Chicagoans looking for a little…or major…touchup turn to Dr. Julius Few, a board-certified plastic surgeon with an office on North Michigan Avenue. He is an expert in enhancing the face and breasts, as well as the safety and subtlety of treating skin of color patients, the fastest growing patient segment in the U.S. A graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Few completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center, followed by plastic surgery training at Northwestern University. In addition, Dr. Few received special facial and eye cosmetic training in Honolulu, New York, and Atlanta.

Please tell us a bit about your background. How did you discover your interest in plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery is a specialty that’s as much an art of medicine as it is a science—there are a vast number of options available to arrive at a solution. The specialty held particular appeal for me because it requires scientific prowess and an artistic eye to achieve the best results. Because it’s elective medicine, it’s also a specialty that is primarily positive.

You’re well known for incorporating a blended approach—using surgical and non-surgical techniques—to stop the aging process. Do these techniques apply to the face or just to the body or to both?

Both. A classic example of applying the blended approach to the face would be combining fillers and injectables with non-surgical skin tightening plus a modified blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck) as opposed to a traditional facelift. The blended approach in this case is less invasive, minimizing pain and recovery while optimizing natural-looking results.

Applied to the body, the combination of liposuction and non-surgical radio frequency skin tightening, for example, would be an alternative to the traditional tummy tuck. The blended approach in this case is both safe and effective with less downtime and involves only tiny incision points compared with the more invasive traditional surgical procedure.

Who is the ideal candidate for the blended approach?

There are two types of patients who make ideal candidates for the blended approach:

  1. The patient who has early signs of age-related changes for whom traditional surgery alone would be too extreme and non-surgical treatments alone wouldn’t satisfy their expectations.
  2. The patient who is a classic candidate for the traditional surgical approach, but who is unwilling to accept what comes with that approach, ie. surgical risk, pain, cost, and/or downtime. This patient is willing to make a compromise for possibly lower results to avoid the risks with traditional approach.

In a tough economy, are you seeing more patients for face or body help?

The face. Especially in the tough economy, avoiding looking tired or worn down is key.

What sort of body treatments/surgeries are in most demand by your patients, and why do you think that is?

For the most part, women are having breast lifts and/or augmentations and abdominal contouring with a tummy tuck or combined liposuction-radio frequency treatment.

Our readers ask lots of questions about arms.  Can anything be done to reshape flabby arms without leaving scars or marks?

The arms can definitely be improved, whether its by using the powerful, synergistic, non-surgical approach of Venus Freeze (radio frequency) and Ultherapy (ultrasound) together, or by in-office laser liposuction followed by radio frequency treatment. Liposuction is technically surgery, but it’s performed under local anesthesia and involves only a nick in the skin that heals without a scar.

What are some of the common misconceptions about plastic surgery?

The most common is the idea that plastic surgery is only surgery. There’s a tendency to feel that if you go to a plastic surgery office looking for a cosmetic treatment that it’s limited to traditional surgery. The blended approach I’ve described is evidence against that misconception. Another misconception is the idea that plastic surgery is about having a complete overhaul. It’s really about progressive treatments over time.

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