In some ways, today face lifts are seen as a *thing of the past* while minimally invasive procedures such as dermal fillers and Botox have become more popular. Today these procedures outnumber the requests for full or partial face lifts.
However, requests for facelifts are increasing once again. Facelifts won’t go out of fashion, and they remain quite popular today for a very good reason. The results can be dramatic and they last for years, unlike dermal fillers and Botox etc. which are cosmetic short term treatments that need to be repeated time and time again. If you are contemplating a facelift you may find the following points interesting.
Who is a good candidate for a facelift? While there is no set age a woman should consider or start considering a facelift, they are and always have been an individual choice. There are other factors your DR will take into account before proceeding with a facelift – including your body shape, size and age.
What kind of facelift is best? There are so many different facelift techniques it can be hard to keep up from deep plane and high SMAS to short scar and skin only. It really is far more important for you to find the right surgeon for you. Only once you have done that and have had your consultation can your surgeon then decide what the best options are for your procedure. If you like the looks a surgeon has achieved, then it’s not about the technique it’s about you receiving the results you want. The goal of a good surgeon is to make their patients look and feel refreshed and younger.
How long should the surgery take and what’s the recovery time? Again, it depends on the procedure and the amount of work you are having done. For some patients, a mini-face lift can be done in two hours, standard facelifts usually take 3 to 4 hours, but if you are combining brow or eyelid surgery it could take as long as 6 hours. A facelift is a superficial operation (by definition) as no bones are broken, so a longer surgery is of no detriment to the patient. Again, it’s an individual surgery and recovery time, in general swelling will do go down in 10 to 14 days with most patients able to return to work after two weeks. If you are planning surgery for a special event, schedule the surgery for at least 4 weeks before the event.
How different will I look? A good facelift will make a patient look younger rather than *different* or operated on. The best facelifts leave a patient feeling refreshed and looking natural – as if nothing has been done. Choose your plastic surgeon carefully if you want a natural – I’m rested and relaxed facelift result.
What to look for when choosing a plastic surgeon – most of us have seen pictures of facelifts that have gone wrong – from someone looking always surprised (eyebrows raised too high) to eyes that look too round and hollow following too much fat and skin on the neck and face removed. Other bad results include pixie ears, uneven or overdone necks, or lower eyelids that meet unnaturally with overly flat and windswept cheeks.
How can you avoid these types of mistakes? Take time to look at your surgeon’s website look at the range of patient examples the surgeon has provided, if necessary ask for additional photos of patients who have received facelifts, so that you are confident that you and your surgeon are *on the same page* and have the same understanding of how much you really want to change. As with ANY surgery ensure you DR is fully registered and qualified.
What are the risks? Face lift surgery is safe when performed by a well-trained surgeon, but as with any surgery there are some risks, including infection – although this is rare as the face has an abundant blood supply, and bleeding in the postoperative phase may occur resulting in a hematoma – which could require a return to the operating room to evaluate.
Healing is usually uneventful unless a patient is a smoker and nerve damage – if any – is only temporary. There are still real risks, even in the best surgeon’s operating room.
Facelifts VS Fillers – fillers are a temporary solution that adds volume to deflated tissues, they have been dubbed *liquid facelifts* because large amounts of fillers were injected, they were *the flavour of the month* for a while until it became apparent that the patient ended up with a bloated and swollen face that didn’t really look any younger – just different.
Real facelifts last for years although how long depends on any weight changes, skin quality and excessive exposure to the sun.
While fillers aren’t facelifts they can be complimentary and the ageing face can benefit from both treatments to maintain a youthful look.