Thoughts on Aging

By Kimberley B.C. Goh, M.D

When a patient comes into my office and asks, “What procedures do I need?” the first thing I tell them is that they don’t need anything! A better question is,”What do you want?” Society puts so much pressure on us to look a certain way – I believe you should only do a cosmetic procedure on an area that really bothers you. I personally have a shopping list of procedures I’d like to have, but I put them in terms of my priorities. The work is costly and may require up to two weeks of recovery. I’d rather go to Europe! What are you willing to put into it?

There is a lot we can do without surgery. A woman in her 50s, depending on her weight gain or loss, may be able to get by with relatively non-invasive procedures. For women in their 30s and 40s – live your life well – don’t smoke, use sun block, exercise, etc. One thing we all can do is sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase. We’ve all heard that it’s good for your hair, but it’s also good for your skin. The cotton drags on your face, causing wrinkles. And sleep well. If you don’t sleep, you age faster. Many people don’t realize they have sleep apnea, and poor sleep makes your face look older. Finally, find a way to manage stress.

But, if you come to see me and haven’t been as vigilant as you would’ve liked, there is still a lot we can do – topical treatments, minor skin peels, Botox and fillers all work very well. As we age, we lose volume in our face, disproportionately to our bodies. Your body may be in great shape, but your face looks too thin. Fillers will give you back a youthful look.

Recently one of my friends was teasing me for not always recommending surgery – that is what I do for a living. But cosmetic surgery is not something you need. You also don’t need a convertible, but it’s really fun to drive! I tell my patients I wear two hats – I teach you about procedures you want, the other is to be the surgeon.

As we age, we get wrinkles, loss of muscle volume and loss of skin elasticity. Deposits of fat change position on your body. A man could weigh exactly the same at 70 as he did at 35, but look completely different. In women, our faces get thinner, our breasts lose weight, and the skin on the arms loses elasticity. These are things we can help with Coolsculpting and liposuction. Changing the hips to waist ratio gives a much more youthful appearance. Facelifts can tighten the muscles in the neck, bringing a more contoured look.

Philosophically, I feel that surgeons should not try to push procedures on patients. The risks are low, but there are risks. Some patients want more than they can realistically afford, so I help them decide what would give them the “biggest bang for the buck”. However; if you have gorgeous eyes, an eyelift may enhance them and I might recommend that, but if your neck is what’s bothering you, then that’s all you’ll see.

If you want breast augmentation, I can help you decide what size we can safely do. Larger breasts may look good without clothing, but when you’re dressed they can make you look heavier and matronly.

Cosmetic surgery will not solve your personal issues, but it can be very empowering. If we change how you feel about you, it’s transformative. I see patients after their procedures, and they stand straighter, smile more and are much more confident – even if the procedure is something small that no one else would notice. The psychodynamics of changing your body are very powerful. It can improve your quality of life.

Grand Strand Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is located in Myrtle Beach at 4610 Oleander Drive or call 843-497-2227 for an appointment or more information.

Dr. Kimberley Goh is currently Board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. She is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the South Carolina Medical Association, Horry County Medical Society, and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Goh has lived in the Grand Strand area since 1991. What many don’t know is this skilled surgeon is also a talented sculptor! Visit www.kimberlygohmd.com to see photos of her beautiful work.

About this writer

  • Kimberley B.C. Goh, M.D

    Kimberley B.C. Goh, M.D

    Dr. Kimberley Goh is currently Board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. She is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the South Carolina Medical Association, Horry County Medical Society, and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

    Dr. Goh has lived in the Grand Strand area since 1991. What many don’t know is this skilled surgeon is also a talented sculptor! Visit www.kimberlygohmd.com to see photos of her beautiful work.

    Grand Strand Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is located in Myrtle Beach at 4610 Oleander Drive or call 843-497-2227 for an appointment or more information.

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