When you think of a candidate for a facelift, who comes to mind? Chances are, you’re thinking of an older person, someone in their late 50s or early 60s, if not even older. You probably aren’t imagining a person in their 40s or 30s when you’re picturing the typical facelift candidate.
If you yourself are in your 40s or 30s and you’re starting to see signs of aging such as laxity in your skin and the development of facial wrinkles, you might want to know more about your options. Are you too young for a facelift or would that be the right choice for you? It helps to know more about what happens during facelift surgery to understand what makes someone a good candidate.
Is There a Minimum Age for a Facelift?
The saying ‘age is just a number’ works two ways. You can use it when talking about an older person who looks or acts much younger. You can also use it when describing a person who is younger but who acts or looks much older.
The truth is that everyone ages differently and at a different pace. Some people develop loose, sagging skin when they are in their 30s or 40s, due to genes, lifestyle habits, or weight loss. Others have elastic and smooth skin well into their 60s or 70s.
There is no minimum age for a facelift. For the right candidate, having the surgery earlier on might be preferable to waiting several years. The sooner you have a facelift (if it’s appropriate for you), the sooner you’ll see an improvement.
Having a facelift sooner rather than later also means that you can see long-lasting results from smaller changes. Your surgeon might be able to make smaller incisions and might only need to tighten or excise a small amount of skin and muscle. Younger patients also recover more quickly.
Signs a Facelift Might Be Right for You
A facelift is designed to reduce signs of aging in the lower part of the face. The surgery smooths lines and creases around the jaw, mouth, and chin. It also minimizes sagging skin around the chin and jawline. It helps to reduce the appearance of jowls or a double chin.
If the skin in the lower part of your face is starting to sag or is already sagging, you would likely benefit from a facelift, no matter what your age. Being proactive and scheduling the surgery when you still have moderate or minimal sagging can mean that you end up with a less invasive procedure, which can mean a shorter recovery time.
You might also be a good candidate for a facelift if you have creases in the lower part of your face, such as marionette lines by the chin or deep nasolabial folds by the nose. The surgery can help to smooth out those lines by repositioning the skin and underlining tissue.
A board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide if a facelift is the right choice for you. They’ll discuss your concerns with you and describe the benefits and potential drawbacks of facelift surgery. If appropriate, they might mention and describe other surgeries or non-surgical cosmetic treatments that would help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
What to Expect During and After a Facelift
If you decide to go ahead with a facelift, you can expect the results from the surgery to be long-lasting. Many patients say that the surgery took about a decade off of their appearance. The surgical results usually last for about 10 years, although that can vary based on your lifestyle choices after the procedure. Avoiding the sun, not smoking, and taking good care of your skin can help extend the results of your surgery.
During the surgery itself, you can expect to be given general anesthesia so that you’ll be completely asleep. The plastic surgeon will make an incision in the hairline that extends in front of your ears. Although the incision will leave a scar, its placement and size make it easy to conceal.
Alternatives to a Facelift
While a facelift might be the right choice for you, it’s far from your only option if you’re looking to reduce or reverse the signs of facial aging. There are other surgeries and non-surgical treatments that can refresh your appearance and restore a youthful look.
Whether a different type of surgery is right for you or not depends on the location of your concerns. If you’re noticing drooping, wrinkles, or sagging in the upper part of your face, a brow lift might be a good option. An eyelid lift can be appropriate if you have droopy eyelids or sagging under the eyes.
As far as non-surgical options go, some patients see an improvement from a non-invasive skin tightening treatment, such as Ulthera. Others see an improvement in their lines and wrinkles from an injectable such as Botox or a filler.
Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, or beyond, if you’re concerned about the signs of aging, you have options. Dr. Paul Vitenas, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas, can help you decide if a facelift, or another option, is the right call for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vitenas, call 281-484-0088. You can also book an online consultation.