After liposuction, breast augmentation, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast reduction and rhinoplasty, facelifts (the technical name is rhytidectomy) are the sixth most requested cosmetic surgery procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Facelifts surgically reposition sagging muscles, fat and tissue along with re-draping skin and reduction of excess skin of the face, jawline and neck to produce a more youthful appearance.
A facelift is facial rejuvenation surgery that goes beyond just tightening skin. A facelift usually extends below the skin to address the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) by repositioning underlying facial muscles and removing any excess skin. A truly complete and comprehensive facelift with the most natural outcome will reduce, redistribute and in some cases add fat to the face.
The modern facelift has moved away from using skin tension to contour the face. As a face ages there are changes to how fat is distributed, specifically the fat in the lower part of the face. The result is that the face looks longer and squarer in shape—young faces tend to be tapered or angular. Thus, the most important aspect of a facelift is to improve facial shape while limiting signs that a surgical procedure has been performed.
Every plastic surgeon and facial plastic surgeon has their own variation on a facelift. All facelift procedures have the same aim in common—to restore natural curvatures to the features while maintaining an appropriate amount of volume in the right places.
“When and where each technology and procedure fits best and in what combinations are still evolving but I think that the future is bright. We have ever-expanding options to customize facial rejuvenation based on a patient's specific needs, limitations, desires, anatomy and circumstances,” says Reston, VA, plastic surgeon Robert Sigel, MD, who agrees that facial rejuvenation should be tailored to each individual patient and believes, “A natural, youthful outcome is the result of a holistic approach.”
Today’s surgeons typically perform facelifts either individually or in combination with other common facial rejuvenation procedures like eyelifts, browlifts, lip or chin augmentation, necklifts and so on.
Here, a menu of the types of facelift procedures that board-certified plastic surgeons perform:
- Traditional or Full Facelift
- Mini-facelift or Limited Incision Facelift
- Lower Facelift
- Endoscopic Facelift
- Liquid Facelift (using Injectables and Fillers)
The latest studies show that patients get the best results with a combination of facial rejuvenation surgery that both lifts and repositions skin and underlying sagging tissue combined with the use of injectables and fillers to restore lost volume and natural fat.