When we see celebrity facelifts, we often don’t realise how much goes into it. We also don’t understand that those drastic changes and youthful features are not entirely the results of cosmetic surgery. Some of those baby-face expressions are created with make-up and lighting. Still, there’s a lot more to a facelift than tightening wrinkles and age marks.
The term facelift is broadly used to describe any facial surgery, at least by laymen. Doctors and surgeons are far more specific, but for the rest of us, any significant difference to a person’s face will be labelled a ‘facelift’. In reality, the only true facelift is one that tightens the tissues and muscles in the jaw and cheeks. That’s the traditional procedure.
In this conventional facelift, your facelift surgeon will make a surgical cut behind your ear, along with the edge of your hairline. The incision starts just above your earlobe. This position gives your surgeon access to the right tissues, but it also allows the scarring to be hidden by the natural fold of your ear. It’s discretely tucked inside your ear’s crease.
The face lift surgeon places surgical instruments into this incision and pulls on the tissues of your chin, jaw, and cheeks. The doctor will tighten loose skin and stretch out sags and wrinkles. Surgery will also reposition the muscles, tissues, and fat deposits for a smoother, tighter silhouette. If there’s any excess skin or fat, it will be extracted and discarded.
The reason this surgery is so thorough is that the surgeon targets the muscles and tissues that affect facial expression, so it doesn’t just change the look of your face. It also changes your smiles and frowns. The surgical instruments slip between the skin and tissue for maximum efficacy and give a longer lasting result than just tightening the outer skin.
Sometimes this procedure tightens the face, but there might still be some folding and wattles around the neck and chin. A facelift surgeon may then perform a neck lift to even out the results and produce a better overall effect. The combination of a facelift and neck lift will get rid of smoking wrinkles, laugh lines, sagging cheeks, double chins, drooping jaws, and neck folds.
This procedure is called a rhytidectomy, and it’s the most drastic form of facial surgery. It’s becoming less popular since it requires a lot of recovery time and is very intensive. It also leaves the patient open to major complications. Patients – and their doctors – are increasingly selecting less invasive cosmetic procedures.
Mini and midi lifts use similar procedures, but incisions are smaller and fewer. The surgeon also doesn’t go as deep into the muscle and tissue. Instead, surgery is performed on skin and muscle closer to the surface of the skin. Surgery and recovery both take less time. Another option is the short scar surgery, which has a different kind of incision.
For midi lifts, the target area is the cheeks and laugh lines that flow from your nose to your mouth. The incisions are usually made inside the patient’s mouth or at their hairline. As for endoscopic laser lifts, a tiny pencil-like tool is inserted beneath the skin. The probe has a camera attached, and it transmits a visual to a large screen.
Surgeons can then use this video feed to manipulate the skin, fat, and tissue on the patient’s face. The procedure is minimally invasive, and the incisions are quite small. However, the results are equally minimal, because not much can be done with so little room.
Short scar surgeries come in two varieties – the S-scar and the MACS. They are preferred by patients who are worried about visible surgery marks, but the results aren’t as dramatic. Other types of ‘facelifts’ include injectables, liquid lifts, and thermal cooling (thermage).
Injectables and thermage are non-surgical facelifts. For injectables, a carefully calibrated amount of filler is directly injected into the wrinkly areas. The fillers ‘fill out’ the skin, producing a plumping effect and stretching out the wrinkles. Injectables have to be repeated every year or so, and you need to select your practitioner carefully.
This is because being a non-surgical procedure, and many practitioners offer it without a medical degree. The risk is they may inject you with substances that are toxic, unsuitable, or allergenic. They may also use a wrong injection technique that exposes you to infection.
Injectables are sometimes called stem cell lifts, especially when the injected material is organic content from the patient’s own body. On the other hand, thermal cooling (thermage) is an external procedure. Thermal coolants are applied to the skin surface, reducing wrinkles.
Finally, there were thread lifts, which used sutures and barbed hooks to pull skin into place and tighten the wrinkles on your face. They are rarely used by modern surgeons since they don’t hold the skin for very long. Facelifts have come a long way, so talk to your facelift surgeon Sydney to find out the best type and procedure for your situation.