Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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Changing the Face of Cosmetic Surgery


By Sara Browning

     Cosmetic Surgery is not only for the rich
and famous. Today, facial rejuvenation and facial improvement are
available for anyone who desires to increase their quality of life.
   Times are changing. Gone are the days when cosmetic surgery was
reserved for wealthy Hollywood stars. Dr. Nizar Merheb, Founder of
Merheb Surgical Arts in Peoria and Pekin, welcomes patients from all
walks of life, both young and old, who are considering cosmetic and
facial surgery to improve the way they look and feel about themselves.
   Dr. Merheb’s new state-of-the-art practice, started in 2004, is
designed to provide both surgical and non-surgical procedures in a
private setting delivering the utmost in professional, compassionate
care. “By combining the art and science of facial cosmetic surgery and
maxillofacial surgery, we can provide the patient with a complete facial
analysis and recommendations for treatment that will achieve both a
functional and aesthetically pleasing outcome,” he says.

Facial Rejuvenation vs. Improvement
   Understanding the difference between facial rejuvenation and facial
improvement helps patients decide on the procedure that is best for
     According to Dr. Merheb, facial improvement changes the
structure of the face and its appearance. “Facial improvement is
accomplished, when necessary, with surgery of the bones of the face,
such as jaw surgery; facial implants, including cheek or chin implants;
nose reshaping; ear surgery; and dental implants. Typically, younger
people desire a change or improvement in their facial appearance.”
 Rejuvenation of the face and neck has the ability to make the face and
neck appear as it did 10–15 years ago. During rejuvenation, the tissue
is surgically placed in the appropriate position with a browlift,
facelift, or necklift. A patient may have all three procedures
simultaneously as well as appropriate upper and lower eyelid surgery,
according to Dr. Merheb.
     “Some patients desire a dramatic change
to their face,” says Dr. Merheb, “while others just want a subtle
improvement. Many older patients request facial rejuvenation to look
younger, but they may also desire improvements, so we combine both. For
example, we may combine a facelift with nose reshaping, dental implants,
or lip augmentation procedure.”

Exploring Surgical and Nonsurgical Options
   Many patients decide to undergo surgery to obtain a long-term,
stable result that is youthful and attractive. A facelift is one example
of a surgical cosmetic procedure. The term “facelift” has different
definitions for different people, patients, and surgeons, and there is
often common misunderstanding regarding what a facelift entails.
 According to Dr. Merheb: “An appropriately performed facelift
rejuvenates the aged area of the face from the level of the eyes to the
lower border of the lower jaw (including jowls) and in front of the ears
to the nose and corners of the mouth. A facelift does not rejuvenate
the wrinkles of the upper and lower lips. This is accomplished by laser
resurfacing, chemical peels, and fillers. Also, a facelift does not
rejuvenate the upper eyelids, eyebrows, or forehead. This is
accomplished by an endoscopic browlift and eyelid surgery. Some patients
think a facelift rejuvenates the center of the neck. But this is
accomplished by a necklift.”
     Complete facial rejuvenation
usually requires a facelift as well as a browlift and a necklift with
laser skin resurfacing. The goal of the procedure is to look 10–15 years
younger with a more refreshed and revitalized appearance.

Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures
   In addition to surgical cosmetic procedures, Dr. Merheb performs
procedures that are adjunct to surgery or appropriate for patients who
are looking for a temporary fix without the surgical downtime. For
example, Botox® Cosmetic has become popular among both men and women.
Botox Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles
and used to improve the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines between
the brows, crow’s feet, worry lines, and laugh lines.
In addition to
Botox Cosmetic, injectable fillers, such as Juvederm™, Sculptra™, and
Radiesse® are used to add volume to the face. “For women who are looking
to improve their overall appearance with immediate results and minimal
downtime,” says Dr. Merheb, “soft tissue fillers in the nasolabial folds
and lips combined with Botox Cosmetic is often all that is needed to
achieve a sensual, natural look.”

