“Do I need a facelift or minimally invasive procedure like FaceTite?” This is a very common question with a partly physical, partly philosophical and partly financial answer. The decision, although seemingly simple, has many decision points. The most important question to be answered by the patient is “What bothers you most?”. After defining and prioritizing the needs, the next question is “Is your health a factor?”. The final question is “How much are you willing to spend to achieve the very best result for the longest period of time?”.
Although the question can be complicated, a simplistic approach to the answer would be as follows:
- For healthy patients age 45 or below with generally good skin, a minimal tightening and skin rejuvenation with filler and Botox may suffice.
- Patients age 55 and above with sagging skin, neck bands and a deflated face would probably be best rejuvenated with a facelift, laser or micro-needling, and perhaps filler.
- Although a generalization, patients between ages 45 and 55 are in the gray area which requires consideration of other factors.
While also a generalization, it can be said that minimally invasive procedures do not measure up to the quality of the gold standard – a facelift with ancillary procedures. Eventually, most people could use a facelift for the best, most durable result because the aging process continues. It should also be noted that many procedures are complementary and should be done at the same time to minimize downtime, anesthesia, etc. For instance, a facelift may be combined with eyelids and laser resurfacing for an optimal result.
Not only are all procedures not equal, there are some procedures that probably should not be done, in my opinion. These would include the ingestion of any permanent filler material, use of suture lifts which generally have a very short duration, and fat reduction by injection except in very limited circumstances. In similar principle, not all surgeons are created equal. The most effective help is provided by the most capable surgeon. In other words, a surgeon or therapist who does only one procedure would be inclined to over use that procedure in inappropriate circumstances due to lack of options.
Finally, a short discourse of the pros and cons of a facelift versus FaceTite. Traditionally, a facelift involves undermining the skin, tightening the underlying support mechanisms, removing fat, and then trimming and closing the skin. When done appropriately, this will have the longest duration with the best results. Obviously, the disadvantages would include downtime, cost, incisions, and possible risks; all which should be discussed with your surgeon. FaceTite, a procedure for melting fat and tightening skin, is minimally invasive, accomplished with local anesthesia, minimal scars, downtime, and risks. At present, approximately 75% of my patients require facelifts to achieve their goals and 25% are served well with FaceTite. However, many of the 75% who need a facelift opt for the less invasive FaceTite procedure for some of the previously mentioned reasons. This balance will change as our technology improves and minimally invasive procedures are able to achieve better results.
A final comment should be made regarding choice of a surgeon. Training, experience and capability are all important factors in choosing a surgeon. However, one of the best criteria is the recommendation of a friend who has had a good experience. You should meet, trust, ask questions, and even seek a second opinion if there is any question in your mind about choosing a surgeon.