In the last five years, there has been a 36 percent increase in facelifts, according to data from The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). That's why we have spoken to Dr. Tiago Baptista Fernandes, a plastic surgeon at Up Clinic, to find out a little more about facelift trends.
"There's a very interesting portfolio of non-surgical facial treatments. These people started in their 30s and 40s, but now they're in their 50s and 60s and they're starting to see that these products and non-surgical treatments are treatments that no longer give the same results as they used to. So they turn to the only thing that works in terms of facial rejuvenation, which is surgery," explains Dr. Tiago Batista Fernandes.
Therefore, plastic surgery ends up being in high demand among those who have always had non-surgical aesthetic medicine procedures over time and those who have never had anything done but now have information through social media. "Social media platforms have spread the word," the doctor added.
According to him, during the pandemic, many people started looking for plastic surgery, but especially after the pandemic, there was an increase in demand. “After the pandemic, demand doubled or tripled," he said. In terms of gender, women continue to be the most interested in these procedures, but men are also taking their first steps in this world. Masculine patients currently account for seven percent of Dr. Tiago's facelift.
The facelift is an intervention that has improved a lot. If before, surgeons only treated the skin, with less positive results in which some patients were left with a windblown appearance, now the new techniques used at Up Clinic make it possible to achieve more natural results.
Dr. Tiago explained that when doctors use the traditional facelift technique, they are pulling the skin, and deforming it. "I often make an analogy with making a bed. We can make a bed by pulling up the bedspread and leaving the sheet crumpled or by pulling up the sheet and getting rid of any internal ageing and then the bedspread sits on top," he said.
That's why at Up Clinic they use a different technique which is called Deep Plane or High SMAS. "These techniques make the end result more durable, more natural and as the support after the suture is internal (deep), the scar looks much better. There's no tension in the scar because the suture is based on the deep structures and not on the skin."
In addition to the great results, this type of procedure takes between three and five hours of surgery and the patient can be discharged on the same day or the following day, with around two to three weeks of recovery time.
"These days we're paying more attention to the quality of the skin than just operating it. We used to put up the walls, but we didn't paint them. Now we're paying much more attention. In other words, we're going to stimulate our own cells to produce new cells," he said. To do so, they use stem cells.
"In children, the stem cell is umbilical cord blood. In adults, the main source is fat (adipose tissue). The adipose tissue is easily extracted through liposuction with a syringe, which takes around five minutes. We take this fat and use it for two things: give volume and replace hyaluronic acid".
This procedure has several advantages: "It's cheaper and behaves like adipose tissue. This fat will stay forever. In addition, when we place fat stem cells inside our skin, these cells will communicate with our skin cells, stimulating them to produce what they already know how to produce: our skin cells. This is called regenerative medicine," the doctor pointed out.
With this technique, there is a restructuring of the tissues through less invasive techniques. Also, I can see that there is a parallel preoccupation with restoring the skin with regenerative mechanisms in a more holistic way.
To achieve the best results, the work doesn't start in the operating room, it begins beforehand. "The person needs to be well nourished and their skin well hydrated. To this end, in the Up clinic before and after surgery, patients are hyperoxygenated in a hyperbaric chamber with a high concentration of oxygen, so the response of the tissues will be better.
"This is a bit of an ideal package for the rejuvenation patient. We prepare beforehand with supplements and hyperbaric oxygen, we do what we have to do in the surgery, and post-operatively we do lymphatic drainage and once again supplements and the hyperbaric chamber," he added.
Endoscopic facial lifting
According to the doctor, the latest innovation in facial aesthetic surgery is endoscopic facelift surgery. "These are techniques that have been around for two or three decades but have been improved. It used to be done only on the upper region, but now it's done on the whole face, where through small hidden incisions we can place a camera that allows us to work on the tissues."
"Endoscopic facelift surgery allows us to detach the frontal area as well as the midface without visible scars. This is the latest of the facelift which, of course, allows us to work on low or moderate stages of skin flaccidity. These surgeries take an average of 1.5 or 2 hours and may be complemented with complementary treatments to guarantee the best possible result."
Beautification and Rejuvenation
At Up Clinic, patients can lose up to 15 years of age, depending on their skin type. However, there are patients who want more than just to look younger, some want to look younger and more beautiful. For this reason, Dr. Tiago explained that there are two approaches: beautification and rejuvenation.
Through plastic surgery, "you can just rejuvenate and turn back the years, or you can improve the proportions. Lift the eyebrows, give a bit more volume to the cheeks, and put the chin out a bit more. This is all discussed with the patient and then it's up to the patient to decide. Older people generally want rejuvenation, younger people may be more open to beautification," he said.
All these options will be discussed with your doctor if you decide to undergo one of these surgeries. If you have any questions, please visit https://upclinic.pt/face/?lang=en
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252