Many variations of procedures exist
The expansion of social media platforms has resulted in a tremendous upswing in acceptance and interest in facial cosmetic procedures. Many people begin their journey with less invasive techniques such as botox, fillers and skin surface rejuvenating treatments, but ultimately gravity and years of sun damage will lead others to explore other options to attain the fountain of youth.
I always advise my patients the best treatment of all is prevention. In your 20s and 30s, I endorse early treatment with neurotoxins (most commonly known as Botox ® ) to decrease wrinkles caused by repetitive movement. Preventative Botox ® is an important investment to prevent more permanent signs of aging.
Dermal fillers are another widely used option for improving signs of aging. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and becomes lax. Additionally, gravity takes hold of the fat pads in our faces and draws them down, giving a sunken appearance to the cheeks, eyes and “jowl” region.
Early use of fillers can help camouflage these signs of aging. I also like to endorse a good skin-care routine to help improve skin quality and texture – a board-certified dermatologist or skin-care specialist can make suggestions regarding chemical peels, lasers and topical treatments and skin-care routines to help keep your complexion bright.
Over time, however, these less invasive treatments may not be enough to combat signs of aging. Genetics, sun exposure, diet and tobacco use can all play a role in how resilient our bodies are regarding the aging process. When the aging process can no longer be addressed with non-surgical options, we turn to surgery for rejuvenation. Over time, the skin of our face and neck simply becomes too loose to be addressed by any means other than surgery.
I like to think of facial rejuvenation in thirds, starting with the top.
A facelift and neck lift procedure addresses jowls that occur on the jawline, loose neck skin, nasolabial folds (also known as marionette lines) between the nose and mouth; mid-face drooping, when combined with liposuction, can address a double chin. As opposed to non-surgical options, which may at best last two years, a facelift surgery typically should provide acceptable results for over 10 years. I usually recommend taking around 14 days of downtime for recovery.
There are many variations of facelifting procedures, from mini-facelifts and thread lifts to full face and neck lifting.
Other options for facial rejuvenation include brow lifting and blepharoplasty (eyelid lifting). In women, the eyebrow should arch nicely just above the bone of the orbital rim, and in men, it should sit just at it. There are many different options for brow lifting, including minimally invasive endoscopic techniques and several traditional open surgical techniques. Your surgeon will take into account your hairline and the height of the forehead when choosing the right technique for you.
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lifting, can be a simple and easy way to add youth to your appearance. Addressing excess skin and fat herniation from around the upper and lower eyelids can take years off of the face. Addressing the eyelids does require a very thoughtful eye, as repairing the muscles
that control the elevation of the eyelids is a crucial step that should only be done by a very experienced facial plastic surgeon or ophthalmologist. Often, when the skin of the eyes and brows begin to block your field of vision, insurance, including Medicare, can cover these procedures.
The most important step in pursuing any surgical procedure is to find a surgeon you trust and are comfortable with, one who is willing to take time and explain the different options and be honest about meeting all of your expectations.
Dr. Paige Bundrick is an assistant professor of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and co-director of the Department of Facial Plastic Surgery at LSUHSC. She currently sees patients at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. For appointments, call 318-675-6262. To learn more about Dr. Bundrick, visit https://www.ochsnerlsuhs.org/ doctors/paige-bundrick.