How Young is Too Young for a Facelift?

Facelift surgery is the most effective, long-lasting solution for pronounced skin laxity. This procedure can eliminate deep creases, lift sagging jowls, and adjust the cheeks to a more youthful position. Still, not all of these changes are necessary for every patient; younger patients, and thin patients with good skin elasticity, can sometimes forego facelift surgery in favor of a less invasive treatment.

What is the Right Age to have a Facelift?

There is no exact age where facelift surgery becomes the right choice. A patient who has lost a significant amount of weight in the past, or who has a history of smoking or sunbathing, may need a facelift as early as age 40. Conversely, a patient with excellent genetics who has always been slim and who has never smoked can potentially delay facelift surgery until her 60s. The only way to accurately assess whether or not you need a facelift is to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon for a consultation.

With that in mind, there are some general guidelines you can use if you’re contemplating having plastic surgery in the future. We usually recommend a modified facelift procedure, the Silhouette Instalift, for patients between the ages of 35-50. Patients in this age group don’t tend to have visibly loose, hanging skin around their jaw or neck. They also have relatively firm eyelids and their brows have not yet fallen substantially. For these patients, the visible signs of aging are usually limited to subtle sagging in the mid-face region: Their cheeks have started to fall and they often see creases forming along their nasolabial folds.

The Silhouette Instalift uses specialized self-dissolving sutures to lift the muscles that support the cheeks. This raises the mid-face area and eliminates many of the early signs of aging. No skin is removed during this procedure, so it requires very little downtime.

In many cases, our surgeons will pair the Silhouette Instalift with injectable treatments, like BOTOX® and dermal fillers, to uniformly minimize the visible signs of aging. BOTOX® relaxes crow’s feet and forehead lines, while fillers can fill in deep wrinkles and augment areas that have been affected by age-related facial fat loss.

Learn More About Facelift Surgery

Middle age is an important transitional period. Many people in this age group overhaul their lives to better align with their goals and preferences. If you’re thinking of revitalizing your appearance so that it reflects who you are inside, we can help. Contact Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery today to arrange a one-on-one consultation. Our doctors will be happy to help you learn mo

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

Plastic surgery – just like any surgery – is an important decision to make, and your plastic surgery consultation can make all the difference in where you choose to get your procedures. The more informational and interactive your consultation is, the more you’ll be able to understand the entire process and the more comfortable you’ll be. Just like you, we want to ensure you have a productive, successful plastic surgery consultation. Here are our top 5 tips for preparing for your consultation to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Research the Procedure(s) You are Interested in

The best way to go into your consultation is with some preliminary knowledge of what you would like. Learn some basic information about your procedure, so you can be aware of any details you’d like to know. Don’t worry about doing too much research, however. Every patient is different, so we will let you know all the specifics.

Bring Questions

Once you have thought a little about what you would like to have done, you will start to know what answers you’d like to find out. Having questions already written down is a great way to make sure you’re informed about the details that are important to you. Once the plastic surgeon explains the basics about each procedure and what to expect, you can then dive into a more complex and detailed discussion.

Remember to ask more questions than just about the procedure itself. Your surgeon as well as the facility where the procedure will be performed are both important parts of your plastic surgery journey. Plan on asking questions like “What’s your experience with this procedure?” or “How often is this procedure performed at this facility?”

Gather Your Medical History

You should come to your consultation with as detailed records of your medical history as possible. This should include any previous diseases and conditions, as well as a list of current medications you’re taking, and any drug or alcohol use. Certain conditions and/or medications may disqualify you from certain procedures for safety reasons, so it’s essential that you be honest and detailed about your medical history.

Schedule Ample Time for Your Consultation

Although your plastic surgery consultation should only take about an hour, make sure you schedule it on a day and time when you can devote as much time as necessary to talk to your doctor. A rushed consultation is a recipe for misunderstanding and miscommunication. A calm, comfortable consultation is key to getting the most thorough understanding of your procedure.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

The ideal plastic surgery patient is someone who has realistic expectations about their results. Prior to your plastic surgery consultation, take some time to think about why you’re really considering surgery. What exactly do you hope to accomplish? Do you want to fix a flaw that you’ve been dealing with for years? Do you want to feel more confident about your appearance? When you walk into your consultation, you should be able to communicate your goals clearly to the plastic surgeon.

Now that you’re a little closer to a successful plastic surgery journey, it’s time to schedule your consultation. Contact Ritacca to schedule your consultation today.



