There are few surgical procedures around which there is more myth and misinformation than the facelift. From fears of unnatural results to recovery horror stories, terrible tales abound of facelifts gone wrong. However, most of these stories are extreme exaggerations or simply incorrect; when done properly, facelifts have very few complications and produce excellent results. Advancements in technology have made facelifts safer than ever, and new techniques are expanding the ability of facelift surgery to deliver stunning, life-altering results.
Common Facelift Myths
The facelift, or rhytidectomy, is one of the five most commonly requested cosmetic medical procedures. However, many patients express fear or concern when considering a facelift. This is often due to misunderstanding what happens during a facelift, what the results can be expected to be, and how long recovery will take.
Here are some common facelift myths, along with the facts that dispel them!
Facelifts Can Never Look Natural
In the early days of cosmetic surgery, techniques were not as advanced as they are now, and knowledge was not as widespread. As a result, some early facelift procedures were marked with a stiff, unnatural look that people came to recognize. Today, however, new techniques and technology have nearly eliminated this problem. If you have a facelift from an experienced, reputable surgeon, the chances are that your results will look very natural; most people will not even be able to tell that you have had surgery, beyond the fact that you look years younger!
Facelifts Can Make You Look Like a Teenager
Just as it is wrong to expect facelifts to give you unnatural results, it is also wrong to expect changes that are unachievable. Some patients come into a facelift expecting to remove years of wear and tear from their faces, and are disappointed when the results do not conform to their vision. It is very important to talk with your surgeon about managing your expectations and how you will look after the surgery.
Facelifts Require Long Hospital Stays
In the past, facelifts required hospital stays, but today most are performed as outpatient procedures. In some cases, an overnight stay may be required to monitor certain health conditions; however, in most instances, patients are at home and recovering very quickly after surgery.
Facelifts are Only Done on Older Women
The stereotype of the aging woman who wants a facelift to keep herself young could not be further from the truth. People of all ages, sizes, and walks of life choose facelift surgery these days, often to target a problem area such as sagging jowls, a double chin, or fatty deposits on the face. Facelift surgery can be tailored to any of these areas, so it is helpful for both men and women, young and old.
Botox or other fillers will produce the same result as a facelift
While Botox and other fillers can give impressive results, they are no substitute for a facelift. In the first place, fillers are only a temporary solution, lasting three months to a year, as opposed to a facelift, which can last up to ten years. Additionally, fillers are good for targeting single locations on the face; a facelift works on all areas, tightening muscle, rearranging fatty deposits, and pulling skin into place. There is really no comparison between the two procedures.
Facelifts are Painful, Long Surgeries with Long Recovery Times
Because facelifts are relatively extensive surgeries, you can expect about a week of swelling and at-home recovery time. After this, however, the swelling should subside substantially, and you should be able to return to normal activities, aside from heavy lifting or other strenuous exertion–that should be reserved for a few more weeks. Most people recover fully from a facelift within a month, and begin to see a real difference in facial contours and appearance. Most of the “horror stories” of recovery come from people who have suffered from post-operative infections or other complications, sometimes due to lack of proper care after surgery.
Should I Get a Facelift?
The decision to get a facelift is an intensely personal one that should be made between you and your doctor. Facelifts offer a number of important benefits; one reason for their popularity is that, for the amount of time and money spent on surgery, they give exponential results. People feel younger, happier and more confident after a facelift. In some cases, they are able to correct something about their appearance that has been nagging them for years, giving them the self-confidence to seek a new job, find a new relationship or just be happier in their own life. In other cases, facelifts restore a feeling of peace and happiness to someone who has been sad over the inevitable toll that aging takes on us all.
However, facelifts are not miracles, and should not be viewed as such. It is important to see a facelift as a tool to accomplish a certain goal. If your goal is to rejuvenate your face, making it look younger and healthier, and you understand the realities of the procedure and the outcomes that you can expect, you are probably a good candidate for a facelift. On the other hand, if you are afraid the procedure may have bad outcomes, or you are uncertain about recovery times and other issues, you should definitely speak to your doctor before agreeing to a facelift procedure. Managing your expectations is probably the single most important factor in a good facelift outcome.
At The Aesthetic Center, our goal is to provide you with healthy, beneficial options to look and feel your best. Our surgeons and staff all want you to choose the procedures that are right for you. Your questions are always welcome! Give us a call today to schedule your consultation so we can begin discussing your goals and learning more about you. We want to help you find the perfect combination of cosmetic procedures to enhance your looks, give you self-confidence, and improve your life for years to come!