Beauty Spotlight: Dr. Anil Shah Provides Premier Services to Chicagoans
Patients who visit Dr. Anil Shah for plastic surgery, leave his Chicago-based office with natural-looking results that enhance their facial features. Specializing in rhinoplasty, eye lifts and facelifts, we chatted with Dr. Shah to get an insider’s look to his premier practice.
Can you tell me about what your specialities are in the field of plastic surgery?
My specialities are in facial plastic surgery and facial injections. I particularly specialize in subtle enhancements of the face to make patients look like the best version of themselves. Many of the old guard’s three month recovery and visible scar procedures of the past have taken a backseat to a more modern approach where recovery is either instant or within a few days time.
What are some of the most popular procedures that you perform in Chicago?
There are a few popular procedures I have helped pioneer in Chicago. First of all, with the advent of selfies and Instagram, chin augmentation is becoming more and more popular. While most surgeons perform this procedure with a general anesthesia, I have adopted this procedure to be performed in the office. We actually did this live on Fox News!
Another procedure being performed that only myself and another surgeon is the complete muscle suspension lift. Most surgeons use a skin approach, which results in swelling and an unnatural pulled look. When lifting the muscle (we actually described this technique in Archives in Facial Plastic Surgery), the face is lifted to a more natural and anatomic level. This avoids much of the stigmata of surgery. Beware though, this technique is highly technical and surgeons must know their anatomy.
The nonsurgical facelift has also become popular in recent years. While some technologies have not lived up to their promise (Ulthera or Thermage), newer technologies such as Facetite allow the treatment to occur underneath the skin. I was the first one to receive the device in Chicago and one of the leading authorities on the technology. They work by literally placing a probe underneath the skin and visible contraction of skin and audible melting of fat can be heard. This has been a game changer for many patients who don’t have the downtime for surgery or the desire for a visible scar.
What are some things patients should consider before undergoing any type of plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery has become much more accessible than ever before which is exciting. However, patients should really look at the qualifications of their surgeon and make sure it is an area of their expertise. For example, a doctor who performs plastic surgery of the body likely is not the best surgeon for rhinoplasty and vice versa. The average board certified plastic surgeon performs only 12 rhinoplasties per year. A top rhinoplasty surgeon performs around 100 surgeries per year. I perform around 375 per year. For the average plastic surgeon to have a comparable experience with my one year of rhinoplasty, they would need to operate for 31 years. Conversely, I perform zero breast augmentations per year, so I would not be the best surgeon for this kind of surgery.
What are treatments you recommend for different age groups?
Patients in their 20′s and 30′s are just beginning the aging process and are very much into Instagram and photographing well. Lip augmentation, rhinoplasty and noninvasive neck sculpting such as Kybella are very popular procedures. Patients in their 40′s and 50′s are well into the aging process and are seeking reversal of the aging process. Here, patients will seek skin resurfacing procedures to erase wrinkles, fillers and some corrective surgeries on the eyes and neck to create a younger version of themselves. Patients in their 60′s are often looking at a combination of age reversal procedures such as facelifts and eyelifts as well as some of the newer noninvasive neck procedures.
Can you tell us about the different types of surgical, non-surgical and skincare options that you offer?
The key to surgical, non-surgical and skincare for patients is having a plan for patients. If you were remodeling your house, you would want a blueprint. I provide that for patients with the consultation so that we can look at what are some of their immediate goals, short term goals, and what they want to look like long term. Many patients who come to me kinda of know what they want but don’t really know how to articulate it. I actually will show them areas which can make a subtle difference in how they look and are perceived. Surgery is a scary word and for most patients, they don’t want to look different. Patients are more inclined to have something reshaped and improved in proportion than to have parts of their face cut off.
Skincare for patients is often really confusing. There are lots of great brands and packaging but there has been a big movement towards natural products without added scents and artificial ingredients. I actually developed my own skincare line, called Aesthetic Skin, because I was frustrated with the many gaps in skin care on the market. You would think with the thousands of skin care products on the market it would be easy to find great products!! Some of these products include a pigment eraser called Luminoso which is as strong as hydroquinone but with less side effects. Hydroquinone is a bleaching cream, think Michael Jackson, which can lead to some cancers and can paradoxically permanently blacken the skin. My skin lightener is based off of natural products and actually has an expiration date to its freshness.
Even something as simple as face soap has been overlooked. Most soaps are based off centuries old saponification where the skin is overly dried and strips the skins of oils. I utilize a gentle foam that use a light hydroxy acid which actually disinfects the skin without dehydrating it.
What inspired you to get into plastic surgery?
I have always been fascinated by how our outside appearance can influence our overall success. In high school, it seemed to me that much of a person’s popularity and confidence was based on how a person looked when many great people were overlooked or even chided. To me, it was remarkable to see how a physical transformation could influence how a person could now be deemed attractive and successful. During medical school, I shadowed a plastic surgeon and knew that this was my calling in life. Helping people look their best and giving them confidence to focus on things other than their appearance is really my goal to help patients be their best.
I am originally from the Chicagoland area and worked on Michigan Avenue at a boutique in my teens. I always dreamed of having my own office on Michigan Avenue. When I was training in New York, I had a minor detour when I was recruited to stay on at NYU and later opened my own office on 5th Avenue. Although New York is a great city, it never felt like home and never was my dream.
Chicago is, in my opinion, the greatest city to live in and raise a family in. Chicago has so much of everything including theater, arts, great schools, world class food and architecture and sports teams. I love the people in Chicago and feel like I can relate to Chicagoans because I am one of them.
For more information about Dr. Anil Shah, please visit www.shahfacialplastics.com.
Images via shahfacialplastics.com