As we age, the appearance of the face and neck naturally change. Many age-related facial changes occur: thinning skin and loss of facial fat can make the face appear older with a drooping. Dry skin and loss of the underlying fat layer rob the skin of its smooth, plump surface; receding gums and bone atrophy can change the appearance of the mouth and make the lips look thinner; loss of bone mass in the jaw can cause the lower face to look smaller and give the forehead and nose a pronounced appearance. Eyes that look sunken are usually the result of fat from the eyelids settling into the eye sockets. The muscles in the upper eyelids can weaken, making the eyelids droop – a change that can affect vision. To make matters worse, lifestyle choices such as excess sun exposure and cigarette smoking can exacerbate all these changes and cause additional ones such as more and earlier wrinkles and dark spots on the skin.
Fortunately, there are many things we can do to counter these changes and help you maintain a fresher, more youthful appearance. Surgical and non-surgical options allow you to choose the procedures that address your unique face and specific issues you’d like to change. One popular and highly effective choice is the facelift procedure. A facelift can give you the more youthful look you want, and facelift side effects are minimal. Your Board Certified cosmetic surgeon can help you choose between surgical and non-surgical options to smooth and refresh the look of your face.
How Is a Facelift Done?
Facelifts are performed in various ways, depending on your desired results. Traditionally, the surgeon will make an incision in the temporal hairline, in the ear crease and behind the cartilage or tragus, around the underside of the earlobes and back behind the ears. They can then remove excess skin and redistribute facial fat. The underlying connective tissues and muscles are tightened before the skin is secured back in place to heal. Mini facelifts are an option for people with less sagging; this procedure uses shorter incisions and means that the patient’s facelift healing time will be quicker and more comfortable. With a “mini” facelift, a separate neck incision is not done.
“Non-surgical facelift” refers to a combination of non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures designed to refresh and rejuvenate the appearance of the face. In general, these techniques require smaller incisions (or no incisions), no general anesthesia or overnight hospital stays, less downtime and less post-op discomfort. Non-surgical facelift options include dermal fillers, Botox, fat injections, and more.
What to Expect During Facelift Recovery
Facelift recovery usually involves a bandage being placed around your face to help minimise bruising and swelling. You may also have small tubes to remove excess blood and other fluids. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on caring for your surgical site, and any drains you have in place, as well as what medications to take (or apply) and what concerns to observe. Be sure that you understand the instructions and that you ask any questions you may have, such as what medications you will need to take, when your stitches will be removed, when you can wash your face and wear makeup, and when you can resume your normal activities. Facelift recovery time usually takes about two weeks.
Some facelift recovery tips to help ensure that you heal as quickly and easily as possible include:
- Sleeping with your head elevated
- Getting plenty of rest to give your body a chance to heal
- Taking enough time off from work, usually two full weeks
- Eating a healthy diet of foods that are easy to chew
- Refraining from scratching – ask your doctor about taking an oral antihistamine to help with any itching
- Wearing sunscreen when outdoors to protect the surgical area and minimize scarring
Does a Facelift Leave Scars?
While facelifts do leave scars, they are virtually undetectable once fully healed. Most of the time, facelift incisions are placed in inconspicuous locations such as in the hairline, above the ear, and behind or directly in front of the ear. If you have a neck lift as well, another incision will be made under the chin.
The most visible of these scars is the one located right in front of the ear. However, even these scars typically fade and soften dramatically over time, often becoming nearly invisible. Wearing your hair down over the ears can also completely hide these scars while they heal. Not smoking, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, avoiding sun exposure, massaging the area, and using a scar treatment, your doctor recommends can all help minimize any scarring.
Benefits of Getting a Facelift
Facelift effects include fewer wrinkles, tighter skin, and a fresher, younger appearance. Some of the specific benefits of this procedure include:
- Tighter skin. Loose and sagging skin is a common effect of aging. A facelift can give you smoother, tighter skin.
- Removal of loose jowls. For patients with jowls that hang from the jawline, the disappearance of this feature is often one of their favorite things about their results.
- No more deep creases. If you have deep lines and wrinkles, you’d like to change; a facelift may be the answer. This procedure can remove these deep creases and restore volume in the face.
- Striking yet natural results. Modern facelift procedures are designed to give you a younger look without making it evident that you’ve had work done. Most of the time, no one will know you’ve had a facelift – they’ll just think you look younger, healthier, and happier.
Who Can Benefit from Facelift Surgery?
A facelift is a highly personal procedure. Be sure that you are choosing a facelift for yourself, not to fit any ideal image or fulfill someone else’s wishes. A good candidate for a facelift is a healthy, non-smoking person who does not have any medical conditions that may impair normal healing. It’s also important to have realistic expectations and a positive outlook before undergoing this procedure. Asking questions and understanding the information your doctor gives you can help you know what to expect and be more satisfied with your results.
If you would like more information about facelifts, facelift surgery cost, what to expect, or whether a facelift might be right for you, contact us today or schedule an online consultation. We offer a wide range of cosmetic procedures and will be happy to help you determine which ones will give you the results you want.