Facelift (or “Rhytidectomy”) is a surgical procedure meant to counteract or lessen the effects of time and gravity on the face. With this procedure, excess facial and neck skin are removed, and the tissues under the skin are tightened.
The laws of physics and nature dictate that with age, our skin loses its elasticity. As a result, we often see a sagging of the jaw and neck line accompanied by loose folds of skin in the neck and around the mouth.
This procedure is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. Activites such as smoking, sunbathing, outdoor activities, and stress can alter the appearance of our faces. A facelift can reduce these signs of aging, resulting in a firmer, fresher appearance. There is really no nonsurgical alternative that can match the results of a properly performed facelift.
At your initial consultation, Dr Heffelfinger or Dr Krein will interview you to get a thorough understanding of your medical history. Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery.
He will then talk to you about your goals and the changes you seek with the facelift procedure. Some patients are better candidates for this surgery and will realize better results. Your doctor will discuss all these variables so you understand what your outcome might be.
In addition to discussing this surgery, your doctor may point out other options that might benefit you. He will show you before and after pictures of patients that have had this type of surgery, so that you may better understand the results you can expect.
The doctors at Jefferson Facial Plastics, with their excellent training and extensive experience with hundreds of these operations, will answer all your questions.
At the end of the consultation with the doctors at Jefferson Facial Plastics, you will fully understand the surgical procedure, the surgical facility, anesthesia options, and the cosmetic benefits you might expect.
Facelift surgery is often carried out in your doctor’s office, but some patients may require a hospital admission. Your doctor will advise you of the best options.
The surgery itself consists of an incision near the temple in the hairline then tracing a line in front of the ear, circling the ear lobe and behind the ear, ending again in the hairline . If the neck will be lifted as well, a small incision will also be made under the chin.
Your doctor will then tighten muscles and sagging tissue, remove excess skin and reposition the remaining skin to create a more well defined and youthful look.
The incision will be closed meticulously with sutures. Staples are generally used in the hairline, as they are less likely to cause necrosis of hair follicles.
Because no two patients are alike, each surgery will likewise be personalized to the facial and neck structure of each patient.
A face lift may be performed alone, or in conjunction with a forehead lift and/or eye lift (blepharoplasty), or nose surgery (rhinoplasty). Your surgeon may also recommend injections of Restylane ® or Botox ® to help alleviate deep creases in your forehead or frown lines between your eyebrows. To improve the texture of your facial skin, laser resurfacing or chemical peeling may be used.
The surgery will generally average about three hours but will vary depending on the specifics of each surgery and patient.
Although recovery will vary between patients, generally patients feel and look good rather quickly after a facelift and experience little pain.
As with most surgery, you will likely experience some bruising and swelling, and possibly a sense of numbness or tightness for the first few days. This is normal and passes quickly. Bruising will be gone in 10-14 days; many patients return to work within a week.
It is important to follow the doctor’s recommendations and avoid strain around the surgical area to avoid tension on the wound. You will have scheduled follow-ups so your doctor can monitor and assess your recovery.
In summary, facelift surgery can give you a more youthful and refreshed look. Your doctor’s aim is to make you look better without making you look radically different.