The dawn of nonsurgical breakthroughs like botox and fillers has de-tabooed plastic surgery by letting people dip a toe into the waters of this realm. Against the backdrop of these breakthroughs, technology has also nudged the age-old face-lift into the world of the minimally-invasive. And soon, many will be ready to leap off the diving board.
“Unlike 2 decades ago, we now know that the tightest face-lift isn’t considered the best,” explains Dr Chia Hui Ling, Consultant Plastic Surgeon from SW1 Clinic, Singapore’s largest aesthetic and plastic surgery clinic. Dr Chia is an advocate of natural-looking results. Her face-lift technique focuses on tightening the deeper connective tissues and muscle (so-called SMAS, or subcutaneous musculoaponeurotic system, lift) rather than over-stretching the skin and ending up with a freaky “wind-tunnel” look.
For clients who are younger or not keen for any surgical scars, Dr Chia recommends these new, less invasive options. “Despite having a less lifting effect than the traditional face lift, these new tools in the market are scarless, have less downtime and they can have an cumulative effect when done in combination and regularly.”
Using microneedle radiofrequency (RF) technology, tissue tightening energy is delivered into the depths of the skin using fine needles. The restoration of skin building-blocks, like elastin and collagen, gives gentle lifting results that can be repeated for an incremental effect.
Good for: Sagging jowls and turkey neck
Downtime: 3 – 5 days of redness and swelling
Cost: $7000 -$10000
The latest threads on the market focuses not only on anchoring, but also on the thread material. Innovations, such as the Silhouette Instalift and Infinity Instalift, has a biostimulatory effect. Once placed within the tissues, the threads stimulates the formation of collagen matrix that supports the lift, even after the threads dissolves over the next few months. Be it cones or barbs, the anchoring mechanism are designed to sculpt and shape the lower face.
Good for: Nasolabial folds, jowls and drooping brows
Downtime: None apart from mild swelling for 1-2 days
Cost: $4000 – $8000
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Deflation is an often neglected aspect of aging, apart from sagging, is deflation. Lifting addresses sagginess but does little to hollowed temples, empty cheeks and tear troughs, which all add years to the face. Fat grafting augments facial contours and the volumizing effect also lifts. The stem cells and growth factors within these grafts also reverse aging damages to the skin. The lift-and-fill concept is now the standard holistic approach to surgical facial rejuvenation. Dr Chia often combines fat transfers and laser procedures with her lifting procedures, stacking the downtime for a more desired outcome.
Good for: Flat cheeks and forehead, temple hollowing, tear trough, nasolabial folds
Downtime: 5 – 7 days
Cost: $3000 – $5000 per area
Read More: Doctor’s Guide to Flawless Skin