If you've been thinking about getting plastic surgery, it can be difficult to find the best option for you. Many people have preconceived notions about what a facelift is and what it can accomplish. The truth is that a facelift is a great way to rejuvenate your appearance, so here's what you need to know about whether it's right for you and when to consider it.
Types of Facelift Procedures
Different types of facelifts may be more suitable for you, depending on your goals and anatomy. Consulting with Dr. Couvillion, a board-certified plastic surgeon will help you determine the best option.
A mini facelift is ideal for people who only need minor enhancements to their lower face. It's a popular option for people in their late 30s and 40s because it's an excellent choice if you have only minor signs of aging. In comparison to a traditional facelift, this procedure has a slightly smaller incision and shorter operative/recovery time.
A traditional facelift, also known as a full facelift, is what most people envision when they hear the word "facelift." It's ideal for people with moderate to severe aging signs around the lower face and neck. A traditional facelift removes and reshapes excess skin and underlying supporting tissue, which are then re-suspended in a more upright and youthful position. It produces more dramatic, long-lasting, and transformative results than its “mini” counterpart.
A neck lift is an excellent procedure for removing excess fatty tissue and restoring the neck area to a more youthful and defined appearance for people with significant signs of aging and sagging skin around the neck. A neck lift is frequently part of a “full/traditional facelift”. It can also be performed alone on the right patient. There are multiple techniques that Dr. Couvillion may use depending on your age and anatomy. A neck lift by itself is usually reserved for patients younger than 45, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
Combining Your Options
Facelift surgeries can be combined with other cosmetic facial procedures, such as eyelid surgery and brow lifts, to provide an overall more harmonious and global rejuvenation of the face. Combining procedures is safe and effective for the majority of patients, but every patient is different. The decision of what to do and when is made as part of the discussion with Dr. Couvillion.
Reasons for Interest in a Facelift
Loose or Sagging Skin
The improved skin tightness is one of the most noticeable differences between a patient's facelift surgery before and after results. Wrinkles and sagging skin appear on your face and neck as your skin loses elasticity. A successful surgery, combined with a neck lift, can improve the appearance of loose skin, giving the face a more youthful appearance.
Facial Volume Loss
Another sign of aging is the loss and movement of facial fat or volume. Less volume in the tissue beneath the skin results in the appearance of hollowness, which can make a face look older and tired. A facelift alone will not add back volume but it can help return the drooping volume back to where it started. If volume loss is an issue, fat grafting can be performed during the surgery or injectable fillers can be used post-surgery, to help restore the volume of your face.
Jowls That Have Started To Sag
Jowls develop as a result of volume redistribution and loss on your face causing the skin to sag. A facelift can reduce the appearance of jowls by elevating the tissue beneath the skin and removing excess skin to achieve a more youthful jawline.
Changes in Facial Shape
As we age, our youthful facial features begin to change, as we explained above. This can change the shape of our faces. We often like to compare a youthful face to an inverted triangle and a more aged face to a regular triangle. It’s much more complicated than this triangle picture, but it’s a good starting point for a discussion! A facelift helps to re-elevate the deep tissues of the face to recreate that more youthful, upside-down triangle appearance.
Why 50 Is the Preferred Ideal Age for Facelifts
The reason why your 50s are the preferred age for a facelift is straightforward: younger bodies recover faster and retain a more youthful appearance for longer following surgical enhancement. If a patient comes in at the age of 60 or 70, that's an extra decade of sun, toxins, and depleted collagen for us to take care of. Can they still get a good result? Absolutely. We often hear from our patients that they wish they would have done surgery earlier in life, so they would be able to enjoy their results through more life events!
Another consideration for surgery at a younger age is that anesthesia is safer and easier to recover from when you’re younger. With the anesthesia Dr. Couvillion uses, generally, patients do not have a difficult recovery, no matter their age, as long as they were healthy enough for the surgery to begin with.
From an anatomy standpoint, the more healthy fat and collagen a surgeon has to work with for a facelift, the better. While all facial plastic surgery addresses the underlying structure of the face, having more to work within the first place is beneficial.
We begin to lose significant fat deposits in the face as early as 35, leaving the underlying tissue to begin to feel the effects of gravity. With each facelift, Dr. Couvillion manipulates the structure beneath the skin's surface, and as you get older, that may become more difficult. Heavily aged skin lacks the support structure needed to "bounce back" and hold the new shape as well after surgery.
Long-Lasting Results At 50
The good news is that 50 is an ideal age to take off several years and not waste another youthful day. With modern-day techniques and technology, we have more options than ever before.
A properly performed facelift in your 50s will outlast a facelift that you were to get in your 60s or 70s. You can always touch up your results with other surgical and non-surgical options as needed.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the incredible long-term results that a natural-looking facelift can produce. Advertising frequently misleads us into believing that the latest quick fix contains the solution. Women are particularly targeted by advertisements for procedures and products that promise to remove wrinkles or lift a sagging neck and jawline in an instant. In general, the results are equivalent to the effort/downtime related to the procedure.
Are You Ready For A Facelift?
The bottom line is that YOU determine the ideal age for a facelift based on the signs of aging you're experiencing, your long-term goals, and even how your genetics influence your personal aging process. The best way to find out if now is the best time to have a facelift is to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon and learn about all the options that can help you look your best at any age. I always tell patients that we’re in a consult to talk about what bothers them, not me.
If you are interested in a facelift please reach out to Dr. Ryan Couvillion's Aesthetic Consultant, Rosa Gonzalez at 713.850.0240 x. 1146 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Couvillion, MD
double board certified plastic surgeon
Dr. Ryan Couvillion is an experienced Houston, TX plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic procedures for the breasts, body, face, and skin. A native Houstonian, Dr. Couvillion has been recognized for his passion and dedication to achieving the best possible results for his patients. His drive to pursue training in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery began at a young age, and he is honored to have been mentored by some of the nation’s most recognized surgeons.
For every aesthetic need, Dr. Couvillion incorporates a patient-centered approach with everyone he encounters and makes each client a part of the decision-making process. According to Dr. Couvillion, "The most gratifying part of my day is when I get to talk to a happy patient. It is such a privilege to care for my patients and give them the results they want."