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"I'm Too Young for a Facelift" and Other Myths.

[fa icon="calendar"] February 3, 2019 / by Dr.J


The word "facelift" gets a bad rap.  It conjures up images of over-done celebrities and of being "old".  But that's not the case at all.  Let's talk about what facial rejuvenation surgery really does and how you don't have to be a celebrity, or "old", to get one.


What Does a Facelift Do, Anyway?

Facial rejuvenation really should be called a "jawline-refresher-and-extra-neck-skin-taker-upper" (but that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue).  The procedure streamlines the jawline and defines the neck by removing the excess skin and tightening the muscles responsible for the jowl and "turkey neck".


Don't Fear the Scars.

It is a common misconception that facelift scars are a tell-tale sign of having had surgery.  The scars are actually well-concealed within the hair and where the ear meets the cheek.   The incisions heal as very fine lines and patients may have to point the scarline out for anyone to notice.


It's Not Risky.

Like any surgery, there are risks, but the chance of having a nerve injury (the most feared complication) is actually less than 1%.


It's Customized for Your Unique Needs.

A full facelift will involve incisions that extend behind the ear and into the posterior hairline.  Younger patients that have jowls but no neck skin laxity require only incisions limited to in front of the ear (called a "short-scar" facelift or a "mini facelift").


You Don't Have to be "Old" to Get One.

Patients may begin to experience jowling while still in their 40's and would benefit from a "short-scar" facelift.

Patients in their forties who have lost facial volume, either from age or from weight loss, but don't have any loose facial skin are a special population.  They can be treated with replacement of the volume alone with fat grafting, without the need for a facelift.


You Won't Look Weird.

Well-known cases of celebrity facelifts gone wrong are usually the result of poor aesthetic judgement on the part of the surgeon or multiple surgeries.  I'm careful to produce natural results the first time.


What Other Surgeries Can Be Done at the Same Time?

Virtually any other facial surgery can be done at the same time as a facelift and will complement the results.  These include browlifts, eyelid surgery and fat grafting

The effect of aging on the lips has often been overlooked in the past.  The lips themselves often become thin with age and the length of the upper lip skin becomes elongated.  This is treated at the same as facelift surgery with lip augmentation with injectable fillers or implants.  The upper lip lift shortens the upper lip length and turns up the lip, creating a youthful appearance.

Skin surface issues, such as fine lines and dull texture, can be treated with chemical peels.


What if I Have Loose Skin Around My Jawline and Neck, but I'm Not Ready to Have Surgery?

If this sounds like you, modest amounts of skin laxity around the jawline and neck can be improved non-operatively with Exilis.  This treatment is done right in the office by applying radiowaves to tighten the collagen fibers in the deep surface of the skin, causing it to retract.


How Has Facelift Surgery Changed Over Time?

In years past, surgeons were mostly concerned with removing extra skin alone and did not appreciate the importance of replacing facial volume that is often lost with age.  Fat grafting, where fat is obtained by liposuction and then injected into the face, has changed that and is a valuable adjuct to facelift surgery.  

Fat grafting is commonly used to replace lost volume to the temples, under the eyes and the hollows of the cheeks and can be done at the same time as the facelift itself.


What About the "Thread Lift"?

Cosmetic Surgeons rarely agree on anything but the 'thread lift' is one of those things.  This procedure was introduced in the 90's and was quickly rejected after studies showed that the results were often poor and didn't last more than a few weeks.

Unfortunately, with the advent of social media hype, the thread lift  has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity but the procedure is essentially unchanged and cannot be recommended.


Financially Speaking

How much does a face lift cost?  Facelift surgery, including all pre- and postop visits, Anesthesia and Facility fees is around $10,000.

Topics: Blog, Recent Thoughts


Written by Dr.J

Dr.Jeffrey Horowitz is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon committed to his patients' health and beauty.