The Art and Science of Facial Plastic Surgery

4 Minute Read: 

When a general surgeon begins a procedure, their primary goal is to correct an internal injury or abnormality that will result in a healthier patient. Most of the time, a general surgeon is not overly concerned with the patient’s external appearance because they are not altering it. 

Young woman with lines drawn around and on her face. Cosmetic surgery concept.

This makes plastic surgery, and, therefore, a plastic surgeon different. 

While a plastic surgeon (especially a facial aesthetic surgeon) has to have the same knowledge and understanding of the internal structures as a general surgeon would, including knowledge of the nerves and vessels and how they interact, they also have to be aware of the visible results that the procedure will create. 

Technical expertise in surgery is obviously very important and is based on deep knowledge of the form and function of the body, familiarity with the advantages and application of new techniques, accuracy, and dexterity.

Artistic talent requires a high-level appreciation of aesthetics, the harmony of form and structure, and a delicacy of approach.  

Therefore, facial aesthetic surgery requires a special kind of artist.  

What Is the Correlation Between Art and Science in Facial Plastic Surgery?

First and foremost, plastic surgery is science. It revolves around knowing how to manipulate soft tissues, bones, and nerves to preserve function, blood supply, and feeling. 

However, if a facial surgeon does not have an artistic eye, there is no hope of achieving desirable results. Facial surgery relies on subtle curves and contours—the hallmarks of a well-performed facial enhancement. 

A good facial surgeon must envision the results of the surgery and make many judgment calls about what is too much or too little. If a surgeon doesn’t make enough corrections, no visible results will be seen; however, if they correct too much, the patient will look overly worked on and unnatural.

Facial surgery is very similar to more traditionally recognized forms of art, such as painting. These processes require significant forethought and planning. With these unforgiving mediums, it’s not easy to simply erase a mistake or go back to try something a different way. Instead, surgeons have to be well-prepared and ultra-aware of every move they make to ensure that the surgical results are beautiful and natural.

In truth, artistic talent is claimed by many, but far fewer surgeons actively pursue in their lives the path of artistic creation as well as surgical excellence.

What Types of Plastic Surgery Target the Face?

Your face is the first feature others notice about you, and it’s the one area on display 365 days of the year. So it makes sense that facial concerns (whether age-related, genetic, or trauma-induced) lead patients to consider plastic surgery.

Facial plastic surgery adjusts the skin, soft tissues, and body structures of the face and neck to create or restore more pleasing aesthetic contours.


Nasal concerns are common among men and women of all ages and ethnicities. While some patients choose rhinoplasty (nose surgery) to address functional breathing problems, many do so to adjust and revise the aesthetic appearance of their nose that was misshapen from birth or injured during a traumatic event.

Fortunately, rhinoplasty can reshape the nose, giving it more pleasing dimensions, easing breathing, or both. Rhinoplasty is one of the most complicated facial specialties to perform as it is a surgery that relies on millimeters of change. Because so much rides on the surgeon’s ability to carefully craft and construct a desirable nasal shape, this is a procedure that requires a true artist.


Aging and gravity cause skin to wrinkle and facial contours to lose their sharpness. Facelift surgery can correct these problems to restore youthfulness. 

A good and proper facelift is one that goes unnoticed. This doesn’t mean that the results are not noticeable (far from it); it simply means that it should not be evident that surgery has been done. You should look as though you’ve just gotten a great night’s sleep or gotten back from a much-needed relaxing vacation. 

To get these types of results, a surgeon must be aggressive where they need to be and conservative where they don’t. This balance will only be met by an artist.

Why Should I Choose Dr. Butler for My Facial Plastic Surgery?

David M. Butler, MD, is a board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over 30 years of experience. In addition, he is a skilled painter, writer, and musician, guaranteeing that both science and art will be considered when it comes to your surgery. 

Dr. Butler prides himself on combining and infusing his different skills when performing facial surgery, and the results speak for themselves

Interested in Learning More?

