Minimal incision techniques enable you to take years off your appearance without anyone knowing you’ve had a facelift…
In the past, facelifts were anything but subtle, often leaving patients looking like they were standing in a wind tunnel. The surgery was drastic and recovery time was extensive.
Things have changed. Thankfully these days there is a trend towards minimally invasive ‘short scar’ techniques, which not only offer far more natural looking results, but also significantly less downtime.
Out with the old
The traditional facelift, the type that most people think of, is known as a cutaneous facelift. It involves making a long incision along the hairline so that the skin can be lifted up. It is an effective way to correct sagging and excess skin, but it does not address the deeper tissue and muscle layers and can result in an unnatural stretched look.
In with the new
All types of facelifts can be performed using minimal incision or short scar technique, although it is not effective for large amounts of excess skin (for that a SMAS facelift will be necessary). The MACS-lift (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension lift), as it is known, involves making a small incision in the skin fold in front of the ear and around the sideburn. This allows for access to the deep tissue.
Depending on the patient’s needs, up to four surgical sutures will be woven in to provide strong anchor points for the repositioning of facial muscle. The tissue and skin is drawn gently upwards and excess skin is removed. The incision is meticulously closed, resulting in a near invisible scar and a very natural looking result.
The MACS-lift procedure restores drooping tissues to their youthful positions. Dependent on the sutures used, the procedure will restore the skin tightness of the upper and middle neck (jowls), soften the nasolabial fold around the nose and mouth, and lift the cheeks and lower eyelids. A fourth suture can be used to correct neck skin laxity, making this procedure suitable for older patients as well as those in their 30s and 40s, who do not require a full facelift.
The results are highly effective; typically you will appear around 10-years younger. The effects are also long lasting; the excess skin that is removed never returns so you will always look younger than you would have without surgery. However, a facelift cannot stop the aging process. The skin will continue to age, but any sagging that occurs in future years can be corrected with a minor ‘tuck up’.
The short scar facelift procedure is much quicker than a traditional facelift (typically 2.5 hours or less) and, because it is less invasive, tends to produce less bleeding and swelling. It is also less likely to result in nerve damage, so is considered safer.
Patients usually enjoy a faster recovery time, although there will be some swelling and bruising that will last around 7-14 days.
No overnight stay is required following surgery and pain can be managed with over the counter painkillers. Stitches can be removed after 7-10 days and the face will be virtually scar-free, thanks to the zig-zag pattern incision that makes the scar blend with the hairline. You may also wear make up immediately after the procedure.
Additional treatments for an even better looking result
Combining facial cosmetic surgery with non-surgical treatments is often the best path to achieve your aesthetic goals. Here are some additional options that can be used to tailor your treatment:
Excess fat in the lower face and neck can be removed through tiny liposuction cannulas hidden in the neck and behind the ear, resulting in a more defined jawline.
Fillers and Botox
While facelifts are effective in treating sagging skin and severe creases, they cannot remove fine lines or correct volume loss. Cosmetic injectables such as fillers and Botox are often used as complementary treatments to sculpt the face in order to achieve the desired results.
Laser skin resurfacing and chemical peeling
Stripping off layers of skin via laser resurfacing or chemical peeling can further enhance the results of a facelift by improving skin tone and texture. The treatment encourages new skin growth and can reduce the appearance of fine lines, skin discoloration, blemishes and scarring.
Although fatty deposits can be removed via a facelift, it cannot address the issue of loss of volume in the face. For thin, aging faces, a facelift is ideally combined with facial fat grafting. Fat grafting involves removing a tiny amount of fat from the patient’s stomach region, purifying it and injecting it into the sunken areas of the face, such as the eye sockets and cheeks. Fat transfer can address both volume loss and wrinkling and achieve a highly effective rejuvenating effect.
Ocean Clinic’s signature PAVE-Lift concept
Head Surgeon at Ocean Clinic Marbella, Dr Kaye has pioneered a new concept in facelifts. His signature PAVE-Lift (peeling-assisted volume enhancing lift) is an enhanced facelift concept that includes both facial peeling and fat grafting. The technique blends surgical expertise with the most innovative anti-aging technology currently available to maximise the aesthetic outcome.
Dr. Kaye has presented the PAVE-Lift concept at surgical meetings around the world to great acclaim. Most recently, he gave a lecture on the cutting-edge technique to more than 250 surgeons at the ASPS Aesthetica meeting in Las Vegas (April 30-May 2, 2015).