If you are concerned about sagging jowls, loose cheek and neck skin, or neck bands, stop thinking that you need a face  lift or lunch time lift. Think less about “skin” and start thinking about “muscles”. Our skin covers our body but does not support it. The underlying structures shape our body and determine our appearance. A good face or neck lift will lift the skin to expose the underlying muscle layer, lift and realign the muscle structure, giving the face a more long lasting youthful shape.

The skin is then redraped and slightly tightened. Too much pull on the skin results in a pulled look and does not last. Reshaping from beneath gives a more natural appearance. It also takes more experience and time by the plastic surgeon.

Access to these structures is provided through the incision in front of the ear and around the back of the ear into the hairline. Also, a small incision under the chin is needed to access the front of the neck. The need and/or extent of these incisions depends on the amount of aging, muscle tightening and skin re-draping that is required.

Again, think about “muscles”, all the muscles of the face and neck, when thinking about facial cosmetic surgery. Take the time to review your surgeons experience with these procedures before opting for any of the quick fixes.  The quick fixes, and procedures that are advertize about little or no recovery, will usually not address the underlying structures.

There is no right age for a facelift. We all age differently according to genetic and environmental factors. There is definitely room for the “mini” lift that does not address the underlying structure. All patients need to be evaluated carefully during the consultation with a plastic surgeon. The surgeon needs to listen to their concerns in order to recommend the extent of the lift and the recovery time required, that will best achieve the patient’s expectations.

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