Facelift really are a rather historical term to describe the facial rejuvenation techniques that were available in the early 1900s and these predominantly consisted of tightening the skin of the face. Since that time over the last hundred years, there’s been an explosion of different techniques which can be used to rejuvenate the face and really one shouldn’t use the term facelift but use the expression “facial rejuvenation” and then pick the procedures that any person particularly needs who would like to get facial rejuvenation surgery.
While the expression “facelift” is still in common use, it’s probably not very helpful these days. The answer as to who needs a facelift really is difficult to answer because people age at different rates and people perceive their ageing at different times.
The decision making often comes “for ladies in particular” around the time of the menopause when the hormonal changes often cause ligamentous laxity in the face and so the face starts to drop more quickly with gravity. But the actual age varies very much from person to person.
The techniques involved vary depending on how a person ages. Because people age in different ways, it’s important to analyse, together with your surgeon, what areas of your face have aged the most or bother you the most and pick procedures that work particularly well. For example, a lot of people age predominantly around their eyes and might benefit from brow lifting procedures or upper blepharoplasty procedures where skin is taken out of the upper eyelid.
Other people age more in the lower eyelids and the anterior part of the cheek, the front of your face. And they might benefit more from complex mid face procedures or lower eyelid surgery on its own. Then there are those who develop more jowling or neck problems and they predominantly will benefit from procedures that are called SMAS procedures which affect the cheek area and the neck.
There are many types of SMAS procedure and it’s important to choose them correctly and also to choose the vectors of pull that are going to work best for you as an individual. It’s also very important that you choose a surgeon who knows the range of procedures that can be applied because if you go to somebody who has a very limited repertoire of techniques, you may not get a surgery that actually addresses the problems that bother you adequately.
Facelift lasts on average as I said for about 10 years and sets your facial rejuvenation back about 10 years. However, that’s a very broad brush stroke opinion and actually, patients will get longer lasting results with more complex procedures. The difficulty from that point of view is that the more complex procedures have more risks associated with them and usually a longer recovery time.
It’s very important therefore to decide what do you want to achieve, what risks you’re prepared to take to achieve it and what time you’re prepared to accept as the recovery time. If you can pick those things that treat the area that you want in an acceptable way, then you may get much longer lasting results.