Tailoring Plastic Surgery for the Individual
The story behind ‘ageing well’
I want to look less tired… refreshed but not altered. This is the most commonly expressed sentiment of people at our Melbourne plastic surgery clinic.
The fear of looking ‘altered’ stops many people from even considering surgery. And these fears are understandable because looking altered is the worst possible surgical result. Even the word ‘facelift’ worries people.
Immediately, we think of those beautiful actresses who looked increasingly terrible through successive facelifts, ultimately becoming almost un-recognisable. Their lovely individuality was lost and the image of their altered faces is a stubborn reminder of people’s worst fears.
Paradoxically, ageing itself alters our appearance and reduces our youthful individuality; that’s why people look for solutions.
Overwhelmingly, people say they simply want to ‘age well’. They don’t mind paying respect to the passing of the years – but they do dislike what ageing has done to their face, most often in key areas, around the mouth, eyes or neck.
How do you find the right balance between retaining a more youthful appearance, looking natural and still reducing the unattractive effects of ageing?
To start with, it’s high time we forgot the images of those unfortunate actresses and their facelifts. The most advanced techniques available today are quite different, allowing a tailored and subtle rejuvenation for each individual, in the parts of their face most affected by ageing. That is the key to appearing to age well.
Why? What has changed in aesthetic surgery?
Traditional techniques (like the ones used on those actresses) were based on a one-size-fits-all surgical approach of stretching facial skin over the ageing face. However, facial ageing doesn’t occur on the skin; it’s the result of changes in the position of the facial tissues, and loss of bone projection and volume. These are changes of the deeper anatomy.
Advanced surgical techniques work in the deeper anatomy, at the site of these ageing changes. The tissues are gently restored to their former position – just as they were on that face when younger. If needed, the bone is minutely augmented – just enough to replace what was lost.
This is not ‘one size fits’ all surgery. It is tailored to each individual face to gently restore a more youthful placement of the underlying anatomy in the areas that have aged.
Where can it be used?
Humans are very good at noticing small changes on a face. It is part of our complex survival and communication abilities, developed over thousands of years.
It also means that small rejuvenations on a face can achieve a disproportionate result. As faces tend to age more quickly in one particular area, subtly restoring the youthful shape in that area allows the overall face to appear to be ageing well.
This might include returning proportion to drooping upper eyelids (using the Tarsal Fixation technique), reducing the downward lines around the nose and mouth, or cleaning the profile of the neck and jawline.
You might be thinking; so why do we still see people who have had bad facial surgery? That’s because the traditional technique is still being performed. It requires considerably less surgical skill from the surgeon and it’s less invasive for the patient. For some people, that’s enough. For us, it definitely isn’t.
You may also be thinking, why don’t we see people who have benefited from the advanced techniques? The answer is, of course, that we see them all the time. But we see them, not their surgery. They look like people who seem to be ageing well.
There are many actresses today who continue to look lovely as they age. They don’t look un-naturally young but ‘just right.’ Some are naturally fortunate but many are not – they have experienced the benefits of the advanced techniques of aesthetic facial surgery.