As summer warms up, many people in this area look for facial rejuvenation options.

“It’s a great time of year for elective procedures,” said Dr. Thomas Leach. “People get time off during the summer, have the surgery they want and recover before going back to work. It looks like they had a phenomenal vacation because they look great and well rested.”

That’s a great plan. However, “make sure you select a board certified specialist. Picking the wrong surgeon can lead to poor outcomes and the potential need for further surgery,” said Leach, who has run the Princeton Center for Plastic Surgery since 1991.

Leach, who provides surgery and out-patient services, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. “That’s who patients need to see. There are so many other boards that don’t have standards as stringent and many doctors with minimal training are offering all types of procedures,” he said.

Whether a patient needs something fixed, or is looking into plastic surgery for the first time, Leach helps people feel better about how they look. “Certainly we help people with a wide variety of reconstructive surgery — running the gamut from sewing up lacerations in children to repairing defects left from skin cancers to reconstructing breasts after mastectomies. But a lot of what we do is also simply making people feel good about themselves. We rejuvenate them.

“Not every facial rejuvenation patient is going to want or need major procedures such as facelifts. Frequently, less invasive treatments, such as fillers or BOTOX can go a long way. “There’s no down time. A patient comes in, has the procedure and is right back to work or play,” he said.

Nationally, BOTOX injections are the most frequently performed cosmetic procedure. Knowing where to inject the BOTOX is crucial. It takes a thorough understanding of the balance, interaction and anatomy of the muscles of facial animation to achieve consistent results.

“Again, it’s a matter of stringent standards. A surgeon not properly trained and familiar with facial animation can leave a patient with a bizarre appearance for four or five months. That leads to problems that can be difficult to fix,” said Leach, who was recognized by Castle Connolly Medical as a 2007 Top Doctor for the New York Metro area.

Leach also cautions patients considering a “thread lift” face rejuvenation. This procedure, which involves pulling the skin back along a series of barbed threads, is “typically done by non-surgeons, is short lived and does not in any way substitute for a face lift. Again its buyer beware.”

Leach also has a working relationship with Results Day Spa, where licensed aestheticians provide quality general and medi-spa skin care.

This level of skin care aims to get rid of fine wrinkles, environmental damage and dark spots. “A series of ‘lunchtime peels’ coupled with a home morning and evening routine produces

real results. Surgery isn’t always the answer,” said Leach. “Sometimes, getting your skin in better shape, removing dark spots, filling in deep wrinkles or minimizing fine lines can make a world of difference.”

Princeton Center for Plastic Surgery. 932 State Road, Princeton. 609-921-7161, Fax: 609-921-6263.

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