When is the appropriate time to have a facelift?

I’m often asked when it is appropriate to have a facelift/ Am I too old or too young to have a facelift? The age bracket of prospective facelift candidates is as young as early 40’s right up to early 70’s. It is a very individual decision and is associated with genetics as well as environmental factors such as smoking and sun exposure.

The signs include loss of cheek prominence and a sagging jaw line associated with jowling. There may be deep nasolabial lines and marionette lines forming, with loss of the angle between the neck and the jaw. There may be loss of fat from the face and the skin is often sun damaged. Signs around the oral area include vertical wrinkles and thinning of the lips.

Non invasive cosmetic procedures such as soft tissue fillers and muscle relaxants may be a temporizing solution to the problem. If the decision is made to proceed with a facelift then I will often perform fat transfer for volumising the face. This is a more permanent solution as a filler and is safe.

Skin resurfacing procedures such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels often help, particularly around the eyes and the mouth. Fractionated laser is preferred to the more aggressive ablative lasers such as CO2 and Erbium and can be done as an office procedure. It is my preferred option to treat potential facelift patients with a pre and post operative course of fractionated laser to optimise the skin condition.

I am not a fan of thread lifting as I believe the results do not justify the cost long term. However, many cosmetic physicians persist in the use of threads.

Many patients are concerned regarding ending up with an operated look and fear facelifting. A good facelift will be performed expertly with attention to detail. It is important to avoid the stigmata of facelifting such as a swept back look, alteration of the hairline and pixie ears.  The ideal outcome is a natural refreshed look.

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