I had always looked younger than my calendar years. I saw my good plastic surgeon when I was 45, and he said, “You are too young for a facelift, and you should consider instead minimally invasive techniques such as laser resurfacing with fat/stem cells injection”.
Then, as I journeyed through my fifties, age and sun damage started to catch up with me. Looking in the mirror, I just didn’t recognise the woman in the mirror compared to how felt inside. My facial skin was saggy and crepey. I would ask myself, who IS that old woman?
Finally, when I reached 58, I’d had enough. Given my age and facial characteristics, my surgeon recommended I go for a full face, neck and temporal lift, eyelid surgery and laser resurfacing. Yes – “the works”!
The recovery was not as hard as I expected. I struggled with the bandage around my head for a couple of days, but it was fine afterwards. I feel 15 years younger, and most importantly, I look natural. My laugh lines are softer. My crepey skin is gone. I look like I’m happy and awake. I still have a face with expressions, and I love what I see in the mirror!” ~ Darlene G.
A facelift and necklift results in a natural, youthful appearance.
This blog post is an excerpt from Dr Barnouti’s book “Your Guide To Modern Plastic Surgery: How To Enhance Your Natural Beauty And Avoid A Plastic Surgery Disaster” which is available now on Amazon.
As we age, most people lose the youthful volume in the mid-face region. The appearance of wrinkles or deep lines close to the eyelids or around the mouth and other visible signs of ageing can be successfully corrected with a face and neck lift, which is medically known as a rhytidectomy.
I customise my procedure to each patient using the latest facial rejuvenation and facelift techniques, which involve much more than simply tightening the skin and deep tissue. My comprehensive facial strategy is designed specifically to recreate a youthful appearance in the face, neck, eyelids, temporal and forehead areas.
Surgery may include skin resurfacing, targeted liposuction, volumetric restoration, such as fat injection, laser, a TCA peel, and other complementary surgical procedures that result in a natural, youthful appearance.
My face and neck lift strategies are based on the importance of shifting facial volumes rather than old-fashioned facelift techniques, which just pull back the skin. Restoration of facial volumes is more important than the amount of skin that is surgically removed.
Facial rejuvenation and facial recontouring are two different approaches, with different outcomes. Facial rejuvenation is for those who want to look 10–15 years younger (the majority of my patients). Facial recontouring creates significant facial changes and is not commonly requested.
The key for successful face and neck surgery is to rejuvenate the face, turning the clock back 10-15 years and maintaining the same features. We do not need to change an individual’s features. We only need to refresh and rejuvenate them.
Within these categories, I tailor the procedure based on the patient’s needs, as follows:
- Mini facelift – is sometimes called a Hollywood facelift. This procedure involves a small incision in the hairline only. Recovery time is two-to-five days and the resulting scar is unnoticeable as it will be hidden, covered by the hair.
- Short scar facelift – also known as an S lift or MACS lift. The incision is made at the junction of the ear and the side of the cheek but finishes at the earlobe and does not extend behind the ear. The recovery time is five-to-eight days and there will be no scar behind the ear.
- Full face and neck lift – also known as an SMAS face and neck lift. The incision is at the junction of the ear and cheek and behind the ear, creating what is known as an omega scar. This is a longer and more extensive procedure with a recovery time of eight-to-14 days.
- Total facial rejuvenation – this includes a facelift, neck lift, fat transfer, temporal lift, lip lift, skin resurfacing by laser or chemical peel upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery).
Full face rejuvenation surgery can be performed under general anaesthetic and takes around four hours depending on the extent of the procedure.
Shifting facial volumes creates amazing results.
With most facelifts, after making the incision, I separate the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or liposuctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour of the face. I then tighten the underlying muscles and membranes. Volume is usually added to certain areas such as the cheekbones for enhancement.
Other complementary procedures may also be undertaken to achieve the best possible results:
- Eyelid surgery on the upper and/or lower eyelids, also known as blepharoplasty;
- Neck lift, neck liposuction and recontouring;
- Brow lift;
- Lip lift, augmentation, resurfacing or combination;
- Tear trough procedure to improve on the appearance of a displeasing under-eye groove;
- Cheekbone enhancement with fat transfer or cheek implants;
- Smoothening the nasolabial folds and marionette lines (smile lines);
- Nose reshaping or rhinoplasty;
- Chin reshaping;
- Laser treatment;
- Soft treatments;
- Lipofilling, fat injection.
All incisions are closed using fine sutures, so they do not leave marks when they are removed.
This patient had neck and facelift surgery.
Youthful appearance and better definition of jaw line.
You can see where the volume was added, enhancing this patient’s cheekbones.