10 Myths about Facelift Surgery Uncovered

facelift surgery

Our society thrives on being youthful. Looking and feeling younger is not only desirable, it is becoming more attainable as science and technology progress. Facelift surgery is growing more popular as women and men grow concerned about their physical appearances. Some people want to look younger to compete in the job market while others find it necessary to feel more confident in their social lives. As facelift options become known through word of mouth and advertising, so do misconceptions.

A facelift is an actual surgical procedure. In general terms, skin is lifted and tightened to smooth out wrinkles and reduce sagginess. It may also involve the removal or repositioning of fat to improve plumpness near the eyes or in the jawline. Before you consider having a facelift procedure done, you need to know the truth beneath the hype and the rumor mills.

Let’s look at the most common myths surrounding facelift surgery.

  1. Only women need and want facelifts.

An increasing number of men have been getting facelifts. Since the year 2000, the requests for facelifts to be performed on male patients has increased by 20 percent. About 10 percent of all facelifts done on the United States are for male patients. Men face the same concerns that women do and have the same needs to look younger to remain competitive.

  1. Plastic surgery is too expensive for most people.

Facelift surgery is not just for rich people. In 2021, the average costs for a procedure range from $6,000 to $15,000 depending on the complexity. There are other costs that will be added to that including hospital fees and medications, but it should be possible for patients to have a good estimate of the total costs before committing to the procedure. It may be possible for patients to arrange a payment schedule and it is always worth checking to see if any of the costs might be covered by insurance.

  1. Facelift surgery only fixes sagging skin.

For a long time, facelift surgeries only tightened sagging skin to create a smoother face without addressing what was happening underneath the skin. The results were often stark and unnatural. The aging process also causes the tissues under the skin to loosen, fall, and lose volume. A proper procedure will also lift and tighten those tissues and replace the lost volume so that the natural contours of the face will also be preserved.

  1. There is only one facelift procedure and it works for everyone.

Plastic surgery is much more inclusive and can be customized depending on what individual patients need. Each patient is evaluated to determine how much skin should be tightened as well as how much of the facial structure should be rebuilt. Some patients may also benefit from procedures like brow lifts and eyelid correction surgeries that other patients may not need.

  1. Facelifts are permanent.

Even the best surgical results cannot be protected from the aging process. While most patients enjoy the benefits for seven to 10 years and sometimes even longer, time will eventually cause inevitable aging. At that point, the patient’s needs can be reevaluated and further procedures can be completed if needed.

  1. The same results can be achieved by using fillers or Botox.

Fillers and Botox can address smaller problem areas like forehead creases and wrinkles around the eyes but they cannot produce the results that an overall facelift is designed to create. A facelift procedure literally lifts and reshapes the tissues and muscles beneath the skin to restructure and add fullness to the face overall. Injection procedures cannot achieve the same results.

  1. There will be no scars if the facelift surgery is performed correctly.

Any surgical procedure will result in scars because the skin is literally cut into at some point and must be stitched back together. The goal that plastic surgeons strive for is to cleverly hide the scars in places where they will not be seen such as along the hairline or inside the natural contours of the face and ears. Every plastic surgery will produce scars but they should not be easily found or readily visible when performed by an experienced surgeon.

  1. Younger people cannot get facelifts.

One of the most common misconceptions dictates that only older people need facelifts due to aging. The truth is that anyone of any age may need a corrective facelift procedure. The criteria are not just limited to people who are older. Surgeons look at anatomical evidence that signs of facial aging can be reversed through surgical techniques. They evaluate the expectations of the results and the overall medical health and support systems of the patient. Someone who is in their early 40s may meet the requirements while someone who is in their early 60s may not. Each patient is evaluated individually regardless of age.

  1. Recovery from facelift surgery is difficult and takes a long time.

When old school facelift procedures were used, recovery was very painful and could take several weeks. The use of deep-plane lifting methods are much easier on patients and reduce the recovery time to two to three weeks. Recovery times are also influenced by how well a patient takes care of his or her skin after the surgery and on the patient’s natural ability to heal. Overall, current facelift techniques promote quicker healing.

  1. People who have had facelifts look fake and unnatural.

This is true for the old facelift procedures which involved pulling the skin back and away from the face to create a tighter appearance and eliminate sags and wrinkles. These older techniques also did not address the loss of tissue and muscle thickness beneath the skin and did not work to replace it so patients post-surgery often looked windswept and taut. Surgeons have since found that since the skin and underlying tissues fall down vertically, the best way to restore them is to pull them up in the opposite direction as opposed to the old way of pulling them back and away from the face. The results look far more natural and youthful.

Additional Read: Top 10 Misconceptions About Facial Plastic Surgery.

Contact a Skilled Plastic Surgeon

The old ideas and techniques of plastic surgery are giving way to much more effective procedures, more manageable results, and better outcomes for patients. 

Technical expertise has a direct result on the outcome of your procedure. As you consider the costs, listen to the surgical approach, and make sure that you are comfortable with the level of care that your surgeon will provide.  Ask to see the doctor’s work.  An experienced surgeon should have many pictures of patients similar to you to show you.

If you’re in the Chicago area, please consider Dr.Sidle for all of your facial plastic and reconstructive surgery needs. His years of experience and technical proficiency make him one of the leading reconstructive surgeons in the region. He has built his reputation on excellent results and impeccable care for his patients. If you think you might benefit from a surgical procedure, contact us today to schedule your consultation.

About Douglas M. Sidle, MD, FACS

Dr. Sidle specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck. His services range from minimally invasive office procedures with little to no down time to major operations leading to dramatic improvements in appearance. Dr. Sidle is one of a select group of cosmetic surgeons who are “double boarded”. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
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