While non-surgical techniques such as lasers, fillers, and Botox can go a long way towards rejuvenating the face, there comes a time in every patient’s life when the skin on the face begins to fall. While fillers can do a great job replacing lost volume, they can not lift sagging skin and muscle. For this, you’ll need a facelift.
Many men and women find the idea of a facelift to be kind of daunting particularly because they’re under the assumption that it will require a long recovery period. Dr. Louis Bucky of Philadelphia addresses some of the common misconceptions that patients have about a facelift. In addition, he discusses new facelift techniques that are resulting in a faster recovery, the kind that puts patients back on the streets in as little as 10 days.
Common Facelift Misconceptions
“Facelifts are a very confusing subject,” explains Dr. Bucky. Patients still buy into a lot of old misconceptions when it comes to the facelift. The three most common are:
- A facelift is a big operation
- A facelift will result in a complete transformation of a patient’s looks
- A facelift requires a long recovery period
Facelifts today are not the big operation of old. In fact, depending on your needs, some facelifts can even be done in an office setting. Furthermore, “when a facelift isn’t done well, you notice that patient,” Bucky. When done correctly, you just think that the patient looks well rested, happy and full of life.
Bucky believes there are two things that every facelift patient desires. The first is that patients want to look fresher and brighter. “I think that a facelift is more an operation for emotion than it is, necessarily, rejuvenation or beautification,” he explains. Most patients who come to see him for a facelift complain that they are sick of friends, family and colleagues asking them if they are tired or angry. The goal of any well done facelift is to lift the face, including the outer corners of the mouth. This lift will also eliminate the emptiness or hollow at the juncture where the lower eyelids and cheek meet, which is a huge problem area as we age. The result is still you, but a brighter, more vital looking you. You will look as if you got 8 hours of solid sleep even if you only got 2. “The most interesting thing is that when you look a little more energized, you feel a little more energized,” shares Bucky.
The second thing that every facelift patient desires is a fast recovery. Any surgical procedure needs to fit the lifestyle of the patient and since we live in a fast paced world. “Patients don’t want a long recovery,” says Bucky. “The emphasis by great surgeons today is to try to deliver excellent surgeries with recoveries that are very reasonable for our patients.” This does not mean doing a surgery that isn’t as effective (i.e. just a little skin pull that may relapse in a year or two). Instead, according to Bucky, it’s about, “using our ingenuity, our innovation to design an operation that allows people to look better, brighter, themselves, but get back out in the world in 10 days to two weeks.”
A Faster Recovery
The techniques that expert surgeons use today that weren’t used for facelifts 10 years ago aren’t necessarily new. They are simply new to the facelift, but they all help today’s facelift patients heal faster. The first technique is something called tumescent fluid which is when the surgeon uses a combination of saline, Lidocaine, and epinephrine to make it easier to separate the tissues. This results in less bleeding and less pain for a patient in recovery. The second is that today’s facelifts are less about muscle repair and more about tissue redistribution. And third, surgeons today are able to revolumize the face with a patient’s own fat. “We don’t have to pull as much; we can fill,” explains Bucky.
When a surgeon practices these three techniques, patients will look rejuvenated, but with less trauma resulting in a shorter recovery period. Dr. Bucky feels strongly that there is a “direct correlation between surgery that’s done efficiently and a quicker recovery.” In fact, Bucky tells his patients that at 10 days post op, “you can go to your third favorite restaurant and you won’t scare anybody.” At two weeks post op, you’ll look good and can typically return to work, and at three weeks post op, you’ll look great.
If you go to a party, people will ask if you got a haircut or went on vacation. When patients look and feel happier and their friends ask where they just vacationed, “that’s a successful outcome,” as far as Dr. Bucky is concerned.