A face lift is a surgical intervention which tightens the superficial and deep features by means of scars around the ear and in the hair in order to obtain facial youthfulness.
Are there different types of face lift?
Not really in its concept but in the area to prioritise, yes of course.
We distinguish between a temporal, temporal frontal, frontal, cervical, facial, cervico-facial, malar etc facelift.
Whatever the area to be treated, we use virtually the same technique because we must always undermine and replace the tissues. Mini or small face lifts do not exist even if it is reassuring to hear it said. This is easy to understand and may be likened to making one’s bed.
The smaller the scars and the undermining , the less the result will be harmonious and long lasting. As in bed-making, either you hardly lift the duvet and simply pull a corner, or you raise the whole duvet, and the bed will look perfect.
– A temporal face lift: its main objective is to reposition the eyebrow tail.
– A frontal lift raises both forehead and eyebrows to lighten the look as a whole.
– A cervical lift is centred round the cervical region but also requires the cheek and jowls to be repositioned.
– A malar lift is different from the others as it treats the central part of the face and is performed leaving one scar beneath the lashes of the lower eyelid. This lift is mainly indicated for a younger woman thus avoiding unreasonable use of injections and scarring around the ear, but convalescence takes longer. The lift raises the cheek vertically and reduces the distance between the lower eyelid and the cheek.
What are the alternatives to a face lift?
The main inconvenience of a surgical face lift is the very real but yet invisible internal damage caused.
Moreover, scarring is not always invisible. It is an irreversible surgical procedure, the result of which is temporary, as it does not prevent natural aging.
Even though an alternative to a surgical lift does not exist when signs of ageing are stark, there is an alternative technique which is used more and more often, that of permanent cogged suspension threads. These are likely to revolutionise the management of facial ageing for several reasons.
1) Inserted early on, they may avoid visible ageing and maintain the tissue structures in their rightful position. Hence, they may put back or totally avoid the need for a surgical face lift. Young women may undergo this risk-free intervention which causes no tissue damage.
2) Because many 40- to 55-year-old patients have only small ageing imperfections and minimal slacking that do not require surgery yet thus avoiding scarring and tissue damage. Permanent threads give superb results without surgery, under local anaesthesia and with hardly any social downtime. Surgical face lifts can wait their turn!
3) Because many patients do not want a surgical face lift for any number of reasons. Threads, which are virtually risk-free, always provide a visible improvement, even if moderate, satisfactory to most patients as they guarantee a natural look contrary to a much feared “overdone” look.
4) Because threads may be used in conjunction with surgical lifts to treat one or other area without resorting to surgery and to optimise the result both in quality and durability.
Finally, permanent threads allow non-surgical eyebrow lifts under local anaesthesia with or without a “cat’s eyes” effect and without scarring.
Regain a radiant, relaxed, younger-looking forehead:
A forehead occupies about one third of one’s face and is defined by two lines – hair line and eyebrows.
Depending upon these boundaries, foreheads vary between large or small foreheads. Foreheads may also be convex, rectilinear or slightly concave with a dip in the middle.
The shape of a forehead is important since it influences our perception of age and femininity. A convex forehead recalls that of a baby or doll thus giving an impression of youth. Men are more likely to have rectilinear or concave foreheads. There is a certain harmony between nose and forehead. A slightly turned up nose can only look harmonious with a convex forehead whereas a large nose with a bump must be paired with a rectilinear or bumpy forehead.
This may explain the feeling of disharmony felt after rhinoplasty when a nose is pretty but does not fit with the rest of the face.
A forehead is valued by its size and the number of more or less deep wrinkles. A very high forehead often gives an impression of age since it symbolises loss of hair or its decline.
Similarly, horizontal and vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows reveal a person’s emotional attitude: worry, stress etc. A heavily wrinkled forehead gives a negative impression of age because the wrinkles are due to unconscious lifting of the eyebrows to combat drooping eyelids. A relatively smooth yet mobile forehead, medium sized, with not too many wrinkles, and which is slightly convex helps give an impression of youth.
These factors are all to be taken into consideration and analysed before undergoing treatment.
Even though several surgical techniques exist to smooth foreheads (a lift), non-surgical techniques are also available.
Soft non-surgical techniques (light):
These medical treatments are performed in the practice using injectables: botulinic toxin and hyaluronic acids… The post-operative follow-ups are simple.
Hyaluronic acid allows to fill a hollow forehead to make it convex, advance the brow bone to lessen an impression of bulging eyes or to optically diminish the length of the nose. Brow bones ossify with age and filling them lifts the brow and rejuvenates the look.
Botulinic toxin will be used primarily for asymmetric brows and to-day it is possible to alter the eyebrows’ position to give a more youthful look. To do so, the middle third is slightly lowered, and the outer edge lightly lifted while avoiding the witch face look, which is avoiding too wide a of spacing.
Simple or advanced surgical techniques:
Surgical treatment proves necessary in only a few cases:
- Frontal lift (endoscopic or not with scars in the hairline) to increase the size of the forehead, to elevate the eyebrows or to surgically eliminate too strong muscles (lion’s wrinkle).
- Temporal lift to raise the tail of the eyebrow when this cannot be done with toxin, and smooth crow’s feet.
- And also to directly excise a strip of skin above the eyebrow in order to lift the brow and position it as requested. The intervention is performed under local anaesthesia. Scarring is hidden within the eyebrow. The safety of the intervention and its effectiveness are much appreciated.
- Finally, there is a new technique – permanent suspension threads can reposition eyebrows, open up the eye or slightly change its shape (almond-shaped eyes or “cat eyes”). The technique is performed under local anaesthesia with immediate results despite a possible slight swelling.