Taking Care of Your Skin
   In a patient’s treatment plan, cosmetic skin procedures are very
important in order to produce an attractive, youthful face. States Dr.
Merheb: “Skin treatment is dictated by a patient’s degree of sun damage,
discoloration, and wrinkles. The degree of skin damage determines
whether we recommend a mild skin program or an aggressive skin program
that includes laser skin resurfacing.”
     During the laser skin
resurfacing procedure, Dr. Merheb uses one of the newest lasers, the
ultrapulse carbon dioxide laser (CO2RE), to treat sun-damaged skin,
facial wrinkles, age spots, scars, and to enhance skin tone and texture.
As a result of this treatment, patients are left with more youthful
looking skin.
     Dr. Merheb also performs laser hair removal
utilizing the most advanced technology in hair removal for all skin
types. “This is another way to optimize the way your skin looks.”

Experiencing Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
   As a board-certified Maxillofacial Surgeon (ABOMS), Dr. Merheb also
performs oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS). OMS is concerned with the
surgical treatment of the mouth, jaws, face, neck, and associated
     Dental implants are one of several OMS procedures Dr.
Merheb performs, which have both functional as well as cosmetic
benefits. Implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look,
feel, and function like natural teeth. Implants also help preserve
facial structure and bone and give soft tissue support, preventing the
appearance of sunken lips.
     Implants are a team effort between an
OMS surgeon and a restorative dentist. “Oftentimes, we can work closely
with an experienced dental team for a complete makeover of the face and
smile, improving the patient’s quality of life,” states Dr. Merheb.
“While I perform the actual implant surgery, initial teeth extractions
and bone grafting if necessary, the patient’s dentist fits and makes the
permanent prosthesis.”

Achieving the Ideal Outcome
   Following cosmetic surgery, a patient’s results should be stable,
natural, attractive, and youthful. If desired, a patient can look up to
10 years younger.
     A stable outcome is a long lasting result that
can be affected by a patient’s choice of surgical technique and is
often proportionate to the amount of surgery performed. A natural
outcome does not leave patients with the appearance of someone who just
underwent surgery.
     “The ‘surgical look’ is unacceptable for
patients, and preventing this appearance requires specific techniques,”
according to Dr. Merheb. “Ideally, once a patient has healed, another
surgeon should not be able to detect that a patient has undergone facial
aesthetic surgery by looking at a patient’s appearance in a public

Making the Decision for Cosmetic Surgery
     Cosmetic surgery is designed to significantly enhance the quality of individuals’ lives.
   Dr. Merheb says, “Many of my patients want to look and feel more
confident. They may be returning to school for their college degree and
want to look younger. They may be changing careers at an older age and
desire to appear more fresh and young for their new job.”
 Cosmetic surgery is elective for most patients, but the decision is not
always easy. In order to assist patients in choosing the procedure that
is right for them, Dr. Merheb strongly encourages them to explore a
variety of options during private, complimentary consultations.
 According to Dr. Merheb: “Prior to performing a procedure, I conduct a
complete examination of the face and neck. During this private
examination, I discuss with my patient the specific facial aesthetic
problems he or she would like to have corrected and the surgical and
non-surgical options available. Photographs and X-rays may be taken with
the patient’s permission. We then put together a written treatment plan
that I give to the patient at the end of the consultation. The
treatment plan can be altered to meet the patient’s desires. But the
patient makes the final decision as to what surgery, if any, should be
     “We encourage patients to consider cosmetic surgery
and schedule a complimentary, private consultation to discuss their
options with us. It’s a decision they won’t regret!”

Nizar Merheb is a board-certified Facial Cosmetic Surgeon (ABCS) and a
board-certified Maxillofacial Surgeon (ABOMS). Dr. Merheb pursued the
art and science of maxillofacial and facial cosmetic surgery in the
European tradition where both medical and dental education is required.
He completed his residency in maxillofacial surgery at Emory University
Medical School in Atlanta. He then further advanced his surgical skills
by completing a high-tech, specialized fellowship program devoted to
facial aesthetic surgery accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic
Surgery with Dr. T.W. Evans, a world-renowned facial cosmetic surgeon,
in Columbus, Ohio.

Merheb Surgical Arts is located at

5009 N. Executive Drive, Suite A
Peoria, Ph: 309-683-3223
Hours: M-Thurs 8:00-5:30 and Fri 8:00-4:00

3303 Griffin Drive
Pekin, Ph: 309-353-4111
Hours: Wed 8:00-5:30 and Sat 8:00-2:00.