As one of the best facelift experts in NYC, Dr. Konstantin is frequently asked by the media outlets to comment on topics related to cosmetic treatments of the face. We thought our patients might be interested in reading what Dr. Konstantin has to say even before the article comes out in print. Here are some questions from the editor of a popular magazine about the most recent trends in modern-day facelifts.
What does the facelift look like in 2019? How is it different than facelifts done in the 1990s or early 2000s?
The facelifts performed today are markedly different from the one’s that we all saw in a fairly recent past. If I had to describe the difference between then and now in one word, I would say: “natural”. The facelifts we perform today appear completely natural and our patients do not carry the stigma of the old fashioned facelift—unnaturally pulled look. In order to achieve this marked improvement, we had to change some of the fundamental principles of the facelift operation.
A change in direction
First of all, we have changed the very direction of the “lift” in a facelift. Today, we re-position the sagging tissue of the face in a far more vertical vector as opposed to a more horizontal pull of the old days. With age, the gravity pulls the facial tissue DOWN, therefore one can presume that the most natural vector for a facial rejuvenation procedure should be UP. The natural-appearing results of modern-day facelifts are the best proof of this concept.
Today’s facelifts address the deeper tissue
The second change, that has made a significant difference in both the appearance and longevity of modern-day facelifts is that the operation has become much deeper. By going underneath the fascia that envelops the facial muscles, we are able to release the ligaments that are resisting our efforts to lift the facial tissue. Once we release the ligaments, we are able to reposition the sagging tissue with very little tension. Avoiding excessive tension during a facelift is a major step in preventing a “pulled” look. The release of the ligaments, also, obliviated the need for overcorrecting sagging skin, which even further enhances our ability to achieve a natural-appearing rejuvenation.
Facelifts are safer and have shorter recovery times
Other significant changes that happened in the recent years are improved safety, use of lighter anesthesia, significantly shorter and a lot more comfortable recovery time. The improvements in surgical technique and a more precise approach that targets aging changes without excessive surgical overcorrection allow us to get “more for less” and markedly improve both the results and patients’ experience. From a drastic operation that was performed in a hospital and required days of professional postoperative nursing care, modern facelifts turned into an easily tolerated procedure that could be done under local anesthesia with most patients typically going home within a couple of hours after their surgery.
Are you seeing younger patients asking for facelifts?
Today, facelifts are safer, better, and far less conspicuous. It is no wonder that more and more people in their 30s and 40s are turning their eyes toward surgical rejuvenation. It is becoming commonplace to see patients coming for a facelift consultation with the very early signs of facial aging.
How has the selfie culture influenced the desire for facelifts?
In today’s world, social media is a force that, for better or worse, significantly affects our perception of ourselves and influences the choices we make. When people take multiple photos of themselves, it makes them exceedingly aware even of the slightest aging changes of their faces. Also, the desire to look one’s best on social media creates the culture of perfection that drives many people to facial plastic surgeons’ offices. Many people blame social media for making us all excessively obsessed with their appearance and for creating a culture that makes people hyper-aware of even minor flaws in their look. However, there is a very strong positive aspect to the abundance of selfies on social media. The before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures that many people post on social media help to educate and inform of the potential transformation that a well-performed facial rejuvenation procedure might bring. It also helps to create a very high-quality standard that plastic surgeons performing cosmetic procedures have to aspire to.
What are some other procedures that can be done for a facelift effect, without actually getting a full facelift?
At this time there is really no good alternative to a facelift. Nonsurgical tightening procedures such as Ulthera, Thermage, or thread lift proved unsuccessful to provide a sustainable correction of the aging changes in the lower face. Judicious use of facial fillers can mask some of the early signs of facial aging. However, once a noticeable laxity develops, the continuous reliance on fillers can have a detrimental effect on facial aesthetics and cause an “over-injected” and unnatural look.
When deciding to get a facelift, what should you look for in a great plastic surgeon?
Oh, there are so many things…
- Number one, look for someone who specializes in facelifts. We live in the age when our appearance is so closely scrutinized that one cannot take chances with their rejuvenation procedure. Selecting a surgeon that is completely dedicated to his or her practice to surgical facial rejuvenation will ensure you are getting a real expert in facelifts.
- Second on my list would be scrutinizing the surgeon’s before-and-after photos. Fortunately, those plastic surgeons who perform a lot of facelifts have no trouble posting them on their websites.
- And lastly, I would recommend paying your surgeon a visit and trying to get a good feel for how they treat their patients and making sure you feel comfortable with their care and confident in their skills. I believe, the human connection is very important. If you don’t feel 100% confident—schedule a second visit, spend some time in the waiting room, watch the interactions between the doctor and the staff or between the staff and other patients. Ask yourself: will I be happy as a patient here? Good luck!
What are some important things to consider before getting a facelift?
If one had done all the prep work—selecting the right plastic surgeon, getting all your concerns addressed and all your questions answered, getting a good idea of how you would look after the facelift… There is nothing really to worry about. Facelifts today are very safe, recovery is fairly easy and the results usually exceed expectations of even most demanding customers!