The Traditional “Facelift” has enabled men and women alike to take ten years off their apparent age by tightening loose skin, and restoring the face’s youthful resilience and contours. While many patients still choose this conventional route, others are more interested in pursuing much less invasive techniques earlier that offer the same benefits, which means no more lengthy surgical procedure and the extensive recovery time. Dr. Oleh Slupchynskyj, a New York-based renowned Facial Plastic Surgeon, developed the minimally-invasive facelifting technique, the SLUPlift™, which delivers the same long lasting results without the need for extensive surgery, large incisions, General Anesthesia and a long recovery.
Minimally Invasive SLUPlift™ Procedure
Patients who choose to undergo a Traditional Facelift often wait until the signs of aging are obvious in order to justify the procedure. Some conventional Facelift recipients may wait until they are 65 or older to begin the process; although the signs of a more youthful appearance will become more evident, the patient also risks more complications due to both the trauma involved in the technique and the patient’s advanced age. Patients with less obvious aging often select the SLUPlift™ procedure, as it is both less traumatic and more effective in those instances. Even patients in their late 50s or early 60s can see immediate improvement after the SLUPlift™ Surgery.
Anatomy of a Traditional Facelift
During a Traditional Facelift procedure, the surgeon makes an incision starting from the hairline at the temple, curving around the ear, and ending on the opposite side. In some instances, the surgeon may also make an incision under the chin to tighten up loose skin around the neck and jowls. When the surgeon makes the incision he (or she) will pull the skin away from the underlying fat and muscle and hold in place.
The tissue layer directly under the skin, known as the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS), is the target area in a Facelift procedure. The surgeon will fold back the SMAS layer until the underlying tissue is pulled tight, then replace the skin layer and remove any excess skin. Sutures or surgical glue are then used to close the incision. The procedure typically takes 2 to 4 hours and requires the patient to remain under heavier General Anesthesia.
How the SLUPlift™ Procedure Works
Dr. Slupchynskyj’s patented SLUPlift™ achieves many of the same goals as a conventional Facelift, but with a more effective and less invasive technique. Instead of the long incision around the entire ear used in a traditional procedure, the SLUPlift™ utilizes a small incision around the earlobe. Dr. Slupchynskyj inserts tools in that smaller incision to locate the SMAS and the platysma muscle (found in the lower jaw and upper chest).
Dr. Slupchynskyj then inserts sutures through those tissues and pulls them tight. The sutures are tied off behind the earlobe, the excess skin is removed and the incision is sealed with micro-sutures. The SLUPlift™ procedure typically takes anywhere from 1 to possibly 2 hours. The results are a tighter and more youthful appearance to the face and neck, with a much smaller incision, shorter time in surgery, no General Anesthesia and a speedy recovery.
Advantages of SLUPlift™
As with Traditional Facelifts, the SLUPlift™ tightens the skin around the lower face and neck. The excess skin is carefully removed and the results can last up to 10 years for most patients; however, the SLUPlift™ technique has several advantages over the traditional methods. One of the main advantages of the SLUPlift™ procedure is the reduced incision size. The smaller incision exposes the patient to minimal trauma, allows for less scarring and reduces the post-operative recovery period.
The SLUPlift™ procedure is minimally invasive, which benefits both the surgeon as well as the patients. Dr. Slupchynskyj’s process has the patient rest comfortably during the operation under Local Anesthetic, without the need for the patient to “go under” with General Anesthesia. The quick, easy procedure also enables the patient to experience a much lower incidence of swelling, bleeding, infection or any other post-operative trauma, while seeing immediate results. Patients often recover in a week or less and return to their daily lives in 5 to 10 days.
Another benefit of the SLUPlift™ procedure is that it allows for as much or as little adjustment to the face as the patient requires. This technique gives Dr. Slupchynskyj some much-needed flexibility in adjusting the tension of the skin to suit the patient’s desired outcome. The additional flexibility allows him to work on the lower face and neck region, including the jowls and the skin around the platysma muscle, while also removing or rearranging the surrounding fatty tissue (a process known as “Submental Liposuction”).
Limited Swelling and Bleeding
The smaller incision around the earlobe allows the surgeon to adjust the skin and underlying tissue with “microneedles” and sutures, rather than with cruder tools that may cause trauma during or after the procedure. The SLUPlift™ technique achieves the optimum results for patients that require mild to moderate wrinkle removal, with much less post-operative swelling and bleeding.
This facet of the technique uses a “bloodless” incision that identifies the SMAS and platysma muscle, without the need to remove or relocate the overlying skin. Since the incision is so much smaller and much of the work takes place below the skin surface, the patient experiences much fewer problems during recovery.
General vs. Local Anesthesia
In a Traditional Facelift procedure, the patient receives General Anesthesia, either intravenously or through inhalation. The patient is unconscious and, as a result, requires strict monitoring by the surgeon, the Anesthesiologist and the surgical support staff to make sure that he or she does not suffer any side effects during surgery. Since the Anesthesia can paralyze the muscles responsible for breathing, the patient receives an intubation tube down his (or her) throat that feeds oxygen into the lungs. Patients can encounter breathing problems, vomit in the lungs, develop low blood pressure, and other problems while under General Anesthesia.
The SLUPlift™ procedure employs Local Anesthesia to the affected areas of the lower face. The patient does not experience any paralysis and can respond to both verbal and touch cues from the surgeon. The patient also does not need any breathing assistance during the procedure and experiences only a slightly lower level of consciousness than normal. The administration of Local Anesthesia also does not require an Anesthesiologist to monitor the patient’s level of responsiveness or the addition of more numbing agents to keep the patient under during the procedure. The reduced need for Anesthesia also allows for a faster post-operative recovery period.
Minimal Recovery Time
Patients experience the key advantage to the SLUPlift™ procedure after the operation, as recovery times are much shorter than those experienced by patients who undergo the Traditional Facelift Surgery. While the conventional Facelift procedure can take up to 4 hours, the SLUPlift™ procedure takes only 60 to 90 minutes. The smaller incision and lack of General Anesthesia makes for a faster and easier experience for both surgeon and patient.
While most patients may need up to 2 weeks or more for immediate recovery from a Traditional Facelift, patients who undergo the SLUPlift™ procedure often return to work within a week. Since the patient does not receive General Anesthesia, the recovery process starts almost immediately after the operation, while the minimal scarring and bruising allow the patient to see the results of the SLUPlift™ within a few days.
Reduced Scarring and Deformities
The longer incision used in most Traditional Facelift procedures can lead to the appearance of unattractive scars and hair loss near the incision sites. Also, some patients who undergo a Traditional Facelift may see a deformity in the earlobe after the surgeon reattaches the loose skin. This deformity, known as “Pixie Ear”, is often a clear indication that the patient had a Facelift. The SLUPlift™ procedure leaves the patient with much less of a noticeable scar and no hair loss. Since the incision does not detach the earlobe from the face, patients are not at risk of having a “Pixie Ear” after surgery.
Numerous patients who have undergone the SLUPlift™ procedure have submitted “Before” and “After” photos that show the remarkable improvement in the lower face and jaw regions. Many of these patients have also corresponded with Dr. Slupchynskyj and his staff about the benefits they have experienced after the surgery. Read some of the patient reviews.
Less is More
The philosophy behind the SLUPlift™ can be summarized as “less is more”. The procedure requires much less time, staff and effort than the conventional Facelift Surgery, but delivers results on par with, and sometimes surpassing, those found in patients who underwent the Traditional Facelift. Smaller incisions, less trauma and faster recovery times allow patients to see immediate, long-lasting results from the SLUPlift™.