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Face Lifting

Facial rejuvenation procedures are widely popular among today’s aging population. The purpose of the face lift is to reduce facial wrinkles and improve the overall appearance of the face and jaw area.
A face-lift will remove excess skin and tightens the soft tissues of your face, chin and neck. It can improve the jawline, sagging cheeks and loose neck skin.

A good candidate for a face-lift:
• Has sagging skin in the face and neck
• Has skin that still has some elasticity
• Is in good health
• Maintains s stable weight
• Has a strong bone structure
• Has realistic expectations

Face lift surgery pre-op preparation:

• Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications
• If you smoke, quit smoking for at least 2 weeks pre-op
• Arrange for someone to care for you the first 24-72 hours after surgery
• Fill prescriptions before surgery
• Prepare Icepacks to reduce post-op swelling
• Moisturizers, scar reducing/minimizing creams
• Follow your physician’s directions carefully regarding medications, eating and drinking

Face lift procedures techniques:

A face-lift will remove excess skin and tightens the soft tissues of your face, chin and neck. It can improve the jawline, sagging cheeks and loose neck skin.
A face-lift cannot improve your forehead, eyelids, eyebrows, wrinkles around the mouth or your skin texture. Some patients also undergo lift and eyelid surgery at the same time of the face lift to create a uniform appearance.
Depending on your face and problem areas, your surgeon may choose a two-layer face-lift, a skin-only face lift, a deep face lift, neck lift, laser or endoscopic lift.
In a two-layer face-lift (the most common procedure and generally the most effective), incisions are usually made in the contour of the ears, beginning in front of and extending around the earlobe and back into the hairline.
After the incisions are made, the skin is separated from the facial muscles and skin fat and the skin is pulled up and back to tighten the muscles of the face and neck. The surgeon may tighten the underlying tissue, the submuscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), that tightens the neck and lifts the cheeks. The skin is then pulled back and any excess trimmed off.
The incisions are then closed with stitches and metal staples may be placed in the scalp. If you have elected to smooth your chin and neck, there may also be a small incision hidden underneath your chin. A small drain tube may be placed under the skin to collect excess blood and prevent swelling. The incision is then sutured closed. The head is then bandaged to prevents fluid collection.

Recovery after face-lift surgery:

Pain level: Moderate discomfort. 1-3 days of pain medication
Swelling and bruising: 2 weeks or more
Numbness: Lasts several weeks
Bandages: Changed in 1-2 days (drains and sutures removed first 2-5 days)
Work: Return after 1-3 weeks
Exercise: Wait 2-3 weeks
Sun protection: Six months with SPF 15 or higher
Final result: Seen 1-4 months following most facelifts

To prevent complications it is important to:

• Keep your head elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling
• Apply ice packs to minimize swelling
• Do not take apirin or anti-inflammatory medications
• Do not smoke at all
• Avoid exposure to direct sunlight
Expect that your facelift will turn back the clock approximately 7-10 years.

Risks/Complications of face lifts:

• Abnormal facial contour
• Attached earlobe
• Bleeding
• Blistering of skin
• Facial weakness or paralysis
• Injury to facial nerves (temporary or permanent)
• Skin necrosis or skin death ( more likely with smokers)
• Visible scar.

 

FAQ:

Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

If your skin is starting to sag around your jowls and face, if you appear tired when you are not, or if you think you just don’t look as young as you feel, a facelift might be right for you.

At what age is facelift usually performed?

There really is no typical age for a facelift anymore. People in their 30s have facelifts, as do people in their 80s and every age in between.

How is a facelift performed?

A facelift operation is usually performed as a day surgery under general or light sleep anesthesia. It typically takes between two and four hours to perform, longer if you choose to have one or more additional procedures performed at the same time. The surgeon places the incisions as inconspicuously as possible above your hairline and in the natural fold in front of the ear where the scar will be hidden. The surgeon loosens the facial skin from the underlying fat and muscle, tightens the muscle and fascia underneath, and then redrapes the skin, trimming and suturing or stapling it into position.

What are the different facelift techniques?

There are several different categories of facelifts including the mid-facelift, mini-facelift, and temporal lift. Deep facelifts that involve adjusting the facial muscles known as SMAS (sub-muscular aponeurotic system) tighten the jowls, cheeks and face in general. The temporal lift can help get rid of wrinkles in the mid-face area.

What should I expect postoperatively?

Following your facelift, your face will be swollen, sore, tender and probably bruised for several days. It will be covered with a fluffy bandage that is usually replaced with an elastic wrap by day two. Swelling will be at its worst about three days after surgery and will begin to disappear within the first few weeks.

When will the sutures/surgical staples be taken out in face lift?

Stitches are usually removed around day five; surgical staples, which are used in the scalp, may be removed seven to 10 days after surgery. This is not usually a painful process .

Will there be scarring?

Scarring is a given with all surgery, so it’s more a question of visibility. Facelift scars are hidden in the hairline, in the folds behind the ears or under the jawline, so they are not very noticeable. If your surgeon uses a less invasive endoscopic technique for your facelift, the scars will be even more inconspicuous.

What kind of downtime can I expect with this procedure?

Depending on how extensive your facelift was and how active your job is, you can expect to return to work about a week to 10 days after your surgery, although you will likely need to conceal residual bruises with cosmetics. With your surgeon’s permission, you can resume most of your normal activities after about three weeks.

How long do the effects of a facelift last?

The benefits of a facelift last about 10 years, so depending on how old you are when you have a facelift, you may need another down the road.