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Facelifts Are Suddenly Not so Taboo Procedure

With facelifts becoming more discussed by celebrities such as Marc Jacobs’ chronicling his facelift surgery or mentions by Carrie Bradshaw and Anthony Marentino on recent episode of And Just Like That , you may think the facelifts are coming back.  In truth, facelifts never went anywhere.  It’s just that more people are willing to talk openly about these formerly taboo procedures.  

In past, people didn’t like to talk to their surgeons about a facelift.  The stigma of a pulled, unnatural look is still very real today.  It also doesn’t help that many people’s exposure to facelifts is through horrible results advertised in famous shows like Botched.  Also, most people tend to think that only “old” people need to get facelifts.   Many of you might even have seen people you know who had a less than satisfactory result.  I hear commonly from patients commenting they noticed so and so had a facelift and they didn’t like that look.  I think the most common unfavorable result that repels patients is the over pulled, wind-swept look.  Another common comment people will say to me is they fear their lips being pulled back unnaturally.  All these concerns are real and it’s understandable why many fear undergoing a facelift because they won’t look like themselves.  And the results are permanent, unlike Botox and fillers—which go away or can be dissolved in case of unhappiness.   But with the increased open discussion by celebrities, people are beginning to express more interest.  However, this doesn’t mean that facelifts had been dead.

Many excellent facial plastic and plastic surgeons have been performing facelifts for decades, achieving natural long lasting rejuvenating effects for patients.  The key, of course, is proper training and expertise in performing these procedures.  While the concept may sound simple—after all, aren’t we just lifting tissue?—achieving natural excellent results in a consistent manner requires both initial excellent training combined with competent surgical skills.  There are numerous nuances to performing a facelift safely, consistently, and excellently.   When you go to a board certified surgeon with experience performing facelifts correctly, you can be confident you will get a great result.   The key structure to resuspend is the underlying muscular layer known as the SMAS, or the Superficial muscular-aponeurotic system.  Pulling this layer in a proper vector is what achieves a natural rejuvenated result.  You will look just like yourself, but more refreshed and rejuvenated.  You won’t necessarily look like yourself 20 years ago, but you will definitely look rested and happier, resulting in a sense you look “younger.”  People will complement on how good you look, yet unsure what you did.  Common feedback I hear from my patients is , “wow you look great!  What did you do?  Did you find a new cream?”  Some patients reveal the secret, while others will let their friends keep guessing.  

Concern regarding downtime after a facelift is a common question for me.  Unfortunately, this is one factor that can’t be removed.  A facelift is a major surgery, with extensive careful dissection.  You will develop swelling and bruising, and this will last about two weeks.  You can do things to speed up the recovery, like taking Arnica or pineapple juice, but you still need to count on at least 10 to 14 days of recovery.  Before the pandemic, my patients were routinely returning to the public at 10- 14 days.  At this time, you will be presentable, and the average person won’t notice anything unusual.  Women have advantage of ability to cover any blemishes with make-up.  I let my patients return to exercise at two weeks.  In my opinion, this two-week recovery can be a major obstacle to pulling the trigger to get a facelift.  While facelifts and cosmetic surgery are more acceptable to the public, we are also all staying busy longer.  Our careers are extending long into our later decades and taking two weeks off may not be easy.  This likely explains the immense popularity of energy-based devices that attempt to rejuvenate your face without surgery.  Some popular examples include Morpheus, FaceTite, plasma devices, etc.   However, I think it’s critical to understand that these devices can never achieve the same degree of results as surgery, and not everyone will see a result.  If your surgeon tells you these issues, then he or she is a trustworthy surgeon.  

As more celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Priyanka Chopra and others share details of tweaks they’ve done, cosmetic surgery and procedures are becoming more mainstream.  When a famous designer like Marc Jacobs publicly chronicles his facelift journey, more people began to talk about this surgery.  This increased signal may give you the impression facelifts are coming back again.  In reality, facelifts never went away.  I’ve noticed more younger patients in their late 30’s to 50’s coming in asking for more information about facelifts, specifically whether they will benefit from this surgery.  Everyone ages differently, due to combination of various factors like heredity, diet, exercise, and environmental exposures.  So each consultation is unique.  The best way to determine if you are a candidate for a facelift is to see a board certified facial plastic or plastic surgeon.  An in office consultation allows the surgeon to carefully examine your face and neck and see whether you are a good candidate for surgery.  

For more information about San Antonio male facelift surgery, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868 or