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Are You Old Enough For A Facelift?

Sep 3, 2008
A facelift can improve the most visible signs of aging by sculpting and tightening the deeper structures and foundation of the face and neck. As we age, the effects of gravity, sun exposure, weight fluctuations, smoking, heredity, and the daily stresses of life begin to reveal themselves in our faces. Facelift surgery can bring youth back to a patient's face. In youth, the face is firm and smooth due to good skin elasticity and proper positioning of normal facial fat. As we age, skin elasticity and muscle tone weaken, and facial fat descends, causing prominent skin folds, deep creases between the nose and corner of the mouth. Jowls become prominent along with fat deposits and loose skin in the neck.

A facelift won't stop this process, but it can "turn back the hands of time." A facelift (technically referred to as Rhytidectomy) is designed to reduce much of the looseness and many of the heavy wrinkles and folds in the face and neck. It will also improve the contour of the jaw and necklines. A facelift will not, however, completely remove every fold, line, and wrinkle. There is limited improvement around the eyes and with fine lines of the facial skin. A facelift alone will not improve "smoker's" lines around the mouth, acne scars, or a poor complexion. Other options exist to treat these problems, including laser treatment, dermabrasion, and chemical peels.

Many facelift procedures are combined with a forehead and brow lift, upper and/or lower eyelid surgery, and "cheekbone" (malar) augmentation. Frequently, chin implants are placed to improve the profile proportions of the jaw line and increase the projection of the chin. These additional procedures may be performed at the same time and in combination with facelift and neck lift surgery or as independent procedures at a later date.

It is important to realize that there are numerous facelift techniques. These range from superficial skin re-draping and fat contouring to and tightening the deeper connective tissue just over the muscle layer. Other facelift techniques include the separation of the facial tissue from the bone and then repositioning and securing this facial tissue in a better position before re-draping the skin and removing the excess. In general, a layered technique will place the majority of tension on the deeper tissues, allowing a gentler re-draping of the skin. This facelift technique results in a natural, more youthful appearance without tell-tale signs of plastic surgery. Understand that no single technique is appropriate for every patient. As each face is unique, the most appropriate facelift technique or combination of techniques must be adequately determined to optimize each individual result.

Procedure time for a facelift will vary greatly depending on the surgery, the extent of surgery, and the choice of techniques. A facelift may generally last from four to six hours or longer at times.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery in Miami. Learn more about facelift and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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