Facelift Cans and Can’ts
Amid all the facial rejuvenation options available today—including devices that promise to tighten skin and laser away problems—the leading choice for our patients in New York is facelift surgery much of the time. There’s still no less invasive treatment that rivals the modern facelift for effective, lasting results. In essence, it is the “gold standard” to which all other treatments are compared.
If you sense a “but” coming, you’re right! Facelift surgery, workhorse though it is, can’t do everything. If looking younger is one of your goals this spring, it pays to evaluate your trouble spots and understand the options for targeting what’s most important to you.
What a Facelift CAN Do
Performed by an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, a facelift will lift and smooth sagging skin. Our New York facelift patients notice marked improvement in these main areas:
Mouth and cheeks: Facelift surgery elevates loose skin upward and backward towards the ears, lifting wrinkles around the mouth that are often the earliest signs of aging. Lower cheek skin is smoothed, and the corners of the mouth turn up enough to look refreshed, not fake.
Jowls: One important result of a facelift is that skin around the jowls tightens, and the sharp jawline that’s a hallmark of youth returns. There can be some improvement in the neck right under the jawline as well.
For some patients, meeting these goals is all that’s needed. In your consultation appointment, a qualified plastic surgeon can demonstrate the difference you can expect to see after your procedure.
What a Facelift Doesn’t Do
That same plastic surgeon should also be able to identify other areas of your face that may contribute to an aged appearance. He or she should point these out—not so you will elect more surgery, necessarily, but so that your expectations will be on target.
Here are areas you may decide to address with other procedures:
Eyes: It’s not unusual for the eyes to be first to show signs of aging. Eyelids may droop, giving you a tired or angry look, and lower skin may loosen and allow persistent eye bags. If these are your issues, you may choose to have eyelid surgery in addition to—or even instead of—a full facelift.
Forehead: Because facelift incisions are made to the side of the face, forehead wrinkles do not improve much after surgery. Vertical and horizontal lines here are best treated with a forehead lift and/or Botox injections.
Chin and neck: While you may see some improvement in your neck just under the jaw after a facelift, if you have saggy skin overall or prominent muscle bands you may want to consider a neck lift. This procedure is easily combined with a facelift. If excess fat is the problem, you may be a candidate for Kybella injections or light liposuction.
Skin: You may already be aware that a facelift doesn’t address actual skin quality. If you have areas of dull, dry skin and fine lines, we might suggest a chemical peel and/or gentle microdermabrasion. We often combine the two to target specific areas with the best treatment. We can also add a filler (Juvederm, your own fat or many others) in strategic locations to lift surface skin away from small fissures underneath.
Work with An Expert
As you can see, mapping out a strategy for facial rejuvenation can be tricky. Getting the best return on your investment of time and money is the reason you should choose talented, seasoned plastic surgeons to consult. You should come away from the consultation with a full understanding of what various procedures can (and can’t) do for you, and a recommendation that makes sense.
If you’re considering a facelift in New York, we would be delighted to have you come in and see us. Read this story about one of our facial rejuvenation patients, then give us a call at 212-570-6080.