All of us have seen a facelift surgery result that is not ideal. Too pulled, distorted or a change that is limited to only one area of the face leaving a disharmonious result.
The good news is that facelift surgery results have improved dramatically over the last 10 years due to a variety of new techniques. Prime women are some of the smartest and most accomplished women in the world and, even if not pursuing plastic surgery currently, prime women want to know about new technology and cutting-edge treatments.
Outlined below are some of the new approaches in different areas of the face that have truly changed the results of facial rejuvenation surgery. There are non-surgical treatments, such as Botox and fillers that help with mild facial aging. However, facelift surgery is still the best option when there is moderate to significant facial aging. Additionally, surgery is definitely more cost-effective when one examines the costs of yearly filler or Botox treatments added up over a period of time.
First, the cheeks and neck are the most common areas where our patients seek change. The descent of cheeks, jowl formation, loose skin of the neck and lack of youthful angles to the jawline are troublesome to everyone. Historically, correcting the lower face, including the cheeks and neck, is called a facelift. Other procedures such as a brow lift or blepharoplasty address the improvement of the upper face. It is possible to separate out the components of a standard facelift.
You can opt for just a cheek lift (often referred to as a “mini facelift”) or neck lift. Many surgeons will tell the unwitting patient they are offering a facelift when all that is being performed is just a poorly done cheek lift. They simply take out a small amount of skin in front of the ear. Prime women must be smart consumers when the time comes to choose a qualified plastic surgeon. They know the applicable procedures in order to make the best choices.
Just like remodeling different rooms in a house, the more segments of the face that are corrected, the bigger the potential for improvement. However, the expense will be greater due to the additional operative time and follow-up care required.
Cheek Lift or Face Lift
Most board-certified plastic surgeons perform a cheek lift or facelift with the use of the deeper tissues in the face, referred to as the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system). This deeper tissue is stronger than skin and is less likely to stretch out with time. The use of the SMAS gives a longer, more durable result as compared to doing a facelift with just superficial tissue only. Additionally, in the proper hands, the skin does not have to be pulled as tight. This results in less distortion and healthier skin. If you are choosing a surgeon, it is very important that they do their facelift with the use of the SMAS layer to support and enhance the results.
Concerning the neck, the new emphasis is on sculpting and removing the fatty tissues of the neck. Not just relying on the skin to pull back loose neck skin. The platysma muscle under the neck skin commonly shows columns or bands and this muscle is commonly sutured to smooth the neck contour. In most cases, there is fatty tissue under the platysma muscle that makes the neck look obtuse or fatty. This must be removed for optimal results.
Part of the aging process is developing deeper lines in the forehead and seeing the eyebrows move lower. This creates a tired or angry appearance. Brow lifts have been refined with advancing technology to allow endoscopic lifts. These lifts have shorter scars and more natural and subtle lifting.
Skillful surgeons have the ability to offer the brow lift just under the skin, under the muscle or even under the bone lining (periosteum). This allows the surgeon to achieve different goals for different patients. The intention is to create a rested, youthful upper face appearance without a surprised look. This is now reliably achieved with these modern approaches.
Eyelid surgery has been revolutionized with the advent of fat grafting procedures. Part of the aged appearance is not just loose skin or “bags” under the eyes. Also loss of volume around the eye leading to a drawn, skeletal or “sunken-in” appearance. Fat grafting can be done either below or above the eye and has dramatically improved-post operative results.
As we age, lips become thinner, wrinkled, and the upper lip often gets longer, leading to flat upper lip. A lip lift, where the skin is removed around the mouth, has dramatic effects on rejuvenating the aged looking mouth. Certainly, adding volume to the lips is often necessary, as is resurfacing of the lip (in our practice we use Erbium laser resurfacing). However, with the ability to offer lip lifts, the amount of volume added to the lips can be subtle. It is important to avoid the over-augmented duck like lip appearance commonly seen on reality TV series.
With the ability to now offer correction to so many different segments of the face, qualified surgeons achieve breathtaking results that are better than ever. We always advise our patients to make sure they are seeing a doctor, board-certified in plastic surgery, who has extensive experience with facelift surgery. With this information, anyone can choose their surgeon wisely.
This patient had a cheek and neck lift, endoscopic brow lift and laser resurfacing. Note the improved cheek, jawline, brow and mouth appearance.
This patient had a cheek and neck lift, a lip lift and fat transfer to the face. Note the improvement of the cheeks, neck, and mouth. The before and after looks like a mother-daughter picture!