First impressions are always important, and how you express yourself shows through your most visible feature – your face. As you age, the effects of gravity and the stresses of daily life cause wrinkles and can create a tired or even angry appearance. With a facelift, our goal is to let people see you the way you truly see yourself. You will still look like you, but with a more youthful appearance that radiates the beauty from within.
What is a facelift?
A facelift, technically known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck:
- Sagging in the midface can create a deep crease below the lower eyelid (called a tear trough) and between the nose and mouth (nasolabial fold) that may make you appear tired and sad
- Fat that has fallen or is displaced, along with loss of muscle tone in the lower face, may create jowls (a jaw line that sags into the neck)
- Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a “double chin”
A facelift is designed to correct all of these aging features, restoring a more youthful, rested appearance with uplifted contours and improved tone in facial skin and underlying muscle.
As a restorative surgery, a facelift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process. However, your aging will progress from a more youthful version of yourself that has been restored by a facelift. Rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.
A facelift is a highly individualized procedure. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin, muscle and bone structure and the specific conditions that contribute to your aging appearance, which are the most significant considerations in determining the appropriate technique to achieve your realistic goals.
A traditional facelift restores the midface, jowls and neck, allowing excess skin to be removed. However, if the midface region is the only area needed for improvement and excess skin is not a concern, limited-incision techniques may serve as alternative to a traditional facelift.
Procedures that may further enhance the outcome of a facelift may include facial implants or soft tissue augmentation to re-contour the facial structure, and resurfacing techniques to improve the tone and texture of facial skin.
A facelift usually takes several hours, somewhat longer if having more than one procedure is performed. For extensive procedures, some surgeons may schedule two separate sessions.
Recovery is an important consideration when you are making the decision to have a facelift. Whether you are on-the-go or retired, the amount of time it takes to recover can be a crucial part of deciding if this procedure is right for you. Below, you can gain a better understanding of your recovery time.
- A return to light, normal activity is possible within a few days of surgery
- For the most part, facelift incisions are well healed within one to two weeks
- Sutures are usually removed by two weeks
- You may return to work and light, normal activity between two and four weeks
- Healing will continue for several weeks
Initial healing will include swelling, bruised and discolored skin, numbness and discomfort. Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated at all times until initial swelling has subsided. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions to heal properly and ensure the greatest results. It is crucial to take time for yourself and rest. Remember, you are doing this for you.