A facelift, properly called rhytidectomy by medical professionals, is used to return the facial skin, muscle, and underlying tissues to a more youthful contour for cosmetic reasons. A facelift will not stop the aging process, but it will deter and offset some of its effects. It’s a wonderful way to offer patients a solution to the effects of heredity, sun exposure, environmental issues, and a past history of smoking. A good facelift can take a decade off your face.
If you’re considering a facelift, it’s important to understand that the texture of your skin will not be modified by the facelift procedure. Skin conditions such as wrinkles, acne scars, age spots, or smoker’s creases around the lips will quickly return no matter how firmly the skin is pulled during the facelift. This being the case, we recommend laser skin resurfacing before or in conjunction with a facelift procedure to improve the texture of the skin and to minimize the recurrence of wrinkles, age spots, etc. Additional post-facelift procedures may be needed, such as chemical or laser resurfacing, along with botox and filler injections to help treat laugh lines, wrinkles, or furrows that are not relieved by the facelift procedure. Fat grafting is often combined with a facelift to help re-contour the face and to help rejuvenate the skin through a dispose of derived stem cells. This will be discussed in your consultation. Rest assured, we have done thousands of facelifts, and know how to create the most attractive result for your particular needs.
A face and/or neck lift is needed when injectable fillers no longer give the results that you seek. Generally, this is after the age of 40, but younger patients with a pronounced aging pattern may elect to have this procedure earlier in life. If you are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and have realistic expectations, you will be a good candidate. Depending upon your age and needs, either a midface or a full facelift will be recommended.
Facelift procedures are performed under IV sedation (twilight) or general anesthesia in our accredited in-office surgery suite on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, incisions are made in the temple area and around the back of the ears to facilitate lifting and reattaching the underlying tissues. The cheek pad will be lifted and the neck will be addressed to clean up the jowl area. Great care is taken to avoid visible scars, so the suturing is done around and behind the ears.
These incisions will heal to a faint line over a period of about six months. The length of the facelift procedure varies with the type of lift needed and whether other procedures are added, such as laser or chemical resurfacing, the injection of fat to plump up a thin face, or other procedures such as a brow lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), or rhinoplasty (nose reshaping).
For a full facelift procedure, recovery time ranges from about 7-14 days and slightly longer if additional procedures were done. You will experience some swelling and bruising which may extend into the eyes, causing you to look as though you have black eyes. A dressing is used for 1-2 days and a neck strap may be used afterwards as well. This can be relieved with pain medication and ice packs. Most patients are back to full activity within three weeks. You’ll come back into the office within the first few days for your first postoperative visit at which time any non-absorbable sutures will be removed as well as any drains or packing, depending on your rate of healing.