Not too long ago, facelifts were accomplished with mainly a two-dimensional approach: skin and underlying tissues were elevated vertically, horizontally or a combination of both. Now that fat grafting is becoming ever more viable as a way of adding volume under the skin, facial skin can be plumped outward as well. This makes a facelift in New York with us truly a 3D affair for the right candidates.
If your face doesn’t have the youthful appearance you once saw in the mirror, you know why this third dimension is so important. Obviously the skin sags over time, courtesy of gravity, environmental damage and aging. But skin sinks as well, due to the breakdown of the collagen and elastin foundation underneath surface tissues. That’s why facial rejuvenation procedures of yesterday may have been able to smooth most wrinkles, but perhaps not restore a full, rounded look.
We are pleased to use these three dimensions to offer our patients in New York a facelift that’s fully customized to their needs. Here’s the basic menu we build on:
The Vertical Effect
Men and women who are experiencing early signs of aging often benefit most from having mid-cheek skin lifted. We call this our mid facelift. Our approach is via the lower eyelids, gently elevating mid cheek tissues to smooth wrinkles between the nose and mouth. We can also address the under eye area, removing fat pads as needed and softening a sharp eyelid-cheek line. Scars are hidden in the lash lines and tiny smile lines.
The Horizontal Effect
For patients bothered by additional signs of the passing years, such as a jowly jawline, we often recommend a more traditional facelift. In this case, we make small incisions around the ears where they will be well disguised after healing. Then, we lift the skin horizontally, or really, in a combination of horizontal and vertical directions. This technique involves a longer recovery, but the benefits are numerous. After healing, patients find their jawline has better definition and nasolabial folds, marionette lines and other wrinkles are much less prominent.
What Fat Grafting Can Add
Fat grafting—harvesting fat cells from elsewhere on the body, purifying them and injecting them where they are needed—adds an element of versatility to the mid facelift and the traditional facelift. In fact, some patients elect fat transfer as a standalone procedure. Here are some of the ways fat can rejuvenate the face:
— Erasing tear troughs
Fat injections can be especially helpful for patients electing a mid facelift. Oftentimes a problem area for these men and women is under the eye, meaning tear troughs need to be filled. Fat cells tend to be perfect for this role, and they can also be used to soften the eyelid-cheek juncture and eliminate a sunken look.
— Restoring youthful cheeks
People who are aging and those who have dropped several pounds or more know the impact fat loss has on the face. We can restore a more full, youthful look by transferring fat. Fat cells can also be used to enhance the cheekbones and provide more definition for younger patients.
— Filling lines around the mouth
Before fat transfer was widely used by plastic surgeons, lines around the mouth were most often reduced with a dermal filler like Juvederm or Restylane. Those are still good options for many people, but fat injections tend to last longer for those who are good candidates.
With fat grafting now a viable tool for facial rejuvenation, plastic surgeons have one more technique to help design an approach that fits each patient’s needs exactly. Add chemical peels and microdermabrasion as options for improving surface skin, and the menu can seem confusing!
When you choose a board certified plastic surgeon with many years of experience and many tools to offer, the benefit is that he or she will have sound ideas about what’s right for you. Don’t worry that you need to figure this out by yourself. Arrange consultations, ask all your questions and listen carefully to the recommendations you hear. You’ll be on your way to a custom plan for facial rejuvenation.
Photo by Sean McEntee, available under a Creative Commons attribution license