Do you look in the mirror and feel like you are seeing your mother or grandmother? You feel great, young and youthful, but the mirror is telling you something different. Your makeup looks fabulous, but how did those jowls creep up on you? Now your wishing you had put sunscreen on your neck all these years. It’s these kind of thoughts that often lead women to seek a surgical remedy for the loose skin in the neck and jowls that haunt them in their reflection.
The Fountain of Youth
An expert in facial rejuvenation, Dr. Paul Watterson, of Charlotte Plastic Surgery Center in Charlotte, North Carolina knows that less is more when it comes to the neck in order to achieve a natural, yet symmetric and beautifully contoured result. “A sharp well-defined contour may be the most critical aspect of any face lift or facial rejuvenation procedure,” says Dr. Watterson.
Over the years, extreme face lift results in some prominent celebrities have scared patients away from this procedure. Perhaps that’s why the plastic surgery specialty has taken to calling it facial rejuvenation, to assure patients that less truly is more and that there are noninvasive ways to achieve the fountain of youth.
However, if a patient truly has excessive skin in the neck and jawline area, Rhytidectomy, or face lift, is the best way to rejuvenate that area of the face and the surgical techniques and recovery have come a long way.
Dr. Watterson emphasizes that the typical neck lift procedure involves discrete incisions that tighten loose muscles, remove any excess fat and then tighten the skin using both small incisions in the middle of the neck as well as the lateral aspect of the neck in areas that are hardly visible. Remember, if a wrinkle occurred because gravity put it there, it is unlikely that an injection or cream will be sufficient to remove it, making surgery the best and safest option.
Recovery and down time
Face lift patients can expect some discomfort and tightness in the the lower face and neck with the most intense occurring in the first post operative week and easing gradually over the next several days. However, for natural animation to return, in other words, find your normal smile again, expect it to take at least 6 – 8 weeks. So if there is any type of special photo or event in your near future, be sure to allow adequate time to reveal the new you.
As with any surgical procedure, it’s important for patients who desire facial and neck rejuvenation to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Watterson who has particular expertise in facial and neck rejuvenation surgery. There is an art to facial rejuvenation. Surgeons often specialize in certain areas of the body, so be sure your surgeon specializes in facial procedures and ask to see some of their before and after results. Seeing natural results on others will give you a sense of confidence that you and your surgeon have the same philosophy about the fountain of youth, less is more.