#AskID : I've heard if you are going to have a face-lift to do it before you are fifty, is that true?

When to have a facelift
We asked Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Richard Hanson: “As the human face ages, facial shape changes. Morphologic facial changes are multifactorial. The basic soft-tissue architecture is essentially unchanged from youth to middle age, but facial appearance changes greatly over time and is patient specific, depending on individual genetics and environmental changes, chiefly sun exposure and smoking. Although each face ages differently, there are common themes noted in all aging faces.

As the face ages, facial fat descends and with it facial shape changes. Typically, the youthful face is full of well-supported fat. The combination of the mid-face fullness in the cheek region, associated with a lower concavity and a well-defined jaw line, accounts for the angular, tapered appearance of the youthful face.

In middle age, as ligamentous support becomes loose, facial fat volumetrically becomes situated more central and lower in the face, producing a facial contour that is squarer in shape. As facial fat is situated lower in the face, older faces appear vertically longer than young faces.

The most effective remedy is surgical intervention with a facelift or necklift. The typical downtime after a facelift is approximately two weeks, with an average life-time of 10 years. In terms of timing, there is no ideal time to have a facelift as the optimal time depends on each person’s individual circumstances, which are unique to their face. In most instances, individuals in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are the best candidates.

Many patients now prefer to avoid the downtime, cost and morbidity of surgical interventions and opt instead for minimally-invasive procedures to help tighten and lift sagging skin where the cosmetic outcomes can often rival those of surgical procedures. There’s a lot that we can do in terms of adding volume with autologous fat injections, dermal fat grafts or other injectiable soft-tissue fillers, which are minimally invasive procedures used to augment areas of facial deflation.”

Ultherapy is also very popular with our patients. It’s a non-invasive, highly-focused ultrasound treatment that stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin.