Dr. Trokel featured in the Habertürk Magzin!
Dr. Trokel was interviewed by Habertürk Magazin – Sunday Edition. Be sure to have a look at the article below! It has been translated for your convenience.
Dr. Yan Trokel, MD, DDS – Leading New York Plastic Surgeon
He creates natural beauty without surgery and facial shaping techniques that increase structural volume with a procedure he created called Y LIFT – “The 30-Minute Miracle Facelift”. In this article, he discusses revolutionary invention, the Y LIFT.
Can you tell us about your background?
I was born in the former Republic of Georgia and immigrated to the United States at the age of 2. I attended Dental School at Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery (DDS) and Medical School at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (MD). I then completed rigorous training in General Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery at famous Parkland Memorial Hospital University of Texas Medical Center followed by fellowship training in Aesthetic/Cosmetic Surgery. With respect to surgical outcomes, I have always been pushing the boundaries on treating patients. In my residency, I came up with a way of doing lip reconstruction post lip cancer. I collaborate and contribute to medical journals and research in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery and frequently lecture around the world on advanced facial rejuvenation and other latest technologies.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in plastic surgery?
As long as I could remember, I always geared toward medicine. However, I always felt I had a creative artistic side that complemented my analytical side. My passion for medicine and artistry merged in medical school to which then I decided to pursue aesthetic surgery. Using surgical skill and my creative prowess to beautify someone was what I was born to do.
How do you define beauty and what are your goals for the practice?
Beauty makes us in awe. It astounds us. Aside from the common references to the definition of beauty – symmetry, harmony, balance, proportion – there is FORM and SHAPE that determine what exactly beautiful is. So what is a beautiful form and shape? Irrespective of racial backgrounds, when looking at beautiful and youthful faces, the perfect face shape is in the shape of a rectangle/square – prominent cheekbones (high at the top-structurally highest near the eye region) and a well-defined jawline, widest at the end points (mandibular angle).
My patients are from various backgrounds with diverse features and different lifestyles – from a stay at home mother to a successful board director to a glamorous supermodel. All seek out beautification. The key is to look as natural as possible. How? By restructuring what was once there.
My goal is to achieve the goals of my patients – to give them a natural looking, beautifying effect utilizing my surgical skill, artistry and modern technology all with no surgery.
What causes aging?
Aging is a gradual loss of volume – a process of shrinkage. As we age, we lose bone mass, muscle, fat, all of our underlying tissues, and resultantly, the skin begins to sag because the structural foundation that was present in youth is compromised. We begin to notice the drawback effects of the aging phenomenon: brow descent, temple hollowing, under eye hollowing, folds around the mouth, loss of cheekbone prominence, marionette lines, jowling in the jawline and looseness in the neck. Over time, the face deflates comparable to the way a balloon deflates. Contrary to common belief, we do not grow extra skin as we age. A traditional facelift removes skin where there was volume loss, and in most cases, the result is a very unnatural, pulled look. A facelift does not replenish what was lost, hence why a lot of patients look as if they had work done. But in some cases, surgery is necessary when there is excessive skin laxity.
Can you tell us about the revolutionary Y LIFT, commonly referred to as the “Miracle 30-Minute Facelift” which you have created several years ago?
After years of study, I created a minimally invasive facial contouring technique, the Y LIFT, which is based on a Structural Volumizing® philosophy. It is a non-surgical facial contouring procedure that strategically replenishes lost volume to instantly restore and rejuvenate the facial region producing instantaneous results with little to no downtime, no incisions, stitches, and no general anesthesia. The effect is prominent cheekbones, improvement in the under eye hollowness and dramatic definition in the jawline and upper neck, instantly!
What is the secret of the Y LIFT? What do you use for the procedure? Is it like Botox?
In order to revive a youthful and beautiful aesthetic, it is important to understand anatomy and the aging process.
When looking at a youthful face, you will notice that it is shaped like the letter “Y”. The face is wide at the top (in the cheekbone region and eye area) and then narrows down at the chin. At the onset of aging, the youthful “Y”shape begins to widen downward, resulting in gradual deflation and loss of volume in the face.
The top jaw/cheekbone area and the mandible (bottom jaw) are two of the three major facial pillars. When changes are made to these primary pillars pursuant to the Y LIFT methodology, dramatic effects ensue: the face is beautified as the facial structure is restored to its youthful shape (high at the top in the cheekbone region and gradually narrowing at the chin) – achieving that beautiful and youthful square/rectangle facial shape. By building on the major pillars, you also see a tremendous improvement in the secondary pillars of the facial region, (under eye region, lines around the mouth and marionette lines).
Based on Structural Volumizing® philosophy, the secret of the Y LIFT is in its precise methodology utilizing an innovative 3-step phase technique (1-lifting; 2-filling; and 3-sculpting). Unique to the Y LIFT is the use of flexY guide™ – a patented anatomically correct marking guide used to strategically mark the facial region prior to the lifting phase. In the lifting phase, the Y LIFT replenishes the precise zones where the patient has shrunk and lost volume by instantly lifting the muscles and injecting a filler substance to hold the elevated muscles in place. The Y LIFT is finalized in the sculpting phase when I manually sculpt the filler around the lifted zone.
