Archive for category: Featured Blog

Considering a Facelift in Kansas City? Get to know the Monarch Mini Facelift

Considering a Facelift in the Kansas City area? Welcome to Monarch Plastic Surgery.

We have five in-house board-certified plastic surgeons ready to meet with you and discuss the best options for your goals. If you’re considering a facelift, but still have questions about the procedure and why come to us in Kansas City, keep reading!

Is a facelift right for me?

If you feel like the creams, serums, and daily maintenance aren’t producing the desired results you’re looking for, a facelift could be a good option for you. Facelifts are not one size fits all, and it’s important to choose a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and who can deliver the look you want.

Before and after image of Monarch Mini Facelift showing beautiful change in neck, chin, cheek area.

Monarch Mini Facelift performed by Dr. Bene

Are all facelifts the same?

There are different levels of facelifts. A “mini facelift” primarily deals with the jowl area and some skin tightening. A “standard facelift” typically extends that incision behind the ear and down the hairline a bit to help tighten the neck. A more advanced technique, sometimes called a “dual plane facelift” can provide even more transformation when needed. Sometimes these procedures are combined with others such as eyelid lifts, chemical peels, or fat grafting to add volume to the face. That’s why it’s important to work with a surgeon who can customize the procedure for you.

What is a Monarch Mini Facelift?

A “Monarch Mini Facelift” is an awake facelift we complete in our office in Leawood. This facelift involves incisions in front of the ear, underneath the earlobe, and just behind the scalp. We use local anesthesia, so in many cases, you’re even able to drive yourself home after the procedure! Please check with your surgeon for details about the process!

before and after of monarch mini facelift performed by Dr. Bene

Monarch Mini Facelift performed by Dr. Bene

What is recovery time like for a mini facelift?

For the first day after your facelift, you’ll wear a lightly compressing garment to help with the dressings. Typically, patients may shower the next day and do most activities that are not overly strenuous. Your surgeon will direct you on the proper aftercare. Pain is generally mild and controlled with over-the-counter medications.

See more before and after photos, and work performed by each of our five plastic surgeons here.

For questions, or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 913-663-3838

*Information for this blog was provided by Dr. Kalila Steen and Dr. Paul Leahy.

Monarch Plastic Surgery MicroLaser Peel and BroadBand Light (BBL)

When Monarch Plastic Surgery reached out to me about partnering to blog about their MicroLaser Peel, it was an easy yes! As a 43-year-old busy working mom, I rarely devote the time and attention to myself and the self-care I need. Prior to my treatment, I noticed the age spots and sun damage to my face and was excited to see how this treatment could improve the overall look and feel of my skin.

This was my first time having a MicroLaser Peel. I’ve had microdermabrasion treatments periodically over the years which have sometimes coupled with a peel but this was so much more. The MicroLaser Peel is a treatment that precisely removes the outer layer of skin, replacing the dead skin cells with new healthy cells to improve texture and clarity. The best way I can simply describe the results is to get ready to get your glow on and truly feel that you can put your best face forward!

The most important thing to know going into the MicroLaser Peel is to be sure you schedule it when you can go without make-up afterward for 72 hours. If you have a wedding or event you are doing the treatment in advance of, I would recommend the treatment at least one week, possibly two, prior to your event. My skin was extremely red for 2-3 days after the treatment, peeled on days 3-5 and continued to flake off a small amount a full week after my appointment. The end results make this recovery seem insignificant once you have your luminous glowing skin, but be mindful of that recovery time when scheduling.

Walking into Monarch Plastic Surgery for the first time, I was immediately greeted with kindness and felt welcomed from the moment I walked in. I completed a small amount of paperwork and was in a room for my treatment within 5 minutes.

Brittan, my aesthetician, was amazing! She did a beautiful job explaining what I should expect. She also spoke from a place of experience as she has had the treatment herself. I appreciated that perspective so she could be sensitive to my questions.

She began the treatment by applying a numbing balm to my entire face. She explained that I would rest on the treatment bed/table for one hour to allow the numbing to completely take effect. For a person who rarely stops to sit down, one hour to myself was fabulous. The numbing process felt a bit strange but it was not painful or uncomfortable in any way. I worked from my phone while the numbing took over and one hour later, we were ready to get started.

Brittan shared that what I might find most bothersome would be the noise from the laser. She was absolutely right, it sounds like a bug zapper. After the first zap sound, I quickly became used to it. The experience was a bit surreal, like visiting the dentist when they numb part of your mouth. You can see and feel what is taking place, but the numbness prevents you from feeling any pain. Brittan utilized the laser small section by small section across my face. I was extremely surprised that I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. The entire peel took about 20 minutes. Following the treatment, Brittan applied a thick balm across my face with the consistency and feeling of a petroleum jelly. This felt very soothing. She gave me after-care instructions which I followed carefully to ensure I protected my sensitive skin. From start to finish, the entire process took one hour and 30 minutes and then I was off to pick up my kids from school.

