Understanding Facelifts, Non-Invasive Options & More
Occasionally, questions from our New York cosmetic surgery patients can be tricky to field. This can happen when the answers are mostly subjective and the patient is the one who should make the call. Are silicone implants better than saline implants? Will a scar be a good tradeoff for arm lift surgery?
It can be even more difficult to answer a question that really isn’t framed properly. Here’s one we’ve heard from a few patients debating whether to have a facelift in New York: should I do it and get it over with so I can dispense with other treatments?
The fact is, a facelift isn’t necessarily the final or only rejuvenation step for patients. Let’s discuss how facial cosmetic procedures should be thought of as complementary, rather than either/or.
Even with all the effective less invasive options available today, board certified plastic surgeons still consider the facelift to be the gold standard in rejuvenation for patients whose faces have aged substantially. Through incisions around the ears and in the hairline, a surgeon can access and elevate the deep tissues of the face and eliminate saggy skin.
The traditional facelift is still the most powerful tool in the plastic surgeon’s kit. There’s no other procedure that can effectively address structures that have descended with time. But a facelift doesn’t solve every issue related to facial aging, and it doesn’t reach every corner of the face. Here are some other areas to consider:
• The upper face: Some of our New York facelift patients are also concerned about wrinkles in the forehead area—places a facelift doesn’t reach. For smoothing horizontal or vertical lines, Botox or Dysport injections often complement a facelift very effectively.
• The eyes: If upper eyelid skin is droopy, or of the lower lids are chronically puffy, patients may elect eyelid surgery for one or both areas. In fact, it’s quite normal to combine eyelid surgery with a facelift for extensive rejuvenation. We also perform a procedure called a mid-facelift, a combination of lower eyelid surgery and elevation of the cheek area, for select patients.
• The neck: Although a traditional facelift helps sharpen the jawline to some extent, it can’t address the classic “turkey neck” featuring ropy lines under the chin and sagging neck skin and fat. A neck lift is the best procedure for these issues, and it’s also often combined with a facelift.
• Surface skin: None of these procedures, effective as they are, help at the surface. Cell turnover slows with the passing years, meaning dull, dead cells hang around longer and obscure fresher, smoother skin underneath. That’s where microdermabrasion, a chemical peel or a combination of both can help. Younger patients choose these options, but people who have undergone surgery also benefit from periodic surface treatment.
Getting it Right
We’ve only started describing all the choices for turning back the clock. These days we routinely use facial fillers for younger patients—if they’re interested in smoothing the “parentheses” around the mouth before they consider facial plastic surgery, for instance. But we also use small amounts of Restylane or Juvederm for smoker’s lines above the lips, with both pre- and post-facelift patients.
Admittedly, with all the options available to address facial aging, it can be difficult for anyone to choose what’s best. That’s why selecting a board certified plastic surgeon for treatment is the right move. Patients who work with a dermatologist or skin care clinic will hear recommendations for superficial treatment. Those who visit a surgeon who does not perform less invasive procedures may be pushed toward surgery.
With a large variety of techniques and tools to offer, we would love to work with you here in New York. A facelift may be our recommendation, or a combination of less invasive options. Whatever we discuss, you can be sure we will have your unique needs at heart.
Call us to get started: 212-570-6080.