Years of environmental damage and gravity can have an adverse effect on your face. Skin becomes lax, jowls form, and wrinkles can significantly age your appearance. These facial issues aren’t easily treated with non-surgical or at-home prevention. Facelift surgery erases years from your complexion to give you a fresher, younger look.
Facelift candidates are in good health and have begun to experience laxity in the lower face. While facial droop occurs in varying degrees, this surgery targets the cheeks, jawline, mouth, and neck. Your surgeon will determine if you are a qualifying facelift candidate during your consultation. If you present with upper facial laxity at this time, then your surgeon may recommend combining blepharoplasty(eyelid lift) or brow lift surgery with your facelift.
The length of your procedure will vary depending on the type of correction needed, but it can last for several hours. Most patients are placed under general anesthesia to ensure their safety and comfort. While facelift surgery is an outpatient procedure, you may elect to stay overnight at the Comfort Cottage, where nurses are available to help you through your initial recovery.
Incisions are placed along the ears and within the hairline. This approach provides access to the underlying structures of the face. Most patients require elevation of drooping facial muscles, which prevents the creation of a “windswept” look and prolongs the quality of your results. Fat is repositioned to restore volume in the cheeks, and excess skin is trimmed away. We carefully drape the remaining tissues so that they highlight the new contours of the face.
In addition to the lower face, the neck requires tightening for some patients. Laxity of the neck can obscure definition at the jawline and create the appearance of vertical banding. Tightening of the platysma muscle can help correct the impression of a turkey wattle. The process of restoring a firmer neck shape can also reduce the presence of a double chin.
You will experience some initial bruising and swelling that hide your results. You should rest with your head elevated for several days to reduce excess swelling. You will need to limit your physical activities for several weeks. Most people feel comfortable returning to work after two weeks and other, more strenuous activities after three to four weeks.
Risks and Results
Like all surgeries, a facelift does pose some minor and rare risks for patients. These can include bruising, swelling, numbness, and drying of the skin. More moderate risks may include infection, bleeding, scarring, and changes to the hairline. After your initial recovery, complication risks are very low. Most patients notice a dramatic improvement in the quality of their facial appearance that lasts for five to 10 years.