Frequently Asked Questions:
Facial Procedures

Rejuvenating the eyelids can make a person look years younger and more rested! In a blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, loose skin of the upper and lower eyelids is removed along with fatty tissue, leaving no visible scars.

Dr. Makhlouf hides the incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid or on the lash line of the lower eyelid. With approximately one to two weeks of downtime, this in-office procedure can provide natural and lasting results!

Contact our Chicago area office today for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Upper eyelid surgery is a corrective procedure that can enhance one’s life. After all, our eyes allow us to look into the world. Interestingly, they also allow others to read into our emotions and our physical well-being. Sadness and joy are easily visible in the expression of the eyes. Conversely, tiredness and aging are easily visible in our eyelids, as well.

What our patients tell us they want to see in their eyelids:

  • Smooth skin – free of any “crinkles”
  • Eyes wide open
  • No fat bulging in the upper or lower eyelids
  • A platform that allows their makeup to highlight the shape and color of their eyes

There are multiple variables that affect the perception of the size of the eyes:

  • The shape of the bony structure called the orbit.
  • The strength and the attachment of the muscles that pull and open the eyelids: the levator muscles.
  • Whether there is excess skin.


When looking in the mirror, patients frequently miss the asymmetry of their eyes. One eye is not always identical in shape to the other. Also frequently overlooked is the position of the eyebrows. An eyebrow that is lower on one side creates more skin excess on that side compared to the other.

All of these factors need to be evaluated before surgery, particularly on the day of surgery when the markings are made. The marking step is probably the most important step of the procedure and it needs to be very meticulous.


Once the skin incision is made in the upper eyelid, the fat is addressed. Years ago plastic surgeons would resect (trim away) the eyelid fat from the center of the lid.  Nowadays, in order to avoid a gaunt look, resection is done at the eyelid towards the nose.

Once the fat is removed, hemostasis is performed to achieve a very dry field. Manipulation of the levator muscle is then possible at that stage. This is called ptosis correction, a corrective procedure we will discuss separately.


Post-Op & Healing:

Fortunately the eyelid scars are very forgiving. Due to their location in the eyelid crease, they are not noticeable and not visible when the eyes are open. The sutures are removed at 5-7 days. A patient rarely takes pain medication past the first day.

Follow up appointments are made at 2 days, 5 days, 6 weeks, and 6 months. All of these are complimentary and included in the procedure cost.

Care and maintenance is fairly simple, as well. You can apply makeup freely after the sutures are removed. Showering is feasible right away, but withhold swimming for 3 weeks after surgery.

At our Chicago area practice, nose surgery or rhinoplasty can be a rewarding procedure for our patients because of the natural-looking but dramatic results.  Dr Makhlouf is a talents and board certified plastic surgeon who can create the the most flattering results for your individual face shape.

Some of the issues Dr. Makhlouf can address are: breathing difficulties, a crooked nose, a nose which is overly large or disproportionate, an overly arched nose, and a nose with a bump or ridge.

Do you have a turkey neck …or Marlon Brando cheeks?

(Think “The Godfather”)

Have you been plagued by laxity in the lower cheeks and upper neck?  But, perhaps you may be thinking that you’re not ready for a face or neck lift.

Have you ever said…

  • I want to look natural…
  • I don’t want surgery…
  • I want fast results with minimal downtime…

One of the most difficult areas to treat is the neck and jowl (lower cheeks). Fortunately, now there is a non-surgical method to treat this area. No scalpel, no surgery and no stitches are involved. It’s called Thermi Tight. Thermi delivers radio frequency for skin tightening. Treatment time is about 1.5 hours.

For the patient, there are benefits to using Thermi. There’s a camera that looks at the treatment area (knees, neck, face) and gives guidance as to how much energy needs to be delivered. Also, there’s a feedback loop of the external temperature. This avoids superficial skin injury.

Overall, it is intended as a one and done treatment.  No need to return for multiple treatments. Additionally, it is treating multiple areas (neck and lower cheeks) in 1 session.  In fact, for treatment in the 40’s – 50’s, it can delay and/or postpone surgery.

Post-operatively, the patient is usually seen at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months. At the 3 month mark, the tissue contraction becomes more visible. However, mostly around the 5-6 month mark, the best tissue contraction results are evident, via neocollagenesis.

Don’t delay. Call us now for a consult, and get yourself ready for the spring: 847.297.8001

Exceedingly protruding ears can be a source of pain and embarrassment from childhood on. Usually performed under local anesthetic, an otoplasty consists of repositioning the ears through an incision in the back. Additionally depending on your needs, your cartilage may be resculpted or removed to create a more sleek appearance. Dr. Makhlouf may also use stitches to form the ear cartilage into a more pleasing position. At our Des Plaines office we provide immediate results and most likely a rapid return to your normal activities. Ear surgery or otoplasty can typically be performed as soon as the ears have stopped growing, usually around age four. Why wait for years of negative attention and difficulty?

Prominent ears, and other ear deformities, usually present themselves at birth. An estimated 30% of these deformities correct themselves with normal aging, but a majority will require some form of treatment for correction. There are many variations, but protruding ears is the deformity that is most frequently corrected with Otoplasty.

For the first days of life, the ears can be molded. Mother’s estrogen makes the ear’s cartilage soft, allowing a brief window of time in which to reshape the ear. According to research, treatment started within the first couple of weeks after birth can be up to 90% effective, and avoid any future need for surgery. If you do notice that your newborn has an irregular shape to their ear, mention this to your doctor and see if Ear Molding is your best option.

A common time for treatment though for Prominent Ears is between the age of 5 and 6. By this age, the ear is close to 85% of its adult size, and if it was going to correct itself spontaneously, it should have by this time. Otoplasty ,is performed  as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia with good long term results. The head is often wrapped for a week, and a head band worn for a few months overnight, which helps protect the results while the ear shape becomes set.

