Traditional surgical facelifts are used to lift sagging jowls, define the jawline and improve sagging skin on the neck. These procedures usually are done under anesthesia, require several weeks for healing, and result in a scar, which may or may not be cosmetically acceptable. What they do not do is to recondition the skin, remove fine wrinkles above the lip, remove age spots or improve bagginess of the eyelids. A separate surgical procedure called a blepharoplasty is required to remove the excess skin of the eyelids.
A combination of two new laser procedures provides a lift nearly equal to a facelift. Both are performed with the patient awake and require only local anesthetic. The AccuLift laser lipo procedure is a 45 minute session in which a laser is introduced under the skin of the neck and jawline. The laser melts the subcutaneous fat which is withdrawn through a small cannula. The heat from the laser stimulates the body to produce collagen in the skin which begins to tighten the neck and jawline over the next two to three months. The second laser procedure, called Active FX fractional laser resurfacing, is performed about a month after the AccuLift. Fractional laser therapy removes the fine lines, brown spots and eyelid bagginess while heating the skin and stimulating the production of collagen a second time. This ten minute painless procedure requires a week for healing the skin. After the old skin sheds, makeup can be reapplied, usually by the seventh day.
This dual stimulation of the body's own collagen is very noticeable at about 3 months and the skin retains it's definition for five years or longer. Advantages of the laser facelift include restoration of the skin's healthy tone and texture, eyelid and neck tightening without scars, jawline definition, improvement of dark circles under the eyes, removal or reduction of glabellar frown lines and wrinkles on the cheeks and upper lip, and improvement of "marionette lines."
The cost of laser facelift is one-third that of a surgical procedure and the "downtime" is one week without discomfort.