Facelifts: To Lift or Not To Lift

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Facelifts.  Who just got a little nervous by that word? Listen, I get it.  It’s a little scary to hear about what the surgery involves but listen to this.  It is, by far, the most effective way to address aging of the face and this is why.  As we age, our face undergoes very specific changes.  We lose fat in very specific areas.  It can most pronounced in the cheeks and temples.  The soft tissue (skin and underlying supporting tissues) descends (sags) around anchoring points resulting in those pesky jowls and nasolabial folds or smile lines.  That once smooth transition between the lower eyelid and cheek becomes separated and, all of a sudden, we have bags under our eyes. The bones also change and resorb in certain areas.  Our upper lip, nose, and chin can all elongate, as well, as those supporting structures weaken. Our skin loses it’s elasticity and collagen and becomes loose and lax.  All this to say that aging is real and distinct changes occur during this time.  Facelifts directly address those changes for longer lasting results. On average, your results will last you 10+ years.  Now, let’s be clear, it won’t make you look like you were in your 20’s again but it will set the clock back 10 years

What does it actually involve?  Through incisions that are hidden in front of and behind the ear, we are able to surgically elevate the skin and tighten the underlying support structures.  The excess skin is then removed.  By doing this, we lift the tissues back to where they came. 

Will I look like I had a facelift? No, oh gosh, no.  We, unfortunately, are surrounded in the media by people that have the “facelift” look or “joker lines.” That’s usually due to technique and the vector in which the skin was pulled.  I tell my patients that nobody will ever notice that they had surgery.  They will think they just got back from a beach vacation or got a good night’s rest.  Results make you look refreshed.  The incisions are hidden in the shadows and creases of our ears and hairline so, yea, not noticeable. You will look like YOU.

Since our face, as a whole, ages we usually recommend that excess skin around they eyes is addressed, that the brow be lifted, the neck muscles and excess skin here addressed and finally the skin itself made healthier by chemical peels, lasers, or maybe just a good skin care regimen.  As a dear mentor of mine said, a facelift alone is like cutting one leg of a table. You really want to address everything as a whole and cut all four legs to achieve that balance.

Am I too young for a facelift?  No. It depends.  We all associate facelifts with patients well into their 60’s and 70’s.  The best time to get a facelift is really with early signs of aging.  Remember when I said it would reset the clock 10 years. Well, it does. So why wait until you have severe signs of aging when you don’t have to. At the end of the day, the decision is yours. It’s personal and it’s yours. A facelift might be the right move for you or it may not be and you might choose to get botox and fillers or other skin tightening and resurfacing procedures first.  Or you could decide to do nothing.  Either way, the goal is to make you feel your best and be your best self yet, whatever that means for you!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.