Facial aging is as inevitable as the passage of time. We see ourselves every day in the mirror and receive a constant reminder of this cruel fact. Yet, we are living longer, more productive lives and desire to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle during the middle and older years. Couple this with the need to earn an income later in life and you see why facial appearance can be so important in today's society. Many find themselves competing with younger co-workers for promotions and bonuses, relying on their personal image to keep them going. A nip, tuck, or injection can be just what is needed to get the edge at work or in life.
The usual suspects such as genetics, smoking, sun exposure, chronic dehydration, and other exposures are at play causing us to look tired, older, and less vibrant. Aging shows itself in wrinkles, smile lines, blemishes/discolorations, sagging cheek fat (jowls), hollow cheeks, and excess skin and muscle bands of the neck. Certainly, prevention is the best weapon against aging. Although we can't change our genes (yet), plastic surgeons like Dr. Leif Nordberg urge you to protect against sun exposure, stay away from smoke and other toxins, regularly moisturize, and drink plenty of water each day.
Today there are injections, resurfacing techniques, and surgical procedures to offer patients who don't like how aging has changed their facial appearance. Botox injections are simple, quick and address wrinkles of the forehead, glabella (between eyebrows), and crows feet most commonly. Botox can also provide for some repositioning/reshaping of sagging structures such as the eyebrows. Fillers are used to efface smile lines, plump thinning lips, and fill in other deeper wrinkles. But, when you start to see jowls, sagging neck skin, bands of the neck, and/or more severe wrinkling, it is time to think about the gold-standard operation known as a facelift.
The facelift has evolved to allow many options today. There is the minifacelift (MACS lift) which utilizes a smaller incision in front of the ears to lift the cheek fat, remove jowls, tighten neck skin, and round out the cheek bones with less swelling and down-time. This procedure often can be done under local or lite sedation anesthesia. Dr. Nordberg recently used this procedure on a patient in her fifties who felt she looked thirty-five again following her surgery. The traditional facelift is used for more significant skin excess of the neck and includes an ear incision and an incision under the chin. No matter what technique is utilized, a much more comprehensive and longer lasting correction is achieved compared to Botox, fillers, and resurfacing techniques. Often times, Dr. Nordberg sees patients who have paid for two or more facelifts in Botox and fillers before they realize they could have achieved better, longer lasting results with a facelift at a reduced cost.
There is a limit to what non-invasive procedures can do for the aging face. Jowls, more severe wrinkling, excess neck skin, and bands of the neck can only be corrected by a facelift. The techniques, anesthesia, and care have improved to allow faster recovery with less down-time. Dr. Nordberg recommends that you see him for a consultation if facial aging is a concern.