Face lift is a broad term that is used to refer to a plastic surgery procedure geared to rejuvenate the aging face. Technically known as rhytidectomy, a term which derives from ancient Greek (rhytis-wrinkle, ectome-excision), face lifts have really changed trough the last century. When the first face lift was performed, back at the beginning of the last century it consisted of a bare removal of excess skin trough visible incisions in front of the ears. For a long time, face lifts consisted only removing skin and it wasn’t until the early 70’s that SMAS techniques were introduced followed in the 80’s by deep plane face lifts then the mid-nineties where more emphasis was devoted to volumetric correction of the aging face.
Now face lift surgery is a very sophisticated operation and it is a blend of the most advanced techniques. An experienced plastic surgeon has to have the ability to first understand patient’s wishes and goals and then permute them in a three-dimensional project.
Every face is different and a cookie cutter approach is deemed to fail. Tailoring the surgery to each patient is the key of success. Using the same technique in every facial rejuvenation is not appropriate. Some marketing trends seem to offer a quick solution to a difficult problem. Lifestyle lift promotes the same operation to the majority of the patients. Using the same approach is far from ideal. There are a number of different face lift techniques that a plastic surgeon should be familiar with and use according to each specific needs. From the one stitch face lift, to the short scars face lift to the mini face lift to a mid face lift to a vertical facelift to a cell-enhanced face lift, there are multiple choices for each patient.
One of the common mistake patients do is to think that the less invasive the procedure is, the more natural the results will be: nothing furthest from the truth. Sometime a face lift performed with the wrong vector of pull is more damaging then a properly performed lift. A mini facelift done in a patient that really needs also a neck lift will create a disharmony in the face and a more unnatural result that a more comprehensive procedure.
Lifestyle lift become popular in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills because they are done under local anesthesia: it is basically a mini- facelift with minimal to moderate undermining of the skin and little muscles repositioning compared to other face lift techniques. Most lifestyle face lift centers, even in Beverly Hills, are able to keep their fees low because they have a volume practice, meaning they see and perform multiple face lifts in one day. The lifestyle facelift is one standard operation used in every patient. “If you have a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail” philosophy seems to fit the lifestyle face lift credo.
A boutique approach where time is spent to get to know personally the patient and his needs, careful computer imaging and analysis of the face is performed, all alternative options are evaluated and then finally every patient’s face is fitted to a personalized technique ,is more likely to produce better results. Most the face lift procedures can be now done under local anesthesia by an experienced plastic surgeon and, if properly executed, deliver a natural result.
Being educated on different choices in face lift surgery is what it is all about. Picking the right operation for the patient is the key of reaching patient’s satisfaction, along with choosing a plastic surgeon versatile not in one standard procedure like the lifestyle facelift but on all the available alternatives. Be able to tailor the surgical solution to the patient needs and doing it with a sense of aesthetic and beauty is what today’s face lift surgery is all about.