Written by: Dr. Russel S. Palmer, M.D., P.A.Visible signs of aging in the face can be corrected with a facelift. A facelift can make patients look and feel many years younger, and significantly better about themselves. A properly performed facelift will restore a more youthful appearance and slow the aging process in the face. Patients feel much better about themselves after surgery. Studies have shown that facelift patients have a significant improvement in their self-image post operatively.The decision of when to have a facelift is a personal one. Many years ago, people waited until they had an aged appearance before considering surgery. Some still do. However, more and more, people are doing their facial surgery earlier, and this has many advantages. When a facelift is done at a younger age, patients enjoy the results at a better time of their lives. The results are more natural, and longer lasting. It gives them a competitive advantage both in the workplace and in a social environment. It generally also provides them with an improved self-image and more confidence.I believe that one of the most important factors in achieving an excellent result from a facelift is to specifically diagnose the signs of aging in each individual patient and designing the operation to correct them. A facelift should not be a standardized operation. It should be customized for each patient’s anatomy. That is why I firmly believe that the single most important decision that a person considering a facelift needs to make is who will be doing their surgery.When considering a facelift, a prospective patient should spend time with their surgeon to address their specific concerns. On a personal level, they should feel that their prospective surgeon is attentive to their needs and expectations, and that they are comfortable interacting with them. If they don’t feel a sense of warmth, confidence, competence, and caring from the doctor, perhaps they should look elsewhere. From a medical perspective, they should understand what happens during the pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative time periods. The surgeon should explain the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the procedure, and all patient questions should be answered. It is also crucial to make sure both your surgeon and the facility where the surgery will be performed are certified.My goals in performing a facelift for my patients are as follows:1. To produce a youthful, natural face, without a pulled, stretched appearance.2. To provide a tight and youthful appearing neck and jawline.3. To restore volume to the cheek region.4. To correct jowling.5. To minimize incisions and make the incisions barely visible or invisible.6. To minimize swelling and bruising.7. To provide a fast, smooth, painless recovery.8. To deliver long lasting results.Recently, I have developed a specific type of facelift called the PALMER lift. It is ideal for patients with deep nasolabial folds and loss of cheek volume. The results have been outstanding, and patient satisfaction has been impressive.