Before we delve into the finer aspects of Face-lift, let’s take a look at how skin ages & develops issues. Face-lift comes into the picture as & when your skin starts to sag and you want to do something about it. Skin sags due to several reasons which may be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic factors include:
Ageing skin loses collagen fibres. These fibres are present in skin to give firmness and tensile strength.
With ageing, skin becomes thin.
With ageing, muscles lose tone.
With ageing , there is loss of fat in the skin.
Extrinsic factors for sagging
Gravity, stress, sunlight also add to the changes of ageing.
All these factors together cause wrinkles, sagging, depressions etc.
Each of these factors need to be corrected while treating ageing skin.
Hence different treatments may be needed for different people.
Different ageing changes
Wrinkles form around eyes on fore head, deep creases form between the nose and mouth (nasolabial fold).
The jaw line grows slack and skin droops at the jaw line (jowls).
Folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.
The aging brow changes include
Lowering of the eyebrows.
Horizontal furrows and folds.
Vertical lines between the eyebrows.
Elevated hairline due to loss of hair.
The aging eyelid changes include
Folding of the upper eyelid that can make it difficult to keep the eyelid open.
Weakening of support for the lower eyelid that can let the lid sag away -baggy eyes.
Darkening of skin around eyes.
Wrinkling of skin at the outer corners of the eyes – “crow’s feet”.
The aging face changes
Pigmentation of skin over cheeks.
Descent of tissue from the cheekbones towards the cheeks resulting in less prominent cheeks.
Deepening of the nasolabial folds (the lines between the nose and the corners of the mouth).
Extra tissue below the jaw line creating bulges called jowls.
Sagging neck muscles that can tighten into bands with expression.
wrinkles at the angle of the mouth and folds at the angle of the mouth( called marionette lines).
Can these be prevented?
There are no fool proof remedies to prevent these changes.
Avoidance of sub exposure, use of sun screens, proper diet, avoidance of stress can help in delaying these changes.
Some drugs such as vitamin C, Vitamin E, retinol, antioxidants may be of benefit, but the effect of these drugs is difficult to quantify.
What is face lift surgery?
Till 1990s facelift was a major surgery under general anaesthesia.
It needed extensive surgery of sagging, skin, fat, fascia and muscle.
Needed hospital stay of several weeks.
Recovery time was also at least 4-6 weeks.
Side effects were significant.
So it was not popular.
What is new
Since early 1990 a number of developments have helped to render this previously difficult procedure in to an easy procedure and accessible to all.
Since ageing of skin is due to several different components, one treatment will not suitable for all changes.
A cocktail of treatments to be tailored for each patient.
Ageing skin treatment- new options
The first major development was chemical peels.
Lasers were introduced in early 90s.
Microdermabrasion was also introduced.
Then came Botox and injections called fillers.
In 1998, came aptos thread to revolutionize the face lift procedure.