Otoplasty though can be performed at any age. A very common time for Otoplasty is in young adulthood. The ear re-shaping surgery is performed in much the same way as it is in childhood, though it can be performed under local with light sedation for the properly selected patient. If the idea of being awake causes anxiety, anesthesia may be the better option.

The most common reasons for a prominent ear are:

  • Incomplete folding – leaving the rim sticking out
  • A large central bell of the ear (concha)
  • Anterior rotation of the ear

Each of these deformities can be addressed during Otoplasty. Incomplete folding can be corrected with sutures, or by scoring the cartilage. A oversized concha can be surgically reduced, and an anteriorly rotated ear can be set back. Most of these corrections are done through a small incision hidden in the fold behind the ears, so it remains hidden, even to those with short hair.

Do you remember watching Dumbo as a child? The story begins with several storks lining up to deliver the newly-born babies to various circus animals. However, Mrs. Jumbo’s baby is delivered late by a very exhausted stork. All of the other elephants were oohing and ahhing until the size of his ears were revealed. Jumbo, Jr.’s ears were huge! The circus animals started to really make fun of him and the other elephants gossiped about him and even nicknamed him “Dumbo.” Mrs. Jumbo was imprisoned as a “mad elephant” after trying to defend her son from a crowd of teasing spectators. Timothy, Dumbo’s only friend and mentor, decided to help Dumbo, but that ended up making matters worse. Dumbo is demoted to being a clown with his act involving him to fall from a platform in a dramatized fire rescue into a vat a pie filling. The audience loves it and so they move the platform much higher, 1000 feet! We all know how the story ends. Dumbo shows up to the next “fire rescue” act and with his magic feather soars over the crowd with his big ears. Dumbo the Flying Elephant becomes the star of the circus!

Let’s face reality…kids can be mean. Being made fun of can deeply affect a child, and not all children are able to become the “star of the circus.” Unfortunately, being ridiculed can be very traumatizing and shape the way a person feels about themselves, and feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem can follow a child right into adulthood.

Even though ear pinning surgery is a very popular and safe for children, more and more adults are choosing to undergo this procedure. The reason many adults wish to undergo otoplasty is because they were made fun of as children. If you were ever made fun of as a kid for having large or protruding ears, otoplasty may be just what you need and want.

Otoplasty (Ear Pinning Surgery)

Otoplasty is a relatively simple procedure performed under local anesthesia, usually taking about 45 minutes for each ear to complete. After surgery, the ears are bandaged for 24 to 48 hours. A scarf or tennis band is then used to protect the ears only at night for two months. The results of ear pinning surgery are visible immediately, but the ears may remain sensitive for a couple of months. There is rarely any significant amount of pain with this surgery, and the incisions (scars) are inconspicuously hidden behind the ears.

If you would like to learn more about otoplasty, we encourage you to call Dr. Vincent Makhlouf. Dr. Makhlouf is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has years of experience performing different plastic surgery procedures, including ear pinning surgery. 

Want to look your best for this Valentine’s Day?

ThermiTight is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to tighten loose skin. It’s quite effective in areas that are prone to looser skin (skin laxity), as we age:

  • Loose skin on the neck
  • Loose skin on the arms
  • Wrinkles on the knees

Thermi is done in the office with little to no down-time.

There are a multitude of approaches to skin tightening. On the one end of the spectrum are creams, lotions, and potions, and the other end of the spectrum is a facelift procedure (rhytidectomy). There are inherent and significant limitations to lotions and potions, and there are significant hurdles to signing up for a facelift. For a number of years, there has been interest in intermediate modalities.

Types of Skin Tightening

Laser skin tightening has been used since the mid 90’s to minimize deep wrinkles. Although effective, the multitude of laser frequencies and modalities speak to the fact that it has not yet been perfected. Ultrasound is another modality and is used for skin tightening. By penetrating the skin and heating the deep skin layers, it encourages collagen production.

There are inherent limitations to laser and ultrasound technologies in the fact that both have to go through the skin to deliver the energy needed to remodel the deep tissues. Hence pain and the possibility of permanent skin damage in terms of scarring, hyper- and hypopigmentation limit their impact on the rejuvenation.

There is now a long established technology that is being used in novel way: Radiofrequency; now used in a minimally invasive way. This refers to the use of a fine probe that penetrates the skin. Its insulated tip delivers a controlled quantity of energy to the deeper layer of the skin. The radius of impact is small, and a series of spots under the skin are needed. There is both external and internal monitoring of the temperature, a unique feature of this technology. Because it is done under local anesthesia, it is an office procedure and requires 24 to 48 hours of down time.

If you are interested in exploring minimally invasive skin tightening, Dr. Makhlouf is on the advisory board of this technology and would be happy to discuss it further.

Cellulite is a term that originated in France in the early part of the 1900’s. It refers to dimpling of the skin that overlies fat deposits.

Especially in lower regions of the body, fat deposits develop between muscles and skin. Skin is attached to the muscles beneath by fibrous bands, and cellulite occurs as a result of one or more of the following reasons:

  • The fibrous bands are tight and inelastic, pulling the skin toward the muscles
  • Excess fat bulges through to skin that is not tightly tethered to muscles beneath
  • Skin is thin and loose, allowing fat pockets to push outward and make dimples

Treatment addresses one or more of these mechanisms:

  • Releasing the tight fibrous bands that cause dimpling
  • Decreasing the volume of fat through liposuction and/or weight loss
  • Skin tightening treatment that enables skin to hold in fat more effectively
  • Which treatment might be the right one for you? Would you benefit by trying more than one approach?

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