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.
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.
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:
A facelift cannot:
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
Smoking is another important factor, as well, so important there are many plastic surgeons who refuse to perform a facelift on heavy smokers.
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.
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.
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.
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