Facial Cosmetic Surgery
In this day and age, more Americans – both young and old – continue to seek facial cosmetic surgery procedures to reverse the signs of age and induce a return to the more youthful, vibrant appearance they once recalled.
Some 14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States last year, up 5 percent from 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The overall growth in numbers continues to be driven in part by a rise in minimally invasive procedures.
Of course, statistics can serve as a snapshot of society. Perhaps, you’ve looked in the mirror and pictured how you might look following a facial cosmetic procedure. You’ve seen a number of your friends proactively choose treatments and procedures that put a stop to the early signs of aging that everyone sooner or later experiences. You’ve also seen, perhaps, a colleague at work undergo a procedure to alter a perceived imperfection in their appearance.
But What About Me?
Whatever the reason, the increase in facial plastic surgery is enough sometimes to make you want to throw your face in your hands and wonder: What about me? When should I consider surgery?
The answer to that age-old adage may not lie in how old you may be, but rather based on the degree of change that needs to be made to correct your appearance. Know this: Facial cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are always better to be made early – not late – if you want the best results.
Of course, younger patients interested in facial rejuvenation may be reluctant to undergo a facelift or even a limited or nonsurgical procedure in order to “buy time.” However, some experts are suggesting that waiting too long can instead prove more costly. These same patients should understand that they might benefit most from low-maintenance procedures or treatments when the time is right.
In fact, a study has found that patients younger than 50-years-old undergoing facelifts have better outcomes from facial rejuvenation surgeries. Younger patients with “early or minimal signs of facial aging,” typically achieve better results and higher satisfaction rates, lasting at least a decade after facelift surgery, according to a report in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
News that candidates in their ‘40s and ‘50s can expect better outcomes following elective procedures should come as little surprise because, generally, they are in better health and have fewer medical issues than those 60 and older.
On the other hand, the report found that patients 60 and older who already had “significant facial-aging changes” prior to surgery still showed signs of “regression” in follow-up exams, even though they looked more youthful than their peers who had never underwent facial rejuvenation procedures.
Where Do You Stand?
For most people, facial aging begins in the late ‘30s and progresses through the ‘40s and ‘50s when deep facial lines, skin folds and reduced levels of facial volume from fat loss create permanent skin changes that are difficult to correct with a facelift alone. This may require a procedure such as a popular procedure performed by Dr. Buckingham called Autogolous Fat Transfer.
Maybe that’s why so many in their ‘40 or ‘50s have decided to do an about-face and get a facelift or, at the very least, injections of fillers or fat injections to pump up volume and prevent permanent changes before it’s too late.
Non surgical options, such as injectable dermal fillers like Restylane, Restylane Lyft, Radiesse and Sculptra, have become popular treatments for plumping the cheeks, improving skin fold lines and refreshing the middle of your face. Maybe you’ve already heard that Botox and Dysport can reduce crow’s feet, frown and static lines, and restore a vibrant, natural look to your upper face. As you advance in age and jowls along the lower face and excess neck skin becomes more apparent, lifts can provide appropriate opportunities to bring life to these areas in need of a boost.
Look the Way You Feel
Take a glance around. It’s easy to see that people are living longer. So, it’s no wonder that people want to look the way they feel. Are still in your ‘40s or ‘50s and are not only socially active, but still pursuing careers where looking fit and youthful are important? Then you should know that cosmetic minimally invasive procedures increased by 6 percent last year, with 13 million Americans flocking for treatments that included chemical peels, soft tissue fillers, microdermabrasion, and Botulinum toxin type A injectibles.
Patients under 50 should not only be considered for a facelift, but perhaps looked upon as the most likely to achieve excellent, long-lasting results. That said, a trend of some concern has emerged among much younger adults who are following in the path of older patients and opting for injections of Botox and other treatments to avoid wrinkles that won’t appear until later in life. Studies have found that 30 percent of the patients who receive Botox injections are under the age of 30.
Not so Fast
Not everyone waging war in a battle against the forces of time is a young Hollywood celebrity, either. In the last few years, there’s been a tremendous increase in the number of 20-something patients using Botox and similar treatments as a way to ward off future wrinkles.
It is important to know there is no definitive evidence that Botox can prevent wrinkles from forming before it is their time to. That’s why many plastic surgeons say using Botox before lines emerge doesn’t make sense. Botox, they say, is a drug and should be considered as such, and used only when there is a need. The drug is thought to work by blocking nerve signals to the muscles, thus relaxing them.
Aging is not a Disease
As more men and women are exposed to the visual world, an increasing number of photos are being displayed in the public eye on social media sites. From YouTube to Instagram, immediate public displays are driving the increase in cosmetic facial procedures from Botox to neck lifts.
While youthful looks have always been prized, aging has never been considered a disease. Yes, social media provides a constant reminder of your appearance and may certainly influence your decision to improve perceived flaws. However, it is important to make cosmetic surgery a personal choice and not one made to please friends, family or somebody else’s motives, no matter how hard they urge or encourage you to do so.
Right Choice for You
Facial aging – the sagging soft tissues, wrinkling skin and loss of elasticity – is important to your appearance and should not be overlooked. Cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures can allow you to make the most of the way you want to look, to rid the old to bring in the new, natural, more youthful beauty.
Trusted and innovative, Dr. Edward Buckingham is double board-certified. He was recently re-elected as a delegate to the Texas Medical Association, the largest state medical society in the country, as well as one of the oldest and most powerful nationwide. To contact the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, and learn more about cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures and treatments, call (512) 401-2500 or visit online at /.