I am 64, 5'10", 125-lbs, male, redhaired, fair-skin,N/S,N/D,drug-free. I just had my 2nd "facelift revision". No fat anywhere on my body, just loose skin. How do I tighten the collagen underneath to keep the facelift "in place"? Several doctors do not recommend Thermage ("it sounds good in theory but it just doesn't work for too many people"). They recommend only the fully ablative CO2 laser for me (not the newer fraxels). But they can't guarantee that I won't be slightly pink for life.
How Do I Tighten Collegen to Preserve a Facelift?
Doctor Answers (9)
Ultherapy to help with collagen after a face lift
In my practice, we have found that Ultherapy has helped with collagen and form maintenance after face lifts, as well as in those patient who prefer a non-surgical approach instead of face lifts (in the right population).
I would recommend you do some research into Ultherapy for your issue.
Fair Skinned People and Laser Resurfacing after Facelift
Laser resurfacing can be performed for fair skinned people 3 months after facelift to tighten the skin a bit. Pigmentation changes can occur even in fair skinned people, but this does not usually happen.
Skin tightening technology has very marginal benefits at best.
After a facelift, there is no way to maintain, over a long period, the integrity of the dermis. Aging will create changes that subtract from the result. CO2 lasering removes sun damage, reorganized the collagen in the shallow dermis which eliminates wrinkles. It is very agressive treatment so should be employed only on very selective cases. Thermage doesn't work.
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Laser Resurfacing After Facelift
Light laser resurfacing is your best bet. Just don't have any deep treatments but more regular lighter ones. That will avoid the prolonged redness and recovery. This will not stop the aging process completely and more tissue sag is to be eventually expected but it will slow down the process and maintain the facelift result longer.
Options to preserve face lift results
Some people have stretchier skin than others. If you have stretchy skin, which is evident when you pinch the skin and pull it away from your face, a second lift may be necessary. Usually the results hold better after these second lifts. There has been a proliferation of skin tightening devices in the last few years, but I am unaware of a scientific peer-reviewed study that demonstrates a benefit in the situation that you describe. I go to meetings where these devices are discussed and I often have a problem seeing a difference between the before and after pictures.
Post facelift maintenance
I would not recommend Thermage; it will only lighten your pocket. Unfortunately, we can't stop the aging process, only limit its effects. Some of the newer lasers may achieve some tightening with less side effects than you are anticipating so I would recommend that you see someone who is extremely experienced with the use of state of the art lasers and is board certified in dermatology.
C02 laser resurfacing provides good option to preserve and or improve facelift surgery
Ablative laser skin resurfacing provides a great option to improve or enhance and preserve facelift surgery. I routinely perform carbon dioxide fully ablative laser resurfacing on patients undergoing facelift surgery. Although facelift surgery removes excess skin and tightens underlying muscles, it doesn not address the aged changes that occur in the skin. Long term erythema with the current newer laser technology is much less common than it was 10 or 15 years ago. This is due to a much shorter pulse width or "exposure time" resulting in more efficient skin resurfacing without the prolonged heat component of the older devices. Additionally better post operative care is available today than what was commonly used in " old days". Hopefully this helps.
Thermage or Ulthera to maintain facelift results
You will hear a number of opinions about how well noninvasive technologies work to stimulate collagen regeneration, but I think the main issue is that they don't do enough to REPLACE a facelift. I believe that either Thermage (radiofrequency) or Ulthera (focused ultrasound) would be very helpful as maintenance after a facelift. Laser resurfacing is helpful for surface rejuvenation as well as collagen remodeling but has significant down time.
Tightening collagen to preserve a facelift.
You cannot tighten collagen. The facelift will remove excess tissue in the body creates scar tissue to hold it in place. In my opinion Thermage does not give good results worth the money. Lasers and peels are for wrinkles after the facelift and add collagen to the skin.