How do you know when you need a facelift? This is a popular question asked by men and women every day. Television, the internet and magazines may try to answer this question for you by offering a quick fix with a catchy name. “It’s not uncommon to turn on the TV or see an ad in a magazine promoting a simple and easy facelift,” says Dr. Kevin Smith, a board certified plastic surgeon from Charlotte, North Carolina. What people don’t realize, says Smith, is that a facelift is a complex procedure that shouldn’t be entered into lightly.
The Lifestyle Lift, The QuickLift, MiniFaceLift, and the Vampire Facelift are just a few of the popular facelifts marketed to consumers. Many of these may promise cheap and easy solutions, but what’s in a name? “If you put a trademark after an operation it only means you’ve got marketing rights,” says Dr. Richard Baxter, a board certified plastic surgeon from Seattle, Washington.
Many times people are confused and think because these procedures are branded they must be offering the latest breakthroughs in surgical techniques. Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Cliff Clark, practices in Orlando, Florida and specializes in facial procedures says, “For a patient to go on the internet and choose a technique based on some trendy marketing term is really putting the cart before the horse.”
Finding the Right Technique for the Right Person
Clark says the goal of a board-certified plastic surgeon is to provide you with the information you need to make the right decision for your face. “The real magic is the right technique for the right person.” He always starts with a thorough facial analysis. “Vibrance, fullness and elasticity: the delicate balance between these three facial characteristics is the primary focus of a board certified plastic surgeon.”
Because our skin ages in different ways, Smith says we need to treat those issues differently. “Each facial rejuvenation procedure is individualized to the patient’s needs with the goal of achieving a healthy, more youthful appearance and not a tight, drawn or “operated” look. For a natural looking result, Dr. Baxter says you have to look at the facelift as a three dimensional operation. “It involves re-positioning the tissues, not just pulling on skin, and not just volumizing with injections. A facelift isn’t a cookie-cutter operation.”
Each Area of the Face Ages in it’s Own Way…
As plastic surgery has evolved over the last decade, Smith says surgeons have deconstructed facial rejuvenation to its component parts. “We can address each area of facial aging with appropriate procedures often starting earlier with smaller and more subtle procedures to keep aging at bay.” He says by starting early, the plastic surgeon can educate the patient and develop a long term treatment plan that can include skin care, injectable fillers, neuromodulators and eventually surgical procedures. “All of these options can be performed to fit a patients’ lifestyle and budget.”
With so many techniques and promises out there, finding the facelift that’s right for you is not something you should have to do on your own. “A doctor and a patient have a very sacred and important relationship. That’s why one of our messages is to go to a board-certified plastic surgeon that has your best interest in mind,” says Clark.