What You Should Know Before Facelift Surgery
The rigors of life — from aging to sun exposure to weight changes — are eventually visible on our face, in the form of sagging skin that makes us look old, tired and sometimes even angry. The loss of skin elasticity and volume causes our facial structure to fall, creating drooping skin, jowls and wrinkles on the face and sometimes neck. Facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, trims excess skin and lifts the remaining skin of the face, smoothing out wrinkles for a more youthful and pleasant-looking facial appearance.
If you’re considering facelift surgery, you want a surgeon you can trust to make you look as beautiful — yet also as natural — as possible. It makes sense to select a surgeon who not only is certified and trained to perform facelift surgery, but also has a stellar reputation for providing consistently beautiful results. The plastic surgeons listed in the Leading Medical Clinics directory are there because they have met all of these requirements (and more), making them the best doctors in their field.
Read on for more about facelift surgery, including the types of procedures available for the enhancement of the upper face, mid-face and neck.
Is a Facelift Right for You?
You might be a good candidate for facelift surgery if you have:
- Sagging skin on your face and/or neck
- The beginnings of, or pronounced, jowls that sag on your mid-face
- Creases that run from your nose to the corners of your mouth
- Lines that extend from the corners of your mouth down to your chin
- Hollowed-looking cheekbones due to loss of fat volume in the face
- Creases or bands on your neck
Common Types of Facelifts
Deep Plane Facelift
A deep plane facelift involves the lifting and repositioning of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (or SMAS), which includes not only the topmost layers of skin but also the deeper face and neck tissue. As the most invasive facelift procedure, the deep plane facelift also provides the most dramatic results. Using this technique, the surgeon will make an incision at the temple, just above the hairline. This incision will continue down the front of the ear, below the earlobe and behind the ear, from which point all underlying tissue is lifted to a higher position. Excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is then redraped and sutured into place.
A full facelift addresses significant signs of aging of the entire face, fixing problems that include creases around the eyes, sagging jowls, lines around the mouth and more. The incisions made for a traditional facelift include a long incision from the temple and around the front of the ear and down the neck. Excess fat and skin are removed and the remaining skin is trimmed and sutured in a higher position. This facelift procedure is often used for patients who are in their 50s or older.
A mini facelift is a minimally invasive procedure, when compared with other facelift techniques. This procedure is effective for addressing the lower portion of the face, jaw and neck. To lift sagging skin in this area, incisions are made along the hairline and behind the ear, through which the surgeon will remove excess skin and fat, and suture the remaining skin in place for a smoother contour around the jaw and neck area. This procedure is popular among younger patients who are just beginning to notice signs of aging and loss of skin elasticity on their face. The mini facelift requires smaller incisions than other facelift procedures, and requires a shorter recovery time as a result.
More about the Facelift Procedure
Facelift surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure that takes three to four hours to finish. Facelift surgery can be performed on its own or as part of a facial rejuvenation process that may include eyelid surgery, brow lift surgery, facial (dermal) implants, skin treatments and other cosmetic procedures. Once the sagging skin is excised and the facial tissue (for the deep plane procedure) and/or muscles are repositioned, the remaining skin is redraped so that it is smooth and lies taut (but not tight) over the underlying facial structure. Sutures are then used to close the incisions.
What to Expect from Facelift Recovery
After your facelift, your surgeon will place surgical dressings around your face and neck area to help alleviate swelling and to protect the incisions. You may also have drainage tubes for the drainage of excess fluids. Bandages and drainage tubes are typically only needed for the first two or three days, during which time you should sleep with your head and upper body elevated to help the swelling go down. Prescription pain medication can be used to manage discomfort. Swelling and bruising in the area may take up to two weeks to fully resolve. Most facelift patients are able to return to work after one week, and can return to exercising after two weeks. However, as these are general guidelines, talk to your surgeon for more specific post-operative instructions.
The final results of surgery are usually seen within one to three months of surgery. Depending on the type of facelift procedure performed, your genes, your skin quality and other factors, these results typically last anywhere from five to 10 years.
What to Look for in a Plastic Surgeon
Are you ready to see a younger version of you through facelift surgery? Why wait —especially since we’ve taken all the guesswork out of picking a surgeon who is not only certified, but celebrated by peers and patients alike, when it comes to performing this and other plastic surgery procedures? The surgeons that have been selected to appear in our Leading Medical Clinics of the World® directory are all:
- Well-respected by peers
- Positively reviewed by patients
- Ranked as a top medical practitioner in their field
- In good standing with their medical board(s)
- Operating from a clinic that upholds the highest level of healthcare standards
- Would I be a good candidate for facelift?
- Which type of facelift would address my concerns?
- How many facelift procedures have you performed?
- Is facelift surgery painful?
- What are the risks and/or side effects associated with facelift surgery?
- How common are the risks/side effects?
- How much time will I have to take off of work for recovery?
- Will I need drainage tubes?
- What types of limitations (driving, exercising, etc.) will I have after surgery?
- Can you provide me with any more information (whether print or digital) to help me better understand the procedure?
- How long can I expect my results to last? Will I need another facelift?
- Will I have scars from surgery?
- Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?
- How much do you charge for facelift surgery?
- What financing options are available to me as your patient?
Click the icon to print out this list and bring it with you to your consultation.