A well-executed facelift corrects skin laxity that results in a loose neck, sagging jowls, and the loss of youthful cheekbones. It leaves the face looking soft, refreshed, and natural. Evaluation of the aspects of facial aging involves an individualized strategy to correct the individual’s face by applying reliable and reproducible maneuvers. Changes in the underlying bone structure, the central fat compartments of the face, accumulated fat and the loss of muscle tone in the neck as well as the aging processes of the skin and underlying subcutaneous tissues are all considered. Assessment of the original underlying facial structures and knowledge of genetics and racial factors are also considered. Environmental damage can accelerate the aging process.
A well-done facelift is still the gold standard for the correction of advanced facial aging.
The facelift is one of the most misunderstood procedures in plastic surgery because when we see a poorly executed facelift, it draws our attention because it is too extreme and overdone; there is disharmony. It looks unnatural or, as I like to say, “supernatural” (not found in any human in this world). Likewise, this can be said of an under-corrected and under-executed, “mini” facelift that hasn’t utilized the necessary maneuvers to make key transformative changes that will in a natural, “refreshed” look. Lesser amounts of dissection under the skin, combined with excess pulling and the use of threads or other gimmicks, may look good for a few months or so, but they ignore the more important areas that require correction. Knowing where and how much undermining to do, how much fat to place and where to place it, and where to reposition the facial structures is an art.
The goal is to restore the facial shape to restore a refreshed and youthful look while still having people looking like themselves. The face elongates and deflates as the tissue structures weaken and atrophy, so lifting the tissues naturally over critical structures, such as the lower jaw and cheekbones, while tightening and contouring the neck provides a natural, unoperated, and beautiful result. Selective fat grafting to those areas that have lost facial fat restores volume and defines contours. Added micro-fat grafting improves skin quality, provides suppleness, and reduces the “hollowed out” and fatigued look.
Types of facelifts:
The Traditional facelift: Our most common procedure is used for full-face rejuvenation. Fat is selectively removed and placed; the neck muscles are tightened, and deep tissues in the mid-face are lifted and repositioned before the skin is redraped.
Limited incision facelift: Patients who require less correction, or who do not wish to undergo more extensive surgery, may choose this option. They are usually younger and require less correction. Incisions are shorter and less dramatic correction may suffice.
There can be other procedures done on the eyelids and eyebrows at the same time as a facelift:
Blepharoplasty: Also known as an eyelid lift, this procedure lifts and rejuvenates the eyelids for a more youthful appearance.
Brow Lift: Selective lifting and correction of the lateral brow or a full brow lift may be indicated. Corrections to weaken the frown muscles may be performed as well.
Selective fat grafting: Used for enhancement of the cheekbones and jawline, around the eyelids or temples or in the neck. Micro-fat can be placed in and around the eyelids, fat injections to the skin lines and nano-fat placement can be used to improve the quality of the skin, or a corrective laser may be used at the same time or in another procedure. This is done conservatively to provide correction but not over-enhancement.
There is usually not much pain after a facelift. You can expect variable amounts of swelling and bruising for a few weeks after your surgery. Small drains are placed that are usually removed after three to five days. We do not use large dressings or garments on the face, which is left exposed. The incisions are cleaned with cotton swabs to remove any dried up blood.
We highly recommend Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) for our patients, which reduces swelling, bruising, and discomfort. This is done by our aesthetician. We also recommend skincare products to maintain and improve the quality of your skin after your facelift.
Facelift incisions are hidden and made as small as possible. They typically heal well. We recommend a simple silicone scar gel to help the scars fade. Initial redness can be covered with makeup, and all scars will fade with time.
The cost of your facelift surgery will vary depending on the extent of correction needed and procedures performed. It includes the surgeon’s and facility fee and anesthesia costs. You will be provided a price quote at your consultation appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a good candidate for facelift surgery?
Candidates for facelift surgery can be as young as their 40s but are usually in their 50s or older. A facelift done on younger patients often gives outstanding results, but this does not mean that excellent results cannot be obtained in most patients. Patients wanting a facelift are dissatisfied with signs of facial aging, heavy jowls, and sagging cheeks, as well as a poorly defined neck and jawline. There is a loss of the facial structures, giving a fatigued look. Many patients say, “I feel great, and I am happy, but my friends and co-workers say I look angry or tired.” Patients should also be in good general health and have realistic expectations of their results.
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