1) How long will the facelift last?
The way to answer this question is to imagine that you had an identical twin. If you get the surgery, and your twin doesn’t, you are going to look better and younger than your twin. As you both age, you will always look that much better or younger than your twin. However, you will still continue to age. Might you need or want additional surgery in the future to correct ongoing aging? Sure, that’s possible. Surgery can’t stop the clock from ticking; it just sets it back a bit.
2) How do I avoid that over-operated look?
Most people ask this question by saying, “I don’t want to look like ____ (insert over-operated celebrity name here)”. It is difficult to get that bizarre over-operated look if you have never had surgery before, although some techniques are more natural than others. Usually, the over-operated look is from too many surgeries, or doing the wrong surgery on someone who has previously had surgery. It is critical on these patients to use techniques that not only avoid the over-operated look, but correct any stigma from previous surgery.
3) When will I look normal?
Recovery from the surgery involves swelling and bruising, but most patients are comfortable going out in public in about 2 weeks. Things will continue to improve for many more weeks after that.
4) Will it help the wrinkles around my eyes?
Think of a facelift as addressing the midface and neck, from the cheek bones down to the bottom of the neck. It doesn’t address eyelid or forehead aging, which are often addressed by eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) and browlift, respectively. These procedures can often be done at the same time as the facelift.
5) I don’t want those big incisions, can I just get a mini-facelift?
I will always try to limit incisions and scars when possible. For younger patients who may have some facial aging changes but still have good skin elasticity, a mini-facelift may be an option. This may use a smaller or remote incision, along with other techniques customized for your particular aging changes.
6) Do you do the _____ (insert nifty sounding procedure name here) facelift?
There are many facelift and limited facelift procedures that have been marketed and sometimes trademarked. I see these advertised in print and on TV all the time, and I’m sure you do too. Most of these are minor variations of established techniques, and are nothing magical or groundbreaking. Some are here today, gone tomorrow (remember Thread Lifts?). I am experienced and comfortable with many techniques, and I respect techniques that work now, and will work in the future.