One should realize that facial aging is a multifaceted process. The skin sags and thus creates jowling, the cheek fat pads deflate leading to a gaunt look, the face experiences soft tissue atrophy or shrinkage that results in the appearance skeletonized eye socket and concave temple, and the wrinkles become more prominent, says renowned Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Dr. Smiley says that Botox and facelift work differently in erasing or at least minimizing the signs of facial aging. Botox paralyzes the muscles responsible for the appearance of dynamic wrinkles, while facelift surgery elevates the skin, fat, and soft tissue all as a single unit.
Occasionally, Botox is used to paralyze the muscle that is pulling down the brow, allowing the one responsible for elevating it to work more efficiently.
Botox, whose effects typically last 3-4 months, appeals to male patients who generally dislike going under the knife and the ensuing recovery. This approach also suits people who cannot afford the prolonged downtime of surgery.
However, Botox cannot improve a markedly sagging skin, which entails facelift. Also, this non-surgical treatment cannot reposition the drooping cheek fat pad nor improve the soft tissue deflation that comes with aging.
Facelift is generally the ideal choice for patients with more advanced signs of facial aging. Nonetheless, Dr. Smiley says that individuals as young as 45 can be a good candidate, particularly if they are seeking for subtle improvements and want their surgery to be “discreet.”
Postponing facelift until one has full-blown facing aging can lead to discernable and drastic changes that refuting surgery would be impossible. Hence, some “younger patients” resort to mini facelift and then undergo minor touch-ups down the road to maintain their youthful appearance in a more discreet manner.
Today’s facelift is commonly performed with fat grafting or injection, a critical component in holistic facial plastic surgery. This complementary procedure prevents surgical stigmata such as gaunt cheeks, abrupt lower lid-cheek transition, and overall pulled appearance.
Hence, facelift with fat injection is dubbed as 3D facelift surgery because it not just corrects soft tissue descent (i.e., skin sagging) but also loss of facial volume.