Is a facelift worth it?
We often hear this question, or variations of it, from our patients. Of course, the answer to this is very subjective. However, you can look at it from a very practical and even monetary point of view, or a very philosophical standpoint.
Breaking this down into two viewpoints, let’s look at the practicality or monetary standpoint asking the question “Do I get my money’s worth?”. This can be seen as an equation similar to algebra. On one side of the equation are the advantages and on the other side are the disadvantages. Certainly, one has to weigh all of these factors to a greater or lesser extent.
The reasons for having a cosmetic procedure include, most importantly, greater self-esteem. Studies have shown that patients who feel good about themselves do better socially and financially. In fact, an interesting study from a major health institute stated that people who have facelifts live ten years longer than those who do not. This, of course, is deceiving in that patients who have facelifts are generally healthier than those who do not. In fact, some patients are rejected from having a facelift because of their health. In any case, the social value of a cosmetic procedure, including a facelift, is considerable.
Vocationally, you may also find yourself competing with a younger crowd of people ready to take your job. While it is a shame that our society is so focused on appearance that a person’s job may depend on it, I hear this frequently from individuals in visual job positions such as television newscasters.
Other well documented sociology studies have demonstrated that people with facial disfigurement (i.e. an exaggerated form of aging) have lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, divorce, and even suicide. Another interesting study demonstrated that incarcerated prisoners were inclined to blame their life of crime on their appearance. The surgeons doing the study at a well-known institution found that by performing cosmetic procedures on them to alter their appearance, they were able to significantly lower the recidivism rate (return to a life of crime). Thus, we see that appearance is important.
Continuing the analogy to an algebraic equation, one has to weigh the other factors. Recovery, pain, effect on your job or family, possible risks, and of course the financial cost are all factors. In the end, it is a subjective decision by the patient to determine whether to proceed.
Finally, I would like to say that is important for patients to understand that surgery will not miraculously get them an increase in salary, or social and self-acceptance. It goes much deeper than that. Lasting positive change requires more than a surgical procedure. Even from the aspect of appearance, the patient should also commit to a program of general health improvement including lifestyle, fitness, and skincare.
To discuss your questions about facelifts or other cosmetic procedures, schedule a consultation at The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery by calling (407) 409-8000.