Your face is the first line of your identity, not only for others but for your self-esteem. The skin on the face can gradually deteriorate from many causes, including regular and long-term exposure to the sun, skin care products and makeup that contain toxins, air pollution, gravity, and age. Your skin may start to sag, creases, and wrinkles form and the tone becomes dull. There are a lot of products on the market today that claim to reduce wrinkles, refresh your skin and improve your appearance. They may help for a day, a week or a couple of months, but none of them can give you the beautiful fresh start of a facelift.
What Is a Facelift?
There is a common misconception that this surgery includes the whole face. The fact is, it addresses the issues on the lower two-thirds of the face including the cheeks, jawline, and some neck issues. Some common procedures that are often done along with a facelift are an eyelid lift to tighten the hanging skin around the eyes, a brow lift that raises the sagging eyebrows, and fat grafting to restore volume to your face using your fat.
The medical name for a facelift is rhytidectomy. It is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries along with breast augmentation and liposuction. The facelift of today is not the same as it was 30 years ago. In the past, it was pretty obvious that someone had had a facelift because their face looked stretched and, in some cases, even changed their appearance completely. With the introduction of new technology and techniques in the field of cosmetic surgery, the results are almost impossible to detect, except that you have a more youthful appearance.
When you have a consultation with our specialist, your individual needs will be addressed. You can point out the issues that bother you and learn about the possible procedures that will help you. Our cosmetic surgeons have years of experience. We will show you actual before and after photographs of patients who have had cosmetic surgeries in our offices. If you require additional procedures such as an eyelid lift to achieve the results you want, we can provide it. A facelift is a long-term solution to the ravages of time, climate, toxins, and age. If you care for your skin according to the instructions of your surgeon, the results should last 10 years or longer. Your face will eventually naturally age, but it will be postponed for at least a decade. We offer two main types of facelifts, a mini-facelift and a standard facelift. We may also recommend a custom facelift for you.
What Is a Mini-Facelift?
A mini-facelift is for people who have skin that is just beginning to sag and form jowls. The procedure is less invasive than a standard facelift and our surgeon will tighten deep facial tissue by using smaller incisions above the ear and along the hairline. The muscles are tightened removing jowls so you may have a rejuvenated, more youthful appearance. The results may last a long time and allow you to postpone the need for a standard facelift for many years. According to the chosen procedure, a mini-facelift can be performed with local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia.
What Is a Standard Facelift?
A standard facelift is usually recommended when there is advanced aging around the neck and mid-face. The surgery takes longer and the recovery time is also longer than for a mini-facelift, but the results are worth it. The incisions are located behind the hairline and in front of the ears, through which the surgeon tightens deep muscle tissue and removes sagging skin restoring the natural, youthful contour of the face and neck.
When the skin on the face starts to sag, several things happen that make you look sad, angry, or older than you are. This makes you look tired all the time even when you aren’t. The skin on your cheeks becomes thin and starts to hang around your nose and lips. All of this contributes to the sagging skin along your chin line creating jowls. Those dreaded jowls say age like nothing else. There is a simple and efficient answer to all of this that will make you look and feel rejuvenated.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Facelift?
There are two important things to consider before you decide to have a facelift. One is you should have realistic expectations about the results so that you will be satisfied with the outcome. The second important thing to consider is the reason you want a facelift. Obviously, you want to look younger, but doctors do not recommend undergoing surgery because someone else wants you to change your appearance and they are putting pressure on you to do so. This decision needs to be yours and yours alone.
Having said that, some factors that make you a good candidate for a facelift are:
- You are between 40-70 years old. This is just a recommended age span. You can talk to our certified cosmetic surgeon if you have concerns about your age.
- You are in good overall health. We will consider your medical history before recommending surgery.
- You still have some elasticity in your skin. As the skin ages, it loses keratin and collagen, the proteins that hold the skin together and make it bounce back.
- You have worked hard to lose a significant amount of weight, which has made the skin on your face sag and make you look older than you are.
- You have changed your lifestyle and recovered from substance abuse and would like to have a second chance at your appearance also.
Some of the most common reasons people choose to have a facelift are:
- They believe their appearance is harming their work environment. For example, an elementary school teacher felt she always looked angry because of the lines and wrinkles on her face. She saw that she often frightened children for no reason. After a facelift, she presented a pleasant face to the little ones and she saw a difference in their reactions to her.
- They spend too much time being self-conscious about the sagging skin on their neck and face. This affects their wardrobe because they end up buying turtleneck sweaters and wearing all kinds of scarves to cover up their neck. They never feel comfortable in a low-cut dress.
- When they look at themselves in the mirror, they wonder at the reflection. They feel happy, energetic and motivated in life, but the image looking back is anything but happy, energetic and motivated. They see an old, tired visage and decide to do something about it.
How to Prepare for a Facelift
During your first consultation with our cosmetic surgeon, you have the opportunity to discuss your surgical goals. You will be asked about any medical conditions you have, previous surgeries and drugs you are taking. For example, if you are taking an anticoagulant, diabetes medication, blood pressure or cholesterol medication as well as dietary supplements or herbal remedies, the surgeon needs to know in advance. It is important for the doctor to know about your normal alcohol use and if you smoke.
This may be a good time to quit smoking if you do because you will have to stop for up to six weeks before and after the surgery. A facelift is major surgery and smoking interferes with tissue healing. It could seriously derail the healing process and consequently the outcome you hope for.
The surgeon will examine and measure your face and take photographs from different angles. You will learn about your facelift options and be able to choose the best course of action for your desired results. Once your procedure or procedures are determined you will need to have some laboratory tests and a medical evaluation. If you are taking any regular prescription medication, it may be adjusted or discontinued for a few days or weeks. This will be done under a doctor’s guidance.
We may give you certain products to apply to your face before the procedure date. You will also be asked to stop any anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding and bruising.
What to Expect
Our surgeon will discuss with you the type of anesthesia you need according to the procedures you are having. It may be intravenous sedation with a local anesthetic or general anesthesia.
In a traditional facelift, the skin will be pulled away from the muscles and fat may be redistributed to give your face a more sculpted look. The deep layers of tissue and muscle are lifted and tightened and the skin is draped over the tightened muscles so it looks natural and not stretched. The excess skin is then removed.
What about Aftercare?
Since each person has individual needs, our surgeon will give you detailed instructions after your facelift surgery to help avoid any complications and allow the natural recovery process to go on. Have help at home for your first day after leaving the hospital. If you had a general anesthetic, you may feel groggy and will require someone to drive you home.
After two or three days, our surgeon will remove the bandages and check that the incisions are healing properly. Minor swelling and bruising around the incisions are normal and will fade in a few days. Fresh bandages will be applied. You may be asked to walk around a bit each day to help avoid blood clots from forming, but in general, you should rest for at least three days.
By the end of the first week, you may feel like doing simple things around the house and may no longer need to take over-the-counter painkillers. At the end of two weeks, you may feel almost normal and like going back to work. You can do light exercise but should still avoid vigorous exercise. If your sutures weren’t removed after week one, they will be removed after week three. It depends on the particular procedure you had and your individual healing process. We will keep in regular communication with you throughout your recovery.
When Will You See the Results You Have Been Hoping For?
Between 10-14 days, you will be comfortable to face the public with your new face, but it may take up to three months for your face to feel normal. There may be some tightness and numbness that are only to be expected and will disappear in time. We will recommend camouflage makeup suitable for your skin type to help you feel comfortable going back to daily activities.