I’m 55 years old and think I look better than the average woman my age, but I am thinking about getting a facelift.  I’ve told a few of my friends what I’m considering and they are telling me that I’m too young for a facelift.  I disagree with them.  I believe in staying young-not getting old and then trying to get young again.  Is there a “right” age for a facelift?

A facelift is not determined by age, but rather by what can be done and what needs to be done to rejuvenate your face.  For example, if you have just deepened naso-labial folds or need volume on your cheeks, fillers or fat injections may work very well.  However, if you have the beginnings of jowls and marionette lines then a facelift will provide better results.  A facelift basically elevates all of the natural structures which have fallen over time.  If you have a saddened look, a facelift can often improve this by elevating the cheeks and improving your jowls.  The other advantage of starting sooner as I’ve seen with many of my patients is that you are able to maintain looking younger longer.  So it really is a personal choice of what level you want to maintain rather than a choice based solely on age.  I believe that you should take advantage of all of the things in life that can make you happy and feel good.


I am 74 and I am thinking about getting a facelift.  It is something I have wanted to do for many years, but I am wondering if I have waited too long.

If you are a healthy , vital 74 year old, there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to have a safe and natural appearing facelift in order to feel good about your appearance.  Patients ask all the time, “is it worth it?”  I say that you have a right to happiness at all ages.  In order to make this a safer procedure at any age, we do our anesthesia the same way a colonoscopy is done.  This allows patients to wake up quickly as soon as the case is over.  We are also very particular about our preoperative medical clearance, intra-operative experience, and post-operatively we have very experienced nurses to take care of you in our after care.  I should also mention that a facelift has minimal discomfort which makes the post operative course easier.  Our priorities are safety, comfort and results.


I have gained weight over the holidays and part of my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, so I can get my facelift.  How close to my target weight do I need to be?

The answer depends upon two factors, first how much weight you want to lose, and secondly how your face changes with weight gain.  Usually the weight gain is significant in the neck and lower face which is not usually an issue because this area is always liposuctioned during a facelift.  Sometimes in life delaying what you want makes you lose years of happiness and could be what you need to progress in other areas.  One of the more effective procedures that we do is a combination of a tummy tuck with a facelift for women who want rejuvenation and weight loss.   With tummy tucks, most patients lose 15-30 pounds as a result of the surgery and the fact that they are motivated to continue their weight loss post-operatively.  


My wife had a facelift by you a few years ago.  I am so happy that she did it.  She looks great and so much younger without looking like she’s had surgery.  I think I would like to have a facelift as well.  Is it common for men to get facelifts?

It is very common for men to want to improve their appearance.  Men want to feel just as good about their youthfulness as women do.  The surgical approach for men is slightly different although the basic techniques for restoring the underlying architecture remain the same.  The benefits are that men heal quite quickly and can often go back in public as little as 10 days after the operation.  In fact, many of our patients are conducting business from their blackberries the next day.


I’m a very active 62 year old man.  I still sit on boards, work out, travel and have a very active social life with my wife.  I find myself wearing turtle necks whenever possible, but the reality is that this is not a good look in Florida.  What would be my down time, how soon can I go out into public and would anyone be able to tell that I had something done to restore my neck to how it used to be?

Your down time is really only one day and you should be able to go out into public in as little as one week with a neck lift.  The incisions are not visible as they are hidden in the crease behind the ear, in fact, we have done this procedure on men with no hair and the incisions are still well concealed.  Often after a neck lift your friends and family remark that you’ve lost weight never realizing that you’ve had surgery because a thinner neck gives the impression of being more in shape.


My husband is such a handsome man, but he has the same neck as his dad and grandfather.  It makes him look older and heavier than he is.  I think that if he had surgery it would make him feel and look so much better.  I think he is just afraid of surgery.  How do I help him with this?  I think it would make such a huge difference for him.

Most of the time people are afraid of three things when it comes to surgery: pain, having visible scars, and looking like you’ve had plastic surgery and feeling embarrassed about that.  A neck lift has very minimal discomfort and people are usually very surprised how quickly you can go out in public, usually within a week.  The incisions for a neck lift are hidden very far back behind your ear so that they are not visible, sometimes even to hair-dressers.  This is why it’s very important to pick the right plastic surgeon who understands the anatomy and structural restoration of the face and neck so that the result will be very natural appearing. 


I love my golf game too much.  I get the best skin care products that I can at Saks, but they don’t seem to be helping me.  Do I need to do a laser or are there any other options?

It depends on how much sun damage you have and how fast you want to see results.  This will determine whether you have laser treatment or use medical grade skin care.  If you have an event like a reunion or a wedding, or in my case, the premier of Salt, I did a quick laser peel because I wanted immediate results with a refined smooth finish to my skin.   Medical skin care can get you to the same results, but it takes weeks to get you to where you want to go.  The ingredients of products that you buy in Saks are probably 1% of what is needed to make a visible difference.  The FDA will not allow stronger concentrations of medical ingredients in over the counter products.  So, in order to see visible changes a medical grade skin care is needed.  A laser for faster results.


What is the difference between a mini facelift and a regular facelift?

Often when one has a mini-facelift it is usually just a tightening of the skin which can not only distort the face and make it look more plastic, but it is also only very temporary.  Not only do we have extra skin, but the architecture of our face drops with age.  If you only tighten the skin without moving the underlying structures to their original positions you will look the same, but with tighter skin.  Just as with everything in life, quality ends up being less expensive long term because it lasts longer.  Because our skin elasticity changes significantly after 40 or so, if you only tighten the skin and do not address the underlying architecture, your results will only last about 6 months.  The incisions are the exact same for a mini- facelift as for a modern facelift.  With modern facelifts, we do intravenous sedation, not just local as seen with some of the mini-facelifts, which is safer for the patients.


How do I know if I need laser or a facelift?

The purpose of a laser is to tighten the skin, to thicken the dermis, and to help exfoliate the epidermis as well as getting rid of brown spots.  The areas’s most sensitive to improvement with the laser are the lower eyelids, around the mouth, and areas with acne scars.  Recovery is quite fast, usually between three and five days.  After a laser you can go out into the sun, but sunblock is always suggested.  If you have larger folds on your face that you want to improve, you may have to consider fillers or a facelift.


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“Your perception of yourself often determines how you live your life. This is reflected not only in your personal self confidence, but your social interactions. Interestingly, you will find that how people perceive you is only an added bonus.”

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