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It is a fact of life that with time, our faces age. Yet, while our face may appear older, our inner spirit remains youthful and vibrant. At Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, we often have patients tell us that their outside doesn't match their inside - they want their outer beauty to match their inner beauty.
Fortunately, an MVP Lift (face lift, facelift)is a way to restore what time and gravity have stolen and to regain a more youthful appearance. It is like shifting the conveyor belt of aging back ten years. The aging process still continues, but you have a newer starting line.
It is important to understand all facelifts are not created equal. First of all, the term, "face lift" (facelift), is actually a misnomer. In truth, a "face lift" is a face and neck lift, because it re-supports the cheek, jawline and neck. To achieve the most natural, long-lasting results, a facelift requires meticulous dissection done in layers. The sagging skin is repositioned and the underlying muscles re-supported, while the excess skin and fat is removed.
Dr. Kridel refers to this face lift (facelift) surgical technique as the MVP Lift. The medical terminology for MVP is Mulit-Vector Positioning Lift. It refers to his multilayer technique, but also refers to the fact that he tailors every MVP Lift to each individual to achieve the natural result you desire and to give you the MVP - most valuable patient - status that you deserve.
Dr. Russell Kridel, Houston TX, takes a great deal of care to hide the incisions around the ear and back into the hair so they are virtually undetectable, while preserving the hair in front and behind the ears. He has written extensively in medical journal articles about this surgical technique that he developed, as well as trained surgeons from around the world so that they too can achieve better facelift results. One of the Dr. Kridel's scientific articles relating to hidden incisions can be found here in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery
There are different techniques that surgeons use for a facelift procedure based on their surgical skills and experience, some more effective than others. And the various heavily advertised Drive-Thru-style lifts do not last and some versions may leave unsightly scars or can alter the natural hairline.
Today many people have facelift surgery earlier, as part of a preventative maintenance program rather than a rejuvenation effort. Whether you want to go the prevention or the rejuvenation route is up to you. But, if you are tired of looking in the mirror and seeing your parents or grandparents face staring back, remember that an MVP Lift can give you a face that looks at least 10 years younger.
Here is an example of one of Dr. Russell Kridel's (Facial Plastic Surgery Associates) numerous MVP's.
Questions & Answers
What does a face lift actually do for me?
A face lift removes excess skin and tightens sagging tissue, thus restoring a youthful appearance that better reflects the youthful exuberance you feel.
Typically, a face lift is combined with some sort of wrinkle-removing procedure like laser resurfacing so that you won't end up with a sleeker face with old-looking skin. Some people today choose to have a face lift at a relatively young age as a form of preventive maintenance. Having your first lift before the signs of aging are pronounced will translate to more subtle results, but you'll be able to maintain a youthful appearance with "tuck-up" procedures over the years, and you'll never look like you're really aging ( that's what movie stars do.)
Friends may notice a 'refreshed' look, but they probably won't zero in on cosmetic surgery unless you tell them about it.
What should I expect from a facelift procedure?
That surgery usually takes about four hours, and it can be done in an outpatient surgical center or hospital. Most patients prefer general anesthesia and usually spend the first night at the center or at an after-care facility.
"The main thing that surprised me was that there wasn't any pain from my facelift," says a recent patient, "but I did feel knocked for a loop, and that was because of the anesthesia."
When the face lift procedure is over, Dr. Kridel will wrap a bulky bandage around your face, head, and neck. Small rubber tubes will drain excess fluids. The following day, the doctor will remove these and apply a chin-strap-like bandage. Three days later, Dr. Kridel's office staff will wash your hair. Ten days after surgery, Dr. Kridel will remove your sutures and you can start wearing makeup again. Two weeks after the face lift, you will be back to your normal routine.
What's the advantage of having other procedures along with a face lift?
Some patients like to have more than one procedure at the same time because there's only one recovery and no more discomfort involved. Plus, you're only paying for anesthesia once. Furthermore, extra procedures combined with face lift surgery are likely to ensure the best "finished product."
Other procedures lift sagging eyelids, droopy brows, and deeply wrinkled foreheads. Fine facial wrinkles may require laser resurfacing .
What should I expect following a face lift?
This is no small procedure so it's something you should plan for. And that means you need to build in about 10 days of recovery time.
- You won't be ready to go back to work or social activities for 10 to 14 days. Expect a low energy level.
- Don't worry that people will see scars. Dr. Kridel hides incisions in natural skin lines and creases, and any visible scars will fade until barely noticeable.
- You'll have swelling and bruising, which will disappear in a few weeks.
- While you're waiting for the swelling and bruising to subside, use camouflage makeup and creative hairstyling. In three to four weeks, you'll be ready to show off your new face, which will remind you of the way you looked 10 years ago.