During the drive home, the air conditioning on my face felt amazing as my face felt warm but not uncomfortably hot. My face was extremely red following the treatment and the balm made my skin look shiny and glossy. I dropped my kids off at soccer practice that evening and stayed in my car to watch as I didn’t want to be in public with my red, shiny skin and needed to stay out of the sun.

For the day of my treatment, Brittan recommended that I avoid hot showers and sun exposure. I did not want anything touching my face or skin so I decided to wait until the following morning to wash my face. The numbness lasted several hours after the treatment. They suggested that I could take a pain reliever if needed but I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort.  For sleeping, I would suggest using an old pillowcase to avoid getting the Elta Laser Balm on your bedding.

The morning after my treatment, I utilized the gentle cleanser and treatment balm they sent me home with. First thing in the morning, I splashed cold water on my face, still feeling nervous about touching my face due to my worry for the sensitivity. I used the cleanser they sent me home with me and very gently lathered it in circles around my face. The thickness of the balm did not wash off entirely but my skin felt refreshed with the splashes of water and the cleanser. After washing my face I VERY gently patted my skin with a clean, dry, soft towel. I then applied a film of the laser balm which felt like a wonderful protective shield. My skin was still red the day following the treatment.

My post-care continued with the gentle facial cleanser and application of the Elta Laser Balm both morning and night for three days after the treatment. The redness diminished over the course of each day and was gone by day 4. The team told me that I could apply makeup after 72 hours but even at that time, my skin was continuing to flake off and I was able to avoid makeup while working from home for a full 5 days. On day 4, between the balm and moisturizer, my face felt ready for a good scrub in order to feel fully clean. I knew I needed to be gentle but also felt the extreme desire to get all of the residual balm off of my face. I used a makeup removing wipe on day 4 which irritated my skin a bit and incited some flaking and peeling. I immediately applied a thick moisturizing cream which felt incredible and soothing. I continued to have flaking on days 5-7 and utilized a thick moisturizer and SPF each day and began wearing makeup again on day 7.

Now let’s talk about the exciting part. My age spots and pigmentation look remarkably improved and I have a gorgeous glow to my skin. The dark pigmentation on my cheeks and along my jawline and hairline was reduced significantly. I actually feel for the first time in more than a decade, that my skin looks luminous, and I might even choose to go without makeup or with minimal make-up. That’s how good my skin looks after one week. I’m sharing this selfie so you can see my skin right after I showered and applied a facial moisturizer. I don’t have on any makeup here because I wanted you to see the full results. I’m 43-years-old (with Dysport injections to reduce forehead wrinkles) and this peel easily takes my skin back at least 5 years, possibly 10, by reducing the pigmentation and giving my skin a fresh, dewy look.

The team at Monarch Plastic Surgery can customize the depth and strength of the laser. With this being my first experience, Brittan and I talked about going a little lighter for me, which I appreciate. I love looking at my skin now both with and without makeup. My skin looks more even and youthful with a radiant, healthy glow that I am loving thanks to Monarch Plastic Surgery and Skin Rejuvenation Center.

I had such an amazing experience at Monarch Plastic Surgery that the team invited me back to further reduce and remove age spots, sun damage and broken capillaries with BroadBand Light (BBL). They recommended that I allow at least four weeks between the two treatments. The best part about this treatment is that it requires no downtime so you can go back to work or events without any recovery time. Sciton BBL Photorejuvenation can also help with rosacea and other skin imperfections.

One difference between the MicroLaser Peel and the Sciton BBL Photorejuvenation is that they numb your face for the MicroLaser Peel. The BBL is less invasive and while it’s not painful, it is not a pleasant feeling. Of course, the results make the process totally worth the mild to moderate discomfort of the treatment which lasts about 15-20 minutes. The treatment involves small zaps with the Sciton device which feels like your skin is being thumped with a rubber band. After the first minute, your mind and body begin to get used to this and it no longer feels uncomfortable. Brittan, my aesthetician, moved the device around my face, targeting the areas of imperfections. The targeted tissue responds to the heat energy.

Brittan was incredibly helpful in explaining what I could expect in the days following the treatment. With this being my first BBL, she shared that I should expect my skin to “pepper” a bit. She said this is completely normal because hyperpigmentation darkens prior to falling off. And that is exactly what happened. In the areas where I had the most skin damage and pigmentation, I had what looked like tiny pepper spots in the days following that fell off or went away in less than one week. I was able to easily apply makeup over these spots so they were not visible when wearing makeup.  Brittan recommended utilizing BBL quarterly for the most amazing results. And as always, she emphasized the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect my skin.

