In a world obsessed with youthfulness, an increasing number of consumers are looking to plastic surgery to reverse signs of aging. The face, in particular, is very sensitive to age. Looser skin leads to wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks. These skin imperfections can have a negative impact on a person's relations and self-confidence. The only really effective way to deal with these aging signs is a facelift.
Facts About Facelifts (aka Rhytidectomy)
A "facelift," also known as rhytidectomy surgery, is a surgical technique used to tighten the skin around the face, reduce wrinkles and fine lines and make you look younger.
Wrinkles and sagging skin can dramatically "age" your face and be a serious detriment to self esteem and confidence - especially for women in their 30s and 40s.
A relatively common procedure like a face or neck lift can dramatically reverse the aging process and restore much of the youth and vitality in your face.
That being said, it's not a decision to take lightly and it's very important to consult with a certified surgeon about the type of face lift and procedure that is right for you.
Techniques and technology have also improved so much that some facelifts can be done with little impact on your busy schedule.
To have all your questions answered or to receive a free consultation from a certified facelift surgeon in your area, be sure to fill out the form to the right of the page.
Types of Facelifts
The right type of facelift for you will depend on a number of factors - your age, your skin type, your skin elasticity, your facial structure, your budget, etc.
In a traditional facelift, your surgeon will make a large incision behind the temples and ears and will lift and pull the skin back from the face.
Your surgeon will separate the underlying fat and muscle from the skin and use sutures to lift and reposition the muscle layer toward the ears.
This is known as the SMAS (superficial musculo-aponeurotic system) technique, and the repositioning of the muscle layer along with the skin is important to maintain long-term results.
Once the muscle layer has been tightened and repositioned, any excess skin is removed and all incisions are closed.
Lower (Standard) Facelift
A lower face lift is similar to the traditional facelift but focuses entirely on the neck and jawline.
The incision is still made behind the ears and excess skin is removed from the neck.
Mini (Weekend) Facelift
The "mini" or "weekend" facelift is smaller and less intensive than a standard face lift and is performed relatively quickly (typically in just a few hours with recovery over the weekend).
Instead of a complete lift, specific areas of the face are targeted with small incisions made to reposition and remove limited amounts of facial tissue.
Mini facelifts also take advantage of "endoscopic" facelift technology. An endoscope is a small, thin probe with a camera inserted in the incision that transmits video images from beneath the skin.
The surgeon gets a much more precise picture of a patient's facial structure and can optimize the facelift accordingly. More on mini face lifts here.
An endoscopic face lift takes a bit longer due to the delicate coordination of the endoscopic probes. However, the operation is still done on an outpatient basis with patients allowed to return home right after the surgery. The endoscopic technique might not have the same dramatic results as a traditional face lift, but it's more appropriate for younger people looking for minor enhancements and eliminates the need for lengthy incisions and recovery. Find more about endoscopic facelifts here.
Face Lift Procedure
Most non-surgical techniques are complete within an hour. For a surgical technique with incisions, detailed muscle reconstruction, and sutures, you can expect to be under the knife for at least a few hours. Regardless, when everything is done most patients can get up and walk around. However, someone should drive you home.
Non-surgical approaches to face lifts are also becoming more popular. These techniques reduce the amount of recovery time and also reduce the costs.
Some of the more common non-surgical techniques utilize radio frequency emitters, lasers and creams. Results are less dramatic, but similar to the endoscopic approach these procedures are best for people looking for only minor improvements.
Find out more about non-surgical facelifts here.
There are lots of other options out there today for face lift surgery, including Thread or "Feather" Facelifts, so be sure to carefully examine all of your options and get recommendations from a qualified, trained plastic surgeon.
Fill in the form on the right to find out more and receive a free consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon.
What Can I Expect - Facelift Recovery?
The length of recovery time will naturally vary on the type of facelift surgery you get and the combination of procedures.
A traditional facelift operation typically takes up to four hours, and naturally involves some discomfort both during and after.
For the most part, post-op swelling is fairly modest and limited to the immediate incision areas.
Some bruising is also common and drainage tubes are used to reduce swelling and remove any excess blood.
Within two weeks, most swelling should be reduced and you can engage in more normal social activities again.
Find more about facelift recovery here.
Facelift Risks and Side Effects
A face lift surgery has risks and side effects even if it is non-surgical. Before you proceed with a consultation it would be to your benefit to educate yourself about the common problems that arise before, during, and after any kind of face lift treatment. Most of the complications are associated with any sort of surgical procedure requiring incisions and sutures. Some problems are specific to a facial face lift procedure.
The most basic level of protection that you can control is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she should be well trained and experienced with face lift surgeries. Be sure to investigate each surgeon's history and background. It'd also be a good idea to look around the facilities and ensure that they are well equipped to handle any problem that could surface. A competent surgeon coupled with state-of-the-art facilities will minimize your risk of side effects.
Regardless of the skill of your surgeon and the quality of his or her equipment, some complications can still crop up. The most common ones are listed here.
Most face lifts are done on local anesthetics. Certain local anesthetics can cause an allergic reaction so you should carefully discuss which anesthetic the surgeon plans on using. Most patients also feel sick as the anesthetics wear off. Patients are advised to avoid driving themselves home after the operation. Someone should come to pick you up when it's over.
Some prescription medications that are used to reduce pain and swelling in your body can cause allergic reactions as well. Usually this can be avoided with a thorough examination of the patient's medical history. However, if any adverse effects occur after taking medication, a substitute can usually be prescribed.
Side Effects of Face Lift
The most common side effect of a face lift surgery is swelling and bruising of face. Furthermore, the incisions can scar improperly if there is too much tension in the skin. This can create widened scars that are difficult to hide. These scars can usually be erased with a corrective surgery. These side effects are at their worst for the first few days and subside within weeks.
A Haematoma is a rare blood condition where clots beneath the skin cause bleeding and swelling. This can be painful and dangerous if not treated immediately by the surgeon.
With face lifts is also the risk of nerve damage. This condition usually manifests itself as numbness in the face after the surgery. Most patients recover their nerve senses in the weeks to follow but there are some cases where the nerve damage is permanent.
Free Consultation With a Board Certified Facelift Surgeon
To learn more about Face Lifts and it's related cost please fill out the contact form below, or call us today at the number found in the upper right corner of this page. You will then get the option to schedule a free consultation with a Board Certified Surgeon in Your local area. The majority of surgeons have financing plans available to offer their customers.