Despite the popularity and effectiveness of many of the nonsurgical treatments for facial rejuvenation that have become available recently, the facelift remains the gold standard for facial rejuvenation. There is no other facial plastic surgery procedure that can provide anywhere close to the amount of improvement and longevity of results that can be obtained with a facelift. Although this is a surgical procedure with a certain amount of recovery time involved, the results can be amazing and are thought by the vast majority of patients to be well worth it.
The way facelifts are done has changed significantly over the last several decades. Years ago, the procedure focused on tightening the skin of the face to remove wrinkles and produce a “lifted” appearance. This technique, however, led to the dreaded, un-natural “wind tunnel” look that has been known as a tell tale sign that someone has had a facelift. Also, using this technique, the results did not last nearly as long as they should. More modern facelift techniques focus on lifting and supporting the facial tissues under the skin, which leads to a more youthful and natural facial shape, as well as elimination of wrinkles without the “wind tunnel” look that characterized earlier facelifts. Other additional procedures such as fat grafting are also now used to provide fullness in areas of the face that have deflated with age.
A facelift alone will rejuvenate the areas of the face from the cheeks to the jawline, so patients will commonly have other procedures done at the time of a facelift to both complement the facelift and rejuvenate other parts of the face as well. The most common procedure employed with a facelift is a neck lift. As with a facelift, modern necklift procedures focus on supporting the subcutaneous layer of the neck to provide for a more youthful neck contour, with redraping of the skin to correct neck wrinkles. Also, blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid lift, is also commonly done with a facelift in order to give the eyes a more youthful, rested appearance by eliminating bags under the eyes and removing loose eyelid skin. Facial resurfacing procedures such as microneedling, chemical peels, and laser treatments can also complement a facelift very well.
Many women from their 50s to their 70s are excellent candidates for a facelift, due to the descent of facial skin and tissues that happens with age. A well-done facelift can correct many of these changes and provide for natural-appearing results that can last 10 to 15 years.