This may be drastic, but so are the results.
For 70-year-old actor Michael Douglas, who married Catherine Zeta Jones in 2000, it was only right to have a facelift before their much-talked about wedding. With a wife 25 years his junior, one can understand Douglas' desire to appear more youthful.
The actor isn't alone in wanting to defy age one procedure at a time. Despite constant denials throughout Madonna's career, plastic surgeons and media people alike have arrived at a consensus about the famous singer's secret beauty tips: It's not only Kabbalah that has her looking younger than her 56 years; modern medicine has had a hand in it too.
They are just two of thousands of Americans who have resorted to a more comprehensive solution to facial sagging and excess skin by electing for a rhytidectomy, popularly known as a facelift.
Unlike related facial procedures such as the installation of implants and the use of injectables (e.g., Botox and fillers), it can improve the appearance of many areas of the face in one go.
By removing loose skin along the neck and lower jawline, doctors can shave years off of a patient's face. Even at its most subtle, the procedure allows for a more defined jawline, less creases at mouth corners, and a generally more youthful look for the skin.
Results vary from patient to patient, though, as skin thickness, texture, and elasticity come into play. Genes and sun exposure are big factors too.
So, as good as Madonna's and Michael Douglas' faces look now, it's important to remind ourselves to have realistic expectations post-surgery. Their lifestyles are vastly different from the average American, even those who can afford to shell out a few thousand bucks for cosmetic procedures.
Drastic changes are not always the best options anyway. The aim of a facelift is to help you age more gracefully, while still looking like yourself—albeit a few years younger.
Take, for example, the case of Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke. Following a brief boxing career in the early 90s, he underwent a series of facial reconstructive surgeries but admitted in a 2009 interview that he "went to the wrong guy to put my face back together." The result is a pale, unflattering face that people barely recognized.
As with most medical procedures, facelifts come with a few risks. Barring making the mistake of going to an unqualified surgeon as Rourke did, most patients should expect bruising and swelling immediately following surgery.
The recovery period is pegged at 10 to 14 days after 3 to 5 hours in the operating room. Scars are kept out of sight, hidden by the hairline or behind the ears, ensuring that your decidedly more refreshed look is attributed to anything else other than a short doctor's visit.