We may not be ready for face lifts but we are curious. Sonya, Libby and I have been having fun exploring age appropriate beauty treatments at FORM Face + Body this year. This clinic offers the gamut of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery as well as advanced aesthetics. I first met them when I wrote a profile on the clinic in October of 2021.
We have covered the topics of fillers, botox and various non invasive skin treatments to get great results. What happens when those temporary options can no longer fix things? Since stuff like loose skin can only be dealt with by surgical means, you will have to be open to that at some point.
The Skinny On Surgery
Because every face is different, every surgical technique will be different. This why the consultation stage is so important. The Drs work with you to evaluate what your wants are. They then guide you through the options of ways to achieve your goals. For instance, you might think you just want a neck lift to get rid of a turkey wattle or excess skin but 9 times out of 10 that is going to involve the lower face as well. A stand alone neck lift is, in fact, very rare. Like my experience with fillers and botox, to deal with problem A, they have to deal with the surrounding areas as well.
I spoke with Drs Somogyi & Jalil to find out what those next steps might look like. What I learned is that the reality of what comprises a “face lift” has changed over the years. Basically, all a face lift is, now, is any number of procedures that involve surgery. The days of tightly pulled back faces back are gone.
Also, there is no one size fits all face lift. At FORM, there is no menu of procedures you get to choose from. Instead, after consultation, your Dr will decide what is needed to get the results you are looking for. Think of it more as bespoke facial surgery, catering exactly to your specific needs.
It’s not just seniors looking at facial surgery either. They see young people who have lost a significant amount of weight and want to get rid of the excess skin that they have been left with. We are more familiar with the tightening up of loose skin on the tummies and other body parts, but the face is also affected by a large weight loss.
“A Facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, improves the signs of aging on the face and neck by repositioning loose skin and tightening the underlying facial muscles.”
Facial rejuvenation surgery is used to deal with slack, loose skin as well as well as volume loss. That can mean tightening jowls, lifting the skin of the neck or dealing with droopy eye lids. It often involves a neck lift, facial fat transfer, brow lift or, less often, a lip lift or earlobe work. In the end, you should count on it costing between $13 and $17K with long lasting results.
“Fat transfer to the face can be used alone or in combination with a facelift to restore natural, youthful rejuvenation to the face. Fat grafting can also be performed alone under local anesthetic as a more permanent substitute to Hyaluronic Acid fillers.”
Facial fat transfers are just what they sound like. They take fat from one part of the body and put it into the fact where it needs it. It acts like a more permanent Hyaluronic Acid filler and can give the face a more youthful appearance. Sagging skin, loss of volume and thinning skin go hand in hand with aging. Where fillers elevate, facial fat transfers do the heavy lifting, providing a more permanent solution.
When part of a facelift, this is done under sedation so, again, the trust built up between patient and surgeon are key. They are also a bit less predictable as it will change as you age and your body changes so it’s extra important to use a surgeon you really connect with. It can also be used with a local anesthetic Hyaluronic Acid fillers for a more permanent result as a stand alone treatment.
“Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty restores a natural, more youthful shape to the eyelids by removing the excess skin and fat that causes hooding of the eyelids. A blepharoplasty can also address the puffiness or ‘bags’ within the eyelids that can make eyes look tired. Ultimately, a blepharoplasty is designed to make you feel and look younger, brighter and healthier.”
Blepharoplasty, especially on the upper eye lid, is a straight forward procedure with a very high success rate. Removing extra skin is relatively simple with minimum downtown and almost no scar with dramatic results. The lower lid requires a bit more nuance but can fix what filler cannot. Whether it’s dealing with really puffy with a lot of fat herniating through or rigid defined creases at the tear trough, those are the two biggest reasons for under eye surgery.
The scar left after upper surgery basically disappears into the crease and in the case of lower blepharoplasty, the scar is on the inside of the lid, so invisible to the eye. Rarely, a pexi or tuck is needed when lids are so loose that we see alot of the eye with some gaping. That leaves a tiny scar at the side of the eye but this is normally only needed when the patient is much older.
As far as recovery goes, you can go back to work in 5-7 days due to bruising but technically you could function in a couple days. The stitches are on inside and they dissolve so you’ll never seen them.
The Bottom Line
The Drs at FORM Face + Body prefer to think of face lift procedures as facial rejuvenation. There is no cut and dried formula. You can’t just look at a menu and say you want face lift A2 with a side of fries. There are no clever names for procedures or upselling for things you don’t want or need. They look at your face and neck in it’s entirety and treat the whole you, not just a collection of parts.
You may not be ready to even contemplate surgery. Maybe you never make the choice to go that route but if that time comes, it’s important to find a surgeon you feel comfortable with. You are putting your face in their hands and there has to be a lot of trust and respect.
Before and after photos supplied by FORM Face + Body