Saving face: facelifts push back the clock
Although you’re past 40, you’re determined to retain your youthful appearance. You keep yourself fit by exercising regularly and eating a low-fat diet. But when you look in the mirror, your age becomes evident. Gravity and years of sun exposure have taken their toll. No matter how much sleep you get, your face looks tired and old. Your jaw line has grown slack and there are marionette lines around your mouth and deep creases between your eyebrows.
If you are like 80,000 Americans, you will have a facelift this year. So popular is the procedure that the number of facelifts has almost doubled since 1992, according to NIH.
“Facelifts are mainstream today,” said Dr. Mark Glasgold, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with the Glasgold Group stars anymore. Teachers and middle managers are having facelifts these days because the workplace is so competitive. People in their 50s have to compete with 30-year-olds for jobs so they can’t afford to have an old-looking face because employers equate an old face with old ideas.” Another trend is earlier facelifts. People used to wait until their 60s to have the procedure. Now they are having facelifts in their early 40s. New techniques have made facelifts easier and more comfortable.
There is no need to be hospitalized, and local anesthetic is used. Incisions are smaller and heal faster, and most people look well enough to return to work in two weeks.
“The best change of all is natural looking faces,” said Dr. Glasgold. “In the old days, facelifts consisted of cutting and pulling the skin to give a tight neck and jawline. Distortions resulted because the underlying muscles and tissues needed to be tightened, too. In the past, excess fat was removed to the person was left with a gaunt look. Now we have techniques that enable us to move that fat from under the eyes to the cheek so that people look like themselves, only younger.”
Before making any decisions, Dr. Glasgold advises prospective patients to discuss their reasons for seeking a facelift and their expectations with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon.
“It is important to know what is going on in their lives and what specifically they would like to changed in their faces,” Said Dr. Glasgold. “A plastic surgeon may do an outstanding facelift but if it doesn’t correct a line that bothers the patient, she won’t be satisfied.”
Computer-generated images help pinpoint lines, sags and other areas to be corrected. Experience of the surgeon also counts since there is a learning curve in facial plastic surgery as in every other medical procedure.