The End of the Facelift?

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Today I have a special treat for you.  A sponsored post from  cosmetics trends journalist Jeffery Deal  on the future of cosmetic surgery and technical strides in nonsurgical techniques.

There have been so many amazing developments in the area of cosmetic surgery in the last few years and Jeffery has some fascinating news about it’s future.

Handing off to Jeffery now…..

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Plastic surgery is getting a lot of attention these days that goes way beyond the daily tabloids. Its popularity extends from Hollywood Boulevard to Main Street, U.S.A., a trend documented in a recent Time magazine cover story.

But even as cosmetic surgery becomes more mainstream, the ever-expanding non-surgical options to lift and tighten the face have some wondering if the facelift — considered by many as the plastic surgery gold standard — is falling out of favor.

The era of BOTOX and facial filler injections is in full swing. Coupled with laser skin resurfacing and skin tightening treatments such as Ultherapy® and Thermage®, plastic surgeons everywhere tout the benefits of comprehensive facial rejuvenation without incisions.

So is facelift surgery becoming obsolete?

The short answer is no. The more complicated response is that fillers, BOTOX, and non-surgical aesthetic treatments are excellent short-term solutions for patients concerned about the early signs of aging, such as mild wrinkles and the loss of volume. As soft tissue, fat, and muscle start diminishing, the face loses the fullness that lends it a youthful appearance. Fillers help correct those issues. Skin that’s just beginning to lose its elasticity can be tightened with a treatment such as Ultherapy, for example.

Dr. Robert H. Burke, a clinical professor of plastic surgery at both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, says in American Health & Beauty that “although the facelift will never become completely obsolete, nonsurgical options address many of the real reasons that patients think they need a facelift.”

These steps, however, cannot prevent the inevitable sagging that leads to jowls and loose neck skin. Only surgery can actually lift and reposition soft tissue and muscle. What we’re really seeing at this point is the merging of facelift techniques with non-surgical treatments to get 3-dimensional results. The days of simply pulling skin tight and calling it a facelift are long gone.

What many surgeons see as the future of facial rejuvenation is combining facelift surgery with fat transfer — taking fat from one area of a patient’s body and using it as a facial filler. Survey results published in the July 2015 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), showed that 85% of surgeons questioned say they now use fat grafting during facelifts.

“Combining surgical repositioning of fat with fat grafting offers surgeons a greater degree of aesthetic control for correcting contour in the aging face,” the survey authors say. “Although there is controversy regarding the best method to surgically reposition fat, there is a growing consensus that volume augmentation is preferred by most facelift surgeons.”

Another Time magazine article published in April 2015 said “the hottest thing in plastic surgery might be adding fat instead of getting rid of it.” Fat grafting is being used in breast and buttock augmentation procedures, in addition to facial rejuvenation.

“One of the reasons fat works well as volume replacement is stem cells,” says the website of Dr. Goesel Anson, a board-certified plastic surgeon and facelift specialist in Las Vegas. “Fat is the most abundant and accessible source of stem cells. These are specialized cells that have the ability to morph into a variety of cell lines. This probably explains why the skin or scars of some patients who have had fat injections actually look better years later.”

With or without fillers or fat grafting, facelift surgery will remain the gold standard for reversing the signs of aging until a treatment comes along that can tighten and lift sagging skin with no scalpels necessary. That time isn’t here. Yet.

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