Everyone interested in facial rejuvenation is looking for a natural appearing rhytidectomy (face-lift) or facial surgery. NO ONE wants to look scared or have that “wind-blown” appearance where they look like they have been through a wind tunnel. We have all seen these people in Hollywood and may even know a few people like that. However, my goal is to attain the most youthful appearance without it being obvious that you have had a rhytidectomy or other facial surgery.
As you can imagine, facelifts are common procedures at Egozi Plastic Surgery. In educating you about them I would like to emphasize that there are dozen and dozens of variations. I can not adequately describe each and every one of them here. However, I have categorized them as traditional, mini, rejuvenation, and non-surgical facelifts. Within each of these categories there may be variations in techniques but I will focus on the broad differences.
A traditional facelift is probably the one that most people are familiar. In fact, there are probably some celebrities that come to mind when you think of them. This is usually the method that is MAY be obvious to you. You may even be able to point them out in the mall. However, rest assured that not all traditional face lifts have this “swept back”, “wind blown”, or “wind tunnel” effect.
This “wind tunnel” consequence comes from the manner in which the skin and underlying muscle are pulled. For simplification purposes, imagine that the underlying “muscle layer” (called the SMAS) is pulled in a vertical direction and the skin in a diagonal direction. If the skin or muscle are pulled too much in their line of pull, That is how the “wind tunnel” effect can occur. Not all traditional result in this effect. There are many Tampa area patients that have had a traditional face lift with me that do not have this appearance. You just can’t point them out at the mall. The “swept back” appearance is one of the POTENTIAL downsides of this type of face-lift. However, for some this is clearly the best option. Frequently, I use this method mostly on women over 60 years of age.
One of the main advantages of the traditional kind is that one can obtain long lasting results. Some last as long as 10-15 years. Also, when someone has a very loose neck and very loose facial skin this option is the best because it is also slightly more aggressive a pull than the other methods. The traditional elevates and pulls the muscle, SMAS, and restores the normal anatomy of the muscle, SMAS layer.
Some of the disadvantages include slightly longer operative time of about 3-4 hours, longer recovery of about two weeks, and a higher risk of injury to facial nerves. These are relatively mild disadvantages but ones that as facial surgeons we try to minimize. These are the main reasons some of the newer mini-face lift methods have been developed.
A mini-facelift attempts to improve upon the shortcomings of the traditional lift. In particular the risk of injury to nerves and recovery time are improved with the various techniques. A mini-face lift may involve a shorter incision, different incision line, and may even involve different methods of pull of the SMAS layer. In fact, some methods barely address the SMAS layer. Many of these variations are up to the individual facial surgeon.
I choose to vary my method to suit the needs of the patient. So I really have no set way of doing the mini face-lift. Upon patient evaluation, I use my experience and knowledge to plan the method that will work best. We will discuss these options in addition to the pros and cons of each method.
A mini-lift typically takes between 1 ½-2 ½ hours and has a shorter recovery of about 7-10 days in most cases. The results last about 10 years. There is also a much lower chance of injury to the facial nerves because the pull of the SMAS is generally done without elevating it. Since the nerves are underneath the SMAS, the chance of injury is considerably lower. Generally, this method is designed for people between 45-65 years of age.
I classify a Rejuvenation Lift as a sub-type of the mini-face lift. It utilizes sutures to pull the SMAS layer to the normal anatomic position. I like this procedure because it can achieve excellent pull of the neck and jowls with a very natural appearance. Over the last few years, I have modified this method to achieve even better results. I have incorporated many of the best parts of the traditional lift methods but in my opinion without increasing the down time or risks appreciably. I also like this method because there is generally less bruising and swelling. Many women are back to work or comfortable attending a formal social gathering in about 10 days after surgery.
Non-surgical facelifts involve utilizing various methods of facial rejuvenation that do not involve an incision. In my practice, this can involve laser or injectables like Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, and Sculptra to name a few. As always, I tailor each individual modality to each and every patient. With these non-surgical facelift options, the recovery time is anywhere from an hour to a few days depending on what is chosen. Typically, most these methods can be done in about 1 hour or less. The best non-surgical facelift options often combine many of these methods for the best results.
There are so many possible combinations of one or more of these methods that if this is what you are interested in then you should see me for an evaluation to best discuss this option with you. You can get more information about each injectable or laser method by visiting those sections of this website.