If you live in the Santa Monica area and are looking for a skilled and artistic facial plastic surgeon, contact Dr. Butler by calling 310-428-0033 or filling out our online contact form.

How Many Times Is It Safe to Undergo a Facelift?

3 Minute Read: 

Many people who are unhappy with their aging skin seek out aesthetic facial surgery. A facelift helps eliminate signs of aging by trimming excess skin and tightening the skin’s underlying tissue. Facelift surgery is a procedure that leads to years of positive, youth-restoring results. Unfortunately, since facelift surgery does not prevent additional aging, it may need to be redone. 

Middle aged woman looking at wrinkles in mirror. Before-after anti-aging facelift treatment.

Facelift revision surgery is a secondary procedure that adjusts and improves upon initial facelift results to maintain and prolong youthful features. While multiple facelift procedures are common, many people have concerns about the safety of facelift revision surgery

Is It Safe to Undergo More Than One Facelift?

For most people, it is possible and safe to undergo more than one facelift. However, this is entirely dependent on the individual and their health. While studies have shown that older patients in good health tolerate surgery and anesthesia well, many health problems, such as heart disease, lung disease, and high blood pressure, are more common with aging; if unrecognized, these can increase the risk for complications during facelift revision. 

To ensure your safety during facelift revision surgery, it is important to make your surgeon aware of any health conditions you have that may complicate your surgery. 

What Are the Additional Risks and Complications Associated With Repeated Facelift Procedures?

Anesthesia is generally safe; however, it does present the possibility of complications, especially for those who are older or have pre-existing conditions. This is why many individuals are wary about being put under general anesthesia more times than necessary.

Additionally, during a facelift, facial tissues are divided, tightened, and supported. These actions depend on healthy soft tissue resilience and good circulation. Patients with deficient elastic tone and very thin skin with poor circulation, or who have had problems with previous scarring, are at higher risk for complications during revisional facelift surgery. These issues can sometimes be planned for and circumvented. In other cases a different approach than surgery may be indicated. 

What Are Alternative Treatments to Maintain Youthfulness Besides a Second Facelift?

If you are concerned about undergoing facelift revision surgery, there are non-surgical options to help maintain your youthful appearance. Dr. Butler offers laser rejuvenation, and muscle relaxants to reduce the look of wrinkles and laxity without major surgery. Injectable volume restoration, and medical-grade skin care programs may also be recommended.

Additionally, Dr. Butler offers intense pulsed light therapy to help eliminate signs of aging, such as age spots, vascular lesions, acne, and hyperpigmentation. A consultation with Dr. Butler can help you determine which treatments will best maintain the results of your initial facelift. 

How Many Facelifts Can a Person Undergo? 

When it comes to how many facelifts that a person can undergo, there is no specific number. This answer depends solely on the patient. Many people undergo multiple facelift procedures with no problem, while others are not so lucky. 

Everyone has different needs for facelift surgery; therefore, it is important to talk with your surgeon to determine how many facelifts are safe for you and your specific needs. 

Would You Like to Learn More? 

To learn more about your facelift revision surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. David Butler to determine your safest options. Contact us today at (310) 428-0033 or fill out our online contact form

Will Rhinoplasty Change My Facial Proportions?

2 Minute Read: 

Rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that alters the shape, size, and features of your nose. But the finished effect can also impact the appearance of your entire face. Happily, it’s typically a positive impact.

Concept of a woman before and after her rhinoplasty surgery.

How Does Rhinoplasty Change the Look of More Than Just My Nose?

Your nose is in the middle of your face. So, when it has a prominent or unusual appearance, it can easily become a focal point. After rhinoplasty minimizes those noticeable features, people notice your other facial attributes more readily. Your whole face is more attractive.

Choosing to transform your nose to match or copy your idea of the “perfect” nose can be a mistake. If that look doesn’t compliment your bone structure or facial anatomy, the results may be disappointing. Symmetry and balance are important to facial aesthetics. Dr. Butler will counsel you on surgery that maintains proportion and harmony between your nose and your entire face.

