What separates a great facelift from a poorly done facelift?

woman considers great facelift results from claytor plastic surgery in bryn mawr Philadelphia

To help you understand how you can get ideal facelift results, we’re going to dive into the nuances of the subject. We’ll clarify what exactly is included in a surgical facelift procedure, the advanced techniques you should seek out, and finally explain what finishing procedures can be added to achieve the natural-looking results you desire.

What a facelift can and cannot do

The term facelift has come to be used as an all-encompassing term for facial rejuvenation, just as people use the word “Kleenex” for facial tissue. In truth, the term “facelift” has a very specific meaning for plastic surgeons. A traditional facelift is called a rhytidectomy and is a single surgical procedure which only addresses sagging skin in the lower two-thirds of the face, including the jawline and neck. The surgeon removes excess skin and repositions tissues in a more youthful position.

For some, a facelift alone is enough to provide satisfying results, but most patients have a set of interrelated concerns when it comes to facial aging. These are some areas a rhytidectomy will not address:

  • Treating the eyelids or brow is not part of a traditional facelift. That said, many patients choose to have procedures for the eyes and upper face done during the same operation. Getting a natural-looking result may even depend on these add-ons: they help match the apparent age of your eyes and forehead with the lifted neck and cheeks a facelift provides.
  • Another aspect of your appearance a surgical facelift will not alter is the skin’s surface. Here again, you can have a potential mismatch between your rejuvenated facial contours and skin that is wrinkled or sun-damaged. Skin resurfacing procedures and injectable neurotoxins like Botox may be called for.
  • Lastly, a standard facelift will not restore lost volume. “Volume” in this case means the plumpness of your facial tissues, which is one of the primary ways we subconsciously judge a person’s age. While a facelift won’t help when it comes to this concern, youthful volume can be readily restored using injectable fillers or fat grafting.

Things you can do to get excellent facelift results

Choose a plastic surgeon who has experience with a range of facelift options

Surgeons who only know one way to perform a facelift are less able to adapt the procedure for various individual needs and anatomy. Therefore, you are best off choosing a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in more advanced facelift techniques including SMAS Plication and Deep Plane Facelifts.

The Deep Plane Facelift technique allows the surgeon to lift tissues without putting tension on the skin, delivering longer-lasting, natural-looking facelift results.

The SMAS Plication Facelift builds on the traditional rhytidectomy procedure and includes moving the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) upward and laterally to better provide a defined jawline, tighter neck and a more youthful cheek volume. A Deep Plane Facelift is another variation that also treats the SMAS, but in this case, the SMAS is moved in a unit with the underlying musculature. This allows the surgeon to lift facial tissues without putting tension on the skin, delivering long-lasting, natural-looking results.

While you can only find out which version of a facelift is best for you in consultation with your doctor, choosing a plastic surgeon who is familiar with these advanced techniques will help you to get the best possible outcome.

Listen to your plastic surgeon’s advice when it comes to add-on procedures

While a facelift alone certainly can provide a refreshed look, if your eyes or brow look a decade older than your mid and lower face, it will create an unnatural appearance. The same is true for the surface of your skin. So, if a reputable plastic surgeon suggests additional procedures such as Fractional Skin Resurfacing or facial fat grafting, understand they are not simply attempting to “upsell” you, but rather working to achieve a complete and natural-looking result. If the cost of having multiple procedures is a concern, patient financing can be helpful.

Follow all pre- and post-op instructions to the letter

While much is in your surgeon’s hands, what you do before and after surgery will also play a part in your results. You absolutely must be honest about your health history, avoid certain medications and supplements, and adhere to all pre- and post-op instructions. After healing is complete, maintaining healthy habits and using a physician-only skincare regime can help you maintain your results. Your plastic surgeon may also suggest additional maintenance procedures; for example, BOTOX is a very effective way to keep unwanted expression-based wrinkles at bay.

Seeking a Deep Plane Facelift in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia-area plastic surgeon Dr. Claytor is well-known for his expertise in all areas of facial rejuvenation, including Deep Plane and SMAS Plication facelift techniques. We invite you to our office at (610) 527-4833 or contact us online to set up a consultation.

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Debbie | Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery

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