In the filling phase, I use a hyaluronic acid based temporary filler. After performing over 10,000 Y LIFTS, I have profoundly amazing results with hyaluronic acid. As a safety benefit, hyaluronic acid is naturally found all over our bodies, so we cannot be allergic to it and it gets metabolized by the body over time. Hyaluronic acid offers flexibility in that it is completely reversible and adjustable. I do not use any permanent fillers as there have been a lot of complications associated with permanent fillers.
How long does Y LIFT procedure take? Does it deliver instant results?
Depending on the patient, the Y LIFT takes anywhere between 15-30 minutes and results are instant. The patient sees an immediate cheekbone contour, under eye improvement and a most defined jawline and lift in the upper neck! In many cases, the effects are ‘surgical-like,’ but more natural and beautiful.
Is it safe to perform it around the eyes?
Yes, as long as the specific protocol is followed by strategically injecting under the muscles in the anatomically correct cheekbone zone.
Is it performed under local anesthetic? Is there any bruising or swelling?
A local anesthetic is injected in the facial region prior to treatment. The patient does not feel pain as I work under the muscle and there are fewer nerve endings under the muscle. Post-procedure, some patients encounter minor swelling for a couple of days, which is entirely normal. Swelling is alleviated by a quick facial massage the next day, and any remaining swelling subsides on its own within a couple of days. The chance of bruising is very minimal and sight of bruise is miniscule.
How much does it cost and how many years does it last?
The cost of the Y LIFT is individualized as every patient’s particular facial structure and needs is unique. Typically, the results lasts 1-3 years. However, I always recommend that my patients see me once a year for possible touch-ups to maintain the dramatic effect of the Y LIFT. The effects of the Y LIFT improve with time and many patients begin to notice improvement in the treated area(s) with repeated treatments.
Do the patients need to have additional procedures beyond the Y LIFT, such as radio frequency treatment?
The Y LIFT restores the lost foundation to the face (volume and structure). Radio Frequency (RF) treatments are primarily used to treat skin laxity via heat that stimulates the production of collagen, which helps the skin contract even further providing a slight lifting technique. RF treatments definitely improve the quality of skin but it does not provide the dramatic effects of the Y LIFT – as the Y LIFT is restructuring the facial region. As our skin is the wallpaper of our face, once the structure is restored and rejuvenated, patients experience a luminosity and radiance in their skin post Y LIFT. However, I also recommend RF treatments for continuing skin rejuvenating effects – mainly for tone and skin quality.
Does the Y LIFT address crepey (loose, wrinkled) skin?
Yes, to a certain point the Y LIFT will improve skin crepiness as a lot of the skin will be smoothed out by revolumizing the facial form. However, if it’s a skin issue, you have to specifically address the skin.
Is it suitable for both men and women?
Yes, the Y LIFT is suitable for both men and women of all ages as it not only revives the effects of youth but also beautifies the facial region. Many men benefit from the Y LIFT as it gives them that coveted manly-chiselled features. Younger patients in their 20s have the Y LIFT more for beautifying effects (accentuation in the cheekbone region/more pronounced jawlines – striving for the beautiful square/rectangular shape).
In which cities is this innovative procedure performed?
Currently, I perform the Y LIFT in New York, Miami, and Beverly Hills. The Y LIFT procedure is also available throughout the country by other certified Y LIFT providers whom I have previously trained. I have not trained medical professionals outside of the United States as of yet.
Besides an improved physical appearance, what other benefits do you see in your patients who have undergone Y LIFT?
Y LIFT not only revives the effects of youth, but also beautifies patients. The structure of the face is reshaped and restored to what it was in the youthful phase. Many of my patients experience psychological benefits – increase in self-esteem and a stronger self-image – which have a profound positive effect on other aspects of their lives – their daily drive, their moodiness, intimate relationships, professional careers. Everything is connected. The way you feel about you appearance can have a major effect on a lot of aspects in your life and many patients tell me all the time how the Y LIFT has made them happier with themselves and in turn, in other phases of their lives. I have had patients cry from joy seeing their immediate results.
How much surgery is too much?
We all know what too much surgery looks like. If you are able to look at a person and tell that a person has had surgery, that is a sign of plastic surgery gone wrong. The effect of the surgery should not be apparent. The person should look good and you should not be able to pinpoint what they had done. That is when the skill of the surgeon shines at its brightest and that separates the ‘surgeons’ from the ‘great surgeons’.
What makes a doctor a good plastic surgeon?
A good plastic surgeon is based on firstly, a good understanding of human anatomy, particularly in the area of expertise, a strong surgical skill, and of course artistic creativity. Essentially, surgeons are like artists and sculptors, where the patient is like a canvas. The surgeon needs to have a creative eye and understand certain basic truths to see how he can beautify the patient. And of course, great bedside manner – the surgeon has to be a good listener and understand what the patient wants.