Is Bigger Better? Your Guide to Breast Implant Sizes

When considering breast augmentation, choosing the size of implants requires more complex thinking than just “bigger is better.” Most women who opt for a breast augmentation actually don’t want (or need) the largest size of implants possible. Instead, it depends on the woman’s aesthetic goals. Expert surgeons recommend a breast size that is proportionate to the woman’s body.

During the initial consultation with the plastic surgeon, the patient will discuss her goals and expectations for the breast augmentation procedure. The surgeon will then assess the patient’s figure and breast tissue to suggest a size that will provide balanced results. Ultimately however, choosing the breast implant size should be personalized for the patient. It is important to pick the final size based on what the patient truly wants, and not what others think is best for her.

If you’re thinking of getting your own breast implants soon, here is a simple guide to help you select the best size for you:

Determine Your Goal

Most women who go to the clinic for breast augmentation already have a goal in mind. In order for you to pick the right breast implant size, you must first settle on your own goals. Do you want a dramatic change? Or do you want to have larger breasts that look natural? Asking yourself these questions will help you decide what implant size is best for your breast augmentation.

Your Body Type

Women have different body types. Some are petite, while others are taller or curvier. To choose the right implant size, it is important to consider your body type. Petite women are generally recommended to choose implants in the lower range, since bigger implants may not be proportional with their smaller figures. Taller women typically get larger implants because they look more proportionate to their bodies.

Measurements in CC

When choosing an implant size, you should know that sizes come in cc and not in cup sizes. Bra measurements are not reliable because they vary depending on the manufacturer. It is the same reason why breast implants come in ccs, which stands for cubic centimeters. To avoid confusion, stick to using cc when referring to the volume of implants.

Rice Test

A rice test can be truly helpful when communicating your aesthetic goals to your surgeon. You can do it by filling two sandwich bags with rice and placing them inside a bra that’s approximately the size you want for your new breasts. The next step is to modify the amount of rice in each bag by filling the bags carefully until it reaches the size of breasts you desire. Empty the bag into a measuring cup, and then you can convert the measurement into a volume using the measurements below.

1 cup     =             236 cc

½ cup    =             118 cc

¾ cup    =             177 cc

2/3 cup =             156 cc

1/3 cup =             78 cc

¼ cup    =             59 cc

1/8 cup =             30 cc


Let Us Help You Choose the Best Breast Implant Size for You

If you’re still uncertain about the right implant size for you, our highly trained medical staff is happy to help you with your decision. Contact us today, and we’ll help you pick the breast size that is most suitable for you.

How to Get Younger Looking Eyes

Many of us know the feeling of getting told we look tired even when we aren’t. Under eye bags, wrinkles, and dark circles can give the eyes a tired and aged appearance. Rejuvenation treatments to the eyes are a commonly sought out treatment. We all have a desire to look rested and youthful. There are a variety of treatments in the toolbox that can offer you younger looking eyes in our North Chicago medical spa located in Vernon Hills.

Get Younger Looking Eyes with Injectable Fillers

younger looking eyes before and after photos eye rejuvenation younger looking eyes younger looking eyes in chicago

As we age we lose volume under the eyes and in the cheeks that can cause hollowness, bags, dark circles, and flat cheeks. Some are genetically prone to hollowness or bags. Hyaluronic acid injectable fillers are made of a gel substance we naturally have in our bodies and are commonly used to add volume to the under eye and cheek area. There are several different types of fillers that can be used such as Restylane® and Juvéderm® depending on the individual. The injections themselves are quick, virtually painless, and offer results you can see instantly. There is a risk of bruising and swelling that typically resides within one week. Results last approximately 1-2 years. The injectors at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa are national trainers for injectables. They also use the innovative microcannula technique which is a safer method and offers less risk of bruising.

Laser resurfacing and Microneedling for Eye Rejuvenation

laser eye rejuvenation chicago

Microneedling is performed with a small portable device that uses tiny needles to painlessly puncture the skin. This stimulates collagen and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. DermaPen® microneedling is typically done in a series of 6 treatments spaced every 2 weeks and offers minimal downtime; often a mild sunburned appearance for a couple of days. Laser resurfacing also improves wrinkles and can be customized as a mild or aggressive treatment depending on individual need and goals. Laser resurfacing removes a layer of damaged skin leaving new rejuvenated skin in its place. Downtime can range anywhere from 1 day to 1 week depending on the treatment. Fractora skin resurfacing is another treatment that uses advanced radiofrequency to tighten the skin on a deeper level with ablated skin that heals very quickly. Fractora offers results comparable to laser resurfacing without the downtime. Fractora is typically performed in a series of 1-3 treatments depending on individual need. Growth factors can be added to any of these treatments to give the skin a boost in collagen stimulation, nutrients, and to speed up healing.

