Surgery to repair sagging, drooping, and wrinkled skin of the face and neck, to improve visible signs of aging, poor diet, or heredity; it is performed by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping facial and neck skin. A facelift restores smoother, more pleasing contours to your face and neck. It can help you look as good as you feel, and perhaps feel younger than you are.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
1. Am I a good candidate for facelift?
2. How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me?
4. Where are the incisions placed?
How should I prepare for surgery?
How should I prepare for surgery?
7. What will the day of surgery be like?
8. How will I look and feel initially?
9. When can I resume my normal activities?
How long will the results last?
I a good candidate for a facelift?
or more of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate
for a facelift:
deep line, or fold, running from the corner of your nose to the corner
of your mouth.
or loss of a well-defined jawline associated with youthfulness.
wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging of the "highlight" areas of
skin, wrinkles, vertical "cords" or excess fatty tissue in the
A facelift can improve all of these problems. It cannot, however, correct conditions such as sagging eyebrows, excess skin and fatty deposits in the upper and lower eyelids, or wrinkles around the mouth. Your plastic surgeon can provide further information if you have an interest in other procedures to treat these areas.
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the initial consultation, you may be asked to look in a mirror and point out
those areas of your face which you would like to see improved. You should be
very frank in discussing what you hope to achieve with surgery. This will help
your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they can
realistically be achieved.
will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for facelift surgery?
evaluating you for facelift surgery, your plastic surgeon will assess the
thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin, and the severity of wrinkles and
folds. Your hairline will be examined to determine where incisions can be
discreetly placed. All of these factors, as well as your bone structure and
underlying tissues, will be considered in developing an individual surgical
plastic surgeon may discuss with you additional procedures that can be performed
along with a facelift in order to address all the concerns you have identified.
For example, a facelift is frequently combined with a forehead lift, eyelid
surgery, nose reshaping or skin treatments such as a chemical peel, dermabrasion
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a Facelift is Performed?
of individual factors, not everyone will achieve the same results from a
facelift. Your plastic surgeon will select the surgical technique that he or she
feels will obtain the best outcome for you.
are the facelift incisions placed?
there are many variations to the facelift procedure, generally an incision is
hidden in the natural contour of your ear, then extends around the earlobe and
back into the hairline. Following surgery, incisions can be easily concealed by
your hair or with makeup. There may also be a small incision hidden underneath
is my plastic surgeon able to restore a firmer, fresher look to my face?
the discreet facelift incisions, your plastic surgeon is able to free the skin
from the underlying tissues to the extent necessary for the particular surgical
technique selected. After the skin has been pulled up and back, the excess is
removed. In some instances, the deeper tissues may also need to be repositioned
in order to restore a more youthful contour to your face. If necessary, a small
incision beneath the chin permits the removal of fatty tissue in that area and
smoothing of the cord-like structures of the underlying muscle in the
significant complications from facelifts are infrequent. Every year, many
thousands of people undergo successful facelift surgery, experience no major
problems and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however,
should be aware of both the benefits and risks.
understand that every surgical procedure has risks, but how will I learn more so
that I can make an informed decision?
subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a
personal basis between you and your surgeon, or with a staff member in your
of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include hematoma
(an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection
and reactions to anesthesia. While plastic surgeons are trained in techniques
for safely manipulating facial skin and tissue, injury to underlying structures
is possible, though it is usually only temporary. Facelift incisions are most
often inconspicuous, but this is not entirely predicable due to individual
variations in healing.
can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your
plastic surgeon, both before and after
goal of your plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical
experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible.
should I prepare for surgery?
you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery.
Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you
should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. your
surgeon will advise you and provide additional preoperative instructions. If
your hair if very short, you may want to let it grow enough to cover your
incisions while they heal. If you are overweight you have a realistic desire to
lose more that 15 pounds, you should discuss this with your surgeon.
your facelift will be performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for
someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night
will the day of surgery be like?
facelift may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or
office-based surgical suite.
are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. You and your
plastic surgeon will have decided in advance what type of anesthesia is to be
used, either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. For your safety during
the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure,
pulse and the amount of oxygen circulation in your blood.
surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will
continue to be closely monitored. A bandage may have been wrapped around your
face to be closely monitored. A bandage may have minimize swelling. Sometimes
small tubes will have been inserted beneath the skin to drain away fluids that
might otherwise accumulate, but you will not feel these at all. It fact, there
is surprisingly little discomfort from the surgery.
You probably will be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients may stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility.
will I look and feel initially?
is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies
greatly among individuals.
surgery, you will be asked to restrict your activities and simply relax for a
few days. Elevating your head when you sleep will help to minimize swelling and
bruising. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory
medications, and you should not smoke or be exposed to heavy secondary smoke for
bandages and drain tubes will usually be removed in one or two days. At that
time, you will notice puffiness and discoloration which may be more pronounced
in some portions of your face than others. Do not be alarmed by any unevenness
or temporary asymmetry caused by this variance in swelling and bruising, which
is perfectly normal. Generally, the greatest amount of swelling occurs 24 to 48
hours after surgery, but it may take several weeks before all puffiness is
resolved. Most bruising will disappear within two weeks. After a few days, you
will be permitted to wear makeup which will help conceal and discoloration. You
will also experience some numbness in the facial area, which may be present for
several weeks or longer. Your stitches will be removed from four to seven days
can I resume my normal activities?
bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In
many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within
two weeks and begin to exercise three to four weeks after surgery. You will be
instructed to temporarily avoid exposure to direct sunlight and, for the
long-term, to be conscientious about the use of a sunblock to protect your
of Your Facelift
results of your facelift may be dramatic or subtle, depending on how you look
before surgery as well as the specific goals that you and your plastic surgeon
have established. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to
wait at least several weeks for an accurate picture of your "new
look." Additional minor changes, or settling, may occur over several
long will the results last?
long the results of your facelift will last depends of many variables including
your heredity and lifestyle factors. Even though the aging process continues,
patients are usually happy with their appearance for many years following a
facelift. Some patients find that they want to make additional improvements at a
a Relationship with Your Plastic Surgeon
will return to your plastic surgeon's office for follow-up care at prescribed
intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated. Once the immediate
postoperative follow-up is complete, many surgeons encourage their patients to
come back for periodic checkups to observe and discuss the long-term results of
remember that the relationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you
leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your
recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact
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