A facelift can turn back the clock on your appearance by as much as ten or 15 years. Over time our skin loses its elasticity and the effects of sun exposure, gravity, and stress on the face show up in the form of wrinkles, sagging, deep folds, and fat deposits. Our doctor offers traditional facelifts and is an expert in the endoscopic facelift.
The traditional facelift addresses the lower two-thirds of your face and neck, removing excess skin and fat and tightening the muscles. The result is a smoother, firmer, more youthful appearance. A traditional facelift can correct:
- Loose skin
- Fat deposits
- Creases below the lower eyelids
- Mid-face sagging
- Creases around the mouth
- Double chin
The endoscopic facelift is minimally invasive and virtually scar less. This method uses tiny incisions and a miniature camera in lifting the cheeks and upper face. The endoscopic facelift can correct:
- Sagging brow
- Frown lines
- Sagging mid-face
- Sagging cheeks
- Cheek folds
- Lines around the mouth
In most cases, our doctor does not recommend the mini-lift, also known as the lunch-time lift. It is a quick procedure, but the results are not long-lasting. He will sometimes make exceptions for patients who understand the limitations of the mini-lift but want a fresher look for a special occasion, such as a wedding. However, he warns that patients should beware of surgeons who advertise the lunch-time lift as having comparable results to more extensive facelift techniques.
What you can expect
A face-lift can be done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility.
Before the procedure
Sometimes the procedure is done with sedation and local anesthesia, which numbs only part of your body. In other cases, general anesthesia — which renders you unconscious — is recommended.
During the procedure
In general, a face-lift involves elevating the skin and tightening the underlying tissues and muscles. Fat in the face and neck may be sculpted, removed or redistributed. Facial skin is then re-draped over the newly repositioned contours of the face, excess skin is removed, and the wound is stitched or taped closed.
The incisions for the procedure depend on the techniques that will be used and the patient’s preferences. Options include:
- A traditional face-lift incision starts at your temples in the hairline, continues down and around the front of your ears and ends behind your ears in your lower scalp. An incision might be made under your chin to improve the appearance of your neck.
- A limited incision is a shorter incision that begins in your hairline just above your ear, wraps around the front of your ear, but does not extend all the way into the lower scalp.
- Neck lift incision starts in front of your earlobe and continues around your ear into your lower scalp. A small incision also is made under your chin.
A face-lift generally takes two to four hours but might take longer if other cosmetic procedures are done at the same time.
After the procedure
After a face-lift, you may experience:
- Mild to moderate pain
- Drainage from the incisions
Contact your doctor immediately if you have:
- Severe pain on one side of your face or neck within 24 hours of surgery
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeats
Your incisions will likely be covered with bandages that provide gentle pressure to minimize swelling and bruising. A small tube might be placed under the skin behind one or both of your ears to drain any excess blood or fluid.
In the first few days after surgery:
- Rest with your head elevated
- Take pain medication as recommended by your doctor
- Apply cool packs to the face to ease pain and reduce swelling
CHOOSING YOUR PROCEDURE
Both the traditional and endoscopic lifts can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures, such as the brow lift or eyelid surgery.
During your initial consultation, EstePlastHair’s doctor will evaluate the condition of your skin and your overall health. After listening to your goals and concerns, they will recommend the combination of procedures that will best achieve the results you desire.
Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
The best facelift candidates have realistic expectations and are willing and able to follow the pre- and post-operative instructions provided by their plastic surgeons. After a one-on-one consultation, the doctor can advise a patient as to whether he or she is a good candidate for a facelift, or whether an alternate procedure might be preferable.
Ideal candidates for facelift surgery share certain important traits. The following is a list of factors that can affect whether or not an individual is a good candidate for facelift surgery:
- Skin elasticity : A good facelift candidate will have skin that retains some of its natural suppleness and flexibility. This is important because, during the procedure, the surgeon tightens the facial skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Successful healing with optimal results depends on having skin that is able to conform to its new, improved contours.
- Strong bone structure : Ideally, a facelift candidate will have a well-defined underlying bone structure to provide support and contribute to satisfying results. Patients with less distinct features may benefit from facial implants as an alternative or addition to a facelift.
- Realistic expectations : A candidate should understand not only what facelifts can accomplish, but also the limitations of facial plastic surgery procedures. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon can help a patient obtain the information needed to make the right decision about surgery.
- Good overall health : A good facelift candidate will be generally healthy and will inform his or her surgeon of any preexisting medical conditions well in advance. A facelift is an invasive procedure that requires significant healing and recovery, so it is essential that the patient be physically prepared for surgery.
- Loose skin on the face or neck : Facelift candidates typically want to remove excess skin from the face or neck, tightening skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles simultaneously. The surgeon trims the loose skin during the procedure.
Recovery from a facelift occurs in stages, and everyone experiences it at a different rate. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will be closely monitored. In most cases, you will be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients stay overnight for one or two days. If you experience any discomfort after surgery, your surgeon can prescribe pain medications to keep you comfortable during the first few days of recovery.
Bruising and swelling is unavoidable and must be anticipated. Sometimes a bandage is wrapped around a patient’s face to minimize swelling, and small drainage tubes are placed beneath the skin to avoid the accumulation of fluids. Try to keep your head elevated during the first few days following surgery to minimize swelling. Most of the bruising will reach its peak within the first week and then begin to subside.
Also within the first week, your bandages and stitches will be removed or will dissolve. You will be able to shower, resume light activity and begin to wear makeup to conceal any discoloration. After several weeks, swelling, puffiness and numbness in your face will begin to subside, although some numbness may continue for several months.