What Type of Rhinoplasty Techniques Do I Need?

As an experienced board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Butler tailors your rhinoplasty procedure to your needs. Your nose, the changes you desire, and the extent of surgery required to meet your goals help determine which technique he will use.

Open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty are the most common methods. Grafts may or may not be used. With a closed rhinoplasty, Dr. Butler makes all the incisions inside your nose, preventing visible scarring. This method is often used to remove a nasal hump or perform other changes to the upper part of your nose.

In open surgery, Dr. Butler makes a small incision in the tissue between your nostrils, beneath the tip of your nose. This approach may be used to shape the tip and middle part of your nose. He may also make incisions within your nose during an open rhinoplasty to achieve the results you have discussed.

What Results Can I Expect From Nose Surgery?

A very tiny structural change can make a huge difference in the appearance of your nose. Naturally, results vary depending on the unique characteristics of each patient. Dr. Butler will discuss the results you’re seeking during your consultation. He will provide an honest assessment of the changes you can expect and the work that is required to achieve them.

After surgery, you should see a noticeable difference after the swelling goes down in a few weeks. But it may be a full year before the full and final effect of your nose job is complete.

Interested in Learning More?

Learn more about how rhinoplasty may be able to enhance your appearance. Call David M. Butler Facial Plastic Surgery Center at (310) 428-0033 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss whether rhinoplasty is right for you.

Can I Have a Facelift at 35?

2 Min Read:


Everyone has their concerns about aging skin. For some, the early signs of aging show in their late 20s and early 30s. Others notice visible signs of fine lines and wrinkles between the ages of 35 and 50.

Woman in her 30s looking in mirror, wondering if she could benefit from a facelift.

Over time, our skin starts to sag, and wrinkles become more visible, making individuals seek facial rejuvenation treatments.

We all want to look our best at any given time. Advances in surgical techniques and medical technology have availed several facial rejuvenation options that can be tailored to each patient’s needs, regardless of their age.

Should I Consider a Facelift in My Mid-30s?

Facelift surgery for patients in their 30s is becoming popular as the quest for maintaining youthfulness and postponing aging is growing stronger.

Whether you even would be a candidate for a facelift at 35 depends on your specific concerns. Every person ages differently based on several factors, including lifestyle choices, sun exposure, and genetics.

Traditional facelift surgery is usually reserved for individuals with significant skin laxity and deep creases that may not see satisfactory results from any other treatment. This type of surgery is rarely the first step in the 30-something age group. Most who show early facial laxity and displacement of soft tissues can enjoy results from minimally invasive lifting procedures (such as the endoscopic brow lift, mid-facelift, or neck lift) designed to enhance youthful facial volume and contouring.

It is always best to conserve natural soft tissue volume. Fat sparing and enhancing techniques, conservative use of liposuction, and maintenance of healthy circulation with minimally invasive or nonsurgical treatments, put off more extensive surgeries for considerable years.

What Are My Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation Options?

While some patients turn to the surgical option to give their face a boost, patients, especially those in their mid-30s or younger, should consider less invasive treatments to achieve youthful skin without going under the knife. These procedures include:

  • Nonsurgical Silhouette Lift®: Inserts threads beneath the surface to lift the skin and underlying fat.
  • Nonsurgical dermal fillers: Injects filler beneath the skin to restore facial volume while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
  • BOTOX® Cosmetic: Injects a substance that reduces the appearance of expression-causing wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.
  • Laser resurfacing: Uses laser energy to improve the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and textural concerns.

There is no nonsurgical or surgical facial rejuvenation procedure that can stop the aging process. Therefore, your facial appearance will continue to change with time.

Why Should I Consider Noninvasive Treatment Options?

Having a surgical facelift too early may require another facelift down the line to correct the new signs of aging. Nonsurgical alternatives may prevent the need for multiple surgeries.

