WHAT IS A FACELIFT?
If you are bothered by signs of aging in your face, facelift surgery may be right for you. Technically known as rhytidectomy, a facelift is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:
Sagging in the midface
Deep creases below the lower eyelids
Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
Fat that has fallen or is displaced
Loss of muscle tone in the lower face may create jowls
Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a double chin.
Rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.
A facelift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results but may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery.
Facelift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Facelift surgery is a good option for you if:
You are physically healthy
You have a positive outlook and specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance.
When your procedure is completed, a bandage could gently be placed around your face to minimize post-facelift swelling and bruising. A thin tube may be present to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
When will they be removed?
Are stitches removed?
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
When do I return for follow-up care?
FACELIFT SURGERY OVERVIEW
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during a facelift procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you. A variety of other procedures can further enhance the outcome of a facelift. They include:
Soft tissue augmentation to recontour the facial structure
Resurfacing techniques to improve the tone and texture of facial skin
Wrinkle reduction by injection
Step 2 – The incision
Depending on the degree of change you’d like to see, your rhytidectomy surgery choices include a traditional facelift, a limited incision facelift, or a neck lift. A traditional facelift incision often begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear, and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls, and neck. The underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an aging neck. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions. An alternative to a traditional facelift uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear and possibly within the lower eyelids or under the upper lip. Limited Incision Sagging jowls, loose neck skin, and fat accumulation under the chin may be corrected with a neck lift. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.
Step 4 – See the results
The visible improvements of a facelift appear as swelling and bruising subside. Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance but also help you feel more confident about yourself.