What is a Facelift?
A Facelift is a surgical procedure done under general anesthesia in which the surgeon analyzes aging and lax skin, fat pads, muscles, and all other underlying tissues, surgically places them together and then surgically stitching them in an upward vector to recreate a younger version of yourself. The wonderful thing about a Facelift is the instant rejuvenation that you get. On the flip side, the patient still ages. Usually, you will not see drastic aging for several years, but in this every changing world of facial rejuvenation, there are things we can do in order to slow the aging and protect the Facelift investment. These procedures include correcting volume loss, rejuvenating skin texture and creating collagen and elastin to help slow the aging process.
When to consider skin resurfacing?
Post Facelift there will be recovery and incision healing. It is imperative that there are follow up visits with your surgeon and conversations of recovery. My surgeons do a phenomenal job with this. Before starting any anti-aging procedures after surgical procedure, the patient is always cleared by their surgeon. This usually happens around 3-6 months. If there was resurfacing like CO2 done with the Facelift any other will wait until approximately 1 year. If resurfacing was not performed at the time of surgery, at the 3-month follow-up skin resurfacing should be considered. Skin resurfacing not only addresses skin texture, but also laxity, fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. We offer both CO2 and Erbium Yag lasering. Erbium is a younger, less harsh sister to the CO2. Three of the Erbium laser treatments will get a patient the result of one CO2. There is less downtime with the Erbium than CO2.
When should I start microneedling?
Another procedure that is started for maintenance after Facelift is microneedling and radiofrequency microneedling (Pixel8). Both procedures help to form collagen and Elastin. The radiofrequency creates this by the injection of a needle and the energy pulse that goes into your skin with the injection. With regular microneedling, there is no energy. Collagen and Elastin help with skin laxity and texture. People often ask, “But if I had a Facelift, why do I need collagen and elastin.” My response is always this, “A Facelift only puts things that drifted down back up. It does not create new things.” In the protection of the investment, we want to anti-age our patients. This is like buying a new car and never getting the car waxed. The metal will not bend and in 10 years there will still be the body of the car left, but it may rust and the paint my fade. We must always protect our investment. Both microneedling and radiofrequency microneedling are minimal downtime with redness lasting 2-4 days, but easily covered up by makeup. The microneedling with radiofrequency is a more in-depth and all around more rejuvenating procedure. It will provide the most change in the texture and tightness to the skin. Both procedures are also well known to be placed with PRP. This is another element of rejuvenation by placing your body’s own healing and rejuvenating technology back into the skin. This provides more collagen and elastin formation with each session.
Will I still need Botox or FIller?
The final aspect and one of the most overlooked is facial fillers and Botox. When considering the Facelift procedure, one of the biggest misconceptions is that there will never be a need for filler and Botox. This is completely false. As presented earlier, a facelift only places volume you already have back together and higher up in the face. Volume loss is a major issue in facial aging. With this volume loss by both bone reabsorption and fat pad volume loss, it must be replaced by either HA fillers or fat transfer. Filler is designed to mimic the younger body’s fullness. Fat transfer is the act of taking fat out of the body in another area such as the abdomen or flanks and placing this, after filtered, back into the face. This gives the appearance of a younger more rested face. Now for Botox, it is all about softening muscles in order to stop them from creating lines. Muscle movement happens with and without a Facelift procedure. Muscles will not stop moving after the Facelift. Less wrinkles mean a more rested appearance. Both procedures can be started as early as 6 weeks, but will depend upon the clearance from the surgeon.
What bigger procedures will I need after a Facelift?
Two procedures that come much later in the maintenance cycle, but are equally as important are ProFound and Ultherapy. Profound is skin tightening and Ultherapy is deep tissue tightening. The two procedures placed together are a non-surgical Facelift. Ultherapy uses ultrasound waves to heat deep tissues in order to tighten. There is little to no downtime with this procedure because it is deep. Ultherapy is advised typically around the year to 18-month time period after your Facelift procedure. Profound is deeper radiofrequency microneedling than PIxel8. It heats hotter and stays in the skin longer, thus producing more collagen and elastin formation and tightening the skin. This is typically advised around the 18-24 month mark after the Facelift procedure. Both non-surgical options have a place in the maintenance of a surgery and can be added at the time of surgery for a more long lasting and rejuvenated approach.
So, the investment in the Facelift is the big down payment?
Correct!, In conclusion, all procedures discussed are great options of maintenance of the facial post Facelift. For patients not considering surgical options, they are great options to rejuvenate the face as a primary means. One should always have a consultation with a provider in order to assess your needs and what will best suit them. Some people may require surgical intervention to achieve a result that is wanted and others may not. But PLEASE, don’t buy a brand-new car and never get the car waxed.