Face Lift v. the natural lift
After taking frontal and profile photos of my FOF face and downloading them to the computer, Dr. Giese reemphasizes my flaws (what fun!). “A facelift would take care of everything,” she says, “and most surgeons wouldn’t touch your face otherwise.”
But facelifts are expensive (think $20,000) and intimidating (none of us is especially interested in looking like Joan Rivers) so Dr. Giese created what she calls the natural lift, the aging solution for modern women.
“Patients want to look natural as they age. I’ve spent the last decade developing a number of surgical and non-surgical subtle procedures, so no one has to have an extreme makeover to look fresher and brighter,” Dr. Giese explains.
A full facelift is literally that. The surgeon cuts into the skin around the perimeter of the face, trims the excess skin, then lifts and stretches the remaining skin over the bone and muscle. The entire face is made over.
Rather than a full frontal attack, Dr. Giese offers patients a “treatment plan” of strategic mini procedures that can be performed all at once or over months, even years. The patient also decides whether she wants the whole menu or just the main course, depending on her budget and recovery time.
The “main course” of her natural lift starts with two tiny incisions behind the earlobes and corners of the mouth. Dr. Giese uses a probe and micro-ultrasound to melt the fat under the sagging jowl skin and neck, and then suctions it out through a tube. Think of it as liposuction of the jowl. The process stimulates the collagen under the skin and, as a scar tissue band forms on the inside, the skin contracts closer to the muscle. While both the full facelift and the natural lift are considered surgical, the facelift is more extensive and invasive and takes longer to heal.
How much, literally and figuratively?
Besides recommending the core procedure to contour my jaw line, Dr. Giese also suggests: Upper and lower eye lifts (overlapping skin could be surgically eliminated on my upper eyes and filler injections would take care of the concavities beneath the eyes), a modest chin implant along with the jowl job and a slight amount of hyluronic acid, added to my lips to make them fuller (not Angelina Jolie fuller, just a tad fuller.)
So there I have the whole menu of options.
Typically, the price for these procedures is about $15,000. (With a basic facelift and extras, the price maybe twice that.)
It takes me about 12 seconds to decide I want to order the whole menu (sans facelift). I’m a bit of an adventurous soul (my nephew Max calls me ‘wacky’) and I figure I’ll have great information to share with all my FOF friends on the site. I also trust Dr. Giese’s competency and moderate approach. The jowl work interests me most because that’s where my aging shows most. But I’d love to go for the whole shebang. My business partner thinks I’m a little crazy but agrees to pay for the costs since “it will make an amazing story.”
Besides, I am a sucker for a good salesperson. Dr. Giese is a good salesperson. She doesn’t push. Her voice is mellow. But she’s sure of herself and her talents.
Of course, I ask numerous times whether I could die. As with any surgery, there is risk of a complication developing, such as pulmonary embolism or a heart attack, even within two weeks of the surgery. Dr. Giese says. Although the chance of having a complication is rare, there’s a risk, nevertheless. I’ve never experienced adverse reactions to four prior surgeries, so I’m not worried (well, at least not too worried.)