Partner Content

Healing Behind the Mask

Discovering ways to look as young as you feel
By University of Maryland Faculty Physicians, Inc.

Over the last two years, time spent looking at yourself on video conferencing applications has led to an increase in those considering a cosmetic surgery procedure. And with many still working from home, there has never been a better time to discreetly improve one’s appearance. For information about the latest innovations in facial rejuvenation we spoke with Natalie Justicz, MD, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the University of Maryland.

How has teleworking and video conferencing impacted the cosmetic surgery field?

Dr. Justicz: Video conferencing is like looking in a mirror all day! People notice their mild facial asymmetries and wrinkles more in the lighting. Patients coming in to discuss rejuvenation procedures often point out the things they’ve noticed on camera. I find that computer cameras can distort the nose and make it seem larger. I reassure patients that video conferencing can be unforgiving, but there’s also some subtle things that I can do to help.

What makes now a particularly good time to consider cosmetic procedures?

Dr. Justicz: Non-surgical procedures are usually quick, and sometimes a mask even covers the site of treatment. With teleworking, many surgical patients are able to take time to recover out of the office more easily. Some of my rhinoplasty patients choose to still work remotely but keep their cameras off.

What are some questions a patient should ask at their initial consultation?

Dr. Justicz: In addition to the wonderful benefits of cosmetic procedures, I also address recovery time, risks, and alternatives with my patients. I want you to feel comfortable with me and my approach. All physicians should welcome you getting a second opinion, and cosmetic procedures and surgery are no different. It’s important to choose someone who helps you achieve natural but noticeable results.

Which treatment(s) do you recommend someone start out with?

Dr. Justicz: I generally find that a combination of gentle Botox© and skin rejuvenation with broad band light (BBL) has the one-two punch that many people are looking for. Botox© softens wrinkles that are starting to form, while BBL addresses surface redness and sun damage. However, I always analyze a patient’s particular concerns, and I modify my technique and settings for every patient.

How have advances in cosmetic surgery led to more effective, less invasive options?

Dr. Justicz: Patients are more likely to come in early for “prejuvenation.” We can do a lot with skin care, neurotoxins, and facial filler. We offer laser treatments in the office as well that used to require a visit to the OR. Some surgical procedures can even be done in the office for the right patient.

What are the newest treatments being offered?

Dr. Justicz: We offer a variety of neurotoxins, facial fillers, BBL and laser rejuvenation, and PRP (platelet-rich plasma). Our treatments are always expanding and improving. I can describe these in more detail (and show examples) in the office.

Actual UM patient before & after Botox© for crow’s feet.

How can patients avoid looking “overdone”?

Dr. Justicz: That is where I come in! For patients who are newly exploring their options, I usually recommend starting with just one treatment modality. I’ll see you back in a couple weeks, and we can discuss our next steps. I never want to talk a patient into a cosmetic procedure. This process should be enjoyable and help you feel your best.

What’s your advice for anyone debating a cosmetic procedure?

Dr. Justicz: Come in and chat with me! I want my patients to understand their options so they can feel their best. At our initial visit, I let the patient guide me with their concerns and then we discuss the options available, ranging from less invasive to more invasive. Not every procedure is appropriate for every patient, and I only offer my patients treatments that I believe will give them their desired result.

Why did you become a facial plastic surgeon?

Dr. Justicz: While I love the breadth of my otolaryngology training at Harvard teaching hospitals, I always veered toward plastic and reconstructive procedures. I completed fellowship in this area at the University of Michigan. I love helping my patients restore, rejuvenate, or enhance facial form. At the University of Maryland, I work with trauma patients, patients with functional concerns like facial paralysis, and patients interested in cosmetic procedures. I love the variety and feel so lucky to do what I do.



Natalie Justicz, MD

Natalie Justicz, MD
Assistant Professor and Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

To schedule an appointment with University of Maryland Facial Plastic Surgery in Columbia or Downtown Baltimore, call 667-214-1772 or email [email protected].