What’s New in Facial Rejuvenation?
The face and neck are parts of the body most exposed to the elements and are therefore most affected by the ageing process. Until recently, the conventional facelift
was the only treatment of choice to improve the signs of ageing. However, many people have been put off the typical Hollywood, tight, wind tunnel faces. Patients however, find that today’s options are more varied.
Recent studies in facial cosmetic surgery indicate that more patients are requesting cosmetic surgery to remain competitive in the workplace. Due to the economic downturn however, patients are more educated in the options in cosmetic surgery and more are making use of less invasive procedures to delay surgical procedures.
My patients are requesting more natural results with shorter recovery times to return back to their work and lifestyles. The most common non-surgical procedures for both men and women still remains Botulinum Toxin. However, the use of the “liquid face lift” to rejuvenate the face is fast becoming very popular. The procedure is designed to bring back youthful features through the volumetric replacement of soft tissues lost with the process of ageing.
The procedure is performed in the office where a natural gel, Voluma (Juvederm) or Sub Q (Perlane) is injected in specific regions of the face to restore the 3D structure of the area. I use a “5 point” injection technique to painlessly support the deeper facial soft tissues and lift the face. Patients can expect minimal down time and the “rested” or “lifted” look can last 12-24 months.
For patients who require more extensive volume replacement to achieve a more youthful appearance, I would suggest that they consider a Stem Cell Face Lift. Unlike a normal facelift, in which the flaccid skin is excised to create an artificial firmness, a Stem Cell Face Lift is performed solely by injection. The procedure involves harvesting fat from a part of the body with abundant fat deposits, this is then purified and precisely injected back into the part
of your face that needs filling and contouring. By replacing the fat that has been lost due to ageing you get an uplifting effect. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic in the day clinic. The amount of fat reinjected is always 30 – 40 % more than needed, as a percentage fat will be absorbed into the body. Patients are therefore more swollen and bruised than they would be if they underwent the simpler liquid facelift. The advantage is that the results are more permanent and the stem cells in the fat have regenerative potential.
However, for patients with more than just volume loss, who also show signs of sagging of the lower face, simple volumizing techniques will not be sufficient. These patients will require some form of skin tightening. Thread Lifts are indicated in these patients with minimal skin laxity requiring facial remodeling/ lifting without scars. The ideal patient for this treatment is a younger patient who does not want or need an extensive lift. It is also useful in patients trying to buy time while waiting to embark on more aggressive procedures later in life.
Thread lifts can also be an alternative for heavy smokers too, as it is one of the few procedures for which heavy smoking is not contraindicated.
It is important to remember that when patients are older and show more loose skin around the neck and jowls then the less invasive procedures will not achieve adequate rejuvenating results. Surgical skin excision procedures are indicated in these patients. Today however, plastic surgeons all over the world understand the importance of minimally invasive procedures and that patients are demanding less visible scars. The “MACS” (minimal access cranial suspension) lift or “S- lift” is a procedure I use commonly in my practice when patients require more extensive lifting and refreshing of the lower 2/3 of the face and neck.
The classic face lift is the more extensive invasive technique for facial lifting. This still remains an excellent choice for older patients with more sagging skin of the face and neck. A new trend is that younger patients 35-45 years are seeking facelifts. This too has been one of the rapidly increasing requests in my practice. Patients today definitely want to bypass the typical stages of ageing i.e. jowls and loose necks. The availability of a variety of
face lifting techniques has revolutionized the anti aging practices of most modern plastic surgeons.