Important Facts About Facelifts

From the December 2014 Issue of Davis Wellness Magazine

We are often bombarded with advertisements for facelifts in a cream, serum, or quick hour on your lunch break. Have you ever wondered what actually works? Have you had a promising facelift procedure that didn’t actually produce the results you were hoping for? I am routinely asked questions by patients seeking information and who understandably, want significant but natural results and want to feel as if they received value for their financial investment. This should be obvious, but as a facial plastic surgeon, those are my exact goals as well. I know that patients want to retain their identity, and in some ways the aging process takes that away because we start to lose or see blunting of the features that defined us in our youth. My goal with aging face surgery is to restore those features while retaining the distinct characteristics of each patient, and I work hard to help my patients achieve those goals. With these thoughts in mind, here are a few general thoughts with regard to facelift surgery.


Despite the impression given by the name and advertising that many of us see, the term “facelift” varies widely in meaning depending on what procedure is actually being performed, and consequently, the expected results can vary dramatically as well. My surgical facelift comprehensively treats the mid face, lower face, and neck by lifting and repositioning these areas. Depending on the patient’s needs and concerns, other procedures may be performed at the same time to address the upper part of the face, such as a browlift or eyelid lift or to add volume such as fat injections.


Just as facelifts don’t address issues with the eyebrows, eyelids, or volume loss, they don’t necessarily address all skin issues either. You may have fine lines and wrinkles or age spots that still may be of concern. These can often be addressed by adding resurfacing procedures such as dermabrasion, IPL, or CO2 laser. Many patients continue Botox® and or dermal filler treatments following facelift surgery and of course, a good skincare regimen is also important. CO2 laser treatments can be done at a later date to address skin issues as well.


There are many facelifts marketed today that promise amazing results in a short amount of time with little downtime. Keep in mind that if it’s too good to be true, it typically is! The initial results may be good, but if a facelift doesn’t comprehensively address the deeper tissues beneath the skin (also known as the SMAS) then it’s unlikely to achieve long lasting results, and more importantly, won’t produce a natural appearing result. In the end, I don’t think that all of us would agree that compromising results for a “good deal” is probably not a great idea when we’re discussing our faces. I perform two main types of facelift surgery, the less invasive MACS facelift as well as my standard facelift. As far as which procedure is best for a given patient, many factors need to be considered when making this decision, and a consultation with me is recommended.


Non-surgical procedures advertised as facelifts aren’t facelifts at all. They may provide facial rejuvenation but if you have moderate to severe jowling and loose neck skin, non-surgical procedures just won’t correct this. Nonsurgical “facelifts” achieve their results generally with Botox, fillers, and resurfacing procedures and are an excellent option for some patients with early aging changes. However, don’t fall into the trap of paying a lot of money for these procedures if jowls and neck laxity are your main concerns.


A true, well-done facelift should leave your face looking refreshed, natural, and more youthful and is generally a fairly dramatic improvement. It’s also important to remember that the skin of a natural, youthful face isn’t tight. It’s full, soft, and generally oval-shaped. A good facelift technique will address the face comprehensively and leave the patient looking youthful, not stretched and tightened. My patients routinely tell me that they look and feel similar to the way they did 15-20 years ago following surgery.


When researching a good facelift surgeon, it’s critical to see someone who spends the majority of his or her time working on the face. My practice is entirely devoted to the face and all associated issues including aging, structural problems (such as nasal problems or deformities, or protruding ears), skin conditions (such as skin cancer and the resulting deformities and scars). It’s also important to choose someone who is comfortable with both surgical and non-surgical approaches for facial rejuvenation. With the face as my primary focus, I may be able to do a better job of evaluating your specific situation and giving recommendations (surgical or non-surgical) that will result in the greatest improvement and satisfaction for you as a patient as well as helping your expectations to be appropriate.

Dr. Scott Thompson is dual board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is known for his natural-looking results and meticulous skill as well as his genuine concern for patient well-being and satisfaction. He practices in three locations and five surgical centers along the Wasatch front in Utah.

Thompson Facial Plastics offers a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical procedures to correct and prevent signs of aging and enhance overall beauty. Botox, lip augmentation, and dermal wrinkle fillers are popular non-surgical procedures as well as laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and laser hair removal. Surgical procedures offered include blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), facelift, in-office facelift (MACS-lift), rhinoplasty (nosejob), septorhinoplasty, otoplasty (ear-pinning surgery), browlift, midfacelift, and hair restoration. Thompson Facial Plastics may be reached at (801)776-2220 or by visiting


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