Many patients are apprehensive about having a face lift because of the downtime and potential discomfort associated with the procedure. They have loose, sagging skin, and think that a syringe of dermal filler will provide them with the same result and quick fix in restoring a tighter face and overall more youthful appearance. For older patients, however, fillers have limitations in terms of both results and efficiency in restoring a facial appearance.
Unfortunately, fillers cannot always take care of many of the late-term aging symptoms that effect the neck and facial areas of older patients. When taking into consideration extremely deep wrinkles and folds, lines in and along the lip area, vertical neck bands resulting from loose neck skin, and jowl formation, it becomes evident that a dermal filler simply cannot produce the desired result for an older patient.
And while many patients don’t like to face this tough reality, it has been determined that using dermal fillers to correct the effects of moderate to severe aging can actually make signs of aging worse. As a patient begins to age naturally, their face begins to suffer from severe tissue laxity and an all-around loosening of the skin. Using dermal fillers as opposed to undergoing a procedure to tighten and provide more elasticity to the skin in patients with severe tissue laxity issues can have to tendency to create an unnatural bloated-looking appearance where the face lacks normal definition, normal facial expressions become impaired, and facial proportions become distorted. Just look at many older celebrities in the tabloids who turn to fillers instead of going under the knife!
Yes, a facelift sounds like to would create a more dramatic, and even unnatural looking difference, but in actuality, a facelift (when administered correctly) actually has the ability to create a more youthful, restored look, even though dermal fillers would be assumed to be more subtle in their effects.
A facelift often the best way to address significant aging through the manual excision and tightening of loose and sagging skin and underlying muscle. A facelift procedure starts off with several incisions being made around the hairline, past the front of the ears, and under the chin. The surgeon then works to remove the skin from underlying facial muscles. Excess fat is removed and the muscles are tightened as needed. The skin is then pulled and stitched back to the line where the cut was initially made. Patients who maintain a stable body weight and strong bone structure will maintain the positive effects of a facelift for 7-10 years.
Don’t shop around for a plastic surgeon based on price, or because you fear going under the knife; consult with a plastic surgeon who can address about whether your concerns could be addressed via dermal fillers, or who could honestly convey when a full facelift would be a necessity. And understand that if you do end up taking the dermal filler route, that while the results of these treatments can be dramatic, they are very temporary in nature.