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Is 39 Too Young for a Facelift?

Is 39 Too Young for a Facelift?

The glamour model Katie Price recently made some news indicating that she had a “facelift” at the tender age of 39. This posed numerous germane questions, such as why she needed one in the first place, is a facelift actually preventative maintenance, and what exactly did she mean by a “facelift”?

Board certified plastic surgeons of the Plastic Surgery Channel discuss on the latest episode of No Spin Live!

Preventative Maintenance vs. Plastic Surgery

The article described Katie’s desire to make a preemptive strike on aging. It is better, after all, to get ahead of things rather than wait until it’s almost too late to make a massive change – especially in plastic surgery. Board certified plastic surgeons have been steering their patients in this direction for years, utilizing less invasive procedures to create a situation where aging can be slow and graceful.

A facelift is almost never part of this strategy, especially for someone so young. “Whenever I go to a party, people will say, ‘Oh, you’re a plastic surgeon? What do I need?'” shares board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Pat McGuire. “This is all elective surgery, none of us need this. The question is, can we give you what you want, can we do it safely, can we do it in an economically-feasible way? But, 39-years-old and a facelift is pushing it. It’s hard to believe someone would need a facelift at 39. They talk about preventive maintenance, but I would do that with fillers or botox rather than facelift at a young age. And she’s a pretty girl!”

Filler and Botox are indeed the main tools in a preventative maintenance strategy. They are non-surgical, work extremely well for the middle aged, and can be done with little to no downtime in the comfort of a surgeon’s office. This is more in line with what would-be patients who are younger are expecting.

“If you asked me 10 years ago, I might have embraced the idea a little bit more than I would now, but I agree with Pat,” explains board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Epstein of New York. “The advent of injectables – and we understand that lost volume is a big part of the problem. But there’s also skin-tightening technologies. There are so many non-surgical options – a young person like that, it’s very hard to make a case for going towards surgery.”

A “Facelift” Can Mean Different Things

Even though Miss Price claimed she received a facelift, that’s actually only partially true. When someone reads the word “facelift,” the image conjured is the classic surgical procedure involving scalpels, removing excess skin, and moving the tissue generally upwards. The problem is there are a variety of minimally-invasive techniques that achieve some of that result with less downtime and surgery.

Miss Price’s “facelift” is indeed one of those.

“I think we have to really define this. This was a Silhouette Thread lift,” says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Thornton. “To be clear on it, these are threads that are placed through the skin through a needle, usually under a local anesthetic. The time that they last – from the only good study that’s taken a look at it – is about 4-6 months, so much less-lasting time than fillers. I don’t call it a facelift. I would say for what we consider a surgical facelift, in general, 39 is way too young.”

A Silhouette Thread Lift.

True Preventative Maintenance

The 30’s are surprisingly a great time to begin preventative maintenance for would-be plastic surgery patients trying to stymie the aging process. As previously mentioned, Botox and fillers are incredible assets in the fight against aging. They offer an immediate response to slight signs of aging and allow patients to achieve results without downtime.

“There’s some evidence that starting earlier you can delay some of the signs of aging,” explains board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Pat McGuire. The fillers really can help plump the cheeks up and look very natural. It all depends, you just have to make sure somebody knows what they’re doing. If you get appropriate balance in your face, looking as good as you can for as long as you can? Why not.”

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