Photo by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio

What is facial rejuvenation?


Published: 02/18/2016

by Patricia Nugent

Last summer Fae Ellen—a vivacious and outgoing 64-year-old grandmother of two—was starting to feel the lines and sagging skin she saw looking back at her in the mirror were not a true reflection of how young and energetic she felt inside.


And then the incident at the BMV happened.


“When I renewed my license and was posing for the headshot, this woman kept telling me to raise my chin to avoid the sagging skin,” she recalls. “At that point, I’d had enough. So I started asking people I know in the medical arena to recommend the top plastic surgeon in the area. Dr. Paul Vanek was the name that came up the most. I checked out the “Before” and “After” gallery on his site and found exactly the natural-looking improvements I wanted for myself.”


When Fae went for a consultation, Dr. Vanek showed her many other before and afters, taking time to explain which individualized sort of facial rejuvenation each patient had undergone, and which type of procedures might produce the best effects for her.


“In technical terms, following our consultation, we chose to go with a SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) facelift, blepharoplasty on upper and lower lids, and an endoscopic brow lift,” he explains. “These procedures met our goal of making Fae look naturally refreshed and rejuvenated, like her younger self again.”


The SMAS facelift is a specialty of Dr. Vanek’s, and he reports he does one or two per week. This procedure allows him to go a layer deeper than traditional facelifts to enhance the longevity of the results on the neck and face to lift and reduce sagging jowls, cheeks and loose necks.


Refining the Process Makes All the Difference

“I’ve refined every step of the facial rejuvenation process,” he says. “Starting from the top, with the brow lift, I made three five-millimeter incisions positioned vertically in the scalp to gently lift the skin and erase furrows on the forehead. For the eye lift, after lifting skin, I also did a canthopexy, which is like tightening a hammock to support the muscular structure. With the facelift itself, instead of placing the incisions in the hairline like many doctors, after removing excess skin, I tucked the incisions into the tragus, or front section of the ear, for a more natural look.”


Though Fae was in surgery for about seven hours, she reports the recovery was surprisingly easy, with minimal bruising and so little pain that she only needed a little Tylenol the first day.


“For a quicker recovery, I use a diode laser when I’m finishing to metabolize any bruising,” Dr. Vanek says.  


Fae says that Dr. Vanek prepared her thoroughly for the procedure and she “knew what was happening every step of the way.”


He says he takes pride in writing all the pre- and post-procedure notes himself, customizing them for each patient, and even including psychological aspects they might be going through.


“I compare Dr. Vanek’s work as much to art as I do to his expertise,” she says.


In fact, Fae reports the look is so natural, she recently visited family in California and they had no idea she had undergone facial rejuvenation.


“They just kept saying how living in Cleveland [she moved here last year] must agree with me, because I looked so refreshed and rested,” she recalls.


In addition to facial rejuvenation, Dr. Vanek specializes in a host of body rejuvenation procedures, too, from breast augmentation, reduction or lift, to tummy tucks, liposuction, and Brazilian butt lifts. A variety of laser services improve skin tone, stretch marks, sun spots, rosacea and freckles.


Dr. Paul Vanek is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Thanks to a Patient Financing program, people don’t have to wait for services. His offices are easily accessible from I-90 or Route 2, located at 9485 Mentor Avenue, Suite 100, in Mentor. For more information, call 440-205-5750 or visit Check out the gallery on his site to see striking before and after photos.