Feather Lift vs. Facelift


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When people give thought to the surgical possibilities that will make their face appear more youthful and wrinkle-free, the option that often first springs to mind is a facelift. However, these days this traditional surgery is not the only possibility when it comes to facial rejuvenation. A much less invasive procedure, which some even class as non-surgical, is a feather lift. This can produce similar results to a facelift if you suffer from fairly moderate sagging, although it may not produce such good results if they extent of the sagging is rather serious in which case a traditional facelift may be the best option. This is just one of the things to consider when deciding whether to undergo a facelift or a feather lift.

A facelift

A traditional facelift is deemed as very beneficial for those who have moderate to severe facial skin sagging and/or deep wrinkles. These problem areas can be helped by this surgery, which takes several hours and involves excess fat being removed as well as overall tightening of the facial skin. The surgeon will start the procedure by making various cuts around the hairline into which they will insert a liposuction tube to remove any excess fat if required. This is done in an effort to define the facial contours to give a more youthful appearance. After the fat is removed, the surgeon will proceed to tighten the facial muscles prior to trimming the skin and pulling it back over the face. Stitches are then applied to hold the lifted skin in place.

Although this surgery may sound daunting, it is performed while you are under general anaesthetic and are unconscious so you do not see or feel what is going on. It has a rather long recovery period of around 3 weeks and you will be required to revisit the surgeon’s clinic for a check up and to have the stitches removed. Once the skin has recuperated and healed you will notice that it is much more tight and toned. However, you should note that due to the nature of this operation, there will be scarring although it is generally hidden by the hairline and the marks do fade in the months following the surgery.

A feather lift

A feather lift is not performed when you are unconscious (unless it is deemed necessary of you have requested it) and is therefore done using local anaesthetic. This allows you to have some input into how tight the skin may be pulled and where the threads are inserted. As a result of the procedure not being especially invasive, it only takes one to two hours to complete generally.

Rather than having the facial skin cut with a scalpel as in a tradition facelift, in a feather lift, the surgeon inserted small APTOS threads under the skin using a small needle. The positioning of these threads is well planned out prior to surgery and the most common positions for them are in the forehead, cheeks and jowls so the face and neck skin can be pulled and smoothed out. When the threads have been inserted into the correct positions, the surgeon will carefully pull the threads back to provide lift to the appropriate areas. This extent of lifting is not final, as over the months following the procedure, collagen will form around the APTOS threads, which will increase the tightness and the toned appearance of the skin.

Scarring is generally absent or extremely faint after a feather lift due to the tiny areas in which the threads are inserted. Many people have a very small amount of discomfort and pain shortly after the procedure has been completely, however this tends to subside after a few days and most people are able to return to their normal activities within the week.

Which cosmetic procedure is the best?

It is commonly thought that traditional facelifts will become a very rare procedure within the next ten years. This is because of an overall decrease in desire for such a drastic procedure because of numerous non-surgical options that prevent the face getting to such a point of requirement. Not only this, but also more people are becoming aware of the sometimes undesirable results of a facelift like the “wind-tunnel” look as well as the visible scarring and length of recovery time needed. It has been claimed that since 2009, the amount of non-surgical procedures used to improve or alter appearance have increased by 70%.

To try and regain its position in the cosmetic procedure market, the facelift has been regenerated in various ways to make it a more desirable option. The feather lift is a result of such image rejuvenation. It is advertised as a minimally invasive, relatively pain and risk-free method of obtaining immediate results similar to a facelift. It is also a cheaper option than a traditional facelift and does not require you to be administered general anaesthetic, which can be a daunting thought for many not to mention potentially dangerous.

In a feather lift, the threads are held in position by just one stitch within the hairline, which is generally not obvious at all and fades a lot over the months after surgery. Not only does it produce less scarring than a traditional facelift, but it also is a lot quicker to have done and is therefore often performed on an out-patient basis (you can be in and out of the clinic within the same day).

The result of a feather lift is rather natural and is said to be ideal for those who have mild to moderate facial sagging. If, on the other hand, you have rather serious sagging then the procedure is probably not for you and a traditional facelift will be more beneficial.

The results of a feather lift and a facelift both last up to around seven years. The longevity of the effects is very much dependent on the elasticity of the facial skin, how well you take care of your skin and how quickly you naturally mature.

All cosmetic procedures carry some risks with them and these vary depending on the invasiveness and general nature of the surgery. The risks of a feather lift are rather minor (swelling and bruising) compared to facelift surgery. Also, a feather lift is reversible whereas a surgical facelift is not which may influence your decision if you are not 100% set on totally changing your appearance and/or are apprehensive about the possible results.

Benefits of local vs. general anaesthetic in a feather lift

Local anaesthetic is able to offer patients a speedier recovery time and fewer risks than general anaesthetic. This makes it a more desirable anaesthesia and is often a big deciding factor in terms of choosing between whether to undergo a facelift of a feather lift. It has often been noted that patients that undergo procedures under the influence of general anaesthetic take longer to recover that those who had the same procedure done but under local anaesthetic.

Local anaesthetic allows the feather lift procedure to be carried out quickly and for the patient to be in and out of the clinic in the same day so they can relax and recuperate in their own home environment. It also takes away the nausea and feelings of being not in control that are commonly associated with general anaesthetic. Not only this, but the quick recovery time and maintenance of consciousness allows you to see the results of the feather lift prior to the bruising and swelling setting in after a few hours.

Getting the facelift effect without a facelift or a feather lift

These days it is very common to see numerous adverts promoting new skincare products that you can purchase to provide you with similar results to a cosmetic procedure but without any needles or knives. It is very controversial as to how well these products work, however the general consensus is that no product from a bottle is capable of providing the same results as a cosmetic procedure. They may, however, provide you with a temporary tightened appearance of skin and a more youthful glow.


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