Cost: $5,000 to $7,000
The traditional face-lift's popularity is sagging, down about 20% since 2000. Wary of the wind-tunnel look, a long recovery period and a $15,000 bill, patients are opting for subtler, cheaper and less painful procedures.
A brow lift, for example, smooths deep furrows in the forehead; drooping eyelids can be corrected at the same time by removing excess skin, fat or muscle from the upper and lower eyelids.
Results usually last about five years. "I can do a lot to maintain that youthful look without resorting to a formal face-lift," says Dr. Richard A. D'Amico, president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Boomers are starting the process earlier, and they are careful about scheduling the necessary regular maintenance."
Sort of like a Lexus.
What's new: The thread lift. A tiny thread is inserted under the tissues of the face. Barbs on the thread lift sagging skin; tiny teeth on the thread's other end anchor the skin to facial tissues. Done under local anesthesia, the procedure is good for about a year. Cost: $2,500.
The downside: Threads sometimes snap on one side, causing the face to fall. You may look like you've had a stroke until you can be repaired, and that likely will require surgery.
For more: Go to yourplasticsurgeryguide.com. The site's material is reviewed by practitioners (who do, of course, have an interest in the growth of cosmetic surgery).