28 Sep 2008

Are all facelifts the same?

There are few procedures in plastic surgery with more variations than the facelift.  Understanding something about this operation may help you to understand the controversies, and may help you to ask the right questions when you meet with a prospective surgeon.With dozens of variations, the facelift is a fascinating operation for plastic surgeons.  Surgeons may modify their technique over the years, or do the same operation for 40 years.  What follows is a summary of some important decisions a surgeon must make in developing their technique.
1. incisions: if placed behind the hairline, the scar is better hidden, but the hairline is pulled back and can create deformity, especially if the procedure is repeated.  So called short scar techniques minimize the scar behind the ear, but are less effective at correcting loose neck skin.
2. mini-lift vs formal facelift: Some procedures involve simple excision of skin from in front of the ear and possibly a suture hitching up the deep tissues.  Results from such a procedure will be quite temporary, as there is little to stop the tissues from stretching out.  If your surgery will take less than two hours, it is likely there is insufficient work to provide a durable result.
2. volume correction: A youthful face is not an old face with tight skin! Ask your surgeon to explain what efforts they will take to re-establish youthful contours in your face.
Understanding these issues will help you to understand why results, costs, and surgical recovery times can vary widely from surgeon to surgeon. 

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Michael Kreidstein, MD, MSc, FRCS(C)

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  • Posted on Nov 13 2013 By Dr. Kreidstein

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for your lovely note! There is no need to wait to an arbitrary age (60) to have a second facelift. We expect patients to consider a second facelift by about 10 years post-op, as a facelift turns back the clock but doesn’t stop the clock. Botox and fillers do not help much in the lower face and neck, so surgery is your best option if you want to look your best. Hope to hear from you soon!

  • Posted on Nov 13 2013 By deb

    I am 57 and wondering if I should wait till 60 for a full face lift. Had one done by you 13 years ago… just a junior one and worked for me till about a year ago… now botox does not really appeal to me as it is obvious my neck is saggy and my face is aging rapidly….
    let me know… thanks so much you wonderful surgeon!!!!

  • Posted on Oct 25 2011 By Dr. Kreidstein

    A very popular option for men with short hair (or bald) is the anterior neck lift. Please see our new post on this topic.

  • Posted on Oct 6 2011 By claude parisien

    can you do a facelift on bald men

  • Posted on May 25 2011 By Dr. Kreidstein

    There are many ways in which a face ages, and some faces do require a platysmaplasty. We perform this both as a medical and a lateral procedure. Use of a lateral platysmaplasty does take tension off of the skin, and seems to produce a better scar.

  • Posted on May 18 2011 By Marie

    Do you use the Platysmaplasties neck lift method? If not what method do you use and what are the chances of falling neck later or scars stretching out behind ears?
    Thank you!

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