Top 5 Myths About Facelifts
By Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists, on November 21, 2014
Facelifts have gotten a bad reputation. They are often maligned by popular culture as a desperate procedure resulting in a fake-looking appearance that features an unnaturally tight, pulled appearance. This negative attention is unwarranted and couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, bad facelifts do happen, but in the right hands a facelift delivers a naturally rejuvenated appearance (and no one but the patient would ever guess why!).
1. Everyone will be able to tell you had a facelift.
Some of the most common images that come to mind are the tight skin, unnaturally high cheekbones, upwardly drawn eyes, and stretched, puffy lips of a poorly done facelift. By contrast, the results of a well-done facelift are not obvious at all. Patients report looking well rested and refreshed, as if just returning from a long, peaceful vacation. The most important consideration in a natural looking facelift is the technique the surgeon uses to pull the muscle underneath the skin, and also the way the skin is laid down on top of that muscle and trimmed.
2. The results of a facelift are permanent.
Not even the most experienced plastic surgeon can stop the aging process. After a facelift, the skin continues to age, and the effects of gravity and collagen loss will eventually become apparent. Firming and tightening of the facial skin and muscles definitely creates a more youthful appearance and turns back the clock. But it is important to remember that the face will continue to age normally. While you will still look younger than if you had not had the facelift, the results are not permanent and unchanging.
3. Facelifts are most effective later in life when there is more to “fix”.
The best time to get a facelift varies with the individual. That said, studies have shown that patients under 50 report the highest satisfaction with the procedure, followed by patients from 50-60. With relatively young patients, the skin is more elastic and better able to adjust to the procedure. On patients over 70, the changes will be more dramatic but also perhaps not as natural-looking as expected. Plus, unless the facelift is combined with procedures such as an eyelid or neck lift, the difference between treated and untreated areas can be significant.
4. Facelifts are just for women.
The urge to combat aging and maintain a youthful appearance is almost universal. In fact, men are taking advantage of plastic surgery at ever increasing rates, and facelifts were one of the top 5 procedures for men in 2013. However, there are some additional factors when performing a facelift on a man, such as the positioning of facial hair and sideburns. Plastic surgeons performing facelifts on men should be well versed in these considerations.
5. A “lunchtime lift” is a facelift with no downtime.
Due to its catchy name, the mini-lift is an often-misunderstood procedure. While it undeniably benefits certain candidates, it is not a substitution for a regular facelift—it is a different procedure. A mini-lift is a rejuvenation procedure performed in the office, with about a week-long recovery period. It treats mostly the mid to upper face, and is best used in place of or in conjunction with fillers. In order to get the benefits that most patients envision as the result of a facelift, the best option is a full, traditional, surgical facelift.
Media coverage regarding poorly performed plastic surgeries is inescapable. However, it is important to cut out the noise and understand exactly what a facelift is and isn’t. If you are thinking about a facelift procedure, it is of the utmost importance to consult with a trusted, highly experienced plastic surgeon who can deliver the subtle, natural results you are looking for.
If you’d like to discuss whether a facelift is right for you, give us a call today to schedule your initial consultation.