Glytone Eye & Lip Peel for Younger Looking Eyes

chemical peel for eyes

This in office peel uses a combination of Lactic Acid and Trichloroacetic acid also known as TCA. This TCA peel benefits skin firmness, fine lines & wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark circles. It is typically done in a series of 3-4 treatments and offers minimal downtime vs standard peels.

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy Skin Tightening for Non-Surgical Eye Rejuvenation

chicago Ultherapy eye rejuvenation

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy are both skin tightening treatments. They can be used to rejuvenate, lift, and tighten the lower and upper eyelids. The Thermismooth uses advanced radiofrequency technology that uses controlled heat for collagen remodel. Ultherapy uses advanced ultrasound technology to penetrate deep into the skin with precise heat and imaging. Thermismooth offers patients no downtime and typically a series of 3-6 treatments is recommended. Ultherapy is a single treatment with optimal results seen 3-6 months after treatment with long lasting results. Some individuals experience swelling or bruising after treatment that typically reside within 1 week.

Blepharoplasty Surgical Eye Lift

get younger looking eyes with blepharoplasty chicago

A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that offers the most dramatic results. A blepharoplasty can be done on the upper eyelids or lower eyelids to remove excess skin and fat. The treatment only takes about an hour and there is minimal downtime. It can be performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia. Sutures remain in the area for about 1 week so there may be some restrictions such as strenuous working out until the sutures come out. Post care is given by your physician based on individual need. Some blepharoplasty surgeries can be covered through insurance.

Ready to Get Younger Looking Eyes in North Chicago?

There is no shortage of eye rejuvenation treatments available. We offer complimentary consultations and based on individual need, goals, and result expectations one of these methods may be the perfect fit! Call us at (847)367-8815 to schedule your appointment.

Anti Aging for Men: Bro-tox, hair restoration & more

anti aging for men

The number of men seeking cosmetic dermatology procedures has exploded in recent years with terms like ‘bro-tox’ and ‘metrosexual’ becoming a part of our ever changing vocabulary. In fact, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 385,000 men received Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX®) injections in the United States last year alone. That’s a 310% increase in the past 10 years!

Anti-Aging for Men: Why the Trend?

The overall trend for cosmetic treatments and anti aging for men has been geared towards non-invasive treatments that require minimal downtime and produce subtle outcomes. The social stigma that may have once existed around cosmetics is rapidly declining and male patients are seeing the benefits of having a more youthful appearance in a competitive world.
Fear of ending up with a feminine look is a common concern among men, especially with filler treatments. Men may be more concerned that women and even other men will notice that “something has been done.” The best way to avoid colleagues from studying your face with wonderment is first to make your injector aware of your concerns and reservations. Likely during your consultation, your injector will suggest what they believe to be best course of action for you. They may suggest BOTOX® for wrinkles, dermal fillers for volume, and possibly even photofacial for uneven skin tones. If you do not want that “done up” look, avoid signing on the dotted line for all treatments right away! Making subtle changes slowly over the course of several months is the best way to avoid not looking like yourself.

Brotox and Celebrities: Anti Aging for Men in Hollywood!

But what has sparked this newfound worldwide interest in men wanting to look younger? The biggest factor may be the ever expanding social acceptance trickling down from the icons of Hollywood. Famous men like Simon Cowell, David Hasselhoff and Patrick Dempsey all shamelessly admit that they have been getting BOTOX® injections for years. Uncandid support such as this leaves men wondering “why not me?”

How the Recession Fueled the Popularity of Anti Aging for Men

Another cause for men to feel the need to look younger may be fear of age discrimination. When the job recession started in 2008, competition for high-paying positions skyrocketed, and the anti aging for men trend took off with news headlines like “Brotox: BOTOX® for Men” and “Manscaping Trends” hitting major publications. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, two-thirds of workers between the ages of 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination on the job. In a world where the first impression is the most important, you only get one shot to look your best!

Where to go for treatments
To find a physician who performs BOTOX® treatments, you don’t need to look very far! They are everywhere! But to look your best, you need to go to the best! Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa is nationally ranked in the top 2% of the country for BOTOX® injections. Our injectors are national trainers for Allergan (the creators of BOTOX®) and travel the region to train your average physician on how to become a master BOTOX® injector. Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa has also been Allergan Black Diamond Awarded since 2006.

Why Choose Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa in Vernon Hills?

