Never Ending Gimmicky Facelifts
Will they never stop?! Apparently not. We have heard about yet another gimmicky facelift: the “one stitch face lift.”
Fortunately, most of our New York facelift patients are pretty savvy these days. Many who have heard about less invasive rejuvenation procedures in their many incarnations—the Lunchtime Lift, the Lifestyle Lift and the Thread Lift, to name a few—know that they’re of questionable value. But as long as people want to turn back the clock in a way that’s inexpensive and requires little downtime, there are those on the edges of the plastic surgery industry who will try to oblige.
The one stitch face lift caught our attention due to recent British tabloid stories of a former model who suffered dramatic infections following her procedure. The patient required frequent trips to the hospital to drain pus from her face, and when the skin had finally healed, she was left with scars that made it look like she had been “the victim of a knife attack.”
We’re sure that most patients who try the one stitch face lift don’t end up contending with complications quite this disturbing. But it also seems most likely that this is just a different spin on the old Thread Lift—which did cause many patients trouble and heartache after surgery and has now been largely discredited. (Interestingly, the promoters of the one stitch face lift use the term “stitch” instead of “thread,” possibly to capture the idea of a simple procedure without echoing the name.)
Most procedures that are less invasive than a traditional facelift have similar elements. One commonality is that they are performed using local anesthesia. This means they can be done in an office setting without an anesthesiologist. This reduces costs for the doctor in a variety of ways; therefore, the procedures are less costly for the patient as well (though many patients come to realize that being awake for facial surgery is not necessarily pleasant).
Another aspect these procedures have in common is the doctor does little to no “undermining” of the skin. This means the skin is not loosened from tissues underneath, and there’s a limit to which the deeper layers can be repositioned. Because of this results are limited too, and in the case of the one stitch face lift, not even marketed as permanent. As one plastic surgeon put it on a discussion website:
minimal face lifts which cost minimal money and have minimal recovery give minimal results which last a minimal amount of time
We also agree with the sentiment of another plastic surgeon, who commented that these so-called revolutionary approaches are not unknown to board certified plastic surgeons; they don’t do them because they don’t work. If it should happen that someone finds a less invasive way to rejuvenate the face that does have value, reputable plastic surgeons will be eager to include it in their menu of offerings. Witness the way almost every single one now has injectable treatments on hand for good candidates who want minimally invasive options that deliver worthwhile results.
For now, patients interested in significant improvement for aging, sagging tissues are usually best served with a traditional facelift. Yes, it will cost more than a one stitch face lift. And patients will need to plan for several days of recovery time. But the results can be quite dramatic and they will last for years.
If you’re considering any type of facial rejuvenation, learn about all the options from least to most invasive, and consider the tradeoffs carefully. Especially if you’re thinking about a procedure with a catchy name that may sound too good to be true, visit at least one board certified plastic surgeon and ask about it. If we can help you here in New York, ask us about facelift surgery and facial rejuvenation options. You can start by sending us an email.
Photo by dynamosquito, available via Creative Commons