Planning for face lift

Planning a face lift is a collaborative effort between patient and surgeon, that takes into account the patients’ personal perceptions of beauty and the abilities and techniques available to achieve that aesthetic.

Everyone’s priorities differ, along with their medical history, degree of sun exposure and skin damage, and inherited traits that will affect surgical decisions.

In planning a face lift the surgeon will perform a comprehensive review of the factors contributing to the impression of ageing.

Desired changes may then involve facial contour, facial shape and volume, skin laxity, nasolabial lines and labiomandibular (marionette) lines reduction, and commonly a neck contouring or neck lift as part of the rejuvenation procedure.

Personalised planning

The purpose of pre-surgical planning and consultation is to help focus on individual desires for the appearance of the face and neck after face lift surgery.

It is a key opportunity to help patients develop a clear sense of direction to achieve their goals. Although it may be tempting to assume that cosmetic surgeons are in the best position to decide on the optimum procedure for each patient, the perception of beauty is very individual and the best outcomes are the result of a partnership of planning between patient and surgeon.

Careful surgeons will take time to involve patients thoroughly in the planning of their procedure believing that the very personal process, and respect for that process, is fundamental to the success of the procedure.

Some people simply want a discreet change and others a much more extensive reshaping of the face.

face lift

Patients considering a face lift are encouraged to work out their priorities for their own personal aesthetic in order for the surgeon to better guide them through the techniques available to achieve such a look.

Every patient has a highly tailored and individual treatment plan and will have time to understand the likely benefits and potential limitations of each procedure.

In some cases it may be that 3D-imaging can be used to help visualise the likely effects of face lift surgery as well as helping patients appreciate the advantages and limitations of surgical techniques.

Patients’ suitability for procedures requiring anaesthesia will also be assessed, along with any necessary pre-surgical changes, such as smoking cessation.

3D imaging consultation

It is difficult to imagine how even subtle changes to the facial contour can have a profound effect on appearance and the advent of 3D-imaging has made a vital difference in the planning process for face lift surgery.

Such imaging can help patients see if the changes they initially prioritise actually result in the effect they desire; as a consequence, the treatment plan may focus on these changes, or alternatively re-direct in order to produce the impact that the patient seeks.

Writing down the points that are of most concern about the appearance provides a useful way of structuring the consultation to target those elements and identify procedures that can achieve such effects.

Volumetric 3D facial rejuvenation

As we age, the volumes of the face change, with the areas around the eyes losing some volume and the jawline and neck gaining. Facelift surgery has started by repositioning and tightening tissues for a younger appearance. In time it has become obvious that this is not sufficient for an elegant and balanced effect, in particular in slimmer patients, or when repeat operations were accumulating over the years.

A major point of progress in face lift surgery in recent years has been volume restoration, typically using fat transfer to create a smoother and more youthful appearance after surgery.

Tightening the skin can easily produce the undesirable "overstretched" effects, but the technique of fat transfer can combine with the face lift to restore vigour, vibrancy, and to augment the face naturally. The effect of lifting is amplified by volume added, without having to resort to excess tightening.

The chin volume contributes to the jaw and neck line, and when suitable some patients also choose to have chin implants or enhancement to combine beautification with rejuvenation during a face lift.

The use of 3D-imaging techniques is particularly helpful in demonstrating the often significant overall effects of seemingly minor alterations in facial volume, as well as showing the achievable artistic effect that can be achieved following face lift surgery to redefine the jawline and chin.

Popular choices

The majority of patients around forty years of age opt for a maintenance procedure in order to sculpt the jawline and address laxity around the mouth. Such procedures are typically short scar facelifts associated with minimal scarring, and a short recovery period. Eyelid surgery can sometimes contribute to enhance the rejuvenating effects.

Later in life, patients are more likely to choose a full face lift involving jawline and neck contouring, improvement in the nasolabial lines and marionette lines around the nose and mouth, volume redistribution, and sometimes eyelid surgery or a forehead lift. The direction of tightening of the tissues becomes even more relevant in a personalised improvement of the appearance.

Surgery in those over fifty years of age also often helps to reduce the negative effects of sun damage and skin damage from smoking. A healthy lifestyle after surgery contributes maintaing the benefits of the operation for longer.

Before surgery

Patients planning a face lift will likely have many questions and concerns. The role of the surgeon (and the surgical team) is not just to provide exemplary technical skills but also to help patients through the important weeks and days before and after surgery.

Details can make a big difference to recovery and satisfaction with the procedure and related experience.

For example, patients who dye or perm their hair are advised to do so just before their face lift so that they do not need another hair appointment until after they are fully healed from the surgery.

Get in touch. Talk to our helpful team or book a consultation with Mr Lucian Ion. Call 0207 486 7757

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