physician provides a patient with the most effective strength of the product. This can result in a less than desirable result - sometimes to the point where a patient doesn’t even look like they have received the treatment. I make sure that every patient is administered a fresh - not frozen - vial with each injection.
Other non-surgical procedures include injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. Simply put, these products are injected into the wrinkles typically in the lower face to soften and fill in deep lines and crevices, thus providing a more softer and youthful appearance. The results are instant, and there is no “downtime” for patients.
I also provide facial resurfacing via a laser or chemical peel. These procedures promote cell turnover and sloughing of the superficial outer layer of the skin surface. Not only does this minimize fine lines and wrinkles but also may help with pigmentation changes such as age spots or sun spots as well as minimize pore size.
Q: What are your overall feelings about cosmetic surgery?
A: The impact of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic enhancements on a patient can be truly life changing. Overall, it helps improve a patient’s self-confidence and self esteem and gives one a better quality of life. My goal is to help my patients meet their expectations by improving their self-image. That can in turn be a catalyst to improving other areas of their lives. My patients and I start on a journey together, and I want them to be happy at the end of it.