The Tuliplift is performed under local anesthesia with tumescent anesthetic technique (i.e., using small amounts of anesthesia to numb the skin). The procedure addresses three vectors of the face and neck: 1) under the eye and cheek-horizontal vector; 2) the jowl-combination of horizontal and vertical vectors; and 3) the neck-vertical vector.
Explore this issue:July 2006
The components of the Tuliplift add up to more than the sum of the parts. If a person’s neck sags more than other parts of the face, this procedure allows me to tighten the neck more than the rest of the face, Dr. Rahimi said.
He asks patients to bring in a photograph from 10 or 15 years ago to use as a guide for the procedure. This procedure is not designed to make the patient look different. I visualize it as reconstruction so I can restore the way they looked when they were younger. By contrast, a nose job is designed to make a patient look different, he continued.
The procedure entails liposuction of the neck and jowl. The fat is stored in a tissue bank in case it is needed at the end of the procedure for volume replacement or for follow-up visits. A corsette platysmoplasty is used to tighten the bands under the neck and bring them together. SMAS of the three vectors is used to tighten the facial muscles. Then the skin is redraped over the underlying structures. Dr. Rahimi noted that pulling on the skin can cause scarring.
The Tuliplift has several advantages over conventional facelift techniques, he noted, including greater safety because it is done under local anesthesia, not general anesthesia. Dr. Rahimi said that most complications with traditional facelifts are associated with general anesthesia. The risks of the Tuliplift are basically the risks of local anesthesia-allergic reaction and bleeding.
Other complications of traditional facelifts such as bleeding, scarring, and infections can be treated, but when a patient doesn’t wake up from general anesthesia, there is no treatment, he stated.
The Tuliplift is associated with a faster recovery compared with traditional facelift procedures, Dr. Rahimi stated. The sutures come out in one week and the patient is usually able to return to work within 10 days. Also, the Tuliplift is less expensive than a traditional facelift. Conventional facelifts cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. The cost of the Tuliplift ranges from $5800 to $6800; that price includes anesthesia, blood work, and all associated costs.