I’d like to break open a Pandora’s Box about face lifts. In our society, a face lift is considered the pinnacle of facial rejuvenation. Isn’t there a feeling that once you stretch for a face lift, you’ve gone for the gold and there isn’t much else left that can help? There is a sense of investment when considering face lifts, and for good reason. The idea of having one takes years to mature, broaching issues of finance, vanity and even sheer bravery. So, let’s talk about making a quality investment.

Why consider a face lift?

This is surgical rejuvenation, plain and simple. Let’s presume we have gone through the gamut of minimally interventional options, and now we are considering a face lift. There are certain features and different aging changes that are best targeted by this technique. To decide what is best for you, it’s good to start by understanding the aging process. (Why do we look old, and what can we change?)

The aging process:

I’ll divide this into surface changes and deep structure changes. Both count. First, our skin loses its elasticity, tone, vascularity and body. What we see as a result are the wrinkles, the pigment changes, the sag here and there. Bear in mind that the skin is both “drapery” and “container,” and beautiful skin trumps most other qualities when it comes to combating aging. So in relation to face lifting, we can revitalize one’s appearance best by re-draping the skin over a youthful facial structure. We want to highlight the natural beauty and features of the face. This is not achieved by simply stretching the skin tighter. We don’t want wind-swept, distorted features, but rather youthful curve, contour and shape. The best results are natural-looking results.

Here’s the trick:

To really turn back the clock, we need to reposition the deeper structures of the face. The high cheek fat pad falls and creates the hollow under our eyes, but also cramps the cheek fold to the sides of the nose. The lower cheek fat pad falls and ruins our straight jaw line with jowls. The muscle bands under our chin splay and bunch, letting the soft tissue bulge like the proverbial turkey gobbler. These are the deep structures that make up our shape and are part of our youth, now misplaced. The majority of face lifts do not address these structures. Deep structures cannot be stretched back; they must be repositioned. This is my introduction to the deep plane face lift, and how it compares anatomically to other face lifts.

Deep plane face lift versus most face lift procedures:

The deep plane face lift adds an element of structural re-positioning as well as re-draping to our bag of tricks. There is nothing new to this; it’s just a surgical path less trodden, in part because there is more to it. A deep plane face lift gives a more natural appearance, with fuller, more rounded cheeks, less hollows and an awesome neck contour. It minimizes the risk of that wind-swept look, resulting in a very natural rejuvenation. Relying on re-positioning rather than stretching, it has the most lasting benefits of all face lifting options: it addresses and reverses the aging changes rather than masking them.

How do we decide which technique best suits which person?

A majority of people just choose a generic procedure without getting down to the nuts and bolts. There has been a trend to opt for minimally invasive procedures with minimal down time, and there are people with just the right anatomy to get brilliant results with these draping-only procedures as well as with the more “mini” procedures. However, there are many more people who will best meet their goals for facial rejuvenation via the deep plane face lift. But to be fair, it is a rare patient who is not thrilled at turning back the clock by any amount of time!

Back to our investment analogy:

If we’re investing in our looks, what outcome are we ultimately seeking? Are we just trying to get rid of wrinkles, or are we trying to regain a healthy, vital, youthful self? Are we going for the gold, or some faster-tarnishing metal?

A facelift is a surgical procedure that will help improve the visible signs of aging around the face and neck, the sagging in the middle of the face, the deep creases below the lower eyelids, the fat that has fallen or disappeared, the loss of skin tone in the lower face, and much more. The entire staff at Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are proud to assist patients in Virginia with facelift surgery.

Many of our patients feel unhappy with the loss of the youthful contouring in their face and are looking to change this. The change in the face’s appearance can be due to many factors including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress. A facelift can smooth the cheek, rounding it over the cheekbones, and creating a more flush relationship with the eyes. The jawline and neckline are recontoured, redefining the shapes, angles and smooth curves of a more youthful appearance.

We will administer anesthesia to begin the surgical procedure. We will be happy to recommend the right kind for you. How many changes you would like to see will determine the type of facelift we will assist you with. There is a traditional facelift, limited incision facelift, or necklift.

The incision will begin in your hairline at your temples and will continue to your ears and end at the lower scalp. Your fat will be able to be sculpted or redistributed from your face, jowls, and neck. We will also be able to lift your muscles. The skin will then be redraped over the uplifting contours, and excess skin will be trimmed away. You may require a second incision under your chin to improve your neck further if it has additional noticeable aging. Once you are healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within your hairline.

Our staff enjoys assisting people with getting the look that they are searching for. We are always willing to answer any of your questions. We also stay up to date with the latest trends and techniques so that you can have the fastest recovery time.

If you are interested in a facelift, the first step will be to have a consultation with one of our friendly and educated surgeons. You will be able to ask any questions that you have at this time, and we will verify that you are in good health and able to undergo this surgery.

If you have any questions about a facelift or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us today at (804) 484-3700. We look forward to assisting you!

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