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Liquid facelift implies creating a result typical of a surgical facelift using only the injectable products such as various fillers and/or DYSPORT® or Xeomin, without an actual surgery. Various areas of the face affected by aging may be improved by liquid facelift; it is most beneficial in restoring lost volume in cheeks thus lifting the cheekbones, redefining the jaw-line, minimizing the appearance of jowls, lifting sagging brows, removing dark circles under the eyes, and diminishing facial lines and wrinkles.
Liquid facelift often involves the use of “thicker” fillers, such as Radiesse, Voluma or Perlane deeper within the skin close to the facial bones to offer significant contouring to the facial structure, while other fillers, such as Restylane or Belotero are used synchronously to fill in superficial wrinkles. Additionally, Injectable products (Dysport®, Xeomin) may be used to relax certain muscles in the face, providing a reduction in lines around the brows, eyes and even the cording or “vertical bands” in the neck. Often a combination of these treatments is used to enhance the overall look of the face, tailored to perfectly suit the patient’s particular goals and needs.
Aging changes are often readily noticeable in the midface; they result in loss of midfacial volume, flattening of the cheekbones and drooping of the cheek skin, prominent nasolabial folds, and the face being shaped more rectangular than triangular. Liquid facelift helps restore the volume to the midface and shape up the bony structures to the more youthful form. The filler injections are usually placed deep over the cheek bones, supporting the face more than if just injected into the skin. Dr. Ovchinsky prefers to use Radiesse, Perlane, Voluma or Sculptra in the cheeks as these fillers tend to be denser and more supportive than other products.
As part of the “liquid face lift” the jowl and jawline can be lifted with a combination of supportive filler Injections. The jawline can be supported by using deep fillers over the jawbone underneath the jowling area. The marionette lines that begin at the corner of the mouth and end at the chin in front of the jowl are also filled just under the skin. They are further improved by injecting DYSPORT® or Xeomin into the muscle called the depressor anguli oris. This muscle pulls the corner of the mouth down, so when it is released the corner of the mouth lifts. A weak chin may be improved by injecting a volumizing filler deep over the central jaw area.
Thick bands on the front of the neck called platysmal bands can be softened with Injectables as well.
Non-surgical eyelid lift is commonly a part of liquid facelift. It involves raising up and changing the shape of the brows, improving dark circles and the appearance of lower eyelid bags, and smoothing the wrinkles in the corner of the eye, so called crow feet (please see more detailed description of this under “non-surgical eyelid lift” section).
As the fillers used in liquid facelift are temporary, the results will last approximately one year. However, this too is dependant upon the patient’s skin, lifestyle habits and the treatments used. . Many patients can also maximize their new youthful appearance by scheduling touch-up appointments over time. The end result is a rejuvenated appearance that can look 5 to 10 years younger without surgery or significant downtime.
What do I need to avoid before surgery?
If you are on “blood thinners,” you will be asked to stop them approximately one week prior to surgery. We also ask that you avoid certain over-the-counter medications. If you are taking some herbal supplements, you should stop those as well as they may contain blood thinning substances. Also, you have to completely quit smoking at least two weeks before surgery.
What about my daily medications before surgery?
You will have a preoperative appointment well in advance of your surgery when we will review all mediations with you. If you are on “blood thinners,” you will be asked to stop them approximately one week prior to surgery. We also ask that you avoid certain over-the-counter medications. You may continue taking most routine medications up until the morning of surgery with a small sip of water.
What happens after surgery?
You will go to the recovery room for a few hours until you are fully recovered from anesthesia. Once you are stable you will be taken home (or to a hotel) by your family member or a friend. You will want to stay relaxed for the first few days. You will need to keep your head elevated when in bed to help with faster resolution of swelling. You should begin to start walking, eating, and using the restroom the day after surgery. Your activity can slowly increase each day but it will take up to 2 weeks before you start to feel like your old self again. You should avoid any strenuous activity for 4 weeks. You will need to take medication prescribed to you by Dr. Ovchinsky, which usually include antibiotics, pain medicine, antibiotic ointment for the incisions, and occasionally anti-nausea medications.
Are there any dietary restrictions following surgery?
No. Patients can eat whatever they want. Advance your diet from liquids (fruit juice, milk shake, etc.) to soft food (pudding, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, oatmeal, pasta) to solids as tolerated. To prevent dehydration, please drink as much juices and nutritional fluid as possible.
When will my stitches be taken out?
Stitches are normally removed five to six days after your surgery.
How soon will I be able to exercise?
Dr. Ovchinsky recommends that patients do not return to exercise for three weeks after their procedure.
When will I be able to see the results?
You may see the difference right away, and more so once the swelling goes down within the first one to two weeks. As with any surgical procedure, it takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months for the results to become final.
What is special about the way Dr. Ovchinsky does the surgery?
Dr. Ovchinsky tailors his surgical technique to an individual patient rather than using the same “run of the mill” surgery on everybody. The technique he uses causes minimal pain, has natural results, and is long-lasting. The vast majority of patients are quite surprised afterward at how little discomfort they have and how quickly they return to normal activity. Most patients have minimal bruising. Finally, with Dr. Ovchinsky technique and attention to details during skin closure, scars are typically minimal and are often difficult to see once they have fully matured.