Limited Face Lifts – Suspension Lifts
Suspension lifts treat the first signs of aging by using specially designed sutures or threads to hold slightly slack skin in a higher position. These procedures can raise the brows, soften sagging in the midface and refine a drooping jowl. However, suspension lifts do not address excess skin or the underlying muscle and fat, just suspend the skin higher.
A special thread with little barbs or grippers is inserted in the skin through small incisions, less than .5 cm, that are usually hidden within the hairline. The suture gathers the skin before it is knotted to tighten and lift. A suspension lift takes about an hour and a half and usually requires only local anesthetic which may be combined with oral sedation. A suspension lift can be performed in a doctor’s office while under local anesthesia. Although it can be performed in office, be sure the facility is fully accredited and properly equipped and staffed for surgical procedures. This is not a lunch time procedure that allows you to return to normal activities right after treatment. Expect swelling and bruising to last a week or more. Immediately after the procedure you will likely see distortion or bunching of the skin and bruising. If you aren’t happy with the outcome the procedure can be reversed within a week depending on the threads and techniques used. But if more time elapses, it may require more extensive surgery to remove the sutures. Although suspension lifts are less invasive. The cost can be as much as a more extensive lift. Each thread can cost up to $1500.00, and four or more may be necessary for your procedure.
This is a temporary fix for slightly slacking skin, the skin and muscle and fat beneath the skin will continue to age. Results from a suspension lift last for only one or two years at most, short lived compared to those achieved through other forms of facial rejuvenation.
Suspension lifts are a relative newcomer to the facial rejuvenation scene, and they remain controversial because they lack consistent results. When performing a suspension lift, the doctor cannot see the anatomy into which threads are placed, so there’s the risk of nerve damage, penetrating the sinuses and even extrusion, when a thread becomes visible on the surface.
Limited lifts target signs of aging in a particular area of the face. These procedures are called limited lifts because they use abbreviated facelift incisions that give your surgeon access to limited areas of muscle, fat and excess skin. When gravity starts to take it’s toll on the underlying support structure of the face (i.e muscle and fat), sagging and other sings of aging become more pronounced. Any loosening or drooping of the muscles is going to require surgery to treat. This procedure is appropriate for younger people who are starting to exhibit signs of droopy jowls, or people who have already undergone a face lift but once again are showing some signs of aging.
Limited face lift incisions are generally placed at the temples, in the hairline and possibly down to the earlobe to give the surgeon access to the underlying tissues. Incision placement depends on the patient but they are generally placed where they will most likely never be seen. Through these incisions surgeons can reposition muscle and fat as well as reduce some excess skin. Limited lifts are generally performed in one to two hours, with general anesthesia or local sedation.
This procedure normally gives a more overall youthful look. After surgery you may be somewhat swollen and bruised. It will take one or two weeks to get back to feeling comfortable. During the second week you can likely get back to your normal social activities and work environment. The results of the limited lift turn back time as much as much as ten years, but overall the face will continue to age naturally.
As with any surgical procedure, limited lifts carry risks of nerve damage, infection, irregular scarring, and complications related to anesthesia. Asymmetry is also possible, however the two sides of the face are never perfectly symmetrical anyways.