Considering a facelift?

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A facelift is a surgical procedure designed to lift and correct the sagging in the face that occurs as a result of aging. Not every patient sees the same problems in their face and so the facelift family of procedures needs to be tailored to the patientís individual problems and their goals.

A facelift is a generic term that can cover several different regions of the face. Plastic Surgeonís divide the face into the upper region called the brow, the eyelid region that is sub-divided into the upper and lower eyelids, the mid-face region that runs from the cheeks to the jawline, and the neck that runs from the jawline to the collarbone. A facelift can include all of these regions or it can be broken down into individual regions based on a patientís choice.

Most commonly, patients considering a lifting procedure often choose to have the mid-facial and neck region performed together. This combination rejuvenates the loose skin and fat from the neck (often times called a turkey neck), the jowl, and the nasolabial folds (parentheses lines). Often the outside part of the eyebrow region would also benefit from elevation and the lateral browlift accomplishes this. For most patients, this is what is considered a facelift.

There are many different ways to perform a facelift and there is no one technique that has been proven to be the best. The facelift started over 70 years ago when a surgeon discovered that after removing a large skin cancer located in front of the ear of patient, that that side of the face looked better. The surgeon then did the patients other side similarly for cosmetic reasons and lo and behold, the facelift was born. Since that time Plastic Surgeons have been searching for better and better techniques that provide greater lift, greater longevity, more natural appearance, and restore normal youthful anatomy. Thus procedures with shorter incisions, hidden incisions, multiple layers, composite layers, deeper planes, safer dissections, and lesser dissections have all been invented.

The key, and we have to emphasize this, the absolute key to a natural appearing facial rejuvenation, is for the surgeon to understand what has changed with time in the individual patient, what the patients goals are, and what is necessary to accomplish this task. Therefore the first step taken with every patient is a consultation whose goal is to determine what bothers the patient and what approach is best.

As the face ages, it loses volume in the bone and volume in the fat of certain regions. This causes the surrounding tissues and skin to sag. If the volume loss is small and the sagging minimal, then sometimes volume restoration alone, performed with fat injections, is enough to produce the desired result. Many times, a combination of lifting techniques and volume restoration is necessary to produce a natural, youthful, rejuvenation. One technique, one type of surgery, is never the standard technique used for every patient.

When considering a facial rejuvenation procedure, meet with your surgeon, discuss what you see as your goals, and make sure the approach addresses your desires.

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