With nonsurgical alternatives becoming more sophisticated, many of the benefits of surgical procedures can be achieved with less discomfort and downtime. This has great appeal to those In the mid-30s, who desire the quickest return to work and recreational activities.

Interested in Learning More?

If you are feeling unhappy with the visible signs of aging, schedule a consultation with Dr. David Butler to see which facial treatment is right for you. We will discuss your concerns and aesthetic goals to determine the best procedure for your specific needs. Contact us today at (310) 428-0033 or fill out our online contact form.

11 Questions to Ask About Your Facelift Recovery

4 Minute Read: 

Facelift surgery has long been one of the most effective methods for reversing signs of aging and restoring the beauty of one’s youth. Face and neck lifting should be individualized for each patient. Some procedures are minimally invasive and involve a quick recovery. Others are more extensive, or combined with other aesthetic procedures that extend recovery time. Naturally, there can be significant physiologic differences between patients that affect recovery. Because of this, it is essential to ask questions that broaden your understanding of what to expect. 

Discover some of the common concerns regarding facelift recovery or questions you may not have thought to ask.

Woman looking at her face in mirror after a facial procedure, such as facelift surgery.

Nourishing the skin with water and nutrients is a vital factor in proper skin management and overall skin health.

  1. Can I Drive Myself Home After a Facelift? 

No. Driving is only recommended once patients are off of their prescription pain medications and can comfortably turn their head and neck. Since driving requires so much observation, patients must be able to turn their shoulders easily to check for blind spots without overextending. 

This can take one to two weeks. 

2. How Can I Reduce Swelling After a Facelift?

There are many ways to reduce swelling following surgery. This includes preserving your body’s energy by getting a lot of rest and exerting the body as little as possible. Another great option is the consistent use of ice packs throughout the day and night to slow blood flow and reduce inflammation. Head and neck elevation reduces swelling. If your swelling is marked, though, it is important you talk with your plastic surgeon about proper prescription medication.

Lymphatic massage is often instructed after facelift to speed recovery.  

3. Will I Have Pain After a Facelift?

Maybe. Facelift surgery is performed with anesthesia to ensure that there is no pain or discomfort felt during the treatment. Naturally, with the alteration of skin tissue and muscle, it is likely patients will feel discomfort once the anesthesia dissipates. Any pain can be reduced with prescribed pain medication. Over-the-counter supplements, such as TYLENOL®, are also good options if you do not wish to use prescribed medication. Most patients feel comfortable enough to return to their daily routine after two weeks.

4. When Can I Shower After a Facelift?

Most patients can safely wash and dry their hair as soon as two days after their facelift. It is important to stay clean and wash your hands regularly to avoid bacteria and infection getting near your incision sites. 

5. How Should I Sleep After a Facelift?

Patients are recommended to sleep on their backs with their heads upright as much as possible. Using pillows and a foam wedge for back and neck support is a great way to relieve discomfort, reduce swelling, and promote circulation in the treated area. 

6. When Can I Return to Work After a Facelift? 

Sedentary, desk-type work can often be resumed after a week, while more active professions may take up to two weeks or more. It is important to talk with your doctor to fully understand what to expect in terms of safe and proper recovery time. 

7. When Can I Apply Makeup After a Facelift?

It should be okay to apply makeup within one to two weeks. Heavy makeup can clog your pores and interfere with proper healing, so it is important to follow specific advice from your doctor and staff. 

8. When Can I Exercise After a Facelift?

Depending on your body’s recovery speed and your surgeon’s recommendations, you may be able to return to light workout activities within two to three weeks. However, more strenuous activities should be halted until the four to six-week mark as your body continues to heal. 

9. Will I Be Able to Move My Face After a Facelift?

Yes, however, some of the mobility of the head may be restricted initially by a head/neck dressing and by stiffness. To return the mobility and strength of your neck and face muscles, your doctor will give you specific instructions for light massage and range of motion exercises.

