According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) most recent annual member survey , facelifts not only continue to be one of the most popular surgical procedures second only to rhinoplasty, the number of facelifts performed annually is growing—and for several reasons that may run counter to popular opinion. Facial plastic surgeon and AAFPRS president Paul Carniol, MD, helps to explain the increase in numbers by debunking several myths that surround the face lifting procedure.
Myth 1: All Facelifts Are the Same
Actually, facelifts are not a one-size-fits-all. The “facelift” not only comes in multiple sizes—from the deep plane to the mini—each is also highly individualized based on multiple factors, including age, skin type, and desired results. As a result, the number of face lifting procedures has and will continue to grow. But Dr. Carniol cautions, that doesn’t mean you can expect maximum face lifting results with a mini version of the facelift.
“There are multiple types of mini lifts and neck lifts…, [but] they will usually give a lesser improvement than a full facelift,” says Dr. Carniol. “If a patient is in their 40s or early 50s and have thin skin tissues, one of these types of lifts can give a visible improvement with a very brief recovery. If they are older or have more extensive age-related changes, patients can get a more dramatic visible result from a full facelift.”
Patients also can be misinformed about the treatment of wrinkles versus skin laxity, says Dr. Carniol. While face lifting procedures tighten loose skin, such as jowls or neck, wrinkles are best addressed with lasers, microneedling, radio frequency, or peels. Thus, often one or more of these treatments are also performed to enhance facelift results.
Myth 2: Facelifts Are Only for Older Women
In reality, men get loose facial skin too. (And not all of them like it.) Therefore, not only do both men and women have face lifting procedures, so do younger people. And the growing numbers of face lifting procedures performed by AAFPRS members last year prove it!
Consider this: A mini facelift procedure may be a better option for someone in their 30s looking to tighten up the jawline or mid face than multiple microneedling treatments.
“Procedures like microneedling, peels, and other non-invasive treatments will also give some skin tightening,” says Dr. Carniol, “but not as much as the typical face/neck lift procedures,” making the one-and-done procedure perfect for busy professionals.
Myth 3: All Plastic Surgeons Are the Same
“Finding the right, most qualified physician to perform any procedure should ALWAYS be a patient’s first priority,” says Dr. Carniol. “Make sure the physician is qualified, experienced, and board-certified in the procedure that you are considering. If you are seeking a surgical procedure on the face, head, or neck, the AAFPRS always recommends that you select a surgeon who trained specifically in procedures of the face, head, and neck.”
The AAFPRS ‘Find A Surgeon ’ is the best place to start researching. The AAFPRS motto? “Trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon.”