Facelift

Wrinkles, sagging skin, laxity in the jowls and neck begin to appear after years of exposure to the elements, facial expressions and the natural aging process.

A facelift is a surgical procedure to repair sagging, drooping, and wrinkled skin of the face and neck. It is performed to improve visible signs of aging, poor diet, or heredity; Face lift can restore a younger look. It is performed by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping facial and neck skin.

A facelift can be done alone or with nose reshaping, a forehead lift, or eyelid surgery.

Procedure

A facelift procedure may be performed in your doctor’s office or in an outpatient surgical facility. Premedication is generally recommended to relax the patient. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia with the patient asleep, but can be performed using a local anesthesia. Your surgeon will operate on one side of the face at a time. The incision is placed in the natural crease of the facial skin and begins inside the hairline, in the temple area above and forward of the ear. It continues inside the ear, or in front of the ear around the earlobe and behind the ear. The skin is lifted outward and the surgeon tightens and repositions the underlying muscles and tissues. Excess skin and fat may be removed. The incision is then closed with fine sutures and/or metal clips. If metal clips are used, shaving hair from the incision site may be avoided. A facelift can take between two to four hours depending on the extent of the procedure.

Candidate

  • has sagging skin in the face and neck
  • has skin that still has some elasticity
  • is in good health
  • is a non-smoker
  • maintains a stable weight (at least 6 months)
  • has a strong bone structure
  • has realistic expectations

A Facelift Targets The Lower 2/3rds of the Face

If you have been considering a facelift to reverse the signs of aging, you should understand what a facelift can and can’t do. Although the incisions made for a facelift are hidden back in your hairline, it does nothing to correct the visible signs of aging in the upper face. A facelift provides an overall lift to the lower third of your face by tightening loose skin in the jowls, neck, and jaw line..

A facelift alone will not remove forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet or bags under your eyes. These areas can, however, be treated at the same time as your facelift.

A facelift can:

  • turn back the clock 7 to 10 years
  • smooth the appearance of wrinkles
  • reduce the amount of loose skin or excess fatty tissue especially along the jaw line
  • tighten the muscles beneath the skin of the face and neck
  • remove jowls and sagging skin

A facelift cannot:

  • Change the texture of the skin or get rid of age spots, acne scars and fine lines
  • Reduce bags, wrinkles, and excess skin underneath or above the eyes
  • Address issues in the upper 1/3 rd of your face including your eyes and forehead
  • Stop the aging process

To get an idea of the results you might have, place your fingers on the center of your cheeks and press the skin up and back. Skin folds can be tightened and reduced, but not eliminated. If you softly pinch the skin in front of your ear, you’ll see how much skin can be excised during the procedure.

How Long Will The Results Last?

Some relaxation of facial tissues will occur during the first few weeks. After that, the aging process continues. Your lifestyle choices, bone structure, skin type, sun exposure and heredity all play a role in determining how many years can be removed and for how long. In general younger patients enjoy longer-lasting results. If you are in your forties, the effects may last up to 10 years. If you are in your sixties, your results may last 5 to 7 years.

Recovery after facelift surgery

Pain Level: Moderate discomfort. 1-3 days of pain medication.
Swelling and bruising:2 weeks or more
Numbness: lasts several weeks
Bandages: Changed in 1-2 days (drains and sutures removed first 2-5 days)
Work: Return after 1-3 weeks
Exercise: Wait 2-3 weeks
Sun protection: Six months with SPF 15 or higher
Final result: Seen 1-4 months following most facelifts

To prevent complications it is important to:

• Keep your head elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling
• Apply ice packs to minimize swelling
• Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications
• Do not smoke or be exposed to secondary smoke during recovery
• Avoid exposure to direct sunlight
• Use a sunblock (minimum 15 SPF) to protect your skin

