As time goes by, the effects of the stresses and strains of daily life and exposure to the sun can be seen on our faces. Many women resort to surgery to help them gain a more youthful appearance, but there are many different types of facelift to choose from, each requiring very different surgical methods and producing very different results.
A facelift – sometimes referred to as a rhytidectomy – reduces some of the most visible signs of aging by tightening the underlying facial muscles and subsequently re-draping the skin. The result is a reduction in the appearance of deep creases between the nose and mouth, and the smoothing of the extra skin of the neck and jaw line. In some cases, excess fat in the neck may also be removed.
But the similarities between facelift surgeries end there, doctors say, and depending on which procedure patients choose, the final outcome in terms of scarring, invasiveness and appearance, will vary greatly.
Perhaps the most well known is the standard facelift. Incisions for a standard facelift are usually made above the hairline at the temples and extending discreetly to the hairline behind the ear. In this type of procedure, the skin and muscle below will also be tightened, and fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the chin and neck to improve contouring. The skin is then pulled back and secured with stitches to close the incisions. Another alternative that is increasingly being recommended by doctors for those who desire natural-looking results and a reduction in visible scarring is the short-scar facelift.
A revolutionary technique developed by Face Lift Toronto surgeons, the procedure, sometimes known as a limited-incision facelift, achieves the same result as a standard facelift but with a small incision, and consequently, a shorter scar. In this technique, the scar instead consists of a minor incision just above and below the front of the ear; meaning patients are able to wear their hair tied-up without the telltale signs of surgery.
The last and by far the least invasive method of facelift surgery is the mini-facelift, a relatively new procedure that gives patients a significant improvement in their appearance whilst keeping scarring to a minimum, and reducing the bruising and recovery time often associated with a full facelift. Designed for younger patients who simply want a little tightening of the face, particularly along the jaw line, cheeks and neck, the procedure is easily repeated after 5-10 years, meaning the patient is able to maintain their youthful look for longer.
Doctors suggest that the best candidate for a mini-facelift would typically be a man or woman whose neck, jaw line and face have begun to sag, but whose skin maintains some elasticity. Whilst a facelift undoubtedly gives patients a young and fresh appearance and a renewed self-confidence, it can’t offer a drastically different look, nor can it restore vitality of youth. Doctors recommend that prior to considering surgery, patients should think carefully about what they aim to achieve and discuss their goals with a certified plastic surgeon.