When making decisions about the best way to rejuvenate the face, many of us put downtime as a huge consideration. The facelift, which typically has a minimum two-to-three-week recovery, is a procedure that has several different variations that have shorter incisions and significantly reduced downtime. But how much are we reducing the staying power of results with minimally invasive facelifts?
“When you look for a less invasive facelift, you have to be careful,” says Greenwood Village, CO, facial plastic surgeon Michael Menachof, MD. “In small-incision facelifts, it’s hard for the surgeon to get to all the areas of the face to make the changes last. So the less invasive lifts that work well and last longer are the ones that still have a good size incision.”
“Most of those short-scar facelifts will just remove a little skin,” says San Antonio, TX, plastic surgeon Mark W. Greene, MD. “You may see names like the ‘lunchtime lift’ or the ‘weekend lift.’ Those versions of the facelift may be effective if you’re young and just want to remove a little skin. In general, they do not provide long-lasting results. Most patients are better served by opting for a facelift procedure in which the deep tissues are suspended, thus adding value and longevity to the operation.”
Bottom line: a bigger incision means more access to the facial tissue. This allows the surgeon to better suspend the deeper underlying tissues. “The glue that holds a facelift together for a long time is the scar tissue. Not the scar where you make the cuts but the scar tissue underneath the skin. That’s why a traditional facelift can last 13-15 years,” Dr. Menachof says. So while limited-incision facelifts have their place, results fade within a few years or less. The MACS lift is likely the best of both worlds. It’s probably the least invasive facelift that still lasts a long time (about 8 to 10 years), Dr. Menachof adds.
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