Male facelifts and neck lifts are both different and similar to female facelifts and neck lifts. Both types of lifts strive to erase the signs of aging and restore the face to how it used to look. We try to make the individual look younger and at the same time, make them look better. Where male facelifts differ is that we try to soften the lift and create an ageless quality to the face. We don’t want the man to look “done”. At the same time, we don’t want to feminize the face, unless the patient wants that look.
The facelift consultation begins with a description of the problems the patient perceives to explain what bothers them. Why are they there? We examine the patient’s face from the top of the head to the neck. Each area is evaluated to see what can or should be improved, and then we determine how best to achieve all of the patient’s goals. What might not be obvious to the patient might be quite clear to the skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. Some anatomic areas can be improved individually, most however need a broadened improvement. Cheek lifts sound like a good idea, but if we improve the lower eyelid and the jowls, the overall look can be much better.
The details of the procedure depend on the patient’s anatomy. Typically, we leave the brows alone. We avoid an overly peaked eyebrow. The lids are improved, but the goal is to under correct the imperfections. Most women try to perfect the lid/cheek junction; most men allow a little step off. The cheeks are treated just as with women. We tighten and elevate the cheek to a more youthful location and we secure it in place. The jowls are likewise treated just as with women. Most of the jowl looseness is due to laxity of the underlying tissue. By tightening it, we reduce or eliminate the jowl. The neck is different with men. Many women can benefit from neck tightening of the platysma muscle. Few require the elimination of deeper fat to improve their look. Most men have a central fat pocket just behind the chin that originates deep to the platysma. Unless this fat pocket is reduced, the neck will not be improved. Relapses of neck-lifts are common in these situations.
Incision locations are similar to women’s incisions. Once, it was common to place the incision in front of the ear at the location of the sideburn. This site has fallen out of favor. Despite the fact that retrotragal incisions may change hair growth patterns, the resultant scar makes up for any shift in beard growth. All male facelift patients have to learn where to shave their beards. The hair will grow below and behind the ear. Retro auricular incisions (those behind the ear) have to be placed with great care. Very few men will wear their hair in front of the ear. Most middle aged (and older) men have switched their look to shorter hair. If the scar cannot be hidden in short hair, it will look awful. All facelift patients must discuss the specifics of the incisions with their plastic surgeons. We don’t like surprises.
All operations carry the risk of problems. Male skin is thicker than female skin. It is usually stiffer and has a greater blood supply. Anticipating the risk of bleeding is the first step in preventing bleeding. Facelifts can be performed with local anesthesia alone, with oral or intravenous sedation or under general anesthesia. Preoperative physical examination by a primary care physician is always a good idea. Modifications of your daily medication might have to be considered, especially the use of aspirin. In all cases, proper preparation of the patient and a good preoperative plan by the surgeon is imperative.
Costs depend on what is performed. A great correction for one might be inadequate for the next patient. This is not a procedure where cut-rate surgery is a good option. But is it ever? Face and neck lifts are the pinnacle of a plastic surgeon’s skill. With Dr. Geldner’s superior skill, 25 years of experience, and his experienced and compassionate staff, we exceed our patient’s expectations.
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