The appearance of our face and how it ages plays a large role in how we feel about ourselves and how others view us. As the skin loses its elasticity and firmness, sagging tissue and wrinkles can appear in the midface, jaw line, and neck. These can make a person appear tired or sad when inside they feel happy and enthusiastic. There are many different factors which contribute to the visible signs of aging, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress.
You may be a good candidate for a facelift and/or a mid facelift if any of these conditions are bothering you. The facelift corrects sagging facial skin and muscles and removes excess fat in order to restore a more youthful, firmer look and a more rested and vibrant appearance.
Is A Facelift Right For You?
You may be a good candidate for a facelift if you are an adult man or woman who is experiencing any of the following:
Feelings that the outward appearance of your face does not reflect your inner or physical youth or vitality.
A desire to fix the signs of aging appearing in your face and neck.
- The presence of a deep crease beneath the lower eyelid or a crease between the nose and mouth resulting from sagging of the mid face.
- The presence of jowls resulting from a loss of muscle tone in the lower face.
- The presence of a double chin or ‘turkey neck’ resulting from loose skin or excess fatty deposits beneath the chin.
In addition, patients should not smoke, they should be free of any medical conditions that may impair healing, and they should have realistic goals and a positive outlook.
It is essential that you fully disclose any current and past health conditions and a full history of your health to the surgeons at the Lasky Clinic. This includes any current medications that you are taking including vitamins, herbal supplements and nutritional supplements, any prior surgical procedures you have undergone, and whether or not you use alcohol, tobacco or recreational drugs. Any medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or circulatory disorders, must be disclosed as well.
How Do I Get Started?
The first step for any patient considering a facelift is a personal consultation with the surgeon. During the consultation, one of the surgeons at the Lasky Clinic will meet with you to discuss your goals and to assess your physical and emotional health.
During this time, the surgeon will discuss the difference facelift options and how your face, midface and/or chin area can be improved. The surgeon will discuss the likely outcomes of surgery and any potential risks or complications. Any questions or concerns that you may have will be addressed during this meeting.
A course of treatment will be recommended based upon your anatomy and your goals. Any factors that may affect the result will also be explained at this time. For instance, the facial appearance may change after surgery due to significant weight fluctuations.
General Information about Facelifts
Because a facelift is a very personal and individualized procedure, the doctors at the Lasky Clinic will take your skin, muscle, bone structure and other specific conditions into account when choosing the right technique or combination of procedures to help you best achieve your goals. Patients should be aware that the facelift cannot stop the aging process or alter your basic appearance. However, a more youthful version of yourself can be restored and you will continue to age naturally over time.
With a traditional facelift, the midface, jowls and neck are restored and excess skin is removed. A limited incision technique may be an alternative option for patients with minimal excess skin who need improvement only in the midface region.
The facelift may be combined with other procedures to further enhance the results. For instance, the facial structure may be recontoured with facial implants or soft tissue augmentation or skin tone and texture may be improved with facial resurfacing. Injectable fillers like Botox may recommended before or after your procedure as well.
The incisions for the facelift typically begin at the temples within the hairline, continuing around the ear, and then ending in the lower scalp. Once the incisions are made, the surgeon may sculpt or redistribute fat from the face, jowls and neck and reposition underlying tissue. The skin is then redraped over the new contours and the excess is removed. To improve an aging neck, a second incision may be made beneath the chin. Incisions are closed with sutures or skin adhesives.
There is a less invasive alternative to the traditional facelift in which shorter incisions can be made at the temples, within the lower eyelids or under the upper eyelid. An endoscope, or surgical telescope, is inserted through these incisions to aid the surgeon in repositioning the tissues and elevating the muscles of the mid face. The procedure may be combined with skin resurfacing techniques to further improve the tone and texture of the skin.
The incisions resulting from a facelift tend to well-concealed behind the hairline and within the natural contours of the face and ears. As the swelling and bruising subside, patients will begin to notice visible improvement. Patients can expect a younger, more rested appearance and increased self confidence.
As with any surgery, there are potential risks associated with the facelift and these may include hematoma, hair loss along the incisions, asymmetry, facial nerve injury with associated weakness, skin loss, scarring, numbness, and adverse anesthesia reactions. All potential risks and complications will be discussed in detail prior to your surgery.
Patients can experience swelling during the initial healing phase, as well as potential numbness and discomfort. Medication can be prescribed to help control any discomfort. The skin will appear bruised and discolored, and facial movements may be temporarily restricted. A soft cotton compression dressing will be applied after surgery and this will be removed within three to four days. Once the dressing is removed, patients are able to wash their hair.
You will be advised to keep your head elevated until the initial swelling has faded. Specific postoperative instructions will be provided, including guidelines for cleansing the face and hair, and these must be carefully followed in order to ensure a successful outcome. Most patients are able to return to light, normal activity within a few days after the procedure.
Incisions from the facelift are usually well healed within about a week. Work and light activities can usually be resumed within two to four weeks, and cosmetics may be used to help disguise any remaining bruising.
It will take several more weeks for the swelling to fade and the incision lines to heal. Until the healing process is complete, patients will need to use sun protection.
Results and Outlook
The swelling may take several months to fully fade and the incision lines up to six months to mature. Patient can help to maintain their rejuvenated, more youthful appearance by committing to the use of sun protection and following a healthy lifestyle. The majority of patients enjoy long-lasting benefits from the facelift even as they continue to age.
What is a facelift?
A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure which treats loose skin of the face and neck, restoring a smoother, more youthful appearance. During the procedure, the underlying tissues and muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed.
What are some of the benefits of a facelift?
The facelift can make a person appear younger and fresher by minimizing the visible signs of aging. As with many other cosmetic procedures, patients often benefit from increased self confidence as well.
What are the risks associated with facelift surgery?
As with all types of surgery, there is some degree of risk. While significant complications from facelift surgery are rare, some of the potential risks include adverse anesthesia reactions, bleeding, infection and nerve damage. Poor healing is also a potential risk for smokers.
More facelift frequently asked questions