Face Lift

Are Facelifts Becoming Obsolete?

Does anyone get facelifts anymore now that there are so many toxins and fillers to erase or plump up facial folds and wrinkles? And what about all those energy-based technologies that tighten and tone sagging skin? It begs the question, are facelifts obsolete? Not by a long shot.

Facelifts are actually more relevant today than ever. While the shots, peels and lasers can eliminate some of the signs of aging, they don't hold a candle to what a facelift (also called rhytidectomy or rhytidoplasty) can do.

Courtesy of AAFPRS

Facial Aging: Explained

The face ages in five key ways:

1. Skin changes such as wrinkles and age spots
2. Dynamic lines from overactive muscles (crow's feet)
3. Loss of volume in the cheeks and temples
4. Loss of elasticity
5. The downward pull of gravity

The only anti-aging procedure out there that can address these five telltale signs of age is the facelift. Think about it, a chemical peel can get rid of ages spots, injectables can smooth wrinkles, some soft tissue fillers can plump up cheeks, and certain radiofrequency technologies can help simulate collagen production and boost the skin's elastic quality; but only the facelift can do all of the above, while also reining in the pull of gravity.

There are many versions of facelifts out there. Some have really technical-sounding names — such as the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) lift — while others sound decidedly less surgical — such as the cheek lift. The titles tend to reflect just how deep the surgeons cut and/or what areas of the face they target. In general, facelifts involve trimming excess skin, tightening muscles and repositioning some tissues. However, liposuction and neck lift may also be part of a facelift. Incisions are usually hidden in the scalp or beneath your eyes. Your facial plastic surgeon will evaluate your face and muscle tone to develop a plan that is right for you.

Are you Really Ready for a Facelift?

The real reason that some of the less invasive treatments are so popular is that they involve little-to-no downtime and fewer risks. Facelifts are a big deal, and require significant recovery afterward. You will look really swollen and bruised in the days after the surgery, and it can be very difficult to get comfortable. There are also risks with a facelift, including infection, facial weakness, hair loss where the incisions were made and even a lopsided facial appearance.

Facelifts are also as expensive as they are extensive. A facelift can cost between $7,000 and $15,000 in the U.S. That said, injectables and other anti-aging treatments are not cheap, but they do cost less. However, they are not one-and-done procedures like a facelift, which means that the costs are ongoing. Facelift results do last for up to 10 years. This is not forever, but it's a lot longer than the three months attributed to some injectables.

  • Halaas 58x57

    Yael Halaas, MD, FACS

    60 E. 56th Street
    3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10022
    (332) 239-6439

  • P

    Mune Gowda, MD

    3270 West Big Beaver
    Suite 415
    Troy, MI 48084

  • P

    Sean Maguire, MD

    Physician's Center for Beauty
    24 Chenoweth Lane
    Louisville, KY 40207
    (866) 774-9105



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