Q) Twenty-five years ago when my mother was 50 she had a facelift. She was pleased with the results and did look younger after the surgery. However, while I never would have told her this, I think she did look a bit pulled and unnatural too. She also had a lot of postoperative pain and swelling that lasted for several weeks. What kind of changes have been made in surgical technique over the past quarter century? I’m the age my mother was when she had a facelift. Should I expect better results and an easier recovery if I decide to have a facelift?
A) Over the last 25 years there has been a remarkable breakthrough in the face-lifting procedures. The level of the dissection has changed and now the surgeon has a choice of many different planes. For example, a facelift procedure that is done very close to the bone or subperiosteal dissection may lead to a lot of edema that lasts for a long time, whereas in the more superficial plane they may have less edema and recover more quickly. Also, using techniques to suspend the underlying tissues the result may be longer lasting. There’s also a better knowledge of the vectors of pull or how the skin should be draped to have a more natural result. There’s also been an increasing use of endoscopic techniques so that the minimal incisions can also be used with the face-lifting procedures. Also, the anesthesia and general care of the patient is also improved and the monitoring of the patient is also improved to make this a very effective and safe procedure.