Facelifts of the Future

Woman with her hands on her face

I am not a plastic surgeon. I do not perform facelifts, at least the kind where incisions are required, but do offer alternatives like Dysport® in the Spokane area. But let’s look at some plastic surgery history for a minute. The facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a procedure for facial rejuvenation or wrinkle excision that was first performed in Berlin in 1901. Various techniques have evolved over time using different incisions and tissue planes to perform the pull back of tissue to create a more youthful appearance. For many years, cosmetic and plastic surgeons relied on facelift operations to treat all types of changes associated with facial aging. Since the early 1900s the facelift technique has undergone at least four major surgical technical changes based on different and evolving philosophies and understanding of facial aging and anatomy.
As time has passed, economic changes have also taken place vastly reducing the number $10,000 to $15,000 facelift procedures performed under general anesthesia. As a result outpatient facelift facilities such as Lifestyle Lift centers have sprung up all over the country providing discounted plastic surgery facelift procedures due to their high volume of patients. In spite of this, at this time in history, the facelift is just not as popular as it used to be to address facial wrinkles. Modern patients are tending to seek out minimally invasive procedures that require minimal down time, less risk and less scarring. There is also, in my opinion, an improved understanding of what looks cosmetically appropriate and natural with better tools to accomplish these goals.
In my cosmetic surgery practice, my patients often voice their concerns about the “swept back” appearance of a facelift operation that they have witnessed first-hand in friends and relatives and feel that surgery would alter their appearance too drastically. They are still looking for that youthful appearance, but they really don’t want surgery.
So what are the alternatives to facelifts? I approach the aging face by listening to the specific concerns of the patient. I examine their skin and facial and neck bone and muscular anatomy and function. I determine the cause of their concern and then using a combination of therapies such as lasers for skin rejuvenation and tightening, neuromodulators like Dysport® to relax certain muscles that create active wrinkles, dermal fillers like Restylane® and Perlane® to restore volume where it has been lost, and laser assisted liposuction, or Smartlipo™, to reduce fat in areas such as jowls and necks. All of these treatments either separately or in combination have been found to significantly improve the signs of aging and all are designed to provide minimal recovery times, little to no scarring, and low risk. As these techniques continue to evolve, the results will be better, maybe even eventually replacing the 112 year old rhytidectomy and becoming the facelift of the future.
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