Facial rejuvenation is any surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedure used to restore a youthful appearance to the face and neck. The depth of the treatment, invasiveness, risks and downtime depends on whether the treatment method is surgical or non-surgical. A better understanding of the aging components of a person, as well as technological advancements, allow doctors to treat facial issues with minimal trauma by using smaller instruments for increased accuracy, minimal discomfort, less bruising and bleeding. Some of the most popular facial rejuvenation techniques include Botox, dermal fillers and fat grafting for volume loss, laser treatments, brow lift, eyelid surgery and a facelift.
GOOD CANDIDATES for facial rejuvenation include:
The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for facial rejuvenation:
The manner in which facial rejuvenation is performed depends on the type of procedure and the technique used.
Non-Surgical Cosmetic Facial Rejuvenation
Non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures may be performed without anesthesia or with local anesthesia. Some treatments offer local anesthesia with sedation. In general, the surgeon will cleanse and mark the area to be treated before performing the procedure.
Botox and dermal fillers do not require incisions and will be administered by injection only. The doctor injects the Botox into the muscle below the wrinkle. Botox works by minimizing the movement that causes wrinkles and this allows the skin to relax. Dermal fillers are injected under the skin and work by plumping up areas that cause a patient to look gaunt or older. Most dermal fillers are already pre-mixed with lidocaine to help ease the discomfort of the injection. The filler will be gently massaged to ensure an even distribution.
Fat grafting involves the doctor removing fat, via liposuction, from the patient’s own body and transferring it to the lacking area with injections.
During a laser treatment, the device is passed by the treatment area and heat energy targets the various skin layers to promote collagen production, tighten the skin and/or remove damaged skin for new skin growth.
Surgical Cosmetic Facial Rejuvenation
A brow lift, eyelid surgery and facelift all require incisions. The incision lengths and locations vary according to the type of procedure and technique used. The surgeon will make every attempt to place the incisions within the natural creases of the treated area to better conceal them.
A brow lift, AKA a forehead lift, is when tissues are lifted above the eyebrows in order to reverse the effects of gravity, tighten any soft tissue on the forehead and provide a better contour along the eyebrows, forehead and upper eyelids. During an open brow lift, the surgeon makes a long incision across the forehead that follows the hairline or a crease of the forehead. The skin is lifted from the underlying tissues and then the muscles are loosened to remove excess skin and fat. The remaining skin is pulled down and stitched into position. During an endoscopic brow lift, tiny incisions are made on the scalp and then an endoscope is inserted to stretch the forehead tissues so the tissues can be anchored into place.
Eyelid surgery is also known as upper and lower blepharoplasty. Upper blepharoplasty addresses extra skin and fat in the central and nose side of the upper eyelid. The surgeon makes an incision along the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Fat deposits are repositioned or removed through surgical tools, radiofrequency cutting devices or lasers. The muscles and tissue are tightened and excess saggy skin is eliminated. Lower blepharoplasty addresses the skin and muscle below the eye. An incision is made about 1 or 2 mm below the lash line and towards the outer corner of the eye. The flap of skin, or the skin and muscle, are raised so any excess fat can be removed or repositioned. The flap is pulled up, towards the outer cheek, and then sutured into place after the excess skin is trimmed away.
A facelift, AKA a rhytidectomy, reduces the appearance of facial wrinkles and other signs of aging on the face and jaw. The surgeon lifts and tightens the underlying muscles in the face for a more youthful and contoured look. Plus, excess skin and fat is removed that adds to an aged appearance. There are multiple facelift techniques and the one chosen by the doctor depends on the desired results as well as the condition of the facial muscles and the amount of wrinkles and fine lines.
The cost of facial rejuvenation varies according to the type of procedure performed, the type of anesthesia used, any fees charged by the surgeon or the facility and the geographic location of the office.
The amount of RECOVERY and DOWNTIME varies per treatment:
Botox may cause some bruising from the injection but patients are able to resume work the same day.
While fillers provide immediate results, the effects of Botox will take a few days to a week since it takes time for the skin to relax. Nevertheless, results will continue to improve over the next few weeks as the skin smooths out and the filler encourages new collagen production. However, these treatments are temporary with Botox lasting 3 to 6 months and fillers lasting anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Therefore, patients need repeat injections to maintain the results.
Fat grafting is permanent since the filler material is a living tissue and incorporates with the existing tissue.
The results from laser treatments can be seen between 1 and 3 weeks. Less aggressive laser treatments may require several sessions to gain the desired outcome and they can be repeated each year. Aggressive treatments tend to have longer-lasting results and may not need to be repeated for 2 years or longer.
The results of a brow lift will not be immediate due to swelling and bruising. Patients should be able to see some improvements after most of the swelling and bruising has subsided. Improvements continue over the next 6 months. Brow lift results are long lasting and considered permanent. However, gravity will continue to pull down the skin as the patient ages and new wrinkles will eventually form.
The results for upper or lower blepharoplasty gradually appear as swelling and bruising subsides. The results will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. Eyelid surgery results can last up to 20 years but the natural process of aging will eventually alter the results of blepharoplasty.
Patients may be able to notice some results immediately after a facelift but most of the results are not visible thanks to swelling. It can take up to 6 months for the final outcome to be apparent. Facelift results are generally permanent but, as a person ages, fat volume naturally decreases and gravity pulls the skin down. However, the patient will look 10-15 years younger than their actual age for the rest of their life.
The limitations of facial rejuvenation include:
The risks of facial rejuvenation include:
Facial rejuvenation improves a patient’s appearance while making them look well rested or refreshed. Facial rejuvenation can be achieved through non-surgical or surgical means and there are a variety of treatment options to meet each patient’s needs. Many of these procedures can be combined to gain optimal results. Patients who are unhappy with their aging process should consult with a board-certified surgeon that specializes in a variety of facial rejuvenation procedures. A skilled doctor will be able to help patients choose the best treatment plan to fit their individual needs.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- SP/MA
Based on an exclusive interview with Sam Lam, MD in Plano, TX