What is a FaceLift?
The facelift procedure is performed to address loose, sagging skin of the neck, cheeks and jowls. Typically patients who are over 50 would be candidates for this procedure. Frequently this procedure can take off 15 to 20 years from a person’s apparent age. This is an outpatient procedure, and does not require a general anesthetic. Recovery is rapid and usually patients are presentable in ten days or so. Typically there is very little pain after the surgery.
Over time, gravity and sun exposure take their toll on the face and neck. Deep creases that run from each side of the nose to the corners of the mouth appear, the jawline slackens, and the neck develops loose skin and fat deposits. Rhytidectomy (facelift) counteracts these signs of aging by tightening the skin of the face and neck, tightening the neck muscles, and removing fat from the jowl area and neck.
What Can a Facelift Improve?
Rhytidectomy improves the look of the lower and middle areas of the face, as well as the neck. It is most effective for correcting the following:
- Mid-face sagging
- Deep Nasolabial folds
- Sagging skin around the corners of the mouth
- Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw line
Although a facelift removes or reduces signs of aging, over time, some of these signs can gradually reappear. A facelift does not improve the look of the brow, eyelids or nose. A patient who wants to improve other areas might combine facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery.
Ideal Candidates for Facelift Surgery
The best candidates for a facelift want to correct one or more of the signs of aging indicated above; have some facial sagging, but still have elasticity in their skin; are generally healthy; do not smoke; and have realistic expectations about what a rhytidectomy can accomplish.
What Is The Facelift Procedure?
A facelift is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. Patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 2 -4 hours. During a facelift, incisions are made in the scalp in the temple region and extend down in front of the ear and then around the back of the ear into the hairline. Most plastic surgeons have been trained in more than one facelift technique, and they can determine which technique will work best for each specific patient. With all facelifts the skin of the face and neck is dissected into the cheeks and neck to allow it to be mobilized upward to produce a tightening and smoothing result. The surgeon may also tighten the underlying tissue layers. Years of highly specialized training are necessary to learn how to safely perform this procedure.
Can a Partial Facelift Address Lower Face and Neck Wrinkles?
This can only be determined after you are evaluated by a plastic surgeon. It is important to understand that to obtain the results that you want, the appropriate procedure should be performed.
How Long Do Results of a Facelift Last?
Results are long lasting, but the face will continue to age. In some sense, however, effects are permanent in that as time passes the face continues to look better than if rhytidectomy had never been performed.
Recovery After Facelift Surgery
After facelift, Dr. Fleming wraps the incisions in bandages, and may place drainage tubes. The tubes are taken out the next day, and then the hair can be gently washed. Swelling, numbness, bruising and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck may be felt. Most of these side effects resolve within 3 to 6 weeks, and sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy and itchy over time.
What Are The Risks Of A Facelift?
All patients will have some swelling and transient numbness after this surgery. Bleeding, nerve injuries and infection are possible but quite rare.