One of the common concerns amongst many patients considering facial rejuvenation procedures is that they don’t want to look ‘done’, ‘surgical’ or otherwise unnatural. They would prefer that people do not see them as having had plastic surgery. On the flip side of that concern is that they also want to have some visible improvement and get good value for their investment.
For fear of being overdone, some patients will stay with less invasive procedures like Botox, injectable fillers and light and laser skin treatments. While they don’t produce surgical results, there is no fear of having too significant a facial change.
A recent study published in the February issue of the Achives of Facial Plastic Surgery reports an interesting and perhaps not unexpected finding…the more procedures patients have done, the younger they look. This study looked at sixty patients between the ages of 45 and 72 years old, 90% of whom were females. They were divided into three types of facial rejuvenation procedures. The first group had lower facial rejuvenation of facelifts/necklifts. The second group also had facelifts but also had eyelid work or blepharoplasties done. The third group had more total facial rejuvenation which also included browlifts with blepharoplasty and facelifts. The ages of the patients were then estimated by non-surgeons. (medical students)
The students rated patients in the first group as appearing 5.7 years younger but the second and third groups were rated 7.5 and 8.4 years younger respectively. In essence, the more procedures a patient had done the younger they look. Or, more relevantly, the more parts of the aging face you treat the better or more rejuvenated the entire face becomes.
But the real importance of this study, and something I tell my patients all the time, is that work done around the eyes always produces the most rejuvenated appearance. Periorbital rejuvenation, blepharoplasties and browlifts, creates the most visible evidence of improvement to both the patient and particularly to others. This has to do with a basic element of human interaction and communication…we spend most of our time looking at each other’s eyes. That is actually how most people recognize another’s face. It is also how people perceive, right or wrong, our physical state and emotions. For example, everyone’s been told (numerous times no doubt) that we look tired. It is our eyes that carry that impression.
Cleaning up loose and redundant eyelid skin, getting rid of eyelid bags by fat removal and even lifting sagging brows can make the whole eye area look less tired and aged. The eyes are the first area that begins to show age and often shows it the worst even as the rest of the face ages. For this reason, blepharoplasty in particular is almost always the best value of any facial rejuvenation procedure. It has the greatest anti-aging effect for the money as its benefits will be guaranteed to be seen by all.
Dr. Barry Eppley