Getting a facelift can be an exciting process that gives patients a more youthful-looking appearance. But facelift surgery doesn’t bring instant gratification, and there may be complications. Swelling, bruising, discomfort and pain are the body’s natural response to surgery, causing some patients to feel impatient or frustrated by the recovery process immediately following a facelift. Patients may be confused as they search the web looking for the best facelift surgeon.

In response to his facelift patients’ requests, cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Kulick developed pioneering laser applications to shorten the recovery time and lead to less bruising and pain following a facelift procedure. Can you imagine performing / singing at a wedding two weeks after undergoing a face lift? If not, listen to what patients say about their laser vertical face lift experience.

Dr. Kulick’s laser surgery technique for facelifts is known as the Laser-Assisted Deep Plane Vertical Facelift. This groundbreaking procedure has less chance of complication following the surgery, and provides results that are long lasting.

Traditional Facelift Surgery – a Closer Look

 To understand why the vertical facelift technique is so innovative, it helps to understand a little bit about the conventional facelift method commonly used by many surgeons. This procedure is known as the sub-muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) facelift.

A SMAS facelift pulls the SMAS layer primarily, straight backward toward the ears to improve the appearance of the nasolabial fold – also known as the “smile lines” that appear around our mouths as we age. The SMAS facelift may leave patients with an unnatural, stretched-out look. Because putting incisions in the hairline is the primary pathway to remove the extra skin during the SMAS procedure, patients are also left with scarring in the hairline behind both ears.

SMAS facelift patients may not see long-lasting effects from their procedures. As gravity and the result of not releasing the facial tissue creating the naso-labial fold takes effect, the areas of the face that were stretched back by the SMAS lift can gradually sag back to their original position sooner than expected.

The Advantages of a Vertical Facelift

The revolutionary vertical facelift technology developed by Dr. Kulick has several unique features that differentiate it from traditional facelift procedure.

  • In a laser-assisted facelift, laser energy is used like a scalpel to separate tissue, which helps reduce postoperative bleeding, swelling and bruising. This laser energy seals small blood vessels that may not be sealed via a SMAS face lift.
  • The laser technique allows Dr. Kulick to lift the facial tissue vertically, versus being pulled straight back toward the ears, as occurs in the SMAS procedure.
  • In a laser dissection, Dr. Kulick can lift the facial tissue all the way to the nose safely, thus eliminating the “wind tunnel” pulled-back look that can be seen with the SMAS facelift procedure. This procedure does not need the doctor to pull the tissue back to correct the naso-labial fold. The facial skin is returned to its more youthful location.
  • Kulick’s patients are not left with scarring in the hairline behind their ears.
  • The results of a laser vertical facelift are long lasting, with less chance of complication after the surgery.

To imagine the results of the SMAS facelift versus the vertical facelift, look in the mirror and place two fingers on your cheek, just below your lower eyelid. Pull straight back to replicate the appearance of the SMAS facelift on your mouth and naso-labial fold. To correct the nasolabial fold, are you happy with the impact that occurs at the corner of your mouth? Then, instead of pulling back, lift the skin up to your lower eyelid to envision how Dr. Kulick’s vertical lift technique would affect your face. You will notice the vertical facelift resulting in a more natural repositioning of your facial features.

Laser Vertical Facelifts Are Safer and Minimize Recovery Time

Thanks to the power of lasers, Dr. Kulick can dissect skin with very little bleeding and considerably less postoperative swelling and bruising. Most patients report very little discomfort and pain after undergoing a vertical laser facelift, and the recovery time can be up to 50 percent less than a more invasive surgery that uses a scalpel to cut and separate tissue.

As one satisfied patient reported:

Two and a half weeks after my surgery, I attended a Tina Turner concert in Las Vegas with a bunch of girlfriends. I was still swollen, but no one would have known. There never was one hint of a bruise – anywhere! I am thoroughly enjoying the refreshed and natural looks that I have nearly forgotten I had a facelift.” 

Patient safety is also enhanced by the use of lasers during the surgery, because the laser beam continuously seals blood vessels as it cuts. After performing hundreds of cosmetic procedures, Dr. Kulick has not had a patient with a permanent nerve injury or blood clots, also called a hematoma beneath the skin.

Vertical facelifts also minimize the risk of skin returning to a sagging state prematurely. As much as a decade after surgery, patients still report seeing a younger appearance from this procedure. When seeking the best facelift procedure, these are important patient concerns.

Look Younger With Dr. Kulick

San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Kulick is a recognized specialist in the field of plastic surgery who frequently lectures both nationally and internationally about the advantages of lasers for aesthetic procedures. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has published a variety of articles to share his expertise about the safety and effectiveness of using lasers in cosmetic surgery.

If you are exploring the benefits of a facelift to improve your appearance and self-esteem, schedule your facelift consultation with Dr. Kulick.