The Surgeon Minute

How to Maintain and Extend Your Facelift Results

How to Maintain and Extend Your Facelift Results

The best way to rejuvenate an aging face and neck is with a facelift. After surgery, however, the endless process of aging inevitably resumes. Just how long will the results of facelift surgery last? It’s a question board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Cooper hears often in his South Florida practice.

“A facelift is not forever,” Cooper tells his patients, joking with them that their faces will begin aging even as he’s putting in the last stitch in the operating room. “What I really like my patients to know after a facelift, is it’s important for them to maintain the result.”

When you undergo a facelift with Dr. Cooper, surgery is only the beginning of the patient-doctor relationship. His goal as your facelift surgeon is twofold: to provide you with the best possible surgical results, and to establish a meaningful ongoing relationship in order to help you maintain and maximize your results in the years that follow.  

After a Facelift, It’s All About Maintenance

Cooper recommends taking a three-pronged approach to maintenance after facelift surgery. First, patients need to be taking care of their skin with high quality skincare on a daily basis. Second, patients should be addressing age-related pigmentation with light based therapy or IPL. And third, patients should improve the texture of their skin with laser resurfacing treatments.

Facelift maintenance.

Facelift maintenance should include:

Protect and Care for Your Skin with Skincare

A facelift addresses the underlying structures of the face and neck and tightens the skin, but it does not address skin quality. In order to improve the quality of our skin, we need to first understand what it needs. First and foremost, our skin needs protection from UV damage. Daily sunscreen use is an important part of slowing down the signs of aging.

Daily sunscreen use for facelift maintenance.

“I organize skincare around the tenants of a sunscreen, a cleanser, a moisturizer, and Retin-A,” shares Cooper. “No one product will provide a perfect solution, but those building blocks together make up the facets of good healthy, daily maintenance.”

With so many skincare lines available today, selecting the right products for your skin can be difficult and overwhelming. Dr. Cooper’s practice provides each patient with a personalized skincare treatment plan utilizing only top quality medical grade skincare products. These medical grade skincare products contain higher concentrations of active ingredients than over the counter options, and they have been clinically proven to improve the quality of skin with regular use.

Erase Age-Related Spots with IPL Treatment

IPL, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light, is a type of light therapy that is used to treat sun damage, age spots and unwanted pigmentation. The light used during IPL treatment penetrates to the deeper layers of the skin, where the pigment cells absorb the energy and the unwanted pigment is destroyed. “IPL allows me to treat patients’ broken capillaries and vessels as well as their brown spots and altered pigmentation,” explains Cooper.

Since IPL doesn’t harm the outermost layer of the skin, there isn’t much downtime associated with the procedure. Depending on the degree of hyperpigmentation a patient has, Cooper has found that his patients often benefit from undergoing somewhere between two to four IPL treatments each year. “I like to think of IPL as something that a patient could do quarterly,” he adds.

Improve Skin Texture & Remove Fine Lines with Laser Resurfacing

Another great tool for improving skin texture and erasing fine lines is laser resurfacing. “Lasers really help patients with regrowth and building of collagen,” says Cooper. “They help with smoothing and texturing the skin, as well as removing fine lines and blemishes.”

When it comes to laser resurfacing, there are two main categories of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. Non-ablative lasers require only a few days of downtime, while more aggressive ablative lasers require a more extensive recovery.

Which laser resurfacing treatment is best for you will often depend on the amount of downtime your schedule will allow. If several treatments with shorter recoveries fit into your schedule better than one long recovery period, you are probably a better candidate for non-ablative lasers. For patients desiring maximum results who can tolerate a week or more of recovery, Dr. Cooper’s practice offers the latest in ablative laser resurfacing with the UltraPulse CO2 Laser by Lumenis.

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