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Preparing the Canvas

Facelift patients benefit from pre-surgery education and access to adjunctive skincare services.
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Preparing the Canvas

Pinto is proponent of bundling skincare services with the price of the facelift. At Advanced Aesthetics of Arkansas, patients are referred to the skincare clinic after they have booked their procedures, and the services are billed separately.
Samuel Lam, MD, owner of Lam Facial Plastics in Dallas, is an advocate of regenerative medicine, utilizing options that help the skin heal better. “For my facelift patients, I put in platelet-rich plasma to help enhance the healing and regeneration of the overlying skin as well. It’s been amazing,” he says. “Along the incision lines, I use ReGenica ( It’s a human growth factor that helps with incision line healing,” he says.


In addition to preparing patients’ skin for surgery, pre-surgery consultations that include education on realistic expectations and the recovery process help to improve patient satisfaction. “The media deliver unreasonable expectations,” says Dr. Saltz, “so patients need to be prepared for truths. That’s why a comprehensive pre-lift analysis is needed.”
“I caution patients about using the ‘two-finger rule’: the patient takes two fingers and pulls back on her skin. Folds disappear, wrinkles go away, the jowls are gone. I explain that’s because everything’s stretched beyond limits. That’s not realistic,” says Dr. Lam.
One tool that Dr. Pearlman uses is the Vectra 3D imaging system ( For example, he uses the imaging software to show patients the potential outcomes of facial implants. “3D offers a better demonstration of how a chin implant can look from all angles,” he says. “Plus with that device I can precisely measure how much [the imaging] has added, to help with implant sizing.”
Preparing patients for surgery also includes educating them on the need to stop smoking for at least two weeks before surgery and avoiding excessive sun exposure.
“A facelift involves three to four hours under general anesthetic, so I always send [patients] to their internists for a full evaluation, to make sure there’s nothing like an unstable BP [and] they’re fit for surgery,” says Dr. Saltz.
While women comprise the largest demographic seeking facelifts, these procedures are becoming increasingly popular among men. According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASPS,, facelifts now rank No. 5 in the cosmetic procedures that men are seeking.
“In my experience doing many male facelifts, they’re more likely to be satisfied,” says Dr. Saltz. “Men are more objective; they usually don’t bring pictures. Women have higher expectations and are more demanding during their consultation. You spend a lot more time pre-op with women, explaining that a facelift will make her skin look better, not make her look like someone else.”
Men do require some additional education regarding recovery. “Men need to know they cannot shave over the area for a couple of weeks, but that’s good. It camouflages the bruising. When they start again, they should use only an electric razor for two weeks; they can go back to a straight razor at the end of the month,” says Dr. Lam.