What is face lift?
- Face lift is a procedure to lift sagging skin
Why does skin sag?
Skin sags due to several reasons which may 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 anesthesia
- 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
- Was expensive
- 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
- The latest is thermal lift.