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What are my facelift options?

For the first 70 years, starting in 1901 in Berlin, little changed in facelift surgery. Basically, surgeons just tightened the skin. For the next two or three decades, more attention was paid to what was beneath the skin, though the full facelift remained most popular. Nowadays, those wishing to look younger may benefit from a wider view, along with a variety of non-invasive alternatives.

The facts

Basically, there are two kinds of facelift surgery—the “mini” and the “standard” or “traditional.” A mini-facelift can help you address unwelcome signs of aging before they become too pronounced, postponing the possible desire for more extensive surgery for many years. For those with less facial aging, a neck lift, forehead lift, mid-face lift, eyelid or chin surgery will be enough.

The full facelift addresses moderate to advanced aging around the mid-face and the neck. The skin is literally lifted off the face so that the tissues beneath can be tightened and the skin is then “re-draped” over the face. While the procedure is more extensive than those for a mini-facelift, and thus more recovery time is required, the results are more dramatic.

Recovery is also longer—it will be two to three weeks at least before you return to a normal schedule and numbness and other symptoms may continue for months. Some men will have to shave in new places, because the skin has been rearranged. There are health risks, too, and don’t try to fool yourself: your friends will notice.

The best facelift candidates are people who show some signs of facial aging but still have some skin elasticity. Generally, this includes people who are in their 40s to 70s, although some older people may qualify. Surgical techniques vary according to a number of factors, including a patient’s anatomy and personal goals.

Non-surgical options

In recent years, non-invasive alternatives have become varied and numerous. These range from the use of yoga, creams and “cosmetic acupuncture” to the use of modern laser technology. These result in less pain and scarring, a quicker recovery, along with substantially reduced health care costs.

Although BIMC CosMedic Centres in Kuta and Nusa Dua specialize in the full and mini-facelifts, two non-invasive options are offered as well. One of the most popular worldwide is the injection of Botox, a drug that physicians use in small doses to treat a wide variety of health problems. It is also the only treatment approved by the Food & Drug Administration in the U.S. to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and crow’s feet in adults.

A second choice is called the Silhouette Soft Facelift, a treatment without incisions that gives results in 30 minutes. Another procedure developed in the U.S., sutures are placed under the skin using a fine needle and then pulled taut to elevate the sagging tissue and lift problem areas. Generally regarded as a complement to other cosmetic treatments, such as Botox, the suture material is absorbed naturally. So the benefits may last for only 12 to 18 months.

The bottom line

It is important to remain realistic about what non-surgical techniques can truly do. Will they make your skin look better? Yes. Non-invasive techniques typically will freshen and tighten your skin, giving you a more youthful appearance. However, such treatments do not have the same effect as removing excess skin from your face and neck, and repositioning and tightening what remains. Only a surgical facelift can do that.

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BIMC Hospital Nusa Dua
The first hospital in Indonesia with accreditation from Australian Council on Healthcare Standard International  (ACHSI)

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