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08 June 2011

Under the knife

While injectables, fillers and skincare can go a long way to retarding the appearance of ageing, they can’t and don’t reverse time indefinitely. That’s when many turn to surgery.

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While injectables, fillers and skincare can go a long way to retarding the appearance of ageing, they can’t and don’t reverse time indefinitely. That’s when many turn to surgery. These, according to Dr Halley-Stott and Dr Adams, are the most effective and popular of the invasive options.

Facelift

The classic cosmetic surgery procedure which, plastic surgeons agree, cannot be beaten by any other intervention when it comes to making you look younger. Known as a rhytidectomy, the operation will noticeably improve jowls, sagging skin and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles and delicately re-draping skin. There are many varieties of facelifts, and which may be best should be decided in consultation with your surgeon, who will consider the extent of work needed, the sites of ageing, and the results that you wish to achieve.

Some are gentler, some employ new techniques that minimise scarring (the Limited Incision Lift, for example), and some need less downtime for recovery. A mini-lift is a smaller procedure, removing skin around the ears.

It may not tackle severe problems around the mouth and neck adequately. If you are considering a facelift, it may help to bear in mind the words of Dr Halley-Stott: ‘The less work, the less the result.’ He points out that a full facelift has results that last for 10 years, while a mini-lift will last for perhaps five, but adds that as this is such an individual procedure that needs to be tailored to the specific patient, it is not easy to generalise.

He advocates what he calls a ‘prophylactic facelift’ to preserve the complexion before the advent of deep creases, for those aged 40 to 50. Should you opt for this, know that it is extreme and that you can expect a recuperation period of around six weeks.

Eye tuck

Technically known as blepharoplasty, this is one of the most requested surgical procedures. Fat and excess skin are removed from the upper and lower eyelids, either together or not, to correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy under-eye bags. It is frequently performed along with a brow lift or facelift. Scars may be visible for up to six months, and bruising for about two weeks. Note that this is not for everyone, particularly not those who suffer from thyroid or circulatory problems, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, or eye disorders like retinal problems or glaucoma.

Brow lift

It is said that this can bring the same results as a facelift in younger patients, particularly those in their 40s with a heavy frown but little jowl or jaw sag. It corrects drooping brows and improves horizontal forehead lines. It is frequently done in tandem with blepharoplasty. Recuperation time is between a week and 10 days.

(This is an edited version of an article that originally appears in the August issue of Elle Magazine.) 

Plastic surgery flops

 
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