Wrinkles, sagging, and laxity in the jowls and upper neck may appear after years of sun exposure, facial expressions, the natural aging process, and as a result of genetic predisposition. A facelift can significantly improve the appearance of the lower third of the face. Other areas not addressed by a facelift such as the eyelids and forehead can be addressed at the same time as a facelift procedure.

As people age, effects of gravity, the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth, the jawline grows slack and jowly, folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. One should know that the facelift can’t stop the aging process. It can only “set back the clock”, improving 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 also be done along with other procedures such as forehead lift, eyelid surgery or nose reshaping.

Suitable Candidates for Facelift

  • A man or a woman whose face and neck have began to sag but whose skin still has some elasticity.
  • Whose patients bone structure is strong and well defined.
  • Most patients are in their forties to sixties. But facelift can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.
  • A facelift can make you look younger and fresher, and may enhance your self confidence in the process. But it can’t give you a totally different look, nor can it restore the healthy and vitality of your youth.

Risks involved

  • When a facelift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, the complications and risks involved are minor. By following Dr. Price’s advice closely you can reduce your risks.
  • Hematoma C – a collection of blood under the skin – that must be removed by the surgeon.
  • Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles, which is usually temporary.
  • Infection and reactions to anesthesia.
  • Smokers are usually affected by poor healing.

Planning Your Surgery

Dr. Price will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and discuss your goals for the surgery. Dr. Price will check for medical problem such as high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars. You will be asked to stop smoking for few weeks before and after the surgery, as it inhibits blood flow to skin and healing process. You will be asked to stop taking aspirin as it affects clotting. If your hair is too short, you can let it grow long before surgery so that it is long enough to hide the scars while they heal. A facelift is usually done on an outpatient basis, but some surgeons may hospitalize the patient for a day when using general anesthesia. Most facelifts are performed under local anesthesia combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You will be awake but relaxed and insensitive to pain.

Surgery

Facelift surgery usually takes several hours. Every surgeon performs the procedure in his or her own way. Some complete one side of the face at a time and other move back and forth between the sides. The incisions are started above the hair line at the temples, extend in the natural line in front of the ear, and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. A small incision is made under the chin if the neck needs work. The surgeon separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat is either trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve contour. Then the underlying muscle and membrane is tightened, the skin is pulled back and excess skin is removed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions. Metal clips may be used on the scalp. After the surgery a drain tube is placed under the skin behind the ear to drain any blood that might collect there. The head may be loosely wrapped in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling.

Post-Operative Procedure

If there is any discomfort it can be minimized with pain medication. Numbness of the skin is quite normal and will disappear in a month. To keep the swelling down, the head should be kept elevated and still for a couple of days. Drain tube and bandages will be removed after one to five days. Your face may appear bruised and puffy, but in a few weeks you will look normal. Stitches will be removed after five days. Your scalp will take longer to heal. Patients are back to work at about ten days after surgery. By the third week you will look and feel much better.

Instructions to be Followed

  • Take it easy for the first week after surgery as your skin will be tender and numb. Be gentle with your face and hair.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, including sex and heavy house work for two weeks.
  • Avoid alcohol, steam baths and saunas for several months.
  • Get plenty of rest, let the body heal.

Your New Look

Even after the swelling and bruises are gone, the hair around your temples may be thin, and your skin may feel dry and rough for several months. The scars are hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. They will fade with time and become scarcely visible. Having a facelift does not stop the clock. Your face will continue to age with time. You may want to repeat the procedure one or more times, five or ten years down the line. But the effects continue to look better than if you would never have had a facelift at all.

Contact Dr. Price for more information on facelift surgery and schedule a consultation today.