More Canadians are saying no – to facelifts

Sure we want to defy aging and look younger – but we may not be willing to go under the knife to do it.

While cosmetic procedures continue to soar in popularity, more Canadians are requesting non-surgical facelifts, according to a recent survey.

Increasingly knowledgeable patients are opting for new non-surgical options to help fend off the affects of aging, according to a study conducted by Medicard Finance and Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Canada. This is not to say surgical face lifts have disappeared altogether. In fact, the survey indicates that 642,828 procedures were conducted last year alone.

Ongoing breakthroughs in the anti-aging industry have made turning back the hands of time easier and less expensive and painful than surgical face lifts. Non-surgical lifts, for example, are typically performed in a doctor’s office, have instant results, and require minimal recovery time (They are, however, non-permanent.)

“The decrease in demand for surgical procedures is directly related to the increasing acceptance of non-surgical treatments,” says Ann Kaplan, president and CEO of Medicard. “It is important to note,however, that while the demand for surgical facelifts may have leveled, it has leveled at a significant height.”

Experts say that even non-surgical cosmetic techniques carry some degree of risk and may not be successful for everyone. Further, most age-defying innovations gradually wear off and require repeat treatments to maintain the desired effects.

New weapons in the war against wrinkles include:
Injectable wrinkle fillers such as such as Restylane and Perlane, and non-surgical lifts using Botox and Restylane SubO
Botox, a type of bacterial toxin, is used for a number of medical and therapeutic purposes including treatment of cerebral palsy and other neurological problems. It is also an increasingly popular option for reducing the appearance of wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes and mouth.

Wrinkle fillers such as Restylane and Perlane use hyaluronic acid to correct folds and wrinkles and other imperfections in the skin. Using Restylane, cosmetic surgeons can fill in facial lines and folds, correct acne scars, augment the chin, cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and treat small facial bone or hand bone defects. Restylane is sometimes used in combination with Perlane to treat especially deep lines and creases.

Non-surgical face lifts using such procedures as FeatherLift, ThreadLift, and Thermage
The feather or thread facelift procedure is generally done on an out-patient basis under a local anesthetic and possibly sedation. The feather face lift is performed by using monofilament threads designed to be inserted subcutaneously to create a support structure that lifts the facial skin. The threads are inserted under the skin with a needle, thereby creating minimal incisions. A feather or threat face lift can lift the skin of the brow area, jaw line, cheek area, or neck area.

Thermage is a non-invasive cosmetic surgery technique that is used to tighten aging skin. An increasingly popular option in recent years, Thermage uses radiofrequency technology to enhance the appearance of facial skin around the eyes and forehead. The method produces no incisions and requires virtually no recovery time.

Demand for these types of procedures is staggering. Since practices began offering these services in 2002, they have experienced a 325 per cent increase, according to the Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Canada study. Last year alone, 4,185 Canadians had some form of non-surgical facelift.

“There are many ways to attack the enemy. Non-surgical procedures are becoming the norm, and patients are learning these procedures can complement, enhance or sometimes replace surgical options,” says Kaplan.

The most popular procedures including both surgical and non-surgical:
1. Botox
2. injectable fillers
3. laser hair removal
4. liposuction
5. non-surgical facelift
6. breast augmentation
7. blephorapasty (eyelid lift)
8. rhinoplasty
9. surgical facelifts.

According to the findings, the typical patient is a female between the ages of 35 and 50 and living in Ontario. Women account for 83.5 per cent of the market and 44 per cent are located in Ontario, followed by B.C. and Quebec.

Men make up 16.5 per cent of the market seeking surgical procedures such as liposuction, rhinoplasty and eye lifts, and non-surgical procedures including Botox injections and laser hair removal. Kaplan expects to see more men claim a larger part of the market, creating the next big trend shift in the industry.

The survey was conducted by Medicard Finance Inc. and Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Canada and between May 2005 and April 2006.