What Is The Best Way To Maintain My Facelift Results?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 63 year-old female who just recently had a facelift. Because I am thin, I really had no fat just loose kin in the neck and jowls. Now that I have gotten the skin tightened up, how can I keep the facelift in place? I have read about a lot of things such as Thermage, Ultherapy, Exilis and others and, while they sound good in theory, I have read and been told that they don’t work for a lot of people. Some have said that the only really effective method of skin tightening is through collagen regeneration using a fully ablative CO2 laser. But laser resurfacing of the face can be associated with long-term pinkness of the skin. What do you recommend?

A: The reality is that nothing can keep a facelift ‘in place’ forever as surgery does not stop the effects of time and gravity. But there are certainly things to do to help slow down the process. Skin tightening and collagen rebuilding would be the correct approach after a facelift and, for many, should be considered maintenance therapies. There are numerous enery-based devices for skin tightening and you have named a few of the most well known. I do think they do have some benefit even if it is not the same for every patient as each person’s skin is different. In my practice, I currently offer Exilis and BBL (Skin Tyte) as methods of skin tightening maintenance after a facelift in which a series of treatments (usually 4) could be once a year. If appropriate based on how many skin wrinkles one has, light laser resurfacing is also a good choice and can be done with the other skin tightening treatments. Just don’t have any deep laser treatments but more regular lighter ones. That will avoid the prolonged redness and recovery. These treatments will not stop the aging process completely and more tissue sag is to be eventually expected but it will slow down the process and maintain the facelift result much longer. Also don’t forget basic preventative measures for skin aging which includes avoidance of excessive sun exposure, no smoking, a stable weight and a good daily skin treatment regimen.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana