Facelift Alternatives

I would like to have my neck tightened and jowls reduced, but am only 42 years old and do not feel that I am ready for a regular facelift yet. What are my other options?- Judith P. San Clemente

I obviously cannot tell you what your options are without seeing you in person and having you show me your areas of concern in a mirror! Aesthetic treatments and surgical procedures are ALWAYS optional but it will be difficult to weigh your options without seeing a cosmetic surgery specialist. In general, however, your first option would obviously be to wait before you have any surgery. During this time, you might be able to enhance your appearance with good skin care and perhaps some of the filler injections or Botox® treatments – many patients buy themselves years with such treatments before they consider a surgical option. In our practice, Crystal Osborn, PA, does most of our light laser and injection treatments – in my opinion, Crystal Osborn, PA is the best cosmetic injector in Orange County! And whether you wait to have surgery or decide to do a lesser procedure now, please remember to use sun blocks daily and follow a good skin care program for yourself.

I have operated on patients in their late 30’s who were good candidates for a facelift, but those instances have been few and far between, and usually with extenuating circumstances such as severely stretched skin from obesity and subsequent weight loss. You are correct in feeling that younger patients with early signs of aging usually are not good candidates for a full face lift. Such patients can frequently be helped quite considerably with one of the newer minimal incision techniques including neck liposculpting, tightening the neck muscles through small incisions just beneath the chin and perhaps the ear, endoscopic forehead lifts, or some of the modern midface lifts that are performed through hidden incisions behind the hairline and in the nasolabial fold. Perhaps a series of one of the nonablative laser treatments or intense pulse light (“IPL”) treatments will remove surface blemishes to buy you some time. A lot of the decision making depends on your expectations as well and the degree of laxity you have.

Let me show you examples of three younger patients who received minor procedures that bought them some time before they were ready for a full facelift.


42 year old female with early signs of cheek hollowing and deepening of nasolabial folds (the fold between the lips and cheeks), before and after injections with Sculptra Aesthetic®, a long lasting filler. By the time this filler wears off and her neck droops more, she will be ready for a full face lift.


(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis) 35 year old female with some upper eyelid hooding, a minor neck adiposity, and early facial laxity, before and after a one hour procedure in which I did her upper eyelids and liposuctioned her neck and jaw line.


(Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis) 44 year old female with more than average sun damage, before and after a full-face phenol peel

If you have any specific questions about cosmetic procedures, your best bet would be to see a qualified plastic surgeon to review your options. Pease feel free to contact our office at 949-888-9700 to set up an appointment with Dr. Bunkis or our PA, Crystal Osborn; check out our web site at www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com to see further examples of similar patients.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.