BACKGROUND: In 2011, facelifts were the most popular cosmetic procedures and on average the most expensive. A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck. Many people who consider this procedure want to correct sagging in the middle of the face, loss of muscle tone in the lower face, deep creases below the lower eyelid, fat that has fallen, deep creases along the nose extending to the mouth, or loose skin under the chin and jaw. A facelift consultation will be conducted before the surgery can take place. Certain things have to be discussed for safety purposes; for instance, why they want the surgery, what medical conditions they have, what previous surgeries they have experienced, and what medications they are on. (Source: plasticsurgery.org)
RISK FACTORS: As with any procedure, facelifts come with a variety of risk factors. They include: bleeding, unfavorable scarring, infection, anesthesia risks, poor wound healing, correctable hair loss at the incision sight, facial asymmetry, skin loss, facial nerve injury, numbness or other changes in skin sensitivity, fluid accumulation, pain, skin discoloration and swelling, skin contour irregularities, deep vein thrombosis, and the possibility of revision surgery. After the procedure is done and the patient is released, they must watch out for shortness of breath, unusual heart beats, and chest pains. If one experiences any of these symptoms, then medical attention should be immediate. (Source: plasticsurgery.org)
TREATMENT: After surgery it is very important to follow all of the physician's instructions in order to achieve success. Professionals say that it is highly important for the surgical incisions to not be subjected to abrasion, motion during the time of healing, or excessive force. Patients are advised to not wear any clothing that will go over the head. Usually the doctor will give detailed instructions to the patient on how to care for oneself. (Source: plasticsurgery.org)
NEW TECHNOLOGY: An alternative to the expensive and invasive procedure would be LazerLift. It is a precise laser facelift technology that will reverse the signs of aging without scalpels, stitches, and scars while cutting down the risks, costs, and recovery time associated with a facelift. It works by safely heating and tightening the skin to stimulate the tissue coagulation and the formation of collagen. It can help attack the physical signs of aging without harming surrounding tissue. LazerLift uses ThermaGuide to provide the doctor with real-time temperature feedback during the procedure to avoid overheating the skin and deep tissue. LaxerLift also provides results several months following the procedure for a natural and long-lasting look. (Source: lazerlift.com)
Roger Bassin, M.D. with The Bassin Center for Plastic Surgery, talks about a new facelift procedure that doesn't require a scalpel.
So how is this going to change the way you suggest things to patients when they come in?
Dr. Bassin: The way this has changed things for my practice is that now instead of having something that's going to help a little tiny bit versus something that's going to be a lot more drastic which is the surgical results. Now I have something that really falls in to that big middle spectrum that really is what our patients are looking for. They're looking for something that can give them a facelift result without having to be cut on.
So how has this grown in popularity, have you seen people hearing about it and coming in and asking about it or are you recommending it more?
Dr. Bassin: I'm definitely recommending it to the vast majority of our patients who are the right candidates which is the most important thing. We've got to make sure the patients are the correct candidates for this. Being that there's such a huge variety of our patients that fall in to a great candidacy for this procedure, I'm in turn recommending it for so many of my patients that I see on a given day. Our patients who are aware of this now because we're starting to let everyone know about what we're doing and the results that we're getting and it's almost a tidal wave. The popularity our patients are loving it, we're very busy. We're very excited to be able to offer our patients something that can give them such great results without all the risks associated with the older style procedures.
You said there's still a small amount of risk, what is that risk?
Dr. Bassin: Anybody who has any type of procedure where we enter through the skin still has risk of bleeding and infection. If I had anybody who was at risk for that I wouldn't even do the procedure on them. I haven't seen anybody who had any problems. I'm talking about seventy to eighty patients already and no one has had a problem at all. So everyone has done great, everybody has been really ecstatic with the results so we're very positive about it and really excited about it as you can tell.
We talked about something similar which is cellulite, is there any difference in the procedure itself?
Dr. Bassin: With cellulite you have to cut the bands that connect the skin to the muscle. There's none of that with this type of procedure. What we find is we're using that same type of wave length, that fourteen-forty wave length and applying it in a little bit of a different fashion. We still are using this amazing new wave length that was discovered by Cynosure and applying it to the facial tissues to be able to get now a really nice lifting and tightening result.
You said you could get results for about five years, and you can do it again and again?
Dr. Bassin: Right. When our patients ask me that I tell them they should expect at least a five year result out of this. What's great about it as the studies show this will continue to improve over the next three to six months. So I tell our patients that every day instead of looking in the mirror and getting a little bit older, you'll get a little bit younger looking every day which is a nice way to look at it. If patients want to come back in another five years and have it done again I don't see why not.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dr. Roger Bassin
Orlando Cosmetic Surgeon
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