Expert Opinion

Should I Have a Face Lift?

Written by Charles Nduka


Last year 30,750 people underwent cosmetic procedures by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).  The top five most popular procedures were breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, breast reduction, face and necklift and liposuction. Mr Charles Nduka FRCS(Plast) discusses facelifts, one of the most popular procedures in the UK. 

We are all living longer and many women approaching their fifties want to look as vibrant and youthful as they feel.  Fortunately our increased standard of living and disposable income means that there are alternatives to growing old gracefully. With modern surgical techniques, facial rejuvenation is safer, less invasive and more natural-looking.

The term facelift covers a range of techniques that aim to improve the signs of facial ageing and correcting sagging, a crepey neck and jowly jaw line.  Traditional techniques involved just tightening the skin and resulted in an unnatural-looking ‘wind-swept’ result.  Modern, short-scar techniques tighten and reposition the underlying layers that have been displaced by gravity.  I rarely perform a facelift in isolation as I believe a more harmonious natural-looking result is obtained combining facelift with liposuction to the jowls and neck, micro fat transfer to the cheek and deeper wrinkles, eyelid rejuvenation (blepharoplasty) and a minimally invasive brow lift.  Pre-operative and post-operative skin conditioning with a light chemical peel or laser treatment will further enhance the final result.

When a lift is done well, the changes are naturally pleasing and the owners simply look much younger than their chronological age.  Shaping the face by removing, repositioning or adding soft tissue, rather than by just tightening the skin and muscles, is the key to achieving the most harmonious results in facial rejuvenation. 

Many consider that the best time for a facelift is in the late fifties and sixties, but in general, you will have a better and more natural result at a younger age when the signs of ageing are just beginning to appear but are not full blown. Most people will only have one facelift in their lifetime, but others may have a second surgery 7 -12 years later, when the tissues will probably have relaxed again.  Maintaining the result of your surgery by keeping your weight stable, using a moisturizer with sun protection and perhaps the occasional light chemical peel will optimize your investment and keep you looking fresh.

If you would like to read more about face lifts, Charles has written Face the Facts: The Truth About Facelifts. This article outlines the different facelift methods available, along with scarring and other things you should consider.

This article outlines the cost of surgery and the implications of having surgery abroad.

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