Summary: Are there different levels of facelifts for different patients? There sure are. Some patients will benefit only from small changes to the face, while others may want to create a more total transformation. What level of facelift works best for you will depend on a wide variety of variables, including your physiology and desired results.
Are There Different Levels of Facelifts?
The facelift is one of those ubiquitous plastic surgery procedures. When you mention the term, most people probably have a vague (if wrong) idea of what a facelift actually does. But one of the most questions has to do with just how customizable a facelift can be. Are there different levels of facelift, for example?
Are some facelifts more intense than others? Can a facelift procedure be, well, casual? Or, maybe, more casual? Those are all good questions, especially because they don’t really have simple yes or no answers (if they did have such simple answers, they wouldn’t really make good topics for this article, would they?).
You’ll definitely want to talk to your plastic or cosmetic surgeon about your facelift options. Because you will have options. This article, of course, is not intended to be interpreted as medical advice of any kind. It’s essential that you discuss all of your options with your plastic or cosmetic surgeon before deciding on a course of action. That’s because much of this information will apply, but some of it won’t–every person is a little too unique to be able to really take generalized information about aesthetic changes too far.
What Does a Facelift Do?
A facelift is intended to make you appear more youthful. That’s the simplest explanation one could offer. Because the signs of aging often appear first in your face, the facelift itself is a relatively popular procedure. In general, a facelift will accomplish the following:
- Eliminate lines and wrinkles
- Improve the look or condition of the skin
- Remove age spots in certain areas
- Eliminate unwanted excess tissue
- Move sagging tissue back into place
Of course, not every facelift will do all of these things. In large part that’s because no everyone will need quite all of that work done. But it’s also because some patients prefer a less invasive approach.
One good rule of thumb with facelift surgery (and this can be applied to many plastic surgery procedures) is that the more invasive a procedure is, the more surgeons can change. So the more work you want done–the more you need to achieve your desired final look–the more invasive the procedure is likely to be. And the more invasive your facelift is, the longer your recovery period is likely to be.
What Does Each Level of Facelift Involve
Facelift procedures can generally be broken down into three distinct levels:
- Injectables: If all you need is tiny, subtle changes to your face, injectables are a good choice for you. Injectables are also good if you want to avoid surgery for any other reason. Injectables, such as Botox or dermal fillers, can make small and subtle changes to your face. There’s essentially no recovery, but results tend to be temporary. (Although, for some patients, that’s actually a good thing!) Injectables are the least invasive options, but they also produce the least powerful effects–whether that’s right for you or not depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
- Mini-Facelift: A mini-facelift is kind of right in between a full facelift and injectables. Small incisions are made so that modest changes to the face can be affected. In general, these smaller incisions are made around the hairline (by the temples), but their actual placement will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish with your facelift. Recovery from mini-facelift procedures tends to be relatively rapid, but most patients do need several days before they can get back to normal activities.
- strong>Full facelift: A full facelift can produce the most significant changes in terms of making patients appear more youthful. Excess tissue can be excised in the largest quantities, and the overall results tend to have a broader and bolder effect. Full facelift procedures can create the biggest changes but are also the most invasive, resulting in the longest recovery period.
How Do You Choose?
There is no one right answer for every patient when it comes to selecting a level of facelift.
In fact, the key to finding a facelift procedure that works for you is to have a good idea about what you want. The more clearly you understand your own desired transformation and how you might be able to achieve that with any given procedure, the more realistic your expectations will be.
Are there different levels of facelifts? Yes–and that, it turns out, is quite the good thing.
About the Author: Nick Engebretson is a plastic and cosmetic surgery marketer who’s been active in the field for over twenty years. He’s always talking to surgeons to find out what the next big trend in plastic surgery will be.