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by Laurence Kirwan

A woman elects to have a facelift because gravity is taking its toll. Gradually, she realises that her once-firm jaw line is beginning to droop and that no matter how young she may feel, her facial and neck skin is losing its elasticity and the ageing process is taking the upper hand.

Depending on issues like genes, bone structure and lifestyle, this becomes the scenario at some stage after the age of 35. Never smoking, being religious about sun block and following a skin regime supervised by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will help to keep a woman's skin looking fresh and unblemished but, eventually, sagging facial contours will confront her in the mirror.

Nevertheless, according to cosmetic surgeon Laurence Kirwan - who has 15 years' experience of holding back the clock for women in the USA and UK - it is not only the way she looks which triggers a woman's decision to have a facelift. Certain very specific life issues often prompt someone who is thinking about surgery to make the definitive move.

These are:
  • Changing jobs
  • Becoming a widow
  • Getting divorced
  • Working in a competitive environment

"All of these situations involve psychological as well as physical factors," says British-born Kirwan. "For a woman in any of these circumstances, it's a question of self-confidence - of feeling better about herself and the way she looks.

"Although being divorced or widowed puts a woman through an emotional rollercoaster, it can sometimes free her from a relationship in which the husband may have prevented her from making the best of herself. She suddenly finds herself in a position to make her own choices.

"Changing jobs, or being a professional woman in a competitive environment with younger, ambitious colleagues, are also challenging situations for any woman who feels that her physical appearance might go against her. Again, these are key decision factors".

Laurence Kirwan also advises: "The ageing process is often really unfair to both men and women. Facial lines and wrinkles can make people look tired or stressed or grumpy, when in fact they are nothing of the sort!" (Kirwan himself, who is in his late 40s, says that when he forgets to have regular Botox® to smooth out the wrinkles in his forehead, his staff sometimes ask if he is worried or cross about something!)

A facelift with Laurence Kirwan costs between £5,000 and £7,500, depending on hospital costs. Facelift surgery takes about three hours. Stitches are removed after nine days and the patient can be back at work within 14 days.

Strictly speaking, a facelift involves lifting the lower part of the face so it is often performed in tandem with other procedures such as a browlift, to lift the eyebrows and eliminate worry lines and frown lines in the forehead area; blephroplasty to eliminate bags under the eyes and/or drooping eye lids; laser to even out skin texture; liposuction to remove excess fat around the jaw and neck; AlloDerm® to plump up thinning lips and implants to correct a receding chin.

Advice and details about a facelift and the other cosmetic procedures mentioned above can be found on Laurence Kirwan's website at www.drkirwan.com.


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