No Harm, No Foul
The majority of facial plastic surgeons feel that traditional facelift surgery to prevent the visible signs of aging is unnecessary before age 40. That is, unless other factors come into play like sagging skin and premature aging. In most other cases, a less drastic approach may be what the doctor orders - perhaps a mini-facelift or Botox or filler injections to nip facial lines and wrinkles in the bud.
Doctors view the early use of Botox, dermal fillers, laser skin surgery, or facial fat transfer procedures as useful cosmetic bridges to facelift surgery for when the patient reaches his or her 50s. These procedures are meant to treat small problem areas before they become big problems.
The value of having a mini-facelift, for example, is that it tightens the skin as it helps to prevent and even forestall age-related wrinkles and lines. When done properly by a board certified facial plastic surgeon, the risk of scarring is minimal.
Oh, Those Nasolabial Folds
Nasolabial folds can be a tricky problem to treat, and they can be present at just about any age. Fillers are often used to fill in these lines, but often times adding volumes to the cheek is more successful in lifting and smoothing the lines. Depending on the patient, a midface lift or traditional facelift, often combined with filler injections or fat transfer, may be the best solution.
Ultherapy using high-frequency sound waves to smooth away facial lines and wrinkles is yet another non-invasive procedure used to tighten younger skin while there's still plenty of elasticity in it.
An Ounce of Prevention
Early candidates often benefit from preventive procedures which in the long run may avert the need for surgery or a combination procedure later on. The use of fillers is a good starting point in preparation for the day when the patient may actually need facelift surgery. The key, doctors say, is to match the correct procedure with the correct indications at the right time, and to make decisions based on patient anatomy and not simple chronological age.
Whichever procedure you choose early on, the choice is best made with the help of a board certified facial plastic surgeon.
Dr. Philip Miller is a board certified facial plastic surgeon with offices located at 60 East 56th, Third Floor, New York, N.Y. Call (212) 750-7100 for a personal consultation.
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