The Surgeon Minute

When’s the Right Time for a Facelift?

When’s the Right Time for a Facelift?

When is the right time to have a facelift? Bottom line, there is no hard and fast rule. The need will depend on your anatomy, your goals, and what you are willing to do to achieve those goals. And it’s different for everyone!

While there are a myriad of non-surgical options on the market these days that can really help prevent or slow down the early signs of aging, time constantly marches forward. At a certain point, minimally-invasive techniques are going to become less effective than surgical techniques. Dr. Tiffany McCormack of Reno discusses how she works with her patients to define that point for them.

When’s the Right Time for a Facelift?

When a new or existing patient comes in to discuss facial rejuvenation, one of the first questions that the patient asks is, “Can I get away with something less invasive or do I need a full facelift?” The answer is almost the same: there is no right age or hard and fast rule as to which decade is the right one for a facelift. “In my mind, if I see physical changes such as jowls, lower face laxity, neck laxity or muscle bands that I can address surgically, well that’s the gold standard,” explains Dr. McCormack.

Facelift patient - Dr. McCormack.

Minimally-Invasive Procedures Offer Prevention

Some patients who come to her for facial rejuvenation are just starting to show the earliest signs of aging. For them, the goal is to prevent these signs from getting worse, typically fine lines, wrinkles and changes in skin tone and texture. At this point along the aging spectrum, these patients are not going to see a huge benefit from a full surgical facelift. McCormack says she would redirect them towards something minimally-invasive, such as:

If a patient comes in with a lot of physical signs such as sagging skin that Dr. McCormack knows can best be addressed with a facelift, she’ll tell them. For her, it doesn’t make sense to steer a patient towards a non-surgical option if it can no longer deliver a big, dramatic result. It’s a waste of time and money. It’s important to maintain realistic expectations about what minimally-invasive procedures can accomplish.

Aging Is Multi-Factorial

One of the biggest downsides of going too far with non-surgical procedures when you are really ready for surgery is that it can begin to make you look unnatural. “Trying to treat ptosis or laxity or drooping by filling only gets you so far,” explains McCormack.”It looks a little bit false and unnatural. Aging is multi-factorial.

Time for a facelift.

Facial Aging Changes:

  • drooping
  • skin laxity
  • loss of volume
  • texture changes

While some of these issues can be addressed or helped with the right minimally-invasive procedure, trying to address excess skin with volume replacement is not going to work.

Facelift results - Dr. McCormack.

The Right Time for a Facelift is Individual

The right time to move from non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures to a surgical facelift is really up to the individual, and will depend on a couple of things. Does your surgeon believe that a facelift is the procedure that will best deliver a really dramatic physical improvement? Are you mentally ready to move on to that next step? Many patients, both men and women, are very comfortable having fillers or Botox or something else non-surgical. They don’t have to take time off work or let anyone know that they had something done. Surgery, on the other hand, requires more downtime and planning. There will be some sort of scar. In the hands of a skilled, board certified plastic surgeon, these scars are often invisible and your results are so natural that no one needs to know that you had something done. Still, the idea of surgery is a roadblock for some.

Dr. McCormack’s answer to the question of when is is the right age to have a facelift is: “it depends on you.” And no patient should feel embarrassed or ashamed about wanting to look good! “We all want to age gracefully,” she shares.

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