What does Dr. Kridel do when he performs a face lift?
A face lift eliminates sagging caused by loose skin, and it also lifts and tightens skin and fatty tissues of the face and neck. It won't get rid of fine wrinkles or creases around the mouth; that requires laser skin resurfacing or a peel.
The face lift has three parts: eyebrow lift, cheek lift, and neck lift. At your consultation, Dr. Kridel will project your face on the computer imaging machine screen so that you can see the results of surgery that he projects as possibilities.
Dr. Kridel takes extra time to hide incisions around the ear and back into the hair, while preserving the hair in front and behind the ears. Not all surgeons are meticulous about camouflaging scars so this is a good thing to ask about during any consultation you may have with another surgeon. You should be able to wear your hair postoperatively in any style you want and no one will be able to see scars from the face lift.
Do you have to keep having face lifts--or else?
It's an old wives' tale--that you must keep having face lifts (after you've had one), or you'll end up looking older than you would have if you'd never had one in the first place.
"That's not true," says Dr. Kridel. "The excess skin removed during a face lift never returns, but your remaining skin will continue to age normally, of course, so, if the lift makes you look 10 years younger, you'll always be 10 years more youthful-looking than if you'd never had it."
One patient notes, "You'll look back on the few days of bandages and bruises as minor annoyances that you endured for a major benefit--a rejuvenated appearance and looking fabulous."
How do you know if you need a face lift?
If you look in the mirror and see loose neck skin with vertical bands, a loss of jawline contour with jowly skin hanging down, and droopy cheeks, you're probably a good candidate. The procedure resupports the neck, jawline, and cheeks. Today, they are done in layers, and the underlying musculature beneath the skin is resuspended with permanent sutures to make the lift last longer. Dr. Kridel removes fat and resculpts deeper tissues.
"Skin is redraped in an upward and slightly posterior direction to give a natural look to the face--no Hollywood 'wind-tunnel' stretched looks in this office," says Dr. Kridel, who has written numerous scientific journal articles and chapters on face lifts for medical textbooks.
How much improvement can I expect with a facelift and how long will it last?
The improvement lasts around10 years, sometimes longer. No operation can permanently prevent aging, but the person who has a face lift never looks as old as she would have if she had not had the operation. Certainly, your appearance is moved back several years--a result that's invariably positive. When sagging appears again, you can have a tuck-up procedure, which can provide dramatic and long-lasting improvement.
Using painstaking thoroughness, Dr. Kridel makes incisions in inconspicuous spots, which means your face-lift scars (inevitable with incisional surgery) will be in the hair or in natural facial lines. Soon after surgery, you can hide these with makeup. Although some people have a tendency to scar more than others do, the much-feared "keloid" is extremely rare on the face and eyelids.
How common is Facelift surgery?
You don't have to be a movie star or politician to have a face lift, nor is this facelift procedure reserved for celebrities. The majority of facelift procedures are performed on patients just like you. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, facelift surgery is the 5th most common cosmetic surgical procedure. That means it is very likely that you already know plenty of folks, men and women, who have already had a face lift.
Due to exposure to the elements, gravity's force, and the passage of time, it's inevitable that facial skin will show signs of aging. Good genes will keep you looking young longer, of course, but eventually, you'll succumb to the clock. Many men and women have a facelift earlier, with the first evidence of loose facial skin, wrinkles and pouches in the cheeks, jawline, and neck.
What is a lunchtime or quick lift all about? Does Dr. Kridel do them?
There has been a great deal of advertising and marketing of a lifting technique for faces referred to by names such as: the mini-lift, weekend lift, and lunchtime lift.
Most of these lifts rely on very minimal, if any, dissection. We refer to them as "Drive-Thru Lifts" because their indications are for patients with limited signs of aging and the longevity of the results from such techniques are short lived - only about 2-3 years.
At Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Dr. Russell Kridel does not perform this type of treatment. For those patients with more limited or early signs of aging, Dr.Kridel will recommend other non-surgical options (ex: Fraxel, Ulthera, Botox, Restylane - among others) based on a patient's individual needs (determined at the time of consultation) that he knows will provide terrific facial rejuvenation benefits and be more cost-effective. He feels this is very important, rather than seeing the patient spend thousands of dollars now on a "Drive-Thru Lift", only to have to repeat the procedure in another two to three years.
For patients with more significant signs of aging such as jowling and sagging, a true surgical facelift will be more appropriate and have lasting results. When Dr. Kridel performs a facelift, it is a surgical procedure that involves meticulous dissection, lifting and re-draping, and impeccable attention to detail to hide incisions so that they will not be detected. The results provide a more youthful, rested and natural appearance that helps re-set the aging clock back by more than ten years. Just ask one of our patients.
To view a wide array of videos about facelift surgery with Dr. Kridel click here