Blepharoplasty and facelifts ranked in the top five cosmetic surgical procedures in 2012, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A new study finds that while undergoing facial cosmetic surgeries doesn’t necessarily make people more or less attractive to strangers, they do shave years off your appearance.
The four-year study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery involved a number of patients ranging in age from 42 to 73. Each man or woman underwent one or more of the following: blepharoplasty, brow lift, facelift, or neck lift. When strangers in the sample group were presented with before and after pictures and asked to guess each patient’s age, the average guesses were about five years younger than the patient’s actual age.
What to Expect From These Facial Plastic Surgeries
Facial plastic surgery is not right for everyone, but for those with realistic expectations it can help to improve self-esteem and confidence levels. It is important to understand the realities of each surgical procedure.
Blepharoplasty, an eyelid lift, corrects bags and sagging skin on the lower and upper eyelids. By taking away excess skin and fat, the doctor makes your eyes look more alert which, in turn, takes years off your appearance. Incisions are typically made along the eyelashes on the lower eyelid or in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Following the surgery, expect bruises and swelling. It takes a week or two to recover.
The brow lift helps take years off your appearance by correcting the appearance of lines and creases on the forehead. The doctor makes a series of incisions along the hairline. Muscles that sit above the eyes are altered in order to smooth the frown lines and then the entire brow is lifted to alleviate lines and wrinkles. It is normal to have bruising and swelling for a week or so. Strenuous workouts and activities must be avoided for at least two weeks.
If you really want to look younger, a facelift may be your best option. Following a facelift, the typical patient feels as though they look 8 to 10 years younger. The procedure tightens muscles and lifts the tissue in your lower face and neck. If there is excess skin on the lower face, it is excised. The procedure doesn’t correct fine lines or skin quality, but there are non-cosmetic procedures like chemical peels or dermabrasion that can help.
The neck lift usually goes hand in hand with neck liposuction for the best results. With a neck lift, the skin is tightened to help improve the appearance of the neck. If there is excess fatty tissue, neck liposuction helps remove that fat. If the patient is a woman, the incisions are made inside the hairline and inside the ear. For men, the incisions are made within the hairline and in front of the ear. Following a neck lift, there will be bruising and swelling. Resume your work duties in about five days and expect to avoid strenuous activities for upwards of three weeks.
Some doctors believe the study had some inconsistencies that could be corrected in future studies. One of the key issues was that the doctor’s skill level was not specified. A doctor who specializes in aging faces is going to have more skill than a doctor who handles a variety of cosmetic plastic surgeries. Dr. Jessica Kulak specializes in rejuvenating the aging face. The board-certified surgeon only handles surgical and non-surgical procedures that focus on the face, including the forehead, eyes, cheeks, chin, and neck. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kulak, call (703) 481-0002.