Busting the Top 7 Myths About Facelifts



Busting the Top 7 Myths About Facelifts


Facelifts are surgical procedures which lift and tighten sagging facial skin and muscle to restore a youthful face. I’ve performed thousands successful Facelift procedures, giving my patients a natural, rejuvenated, face.

However, there are a lot of myths about facelifts out there—including horror stories which are spread online. In this article, I’ll debunk some of these myths.

MYTH #1: All cosmetic surgeons are plastic surgeons

I’m surprised that so many people think every cosmetic surgeon is a plastic surgeon. Some “cosmetic surgeons” are not certified by any surgical specialty at all!

Plastic surgeons must be certified by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. I’m also certified as a specialist in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, Inc.

I would advise anyone who suspects a practitioner is not a qualified surgeon to check their qualifications. All reputable plastic surgeons let their prospective patients know how well-qualified they are. My own qualifications are right there on my website.

MYTH #2: Facelifts always look unnatural

This is definitely one of the most pervasive myths, and it makes me cringe. Everyone has seen photos of unfortunate C-list celebrities with puffy lips, tight skin, and unnatural cheekbones. Badly-performed facelifts can look unnatural, but facelifts performed by specialist plastic surgeons will definitely look perfectly natural.

In fact, the most successful facelifts are not obvious at all. I’ve often been told by my patients that people assumed they looked so good because they’d been on a relaxing vacation!

MYTH #3: Facelifts are permanent

Facelifts cannot reverse the aging process. Everyone’s skin ages, and every single one of us fights the effects of gravity all the time. Facelifts don’t change the laws of physics, but they do give you a fighting chance.

Having firmer, tighter facial skin and muscle will definitely make you look younger. Removing jowls and sagging necks, too, make the years drop away. And this removed skin is gone forever.

MYTH #4: Facelifts have a long recovery period

Facelifts are surgeries, so there is obviously going to be a recovery period. Any surgery causes bruising and swelling, which need time to heal. But not all facelifts need a long recovery time. The “Three Day Facelift” has a short recover period–as you’d expect from the name. It’s an innovative new technique which reduces bruising and one which is very popular at the McLean Clinic.

MYTH #5: Facelifts are only for women

Facelifts were traditionally seen as procedures for older women. But this is far from the case. The majority of my patients are women, but I see women in their 30s, as well as those in the traditional age bracket of 55 and older.

Men, too, are having facelifts. Men are becoming aware of the advantages of a younger looking, rejuvenated appearance. This trend has grown as more men look to fight the signs of aging.

MYTH #6: A “mini” facelift is a better option

There is increasing talk about a so-called “mini-lift” facelift. Also known as the “lunchtime facelift,” there are some popular misconceptions out there that this is a more appropriate operation to have in place of a complete facelift procedure. But be aware – such “mini” facelifts will last for a much shorter time than a full and proper facelift. The “mini-lifts” can keep their effect for only a year or two. Meanwhile, a complete facelift will last for upwards of seven years. When it comes to facelifts, it’s best not to take half-measures. If you are in need of a more significant amount of work to fix sagging skin or heavy jowls, a “mini” lift is not the way to go.

MYTH #7: Facelifts should be done only later on in life

This is another false myth that continues to stick around in the popular mindset when people think about facelifts. I know I’ve heard it more times than I can remember. Fact is, the results of a facelift can look best earlier on than later in life. This is due to the way the face changes through the years. For example, someone in their 70s who goes through a facelift may see dramatic changes to the parts of the face that went through the operation, but other parts untouched by the procedure – such as droopy eyes – will continue to stand out. Meanwhile, if that patient had the work done in their 50s, there would be less excess skin to remove and the result would look more natural.

-Dr. Hugh McLean

December 27, 2013

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