You’re considering a face-lift. You’ve actually been contemplating it for some time. But one of the reasons you’re hesitating is that you wonder if a face-lift lasts long enough to be worthwhile, or if you’ll be pulling your face up in the mirror again two years from now.
The standard answer is that a face-lift makes you look about 10 years younger and lasts 5-10 years. That’s because you continue to age, whether you’ve had surgery or not.
A more complete answer is that a face-lift lasts forever, because the benefits you received from lifting and trimming away redundant skin keep you looking younger than your peers throughout the aging process. You may develop jowls and turkey neck again, in five, 10, or 20 years, but you’ll still look younger than you would have without the surgery.
The best question you can ask, when you’re ready for face-lift surgery, is, “How can I get the maximum benefit from my face-lift and keep that benefit for years to come?”
Dr. Robert A. Guida — an expert, double-board certified plastic surgeon in the New York City area — has a few ideas about how to get the most out of your face-lift and how to keep a youthful, toned appearance for 10 years or more.
Get a deep-planed lift
For the most dramatic, yet natural and long-lasting improvement, Dr. Guida performs a deep-planed, two-layered face and neck lift that addresses not just the skin, but the underlying superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), which includes supportive muscle.
In a deep-planed SMAS lift, Dr. Guida repositions the sagging SMAS and tightens it before re-draping and trimming your skin. This gives more support to your new skin position and also creates a more youthful and uplifted look that respects the natural anatomy of your face.
When performing a neck lift, Dr. Guida also tightens the underlying platysma muscles. A platysmaplasty with neck lift makes your neck look younger, longer, and more toned.
Go in two directions
Lifting the face straight up looks unnatural and changes your overall appearance (and not in a good way). Dr. Guida performs your face-lift by lifting the SMAS and skin both horizontally and vertically, for a more relaxed change that maintains your unique beauty.
The old, “windswept” look you might remember from early face-lifts occurred partly because women and men waited until they were well into their 70s before getting their first lift. In addition to sagging skin, men and women at that point in the aging process had also lost significant amounts of fat and bone. Their skin was tighter, but they didn’t look younger.
Dr. Guida avoids the overly tight look — no matter your age — both by his expert deep-plane lifting technique and by adding autologous fat grafts to your face-lift. By removing unwanted fat from other areas of your body, processing it, and reinjecting it to fill out lost volume in your midface, your lift will look soft, natural, and youthful.
Though fat in your midface makes you look younger, fat underneath your chin is aging. As part of your face-lift, Dr. Guida liposuctions away your double chin to create a firmer, sleeker look to your jawline.
Tone your face with lasers
To aid in healing and stimulate healthy new collagen and elastin in your skin, Dr. Guida recommends adding a laser toning session to your face-lift. This can be done simultaneously with your procedure to minimize downtime. The laser resurfacing improves the texture and tone of your skin, further tightens your skin, and gives you that “wow” effect you’re looking for.
Stay out of the sun
Which would you rather have:
- A deep, “healthy” looking tan that’s actually a sign that your skin has been damaged and that you’re at risk for skin cancer
- Paler, healthier skin free of wrinkles, drooping, and age spots?
If you wisely chose “2,” that decision alone helps your face-lift results last. Finding fashionable wide-brimmed hats to wear each season, getting a medical-grade skin care system, and being liberal with effective, safe, SPF30+ sunscreen every day keeps your skin as healthy as possible.
Recently, the number of face-lift surgeries has risen by around 50%, mostly due to baby boomers who get their lifts early, rather than late. Getting a face-lift sooner rather than later allows your lift to look more natural, so that you still look like yourself, only better.
An early face-lift also lets you put off further surgery for many more years, particularly if you keep your skin at maximum health and vitality with regular laser toning and other rejuvenation procedures,
To find out what you’ll look like when you turn back the clock with a face-lift, contact Dr. Guida. You can phone up our Carnegie Hill or Staten Island office for a face-lift consultation, or just book an appointment online.