It is almost universally true that, as we get older, our skin begins to sag. The natural loss of facial volume and skin elasticity, over time, causes the features of the face to slip lower, and causes excess skin to sag beneath the chin. There are many different facial rejuvenation methods for treating drooping eyebrows and sagging skin around the neck and jowls, including one of the newest and most technologically advanced: the Ultherapy® skin tightening system.
This FDA approved technology focuses high frequency sound waves, similar to those that are produced by a common ultrasound machine, onto the deeper layers of tissue, gently warming them in order to stimulate the body’s natural healing factors and collagen production. This stimulation, in turn, lifts and tightens loose skin while initiating a process by which the tissue begins to strengthen itself from within. A typical Ultherapy® treatment takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area, and requires no surgical downtime. Because Ultherapy® works by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes, the results slowly become more pronounced over time. While patients can generally see some degree of improvement immediately, it is usually three months before significant changes become apparent and six months before optimal results are achieved.
However, even though Ultherapy® can seem to turn back the clock, it cannot stop it entirely. The average duration of Ultherapy® results is about a year, and that duration can vary a great deal depending on the individual’s starting skin laxity as well as how well they take care of their skin. Healthier, more resilient skin tends to maintain the results longer, while skin that is subjected to harsh environmental conditions such as heavy smoking or extreme sun exposure will age prematurely whether it has undergone Ultherapy® or not. For results that are more long-lasting, but still subtle and natural looking, many patients opt for softer surgical procedures. For example, blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can remove excess skin and fat deposits from the upper and lower eyelids, giving the patient an overall younger appearance with a relatively short and minimally-invasive surgical procedure.
Patients with even more pronounced signs of facial aging, specifically those who have already lost a great deal of skin volume and elasticity, may enjoy more significant and long lasting benefits from a full facelift procedure. A recent study published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that at least three fourths of facelift patients look younger five years after their facelift procedure than they did before it. Moreover, a full facelift can be complemented with various secondary procedures, such as fat grafting or facial contouring procedures, designed to balance the facial features and further enhance the final aesthetic results.
Ultimately, the longest lasting, most natural looking results are the product of a gradual, tiered approach, using minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation technology and techniques early on to forestall the effects of facial aging, and then moving on to facial cosmetic surgery procedures when necessary. If you are interested in any of the facial plastic surgery procedures I perform, please contact my office, to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.