Within just a few days of the treatment, my skin looked smoother and noticeably younger. One week after, you could clearly see the reduction and even elimination in some areas of age spots and broken capillaries, giving me the appearance of more radiant, younger looking skin. The best part of both treatments is that I now feel comfortable going places with less makeup or even no makeup and my skin is looking better than it has in more than a decade!

Read Jana’s blog on her website at

Reverse Aging with Volume: How Injectable Dermal Fillers Make Your Face Look Younger Without Plastic Surgery

You feel young and greet the world with plenty of energy – but too often, your reflection shows someone who looks much older than you feel. If that sounds familiar, or if you just have certain imperfections in your facial features you would like to fix without surgery, injectable soft tissue fillers (a.k.a. dermal fillers) may be a great option for you.

We spoke with our team of Monarch Nurse Injectors to find out what patients want to know when exploring dermal filler options. We’ve assembled their Q&As below. To learn more about what injectable dermal fillers can do for you personally, schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our Nurse Injectors today.

What is an injectable dermal filler, and how can it reduce the appearance of aging and imperfections?

The signs of aging on the face are natural – collagen, elastin, subcutaneous fat and other natural support layers in the skin break down as we get older. We all age differently due to genetics and lifestyle factors, but the natural losses of volume, elasticity, and hydration lead to ever-deepening wrinkles, lines, folds around the forehead, eyes, cheeks, mouth and chin. These subcutaneous break downs lead to crow’s feet, forehead creases, frown lines, laugh lines, marionette lines and more.

Fortunately, injectable dermal fillers offer safe, effective, minimally invasive options to reduce the appearance of aging on your face. Some dermal fillers hydrate the skin with hyaluronic acid (a natural lubricant). Others add fullness and volume to areas like lips and cheeks to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, or destroy fat cells to provide contouring and reduce double chins.

What are my options for injectables at Monarch?

At the Skin Rejuvenation Center of Monarch Plastic Surgery, we provide a wide range of injectables to enhance or restore facial contours and help you look and feel younger. The table below provides a quick overview – for additional details about each product, visit our Injectable Dermal Fillers page here.

How much do injectables/dermal fillers cost?

Prices vary depending on the injectables/dermal fillers used. We offer high-quality care, products, and services at competitive pricing because our goal is the same as yours: natural-looking results at affordable prices. If you are new to our practice, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our nurse injectors. We’ll talk about your appearance goals and create personalized treatment recommendations with pricing information included.

How quickly will I see results, and how long will they last?

Results times also vary depending on your treatment plan and choice of injectable/filler. Some injectables give immediate results, while others minimize the appearance of wrinkles or folds over time. Several of our injectable products are proven to last for up to one year, 18 months and even two years with optimal treatment.

Tell me about your qualifications as a Monarch Nurse Injector.

We’re glad you asked! It is so important to choose healthcare providers you trust to deliver the care you need and the results you want. At Monarch Plastic Surgery, our Nurse Injectors are all highly rated registered nurses with extensive experience in injectable treatments and a passion for excellence in patient care. Meet our team by clicking on the names and hear from some of our patients below:

“I have gotten Botox and Juvederm lip from Ashley at Monarch Plastic Surgery and I can’t say enough good things about her! She is patient and explains everything, keeps it all pain free, and won’t let you spend money on extras if she doesn’t think you need it. I can’t recommend her highly enough! I’ll be back in 6 months!”

—Jennifer von Ende

“Knowledgeable Team: 42 units Botox. Loved my results! My next appointment is tomorrow. I look forward to being a better version of myself! The staff is friendly and welcoming. My injections were painless. Kirsten was very knowledgeable and made sure to take the time to explain everything to me.”

—Anonymous online review

Where are you located?

Proudly serving the Greater Kansas City area, our Nurse Injectors offer injectables at our two main locations in Leawood, Kansas, and North Kansas City, Missouri.

More Questions?

Call us for pricing and other details:

What’s A Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon VS. Cosmetic Surgeon?

If you’re considering a plastic surgery procedure ✨, it’s important to do your homework first — research doctors, procedures, read reviews and more. One question you should ask is whether or not the doctor is a cosmetic surgeon or board certified. At Monarch, all of our surgeons are board-certified. In this blog, we will walk you through the differences between a cosmetic surgeon versus a board-certified surgeon, and why it’s important to know the difference!

Cosmetic Surgeon 

“Cosmetic surgeon” sounds exactly what a plastic surgeon would call themselves, right? Well, actually, out of the two, they have had less specialty training within the field of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgeons are still technically doctors but they never completed a residency in the plastic surgery realm.

So What Exactly Does This Mean  

Cosmetic surgeons attended medical school, but plastic surgery was not the area of specialty they pursued after earning their degree. They can still call themselves plastic or cosmetic surgeons because states do not have laws that dictate which surgeries a doctor can perform or regulate how they advertise themselves. Therefore, any licensed doctor can legally call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, regardless of their training or education.

