Signs of Aging
Starting in the mid 30’s several signs of age are manifested in the face, eye and neck areas. These include sagging of upper eyelid skin, bags under the eyes caused by fat, fine to deep wrinkling around the eyes, horizontal and vertical frown lines in the brow, drooping of the eyebrow, and fine wrinkling around the mouth. As aging progresses, additional signs are noted including double chin, vertical cordlike bands of skin in front of the neck, drooping of the cheek with deepening of the nasolabial folds, and development of jowls.
The changes of aging occur at a different rate in each person. The degree of concern caused by these changes also differs from person to person. Each of the broad types of changes, wrinkling, skin laxity and fat excess or volume loss, requires a different form of treatment. For this reason, Dr. Bass will formulate a treatment plan with you to correct the changes present and based on your concerns. It is critical to have this type of careful evaluation and planning to provide a customized treatment plan rather than a “cookie-cutter” approach.
Skin needs to be redraped gently, rather than pulled tightly in order to preserve a natural appearance. The direction and degree of repositioning varies based on the anatomic shape and degree of aging of each individual. This is where the experience and skill of the surgeon are critical to achieving a pleasing result. Dr. Bass plans your facial restoration using a system of both linear and angular vectors for tissue repositioning, often in conjunction with fat grafting in order to come as close as possible to the youthful appearance of your face.
The facialplasty or facelift operation restores a more youthful contour to the face and neck by removing excess skin and fat and tightening deeper layers of the face. This is usually done through incisions hidden behind the hairline and in natural skin creases in front of and behind the ear. Minimal incision necklift, mid-facialplasty, mini-facialplasty, submentalplasty and other more minimal procedures reduce incisions, and recovery time. These procedures are selected when specific limited areas of the face require improvement or in younger individuals with less in the way of aging changes. Careful evaluation is necessary to select the correct procedure. Facialplasty is often combined with other facial procedures, particularly eyelidplasty. Endoscopic browlift, laser skin resurfacing, liposuction, cheek or chin implants or fat injection may help improve some of the aging changes you wish to have corrected. These can be used in addition to or instead of facialplasty depending on the physical finding in each individual case.Ulthera is a non-invasive energy based treatment which may be a useful alternative for individuals with mild aging changes too early for a facelift or a relift. If you have any questions about these procedures, please ask during the consultation.
Recovery time varies from patient to patient but is typically 1-1.5 weeks to return to normal work or social activities after facialplasty alone. Recovery largely relates to waiting for enough bruising and swelling to resolve to be easy camouflaged with normal makeup. Dr. Bass uses a number of advanced techniques during and after the procedure to minimize downtime. Gentle tissue handling, tissue sealants, and the Aquecool Facemask are some of these techniques.
Extent of Improvement
The goal of aesthetic surgery is to provide the best appearance possible. The extent of improvement is influenced by a number of factors, such as the condition of the skin, previous sun exposure, underlying bone structure, heredity and others. Facialplasty will make you look fresher and more rested. It will not transform you back to the appearance you had in your 20’s. Incision lines are placed in areas that are largely hidden. Dr. Bass performs no-recovery laser treatments (Fraxel ReStore) on the incision lines to provide maximum fading starting a few weeks after surgery. Most patients will maintain the result for 10 or more years, slowly aging during that time. Some patients require additional correction as early as 5 years while others may not require additional surgery for much longer. In an operation as highly individualized as facialplasty, when you will need or want additional correction can not be determined with certainty.
Before and After Images
In an effort to preserve the privacy of our patients, representative full face images of Dr. Bass’s facialplasty results can only be viewed in the office during a consultation.