As we age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun and the stresses of daily life can be seen in our faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jaw line grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.
A Facelift (technically known as Rhytidectomy) can improve the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck. A Facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a Forehead Lift, Eyelid Surgery , or Nose Reshaping.
The best candidate for a Facelift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but Facelifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well. A Facelift can make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process.
Facelifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation the surgeon will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and discuss your goals for the surgery.
A Facelift may be performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. It’s usually done on an outpatient basis; most Facelifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and your face will be insensitive to pain. A Facelift usually takes several hours-or somewhat longer if you’re having more than one procedure done.
Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear), and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin. In general, the surgeon separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The surgeon then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions; metal clips may be used on the scalp. Following surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any fluid that might collect there. The surgeon may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling.
Your surgeon will give you guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.
Having a Facelift doesn’t stop the clock…your face will continue to age with time, and you may want to repeat the procedure one or more times-perhaps five or ten years down the road. But in another sense, the effects of even one Facelift are lasting; years later, you’ll continue to look better than if you’d never had a Facelift at all.
If you are considering a Facelift surgery, let one of the experienced plastic surgeons at the Lombardi Plastic Surgery Center review the procedure with you and help you make an informed decision.
If you have questions, we are happy to help. Call us at 732-460-9555.