It's common enough for patients to leave a plastic surgeon's office with nothing but a facial cream, said Dr. Michael Sullivan, a board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Columbus.
Of course, the facial cream is prescription-strength. And the patient heads out with a list of other options, ranging from surface treatments like a chemical peel to surgical procedures like a face or brow lift.
It all depends on what the patient wants.
"We all think of ourselves as being younger than we actually are, and then one day we look in the mirror and we don't see that reflection," Sullivan said. "The disconnect between what you feel inside and what you see in that mirror-that's what prompts people to come to me."
At the Sullivan Centre in Worthington, the doctor offers patients a range of options to minimize the aspects of their appearance they aren't happy with.
"I will focus on the things that bother you. Because if it doesn't bother you, it certainly doesn't bother me," Sullivan said. "And who else do we care who it bothers?"
Patients first visit Sullivan for a consultation, where they can expect to fill out the same types of forms as at a regular doctor's office. During the consultation, the patients tell Sullivan what bothers them about their appearance.
Then, Sullivan said, he discusses a menu of options available to fix what is seen as a problem.
"And from there," he said, "patients can choose themselves" what options they might pursue.
One of the tools the Sullivan Centre uses is a complexion analysis report.
A machine takes both a standard photo and a UV photo of a patient's face. The UV photo shows the skin damage that can't be seen with the naked eye.
These photos, taken over a period of time, help Sullivan and his staff track the effectiveness of the patient's treatments. Sun damage, for example, can be treated and the results tracked by the report.
In spite of all its offerings, Sullivan said it's important for people to have realistic expectations.
"I have patients who come in and say, 'I want all these wrinkles gone.' " he said. "I have to educate them. I can soften those lines and wrinkles, but over time as you smile you're just recreating those wrinkles."
He can't recreate that high- school graduation photo, he noted.
"But," he said, "we can make you more comfortable going out without makeup."
PROCEDURE PRICE TAGS
Upper eyelids: $2,190
Lower facelift: $7,432
Saline breast implants: $5,647
Silicone breast implants: $6,722
Tummy tuck: $6,024
Non-surgical intense pulsed light spot treatments: $200
Non-surgical microdermabrasion treatment: $300
Botox (one area): $300*
*Sullivan donates $25 from every Botox Cosmetic injection to Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Note: Fees do not include cost of medications and may fluctuate depending on procedure.