Last year, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that 107,608 women and 11,398 men underwent facelifts. While the majority of these patients were between the ages of 51 and 64, people in the 19 to 34 age bracket also accounted for some of those numbers. This begs the question: Why do people decide to undergo a facelift?
While different people will elect facelift surgery for different reasons, the following are five common reasons why both men and women seek rhytidectomy as it is technically known.
- Muscle Tone and Elasticity of the Skin. Lack of muscle tone and loss of elasticity can lead to a slew of issues with an aging face. Facial exercises can help some, but once skin elasticity is gone, there is nothing to stop the wrinkles and creases from forming. This is a leading reason why men and women turn to plastic surgery. The signs of aging can affect one’s self-confidence, and surgery can help to restore that as well as a more youthful appearance.
- Appearance of Jowls. Jowls by definition are the fleshy parts that hang from the cheeks, lower jaw, or throat when the skin slackens. There is no way to stop the loss of muscle tone and skin elasticity as you age. In fact, by the time you reach your 40s, you’re probably starting to see some signs of aging. Jowls can be addressed by fixing the underlying problem along with the skin and muscle.
- Deep Creases and Wrinkles on the Midface and Neck. As skin sags, creases and wrinkles can develop. The most common crease, known as the nasolabial fold, travels from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Other issues include lip wrinkles, marionette lines, and oral commissures that run downward from the corner of the mouth, making it look like you are frowning. A comprehensive skincare regimen is the best way to keep wrinkles and lines from forming. Once you have these wrinkles and creases, a facelift can help to turn back the clock.
- Sagging Chin and Neck Line. Double chins and the turkey neck – they’re the enemy of many men and women, regardless of weight. Skin on the neck tends to be thin, and lack of skin elasticity exacerbates the issue. The skin in this area will often sag, leading to ill-defined neck lines that resemble a turkey’s wattle. Moisturizers help some, but they’re most effective when used at a younger age. Tightening the skin with a facelift is an effective tool to combat both of these signs of aging.
- Worn, Tired Appearance. As skin loses elasticity and the muscle tone diminishes, the skin descends downward on the face. This can drag down the corners of the mouth, as well as enhance the appearance of other issues like loose neck skin, jowls, and wrinkles. When you put these issues together, it can make you look worn out and much older than you actually are or than you feel.
Facelift vs. Limited Incision Facelift
Facelift surgeons usually offer a facelift or limited incision facelift. With the limited incision facelift, the incision is restricted to the hairline and ears. This minimizes swelling and bruising, but it isn’t appropriate for every patient. With a full facelift, an incision is made from the temple to the ears and then another incision is often made under the chin. Your plastic surgeon can help you decide which procedure is best for your unique needs.
Undergoing a facelift is a personal decision that is best made after consulting with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. Remember that your family genetics and lifestyle options do affect the overall results. Following your surgeon’s directives is crucial at this time and will affect the healing process. Make sure you follow instructions carefully. Complications are rare, but any surgery comes with a risk. Be sure to discuss all of these points during your consultation. The more informed you are, the better the results.
After you understand the basics of a facelift, schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham, a renowned Austin facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Buckingham comes highly recommended by former patients, and he’s received Austin’s Patients’ Choice Award for four years running. Call (512) 401-2500 to schedule your consultation with the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery.