Facetite, or, the changing face of facelifts
Over the past few years the number of people seeking facial rejuvenation has soared dramatically. Where the numbers of all procedures have risen, the actual percentage of surgical procedures (as a total) has fallen dramatically. More people are seeking less invasive procedures and non-surgical procedures, to achieve the look they desire.
Up until relatively recently, these procedures were limited to peels, dermal fillers and wrinkle relaxation. Increasingly, with the advent of new (and application of already understood) technologies, results for facial rejuvenation are now achieving the same results as minor surgical techniques.
There is also a shift in expectations and needs of people looking for treatments. A more natural look is desired. With our TVs full of ‘botched ops’ and overtight surgery, many people are seeking a softer lift. That said, judicious, careful, expert surgery is sometimes the only answer. I find the combination of both (careful surgery and careful aesthetic rejuvenation) is ideal.
Nowhere is this more obvious than the face. As we age, our faces undergo the classic triad of ‘Descent, Deterioration & Deflation. Where dermal fillers can certainly address the deflation and, in so doing, actually lift the skin of the face, there’s no getting away from the excess skin which appears as gravity takes it’s toll. The main complaints I see are of jowls and sagging cheeks. This excess skin can be reduced in one of 3 ways.
1. Excisional treatment. i.e. Surgical Face Lift where the excess skin is lifted, cut away and discarded. This has the advantage of immediate results and is irreversible. The downsides are the scars, cost and usual risks associated with surgery. That said, there are occasions where this is definitely the best option and I would always say if I thought that was the case. The effect usually lasts 10 -20 years depending on the individual case.
2. Thread lift. This can give a gentle lift and a degree of skin remodelling will occur. The amount of skin stays the same, however, and this process may need to be repeated after a couple of years.
3. Thermal Contraction Therapy. This can be done using a technology called FaceTite
What is FaceTite?
As doctors, we know that skin will shrink if it’s heated. The knack is in doing it safely and effectively. FaceTite is carried out under strictly aseptic (sterile) conditions with surgical gowns, drapes, equipment etc.) In this treatment a tiny nick is made in the anaesthetised skin and a small probe is inserted under the skin and heated. This causes the skin to contract immediately and, as time passes over 6 months or so, gradually more contraction will occur. This has the benefit of lifting the face by actually shrinking the skin which has become stretched. It does actually become ‘tighter’. It also rejuvenates the skin by stimulating an acute inflammatory response which stimulates the growth of new collagen and elastin in the skin.
Having achieved a tightening of the skin, the jowls can be removed by using gentle careful liposuction. As we age the skin under our chins also accumulates fat and this can be give a disproportionate image of ageing. This can also easily be removed during this procedure and, in fact, lipomodelling of the whole jaw line and neck area is usually done at the same time. The neck is also treated thermally (NeckTite). The effects are immediate.
Furthermore, when upper cheeks have lost volume, the fat that has been removed from the lower jowls can be spun down, cleaned and injected carefully into the upper cheeks. (See this post about Fat Transfer).
This is the ultimate ‘organic’ face lift. No scars, no sutures (stitches) and, no other substance is used to build up volume that is lost.
The final part of this treatment involves a fractionated resurfacing technique called Fractora. This gives (eventually) a ‘polished’ look as the skin is gradually replaced by newer fresher skin.
The combination of all 3, CONTRACTION, LIPOMODELLING AND RESURFACING gives a natural lifted look which can achieve the same amount of lift as a mini surgical face lift but has the added bonus of less down time, added lipomodelling and resurfacing combined.