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New Advancements in Facelift- Part 1

We’re all aware of the huge popularity of neuromodulators, dermal fillers, and lasers in today’s cosmetic industry. Botox and Dysport are safe, easy treatments to relax wrinkles. Fillers (particularly the hyaluronic acid fillers Juvederm and Restylane) can restore lost contours from volume loss. And lasers and chemical peels are effective in office procedures to resurface the skin and improve skin discolorations. Finally, exciting skin tightening treatments like Thermage and Ultherapy can improve one’s jawline without surgery! But against this backdrop of flashy nonsurgical breakthroughs, a veteran rejuvenation treatment has been quietly gaining popularity. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, more people—about 28 percent more—got face-lifts in 2015 than in 1997 (five years before the birth of Botox)! It’s now apparent that, rather than pushing facelifts into retirement, all these injectable in-office treatments have brought the surgery out of the shadows. One reason is that noninvasive treatments have de-tabooed plastic surgery by letting people dip a toe in the waters of cosmetic surgery.

It helps that the face-lift has enjoyed a makeover of its own in recent years. Twenty years ago, the surgeon who pulled and got the tightest was considered the best surgeon. Not today. With patients’ demand for natural looking results, significant advances are helping surgeons achieve far more natural-looking results while minimizing scarring and downtime. Many cosmetic patients who have been getting nonsurgical treatments regularly have discovered that these treatments have limited efficacy to transform the lower face and neck in a meaningful way. Techniques like Thermage and thread lifts can raise skin by only a millimeter or two, and fillers that lift and swell the skin can take up a bit of slack. In order for fillers to achieve the desired lower facial contour and smoothness, the amount of fillers required will result in an over inflated “cabbage doll” look that’s unattractive, not to mention unnatural.

So What Can—and Can’t—a Face-Lift Fix?

The face-lift’s main goal is to address the skin laxity in the lower face and neck by redraping the skin. Erasing every little flaw is an unrealistic goal of a facelift. With age and the hormonal upheaval of menopause, the skin slackens and its underlying support system of fat and muscle collapses, resulting in the unwanted droopy cheeks, irregular jawline, and a neck marked by loose bands. All of these findings can be mostly to completely corrected by a facelift. You should be aware that the nasolabial folds (the parentheses offsetting the mouth) may also look a bit better after surgery but probably won’t disappear entirely. If a surgeon pulls that area so tight to smooth out the deep crease, it may likely distort your mouth into an obvious “Joker” smile. Thought the facelift does the best job of restoring a youthful lower face and jawline, it wound address the tone and texture of the skin. Neither will it erase brown spots and fine lines around the mouth. This is why today’s facial plastic surgeons realize the best results are achieved with combination treatment strategies. Many surgeons are routinely performing laser treatments (or chemical peels) and fat transfers immediately after the facelift is finished. Also, the standard facelift doesn’t address aging signs in the upper face. These may benefit from browlifts and blepahroplasties.

For more information about San Antonio cosmetic surgery contact Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. We are a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please call our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868 today.