Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
A facelift is a surgical cosmetic procedure that removes visible signs of aging of the face. It tightens the skin in such a way that deep folds, sagging, and wrinkling are smoothed out, giving the face a younger look.
There is no perfect age for a facelift. In recent years, women seeking facelifts have trended younger than in the past, with many seeking a facelift in their early forties. Below, our cosmetic surgery staff at NuBody Concepts in Nashville and Memphis have outlined how to know if you’re a good candidate for a facelift.
Who Is A Good Candidate for a Facelift?
The best way to determine whether you’re a good candidate for a facelift is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will evaluate your skin and discuss your goals to determine the best course of action. Here are some of the topics that will be part of your consultation:
Severity of Wrinkles
It’s not so much whether you are an ideal facelift candidate – most people are, as long as they’re in general good health to undergo surgery. It’s more a question of whether you actually need facelift surgery or might be able to achieve your goals with a less invasive procedure or treatment.
Gravity is the ultimate culprit of the aging process. Early on, the first fine lines and wrinkles are easily treated with recurring Botox treatments, to the point where you can even “train” your muscles to frown less. Other deeper lines can also be addressed with a dermal filler like Juvederm. Facial fillers last longer than a Botox injection but nevertheless have to be repeated every 9 months to 2 years.
Only when your skin and muscles have started to seriously droop, it may in fact be time for a facelift.
Area of Concern
Not all areas of the face are equally eligible for a facelift. It might be better called “lower face lift,” since it is the lower part of the face and even the neck that lends itself to surgical rejuvenation the best.
If you are mostly concerned about sagging eyelids or frown lines, a brow lift or eyelid surgery may be more effective than a facelift to rejuvenate your face. Of course you can combine a facelift with a brow lift to cover both areas at the same time.
One of the most tell-tale signs of aging is when the skin of your neck begins to sag and show folds. Different patients experience it at a different rate. In the age of Zoom, many people are shocked to see how saggy their necks really are. A facelift can address this, but another good option is to tighten the skin with a less-invasive procedure such as FaceTite or Renuvion.
The Overall Health of the Patient
Women who seek to undergo facelift surgery, or any surgery for that matter, need to be in good health for the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will review your medical records and history to make a general health assessment prior to your surgery.
Patients will also be made aware of any risk factors that might impact the outcome of the surgery. For instance, is important to be sure the patient does not suffer from any conditions that may prolong bleeding or prevent healing.
Smokers and tobacco users also face higher risks during any surgery. This doesn’t mean smokers cannot undergo a facelift, but it is one of several risk factors the surgeon will take into account.
Risk factors and safety guidelines are typically disclosed in a so-called “informed consent” document you will be asked to sign before your procedure.
Suitable facelift candidates who satisfy the above conditions should also have a positive mindset, clear aesthetics goals and priorities, and realistic expectations about the outcome of their surgery. If this is true for you, you will likely experience the most satisfaction from your facelift surgery.
Why Choose a Facelift
Do I need a facelift? The answer is that it depends. Beyond simple genetics, the rate at which your face ages varies with your skin quality, the extent of loss of volume in your face, and the effects of gravity particularly on your jowls and neck.
Indications for facelift surgery:
- Diminished skin quality
- Loss of volume
- Sagging jowls and neck
Alternatives to a Facelift
Facial or dermal fillers are injected into the skin to smooth out deep folds and wrinkles. They are made from a synthetic material that acts a lot like your own fat. Fillers such as Juvederm or Versa are mostly used on the nasolabial folds (coming down from your nose to the sides of your mouth) as well as a lip filler to augment lips. Dermal fillers typically last 6-9 months, or even up to over a year in some cases.
If you are looking for something more permanent than fillers but less invasive than full-fledged surgery, skin tightening aka a non-surgical facelift is an excellent choice. It uses radio-frequency powered heat energy to coagulate tissues and contract the skin without more than very small incisions to insert the wand. Known under the brand names FaceTite and Renuvion, this type of skin tightening is particularly effective on the lower face and neck.
What to Combine with a Facelift
You can rejuvenate other areas than just your neck and lower face – the areas typically associated with the term facelift. The skin around your eyes is very vulnerable to the signs of aging. Eyelid surgery (upper or lower) or a brow lift can take years off your appearance.
Minimally-invasive skin tightening using radio frequency assisted lipolysis is not just an alternative to a classic facelift, it can also complement it to achieve even better results. There are certain areas such as the neck where non-surgical skin tightening achieves great if not better results than surgery.
Lastly, you can also ask for injectable dermal fillers or even Botox to be administered while you are already scheduled for your procedure. However, these treatments are so painfree and fast that there really is no need to combine – unless you live far away and want to save yourself the commute.
Any of these procedures can easily be combined with a facelift into a single procedure, so that you do not have to deal with separate appointments and recovery periods. During a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon you will be able to custom-design your personalized facelift procedure in detail.
Does a Facelift Work?
A facelift is an excellent procedure to reverse the signs of aging in your face and neck. If fillers and Botox injections are no longer sufficient to give your face that fresh, young look and your skin begins to seriously droop and sag, it may be time for a facelift.
Please note that a facelift cannot arrest all signs of aging. What it does is give you a reset by allowing you to look younger than before. From that point onwards, the aging process resumes. In that sense, facelift surgery is not permanent. No cosmetic surgery truly is. However, a facelift is considered the most permanent option to rejuvenating your face vs other, less-invasive options.
Getting a Facelift
If you live in the Greater Nashville or Memphis, TN area and are unhappy with the signs of aging in your face, Dr. John D. Rosdeutscher and Dr. Mark H. Peters of NuBody Concepts have you covered. Contact us to schedule a consultation or to ask any questions you may have regarding the procedure.