A facelift is the most comprehensive approach to treating facial wrinkles and sagging caused by aging. The surgery varies in range from minimally invasive to more extensive, sophisticated surgery. A facelift removes excess skin, tightens underlying tissues and re-arranges the skin on the face and neck.
It can correct midface sagging, marionette lines, jowls and a double chin, maintaining its reputation as the procedure of choice for facial rejuvenation. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful facelift surgery and are very pleased with the results.
When to Consider a Facelift
- When you feel that your face does not reflect your youthful spirit and energy level.
- When you determine that your facial sagging and excess skin is a social or career obstacle.
- When one day you look in the mirror and realize that time, gravity, sun exposure and heredity have taken a toll and you simply do not like what you see.
Procedures Related to Facelift Surgery
Many people who consider a facelift surgery also consider a brow lift to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes, facial implants or laser skin resurfacing. A Facelift Surgery is a procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:
- Sagging in the middle of your face.
- Deep creases below the lower eyelids.
- Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth.
- Fat that has fallen or has disappeared.
- Loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls.
- Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can give even a person of normal weight the appearance of a double chin.
What a Facelift Surgery won’t do
As a restorative procedure, a Facelift Surgery does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process.
Non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results as Facelift Surgery even though may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of the surgery.
Considerations. Pros and Cons
- A facelift surgery can rejuvenate many areas of the face in one surgery.
- Can last for ten years or more and can make you appear ten to fifteen years younger.
- Can re-contour the neck and jaw lines better than any other technique.
- A facelift surgery will not create a “new personality” only a younger version of yourself.
- As with any other surgery there will be some downtime associated with this Facelift Surgery.
- Depending on your age and skin type, you may like to have a secondary procedure later on.
These are the top three pros and cons to consider when weighing a Facelift Surgery. If you want to focus only on what is unique to you, please consult with one of our Juventus Cosmetic Clinic surgeons.
What are my options?
There are several approaches to facelift surgery. Your cosmetic surgeon will recommend a procedure based on your desires and facial characteristics. The best treatment for you will be determined during your consultation with one of our Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons.
Facelift Surgery scars can be virtually invisible, narrow, flat, and well placed in areas that are hidden and in areas where the scars look like natural wrinkles. Incision healing depends on surgical technique, infection prevention, reduction of tension, your nutrition, any known or unknown underlying medical conditions, not smoking, and your genetic tendencies.
How do I prepare for a Facelift Surgery procedure?
Your surgeon will provide you with thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you may have, but first, will take your detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery. You may also be required to obtain medical clearance from your personal attending physician. Preparation for surgery begins after all the exams are completed and the details of the procedure are discussed and approved by you. If he recommends that you stabilize your weight before surgery or makes other lifestyle changes suggestions, do your best to follow them to ensure the best results and minimize any unforeseen complications.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
- Stop smoking six weeks before your Facelift Surgery to promote good wound healing and to reduce scarring. Smoking also increases your risk of serious complications.
- Avoid taking any blood thinning, aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Motrin, Aleve), vitamins and minerals supplements and some herbal medications that could be responsible for increased bleeding.
- Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, for a faster and safer recovery, hydration is very important factor before and after surgery.
Recovery time frame after a Facelift Surgery
Follow all postoperative instructions, including information about bandages, taking any medication (if prescribed), and the level of activity that is safe. Your cosmetic surgeon will let you know the signs of possible problem to watch for in order to take immediate remedial action. Recovery time will vary from patient to another depending the extent of the surgery.
The first Week after Surgery
- You may not drive for at least a week after surgery.
- You may feel a tightness in your neck. This sensation is most pronounced in the first one to two days after surgery while the dressing is in place.
- During your first postoperative visit, the dressing will be removed. You may be placed in a supportive elastic face garment that is to be worn according to your doctor’s instructions.
- Do not take any aspirin or any anti-inflammatory compounds for two weeks before and two weeks after your surgery unless you first discuss it with your surgeon.
- It is recommended that for two weeks you sleep with your head elevated forty degrees, if necessary, an additional pillow or two under your mattress may help.
- Apply cool (not cold) compresses to your eyes. Do not apply ice or anything frozen directly on the skin. Soak soft, white washcloths or gauze squares in ice water and wring out well. Apply directly to the eyes, but not to the cheeks or neck. Do not apply any pressure. Apply cool compresses for no longer than twenty-minute intervals. Do not apply heat.
- Stay up (sitting, standing, walking around) as much as possible after you return home. This helps to decrease facial swelling.
- Avoid bending or lifting heavy things for one week. Besides aggravating swelling, this may raise your blood pressure and encourage bleeding.
- You may wash your hair gently twenty-four hours after your surgery. Do not use the heat-type hair dryer; use the cap type or the cool setting on the blow dryer.
- You may shower or bathe the day after surgery, but do not let the spray directly strike your face. It is permissible to get your suture lines wet, however.
- Report to your cosmetic surgeon any bleeding that persists after applying pressure for fifteen to twenty minutes.
The Second Week after Surgery
- Don’t go swimming, diving, water skiing, or participate in strenuous athletic activity for at least one month after surgery.
- You can expect to experience some numbness around your ear lobes, face, and neck for several weeks after surgery.
- Refrain from any strenuous exercise and from bending or lifting.
- You may begin sleeping in a modified reclining position, but do not sleep lying flat or on your stomach. If you are a side sleeper, two pillows under your head and a soft pillow under your mid-back and shoulders may offer more comfort.
- Do not wear any kind of makeup until you have been told to do so.
- During the first four to six weeks your scars may appear red and be slightly firm and raised then the redness fades and the scar softens. It takes more time for the scar to achieve its final appearance.
- Avoid direct sun exposure. If you are outdoors, apply an SPF thirty or higher for at least thirty minutes before sun exposure. Your face will be highly susceptible to sunburn or the formation of irregular, darkened pigmentation.
You may ease into your regular fitness routine. However, wear protective eyewear and a hat. Discomfort of tightness and tingling in your face will resolve. Be prepared to wait at least six months for your facelift to completely heal inside and out. It is important to see your doctor as scheduled.