Your Face Ten Years Younger in an Hour

By: Dr Barry Eppley
As we age, our face starts to show jowling and loose neck skin. This happens due to the pull of gravity on our facial tissues whose attachments to the underlying bones and tissues gradually loosens. While there are other signs of facial aging, these are often the most bothersome to many people. Most do not notice these facial aging signs that much until they see themselves in pictures from a side or profile view, to which they may be quite surprised that their neck or jowls looked 'that bad'.

All facelifts are not done alike. Simplistically, they fall into two main categories....full and limited. The limited facelift has become quite popular and represents nearly 50% of all facelifts that I do today. The limited facelift goes by a lot of different names such as the LifeStyle Lift, Quick Lift, Swift Lift, S-Lift. to mention just a few of the most known and advertised. There are other names as well and there will be more marketed and practice-branding names in the future. But essentially they are all the same (despite what each may claim) with a few minor variations that quite frankly don't mean anything to you as a patient nor to the long-term outcome of the procedure. A full and limited facelift differs in that.....that the limited facelift is to no surprise more limited. Very little work is done in the neck area and the procedure and scar is isolated to in front of the ear. Mechanically, the upward pull of the limited facelift is fairly vertical as opposed to a full facelift which is closer to 45 degrees so that the excess neck tissue can be worked out behind the ear.

The result of a limited facelift is obviously less than that of a full facelift but the results in the jowl and upper neck area can still be quite impressive nonetheless. The key to a very satisfied outcome after a limited facelift is in proper selection of the patient. My approach in patient selection is that it is good for two types of patients. The best patients has only a minor amount of facial aging and is usually younger. These are the perfect patients for the procedure as they will get an ideal result. Furthermore, their 'problem' doesn't merit a full facelift anyway. Older patients with more jowling and loose neck skin can benefit as well even though they may more ideally need a full facelift but don't want it. As long as they can accept and have been fully apprised that the result will not be similar to a full facelift, they can get good results also. For these type patients, its all about understanding that the results are effort-driven. The less of a procedure you do, the less of a result you will get.

Unlike some advertised plastic surgery procedures, the limited facelift lives up to its hype. It is a 60 to 90 minute outpatient procedure that requires no drains or dressings. A good social recovery (how do I look?) does take only about a week. There is only some mild discomfort around the ear and a temporary tight feeling to the face. When combined with other facial procedures (which may require a more normal recovery), even more dramatic changes can be achieved.
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