Board-Certified Surgeon 

Board-certified surgeons have completed a full-time residence that consists of working over 3,000 hours a year under the direct training and supervision of a more senior and fully-qualified plastic surgeon. During this time, they learn how to plan different procedures, perform surgery and then how to follow up with their patients. They have practiced and perfected procedures such as rhinoplasties, facelifts, breast augmentations, breast reconstructions, tummy tucks and accident reconstructions.

Our Practice 

At Monarch, all of our surgeons are board-certified and ready to help you with any of your plastic or reconstructive needs. It is important to us that you feel comfortable, safe and at ease when you decide you want a procedure, which is why we are only staffed with qualified, personable surgeons!

Call 913-663-3838 (Leawood) or  816-436-3262 (North KC), or schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons today!

Look Your Best with BOTOX and Dermal Fillers at Monarch Plastic Surgery

This year, look and feel your best in every photo and every “selfie” by rejuvenating your skin with dermal fillers or BOTOX. According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, dermal fillers are increasing in popularity thanks to their cost-effective, speedy procedures and quick results.

Take a moment to learn more about some of the differences in these injectables, and we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our expert nurse injectors to determine the best treatment for your skin.

BOTOX Injections

If your primary concern is forehead lines, either in-between or around the eyes, then BOTOX is certainly a treatment to consider. BOTOX injections soften wrinkles around the eyes and forehead by relaxing the muscles that contract in those places every day. The procedure is not only virtually painless but also speedy — injections usually take no more than 10 or 15 minutes. Because the procedure is nonsurgical, you can carry on with your day as usual and enjoy little to no downtime. And much like laser treatments, the more consistently you receive BOTOX treatments, the longer-lasting and more effective the injections will likely be. Your nurse injector will provide recommendations for follow-up treatments.

Dermal Fillers

The key to dermal fillers? Hyaluronic acid. Chances are you’ve heard of this water-loving molecule before — our skin naturally produces HA to regulate moisture levels, but thanks to factors like environmental toxins and aging, the level of this hydrating substance in our skin decreases over time. Applied topically, HA allows for intense hydration of the skin and as a result gives you healthy, supple and glowing skin. But because serums and creams only work on the surface of the skin, and skin degradation happens on a cellular level, they may not be enough to achieve the results you seek.

Juvéderm XC and Voluma XC are injectable gels that go deeper and add volume to smooth the skin while also reducing lines and folds. Juvéderm XC and Voluma XC are both hyaluronic acid fillers, and Voluma XC uses lidocaine, which helps increase your comfort during the procedure. Restylane is also a HA filler that can be used to treat those lines around your mouth (nasolabial folds) or to enhance and plump your lips.

There are plenty of options available to achieve your desired look at Monarch Plastic Surgery and Skin Rejuvenation Center. Call 913-663-3838 or click here to book a complimentary consultation for radiant skin you’ll be flaunting in every photo op this season!

Tips to Choose the Best Breast Implant Size for Your Body

Typically, women think of implant size based on bra size. But, implant size actually has nothing to do with bra size since those sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Just because you’re a 34B at Victoria’s Secret doesn’t mean you’ll fit perfectly in every 34B bra you find. Here are some tips to achieve the results you want from breast augmentation surgery.

Bring visuals.

Photos are a good way to show your plastic surgeon what you are looking for out of a breast augmentation. You can bring in photos or ask your surgeon to look through their before-and-after gallery. It’s important to note that results vary because every woman’s body is different and breast tissue amount varies woman to woman.

Communicate clearly with your surgeon.

Discuss your breast goals with your surgeon openly. You don’t want to wake up with chest size reminiscent of Kim Kardashian if you had a Kate Hudson look in mind. Be as specific as possible when discussing your breast augmentation goals so that your surgeon can determine whether or not they are realistic. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a great list of breast augmentations questions to ask your surgeon.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Breast Augmentation Surgery

Don’t- Select a implant size without visualizing what it will look like post-op. Dr. Keith Hodge, our board certified plastic surgeon, said this, “You want to choose an implant that fits your breast dimensions. The implant should not be wider than your natural breast. I would suggest trying on sizers with a sports bra so you can visualize your post-op appearance.”

Do- Your homework. Homework may seem like a thing of the past, but if you’re considering surgery, you’ll want to do some research. Find examples of breasts that are appealing to you. It’s also a good idea to research the plastic surgeons in your area.

Watch our very own Dr. Paul J. Leahy explain what to expect when you come in for a breast augmentation: If you’ve been considering a breast augmentation, the next step you can take is to schedule a consultation. Click here to request a time for a consult or call us at 913-663-3838 today.