FAQ

A facelift raises the facial skin, muscles, and subcutaneous tissue to restore a more youthful contour. In order to do this, incisions within the hairline and natural creases along the ear allow access to the deeper structures. If needed, through a small incision beneath the chin, your surgeon will remove the excess fat of the neck and tighten the neckbands that form” the turkey neck”. The skin is pulled up and back, removing the excess behind the ears. All incisions are then sewn together.
The purpose of a facelift is to make you look as good as possible. The facelift will improve the cheeks, and the jaw line; it will also improve neck-line by removing any excess fat that forms a double chin and neck-bands that form the turkey neck. Results are more predictable in some patient than in others. Influencing factors include the physical condition of the face, thickness and condition of the skin, facial fat, age, the amount of wrinkles, the bone structure, heredity and hormonal changes.
Smoking is another important factor, as well, so important there are many plastic surgeons who refuse to perform a facelift on heavy smokers.
As soon as you notice the signs of aging you’re a good candidate for the procedure; these are:
1) deep lines or folds running from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth (smile lines).
2) jowls or loss of well defined jaw line.
3) deep wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging of the “highlight” areas of the cheekbone.
4) loose skin wrinkles vertical cords or excess fatty tissue in the neck.
Yes. Facelifts are most frequently preformed in combination with forehead lift, upper and lower eyelid surgery and correction of smile lines with fat grafts.
The facelift will correct the lower portion of the face, cheeks, jowls, and the entire neck. It will not improve the upper portion of the face, the position of the eyebrows, the wrinkles between the eyebrows and the excess skin of the upper and lower eyelids or the lower eyelid bags. It will do a little for the smile lines and the wrinkles around the mouth.
If you smoke, you must stop smoking at least two to three weeks before surgery. Smoking interferes with blood flow to the skin and can effect healing of the incision areas. It can cause scabbing and unsightly scars in visible places.

Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medication can cause excessive bleeding so you should not take these medications for two weeks before surgery.

If you wish to lose more than 15 pounds of weight, you should do so before the surgery so that all the skin that will sag can be removed at the time of the face-lift.

Although you may eat anything you wish after surgery, most people find that they will not have an appetite the first evening. Take plenty of fluids and a soft diet that requires minimal chewing or opening the mouth. The dressing around the chin and cheeks may make it difficult to chew and open the moth completely.
Neither a facelift nor it’s recovery period are painful. Most patients experience a mild discomfort after surgery that is relieved with oral medication. The discomfort is usually in the back part of the neck and it is usually gone by the morning after surgery.
There will be bruising of the face and neck for approximately 10 to 14 days. By this time all the stitches will be removed and you can resume normal activity and work.
The operation can be done with a strong sedative and local anesthesia or under general anesthesia.

Some patients do not want to hear or see anything that is going on in the operating room. For these patients we recommend general anesthesia.

NO. Most of the incisions are inside the scalp and having long hair will help hide the scars and stitches during the healing period for both men and women.
Most of the stitches may be self absorbable. The non-absorbable stitches are removed at seven to fourteen days depending on the healing process.
The procedure will improve your present appearance but will not stop the aging process. Depending on how well you take care of yourself the results of a facelift can last 5 to 10 years. In very few patients those who age more rapidly may desire another operation in less than 5 years. On the other hand, there are those who never require it again. Each person is different. In order to have your results last longer, it is important to maintain your weight steady, avoid sun exposure, and maintain the skin, keep it hydrated and protected from the sun with moisturizers and sun blocks.
Significant complications from facelifts are very infrequent. Every year thousands of people undergo successful facelift surgery and experience no major problems, and being pleased with their results. All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. Individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, physical reaction, healing abilities, and the out come is never completely predictable. Complications that can occur include hematoma (a collection of blood under the skin that must be removed by the surgeon), injury to nerves that control facial muscles ( usually temporary), infection, and reactions to the anesthesia or medication. Poor healing of the skin is most likely to affect smokers.
For a minilift or a Lifestyle lift, the procedure can be performed in an office outpatient setting. For a full facelift, and when combined with other procedures, this will be done in a hospital operating
YES, to the head and the neck. They are removed the day after surgery in your first appointment. The bandage is designed to maintain the operated area as immobile as possible, to protect the incisions from the environment and to help minimize bruising and swelling. They are removed on the first post-operative day and after a light elastic bandage is placed around the chin.
The first stitches are removed approximately on the fifth day, and the remaining are usually removed around the tenth day. The process is quick and uncomplicated. The surgeon or other members of the staff always remove sutures.
On about the 10th day for the full make up. Camouflage make up could be placed prior to that time.
Shampooing your hair can begin two days after surgery. The stitches should get wet. This helps in the cleaning process. You may apply rollers loosely. You may use a hair dryer in the medium to low setting, never hot because you may not have full sensation of the surgical area and could cause a burn. Tinting or coloring may begin three weeks following surgery.
Yourself or an assistant or relative at home or hotel room.
It is normal to develop bruises and swelling of the face and neck followed by a period where you look strange to yourself. If the face-lift is combined with eyelid and forehead surgery, the swelling will be present in more areas of the face, but you should be ready to resume our normal lifestyle in about two weeks. Slight emotional depression right after surgery can occur and usually happens at a time where you look the worst. Fortunately this will pass quickly.

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