In days gone by, the woman or man who “had a little work done” on their face was easy to spot – the resulting tight-faced, permanently surprised look was a dead giveaway! But as with so many things in life, advances in technology and medicine bring improved experiences and results — and facelifts are no exception. The procedure is easier on the patient, and the results are natural and subtle, while still giving a more youthful appearance. To find out more about how facelifts have evolved over the years and the new technology behind them, we spoke with one of the country’s leading experts in the field, Dr. Phillip Langsdon of The Langsdon Clinic, who is also the 2018-19 President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
If the thought of paying lots of money only to end up with distorted features has you worried, you’re not alone. Although the number of cosmetic surgical procedures is on the rise (up 47% since 2013, according to an AAFPRS study), the fear of looking unnatural is the top concern among those considering a facelift, followed by worries about the cost and undergoing anesthesia, says Dr. Langsdon. But thanks to advances in the way procedures are done today, these worries can be alleviated.
Lose the “windblown” look.
Women today shy away from that super-tight, stiff face women in previous generations dealt with, and the more recent overly enhanced pouty trend favored by some celebrities is also shifting to a subtle, rejuvenated look. Luckily surgery techniques have evolved to make these shifts possible.
“A few decades ago, a facelift resulted in the ‘windblown’ look because the skin was indeed pulled and stretched very tightly,” Dr. Langsdon explains. “Today we reposition the muscles of the face. It is a gentler procedure that is much easier on the patient, and the outcome is refreshingly natural.”
Outpatient surgery means less expense.
You might be surprised at how affordable a facelift is. There’s no hospital stay; patients go home the same day. And the man or woman seeking cosmetic surgery here in Memphis or the Mid-South is in luck, as costs may be lower than in larger cities like New York City or Los Angeles.
“You’ll get as good or better results here,” says Dr. Langsdon. “They don’t know anything we don’t know.”
The anesthesia is easy.
The Langsdon Clinic uses the latest, state-of-the-art IV sedation, similar to that used for a colonoscopy. You go right to sleep and wake up quite refreshed when the surgery is over, with no lingering effects. “Our patients do not complain of pain after a facelift,” Dr. Langsdon adds.
When is a facelift right for you?
A facelift does not “lift” the whole face, nor does it erase wrinkles. Rather, it improves the visible signs of aging in the lower face, jowls, and upper neck, such as*:
- Sagging skin along the cheeks and jawline
- Deepened fold lines between the nose and mouth
- Jowls along the lower cheek and jaw
- Loose skin and/or excess fat of the neck, giving the appearance of a double chin or “turkey neck”
“A good facelift will remove years of sagging in a short period of time, and make it look natural. You can look better without people knowing why you look better,” says Dr. Langsdon. The best candidates are in reasonably good health and have realistic expectations of what surgery can do, he adds.
A facelift can be done in conjunction with other procedures as well. The Langsdon Clinic offers:
- Mid-facelifts, treating the upper cheeks
- Eyebrow lifts, to improve dropping eyebrows
- Eyelid surgery, to remove excess fat from upper and lower eyelids
- Brow lift, for the forehead and temples
It’s important to remember that a facelift or other facial procedure cannot add volume back in to your face. Fortunately, though, there are advanced techniques for that as well!
“We offer bio-compatible fillers for deflated areas of the face that we just didn’t have 35 years ago,” Dr. Langsdon offers. “We can do that in addition to the repositioning we do during a facelift.” Designed to improve smoothness as well as stimulate the natural production of collagen and elastin, the fillers are composed of a biosynthetic polymer, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.
Chemical peels have been around for a while and are very helpful for improving lines and wrinkles and minimizing pigment changes. A newer skin resurfacing tool is a laser treatment, which is a great complement to a peel. “It can do things a chemical peel can’t, such as provide tissue tightening, strengthen the skin, and improve elasticity,” explains Dr. Langsdon.
As with any medical procedure, if you are interested in a facelift or other procedure, seek the advice of a licensed professional who specializes in surgical procedures for the face. They can help you determine your best course of action. In the meantime, Dr. Langsdon offers up three common-sense tips to help your skin age gracefully:
- Don’t smoke.
- Stay out of the sun.
- Invest in good quality skin-care products.
This article is sponsored by The Langsdon Clinic.
*American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery