Reality Check Up


Photograph courtesy

You think you’re ready to take the plunge (and the syringe); you’ve researched and found a few reputable doctors. Now what? Beverly Hills facial surgery specialist Dr. Babak Azizzadeh answers the most common questions he hears (and a few he wishes prospective patients would ask). 

5 Things Patients Always Ask

I’m getting older. What should I get done?
It depends on what concerns the patients and what I’m seeing in their faces. Harmony and balance are most important. The goal of what we do is to make sure the eyes are the focus of the face.

What’s my downtime?
The downtimes after a face-lift or rhinoplasty are roughly similar: about ten days. I tell patients that if they’re planning to attend a black-tie function, they should allow themselves three to four weeks to recover.

I’m ready to go. How soon can I have surgery?
Generally in about two months—at least with me.

How much will my procedure cost?
Though it’s not a determining factor for my patients, they want to know. Rates depend on the level of complexity for each procedure, but with higher-echelon physicians, rhinoplasty can range from $10,000 to $25,000 and a face-lift from $20,000 to $50,000.

Can you make my small lips look like Angelina Jolie’s?
No. You can only work with what you have. If you try to overstuff and do too much, you’re going to create an unnatural look.


5 Things Patients Should Ask—But Don’t

How long have you been in practice?
I’ve been in practice ten years. Six to ten years is ideal.

Is this procedure something you do often?
If a doctor does more than 50 rhinoplasties or face-lifts a year, that’s good. If he doesn’t do a lot, you’re not going to get good results.

What are the risks?
People are trusting, and they’re doing a lot more homework online. Twenty years ago people would ask, What hospital are you affiliated with? What’s your board certification? Now all that information is at their fingertips.

Can you show me some “after” photos of your patients?
Forget about the “befores.” Look at the “afters.” Does that person look good? Does he look natural? Also remember, there’s a continuous healing process. With rhinoplasty, final results are not apparent until a year or two after surgery. For face-lifts, it’s closer to three months.

On average, what percentage of patients will need revision surgery?
Out of 100 nose jobs, probably 30 patients will undergo revision surgery or want to have it. A healthy number is less than 10 percent.

Plastic Surgery

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