The facelift has been around for a long time, it’s true. Plastic surgeons know exactly why: to this day there’s no more effective way to lift saggy tissues and restore youthful good looks for patients. We have performed thousands of facelifts for New York men and women during our decades in practice and we’ve seen for ourselves the power of the procedure.
But there’s a downside to the long history of the facelift as well. We still run into people who are afraid to commit to surgery due to worries about an unnatural looking result. Patients who are old enough to consider facial plastic surgery may remember the days before the procedure was fine-tuned, when some cosmetic surgeons tended to deliver a cat-like or overly tightened result. No one wants to look like a dog hanging its head out of the car window!
How the Facelift Has Changed
When we first started performing facelift surgery in New York years ago, we were very careful not to overdo. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for all cosmetic surgeons and their patients. We are not surprised when people remember the unfortunate—and very public—results for celebrities like Joan Rivers, Mickey Rourke and others.
The great news is that things have changed over time. Every cosmetic surgeon worth considering today incorporates two very important techniques in his or her facelift strategy. First, the operation penetrates much more deeply inside facial tissues than in years past. This allows the surgeon to change the position of both the surface skin and the underlying muscle structure. Second, those tissues are elevated in a more vertical direction than the scary facelifts that pulled more to the side. These changes not only give patients a refreshed, natural appearance, they also mean the results last longer.
We sympathize with patients who hesitate to “go under the knife,” whatever the reason. When younger men and women consult us about facelift options, we are happy to discuss facial fillers for mild to moderate wrinkles and Botox for dynamic wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. These less invasive treatments can smooth some of the early signs of aging.
We caution New York facelift candidates about so-called facelift alternatives, however. Procedures using non-surgical “tightening” or laser equipment may provide some amount of superficial refreshing, but they cannot deliver sustained lifting and removal of excess skin. And no matter how many iterations the thread lift goes through and how many new names it gets, we have yet to see it live up to the marketing hype that surrounds it.
There is one modern twist on the standard facelift that works wonders for younger patients: the mid facelift. We developed this option through many years of performing lower lid eyelid surgery for New York women and men. We found that through the tiny incisions we make under the lash line to address bags and wrinkles, we can also gently elevate the triangle of cheek skin below the eyes. Though this procedure isn’t ideal for older people with saggy skin around the mouth and jowls, it can provide just the rejuvenation a younger person needs. The shorter downtime and smaller price tag also make this “extended lower eyelid lift” popular with many of our patients.
The Forever Facelift
If it seems we are big fans of the traditional facelift, we are! Modern advances in technique and safety measures, combined with the twilight sedation (not general anesthesia) we use for most patients, mean the facelift is more effective with an easier recovery than ever. The results last forever as well, meaning that although faces continue to age, people will look younger than they would have without surgery.
(We just saw a patient who had a facelift 10 years ago; she was inquiring about another one. Nope—still firm and tight. She just needed a bit of Botox and filler. She is an actress and at age 68 is still playing roles of women in their 50’s!)
If you’re thinking it may be time to learn just how much the modern facelift can do, send us an email to start a conversation today.