Why do you think maintaining a youthful appearance has become so important these days?
Youth and beauty have always been important. It has always been revered and sought out. Humans have never stopped searching for the elixir of beauty and youth. The obsession has become more prominent because of the advent of television, Internet, and Hollywood where the information has become more disseminated and available and accessible. We are constantly stimulated by images of youth and beauty – magazines, social media, ads all over the city, etc. Also, the latest health phase that permeates our culture contributes to many of us wanting to preserve our health and youth. A lot of us feel young on the inside and we want it to show on the outside. The desire has always been there but more now so because of the constant stimulation. The thought – “out of sight, out of mind.” But we do see it, therefore we do think about it, and therefore we seek it out (more now than ever before).
Seeking plastic surgery is still considered by some to be an unnecessary vanity. What is your viewpoint in this regard?
Taking pride in one’s appearance is a sign of confidence and a healthy psyche. That is not ‘unnecessary.” That is very much necessary. However, there are extremes, as mentioned above which prove disastrous which are definitely ‘unnecessary.” The key to happiness is balance. If you apply that philosophy to almost anything in life, it makes sense and works. If you overdo something, the balance is disturbed. Just as our body functions best at equilibrium, humans feel good in their lives when it is balanced. The same logic applies to plastic surgery – good plastic surgery should not disrupt the equilibrium. It should enhance your features and make you feel better about yourself. Plastic surgery has earned a bad reputation because it has been abused by many patients and many results are unnatural and unpleasant. With the Y LIFT, the patient looks so natural, most cannot even tell the patient had something done.
What about the sentiment expressed by those who think we should not interfere with the natural aging process?
Aging effects us all. There is no escaping it. But, a lot of how we age is in our hands, (except for genetics, of course as we genetically all age differently). The food we eat, the water we drink, stress levels, whether we exercise and lead an overall healthy lifestyle. We should always take care of ourselves internally and aesthetically (outwardly). It is important to constantly educate our minds and fulfill our spiritual vessel but we should also feed our bodies and take care of our appearance as best as we can. Anything less is self-neglect. And it is true that our appearance has a psychological effect on us. For many of us, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, how we look has an effect on our psyche. I wholeheartedly believe that we need to take care of ourselves to the best of our technological and physiological ability.
Are there any special challenges you face as a Surgeon?
No successful endeavor is ever without challenges. But challenges are what motivate us to greater heights of excellence. Over the years, I have learned from challenges that made me perfect my craft. Every patient is a challenge. Many times the patient doesn’t fully understand how they have aged over the years and educating the patient on the process of aging and what they can expect from treatment is a challenge.
Every patient has a different facial structure and therefore deems a different kind of protocol to give this patient what he/she expects and even more. Exceeding expectation for each patient is my goal.
Have you had any lawsuits?
What are the most common concerns patients have regarding plastic surgery?
When dealing specifically with the face, patients foremost concern is getting a natural looking result. Plastic Surgery should not be about changing the way you look. It should enhance your natural features, so patient looks more beautiful but also look like himself/herself! That is where the skill of the surgeon and the precise technique is key. The Y LIFT technique does not tip the scales – the face is strategically lifted and replenished pursuant to the techniques’ unique methodology so the end result is a balanced restoration of the original shape and structure of the face.
Do you feel that the developed world is moving in a more positive direction regarding perceptions of beauty?
Ever since the dawn of civilization, beauty has been revered and sought out. Although there are certain aspects of beauty that are subjective, there are universal truths that few would argue with – such as an anatomically beautiful face shape – once again, going back to the youthful shape of the “Y” (face wide at the top in the cheekbone region and eye area) and narrowing down at the chin and widest in the back (mandibular angle). With advancements in technology and easier accessibility to information, the world is beginning to understand certain basic truths. I am happy to be part of this global awakening in the realm of beauty.
What is the number one piece of advice you would offer people considering surgery?
I would recommend for the prospective surgical patient to do his/her research with respect to the procedure, to weigh all of the patient’s options as to whether the patient really needs to resort to surgery, as there are many nonsurgical options to address specific concerns. Some patients, of course, do need surgery, but some can benefit from nonsurgical means. Current technological advancements offer many patients nonsurgical routes. Also, make sure the surgeon specializes in the type of surgery sought out.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
It is a blessing to make a difference in my patients’ lives all while doing what I am passionate about. Confucius said it well; “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I am truly lucky to combine my surgical skill and my artistic creativity and make people feel more beautiful and confident about themselves.
You featured on a segment of Doctor Mehmet Oz TV program where you performed the Y LIFT procedure on a guest and one of your clients. Do you travel to countries where plastic surgery is booming such as China? What about Turkey?
Plastic Surgery is booming in many countries in the world. I have extensively traveled to the middle East – United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar, and Azerbaijan; Asia – South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand; South America – Brazil, Argentina, Chile; Russia and all throughout Europe.
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