What is a facelift? The term is used to describe facial surgery which lifts the lower part of the face and neck. The areas addressed are typically from the lips down to the jawline and neck. Standart facelift surgery does not address the upper cheeks and forehead. To address those areas, mid-facelift and browlift are used. Some people say that a facelift should really be termed a lower facelift to accurately describe the areas treated.
Facelift surgery involves incisions that are hidden around the ear and hairline and sometimes under the chin. The underlying facial muscle layer (SMAS layer which stands for Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) is tightened followed by lifting and removal of the excess skin. There are various techniques to tighten the underlying SMAS muscle layer including SMAS lift, Deep Plane lift, SMASectomy, and SMAS plication. Detailed research studies have shown similar results for these various techniques. In contrast, Mini-Facelift surgery typically involves shorter incisions, little or no muscular tightening, and a less dramatic improvement.
Most facelift patients undergo surgery in their 50’s and 60’s. However, some patients in their 40s who have more severe changes could also benefit from facelift surgery. Facelift surgery results typically last approximately 5 to 10 years so it is common for patients to undergo repeat the procedure later in life to maintain or refresh their results.
Facelift surgery can be coordinated with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as mid-facelift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), and forehead lift (browlift) surgery. Laser treatments and fat transfer to the face are often performed at the same time as well.
It is important to note that facelift surgery does not eliminate all of the facial wrinkles. Skincare maintenance before and after facelift surgery is required to treat fine lines and wrinkles in order to get the best results. In addition, treatments such as Botox, fillers, peels, and lasers will further complement facelift surgery results so it is best to use these multiple modalities to get the best and longest-lasting results.
I’ve had many patients who have neglected skincare for decades and then show up in their 60s, asking to have surgery for a quick fix to look young again. Unfortunately, surgery can’t fix everything so it is important to work on the prevention and maintenance of skincare in order to get the best results.
Don’t put off treatments now assuming it can all be fixed later. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very relevant in the world of facial rejuvenation! So it is best to find a plastic surgeon early that can help guide you along the process of skincare maintenance and prevention in order to keep you looking young, refreshed, and natural well into your later years in life.
Article written by Dr Michael K Newman