Liquid Face Lift, Five Minute Face Lift, Fifteen Minute Face Lift
We live in a fast paced world. We all want to go faster, be stronger, and look younger, and most of us want it now. I think that’s why the allure of the non-surgical face lift is so strong in our current culture. It seems to promise everything…a younger looking face, no down time, and immediate results. Unfortunately, when something sounds too good to be true, we know it probably is. However, for certain patients, a non-surgical face lift may help improve selected aggrevating facial lines and folds by using dermal filler such as Restylane or Juvederm giving the appearance of a younger face.
NON-SURGICAL FACE LIFT
Often called a liquid face lift, five minute face lift, or fifteen minute face lift, a non-surgical face lift is actually not a face lift at all. Non-surgical face lift is the catch phrase given to the use of a combination of dermal fillers (e.g. Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra, Radiesse) and sometimes a patients own fat to fill in facial wrinkles and folds and add volume to sunken cheeks and hollow eyes. Botox is often used in addition to dermal fillers and fat to further decrease the appearance of wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes (Click here to learn about Dermal Fillers andBotox).
Ideal patients for a non-surgical face lift are generally younger, have good skin texture and elasticity, no excess or sagging skin, do not wish to undergo a surgical face lift, and have realistic expectations. Wrinkles between the eyebrows, horizontal forehead wrinkles, crows feet, wrinkles around the lips, and the vertical folds between the nose and upper lip (ie. nasolabial folds) are the areas best treated with dermal fillers and Botox. While usually not drastic, patients can expect to see a moderate, temporary softening of wrinkles and folds in these areas after treatment, usually lasting four to six months. Additionally, a patient’s own fat can occasionally be harvested from areas of excess and injected into areas of the face that have lost volume and fullness with aging (e.g. temporal areas, cheek bones, and under eye hollows). The process of using liposuction to take fat from one area of the body and injecting it into another is known as fat grafting. Fat grafting is often used in procedures like the Brazilian butt lift and occasionally breast augmentation or reconstruction (click here to learn about Brazilian Butt Lift and Natural Breast Augmentation), but does require a trip to the operating room and significant recovery time. Fat grafting is very technique dependent and should only be performed by an experienced plastic surgeon to ensure fat survival and correct placement. When done properly, however, results are permanent but do fluctuate with a patient’s weight.
The face shows signs of age differently in different people. In general, though, loose, sagging skin around the jaw line, neck, and chin as well as other wrinkles and folds all contribute to the appearance of an aging face. Dermal fillers and fat grafting add volume to the face but do nothing for loose, sagging skin, a drooping chin, jowls, or a “turkey wattle” neck. Despite claims to the contrary seen all over the television, radio, and internet, the only way to really treat excessive facial or neck skin is with a traditional, surgical face or neck lift (Click here to learn about Face Lift and Facial Aging). Results are impressive and dramatic, but a face lift does require a trip to the operating room, surgical incisions, and a recovery time of two to three weeks.
I perform injections of dermal fillers and Botox in the office, and my patients usually experience little if any bruising and swelling. Results last about four to six months, depending on the area treated, and my goal is for patients to look youthful and refreshed, not emotionless or unnatural. Maybe you have a class reunion, wedding, or just a night out on the town coming up and you want to look your best. Whatever your reason, if you’re trying to keep the hands of the clock in check but aren’t ready for a surgical face lift, a non-surgical facelift may be your answer.
Jaime Perez, M.D.
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa