The human brain is quite adept at deciphering faces. It’s one of the easiest ways for us to identify each other, of course, so we’re usually quite good at picking out details and gathering information from those details. That the face is such an important aspect to our identities should not come as a surprise. That’s one of the reasons why wrinkles and lines and signs of aging can be so distressing: your face begins sending messages you don’t agree with. You don’t feel like you’re aging, so why should you look like you’re aging? This is the problem facelift procedures were designed specifically to address.
Many lines and wrinkles are caused, in fact, by the development of excess skin. As we age, the skin loses its ability to bounce back (it becomes less like a rubber band), but gravity never stops stretching it. This means that, when you’re older, you simply have more skin than you used to, but no more surface area. Facelift procedures are designed to mitigate and eliminate that excess skin, leaving patients with a face that looks significantly more youthful. Facelifts help eliminate wrinkles and lines, smooth out the features of the face, and help you make sure your face is sending the message you want it to: a message of youthfulness and vitality.
Why Are Facelifts Popular?
Facelifts are a popular solution to lines and wrinkles because they are effective and they are permanent. For most facelift patients, this procedure is an excellent way to make the face look much more youthful in a way that also appears natural. It’s true that, for many years, facelifts had a reputation for producing a “plastic-like” appearance. However, modern facelift techniques can produce results that look so natural, it’s likely many people will never even realize you’ve had a procedure performed: they’ll just think you look great.
To be a little more general, facelifts are popular because the procedures carry with them a wide range of benefits. Benefits of facelift procedures include the following:
- Fewer lines and wrinkles on the face
- A more youthful overall appearance
- Natural looking results
- Eliminating sagging skin
- Eliminating deep creases or wrinkles around the eyes or brow
- Elimination of jowls
- A more youthful attitude or disposition
- Some patients report feeling more confident or having higher self-esteem
- Some patients report an increase in quality of life after surgery
- Patients have also reported a change in the way others treat them
- Facelifts have also been known to extend the careers of some patients (though this result is, of course, only on a patient-by-patients basis)
The Facelift Procedure
Facelift procedures are almost always performed in a surgical suite or hospital setting, under general anesthesia. You will, of course, need to discuss all of your options with your plastic surgeon in order to find the best one for you.
Traditional Facelift Incision
The more traditional approach to a facelift generally involves a longer incision. This incision begins around the hairline or the temple and travels down along and then behind the bottom of the ear. In most cases, surgeons will attempt to use the hairline to obscure any scarring that may be visible after surgery. Once the incision is made, excess skin will be removed and the remaining tissue will be “re-draped” in order to eliminate remaining wrinkles, lines, and to make the face appear natural.
A traditional facelift incision is designed to address a large area of the face. After the procedure, you may be required to wear a bandage to reduce swelling. Additionally, your surgeon may leave drainage tubes in place for several days after surgery in order to assure proper recovery. Most patients are able to return to work or other light activity within a week or so, but your surgeon will give you specific recovery instructions.
Limited Incision Facelift
As an alternative to a tradition facelift incision technique, many patients opt for a limited incision facelift. During these facelift procedures, surgeons will make a small incision around the temple or just behind the ear, or both, depending on the desired results of the surgery. The surgeons will then follow similar steps as those described above for the traditional facelift (excising excess skin and re-draping the rest of the tissue to eliminate lines and wrinkles), but on a smaller scale. Generally, limited incision facelift procedures are designed to address specific problem areas. However, by performing multiple small incision, a wide surface area can be covered.
Limited incision facelifts generally promote a quicker recover and less scarring. For patients who are concerned about these two factors, a limited incision facelift may be the best way to proceed.
For patients who want an overall more youthful look to their face, facelift procedures may be the most effective way to proceed. This is especially true if patients want permanent results. Some research has even shown that facelift patients continue to look younger five years after the initial surgery. In other words, the results from facelift procedures last. That means that, while you will of course continue to age, you will also continue to look more youthful than your years.
If you are looking to eliminate excess skin, lines, and wrinkles in order to have a more youthful-looking face, contact your plastic surgeon about options for achieving this transformation. It’s possible to look more youthful in such a way that everything looks natural. In other words, people won’t notice your surgery—they’ll just notice how good you look.
Plastic Surgery Articles has an extensive library of facelift procedure article and news, so feel free to peruse that section for more information.