The recent economic crisis impacted the numbers of men and women undergoing cosmetic surgery, but things are looking up if the figures just released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (BAAPS) are any indication. In 2015 a record-breaking number of Britons underwent surgery – 51,000 cosmetic surgery ops, a growth of 13 per cent overall on 2014, with every single procedure showing growth.
Improvement in the economy is obviously one reason behind the rise but the marked increase in particular procedures such as face and neck lifts (up 16 per cent) and liposuction (up 20 per cent) could mean that the public are turning away from the many non-surgical devices and treatments that promise everything but are only able to deliver a degree of improvement.
The facelift versus the non-surgical facelift
If you search for a ‘non-surgical facelift’ on the Internet there are a proliferation of clinics and practitioners offering this procedure but it doesn’t actually exist and is typically a combination of different aesthetic treatments that can each individually offer a degree of facial rejuvenation.
Devices that employ energy of some form, such as radiofrequency or ultrasound, to ‘heat’ up the dermis, claim to be able to tighten and lift skin, as well as stimulate collagen production, but studies into their efficacy show that they are best suited to relatively mild skin sagging and are not always effective for all patients.
Volume replacement, in the form of dermal fillers or fat transfer, are often a component in a non-surgical facelift and remain highly effective treatments for restoring facial volume in the mid-face area, also producing a small degree of lift. Again, these will not improve marked skin laxity, but they can be combined with a conventional facelift to restore more youthful contours.
Although laser skin resurfacing is another popular non-surgical procedure, it has a long downtime (recovery rate) and I prefer to rejuvenate and revitalise skin with the Obagi range of products (Nuderm) – in which I have no vested interest – and where appropriate to offer an Obagi Blue Peel. In this, Trichloracetic acid (TCA) is used in a known strength with a blue dye, treating the whole of the face area with the exception of the upper eyelids. This allows precision facial peeling and the downtime is only about 3 weeks instead of 3 months, providing equally good, if not superior results to laser treatment.
For men and women with a marked degree of skin laxity on the face, a conventional facelift, extending to lift the neck as well where indicated (face-necklift) is the only procedure that offers the necessary lifting of the facial tissues and a longevity to the results for the investment you have made. For those that aren’t yet ready to go under the knife, then non-surgical procedures can provide an overall facial rejuvenation, but it is important that you fully understand their limitations. If you want expert, impartial advice on whether you require facelift surgery, then call 01926 436341 to book a consultation.