A face lift, or rhytidectomy, can “turn back time” by adjusting the fat, muscle and skin on your face to create a smoother and more youthful appearance. For best results face lift surgery is often performed alongside eyelid surgery or a neck lift.
Because the face is a strong indicator of a person’s age, many men and women consider visiting a face lift surgeon to remove wrinkles around the eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as improve the appearance of sagging skin around the chin and neck to improve self confidence or gain an advantage in the workplace. Although it is recommended to maintain a daily skin care regimen and seek non-surgical face lift treatments to prolong the time before undergoing a face lift, surgery is the only way to tighten deep tissues and remove excess skin.
Regardless of whether you are a man or woman, getting a face lift can help boost your self-confidence by rejuvenating your face and giving you a more youthful appearance. Although face lifts are most commonly performed on patients in their forties to sixties, individuals in their seventies and eighties can still have a successful face lift. The key to a successful facelift is having skin that, while it may be sagging around the face or neck, still possesses some elasticity. Having a bone structure that is well-defined and strong is the other important factor for being able to undergo a successful face lift.
TYPES OF FACE LIFT SURGERY
There are many different techniques used for face lifting procedures which range from non-surgical to minimally invasive to deep tissue face lifting. Your face lift surgeon will discuss which type of procedure is best for you and your goals.
Botox & Dermal Fillers
Minimally invasive procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers can provide a more rejuvenated appearance without surgery. Botox is used to relax muscles around the forehead and around the eyes to address concerns with fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. Dermal fillers such as Restylane and Radiesse are used to provide additional volume in the cheeks. As you age, fat pads diminish and move lower on the face. By injecting dermal filler into the cheeks, patients achieve a more youthful appearance by improving the aesthetic of the nasal labial folds. Dermal fillers are also used in lip augmentation to restore fullness to the lips which often diminishes with the natural process of aging.
Endotine Face Lift
An endotine face lift is a minimally invasive procedure utilizing FDA approved Multi Point Technology. Addressing concerns with sagging fat pads in the cheeks and/or a sagging brow and forehead wrinkles, an endotine face lift can achieve positive anti-aging results for patients with mild to moderate signs of aging. Endotines are bioabsorbable low profile devices that provide face lifting results for 6-12 months. Benefits to this minimally invasive procedure include, less swelling, less bruising and less downtime. Face lift scars are also much smaller and more discrete. Placement of endotines are individualized and determined by your face lift surgeon during your exam and consultation.
Liquid Face Lift & Stem Cell Face Lift
The liquid face lift, also known as a stem cell face lift, is an increasingly more popular face lifting procedure. One’s own fat is used to provide a natural living filler to enhance volume in the cheeks and under the eyes to correct asymmetry, sagging fat pads, mild to moderate jowls, a long or flat faced appearance and to restore a more youthful heart shaped face.
During a liquid face lift, fat is taken from a donor site utilizing liposuction – most commonly the abdomen or love handles. Fat is processed in a centrifuge and purified. Fat is then strategically injected into the face. Because adult stem cells are injected with the purified fat, a stem cell face lift will also provide additional anti-aging benefits such as decreased pore size, improved pigmentation and reduction of wrinkles. Mild bruising and swelling may occur but will dissipate over just a few weeks. A liquid face lift is ideal for patients who are looking to improve volume and correct mild to moderate sagging. A stem cell face lift will not rid of excess skin.
Mini Face Lift
The mini face lift addresses concerns with mild to moderate sagging in the cheek and jowl area. The mini face lift can be performed either under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Incisions are hidden in the hairline, along the natural fold of the ear and behind. Excess skin and tissue is removed and the skin is tightened to improve the appearance of nasal labial fold and jowls. This technique is also known as a short scar face lift or an “S- Lift”. Many patients choose this procedure because recovery is significantly shorter than that of a full face lift, it results in less scarring and the cost of face lift is significantly lower. It is important to note that a mini lift does not address concerns with forehead wrinkles or lines, as well as crow’s feet next to the eyes. These concerns can be addressed by a full face lift or injectable treatments such as Botox, depending on your unique anatomy. Your face lift surgeon will discuss this with you at your complimentary consultation.
Mid Face Lift
Like the mini lift, the mid face lift is performed by creating incision from the hairline, along the natural fold of the ear and behind. Because the mid face lift targets deeper tissues for moderate to significant sagging, it is only performed under general anesthesia. After the incision is made, fat pads and tissues are lifted using permanent sutures; skin is then tightened and the excess removed. After a mid face lift, patients experience tighter more youthful skin, and an improved appearance of nasal labial folds and jowls. However, like the mini lift, the mid face lift does not address concerns with the forehead and around the eyes. Botox can help correct concerns with forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet. For moderate to significant concerns with forehead wrinkles or forehead folds, your face lift surgeon may recommend a full face lift.
Full Face Lift
The full face lift addresses concerns with the full face including wrinkles and folds on the forhead, crows feet, sagging and loss of elasticity of the mid face, jowls and excess skin in the lower face. The full face lift is also often performed alongside a neck lift, eyelid surgery and liposuction under the chin for best results. Incisions during a full face lift are made is made along the hairline, down the side of the ear and back behind the lower part of the head and just below the chin. Your face lift surgeon will make scars as discrete as possible by hiding them along the natural contours of the face. Fat, tissues and internal structures are lifted and skin tightened in the mid face to re-create a more youthful heart shape appearance. The skin is tightened along the forehead to create a brow lift, removing wrinkles, folds and enhancing the appearance of the eyes. The lower part of the face is also tightened to remove jowls and sagging skin for a more defined jaw line.
MEETING WITH YOUR FACE LIFT SURGEON
In order to find out if you will be a good candidate for a face lift, you will need to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, specialized in face lift surgery. By having a one-on-one discussion and evaluation with an experienced plastic surgeon, you will not only be able to find out if you qualify as a candidate for this procedure, but you will also receive all the details of the operation, which will allow you to make an informed decision about which type of procedure is right for you.
When you go to your initial consultation, your face lift surgeon will first talk to you about the reasons you want to have surgery. After getting a thorough understanding of your goals for this procedure, your surgeon will evaluate your facial bones and skin, along with your overall health. General health factors that will be taken into consideration include smoking, medications you are taking, uncontrolled high blood pressure, tendency to form excessive scars and blood clotting problems. It’s important to be honest with your surgeon about any of these conditions that may apply to you, because your surgeon will need to be aware of them in order to minimize the chance of complications arising during or after your procedure.
FACE LIFT SURGERY RISKS
Although your surgeon will talk to you about all the specific risks that could arise as a result of your face lift, there are several that you can already take into consideration. While the risks of these conditions occurring can be minimized by working with a board certified face lift surgeon and following all of the guidelines you are given, potential risks associated with getting this procedure done include infection, temporary damage to the nerves that control facial muscles, poor healing of the skin (found most commonly in smokers), hematoma and adverse reactions to anesthesia.