If you're not happy with the face that you see in the mirror, it may be time to consider a facelift. However, getting a facelift isn't as simple as just deciding that you want to do something about your crow's feet or sagging jawline. There are several different types of facelift procedures, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Which one is right for you depends on how much you want to spend, how much recovery time you can devote, and what results you're looking for. Take a look at three popular types of facelifts to see which one might be right for you.
The Deep Plane Lift
If you want the most dramatic results, the deep plane lift is the facelift procedure that you're looking for. The deep plane lift is easily one of the most invasive and complicated facelift procedures: it involves repositioning the muscles and tissues underneath your skin, and then tightening the skin before sewing up the incisions.
Cosmetic surgeons recommend this procedure for patients who have severe sagging in the face, as well as those who are looking for long-lasting results. The procedure costs between $12,000 and $15,000, and it requires several weeks of recovery time.
The Feather Lift
A feather lift, also known as a thread lift, is a faster and less invasive procedure than a deep plane lift. In fact, it's occasionally advertised as a "lunchtime lift", the suggestion being that you could have the procedure done on your lunch break.
The feather lift is an incision-free procedure – your surgeon will use sutures to tighten up your eyebrows, eyelids, neck tissue, and the folds between your nose and your mouth. This type of facelift is most appropriate for those with mild sagging, or those who have had a facelift before and need rejuvenation. The recovery time takes about a week. The thread lift is significantly cheaper than the deep plane lift, costing between $1500 and $4500.
The Stem Cell Lift
So-called stem cell facelifts are not true facelifts at all. The procedure involves strategically injecting fat into different areas of the face. Instead of tightening and repositioning skin, muscles, or tissues, as would happen in a surgical facelift, the fat injections plump up areas of the face. This can make wrinkles seem to disappear. The fat contains stem cells, which is where the name comes from.
The fat used in the injections comes from a donor site on your own body, and the stem cells within are your own – not the controversial embryonic stem cells. However, the procedure itself is somewhat controversial with the cosmetic surgery community, and official organizations like the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) advise against it, until further study is done on the method. Prices for the procedure vary wildly – it can cost anywhere from $5,500 up to $15,000.
If you're considering a facelift but aren't sure what procedure is right for you, a consultation with a plastic surgeon can go a long way toward clearing up any confusion. Let your doctor know what kind of results you're looking for, and they'll help you find the procedure that's right for you.