10. How Long Will It Take to Look Normal After a Facelift?

Normal is relative to each patient and their expectations. Some patients desire to not look like their old selves, while others wish to look like a more refined, elegant version of themselves. The results of your treatment will peak over the first few months to reveal your enhanced facial appearance. Incision lines may take up to several months to heal.

11. How Should I Take Care of My Skin After a Facelift?

There are many ways to take care of your skin over the days and weeks to come. Nourishing the skin with water and nutrients is a vital factor in proper skin management and overall skin health. Your doctor will consider medical grade skin care products to augment and speed healing. Keeping your incision scars out of the sun and wearing sunscreen is also an essential part of skincare. 

Interested in Learning More About Facelift Surgery in Santa Monica?

The best facelift results come from the most experienced and skilled surgeons. Dr. David Butler is among the most trusted facial plastic surgeons in Santa Monica. Call us today at (310) 428-0033 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation. You can also follow us on Instagram @Butlerfacialplasticsurgery for more before and after transformations. 

Is Instagram Changing Beauty Standards and Plastic Surgery?

Woman looking at herself on Instagram.3 Min Read


It has been identified by the American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) as the “selfie awareness” trend: more and more people are turning to plastic surgery to improve their physical appearance on social media.

How Are Millennials Contributing to Plastic Surgery?

Over the past five years, the plastic surgery industry has produced record numbers, and it is, in part, thanks to millennials. Approximately 72 percent of plastic surgeons have reported an increase in patients under the age of 30, and the number of cosmetic procedures performed on millennials has nearly doubled.

Two factors are driving this boom: an obsession with self-care and social media. The extensive importance millennials put on self-care serves as a justification for any plastic surgery work. And, after growing up with social media, millennials have an overwhelming pressure to look their best in a way that previous generations did not experience.

What Are the Most Popular Surgeries Among Social Media Users?

While surgeons are seeing increases in cosmetic procedures across the board, here are specific surgeries that are ranking as the top requested among young people today:

What Is the “Instagram” Face?

Have you noticed that more and more models and influencers are starting to look alike?

The focal point for most millennials is the face. This is, of course, the center of selfies and most social media success.

So, how are people achieving the perfect “Instagram face?” In many cases, the answer is cosmetic treatments and surgery.

Many young clients are trying to permanently achieve the look they have when they apply a filter on themselves. A shocking 55 percent of patients have shown their plastic surgeon a touched-up selfie when discussing their treatment goals.

Cheek enhancement, BOTOX® Cosmetic, the Silhouette® Lift, or InstaLift™, and rhinoplasty are all common requests among social media users looking for defined cheekbones, angular contours, and youthful-looking skin.

Is This a New Phenomena?

Throughout history, there has always been an “ideal” look of the time. During the Renaissance, women that were voluptuous and pale were idolized. In the roaring 1920s, women were obsessed with having round face, round eyes, and very small round, red lips.  In the 1990s, Kate Moss brought around “heroin chic,” the shockingly thin aesthetic for the female body.

The Instagram face is simply the newest craze.

Should I Consult a Professional?

Millennials often regard plastic surgery to be preventative treatments, and they are not wrong. These procedures, when performed correctly, may postpone the aging process and ensure that your Instagram-ready face stays that way.

Plastic surgery is a serious investment and should always be conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon. The right doctor will be able to advise you on what procedures may look best on you while making sure that you are emotionally prepared for the changes.

Are You Interested in Learning More?

When it comes to your face, you do not want to take any risks. Dr. David Butler is among the most trusted facial plastic surgeons in Santa Monica. Call us today at (310) 428-0033 to set up a consultation. Also, follow us on Instagram @Butlerfacialplasticsurgery for before and after pictures.  

What surgery topics interest you? We want to know!

At Dr. Butler’s office, one of the things we love to do is share our extensive knowledge of available techniques in facial rejuvenation with our wonderful patients. Send us a tweet, an email, facebook message – we want to answer your questions and include more of the topics that interest you!