Aside from Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa’s superior status as Allergan trainers, we are also national trainers for Galderma (the makers of Dysport). Dysport is also a botulinum toxin, very similar to BOTOX®, used as a wrinkle-relaxer to fight the signs of aging. Our physicians are also national trainers for Sciton Lasers, the company who very proudly brings you effective treatments like Profractional for skin resurfacing and the Forever Young BBL which uses broad-band light to correct uneven skin tones, acne and facial veins.
We are also proud to say that we have been pioneers in the industry by being the first practice to perform many new or up-and-coming procedures. We are credentialed with being the first practice in Illinois to offer:

  • Ulthera, a non-surgical skin tightening treatment used as an alternative to surgical face lift, one of the best options in anti aging for men, as it also requires no needles
  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Picosure Laser, which provides better tattoo removal results with fewer treatments. Kybella®, a non-invasive permanent injectable solution to submental fullness (also known as the double-chin), another popular non-surgical treatment for men
  • Hair Restoration with a female Hair Restoration Specialist.  Hair restoration can be called the first treatment to be categorized as “anti aging for men,” as hair loss (in addition to gray hair) can make most men appear older than they are.


anti aging for men

When looking through the plethora of practices that you could choose to get your treatments with– evaluating their experience, status, and credentialing is a very important part to getting the best results available for whatever treatment you are seeking. Especially for the male cosmetic patient, subtle improvements without unfavorable side-effects is imperative to obtaining and keeping a patients confidence and trust. At Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa our superior knowledge and elite status in the cosmetic industry is what sets us apart from the average practice. You could put your trust in no better facility in the Midwest!
If you or someone you know would like more information on anti aging for men, or other ways to make subtle improvements in relation to male aesthetics, please contact Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa to schedule your free consultation.

Ever wanted a Hand Augmentation? Radiesse® Injectable could be the answer!

Radiesse®, and injectable filler from Merz Aesthetics, has received approval from the FDA for hand augmentation to eliminate the look of aging due to fat loss/volume loss in the hands. Radiesse® can last for up to a year, and provides an immediate volumizing effect that reduces the prominence of tendons and veins in the hands. This new treatment will provide a natural-looking result and make your hands look years younger!

Merz is proud to be able to provide patients and physicians with the first and only dermal filler approved by the FDA for use in the hands,” said Jim Hartman, vice president and head of U.S. Aesthetics/OTC for Merz North America. “Market research tells us that attention to the aesthetic appearance of hands has increased in recent years, particularly among individuals who have undergone facial rejuvenation procedures. This new indication for Radiesse® is a result of our focus on meeting unmet needs in the U.S. aesthetics market, and we are excited to provide our physician customers with this new option” says Hartman.

In clinical trials, Radiesse® improved the appearance of hands in 75% of treated patients after 3 months. Most adverse events were injection site reactions such as swelling, redness, pain and bruising, which were usually mild to moderate, short in duration (lasting about one week) and require no additional treatment.

Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa One of First To Offer Fat-Dissolving Drug, Kybella®


Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa will be the first medical spa or cosmetic surgery center in Illinois to offer Kythera Biopharmaceutical Inc.’s injectable drug, Kybella®, a solution that destroys adult submental fat. Currently, the only options for fat removal in the double-chin area today, is to cut it out or suck it out until now.

The Kythera Biopharmaceutical drug now named, Kybella®, is identical to deoxycholic acid—a solution that aids the body to absorb fats that are naturally produced by the body, according to the FDA. Kybella® is an injection administered into the fat tissue in the submental area (under the chin) and works to destroy fat cells. As of right now, Kybella® is only FDA approved for the submental area.

Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa is a full-service medical spa and cosmetic surgery center that offers the latest in aesthetic medicine and plastic surgery today including; laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, sclerotherapy, BOTOX®, dermal fillers and more. Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa is a black diamond account with Allergan, ranking top 2% in the country for injectables.

Daniel Ritacca, President of Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa says, “I’m excited to offer this technology to my patients….I have met with thousands of patient with this concern – now I have a solution.”

The safety and efficacy of Kybella® for treating adult submental fat were established in two clinical trials that enrolled over a thousand patients.

About Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery Center & Medspa: At Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa, we are dedicated to our patients discovery of their ideal self, by helping to achieve a more youthful, attractive appearance and inner well being. We do this through the expertise of a team of board certified physicians with over 75 years of combined experience, state of the art aesthetic technology and cosmetic procedures. Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa proudly serves the Chicagoland suburbs including; Vernon Hills, Libertyville, Deerfield, Northbrook, Gurnee, Highland Park and more.

What’s New in Plastic Surgery?

The world of cosmetic surgery is constantly becoming more sophisticated and advanced. This is because the needs, goals, and desires of the population at large are changing. Check out this video for some interesting information on the latest in cosmetic surgery.

