Aging topples our facial geometry. The youthful face flaunts a “triangle of youth”. Like the sands of time, this morphs and inverts as we age. The change, unaffectionately known as the “pyramid of age”, occurs at every layer of our face. Bone structure changes, facial tissue sags downwards and the skin and muscles, which holds everything high and proud, gives way.
This daughter on the left shows the “triangle of youth” – full cheeks and temples, and a sculpted V jawline. Her mother on the right displays the “pyramid of age” – deflated upper face and a full and saggy lower face.
“For facial rejuvenation, we need to invert the pyramid of age,” says Dr. Chia Hui Ling, Consultant Plastic Surgeon from SW1 Plastic Surgery Clinic, “and to do that I adopt the “Lift and Fill” approach – FILL areas in the upper face where time has deflated and LIFT and sculpt the bulky lower face.”
Dr. Chia explains that both surgical and non-surgical options are available for filling and lifting. Non-surgical methods are particularly useful for younger men and women who need subtler changes or who would like to have a more V-shaped face. For heavier faces, the lifting force of non-surgical methods like soft thread lifts may not be adequate and surgical thread lift or face lift is more ideal. In Part 1 of this 2-Part series, we look into the techniques doctors are using to LIFT the face. In Part 2, we look at the latest technology available to FILL the face.
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Lifting Without Surgery
Lifting tools like thread lifts are armed with cones, barbs or cogs to lift the skin from within. Silhouette Soft Thread Lift, commonly known as the “lunchtime facelift” has dual anti-aging benefits: cones that lifts the skin and collagen-stimulating poly L-lactic acid (PLLA) threads that has a rejuvenating effect. Dr Chua Han Boon from SW1 Clinic, who specialises in Silhouette InstaLift and Infinity Instalift, explains that after the threads dissolve, they leave a supporting matrix of collagen to take its place. The result is a lifted and more sculpted face.
Minimally-invasive Face Lifts
Minimally-invasive means surgery done through smaller skin cuts or incisions. Stronger threads are placed through the incisions and small amounts of skin may be removed. Loose skin can be tightened in a surgical thread lift. Stronger, permanent threads are inserted from behind the hairlines, giving a well-hidden scar. Like non-surgical thread lift, the cones or barbs grabs facial tissue, lifts and suspends it higher in the face. The advantage it has over its non-surgical counterpart is that it lifts further, may last longer and it can tighten the skin near the side of the eyes.
Surgeons reach for Endotine devices when more powerful implants are needed for contouring the face. Instead of cones, Endotine devices have claws to grip and anchor tissues upwards against gravity. Results last for a few years and popular Endotine procedures include forehead lifts to elevate droopy brows and eyelids, cheek lifts and ribbons to iron out jowls (loose skin at the jawline).
The Full Face Lift
A “full” face lift, allows the surgeon to remove more skin and tighten the facial muscles, can better treat a more aged face and neck. The downside of this is a longer downtime and a longer scar. Surgeons strategically hides the face lift scar by placing them in the hairline and skirting around the ear. The same lady above was transformed after a full face and neck lift, with the scar hidden under her hair (left).
Lightening the Lift
“Removing fat from the lower face helps to sculpt the face for a V-shaped jawline and a more youthful appearance,” says Dr Chia, “it can be done alone or combined with thread lifts or face lifts to give”
According to Dr Chia, not all the fat in the lower face are the same – there is outer and inner (buccal) fat. Outer face can be removed by liposuction and buccal fat is extracted from inside the mouth.
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If you have been through any of these procedures, share your experience with us in the comments below!
Stay tuned for our next instalment, where we will look at ways to FILL the face and restore the “triangle of youth”.