Your child just graduated from college . Of course, you are proud; but you’re also feeling a bit nostalgic. So you start looking back on your child’s life through photos, and besides remembering how adorable he or she was, you can’t help but notice that time has taken a toll on your appearance.
Your child just graduated from college. Of course, you are proud; but you’re also feeling a bit nostalgic. So you start looking back on your child’s life through photos, and besides remembering how adorable he or she was, you can’t help but notice that time has taken a toll on your appearance. It’s like watching a movie in slow motion but there is no denying that you’re looking older, particularly your face and neck. At 55, gravity is beginning to win. You are OK with getting older; in fact, you wouldn’t want it any other way. But looking older is another story. You start scouring the Internet to explore your options. You think that a facelift may be the appropriate treatment for, you but you are soon overwhelmed by choice: The Band-Aid Lift, QT Lift, Lifestyle Lift®, Laser Lift, Mini Lift, Quick Lift, Short Scar Lift. Your head begins to swim. The promises and testimonials all sound so good. “What should I do?”
Let’s clear the air. None of these names should matter to you. Most are simply proprietary marketing terms, not technical terms, to distinguish one surgeon’s facelift technique from another’s. The details of how a facelift is actually performed should be the surgeon’s concern. In general, a facelift is an operation that repositions skin and often, deeper facial and neck structures to rejuvenate the lower third of the face and neck. What you should be focused on is the training, experience and reputation of the surgeon and the results that they achieve. Do you like their aesthetic? When assessing the surgeon’s before and after photos, do their patients look more attractive and natural after surgery? Are the photos honest? That is, are the patients in the same exact position with the same lighting before and after surgery, or are the post-operative photos more a glamour shot than a clinical photograph? Don’t be fooled. Learn to be a careful observer. You must look at not one, five or ten patients, but many before and after photos to see if there is consistency in their work. Realize that for any facelift, there is a tradeoff; the placement of incisions and the resulting scars for the correction of facial and neck laxity. Look for the patient’s scars, particularly around the ear. In most cases these scars should be very difficult to see. How does the patient’s neck contour look, the jaw line, and the cheek area? Do they look pulled or natural? In my opinion, if you speak only with a consultant or surrogate and not with your surgeon at your consultation, that should be a big red flag. Don’t be fooled. If the “promises” or the “deal” sound to good to be true, chances are they probably are. Do you feel pressure to “sign up”? Trust your instincts. This is your face we are talking about. Do you really want to get a bargain rate facelift? Is that where you want to save your money? Personally, I would want a board certified facial plastic surgeon that is artistic, caring and experienced. Choose your facelift surgeon wisely.
Seth A. Yellin, MD, FACS
Director, Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics Center
Fellow, American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Board Certified, American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery