Growing older and everything that comes with it is an inevitable part of life. Trying to maintain a youthful appearance as we age can be an uphill battle, but thanks to technological advances, the fountain of youth is more attainable to the masses. There are procedures available that can take 10 years off your age, easily.
Facelift surgery is one of the options to get a fresher, more youthful appearance. The clinical term for a facelift is rhytidectomy, and the procedure is used to improve the appearance of the face and jaw, by removing wrinkles and other signs of aging. The new and improved procedures address not only the surface area, but the underlying areas as well, the muscles, tissue, and fat.
Facelift techniques in the past tended to look unnatural; current procedures treat the entire area, inside out, to provide more long lasting support and creating a more natural and youthful look. These procedures are now being used by men and women, to rejuvenate their looks and boost their self confidence. Yes, men are also seeking treatment for facial rejuvenation.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, requests for face lift procedures by men have increased significantly. The entire procedure from start to finish, is generally the same for both sexes. While some people are undergoing surgery as early as in their 30s, the majority of people that have facelift surgery are between the ages of 40 to 70.
How is a facelift done
A facelift is performed by a facial plastic surgeon, and the procedure lifts and tightens the muscles of the face. Facelift procedures require not only skill, but an eye for detail as well as some degree of artistry in order to achieve natural looking results. The procedure removes extra skin and pockets of fat through incisions above the hairline and around the ears and scalp area. Local or general anesthesia is usually used, depending on how long the surgery is. The incisions are made in locations where they will be most effective, heal well and where scarring will be covered.
After incisions are made, the skin is lifted to remove excess skin and fat and tighten facial muscles. The area is then stitched or stapled, and wrapped in bandages. Swelling and discomfort are typically managed with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. Stitches or staples are usually removed within a week after surgery and it could take a few weeks before the final results are seen. Facelift surgery isn’t covered by insurance as it’s an elective procedure, but financing is generally available through third parties and may be offered by your surgeon. The costs of the surgery varies depending on the doctor, region, technique, type of anesthesia, and type of procedure.
Considerations before having a facelift
The first signs of aging most women notice is their face. Of course, it’s what we see everyday as we peer into a mirror or any reflective surface. The skin on our face and neck area will start to sag and look droopy as we age. Fine lines appear beside our eyes and wrinkles start forming. This is specifically what a facelift treats, by removing this excess skin, and tightening the underlying structures to reduce the effects of aging and transform the weathered appearance of the face and neck. These and other factors will be discussed during your initial consultation with potential plastic surgeons. There are certain things a doctor will look for to determine if you’re a good candidate.
A strong bone structure is very important to provide support for your face and any procedure to lift and tighten connective tissues and muscles. Is your skin still supple and flexible, and to what extent? The elasticity or snapback of your skin is also key in determining if your skin will be able to conform to the changes made by the surgery. You should be in good overall health, without any preexisting medical conditions that may affect your surgery or outcome. This type of surgery is invasive and will require a good deal of healing and recovery after the procedure. A facelift will improve your appearance as far as making you look younger, and this typically increases self-confidence, but patients should have realistic expectations of the outcome and plan accordingly.
Various types of facelifts and techniques
The type of facelift you choose depends on the specific areas you want to treat, what results you’re looking for, and recovery time. This decision, as well as choice of surgeon are the most important relative to your facelift procedure.
A traditional or full facelift offers the most comprehensive approach and results. This procedure addresses more dramatic signs of aging in 50 to 60 year olds, such as jowls, deep creases beneath the eyes, and turkey wattles.
A mid facelift is typically used for men and women in their 30s and 40s. This procedure creates incisions to lift and tighten tissues beneath the eyes and around the cheek area. This technique goes deeper to lift muscles that are not treated during a traditional facelift.
A mini facelift, or weekend lift, treats the jaw, lower cheeks, and neck, with tiny incisions along the hairline and behind the ears. This procedure is commonly used by younger patients, upon noticing the first signs of aging.
Lower facelifts address the bottom third of the face to get rid of jowls and lift sagging around the mouth and jaw. The thread facelift uses tiny stitches just beneath the skin surface to lift underlying muscles and make minor adjustments to the appearance of the face. This procedure takes an hour or two and can be performed without anesthesia.
Many facelift techniques are endoscopic; this technique utilizes a microscopic camera attached to a handheld instrument. The camera is inserted through a small incision, while the surgical tools are inserted through two incisions to perform the procedure.
The SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) facelift addresses sagging skin and underlying structures by lifting and tightening the muscle to improve the contours of the face, for more extensive and natural looking results.
The S-Lift is used to treat the jaw and lower face by creating incisions in front of the ears for a less dramatic look. The deep plane lifts the entire facial structure as a single unit, and is effective in treating the middle part of the face, but is more risky and not widely available. There aren’t many surgeons that are equipped to perform this procedure. The subperiosteal facelift also addresses sagging in the mid face but is even more in depth than the deep plane, with incisions below the lower lash line or inside the mouth. As with the deep plane, this specialized procedure isn’t offered by most surgeons.
The many benefits of a facelift
The many benefits of a facelift include the ability to restore patients’ youthful appearance by improving muscle tone, facial contour, and diminishing wrinkles to reveal smoother skin. The procedure repairs loose and sagging skin by removing extra tissues, making patients look and feel years younger. A well performed procedure can virtually turn back the hands of time, with the physical results leading to emotional and psychological benefits. Feeling younger and more vibrant and attractive can positively affect just about every part of your life. Facelift surgery can help to reverse the harmful effects of time, stress, and exposure to the elements. The ultimate goal of facelift surgery is to rejuvenate the face and give it a more youthful appearance.
Choosing your facial plastic surgeon
With so many plastic surgeons to choose from, where do you start. Making sure your facial plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is first and foremost. You can also check for certification by their state’s medical board. Membership in associations could be signs of advanced training and respectability in the field. It’s very important to verify qualifications because getting work done by an unqualified doctor can lead to unsatisfactory results and other complications. This is a potentially life altering procedure and your surgeon should be chosen with great care.
The doctor’s experience and specialized training in the field of facial plastic surgery should also be researched and verified. You should examine potential surgeons’ before and after pictures very carefully to do comparisons between choices. Check the surgeons’ history for any complaints or malpractice suits. Ask your PCP or anyone who know who’s had plastic surgery for recommendations. Inquire about the facilities where the surgery will take place. If it’s not a hospital, make sure the facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and that the doctor has privileges at a local hospital. Finally, follow your instincts and choose a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and who takes the time to address all your questions and concerns.
The Glasgold Group is a family owned practice of facial plastic surgeons that consists of brothers, Drs. Mark and Robert Glasgold. The practice was founded by their father, Dr. Alvin Glasgold, another board certified facial plastic surgeon, who is now retired. One of the best plastic surgery practices in New Jersey, the Glasgold Group is located in Princeton, New Jersey and performs a wide range of services including facelifts, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery.