In time, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life take their toll on our faces and necks. Deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens and becomes jowly, and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. Facelifts counteract these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. After surgery, often patients say they look 10-15 years younger. Facelifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (literally, “removal of wrinkles”), rejuvenate the mid- to lower face and neck.
Facelifts can produce a dramatic improvement in appearance. However, facelifts do not stop the aging process; in time, signs of aging will gradually appear once again.
Further, facelifts alone will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose, and some of the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and laser.
Injectable soft-tissue fillers, Botox and skin resurfacing can also enhance the effects of a facelift.
During your consultation, your doctor will discuss whether a facelift is right for you.
FACELIFT PROCEDURE – TECHNIQUES
Facelifts are outpatient procedures and are usually performed in our fully accredited office-based facility. Your anesthesia will be administered by a board-certified physician anesthesiologist. Patients have a choice of local anesthesia, where you are awake, IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about one to two hours. If the patient prefers, the surgery may be performed as an out-patient hospital procedure.
The way a facelift is performed varies depending on the surgeon, the patient’s facial structure, and the extent of correction desired. The three most common incision techniques are:
- Traditional face and neck lift: The “full” facelift for rejuvenating the face, jowls, and neck, including fat sculpting, lifting and repositioning of deeper tissues, removing excess skin, and redraping. The incision begins at the temples and travels down to the front of the ear, around the earlobe, and behind the ear to the lower scalp at the hairline.
- Mini-face and neck lift: For patients who desire a less dramatic change, a mini-facelift with smaller incisions and a shorter scar can be performed.
- Limited “lunchtime” facelift: A much smaller incision and, therefore, a much shorter scar. The results are less significant and may not last as long.
In all three methods, scars are hidden in the hairline and natural contours of the face.
RECOVERY FROM A FACELIFT
You may gently wash your hair the following day.
Most patients return to work in one week. Our aesthetician, Anne-Marie, can show you how to use camouflage cosmetics to conceal the appearance of bruising.
RESULTS OF A FACELIFT
The results of a facelift are permanent. However, nothing can stop the natural aging process. A facelift sets back the clock; it doesn’t stop it. Years later, your face will continue to look better than if you never had a facelift. Proper skin care and other non-invasive treatments available at our facility will also enhance and prolong your results.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A FACELIFT
As with any surgery, there are possible complications. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you on an individual basis.
An S Lift, also known as a weekend or mini-facelift, is an alternative to the traditional facelift procedure and offers a more youthful and refreshed appearance through a less invasive, safer procedure. The procedure is named for the S-shaped incision that is made in front of the ear, which is typically hidden by the hairline and natural creases of the face and ears.
The S Lift procedure offers patients a smoother, refreshed, and more youthful appearance as it lifts the skin of the cheeks, neck and jowls, and removes excess fat from the area. A facelift treats the lower two-thirds of the face, restoring a youthful appearance to the areas that are most often affected by the effects of aging.
This procedure is often performed in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures in order to achieve optimal results. Many patients combine an S Lift with a skin resurfacing procedure. These procedures improve the overall look and texture of the skin and can enhance the refreshed, smoother results of a facelift as well. Since a facelift only treats the lower two-thirds of the face, many patients combine this procedure with an eye or brow lift. A refreshed lower face can often emphasize an aged forehead or tired-looking eyelids, so you may want to discuss your procedure with the doctor in order to ensure the best possible results for you.