Health Check: Facial rejuvenation

Michele Skinner

Michele Skinner says when she reached her 40s, she felt that she looked older than her mother.

Skinner said when she looked in the mirror, she saw "old."

Last year, Skinner went to see Dr. Patrick Sullivan, a plastic surgeon.

"I look at it as an investment in my future. I really work with a lot of younger people now and it's sad but society is really shallow now and looks really matter," she said.

Skinner, who works in the health care field, said she did her homework first.

"And Dr. Sullivan's name always came up as a great surgeon," she said.

Sullivan said it's about improving, not altering someone's appearance. Skinner said her biggest concern was her chin.

"A lot of sculpting was done in the chin area. We removed fat and sculpted the area. (We put a lift in) so we could get a more neutral position of the corner of her mouth so when she wasn't smiling she didn't look like she was frowning," he said.

Based on research that he did at Brown University, Sullivan removed the fat beneath the muscle in the neck.

Skinner also felt her eyebrows were too high and Sullivan said she was holding them up all the time because of extra skin. The extra skin was removed and, in doing the lift, he was able to conceal the incisions.

Skinner said she didn't have to take painkillers after surgery.

"We've done studies on where the nerves are so we block out the nerves," Sullivan said.

Skinner said she was back to work in two weeks.

Now when she looks in the mirror, she says she sees the person that's inside of her.

"It's showing who you are on the inside, on the outside and who I am on the inside is very vivacious and happy," Skinner said.

Sullivan was recently named one of the top doctors in his field in Rhode Island Monthly.

Sullivan said anyone looking for facial rejuvenation really needs to do their homework because if it goes awry, it's virtually unfixable.