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The Science & Expertise

Facelifting – The Science & Expertise Behind Creating Natural Results

Before and after facelift by Dr Hodgkinson (with makeup)
Before and after facelift by Dr Hodgkinson (with makeup)

 

No one wants a tight facelift or to face the public derision that so many celebrities face, especially men, when they have a tight, stretched and unnatural looking face after face lift surgery.  Why is it that that is it that so many people have this operated on, tight look that is a giveaway that they have been “under the knife”?  The answer could be twofold: they have opted for lesser procedures such as S-lifts or skin lifts or the surgeon lacks the experience and expertise in facelifting necessary to create a result that is both visible and natural.

In the case of the lesser procedure, the skin lifts which are marketed under many different names, use the skin like cling wrap to pull back the tissues.  These cases seem attractive at first as they take less time, less expertise, have potentially less down time for the patient in healing and therefore cost less.  The problem arises in that in using the skin like a corset to hold back the sagging tissues underneath is that these lax structures and fat pads which needed to be secured are still underneath ready to bulge out like when you squeeze yourself into too tight jeans just to find your‘muffin top’.  Another problem is that this pulling back on the skin under tension places stress on the suture lines which can cause scars to migrate and be more visible.  Finally, to create this tension more skin need to be removed than is natural and so if a secondary or corrective procedure is considered at a later date, it will be more difficult as there may not be enough skin and there may be wider scares to contend with.

The second case is of course experience and expertise.  As in all cosmetic plastic surgical procedures, the number one factor in defining the quality of the result is the skill of the surgeon.  Face lifting and neck lifting surgery are an area of expertise unto themselves.  The surgeon must have a highly detailed knowledge of the intricate facial anatomy to work in the deep plane to secure these tissues without damaging tissues or worse nerves which could lead to a facial palsy.  Also there are many techniques which can be deployed in conjunction with one another to create an overall more natural look as no two faces age exactly alike.  Some faces age around the brow with drooping and sagging or furling of the brow, some around the eyes with drooping, bulging and wrinkling, others through the mid face with hollowness created as the fat pads resorb from the cheeks while others are mostly around the jowls and neckline.  Some people have a little of each of these aspects and to adopt one approach to all faces will lead to the classic maligned facelift: tight face with pulled earlobes and the tell-tale droopy neck which has been forgotten all together.

For more detailed information on the types of facelifts, please see my website article ‘Facelifting – Just the Facts’  https://www.drhodgkinson.com.au/face-lifting-just-the-facts/