Trends such as medical tourism have become quite popular in recent years. However, you need to be aware of the risks if you are considering this option. Watch this video to learn about the impressive longevity of the facelift procedure, and how people of different ethnicities are approaching cosmetic surgery.

For more information on cosmetic surgery, or to schedule an appointment for a consultation, contact Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa. Visit us online to learn about the services and procedures we offer or give our Vernon Hills office a call at (847) 737-1471.

Top Misconceptions About Plastic Surgery

Over a million people have cosmetic procedures each year, and there are many misconceptions about who these patients are. The truth about who is having plastic surgery might surprise you.

It is assumed that women who go under the knife are vain. While some opt for surgery strictly to look better, the truth is that many choose surgery for self-esteem. Women who are self-conscious about their bodies gain a tremendous amount of confidence when they feel in control. They may not be able to alter certain traits, but they can fix a crooked nose or breasts they feel are too small.

Looking better is only one part of the equation. Feeling better is the goal.

If it seems that Hollywood is the only place cosmetic surgery exists, that is not the case. While celebrities who choose a surgical fix are some of the most obvious plastic surgery patients, they aren’t alone. The average Jane takes this route more than movie stars do each year, and surgical suites are full of people who have never seen a movie set or been on television.

A florist in Florida is more likely than a blockbuster star on the Walk of Fame to seek cosmetic surgery.

When you think of plastic surgery, do you think it’s only for the wealthy?

The truth is that people of all income levels choose surgical enhancement. Surveys conducted on those inquiring about surgery found that roughly 40% of reported their annual income was $30,000-$60,000 a year. Surprisingly, almost 30% reported incomes of less than $30,000. Only 13% reported income of over $90,000 a year. Clearly, not only the well-off are opting to beautify their bodies. It could be the cashier checking your groceries just as easily as the banker driving the luxury sedan.

Movies and television give the impression that surgical enhancement is just for women. The truth is more men are now choosing to get a little work done themselves. While still in the minority, men are having procedures for social and professional benefit. Typically, men opt for more subtle procedures, such as hair plugs, injectable wrinkle fillers, liposuction, and minor facial enhancements, such as a brow lift.

Patients feel great once their procedures are healed. They are happy and confident, but perhaps unaware that most results are not meant to last a lifetime. Aging will still occur, as nothing can freeze the hands of time or the work of gravity. To keep that desired post-surgical look, upkeep or repeated procedures will be necessary. Injectable fillers last a few months, a full face-lift has a lifespan of about 10 years, breast implants made need to be replaced every decade, while a reduction will be affected by weight gain, loss or pregnancy.

Five Questions to Ask Surgeons Before Getting Cosmetic Surgery

For most, the decision to get cosmetic surgery is often the result of many months or even years of consideration. However, after you’ve made your choice, being fully informed of the steps involved and the surgeons’ qualifications is essential.

The following five questions are things that you should consider asking surgeons before going through with plastic surgery.

How Much Experience Do the Surgeons Have?

Plastic surgery success is dependent upon your surgeon’s experience and training. Never be afraid to question potential surgeons about their education, accomplishments, professional memberships and past experience with the specific procedure you want. Qualified surgeons will not mind answering any questions you have.

Do They Have any Before and After Pictures?

After asking cosmetic surgeons about their experience with your desired procedure, request to see several before and after photos of other patients who have had the same surgery. Examine the images closely for signs of photo editing.

How Safe is this Plastic Surgery Procedure?

Some people are concerned with the safety of surgical procedures, and for good reason. With any surgery, there are potential risks and complications that could arise during and following the procedure. A good surgeon will inform you of all of the risks and potential complications and what he/she will do to reduce that risk to you. Ask questions and request clarification if anything confuses you at any time.

How Much will the Procedure Cost?

Cost is a factor for many Americans, especially during the current economic climate. It’s not just the cost of the procedure that you should be aware of; there are other costs, such as after-care and downtime from work during the recovery process. Some surgeons offer financing, so find out about the different payment options available. In some situations, your insurance may cover a portion of the procedure.

What Type of Aftercare is Involved?

Finally, qualified surgeons will offer extensive aftercare, which will include pain medication, monitoring and dressing changes. Additionally, you should receive instructions on what to do in case of an emergency or complication at home and how to care for yourself after the surgery.

Following the above tips will help you select the right surgeon for your cosmetic surgery procedure and receive the best care possible. Also, don’t forget to follow your instinct about a doctor. If you don’t particularly like the surgeon you’re speaking with, it’s not likely you’ll feel comfortable during the procedure.