Q: Dr. Eppley, While I think I am aging fairly well at 48 I am bothered by my jowls that I have developed. My neck is just a bit saggy as well but not too bad. I am not ready nor do I think I need a facelift but a little tuck might be good. I saw a doctor on TV advertising some type of quick facelift procedure. It sounds like it might be good for me but I am leery as it sounds too easy. Is this type of facial tuck-up procedure legitimate and is it really like what is advertised?
A: Facelift surgery is done in variety of operations based on how severe the facial aging is on each patient. Since the average age of a patient seeking a ‘facelift’ has gotten younger over the past two decades, many people now appear with early signs of aging such as jowling and a little neck sag. These signs of facial aging can be treated by a smaller type of facelift, generally known as a limited or mini-facelift. The improvement is a smoother jawline and neck.
There is nothing unique or novel about this type of facelift and it is an operation that has been around since facelift surgery began. What is new is that the ‘limited facelift’ has become packaged and marketed by different companies. These types of facelifts essentially are forms of franchises that are sold or licensed to doctors to sell this scaled down form of a facelift. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the operations that are advertised. What you have to be careful about is who is really performing them, are they a good choice for you based on your amount of facial aging, and is it done under safe and comfortable environments. While these companies advertise and stress the rapid recoveries after these small facelifts, which can be true, it is still surgery and has all the risks that go with it.
Dr. Barry Eppley